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Messages - Old Guy New Hobby

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1
Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff Hubs
« on: December 18, 2014, 04:22:14 pm »
So, if we are to know the negative points of a Rohloff, those issues that Rohloff lovers never mention, we are to purchase a year's worth of back issues of Bike Quarterly? The three negatives I see in this discussion are cost, weight, and peculiarities of the frame. The initial cost is certainly known up front, and I specifically mentioned two points where ongoing cost are an issue in my experience. Weight is a big issue for racing, but I don't race. I have a Trek 520 with a Tubus rack, a heavy-duty stand, SKS fenders, etc. Mine is certainly not a light weight bike. Many touring bikes value rugged construction over light weight. The hub works well on my bike without any frame modifications, so I can't imagine what the peculiarities of the frame are.

So if you have negative experiences with the Rohloff hub, what are they? Certainly there are pros and cons to anything. There is nothing that is best for everybody. But if you don't like the hub, you should state your reasons so readers can evaluate the facts or experiences you want to bring up, not the quality of a magazine or the personality of an author.

2
Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff Hubs
« on: December 15, 2014, 05:05:57 pm »
I like mine a lot and would do it again. After 15,000 miles, mine has delivered many hours of trouble-free riding. In fact, it still operates like new. I decided I wanted to put the twist shifter on my bar end. I like that a lot. If you want to do the same, you will need a HubBub Twist Shifter Drop Bar Adaptor, available from Amazon. I like to gear my bike low. Rohloff specifies a minimum front cog size, below which they do not warrant the hub. I geared mine lower than their spec, so my hub is not under warranty. But it has not caused any trouble. As they say in their manual "We built it strong." There are 3 things I don't like about it:

The oil change kits are expensive (about $25).

After the change, oil seeps out of the seals for several weeks, making the rear wheel messy.

The most common installation is to connect the rear cable  guide to the post for the rear brake arm. That created an issue with water getting into the joint. After a year or so, it would get rusty and the one side of my rear brakes would not release correctly. I re-routed the cables to attach the rear cable guide to the chain stay. This requires a straight cable guide (Rohloff part number 8260). The only US source I could find for it was Cycle Monkey. At $25, I thought it was rather expensive.

3
Gear Talk / Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« on: November 22, 2014, 10:30:08 am »
There's a lot of potential with this kind of a idea, but this implementation has just 2 teeth engaged at any one time. Instead of spreading the force across 10 or more teeth, the force is focused, which might be tough on the chain and the teeth. It will be interesting to follow the product as it begins to get real-world testing.

I wasn't overly concerned about visiting the web site. My computer patches and updates are all in place. Just visiting a site is not generally a problem. However, once on a site, I am cautions about what I click after that. You might consider putting more information on the home page, to help visitors decide whether they are interested in looking at this in more detail.

4
Gear Talk / Re: chain ring sizing
« on: November 06, 2014, 09:44:38 am »
About the quick link - I used to lubricate my chain with melted paraffin mixed with graphite. I removed and replaced the chain each time I lubricated it. I found that as the quick link was used, it gradually became more likely to come apart while riding. Replacing an unreliable quick link with a new one would solve the problem. I used to keep a spare quick link in my tool kit. When I started touring, melting paraffin was no longer practical and I switched to Bloeshield T-9 chain lube. Now I don't remove my chain nearly as often, and the quick links last the life of the chain. I still have several spare links that are years old that I will probably never use. You don't mention how many times you have removed your chain. If it's been taken off and on several times, this might be the issue. FYI, I use SRAM quick links.

5
Gear Talk / Re: WoMo Designs Gadget Mounts
« on: September 24, 2014, 12:31:27 pm »
I have a Garmin Oregon. I don't see how this device will hold the Garmin. The web site doesn't say which Garmin models it supports. The Oregon comes with a plastic platform one can strap to the handle bars. The Garmin slides in. Occasionally, on a bumpy road, it can also slide out. So I use a lanyard as a backup. Let us know your experience with this.

6
Gear Talk / Re: Straight up Noob bike/gear advice.
« on: September 06, 2014, 06:57:11 am »
bogiesan, you offer excellent advice, but it's not necessary to ride 100 miles a day on a tour. My tours are 50 to 70 miles a day, and I generally take one day a week off (or more). Somebody else might ride even less. I tour because I enjoy traveling under my own power, and experiencing the world as only a cyclist can. It's not about the miles, at least for me. Nevertheless, riding a tour is a lot different than going out several days a week. I took several supported rides before my first tour. And I'm glad I did.

