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Messages - csykes

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General Discussion / Re: Newbie - Quick Intro
« on: January 09, 2013, 10:36:33 pm »
Congratulations on your progress so far!  Do a little digging around on this site along and you will find much of the info you are looking for.  Keep biking, I have struggled with weight gain over the years and it always coincided with the times I was not riding regularly. I am fitter and feel much better now at 55 than I did at 45.

General Discussion / Re: Costs of Touring
« on: December 26, 2012, 03:20:02 pm »
Don't forget that you will probably be saving money on what you would normally spend at the grocery store and gas station if you were at home; that can offset the trip budget a little.

Gear Talk / Re: Outfitting a Trek 7.5 FX for a full summer tour
« on: November 05, 2012, 10:46:19 pm »
A mountain bike will have lower gears in most cases. But mountain bikes also have shorter wheelbases, higher bottom brackets, and knobby tires, things that you generally don't want in a touring bike.  Do some exploring on this site, CGOAB, and some Google searches and you will learn a lot.

Gear Talk / Re: Gear Shifting
« on: October 22, 2012, 02:55:37 pm »
I lead development rides for my bike club and can assure you that many people really don't understand the gearing on multispeed bikes. 

You are on the right track by making most of your shifts using the right side.  Think of the left side in terms of terrain: lowest gear (small front ring) for steep climbs; middle ring for easy hills and rolling terrain; and the big ring for flat, downhill, and gently rolling terrain.  Since you don't want to cross-chain small-small and big-big rings, forget that it's 21 gear options.  Keep it simple as you can go crazy trying to remember which gear combo comes next from any one position.

Enjoy your new bike!

Gear Talk / Re: Surly and Jeff Jones H-Bars
« on: September 10, 2012, 02:42:19 pm »
I would be concerned about the ergonomics of using bars that push out so much to the sides.  Drop bars work well for many people as the hand rests very naturally on the area in front of the brake hoods (sides of the bars.)  Think of raising your arm for a handshake and see where your hand points.  Drop bars also have many different possible positions, so you can switch when you get tired.  I agree that it sounds like you need the bars raised, or maybe even a shorter, adjustable, or more steeply-angled stem 

I hope the bike size is correct for you.  My road bike is a 61cm and it works for me, but when I climb aboard a LHT at my LBS or REI, the 58cm feels like it is the right size/geometry for me.

Routes / Re: Southern Route: Start in March, April, or May?
« on: August 13, 2012, 11:37:38 pm »
I can't speak to the eastern portion of the route, but April should be pretty nice in the Arizona to San Diego section. The deserts should be mild, and while there is a chance of rain, wind, or snow in the San Diego County mountains, it is generally a nice time of year there as well.

Gear Talk / Re: handlebar bags
« on: August 10, 2012, 11:10:29 pm »
Another option for a large saddle pack for a road bike is the Jandd Mountain Wedge III.

General Discussion / Re: What do you use for sunscreen?
« on: July 17, 2012, 10:26:51 pm »
Pearl Izumi makes a black version of the arm sun protectors.  Has anyone tried them?

I wish I had done something like that when I was a lot younger with few obligations!  Be sure to carry extra water if you head into the deserts during the summer.

Classifieds / Re: Great deals ! Hope I'm in the right place !
« on: July 10, 2012, 03:12:39 pm »
He means you are on the wrong forum for what you want to sell.  It's all great stuff you have for sale, but touring is slow long-distance riding, not so concerned with aerodynamics and light weight.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire wear
« on: July 07, 2012, 02:49:03 am »
Generally you want the better tire up front. Replace the rear when it wears out with the front tire and keep the new one up front.

I would not want to tour with a Camelback if I had any neck, back, arm, or hand issues.  I would rather carry a few more water bottles on the bike.  Also avoid the locked-elbow death grip on the handlebars, staying relaxed has helped me a lot.

Gear Talk / Re: Ultegra (Carbon) vs. 105 (Aluminum) Shifters
« on: June 02, 2012, 10:26:26 pm »
For your purpose I would go with the 105; it is very good quality at a lower price.

General Discussion / Re: Cash for cycling trips
« on: May 09, 2012, 02:36:22 pm »
Definitely use your cards for purchases to conserve cash. Get cash back at most grocery stores with no debit card fee when using a PIN. You do get a favorable rate compared to paper currency exchanging here or abroad.  My credit union charges $1.50 for non-coop network ATMs which are free all over US and Canada.  In addition the foreign currency fee is 1% which is very reasonable.  If you are going to pay an ATM fee, withdraw as much as possible as it reduces the effect of the fee.  When we travel in Europe, the ATM fees are probably the cheapest cost of the whole trip.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire width - 28 too narrow for touring?
« on: May 07, 2012, 03:07:42 pm »
There is a difference between tires like the Gatorskins which are pretty small for 28s and something like Panaracer's Pasela Tour Guard 28s which are on the large size.  I have gatorskins on a road bike and Paselas on my tandem and they look very different. 

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