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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Custom Frame for Long Distance Riding

Old 05-27-20, 07:22 AM
  #26  
Tourist in MSN
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Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
...
Can I check with you what is the torque required to secure the couplings on your bike?
TIA
Seatpost clamps are like any other seatpost clamps, I have no idea what the number is, I just get them tight. My Break Away frame and clamps are steel, not titanium. My titanium bike, the seatpost clamp is an external clamp, the threads are steel, not titanium. I have no clue if you have any threads in titanium metal or not.

When I previously made my comment on torque, at that time you said it was a Break Away frame, which I assumed was from Ritchey. But, your frame is a copy of the Ritchey design and your coupler on the downtube could be different, so it depends on how close that copy is, if the manufacturer made it to a different design, that could change things. Ritchey instructions say to NOT use any grease on the frame and coupler interface, and their e-mail to me said Torque Max is 4nm. But I think you should ask the frame manufacturer for the torque settings on all bolts including the coupler on the downtube.

I bought a later version of the torque wrench described here. It is cheap and you can use it for different torque settings. If you get this one, make sure that it reads zero before you use it, good idea to check that every time you use it.
https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/ma...wrench-review/

I almost never use a torque wrench, so I had to buy one for the coupler. My only other torque wrench is a half inch drive one that is too huge for the small fittings on a bike.

***

Different topic, I previously mentioned the photo of all the parts in the correct order of my headset, but I also keep on my phone a series of about eight photos on exactly how I pack my S&S bike from beginning to end. Once you have your bike in the case so everything fits well, take lots of photos as you unpack it, so you have a photographic record of exactly how it all goes together in the case. When I took my S&S bike to Iceland, I forgot to put my photos on my phone, that cost me an extra hour trying to get my bike packed up again when I came home, as it is a tight fit and I had missed one key aspect to my packing.



One more thing, I made a DIY center support for my S&S backpack case, you can see in the photo a small piece of thin plywood on top of the bike and two metal screws in that plywood. Under the bike there is another small piece of plywood, maybe 3/16 inch thick, and vertically there are two wooden dowels to provide support. Dowels fit through the spokes, if I was to do it again instead of dowels that are a soft wood I would use a thinner piece of Oak or some other hard wood, thinner so it would fit through the spokes and other parts better.

The bike in the photo above is my expedition bike, I can't fit fenders in the case with it, racks go in my other luggage too.
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Old 06-21-20, 07:35 PM
  #27  
pinholecam
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Giving a bump to this thread since my custom bike is ready




I've written more about the process of designing and getting it done up here (still ongoing post)
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-b...l#post21506864

Its more of a long distance riding bike, with the objectives of lightweight, at least 38mm tire clearance, slight on the sporty side, built in compliance and break-away
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Old 06-21-20, 09:28 PM
  #28  
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That looks amazing.
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Old 06-21-20, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Babbitt View Post
That looks amazing.
Thanks.
Still many ride more before (and tweaking) before I get a firm conclusion on the bike, but so far I'm enjoying it.
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Old 06-26-20, 07:35 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
My body shape is close enough to average that I find it very easy for me to fit off the shelf frames very well, thus I have never considered custom.
Sort of my outlook, I've always wondered what the custom frame builder are going to do differently than manufacturers.

Would have to think a good frame builder's primary skill is in listening to what the customer thinks he wants. The skill there might be in knowing what questions to ask. But in the end for an average person are they really going to build something so different that there isn't already a factory bike that fits the overall size and geometry?

Another issues is I know my riding style has changed as I got older, much more upright now.

The one temptation I have for a custom bike would be a show piece. A Waterford bike with chromed lugs, something so pretty you wouldn't dare ride it.


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Old 06-26-20, 12:34 PM
  #31  
unterhausen
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There are things that production companies refuse to do, like incorporate light wiring. And one thing I did on my last frame was to lengthen the top tube so I could use a shorter stem. This moves my rando bag closer to the head tube.

If someone's idea of a long distance bike is well served by a racing bike, then there are plenty of production bikes to chose from. Too many compromises for my taste.
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Old 07-19-20, 11:02 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
There are things that production companies refuse to do, like incorporate light wiring. And one thing I did on my last frame was to lengthen the top tube so I could use a shorter stem. This moves my rando bag closer to the head tube.

If someone's idea of a long distance bike is well served by a racing bike, then there are plenty of production bikes to chose from. Too many compromises for my taste.
Very true about how difficult it is (should I say basically impossible) to find a production long distance/randonneur bike that integrates dynamo light wiring, room for wide tires (> 42c) plus fenders, front-end geometry suitable for heavy a front bag, taller head tube for extra comfort, etc. And that
just goes on the overall integration of gear and equipment.

Now add to the above the part of long distance comfort and the gap continues to widen. The vast majority of production bikes out there come with racing geometry. I even find the “endurance” bikes to be designed fairly aggressively — great for a grand fondo or anything under 400 Km. But depending on your physical condition and body flexibility, you may start feeling the toll on your hands, back, neck, shoulders, etc. on longer distances.

