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Topics - PeteJack

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Gear Talk / Shimano Hollowtech experience anyone?
« on: March 08, 2016, 11:13:49 am »
My LBS talked me into replacing the original square taper (ST) bottom bracket in my 520 after 51000 miles with a Shimano 105 Hollowtech BB by saying that new ST cranks weren't available (it seems that it's only Shimano ST cranks that aren't available). Now, from the CTC forum it appears that Hollowtech BBs don't last very long, < 2000 miles some people are saying. This has got me worried, it seems that ST BBs last much much longer than Hollowtech. I've got a Route 66 tour coming up. Should I be looking for an ST BB or possibly replacing the Shimano with a Hope BB or am I looking at replacing a BB somewhere in New Mexico ( I was going to write NM but that's overdoing the initials  ;D)

Right now I'm leaning towards doing a preemptive replace of the Shimano with a Hope because I like the feel of the Hollowtech setup and the changing is superb. Waddya think?

At the least I can take a spare Shimano BB with me, they are only $20 at REI and don't weigh much.

General Discussion / Careful where you buy stuff
« on: January 27, 2016, 01:56:11 pm »
When we got to Oakland CA for a ride down the coast I decided we needed a chain long enough to lock both our bikes up. I went into a bike shop on the waterfront and found a Kryptonite chain for $62. So I bought one and well it served. After I got back I went to my LBS, Burien Bikes, for a chain of the type that makes your bike go and what should they have but the same Kryptonite chain I had bought in Oakland for $32!

General Discussion / San Fransisco to San Diego in January. Is it doable?
« on: November 12, 2015, 09:33:05 pm »
Would we be completely nuts to consider doing the ACA route down the coast this coming January? I'd love to hear from anyone who's done it at that time of year.

Routes / USGS maps for touring anybody?
« on: March 29, 2015, 10:48:46 am »
Has anyone used USGS maps for touring? I've searched this site and find no reference to USGS. My only experience of USGS maps was many years ago when I used their paper maps for hiking. It seems to me the scal was way too big and you would need a trailer to carry them for a tour of any distance but maybe things have changed. Is there a USGS tool for selecting maps that is any use?

I'm trying to help someone in the UK who things ACA maps are expensive. I've searched this site and find no reference to USGS. Not very promising

General Discussion / Flushable wipes not good
« on: March 13, 2015, 11:22:43 am »
This is bad news for people like me who have used these things as emergency TP. Baby wipes, flushable included, are bad news for sewage and presumably septic systems.

So dispose of them like trash, no matter what they've been used for.

General Discussion / Waterproof printer paper
« on: January 24, 2015, 12:59:52 pm »
There's a product that seems to be only available in the UK, Toughprint, a waterproof paper you can use with a laser printer. Sounds ideal for those of us who don't want a GPS. Anybody know if there's a US supplier?

Gear Talk / Should I be worried about my frame?
« on: January 23, 2015, 02:58:59 pm »
I have a Trek520 that I love dearly with 46000+ miles on it. I was in an LBS the other day and mentioned this to the fella and he asked if I was getting cracks in the frame. I haven't found any cracks but then I haven't done a penetrant dye inspection on it or any such thing. About the only thing that hasn't been replaced is the bottom bracket which still seems smooth as silk. Should I be undertaking another big tour with this bike or should I be looking to replace it? If I do it will probably be with a Disc 520, my one beef with my current bike was the brakes it came with were very noisy and not very good.

General Discussion / Help with: From Jasper to ??
« on: January 05, 2015, 09:35:48 pm »
I'm intending to ride from Jasper to at least Whitefish this year and I am trying to get a friend in the UK interested in joining me. One way of arm twisting would be to have my mate's non cycling wife drive a SAG wagon (i.e. We get to ride. She gets to do the Great Parks in comfort) Is there any way of doing a one-way car rental to facilitate this? Any suggestions for alternatives that would be attractive to a non-outdoorsy person would be appreciated. My mate isn't a problem; winters in Scotland tell me that.

If my mate comes over I plan on: train to Jasper, ride to WF, train to Seattle. If he doesn't I'll be doing L&C to Portland rather than train to Seattle. Can't wait either way.

Thanks in anticipation.

General Discussion / Useless advice/help
« on: November 14, 2014, 09:33:29 am »
I've often benefited from the kindness of strangers like a night's stay in CT or a bottle of Snapple at the top of a hill in PA while on tour but once or twice the 'help' was anything but. Like the time I came out of a cafe in Ellensburg WA and a passing stranger informed me my back tire was flat. Now I think there's a fair chance I would have noticed that on my own. I know the guy meant well but nevertheless I found it irritating and felt obliged to thank him for pointing out the obvious. Anybody else had a similar experience?

