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Custom Expedition Bike: Specification

Old 06-17-20, 05:29 PM
  #1  
ulstoft
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Custom Expedition Bike: Specification

Dear Touring Community,

I am investing in an expedition quality touring bike. Initially, I will use the bike on a UK tour, roads and canals plus some light off-road, mostly in remote areas of Scotland. But I would like something that I could eventually use to do long distance touring in remote places...

I have found a gentleman that builds custom expedition touring bikes. He has proposed the specification below. I do not really know mountain bike parts too well since all my recent bikes have been road or gravel. I would be grateful if anyone can point out any part replacements I should take into account.

I had considered 26 inch wheels. But I am quite tall and it makes me look like a man on a child's bike. I know that 26 inch tyres/wheels/spokes are easier to source in remote places.

I think I am probably going to get V-brakes rather than disc, for the simplicity and the cost savings. But I do feel pressured towards getting disc brakes if for no other reason, it will give the bike better resale potential down the road. I realise that most new bikes are coming with disc now, even road bikes.

Also, I'm on the fence with the dynamo hub, I'm wondering whether it is a real asset or an expensive toy. I am probably going to give it a miss for now.

Frame: Reynolds 525 frame (700c Wheels) size 57
Rear Mech: Shimano Deore XT RD-T8000 SGS
Front Mech: Shimano Deore XT FD-T8000
Cassette: Custom Shimano 11-34 10 speed
Shift Levers: Shimano Deore XT SL-T8000
Chainset: Shimano FC-MT300 175mm cranks 44-32-22t
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Deore XT BB-MT800
Chain: KMC X10
Wheels: Handbuilt Bitex 101 hubs Ryde Sputnik Rims 36 spokes
Bk Levers: Shimano Deore BL-R780
Brakes: Shimano Deore BR-T610 (Juin Tech M1s)
Pedals: Flat Black
Clips Straps: NA
Saddle: Brooks B17 Brown Seat post: Ergotec 5
Rear rack: Axiom Journey Low loader: Tubus Tara
Handlebars: Ergotec 5 630mm
Handlebar Grips: Ergon GP5L
Bar ends Ergon GP5L
Bar Tape NA
Stem: Ergotec 4 110mm Black
Spacers: 55+20
Headset: Cane Creek 40 Series
Mudguards: Flinger F50
Tyres: Continental Contact Plus 700 x 32
Inner tubes: Schwalbe
Valves: Schraeder
Kickstand: Pletscher Single
Stickers: Trad Black
Headbadge: transfer

Extras:
. SON28 dynamo hub with Velocharger USB plug and B&M 60 Lux front light
. Tubus Tara front pannier carrier (Or Aluminium alternative)
. Upgrade to Brooks B17 Brown leather saddle
. Supply and fit Pletscher single leg kickstand
, Ergon GP5 Grips
. Shimano PD-EH500 dual purpose pedals
. Upgrade to Continental Touring Plus tyres 700 x 35
. Mirrycle Mountain bike mirror

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Last edited by ulstoft; 06-17-20 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 06-17-20, 07:20 PM
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You used the word expedition, that word is not commonly used for bicycles unless you are seriously carrying a massive load in the middle of nowhere. I tour on both derailleur drive train bikes and a bike with a Rohloff. For far off places, don't rule out a Rohloff hub.

In the UK there are several good brands, Thorn, Dawes and possibly others. I do not live in UK, so I am mostly relying on what I have read when I said that, but I do own two Thorn bikes. On the continent there are Koga, Santos and probably others too.

My Thorn Nomad Mk II, below, I refer to that as my expedition bike.





In the first photo above, I had over two weeks of food on the bike, thus a heavy load.

I think you should look around at some of the other brands out there too. You did not mention the brand of the one you cited, so I have no bias against it, but you are making an important decision and you want to make sure you have assessed enough options to make sure you won't have buyers remorse later.

The bike in the photo above has 26 inch wheels. You said you were looking at size 57 frame, the frame in the photo is a 59M. That bike has a Rohloff hub, thus no front or rear derailleurs in the photos.

If someday you would want a dynohub, get it when you get the bike. The cost difference is the extra cost of the dynohub minus the cost of the non-dyno hub you would not be buying. But if you buy it later, you would be buying a second hub, second set of spokes, another fee to build the wheel, and possibly another rim. You can buy a dynohub wheel and not wire it to anything initially if you are trying to save a bit on the price initially.

