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Messages - paddleboy17

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31
Gear Talk / Re: LHT with 26 Inch Wheels?
« on: February 29, 2016, 12:12:54 pm »
I have a friend with a 52CM sized LHT.  It also comes with 26" wheels, and it rides fine.  Surly did not just plop on a set of 26" wheels, the brake bosses and fork crown were placed for 26" wheels.

If you do not want a bike with 26" wheels, then look at a bike other than the LHT.  I also ride a 50CM frame, and it is possible to get a touring bike in that size that is based on a 700C wheel.

Touring bikes often come with bar end shifters as the they are more reliable than brifters.  I have been screwed over enough times that the last time they gunked up on me I seriously considered down tube shifters.  I like bar end shifters, but you cannot put them on a short wheelbase road bike as you might get stabbed by them.  So I replaced the brifters on my criterium bike with another set of brifters.  The speed with which you can shift is rarely a big deal on a touring bike, and I have never found bar end shifters to be too slow for me.  There is a period of adjustment but you may grow to like them.  Replacing shifters is not difficult, as long as you can cut cable housing and set up the derailleur afterwards. There are special tools for cutting cable and crimping the end fitting.  I like cutting housing with a metal cutting blade on a Dremel Tool.  You will have to rewrap your handle bars too.  Again, that is not hard, and I would recommend using vinyl electical tape to terminate the end rather that whatever tape comes with the bar wrap.

Brifters are pretty expensive, and the dealer will want a fair amount to do the conversion for you.

32
Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Marrakesh
« on: January 05, 2016, 02:44:27 pm »
2) 10 speed road shifters do not work with  9 speed mountain bike derailleurs--mountain bike shifting over shifts and settles into position and road shifting moves exactly where it wants to go and demands that everything else follow along.
3) 10 speed chains want 10 speed jockey wheels.

I disagree.  I use 10 speed Shimano 105 triple STI shifters on one bike.  Bike has a 9 speed Shimano Deore mountain bike rear derailleur.  11-32 10 speed cassette.  Perfect shifting.
Count your blessing then.  My experience was different. 

33
Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Marrakesh
« on: January 04, 2016, 03:26:09 pm »
That's interesting since I have 10-speed triple cranks (FC-5703 and FC-4603) on all my bikes and 10-speed cassettes on three of them shifted using downtube levers (on Retroshift brackets) or one bike with 10-speed barends.   Of course, these are all friction shifters in front and all work wonderfully.   Shifting is fast, precise and reliable.  I can only assume you have a mis-matched, incompatible (or very poorly adjusted) front derailleur and that causes the poor shifting.

Having a 9 speed derailleur may have aggravated things.  And it may be that I am a lot more anal about shifting than you are.  I just did not like 10 speed friction shifting.  This from the man who ran a 9 speed bike in friction mode for years to get out of replacing a cracked end cap on a derailleur cable.

34
Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Marrakesh
« on: January 04, 2016, 02:04:14 pm »
Adventure Cycling magazine did an article on this topic in the not too distant past.  I think they called it the Drivetrain Dilemma.  One fascinating tidbit is that Shimano has shutdown most of 9 speed XT production.  The one 9 speed XT component still in production is the rear derailleur--Shimano still sells them in touring bike build kits.

Last summer I built up a 90's steel mountain bike frame and fork (Kona Cindercone) as a dirt road bike using 10 speed components.  The 10 speed compact double mountain bike crank worked great, but shifting was a disaster (8 speed Durace BarCons in friction mode, 9 speed XTR rear derailleur).  I ended up with 10 speed Durace BarCons, and the 10 speed 105 rear derailleur that spans a 32 tooth rear cassette (there is also a 10 speed 105 rear derailleur that will not span a 32 tooth rear cassette).  I learned three things from the process.

1) Friction shifting with 10 speed sucks--alignment is too ornery.

2) 10 speed road shifters do not work with  9 speed mountain bike derailleurs--mountain bike shifting over shifts and settles into position and road shifting moves exactly where it wants to go and demands that everything else follow along.

3) 10 speed chains want 10 speed jockey wheels.



35
Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Marrakesh
« on: January 04, 2016, 01:11:46 pm »
Touring bikes have been trapped at 9 speed for a while, due to Shimano changing the pull ratios on mountain bike derailleurs. 
Another side affect of narrowing chains is that after 9 speed, road and mountain bike components will not interoperate.  10 and 11 speed touring bike require an all road derailleur and shifter solution. You can do a 32 tooth rear with a specific 10 speed 105 derailleur.  I doubt adequate gearing can be done in 11 speed. 

36
Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain HELP
« on: December 14, 2015, 12:42:09 pm »
Deore, LX, SLX, and XT are both good, XTR is racing oriented and generally a poor investment on a touring bike.  I would not consider the other mountain bike groupings.

