Planning my TDR bike

Posted: April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am doing some planning for my Tour Divide bike.

Right now I am thinking of three things for my Tour Divide

  1. simple
  2. single speed
  3. strong

I am planning a special frame for the TDR. It will be very similar to my current single speed but will include a few changes to support the demands of a 2700 mile tour in remote conditions.

The big motivation for building a special frame is simply the fact that I like welding bits of metal together. The secondary motivation is to have v-brake and track ends in the rear because I am nervous about depending 100% on hydraulic disk brakes. This post on drunk cyclist can help explain why feel like v-brakes are a good idea. The bike will still use a hydraulic disk in the front but by running a v-brake in the rear and having an extra cable packed away I will never be left with a bike that does not have a functional brake.

On the TDR, there are some long sections where water is in short supply and as such I will include an extra bottle mount under the down tube. Also, my current bike is white and as such the idea of 2700 miles without cleaning it makes me sad. I plan to paint the new frame red. Mountain lions find the color red to be relaxing and hopefully won’t attack me.

Running single speed is also part of making the bike simple and easy to manage for the distance. Basically once I start rolling I don’t want to have to deal with mechanical problems and as such a simple single speed will reduce the need for maintenance and eliminate a number potential failure points.

I have some friends helping me with a new set of wheels and will likely run durable XT hubs with DT rims, and tubeless Specialized Fast Track tires.

  1. tim rapp says:

    double-speed is the new single-speed. Throw a flip-flop hub on that rig and you’ll double your odds of finishing TDR. With track ends it’s easy and fast to flip the wheel around. Brains over braun.

    red bikes are faster.

  2. MattB says:

    What about rear mechanical disc brake? I’d be leery of v-brakes with the mud issues racers have seen in past years. Last thing you want is a busted front hyrdo and no way to stop with a weak v-brake on the rear. Or just not a real concern?

    I’m excited to see the new bike when it’s done!


    • Mark says:

      I really like v-brakes and sorta miss them. In a sense, I simply like the simplicity and the way of v-brakes look vs. bb7 plus they are crazy light and work well with track ends (no sliders on this bike). Eventually I want to put a PAUL motolites on the bike because they look cool. Mud can be an issue but it’s manageable. Cyclocross bikes run cantis with tons of mud plus we raced mountain bikes with v-brakes for many years before disks arrived. I will have a bit of a retro vibe going on.

      Up front I am planning a hydro and if any problems occur with the hydro I will repair or replace it at the next opportunity. Most braking comes from the front wheel anyway so rear brake only will suck. Hopefully nothing will breakdown.

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