Touring Tech Top Tips

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
fatbob
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Joined: 5 Jun 2007, 11:45pm

Postby fatbob » 23 Apr 2008, 11:10pm

Re panniers - the Ortlieb ones often lack external pockets - something that comes in very handy on a tour. For some reason pannier manufacturers seem to have forgotten how useful an exterior mesh pocket can be for gloves, bananas etc - none of the newer designs seem to have them - is this something to do with waterproofing perhaps?

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Paul Smith SRCC
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Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 24 Apr 2008, 8:08am

I bought my girlfriend a Trek 1.2 WSD frame that I have made into a Audax style bike for her, this is her first road bike, she had been using her old MTB until now for upto 100 miles, after that ride she agreed that she would like to join me riding from 'Bordeaux to Barcelona', I may have not highlighted the part about the Pyrenees being in between the two when trying to convince her to go mind you, so decided to treat her to a bike, hoping that it will help her to get over them; without hitting me! Most of the spec' was based on my own Van Nicholas Yukon

I actually upgraded far more than I intended to initially, although should she really take to this style of bike I may well upgrade the frame at a later stage and if she didn’t I could use much of the equipment to upgrade my own bike.

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Trek 1.2 WSD 47cm frame with Mavic Kysrium Equipe wheels

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TA Carmina 165mm 26-36-46, this gives roughly 24" to 95" gear ratios with 13-29 cassette, the chainset the bike came with was 170mm with larger overall chain rings

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Campagnolo Record Red label Ergo, indulged here as personally I prefer the non QS front shifting and clunkier gear change.

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Campagnolo Comp triple mech with 13-29 cassette

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Campagnolo Comp Front mech, dsigned for larger rings, as you can see the outer plate does not follow the chain ring line, but it still works well enough; just! I have since fitted and overshift protector as it does push the chain right over the little ring quite often.

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Short depth bars, Shimano R650 57mm brakes, she only has tiny hands and has been used to V Brakes on straight bars so I did not want to compromise on the brake set up.

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Cateye Strada Wireless computer.

As for Louisa she thought it looked lovely, although when I started to tell her the thought that went into the equipment choices I could see her eyes glazing over. As I mentioned earlier she rode from 'Bordeaux to Barcelona' on it and since she has also completed the 441 mile ‘Cost to Coast’ tour and a circular tour in the Dordogne. I also mentioned that if she did take to touring I would upgrade the frame to a van Nicholas like mine, but the slightest mention that we could sell ‘Trigger the Trek’ to fund this new frame results in a bottom lip a quivering look that means that she has no intention of parting with her two wheeled friend. In conclusion I would treat that as a recommendation.

Paul_Smith
Last edited by Paul Smith SRCC on 5 Dec 2010, 9:08am, edited 7 times in total.

Ajay

Postby Ajay » 25 Apr 2008, 10:59am

After 30 years of touring on a variety of bikes, I finally took the plunge and invested in a custom built titanium bike. Paul Hewitt built the bike for me after a very comprehensive fitting session. I must say the result exceeded my high expectations and I have never ridden such a comfortable and beautifully made machine. Ok, it was expensive, but you get what you pay for.

I do weekly 50-70 mile Sunday rides and three 1-2 week long distance tours in the UK and abroad. I also ride it to work every day and it copes with everything.

I spent a long time researching and discussing the spec and this was the final build...

Van Nicholas Amazon 58 cm titanium frame with carbon forks.
Shimano Deore XT triple 26/36/48 with 9 speed XT 12-34 mech.
Cane Creek headset.
Shimano R550 Cantis.
Shallow drop bars.
Campag Ergo brake levers and shifters (the cable run on the campag setup is very neat and leaves plenty of room for a bar bag).
DRC ST19 hand built wheels.
Conti Sport 700x32 tyres for touring.
Marathon Plus 700x28 for day rides and commuting.
Brooks B19 saddle, Blackburn rack and SKS guards.

I love it!

Karen B

Postby Karen B » 27 Apr 2008, 8:40pm

Paul - may I ask what chainset you fitted with 26/36/46? And what sort of front mech did it need? I'm having problems sourcing a low enough gear on my road bike...
Thanks

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Paul Smith SRCC
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Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 28 Apr 2008, 9:12am

Karen B wrote:Paul - may I ask what chainset you fitted with 26/36/46? And what sort of front mech did it need? I'm having problems sourcing a low enough gear on my road bike...Thanks

I used a normal triple front mech, the chainset is a TA Carmina that is a link to the distributors site and here is a link to there UK Dealers. Note although I am using a triple front mech that nearly all road bike versions are designed for larger overall rings, as you can see the mech line does not follow the chain ring.

