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Messages - RussSeaton

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1
General Discussion / Re: 15mm wrench vs 9/16 wrench???
« on: May 20, 2017, 09:39:11 pm »
Good catch on the spindle size and pedal threading.  I knew the 15mm but did not know the threading size.  Assumed metric since about everything else on a bike is metric.  Except chain size is 1/2" spacing.  And fork steerer tubes are 1" before and now 1 1/8".  Mix of American and metric on bikes I guess.  I forgot to ask about why someone plans 44 days in advance to go to Home Depot to buy a wrench.  July 3, 2017.  I doubt anyone in the history of the world has planned 44 days in advance to go to Home Depot.

2
General Discussion / Re: 15mm wrench vs 9/16 wrench???
« on: May 20, 2017, 06:58:59 pm »
A 15mm wrench is 0.59055 inches.
A 9/16"wrench is 0.5625 inches.
Difference of 0.02805 inches.
1/32" is 0.03125 inches.
So the difference between 15mm and 9/16" wrenches is about 1/32".  Little less.
I'm guessing if you used a 15mm wrench on a 9/16" pedal you would round the corners.  But pedals normally only have two flats on the pedals, so nothing really to round over.  Maybe the corners but not really.  Should not be much of a problem to use the 15mm wrench on a 9/16" pedal spindle.

3
I have the plain basic painted black Shimano Deore 9 speed rear derailleur.  Think its 9 speed.  It works great with my Shimano 105 STI 10 speed shifters.  All Shimano derailleurs work excellent.  No functionality difference amongst all of them.  Just appearance and weight differences.

4
Schwalbe Marathon Winter carbide studded tires.  I have the 700C 35mm tires on my commuting bike in the winter.  They are great on snow and ice.  But the snow cannot be much more than about 6 inches high or so.  Any higher and its just too hard to ride through deep snow.  Too much resistance, too hard to turn the pedals.  You just stop in deep snow.  Studs are fine on dry roads too.  But you would wear out the carbide studs pretty quickly if you rode on dry roads too much.

For your example, you need to carry two sets of tires.  One regular touring tire for dry roads.  And one studded tire for when you hit snow or ice.  Bit of work to change tires on and off during a tour.  But its the only way for your example.

http://www.starbike.com/en/schwalbe-marathon-winter/

The Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tire comes in 35 and 42mm widths.  The 35 is fine and good.  But if the 42 will fit your Surly, then go that route.  Wider is better with snow and ice.

5
I can think of two or three TransAm Appalachian climbs that are 5 or more miles, four others that are 10-15 miles without trying hard.

Please name these 10-15 mile long climbs in the Appalachian mountains.  You said there are four of them.  Be specific, exact starting points and ending points.  The Rockies are twice as high but I don't recall ever riding more than about 7 miles to get over any pass there.  Chicago is 600 feet and Denver is 5300.  So you could claim its a 4700 feet climb, 1000 miles long between these two cities.  I suspect your 10-15 mile climbs in the Appalachians are similar.

6
I'm
Originally a Welshman so know a lot about mountains! I've also
done a lot of the big climbs on the Tour de France (ventoux, alp d'huez etc).
but never had the pleasure as yet of being assisted by a granny ring and
3 panniers!

You're from Wales.  The tallest mountain in Wales is Snowdon at 3,560 feet at the summit.  Denver Colorado, which is not in the Rocky mountains but is near the Rockies, is at 5,280 feet.  To get over the Rocky mountains, you climb UP from Denver to the passes.  The bottom of the valleys between the Rocky mountain passes are 2,000 feet or more higher than the very tip top peak of the tallest mountain in Wales.  There is no snow on your mountain all year long.  The mountains in Wales are comparable to the Appalachian mountains in the USA near the east coast.  They are short mountains.  Steep but short.  You might climb a couple miles to the top.  Not 7 miles of climbing like the Rockies.  The mountains in Wales and the Appalachian mountains do not have the same winter conditions, same year round weather extremes, that the taller Rocky and Sierra mountains out west.

You rode in the Alps.  Likely in summer.  July and August.  Not winter and not the iffy months of spring and fall where the weather can change instantly.  The Alps are similar to the Rockies.  Same height and same weather.  There are very few people who plan cycling vacations in the Alps in early May or late September due to the potential bad weather.  You would not want to plan a ride in the western US mountains at that time either.  You could have wonderful weather.  But you could also have a blizzard.

7
Hey Russ. I was looking to average between 50-100 miles a day. So early to mid June might
Be ok you think?

50-100 miles.  Lets average that to 70 miles per day.  Riding East to West.  So you have 60 riding days on the 4,228 mile Transam trail.  You could easily leave mid, late June, early July and have fine weather all the way across the USA.  Except for heat in the middle.  And add in 10-15 off days too.  You would get to the west coast by mid September.

8
Does anyone think starting out E to W on the
TransAmerican to late?

The Transamerica trail is 4,228 miles long.  If you figure a 60 mile per day average, you get 70 days.  If you average 50 miles per day, you get 84 days.  Riding days.  Add a few no ride days for fun.  So if you left the east coast on July 1, you would get to the west coast at the end of September.  Riding the 50 mile a day pace.  You would cross the Rockies in early September and Sierra Cascades in late September.  95%+ you would be fine and happy and no problems in the mountains.  Maybe you would have a setback on one day.  Maybe.  You can leave the east coast in early July and be fine riding to the west coast.  I consider 50-60 miles per day to be easy days.

