About the Bike

Originally posted as Touring Framebuilding 101 – http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/667388-touring-framebuilding-101-a.html

I had previously completed my touring bike build that I plan to ride cross country, pictures of my titanium tourer in my profile, until Sanner Cycles moved from Palo Alto California to Austin Texas.


Tim Sanner seems to offer a deal when it comes to teaching you how to build your own custom bike and I figured what better way to ride Coast to Coast then on a bike I built myself.

So today I start build day #1 of 4 with hopes to leave the class with a bike that can make it cross-country.

Tentative schedule:
Day 1– Drawing, cutting all tubes
Day 2– Braze seat stay caps, Final prep, jig setup, tack frames
Day 3– Brazing main joints, aligning
Day 4– Braze ons, etc.

You can see previous BikeForum folks who built a bike with Tim here – http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread…ding-Adventure and on his site.

I will try to keep this a running thread as I go through the process and results.

On Day 1 – 

The first half of the day we determined our frame sizing customized to our body and what we wanted to change about it. I am using a LHT fork for the build and started with the LHT dimensions, then using a calculator similar to this – http://www.tiemeyercycles.com/fit.htm I determined what I wanted for a seat tube and top tube. Compared to the 56cm 700c LHT trucker sizing specs the difference in my frame will be slightly shorter chain stays and top tube. The chain stays to give a slight change in the touring tank feel, while still being plenty long for touring, and the top tube was brought in to reduce shoulder pinch and to fit my upper body measurements better. After we got this all nailed down we hit the drawing boards to learn the basics, apparently programs like Bike CAD can make this a lot easier but then you wouldn’t learn anything.


Next was to started cutting tubes lengths, angles and mitering joints. Filing down the edges and making sure everything seated up right.


The grinder sparks can be extra friendly

On to Day 2, more updates to come.


Day 2 updates – 

Started off the day brazing the top eyes/caps for the seat stays, this part was a lot of fun since on a lug bike you don’t get to throw in to many “custom” things as a beginner so what we did here shows in our end result.


We moved onto sanding down our tube ends and ensuring there was no left over cutting oil before applying the brazing flux and tack welding our frame together. Getting our frames right on the Jig took some time ensuring everything lined up well. Then a quick coating of flux (the white stuff built up around the welds in the pics) to ensure a clean welding surface and to prevent oxides from forming.


I attempted to wear the welding shades, but to my untrained eye it made it difficult to see the temperature the frame was at and when to add the silver weld.

At the end of the day I was pleased that I managed to get the frame to match up to the original drawing plans.


We are doing the weekend classes so the next big updates from day 3 and 4 will be next Saturday.

Day 3– Brazing main joints, aligning

Day 4– Braze ons, etc.

Day 3 Updates – 

We started off the day building the bridge for my touring bike so I can hang the rear fender in place, then put in some good quality time resting our hands.


We spent the rest of the day brazing all the welds, mostly with silver but the dropouts with brass.


I scorched a few spots, but luckily after I had already brazed the area so no harm no foul; just some more clean-up.



Also I am getting use to wearing the shades for the high temps of brass welding, but apparently I take this stuff very seriously by the look on my face.


3 out of 4 Days complete! I actually think I will be sad to see the frame building come to a end, though plenty of homework to do to prep it for paint.

Tomorrow starts Day 4– Braze ons, Bosses, Water Bottle Holders, etc.

Day 4 Update – 

Well it’s sad to say the build is over, but the experience and learning was great, plus now I truly have MY bike (with a lot of www.SannerCycles.com knowledge). Before I go into the day’s build I wanted to provide a quick review of frame building with Sanner Cycles.

I was not a previous friend of Tim Sanner and only came to know of him through a craigslist touring rss feed I monitor. His price was right to tempt me into taking the class, especially considering you end up with your own version of a custom frame that would otherwise cost you $1k+, along with the knowledge you gain through the build process.

– Tim’s patience as a teacher/instructor and the ability to make you feel no question is a dumb one (he will mock your ping pong skills though)
– He knows what he is doing when it comes to the build, I don’t think I stumped him with all my questions.
– Quality material. Maybe this shouldn’t be important, but even the tubing used is manufactured in the USA (True Temper 4130), can Rivendell make that claim?
– A nice plus for me is I also got to pick Tim’s brain about bike touring, he has completed two Coast to Coast rides in the past 2 years
– Price (as mentioned above)

– Availability; since Sanner Cycles is a one man shop so you may not find the time that best suits you to build
– The Shop; Sanner Cycles just moved to Austin so that shop was in progress (though the makeshift drafting / ping pong table was a nice addition – don’t lose this  )
– Tools for beginners; with any good frame builder their skill is in themselves but we did run into one slight incident where our newbie skills may have benefited from some easier to use drill sets

Sorry the review was longer then I expected, message me if you have any questions I would be glad to answer.

Started the day off by facing our bottom bracket and head tubes.


I spent a good portion of the day brazing on bosses, water bottle eyelets, bridges, etc… Then we got a quick homework lesson on how to clean up our frames and prep them for paint, I am looking forward to seeing this thing shined up before paint


Then we wrapped it up by spending the afternoon on the alignment table. I have to say this was my least favorite part, but probably the most important out of everything we did.


Ok we really wrapped it up by playing 6-8 games of ping-pong.

What’s Next (homework):
– Soaking the frame to get the flux off
– Sanding & Filing to my desired level of perfection
– Return the frame to Tim to send to the paint shop
– Bike Build (I can’t decide if I want to use most the parts off my Litespeed or build from a MTB direction versus STI).


Post Build Update 1 – 

Just a quick update, before sending it off to paint this week I cleaned it up some and couldn’t help a loose assembly.