The bike in the photo tips the scale at a bit over 20 kg, which is quite heavy. If i am doing a less adventurous trip where I am not carrying that heavy of a load, I use a lighter weight bike. You might want to really think about how heavy duty (and heavy) a bike you need and buy accordingly. In my case, I have three touring bikes but it sounds like you want one for all purposes. My other two are lighter weight and use derailleur drive trains, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of drive trains.
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Old 06-17-20, 08:03 PM
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One minor thing that caught my eye are the 700 X 32 tyres.That sounds extremely narrow for type of touring you're contemplating. I would tell the frame builder that you want clearance for at least 700 X 45 tyres with room for mudguards. You may think you'll never need such wide tyres, but if you are really doing the expedition bike thing you may change your mind one day.
A dynamo hub is only useful if you actually have something to charge and you expect to go fast enough and far enough to produce the amps you need. However if you do have something to charge, might as well get one now, it will represent only a small fraction of the cost of what I expect is going to be a pretty expensive bike.
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Old 06-17-20, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ulstoft View Post
Saddle: Brooks B17 Brown Seat post: Ergotec 5
Unless the frame builder is going to compensate for the B17's short rails, I think you'll need a set-back seatpost. I use the seatpost with the most set-back I could find, the Velo Orange Grand Cru with 30mm set-back.

And I too recommend fatter tires than 32mm. Tires in the 40-45mm range allow more rugged terrain and more comfort overall.
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Old 06-17-20, 08:54 PM
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I'd be spec-ing my custom touring bicycle with drop-bars and either bar-end shift levers or Gevenalles, rather than anything else, but that's me.

I agree about the tire width change. Gravel roads are not kind to people riding 32mm tires. Have enough room for 45mm tires and mudguards that are sufficient for that size.
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Old 06-17-20, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ulstoft View Post
Dear Touring Community,

I am investing in an expedition quality touring bike. Initially, I will use the bike on a UK tour, roads and canals plus some light off-road, mostly in remote areas of Scotland. But I would like something that I could eventually use to do long distance touring in remote places...

I have found a gentleman that builds custom expedition touring bikes. He has proposed the specification below. I do not really know mountain bike parts too well...

dear new tourist,

you are NOT purchasing a custom bike. "custom" means designed for the customer, according to the customer's needs and desires. you are getting some other dude's idea of a touring bike. you'll be paying triple to ride a bike some other dude likes.

i would suggest you buy one of the three popular all-around touring bikes (fuji, dawes, and some other i forgot but someone will be along to mention) that will be well-suited to any riding you are planning in the foreseeable future. of course your current bike - mtb or gravel or whatever - might be just as suitable for your short tours with a few minor tweeks.

get some touring experience, find out what works for you, and then you yourself can design your very own custom bike with your own needs in mind. there's no reason to let some other dude pick your components for you, or bolt them onto a frame.



**you mentioned a 'gentleman.' does he build frames himself to your measurements, or does he order a frame to assemble with selected components???

Last edited by saddlesores; 06-17-20 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 06-17-20, 10:43 PM
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You want us to critique your builders suggestion? Why?

I could comment on the bike I brought in 97 .. Or the other one in 91 & 88..



summer only .. use then rim brakes will be OK

These rim brakes work fine..



...

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-18-20 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 06-17-20, 11:32 PM
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Seems like sensible components...I would go for disc brakes since they work better in the wet. & yes, room for wider tires.
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Old 06-18-20, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ulstoft View Post
Dear Touring Community,

I am investing in an expedition quality touring bike. Initially, I will use the bike on a UK tour, roads and canals plus some light off-road, mostly in remote areas of Scotland. But I would like something that I could eventually use to do long distance touring in remote places...

I have found a gentleman that builds custom expedition touring bikes. He has proposed the specification below. I do not really know mountain bike parts too well since all my recent bikes have been road or gravel. I would be grateful if anyone can point out any part replacements I should take into account.

I had considered 26 inch wheels. But I am quite tall and it makes me look like a man on a child's bike. I know that 26 inch tyres/wheels/spokes are easier to source in remote places.

