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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / Re: Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: June 03, 2009, 07:03:12 am »
Thanks for the guess on the Americano's weight.  It sounds overbuilt for general touring with moderate loads.  I guess it depends on where and how you tour though.  On rough roads with heavy loads it might be just the ticket.  Personally I'd rather keep the load light enough to not require such a sturdy mount.

Gear Talk / Re: Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: June 02, 2009, 01:29:00 pm »
How heavy is the Americano?

Gear Talk / Re: Selle SMP saddle?
« on: June 02, 2009, 01:08:33 pm »
Can't help with the Selle SMP as I have not ridden on one.

I will comment that I don't get what all the fuss is over saddles.  I guess this is a minority opinion though.  I have been happy with the saddles that came with my bikes.  I would do a multi-month tour on any of them.  Personally I can't see myself spending $200+ for one of the higher end Selle SMPs or putting up with a B17 that weighs over 19 ounces.  It seems to me that unless the saddle is especially unsuitable, the biggest factors in saddle comfort are:
  • Bike fit and adjustment (when set up as I like it there just isn't that much weight on the saddle)
  • Riding form (most of the weight supported on the legs, hands lightly resting on the bars, bars well below saddle)
  • Conditioning of the bottom to the miles

If you haven't already, I'd say log at least several hundred miles over a few weeks at most before changing saddles.  My experience has usually been that after I have a few hundred miles with it I get acclimated to the saddle whatever the model as long as it is not some big wide, heavily padded thing.

I freely admit that my experience may not be the norm.

Routes / Re: NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?
« on: June 01, 2009, 02:35:48 pm »
In general most routes over the Rockies are not all that bad.  We found the Rockies to be a very pleasant part of our TransAmerica and found the Appalachians much harder.  The grades in the west tend to be long, but not terribly steep.  That and the fact that by the time you get there you will have ridden yourself into shape if you weren't already.  Bottom line...  I would just pick a fairly standard route like the Western Express.  I have not done the Western Express so I can't comment specifically.

General Discussion / Re: Furthest Distance
« on: May 08, 2009, 07:22:31 pm »
Do you mean in a day of for a tour.  I did 4244 mile tour.  The longest day was on the tour was 115 miles.  I think my longest day not on tour was about 120, but I am unsure if that is the exact mileage.  All that is pretty ordinary.

General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« on: May 08, 2009, 06:36:33 pm »
I guess that's what I've heard, too many accidents and it is more of a dangerous route. Does anyone have other suggestions on routes? We only have about a month and a half but I want to make sure we're taking a good route, I know they all have their perks but I'm a little more hesitant to take the Pacific Coast one.
My estimation is that the TA probably has worse sections than the PC and I thought the TA was great.  The PC is pretty close to ideal touring IMO.  I wouldn't let the traffic worry you to much unless your tolerance for traffic is very low.

General Discussion / Re: Pacific Coast Route vs. TransAm
« on: May 08, 2009, 06:53:49 am »
It is a beautiful route.  I have ridden some and driven some of it.  Either the AC maps or the Kirkendall and Spring book (or both) would be helpful.  The most recent version of the book is hard to find.  We used the book for a minor portion of the coast and found it useful.  AC maps are good (I haven't used those particular ones) and easier to find than a recent version of the book.

Services are more frequent and readily available on the PC than the TA.  Lots of stuff to see and do and lots of hiker/biker campsites.  Enjoy the trip!

Gear Talk / Re: Check list for the trans am
« on: May 07, 2009, 11:00:28 am »
If you want to read the experiences of three first time Trans America riders, you may find our journal useful and/or entertaining.

There is a packing list and a "What Worked and What Didn't" section.  I tried to share what we learned there.

Routes / Re: Sierra Cascade Route
« on: May 07, 2009, 10:05:28 am »
No I didn't but I think their web page says winter of 2009-2010 for it to be available.  I wondered how reliable they typically were in that regard.

I will email them and report back.

Routes / Re: Chose my next bike route!!!!
« on: May 07, 2009, 09:32:06 am »
You should be able to go from east coastal Florida to Bangor, Maine in a month. It would be flat along the Atlantic coast. ACA has special maps for it.
It depends on what you call flat.  It will be hilly in places, judging by a quick look at the maps.  I am not familiar with the whole route but much of section 3 is hilly.  Don't get me wrong it isn't in the mountains, and will probably be pleasant, but it does have some steep if not all that long climbs.

It might be a good choice, just don't expect it to be flat the whole way.

Routes / Sierra Cascade Route
« on: May 07, 2009, 09:20:30 am »
Anyone know how much we can count on the maps for the Sierra Cascade Route being available before the Summer of 2010?  I am toying with the notion of doing a loop including it and the Pacific Coast route at that time.

I would be interested in any specific or general info about the route that anyone cares to share.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: May 05, 2009, 07:30:47 pm »
My suggestion is to do a journal on, but not carry a laptop.  You can update it once in a while from public libraries.  Flesh it out better once you are home.  That is what we did and it worked out well.

You can also update via email if you have an email enabled phone or PDA.  On my upcoming trip, I plan to do that using my little N800 (7 ounces) and whatever WiFi I find along the way.  No way would I take a laptop.

Gear Talk / Re: Good Rear derailer for touring
« on: May 05, 2009, 12:32:45 pm »
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.
You are correct about a 24t fitting.  My mistake, sorry for the confusion.  I did not know it had a 74bcd inner.

24 gear inches isn't exactly a stump puller, but you may find it satisfactory.  I had a 21.9 when I did the TA and it was barely adequate.  I was wishing for lower a few places in the Appalachians and Ozarks, but was happy in the Cascades and Rockies.  Some people find a 22 34 a necessity and some ride road gearing.  I will say that the one guy we met on the TA that had road gearing was the first to the top of the climbs in Oregon.  Unfortunately he also went home only about 800 miles into the TA due to knee problems and wound up requiring surgery and losing most of a year of riding.

Gear Talk / Re: chain suck gouge question
« on: May 05, 2009, 07:23:14 am »
I have always found chain rings and cogs to both last a very long time unless the chain was used longer than it should have been.  If 12 full links measure 12 - 1/16" (center of pin to center of pin) it is time to be thinking about a new chain.  If 12 full links measure 12 - 1/8" it is likely that chain rings and cogs are damaged.

Personally I have usually had chains last 10,000 miles or so and chain rings longer.  Don't go by mileage though, measure it regularly.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Jersey vs. Under Armour
« on: May 05, 2009, 07:17:07 am »
For touring nothing beats wool jerseys. They don't stink even after several days of wear and are cool in hot weather too. Lots of sellers: Ibex here at Adventure Cycling, Jones Wear, Boure', Kucharik, Wasabi to name a few.
I would not advise stocking up on a lot of wool without trying one garment for a while first.  You may love it or you may hate it.  I found that for me the stuff stunk to high heaven after a few days without washing and I much prefer synthetics.  Maybe the difference is in individual body chemistry because a lot of folks say that wool avoids the stink for them.

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