Building a Touring Bike

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.”
~ Elizabeth West

The rule when putting together a touring bike is “simpler is better”, as you will need to understand how everything works and be able to patch things up if they fall apart in the middle of nowhere. You will also be looking for the most robust equipment that you can afford as less breakages means less hassles and a more enjoyable trip.

I built my bike in the outer reaches of South Western China, and didn’t have access to a local bike shop that I could communicate with effectively. So I decided that I would build my bike from the ground up. If you are interested in doing the same, this guide is for you.

Where do you start?

You can start selecting your touring bike components from almost any section of the bike, you just need to be systematic in your approach and make sure all the components are compatible with each other.

I think the most logical place to start when putting together any bicycle is with the frame as it is the ‘skeleton’ of your bike. Frame geometry will also impact greatly on your selection of other componetry.


Next page: Frames



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