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What's the most reliable hardware choices?

Old 05-24-21, 06:06 AM
  #1  
seibaatgung
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What's the most reliable hardware choices?

Brakes - mechanical disk brakes?
Drivetrain - single speed belt drive?
Tires - tubes with liners?
Conversion kit?
Solar panel?
Bags - Revelate?
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Old 05-24-21, 07:45 AM
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Folks go on tours with everything from Walmart bicycles to custom-made steel framed wonderbikes. As long as the 'hardware' is maintained and used within its design constraints, it'll work fine.
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Old 05-24-21, 08:30 AM
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actually isn't tubeless more reliable? But tube is better for touring because they're widely available to buy.
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Old 05-24-21, 09:14 AM
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Defining reliable, for what purpose?, for what location?, for a user that has how much mechanical knowledge?, for what length of time?, for what road or trail surface?

How you define or measure reliable for a three day bikepacking trip is very different from what is reliable for a loaded touring trip where you are over 100 km from any form of retail establishment and several hundred km from a bike shop or hardware store.
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Old 05-24-21, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Defining reliable, for what purpose?, for what location?, for a user that has how much mechanical knowledge?, for what length of time?, for what road or trail surface?

How you define or measure reliable for a three day bikepacking trip is very different from what is reliable for a loaded touring trip where you are over 100 km from any form of retail establishment and several hundred km from a bike shop or hardware store.
I'm not a tourist. I was wondering since tourists tend to have this figured out better than commuters since you don't really have the option of calling your wife to pick you up.
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Old 05-24-21, 10:11 AM
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Easy choices. Back wheel has Rohloff14 with TRP Spyre cable disc brake.
Front wheel hub is a SA XL-FDD dyno DRUM brake. Always works in any weather with ZERO adjustment, for 30,000 miles. A strong fork is needed.
For 35/ 38 mm tires, Velocity Dyad rims. Except with a Rohloff, use 2.3/ 2.0 spokes with locking brass nipples.
Sweptback bars for ultimate comfort.

Any IGH will have near zero chance of spoke breakage. NOT so with lopsided dR wheels.
Bare Alu parts are a big fail IMO. Easily scratched and prone to sticking to steel tubes.
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Old 05-24-21, 06:55 PM
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Reliable can also be determined either by the frequency of failure or problems once failures occur.

Perhaps a Rohloff IGH may fail less often but if it does, you will have a long wait until it gets serviced and returned. No local shop will do that for you.
A derailer may fail more often (I've never had one fail on tour but everyone's example will only be antedotal) but it can repaired or replaced at most local bike shops.
Same logic applies to belt drive. Walk into a shop and see how many replacement parts they have in stock.

Revelate is a popular brand because they are light bags and were a good choice for racing bikepackers. They got a lot of good press off of that. Popularity does not equal reliable. Probably, from a practical perspective, Ortlieb seems to be a reliable bag of choice for bike tourists.

Brakes. Mechanical is probably easier to service in the field but hydraulic stop with better modulation. Reliable in different ways.

Tires. The most reliable would be solid rubber but the ride would suck. The spectrum between puncture resistance and speed goes on from there. Tubeless vs tubed depends on conditions I think. Ultimately if a tubeless tire cannot be repaired you throw a tube in it so... I run tubes with Stans fluid in them as a compromise. Some will or won't agree.

Everyone will have their own opinions for this question. There is no right or wrong, just perspectives. Look to the reasoning rather than the choice.
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Old 05-24-21, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Same logic applies to belt drive. Walk into a shop and see how many replacement parts they have in stock.
Isn't Gates Carbon pretty standard?
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Old 05-24-21, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung View Post
Isn't Gates Carbon pretty standard?
No. Where are you getting your data?
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Old 05-24-21, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
No. Where are you getting your data?
uninformed guess
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Old 05-24-21, 08:58 PM
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?

Sometimes, if one reads internet sources, it seems they have a habit of copying and pasting material from other internet sources. Basically, people writing about subjects they don't know.

Some concepts are touted as the next big thing in cycling but that doesn't always translate into adoption on a wide scale. Touring is one of those genres that is slow to adopt so things like belt drives, tubeless, hydraulic etc... while having some place in modern cycling, may take longer to popularize, if at all.

If something is proven to work it will probably work again. Trying something new has the potential risk of ruining a tour, not just an afternoon ride.
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Old 05-25-21, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung View Post
uninformed guess
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Old 05-25-21, 03:33 AM
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If reliable is seen as bombproof, easy to repair, and spare parts available in most parts of the world, I think it would be a pretty old school:

26” steel mountainbike, no suspension
V-brakes
Shimano components
7 or 8 speed triple drive
Platform pedals

Here’s mine, an old Miyata On Off Roadrunner, fully loaded for the pic, though I usually tour much lighter on a Bianchi Volpe

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Old 05-25-21, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Brakes. Mechanical is probably easier to service in the field but hydraulic stop with better modulation. Reliable in different ways.
It seems you also have to account for things like small accidents. Incidents that won't require a 911 call but could break parts of the bike like slipping over a hidden tree branch or rock and falling over.

Mechanical brakes are definitely easier to repair vs hydraulic if they sustained damage during a fall, etc. Whereas the same type of damage to a hydraulic brake might be impossible to repair in the field.

