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Messages - Pat Lamb

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Gear Talk / Re: Low Rider Front Racks for Trek 520??
« on: April 07, 2011, 09:19:37 am »
Note the Tubus Tara has an additional set of eyelets.  If you don't want to mount the rack outside the fender, you can mount the rack to the eyelets next to the dropouts, then mount the fender to the rack.

Gear Talk / Re: Why internal hubs?
« on: April 01, 2011, 09:25:25 am »
One other thing not mentioned, having a hub gear can allow symetrical spoke dishing in the rear wheel giving greater strength and reliability.
Theoretically, this is correct but modern 135 mm hubs with 8/9/10-speed freehub bodies laced to good quality rims with 32 or more spokes are so strong and durable these days that the advantage isn't worth the weight, efficiency loss and cost of an IGH just for that reason.

Perhaps true, but only if you haven't had a spoke break recently, leaving you with once-a-wheel-revolution brake drag for 10 miles home where you discover the broken spoke...

I haven't quite drunk the Kool-Aid yet, but I can see the attraction of Co-Motion's Americano wheel.  Tandem hub, un-dished, 48 spokes, ready for any (not-too-unreasonable) load.  How's that wheel plus two derailers compare to an ordinary wheel with an IGH for weight?

Routes / Re: The DUMBEST question <sorry>
« on: March 30, 2011, 08:42:03 pm »
I'd prefer to have either signs (like a county or state puts up), or nothing.

A few years back, a couple of bored teenagers took it upon themselves to re-route the local century.  They went out early in the morning of the ride and painted a new directional sign, with a wrong turn.  The organizers found it and corrected it.  Then those yahoos did it again!  One guy was rather upset that his century was 120 miles, until he found his way back.

I can imagine something similar happening with an AC trail, except the riders might not find out until the end of the day, or after they'd ended up on some narrow, winding, highly trafficed Kentucky or Missouri road.

So it'd be nice if it worked, but I think we'd be better off without.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Portland, OR to Northern Tier
« on: March 30, 2011, 09:20:06 am »
You could use the Lewis and Clark Route, Section 7 ( out of Portland to Clarkston, ID.

What!!  and miss four passes in four days!?

Hmm, maybe not a bad idea...


General Discussion / Re: Evening rides...
« on: March 30, 2011, 09:15:19 am »
Most of the local bike club's (non-weekend) rides are in the evening, after work.  Most days it works pretty well, except for weather (wind, temperatures, occasional afternoon thunderstorms).  July and August are often brutally hot, but cools down around dusk.  Plan for water stop(s)!

The other downside is that you may need to dig up those lights you put away at the beginning of daylight "savings" time.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Shorts
« on: March 29, 2011, 10:52:39 am »
I'm a fan of Voler (bib) shorts, and their close cousins the higher-end Performance house brand (somebody said they're made by Voler), often on sale for around $50.  Unless you're tightly constrained on cost I  wouldn't worry too much about price -- 2-3 pairs will last for three months.

Do try to get the thinnest pad you can.  When it's raining and warm, or when you run into a 90-90 day (90 degrees, 90% relative humidity) and sweat like crazy, you do NOT want to get off the bike, sit down, hear a squishing sound from your bottom, and feel rain or sweat running down your leg.  Designers who make lovely thick foam (or gel) chamois never ride as far, or as long, as a bicycle tourist.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bike for out-of-shape newbie
« on: March 26, 2011, 03:24:39 pm »
While I normally agree with what John writes, I disagree with him in this instance.  Go ahead and start riding until you're comfortable doing 5-10 miles at a lick, and then go shopping.  It seems to me that, if you're going to spend $500-1,500 on a touring bike, it doesn't make sense to start by spending $500-1,500 on a different road bike.  My take on it is to go ahead and find that touring bike -- it's a special kind of road bike, and you can start getting ready for a tour by riding it now.

I agree with looking at the AC buyer's guide.  Most (if not all all) touring bicycles will work.  Then check manufacturers' web sites, locate the nearest dealers, and start calling around.  They may be hard to find, so unless you live where bike touring is popular, you may be in for a long search.

If at all possible, try two or three different models before you pick one.  You're looking for a bike that feels right.  Sounds nebulous, and it may be, but when you find the right bike, you'll know it.  Don't buy it if it doesn't feel quite right.  I'd want the dealer to swap stems to get a good fit, and double-check the wheels for tension and true (tension is often inadequate on machine-built wheels).  Given your weight, you may want to get the bars set about even with the saddle -- don't leave the shop with the bike if your thighs are hitting your stomach when you're pedaling!  Check out a gear calculator like -- I'd say you should accept low gear of no more than 25", with 20" preferred, if you're ever going to tour in hills or mountains.