The previous time someone pointed out a flat tire was in Valence France, I was pushing my bike because my left arm was in a cast, I'd broke it a couple of days before. The man not only pointed out the flat tire but he fixed it as well! He was a master, fixing the flat without taking the wheel off and re-inflating it for me in about 5 minutes. I was so grateful I was going to tip him my last 12 euros and then I found my wallet had been lifted. The same man recovered it for me. (I'll never know but I suspect he was the lifter. All the cash was gone but my credit cards etc were still there.) All in all quite a day.

Gear Talk / chain ring sizing
« on: November 05, 2014, 11:48:33 am »
A friend of mine who is an expert(!) was appalled that the front triple on my 520 was 51-38-24. He claimed that you're not supposed to have more than a 20T gap between the largest and smallest rings. Does he have something?

the only odd thing I have had happen was when I got to the top of a longish hill and shifted up from the granny perhaps a bit too soon and the Quicklink came undone. It was all twisted when I checked it so I replaced it with a spare and was on my way. Other than that strange incident I've rode any thousands of trouble free miles with this arrangement.

Gear Talk / Thule towbar rack and fenders help please
« on: September 12, 2014, 07:54:05 pm »
I've just bought a Thule T2 towbar mounted rack and it looks a fine piece of kit. According to the instructions I cannot clamp the front wheel with fenders on. Our front fenders poke out about 4 1/2 inches from the Vee brakes. Do I have to chop off my fenders? or can I get away with clamping right next to the existing fender tip? Is this all CYA from Thule?

Gear Talk / Cateye time & average speed funky readings
« on: April 13, 2014, 08:53:42 pm »
On my Cateye Enduro 8 the readings: speed, distance, max speed,  time of day all appear to be working just fine but the ride time and average speed is rubbish. On my last ride it showed a time of 35 minutes for a 35 mile ride (!) and an average speed of 1.0 mph. Sometimes the average display shows a letter E. Does anybody know what's going on? Is it just the battery running down? I've done some searching and could find nobody with the same problem. Plenty of people with iffy Cateyes. e.g. intermittent failures. But with these the problem always seems to be the whole thing going blank. I don't really care about average speed so I can live with it but I'm curious as to whether it's a symptom of a dieing device. :(

I've just been out to check it again. The irritating arrows that indicate above/below average speed no longer appear to be working. Now that I can live with.

General Discussion / Pleae help me watch the Tour
« on: March 11, 2014, 01:07:42 pm »
I got rid of cable and satellite TV but still have one of those 'smart' TVs that lets me watch Youtube and Netflix. Now, how can I watch the Tour de France with Phil Ligget's commentary and all that for a reasonable cost? Is there something I can subscribe to on the internet? It's a big deal for me as the first stage goes within 5 miles of my house in the UK.

FWIW this stage goes through some of England's most exquisite countryside - the Yorkshire Dales.

General Discussion / ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« on: March 05, 2014, 01:25:44 pm »
I love ACA maps and I get the impression that they route away from undesirable areas in big cities, at least I have that impression from going through Philly and Cleveland and I further believe that ACA maps in this respect are superior to, say, Google maps which will pick the most direct route from A to B. Am I right or not? I realize this may be a sensitive topic for some but I have just advised a young lady to stick to ACA routes to avoid potential trouble on the Southern Tier.

Gear Talk / Poor Trek520 brakes
« on: February 10, 2014, 04:12:09 pm »
My 520 now has 41K on it and for about 40 of the 41K my front bake was dreadful: very noisy and not very effective. If there was a STOP sign at the bottom of a steep hill I found it almost impossible to stop with my hands on the hoods having to reach round from the drops and to squeeze like hell to get any stopping power at all. I managed to ameliorate the squealing a bit by using Jagwire pads but the stopping power was still very poor.

Here's how I fixed it. I replaced the Single Digit SD-5 front brake with a Single Digit Ultimate brake and replaced the OEM levers with Tektro RL-520s. The Ultimate cost 5 times as much, ($111 from the internet) as the SD-5 but it's like night and day. I now descend steep hills braking from the hoods in comfort thanks also to the Tektro levers which seem to have better ergonomics than the originals. The Ultimate is silent in operation with no toe in. I still have the original SD-5 on the back with KoolStop pads which works just fine.

Hope this helps somebody.

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