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  1. #1
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    Your custom bikepacking rig

    We all ride in different parts of the country/world with vastly diverse terrain, climate, etc. I am wondering if you were to get a custom bike built, what would it look like.

    I live in the high desert now (Utah) and typically go around this area. Lots of open dirt roads, some sand and definitely rocky terrain. After having gone through fat bikes, + bike, cross, etc, I think I have fine tuned a compromise of what I "need":

    (Not in order--just started jotting things down)
    Steel frame and fork. (100mm suspension corrected)
    135mm front and rear spacing (interchangeability)
    Clearance for 29x2.5 tires
    Minimal sloping TT (for max storage)
    69deg head tube
    ~430mm chain stay
    Paragon sliding drops
    73mm BSA
    Thin 7/4/7 tubing
    Not sure on fork bottle bosses
    Fender mounts for more road excursions

    Can't think of much more. Really trying to get other ideas from custom build ideas you guys post.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    We all ride in different parts of the country/world with vastly diverse terrain, climate, etc. I am wondering if you were to get a custom bike built, what would it look like.

    I live in the high desert now (Utah) and typically go around this area. Lots of open dirt roads, some sand and definitely rocky terrain. After having gone through fat bikes, + bike, cross, etc, I think I have fine tuned a compromise of what I "need":

    (Not in order--just started jotting things down)
    Steel frame and fork. (100mm suspension corrected)
    135mm front and rear spacing (interchangeability)
    Clearance for 29x2.5 tires
    Minimal sloping TT (for max storage)
    69deg head tube
    ~430mm chain stay
    Paragon sliding drops
    73mm BSA
    Thin 7/4/7 tubing
    Not sure on fork bottle bosses
    Fender mounts for more road excursions

    Can't think of much more. Really trying to get other ideas from custom build ideas you guys post.
    With an eye toward mostly Four Corners routes, I had similar objectives to you back in 2009 -- though more focused on dirt touring than bike packing, or a hybrid of the two (it's a very blurry line). Given the terrain and the overall lack of capable and versatile dirt touring bikes back then, I went to Steve Garro and had a custom Coconino Cycles dirt touring rig made. This bike has brought me more joy than any other bike (or cash expenditure, for that matter) in my life with an ever-growing accumulation of fantastic trips with friends and family, each of which I'll remember for the rest of my life.

    Here it is in its latest iteration:

    Your custom bikepacking rig-14469829421_7a2d18e794_b.jpg

    The frame fits 29+ front and rear (note, it predated 29+ tires); the fork, made by Vulture, fits 26 x 4. I mostly run it 29+ front, 29 x 2.5 rear, but use different iterations for different routes. It's not suspension corrected; I didn't foresee and haven't needed a suspension fork. In rougher terrain, I find a fat front under load is sufficiently soft and damp to preclude a suspension fork. It's got Paragons for versatility. I don't recall the tubing (nor do I really know anything about tubing), but it's very stiff unloaded and comfortably compliant under load. Five years later, it's fun now to see bikes like the ECR and Deadwood finally catching up to some of the ideas behind this rig.

    In my opinion, the most important attribute of a builder is the experience to translate objectives into a bicycle design. A lot of builders can make bikes in custom sizes with nice tubing, but far fewer can perfectly translate one's objectives--like extended, self supported dirt touring in arid country (dry camps, water load)--into a functional, comfortable rig. So, above all, in plunking down lots cash for a custom rig, find knowledge and experience, and then trust that builder to do their thing. Unsolicited advice, but hopefully helpful.

    Here it was near completion of build, in 2010:

    Coconino Touring Rig
    Last edited by pierre meux; 1 Week Ago at 09:37 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierre meux View Post
    In my opinion, the most important attribute of a builder is the experience to translate objectives into a bicycle design. A lot of builders can make bikes in custom sizes with nice tubing, but far fewer can perfectly translate one's objectives--like extended, self supported dirt touring in arid country (dry camps, water load)--into a functional, comfortable rig.
    +10 - Yes!

    If you want a great custom bike go to a builder who has a lot of experience building that type of bike.

    Someone who loves road racing can build a beautiful touring MTB, but it will not be as optimized for your riding as a custom bike built by someone that really understands MTB touring.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  5. #5
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    I also made my own, but I took a frame building course rather than have it custom built. That was a lot of fun and very educational to be able to do it yourself. The only down side was the 2 week rush to get it done. I made a couple mistakes, one small (rear rack boss too high up the seatstay) and one major (chainstay too far out and interferes with middle chainring), and it will be a bit of work to fix it. I'll have to cut away the brazing on the chainstay and do a final melt with a torch to free it and the cross tube, then move it inwards a couple mm to make clearance. Then I'll have to realign the back end and re-weld, and then re-align again after cooling, then reface and chase the bb shell. Then I'll finally be able to get it painted. A lot of work, and right now all I can use is the granny ring 24 tooth or smaller, which is fine for a Rohloff and 1X setup with limited rear cogs but not for anything else.

    I went with similar specs as both you guys but made it wide enough to accept 5" tires which was actually surprisingly easy, except that part about screwing up the chainstay placement...

    So it'll probably cost another $500 to get the acetylene setup but then I'll be able to do a lot of other interesting things with the torch kit as well, now that I know the basics of frame building. Maybe after that sometime I'll get a tig welder too but that's more like $1000.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_BC View Post
    I also made my own, but I took a frame building course rather than have it custom built. That was a lot of fun and very educational to be able to do it yourself. The only down side was the 2 week rush to get it done. I made a couple mistakes, one small (rear rack boss too high up the seatstay) and one major (chainstay too far out and interferes with middle chainring), and it will be a bit of work to fix it. I'll have to cut away the brazing on the chainstay and do a final melt with a torch to free it and the cross tube, then move it inwards a couple mm to make clearance. Then I'll have to realign the back end and re-weld, and then re-align again after cooling, then reface and chase the bb shell. Then I'll finally be able to get it painted. A lot of work, and right now all I can use is the granny ring 24 tooth or smaller, which is fine for a Rohloff and 1X setup with limited rear cogs but not for anything else.

    I went with similar specs as both you guys but made it wide enough to accept 5" tires which was actually surprisingly easy, except that part about screwing up the chainstay placement...

    So it'll probably cost another $500 to get the acetylene setup but then I'll be able to do a lot of other interesting things with the torch kit as well, now that I know the basics of frame building. Maybe after that sometime I'll get a tig welder too but that's more like $1000.



    Can you dimple the cs for the needed clearance?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    Can you dimple the cs for the needed clearance?
    Already dimpled, too close.

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