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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / Bike Selection
« on: February 17, 2008, 01:21:39 pm »
Yes your cap is completely feasible.  I did fine on the TransAmerica with a Windsor Touring for $599, but changed the crank to get lower gearing.

The bikes on your list are good options.  Of those bikes. I would prefer the lower priced Cannondale Touring 2 which is set up better for touring than the more expensive one.  I don't know what they were thinking when they spec'ed the Touring 1  The LHT is well thought of and a good value.  I would rather have STI, but otherwise it is set up well.  Lots of folks seem to like the bar ends so they may be a plus for you.

Gear Talk / wich burner?
« on: January 20, 2008, 04:49:34 pm »
I have heard stories of liquid fuel type stoves being confiscated at the airport if there was any residual fuel or the smell of fuel in the tank.

Definitely don't try to fly with any type of fuel.

Alcohol, butane, kerosene, propane, and white gas (Coleman fuel) are all widely available in the western US.

To sort out the fuel names in various countries check out the following site:

Gear Talk / bar end vs brifter shifting for touring bike?
« on: January 10, 2008, 06:01:39 pm »
I think STI is the way to go.  They are just so much nicer IMO.

I don't get the whole bar end thing.  If I was that worried about keeping it simple and repairable I would use down tube shifters.  They have less cable, are less subject to damage, are not as easily bumped by a knee, etc.

If in a third world country you could carry a set of d/t shifters as a spare if that concerned.

Gear Talk / trailer pulling and old guys
« on: March 09, 2008, 06:05:05 am »
Those weights are not a reasonable comparison in my mind.  You picked very heavy components to compare and threw in a handlebar pack that shouldn't be counted because it can be used or not in either application.

A while back I worked the numbers and came up with the following:

My count is racks a bit over 2 pounds, panniers a bit less than 5 pounds for 4 bags, for a total of just a shade over 7 pounds. For touring in the US (TA this past Summer) we found this gear to be plenty rugged and expect it to last for many years.

The racks were Blackburn ex-1 rear and a blackburn lowrider clone (Nashbar) front.  The panniers were Nashbar waterproof.  I should note that this stuff wasn't particularly picked for light weight; it is all quite robust.

Trailer about 13 pounds, waterproof bag what maybe 3 pounds? Total maybe 15-16 pounds?

Bottom line... The most commonly used trailer is 8-9 pounds heavier than my normal gear. Plus an extra size of inner tube to carry.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 3-9-08 @ 6:40 AM

Gear Talk / trailer pulling and old guys
« on: December 15, 2007, 08:25:40 pm »
My impression is that the trailer is harder to pedal only by the amount of extra weight.  With that being a factor mostly on the climbs.  I think the rolling resistance difference is minimal and aerodynamically it may have an edge.

There is a tendency to carry more stuff too since you have room for it which can make the weight even more of an issue if you aren't careful.

Bottom line though, either will work.

Gear Talk / trailer pulling and old guys
« on: December 15, 2007, 10:04:40 am »
I am a bit younger (56) but don't think age is much of a factor.  I have tried both and used panniers on my TransAmerica.   I would make the same choice if I were going again, but you will find folks who like either.

One thing to consider is what do you do with the trailer if air travel is involved.

Gear Talk / Changing from Drop bars to Straight bars
« on: January 03, 2008, 05:36:54 am »
Concern over ability to stop doesn't seem to make sense, since it sounds like you didn't change the brakes or the levers.  If they worked with the drop bars there is no reason that I can see that having trekking bars would make a difference unless you mounted the levers in some way that limited their travel.

Did the mechanics give some reason why they supposedly won't work?

Gear Talk / Changing from Drop bars to Straight bars
« on: December 14, 2007, 11:23:48 am »
Not me.  I think that drop bars are MUCH more comfortable and make sense even if you don't use the drops.  Also I find the Ultegra brifters that I believe are original on the T2000 to be a great setup that won't work with straight bars.

That said, do what you find comfortable.  You can probably sell the Ultegra brifters pretty easily for enough to buy a straight bar and your choice of brake levers and shifters.

No way in heck would I myself go to a straight bar on a touring bike though.