9
General Discussion / Re: It Ain't Summer in the West
« on: May 10, 2017, 02:51:47 pm »
It Ain’t Summer in the West

Actually, it ain't summer anywhere in the USA.  Summer does not start until June 22.  May is officially Spring.  Its 50s, 60s, and rain where I live.  Typical, normal, regular Spring weather.

10
Gear Talk / Re: front rack questions
« on: May 06, 2017, 01:00:33 pm »
I had an old Trek 520.  Used Blackburn braze on lowriders in front.  Worked perfectly for thousands of miles.  Always best to put as much weight as possible in the front lowriders.  Least in rear panniers.  I tour sometimes with only front lowriders.  No rear panniers at all.  Handlebar bags are up around the bars and stem.  Unless you have a front rack with a platform and have it piled high with gear, I don't think a front rack will interfere with a handlebar bag.

11
General Discussion / Re: Bike touring safety... USA...
« on: May 03, 2017, 10:11:17 pm »
10
I'm from England and have cycled in over 60 countries
Only in the States ..., speeding is enforced, you have wide shoulders (Ok the East coast is lacking) need I go on?

Being from England I can understand why you don't know anything at all about the USA.  Speeding is more common than not speeding.  Yes speeding tickets are given out by the cops, but its a tiny, tiny fraction of the speeders.  The vast majority of the USA roads have no shoulders at all.  Some have shoulders, but most do not.  Interstate highways and other big speedways have wide shoulders.  But its not legal to ride on those roads.  Shoulders and riding are somewhat opposite.  If there is a shoulder, its probably not a good road to ride.  If there are no shoulders, its probably a good road to ride.  Shoulders are generally only put on big major high traffic roads.

Regarding the original question, riding a bicycle in the USA is fairly safe.  Some roads and/or places are not safe.  Don't ride there.  But most roads and places in the USA are safe for bicycling.

12
Since you believe you need a unique bike geometry that cannot be found on any bike made, why don't you buy a custom frame using the measurements you got from your two bike fittings?  That seems pretty obvious to me.  Gunnar makes steel frames.  Subdivision of Waterford.  You seem to want only steel.  They offer a custom loaded touring frame for around $1400 or so.  Plus a fork.  For $1600-1800 you could easily have a custom made loaded touring frame that matches your exact measurements you have.  That does not seem too complicated to me.  If you want to spend a few hundred more, Co-Motion and/or Independent Fabrications also offer custom loaded touring bikes in steel.

13
If I had to guess, figure on getting across Idaho by the end of September,

Please you would have to explain a little further re Idaho etc as im a complete newbie to touring especially in the US as i live in London.

Being in London, you do not know what mountains are.  Maybe you have visited the Alps in the summer.  Idaho has the Bitterroot mountains.  100 km east are the Rocky Mountains.  200 km west are the Sierra Cascades.  Its very easy to have snow in these mountains in late September.  Usually early September is fine.  Usually.  Imagine suggesting to someone from the very far north of Scotland, on the North Sea, about going on a bike tour in late September.  I'd guess that person would beat your head with a hammer for saying something so stupid.  Riding around the Rockies and Bitterroot mountains in late September is about the same thing.

14
Food Talk / Re: to cook or not to cook?
« on: April 20, 2017, 11:32:31 pm »
Breakfast at diners, or even at fast food places, are cheap and quick.  For lunch we get a sub.  For dinner we typically get something at a grocery store along the way, and eat it at camp.

Every diner I have ever eaten in has been expensive.  $5 minimum just to get a bare minimum of food.  Not enough to get you more than 20 miles down the road.  Fast food places are cheap, but not plentiful in small towns in rural America.  Subs are $5 plus at official restaurants and at convenience stores too.  Maybe $1 cheaper if bought at a grocery store.  Not cheap.  Good though.  Your grocery store dinner can be cheap.  But the breakfast and lunch options you mentioned will run you $15 total.  Does not fit my idea of cheap.

15
Odd questions.  I have taillights with me whenever I ride.  I have one hanging on the back of my helmet.  Zip ties through the rear vents of the helmet.  Two more hang on the back of my saddlebag.  I always have them.  Whether I use or need them isn't a question I even ask.  For a headlight I always carry a small flashlight with me when touring.  I use it to see at night in camp.  It has one of those mounts that allows you to mount it to handlebars.  Can't remember what the brand of that mount is.  But it lives on the flashlight so its always available to use if need be.  Again, I don't even ask the question.  As for a mirror, I use a Take A Look mounted on my sunglasses.  I like having it.  Don't really care about other people's opinions.  As for using a mirror to see cars getting too close, it does not work that way.  You don't look in the mirror constantly.  You have to look ahead to see where you are riding.  You only look for a second or two in the mirror.  Cars coming up behind you will generally not swerve to the side until they are close to you.  You will not be watching them the entire time they are behind you and watch them swerve out.  The mirror just allows you to know a car is coming behind you and make you ready.  If a car is going to run you over, there really isn't anything you can do about it.  Except dive into the ditch whenever you see or hear a car behind you.  Irregardless of whether it is going to hit you or not.  Think about rear view mirrors in a car.  Seeing a car behind you with the mirror does not tell you if a car is going to rear end you.  It just tells you a car is coming up behind you.

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