Speccing a tourer

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McVouty
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Speccing a tourer

Postby McVouty » 8 Oct 2008, 5:31pm

I am considering downgrading my beloved 1989 Romany tourer to hack status and commissioning something a little grander (I feel guilty even thinking this...) as my first bespoke bike. Any one have any thoughts on what the spec should be?

I'd like the new bike to be capable of hauling me and luggage up mountains, although not neccessarily going round the world. I'm thinking steel, from Dave Yates or Roberts, Campag if I can afford a decent groupset, maybe disc brakes, and 26" wheels for strength and more "normal" geometry (see below).

Would there be issues with discs and panniers, bearing in mind that I'm short (5'3") so space is a little tight for heel clearances etc? Are 26" wheels the way to go (I remember when 26" tourers first appeared the reviews in the comics mentioned more than once that the testers had crashed them)?

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julk
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Postby julk » 8 Oct 2008, 6:24pm

You could also consider a Thorn bike.

They have a wide range of touring bikes which would fit your requirements, although they might try and persuade you to avoid disk brakes for touring.

reohn2

Postby reohn2 » 8 Oct 2008, 7:14pm

I was going to say what Julk said,of course there are other makers,Mercian for one who could accomodate you.
The one thing that I would think you would struggle with is gettting a heavy duty touring bike equiped with Campag and I'd also question their hubs for such a bike.Also spares could prove to be a probblem in the back of beyond whereas Shimano spares can be obtained almost anywhere*

*I don't want to turn this thread into a Campag V Shimano debate.

tb
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Postby tb » 8 Oct 2008, 8:06pm

My commuter / tourer is an old 531 with full mudgaurds, pannier rack, dynamo and best of all cantilever brakes. One of my favourites and I bought it of a CTC member for under £300 !

vernon
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Re: Speccing a tourer

Postby vernon » 8 Oct 2008, 10:55pm

McVouty wrote:I'd like the new bike to be capable of hauling me and luggage up mountains, although not neccessarily going round the world. I'm thinking steel, from Dave Yates or Roberts, Campag if I can afford a decent groupset, maybe disc brakes, and 26" wheels for strength and more "normal" geometry (see below).

Would there be issues with discs and panniers, bearing in mind that I'm short (5'3") so space is a little tight for heel clearances etc? Are 26" wheels the way to go (I remember when 26" tourers first appeared the reviews in the comics mentioned more than once that the testers had crashed them)?


It's difficult to spec out a bike for others as it's down to the individual as to what is best for them.

If you are touring with luggage, you might want to have low gearing in which case Campag is ruled out as other drive train manufacturers can offer smaller chain rings and larger cassettes. If you are wanting beefiness of wheel construction then you might contemplate MTB hubs and touring rims.

I'm not aware of any advantages/disadvantages that 26" wheels offer in terms of ride quality - sales of EBC, Dawes and Thorn tourers do not seem to be affected by being sold with 26" wheels.

FWIW I'm building a bike based on a Dave Yates frame with a hybrid Shimano drive train - 105 at the front and Deore at the rear to take advantage of MTB gearing. the bike is being targetted at Audaxing and light touring and, should I want to go full on cycle camping, I'd fit a Deore chain set and derailleur at the fron to get those lower range gears.

I'm using Mavic 719 rims because of my porkiness and they are being laced to Deore hubs.

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zenzinnia
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Postby zenzinnia » 9 Oct 2008, 8:45am

If you're getting a frame made to your ownn spec then think about getting stainless steel dropouts. No scratches, no rust at this vulnerable place and they look great. Make sure you get all the braze-ons and bosses you need - rack points , bottles (perhaps a third underneath), gear stops, cable stops , mudguard eyes, maybe even pump and spare spoke holders etc. Get the frame right and you can put everything else right later.

Hewitts are getting good reviews for their bikes and fitting service at teh moment - www.hewittbikefitting.co.uk

Good rims would be Rigida Sputik - my wheel builder told me how, when putting together a wheel with these, he only needed the odd tweek to true them due to the strength of the rim whilst with others he woud need to do a whole load of work.

COnsider a more touring oriented chainset rather than shimano/ campag. Maybe Stronglight or even better TA. Or go for a whole MTB drive train (but I don't think these have the same elegance!)

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McVouty
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Postby McVouty » 9 Oct 2008, 9:02am

I'm not wedded to Campag but I like Ergo levers much better than Shimano's equivalent (all those cables sticking out...).

What are people's views on offset stays to avoid wheel dish at the back? A friend has a Roberts with such a set up but I'm not sure it would make worthwhile difference to wheel strength especially with MTB wheels.

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georgew
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Postby georgew » 9 Oct 2008, 11:02am

I would think anything to avoid wheel dish would be desirable.

PW
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Postby PW » 9 Oct 2008, 11:22am

I went the other route, 145mm oln and either a 40h tandem hub for camping trips or a tandem axle in a 36h XT mtb hub for normal riding. It's worked so far!
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

stewartpratt
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Postby stewartpratt » 9 Oct 2008, 11:25am

McVouty wrote:What are people's views on offset stays to avoid wheel dish at the back?


It certainly will help wheel strength, but a well-built dished wheel won't have any problems. I would be concerned if it made heel clearance an issue on the drive side.

You might want to look at the Surly Long Haul Trucker, too. The small ones are 26" wheeled. I have a huge 700c version and it's ace. Really versatile - I've even seen small ones built up as mountain bikes.

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julk
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Postby julk » 9 Oct 2008, 12:22pm

A Rohloff hub gear is excellent for loaded touring and it fits centrally, no dishing required. It has the one gear changer and best of all you can change gear when stationary.

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zenzinnia
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Postby zenzinnia » 9 Oct 2008, 4:51pm

McVouty wrote:I'm not wedded to Campag but I like Ergo levers much better than Shimano's equivalent (all those cables sticking out...).


This might be wrong but I seem to remember that the Campag 10 speed ergo levers will work on shimano 8 speed cassette perfectly. With a tripple this should be fine for touring.

stewartpratt
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Postby stewartpratt » 9 Oct 2008, 5:14pm

julk wrote:A Rohloff hub gear is excellent for loaded touring and it fits centrally, no dishing required. It has the one gear changer and best of all you can change gear when stationary.


Though you do have to balance that (plus the durable and reliable 'singlespeed' external drivetrain) against the noise, the dodgy 8-to-7 shift and the astronomical purchase price.

reohn2

Postby reohn2 » 9 Oct 2008, 6:13pm

IMO,after you've specced the frame of your choice,for heavy touring I'd go for Shimano XT hubs,mechs and triple chainset,and BB,V brakes(take your pick Tektro are good I'm told),Sputnik rims as has been mentioned(I've got some on XT hubs and they have about 16,000mls on them and no where near worn out)Double butted spokes for strength.
If using dropbars(a nice H/bar with a shallow drop and short reach is PRO LT,stem Chinelli VAR) Tektro RL520 levers(they work with V's) and Kelly take off's with D/T levers http://www.kellybike.com/2nd_xtra_takeoff.html
they're just as easy to use as STI/Ergo's.
Shwalbe Marathon tyres,SKS M/guards,SJS rack(s)
I don't have much problem with headsets so won't reccomend one (I'm sure others will)

rogerzilla
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Postby rogerzilla » 9 Oct 2008, 8:53pm

Don't be tempted by a 26" tourer. Trust me on this - road tyre choice is limited (and heavy when available) and the smaller wheels do not roll anything like as well, even if you fit 1.1" Schwalbe Stelvios. One of the worst purchasing decisions I ever made was to buy a Thorn Nomad when I should have had a Dawes Galaxy.