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Topics - HWP

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Gear Talk / Panniers and Racks
« on: August 04, 2012, 12:05:22 pm »
Looking for recommendations/confirmation on racks and panniers for my new Gunnar Grand Tour bike.  I plan to do a few unsupported and supported tours per year of 1-2 week duration, perhaps longer, and may do a TA in 2014.

Considering Tubus Tara Low Rider front and Cargo Evo rear racks with Orlieb Front Roller (25L) or Sport Packer (30L), Bike-Packer or Roller (50) and Medium (7L) handle bar bag.  I am thinking Front Roller as 82 L total capacity seems like plenty (too much?...don't want to be tempted to over pack), but I have no experience packing for tours longer than a week.  I would use just the front or rear for lighter touring.

The Packer's inner compartments may be a convenience.  The Roller doesn't need to be completely filled, which may prevent over packing (less weight)...and probably overs the best protection against the elements.  Is it just a matter of preference?

Both panniers are offered as Classic (nylon fabric / Q1 mounting) or Plus (Cordura fabric / Q2 mounting). On websites the Cordura fabric looks nicer to me, not as shiny as nylon?  Again just a matter of personal preference?

Anything else I should consider?  Also, is http://www.cyclocamping.com a reliable supplier?

Thanks for your help....HWP

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Gear Talk / Tour Bike Gearing
« on: July 03, 2012, 11:08:12 am »
I just purchased a Gunnar Grand Tour frame as a retirement gift to myself and am now struggling to select components, particularly gearing.  I live in Wisconsin and will be touring the Midwest (trip planned to Traverse City/Mackinac) and am considering a TA in the future, so I want to make sure I have adequate low end for the mountains.  I could have used gearing lower than my Madone (50/39/30:12-27) while riding (unloaded) the hills around the Mississippi in western WI!

I have been looking at other tour bike set-ups to get an idea on gear selection (Co Motion, Surly, Novara).  I thinking a triple 48/36/26 or 48/36/24 with an 11-34 cassette.  Front derailleur selection seems to be problematic (according to specs) with a max difference of 22 or 24T.  The Co Motion Americano offers a FSA Afterburner 48-36-26 crank with a Shimano XT 11-34 10-speed cassette and an option for Shimano 6700 Ultegra STI shifters, which I really like on my road bike.  Any concerns with this setup?

Wheels are my next big challenge...thinking 700X28 tires as I plan to ride mostly roads, with occasional gravel trail/road.  Need to be rugged to support loaded touring....36, 44 or 48 spoke count?

Appreciate any help provided.

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