This page describes the design and specification of my current touring bike, a custom-built Oxford Bike Works Expedition.

There are a lot of detailed component listings and links ahead. While I’ve no doubt they’ll be useful in their own way, for a much more in-depth account of the design, part selection and build process you should check out my Touring Bike FAQ blog series.

Oxford Bike Works Expedition Bike

About The Bike

I collaborated over several months with Richard Delacour from Oxford Bike Works to design and build this bike from the ground up, after years of touring all over the planet and advising hundreds of budding cyclists on trip planning and bike selection.

Now the flagship model in Oxford Bike Works’ range of touring bikes, it was conceived as the last expedition-grade touring bike I’d ever need – a true touring bike for life, and the summation of everything I’d learned during more than 20,000km of riding on five continents.

Full specification (including manufacturer/retailer links)

Here is a complete component listing, should you wish to draw inspiration from it when designing/building your own. Where appropriate, I’ve included links to reputable online retailers from whom you can mail-order the components directly.

Frame:Oxford Bike Works 26” cromoly touring/expedition frame (Reynolds 525)
Buy: direct from Oxford Bike Works
Forks:Oxford Bike Works cromoly touring forks
Buy: direct from Oxford Bike Works
Colour:Desert Sand (custom colour)
Headset:Chris King NoThreadSet 1 1/8”, black
Buy: Chain Reaction | Wiggle | Evans Cycles
Rear Derailleur:Shimano Deore RD-M591, top normal, long cage, black
Buy: Chain Reaction | Evans Cycles
Front Derailleur:Shimano Deore FD-M590, low clamp, dual pull, black
Buy: Chain Reaction | Wiggle | Evans Cycles
Cassette:Shimano CS-HG41-8ao, 11–34T, 8‑speed
Buy: Chain Reaction | Wiggle | Evans Cycles
Shifter Levers:Shimano Ultegra SL-BS64 bar end, friction front, 8sp indexed/friction rear
Buy: Chain Reaction | Evans Cycles
Shifter Mounts:from SunRace M96 thumbshifters
Buy: Ison Distribution
Alternatives: Paul | SJS Cycles
Chainset:Shimano FC-M361, 170mm, 22–32-44T
Buy: Chain Reaction
Middle Chainring:Middleburn Hardcoat 32T (CR-104–90-32)
Buy: Chain Reaction
Bottom Bracket:Shimano UN55, 68mm, British thread
Buy: Chain Reaction | Wiggle | Evans Cycles
Chain:Wippermann Connex 808s 8‑speed with connector link
Buy: Wiggle
Rims:Rigida Sputnik 26” (559), 36H, silver, Schrader valve
Buy: Spa Cycles | SJS Cycles
Front Hub:Shimano Deore XT HB-T780‑S, 36H, silver
Buy: Chain Reaction | Evans Cycles
Rear Freehub:Shimano Deore XT FH-T780‑S, 36H, silver
Buy: Chain Reaction | Evans Cycles
Spokes:Sapim Race double butted (front, rear non-driveside), Sapim Strong PG (rear driveside)
Buy: Spa Cycles (Race) | Spa Cycles (Strong)
Rim Tape:Velox 19mm cloth
Buy: Chain Reaction
Skewers:Allen/hex key (non-QR)
Buy: Chain Reaction | Wiggle
Tyres:Schwalbe Marathon Plus 26x1.75” with SmartGuard
Buy: Chain Reaction | Wiggle | Evans Cycles
Innertubes:Schwalbe AV13, 26”, Schrader valve
Buy: Chain Reaction | Wiggle | Evans Cycles
Brake Levers:Shimano Alivio BL-T4000, silver, pair (mmm… BLT)
Buy: Chain ReactionEvans Cycles
Brake Calipers:Shimano Deore BR-T610‑L, black
Buy: Chain Reaction | Evans Cycles
Brake Shoes:Shimano S70C with cartridge shoe inserts (re-order code Y‑8A2 98030)
Buy: Chain Reaction
Pedals:Shimano PD-M324, combination SPD/flat
Buy: Chain Reaction | Wiggle | Evans Cycles
Saddle:Brooks B17 Champion Special
Buy: Chain Reaction | Wiggle | Evans Cycles
Grips:Ergon GP1 BioKork lock-on, standard diameter, large size
Buy: Chain Reaction | Wiggle
Bar-Ends:Oxford Bike Works rubberised anatomical bar-ends (unavailable to purchase)
Alternatives: SJS Cycles
Rear Carrier Rack:Tubus Cargo (Classic) 26″
Buy: Wiggle | Evans Cycles | Spa Cycles
Front Lowrider:Tubus Tara
Buy: Wiggle | Evans Cycles | Spa Cycles
Mudguards:Axiom Rainrunner LX Reflex, 26″, to fit 1.5–2.2″ tyres, with rubber mudflaps
Extras:Marine-grade stainless steel bolt replacements, steerer tube spacers, Pletscher centre kickstand, System EX steerer-tube bell.

Disclosure: Some of the links above will earn me a small commission when you use them to purchase parts. Please consider doing this if you’ve found my blog useful – it’s a great way to say thank you and to help me continue running the site.

If you’re interested in getting a similar bike custom-built, click here to get in touch with Richard at Oxford Bike Works. He’ll be happy to discuss your individual needs, by phone or email, free of charge and without obligation. (He’s nice like that.)