In 2012 I had built a custom rando-touring bike in Seattle. I had it built with the crazy goal of one day completing the 1,200+ Km of the Paris-Brest-Paris. That dream became a reality in 2015. I honestly believe that I couldn’t have finished this ride if I didn’t have a bike that truly fit me like a glove and had basically a perfect gear integration for riding glitch-free over such a long distance in less than the maximum 90 hours.

To the OP: your investment in a custom long distance frameset will only pay off based on your personal goals. If you enjoy competitive grand fondos, the occasional 200-400 Km brevet, you will be perfectly happy with an off-the-shelf bike from companies like Specialized, Trek or Cannondale. There is a lot to be said about the lightliness and agility found on those carbon fiber bikes. But the more and the longer you ride, the more you will appreciate the features and nuances of a well designed rando custom steel frameset.
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Old 07-19-20, 12:01 PM
  #33  
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There are gravel-oriented carbon fork with provisions for dyno headlight wiring. A lot of people only use dyno headlights because battery taillights are so good.
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Old 07-19-20, 12:15 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Babbitt View Post
I have a couple of bikes and am probably going to add an endurance bike to the mix this year. I currently own a Cannondale mountain bike, Lemond Poprad CX BIke, Viner road bike, and Co-Motion tandem. Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale all make great endurance bikes. However, I am thinking of making the investment in a custom frame.

For those of you who have purchased a custom frame what has your experience been with the actual bike? Was it worth the investment? Any regrets? Is the riding experience noticeably different from your stock bikes? I am not looking for a frame builder recommendation this is more of a question about your custom frame experience.

Thanks
I've had three customs frames built for me. The Peter Mooney of my username and two TiCycles titanium frames built in 2008 and '11. I'll second Post #2 . What you can bring to the table counts for a lot. Knowing the geometry that fits you well is key. (That knowing can be - "here is a frame that fits perfectly and gets every ounce of power and endurance from my body" (my off the shelf but slightly unusual geometry Fuji Professional) or seat location, reach and stack numbers from a fitter. or ...)

I took that Fuji Pro to Peter Mooney and told him I wanted an all arounder that fit the same but could tour, handle big tires and fenders (27" and 700c), had horizontal dropouts so I could go fix gear if I ever wanted do. Gave him a deposit and went back to the business of putting my post-head injury life back together. That was October. Next May I was living across the country when the frame arrived UPS. It's a Mooney with the ride they are famous for and likewise build quality. I had handed Peter some tough choices for frame geometry. The Fuji Pro isn't exactly what most would adopt to tour! Peter shortened the top tube a bit and lengthened the chainstays a bunch for heel clearance. Kept the highish BB I insisted on over his doubts. Picked stiff largish diameter tubing for the fork for touring.

The bike's a compromise. Didn't do anything really well, but could hang in fast club rides, could tour (and has). Fit was a compromise. My Fuji came with a (for me,though I didn't know it then) short 11 stem. Peter said I should go the same, I did and quickly changed it out for a 13. Decades later, I had a 15.5 built. Finally right! Then I tried riding it fix gear. Wow! The bike is a classic 1950s English fix gear road bike! Just perfect. Took me 40 years to learn what it really was! (Bot over those years and especially the first few, it was my link to sanity. I spent those early years after my head injury knowing that ride and marijuana were my key to staying alive, away from hard drugs and out of institutions. I never said that to Peter, but that was the driving force behind the design. Hence room for big wheels and fenders, What if my early employment had me in rural Maine and I had to ride in January to avoid the three horsemen?

Second custom - my ti TiCycles. I'd happened on a Univega Competition racing frame. Fit like my old Fuji. That feeling was back! I'd also ridden an early Merlin 15 years before and knew from that one short ride that, for me, ti was it! 2006 I landed "the job". I could afford a custom ti bike (and I'd gone thorough the numbers of all the stock ti bikes and knew they were all "B" grade fits for me). Brought the Univega to TiCycles and said 'I want this in ti with a slightly higher BB and a touch longer top tube so I can ride a 12 cm stem. Asked for 3 sets of bottle bosses and to have the rear brake mounted n front of the seatstay. Told him to copy the Univega for steering (knowing we were making a slight change with the TT lengthen). Clearance for 28c ties and fenders. No lengthening of the chainstays. I'd be happy to trim the fender if needed.

Love that bike! It's not a race bike. It does fit me perfect and has enough room to adjust that it will for the rest of my riding. It rides like the very best of the Japanese sport bikes of the 1980s only it fits like a dream and little touches that I love.

Third custom - my ti fix gear. I'd put together a cheap but light and fast road fix gear that was as much fun as my old Fuji. It'd been hit hard by an SUV (probably judging from the damage) so it wasn't a "keeper". Went to TiCycles again to have that bike copied except some real changes, BB much higher! I designed the rear triangle and dropout to give me a fix gear that can accommodate any 1/8" track cog made without changing the chain length to make flipping the wheel simple so I could ride this bike in real hills, even mountains. The dropout is a design out of my head (though I have heard it was done in the '30s and I saw a bike built in the Bay area in the late '90s, early '00s with one). TiCycles built exactly what I asked for (except he thought the steering was too quick. We dialed it back a touch; not what he wanted, It's full on racing quick and I love it!)

