I thought it would be good to do a quick post about my bike. Firstly, she’s a beaut don’t you think? Secondly, I only bloody built her myself didn’t I. Yep, not only did I decide to ride to China, I decided to build the thing that is going to take me there. The logic behind it was that if something breaks I need to know how to fix it, and all the bike mechanic classes in the world watching someone else fix a bike that’s different to mine isn’t going to be as good as doing it myself. It’s been a learning curve and I’ve spent many hours watching youtube videos and hassling Seb at London Bike Kitchen (love those guys – pop in and say hi!) but I think I finally have something that’s rideable.
Below is a breakdown of the individual parts of my bike. I found it so useful reading the bike specifications of other people who have built their own touring bikes and the kit lists of people who have embarked on long-distance tours, so I wanted to give that back to anyone that wants to do something similar and doesn’t know where to start…………I was in that exact place 2 months ago.
Frame: Surly Long Haul Trucker (Black – 42cm)
Front Wheel: Hand built myself – Rigida Sputnik 26 inch rim, Shimano DH 3N72A Dynamo Hub, DT competition spokes, Schwalbe 26 Inch 559 x 20mm High Pressure PU Rim Tap, Schwalbe Marathon Dureme tyres
Rear Wheel: Hand built by Spa Cycles – Rigida Sputnik 26 inch rim, Shimano Deore hub, Schwalbe Marathon Dureme tyres
Saddle: Brooks England Flyer-S Women’s Saddle
Seatpost: taken from my Specialized Dolce
Handlebars: Genetic flare drop handlebars (31.8mm clamp), Fiziks bar gel, Brooks leather bar tape, Shimano Pro LT 1 1/8 inch stem +/- 6 Deg
Pedals: taken from my Specialized Dolce
Brakes: Tektro V brakes (front and rear)
Levers: Shimano Sora 3500 STI triple 9 speed Road lever set
Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB-UN55 Bottom Bracket British Thread
Chainset: Shimano Acera 9 Speed Octalink Crankset ISIS 48/36/26 175mm BLACK FCM391
Front Derailleur: Shimano XT M770 Front Derailleur
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT M771 9 Speed Rear Derailleur
Cassette: Shimano HG50 9 Speed Cassette
Chain: KMC X9-93 9 Speed Chain
Mudguards: SKS Chromoplastic mudguards
Racks: rear: Tubus Cargo, front: Surly nice front rack
Panniers: Carradice Kendal Original (green with honey) front and back
GPS: Garmin Edge 1000
USB Charger: Busch and Mueller E-Werks
Things I would possibly change if doing it again: I would build my rear wheel myself as Spa Cycles built it with silver spokes not black (gggrrrrrr) and I’d probably find other mudguards – the SKS’s don’t have the best fixings!
Overall the parts including GPS and digital stuff have cost about £2,000. She’s pretty heavy but that means she should be up to the job of getting to China and she’s also lovely to ride.
I love her – but like me she’s been nameless for the first couple of weeks of her life – your suggestions are very welcome.
Thanks for reading. MaFen. x