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Messages - paddleboy17

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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.

Gear Talk / Re: Computer Install Question on LHT - Placement on Spoke
« on: April 29, 2009, 11:49:35 am »
The shape of the pick up sensor usually dictates where on the fork it must be mounted.  I position the magnet to work with the sensor.


    Thanks Jenn. I used Pittsburg to Cleveland and it worked but I don't want to go to Cleveland but I've gotten other help.


So what are you using to plot your route?

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 26, 2009, 09:25:20 am »
I finally got a chance to recheck my facts.

The equipping on the Treck 520 is more suitable to touring than the Jamis Aurora Elite.  I don't know much about the quality of the steel in the bike, as the specs are a little vague.

The Jamis Aurora has similar gearing, but it is a Reynolds 520 frame.  Reynolds recommends 520 for lighter applications.  From my own esperience, I would agree with them.

The Jamis Aurora Elite has that beautiful frame, and silly component choices for touring.

Welcome to the wonderful would of bike touring the none of the sub $3000 bikes come the way you would want.

Obviously you need to do some test rides.  Also you need to find a LBS that will swap things around for you.  Good luck.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 24, 2009, 02:31:45 pm »
I have to do this from memory as I am eating my lunch at work, and our web police will let me go to adventure cycling, but NOT the bike vendors...

There are two Aurora bikes:  The Aurora and the Aurora Elite.  From what I remember, the Aurora Elite has a really nice frame.  The 520 and the Aurora have comparable frames,  although the Aurora has a slightly inferior grade of steel relative to the 520.  So the Aurora Elite is worth buying just to get the better steel frame.  Both the Aurora and the Aurora Elite are geared similarly, and the Aurora Elite has nice components to go with that nicer frame.

I can't turn the big gears I could when I was younger, so the Aurora's are geared for someone with stronger legs than mine.  Maybe this is not an issue for you, or maybe your dealer can swap things around.  You might also see if you can get a deal on an Aurora Elite frame only and a build kit.  The 520 has a little friendlier gearing.  As I recall, the 520 has bar con shifters, and I don't remember what shifters the Elite has.

I will check my facts when I get home (and away from the web police), but the bottom line is that I would buy the Aurora Elite.

Gear Talk / Re: Pedal Suggestions for Soft Soled Shoes?
« on: April 23, 2009, 12:00:11 pm »
I would have to agree with Russ--get cycling shoes.  They may suck for hiking, but the stiffness is there to make your ride more comfortable.  You don't have to get clipless pedals, but they are easier to manage than toe clips equipped pedals.  You don't get anything out of your upstroke from a platform pedal.

I also have wide feet (D width).  I have a pair of SIDIs as my road shoes (even though they are SPD shoes).  I also have a pair of Specialized shoes that just happen to come with a wide toe box that I use for mountain bike riding.  The rationale is that my off road shoes get muddy and I like to keep my road shoes presentable.

You might want to build a relationship with your local bike shop.  Mine LBS told me about the Specialized shoes because the LBS knew their inventory and my needs.  The SIDI shoes were expensive, the Specialized shoes were not expensive.

General Discussion / Re: Safety issues for solo biking
« on: April 20, 2009, 11:58:27 am »
I might add that you should have your cell phone charged and handy.  Calling 911 can solve a multitude of social problems: aggressive dogs, butt head drivers, rock pelting children, etc.

Gear Talk / Re: Inexpensive Touring Gear
« on: April 20, 2009, 11:54:00 am »
If you could guarantee trees on your route, you should consider a camping hammock instead of a tent.  I think these are in the $130-$150 range.  This is a about the price of a low end solo tent, and no Thermarest is needed.  I might try to go this route, but I upgraded my tent and mat last season.  The hammocks are strung between trees, and you enter from the bottom.  They looked really nice.  I thought REI carried them at one point.  Googling camping hammock should get you close.

There was a recent thread on cook stoves.  A home made alcohol stove is light and cheap.

I once listened to a lecture by a woman who had hiked the Appalachian Trail.  She had decided that hot meals were not worth trouble, and abandoned both her stove and cook set.  I am not sure that I would do that, but it is a very interesting concept.  This takes ultralight to a new level.

Good luck with your quest, and please post you final gear selection...

Be A Volunteer and Build Alliances / Re: Intro Thread
« on: April 07, 2009, 11:48:33 am »
Hi there.  I live in Michigan (that state just above Ohio)  :).

So of course I am interested in all things Michigan.  We see ourselves as a gateway to Canada (and Ohio).

There is lots of great riding here, and there is more to the state than Detroit.

As long as you are going to be doing single track, my preferences would be a trailer also.   I would think that your route would be wide enough to let you do either.  If there are sections of narrow trail, the trailer would have the edge as your bike will have a narrower envelope.

I am a notorious trailer bigot, and there are existing threads about trailers versus panniers that you should read. :)

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