Lightweight Touring Considerations

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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby RonK » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:35 pm

STC67 wrote:
RonK wrote:
STC67 wrote:Hi Ron, I had actually got the idea of a titanium touring bike from your posts so thanks for that. I had a look at your link and I still think there is potential for us for 1 titanium framed tourer so will see how much it is to land a Ti frame in OZ. More to research.

Cheers

Since you are in Brisbane, let me know if you would like to have a look at the Sabbath. I often ride it on a Sunday, so we could meet up for coffee and a chat.


Sent you a PM Ron, but not sure if it has worked

Yes, got your PM - look forward to catching up...
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by BNA » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:36 pm

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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby STC67 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:36 pm

RonK wrote:
snafuspyramid wrote:
RonK wrote:
The throwaway line that "an extra kilo or two doesn't matter" rolls of the tongue very easily, but doesn't matter to whom? It certainly matters to me. It matters to STC67, or at least Mrs STC67 who is quite petite and struggles on the hills with her heavy bike. You may think it doesn't matter to you, but your gf may not agree and you may find yourself halfway up Lindis Pass carrying her load as well as yours, and wondering where the next post office is so you can send home some of the baggage that you don't really need but brought along "just in case". You've probably heard the expression "happy wife, happy life". Unhappy wife/gf may even mean an abrupt end to your tour and no more touring for you. It happens, believe me. :lol: :lol: :lol:


The thought had certainly crossed my mind, hence the degree of preparation :D

I don't think a few extra kilograms would make much difference to me, but I agree it will make a difference to my partner. I'm around 95kg, 6'4", mostly composed of legs, and have been regularly cycling fairly long distances since I was a teenager. My girlfriend is a little more than half my weight and has only taken up cycling recently. Her bike (Kona Sutra) is actually a kilogram and a half heavier than mine, since mine has high-end MTB parts, rim brakes and a less robust frame (despite being ten sizes larger). Still, on practice rides I've simply been carrying more weight than she, so the "extra" weight on her bike is effectively borne by me. I very much anticipate being half way up Lindis Pass carrying her load, and am training for that event.

I still think that it makes more sense to reduce weight in other (cheaper) areas, such as spending the extra on UL camping gear. However, I'd guess that you'll have done that already if you're investing in a Ti frame...

Yes, all my gear is UL, mostly carried over from my trekking days, except for the tent, which is a 4-season design. In my view must-have for touring southern latitudes in spring. I set myself a limit of 20kg absolute maximum on my baggage, but try to keep it lower than that. I'm still finding a few items I've carried but not used, so there remains potential for further load rationalisation. But keep in mind there is nothing cheap about UL gear.


About here is where you will likely stop for a breather on Lindis Pass. I noted in my journal "From Omarama, the climb to Lindis Pass, some 30 kms away, starts immediately, but gently, and the serious bit doesn't start until the last 10 km, with 2 km of steep climbing nearing the top."

You may find yourself thinking "Why didn't I listen?", but actually I didn't find it too difficult on my Sabbath. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Image
It was bright and sunny, and quite warm when I took this picture. A few days later it was under 20cm of snow. In November.

After the pass it's another 50kms to Tarras, but you will find another challenge on the way at Cluden Hill. If you are heading for Wanaka, which I would suggest is not to be missed, then you'll only have 35kms (and some steep moraine crossings) to go.



Right about here both Mrs STC and me were wishing we had lighter bikes. We even had left the panniers in the hotel for the day. Still the best days cycling I have ever had. :D :D :D

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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby STC67 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:45 pm

Just to prove we made it although we did have to stop a few times.

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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby RonK » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:52 pm

STC67 wrote:Just to prove we made it although we did have to stop a few times.

Image

Chapeau!
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby GregLR » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:58 am

il padrone wrote:Doubt that Baum would light up their MIG-torches for less than $5k (per bike).

I was interested to find that Baum offer a ti touring frame, though it needs to be a custom build - see: http://www.baumcycles.com/bikes/wills The website doesn't provide prices (you need to inquire directly) but I would expect the frame to cost what IP suggests, having obtained a price list from them a few years ago (which I now can't locate).

