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Help Me Pick a Future Proof Road Frame

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Help Me Pick a Future Proof Road Frame

Old 02-26-24, 08:09 PM
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Harold74
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Help Me Pick a Future Proof Road Frame

I have eight bikes, six of them road bikes. But, alas, none of my bikes has disc brakes nor electronic shifting. And I would like to experiment with both of those technologies in the near future (<5yr). I do my own bike work and I'm eager to assemble and maintain a modern bike like this.

I also have a thing for Titanium bikes. Currently, Lynskey has a good sale on their R300 frame: https://lynskeyperformance.com/2023-...ame-overstock/. I'm considering purchasing one of those frames and then building it up incrementally over the course of a couple of years.

My concern with this plan is that, since I have little experience with disc brakes, electronic shifting, or thru axles, I might inadvertently purchase a frame that is outdated in some way or will be before I finish the build. Does it have current brake mount setups? Current dropout spacings? Current eShift mounting configuration? Is there even such a thing as a stable "modern" setup in this sense or is the marketplace still in flux?

Another way to phrase the question would be, what can't I do with this frame that a cyclist interested in a modern road bike might want to do in the next five years? I'm not seeking a gravel bike and I feel that the 32 mm tire allowance is ample for my needs.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-26-24, 08:48 PM
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No bike is going to be future proof. There is constant change in the industry.

That frame looks like it has all the latest features, but if you want it Di2 ready you have to order it that way. I think it said English threaded BB, which is old school, but I've also dealt with the press fit ones and they can be a PITA with compatibility.
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Old 02-26-24, 09:26 PM
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The Lynsky doesn’t look like its setup to do 11 spd. Di2 electronic, in terms of frame holes to install shifter cable in the downtube. You would have to do wireless shifters, Di2 105 or Ultegra, or SRAM AXS. With Di2 that means 12 speed. States it has rear thru axle, you would need to get a separate fork. Cant tell what the rear disc brake mount is. It’s a good price for the frame, but by the time you source an electronic group set, plus wheels, plus bar, post, seat, tires, stem, etc…. Might not be that cheap. Also look at a Habenaro, the current road titanium, setup as 11 spd. Ultegra Di2, with a Ritchey fork, is about $4300.

But I agree that titanium is the most future proof in theory.
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Old 02-26-24, 09:27 PM
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If you are looking for a long term frame, get a custom ti frame. You can get it built to your specs and what you want. If you want future proofing that will probably be the best way to get the sense of that. I would potentially look for a 44mm head tube so you have options for headsets a T47 for plenty of space for larger spindles or bigger bearings and space for wider tires than you are planning now. Back 8 years ago I would have said narrower tires are great now I am trying to max out my tires pretty much. Look at current trends and try your best to plan around that get something that will maybe be less aggressive and more comfortable in the long term. Plan for the future, I wish I had that on most of my bikes now. I have one bike that I set up kind of like that and it has been great.
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Old 02-26-24, 09:44 PM
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I built up my GR300 with AXS Force 2x hydraulic brakes. I love the whole system. The derailleurs and shifters were dead easy to set up of course. I had never done hydraulic brakes but simply following the instructions and they've worked great two bikes three seasons.

If I recall correctly, the frame had an option for DI2 as well as internal cabling. If your're uncertain, contact Lynskey - very good customer service.

A lifetime bike - I think so. There's no reason it can't be updated in the future with any mechanical or electronic system that might come along.

I feel a titanium frame is as lifetime as it gets, but others may have differ opinion.
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Old 02-26-24, 09:50 PM
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Thanks, all, for the advice thus far.

The Lynskey frame has an option to make it "Di2 ready" for another $150 which I would do, assuming that none of that would prevent me from starting off with mechanical shifting if I wished.

With respect to the degree of future proofing that I seek, it was not my intention for that to extend into the Jetsons era or anything. More just a read of the tea leaves at the moment and the avoidance of any regrettable decisions on that basis. If all bikes are fat bikes, or hovercrafts, in 2035, that I can't plan for.
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Old 02-27-24, 07:54 AM
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The next frame change is likely SRAM UDH on road bikes. They're already on gravel bikes and it's only a matter of time until road frames get them too. That would be a great thing because unique derailleur hangers are a total pain in the ass.
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Old 02-27-24, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan
The next frame change is likely SRAM UDH on road bikes. They're already on gravel bikes and it's only a matter of time until road frames get them too. That would be a great thing because unique derailleur hangers are a total pain in the ass.
That does sound like an excellent innovation. I've often wondered why the hangers where not universal from the get go. Thanks for your comment.
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Old 02-27-24, 11:30 AM
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Future proof, eh? How long are you going to live? How much longer can you ride?

Right now the head unit(s) and software is a much faster aging problem than any of the running gear. That's an issue if you want to live in power meter strava land. If you just want to ride a bike, get a Tiagra or analog 105 bike and ride into the sunset
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Old 02-27-24, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Right now the head unit(s) and software is a much faster aging problem than any of the running gear. That's an issue if you want to live in power meter strava land. If you just want to ride a bike, get a Tiagra or analog 105 bike and ride into the sunset
Thanks for your comment. How would the head unit and software stuff affect my frame selection? What should I watch out for?

