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Messages - csykes

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International / Re: Loire Cycling
« on: July 17, 2015, 11:27:09 pm »
I can recommend VBT (Vermont Bicycle Tours) in general for fully supported bike touring in France.  I have not done their Loire Valley trip, but have done Provence and Burgundy and would not hesitate to use them again.  They have nice bikes, good guides (one one bike and one in a van,) various daily routes, and take care of all the logistics.  It's bike touring-light, nothing hard-core.

A good LBS should have someone who could help fit the bike to you. Also, if the Soma is comfortable you could take a bunch of measurements and try to duplicate it as much as possible on the 29er. Alternately you could tour on the Soma with a change of tires, etc.

General Discussion / Re: importance of componentry
« on: July 19, 2014, 11:55:07 pm »
I use Ultegra STIs on my carbon road bike and love them for fast club rides.  For my steel commuter/touring bike (with an IRD triple,) I use bar-ends with Tiagra derailleurs and find them to be perfectly fine with no safety issues.  I've used bar-ends on my tandem for thirty years with no issues.  I've had bad luck with Sora in the past, so it's worth a few dollars more for Tiagra.

General Discussion / Re: Need Help With Shifting on Climbs
« on: June 08, 2013, 07:54:33 pm »
Congratulations on your weight loss and fitness quest Jennifer!  I have struggled with weight gain over the years and find that if I keep riding regularly and have a few goals in mind, I am able to stay slimmer and lose several pounds a year (even as a 50+ old guy.) 

General Discussion / Re: Choosing a bike and could use advice
« on: June 04, 2013, 11:13:21 pm »
It looks like a nice bike for the price.  My concern would be that the chain rings look a little big for loaded touring. You may be able to swap it for a triple with smaller rings to give you the lower gears that you will need.  Be sure the size is correct for you; check the top tube length in addition to the seat tube measurement.  It would be great if you could visit the shop to try it out first. Be sure to have someone who knows bikes check it out to be sure the brakes etc are in good working condition before you do any major rides.

General Discussion / Re: In low gear and can't ride up hill!
« on: May 27, 2013, 12:21:21 pm »
Glad you figured it out.  In general, use your big chain ring for flats and downhills, the middle ring for small hills and rolling territory, and your inner chain ring for the long steep hills.  You should make the majority of your shifts using the rear cassette gears to adjust for speed, cadence, etc, while using the front rings for major changes in terrain. You should avoid cross-chaining: big-big, small-small gear combos as that puts a lot of stress on your drive train, when you are in the extreme combinations, it's a signal to go to a different chain ring.

Gear Talk / Re: New bike questions
« on: May 26, 2013, 01:27:01 pm »
There are also vintage bike groups on several different bike forums.  Just use Google and a few specific words and you will find the group to  join and question.

General Discussion / Re: In low gear and can't ride up hill!
« on: May 25, 2013, 08:42:30 pm »
If you have not been riding often with regular long/steep hill climbs, your legs will feel weak.  Additional saddle time with rests in between will help.  As the others stated, you may be over-geared.  You don't want to grind your gears; pedaling in lower gears at a higher cadence will be easier on your body even if it feels unnatural at first.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Sizing
« on: May 05, 2013, 05:20:29 pm »
I usually take a 60 to 61cm frame.  When I climbed aboard a LHT I felt more comfortable on the 58 than the 60 as it has a top tube length similar to my 61 cm road bike. If I were to purchase one, I would rather take the 58 and go with a longer stem if needed, than to take a 60 and shorten it. Of course that's what works for me, it could be different for you.

General Discussion / Re: Training: Schedule Critique Needed
« on: March 31, 2013, 11:42:31 am »
It's one centimeter difference which is less than half an inch.  Have the shop owner adjust it so you can ride it, and remember it will be long hours in the saddle which is different than a spin around the parking lot.

General Discussion / Re: Training: Schedule Critique Needed
« on: March 30, 2013, 08:36:38 pm »
The bike looks fine to me.  Young people's bodies are more forgiving than those of us over 50.  Looking at that bike it looks like you can drop the seat a bit if it's too high and raise the bars for a more comfortable riding position.  At that price, you can make a few component changes and still be below the cost of most new touring bikes. 

General Discussion / Re: Training: Schedule Critique Needed
« on: March 29, 2013, 11:10:27 pm »
Take a day off for recovery one a week if you have not been doing much riding before now.

How much riding have you done up to this point?  Maybe you could join a local bike club and get some experience.  Do some centuries which are pretty epic to most people.  You could always join the Coast Guard or other branches of the military if you want to change yourself, see the world, and learn to pee around other people.

Adams Avenue Bike Shop and Mission Hills Bike Shop are good choices and in the central area but still a cab ride from the train or airport.  You can look them up and call to see what they could do for you.  B & L Bike and Sport is closer to the airport and is close to the route you may want to take to head east.  There are a lot of shops in San Diego and I have had good luck with most that I have used over the years.

You can also make tweaks to your bike such as flipping the stem over and adding spacers (if possible) to raise your handlebars if you have not done so already. That plus the biggest tires it will take will improve comfort a lot on long days in the saddle.

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