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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / Re: Bike Jersey vs. Under Armour
« on: May 04, 2009, 02:11:51 pm »
Pockets and longer cut in the back are the two things that I would miss with UA stuff.  I like to take UA Heat Gear shirts for off bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Good Rear derailer for touring
« on: May 04, 2009, 11:30:07 am »
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.
That is probably the smartest approach at this point and can probably work out well.  Personally I would have never bought the bike with 10 speed as a touring bike now.  Down the road when/if 10 speed becomes mainstream for MTB and touring that may change.  I think that both Cannondale and Jamis are off their rockers WRT how they spec'ed their higher end tourers.

The OEM gearing may work OK in the Cascades and Rockies, but I wouldn't want it in the Ozarks and Appalachians.  Then again there are a limited number of really steep climbs on a route like the TA and they are short enough that they could be walked if need be.  Depending on your route this may not be a big problem.  What route are you riding?  Also are you riding E-W or W-E?  If on the TA and W-E I would just start out with what you have and see how it goes.  You will have plenty of time to evaluate before you get to the Ozarks and Appalachians.  Swap the crank out in Kentucky if you think you need it.  If you need it in the Cascades and Rockies you probably need a more drastic change than just a crank.

An MTB crank with a 22t inner ring can be found for a decent price and if you want the old ratios back after the tour, just swap it back to the OEM one when you are back home.

Gear Talk / Re: Good Rear derailer for touring
« on: May 03, 2009, 09:04:19 am »
when you say long cage what do you mean? Also I know that these are typically MTB derailleurs, and this brings me to another question...what is the difference between typical road derailleurs, and MTB?
The following link explains that better than I could:

Gear Talk / Re: Good Rear derailer for touring
« on: May 02, 2009, 03:02:24 pm »
Check out wide range 10 speed cassettes (Interlock Racing Designs 10-speed Cassettes ).  They recommend a long-cage (SGS) rear derailer, such as Deore, LX, XT, XTR.

Like quality would probably be XTR, but even Deore is good enough and the more expensive XTR models are rumored to be less rugged.  Personally I just buy Deore or XT at most.

Gear Talk / Re: Inexpensive Touring Gear
« on: May 01, 2009, 11:11:05 am »
I always wondered about hammocks, so when on tour I would often take stock of whether or not the place I was staying would have worked out well for a hammock.  My observation was that for me and the places I have been there would have been a lot of places where it would have been a hassle and quite a few where it would have to have been used as an improvised bivy.  To do that I would have wanted a sleeping pad and if I have to carry that I lose some of the weight advantage.

Bottom line for me was that a hammock would have been impractical for the places I have toured and the sites that I chose to camp at while bike touring.

The other side of this is that I have backpacked in places where a hammock would be great.  I am thinking of some sections of Pennsylvania where there was nowhere to camp that wasn't rocky.  That was not the case even one night on the Trans America and there was not a single night I wished for a hammock there.  I expect the same on my upcoming tour from Kansas City to Santa FE.

Depending on how and where you tour your mileage may vary.  I can see a hammock being ideal in some terrain especially for stealth camping.  I see stealth camping as a last resort though, preferring to camp where no stealth is required.  I may wild camp but generally not in places where I need to hide, so it does not factor heavily in my gear choices.

I can't compare the two since I have only done the TA.  I can say that section of the TA was nice.  It was pretty country with very steep climbs at times.

If I were doing it over, I would probably do the TA, but maybe continue on to the actual ocean either at VA beach or maybe stay to the south a bit and stay on more rural areas.  You can use the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry (free) and maybe the Elizabeth River Ferry (toll) if you don't decide to take a more southern and more rural route.  The ride to Sand Bridge is nice, but there is probably no public transport there.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 30, 2009, 08:13:44 am »
Sounds interesting.  Keep us posted on the route choices.  Do you have a journal somewhere?

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 30, 2009, 07:48:25 am »
Good luck with whatever you choose.  It sounds like you are going with the Elite.  It wouldn't be my choice, but I am sure you can make it work for you.

Have a great tour this summer.  What route are you taking?

