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Messages - DaveB

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General Discussion / Re: Cyclocross Bike for Southern Tier
« on: Today at 09:11:48 am »
+ 1  on Pat Lamb and RussSeaton's wheels recommendations.  Nothing will strand you quicker and for a longer time than failure of a wheel built in an exotic pattern with proprietary parts.  A "standard" build of a commonly available rim like Mavic's Open Pro or CXP-33 or Velocity's Aerohead in 32  or 36 hole drilling using a Shimano mid-line hub (Ultegra, 105, XT, etc.) laced cross 3 will be very durable, reasonably light and can be repaired nearly anywhere in the event of an unlikely failure or accident damage. 

I love Ti bikes (I've got three of them) so, if the cost isn't an issue, go for it.  A cyclocross-style can be very versatile so that won't be a mistake no matter what you use it for.  I assume you don't want to use your road bike because of it's aggressive riding position and limited tire width capability.

As to disc brakes, is the frame you are considering only made for discs? If not think about rim brakes for their universal availability and simplicity.  Discs aren't common enough to be repairable everywhere so, if you get them carry spare pads.  Mechanical discs are far simpler if anything goes wrong and good ones work well.  Hydraulics provide better braking under very adverse conditions but you won't require that level of performance. 

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 28, 2015, 06:15:12 pm »
An addendum to my recent post. This goes into good detail on why square taper and ISIS bottom brackets, that use larger bearings, are more durable than Hollowtech, etc that use smaller bearings.
ISIS had a well deserved reputation for being an unreliable and fragile bottom bracket design since the patent was in the public domain and anyone could, and did, make them. Most SIS bottom brackets were cheap and unreliable.   Shimano's Hollowtech I Octalink design was similar but far better constructed and more durable.   Both used smaller bearings than either square taper or external bearing designs.   Like Russ, I take Jan Heine's recommendations with a lot of salt.

As to Surly, I think Russ gives them too little credit.  Yes, they are a QBP house brand provide many niche products the big makers (Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, etc.) neglect and provide durable  well made frames at very reasonable cost.   They are not made of "cheap Chinese steel" but of decent quality Chinese Cr-Mo steel and assembled with good quality welds and properly aligned.  They are far more than "nostalgic" and, indeed, pretty much invented the current "Fat Bike" design.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 28, 2015, 09:01:48 am »
Thanks guys.  I like the Randonneur bars, will they work with the retroshifters brake caliper lever mounted levers?
Yes, they have the same diameter at the brake lever mount area as other road bars. 

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 27, 2015, 11:06:31 am »
I did a little reading in the Park Tools manual and looked at the net.  The stem size and the bar size should match, a difference of 0.1 is acceptable but no other.  My stem is a 31.8 so I need the bars to be 31.8.  Sounds right.
31.8 mm handlebar and stem clamp sizes are almost the norm these days so finding matching ones is very easy.  Be aware that you will see some handlebars and stems listed as 31.7 mm but these are identical to and interchangeable with "31.8 mm"  The difference is that the true diameter is 1-1/8" or 31.75 mm.  Most makers round the diameter up to 31.8 mm.  A few round down to 31.7 mm but I've always thought this was a bit of a scam to make you think you have to buy both their bars and stem together. 

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 25, 2015, 09:48:54 am »
Thanks guys.  I have thought of shifters just haven't made up my mind.  I was thinking of something more up to date but I understand that those systems can be a little tougher to fix in a pinch.  My Di2 system on my Super Six would not be a good fit.  I am going to install the shifters on the down tube, I like that idea.  Since there is a place for them to be mounted it just makes sense.  I don't want bar end, down tube it is.
Having ridden quite a lot with downtube shifters in the past, I recommend that you reconsider using them for a touring bike.  They are reliable and precise but about as inconvenient as you can get if you need to shift in a hurry because you got surprised by the terrain.  Barends are better but not by much.  Brifters are, by far, the most convenient shifters but, as you note, can be difficult to impossible to fix if they fail. 

