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Touring Setup(6 posts)

Touring SetupB2
Mar 13, 2002 7:49 PM
I'm contemplating putting a touring bike together for my wife. Although I'll have to buy a frame, I already have most of the components. Looking for input on a few things:

Does the "Travel Agent V-Brake Adapter" really work? Specifically, will it work adequately with XT V-Brakes and Ultegra STI levers?

If I use an Ultegra triple crank, is a triple specific rear derailleur really required?

Has any one ridden the S&J Howells touring frame sold by SDeals? I don't know a lot about touring frames, but the seat tube angle sounds REALLY steep. $325 sounds pretty reasonable for a lugged CroMo frame and fork though.

Thanks in advance for any input.

triple and rear derailleurAlexx
Mar 14, 2002 4:18 AM
What CAPACITY do you need? Capacity is defined as the numerical difference between the large/lage combo, and the small/small combo. If you had, say, 30/40/50 rings and a 12/28 cassette, then your capacity would be (50+28)-(30+12)=36 teeth. That's a big capacity, and you would need a long cage derailleur to pick up the slack. If you buy a short-cage derailleur, you ill eventually make the chain too taught to shift, and will either bend the unit, or break teeth off.
re: Touring SetupSpoke Wrench
Mar 14, 2002 6:39 AM
1. Travel Agent's work just fine. Most of the larger tandem manufacturers have been using them for years. Be sure to do the back brake first. That way when you kink the brake cable in the wrong place you can just cut it off and use it on the front.

2. On a bike for YOURSELF, you could probably get away with a short cage derailleur because you only use the inner chainring with the two or three largest cogs. On the WIFE'S bike do it right. You might even want to use an XT derailleur with a mountain cassette.
A good touring setup...Pedal Jockey
Mar 14, 2002 6:43 AM
Should have a long cage rear derailleur with a triple chainring crankset. This way, there is enough length between the pulleys on the rear to take up chain slack when in the small chainring up front. This is how touring bikes have always been setup. A long cage rear derailleur also will allow to use cassette with cogs in the 30's for tooth numbers, which can be very important if she is carrying a load and climbing. Also, make certain you have a triple compatible front derailleur as well.

As far as the brakes go, from the Cyclocross perspective, V-Brakes do not work well when used with a standard road lever, STI or otherwise. I would highly recommend a good set of CX canti's, such as Empella's or Paul's. If money is and issue, which it should never be for brakes, check out E-Bay. There is a set of Paul's on there right now. Check them out here:

With respect to the frame, I cannot comment on the frame from S-Deals, but the Gunner Crosshairs is a good CX frame, that can easily be set up for a touring bike. It has rack mount eyelets on the seat stays and dropouts, and is a standard road geometry, making it good for touring. Here is some more information on the Crosshairs:

Good luck.

re: Touring SetupSteve Bailey
Mar 14, 2002 7:48 AM
My own tourer is custom setup with the following:

- Suntour 110 BCD crank, 24/38/50 chainrings, non-ramped/pinned

- Shimano 8 spd. Bar-Cons.

- Any 8 spd. cassette. 12-32 works well, or go 9 spd. Bar-Cons and cassette as desired. 9 spd may be more cost effective should 8 spd stuff start to disappear.

- XT or LX rear derailer

- 105 or Ultegra front triple derailer.

- Diacompe 287V V-brake compatable aero brake levers

- Shimano/Diacompe V brakes, non-pivoting (more durable)

- Standard bottom bracket - UN-72 works very well

Some advantages: The general consensus is to get gearing that goes from a low of 20 gear inches to a high of 100. This is the norm for self-supported loaded touring.

- The bar-con/287V route is cheaper then STI and are generally more reliable due to friction mode. Note that this is really only important if you are doing long-distance self-supported tours

- A 110BCD crank has the best choices available in chainrings. When combined with bar-con's that will shift anything you eliminate the poor gearing choices that STI imposes. Yes you can change the rings on a Shimano 130/74 BCD crank to get a 26/38/50 or so, but you need to get a VERY EXPENSIVE TA 38 ring (as example) that's ramped and pinned to get a reliable front shift out of STI. Bar-cons give you more options, are cheaper and more reliable.

- Canti's work well, but V's do stop better. That has been my own experience having tried 3 different sets of Canti's with assorted levers. Non-pivoting V's are a snap to setup and don't develop the pivot wear of others. Very cost effective also.

re: Touring SetupChen2
Mar 15, 2002 11:49 AM
I agree strongly with Steve that the Ultegra triple rings are a poor choice for a touring bike. I had to pull that crank set off of my wife's bike and replace it with a Campy 50-40-30 Racing T crank set. We tried aftermarket rings (not TA) on the Ultegra but they wouldn't shift worth a s*#^"'! If at all possible I would elect for a different crank set with smaller rings and matching front derailleur. Or put a mountain bike rear derailleur and cassette on the back, but then the ratios are awfully wide. The Campy 50-40-30 will shift ok with the STI shifters and Ultegra front triple derailleur. It's also possible to cobble together a Shimano 14-28 rear cassette, did that for my wife.