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Old 08-02-08, 10:35 PM
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Big Dummy Build Opinions

Hi,

I've been lurking, but have so many questions that I figured I should start posting. I know that I want to build a Bid Dummy with a Rohloff - I'll be using it for running errands, including moving my 3 and 7 year old around town - and later on may do some touring on it. I'm in Portland, which is part of the reason I'm going with the Rohloff (low maintenance!). I've been away from cycling for a long time - when I last rode frequently, only pros, serious safety aficionados, and mentally delayed kids wore helmets. So I'm a newb about much that is new with bikes. Help!

1. What frame size should I order for the Big Dummy? I'm 6'2", 210 pounds, and have a 33 inch inseam. I like a more upright riding position.

2. Saddle? As stated, I like a more upright position. I'm not a fan of how most road bikes force you to ride hunched. I'll probably be going with Albatross handle bars or something similar. I don't need a seat for long distance riding (right now). The longest distance I'll probably ride at a time will be 20 miles.

3. Any general recommendations would be really helpful! I'm planning on using Avid BB7 disc brakes, and either Fat Franks or Big Apples (cause that's the way I roll), but beyond that, I have no idea. Especially rims?

Anyway, thanks for any feedback provided. The biggest present concern is frame size, as I'm going to try to snag one of the arriving frames.
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Old 08-02-08, 10:52 PM
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I'd say 20" is most likely. It runs a little big.

One thing you could do, if you can't find someone with big dummy to test ride, would be to just test ride some mountain bikes. The cockpit is really like a very average modern MTB. You can measure the top tube length on a mountain bike that feels right, that'll give you a good idea.
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Old 08-02-08, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sifu View Post
1. What frame size should I order for the Big Dummy?...

2. Saddle? As stated, I like a more upright position... Albatross handle bars...

3. Any general recommendations would be really helpful! I'm planning on using Avid BB7 disc brakes, and either Fat Franks or Big Apples (cause that's the way I roll), but beyond that, I have no idea. Especially rims?

Anyway, thanks for any feedback provided. The biggest present concern is frame size, as I'm going to try to snag one of the arriving frames.
1. You've probably seen the Surly Big Dummy blog content. I'd pay attention to the top tube horizontal length -- "TT (Horizontal)" in the blog table. Big Dummy's have long top tubes to accommodate swept bars. Use that metric to dial in your frame size. At 6'2", with swept bars, I'd guess you'd be in the 20-inch frame size (only a guess).

2. Start with a Brooks. B17 Standard or B17 Narrow are popular, but as you might know, there are many other models.

3. I'm going with BB7s as well. Use high quality Teflon/frictionless cables, not the cheaper cables. I've heard it makes a noticeable difference with mechanical discs. I'm probably going to go with Alex DM24 26-inch 36-hole rims. They're durable and just my choice.

4. If you haven't already: check out Vik's Big Dummy blog - he'll get you up to speed re the Rohloff stuff; and see dwnptrl_777's thread for more information. Also, see all the Big Dummy pics on Flickr to check out other folks' builds.

Last edited by Blue Roads; 08-02-08 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 08-03-08, 12:18 AM
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Given your time away from cycling, are you sure you want to build it? A good shop will help dial in fit and will make changes after you have ridden a bike for a few months.
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Old 08-03-08, 05:43 AM
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OP:
Sounds like you're in good hands and off to a good start! As you've probably heard me say elsewhere, you won't regret building a Dummy--recently took mine (I call it The Goat) to a bike shop so one of the employees could test ride to check frame size, etc. Before we were done, over a half dozen people had taken it for a spin, and most everyone (as far as I can tell) had a big smile and was pleasantly surprised at how very smooth the Goat rides.
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Old 08-03-08, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for the feedback! I've been checking out Vic's blog for Rohloff info, and it's excellent.

On building it myself, I'll just have more fun that way. As an added benefit, I'll understand my bike much better for maintenance purposes. I also have some bike "gurus" I can call on for assistance. So I'm solid.

