On this trip, my bike is going to be key to my success. Keeping in mind I need to go as lightweight as possible, every gram I save is a gram less that I have to push around the world. Listed below is a complete breakdown of the components I used to custom build the bike I’ll be using on the trip. If you want to know any more, feel free to send me an email.
Nowadays, cyclists have a huge array of choice when it comes bike selection, designed to fill the need for all types of undertaking and suit all budgets. Even when you narrow your choice down to Touring bikes, your be left with hundreds of models, from bikes designed for the daily commute to those made for long distance tours. Ensuring I had the right bike for the trip was crucial and whatever I ended up, it would have to tick the following points.
First the bike had to be strong, after all, its got a fare few kilometres of varied terrain ahead of it and haul all my equipment. For the frame, I had a choice of either aluminium, steel or titanium. The titanium option was quickly ruled out due to the expense and in the end, after a lot of deliberation, I settled on a steel frame. Having a steel frame means I should be able to find someone who can weld it together should it crack pretty much anywhere in the world. The rest of the components I choose, from brake levers to pannier bags, also had to live up to the harsh conditions long distance touring will put on them.
Secondly, it had to be fixable near enough anywhere ill go. Most touring bikes in the UK nowadays come off the shelf with 700cc size wheels. Unfourtantley your not likely to find replacement wheels, tyres or inner tubes of this size anywhere outside of Europe or North America. The rest of world still rolls on 26 inch wheels so it was going to have to be the same for me if I wanted to stand a chance of finding spares along the way. However, they are stronger as a result of being smaller. Same goes for disc brakes, finding spares will be hard so its back to block style brakes.
Lastly, it was also going to need to be as comfortable possible. Ill be spending long days over a long period of time in the saddle so ensuring the bike is correctly fitted to my size to avoid any injury was crucial. Getting fitted correctly for a bike is best done in a specialist shop but your find rough guides online too. The saddle, as it turns out, was one of the most expensive parts of the bike, but I reckon it will be money worth spent.
Below your find a complete break down of the bike, part by part, along with a price guide.
|Frame + forks||Surly Long Haul Trucker Frame and Forks||£399.99|
|Front Mech||Shimano Sora FD3503 Triple Front Mech||£20.00|
|Back Mech||Shimano Deore M591 9 Speed Rear Mech||£31.99|
|Rear Cassette||Shimano XT M770 9 Speed Cassette Grey 11-32T||£33.89|
|Bottom Bracket||Stronglight JP400 Plastic 119mm||£10.00|
|Front Chainset||SPA CYCLES XD-2 Touring Triple Chainset With Stronglight Zicral Rings 170mm 46/36/24||£100.00|
|Chain||Shimano HG93 9 Speed Chain Grey 9 Speed||£9.84|
|Pedals||DMR V8 Grease Port Flat Pedals||£21.99|
|Wheels||EXAL SUPER LIGHT SL19 26" Hybrid Wheel + Shimano Hubs + 9 Speed DT Spokes||£89.95|
|Inner Tubes x2||Schwalbe SV12 26inch x 1.75 Presta||£8.00|
|Tyres||Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour Tyre||£45.98|
|Brakes||Shimano Deore T610 V-Brake (Front and Back)||£35.98|
|Brake Levers||Shimano Deore T610 Trekking V-Brake Levers||£20.49|
|Stem||Ritchey Adjustable Stem 100mm/25.4mm 1.1/8'||£29.49|
|Handlebar||BBB BHB-30 MultiBar Trekking Bar||£15.13|
|Bar Foam||BBB BHG-27 MultiFoam Grips 400mm x 20mm x 4mm||£5.15|
|Gear Levers||Shimano Deore Rapidfire Shift Levers M590||£34.99|
|Seat post||FSA SL-280 27.2mm dia Black 350mm||£15.00|
|Saddle||Brooks Flyer 2||£90.00|
|Headset||Ritchey Comp Headset 1.1/8"||£19.99|
|Back Pannier Rack||Tortec Expedition Rear Rack (load 35kgs)||£21.99|
|Front Pannier Rack||Axiom Journey Deluxe Front Rack||£22.79|
|Pannier Bags Front||Ortlieb Front Roller Classic 25L Pannier Bag Pair||£79.99|
|Pannier Bags Back||Ortlieb Back Roller Classic 40L Pannier Bag Pair||£109.99|
|Seat Post Bag||Ortlieb Seat Post Bag||£34.99|
|Handle Bar Bag||Ortlieb Ultimate 6||£58.99|
|Water Bottles x3||Plain Water Bottles||£12.00|