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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / STI vs. Bar ends
« on: November 18, 2008, 07:23:39 pm »
I agree that for me downtube shifters are nicer than barends.  I tried bar ends years ago and again more recently.  I just don't like them.  If I didn't like STI so well I would still be using downtube shifters.

Gear Talk / STI vs. Bar ends
« on: November 17, 2008, 12:17:57 pm »
Just another data point.  I have not found STI to be particularly finicky the only adjustment that seemed to ever change at all once set up was the cable length.  The upper and lower limits are set the same whether STI or bar end and neither require any attention once dialed in.

For the infrequent times I needed to adjust the cable length due to seating in of the cable in the housing, I could make the adjustment while riding if desired.  This really only seems to need occasional tweaking for the first few hundred miles and then settles in.  I found this true for any indexed shifting.

For me the convenience far outweighed the bother of any extra tweaking.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 11-17-08 @ 9:18 AM

Gear Talk / Spongy Wonder cycle seat
« on: November 10, 2008, 12:12:40 pm »
I hope all goes well for you.

Gear Talk / Spongy Wonder cycle seat
« on: November 10, 2008, 07:48:12 am »
Personally I like a regular racing type saddle, but in any case starting an XC tour on an untried saddle is probably a really bad idea.  I would have someone ready to mail a different one (the one you have been using?) to you via general delivery just in case.

BTW: Is this for real?  It is hard to imagine anyone setting off on an XC and making a radical change like that without trying it for a few hundred miles first.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 11-10-08 @ 4:49 AM

Gear Talk / Raleigh Sojourn
« on: October 30, 2008, 10:34:44 am »
"The front fork does have mounts for a braze on low rider front rack."

OH I see them now, sorry.

Still, it definitely isn't my cup of tea.  Much of that is personal preference though, since I don't like Brooks saddles, disk brakes, or bar end shifters.  Still this bike really does not look like it was designed for loaded touring unless you carry a light load and or are light yourself.

My question would be if you are buying a new bike, why not buy a bike that is actually designed for touring?

There are lots to choose from including the Surley LHT, the Fuji Touring, the Windsor Touring, the Trek 520, and the Cannondale Touring 2 (I'd pass on the Touring 1).

Some of those may require the same gearing change though, but will at least have 36 spoke wheels.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-30-08 @ 7:36 AM

Gear Talk / Raleigh Sojourn
« on: October 30, 2008, 07:53:17 am »
I would question their description.  It does not look like it is well designed for loaded touring.  There appears to be no provision for a front rack.  It has 32 spoke wheels.  With a road crank, it has gearing a bit too high for loaded touring anywhere hilly.

Some may consider them a plus, but I wouldn't pick that saddle, bar tape, or the disk brakes.

It is very pretty and I think it might be OK if you travel light.  If you are a lightweight and credit card tour it might be great.  If you weight 200 and will camp and cook I would definitely look elsewhere.

Gear Talk / B.O.B. trailers
« on: October 22, 2008, 06:20:40 pm »
First let me say either can work.

Next let me add that this has been discussed to death on many forums.  A search on Bike Forums or the Crazy Guy on a Bike forums will turn up a ton of conflicting opinions.

My personal opinion is that weight makes panniers the preferred choice, but if you pick really heavy racks and panniers you can negate the advantage.  On the other hand if you want to use a road bike, the trailer allows that and also helps make the weight more equal between the two choices.

On the Trans America we saw more panniers than trailers, but there were plenty of both.

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 24, 2008, 02:24:15 pm »
Yeah I agree to some extent.  Warm showers and stealth camping are good tools to have in the bag, but neither is very good as the primary strategy, IMO.  I found that we could find free places to camp most of the time without the need to stealth camp.  I also observed that warmshowers hosts are few and far between in the less populated parts of the country and the ST sounds like it is pretty sparsely populated most of the way.

Some acquaintances of mine used warmshowers on the TA, but it was pretty infrequent that they found a host that way.  I think they stayed with a warmshowers host 2 or 3 times the whole trip.  They got invites from chance encounters at least 3 times as often and stayed in city parks with showers at the community pool quite a bit too (as did we).

