The mail man stopped by to deliver a box. I was incredibly disappointed to learn that some jerk ate all my crackers and replaced them with these bland-tasting shifters. I guess I'll just put them on my new bike. Apparently the Canadian guy that sold me these on eBay didn't have any standard corrugated boxes to mail these $200 components in. That's the last time I buy anything from RobFord69.
Later on that day the UPS man stopped and did this dance on my front porch. He looked exactly like this guy except he was Hispanic so his dance had a little bit more of a Salsa groove to it.
He then gave me a box filled with more bike stuff.
This is the frame that I'll be using for my touring bike. It's a 56 cm sized Surly Disc Trucker for 700c wheels. I could have opted for the 26 inch wheel version but I chose 700c because I prefer the stance and handling of a road bike. People will argue that a 26 inch wheel is more well-suited for touring internationally since finding replacement parts is much easier, but that doesn't concern me since my illegal immigrant status prevents me from leaving the USA if I have any hope of returning.
The frame is made in Taiwan, the capital of all bicycle stuff and the quality is excellent. Clean welds, mounting options for pannier racks, fenders, and even a full size bike pump fits underneath the top-tube. This frame isn't light but that's not important. The important thing is that it's well-made and well-designed. Surly didn't skimp on providing everything that a touring cyclist might need on a frame. This includes spare spoke holders. The picture has the frame upside down but that's the seatstay you're looking at with the the spare spoke-holders welded to it.
It might be more sporty than elegant, and it's not nearly as good looking as a Rivendell frame but it can be had for about $470 online for the bare frame and fork and it's an excellent bargain. I love Rivendell's frames and I sometimes dream that I'm riding a Rivendell through Rivendell with Frodo and Legolas and maybe Gimli when he's in a good mood. Unfortunately I don't have the money to spend on one of their beautifully lugged bicycles so this will have to do. To be honest, I'm not really missing out on much, although the Rivendell guys will probably disagree. Either way, I don't need any sour grapes.
For braking I'm going to use TRP's Hy/Rd cable actuated - hydraulic powered disc brake calipers with 160mm rotors. I've tested the fit of the calipers on the bike and they're perfectly suited since they allow plenty of clearance for a pannier rack and fender-stays on both the front and the back of the bike. My only complaint is the stupid sounding name. I'll provide updates on the brakes once the build is complete and I've had a chance to try them out. If you never hear back from me about the brakes it's because I've fallen into a steep ravine due to brake failure and I'll likely never be found.
The drivetrain will be comprised of SRAM Apex components with a 46/36 crank up front and a 11/32 cassette on the rear wheel. I initially felt that this would be too low and too wide but then I remembered that this is a touring bike and low gearing and wide gaps between ratios isn't a bad thing, it's a necessity. I've been using SRAM Force on my road bike for over 3 years without incident and this will probably work well even under the same amount if negligence. I refuse to use Shimano since everyone knows it's the Toyota of bike components. They're very reliable but my hands like the feeling of SRAM's hoods much more, so Shimano is OUT.
I'll follow up with updates on the build and provide more pictures but I can't do that until I get the bike back from the shop. I dropped it off to have the headset installed because I don't have a headset cup press and I would rather have the professionals at Richard's Cyclery, Garden Grove, California do their magic. I'll take the reins back and get everything else squared away myself with the exception of the wheels. Until then I leave you all to carry on.