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Building bike for touring and commuting: road, cantilever or disc brakes?
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Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Discs + panniers? on 11/23/2011 13:18:24 MST Print View

If you decide to go for discs and are planning on touring with panniers, are the panniers going to foul on the front or rear disc?

Just askin...

Eric Douglas

Locale: Brooklyn
Building bike for touring and commuting: road, cantilever or disc brakes on 11/23/2011 14:21:50 MST Print View

If you use discs brakes, Avid BB7s. Inexpensive, reliable and easy to adjust I've used the MTB version on my road rig with no worries and the road version with Campy Ergo levers on my touring/adventure rig. Lots of folk have dome extensive touring on disc touring frames such as the Salsa Fargo etc.

On the other hand, when I toured Europe a few summers ago, my well adjusted Paul's Canti's with Kool Stop Salmon pads had no trouble stopping 300 pounds ( my 220 pounds, plus 40 pound bike plus 40 pounds of gear) even on long wet descents.

My own personal preference is discs if I'm going to be in the snow or gritty wet and cantis if I'll be mostly on pavement.


larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
cross frames on 11/24/2011 12:25:14 MST Print View

My intent was not to dismiss crossframes altogether just be aware there can be heel clearance issues fully loaded,it is possible to use seat post mounted racks with a topbag, a frame bag[there are some nifty photos in other threads here],and handlebar arrangements. Look at some of the bikes in the Kona/Scott lineups for other ideas.
If we imagine the heaviest frame you will accept is the Soma ES Smoothie @ 1800 grams and an alloy frame cruising in around 1250 we are talking about a pound to pound and half variance.Decent builders can get the weight of a steel frame into the same range. I've built a "disclaimer" steel frame right at 1000 grams.By watching wheels, and components you can make up the difference pretty quickly.
Have fun building up the bike, let us know what you decide, PM if you have any specific questions.

Edited by pyeyo on 11/24/2011 12:27:33 MST.

Craig Savage
(tremelo) - F

Locale: San Jacinto Mountains
frames on 11/25/2011 09:00:23 MST Print View

if you want to pay for shipping, I know someone that has a ton of different frames to try - from Bianchi, Davidson, Dean, Santana, Mountan Goat, blah, blah...(I would pay you to take that flipping tandem off his hands. If you want something custom, he'd probably do that too.

it's a sickness, his collection was somewhere around this

he's holding my last frame

it seems to grow everytime I visit

my newest frame in the stand

brandon west
(brandonwest) - F
How important is weight??? on 11/27/2011 16:05:20 MST Print View

You mentioned 'light' frame. My question is - how much 'stuff' (in lbs) are you realistically going to be carrying? I ask because a frame that weighs 1-2lbs more yet is of a better design (geometry/materials designed around the loaded weight) will suit you better than a lightweight frame that becomes flimsy/overstressed when loaded.

As a bay area person that has ridden in the rain/wet with fenders, I can say that I'll never ride a fenderless bike again in the winter months. There is nothing like having dry feet when its wet out. Most cross bikes will have the clearance for fenders (wide tires too) but the frames will be too stiff to have a comfortable ride (unless you ride w/ 28mm+ tires and pressures appropriate for your combined weight).

Canti's make fitting wide tires and fenders easy. Having both shimano and sram levers, I personally think the sram levers have better cable pull/leverage for canti's. And matched w/ the right pad material, canti's will be fine.

Having ridden/owned a lot, I have a soft spot for steel - and for touring is the correct material due to ease of repair (though a properly designed steel frame won't fail). If you're not a material nerd or overly into frame design, then check the following:
* Rear dropouts - a higher quality frame will use larger/plate steel - as this area supports both rider and rack weight.
* Toe overlap - for the novice, not having toe overlap will be indicitive of a longer wheelbase (stability) and more relaxed steering angles. This is not 100% true or absolute - but a good starting point for the novice.

One bike that hasn't been mentioned (that I think is a great bang for the buck) is the Bruce Gordon BLT touring frameset ($500).

