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Messages - paddleboy17

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General Discussion / Re: Furthest Distance
« on: May 12, 2009, 05:24:11 pm »
The island features fabulous views of downtown areas....of Detroit .......
I've seen downtown Detroit and the word "fabulous" NEVER occured to me. :)

The views from Belle Isle are indeed fabulous.  This is best view Detroit has to offer.  Pictures like this
were shot from Belle Isle.  Now the views from Zug Island (just a ways down the Detroit River) used to be truly hellish.   

To the best of my knowledge, the river has never caught fire.  There is an urban legend about the MI-DNR being unable to get water sample (the water rotted their galvanized buckets).  ::)

So how is the riding in Pittsburgh?  I have been meaning to do the GAP--I just have to work out the logistics.  We were going to start from the train station but chickened out after driving the route to the trail head.  Some of the neighborhoods  looked bad even by Detroit standards.  Got any suggestions?


Gear Talk / Re: touring wheels
« on: May 11, 2009, 12:12:49 pm »
I have ridden a Trek 7100 500 miles on trail and road once and a Trek 7300 the same trip twice.
And, I bike a 47 mile paved loop on weekends at home. 

I need some advice.  My rear wheel goes out of round all the time.  I weigh 190 and on the 500 miles trips carry perhaps 25 lbs
in rear panniers.  The 47 mile trip is without baggage.
I don't abuse the bike.

Why do I have so much trouble with the rear wheel?
Can I buy a wheel that will work without going out of round?
Or should I resign myself to fixing this all the time?

Thanks for any help.

I am guessing that your spokes are poorly tensioned.

Not only must the wheel be round and true, but it must be done with spokes evenly tensioned.  This is hard enough on the front wheel, and it is even harder on the rear wheel.  Most rear wheels are dished, which requires spokes to be longer on one side.  I am in awe of competent wheel builders.

Find a competent wheel builder to go over your wheel.    Perhaps if you say where you live, you could get a recommendation from someone on this list.

Gear Talk / Re: touring wheels
« on: May 11, 2009, 12:05:58 pm »
I'm lucky enough to be biking from Wyoming to Alaska-about 2500 miles- this summer. I understand there will be a few gravel stretches of several miles. The old Helicomatic rear hub on my 85 Trek has finally given up, so I'm in need of wheels.

Fully loaded with panniers front and back, the bike will have to carry about 160 to 170 pounds of rider and gear.- I like my little luxuries, but try to pack lightly.

Finally to the question: How much wheel do I really need?  I'm tempted to get Mavic a719 laced to 105 or Ultegra, but wonder whether something like Open Pro (which I already have) would survive the ride.  I would rather not use mtn hubs, as that would require spreading the rear dropouts, from their present 126 to 132 or 135cm, a proposition which scares me.

I previously toured on a bike that came with Tiagra hubs.  I tore these down as part of the rebuild I did to get the bike ready to sell.  I was amazed at how well the hubs had held up.  I think that this is a great hub for budget conscious touring.

I am not sure that I would go with 105 or Ultegra hubs for touring.  Your weight is not going to be a problem, but the dust seals might be.  These hubs were designed for club rides and amateur racers.

I really can't comment on Mavic rims.  I own them.  I think more of Mavic's rims that I do their hubs.  I just have this impression that Mavic thinks everyone weight 165LBS or less.  I have Velocity Dyad rims on my new touring bike and I am real happy with them.

General Discussion / Re: Furthest Distance
« on: May 09, 2009, 01:44:47 pm »
In May every year, there is an event known as the Woverine 200 that takes place in the Detroit area.  The traditional format was to ride a course on Belle Isle from 10am Saturday until 10am Sunday, trying of course to ride 200 miles.  The year I did it, I completed 200 miles in 16 hours.  I might have did it in 14 hours, but I was there with friends that were casual riders, and they insisted I stop for meals with them.  I road my 2nd century with a guy that was shooting for 400 miles (I think he made 350).

For those of you not familiar with Detroit, Belle Isle is both an island and a municipal park out in the Detroit River.  The island features fabulous views of downtown areas of both Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Now they cut the ride off at 10pm Saturday.  I miss the old format, but given Detroit's fiscal shape, the ride's organizers might not have had a choice.  Crime and murders are up in Detroit. Rufians would hide on the Wolverine 200 route and throw rocks at you after dark.  So maybe they cut things back for safety reasons.

But it is a great ride, should any of you care to venture to Detoit on May 23.