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 22, 2008, 06:24:07 pm »
I doubt you will find all that many Warmshowers hosts on the route.  There were only a handful on the TA and I would bet there are less on the ST.

It is nice to stay with a host once in a while, but don't expect it to be a frequent opportunity.

Gear Talk / TransAm Cold Days Gear
« on: October 14, 2008, 12:36:44 pm »
How early in May?  We started June 11th and didn't have much cold weather, but I think we picked a particularly warm year.  May can be kind of early, places like the McKenzie pass may still be snowed in (you can take Santiam Pass if it is).

The coldest days I was OK in tights and a jersey, sweater, and shell on top.  Some kind of a cap that will fit under your helmet is a good idea.  As is a pair of gloves with long fingers.  We did freeze on the top of one pass, but rode to lower warmer altitude to camp.

I wore lightweight zip off leg pants over tights on cooler evenings in camp.

We didn't need real heavy clothes.  Just layer up the lighter clothes you take and as was already said forget the cotton.

We didn't bother with booties, and I never wore rain pants on the bike (I did in camp).  I took a very lightweight stuffable rain jacket (no hood) and pants, cheap coated nylon ones.  They worked out fine.

I have a list of what we carried in my journal at:

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-14-08 @ 9:46 AM

Gear Talk / Dry Feet
« on: October 11, 2008, 09:27:38 am »
The other comments so far are good, but I will add...
Shoes and socks a widely variable in their comfort when wet and their speed of drying.

First shoes...

I have found that my Lorica and mesh Sidi Bullet 2's absorb very little moisture and feel dry as long as your socks are dry.  When the socks are wet the shoes don't seem to contribute and the mesh allows some drying.  As long as it isn't too cold they work great.  If you expect real cold and wet at the same time take shoe covers.  Wet suit type neoprene ones are pretty warm.  I didn't take or miss them on the TA.

Some shoes that I have tried stayed very wet and even after a sock change the socks were instantly soaked from the shoes.

Other shoes may work for you, but try to find ones that don't absorb much moisture.

OK, now socks...

I have has fairly good luck with both synthetics and with Smartwool.  I really like the fairly inexpensive Under Armor low cut athletic socks better than bike specific socks that I have tried.  I have had good luck with others like Ultimax and Thorlo, but don't find them any better at several times the cost.   The UA ones come 4 pairs in a bag for about $12 if I remember correctly.

I carried three pairs of the UA and one of the Smartwool. I sometimes wore the Smartwool socks when it was cold, but not often.  Bothe were pretty comfortable when wet.  I think I might leave the Smartwool home next time since they really weren't used much.

Do get out of wet shoes and socks when in camp and let feet air and dry out.  I carried a pair of Crocs as camp footwear.

On the sandal issue...

I personally find that I get blisters from most sandals when wet for walking and the idea of riding in sandals does not appeal to me.  Others apparently love them.

Gear Talk / Trip form Airzona to Alaska
« on: October 15, 2008, 07:23:59 am »
You asked about the Windsor...  We did the TA on three of them.  Check out our journal at:
The "What worked and what didn't" section has some relevant comments.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 27, 2008, 10:02:25 am »
I have always used the bottles that bottled water came in for alcohol.  I have done this for years backpacking, on my sailboat, and bike touring.  I have never had a moments problem.  Even if the alcohol would spill (it never has) it would not be a big deal like gasoline, white gas, or kerosene.  The bottles have been used for long term storage year round on the sailboat for years and the temperature have run the gamut from < 0F to 100F.

I use a different shaped bottle than any that I drink out of and mark them well.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 22, 2008, 08:39:58 am »
I gotta ask...  Where do you tour.

You say you carry "my 10 liter MSR water bag and my 120 0unces of water bottles".  That would seem to suggest travel in arid and remote areas.  Then you say "I admit that the majority of my meals are purchased."  Which seems to suggest services are readily available.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 21, 2008, 08:49:03 am »
Different strokes, but 24 ounces isn't pretty light in my book.  It is about the heaviest solution I would consider and then only if I already had it and nothing lighter.

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