7
The last couple of years, I found myself with 5,000 miles on the tires (more or less) and a tour coming up. The tires still looked OK, but I changed them both anyway. The piece of mind out in the middle of nowhere outweighed the cost. After all, how many more miles was I going to get? I kept the front tire around in case of a mid-year blowout, then I tossed it when I had the second used front tire. Of course, this strategy wouldn't work for the high mileage guys. ;)

8
Gear Talk / Re: Saddle Suggestion other than Brooks
« on: May 08, 2014, 07:45:46 am »
Why change saddles for a tour? If the saddle you have is OK, just go with it. If it's not, you should have changed by now. I try to make my equipment changes after a tour. Then I have lots of time to shake things down.

Everybody's anatomy is different. There is no saddle that is good for everybody. For me, the most important point of the saddle is that you can put your weight on your sitz bones. Nature put them there to support your weight. http://www.nikkiyoga.com/where-are-my-sitz-bones/

The next most important thing is how you sit on the bike. Keep an active stance. Don't rest on your hands, but use your core to hold your body up. Transfer weight to your feet when you can. Move around and sit in different positions.

The last thing is to bring some Neosporin (or similar). I find that no matter how much I prepare for a tour, I tend to develop some chaffing in the first few days. A little cream can provide a lot of comfort.

9
Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 24, 2014, 07:58:26 am »
I used parafin mixed with graphite for a season. It worked well, but I gave up for reasons others have stated. In addition, I applied it by melting the parafin  / graphite on the chain in a foil pan. This required removing the chain at each lube. I did this with a removeable link. After a while, the link got loose. I lost two links on the road. Totally not worth it, IMO.

10
Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: April 21, 2014, 10:33:58 am »
Quote
I've still got the old SD-5 on the rear and it seems plenty adequate so it's staying. I reckon you don't want too powerful braking at the back, locked wheel etc.

You never know about unfamiliar roads or braking in sketchy weather. I usually try to apply equal pressure front and back, and release if the rear wheel skids. It's easy to survive rear wheel skids. Front wheel skids, not so much. Of course, this works best if front and rear brakes have similar stopping power.

11
Gear Talk / Re: Cateye time & average speed funky readings
« on: April 14, 2014, 07:50:10 am »
If it's wireless, I would replace it with a wired unit.

12
Gear Talk / Re: Towards an ergonomic gearing system.
« on: April 12, 2014, 10:15:03 am »
What a post! I don't understand why gears are so close together. I guess that 90% of all bikers don't race. For us, there is a fairly broad power-cadence curve. We could easily get buy with the gears further apart. Often, by the time I shift, I want to shift two gears. We put triples on the front but get only a small increase in range. (Changing the front chainring typically adds only 2 or 3 gears.) We add more gears on the cassette and space the gears closer together. Most of us would get by fine with 7 or 8 gears, if they were spaced further apart to give decent range.

13
Gear Talk / Re: solo bike security
« on: April 05, 2014, 06:55:26 am »
Quote
Carry a light cable lock to keep people honest, perhaps, and a detachable handlebar bag with ID, camera, cash, credit cards, etc. stays with you all the time. 

+1 Also be aware of what nice gizmos are on your handlebars because they can attract the eye. The only theft I experienced was with a device on the handlebars. I ride with a GPS. When I'm off the bike, the GPS goes in my handlebar bag, and the bag stays with me.

14
Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar bag alternative
« on: March 29, 2014, 03:58:11 pm »
Bengrier, that is an intriguing look. It's almost like having front and rear torpedos. Perhaps reminiscent of a James Bond bike? Keep your hands away from that red button! I like the way it emphasizes a bike's narrow, 2-wheeled essence; while emphasizing the trajectory of the ride. It's a nice style. Let us know what your finished bike looks like.

Edit -- I just noticed your water bottle holders. I have long wanted another water bottle. Yours is a good idea.

15
Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar bag alternative
« on: March 29, 2014, 02:30:37 pm »


How can one call this ugly? Maybe it is a little bug-eyed, but ugly?  ;) It provides a waterproof location for first aid supplies, cell phone, wallet, keys, and other important items. This medium-size bag even has room for the cable and lock (which I think looks ugly mounted anywhere on the frame). If rain is imminent or temperatures are marginal, I can even roll up a jacket and put it in that very cool rounded top for instant access.  The snaps on the outside hold a waterproof pouch for a map or a cue sheet. It's easily removed to take with me when I leave the bike. For me, it's a solution that can't be beat.

Besides, one's eyes should be on the road, not the handlebar.

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