That third bike as a pure racing bike and an absolute joy for this ex-racer. Had gears never been invented in some parallel universe, that bike is what we would have race 30 years ago and been one of the best at a pro start (with sew-ups on of course, Haven't got there yet.) And it fits perfect, so much so that it doesn't get old under me on 130 mile days.

Sorry,this was long and rambling. But what I am trying to say is what you bring to the table matters. And it will be a learning experience, quite possibly for both you and the builder. Now, having a bike that does just what you want can count for a lot. I could not go out and buy a bike anywhere that does what my fix gear does. (I'm sure the bike exists - there is nothing that hasn't been done with bikes. 130 years ago the brightest minds on the planet thought bikes, not computer, not rockets to the moon.) Getting the storage right on your bike for brevets, your passion and also getting that sweet fit and a ride that is totally "yours" - if your pocketbook can justify it - completely worth the price of admission!

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 07-19-20 at 12:17 PM. Reason: two typos second sentence!
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Old 07-19-20, 02:17 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
.... A lot of people only use dyno headlights because battery taillights are so good.
Or if you might want a flashing option for the taillight, thus battery. I eventually got a dyno powered taillight about five years after I initially got my dynohub and headlamp.

But I still have a battery light on the bike besides the dyno powered taillight. Most of the time that I have a taillight on, it is day time and my light is flashing.
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Old 07-19-20, 07:56 PM
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A dyno taillight that generate a solid (non-flashing) light and a battery flashing taillight are the best and safest combination one can use for riding night or day.

Just be aware that in Europe, including events like PBP, flashing lights are prohibited. Battery lights in solid mode become a nuisance when you have to change batteries every few hours. I don’t know if there are any front or rear lights now that will last over 6 hours on solid mode. I rode the entire PBP using dyno lights front and rear. Just in case, I had already mounted on the bike back-up battery-operated front and rear lights, but dyno lights work so amazingly well I never had to use them.
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Old 07-20-20, 06:46 AM
  #37  
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There were a lot of flashing taillights at PBP'19 unfortunately, there's just not enough people to enforce that rule with 6000 riders on the road... it was kind of annoying. You can get 38 hours of run-time on a rear Busch & Müller Toplight, and some of their front battery lights get 5-10 hours depending on the settings. I use a B&M eyro as a backup front headlight and a battery secula as a backup taillight. I do like my dynamo lights since they are much brighter than the battery ones, but if you only have one dynamo hub there's a good case to be made for just running the front light off it if you ever want to move it between bikes it's a lot easier.

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Old 07-20-20, 08:11 AM
  #38  
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I am not looking for a frame builder recommendation this is more of a question about your custom frame experience.
What is a "custom frame experience?"

Since I have ridden Century bicycle events for over fifty years - and never owned a bicycle that was custom built for me - I wonder what I have missed.

I do remember that many bicycle components I selected, like stems and handlebars, tires and wheels were selected specifically to meet certain performance and or comfort levels that each ride or competition presented.

May I ask what particular cycling experiences will be improved when riding your new custom frame build? Maybe I will try out your choices instead compromising with other adjustable components? But then again - I would need a custom frame for each ride ... I guess I had "custom experience" all along......





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Old 07-20-20, 08:32 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
There were a lot of flashing taillights at PBP'19 unfortunately, there's just not enough people to enforce that rule with 6000 riders on the road... it was kind of annoying.
The one event where you don't need a flashing taillight for safety. Although some of those riders were probably doing it to preserve battery life.
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Old 07-20-20, 12:42 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
...
Just be aware that in Europe, including events like PBP, flashing lights are prohibited. ....
I have heard that this is the case in all of Europe, but the few times I have cycled in Europe, I saw plenty of flashing lights. I am well aware that German law specifies no flashing lights, but that is the only country that I am certain of.

When I bike toured in Iceland, i asked upon arrival if I could use a flashing taillight on my bicycle at the hostel in Reykjavik, they could not understand why I was asking. It was not until I said that some parts of Europe you can't use flashing taillights, they said they had never heard that.

I do not anticipate ever doing PBP, that is not part of my equipment planning.
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Old 07-20-20, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
When I bike toured in Iceland, i asked upon arrival if I could use a flashing taillight on my bicycle at the hostel in Reykjavik, they could not understand why I was asking. It was not until I said that some parts of Europe you can't use flashing taillights, they said they had never heard that.
It's quite possible that the flashing light regulations are not enforced all over Europe, but I really don't think Iceland is the right place to inquire about cycling laws of mainland Europe.
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Old 07-21-20, 07:38 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
Very true about how difficult it is (should I say basically impossible) to find a production long distance/randonneur bike that integrates dynamo light wiring, room for wide tires (> 42c) plus fenders, front-end geometry suitable for heavy a front bag, taller head tube for extra comfort, etc. And that
just goes on the overall integration of gear and equipment.
The stock Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer checks all of the above boxes. With a choice of one of 4 sizes and 2 colours it's not a custom build, though it's only made in small batches. After 30,000 km I'm still loving my Size S, National Forest green NFE :-)
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