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Messages - rockermike

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Gear Talk / Re: REI Novara Safari
« on: October 16, 2012, 12:26:52 pm »
REI Novara also makes a bike they call Randonneur or something like that. Its a lighter touring bike, more appropriate to domestic touring in my opinion. The Safari is designed more for rides across Africa - heavy wheels and tires etc. But its all up to your tastes and preferred style. I've never owned a Novara bike but I know REI (Novara is REI's house label) takes care of their customers.

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Gear Talk / Re: Which Schwalbe
« on: October 16, 2012, 12:08:42 pm »
I rode across Mexico recently, 5000 miles / 5 months on 38mm Marathon Plus tires. 2 flats in the whole trip while some of the people I met en-route were getting an average of a flat a day (and losing their temper in the process I might add). Yes, they are heavy and sluggish - but with 50 lbs of gear on a bike, any bike is sluggish. My sense is that on the open road, once you get your tank up to speed and just keep going the disadvantages of weight and feel aren't that great. If you are in stop and go traffic or on an unloaded bike its a whole other ball game.

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Gear Talk / Re: front platform racks: Surly Nice or Old Man Pioneer?
« on: October 16, 2012, 11:15:09 am »
Well, I decided on the Old Man Mountain Pioneer. Got it mail order sight unseen (other than photos).  Weighs two lbs (vs 1 lb for Tubus low rider, and 3 for Surly Front).  Seemed like a reasonable compromise.  The rack certainly looks burly.  Old Man racks attach by putting the (extra long) quick release skewer through the rack foot (and then attaching to the brake bosses). I'm not sure if this is good or not. 7000 miles and I'll let  you know. At the least it saves you having to have braze-ons for attachments. But since I have a Surly LHT that isn't an issue.  Meanwhile the bags hang a few inches lower than the platform but the bottom is still a good 6"s higher than the lowriders (which was my objective -  for use on trails and through bushes).  But more to the point, and one thing I didn't think of, is the bags are further forward then on a lowrider rack. forward of, and above the pivot point axis of the fork. When loaded up (I've only been around the block a few times at this point) it definitely has a less stable feel. You kind of have to fight to turn the bike - at least compared to using low riders. I'm sure I will get used to it, but it definitely feels different then using the lowrider racks.  I suppose in retrospect that that would have been one advantage of the surly rack (extra pound be damned) that as I understand it you can put the bags either high or low, so cruising on blacktop you could just leave them low for better handling.

here is a picture of the Pioneer rack. 
http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/RackPages/FrontRacks.html

(edit; I guess you can't upload photos to this system, too bad)
 I will post photos of my bags with the two different racks for comparison.

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Gear Talk / Re: Spongy Wonder cycle seat
« on: October 11, 2012, 03:54:43 pm »
I rode for a couple of years with a spongy wonder.  I had a problem with extreme prostrate pain at the time and could not ride at all with a regular saddle. The pain problem has since been solved (eating too much soy it turns out - but that's another issue) and I've since gone back to a cutout brooks saddle.  Overall I was happy with the SW. You definitely have to get used to it. You feel sort of like you are perched on top of a post at first and a little out of balance. But after a month or so I stopped thinking about it and was happy. Definitely no numbness. Yet despite SW's comments above, you do lose a bit of control. Maybe its not critical but you notice it. Riding without hands is impossible, and even rising one hand to make a turn signal requires a bit of extra care. It turns out that on a regular saddle you actually pinch the saddle nose between your legs when doing things like turning or drinking water.  That's not an option with a no-nose.  Still, it kept me on my bike when otherwise I couldn't ride - so I was happy. If they weren't so heavy I have even thought of taking one along as a "spare" saddle on long trips for those days when my butt is worn out in all the wrong places and I'm in pain. I figure a day or two on a completely different saddle would be quite a relief.

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Gear Talk / Re: Frame Saver or T-9?
« on: October 11, 2012, 03:29:53 pm »
yea the spraying and drying is one thing. but I'm worried more about the time to unbuild and rebuild the bike. I assume the fork and crank spindle have to be removed to do it correctly?

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Gear Talk / front platform racks: Surly Nice or Old Man Pioneer?
« on: October 02, 2012, 11:11:08 pm »
I've decided to switch out my lowrider rack for a front platform style. Heading to Africa and may be on some single track (not really sure but...). Anyway, extensive research has cut my short list down to Surly Nice (heavy at three pounds empty, and odd attachment system which some complain about (attachements at hub and at fork braze-ons 7"s up the fork, but nothing higher. Seems like the top of the rack will be unsupported and I suspect will tend to sway with a heavy load. Meanwhile the thing is otherwise built like a tank); or an Old Man Mountain Pioneer (aluminum, but very heavy gauge alum?), big platform sticking way out toward the front of the tire, and generally it looks like the bags will ride further forward, in front of the fork axis, which I suspect will be a negative on handling.)   So, anyone out there have experience with both?  Any advice or insight?  Anyone have experience good or bad with either?  thanks in advance.

http://surlybikes.com/parts/surly_rack

http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/RackPages/FrontRacks.html

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Gear Talk / Re: Frame Saver or T-9?
« on: September 17, 2012, 11:45:36 am »
so how long does it take to apply a coat of frame saver?  I assume you have to remove seatpost, bottom bracket, and fork? sounds like a 6 hour project to me? But I just got a new Surly and am heading to Africa. want to do it right before I leave.

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