I've done some reading in the Clydesdale forum about rims, and there seems to be some concern about certain brands/models not holding up under heavier weights. Considering that this bike will have my 200+ pounds, plus 100 pounds of kids, plus 50 pounds of groceries on the back, I want to make sure I get burly rims! I'll check out those DM24s - other recs welcome.
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Old 08-03-08, 04:02 PM
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Update on frame size: I ordered a 22". The helpful people at my LBS spent some time helping me figure out sizing by riding a variety of bikes, notable Gary Fishers, and 19-20 inch bikes with similar TT dimensions to the Big Dummy were too small. And fortunately, 22" Big Dummy frames are available. So yay me! Mine will arrive in a week.
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Old 08-03-08, 04:08 PM
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let the addiction begin..

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Old 08-03-08, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dwnptrl_777 View Post
let the addiction begin..

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I already thanked Vik, but wanted to also thank you. Your online presence has been helpful for my build.

Cheers.
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Old 08-03-08, 11:12 PM
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Hi Sifu, there's also a thread about rims over here:
http://groups.google.com/group/surly...f7aa916e?hl=en
My choice was Velocity Cliffhangers and so far I'm quite happy.
Also, Titec H-bars, Rohloff, and Avid Juicy 7 discs. Cheapo 165mm cranks and basic pedals. Ergon GP-1 grips I believe are worth the money. Planet Bike SuperFlash
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Old 08-03-08, 11:39 PM
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Thumbs up

Welcome to the wacky world of the Big Dummy...

Glad you got a frame from the latest batch. Waiting months for a frame can be a painful experience. I went through that with a LHT a few years ago...

I don't have much to add other than get a beefy rear wheel built up to handle the loads you will be carrying back there.

Keep us posted with how your build comes along...
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Old 08-04-08, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Sifu View Post
Update on frame size: I ordered a 22". The helpful people at my LBS spent some time helping me figure out sizing by riding a variety of bikes, notable Gary Fishers, and 19-20 inch bikes with similar TT dimensions to the Big Dummy were too small. And fortunately, 22" Big Dummy frames are available. So yay me! Mine will arrive in a week.
Damn you! Some of use have been waiting months! *shakes fist*
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Old 08-04-08, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by penexpers View Post
Damn you! Some of use have been waiting months! *shakes fist*
eh, he didn't say it was here, did he?
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Old 08-04-08, 09:29 PM
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Re: rims - I just upgraded the wheels on my Xtracycle conversion and ended up going with Sun Rhyno Lites, which have really good reviews on MTBR.com (amongst other places) and are not overly expensive.

Since it seems you're going "premium" in your fit-out, I strongly suggest that in addition to the Rohloff you consider going with a dynamo front hub for on-board electricity generation.

When I got my new wheelset, I had the front wheel built up with a Shimano DH-3N71 dynamo hub. This is their "latest & greatest" dynamo hub to the best of my knowledge, Ultegra level quality, and disc brake compatible. Coupled with the new 40 lux Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ-Fly N Plus headlight, I'm really jazzed.

The output of the B&M IQ Fly is amazing, far surpassing my heretofore very acceptable Cateye HL-EL320 I'd been using for the past six months or so. Enough light that I feel more like I'm driving a car or a motorcycle, seriously. It's even very visible in daylight, something I'd not really been expecting. Quite satisfied with my purchase, to say the least! I cannot perceive any drag with the light off, and so little with the light on that I think it's mainly in my head. On an Xtracycle, it's pretty much irrelevant IMHO

I'm sure you'll love your rig, I am totally satisfied with my X. Enjoy!
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Old 08-04-08, 09:33 PM
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Oh, and +1 on the Brooks saddle, too. If you're going for a really upright position, consider one of the models with springs if you think you need it. My X is setup with a B-17 but it's a traditional mountain bike fit. I have B-17s on both my fixed gear and my X and have been totally jazzed with them. Well worth it IMHO.
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Old 08-05-08, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by surfimp View Post
When I got my new wheelset, I had the front wheel built up with a Shimano DH-3N71 dynamo hub. This is their "latest & greatest" dynamo hub to the best of my knowledge, Ultegra level quality, and disc brake compatible.
Just be careful with the model numbers here - the DH-3D71 is the disc brake compatible model. It's actually XT level too (something Ultegra is unlikely to have disc brake compatibility). Also I think they DH-3D71 has been superseded by the DH-3D70, but I don't think there's too much difference between the two.
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Old 08-05-08, 09:35 AM
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Yeah, I just ordered a Champion Flyer saddle - looks perfect for me.

