An Affordable Touring Bike Build
Over the past several years of owning a few different touring bikes I was able to experiment with different riding position, posture and hand positions.
What I was looking for was a bike that would serve most all needs regarding bicycle touring and long bike commutes. Some bike folk refer to these as "all rounders" suggesting that there is one bike to serve all their bike needs. Pursuant to that effort I chose to build a Nashbar Touring frame for the ability to choose wider tires for casual trail rides as well as adding some suspension. Touring frames are an excellent choice as the geometry most typically permits use of fenders and a larger tire. Note, if you're someone looking to build an "all rounder" providing yourself with options for the foreseeable future is a necessity. That's what I have built for myself as well as for some very satisfied customers.
Touring cyclists and commuters by far enjoy the ability to implement a variety of bike accessories more than any other mode of cycling. Ability to define cargo and safety for touring and commuter rides typifies most purchases of such accessory items.
Bike lights, panniers and racks have become very popular with more and more bike shops stocking inventory to meet consumer demand.
Cockpit of typical touring bike with computer, handlebar mounted light option, and secondary brake levers provide ease of brake use while commuting for safe and secure handling. Bar end shifters open options for a handlebar bag to be used when integrated levers most often have shifting impeded when pushed toward the handlebar bag. I prefer this type of shifter for reasons such as durability, option to use friction setting if indexing is acting up and price. I built this with the eight speed LX mountain bike drivetrain (not rapid rise) to permit gear ratios appropriate for hauling my goodys up hill when necessary, another reason why this bike fits the "all rounder" category.
This article is meant to be an outline of building a bike that can be customized for one's own touring and commuting needs. Although the long wheel base contributing to the relaxed feel of a touring bike's geometry might not make it the most nimble of rides it does provide sturdy handling when loaded for vacations. Often mentioned by fellow bike tourists is the fact that they feel their touring bike rides better when loaded. Very interesting and is very different than how any other bike frame geometry contributes to handling while riding with loaded panniers.
Components I used on this built are listed here for reference. At the time I purchased this frame Nashbar had not yet made available the Nashbar TR ! which has a steel frame and same touring bike geometry. For less than $900 Nashbar has made a very good quality touring bike available at an affordable price. Click on image below for information or purchase.
Parts used for my nashbar touring frame build:
Shimano 3 x 8 Ultegra Bar End Shifters
Shimano LX 9 speed derailleur
LX 8 speed cassette
Sora Road Triple Front Derailleur
Velocity Dyad 36 spoke touring wheelset
FSA Isis Crankset and Bottom Bracket 42, 32, 22
Shimano Dual Pedals
KMC Z Chain
Selle Anatomica Titanico Saddle
Tektro Aero Brake Levers
Cane Creek In Line Brake Levers
Avid Shorty 4 Cantilever Brakes Front and Rear
Cane Creek Headset and spacers
Specialized Roubaix Bars with Cinelli Cork Tape over Aztec gel pad kit.
Schwalbe Marathon 700 x 32 Tires