- Part 1: Frame, fork, headset, bars
- Part 2: Crank, front wheel build, derailleurs, brake lever
- Part 3: Headset spacers, brake, shifters, rear wheel
- Part 4: Details and accessories
Last summer I had my Cannondale 29er all rigged up with my rear rack, for commuting, and the skewer mount thing to attach the kids' trailer to. The few times I went out on the trail I always got a few looks for my grocery-getter looking bike. More bothersome was the rack rattling around on a trail, and loosening of my rear hub bearings. Somehow, after towing the trailer, my rear hub bearings would be loose. The Shimano M756 hub doesn't have a pair of locking nuts on one side (one nut buried in free-wheel, the other outboard so you can't have a wrench on both, ever), so it's tricky to get tight - the trailer must have just served to gradually loosen it.
Originally I was thinking about getting one of those fat-tire, laid back cruiser bikes. As I got into my training, however, I could start to see myself doing a few group road rides - something neither that the Cannondale (even with some of my skinny 700c tires), nor a cruiser would excel at. I don't expect to turn into a time-trial rider anytime soon, and this bike will also get used for commuting, and hauling the kids, so I wanted a "rugged" road bike. Cyclocross (riding road-ish bikes in the mud, in the winter) bikes fit this bill. It's tough, has clearance for wider (still skinny) tires, and commonly used to build "all-arounder" bikes.
I'm going to go for a look like this:
http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check_complete/), but after bidding on a few Surly frames, and evaluating my budget, I just settled for a decent frame under $200.