This can mean that you don't get such good change, more noticeably when changing into the smallest ring. I have got it working well enough for my liking, although I try not to change down under full pressure and if posible not when in the largest rear sprocket, I get a better shift if I am in 3-4th sprocket down as the mech engages the chain nearer where it was designed to do, as a precaution I have also fitted an over shift protector

Image

Image

I did review my own chainset that may be of interest:

Back in the good old days (sorry couldn’t resist saying that) when derailleur geared bikes only had five freewheel sprockets on the back it was common to chose exactly what ratio you wanted, freewheel manufacturers made a variety of custom built options to cater for the demand, all be it from a choice of only five sprockets! To achieve the desired gear ratio it was also normal to chose which size chain rings you used on the front, back then normally only two rings were used, triple chainsets were vary rare. Manufacturers like Stronglight and the more up market TA enabled this to be done; both had a large share of the market as a result; Shimano back then were far less popular than they are today.

As sprockets increased and triple chain sets became common place, the variety of gears naturally increased to the extent that it is now less of a problem to achieve the desired gear ratio ‘off the peg’. However many still prefer to chose a specific set of chain ring sizes; tourists especially often desire slightly lower all round gearing than the faster set up often found on road bike specific chainsets, triples included, most of which are 30/42/50 or 52; for many this is just larger than needed.

Stronglight and TA still exist and as then offer a full custom built service, TA are still being the more upmarket of the two, the whole thing is very well made and finished to the extent many buy these as a quality chainset on merit as apposed simply to achieve custom chainring sizes. The most popular is the ‘Carmina’ as used here with chainring sizes from as low as 24t up to 60t with crank lengths from 150 to 180mm. This flexibility is achievable as even the spider is replaceable, the larger ring model naturally having a larger spider to accommodate and is available as just a double set up, the inner triple ring going onto a separate part of the spider.

A triple set up to achieve lower overall gearing is what most buy TA for though, 26/36/46 with a 13-29 cassette will give a reasonable high top gear as well as a set of useable low gears that should get even an unfit rider up most climbs (mid ninety inches top with most wheel tyre combinations and late twenty inches low). Just as important the most often use gear ratios are also in the chainring/sprocket combinations where the chain line is as straight and therefore as smooth as possible, making the whole transmission also last longer as a result.

They are also available with their own TA ‘JIS’ taper BB, although this is less impressive than the chainset as the bearings are not in their own protective housing, which leaves them more exposed inside the frame and easy to damage/crush when fitting should the cups be over tightened; easily and quite often done! I have ridden 3000 miles so my concerns about the bearings themselves being more exposed are indeed starting to diminish. In conclusion this is a well made chainset, not cheap, but to many, myself included, worth the investment.


Paul_Smith
Edited 22/12/08 to update links to manufacturers new pages
Last edited by Paul Smith SRCC on 22 Dec 2008, 6:57pm, edited 5 times in total.

NewHorizon
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Postby NewHorizon » 28 Apr 2008, 1:14pm

Ajay wrote:Van Nicholas Amazon 58 cm titanium frame with carbon forks.
Shimano Deore XT triple 26/36/48 with 9 speed XT 12-34 mech.
Cane Creek headset.
Shimano R550 Cantis.
Shallow drop bars.
Campag Ergo brake levers and shifters (the cable run on the campag setup is very neat and leaves plenty of room for a bar bag).
DRC ST19 hand built wheels.
Conti Sport 700x32 tyres for touring.
Marathon Plus 700x28 for day rides and commuting.
Brooks B19 saddle, Blackburn rack and SKS guards.


What front mech did you use?

roger
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Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 2:14pm

Touring bikes.

Postby roger » 29 Apr 2008, 10:24am

Jeckyll_n_Snyde wrote::D Cheers Paul :D
I'm now a much wiser man :D :D :D

Doubtless, a wiser man has a good reason to flush the chain, whereas some of us thought the line was "you can pull........."

Roger.

Slowroad
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Joined: 28 Jun 2008, 9:58pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Postby Slowroad » 30 Sep 2008, 8:21pm

This is a really useful thread. I'm thinking of updating my touring bike - a Raleigh Touriste which I think, Paul, you sold me in 1989! It's been great and I've just come back from yet another really super tour on it. However, it is time I gave it an overhaul, or I need to look at the changes which have happened in bike technology in the last 2 decades and treat myself to a new one. Or I might do both... and all this info will really help. Cheers!

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Paul Smith SRCC
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Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 1 Oct 2008, 3:10pm

Slowroad wrote:This is a really useful thread. I'm thinking of updating my touring bike - a Raleigh Touriste which I think, Paul, you sold me in 1989! It's been great and I've just come back from yet another really super tour on it. However, it is time I gave it an overhaul, or I need to look at the changes which have happened in bike technology in the last 2 decades and treat myself to a new one. Or I might do both... and all this info will really help. Cheers!

I could well have done, I worked at Pearson Cycles back then, the Touriste will be what I have listed as a tourer 72/72 on the first page, the Toursite was the first proper touring bike in the Raleigh range, below the Royal and Randoneur models, it could well be updated, the rear drop out width although 126mm could be reset to take a modern 130mm hub, the gear lever bosses can take an adapter to convert them to cable guides so STI/Ergo levers can be used.

