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Messages - staehpj1

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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.

Gear Talk / Re: Good Rear derailer for touring
« on: May 04, 2009, 06:56:50 pm »
My LBS seems to think I should Leave the FSA Mega EXO cranks and just change the chain rings...Makes sense to me. The FSA cranks are pretty sweet and it doesn't seem necessary to change out the whole crank....right?
The reason a MTB crank makes sense is because since you only have a 27 on the back you are likely to want to go as low as possible on the front, hence an MTB crank that takes a 22t.  I think the smallest the FSA takes is 30t which you already have, right?

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.

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