Amazing how quick the humidity hits the tubes (before filing)


Couldn’t help myself


Up close


Post Build Update 2 – 

Frame back from the paint shop


It’s nice from a distance, but up close I notice some blemishes. I won’t got into the details yet as I want to first talk to the powder coating shop to see what can be done about the areas I am not to happy about.

Any ideas on how I should label, badge, or customize the white color?

One idea was on my USA coast to coast cross country ride is to take a special pen for folks to sign their name and city.

Post Build Update 3 – 

The bike is back from the paint shop, again. I am happy to say the paint shop gave me no hassles about redoing it and after another weeks wait I am glad I sent it back.  

This is what it looks like when powder coating is laid on way to thick.


Here are some of the before / after photos




Post Build Update 4 –

Having trouble getting the Trekking handlebars in from Nashbar otherwise the build would be complete. Here is the progress so far – 


FSA Triple Crank 30/42/53
Cane Creek S2 Headset
Salsa Stem (may be swapped out after fork is cut)
Bontrager Seat Post
Brooks B17 Saddle (needs breaking in)
Shimano XT Front & Rear Derailleur & V-Brakes
Alex Adventurer 36h Wheels with Shimano XT Hub
Shimano XT 9 speed cassette 11-34
Continental Contact 700c X 37 Tires





Post Buid Update 5 – 

It took forever to get the bars in from Nashbar and the build still isn’t done, but here are some updated build pics. The fork needs cutting too. 

For the traditional look


Though this is more what I was going for


Took me a while to decide which way to mount these butterfly / trekking bars


Post Build Update 6 –

Well it took some time to get around to the final pieces, but the bike is cabled and ready to roll. Some fine tuning still needed and have to cut the fork stem, but otherwise all that is left to add the racks (find the final crank), and get to touring.




More pics at –http://www.flickr.com/photos/work2ride/

Post Build Update 6 – 

 Originally Posted
as far as the frame size I used the http://www.tiemeyercycles.com/fit.htm calculator to help come up with mine and then compared to a LHT and made some adjustments for me, as I get neck pinch easily. The Top Tube c to c is 550mm or 55cm, so a smaller cockpit but hopefully will elevate the pinch. 

This wasn’t as true as I thought, I used the Tiemeyer calculator for a couple pieces; Seat Tube Length and angles. The Tiemeyer top tube was to short in my opinion for me and the rest I stole from the LHT measurements because after doing some reading I decided I wanted a few more key features that the LHT is known for.
1 – Longer Chainstays – “Its low bottom bracket and long chainstays provide comfort and stability, and those long stays increase heel clearance when carrying packed panniers.” – LHT site
2 – Lower Bottom Bracket
3 – Went halfway on the Top Tube difference between Tiemery and LHT

Here is how my bike measurements compare –

56cm LHT / My Bike / Tiemeyer
Seat Tube Length (Center-Top) 560mm / 566mm / 566mm
Top Tube Length(Center-Center) 564.4mm / 550mm / 542mm
Effective Top Tube Length(Center-Center) 570mm / Level / Level
Head Tube Angle 72.0° / 72.0° / 72.0°
Seat Tube Angle 73.0° / 73.0° / 73.0°
BB Drop 78.0mm / 78.0mm / 75.0mm
Chainstay Length 460.0mm / 445.0mm / 420.0mm

Post Build Update 7 – 

Updates to the bike since last post:
– Seat raised, yes I do prefer the height it is at now more
– Put 80 miles on the new brooks and it’s feeling better every time I ride it
– Put the plastic planet bike fenders on but it rubs the front derailleur link, so took it back off, I am not sure I care if I have fenders are not; if I am wet I am wet
— My friend recommended I cut a hole in the fender where the derailleur friction is to remove it
-Front and rear racks installed, wishing the front rack didn’t weight so much and so beefy, why did Surly make the front bigger & heavier then the rear?
– Kickstand installed, going to try it out to see if it stays
– Added the front and rear lighting but don’t think that is the final location of my rear lighting as I plan to use a rear top sack as well

This weekend doing I am doing my first full gear loaded test on a S24O 140 mile route (70 each way), I will let you know how it goes! – https://work2ride.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/beer-bikes-bbq/


I set out my gear – https://work2ride.wordpress.com/about/my-gear/


And loaded it up, but is it too heavy @ 48lbs? I may start a new thread to ask this.


Post Ride Update – 

Thanks for the compliments and also wanted to let those touring know that I decided to end up going with a Sugino XD 600 46-36-24t crank and it was perfect; rarely if never spun out of the top end (maybe that one time when I hit the touring bikes top speed of 41.5mph in Wyoming).


Here are some of the rest of the stats from the ride:

Total mileage: 3743
Average miles per day: 65
Average pace: 13 mph
Hours spent on the bike seat staring at asphalt: 290 

Number of days the trip took: 70
Number of days ridding: 58
Longest riding day: 104
Shortest riding day: 32 miles
(technically 5 miles on the last day, but I consider that a parade ride)

Nights spent in a sleeping bag: 42
Flat tires caused by the road: 3
Flat tires caused by me for not performing a proper flat change: 3

Daily calorie consumption goal: 6,000 – 6,500
Favorite junk food: Peanut M&M’s followed by Dairy Queen Blizzards (Chocolate with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups)
Least favorite junk food: Pop Tarts and most anything fried
(a box of pop tarts for breakfast gives some of the best calorie per $ available)
Body weight loss: about 10%

Total number of website views: 22,250
Busiest day: 2,388
Views so far today: 1,024
WordPress Subscribers: 114
Highest blog commenters: Pirate Velo, The Hook, and my Dad 
facebook “likes”: 113
facebook monthly active users: 730
facebook post views: 45,434

Total Number of Pictures Taken: 5,192 (12.6 gigabytes)


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