Shopping list - Choosing What's Next - CycleBlaze

September 2, 2022

Shopping list

Must-haves and nice-to-haves

What I'm Looking For

Based on all of the lessons I've learned over the past four decades, I've got a pretty definite set of criteria that any new touring bike will have to meet to be considered.  You have my rationale for these choices from the discussion on the previous page.

  • Diamond frame and fork designed with loaded touring in mind.  Not necessarily built to multi-year off-road mountain trekking in the most remote corners of the world, but suitable for carrying 55 or more pounds and a chunky rider for days and weeks on end, on pavement or packed-dirt bicycle trails.
  • Triple crank with a 28-tooth or smaller granny ring; I don't care nearly so much about the size of the big ring (after all this is a bike built to carry a heavy rider and loads of 55 pounds or more, not a racing bike)
  • Heavy duty disc-compatible rear hub
  • High quality hub bearings front and rear
  • Disc brakes (mechanical or mixed mechanical/sealed hydraulic, no full hydraulic)
  • Bar end or down tube shifters that can operate in friction mode; indexed options is fine but no integrated brake/shift lever mechanisms
  • 9 or 10 speed rear cassette with 32-tooth (or larger) large cog; I don't care so much about the size of the small cog
  • 26 inch or 700c rims
  • 36 or 40 spoke wheels
  • Three sets of water bottle cage braze ons (water capacity was a minor issue/concern at times on my last tour)
  • Front and rear rack attachment eyelets


These features would be nice but are not essential.

  • Fender mounts
  • Steerer lock (useful when mounting/dismounting panniers, handlebar bag, etc. as well as when parking)
  • Kickstand mount and kickstand
  • Bottom bracket that could support eventual addition of e-assist motor
  • Stainless steel rear dropouts (with unpainted faces)
  • Lugged frame
  • Pump peg
  • Chain hanger

Things I don't care about or outright don't want

  • Fancy head tube badge
  • Dynamo hub
  • Internally-geared rear hub
  • Internally-geared bottom bracket (18 speeds at the bottom bracket, allowing for a belt drive and no external gearing)
  • Belt drive
  • Through-axle hubs
  • Integrated bottle opener (yes at least one builder whose website I've been haunting offers this option)
  • Suspension fork
  • Suspension / shock-absorbing seat post
  • Electric shifting

I do intend to splurge on nicer-than-standard paint.  I'm thinking of a two-color fade executed in relatively dark metallic green transitioning from front-to-back into a dark metallic silver or gray.

So, let's go shopping! 

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Scott AndersonYou’re forgetting a feature worth considering. My Rodriguez came with a bottle opener welded to the frame. It’s easy to imagine the circumstances where that would be a must-have. Better than breaking your teeth.
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1 year ago