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Messages - paddleboy17

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Gear Talk / Re: Looking For Cannondale TX1000 Info - Who Has or Had One
« on: January 30, 2014, 01:52:07 pm »
From my point of view, it has to do with maintenance.  The pickings for 27" tires are getting slimmer and slimmer.  Hub choices for 126mm are also slimmer.  I have a similar concern about freewheels. 

I have a bike that is 126 mm dropouts, and I am able to squeeze in a 9 speed wheel, but it is a 700c wheel.

Besides my concerns about maintenance, you are right in that 6 speed and 27" wheels are perfectly functional, but I would be offering less than $500 for the bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking For Cannondale TX1000 Info - Who Has or Had One
« on: January 30, 2014, 12:49:28 pm »
I had a buddy who has the 2000.  I think it was the same frame as the 1000, only nicer components.  If I remember right this is an aluminum frame with a steel fork.  I think $500 dollars could be an OK price if the bike is in good shape.  I think you should be able to look at the bike and figure out if has been in a crash or otherwise abused.  Make sure that things that rotate, rotate cleanly with out any dry spots.  Make sure that the wheels are true and then round. 

Besides SunTour parts, what else do you know about the bike?  6/7/8/9 speed?  700c or 27" wheels?

If the bike has 6 or 7 speeds, I would pass.  If the bike has 27" wheels, I would pass. 

Otherwise, it might be OK for your first touring bike.  I am a bit of a steel bigot, so I might not take an aluminum bike around the world, but this  bike could be OK for more modest trips.

I would bet that Treks budget frames are not made in the US.  There are only a couple of frame factories, and most of them are in the far east.  I am from Detroit, so I am definitely pro made in the USA.  I would go for whichever frame comes with the stuff that you want on it.  There is not much about building a frame that the other reputable frame builders do not also know.

One other thing that you should be aware of.  Most commercial touring bikes are really light touring bikes.  Most of the people who buy them never throw any gear on them but want the more upright position, and the bike makers know this.  My first touring bike was on joy on dirt roads and wiggled when you put panniers on it.  So whatever you buy, I would test ride it with panniers first as a condition of sale.  Throw gallon jugs of water in the panniers to approximate gear.

General Discussion / Re: bike tour spring summer 2014 questions
« on: January 30, 2014, 12:23:28 pm »
Your situation may be a function of what you eat.  My metabolism get pretty skewed after the first day of riding. 

As others have said, listen to your body, and if you are hungry then eat.

I find that if I break camp and then make breakfast, that seems to go better for me.  The other thing I do is to up my protein intake on tours.  That is harder than you think as most camp cuisine is carbohydrate heavy.  So add nuts to your oatmeal, and put lots of meat in your spaghetti. I try to eat lunch in restaurants but I always have peanut butter in my pack.  I thought I read in a book on cycling nutrition that normal people need about 2500 calories a day but cyclist on tour need 5000 calories on tour.  I could have the number off so please don't crucify me.  The point is that touring is hard work, and you might have to eat accordingly.

Gear Talk / Re: First Touring Bike
« on: January 23, 2014, 01:18:19 pm »
If the bike does not fit you properly, then it is not worth owning. 

Lets talk about what happens once you put panniers on it.  The bike still fits as good or as bad as it did before.  The handling will be lethargic.  The bike will be slower in general.  If the bike frame was not designed for touring, it may also wiggle or shake (or it may not).

Are you concerned about keep in bike up right when you start or when you are stopped at a light?  I don't really understand your fit concerns, but maybe you could tell us more.  The long wheel base of a touring bike makes the bike pretty stable once it is moving...

Some loose rules on fit.  The bike frame size is chosen based on your stand over, and then the stem (plus steering column spacers) and seat are adjusted to make the bike work for you.  For many people, the frame size based on their stand over, can never be made to work for them because the stem would be insanely too long or too short, and that is why there is a market for custom bicycles.  I generally fit a standard bike, but I have a friend that can only ride a custom bike.

You probably should get hooked up with a good bike store that knows how to fit you for a touring bike.  Finding the right store can be a challenge.  One of our local stores  is known for their fit service, but their focus is on racing, and they don't know much about touring bikes or how to fit one.  I bought two bikes from them, but my touring bike came from somewhere else.  I am in the market for a cross bike, so I will probably go back there.

Where do you live?  Are you in New York?  Someone on this forum might know a good store in your area.

General Discussion / Re: Continental divide advice
« on: January 16, 2014, 12:57:26 pm »
I only rode central and southern New Mexico.  I did it on a hard tailed mountain bike, towing a trailer.  As I remember, there was lots of washboarded dirt roads and two track.  Washboard sucks no matter what you do, but I liked having a suspension fork.

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.

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