Gear Talk / Touring Pedals
« on: December 12, 2007, 10:02:10 am »
So 1ce_w0lf what would you have worn that would work better?  How many pairs of socks did/would you carry that you could manage to have dry feet if there were many consecutive days of rain.  It would seem that you would run out pretty quickly unless you carried a lot.   Do you manage to get them dry in camp each evening during wet weather?

Trench foot doesn't sound like fun at all.  It is apparently caused by cool to cold conditions with wet feet and constrictive footwear.  Where I have toured it is usually warm to hot most days with some cold only when at altitude.  That and I always make sure to wear shoes that are wide enough when touring to not be constrictive, so I doubt that trench foot has been much of a risk for me on the bike while touring.

I have spent many days in a kayak with cold conditions and wet feet, but wetsuit booties aren't very constrictive so that probably reduces the risk.

I wore the Sidi Bullets 73 consecutive 4,244 miles with zero problems other than a corn that needed to be padded every day.  We did have hotter drier weather than would be the norm though.

Your comment that "wearing wet clothes is a plain stupidity, you gotta change your clothes and stay warm and dry" is all well and good but not all that realistic in my experience.  Yes you need to stay warm and it would be nice to stay dry, but I have never found a way to stay dry while exercising hard; either you get wet from the rain or from sweat or both.  All of this makes staying warm and having footwear that fits comfortably more important.

I find that the choice of clothes is the important thing for comfort when in wet conditions.  For me...  Pearl Izumi UltraSensor shorts work well.  Immersion Research kayaking sweaters work well.  Under Armor sport socks work well.  Sidi Megas offer a non restrictive fit that helps as too.

So bottom line...  I keep warm.  I wear shoes with a bit of room (a bit looser than I would race in).  I let my feet air out and dry out when in camp.

After many years of biking, kayaking, backpacking, and canoeing trips (as well as years of off road motorcycle and MTB racing) I have a pretty good idea of what works for me in wet conditions.  It may not be what works for anyone else.

Gear Talk / Touring Pedals
« on: December 12, 2007, 06:29:39 am »
> The only downside that I can see to the pedal with SPD on one side and platform on the other is that they weigh more

I don't consider the weight to be all that significant, but do mind having to be on the right side of the pedal.  It is a minor annoyance, but an annoyance all the same.  Since there is no situation where I prefer not to be clipped in I don't care all that much for the two sided pedals on a touring bike.

The rare times I would wear sandals or crocs on the bike while touring I am only going a short way and the spd pedal is OK.

> As for toe clips being dangerous, more people fall over on their bikes with SPD pedals than they ever fell off riding with toe clips. That said, I ride SPD on tours exclusively.

That may be true, but I don't understand it other than to guess that maybe folks used clips and straps with the straps loose.  I have always found clipless to be easier to exit than clips and straps right from day one.  I adopted spds for mountain bike racing around 1988 when they were first introduced.  After using them for 10 minutes I was more comfortable about getting out of them than I ever was with clips and straps unless the straps were left loose and then I don't see the point of bothering with them.

> Because there have been situations when all of my shoes were just wet and weren't gonna dry because of all the sloppy and cold weather so back then I wished I had a pair of just normal platforms so I could put on my sandals and just pedal till my SPD shoes get dry.

I think that how gear performs when wet is a major criteria to consider.  I pick most of my gear with this in mind and shoes are no exception.  My Sidi Mega Bullets hold very little water and I never feel the need to change shoes because they are wet.  The Lorica and mesh construction works well in this regard.  I wear socks that feel OK when wet too and seldom even change them because they are wet, but if I do the small amount of moisture the shoes hold isn't much more than I would have from sweating.

I figure you WILL be wet when touring either because of sweat or because of rain.  So I dress in clothing that is comfortable when wet.

OTOH: I may be somewhat desensitized to being wet by many years of whitewater kayaking and canoeing.

Gear Talk / Schrader vs Presta
« on: November 13, 2007, 06:26:16 pm »
> If the pump is made correctly, the pump head will go down on the valve and seal, then push the pin on the valve and open it.  Then the only valve you have to overcome is the one in the pump.

That makes the head more fussy regarding both design and how well they work as they wear.  To me simpler is better for an item like a pump that gets used so often on a long tour.  I was especially sensitive to this this summer because I was maintaing all three of the bikes in our group on the TA that was a lot of pumping over the ten plus weeks.