I'm not doing power yet but I do use Strava. For now, that's working fine with a cheapie $70 IGP Sport head unit that has GPS and synch capability. No real time mapping, just real time stats and a record of the ride.
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Old 02-27-24, 11:42 AM
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UDH was a great idea but it was also a trojan horse for SRAM's new proprietary thru axle system. It always was. (2019 articles on 2018 patent)
SRAM's universal hanger concept could make coaxial mounted (hangerless) derailleurs a thing (again) - Bikerumor
SRAM Coaxial | Peter Verdone Designs

Knowing the bike industry, there will be a separate incompatible version for roadies at twice the price with some guff about how it's grams lighter and it will be the only kind that integrates their new brake caliper, or something

For bike makers it's a trap. UDH is an adapter from proprietary SRAM coax to the old classic Campy hanger that has been the default for 50 years. Do you make your bike SRAM coax compatible or not? Can you use the latest SRAM group if you don't? But then does Shimano want to sell you DA parts that you are going to bolt to a SRAM adapter? To be fair Shimano tried the same thing ten years ago but it was at the same instant that SRAM 1x11 ate their lunch and it never caught on
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Old 02-27-24, 11:46 AM
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The question is, when painting a floor in a room with no doors or windows, how do you avoid panting yourself into a corner?

Well first off I would avoid a bike with components that need proprietary tools, proprietary replacement parts and proprietary software. That in itself is a big, BIG, problem.

It might just be a little early to buy into electronic shifting even though its been around quite some time.

But then again... Its only money... Good Luck...
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Old 02-27-24, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Harold74
Thanks for your comment. How would the head unit and software stuff affect my frame selection? What should I watch out for?
Which part does the power meter go in? (crank, spider, pedals, there used to be rear hub but I think they are out of production)

SteveB was right on the money with his Di2 wiring comments. SRAM is fully wireless with a battery on each component. Shimano 11 speed di2 was wired. 12 speed di2 is part-wireless. Does the power meter talk to your gps? Speed sensor too? Does the electronic shifting talk to your GPS?

If the braze-ons push you to a brand of shifter then that pushes you to a brand of GPS and power meter you choose. SRAM is all over this, making all of these products. For Shimano you get a broader range of choices that might be compatible longer because it's to their advantage but they can't achieve the same level of integration
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Old 02-27-24, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
It might just be a little early to buy into electronic shifting even though its been around quite some time.
Yeah, that's kind of my concern. For me, it would be less about the money and more about the frustration. If I'm to buy into a bike upon which I'll experiment with modern technologies, I'll want a rig that plausibly sees me through at least the next five years of those technologies.

I have a similar problem with my oldest bikes really. I've got a 1978 Italian / Campy racer as a pet project at the moment. With all that is "special" about that setup, I've been finding myself painted into a similar corner with respect to what is reasonably available and what I'm willing to pay for. Sadly, everything may not be able to stay shiny silver if I'm to have indexed shifting, a free hub in a frame that is not cold set, and drop bars with modern-ish ramps. It's become an exercise in compromise. There will likely be a version of the bike that I train on for a while and a different version for hanging on the wall in my dotage.
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Old 02-27-24, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
SRAM is fully wireless with a battery on each component. Shimano 11 speed di2 was wired. 12 speed di2 is part-wireless.
That's helpful, thanks for elaborating.

If I opt for the di2 mods at the time of purchase, is it accurate to say that I would then be good to go for both Shimano and SRAM group sets and, therefore, my frame would not be the limiting factor in my head unit choices etc for the foreseeable future?
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Old 02-27-24, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Which part does the power meter go in? (crank, spider, pedals, there used to be rear hub but I think they are out of production)

SteveB was right on the money with his Di2 wiring comments. SRAM is fully wireless with a battery on each component. Shimano 11 speed di2 was wired. 12 speed di2 is part-wireless. Does the power meter talk to your gps? Speed sensor too? Does the electronic shifting talk to your GPS?

If the braze-ons push you to a brand of shifter then that pushes you to a brand of GPS and power meter you choose. SRAM is all over this, making all of these products. For Shimano you get a broader range of choices that might be compatible longer because it's to their advantage but they can't achieve the same level of integration
As far as I know all GPS head units from the last 5 years are compatible with Di2 and AXS (probably also Campy but that’s the preserve of the millionaire’s forum) and all power meters, whether pedal or crank - not looked at hub - I can’t see that changing.

I think all electronic shifting is mature enough now that there’s unlikely to be a dramatic change that would cause a frame incompatiblity. 11 and 12 speed work on the same frames even though there’s clearly a little bit of “only for the disc brake types” going on now.
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Old 02-27-24, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Harold74
That's helpful, thanks for elaborating.

If I opt for the di2 mods at the time of purchase, is it accurate to say that I would then be good to go for both Shimano and SRAM group sets and, therefore, my frame would not be the limiting factor in my head unit choices etc for the foreseeable future?
For current Sram, an additional mod that would be needed is if you want the rear brake line to be internally routed instead of down the down tube to the back. The front brake is already "internally routed" through the standard fork.