I think I am probably going to get V-brakes rather than disc, for the simplicity and the cost savings. But I do feel pressured towards getting disc brakes if for no other reason, it will give the bike better resale potential down the road. I realise that most new bikes are coming with disc now, even road bikes.

Also, I'm on the fence with the dynamo hub, I'm wondering whether it is a real asset or an expensive toy. I am probably going to give it a miss for now.

Frame: Reynolds 525 frame (700c Wheels) size 57
Rear Mech: Shimano Deore XT RD-T8000 SGS
Front Mech: Shimano Deore XT FD-T8000
Cassette: Custom Shimano 11-34 10 speed
Shift Levers: Shimano Deore XT SL-T8000
Chainset: Shimano FC-MT300 175mm cranks 44-32-22t
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Deore XT BB-MT800
Chain: KMC X10
Wheels: Handbuilt Bitex 101 hubs Ryde Sputnik Rims 36 spokes
Bk Levers: Shimano Deore BL-R780
Brakes: Shimano Deore BR-T610 (Juin Tech M1s)
Pedals: Flat Black
Clips Straps: NA
Saddle: Brooks B17 Brown Seat post: Ergotec 5
Rear rack: Axiom Journey Low loader: Tubus Tara
Handlebars: Ergotec 5 630mm
Handlebar Grips: Ergon GP5L
Bar ends Ergon GP5L
Bar Tape NA
Stem: Ergotec 4 110mm Black
Spacers: 55+20
Headset: Cane Creek 40 Series
Mudguards: Flinger F50
Tyres: Continental Contact Plus 700 x 32
Inner tubes: Schwalbe
Valves: Schraeder
Kickstand: Pletscher Single
Stickers: Trad Black
Headbadge: transfer

Extras:
. SON28 dynamo hub with Velocharger USB plug and B&M 60 Lux front light
. Tubus Tara front pannier carrier (Or Aluminium alternative)
. Upgrade to Brooks B17 Brown leather saddle
. Supply and fit Pletscher single leg kickstand
, Ergon GP5 Grips
. Shimano PD-EH500 dual purpose pedals
. Upgrade to Continental Touring Plus tyres 700 x 35
. Mirrycle Mountain bike mirror

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
Frame: 26 inch wheels are stronger. Not sure of how heavy is your load. If you build a front loader, 700c no issue. If you heavily load the rear, it may cause broken spokes?

Drivetrain: 8 speed is cheaper. 22-32-44 front and 11-34 are good choices.

Brakes: you can get v and disc compatible frames.

Handlebar and stem: How heavy are you planning to load the front? 630mm seems narrow and 110mm seems long.

Tires: How heavy are you planning to load? Light off road loaded with 32mm is it too small??

Kickstand: Have you considered double? Easier to load when the bike is vertical.

Last edited by hermanchauw; 06-18-20 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 06-18-20, 07:23 AM
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Tubus front rack kickstand and their low rider racks .. bike held up with 2 separate kickstands + front wheel held steady..

put a lot of miles sitting on that Brooks saddle before the long tour ... I had 10 years on my Team Pro before my 2nd tour on it..





..

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-18-20 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 06-18-20, 08:22 AM
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On tires, the photos above of my expedition bike, those tires are 57mm wide which works very well on difficult gravel.
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Old 06-18-20, 10:45 AM
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If you plan to ride in remote places, I’d recommend buying a frame and all the components you want, have some nice wheels built to your specs, get the tools to assemble, and build it yourself. You will need to know how to do all these things anyway, so might as well start now. Also, get disc brakes. Rim brakes are OK, but with a heavy load, you really want maximum stopping power.
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Old 06-18-20, 12:04 PM
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saddlesores has it right. So often people try to get a customized set-up 100% right the first time around. It rarely works out that way.

As will all bikes with a customized component list, only you can know what you'll want. So, since you're a novice, what you need to do is buy an off-the-rack touring bike with wide tire clearances (just in case you do some light off-roading) and do some touring. Then you'll spend $$$$ fine-tuning your bike if you like the frame, or perhaps build a new bike from the frame up. It'll be less money than to pay this guy, and it'll match your needs better. It will take longer, but that's the cost of doing it right.
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Old 06-18-20, 04:53 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
Frame: 26 inch wheels are stronger. Not sure of how heavy is your load. If you build a front loader, 700c no issue. If you heavily load the rear, it may cause broken spokes?
.
I have broken 700c spokes before while touring, but then I just moved to a much stronger wheels with more spokes. The last wheels I used for touring are called 'Hope Alpha 400' and they nearly indestructible. I just felt like due to my height I did not want 26 inch wheels, but I may regret that if I end up touring across the developing world. In that case, I will bring a set of spokes in different sizes.

Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
Drivetrain: 8 speed is cheaper. 22-32-44 front and 11-34 are good choices.
.
Regarding the chain-set, I did extensive touring on 50-34 with 11-32, 11-34 and 11-36 cassettes with 4 panniers and up 40 to 50 lbs of kit. The 11-32 left me pushing the bike up steep hills, the 11-34 I could climb most hills, but the steep ones were hard on the legs. The 11-36 I could climb virtually anything, but I still felt like I wanted a wee bit more. My knowledge of gearing is pretty poor. I am assuming this setup will provide more climbing power?

Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
Brakes: you can get v and disc compatible frames.
.
The frame and forks will be different with the disc bake option so that is a choice I have to make up front. I was also advised that the fork used in the v-brake setup provides a more comfortable ride. I think the disc brake setup uses a straighter fork.

Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
Handlebar and stem: How heavy are you planning to load the front? 630mm seems narrow and 110mm seems long.
.
I think it is due to my funny shape. I'm 6-3, but my jean length is ~ 34. My frame size came out at 57 which had perfect clearance. But most size charts from most manufacturers would put me at 58 to 60. Just to show you, a guy recently tried to fit me up to a 56 CAAD-13. I usually put most of the weight in the back. In my system, the front panniers are more overflow capacity for the latter part of the journey when I'm only doing short distances and spending more time camping,

​​​​​​​
Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
Tires: How heavy are you planning to load? Light off road loaded with 32mm is it too small??
.
The tyre specification is my fault. We were discussing tyres and I said that a 32 is the minimum needed to stand up a loaded touring bike when it wants to go over in the mud, but I did not mean to indicate that I wanted a 32. I think I am going to request 35s which is arguably thin, but I feel confident carrying 50lbs on 35s.

​​​​​​​
Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
Kickstand: Have you considered double? Easier to load when the bike is vertical.
.
Yes this stand will not work for loading the bike. I definitely wanted a good stand when I was touring with a single wheel trailer, but for panniers I think I'm okay. The only pity is that leaning the bike up against things to load it will inevitably causes scratches.
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Old 06-18-20, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
don't rule out a Rohloff hub.
I will check it out. Thanks for the tip.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
In the UK there are several good brands, Thorn, Dawes and possibly others. I do not live in UK, so I am mostly relying on what I have read when I said that, but I do own two Thorn bikes. On the continent there are Koga, Santos and probably others too.
I looked at Thorn closely and will look again. I did not see that one bike that jumped out at me. With the builder I'm speaking to now, I have wide latitude to swap parts, can have a custom frame made to measure and can choose the colour.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
My Thorn Nomad Mk II, below, I refer to that as my expedition bike.
The photos are really great and a good inspiration to get out into the summer!!

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The bike in the photo above has 26 inch wheels. You said you were looking at size 57 frame, the frame in the photo is a 59M. That bike has a Rohloff hub, thus no front or rear derailleurs in the photos.
Thing that worries about these kind of systems though, it cannot easily be repaired? I suspect it is bullet proof, but I have tried to avoid anything that requires replacement parts that are difficult to source.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
If someday you would want a dynohub, get it when you get the bike. The cost difference is the extra cost of the dynohub minus the cost of the non-dyno hub you would not be buying. But if you buy it later, you would be buying a second hub, second set of spokes, another fee to build the wheel, and possibly another rim. You can buy a dynohub wheel and not wire it to anything initially if you are trying to save a bit on the price initially.
It will add something like $400 to the price so I think I am going to avoid it for now. I'm really intrigued by the concept though and it would be great for my upcoming journey because I often have to find creative solutions for charging my power-bank.


Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The bike in the photo tips the scale at a bit over 20 kg, which is quite heavy. If i am doing a less adventurous trip where I am not carrying that heavy of a load, I use a lighter weight bike. You might want to really think about how heavy duty (and heavy) a bike you need and buy accordingly. In my case, I have three touring bikes but it sounds like you want one for all purposes. My other two are lighter weight and use derailleur drive trains, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of drive trains.
Yes I just want one bullet proof touring bike with good components at this point. The next one on the horizon is a new road bike to replace my recently stolen one
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Old 06-18-20, 07:49 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by ulstoft View Post
....The frame and forks will be different with the disc bake option so that is a choice I have to make up front. I was also advised that the fork used in the v-brake setup provides a more comfortable ride. I think the disc brake setup uses a straighter fork.

...
​​​​​​​

The tyre specification is my fault. We were discussing tyres and I said that a 32 is the minimum needed to stand up a loaded touring bike when it wants to go over in the mud, but I did not mean to indicate that I wanted a 32. I think I am going to request 35s which is arguably thin, but I feel confident carrying 50lbs on 35s.

​​​​​​​....
did i mention before you aren't getting a custom bike? if your frame builder gentleman is telling you ya gotta choose between disk or v-brake frame and fork, he's bolting together an off-the-peg taiwan factory frame for you. a competent builder would at least give you the option of having disk mount tabs AND v'brake studs on the frame and fork.

did your "builder" not argue against a fully-loaded expedition bike with 32's in muddy conditions? he should have said minimum 45's, and explained the need for extra clearance with fenders.........in the mud! and why would you request 35mm road tires for an off-road expedition touring bike? did your builder agree to that? if so.....RUN!!! he's NOT a builder, he's an assembler. he's just slapping together some random pieces without considering what you claim to be your ultimate use for the bike.
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Old 06-18-20, 08:05 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by ulstoft View Post
I have broken 700c spokes before while touring, but then I just moved to a much stronger wheels with more spokes. The last wheels I used for touring are called 'Hope Alpha 400' and they nearly indestructible. I just felt like due to my height I did not want 26 inch wheels, but I may regret that if I end up touring across the developing world. In that case, I will bring a set of spokes in different sizes.



Regarding the chain-set, I did extensive touring on 50-34 with 11-32, 11-34 and 11-36 cassettes with 4 panniers and up 40 to 50 lbs of kit. The 11-32 left me pushing the bike up steep hills, the 11-34 I could climb most hills, but the steep ones were hard on the legs. The 11-36 I could climb virtually anything, but I still felt like I wanted a wee bit more. My knowledge of gearing is pretty poor. I am assuming this setup will provide more climbing power?



The frame and forks will be different with the disc bake option so that is a choice I have to make up front. I was also advised that the fork used in the v-brake setup provides a more comfortable ride. I think the disc brake setup uses a straighter fork.



I think it is due to my funny shape. I'm 6-3, but my jean length is ~ 34. My frame size came out at 57 which had perfect clearance. But most size charts from most manufacturers would put me at 58 to 60. Just to show you, a guy recently tried to fit me up to a 56 CAAD-13. I usually put most of the weight in the back. In my system, the front panniers are more overflow capacity for the latter part of the journey when I'm only doing short distances and spending more time camping,



The tyre specification is my fault. We were discussing tyres and I said that a 32 is the minimum needed to stand up a loaded touring bike when it wants to go over in the mud, but I did not mean to indicate that I wanted a 32. I think I am going to request 35s which is arguably thin, but I feel confident carrying 50lbs on 35s.

​​​​​​​

Yes this stand will not work for loading the bike. I definitely wanted a good stand when I was touring with a single wheel trailer, but for panniers I think I'm okay. The only pity is that leaning the bike up against things to load it will inevitably causes scratches.
Climbing torque. No need power. The most important is that you can turn the cranks with low force. Then you can climb any hill without regards to the turning speed. Use a gear calculator and try to get 18 inch low gear or less.

Is this a custom frame or custom spec? Either way you could make v and disc mount together. Then you can decide either one.

Again, is this a custom frame or custom spec? Why not set it up so that you can have wider bar and shorter stem to have more turning torque.

50lb with 35mm is plenty big. 👍

Scratches is the small issue. A bigger issue is you will spend more time loading and unloading because you'll have to balance the bike every time.
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Old 06-18-20, 09:07 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by ulstoft View Post
I With the builder I'm speaking to now, I have wide latitude to swap parts, can have a custom frame made to measure and can choose the colour.