Here's the first part of what they say about building a touring bike with ti:

"Titanium's natural damping takes the ache out of long days on B, C and D roads. Its near indestructibility makes it perfect for heavy load bearing duties. That would be enough, but recall that it's impervious to corrosion and you start to see how the magic metal got its nickname and why it's a tourer's best friend..."

I have two road bikes with custom-built Serotta ti frames but my two tourers are steel, including a LHT that I built up in 2011. I chose the economically-priced LHT frame because I thought it would be pretty robust when loaded, and thus not flex much unlike my other (22 year old) tourer built with Columbus SL tubing for credit card touring. And I was right, but I agree that the LHT is relatively heavy. I'd love to have a ti touring frame in view of RonK's & Baum's comments !

Also, I agree with another poster who mentioned the Salsa Vaya with 26" wheels as a good option in meeting Mrs STC's objectives. The triple crankset model is about $1900, I think - I have M & F friends (a couple) who both have Vayas.

My wife is also short in stature and has the smallest Thorn 'Sherpa' size with a custom component build, also from 2011. I agree with another poster that the bike is relatively heavy but my wife loves riding it and now even uses it without the carrier rack in preference to her much lighter Bianchi road bike for exactly that reason - it feels more stable and thus safer when it's windy.

Greg
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby Vintagetourer » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:14 am

Or the Thorn Audax for ultra-light touring to medium weight touring?
10 kg (or even lighter if specc'd with trick bits)
I have a Thorn Sherpa and can vouch for it. Great bike but really, if I did not tour heavy and on rough roads, the Audax model would be my next choice as a touring bike after the Bike Friday New World Tourist. A Ti touring bike would be the top shelf choice, but in the steel category the light Thorn Audax is a very good value, off the shelf option to consider.
Even with freight cost, this model is good value. Deduct VAT. Predict what the Aussie dollar is going to do :)
http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/Thorn ... lowres.pdf
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby Uncle Just » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:12 am

Nice bike Graham. Has some interesting little tweaks that would make it perfect for many applications. Like the 133mm rear spacing. Aesthetically I don't like all the spacers under the stem and with disc brakes it would be perfect. :lol:
I believe my roadie fits the bill for lightweight touring too. Made of Zona and Life tubing I can lightweight tour with a Tubus Fly rack and fit tyres up to 35mm for unmade road jaunts. I have a 42.5 cm chainstays for heel clearance and it has the Ritchey Breakaway for travel. I intend taking some camping gear next tour to try it with a bit more heavier stuff unlike the dry bag I used last time. I am limited to just a bar bag up front though. Compared with my LHT it weighs with rack but no panniers about 9kgs versus 14 for the LHT with guards. So I get what Ron is saying for climbing but it's horses for courses if doing fully loaded touring with food and cooking gear esp in remoter areas.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby RonK » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:41 pm

On my first tour of EnZed I encountered a tourist riding a carbon fibre roadie fitted with a seatpost rack. He was carrying only a small bundle on the rack with jacket, a change of clothes and a few hygiene essentials, but was covering around 200km per days, and loving it.

There are many routes where it's not necessary to camp, particulary if your range can be increased by lightening your load. After many nights "under canvas" I'm pretty much over camping and often don't bother if there is a reasonable alternative.

So I'm moving toward cutting my load even further - changing my touring style to credit card style eliminating cooking and camping, and radically reducing the load I need to carry. This would allow me to remove the front rack and fit a much lighter set of wheels to the Sabbath, and so increase my daily distance. I'll only need to use these when I venture onto more remote routes.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby GregLR » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:37 pm

Uncle Just wrote:...Aesthetically I don't like all the spacers under the stem..."

Yes, Thorn should have a head tube extension of 2cm or preferably 3cm on their frames - it's not as if they need to impress the racing crowd with a low handlebar position.

Another thing that is hard to understand is why Thorn uses a steep 74 degree seat tube angle on the smallest Sherpa size that my wife has, when (like all other sizes) it has 26" wheels meaning that toe overlap with the front wheel wouldn't be a problem.

