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Help me design my next bike...

graemevetgraemevet Posts: 61
edited September 2016 in Road buying advice
I've been looking at designing / building / organising a new / best / bike-to-end-all-bikes bike. I've put a lot of thought into it and have been playing with some ideas / parts on my current cycle-cross bike. I'm looking for advice on the final details before I start looking at taking the plunge. I want an adventure / touring type bike. Already have an MTB / CX and carbon road bike. This will be a bit of everything or a mongrel depending on your viewpoint!

I'm small (5ft plus a bit), light (55kgs) and have an FTP around 3.5w/kg or so. I like hills and am looking for a bike for sportive / long rides / credit card touring etc. I'm committed to something bespoke, nothing off the peg.

Here are my list of wants:
Bespoke - paint / geometry / material - I've already got a frame builder in mind.
Wheel set - changeable from 650b x 47c (new WTB Horizons) to 700c x 25c or 700 x 32c CX tyres.
Brakes - Hydraulic disc (required to run various wheels)

Here are the things I need help with:
Finishing kit
Groupset - 1x or compact double? Cant decide on 11-36 x 42t or 11-32 x 34-50t

Any thoughts? So far money no object but there will be a budget eventually!



  • mrdsgsmrdsgs Posts: 336
    Mason Bokeh Titanium
    Colnago Addict!
  • Good shout - that's what I'm aiming at. Would like it to be custom built and I forgot to say that I'm trying to get as much as possible UK made.
  • For me it would be:
    Titanium frame
    Shimano Ultegra Hydro group (shame no triple option) with a compact at 34 - 46 and 11-30 cassette. You could stick a 50 on there for competitive sportives.
    Tyre clearances - from 700x28mm for fast rides to 32mm road biassed for credit card touring, and clearance for 38 nobblies for gravel touring. All with SKS longboard mudguards and Dynamo front hub for touring (SON delux or the cheaper one).
    Rear rack mounts. Frame bags are the fashion but panniers with a handlebar bag are so much more refined.
    External routed mechanical gear cables with cable adjusters on the downtube.
    BSA bottom bracket.
    27.2 seatpost for comfort (although difficult with Ti - usually shimmed)
    Top tube slope to match stem (usually 6 or 8 degrees)
    Tapered headset (seem to be the most commonly available forks)
    QRs preferred over thru axle
    I think the Planet X tempest is the closest match for what I want!

    Given your height I wonder if a bit of 26er wheelage would provide a better geometry and still get the clearances. 26x2" (50mm) for extreme stuff, 26x1.5" (ie 38mm) or 1.125 could all fit in the same frame as a 700x25 (with less mudguard clearance perhaps, 650b may be applicable for widths in the middle, but how many wheels do you really want?

    Worth really researching the actual outer diameter (and width clearances). I think 700x20 is the same diameter as 26x1.9" from here: ... tyre-sizes

    Also different wheels will change how the bike handles so there is bound to be a compromise somewhere.

    A decent reference geo for you might be the Surly Stragler 650b:
  • Thanks Alan, that's great info. There are some really interesting features on the Surly and I'll take some time to sit and look at the geometry.

    As a shortie I can manage 700c OK without too much toe overlap but agree about smaller wheels being easier with big tyres. I've been running 650b on my CX bike for a month or two with some success but I need to refine the setup somewhat. Lighter wheels and tyres will help.

    Good point about threaded BB!

    Any reason for Ti over custom steel?

  • I'm a bit ocd about scratches, titanium needs no paint and I like the metal finish! Stainless may be the same, but you can still get rust marks on stainless
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    Stainless easier to weld if frame repair needed off the beaten track....
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
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