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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / Clipless w/float and platform please
« on: August 07, 2008, 08:54:39 am »
"Float is also useful for those of us whose legs are not perfectly straight, causing the heel to move in and out a bit as the crank turns."
That is why I said "often", but I have to wonder...  How often is that heel movement just a result of poor fit or bad form?

I still advise making a serious effort to get the fit correct without float first before resorting to a pedal with a lot of float.  That may involve a lot of trial and error, a professional fit, and maybe wedges.  If that fails then yeah, go for a pedal with more float.

Gear Talk / Clipless w/float and platform please
« on: August 07, 2008, 07:54:06 am »
"Actually, I just realized that I might try adjusting my cleat.  But can we try to answer my question anyways?"

First let me apologize for not really answering your question.

Next let me say that it is strange that adjusting the cleats shouldn't be the first thing you thought of.

Personally I think float is not a good thing.  One of the good things about clipless is that they don't float, but rather force you to have you feet in what is hopefully the proper position.  Float is often a crutch for people who just never figured out where there cleats should be adjusted.  It can be difficult, but it is worth whatever it takes to get proper foot position sorted out.

Oh and another thing... two sided is kind of nice.  Have you considered something like the Shimano M424 SPD Pedals.

Gear Talk / Search for new Rain Jacket
« on: July 31, 2008, 12:39:52 pm »
I have always preferred a lightweight coated nylon (Sierra Designs, I think) jacket that packs tiny.  I get soaking wet from sweat in it, but in the past I never found the breathable fabrics any better.  I was still wet, but colder with any of the breathables I tried and they didn't pack small.

That said, I have since bought a BioVent jacket (Canari Eclipse).  It packs small, is supposed to be good in the rain.  So far it has been comfy as a windbreaker and good in light rain, but I have not yet used it in prolonged hard rain or toured with it so the jury is still out.

Gear Talk / Trailer or panniers
« on: July 11, 2008, 12:11:48 pm »
Definitely go N to S.  The wind will be brutal the other way.

Your proposed average mileage isn't unreasonable.  Personally I would rather ride everyday and skip the days off unless they are for the specific purpose of doing something cool.  If you need a break take a short or half  day.

Riding 7 days a week at a 60 mile per day average would be much more pleasant to me than riding 6 days a week at a 70 mile per day average.

YMMV, but to me days off are boring unless they are to do something special and it is only harder to get back in the groove after sitting around for a day.  We took only one real day off (to go ww rafting) on the TransAmerica and it worked out well.  We did also have a day with no progress due to an injury to one of our party, but since I rode 40 miles that day it really wasn't a day off.

Also rather than ride a particular number of miles a day we found it worked better to base how far we rode on what we felt like riding any given day, so one day we might ride 40 miles and another 115.  It worked well to ease into the trip with lower miles in the beginning and longer miles later.  This makes more sense the longer the trip is.

Gear Talk / Water bottles and bisephenol-A
« on: November 03, 2008, 01:23:53 pm »
Different strokes, but I would find any bottle that I couldn't squeeze a pain to drink out of while riding.  I am used to being able to down a third of a bottle with a quick squeeze.  I can't picture myself using a rigid plastic or metal bottle.

Maybe I could get used to it but I see no real reason to try.

Gear Talk / Water bottles and bisephenol-A
« on: July 01, 2008, 01:12:36 pm »
I don't worry about it.  I doubt that it is that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.

Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: June 16, 2008, 10:37:11 am »
Bike fit, riding position, and time in the saddle are the answers.  Going to a recumbent should not be required.  If you want one fine, but don't let the bent riders convince you it is the only way.

Gear Talk / Shoe Choice
« on: March 26, 2008, 03:51:50 pm »
If you want a shoe that fits wide feet and decide that you want SPD, try a Sidi shoe in the "Mega" size for wider feet.  The Bullet 2 Mega is relatively inexpensive (at least compared the the higher end Sidis).  I wore them and was pretty happy with them for a TransAmerica tour.

Gear Talk / Which sleeping bag?
« on: March 20, 2008, 10:05:12 am »
I forgot to respond to the the pad question.  There are lots of good answers.  I like the Thermarest pads.  The Prolite 4 regular would be a good choice.  You could go to a 3/4 length pad, but I think the comfort of the full length one is worth it.

Gear Talk / Which sleeping bag?
« on: March 20, 2008, 08:24:47 am »
"Lite weight is a must as I'm intending to ride the So Tier, self contained (600 miles in 2-week increments twice per year in April and October) beginning next month, riding from Florida to San Diego."

Light weight is always a good thing as long as it doesn't impact safety or comfort to an unacceptable degree, but...  That said, I don't understand why your statement quoted above dictates particularly light weight.  I think that the ST is the flattest of the coast to coast routes and 600 miles in two weeks is a very leisurely pace.

Any reasonable weight 30 degree bag would be fine.  Spend more if you want and the budget allows, but a $79 Slumberjack or whatever is on sale would be fine.  That is what I used on the TA last summer and it was never a hardship, despite the fact that the route had more climbing and out daily mileage was a good bit higher.  Nothing wrong with spending more and getting better, but you don't need to.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 3-20-08 @ 4:33 AM

Gear Talk / cyclocross bike for long distance touring?
« on: April 14, 2008, 09:10:42 am »
> I've never understood the aversion to triple cranks some riders seem to have.
I don't get that either.  A triple just makes sense on a touring bike.  

> If a 27 gear-inch (1:1) low gear is low enough
Actually I don't consider that low enough for loaded touring if real hills or mountains are part of the route.

> BTW, do you really need a 48x11 or 118 gear-inch high gear on a touring bike?
FWIW: I used my 46x11 a lot on the TA and would have used the 48x11 if I had it.  Need it? well maybe not, but still it was very nice to have.  On the flats with a tailwind or on long gradual downhills especially when drafting it was nice.

The comment is often made that you can spin at X RPMs and go X MPH doesn't tell the whole story for me.  There are times when I want to pedal at an easy pace on long downhills just to keep my legs happy and warmed up.  I am referring to multi-mile descents.  I want to pedal at a relatively slow cadence and low resistance in these cases just kind of loafing along, but still feeling a little resistance.  That requires a fairly high gear.

Maybe I am weird in that regard because I never hear anyone else mention doing that.

Also there are times when I want to spin at 120 RPMs and times when I want to mash along at 60 RPMs.  I think that mixing it up helps on a long tour.  I spin a lot of the time, but not all of the time.

Gear Talk / cyclocross bike for long distance touring?
« on: March 09, 2008, 06:26:03 pm »
Saw a few folks on similar bikes with similar loads on the TA last summer and they seemed happy with their choice.

Gear Talk / cyclocross bike for long distance touring?
« on: March 09, 2008, 12:26:38 pm »
What does the 210 pounds include? Bike? Rider? Gear? Panniers? Racks?

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.

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