Sheldon Brown says, "Presta valves are easier to pump than Schrader, because they have no valve spring to overcome. Although a valve depressor for Schrader valves could alleviate this, it would require a check valve, impractical to house in lightweight pump heads."

In my experience pump heads for presta are more reliable that Schrader heads that have the depressor and check valve.

Use whatever works for you though.

Gear Talk / Schrader vs Presta
« on: November 12, 2007, 03:39:33 pm »
OK.  I will be the dissenting voice.  I find Prestas to be a bit easier to get to higher pressure with slightly less effort due to having to overcome the valve each stroke.  This is worthwhile when you are pumping them up with a frame pump day in and day out for months.

If you are worried about finding tubes while on the road then go with rims drilled for Schrader and use grommets for presta.  That way you have the best of both worlds.

Different strokes though...

Gear Talk / bags for light touring
« on: October 28, 2007, 08:30:03 am »
It all depends ...
If you are just doing overnights and moteling it you could conceivably carry everthing in your jersey pockets!  Your list could be the clothes on your back and a credit card or you could be carrying 15-20 pounds of stuff.

A trunk bag could be sufficient if you are carrying a bit more than a credit card, but I wouldn't rule out panniers.  Small ones designed for the front could be mounted either on the front or back and carry an appropriate amount of stuff.  You don't have to fill them and as if you start camping or doing extended trips you will have them already.  They have the advantage of getting the weight a bit lower if you carry anything that weighs much.

I usually am carrying camping gear when touring, but for the last week of our TransAmerica we had support from family and friends so we were carrying very little.  We just put one front pannier (about 500 cubic inches) on the back and left it pretty empty.  It seemed to work out well.

The Nashbar front waterproof panniers are often on sale for $39.99 a pair (they are right now).  We had very good luck with our's.  Performance sells one that is pretty much identical for tha same price

Gear Talk / Rear Derailleur
« on: October 30, 2007, 11:53:19 am »
> I may [being frugal]have brought this wear on myself, tried to run chain as long as possible in this case 3,700 miles instead of the recommended 2,000 miles.

I am curious about that recommendation.  Where does it come from.  I have never changed a chain at anywhere near that interval.  Some have lasted many times that distance.

I always have relied on measuring the chain as recommended by Sheldon Brown.

According to Sheldon Brown:
"Measuring Chain Wear

    The standard way to measure chain wear is with a ruler or steel tape measure. This can be done without removing the chain from the bicycle. The normal technique is to measure a one-foot length, placing an inch mark of the ruler exactly in the middle of one rivet, then looking at the corresponding rivet 12 complete links away. On a new, unworn chain, this rivet will also line up exactly with an inch mark. With a worn chain, the rivet will be past the inch mark.

    This gives a direct measurement of the wear to the chain, and an indirect measurement of the wear to the sprockets:

        * If the rivet is less than 1/16" past the mark, all is well.

        * If the rivet is 1/16" past the mark, you should replace the chain, but the sprockets are probably undamaged.

        * If the rivet is 1/8" past the mark, you have left it too long, and the sprockets (at least the favorite ones) will be too badly worn. If you replace a chain at the 1/8" point, without replacing the sprockets, it may run OK and not skip, but the worn sprockets will cause the new chain to wear much faster than it should, until it catches up with the wear state of the sprockets.

        * If the rivet is past the 1/8" mark, a new chain will almost certainly skip on the worn sprockets, especially the smaller ones."

Gear Talk / Drive train/gearing changes
« on: October 20, 2007, 05:34:38 am »
> That theory makes no sense, let me explain.

All of that may be so, but...

It seems to me that if the chain were to kink when it broke or even if the pin just popped out of the plate on one side of the link first before breaking completely (likely) it would cause the force applied to the cog to be at an angle.  The cogs can take a lot of force applied by the chain when applied perpendicular to the axle, but much less if at an angle.

If the chain kinked really badly it could even hit the cog next to the one that it was on applying lateral force which could possibly cause or contribute to the failure.

Maybe in some failure mode the chain may even manage to jam between cogs and bend a cog.

I don't know if any that is what happened, but it seems quite possible and maybe even likely that a chain failure could possibly lead to a bent cog.

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