Two handlebar tourer (Dawes Galaxy)

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  • I'm most of the way through building a fast but practical town bike that will also go touring with camping gear. A badly designed mudguard (maybe badly fitted too) sent me over the handlebars of my last bike and wrote off the forks giving me an excuse to change the whole frameset.

    I've been wanting a front porteur rack for carrying stuff around town easily without having to take a pannier everywhere and I figured it'd be useful for a tent too. So I went looking for a nice steel frame with decent rack eyelets and fork rake for handling weight on the front. Ended up with a 90's Dawes Galaxy off ebay. Bingo. I'm replacing all the components with the parts from my last bike, including a silly double handlebar setup which I genuinely believe is practical..

    Thought I'd make a page out of this since I've enjoyed looking at other current projects and the double handlebar malarkey has had quite a lot of interest over the last few months. Also it'll be good for my own memory to document all the details.

    [photos 1. when i picked up the galaxy 2. stripped frame 3. handlebars]


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  • Cautiously following this... that handlebar setup

  • I'd rather butterfly bars

  • That bar setup is nuts. Are you going to use the drops for anything other than 'in the drops' position? I'd be more tempted to go with the town bars with tri bar clip-ons.

  • Awesome frame.
    Do those brakes actually work? .... all of them?

  • Ha, I'm preparing to receive a lot of abuse for these bars! I like having the high, swept back ones for upright riding in town or comfortable touring. But it's so much easier to generate power and go fast down on the drops. I couldn't find a pair of handlebars that gave that height difference so I thought it was worth an experiment.

    @tallsam yeah mostly down on the drops. the top is also a good position (moustache bar cutouts allow for it) but not if you need the brakes. Unless I go for the triple and put cross-top levers on...... joke.

    @Lieven_De_Vlaminck yep the lower pair work like cross-tops, pushing the outer cable housing instead of pulling the inner. I threaded the cable through the levers in the opposite direction from how non-aero drops are normally, and there's a stepped ferule on either side.

    [photo of old setup]


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  • I quickly found out my callipers didn't have long enough reach - a cm or two from the wheel rims since the new frame has much bigger clearance. I only got the brakes the day before wrecking the old forks! So instead of sticking with the canti's that came with the dawes I stubbornly made a couple of drop bolts using old light reflector brackets a la sheldon

    [photos of drop bolts]


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  • This bike is already nuts! (kinda in a good way? maybe)
    I don't know if i'd be confident in those brake mounts personally.
    but i can't wait to see where this goes!

  • Would you be better off with cantis instead of home made drop bolts?
    I like a fettle myself but with the brakes it's got to be good and solid.
    I don't imagine if the f&fs are made with studs they will be setup for caliper brakes especially the rear.
    Good luck and it does look interesting

  • Cheers. Cantis definitely more sensible and I'll probably go for them in the future, but for now I have the callipers and want to give them a go. In theory I trust the drop bolts and they feel pretty solid. I'll see how it goes.

  • I got the frame stove enamelled by Mario Vaz! After getting it back I couldn't bang the crown race onto the forks and so I discovered that JIS headsets were a thing. They seem to be rare now but basically the crown race seat on the fork is 0.6mm wider and the headtube inner diameter 0.2mm smaller than the ISO standard. Jesus. I didn't like the headset that came with the frame and I didn't want to splash out on a new JIS one. Luckily Winston Vaz saved the day and made easy work of cutting the headtube and crown race seat down to ISO standard. Cool brothers.


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  • This has a #teamJDMitch feel about it...

    And, yes: if you only knew two (cycling) people, the Vaz brothers would be the right two!

  • There's more to be done but here's the bike built up. It rides beautifully!