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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby Vintagetourer » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:26 pm

Ron had you noticed this journal?
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/aau2013psf
Canadian fellow on a Ti bike moving at a helluva pace around Australia.
I get exhausted reading it.
Where he finds the energy to keep up the blog, take pics etc as well as ride that fast and far is incomprehensible to a plodder like me.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby Vintagetourer » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:47 pm

Uncle Just wrote:Nice bike Graham. Has some interesting little tweaks that would make it perfect for many applications. Like the 133mm rear spacing. Aesthetically I don't like all the spacers under the stem and with disc brakes it would be perfect. :lol:
I believe my roadie fits the bill for lightweight touring too. Made of Zona and Life tubing I can lightweight tour with a Tubus Fly rack and fit tyres up to 35mm for unmade road jaunts. I have a 42.5 cm chainstays for heel clearance and it has the Ritchey Breakaway for travel. I intend taking some camping gear next tour to try it with a bit more heavier stuff unlike the dry bag I used last time. I am limited to just a bar bag up front though. Compared with my LHT it weighs with rack but no panniers about 9kgs versus 14 for the LHT with guards. So I get what Ron is saying for climbing but it's horses for courses if doing fully loaded touring with food and cooking gear esp in remoter areas.


Yes not many people accuse Thorn of making handsome bikes. My Thorn Sherpa is a bit like my Staffy terrier. It has a face only a mother could love:)

So a decision for a Thorn is mostly about function, not form. This is what I thought carefully about before getting the Sherpa. What did I really want it to do? It was really about the sort of touring I wanted to do, and in hindsight it was the right decision.

I very nearly bought the Thorn Audax so I'd get a light(ish) road bike as well as a tourer in one bike. Really though, what I wanted was the bike equivalent of a light truck, not a sports car. And if I wanted a sports car equivalent, then the Thorn Audax is up against a whole different raft of other brands. Perhaps its main points of difference to a full-on road bike are the triple chainset, and being able to take MTB or road bike hubs, as you noticed, on the rear.

Andy Blance from Thorn was very helpful by email and phone in helping me think through what I was actually after and why. In dealing with Thorn, I found them, especially Andy to be very helpful, frank and well informed about cycle-touring.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby Uncle Just » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:24 pm

Yeh I have been following that guy riding around Oz. Note this.. "This time I will be using Continental Gaterskins with a wire bead in the 700x23C size" plus he uses a racing style 9speed 12-23 cassette and up front a 39/53! I'd be using 25s at least or 28s for a bit of comfort with no depreciable loss of speed and a compact for the hills he will encounter in the southern states. As for the backpack with all that water weight over a couple of months! :roll:

Don't undersell your "plodding" Graham, I just don't get this high daily mileage. It defeats the essence of touring imo. Leave the big mileages to the record breakers.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby STC67 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:30 pm

RonK wrote:changing my touring style to credit card style eliminating cooking and camping, and radically reducing the load I need to carry.


I'm with you there Ron :D I'd be interested to know that if you reduced your weight even further with no camping/cooking gear, would you still go for the LX 44-32-22 on the front of your Sabbath. It seems all the "complete" bikes on the market don't have a gearing ratio like this with a trend now towards double (The new Alegro tour has a double! The Vaya 2 has a double). I know from experience if I am going to err on the side of gearing, it wants to be on the low end. :oops: This is the main reason why I am looking to buy framesets and have a bike built. I love my MTB granny gear going up the hills but happy to coast down them if there are no other big gears left. How fast do you need to go on a tourer?

I think it was Greg - The recommendation of the Salsa Vaya frame looks good. It seems to be a bit lighter version than a LHT but still OK for off road and light/mid weight touring. There is actually a good review here;
m/2012/12/salsa-vaya-1000-mile-review-or-our-thoughts-on-salsa-vaya-vs-surly-lht/

Rang the LBS but no frames now till October, something about changing distributors. There is a Titanium version but is expensive. There is also a stainless model with SS couplers. Not sure what benefits stainless brings other than rust resistant :?:

Not sure how a Vaya would go with flat bars? Google indicates some reports of Vayas with flat bars who have gone one frame size larger. I have never been a fan of drop bars after neck and shoulder problems on my roadie, but I have never ridden a touring bike and the more relaxed geometry with drop bars (only flats on my MTB) - maybe the geometry makes a difference. Drops certainly look cooler. 8)

The complete Vaya 3 has a road triple Shimano Sora 30/42/52T, again not really been a fan of road triples and they don't seem to hold adjustment as well as MTB gears but I know they are lighter. Maybe I am just old and fat. :oops: Would the frictionless bar end shifters help with adjustment problems? I have never used these in past but remember how happy everyone seemed to be when they were phased out on roadies many years ago. Have to go with drops anyway with these I think.

