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Messages - pptouring

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Gear Talk / Re: Rain Pants
« on: August 24, 2010, 09:29:12 am »
This past May/June we were traveling through Czech and the weather was horrible. We planned on rain and temps in the 60s, not nearly freezing (upper 30s) rain! Anyways... it was much worse than we had planned for, so all we had were our rain jackets. Luckily on our 3rd day and just before we pulled the plug we found an outdoor store and a bike store.  At the outdoor store we found some light weight snow boarding pants and they worked great and at the bike store we found some waterproof shoe covers and I highly recommend them too. After picking up these two items the next 3 weeks of touring was great! 

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Head Light ?
« on: August 22, 2010, 04:50:04 pm »
1.3 lbs! Wow it really did not feel that heavy. The hub is always putting out energy, so it would depend on your lights. The lights we have (Busch & Müller Lumotec IQ Cyo R Senso Plus) have a built in sensor that detects low level light and will come on/off automatically if you have the switch in that position. The lights will come on if you travel through a tunnel and turn themselves off after you exit it.  If there is a heavy overcast the lights will come on and naturally as the sun sets they come on too.  You can also run the lights all the time or turn the switch to OFF and they'll never come on. The "Plus" means the light has a built in capacitor and will remain on for 5-8 minutes after stopping. The e-Werk wires directly into the hub so it is always ready to output electricity to your devices such as GPS, cell phone, etc... I use my Garmin GPS and the setup is great. I still require batteries because when I stop moving forward my GPS automatically switches over to them and then switches back to external power after moving. Unfortunately, I still require regular batteries because my GPS is unable to recharge them, but they last a lot, lot longer with the e-Werk.   

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Head Light ?
« on: August 22, 2010, 03:35:32 pm »
Nice hub, but it is quite heavy (over 1lb if I remember well and that's just for the hub) and it adds some resistance to the wheel.

Nah... a pound? I don't think so, but maybe! I was surprised how light the hub was and as for resistance, I think that is negligible too. I notice more drag just by adding the handlebar bag! Seriously, the weight and drag (which I feel are a non-isuse) are well worth the payoff of having not only lights whenever they're needed, but also the added advantage of adding the Busch & Müller e-Werk gadget to my bike.

Busch & Müller e-Werk

Gear Talk / Re: all weight in the rear ?
« on: August 22, 2010, 11:45:30 am »
Personally, I say split the load (10 front and 30 rear) and your bike will handle better; however, while touring in Europe, I've seen some ridiculously loaded bikes with everything in the rear. We've been approached by several tourers and they would ask us how we liked the weight up front and/or was it hard to steer and of course our response was we liked the weight up front and no it did not make the bike handle strange. Anyway that is my $.02.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycle Head Light ?
« on: August 22, 2010, 11:23:51 am »
If you can swing it, go ahead and invest in the SON Dynamo hub with a Busch&Müller Lumotec IQ Cyo R Senso Plus for the front and Busch&Müller Toplight Line Plus rear light. This is a great setup and should last you for many years (at least I hope so)! You'll have light anytime you need it or just leave them turned on always for 24/7 coverage. These lights have a built in capacitor, so even after you stop the lights stay on (~5-8 minutes) so you're seen!

Gear Talk / Re: Kickstands?
« on: August 22, 2010, 11:07:33 am »
Here are some pics of the stands.

@cyclocamping - Yes we had the Pletscher Dual leg and it is a great stand, but we couldn't keep it tight. If this setup doesn't work out I'll look into the Deluxe F8 Plate.

@Bob (aka Toursita829) - Yes UBC was able to order these for us from OrtliebUSA. Before leaving Germany I checked OrtliebUSA and saw they were available here in the US. You know I have no idea how this setup will work with a trailer, I guess I pull the trailer out, hook it up, and see what happens. I'll let you know. We are working on a new blogging site that will be complete with pictures, videos, stories, etc... from our tours. We think our next small tour will be along the East Coast starting in Maine and riding down to DC. Then for another tour we'll go up to DC and ride back down here to Florida.

Gear Talk / Re: Kickstands?
« on: August 21, 2010, 08:47:16 pm »
We tried the Pletscher center stand and it is a great stand, but we couldn't keep it tight.

During our last (May/June 2010) European tour we learned about front low rider stands, so after returning to the states we ordered some and installed them on our Co-Motions. Currently, we've (my wife and i) have moved on to the Greenfield rear kickstand and the Tubus lowrider kickstand for the front rack. Unfortunately, we've only had the stands installed for a couple weeks and have not really tested them under load, but so far we are very pleased with them.  

Greenfield Rear Stand
Tubus Low Rider Stand

I'll post some pics tomorrow of our setup.


edited: I'd like to add that I have put all my weight (~153lbs) on the bike with both stands extended and our bikes held up fine.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers- EZ on/off
« on: July 20, 2010, 09:32:04 pm »
Another vote for Ortlieb bags.

Two European tours, several local tours, and daily commuting with them! Great bags and wouldn't hesitate buying another set if we needed to.