    It took a bit of work to fit the front mudguard, involving some drilling (in the end not necessary) and integrating the mount with the drop bolt. It's a bit fiddly having it all tied together but I shouldn't have to touch it much. Also replaced the axle nuts in the previous photos with some thin tube I found in a diy shop. I think the whole thing's sturdy because the bolts are so close together but I'll keep an eye and reinforce if necessary. I've never had proper mudguards before so I'm kind of looking forward to rain.

    I'm giving the Dunwich Dynamo a go tonight. Exciting!


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  • Completely bizarre! I want to dislike it but I can't :-)

    PS. Good luck in the DD!

  • Did this make it through the night?

  • @russmeyer haha thanks? @TomvanHalen all night :) It was magical, such a fun event! I used the upright bars mostly except for some faster bits and the uphills.

  • Well this has treated me well over the last 5 years! I can't remember all the iterations it's been through but since the last post it looks like it got:

    • powder coated (after issues with the paint, kindly sorted by Mario)
    • tektro cantis instead of drop bolt callipers
    • compact spa cycles crankset instead of enormous campag
    • a front derailleur. I don't know how I did the dd in that big ring.
    • B17 saddle (twice stolen, once recovered)
    • 4x new levers
    • humpert upright bars from sjs
    • some rivendell treatment after a visit to the holy land of walnut creek
    • technomic stem
    • gb mudguards
    • 32mm tyres. 25mm front is temporary, excuse the mudguard line.
    • deore + exal lx17 rear wheel, first one I built.

    Hoping to share my ideas for the next developments on here :)


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  • 10/10 fantastic - so glad to see this survived/is still used/exists at all! Do you have any further tweaks in the works?

  • Bar end for front derailleur, stem mount for rear?

    I realise this is not the only bizarre thing about your bicycle.

  • Thanks. Next thing is sorting out a proper front rack, probably with basket & low rider panniers. I'm trying to make the front of the bike as heavy as possible you see.

  • Other way round actually - the bar end shifter is on the "wrong" side. I think it was to make the cables tidier.

  • On that note, I took the bar end shifter off last week to sand off the paint and make it shiny silver (internet peer pressure). Somehow the thread that the expander bolt goes into got stripped, so it now doesn't tighten up properly. I ground the bolt down a bit to try avoid the stripped area, but it isn't enough so I'm on the lookout for an M10 tap if anyone has one knocking around.


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  • Can you explain how the threadless stem is clamped on? Is it just clamped to the quill stem?

  • I want to hear about the stolen and recovered B17!

  • Thanks for asking. It all started on a sunday morning in january outside rich mix on bethnal green road. The saddle came from classifieds on here, and I usually had bike chain links securing it to the frame but I'd removed them temporarily. Not sure they would've helped. I left the bike for an hour and the saddle was gone when I came back. The rich mix staff were very nice & offered to help go through cctv, but then realised brick lane market had started 50m away. I went straight there and boom, my saddle was on the first table.

    "Morning lads! Whose saddle is this?". They were defensive & said some guy had just sold it to them for a tenner, which I believe. I told them it was mine and I was taking it, which they accepted reluctantly. Then I went too far by having a go at them for being part of this shitty system and got my phone out to take a photo. Stupid mistake, they got aggressive and I was lucky to get out of there with my saddle, phone and face intact.

    Fast forward exactly a year - super busy sunday afternoon on columbia road where I locked my bike for 45 mins. This time I had a crap cable lock on the saddle. Easily snipped, saddle gone. Again I go straight to brick lane market but it's the end of the day & most stalls are packed up. Managed to go through one bin of brooks saddles as it was being loaded into a van, but no luck finding mine.

    The whole thing is pretty sad, especially seeing how many kids get caught up in the market. I think there are also a bunch of vulnerable people whose main source of income is nicking saddles on sundays off bougie dickheads in shoreditch. I made peace with my situation and bought a new one on sale from spa cycles. I've gone with ball bearing + wax in the bolts. Hopefully no thieves watching.


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Two handlebar tourer (Dawes Galaxy)

Posted by Avatar for karolk @karolk

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