I must seem like a pain with all these queries, but I believe in the "do it right, do it once" motto. :o
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby redned » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:51 pm

WarrenH wrote:The Queanbeyan River Firetrail can be very nice, and very lumpy.



Bloody Hell Warren, there you go again. Whenever you post photos of your trips I lose half a day at work, looking up the locations, wondering how I could get there, and more importantly why my photos don't look like they are out of an expensive coffee table book.

Great work.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby RonK » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:19 pm

STC67 wrote:
RonK wrote:changing my touring style to credit card style eliminating cooking and camping, and radically reducing the load I need to carry.


I'm with you there Ron :D I'd be interested to know that if you reduced your weight even further with no camping/cooking gear, would you still go for the LX 44-32-22 on the front of your Sabbath.

If I eliminated tent, sleeping bag, mat, cookware, food , fuel and water I could reduce my load to around 10kgs, perhaps a little less. And a set of wheels built with Dyad instead of Chukker rims is 700 grams - three quarters of a kilo lighter. That is a lot of weight to save on a wheelset. Remove the front rack as well and that is another kilo off the bike.

But no way I would change the gearing. I consider most complete touring bike offering are seriously over geared.

With 622 x 32 tyres, 44t x11t (AT) 90 rpm = 46.5kph. I'll never be going that fast on my tourer unless it's downhill, and in that case I won't be pedalling anyway.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby RonK » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:22 pm

STC67 wrote:
RonK wrote:changing my touring style to credit card style eliminating cooking and camping, and radically reducing the load I need to carry.


I'm with you there Ron :D I'd be interested to know that if you reduced your weight even further with no camping/cooking gear, would you still go for the LX 44-32-22 on the front of your Sabbath.

If I eliminated tent, sleeping bag, mat, cookware, food , fuel and water I could reduce my load to around 10kgs, perhaps a little less. Perhaps use only front rollers and a small dry bag on the rear rack. This would work well in EnZed for example, where distances are not extreme, the sandflies can make camping miserable, and accommodation rates are often not much higher than camping fees. For touring in more remote parts I would revert to the fully-loaded setup.

And a set of wheels built with Dyad instead of Chukker rims is 700 grams - three quarters of a kilo lighter. That is a lot of weight to save on a wheelset. Remove the front rack as well and that is another kilo off the bike.

But no way I would change the gearing. I consider most complete touring bike offerings are seriously over geared.

With 622 x 32 tyres, 44t x11t (AT) 90 rpm = 46.5kph. I'll never be going that fast on my tourer unless it's downhill, and in that case I won't be pedalling anyway.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby GregLR » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:24 pm

hi STC67

I can address a couple of your queries.

Re Salsa Vaya: it was DavidL who first mentioned the Vaya2 with the double SRAM 'Apex' crankset/drivetrain, while I mentioned the triple version (Vaya3) that a friend bought a few months ago (also see the last paragraph below). He hadn’t used bar end shifters before but quickly took to them and decided not to change to STI although that had been his plan. I agree with you about the Sora road triple 30-42-52 but on the fully-built bike it does come with an 11-32 cassette, giving a low gear of 25.3”.

But this is not as low as the 26/32=22” I have on my LHT and the 24/34=18.4” my wife has on her 26" wheeled Sherpa. My 26/36/46 and my wife’s 24/34/44 are both Spa Cycles/Sugino XD-2 cranksets with TA chainrings – see this page http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... 0s109p2004 . Overseas customers must make an approach first by e-mail to order from Spa Cycles; RonK has given up on them because they won’t ship a fully-built bike (unfortunate because they offer a ti touring bike) and they also wouldn’t ship rims to me for fear that they’d be damaged in transit, but they did ship the XD-2 cranksets to me.

These Spa/Sugino cranksets are a JIS square taper. I fitted a Genetic ‘Chromozone’ bottom bracket (68mmx110.5mm) on both our bikes, which I bought from SJS Cycles in the UK, though they don’t seem to offer this model now – I found it on VeloGear: http://www.velogear.com.au/bike-parts/b ... taper.html SJS now have this more expensive model: http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/genetic-kary ... prod22511/ While the Genetic ‘Chromozone’ model BB is very economically priced, we haven’t had any problems with either of them after several lengthy tours and lots of other use of these bikes since 2011.

