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Messages - paddleboy17

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1
General Discussion / Re: Buying Used Question
« on: Today at 12:53:11 pm »
Background: I took my trek fx 7.5 in to get a gearing upgrade the suggestion from a local expert re taking it cross country is in addition to new gearing is to replace wheels, (24) spokes, replace fork with a steel fork from trek 7.3, add bar ends. He said by the time you have done the up grads you have payed 1/3 the cost of a new touring bike - or 1/2 to full price of buying a used bike.

I started reading Craig's List last night and see two bikes in my size. A Fuji touring for 400. And a Cannondale T800 for 300.  I'm not going to offer to buy either because I need to learn some things first and I'm not in a rush.
So my buying used question: 1 how do I determine they are not a stollen bikes and 2. How do you determine the condition since I'm not mechanically inclined?

Any suggestions for thinking through this?


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The conversion does not sound that bad.   A new wheel set is easy enough to get, and just have a new cassette put on it.  The current FX 7.5 picture shows a tapped fork that should work.  I don't know that you need bar ends.  I would try to make do with the bike that you have. 

Are their other things about the upgrade?

2
Thanks. Yeah, I think drilling a hole would need the tiniest bit and a hand steadier than mine, but maybe a drill could turn it...  I live a long way from anywhere that might sell something like that, so if I can't get it out, I'll ask a car mechanic :)

Any decent hardware store should be able to sell you an easyout.  They are pretty common.

3
General Discussion / Re: New BOB trailer owner observations
« on: June 16, 2015, 12:08:57 pm »
That is one heavily loaded Bob trailer...

I have a Bob, but I prefer panniers for on road and a trailer for off road.  But I was never hauling for two.

I did not invest in a kickstand.  I did look for things like benches or building that I could lean the bike an trailer up against, and that worked well enough for me.  I did sometimes detach the trailer when I camped for the night as that did make things less complicated.

4
General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 10, 2015, 01:00:16 pm »
While I'm on the subject can anyone explain why touring bikes allies bar-end shifters.

Simple answer is that it's the only way to use modern mountain bike gearing with drop bars.  Shimano used to have the same pull in their mountain and road group derailers.  That meant you could use road shifters (STI) to shift mountain derailers in the rear (with clusters over 27 teeth).  When they went to 10 speed, and now 11, the pull ratio was different between mountain and road.  You can still get by with STI and 9 speed gearing if you can get the parts, but the bigger bike manufacturers are slowly tossing in the towel and going to newer models for parts availability.

Bar End shifters were popular on touring bikes before Shimano introduced a different pull ratio in Dynashift mountain bike groups.  I suspect Bar End shifters were a reaction to down tube shifters.

In Shimano's implementation of the brifter, you end up with a very complicated and non servicable mechanism.  I cannot speak for non Shimano brifter implementations, but I suspect they are also complicated and not servicable.  Shimano brifters can stop shifting due to gunked up lubricants and wear.  A Bar End shifter is a much simplier, and much more reliable mechanism.  As longs as nothing fractures in the shifter, and there are a least a couple of strands of metal in the cable, a Bar End shifter will shift.  Plus you have infinite trim points on the front derailleur and non-indexed shifting should something drift or stretch.

I have 9 speed Ultegra brifters on my Paramount, and one of them recently stopped shifting. I had tried all of the documented tricks for getting my brifters working again, including 20 minutes of flooding it with citrus degreaser followed by water followed by wood alcohol, and then more degreaser.   I thought about going to Bar End shifters, but ended up buying a set of Micro-Shift shifters.  The Micro-Shifts are ok, but not as smooth as the Ultegra's were.  I gave the Ultegra's to a buddy who was going to canabalize them for parts.  He got them working again, by giving them a long soak in an ultrasonic degreaser.  I have a lot of cool stuff but I don't have an ultrasonic degreaser tank.

If you want reliability, get Bar End shifters, as brifters are a crap shoot.

A touring bike does not need the responsiveness of a race bike.  I will take the time it takes to move my hands to shift in exchange for a more reliable mechanism.

5
Gear Talk / Re: Front Rack Decisions
« on: June 08, 2015, 12:56:25 pm »
I think you can get a way with a cheaper rear rack but not in the front.  Any front rack induce shimmy will make your life miserable. 
You do not have to invest in Tubus racks, but don't get no name bargain racks either.  I think you need at least a front rack rated to 30 pounds (50 would be better) and a rear rack rated to 40 pounds (more is better).

6
Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 Disc - Compatible Fenders
« on: June 01, 2015, 12:34:38 pm »
I would make a bracket to allow you to attach the fender to the rack.  You should be able to fabricate something with brackets found in a better hardware store (look in those wonderful 2" thick drawers with obscure fasteners).  A web site catering to touring might have bracket for mounting a rack to a bike that does not have braizons that could also be repurposed.