Gear Talk / Re: Which pedal?
« on: July 14, 2010, 10:10:09 pm »
Hope I'm not too late to chime in! I'd stay away from SPD pedals, but that is me. I've owned a few pair over the years and really don't care for them; however, some people (very few) love them, but most don't! Take a look at Crank Brothers' pedals and I think you'll be much happier with them. I've used their Egg Beaters for years on my MTB rides and they're great. My wife and I have their inexpensive Candy ones on our touring bikes and they rock! Simple, Light, cheap, easy to clip in/out, and great if your feet get muddy. Our Candies have made two trips to Europe, several trips throughout Florida, daily bike commuting, and you can't beat them. If they failed today, I'd buy another pair tomorrow without hesitation. I wouldn't sweat the weight of your pedals on a touring rig too much. There are other areas where weight is more important and this advice comes from a MTB Racing weight weenie (aka me!).

What's up Bob (aka Tourista829)? Petra and I just returned from touring Czech, Poland, Slovakia, & Hungary. Good times! Hope all is well!


Gear Talk / Re: Bike Purhcase
« on: July 09, 2010, 11:47:04 pm »
You're in South Florida. Cool! I'm in the Tampa Bay area and have been XC riding for years here. I also own a 29er SS and a 26" FS for off road pleasure. Boglesan is right, you should really be chatting with MTB'ers from Florida because this site is more geared towards bike touring. However, let's see if we can help you out.

How much are you looking to spend? If you're wanting to stay under $1k, then just find a shop in your area and see what they have. I don't think you'll go wrong with anything in this price range.  29'ers are great because they will roll over any root and/or rock you'll find here in FL, but a 26" will be faster in the tight & twisty single track we have. If you go with a 29'er then stay with a hard tail, but if you decide on a 26", then try and get a FS. I personally don't care for Trek or Cannondale; however, all others are ok in my book, but that is me. Specialized has their 29er Hardrock with disk for under $600 and this is not bad for a starter. Also, check out Giant, Gary Fisher, and/or Salsa. Don't get all wrapped up with the 80 or 100mm fork because you'll be fine with either one here in FL. Anyway that is my $.20 (adjusted for inflation) worth of dribble.

Try and get up to Alafia S.P., Santos, Carter Road, and San Felasco when you can. All great places to ride! 

GPS Discussion / Re: Danno's 1st GPS
« on: July 05, 2010, 04:39:56 pm »

Right now I am looking at the following 3  Garmin options:  eTrex Legends H, eTrex Venture HC, and eTrex Vista HCx.  I have been frustrated by trying to read color cell phone displays in bright light, so the gray scale Legends H is attractive for that reason.  Being able to load maps onto a data card for the Vista HCx is also attractive.

Sadly enough, I don't understand what is important well enough to pick a GPS unit.  I would appreciate any and all feedback.

I used the eTrex Vista Cx (discontinued model) for a couple years before picking up a HCx and they're both great units. My wife and I have used the HCx on two European bike tours, along with other short tours here in the States and it rocks. We've used it for bike touring, MTB riding, backpacking, kayaking, GEO Caching, and for when we're out sightseeing a new town. I think it's the perfect size for the handlebars and/or just to carry around. I do wish Garmin would upgrade their mapping software to mimic Google Maps or come up with a plugin that works with Google Maps just so creating routes was a little more user friendly, but that is just me.

Oh and it works great with the E-Werk charger from Busch & Müller.  ;D

Add another yes vote to the S&S couplers. My wife and I have them on our Co-Motion NW Tours and have had no issues so far; of course, we've only had the bikes for about 1 1/2 years, but....... they've been to Europe twice now.  ;D

GPS Discussion / Re: Garmin and The Mac
« on: March 25, 2010, 09:12:03 pm »
You could always install VMWare Fusion and run (dare I say) Windows on your Mac. This is what I do and it works great. Sadly Garmin and Polar are lacking when it comes to Mac software. 

Where are you going?

My wife and I are headed over in May-June to Germany, but we'll be riding from Czech to Krakow, Poland then heading south through Slovakia and into Budapest. 

General Discussion / Re: Florida
« on: January 24, 2010, 09:22:34 pm »
Watch out for those Florida drivers.  In my experience they are some of the worst in the US.

Please let's not confuse the "Florida drivers" as being someone from Florida. Most of these "Florida drivers" were originally from somewhere else in the US. (i.e. New York, Boston, Philly, Detroit, Jersey, Canada, etc...) and I'd have to agree with you they are the horrible drivers!  ;D

Gear Talk / Re: Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: January 13, 2010, 08:21:45 pm »
Hello Joan,

Well I'm no expert (but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express ;-) ), but I would say you are always at some risk of frame/fork failure regardless of bike age. Personally, I would stick with your current ride as long as it holds up, unless you're looking for an excuse to buy a new frame/fork. Inspect your frame and fork on a regular basis and look for small cracks starting around the welds. When we purchased our Co-Motions, my mind set was like, "We plan on keeping these bikes for 25+ years!", so I hope they hold up.

Hey Bob,

I plan on attending the Adventure Cycling meeting this Saturday at CBE in Tampa, so you can check out the E-Werk then. I've been running my Garmin eTrex & iTouch off it and I'm digging it. Also the lights (Lumotec IQ Cyo R Senso Plus & Toplight Line Plus) we got from Peter White are very nice. They're much brighter than I thought they'd be.


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