In severe cases, you can damage the frame that could make the bike dangerous or impossible to ride. Choice of frame material will be a factor. A steel frame can be bent back to shape OR get repaired in any shop with welding equipment. There's even portable arc welding equipment now!

Materials like Aluminum, Titanium, and carbon would have less chances of getting repaired in the field if they get damaged or fail.

And also don't forget about bringing first aid kit.
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Old 05-25-21, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung View Post
I'm not a tourist. I was wondering since tourists tend to have this figured out better than commuters since you don't really have the option of calling your wife to pick you up.
So, are you saying you want a reliable bike for commuting that will reliably get you to work and back home every day?

If so, what is your budget?

Does it have to be small to carry into buildings like a folding bike or will it be stored outside?
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Old 05-25-21, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
So, are you saying you want a reliable bike for commuting that will reliably get you to work and back home every day?

If so, what is your budget?

Does it have to be small to carry into buildings like a folding bike or will it be stored outside?
I have a igh belt drive with tubeless tires, mechanical disk brakes, and drop bars. I was wondering what the tourists thought.
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Old 05-25-21, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung View Post
I have a igh belt drive with tubeless tires, mechanical disk brakes, and drop bars. I was wondering what the tourists thought.
If I may be so bold to say so, people here tour on everything from folding bikes and rigid mountain bikes to 28" hybrids and drop bar gravel/CX bikes as well as specific 28" and 26" touring bikes.

Of course there are many exceptions but I would say that steel is preferred somewhat over aluminium, and not many on full carbon bikes, mtb's with suspension or single-speed. High spoke count and high quality wheels are important. After that... well we're all over the place (pardon the pun)

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Old 05-25-21, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Of course there are many exceptions but I would say that steel is preferred somewhat over aluminium, and not many on full carbon bikes, mtb's with suspension or single-speed
What about titanium?
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Old 05-25-21, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung View Post
I have a igh belt drive with tubeless tires, mechanical disk brakes, and drop bars. I was wondering what the tourists thought.
Such a different question.

For commuting you have the option of refining equipment choices to what is available in your area. In that case, if you have a source for IGH belt drive etc... then they would be as reliable as anything else. If you break a chain, mechanical brake or derailer commuting you still have to fix them as well. The difference touring is you are away from your home base so you have to make due with what you can find on the road. There you have to play the law of averages or have a preplanned backup available.

Your bike sounds fine. I have commuted on all sorts of bikes.
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Old 05-25-21, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
The difference touring is you are away from your home base so you have to make due with what you can find on the road. There you have to play the law of averages or have a preplanned backup available.
You can also stash a spare belt at home.
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Old 05-25-21, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung View Post
I'm not a tourist. I was wondering since tourists tend to have this figured out better than commuters since you don't really have the option of calling your wife to pick you up.
I would argue that commuters have it figured out better than the tourist (tourers).
Many people have separate bicycles for touring vs commuting.
The commuting bicycle gets ridden daily, therefore, reliability issues have already revealed themselves and have been corrected.
Commuting bicycles are more reliable.
People drag out their touring bicycles once or twice a year and mechanical issues might not have shown themselves....yet.
The best assurance of reliability is to ride your touring bike everyday and make it your commuter bike.
Probably the same reason they fly B-52's and fighter jets often. (reliability vs availability = I'm getting into an area I don't know what I'm talking about)
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Old 05-25-21, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung View Post
I have a igh belt drive with tubeless tires, mechanical disk brakes, and drop bars. I was wondering what the tourists thought.
That should work but some IGH hubs are better than others. Some require annual lube changes, some have grease that theoretically will last the life of the hub.

For commuting, I would favor tubes over tubeless. I have never used tubeless so I might not be a good info source, but it is my understanding that sealant addition is required on a regular interval. I average one flat a year and I would rather deal with one flat than messing with sealant addition.

Nothing really wrong with mechanical disc or drop bars. But look at your disc brakes on occasion to see if the pads need replacement before you damage a rotor.

Originally Posted by seibaatgung View Post
What about titanium?
What about it? Are you looking to buy or do you have one? Not sure what you are asking here.
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Old 05-25-21, 09:44 AM
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I agree with what Happy Feet wrote. There is (unfortunately) this buzz that hydraulic brakes are unreliable? There is this double standard. Hydraulic brakes used in cars date back about a hundred years, yet (some) cyclists think the technology is too
'new and unproven for their bike?
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Old 05-25-21, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
What about it? Are you looking to buy or do you have one? Not sure what you are asking here.
is ti reliable compared to al or steel?
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Old 05-25-21, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
I agree with what Happy Feet wrote. There is (unfortunately) this buzz that hydraulic brakes are unreliable? There is this double standard. Hydraulic brakes used in cars date back about a hundred years, yet (some) cyclists think the technology is too
'new and unproven for their bike?
it's not that they's unreliable or unproven, but rather not-as-servicable.

do the hydraulic lines in your car run outside the body exposed?
do you load your car atop tractors, underneath buses, shoved in rail freight cars unnerneath sacks of spuds?
if a line gets snagged in the middle of nowheres, do you have the tools and supplies to repair it?

your mechanical brakes should work just as well for touring, and be easily repairable in the field.
if not, odds are you can pick up a cheap chinese caliper thingie at a village market in laos for $5.
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