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Messages - John Nettles

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211
Gear Talk / Need a HEAVY duty wheel.
« on: April 27, 2008, 10:07:58 pm »
A recent discussion over on CGonaB talked about "Touring Wheels, Broken Spokes, & Wheels".

I think the no-cost no-weight concern wheelset was for rear 48 spoke front 40 spoke, dyad/aeroheat rims, straight 14gu spokes (I prefer 14/15/14 double butted), on Phil Wood hubs.

Obviously, you can adjust your spending to your needs.  In 30 years of touring, I have almost always used 48 spoke rims and while I am lighter, I have never had a broken spoke due except due to blunt trama (hitting curbs at speed while fully loaded sort of thing).  Due to your weight, I would strongly suggest the 48 spoke as that is what a lot of touring tandems use.  If you prefer reliability more than weight and cost, it is a good way to go.

A good book but very technical to read is The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt.  Somewhat boring for us non-tech types but it thoroughly discusses wheels.

Overall, the best advice is to get it very well built as a 36 spoke rim well built is better than a poorly built 48 spoke wheel.  Again, over on CGonaB specific builders are recommeneded.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

212
Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: April 10, 2008, 03:54:14 pm »
Have you tried adjusting the seat up, down, forward, backward, or tilting.  Where specifically does it hurt, i.e the pelvic bones, tissue chafing, genitalia, etc.  Have you tried different saddles.  I assume this is for a road bike.  If you could, please give more info so we might be able to help you.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

213
Gear Talk / Pannier input please
« on: April 01, 2008, 05:47:28 pm »
I have both Arkel and Robert Beckman Designs, aka Needleworks, Beckman, RBD, etc. .  The latter are absolutely great but very pricy.  Also, Bob is somewhat slow at finishing the packs as he as he works on them between tours and such.

The Arkel packs are quite good also, however, I think Bob's mounting system is the best I have seen....very simple yet very secure.

If you can find a used set on eBay or such, that would be nice.  If in rush, Arkel is not a bad choice.  I have bought some used and they were 1/3 the price and only 10% "used".

Don't discount the other name brands though.  I still have a 1980 full set of Kirklands that have probably 15k miles on them and only the springs wore out (twice).  Can be much less expensive and still decent.

Overall, if you are unsure try to buy a "lightly used" set unil you can decide what you really want.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

214
Gear Talk / Which sleeping bag?
« on: March 18, 2008, 06:39:03 pm »
Since your biggest concerns were weight (and I assume bulk), you really should only consider down as it is almost 1/3 lighter.  I have 30+ years of touring and have never had a wet bag as I have always had a goretex or similar outer shell.  If a regular shell just put in a large leaf bag.

eBay/Criagslist/etc. are a good deal provided you do your homework.  I personally would rather buy a used top-of-the-line model of anything that has been well cared for than a new average model for the same money.  Evaluate for yourself if the cost/weight difference is worth it to you.  

As far as pads go, try both (closed cell and air) before you go.  I used to be able to handle a closed cell but the old bones prefer the heavier yet more comfortable air mattress now.  Obvioulsy, go a narrow as you can to save weight.

Hope you enjoy the trip!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

215
Gear Talk / Which sleeping bag?
« on: March 14, 2008, 11:12:29 am »
You didn't mention how much you have to spend.  No matter what, for you should look for down (for lightness and compactness), and a bag without side baffles so down can be shaken from top of bag to bottom when hot outside or vice versa.

I second the eVent shell.  If you have money to spend, I have used Feathered Friends.  They have great bags, service, warranties, and will allow you to customize their bags. You can get them on eBay but the eVent may be harder to find though.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

216
Gear Talk / cyclocross bike for long distance touring?
« on: April 21, 2008, 11:57:19 pm »
Not really on topic but the prevailing winds on the PC are definately north to south.  I did it the way you planned on a perimeter tour but had major headwinds most days.  One day I was in my !@#$% small chainring the entire day.  If you can, I would highly suggest going the other direction.

Just my 3 cents (inflation & all)

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

217
Gear Talk / Speedo
« on: March 05, 2008, 05:30:29 pm »
I'll date myself.  I still perfer the old Huret dual count cyclometer.  It was an odometer only that ran via a little belt and had a overall mileage and a trip mileage.  With that and a watch I could do everything I wanted but altitude.

Since my finally wore out a decade ago, I have used only wired ones.  I too have heard first-hand accounts of goofy readings from wireless.

