It took me quite some time to get the right frame. Since the beginning my dream was a steel frame with an admixture of chromium and molybdenum – the so-called Cr-Mo or chromoly frame. Unfortunately, such new frame, adapted for brake V-Brakes for wide 26′ wheels, with all the necessary mounts for racks, fenders and water bottles costs as much as a whole new bike from the mid-range. A custom-made one, for example by the world famous Orłowski – twice as much. Older second hand frames are also worth considering, but, first one needs to carefully examine the condition of such frame – whether, for example, it is not being consumed by rust from the inside, and, older frames usually do not have all the above mentioned mounts. Even if there already was something really worth of my attention, I was in big doubt whether it was in my size.
Finally, on the British eBay I came across the Surly Long Haul Trucker. That is a legendary frame, well-known and respected in the world of long-distance cyclists. Made of 4130 steel, that is Cr-Mo, LHT has excellent strength-to-weight ratio and is much stronger and harder than its 1020 steel cousins. Welding such frame is not easy, as it is necessary to treat it with heat before and after welding to avoid cold cracking. From the same kind of steel they make structural tubing, tubes for transporting gases under high pressure, aircraft tubing and weapons, including M16 and M4 for the US army. Therefore I can rest assured, that this frame can hold a 65 kg cyclist with 40 kg luggage without any problems. 🙂 Another advantage of the frame shown below is its price – together with the bottom bracket, stem and seatpost I bought it for half of its original price, and it is like new!