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 29, 2009, 04:36:55 pm »
Ok.....I just want to make sure that everybody is talking about he same bike....I have been asking about the Jamis Aurora 2009 model which is pretty seriously overhauled from last year.
Yep. That is the one I was looking at the specs for
Too bad they make such stupid component choices (for touring) on the Elite.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 29, 2009, 01:57:01 pm »
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.
I agree with all of that about the Aurora and Aurora Elite.  I also agree that the Touring 2 is a nice touring bike.  Not to quibble too much but... The wheelbase is a bit longer on the Cannondale touring models than on either Aurora though.

General Discussion / Re: Violent Crime Alert Atlantic Coast Route
« on: April 29, 2009, 08:26:03 am »
This isn't anything I would get too excited about when touring.  I agree that much of the crime is drug related.  Also when on tour, most riders do not spend much time in urban areas, I know that I don't.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 29, 2009, 07:39:21 am »
Everything about the frame would probably suit me fine for loaded touring.  I like my touring bike geometry a little on the roadie side.

I don't think the component choices on the elite make a lick of sense.  The Elite frame with the regular Aurora's components would be nice if they sold it that way, but I would stick with the regular Aurora if I had to choose between the two for loaded touring.

I don't think that you will find much in the way of 10 speed cassettes with the right range.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Wired, Wireless, Etc.
« on: April 28, 2009, 09:40:24 am »
Electronic stuff is neat to own, but how do you keep it from being stolen while you're in the market replenishing your food stuffs?  How do you keep it dry?
My handlebar bag goes with me everywhere regardless and is waterproof so neither of these are concerns.

I agree that less is more, but...  I am starting to shift more toward using some lightweight electronics in lieu of paper.  It is getting to the point where taking an ipod shuffle with audio books and something like a Nokia N800 can be less weight and bulk than a paper notebook, pencil, and a paperback to read.  I spec'ed out both ways and come up lighter with the ipod and N800 even including all the associated chargers and so on.  My thinking now favors using electronics over paper even more if your cell phone is email capable like for example a black berry.  Emails to home can easily serve as your notes and journal entries.  I prefer not to pay for data service on my cell though.

I don't want to carry even a mini laptop though.  Still, I can see how others might choose to given how small and light they are becoming.

Gear Talk / Re: Impressions on the Jamis Aurora Elite (2009 Model)
« on: April 25, 2009, 07:22:58 pm »
Personally I think a lot of the components on the regular Aurora actually more suitable for touring.  Nicer tube set and wheels are a plus on the elite, I don't think the 10 speed stuff is.

I consider STI to be a plus and the Tiagra stuff is fine.  STI is plenty reliable and much nicer IMO.  Some like bar end shifters and that is fine, but I think you will like the STI if you give it a chance.

On the size issue...  23" for 5'9" sounds big to me unless he is all legs, but I like small frames.  It depends more on inseam than height though.  If your dad indeed has a 23" frame it might be fine for you if you aren't into the big frame thing.  Some folks like the kind of fit Rivendell advises.  They are on the extreme large end of the scale though.  I use their chart as a reality check, but go 2 sizes (that is sizes not inches) smaller.

My point is that none of this is etched in stone.  While I am 5'9" and an 18 or 19" frame is ideal for the riding position I prefer someone else may be happy on a 23" frame even with the same height and inseam as me.

The Elite or the regular Aurora are both OK for a long tour except the gearing is pretty iffy especially on the Elite.  I would recommend at least a smaller inner ring.  Personally I think the regular Aurora is more suitable for a Trans America type tour especially if you fit a 24 or 26t inner ring.

General Discussion / Re: Safety issues for solo biking
« on: April 22, 2009, 07:41:07 pm »
I definately agree with the cell phone suggestion.  That is the most important thing I carry with me!
Not me.  It never has occurred to me that a cell phone was an essential safety item.  That may be because I grew up years before they existed.  A cell phone is handy for checking on available camp sites or for calling home once in a while.  I call the police or sheriffs office, but only to touch base on where we are staying.  I think it is a long shot that it would ever be used in an emergency except an accident, in which case everyone else on the road has a phone.  We did have one time when one of us was injured in a crash, but there was no signal any way.  I'd say that a very substantial portion of the time on the TransAmerica we had no signal.  We flagged down a car who gave her and her bike a lift back to the town we had passed that morning so she could get treatment there.

All that said, if I didn't need to call family once in a while I might not bother carrying one.

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