So, an alternative:  Check out  (formerly Retroshift).  They make brake lever mounted brackets that come with mounted shift levers (or accept your own downtube levers or barend shift levers) and are available in 9,10 and 11-speed versions and with brake levers for road/cantilever/road disc or V-brake/MTB disc brakes.   These levers also offer a friction option for rear shifting in the unlikely event the indexing is a problem due to damage, etc.   They offer the convenience and rapid accessibility of brifters with the durability and low replacement cost of downtube levers.    I have them on three bikes, two 10-speed and one 8-speed, and for convenience, cost and reliability, would never go back to anything else.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 24, 2015, 10:29:18 pm »
I didn't realize it but my frame comes with the place to mount shifters on the down tube.  I was not planning on putting them there.  Do you guys know if all the Disc Trucker frames come that way?  I guess if I didn't want to mount my shifters there I don't have to.
Those downtube mounting bosses are standard on nearly all Surly road frames.  Both my Cross Check and Pacer also have them. 

They are a feature, not a bug, and you are by no means limited to downtube shifters.  Shimano (and others) make cable housing stops that bolt to these bosses and let you use nearly any type of shifter you wish including brifters, barends, Retroshifts, etc.   Note these strops come in rounded back type for "standard" (1-1/8") diameter downtubes and flat back for larger diameter downtubes.

Also, a pair of these came with every Shimano aftermarket STI sets and most barend sets.  So, many bike dealers have a bunch of these as surplus and will sell them cheaply or even give them to you if you are a good customer.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 22, 2015, 01:44:39 pm »
Everything you wrote is correct and I'm well aware of all of it except it's too simplified. 

Certainly Shimano is the dominant name and supplier of OEM and aftermarket bike parts and Hollowtech II (24 mm spindle) in various product lines is a de facto standard.   But they are not alone.  FSA is a very common supplier of OEM cranks as a cost savings measure and many of them use non-English bottom bracket designs.  Also, SRAM and many others also use 30 mm spindles and one of the many press-fit variations and none of these fit an English threaded shell.

Shimano has pretty much abandoned the touring triple road market, SRAM was never in it and Campy doesn't under stand touring bikes at all so finding a usefully geared crank is not nearly as easy as it once was.  The closest touring suitable road Shimano triple crank  you can now get is a 10-speed FC-5603 (105) or 9-speed FC-4503 (Tiagra) which retain 130/74 BDC drilling so you can use a granny down to 24T to replace the factory 30T.  These are both out of production so you have to find either one as NOS.

Shimano's "Trekking" cranks have suitable touring gearing and English compatible Hollowtech II bottom brackets but aren't distributed in the US and you have to get one from a European (mostly German) dealer. MTB cranks are still a possibility but are also moving to odd-ball bottom brackets and strange gearing choices.

Square taper may indeed be "obsolete" except Suguino still makes several high quality cranks using that bottom bracket type and some (e.g. XD600 and XD2 Triples) are particularly suited to touring bikes so you can't write them off as a non-issue. In fact, they may be the best choice currently available.


General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 21, 2015, 07:00:21 pm »
Your Surly frame will have standard British/ISO threading on the bottom bracket.  The threading is different on both sides.  Here is what Park Tool says about the threading on your Surly frame.
"Most modern bikes use an ISO thread standard for the bottom bracket. The left side thread is a right-hand direction thread, which tightens clockwise and removes counter-clockwise. This standard is also called English or BSC. The right side (drive side) thread is a left-hand thread, which tightens counter-clockwise and remove clockwise."

Any normal mountain or road crankets and bottom brackets will work in the frame.
Mostly correct.  Yes the Surly will definitely have an English threaded bottom bracket which installs as the Park Tool web site describes.  However, there are a lot of non-"normal", non-English compatible bottom bracket and matching cranks out there these days.  There are several competing and mutually incompatible press-fit designs that take 30 mm spindles and won't fit the more common 24 mm Shimano Hollowtech II cranks or older square taper cartridges. 