I don't know if the Di2 mods by Lynskey also include internal routing of brake lines?
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Old 02-28-24, 10:23 AM
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Just out of curiosity from this thread I started looking at the latest electronic systems. I haven't kept up on it at all. It does look like so much has changed in the last few years that no bike you bought 5 years ago would be compatible with what is available today. Sram and Shimano both have basically closed out the old mix and match that was sometimes possible in the past. You are committed to whichever system you go with seemingly forever. Sram systems only work with Sram cassettes, freehubs and chains, brakes, shifters and Shimano the same. The only concession I saw was a pair of Sram shifters that would work with rim brakes for us old school guys that still have the itch to upgrade our old bikes to electronic shifting.

My take on this for the OP then is that NO bike is future proof. Whatever you buy today will be obsolete in 5 years as it all just works as one system. At least obsolete in terms of upgrades, you can ride it for as long as you'd like. My "new" bike is already 20 years old.
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Old 02-28-24, 10:49 AM
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Future proof made me laugh....
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Old 02-28-24, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster
Just out of curiosity from this thread I started looking at the latest electronic systems. I haven't kept up on it at all. It does look like so much has changed in the last few years that no bike you bought 5 years ago would be compatible with what is available today. Sram and Shimano both have basically closed out the old mix and match that was sometimes possible in the past. You are committed to whichever system you go with seemingly forever. Sram systems only work with Sram cassettes, freehubs and chains, brakes, shifters and Shimano the same. The only concession I saw was a pair of Sram shifters that would work with rim brakes for us old school guys that still have the itch to upgrade our old bikes to electronic shifting.

My take on this for the OP then is that NO bike is future proof. Whatever you buy today will be obsolete in 5 years as it all just works as one system. At least obsolete in terms of upgrades, you can ride it for as long as you'd like. My "new" bike is already 20 years old.
You can also get 12 speed Shimano Ultegra 6800 and DA7810 (if you like setting fire to piles of cash) Di2 for rim brakes. I just upgraded my 2019 bike to the former a week ago. It has not been ridden since because I don’t want to get it dirty.
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Old 02-28-24, 12:55 PM
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I think the future proof you talk about means you can updated easily as components advance. Most of that revolves around successful advances that are embraced by the cycling community.

Component mfg’s spend millions to continually improve and are less likely to just toss out tech that works well and has a path to enhance the tech for more sales.

What I consider as important, maybe more, is picking a frame that meets performance criteria you want and not just a one that allows you to slap on the latest tech. That is much tougher.

I’m probably the last one to offer advice due to how old my bike is. Few would want to ride what I have, it is obsolete and not worth much. I never intended to still be riding it when I built it. I’ll probably have to replace it one day. Better gearing, brakes, and ride quality would be nice. But so far I have been unwilling to compromise on the point and shoot handling.

If you really want future proof, find a frame you can’t get rid of in the future.

John
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Old 02-28-24, 03:18 PM
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To me, future proof means moving now to disc brakes, thru axles and electronic shifting. On that Linsky frame I think all that is possible. You need a fork, so get one that is disc ready as well as thru axle. Rear wants to be 142mm spacing TA. Di2 12 speed, or AXS, your preference and no need to run front to rear wiring with wireless shifters. Question becomes if you choose Di2, can you run the e-tube cables for the 2 derailers. Not unusual for the holes designed for mechanical shifter housing to be too small to install an e-tube connector. That might require some Dremel tool work to open up the holes. I had to do that in a new hardtail when I installed XT Di2.
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Old 02-28-24, 05:56 PM
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The only changes in bike frames over the past 70 years has been to accommodate cassettes with more cogs and to use hydraulic disc brakes. I have no concerns about not using hydraulic disc brakes on my road bike but being able to have 6,7,8, or 9 cogs is important to me (for both my road and my mountain bikes).

If I was more fit the need for 7 cogs for 14 gear options would be unimportant. In my younger days I toured a thousand miles or more over mountain ranges and did so with a 10-speed bike. Now having more cogs and using brifters to quickly make gear changes helps me quite a bit.

Mountain bikes are a very different situation in every respect.
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Old 02-28-24, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
You can also get 12 speed Shimano Ultegra 6800 and DA7810 (if you like setting fire to piles of cash) Di2 for rim brakes. I just upgraded my 2019 bike to the former a week ago. It has not been ridden since because I don’t want to get it dirty.
Will 12sp Di2 or Sram even fit on a 130 spaced frame? And does it need special wheels or freehubs? I just haven't kept up on this as I'm getting too old to even need such an upgrade. That shifting difference isn't going to get me around the park any faster, but riding the trainer all winter might.
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Old 02-28-24, 09:50 PM
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Future proof and cutting edge only ever coexist accidentally.

The most future proof road bikes out there are cable actuated and rim braked, probably in fewer than 12 or 13 gears. An English BB and 1 1/8” fork add a lot of longevity for parts replacement but no real guarantee.

Buying the latest tech is a concession that you may someday end up obsolete or simply replaced.

Imagine asking a gaming forum what a good “forever computer” is. Probably a $3 solar calculator.
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