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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: sfsailor's Avatar
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    Thinking about a Travelers Check, help with logic

    I really like taking my bike on vacation. We have taken bikes to Hawaii, Mexico, and the Carribean. We have wished we had bikes or rented marginal or substandard bikes in Italy, England,South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida and pretty much every place else we have been. I am have come to the conclusion that the investment in a S&S is a good value for me as I have much more fun riding my bike than a rental. I have looked at the Breakaway Cross and I will pass.
    Here is the dilemma. What I need is a 56cm steel bike that will take something in the 32-35 range of tires. I am not looking to build a full tourer. Ideally I am thinking single up front with a SRAM internal in the back so horizontal drops are a must, eccentric BB too weird.

    My choices: Used frame, bike. ( been looking hard for four months, no luck)
    Used frame, retrofitted with S&S. ( best determination around 1000-1200 ( finding old 720, 520, 1000, Sequioa, etc also has been difficult in the correct size) Benefits: may be 531 or equal tubing which would be nice, drawbacks: 1" steerer
    Custom frame: 2400-3500 What I think Ireally want, steel with paragon drops. Benefits: last bike I ever have to buy. Drawbacks: serious coin, not very experienced in this style of bike and not sure exactly the geometry and details I should get, concerned about wear and tear from the inevitable parts switch that will take place until I get the bike as I want it. Is it a bike that will get enough use to warrant cost, will I be happy replacing my daily rider which is an old steel racer with uprights and 28's squeezed in.
    Here is where the travelers check comes in? 1100.00 or so. Benefits: Cost is reasonable and it is readily obtainable. Will save 100.00 next month. Chance to dial in the correct bike with out being paranoid about experimenting on dream ride. Can see if the format suits me as a daily rider and will allow me to replace one of my bikes ( I already see the parking problem developing) The ability to develop the ride I want may change the geometry of a bike I would order. Draw backs: known heavy weight and I am not a huge fan of the 4130 ride at 185lbs it is a bit stiff. If it were to be a keeper I would be looking at a 200.00 carbon fork.
    What do you think of the idea of going with the Surly with the plan that if the format works for me and after I get the set up I like I trade up. My thought is that the marked for a used Travelers Check will be strong for the foreseeable future and it would cost me less than 500.00 to ride the bike for a year or two. If the bike does not work for me at all I would loose more selling a custom?

    May be too much to ask, but thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: rcnute's Avatar
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    If you like taking your bike on vacation a lot I'd get the bike/frame you like and have Bilenky put the S&S couplers in. If you don't like the Cross-Check, then the Traveler's Check sounds like a waste. (If you go that route keep in mind they fit long and low--a 54 fits like a 56, it seems to me.)

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tarwheel2's Avatar
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    You can buy a Bob Jackson w/ S&S couplers for about the price of the Traveler's Check. The BJ World Tour will take 700x32 tires and costs about $600 w/shipping from England for an "off the peg" (or noncustom) frame and fork. They will add S&S couplers for about $500, I think, and will paint the frame just about any color you could want at no extra charge. If you want custom geometry, that adds about $300 to the price depending on options.

    The standard World Tour is made from Reynolds 631, w/ lugs and braze-ons for fenders, racks, canti brakes and 3 water bottles. I just ordered one about 2 weeks ago, and delivery time is estimated at 4-6 weeks.

    www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk/ss.htm

  4. #4
    N. Hollywood, CA
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    Go back and read what you wrote. You already know the answer. Get the custom frame. A good frame builder will coach you through geometry and fit based on your intended use and preferences. And if the sizing is fairly standard, then resale value will be high.

    You'll probably find that the custom bike is a lifetime keeper, especially if it has rack/fender bosses and 32mm tire versatility. You might find peace of mind in not worrying about upgrading later if you just bite the bullet now. It's time you stepped up to the plate and put an end to all this hemming and hawing!
    VC - It's the vehicular code.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Henry Chinaski's Avatar
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    You're planning on a SRAM internal in back and you think the Surly is heavy??? I don't find my 56 too stiff and I'm only 145. That said the Bob Jackson mentioned above sounds like a good option. One thing I like about my Cross Check compared to my other high end bikes (which I have traveled with to Italy, etc.) is that I don't worry about it one bit. It is 100% replaceable.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: sfsailor's Avatar
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    It is a done deal, should have the T- Check on Friday

    Quote Originally Posted by sfsailor
    I really like taking my bike on vacation. We have taken bikes to Hawaii, Mexico, and the Carribean. We have wished we had bikes or rented marginal or substandard bikes in Italy, England,South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida and pretty much every place else we have been. I am have come to the conclusion that the investment in a S&S is a good value for me as I have much more fun riding my bike than a rental. I have looked at the Breakaway Cross and I will pass.
    Here is the dilemma. What I need is a 56cm steel bike that will take something in the 32-35 range of tires. I am not looking to build a full tourer. Ideally I am thinking single up front with a SRAM internal in the back so horizontal drops are a must, eccentric BB too weird.

    My choices: Used frame, bike. ( been looking hard for four months, no luck)
    Used frame, retrofitted with S&S. ( best determination around 1000-1200 ( finding old 720, 520, 1000, Sequioa, etc also has been difficult in the correct size) Benefits: may be 531 or equal tubing which would be nice, drawbacks: 1" steerer
    Custom frame: 2400-3500 What I think Ireally want, steel with paragon drops. Benefits: last bike I ever have to buy. Drawbacks: serious coin, not very experienced in this style of bike and not sure exactly the geometry and details I should get, concerned about wear and tear from the inevitable parts switch that will take place until I get the bike as I want it. Is it a bike that will get enough use to warrant cost, will I be happy replacing my daily rider which is an old steel racer with uprights and 28's squeezed in.
    Here is where the travelers check comes in? 1100.00 or so. Benefits: Cost is reasonable and it is readily obtainable. Will save 100.00 next month. Chance to dial in the correct bike with out being paranoid about experimenting on dream ride. Can see if the format suits me as a daily rider and will allow me to replace one of my bikes ( I already see the parking problem developing) The ability to develop the ride I want may change the geometry of a bike I would order. Draw backs: known heavy weight and I am not a huge fan of the 4130 ride at 185lbs it is a bit stiff. If it were to be a keeper I would be looking at a 200.00 carbon fork.
    What do you think of the idea of going with the Surly with the plan that if the format works for me and after I get the set up I like I trade up. My thought is that the marked for a used Travelers Check will be strong for the foreseeable future and it would cost me less than 500.00 to ride the bike for a year or two. If the bike does not work for me at all I would loose more selling a custom?

    May be too much to ask, but thanks for listening.
    Thanks for the input.
    For various reasons I think it is going to suit my needs better than the Bob Jackson. I am putting together my "build" from accumulated trinkets so I will be over in the wrenching forum to figure the details out. Photos to follow

  7. #7
    Endure26
    Reputation: endure26's Avatar
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    I have a Break-Away crosser and have no issues with it. The t-check wasn't available when I bought the Ritchey, if it was I'd have probably gone that way because of the horizontal drops. I've actually thought long and hard about having Bilenky swap in some track ends with hanger, as I like the simplicity of traveling with a fixed gear/SS setup. I would not go the route of a custom builder - I know what airline baggage handlers are like on AirZambabwi and will save my coin for a non-flyer thanks.

    Sounds like you made a good decision. Looking forward to seeing the build pics.
    Telford

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