Someone mentioned that you cannot easily co-mingle 10 speed road and mountain groups and that is true.  The mid-cage 10 speed 105 derailleur will span a 32 tooth cassette, so you can do a 10 speed touring bike based on a mountain crank and cassette with road shifters and derailleurs.  That is how I built up my back road bike, and I love it.  Nashbar was blowing out 10 speed bar con shifters for $50, and even though they dropped friction shifting (was great for limp home), it is a great shifter at a great price.

37
Gear Talk / Re: Cook stove for International travel
« on: December 14, 2015, 12:31:26 pm »
There is a current thread on this topic over on crazyguyonabike. 

You should have no problem getting alcohol fuel in Central America.  Alcohol does not do well in low temp ranges, but that will not be an issue where you are going.  And I will vigorously dispute any one who says that you cannot make elaborate meals on an alcohol stove.  There are fewer BTUs in alcohol, so you are either going to resupply more often or carry more fuel than if you were using gasoline.  Alcohol stoves area tiny by comparison, so I think you come out ahead with an alcohol stove.

I am a big fan of carrying two alcohol stoves.  I use a Trangia style stove for primary cooking and a 2nd stove for heating water.  I have been using a Brasslite stove as my 2nd but I am thinking of going back to a Vargo.  With a 3 ounce chamber, the Trangia is perfect for making dinner as you get a robust flame for 20 minutes.  The 2nd stove should have a 1 ounce chamber and be able to give  you a liter of boiling water in 6 to 9 minutes.  I used to make alcohol stoves but stopped once I got the Trangia (yes, the Trangia is that good).  If all you want to do is boil water a liter at a time, then there are better choices than the Trangia, and look at my 2nd stove suggestions.

38
General Discussion / Re: Cyclocross Bike for Southern Tier
« on: December 02, 2015, 01:09:17 pm »
The CAAD8 has a short wheel base racing geometry.  This means responsive (twitchy) steering and an aggressive posture.  I can see where that might be unsettling to some riders.
I can see that, but I don't see how a bike that he rides OK around home suddenly feels unsafe on a supported tour.  I guess he might be planning to carry a bunch of gear even though the tour is supported.  Perhaps it is the extra weight.

I generally feel safer with a more responsive bike, but I guess not everyone feels that way.

I can see where that would be fine and then rider ages out of that being fine.  I can also see where that would be fine for club and event rides but not I am going to cover 75 miles a day for the next 12 weeks.
Aging out?  Maybe.  We don't know the OPs age, but I have seen no sign of aging out in myself at almost 65.  In 10 years, maybe?

My thought was always that on a long tour is when I am most likely to be fully acclimated to the bike and most appreciate the more efficient posture.  Again, YMMV.

I think the bigger question is why the LHT will not do for a tour.
Everyone is different, to me the LHT is more of a tank than I would want even for heavy touring.  I'd rule it out entirely for me.  On the other hand for someone who feels uncomfortable and unsafe on a road bike, I'd think the LHT might make sense.
I have an old Paramount Series 3 that I ride.  It has a short wheelbase racing geometry, and the position is not too aggressive for me.  I could ride this bike every day and be happy riding it.  One of my buddies was trying to lure is wife into riding with him, and I let her ride my Paramount as it was about the right size for her.  She did not enjoy the experience as the steering was too responsive for her.  From remarks the OP has made it sounds like overly responsive steering is not his issue with the CAAD8.  I also have a VooDoo mountain bike that I now mostly use as my winter bike.  The ride position is pretty aggressive, and if my weight gets over a certain number then the ride position is not that comfortable.  I said "age out" but I meant a multitude of reasons for why a bike with an aggressive posture could no longer be comfortable.  If you are 65 and agile then you are truly lucky.  I am 57 and have to listen to complaints from more sedentary 40 somethings about all their aches and pains.  For whatever reason, the OP thinks his CAAD8 will not be comfortable on a Southern Tier ride.

I guess I missed the ride being sagged. 

I don't ride my touring bike as much for every day riding as I used to.  I find racks and fenders noisy and those touring capable wheels are awfully slow to spin up when you are trying to chase 20 somethings on their zippy fast bikes.

So I could see a need for a road bike with a more relaxed ride geometry, but I still think a Titanium frame is over kill.

I think you can never have too many bikes, and I want non-racing, back road/gravel grinder road bike (as soon as I can talk my wife into letting me buy it). :)

39
General Discussion / Re: Cyclocross Bike for Southern Tier
« on: December 02, 2015, 09:43:30 am »
I happen to own a CAAD7 and a CAAD9 bike.  Aluminum frames and carbon forks.  I consider them to be some of the best bikes ever built.  They have no flaws.  Did Cannondale somehow make a horrible CAAD8 bike in between the great CAAD7 and CAAD9 bikes?  I'd suggest you figure out why you do not feel safe or comfortable on a likely great CAAD8 bike before wasting money on a new bike.  You do not have bike problems, you have other problems.