Yes I just want one bullet proof touring bike with good components at this point. The next one on the horizon is a new road bike to replace my recently stolen one
Custom frame would be nice...at least to avoid having a stiff disc brake fork. Perhaps one could specify 584mm wheels to allow wider tires w/o the small look of 559mm wheels. Less available in remote spots but one could tote a spare tire.
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Old 06-18-20, 09:28 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by ulstoft View Post
Dear Touring Community,

Frame: Reynolds 525 frame (700c Wheels) size 57
Rear Mech: Shimano Deore XT RD-T8000 SGS
Front Mech: Shimano Deore XT FD-T8000
Cassette: Custom Shimano 11-34 10 speed
Shift Levers: Shimano Deore XT SL-T8000
Chainset: Shimano FC-MT300 175mm cranks 44-32-22t Shimano XT T8000 cranks 48-36-26T or if I need lower gears the XT level M782. I would never put tourney on a bike if I absolutely was set on having square taper I would go Sugino Alpina II cranks (I am using currently on my touring bike)
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Deore XT BB-MT800 I would do the Hope 24mm Bottom Bracket (since you are across the pond) nothing wrong with the XT but the Hope is nicer.
Chain: KMC X10
Wheels: Handbuilt Bitex 101 hubs Ryde Sputnik Rims 36 spokes. Me personally I would go White Industries MI5 hubs for rim brakes or CLD for discs but I haven't used or seen Bitex in the wild. I would most certainly do a SON dynamo
Bk Levers: Shimano Deore BL-R780. I would go Paul Components Love Levers if sticking with cable brakes
Brakes: Shimano Deore BR-T610 (Juin Tech M1s) Paul again with the Motolites if I was sticking with rim brakes. If disc brakes I would go Hope RX4s (again across the pond) and probably an XT Shimano lever if flat bar or go with TRP Spykes if wanting cable brakes with a longer pull.
Pedals: Flat Black ​​​​​​​Shimano PD-T8000s (probably the best touring pedals I have used)
Clips Straps: NA
Saddle: Brooks B17 Brown Seat post: Ergotec 5 Brooks C17 does not require a break in period comes in an all-weather version and doesn't require the slaughter of animals to make.
Rear rack: Axiom Journey Low loader: Tubus Tara For the rear Tubus Logo Evo or Cargo Evo is an excellent rack super durable and lightweight
Handlebars: Ergotec 5 630mm You can more easily get the Koga Denham bar over there (lucky b...) it is an excellent flat touring bar with multiple hand positions
Handlebar Grips: Ergon GP5L If you go with the Denham or similar slightly swept back bar the Ergon GC1s are the way to go.
Bar ends Ergon GP5L
Bar Tape NA
Stem: Ergotec 4 110mm Black Potentially you might need a different stem length for the Denham bars and certainly would need the right clamp diameter or at least good high quality shim
Spacers: 55+20
Headset: Cane Creek 40 Series 110 is nicer or since you are across the pond buy local and get a Hope pick and mix headset.
Mudguards: Flinger F50
Tyres: Continental Contact Plus 700 x 32 Go wide 700x38 or wider please.
Inner tubes: Schwalbe
Valves: Schraeder I prefer presta valves but not a massive issue.
Kickstand: Pletscher Single
Stickers: Trad Black
Headbadge: transfer

Extras:
. SON28 dynamo hub with Velocharger USB plug and B&M 60 Lux front light
. Tubus Tara front pannier carrier (Or Aluminium alternative)
. Upgrade to Brooks B17 Brown leather saddle
. Supply and fit Pletscher single leg kickstand
, Ergon GP5 Grips
. Shimano PD-EH500 dual purpose pedals
. Upgrade to Continental Touring Plus tyres 700 x 35
. Mirrycle Mountain bike mirror

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
I crossed out stuff I would skip right away and added new text in bold. I will say GO DYNAMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't do it initially on my touring bike and it is a regret of mine because I installed it later down the road and I could have had a frame and fork designed to handle it right away without having to drill myself (or should I say have our master tech drill it) I could have done the SL version and been even happier. If you are going B+M just get the LUXOS U it is brighter and has USB charging otherwise go with the IQ-X at the front and Toplight Line Brake Plus at the rear with the Cinq Plug5 charger which has a power bank built into it for better charging for todays "smart" devices and looks much cleaner.