BTW, I use Shimano 9-speed 'Dura Ace' downtube shifters on both my touring bikes, ie, including the LHT.

Also, back on the subject of the Vaya: several years ago the wife of my friend with the newish Vaya3, as mentioned above, bought a Vaya frameset (cable disc) and had it built up with her choice of components, including flat bars with Shimano MTB 9-speed shifters and brakes. But I don’t recall discussion that she needed to get a size larger frame because she wanted to use flat bars. My recollection is that she test rode a couple of sizes in the fully-built version with drop bars and chose the size of her frameset on that basis but I will check this in the coming days.

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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:18 am

redned wrote:
WarrenH wrote:The Queanbeyan River Firetrail can be very nice, and very lumpy.



Bloody Hell Warren, there you go again. Whenever you post photos of your trips I lose half a day at work, looking up the locations, wondering how I could get there, and more importantly why my photos don't look like they are out of an expensive coffee table book.

Great work.


+1, exactly the same for me :) .
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby Tandem » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:45 am

ldrcycles wrote:
redned wrote:
WarrenH wrote:The Queanbeyan River Firetrail can be very nice, and very lumpy.



Bloody Hell Warren, there you go again. Whenever you post photos of your trips I lose half a day at work, looking up the locations, wondering how I could get there, and more importantly why my photos don't look like they are out of an expensive coffee table book.

Great work.


+1, exactly the same for me :) .


I think he has a very good eye for nice composition and then programs like Photoshop, Lightroom and Photomatix can improve even more.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby RonK » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:57 am

Tandem wrote:I think he has a very good eye for nice composition and then programs like Photoshop, Lightroom and Photomatix can improve even more.

Yes, Wazza shoots in raw mode and uses Photomatix to generate HDR images. But as much as anything, I think it's the time he spends just looking at the landscape on his unhurried wanderings around the bush that lets him find and compose such great scenes.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby RonK » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:28 am

Vintagetourer wrote:Ron had you noticed this journal?
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/aau2013psf
Canadian fellow on a Ti bike moving at a helluva pace around Australia.
I get exhausted reading it.
Where he finds the energy to keep up the blog, take pics etc as well as ride that fast and far is incomprehensible to a plodder like me.

Yes, I read the description of his homemade gear with some interest, and a few of his posts once on he got the road, but found them rather dreary, probably because I have no interest in this style of touring. I gave up after the first week.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby WarrenH » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:15 pm

Redned, idrcycles and Tandem, G'day. Thank you for your comments. The hardest thing about photography is trying to leave room for the imagination of others to enter our images ... I'm pleased that you like my images.

Tandem, I don't use Photoshop. I like Canon's old Arcsoft Photostudio 5.5 for adding the finer touches and complimenting both Lightroom 2.7 and Photomatix 4.0.2. I've Photoshop Elements 6-7? something or other, but I prefer the old Arcsoft Photostudio 5.5. Arcsoft Photostudio 5.5 is a freebie now to download ... and I think, it is still the best no nonsense editing programme published.

RonK wrote: ... I think it's the time he spends just looking at the landscape on his unhurried wanderings around the bush that lets him find and compose such great scenes.


Ron, G'day. I do have some moments as a rider. On my June trip from Macgregor in the NW of the ACT, hauling 75kg, I went past Lake George, Woologarang Lagoon, got onto the BNT at Mullins Creek, through Bannister to Gullin Ridge and camped at Gurrunda Travelling Stock Reserve just as the sun was setting ... that was over 100 klicks. I rode from sunrise to sunset on the first day and took only one photograph, the shot below. In actual riding time, it took me nearly 17 hours to reach the southern boundary of the Greater Blue Mountains National Park north of Waiborough Creek, from Canberra.

On the first day when I reached Woologarang Lagoon I stopped for morning tea and unpacked my gear (I unfortunately unpacked all of it) trying to find my flashers ... knowing that I'd be riding into the setting sun, later in the day. I don't know if you noticed the shaddow ? It looks like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza ... forewarning of a Quixotic quest?

