Nashbar Touring Frame build part 4


Not to worry, this frame has passed Quality Control!

So after mastering the art of cantilever brakes I started stripping more parts off my old Schwinn and getting the Nashbar touring frame rolling. 

The wheels are some excellent  36 spoke generic box rims with 105 hubs, that I ordered from Rocky Mountain Cyclerly on ebay, they were super cheap and have been very stout.   I yanked the front and rear mech, or derailuers for my non Queens English readers, off my old Schwinn then started cutting cables and before you knew it I had a rolling bike. 

My custom front crankset

One of the more interesting parts is my Ultegra 6500 triple crankset.  When I went to Colorado a few years ago I replaced the 30 tooth chainring with a 24 for a super low gear.  It didn’t help me any.  Shifts great despite the big jump, but a road bike rear derailuer can’t hold enough chain to make it work with the smaller cogs, not sure why I’d want to use the a 24×15 gear so I just ignore that problem.  Besides the custom small ring there is a shimano 39 tooth middle ring from a ten speed group, a bike shop once told me you’re not supposed to mix 9-10 speed parts, but this works great.  

Chain in bigxbig.

 I found my Nashbar chain didn’t need a single link removed to fit, which was nice.  Mounted up the SPD pedals I tried painting day glo green.  All I have left to do now is cut the steer tube.


Cutting the steertube with my dremel tool.

Cutting the steer tube was not something I was looking forward too, because I would have to take the cable off the brakes, the stem off and all the headset spacers off, then hacksaw at the massive steel tube for an hour, then mess with those brakes again.  I decided to cheat and just cut it off on the bike, I decided to cheat some more and use my dremel tool and a cutting wheel.  Surprisingly it worked, I had to grind a few rough spots off but it was a much easier way to cut a steertube.  Don’t do it this way with a carbond steertube, it’ll come unraveled. 

The Nashbar all built up and ready to ride.

Now for the shakedown cruise.  I took the bike down the street and immediately could tell it was too big for me.  I could tell I was stretching out way farther than my other bikes.  The problem is that even though the seat tube measures 58 c-t, the top tube measures 59.  My old Schwinn measured 58, my CAAD 9 57.7, so the bike is a little long.  An even bigger geometry mystery is the 145mm head tube.  I want a touring bike to have a nice tall front end so I can sit up and look around, all of Nashbars other road frames have a 185mm head tube for size 58, not to mention a short 56cm top tube. 

The combination of a the short head tube and long top tube make the 58cm Nashbar Touring frame very low and long.  To make this bike fit me I’ve got to come up with a zero setback seatpost, and a shorter, higher rise stem.  I think I’ll be happy with it then, but I shouldn’t have to do that to mess around like this to make it fit.

Now for some better comments, the frame felt very solid, I ran over some bumps and I’m certain they didn’t feel as harsh as they would on my other bike.  When I stand and pedal the bike felt like it was surging forward and not sagging like the steel Schwinn did.  The paint job looks fantastic, I love the metallic green, it has a nice gloss and seems pretty tough.   

About a mile from my house on my shakedown cruise I had a flat.  I’d been using these wheels on my trainer  so the rear tire is wore out, but the Michelin Krylion Carbon’s have been flat magnets the whole time I’ve used them.  I’ll never buy another Michelin tire.  I’ve got some 700×28 Vittoria Roubaix pros coming for this bike.  Should be a good rolling tire, not really a touring tire, but supposed to be high mileage and I don’t plan on riding too many gravel roads, though they could probably handle it. 

I’ve yet to mount my rear rack, and I have to come up with a front rack and front panniers, but I think I’m going to have an excellent touring kit.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Bikes and components, Rides and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Nashbar Touring Frame build part 4

  1. martinsj2 says:

    Very interesting and quite an accomplishment, I think. Too bad the geometry isn’t right for you. You’ve done a lot of work for something to miss the mark like that. Here’s hoping you find the right seat and stem.

  2. Looks like an excellent Randonneuring bike to me. Wanna come along on a few long rides this year? Check out the schedule at

  3. Matt Gholson says:

    Thanks, that rack would probably work and the price is right, but I don’t want to ever, ever take those cantilever brakes off, plus this rack might ride a little higher then I want. I’m wanting a low rider front rack and panniers.

  4. Wondering if you ever found the front rack you wanted. Here’s a link to nashbar touring frame build I have a Delta megaloader front rack on it but considering the Minoura steel low riding front rack.

    • Matt Gholson says:

      I found a steel low riding rack but have never installed it because I’ve never been allowed to go away for a tour. Maybe one day?

      • Ya, I hear ya brother, but if ever I’ve been provided a good excuse this week my mother in law will be visiting. (Kidding) Though not a bad idea, will probably get out for a night of bike camping. so gals can visit and talk about me. Happy New Year.

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