Gear Talk / Re: Front Racks
« on: May 07, 2009, 08:44:39 pm »
One last detail on the Nashbar rack.  It looks like your fork has a lug behind the wheel.  The rack is going to be looking for a lug in front of the wheel.  You can make this work, you just need a bushing to deal with the thickness of the fork.  You won't know until you try to install the rack.  Your local hardware store should have bins of mechanical fasteners, washers, and bushings.  Aluminum bushings are cheap, you will just have to figure out how thick a bushing you will need.  Don't be thrown by this, my Tubus Tara came with a bushing just for this very reason.  The bolt goes through the rack, through the bushing, and into the lug.  You might need a longer bolt than what comes with your rack's hardware.  Again, a good hardware store will have what you need. 

If this is more than you are up for, the JandD rack is set up for a lug where yours is.

Either way, invest in quality fasteners.  I managed to get stainless steel for my bike.   

Gear Talk / Re: Front Racks
« on: May 07, 2009, 08:12:27 pm »
Well, I got this one from a local shop, the local shops don't even have front racks around here, except for this one that luckily had two and they didn't work for our bikes. They are Performace TransIt Front Racks.

I was thinking about getting the Nashbar Front Rack and hoping it'll fit just fine?

It is a variation of an old Blackburn design.  MEC makes a variation of it too.  I have used the MEC version.

It is not as strong as the JandD front rack, but it is probably strong enough.  JandD uses larger diameter tubing, that is why it would be stronger.

There are lots of holes drilled in those plates, so it should be no problem mounting the front rack.  I would use a washer under the bolt distribute the clamping force.  I think you will do OK with it. 

Just bring some tie raps in case you have to improvise.  Their just like duct tape, don't leave home without them. :D

Gear Talk / Re: Front Racks
« on: May 07, 2009, 07:00:45 pm »
Hi, I'm still trying to figure out which front racks to use. I bought some and they didn't fit, they're some generic ones. I'm looking at the Nashbar Front Rack, but I was wondering if anyone is sure it'll fit my Trek 7.2 bike? I don't want to buy another and not have it fit. Our trip is being postponed because of this and I'd like to get them ASAP if they would work.


I think this is one where buying a name brand rack from your local bike shop is your best route.  That way your not stuck with the rack if it won't fit.  If you don't have a local bike shop to work with, then I guess mail order is your next best bet.

What kind of fit problems were you having?  It looks like an easy fork to fit.  The JandD Low Front Rack should go on easy.

There is usually a lot that can be done with washers and bushings to make things work.

I would like to ride about 90 miles a day, as I realize the time limitations I have set for myself would demand such. (I am thinking more like 50 days of riding, not 45).

I don't know you and I don't know your riding style, but I did a tour in which we averaged 80 miles a day.  I hated it.  I felt like it was about covering today's target mileage, and that I was not seeing or experiencing my route.  For me, the ride is a celebration of the fact that I am alive, and that I can do this, and so many other people are missing out.  Maybe there are parts of this country that are boring as hell, and you just can't wait to pass through them.

I think your experience will be enriched if you cut your mileage targets back.

Just my 2 cents...

Gear Talk / Re: Good Rear derailer for touring
« on: May 05, 2009, 11:28:32 am »
I was under the impression that I could fit a 24t sprocket on the FSA.  I chose 3 new chain rings 48-36-24 to replace the OEM 50-39-30.  I think this will get me in the ballpark for a good climbing gear......24 front 27 rear.....that works out to 24 gear inches....Not that bad even for the Appalachians.

That sounds expensive (was it?).  A new LX crank is $180.  You may have to move the front derailleur down the tube a bit to work with the smaller gear rings.

There was an earlier reference to Interlock Racing Designs 10-speed Cassettes.  I finally looked these up.  They will indeed give you mountain bike gearing for a 10 speed system.  I cannot comment on how light they are or how well they are made.  They are a little pricey, but spider based cassettes are expensive.

One thing to look out for on your tour.  I have the impression that 10 speed chains are not as tough as 9 speed chains.  Perhaps someone else can comment on this.  I would bring a chain gauge with you and check for wear.  Replace your chain early, especially if you invest in aftermarket cassettes.  If the chain stretches and wears out other components, getting replacements will slow you up.

Gear Talk / Re: Good Rear derailer for touring
« on: May 04, 2009, 09:52:25 am »
A do not think that an SRAM derailleur will not work.  My understanding is that a SRAM derailleur will work only with a SRAM shifter, something about the proportions of the parallelagram being different.

Mountain bike derailleurs work under more abusive conditions than a road derailleur, that is why they are more expensive.  XTR is deep into the gram consciousness (as was previously posted), so it is not appropriate here.