Danny Milks
(dannymilks) - MLife

Locale: Sierras
Frames: touring vs. cyclocross on 11/30/2011 13:16:42 MST Print View

Brandon - Weight is not a significant issue, which is why I'm leaning towards cyclocross frame, vs. touring. It seems to me that touring frames are overbuilt for our needs. I mean, I'm thinking of this in UL terms: touring frames are like 80 liter, 6 pound Lowa backpacks.

As an example, the SOMA touring frame weighs almost 5lbs, whereas their CX frame is closer to 4 lbs and can come with a lighter fork. An extra pound or two does make a difference, but I agree that it's not paramount. Fit and ride quality are key, with a balance between speed and durability.

My wife weighs 130 at most, and will be carrying 10-20lbs of gear, including the rack and panniers (if necessary). So, say 160 lbs max. She would fit a 54-56cm frame. We're not doing any crazy touring in Bolivia, off-road stuff, or extreme wet climates.

However, I understand that the geometry is slightly different for the two types of frames. Are there any light steel touring frames? I checked out the BTL and it looks like a good bike, but still overbuilt for our needs.

Conversely, I could go with a SOMA Smoothie ES, which is a relaxed geometry version of their road bike. It would probably have similar geo to a touring bike. Downside is it lacks the canti brake studs.

Edited by dannymilks on 12/01/2011 10:09:39 MST.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Frames: touring vs. cyclocross on 12/01/2011 06:18:06 MST Print View

1. Discs? I commute daily: one bike's a Cannondale Trekking with hydraulic discs, the other's a Jamis Xenith Endura (yes, I commute on a full-carbon road bike - with rack and a Brooks B17 - confuses everyone). From 30 km/h the hydros stop the bike in a couple of bikes lengths and are completely modulable. The Xenith's brakes - which are quite well regarded Tektros - are sketchy in the dry and f'ing dangerous/scary in the wet, even though they are fitted with Salmon Coolstop pads. I'm considering swapping the Xenith's front fork for something like a Winwood disc fork so that I can fit a BB7 and have braking on at least ONE wheel when it rains. I literally cannot wait until I can get hydros for dropbars: I am saving for a Lynskey Cooper CX ....

2. Weight? My impression is that a lot of US touring bikes are overbuilt and the Surly and Soma frames are simply way too heavy: basically it's just cheap steel. However there are a heap of light-ish steel frames available in the UK now which take discs - check out the Singular Osprey and both Genesis and Ridgeback also sell steel disc-compatible steel frames, as do Thorn. I'd do a search on Bike Radar as that's CyclingPlus' online site. Look for "winter bikes", which is what the Brits call mudguardable road bikes.

If you're not totally against aluminium check out the Kinesis Tripster and maybe their other CX bikes. If you really don't want discs then the field's open: for example, Roberts, Longstaff and Mercian: whilst the Mercian frames aren't cheap they're also not ridiculously expensive (cf IF, Moots or Seven), and they build up into lighter touring bikes than my Euro Cannondale.

Alternatively, the Jamis Quest is quite light: because of the components it's actually the same weight as my carbon Jamis.

By the way, my aluminium Cannondale tourer is more comfortable than the full-carbon Jamis and gets better the more weight you put on it: comfort is more than just materials, it's also a question of design.

Craig Savage
(tremelo) - F

Locale: San Jacinto Mountains
Re: Re: Frames: touring vs. cyclocross on 12/01/2011 09:04:56 MST Print View

"comfort is more than just materials, it's also a question of design."

soooo true, the season we were put on Scott CR1s (carbon) was not kind to my buns/hands

Craig Savage
(tremelo) - F

Locale: San Jacinto Mountains
Re: Building bike for touring and commuting: road, cantilever or disc brakes? on 02/02/2013 22:43:19 MST Print View


Danny posted for help over a year ago. Got hooked up with a frame, can't be troubled to have a solid enough opinion (in over a year) to cough up a dime for it.

A lot can happen over the course of a year, Danny. Do you even know if my padre is still alive, efftard?

Thanks, bro. You might not believe in kharma, it believes in you