If you can't find a bike shop carrying a touring bike within a reasonable distance, you may have to order one.  Most LBSs can get the Surly LHT.  Since it's just March, other dealers should be able to get their favorite brand of touring bike for you.  Make sure you and the dealer understand you're not going to pay for a touring bike that doesn't fit you (see above).  Pick one, cross your fingers, order it, wait for it to come in, then have fun!

Gear Talk / Re: Raingear
« on: March 25, 2011, 01:33:55 pm »
The AC store carries Showers Pass touring jackets.  I replaced my old jacket with one of those (after I got home -- zipper was wearing out!).  Very nice, well thought out design with decent zippers!

FWIW, I don't use anything on my legs.  Never needed to on summer rides, and my winter rides in the rain are limited by getting to work or home.  Ordinary tights work well for limited cold weather, or much longer cool weather, and it's one less thing to carry.

General Discussion / Re: Does a bum toughen up?
« on: March 23, 2011, 10:43:13 am »
Agree with all that's been said already, but I think your idea to bring your KNOWN GOOD saddle along is very good.  If you haven't ridden long rides before, you probably don't know your saddle sensitivity.  Why take chances?

General Discussion / Re: Cadence Question
« on: March 20, 2011, 07:43:44 pm »
So how important is it to keep track of cadence on a trip?

After the first few days, about the time we hit the hills in western Virginia, I switched to displaying the cadence and mileage.  Part of that was to help make sure I down-shifted enough to keep my cadence up, and save my knees.  To be honest, though, the major reason was that watching the speed was depressing.  Mileage was useful to help locate the next turn.

General Discussion / Re: Cadence Question
« on: March 19, 2011, 09:34:30 pm »
I normally ride in the 80s when unloaded, but when you've loaded up and are climbing, sometimes you run out of gears.

I found I could drop down to a cadence of about 70 with a load before my knees started talking back.  If I couldn't keep that up, it was time for really low gear: get off the bike and push.

Gear Talk / Re: Why internal hubs?
« on: March 17, 2011, 10:09:40 pm »
Does anyone have any comments on the shifting range on a Rohloff hub?  Can a Rohloff setup match having a compact mountain crank in the front (22/32/43) with say an 11-32 in the rear?

Check out -- down at the bottom they have a direct comparison of gear range.

Recommend you poke around on the site; I seem to recall they have a gear inch calculator somewhere on there that lets you compare various chain ring/sprocket combinations.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Troubles
« on: March 17, 2011, 10:03:12 pm »
I guess I will try and find a second hand dealers in in San Francisco, Probably going to take saddle and pedals etc with me. Cheers for the help dudes, anyone know of any reputable bicycle dealers in San Fran?>

If you can swing the cost of a Trek 520, I'd suggest Chain Reaction Bicycles in Redwood City, a few miles south of the SF airport.  Owner's a good guy, and they usually have the 520 in stock in most sizes. 

General Discussion / Re: Wheel help
« on: March 16, 2011, 02:10:16 pm »
Check out Jim Langley's description of removing a tire without levers at <>.  I'll admit I can't always get one off with my bare hands, but following the steps Jim lays out makes it easy to get the tire off with levers when you can just barely see the tire bead.

When replacing a tire, use the heels of your hands instead of your thumbs.  You've got more strength there, and if you're wearing your bike gloves, you don't need to worry about ripping skin off.  Use the same procedure of gathering all the tire "slack" up where the last part of the tire needs to go on the rim.

If that doesn't work, take a bag of double-stuff Oreos down to your LBS Wednesday afternoon and ask the mechanics to show you how it's done.

General Discussion / Re: touring shop in washington DC
« on: March 13, 2011, 03:45:30 pm »
I'll mention the service I got a couple years back from the REI in Bailey's Crossroads (VA).  I had a broken Randonee frame, which they replaced under warranty.  They were going to give me an almost entirely new bike, but ended up  swapping over bars, stem, and shifters to give me the lower gears my older Randonee had (compared to the newer model).  What really impressed me, though, was the attention they gave the wheels.  Not a broken spoke in the ensuing 4,432 miles of heavily loaded touring, and they didn't even need truing until I hit Missoula (which ended up being a 10 minute job at Hellgate Cycles).

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