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Messages - paddleboy17

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Gear Talk / Re: Vargo titanium alcohol stove
« on: January 09, 2014, 12:56:19 pm »
I have a Vargo in my collection.

It is very small and light.  It can be difficult to light, and the trick is overfill it and then dribble some fuel on the top prior to lighting.

If all you want to do is boil a liter or less of water then it is a fine choice.  If you are trying to do more than that, the challenge is that you need to wait for it to cool in order to refill and relight.  You can make it work, but there are other stoves that would be less work to use in this capacity.

I am saving my Vargo for my emergency survival kit.

Gear Talk / Re: Which triple crankset will fit my bike?
« on: January 09, 2014, 12:39:07 pm »
Thanks for the very useful info Wayne and Dave. I am leaning towards going with MTB cranks at the moment to get the gearing I want. I will probably go the ebay route for some lightly used XTs to keep the cost down. Just have to be sure and get the correct BB. Thanks again,  Jack

XT is sometimes overrated.  I would seriously look at LX (whatever its currently called since I think Shimano rotated names around). 

I thought I read comments telling you to replace the front derailleur.  My experience has been that sometimes you need a mountain front derailleur to go with a mountain crank, and sometimes you can get the existing road derailleur to work (if you lower the road derailleur down the new proper height).  I would spend the effort tweaking your current front derailleur before I would invest in a new derailleur.

Gear Talk / Re: Opinions on refurbishing/re-equipping a 20-year old bike
« on: December 11, 2013, 12:25:49 pm »
Shimano LX is the standard for touring, with a few opting for the more expensive XT components. A common upgrade is an XT rear derailleur on an otherwise LX equipped bike.

I would say the using mountain bike components is  a wise choice.  LX is certainly good, but I think Deore and SLX (successor of LX?) are worth looking at too. 

I am intrigued by the new 2x stuff, but I personally need lower gears that a 26/38 would provide.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 poor brakes
« on: November 15, 2013, 12:50:02 pm »
.....sounds like the levers are not able to pull enough cable to make the brakes effective. I too would suggest Travel agents
First the bike came with V-brakes (Avid SD5) and matching long pull levers. There are no longer pull levers and a Travel Agent will only make the leverage worse, not better.  Either the OP has the pads set too far from the rims at rest or the brake arm are too flexible or the pads are inferior.

Which brings us back to the condition of the wheel.  I asked earlier if the wheel was true or not.  If the brakes are loosened to accommodate a wheel that wobbles, they won't stop all that well.  DaveB's implied question about the brakes being properly adjusted is fair game too.  Even side pull brakes generally work.  Cantilever or linear pull brakes should be fine for this application.  Yes, a loaded bike takes longer to stop.

And again, there are hydraulic rim brakes for those that want'em.  I checked, SRAM still makes them, looks like ~$600.

Pad are the cheapest change to make.  Dir the OP try that?

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 poor brakes
« on: November 12, 2013, 12:43:44 pm »
Make sure that the rim is true and free of surface imperfections.

A "travel agent" is used to allow non linear pull brake levers work with linear pull (aka V) breaks.  This might give you some mechanical advantage.  They are cheap, so it is worth trying.

Lastly, this sounds like a job, albeit an expensive job, for hydraulic brakes.  Yes they are expensive, but they do know how to clamp.  ::)

Gear Talk / Re: Shipping My LHT with Racks and Fenders
« on: November 12, 2013, 12:36:47 pm »
I second your position.  Since when to golfers deserve so much respect?  Airlines (other than SouthWest, and I can't speak for Frontier), know how to ship golf clubs and do not know how to ship bicycles.

Gear Talk / Re: Shipping My LHT with Racks and Fenders
« on: November 05, 2013, 12:43:06 pm »
Actually, I was pushing both options. 

If Amtrak had a workable train with roll on/roll off service, you could get there without having to disassemble your bike.  Sure it might be as slow as driving, and not a fiscal bargain, but it is an option I keep trying to explore on my trips.  Closest I ever came to shipping by Amtrak was an Amtrak bus ($10 for unlimited use of bay #2).

Both Amtrak and Greyhound shipping are worth looking into and you would not be bound by the usual box limits that go with shipping via DHL, FedEx, or UPS.  Greyhound can probably get from anywhere to anywhere else, whereas Amtrak might require you to drive to Chicago in order to ship to Tuscon.

Just remember that the bike store box will probably be considered oversize by DHL, FedEx, or UPS, and still be expensive to ship.  USPS might be more forgiving.  If you think you are going to do a lot of traveling, then one of the commercial cases might pay for itself.  In shipping a bicycle,  it really is all about boxes' length + width + height, and then its weight.

