‘Tom’s Expedition Bike’ was designed to meet my needs after years of touring all over the planet and advising hundreds of budding cyclists on trip planning and bike selection.
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 story here.)
To get it built, I collaborated with Richard Delacour from Oxford Bike Works. I never expected it’d be something he’d offer commercially – but that’s how things have turned out!
What follows is a complete list of the parts from which the bike is built, strictly for the bike geeks among you:
Tom’s Expedition Bike: Full Specification
|Frame:||Oxford Bike Works 26” cromoly touring/expedition frame (Reynolds 525)|
|Forks:||Oxford Bike Works cromoly touring forks|
|Colour:||Desert Sand (custom colour)|
|Headset:||Chris King NoThreadSet 1 1/8”, black|
|Rear Mech:||Shimano Deore RD-M591, top normal, long cage, black|
|Front Mech:||Shimano Deore FD-M590, low clamp, dual pull, black|
|Cassette:||Shimano CS-HG41-8ao, 11–34T, 8‑speed|
|Shifter Levers:||Shimano Ultegra SL-BS64 bar end, friction front, 8sp indexed/friction rear|
|Shifter Mounts:||from SunRace M96 thumbshifters|
|Chainset:||Shimano FC-M361, 170mm, 22–32–44T|
|Middle Chainring:||Middleburn Hardcoat 32T (CR-104–90–32)|
|Bottom Bracket:||Shimano UN55, 68mm, British thread|
|Chain:||Wippermann Connex 808 8‑speed|
|Rims:||Rigida Sputnik 26” (559), 36H, silver, Schrader valve|
|Front Hub:||Shimano Deore XT HB-T780‑S, 36H, silver|
|Rear Freehub:||Shimano Deore XT FH-T780‑S, 36H, silver|
|Spokes:||Sapim Race double butted (front, rear non-driveside), Sapim Strong PG (rear driveside)|
|Rim Tape:||Velox 19mm cloth|
|Skewers:||Allen/hex key (non-QR)|
|Tyres:||Schwalbe Marathon Plus 26x1.75” with SmartGuard|
|Innertubes:||Schwalbe AV13, 26”, Schrader valve|
|Brake Levers:||Shimano Alivio BL-T4000, silver, pair (mmm… BLT)|
|Brake Calipers:||Shimano Deore BR-T610‑L, black|
|Brake Shoes:||Shimano S70C with cartridge shoe inserts|
|Pedals:||Shimano PD-M324, combination SPD/flat|
|Saddle:||Brooks B17 Champion Special, black|
|Grips:||Ergon GP1 BioKork lock-on, standard, large|
|Bar-Ends:||Oxford Bike Works rubberised anatomical bar-ends|
|Rear Carrier Rack:||Tubus Cargo (Classic) 26″|
|Front Lowrider:||Tubus Tara|
|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 bell|
(By the way, if you’re building your own bike, I’ve compiled a handy list of online retailers selling the parts above in this big list.)
Now, before the world of online bike geekery erupts in a dervish of scandal and controversy because this list is all wrong, there’s one big thing I need to mention about the expedition bikes now on offer based on the above specification:
Almost any item in the above list is subject (and likely) to change for any given bike we build.
My design is based on the most solid principles I have available: 8 years of long-distance touring experience, correspondence with hundreds of other world tourers, a sound knowledge of the touring scene and bike industry, and plenty of workshop experience.
But the idea of a custom build is to allow each individual to express his or her personal preferences, and not just in terms of saddle and handlebars.
So if you do like the look of the bike above, but you happen disagree vehemently on one academic point or other regarding component choice – feel free to change it when you book your appointment. (That’s the beauty of custom built bikes!)
Questions about anything in the list above? Fire away in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer to your satisfaction.