Russ,

I think you are being a little harsh here.

The CAAD8 has a short wheel base racing geometry.  This means responsive (twitchy) steering and an aggressive posture.  I can see where that might be unsettling to some riders.  I can see where that would be fine and then rider ages out of that being fine.  I can also see where that would be fine for club and event rides but not I am going to cover 75 miles a day for the next 12 weeks.

I think the bigger question is why the LHT will not do for a tour.

40
General Discussion / Re: Cyclocross Bike for Southern Tier
« on: December 01, 2015, 12:38:52 pm »
Just in case you want to think about where your pennies go...

That one pound of difference between a titanium and a steel frames, is not going to make any difference in your life.  You are talking about static weight, and one pound of static weight is negligible.  If that is the only reason for getting a titanium frame, I would buy a steel frame.

41
General Discussion / Re: cassettes
« on: November 24, 2015, 11:48:47 am »
Don't know why Jamis set the Aurora Elite up like a road bike when the Aurora is geared for touring.

Welcome to the sometimes absurd world of touring bikes.  The mainstay bike companies know that most touring bikes sold will never actually see panniers, and are being purchased for their relaxed fit.  So they routinely do stupid things.  Jamis is no exception.  The alloy chosen for the Aurora is not stiff enough to be a good touring bike.  And as you have noted, the better framed Aurora Elite is not geared low enough. 


42
General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 17, 2015, 01:48:16 pm »
Can you go back to the guy who fit you for your Cannondale and say "Will this LHT work?".

43
General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 17, 2015, 01:07:15 pm »
You really need to find a good bike shop to work with. 

They would have you come in with your current bike, watch you ride it and then extrapolate to the geometry of the LHT.  It is highly unlikely that some else that is  5'-10" has your torso length and leg length.  So I would not draw any conclusions from their experience.

I am a smart guy, but I cannot look at geometry charts for frames and say what will fit who.  I do know people who can, and they are generally people trained to fit custom frames.

Please find a good bike shop with a staffer you trust.

44
Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a combination road / light touring bike
« on: November 15, 2015, 09:01:43 pm »
I am sticking with you need to sort out the bikes that go with the riding you want to do.  I still think you need multiple bikes, how many is up to you.

Adding a Ti bike to mix is an interesting subject.  For most of us, the weight of the frame is given more importance than it really deserves.  A good steel frame comes in at 4 pounds (maybe 5 pounds for a touring bike), a titanium frame is 3 pounds, and an aluminum frame is 2.5 pounds.  A pro racer might pick up on the weight differences, but I doubt any of us on the forum would tell.  We might pick up on handling differences.  Carbon fiber can be light but I don't think it is durable enough for touring.  Rotating mass is where you get your bang for the buck--moment of inertia is technical term that describes the dynamics of what is going on.

I have a friend with a Ti back road bike,  and he got it because he wanted a livelier ride than he would get from aluminum, and because he is "hard on equipment" and  carbon fiber would not hold up.  We salt our roads in the winter time up here and that may also have been a factor.  His touring bike is a steel CoMotion Americano.


45
Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a combination road / light touring bike
« on: November 12, 2015, 12:47:58 pm »
I think you have conflicting goals, and not all of them can be met with one bike.

You want a bike that you can go on event rides, and the one that you already have could be fine for that.
You want to do a van supported trip, and again the bike you already have could be fine for that.
Maybe a professional fitting to make the bike more comfortable for you would be a good investment.  It you are all handy, some upgrades from down tube shifters if it has them.

As for over night trips, any light touring bike could work for you.  The fit will be relaxed, but you may or may not like it for other riding.  Some think that a touring bike has a harsh ride when it is not loaded up with some gear.  I think softer tires are are the right answer, but I found rack and fenders a turn off for everyday riding.  I am not sure I understand what an adventure bike is, as there is no consistent marketing hype.

Dirt roads might be better served by a different bike, as I think 700x32 is a better fit than 700x28.  Again rack and fenders would be annoying.  I think a compliant frame would be better than a stiff touring frame.

I currently have 4 bikes in use.  I have a short wheel base road bike that is probably similar to your Cannondale.  I have a heavy touring bike.  I have a mountain bike that I put snow tires on for winter riding.  And I took one of my kids mountain bikes and turned it into a road bike for riding on dirt and gravel roads.  I keep toying with a gravel road bike, but so far most of them do not come in frames small enough to fit me, as I don't fit a 52 CM frame.





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