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Messages - paddleboy17

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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.

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). :)

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.


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.

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.

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. 

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?".

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.

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.

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.

You might consider a Shimano 105 mid cage rear derailleur.  It will span a 32 tooth cassette.  There are two versions of the 105 derailleur.  The ones Performance bike carries (RD-5700-SS or RD-5700-GS) may not work, the one Nashbar carries (RD-5701-GS) will work.  I think an RD-5700-SS is good for 28 teeth and an RD-5700-GS is good for 30 teeth. 

10 speed shifting is a bit more ornery than 9 speed.  Mountain bike shifters over shift and the settle into position.  Road shifters go directly into position.  So you might want to stay with a road shifter and a road derailleur.  I upgraded one of my bikes from 8 speed to 10 speed and eventually ended up with a Durace bar con shifter and a 105 rear derailleur.  I am generally pleased with where I ended up, and not so please with the intermediate combinations I tried.

Nashbar is selling the Durace shifters for $50 right now, and you should know that the Durace shifters no longer support non indexed mode.

I replace a set of 9 speed Ultegra brifters with Microshift brifters and they have been OK.  The fit and finish is not the same, but the shifting is more positive.

Just hunt for a compact mountain bike crank.  Any 10 speed triple will do, preferably one that is 22/32/42.

I don't know if an 11 speed crank will work or not, but you can probably get any crank to work since you have bar end shifters.

You may or may not need to replace your front derailleur.  Since you are putting a smaller bolt circle crank on the bike, you will need to move the front derailleur down the seat tube to make it shift properly.  If you cannot get it to work, then get a mountain bike front derailleur designed for a compact crank.

I agree that the gearing choice is stupid, but then building the not Elite Aurora frame out Reynolds 520 is even stupider.

Changing the crank and getting it to work should not be that hard.  You can do it.

There are small frames that meet your standover requirements.  The real question is about your torso length and the top tube length.  The bike manufacturers know that smaller frames are purchased by adolescent males and females of a longer age range.  So a smaller stock frame may work for you.  You just need find a bike dealer that you can trust to properly fit you.  There is only so much magic that can be done with changing stems.

Georgina Terry made her whole career out of female friendly bicycle.  She is semi retired now.  I think she sold her company to Trek, but she has a web site and was selling complete packages based on Waterford frames.  Last time I looked, her pricing was pretty good but it will be at the high end of your range or just outside your range.  You will have to look and see for  yourself.

Trek used to have their WSB (women specific bicycle) line, but I don't know if that is still around anymore.

Seriously, find a good dealer and go from there.

Gear Talk / Re: Back To Bar Cons
« on: August 25, 2015, 12:57:02 pm »
If the bike is that cramped, maybe you should put a longer stem on.  Or do you have a short torso?

General Discussion / Re: Buying Used Question
« on: August 03, 2015, 12:53:11 pm »
Background: I took my trek fx 7.5 in to get a gearing upgrade the suggestion from a local expert re taking it cross country is in addition to new gearing is to replace wheels, (24) spokes, replace fork with a steel fork from trek 7.3, add bar ends. He said by the time you have done the up grads you have payed 1/3 the cost of a new touring bike - or 1/2 to full price of buying a used bike.

I started reading Craig's List last night and see two bikes in my size. A Fuji touring for 400. And a Cannondale T800 for 300.  I'm not going to offer to buy either because I need to learn some things first and I'm not in a rush.
So my buying used question: 1 how do I determine they are not a stollen bikes and 2. How do you determine the condition since I'm not mechanically inclined?

Any suggestions for thinking through this?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

The conversion does not sound that bad.   A new wheel set is easy enough to get, and just have a new cassette put on it.  The current FX 7.5 picture shows a tapped fork that should work.  I don't know that you need bar ends.  I would try to make do with the bike that you have. 

Are their other things about the upgrade?

Thanks. Yeah, I think drilling a hole would need the tiniest bit and a hand steadier than mine, but maybe a drill could turn it...  I live a long way from anywhere that might sell something like that, so if I can't get it out, I'll ask a car mechanic :)

Any decent hardware store should be able to sell you an easyout.  They are pretty common.

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