Paul_Smith
Last edited by Paul Smith SRCC on 1 Oct 2008, 8:55pm, edited 1 time in total.

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georgew
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Postby georgew » 1 Oct 2008, 3:48pm

Ajay wrote:After 30 years of touring on a variety of bikes, I finally took the plunge and invested in a custom built titanium bike. Paul Hewitt built the bike for me after a very comprehensive fitting session. I must say the result exceeded my high expectations and I have never ridden such a comfortable and beautifully made machine. Ok, it was expensive, but you get what you pay for.

I do weekly 50-70 mile Sunday rides and three 1-2 week long distance tours in the UK and abroad. I also ride it to work every day and it copes with everything.

I spent a long time researching and discussing the spec and this was the final build...

Van Nicholas Amazon 58 cm titanium frame with carbon forks.
Shimano Deore XT triple 26/36/48 with 9 speed XT 12-34 mech.
Cane Creek headset.
Shimano R550 Cantis.
Shallow drop bars.
Campag Ergo brake levers and shifters (the cable run on the campag setup is very neat and leaves plenty of room for a bar bag).
DRC ST19 hand built wheels.
Conti Sport 700x32 tyres for touring.
Marathon Plus 700x28 for day rides and commuting.
Brooks B19 saddle, Blackburn rack and SKS guards.

I love it!


I note that you're using Campag STIs with a Shimano XT 12-34 block. How did you deal with the incompatibility issue?

PW
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Postby PW » 2 Oct 2008, 12:25pm

georgew wrote:
I note that you're using Campag STIs with a Shimano XT 12-34 block. How did you deal with the incompatibility issue?


I do the same. With 10 speed Ergos and a Shimano 9 rear end you can either Hubbub the rear cable fitting or use a Shiftmate. I've got both, there's no difference in the (excellent) performance.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

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georgew
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Postby georgew » 2 Oct 2008, 12:30pm

PW wrote:
georgew wrote:
I note that you're using Campag STIs with a Shimano XT 12-34 block. How did you deal with the incompatibility issue?


I do the same. With 10 speed Ergos and a Shimano 9 rear end you can either Hubbub the rear cable fitting or use a Shiftmate. I've got both, there's no difference in the (excellent) performance.



I know that it can be done but see no mention of it in the post.

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CJ
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Postby CJ » 3 Oct 2008, 1:06pm

georgew wrote:
PW wrote:
georgew wrote:
I note that you're using Campag STIs with a Shimano XT 12-34 block. How did you deal with the incompatibility issue?


I do the same. With 10 speed Ergos and a Shimano 9 rear end you can either Hubbub the rear cable fitting or use a Shiftmate. I've got both, there's no difference in the (excellent) performance.



I know that it can be done but see no mention of it in the post.

Go to my Shimergo page.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

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georgew
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Postby georgew » 7 Oct 2008, 3:17pm

CJ wrote:
georgew wrote:
PW wrote:
georgew wrote:
I note that you're using Campag STIs with a Shimano XT 12-34 block. How did you deal with the incompatibility issue?


I do the same. With 10 speed Ergos and a Shimano 9 rear end you can either Hubbub the rear cable fitting or use a Shiftmate. I've got both, there's no difference in the (excellent) performance.



I know that it can be done but see no mention of it in the post.

Go to my Shimergo page.



I make regular trips to worship at that particular shrine but found it odd that the post made no mention of how he accommodated the mismatch.

Jonty

Re: Touring Tech Top Tips

Postby Jonty » 7 Jul 2010, 11:41pm

Tremendous thread, Paul. As you say gearing is very much a matter of personal choice based on personal requirements and ability.
IMHO many riders, particularly older ones, could benefit from having a lower gear especially if they have knee or other health issues. I think this point isn't sufficiently recognised by bicycle shops who seem to think that all bike purchasers are young fit things. Lung function deteriorates with age irrespective of how fit you are. Your lowest low of about 24 inches would be too high for me. I could get up most hills on it but the strain on my knees would be considerable and I would feel the effects the next day.
I've a Hewitt SE with Deore 22, 32, 44 chainset and Deore SLX 11-34 cassette giving a range of about 17 to 108 inches. At present I rarely use the top or bottom gear, but as I get older I suspect the lowest will be increasingly used. Even in the mid gear ranges I like spinning a lower gear than most people and thus riding at a higher cadence. Also I would rather ride up a steep hill at a comfortable 4 mph rather than get off and push which is much more tiring and slower.
Why have a bike with 24 to 95 inch gearing when you get one which is "age-proofed" with 17 to 108 inch gearing? There may be bigger jumps between the gears but at least the differences are noticeable which is the point.
Also what about Moultons? They are good tourers and can carry a lot of luggage as well as providing a more comfortable ride over long distances.
jonty