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Question About Building A Bike---->>>(4 posts)

Question About Building A Bike---->>>ZenJones
Aug 31, 2003 10:37 AM
Could someone do me a favor-as I am trying to learn as much as possible but still have A LOT more to figure out-and give me some ideas on a bike?

Ultimately I want to build a bike that will have some versatility to it but mainly be a touring/trekking bike for 2-4 week rides w/a rear rack, low rider, bar bag... etc.

I am debating between a Koga Miyata(and even though they are superb bikes that have tons of braze-ons already included the base entry level price of $1,898.00 is a little intimidating!)and trying to save some money and DIY it.

For my own build(and this is where I need BIG help with components)I am thinking this-

1. I want a Steel frame so I am debating either Surly or Soma. Probably leaning a bit more toward the Surly Karate Monkey frame.

2. 700cm tires for sure.

3. A few people I've talked to have disc brakes are a real plus for a heavy duty tourer because of the extra weight from the panniers.

4. From this point I am mostly clueless... deraulers, cassettes, cranks, stems, etc...

how can I put together a build that comes from the mindset of this...

the basic core idea of the bike is something I can have for years while I upgrade to better components as they wear out or I get the funds together AND have all the braze-ons I need AND LASTLY, can do all this for less than the price of the Koga Miyata??

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated
Some touring bike suggestions...The Walrus
Aug 31, 2003 1:07 PM
Judging by your comment about 2-4wk rides, you're definitely serious about the touring aspect of riding. You want to get a touring-specific frame,
i not
a 'cross bike, hybrid or MTB; the thing that really sets a touring frame apart from other types (in addition to the longer chainstays and assorted braze-ons) is having a burlier top tube that serves to eliminate shimmy at high speeds, especially on downhills. I've experienced this on "sport" bikes and 'crossers when I've been carrying decent loads in the panniers--the best way I can describe it is kind of a tail-wagging-the-dog feeling, which is pretty ugly. You're right to want to start with a good frame on which you can upgrade the parts as you go. You should get in touch with Bruce Gordon, Rivendell and Co-Motion and see what they offer. None of them are cheap, but you'll probably never "outgrow" a frame you get from them. By the way, a touring bike doesn't have to be a dog. You won't be winning any crits or pulling any pacelines, but they're still perfectly good for everyday riding.

After the frameset, your wheelset is the most important component. Don't go less than 36-hole, with a touring rim (e.g., Mavic T520). Mountain bike hubs are a good choice.

I don't have any experience with disk brakes, so I can't comment on practicality, other than to ask what you'll do when you're 15 days into a trek of Outer Mongolia and you lose your hydraulic fluid or a rotor gets bent/warped. Cantis have served well for ages, and give very good stopping power if set up right.

Components? I favor an MTB drivetrain, because I want bottom end more than speed. As an example, I set my ancient Novara Randonee up with a 46/34/22 crankset coupled with an 11-30 cassette, XT rear/LX front, with barcons--flexibility, simplicity and almost bombproof. If you're going to be doing in-the-boonies, bushwhacking treks, avoid the typical OEM "touring" set up that uses a road triple (52/42/30); that's fine for credit card touring, but it's miserable for loaded tours.

Look into joining Adventure Cycling ( It's a great way to locate riding partners, and a great source for maps and route info.

I don't have any riding time on major-brand touring rigs, but I meet a lot of people who seem to love their Cannondales (yeah, I know--you want steel), and that's by far the most common brand I encounter. If you're near an REI, I'd suggest looking at the Randonee; it does have that terrible gearing I mentioned above, but the price is low enough to make an instant upgrade attractive.

Hope this helped...
Here is your answer.Frith
Aug 31, 2003 2:22 PM
Start with a quality steel frame that is hand built. The newer ones are tig welded but the lugged ones are still available used or as a custom option. Ultegra/xt setup will only cost about $1800-$2000 Canadian and custom build is only an extra $100-200. Incredible Value/Quality combo. I've got two other marinoni frames and can attest to the build quality (second to none). The touring rig is called the Turismo and I'm actually after one myself. Locating a dealer might be kind of tricky south of the border. Marinoni are pretty picky about who they let sell their bikes.
Might look at Atlantis, toocory
Aug 31, 2003 4:54 PM
I have a Rivendell Atlantis set up very much like Walrus's Randonee--same gearing, some slight differences in components, but they're a lot alike. Frame was $950 from Rivendell ($990 now with fork and BB installed), and by using parts I had around, I managed to build it for around $1400 total. It's exactly as advertised--pretty good at everything except racing, and hard to beat for touring.