Touching up the back end of this bike is likely to snowball.  The conversion could lead to 9 speed cassette, mountain derailleur, and new shifters as well.  Brifters (those integrated brake/shifters) are really expensive.  Going to separate brake levers and barcon shifters would probably be cheaper, and it would let you use those auxillary brake levers that Cane Creek makes.
I put them on my Waterford and I don't know how I ever made it through life without them.

There was some discussion about this bike on another thread.  I still think the bike should be ridden under load to see if its owner has the leg strength to ride the bike as is. 

I have had mixed results replacing the granny gear on cranks with a smaller one.  For me, I don't think they shift that well.  I previously suggested leaving the back end of the bike alone and putting a mountain crank up front.  It would be great for touring, but probably limited for regular riding.  There are no easy or cheap changes here.

Should livinday2day02 want to go the 9 speed brifter route, I have a pair of used, 9 speed Tiagra brifters in my parts bin.  I relubed them last summer before I put them in the bin, so they should be in good shape.  Contact me off list if you are interested at

Gear Talk / Re: Inexpensive Touring Gear
« on: May 01, 2009, 01:35:31 pm »
I share many of staehpj1 feelings on hammocks.  The hammocks are pretty cool looking, so on my last tour I kept looking to see if one would have worked out.  I have "responsibilities", so I can't manage being on tour for longer than a week.  I have not bought a hammock yet, but I am enamored with them.

Has anyone ever slept in one?

The recent Cateye cyclometers I'm familiar with have pickup mounts that are useable anywhere along the length of the fork blade. 

Great, but I doubt there is enough clearance to put it at the hub.  You probably have to for 1/3rd of the way out from the hub to get enough clearance.  I also have a harness another vendor that is a big honking thing, and by the time I get enough clearance between the fork and the spokes, it is 2/3rds of the way out.

As was previously mentioned, anywhere on the spoke could work.  The sweet spot is probably in the middle.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 30, 2009, 12:44:14 pm »
Well Thanks for your opinions...I guess your right...some not smart component choices for touring.  Hopefully with some changes to gearing and wheel selection i can get this thing across the country with me....I put a down payment on one at my lbs last week. 

Tiagra hubs are not bad hubs.  I don't know much about the Mavic rims, other than a general impression that Mavic thinks no one serious about biking weigh over 160 lbs.  The default tire are 700x32, so may be it is time to commit to ultralight camping. http://

Here is one other twist you will have to watch.  If I am reading the specs properly, the rear derailleur is an Ultegra GS.  I don't think that can cover more that a 27 or 28 tooth cluster.  So if you follow through on improving the gearing, replacing the cluster might involve replacing the rear derailleur too.

It might be less painful to replace the front crank with a mountain bike crank.  I would get second opinions on running a 10 speed chain on it.  I truly don't know if it can be done.  Just a thought.  Other opinions?

Be sure to do some test rides with your gear.  I recommend overnight trips to get acquainted with your bike and its handling under load.  Be sure to do some hill climbs to find out what your gearing limitations are.  It night very well be that you are one awesomely strong dude.

Again, good luck with your trip.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 29, 2009, 03:20:27 pm »
They still have the 2008 on their web site.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 29, 2009, 12:23:50 pm »
I once toured on a Reynolds 520 frame, and the frame wiggled when I toured.  I won't say who made the frame.  In defense of the frame, I weigh over 200 lbs, so maybe my weight and the weight of my gear, was too much to ask.  Reynolds is being vague about their tube set properties right now, expecting you to know how to interpret engineering specs.  I could swear that Reynolds used to say that 520 and 525 (same alloy, one is licensed for manufacturing in Asia) should be used for light applications only.  I read that as don't use it to build a touring bike, and don't use it to build a tandem bike.

So the Jamis Aurora Elite is a strange animal.  It has that Reynolds 631 frame, it is equipped for club rides, and Jamis sells it as a touring bike.

If you could buy the Aurora Elite frame and put the Aurora build kit on the bike, you would have something.  If you could get a custom build kit and the Elite frame you would have something.  Not mentioned, beside the limited cassette selection for 10 speed, 9 speed is a lot tougher and that is why you see few 10 speed mountain bikes.

I have a friend the rides a Cannondale T-2000 (now called the Touring-2).  It is in the same price range as the Aurora Elite, and has mostly sensible components on it.  The Cannondale touring bikes have that shorter wheelbase more nimble ride.  So far Cannodale has stayed true and not bastardized the bike with a cheap Chinese made carbon fiber fork.

So perhaps a Touring-2 would be a good alternative.

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