The thing with rims is this: how wide should rims really be to accommodate those 2"-2.35" tires? The Sun Rhyno's get great reviews at the price point, and are 29 mm wide - is that wide enough? Is wider better? Surly makes the Large Marge, which is a whopping 65 mm across - why would someone want such large rims? Spokes and hubs are easy - but I'd have to say figuring out rims has been my greatest challenge!
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Old 08-05-08, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Sifu View Post
Yeah, I just ordered a Champion Flyer saddle - looks perfect for me.

The thing with rims is this: how wide should rims really be to accommodate those 2"-2.35" tires? The Sun Rhyno's get great reviews at the price point, and are 29 mm wide - is that wide enough? Is wider better? Surly makes the Large Marge, which is a whopping 65 mm across - why would someone want such large rims? Spokes and hubs are easy - but I'd have to say figuring out rims has been my greatest challenge!
You want 65mm rims for 100mm tires like they run on a Pugsely snow bike.

I'm running a Mavic EN321 with a 2.0" marathon XR works great.
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Old 08-05-08, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Sifu View Post
Yeah, I just ordered a Champion Flyer saddle - looks perfect for me.

The thing with rims is this: how wide should rims really be to accommodate those 2"-2.35" tires? The Sun Rhyno's get great reviews at the price point, and are 29 mm wide - is that wide enough? Is wider better? Surly makes the Large Marge, which is a whopping 65 mm across - why would someone want such large rims? Spokes and hubs are easy - but I'd have to say figuring out rims has been my greatest challenge!
Originally Posted by sheldon brown
A general guideline is that the tire width should be between 1.45/2.0 x the inner rim width.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html
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Old 08-05-08, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
Sheldon's chart is very conservative - out of 8 bikes in my apartment 7 have tires that are too wide for their rims according this chart.
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Old 08-05-08, 06:01 PM
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Well, I've squared away many details - I think I've got rims figured out.

Regarding the brakes, I'm going to use the Avid BB7 - but should that be the MTN version or the road version? Does it matter? And what sort of cable kit would be good? I need very quick and reliable breaks with 300+ pounds on this bike! SRAM makes the Full Metal Jacket kit and the Flak Jacket kit - are these the teflon cables spoken of above?

Also, I'm struggling with understanding the gearing involved with the Rohloff - while I'm looking at cranksets. Universal Bicycles (close to home) has a single speed Sugino crankset for under $100 with 48 teeth. If I couple that with the 16 tooth Rohloff sprocket, will that give me some kind of "undesirable" gear ratio for hauling lots of weight?

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Old 08-05-08, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Sifu View Post
The thing with rims is this: how wide should rims really be to accommodate those 2"-2.35" tires? The Sun Rhyno's get great reviews at the price point, and are 29 mm wide - is that wide enough? Is wider better?
I dunno... I'm running Continental Town & Country tires which are 2.1" wide IIRC. They seem to fit perfectly on the Sun Rhyno Lites.. I didn't sweat this particular detail too much.

And speaking of details, yes, my hub is the 3D71, sorry for the mistyping. I <3 it
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Old 08-05-08, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by penexpers View Post
Just be careful with the model numbers here - the DH-3D71 is the disc brake compatible model. It's actually XT level too (something Ultegra is unlikely to have disc brake compatibility). Also I think they DH-3D71 has been superseded by the DH-3D70, but I don't think there's too much difference between the two.
Thanks for catching that - yes it is the DH-3D71. From what I've read, the -71 supercedes the -70 but if you look at the parts diagrams for both, they are identical except for the internal core. I think it's close enough that it probably doesn't matter all that much. In any event, great hub. I got blinked at by three cars on the way home... I did "do the right thing" and adjust my IQ Fly downwards, but that's definitely the first time I've ever been flashed w/high beams while riding my bike. Nice
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