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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / Speedo
« on: February 29, 2008, 08:38:49 pm »
I like most of the Cateye wired models.  I prefer one that does cadence so I use the Cat Eye Astrale 8.

I tend to stay away from wireless after having problems with 3 different ones.  My two companions this summer on the TA used Ascent Delta V's from Performance and they were awful.  You had to remember to turn them on every time you started and they went nuts around power lines, neon signs, and electric fences.  If parked near a neon sign they some times registered quite a few miles while parked.  I also had a Cateye wireless model that didn't work out (I forget which model), since that I just buy wired.

I am sure some wireless models are fine, but I have given up on them.

Gear Talk / Stylish Biking Cloths?
« on: February 26, 2008, 06:49:22 pm »
I am a booster of regular bike shorts and jerseys, but you can wear regular clothes if you want.  What do you ride in when not on tour?  If you can do long rides on consecutive days then it should work on tour too.  Baggy shorts and synthetic tee shirts should work fine if your butt can stand the shorts.

On the TA the majority of folks we met wore bike shorts and jerseys, but a not too small minority chose to wear "regular clothes".

As far as sources, if I didn't want to wear spandex, I would buy non-bike specific clothes.

Just be sure to put some miles in to be sure that what you pick works for you.

Gear Talk / Considering New Handlebar Setup
« on: February 26, 2008, 02:21:10 pm »
I have used a few different types of bars, but have only toured with drops.  The next best for me was trekking bars, but as I have said I have not toured on them.  I definitely found straight bars less comfortable even with bar ends.

For me drops are the most comfortable by a long shot, but if I was going to try something else it would be trekking bars, shifters and brake levers may be an issue though.  The bike I used them on was a mountain bike and the shifters (thumb) and brake levers worked fine.

Nashbar is one place that has the trekking bars fairly cheaply, but you will probably need to also get MTB levers and maybe different sfifters.

The trekking bars had lots of hand positions some of them farther back if that is a plus for you (if not you may want a longer reach stem).

Personally I found that more time on the bike and other general fitness exercises along with some daily stretching were the answer for me for neck and hand pain (after being sure you have good bike fit).

Gear Talk / Women's touring saddle
« on: February 02, 2008, 07:46:44 pm »
I have heard women say nice things about Terry saddles.

Gear Talk / Buying Panniers (Singles? Pairs?)
« on: January 31, 2008, 09:31:16 am »
Most come in pairs.  FWIW: The house brand ones from Performance and Nashbar are a good value in my opinion.  The three of us used a mix of Nashbar Waterproof and Transit (Performance) on our TransAmerica and were very happy with them.  The price is reasonable, they are always on sale and you can get an additional 10-20% off if you watch their ads and are patient.  We didn't baby them and they are still in great shape.

Gear Talk / Locks/ theft
« on: February 04, 2008, 10:58:31 am »
>  Sadly, light-fingered people can live anywhere, even small-town America.

Perhaps true, but in a town of 39 where my bike is probably the only thing that is locked, I'll take my chances.

Gear Talk / Locks/ theft
« on: February 01, 2008, 08:17:00 am »
True but...
The professional bike thief isn't going to be in Jackson Hot Springs, population 39.  The 5 kids that live there could never explain where they got your bike from and every single person in town would know who took it.

What's more no one in the town locks their doors even if going away for a vacation.  In places like this I consciously avoid locking because I fear that it displays mistrust and isn't the best way to be open and friendly with the local people.

So yes we carry a modest cable lock, but it remains packed away in smalltown USA.

Gear Talk / Locks/ theft
« on: January 29, 2008, 01:29:09 pm »
On the Trans America we never bothered with locking in small towns.  In larger towns we were more careful and used a cable lock.  In the most theft prone large towns we made arrangements to leave someone with the bike or to put it in as safe a place as possible.

In a Wyoming or Montana town with a population of 39 and the next closest town many miles away I wasn't even slightly concerned.

I never worried about the stuff in the panniers, but did keep camera, cell phone, credit cards, and money in the handle bar bag which went with me.

Gear Talk / Touring Saddles?
« on: January 27, 2008, 08:35:06 pm »
I'm not too fussy.  I generally use what came on the bike unless it is really uncomfortable.  I happily used the OEM saddle that came on my Windsor Tourist for 4,244 miles in 73 days on the Trans America this past Summer.  I was fine with it, no problems at all.  I don't put much weight on my saddle though.

If I wanted to spend more on a saddle I would probably buy the Specialized Toupe in 143 width.

Many will advise the Brooks B17.  It isn't my cup of tea but it has a cult like following that is VERY loyal.  Many of them will tell you it is the only choice.

The Terry Fly and Liberator models are well thought of too.

Gear Talk / Disc Brakes or Rim Brakes?
« on: January 25, 2008, 09:14:11 pm »
Most dedicated touring bikes do not have disk brakes.  I would opt for cantis.  Easier to mount racks, less stress on spokes, easier to change flats. and so on...

Gear Talk / Bike Selection
« on: February 17, 2008, 03:21:39 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, 06:49:34 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, 08:01:39 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, 09:05:05 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, 10:25:40 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.

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