Tag Archives: framebuilding

Get this, do that, build a bike.

We’re getting close to actually leaving on this trip and there is a lot left to do. For starters I have to build myself a touring bike. I know in my head exactly how it will be down to every millimeter and every part, but it doesn’t exist yet, which two months out isn’t the most reassuring thing. But now that this will be my second frame I have a lot more confidence in the fact that I can get it done. After all, I have done it all before. We’ve finally got most of our stuff together for the trip which is good, just a few odds and ends to pick up. It’s still a good bit of work to get done in under 60 days but I think we will both manage.

It’s only now that I’ve really started to grasp how big of an undertaking it is to go from having never done any touring before to trekking through all of Europe in one go. There’s a lot to research and learning just on the touring side of things, but there’s also so much that goes into planning any trip of this length. Where do we go? How do we get there? What will it cost? Will we have enough time? There are a lot of question we’ve figured out and still more piling up yet to be answered.

So far our two biggest aspects of planning have been the route and legal stuff. Early in our planning we found out that our time in most of Europe is limited to just 90 days so we had to adjust our plan accordingly. At the time it seemed like a big problem, but it’s actually ended up being a pretty good thing. Having the limit to our time in Europe is letting us add a lot of other cool stuff to the trip by starting in Turkey and ending in Morocco. As soon as I started looking at what to see in Istanbul I realized that spending some of our time outside of Western Europe is going to be awesome. The more I look into it the more excited I get about the first leg of our trip. However, the time limit does make the planning bit more complex. Autumn has done an amazing job of figuring out how to get us through 12 countries stopping in 20 cities all in 90 days. You can check out the plan here. Leave us a comment or shoot us an email if you have any tips or know anyone along the way! It’s going to be a whirlwind of riding and trains but it looks like we’re going to make it.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about how different this trip is going to be from anything we’ve ever done. It’s a kind of abrupt transition from high school seniors to fending for ourselves in Europe. Moving out of your parents house is kind of a big deal, and moving into a tent in Europe isn’t going to make that transition much easier, but it will make it more exciting! I’m a little nervous about taking on full responsibility for my life but its going to happen sooner or later so why not all at once, right?

Note from Autumn:

We both knew it would happen, and we were right. Once we rung in the New Year (on opposite coasts), this trip suddenly became very close, and very tangible. I can’t say enough how excited I am, and now a little anxious too. A few weeks ago I spent an entire afternoon finalizing our tentative plans through the Schengen Zone. There’s a lot less biking than what would be ideal, but we both want to see as much of Europe as we can and still be alive when we reach Morocco.

As we start to really get into the planning we’ll posting more about training, preparation, packing lists, and thoughts on everything leading up until the trip.

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Autumn’s Bike

As you might guess, in order to ride your bike across Europe you need to have a bike. You could probably do it on any old bike, but being the bike nerd that I am, that was out of the question for us.

We’re going to be spending a lot of time using these bikes so I wanted to make sure everything was just right. For the past 2 years I’ve been an apprentice to Seth Snyder of Snyder Cycles and I decided to build Autumn a bike from scratch rather than get a stock touring bike. Over the past eight months or so I went from a bunch of pieces of metal to this.

IMG_1949.JPG It was unpainted for a while before I powder coated it the color Autumn picked, Winter Mint.

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This is the first frame I have built and I learned a ton in the process. I went into my apprenticeship with no real metalworking knowledge and now have built an entire bike, and helped to build a bunch of others. Being my first, it has its quirks and it isn’t perfect, but it rides nicely and does what it’s supposed to so I can’t complain. If I were going to do it again it would have room for bigger tires, possibly 650b wheels and no toe overlap, but you live and learn. It’s incredibly satisfying to design and build something from scratch that is useful and will last for a lifetime. This winter I will be working on another similar frame for myself to take on tour.

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Here’s some info about the build for those of you who care to know.
The frame is fillet brazed True Temper steel tubing with a 51.5cm top tube, tall head tube, clearance for 35mm tires or 32’s with fenders and internal routing for the chainstay mounted disc brake.The fork is an All City painted to match.

The bike is built with SRAM Apex and TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes. The cranks are Sugino OX601s geared at 26/40 with an 11-32 cassette for a nice low-end range. The wheels are CR18s with Shimano SLX hubs and 32 spokes laced 3 cross rear and 2 cross front.

Autumn has already logged over 500 miles on the bike since September getting ready for the trip (and it hasn’t fallen apart yet…) There have been and probably still will be a few small changes before we leave (racks, bags, fenders, Brooks saddle, etc), but for the most part this is the bike that will carry her across Europe.

Note from Autumn:

It’s so pretty. I can’t tell you about the technical stuff, but I love this bike. I love that with this bike Haegan has taught me more about bikes than I ever thought I would need to know. I love that he’s showed me how to be a cyclist on this bike, and I think I’m getting better at it. I love that I got see the process of how it was made, every step from the sketches to the final product. I love knowing that this is the bike I’ll be seeing Europe on. What I really love though, is that Haegan made it. The act itself is incredibly flattering and I’m still in a bit of disbelief. I really don’t have words to describe my gratitude, awe, and admiration. He’s a pretty cool guy, with a pretty cool skill. I guess he’s worth keeping around 🙂

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