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Bike Build Decisions

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Bike Build Decisions

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Old 01-03-15, 09:22 AM
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jargo432
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Bike Build Decisions

The good (and neat) thing about building your own bike is picking out the components. My first bike, a Trek 3500 mountain bike, ending up costing almost twice as much after I changed out everything to my liking. Here are a couple of choices that I've made (but not yet bought) and was wondering if anyone out there had any opinions on them.

Pedals--- After reading about the Littleford expedition bike in the last issue of Adventure Cyclist I chose the MSW CP 200. I like the idea of being able to use my SPDs or my tennis shoes when ever I want. I also like the size of the platform side of the pedal.

Tires--- (or tyres for those of you across the pond) I like to ride both on road and dirt/gravel roads. So far the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tour hs 404 in 700x40 looks to be the best choice.

If you have any experience with either of these I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks
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Old 01-03-15, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
Pedals--- After reading about the Littleford expedition bike in the last issue of Adventure Cyclist I chose the MSW CP 200. I like the idea of being able to use my SPDs or my tennis shoes when ever I want. I also like the size of the platform side of the pedal.
Only you can say what works best for you, but my experience with pedals with a platform on one side and spd on the other is that while they are great at home for a bike used for short errands where I don't want to bother with bike shoes, they are not all that helpful for life on the road. Having tried both types I decided that on tour I'd rather just go with regular spd only pedals. Personal preference though.

Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
--- (or tyres for those of you across the pond) I like to ride both on road and dirt/gravel roads. So far the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tour hs 404 in 700x40 looks to be the best choice.
Again personal preference, but they would be just about my last choice. The weight and stiffness of the sidewalls make the ride feel very unresponsive. They are exactly the opposite of a lively ride feel. I took off a set of regular Marathon Pluses after only a few hundred miles, I hated the ride that much. If you don't care about very poor ride feel or extremely heavy weight (more than double the weight of some other suitable tires) they do offer excellent tread wear and flat resistance. The weight and poor ride feel made the long life seem like a sentence rather than a benefit to me.

I think they would be great for commuting on glass strewn roads, but I wouldn't tour on them if I could get them for free.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:12 AM
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Thank you for the information. I had assumed if I didn't like how stiff the ride felt I could lower the air pressure to improve the feel. I guess it's a real trick to find tires that are flat resistant and lively feel at the same time.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
Thank you for the information. I had assumed if I didn't like how stiff the ride felt I could lower the air pressure to improve the feel. I guess it's a real trick to find tires that are flat resistant and lively feel at the same time.
To be fair some folks don't seem to be at all sensitive to ride feel and also don't care about weight. The Pluses are probably about the most flat resistant tires around. For some folks that is a big enough deal to trump weight and ride feel issues. I don't mind fixing a flat once in a while and value a flexible sidewall.

You have to figure out what matters most to you since these choices are all compromises. Your choices may well be different than mine, so I don't want to oversell my opinions too much. Some folks absolutely love the Pluses.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:40 AM
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What Pete said about the Schwalbes. They roll like pigs.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:47 AM
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Bike Build Decisions

Yeah, I've only put SMP's on for desert thorn protection, but they roll like pigs as Chop61 so succinctly put it.
Gatorskins, Gator Hardshells are my tires of choice.
I've been commuting on GP Four seasons and would happily tour in wetter conditions with them... and no I don't work for Conti! ;p
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Old 01-03-15, 10:48 AM
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I really should add that I live in Texas. When riding I'm dealing with grass burrs, goat heads, cactus, and worst of all mesquite. Puncture protection is the most important thing.

My first trip was to a place called Caprock canyon. I was riding the tires that came with the bike, (bontrager L T 3) I spent more time fixing flats than riding. I switched to schwalbe marathon and have only had one flat since, however when I ride on dirt or gravel I really don't have much traction. For my Disc Trucker I'm looking for the best of both worlds. (aren't we all) Flat resistant, and good on both road and dirt.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:54 AM
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Bike Build Decisions

There ya go! Goatheads! SMP's make sense.
You said something about lowering the pressure to get a better ride feel. Not sure about that, maybe it would make them a bit less bouncy, but I ran mine on max pressure to make them feel as fast as possible.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
I really should add that I live in Texas. When riding I'm dealing with grass burrs, goat heads, cactus, and worst of all mesquite. Puncture protection is the most important thing.
I rode 1000 miles or so across Texas on Gatorskins and had what I considered an acceptable number of flats. I find that if riding on pavement, goat heads are the main concern and mostly avoidable. The main key is to stay on the pavement, avoid green stuff growing in the cracks of the shoulder, and if you do pull off pavement, even 1 inch, check for thorns before continuing.

For off road MTB type riding in thorn country, I'd go tubeless.
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Old 01-03-15, 12:16 PM
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The 'both on road and dirt/gravel' is what Continental Travel Contact designed them to do, + Gatorskin reinforced casing too ..

their ride past the end of the paved world, touring tire, in 622-37 and 42 & 559-47.
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Old 01-03-15, 12:40 PM
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The Schwalbe Marathon Plus, Panaracer Tourguard Plus and Michelin Protek Cross Max all weigh a lot.

I'm not sure the Schwalbe is even available in 700 x 40. I just bought some Michelin Protek Cross Max and haven't tried them yet but I can tell they're about as large as my 700 x 45 Kenda Keen Commuter. It's odd how manufacturers can size them like that. In any case, it may be worth it to look at the ISO size like my Michelin are 42-622 ISO which I find huge. Next time I'm tempted to go with 40-622 because the ones I have are so large. (The choice is confusing however because some have complained 700 x 38 isn't enough for rocks. I saw at least one 700 x 38 tire that's actually 40-622.)

I don't know about the pedals mentioned. I know the Shimano T420 might allow for a regular shoe on one side but I saw complaints about clicking.
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Old 01-03-15, 03:36 PM
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I carry two pair of shoes, I want both to work on the bike. Thus on pedals I disagree with staehpj1. I really like to have my SPD bike shoes on most days. But if I run an errand in the evening I want platform for my trail runners. I have also found that after a few days of rain when my cycle shoes are soaked but my other shoes are not, when the sun comes out I would rather ride with my driest shoes on the bike while the wettest shoes are drying out. I use Shimano M324, but if the MSW CP200 works well for you, great.



At home I have platform on my errand bike and foldup bike, double sided SPD on my touring bikes.
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Old 01-03-15, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I carry two pair of shoes, I want both to work on the bike.
I follow a similar approach and take two pairs of shoes: one SPD and one that are lightweight, made to get wet, and comfortable around camp, in town, or even for hiking on trails. If it's not too cold and looks like rain, I'll actually stop, ditch my socks, and switch to the water shoes, and for that it's really nice to have a platform side on the pedals.

I haven't tried other options, so I can't compare them, but I use the Shimano A530s.
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Old 01-03-15, 05:54 PM
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I looked at the msw cp 200s, but ended up with shimano Spd dual platforms twice now.

I have m324s which are the same shape/design as the ones you chose. I also have a530 pedals .

I agree with your view on the size of the platform- it's nice to have a larger surface.

The m324s are bricks compared to yours, they are probably 200g heavier. But they are a good bit cheaper too.
The a530 pedals are similar weight to yours, I ended up getting them again because the price was right- both were ebay buys.

Hope the pedals work for you, they seemed solid when I looked at them.
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