In terms of tubing I would ideally go 725 though 525 is a fine lower cost option, it is just made in Taiwan to Reynolds spec.

Make sure though this bike is going to work for you. Certainly the most important things are touch points (saddles, pedals, handlebars, grips/tape) but also gear ratios. As long as you get really high quality stuff throughout you will be fine and have a super long lasting bike.
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Old 06-18-20, 09:55 PM
  #20  
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Lots of unclear things here
I worry that you are not getting proper advice by this gentleman.
I went with a production bike for my tough tourer, and one thing that stands out is the 35mm tire thing. I've ridden my "expedition bike" on all kinds of surfaces and 35mm tires aren't anywhere near what you want in a bike like you are describing
a custom made frame will cost a lot, save money and look into production bikes. The money you'll save will pay for a dynamo hub etc and way more.
and yes, discs are great with heavy loads and mountains.

a mtb triple is a great setup
a frame that can take at least 50mm tires is a real plus
26in wheels are great and you don't notice wheel diameter when riding a heavy touring bike
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Old 06-18-20, 10:19 PM
  #21  
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I agree with your tube choice and not much else...... 57 cm?, get serious. The 110 stem makes this even more ridiculous.
60 cm at the very least and maybe 90mm stem with a LONG TT for comfort.
Anything but a Thorn type frame with Rohloff14 is not a long term solution IMO. They have 2 length TTs for diff H bars. The new model has a way better, less sloped TT, for more water bottle space. Rim brakes are silly for service too. I would want a wheelbase at least 1100. Certainly get Alpine III 2.3 mm head spokes for defailleurs. I'm no fan of EBBs, actually.

My heavyweight custom is 120 lbs loaded. I carry 5 or 6 drink bottles and all my usual luggage, NO camping. WB is a limo 46.5".
Old 70d swept steel HB, 203 disc/ TRP cable Spyre, black Rohloff14 32h, a bunch of homemade CF addons, SA XL-FDD dyno drum front hub, threaded tandem fork with my homemade stem, SMP 35 mm tires, Phil sqt BB and 1/4" ball headset. Having full time lights is AWESOME. Batteries are so lame...
My drum hub has 24,000 trouble free miles, just a new bearing at 17,000. Dyad rims perfect for 35c tires, which don't have goofy eyelets. My cranks are 180mm, gears are 46/16T, 21 to 115 GI. My Rohloff has 16,500 miles.
I'm just 5'8" and age 66. I will push if I can't go 4 mph. 2 years ago I did 3,900 miles in 13 weeks, many in mountains.
I have also used a SA 5w with this frame and it was lots of fun.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 06-18-20 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 06-18-20, 10:30 PM
  #22  
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Just throwing this in there.
I prefer presta valves over schraeder
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Old 06-19-20, 06:24 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by ulstoft View Post
...
The frame and forks will be different with the disc bake option so that is a choice I have to make up front. I was also advised that the fork used in the v-brake setup provides a more comfortable ride. I think the disc brake setup uses a straighter fork.
....
One of the bikes I built up, I bought the frame that was disc only. The fork for that frame was another $300 USD, but I already had a fork with the correct specifications for that frame that used rim brakes, the result is that I saved some money on that bike and have V brakes on front and disc on rear. There is nothing wrong with mixing brakes as long as you have the appropriate brake levers for the cable pull.
​​​​​

Originally Posted by ulstoft View Post
...
...
Thing that worries about these kind of systems though, it cannot easily be repaired? I suspect it is bullet proof, but I have tried to avoid anything that requires replacement parts that are difficult to source.

It will add something like $400 to the price so I think I am going to avoid it for now. I'm really intrigued by the concept though and it would be great for my upcoming journey because I often have to find creative solutions for charging my power-bank.
...
Rohloff - there are occasional reports of one having to go back to the factory for repair, there used to be occasional reports of a spoke pulling out a spoke hole in the flange. Many of the reports that suggested factory repairs were on fairly new hubs that had a slightly off-spec part. But the vast majority of Rohloff owners have found them to be trouble free. A few years ago, Rohloff added flange reinforcing rings to all new hubs, that prevents trip ending flange failures, they can still crack but the hub is still rideable. I added those rings to my hub.