Gear Talk / Re: Shipping My LHT with Racks and Fenders
« on: October 31, 2013, 12:16:10 pm »
Leaving racks and fenders on will require a really big box (say an Amtrak bike box), and a box that big will be really expensive to ship via FedEx, UPS, or DHL.  I think Amtrak may have a freight service, I know that Greyhound Bus has a freight service.  I would look into GreyHound Freight.  It might be $75 -$100 to ship a large box from one bus terminal to another bus terminal.  The critical dimension to ship with Greyhound Freight is the height of the cargo bay.

I shipped my bike from Detroit (MI) to Salem (OR) this summer.  It was $115, and I used an old Performance Bike hard case.  The case looks a lot like the one Thule sells.  Yes, I had to tear the bike apart to fit in the case, but the case fits under the FedEx oversize limit.  FedEx, UPS, and DHL have similar limits for what they consider oversize.  A regular bike box is in the oversize category, and the rate is much higher.  An Amtrak bike box is even much larger, and FedEx/UPS/DHL may not even accept it due to size.  Plus they may have a fit because the Amtrak box needs to travel upright.

You might look into taking an Amtrak train instead of flying.  Some Amtrak trains have roll on/roll off service for bikes.
Please let me know what you ultimately do.

Gear Talk / Re: Old battery systems, convert to USB?
« on: October 24, 2013, 01:04:51 pm »
i bought a battery the size of a deck of cards.  It will charge an iPhone 3X or almost charge an iPad.  $70 on Amazon.  Just dispose of your NightRider batteries in an environmentally responsible way.

General Discussion / Re: Day Jobs?
« on: October 21, 2013, 12:16:53 pm »
No one is going to like my answer...

If it is just you, you have options.  But if you have a wife and or kids, you do NOT have options.  The grown up thing to do is put them first, and keep  your dreams on hold until you situation permits you to indulge in them.  In my case, I am very much looking forward to retirement.  I am 55, and have a 35 year backlog of neglected personal projects.  In 10 years, assuming I get to retire in comfort, I will have a 45 year backlog of neglected personal projects to start getting caught up on.

General Discussion / Re: Motivation: why ride?
« on: October 02, 2013, 12:38:02 pm »
I am only able to do shorter trips, but I don't know anyone that tours at all.

I like the fact that I move myself and my possessions daily.  The "fix" leaves me better prepared to meet life, and confident that I can survive should civilization collapse.

General Discussion / Re: complete newb, GDMBR in 2014
« on: August 27, 2013, 01:28:27 pm »
I rode a section in New Mexico with my buddys, about 12 years ago.  I think my experience is applicable to you though.

We used hard tail mountain bikes, with 26" wheels (29" wheels did not exist back then), and we used trailers.  I remember water being a bit of an issue as it was harder to resupply than we thought it would be.  Several streams shown on our maps were dry, and there were feces laden mud pits that we refused to drink from (this being cattle country).  So make sure that you manage your potable water. 

In rough country, you may not make 50 miles a day.

I am a city boy and do not normally interact with cows.  Not making eye contact with them seemed to be the best strategy.  We had a lot of instances of the cattle bolting in response to seeing us.  The cattle would then run parallel to us.  At some point the fence would angle towards the road, and it was a race to see how would get to the gate first.  There is a grate across the road at each gate, and cattle cannot cross the grate.  If the race looks close, just let the cows win as they will settle down, go back to eating, and forget what the fuss about.

Am I the only with cattle stories?

One of my buddy's went back a few years later and rode Colorado.  It sounds like Colorado was not as difficult as New Mexico was.

I would drop frame weight from your consideration.  Rotating weight is what really matters, and that will be under your control.

If the LHT strikes you as heavy, that is probably due to the non-frame choices due to completing the bike.    All steel frames will be on the order of 4 pounds.

Long wheel base to give you clearance is in direct conflict with short wheel base to give you agility.  No easy way out here...

What about using a trailer with your current bike?  I like personally like trailers for off road and prefer panniers on road. 

I think you need to tabulate and rate your criteria. 

Sounds like you really have your heart set on a cross bike, which may not make the best touring bike.
Some other contenders that you could look at, which are in your price range, include the Soma Saga, Surly Cross Check, and Surly Long Haul Trucker

You have expressed fairly low gear weights, but don't forget about feature creep.  Your cargo needs could go up.  A cross bike should have a shorter wheel base and potential heel strike issues.  A touring bike is going to be longer, but less nimble.  I think you need to sort out your requirements, and then a frame will probably choose itself.

General Discussion / Re: Road bike for touring??
« on: August 15, 2013, 12:12:52 pm »
You should plan at least one overnight trip to try out your stuff.  Better to learn what you don't like early, while you can still make changes.  You may like or dislike the bike and trailer, and you may like or dislike your gear too.

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