Since I opened Outpost two years ago the Weekender from Fairdale has been not only one of our best sellers but one of our personal favorite bikes. Fairdale makes it available in two different complete bike builds but also as a frameset.
For this build I decided to demonstrate how great the Weekender can be as a light touring/commuting bike. I also wanted to keep the price reasonable.
Starting with the frameset I added a Tiagra drivetrain from Shimano. Tiagra shares much of the same great ergonomics and functionality as more expensive component groups from Shimano but at a fraction of the price. I also went with proven affordable but appreciated bars from Salsa and a saddle from WTB.
Nothing about the build so far is particularly remarkable. But this is where I made some specific choices for the build that unlock this bike’s potential.
While overlooked, wheels are certainly one of the most important parts of any bike and for ones that are likely going to see mixed surface riding, long miles, as well as urban streets, there are certain decisions that can be made to get the most of things.
I started by eschewing the traditional 700c wheel size for 650b. 650b (or as it’s also known, 27.5) splits the difference between 26” and 700c/29” rims. What this allows for is using a wider/taller tire in a frame like the Weekender. By keeping the outer diameter of the wheel/tire close to equaling 700x23 the geometry of the bike is not negatively affected but the tire volume increased dramatically. What this means is a bike that still feels speedy and nimble but exponentially smoother. I chose tubeless compatible rims from WTB and tires from Panaracer. The STP TCS rim and Gravel King tire work great together and allow riders to run lower pressure without giving up efficiency Tubeless technology also has the benefit of drastically reducing the incidence of flat tires. A win/win for any rider.
With the build I also chose a Shimano Alfine dynamo front hub. Dynamo hubs are probably one of the coolest bike parts that most riders don’t know about. The dynamo hub creates an electrical charge when the wheel is turning. Typically they are used to power a headlight but can also be used to power a USB charging device. Especially this time of year, a constant source of light you don’t have to worry about charging or turning on or off is a fantastic addition to any bike. Personally I can’t imagine going back to a bike without one.
The bonus is that the lights that are used with dynamo hubs are also functionally different than the typically blinking front like or trail riding light. The beam pattern on a proper dynamo light is broken down into something much more like an automobile. From the more rectangular beam to the cutoff at the horizon it’s a brilliant idea. The proper amount of light illuminates the terrain ahead and you stay visible without shining directly up into the eyes of motorists or other riders.
Dynamo lights work best if they are mounted just above the wheel so you will frequently see them mounted on the crown of a bicycle’s fork or on a rack. On this build we opted for the latter. I installed a front rack from Surly. This particular rack is a great choice for many non custom touring or commuting bikes due to its versatility. It allows for the use of pannier bags and keeps them nice and low so they do not affect the steering of the bike. The platform at the top not only makes for a great place to mount a headlight but it’s also perfect for a bulky lightweight load like a sleeping bag or tent.
All in all I’m super happy with how this bike came together and at $1900 I kept the price reasonable especially considering the inclusion of the rack, lighting system, and tubeless wheels and tires.
For anyone looking to ditch the car as much as possible, and start bike touring or camping; this build is pretty killer.
Check it out Here.