Also on the topic of Rohloffs, some bicyclists use belt drive, some use chain. I prefer chain because I gear my bike up higher when riding near home but when carrying a heavy load on a bike tour, I use a smaller chainring to have lower gearing. It is easy to change chainrings and remove or add a few chain links. But to change the gearing range on a belt would be much more complicated and expensive. That said, many belt users prefer belts.

A Rohloff puts a lot of torque on the rear left side dropout if the frame is built for the Rohloff as mine was. There are other ways to deal with the torque if your frame is not strong enough, but that is a conversation to have with a frame builder. And if a belt is used, a stay has to be split apart to install or remove the belt.

There are advantages and disadvantages to derailleur vs internal geared systems. There was a long thread on that topic a few months ago, I wrote several posts on that thread, located here:
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...l#post21144689

I also wrote up some of my thoughts comparign Rohloff and Pinion, that might have more detail on the Rohloff too.
CoMotion Siskiyou with Pinion/Gates - Page 3 - Bike Forums

Dynohub - I have bought two new SP hubs, they cost a lot less than Son hubs. I have my GPS on for navigation purposes while riding. Thus, I need power. And on prior multi-week bike touring trips I was often looking for places to charge up batteries. If your trips are a week long or less, I think it makes the most sense to just carry a good size powerbank. But if you want to be self sufficient for multi-week trips, especially in places with lots of clouds, a dynohub is a good solution. I described what worked for me best on my five week tour last summer on a different forum, the link to that posting is here:
Electrics that I use for bike touring - what works for me.
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Old 06-19-20, 03:35 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
did i mention before you aren't getting a custom bike? if your frame builder gentleman is telling you ya gotta choose between disk or v-brake frame and fork, he's bolting together an off-the-peg taiwan factory frame for you. a competent builder would at least give you the option of having disk mount tabs AND v'brake studs on the frame and fork.
Yes that is true. It is a pre-made frame from Taiwan and it keeps the cost down. But I could also have a custom frame made if I want to spend the extra. I do not begrudge anyone using frames from Taiwan because it makes the rest of the customisations more affordable to me. But it would be interesting to ask about the cost difference of having a frame made that will suit either disc or V.

Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
did your "builder" not argue against a fully-loaded expedition bike with 32's in muddy conditions? he should have said minimum 45's, and explained the need for extra clearance with fenders.........in the mud! and why would you request 35mm road tires for an off-road expedition touring bike? did your builder agree to that? if so.....RUN!!! he's NOT a builder, he's an assembler. he's just slapping together some random pieces without considering what you claim to be your ultimate use for the bike.
I really did not explain this well. He definitely did not suggest that I use a thin tyre. His default spec is something like 50. I cannot find it now, but I'm the one that told him that I had been mostly touring on 32s. I also, asked if the wheels he was providing would take a 32 because I might switch the bike into a city commuter between tours. I didn't mean to suggest 32s are good for touring in the mud, but I found for example when I hit a small muddy patch on a canal path with 28s the bike would immediately go over, but with 32s they provided the minimum stability needed to keep the bike upright. But I would only take a 32 on a tour that is mostly paved with little off-road.
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Old 06-19-20, 03:57 PM
  #25  
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You're a Brit, so things cost more over there, I have family there so know this.
You aren't mentioning the price range you're looking at, but as an alternative, stock bikes and or frame sets like a surly troll, 26in wheels (which I have) or a surly ogre , 700 wheels, or a bridge club, 27.5in wheels, can all be an interesting option for frame choices.
i consider my troll as my expedition bike, and have traveled with it in far off countries. It can take 2.5 inch tires with the rims I have.

Just to say that there are great Taiwan options out there as you say.
And your builder supplier guy might be very legit and knowledgeable, clearly suggesting a mtb triple is a really good recommendation. I have this on my troll, same 44/32/22 and it works really well loaded up and in mountains and on not great roads where speeds are always lower overall. But you can still pedal along at 30 or 40kph with the rare tailwind or downhill.

And yes, those bars linked with that Dunham or whatever guy with koga, look very interesting. I have drops on my troll.
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