So, be sure you a crank compatible with an English threaded square taper or English threaded external cup bottom bracket.   

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 21, 2015, 09:36:09 am »
As Russ noted, the LHT takes a conventional press-in 1-1/8" threadless headset (not an "integrated" type) and the Cane Creek 40 would be an excellent choice.  So would a Chris King if cost is not a factor. Those headsets comes with all the needed parts but not the installation tools.  Since headset installation is usually a one-time thing for most riders, I recommend you have a bike shop do it.  The specialty tools (and skills) needed to press in the cups and seat the crown race can be home made or purchased but aren't worth it for the infrequent use. 

The shop could also cut the fork steerer to your required length after you determine what that is.  Initially, leave the steerer extra long and use spacers above and below the stem until you determine where you want your handlebars to be.  Even then, leave a bit of extra steerer length to allow a 10 mm or so spacer above the stem after the steerer is cut to allow later adjustment.  You can always cut it shorter but I've never discovered how to cut it longer.  :D

As to having the frame powder coated, unless you find the stock color unacceptable, be aware that Surly's are now factory powder coated so the finish is durable and not fragile as they were in the past. It also means your powder coater will have to remove the factory powder so be certain they are aware they are dealing with thin wall tubing and don't do irreparable harm by too aggressive blasting.  Not every powder coater knows how to handle bike frames properly.

General Discussion / Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« on: November 20, 2015, 11:54:58 am »
just deflating the tyres.
... and deflating the tires is the least important thing the airlines should care about. I never do it. It accomplishes absolutely nothing except making your bike more vulnerable to damage.
Yeah, there is a misconception that the reduced pressure in the baggage compartment will cause the tires to blow off the rim or "explode" or some such failure.  Even in a perfect vacuum, the effective pressure differential in the tire will only increase by just under 15 psi (1 BAR).  It's not a real problem.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 19, 2015, 10:44:52 am »
The frames are built for 26" wheels through 54CM, 56CM starts the 700C wheels.

A point of clarification in case it matters to you: For the regular LHT, you can get the 26" version across the full range of sizes. In the Disc Trucker, you can get 26" version up to 58cm. Thus, if you can get a 56cm for either 700c or 26".
Yes but the OP is trying to AVOID 26" wheels.  His problem is that the 54 cm Disc Trucker only comes with 26" wheels and he wants 700c which start at 56 cm. 

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight Slip-Jaw Pliers?
« on: November 17, 2015, 09:19:31 am »
The smaller size pliers by any of the name tool makers should fit your requirements.  Channel Lock, Snap On, SK Wayne, Craftsman, etc.  are all good.  As to "light weight", they are all steel and won't be particularly light but the smaller sizes will minimize the weight penalty.  Avoid Harbor Freight and similar tool sources if you want quality.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 17, 2015, 09:12:54 am »
Some people make a fetish of this but I think agonizing over minute differences in frame dimensions is not necessary.  Measure the toptube length, standover, etc.  on your Cannondale and compare it to Surly's published geometry for the LHT.   Minor stem length and spacer adjustments and seatpost settings can easily make up for the differences and give you a comfortable ride.

Surly uses 26" wheels on their smaller frames to decrease standover height and minimize toe overlap for smaller riders while not having to modify frame geometry too much.   

Doable?  Most certainly.  Pleasant and enjoyable? Not so much.

General Discussion / Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« on: November 12, 2015, 12:36:00 pm »
I don't know specifically about Dulles but many big city airports have hotels right on the airport ground or even immediately adjacent to the terminal and reachable by walking.   They tend to be pricy but the convenience is great.  As to staying overnight at the airport, I expect it will be ok but i'd ask first.  Often stranded passengers due to storms or missed connections do just that.

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