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why oh why drop handle bars? Unless you're into down hill racing or fancy yourself in the Tour de France, no one on a long distance bike ride needs drop bars - IMHO.I couldn't disagree with you more. Having ridden flat bars a bit I wouldn't ever use them for anything more than local and short distances. Drop bars are far more versatile in the number of hand positions and riding positions they permit. There is a good reason almost all touring bikes and most tourists use them.
am a 25-yo woman of very small size. I am 147 cm tall and I weigh 80 lbs. I am now riding a 24" wheel road bike (Giant R2400). I ride it not very often, only on weekends. Btw I suck at directions and map reading.First, yes, by all means ride a lot more and learn at least the basics of bike repair and maintenance. A few guided tours will give you insight into how you like touring but won't give you any experience riding solo, carrying a touring load or having to find your own way.
Things I'm going to do for preparation:
- Ride more and longer (so far my longest was only 63 km but that's not my limit yet)
- Join classes on bike repair
- Try some guided bike tours in Southern China
- Try solo bike round-tour in Taiwan
- Learn to drive, to get myself more familiar with road rules (yes I come from a very small place where driving is not necessary)
My questions include but are not limited to:
- Is there a travelling bike for my size?
- Any way to cut down the baggage so that even a 80lb-body can carry it?
- Any good book or good website for a newbie like me?
- Do you recommend a woman doing solo biking and camping?
- Can I rely on GPS as I suck at map reading?
- Any specific advice?
Thank you a lot!
If Bikes and Beyond is that busy and you are going to use them for work, I think it would be wise to get on their schedule way in advance. Glacier Cyclery in Whitefish, MT is a busy shop that, among other things, receives a lot of bikes. We were advised to be on their schedule more than a month in advance.Excellent advice, particularly if you need to have the shop unpack, assemble and adjust your bike. If you can do the reassembly yourself, a lot less notice is needed other than to be sure they have room to store the box for the few days until you arrive. Of course if you can do the setup yourself you aren't limited to shipping it to a bike shop.
As to dire results mentioned, I have shifted many times to big big combination and had no worst result than having to get off the bike to free the chain. I have reused pin in chain many times without failure. Not all chain brands warn against replacing pin.Apparently your chain was long enough to make the big-big shift because if it wasn't, getting off the bike to free the chain would not have done any good.
To cross the Appalachians easily, take the C&O Trail/GAP out of DC to Pittsburgh. Lots of single females on that run. Again your option.The GAP is pretty easy riding but the C&O can be miserable riding, particularly if it's wet. Neither are particularly good on a narrow tire road bike so plan on 700-28 or larger tires if you go that route.