7
General Discussion / Re: Flying With Touring Gear
« on: June 01, 2015, 12:24:24 pm »
I have shipped a bike and gear from Detroit to Portland (Oregon) several times.  I just put my panniers in two trash suitcases and that worked fine.  My wife and flew Southwest, and I only had to pay to ship the bike ($75).  I had no issues other than the bike case and extra suitcases was overwhelming to move about.

My last trip, I shipped everything FedEx ground for about $160 to a local bike store (arrangements previously made).  I had no issues, and it was worth the extra money to not have to deal with the bike and gear at the airport.  TSA thoroughness varies from airport to airport.  The staff at PDX opens (and sometime closes) everything, and they will seize "inappropriate items" like pepper spray (and leave you a note saying that they did).  I am going the FedEx ground route wherever possible.

8
How much for a prototype like the one you show?

9
General Discussion / Re: Green-lighted to go cross-country! (questions)
« on: February 06, 2015, 12:25:21 pm »
You can always do some practice rides and decide then if you want to stay with your Trek or not.

As for mucking with the machinery...

I have 4 bikes, and the one that is closest to how it left the bike shop, is the $5000 full custom touring bike.  Even it has a different saddle and seat post.

My point is that you should do as many overnight trips as you can in order to determine what you need.  You might very well be happy with what you have, or you might make significant changes to a new bike, or some variation.

10
I had a Thermarest pad.  Big Agnes claims any 20" pad will work.  I have to put mine in slightly inflated, it won't go in fully inflated.  I did my fall trip with a 15F down bag.  I was so impressed that I retired my MSR 45F summer bag and replaced it with a BA 45F synthetic bag.  It seems to make a lot of sense to have the pad be part of the bag.

11
I am going a different route...

Big Agnes has a line of sleeping bags where there is a pocket to put your mat in.  I did a fall hang where it got down to 32F both nights and I was quite comfortable in my Big Agnes bag.
Wherever my bag went, my mat was forced to follow.

12
General Discussion / Re: what bike/
« on: January 05, 2015, 11:57:14 am »
There are lots of bikes that could work for you in your budget. 

At this point, it is probably more important to establish a dealer relationship.  Touring is specialized, so not every dealer can support you.  Elsewhere on this site are reviews of bikes, and that would be a good guide once you decide on what features are important for you.

But you will still need a dealer that can fit you to a bicycle and then make that bicycle work for you.  Try to avoid a dealer that caters to the racing community.  There is very little overlap between a racing bike and a touring bike.

13
General Discussion / Re: Knees.... not the bees knees...
« on: October 14, 2014, 12:15:53 pm »
I agree that you should get yourself checked out at an appropriate medical facility, right away.

It might be a good idea to go to a good bike shop and make sure that you and the bike fit each other.

Lastly, are you riding with good technique?  If you ride with a cadence below 80, you could be doing soft tissue damage.  Yes,  I know that a famous racer rode with a slow cadence  (Eddie Merx?), but for most of us, a cadence of 80 - 90 is what you should maintain.  If I climb hills with too slow of a cadence, I get pain similar to what you describe.

14
General Discussion / Re: Handlebar Grips
« on: September 22, 2014, 06:53:19 pm »
Have you had your fit to the bicycle checked? 

I would expect your bicycle to have a relaxed fit, and no issues like this.  Also, is your saddle level?  A saddle too nose down would put pressure on your hands.

15
General Discussion / Re: importance of componentry
« on: July 30, 2014, 01:05:36 pm »
It is important to know what application a component group was designed for because price is not the only consideration.  Durace is designed for racing road bikes and focus is on weight and not durability.  So Durace generally not a good choice for touring bikes because it not durable enough.  People who race well enough to buy Durace are generally superb athletes, so you are not going to find gearing appropriate for touring either.  There is one and only one exception to Durace not belonging on touring bikes, Shimano in their quest to maximize income, puts a Durace sticker on a barcon shifter.  Components from other vendors racing groups are limited as Durace, and that includes XTR.

I do not believe that there is a touring specific group.  Shimano at one time had a trecking group but it did not seem to be a good match for touring.

I will continue to stick with Shimano components, but similarities exist for Cane Creek, SRAM, etc.

Feel free to choose from road (Tiagra, 105, Ultegra) and mountain (Deore, LX, XT) groups to get what you want.  Buy the best group you can afford, just remember that weight that rotates is more important that weight that does not.  The importance of rotating weight is amplified by the radius it rotates on.  So in a hub, durability is more important than weight.  In a rim, durability and weight are important.


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