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Topics - SlowAndSlower

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Gear Talk / Back To Bar Cons
« on: August 14, 2015, 11:32:40 am »
There is often discussion of drop bar shifting and what flavor is best for touring and in the end mostly it comes down to an individual's taste.

Firstly I do not enjoy (just short of hate) using bar con shifters. I do enjoy (just short of love) using Shimano STI shifting a lot.  I also really like Rapidfire mtb shifters but I am not comfortable on flat bars. So my quest has been to have STI or comparable shifting on drop bars for my touring bike.

The first really successful attempt was with a 9 speed Ultegra triple using an old RSX FD and a XT RD. Work pretty smoothly, almost flawlessly
The last incarnation was with Shimano 105 10 speed using a Sora FD and a 9 speed XT RD.  This was really sweet, especially the throw for shifting. 10 speed is nice.

Then I had my 6703 Ultegra on another bike break and fail to drop the chain off of the big ring. This incidence brought back memories I had on a Big Bend tour where a rider had a cable break and lock up an Ultegra bifter. These are things I do not want to deal with on tour.

And as I was installing the 10 speed bifters I thought to my self, "would I want to replace a 10 speed derailleur cable on the side of the road?"  With my luck it would be in the rain too. Now mind you I never have had to do this nor have I ever experienced a cable breaking personally.

After a sleepless night or two I remembered KISS and am now in the process of going back to where Bruce Gordon originally spec'ed the bike some fourteen years ago.

I am pretty sure the 105 10 speed set up would be perfectly fine and reliable. After all Co Motion and others have STI standard on their offerings. But one does tends to psych ones self out.

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Gear Talk / 9spd-10spd chains
« on: February 12, 2014, 07:41:33 pm »
On another thread the subject of chain strength came up. Not to hijack the thread I pose my question here. Is there any definitive proof that a 9 spd chain is stronger then a 10 spd or that it wears longer than a 10spd chain?

As I understand it the 10spd chain is narrower but what other dimensions change? AFAIK everything is pretty much the same except the pins and rollers length. So I am stymied as to how the 10 spd chain would be weaker or wear less. Now if the plates were thinner or pins smaller I could begin to understand.

Just curouis.

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Gear Talk / Tubeless tires/tyres
« on: January 27, 2014, 07:41:17 pm »
I was wondering if anyone has had experience touring with tubeless tires?

I understand they are lighter and have better rolling resistance and they self seal small punctures or so says the literature I have read.

I was asked if I knew anything about them but I only knew they were popular with some mountain bikers.

Any thoughts?

4
Connecting ACA Routes / Transam to Katy
« on: June 29, 2013, 02:14:13 pm »
From Sebree, KY to the KATY I took KY 56 and crossed over the Ohio river to IL 13 which I rode to Belleville, IL stopping overnight in Harrisburg, IL.
In Belleville I overnighted at the Super 8 and the next morning took the Metro-Link to Lambert Field from where I rode across the Page bridge and picked up the KATY.

I was fortunate to have a strong south wind and made the 86 miles from Harrisburg to Belleville  in an easy day's ride. Generally wide shoulders on IL 13.  Because of the south wind I went north on US 51 at Carbondale and worked my way west to IL 13.

One could also follow the ACA route to Murhysboro and pick up IL 13 there.


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Gear Talk / ACA & Smartphones
« on: April 18, 2013, 05:23:44 pm »
I am preparing to start the TransAm and in the process looking to use my smartphone for various tasks. One of those tasks I wanted to do is read the map addendum for the next day. I used my phones Chrome browser to open the ACA website to do that. I was amazed that it didn't recognize that I was using a mobile device. I thought with the new website that surely it would support mobile devices better. So am I the only one thinking that the  ACA website ought to be mobile friendly?

I also suggested that an article or a column on touring with and using a smartphone would possibly be more interesting than another bicycle review. It just seems that there is so much versatility with a smartphone that I was unaware of until I began delving into the subject. Seems like there are new apps and hardware coming out everyday that could pertain to bicycle touring.

Perhaps we could get a forum section going or expand the GPS section.

6
GPS Discussion / Copilot Live
« on: April 16, 2013, 01:43:21 pm »
I have loaded version 9.x on my Droid Razor Maxx and added the ACA TransAm GPS route from Yorktown to Chester, Ill and everything seems to be in place for navigation. I was wondering if anyone else has actually used Copilot Live and the ACA GPS data.

7
Connecting ACA Routes / Missoula to the Pacific
« on: March 30, 2013, 07:02:09 pm »
I would appreciate opinions on these routes to the Pacific from Missoula.
  • Stay on the TransAm to Florence, OR.
  • Louis and Clark to Astoria.
  • MT 200 to Sandpoint and take the Northern Tier west to the Pacific.
Important to me is scenic and secondary is distance as I may be in a time crunch at that point.

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Gear Talk / No Stove
« on: March 29, 2013, 08:41:46 pm »
I would like to have the opinions of those who have done a long tour, like the TransAm, camping for the most part, and did not have a stove.

I think I have rationalized not to take the stove (Brasslite alcohol), pot, wind screen, and fuel just to make instant coffee. I have already decided to purchase my meals. Nonetheless I would appreciate the experience of others that do tours without a stove and camp.

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Gear Talk / Shaving Creme
« on: March 19, 2013, 12:26:42 pm »
I am one of those who has to shave more often then most and I've tried to find lightweight solutions for everything associated with the task.

I generally use Banana Boat 30 Sheer sunscreen and I noticed when I wash it off it kind of lathers up and takes some work to get it off my face.
I wondered one day how it would work as a shaving cream. So one day I put on sunscreen and took a ride. When I came back in I tried shaving just using the residual sunscreen.
Using a little water it lathered up and I shave just fine. I have since used a dab of sunscreen first thing in the morning to shave and it works well too.

This may already be a known use for sunscreen but its new to me. I know that some use it to remove chain gunk and that some say it works as an insect repellent too.
I suspect that YMMV depending on the sunscreen you use.

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