As you might've already deduced from our thoroughly un-original naming (sorry, the project name kind of stuck), the Tour de Fer uses the ever-popular tried-and-tested Croix de Fer frame platform with a few choice tweaks to transform it into a capable, new-age, disc-equipped tourer ready for duty straight from the box.
Discs brakes are the perfect match for long-distance touring - braking performance unaffected by rim trueness or weather conditions, prolonged rim (wheel) life, increased clearances. The long list of pro's far outweigh any conceivable con's.
It's not that the 'Croix can't be used as a long distance load carrier - it's just that we felt we could make a better bike, much more suited to the task of carrying rider and luggage over long distances in comfort. So, what's different I hear you ask?...
For starters we lengthened the chainstays (455mm) to allow for ample heel clearance with panniers. The stretched chainstays also give room to mount a handy kickstand plate behind the bottom bracket. We also beefed up the wall thickness of the downtube to improve overall rigidity and handling when fully laden. The BB was dropped 5mm (75mm) to improve stability and balance and we also increased the fork offset to 55mm (provides a medium trail measurement of 60mm) meaning the bike handles great with a front loads but isn't too overly twitchy without.
Build-wise, we dressed the frame with durable, no-nonsense components that we knew from personal experience are tour/expedition worthy and should last the sorts of high-mileages for which we intended. We went with a low geared, MTB-based drivetrain that gives a nice low 18.7GI climbing gear alongside a not-too-spinny 108.7GI high gear, and a whole load of useable range in between. Hardy Microshift barcon shifters (rear = index/front = friction), TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brakes and the cycle tourist's favourite, Schwalbe Marathon 35c tyres round-off the considered, well thought through spec.
Expedition-ready straight from the box - just add rider, luggage and a sense of adventure.
Frame: Genesis Mjölnir Seamless DB Cr-Mo w/ mudguard & rack eyelets
Fork: Cr-Mo Unicrown w/ mudguard eyelets & lowrider bosses
Headset: FSA TH-857 Semi-Cartridge
Shifters: Microshift BS-T09 9sp Barcon (Front = Friction / Rear = Index)
Rear derailleur: Shimano Alivio RD-M4000
Front derailleur: Shimano Alivio FD-T4000
Chainset: Shimano FC-M521, 44/32/22T
Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB-ES25-AK, 68x121mm
Chain: KMC X9
Cassette / Freewheel: Shimano CS-HG400, 11-32T, 9sp
Rims: Alex Rims DH-19, 32H
Hubs: Shimano Deore M525, 32H
Spokes: Sapim Race DB w/ Brass Nipples
Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon GreenGuard, 700x35c
Brakes: TRP Spyre-C w/ 160mm Rotors & Jagwire KEB-SL Compression-less Outer
Brake Levers: Tektro RL-340
Handlebars: Genesis Road Compact (125mm Drop x 70mm Reach)
Grips / Tape: Genesis Microfiber Anti-Slip w/ VexGel
Stem: Genesis Road, 31.8mm x +/-7°
Saddle: Genesis Road Comfort
Seatpost: Genesis, 27.2 x 350mm
Mudguards: Chromoplastic, 42mm
Luggage Racks: M:Part AX4/FMP
Bottle Cages: Alloy no rattle (x3pcs)
Pedals: VP-383S w/ Toeclip
Weight: 14.18 kg (56cm w/o pedals)