Image


This is where most of my weight was, June's supplies. There isn't much chance to resupply on the BNT even in good conditions ... but once the creeks flood and all then travelling stops, travelling light is a luxury that needs to be weighed up.

Image


When I finish the food and use up the gas ... I'm travelling home with little weight, compared to when I rode out. Where as some like to ride a goodly distance, I like to ride without a need to resupply. I take my bike to do photography ... having the ride is a bonus.

Image


At Broken Bridge.

Image


My pannier pig, 14 klicks from the Blue Mountains National Park's southern boundary.

Image


A property on Jerrong Road. I should have removed the two sheep on the left ... they do nothing except create a bad balance.

Image


Warren.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby grasshopper » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:49 pm

STC67 wrote:... Contact a titanium frame builder like Baum to see if they can make a LHT clone in titanium but not sure if this will blow the cost out (Our budget is $5k for both bikes).
Stick with a LHT frame but option up with light componentry like titanium bars/post, quality tubus racks and a lighter wheel set.

2c from a shortie - all of the above. The LHT was the only geo that would fit me, but even with a custom build the frame was still overbuilt for my needs. The others were worse (although this was pre VWR). So I ended up at Baum for a light tourer. There's not a big difference in frame weight between steel and ti but I went steel/26in/135 for cost and remote repair and the rest is a balance of durability/weight/cost. And it fits perfectly of course. Darren has built quite a few tourers for small women in both ti and steel, and he just gets it. The phone call doesn't cost a cent and the coffee is excellent.
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby STC67 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:35 pm

Seems bike salespeople must be busy and selling lots of bikes as I have punched out a couple of emails but no responses.

Sabbath are yet to get a geometry chart to me and Salsa are yet to reply to some queries on the Vaya.

I think the Vaya is about the frame we feel comfortable with but I found this on CGOAB

"The Vaya frame requires a road crankset (not mtb) for correct chain line. Don't know exactly what that implies but it's what Salsa told me so hence that choice"

I am trying to confirm it with Salsa but have not had a reply. Also no reply from the local Salsa dealer. I was keen to put a MTB triple on the front
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Re: Lightweight Touring Considerations

Postby barefoot » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:56 pm

STC67 wrote:
"The Vaya frame requires a road crankset (not mtb) for correct chain line. Don't know exactly what that implies but it's what Salsa told me so hence that choice"


"Requires" is a strong word to use there.

From http://sheldonbrown.com/chainline.html - Road triple chainline is 45mm, MTB triple chainline is 47.5mm.

That is, a MTB crank puts the rings 2.5mm further outboard.

It should not go unnoticed that a 135mm "MTB" rear hub is 5mm wider than a 130mm "Road" rear hub - that is, 2.5mm each side. The cassette is 2.5mm further outboard on a MTB, so it kind of makes sense that the rings should also be further out.

How much difference does it really make? Enough that Surly builds some of their frames with 132.5mm rear dropout spacing so you can shove whatever hub you want in there. And they don't wring their hands telling you that you must use a matching crankset.

Chainrings are usually spaced 5mm apart. On a 10-speed cassette, sprockets are spaced 3.9mm apart. So the 2.5mm difference in chainline is half a chainring or a bit more than half a sprocket. In middling gears, there's less effect on chainline than shifting a single gear. All it means is that the extremes of cross-chaining will be different - cross-chaining one direction will be slightly worse (by less than one gear shift), cross-chaining the other direction will be not quite as bad.

If you put a road crank on a "MTB" designed frame, then small-small gear will be slightly worse. I have this combo on my disc-brake-road bike (135mm dropouts), and when I had a compact crank I did find that the shifting ramps of the big ring would catch the chain if I was running in small-small gear. So... I didn't use small-small gear.

If you put a MTB crank on a "road" designed frame, then big-big gear would be slightly worse. So... drop a ring and use a mid-block gear.

Honestly, the biggest problem you'll ever find mixing road and MTB cranks on road and MTB frames is chainring and crank arm clearance. Road cranks are narrower, and if a frame is designed for wide tyres, with wide stays, you might hit your ring or crank on the chainstay. But going the other way... MTB cranks on a frame that's supposedly designed for road... you'll just have even more clearance.

tim
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barefoot
 
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