One thing to put on the pre-trip checklist is to replace the battery prior to the trip so it goesn't crap out halfway thru hopefully.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

218
Gear Talk / Considering New Handlebar Setup
« on: February 26, 2008, 11:54:52 am »
If you have ever changed from traditional drop bars to something else (any style considered), what are the pros and cons of the change?  What about brake and shifter setup?  I currently have and love bar-ends.

Please answer only if you have actually changed in the past.  I would like only first hand experience; no "I have heard it said" type of comments please.

As I get older :(, my hands, neck, etc. are not as happy as they used to be and want to try something else.

I have tried several recumbents but have not found any I like so they are ruled out (sorry).

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

219
Gear Talk / schwalbe marathon supreme tires
« on: May 31, 2007, 11:52:13 am »
I sure hope they are not bad as I just got some yesterday in prep for riding 1/2 the L&C trail this summer.  Thought about the XR but they were out so went with the Supremes.  Take this in the right way but I hope do not share your experience with them :).

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

220
Gear Talk / which panniers?
« on: January 27, 2007, 01:17:56 pm »
If you are going simple (no cooking, not a huge tent, etc.), it should work.

Along with Arkels, consider Robert Beckman (aka Needleworks, RBD Designs, etc.).  He was some standard sized packs, but will custom add-on from there (solar rechargers, special requests, etc.  Extremely simple hookup but you can literally lift and swing bike by packs while they are attached.  As they are all hand made by him, you know what you are getting.

Very pricy, but very very good.

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

221
Gear Talk / Need a new tent
« on: January 27, 2007, 01:24:42 pm »
Thanks for the responses.  Has anyone had PERSONAL experience with the single wall tents like Bibler?  If so, how would they be in August in the central plains.  While no tent will be comfortable in 100 degrees, I "think" a fly'd tent would be cooler as it would have a airflow between the fly and the tent.  However, everyone who has a Bibler or similar tent swears by them but all reviews seem to be in cooler/cold climates.

Any one out there use/used one?  Thanks!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

222
Gear Talk / Need a new tent
« on: December 26, 2006, 12:59:40 pm »
Hope all had a Joyous Christmas!  I need to finally get a new tent after many many years of great service of my old one (brand no longer made).  So I am looking for testimonies from people who have toured with their tents in the past year or three.

I am looking for a tent that MUST: 1) sleep one restless sleeper plus gear (F&R panniers; 2) has a max of three non-fiberglass poles; 3) be able to sit up in; 4) sub-six pounds when fully packed (poles, tent, fly, stakes, etc.); 5) high quality

I PREFER the tent: 1) have great ventilation (camping temps are usually is in the 65-85 range) at night so great ventilation is strongly desired; 2) Short folded pole length; 3) traditional poles [no funking 45 degree bends in the middle of a single section (I too old school :) ), "T" pole (hubs okay though), etc.]; 4) heavier/durable materials over shaving grams; 5) strong zippers or can be retro-fitted with such); 6) minor vestibule over entrance to keep rain out of tent

I don't care: 1) if free-standing; 2) what color (no hot pink); 3) brand; 4) for tarps/canopy only.

Some tents I have considered are NF Vector 22; SD Lightening; and Black Diamond/Bibler several varieties.  An interesting tent is the NEMO which does not use any poles but is self standing.  I'll wait until the techonolgy proves itself but it is sort of cool.

May we all have a wonderful New Year!!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

223
Gear Talk / Panniers transforming into backpacks
« on: September 21, 2006, 12:44:14 pm »
Try contact Robert Beckman at Beckman Panniers in Oregon.  He may have changed his company name however.  He custom makes every pack and back in '89 I had him do his first conversion of adding straps to a tandem rear pack for use as a day pack.  He does HIGH quality work, is brilliant in his solutions to problems, and would probably be the only one who could accomplish this.  Forewarned, he is not cheap but his equipment will last a lifetime.


Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

224
Gear Talk / pedals?
« on: October 30, 2006, 08:46:22 am »
Thanks for the Yellow Jersey link.  As far as numb feet, I have only gotten them since started wearing clipless as my shoes have to be tight to feel like they are not slopping around in the pedal.

I have over 40k miles in old-style cleats and straps with no problems and yes I did use them properly to get the 100% powerstroke in the cadence (used to race so I learned that valuable skill).  Only time I got sore feet is if I used tennis shoes instead of cycling shoes.

Obviously, some definately prefer and are better off with clipless (my 'bent is much better with clipless), but for some of us weirdos, old school is often better, i.e. steel touring frame versus other.  Not trying to start a flame war, I'm just a old school cyclist thinking about the "good old days" :).

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

225
Gear Talk / pedals?
« on: October 29, 2006, 03:33:59 pm »
For road touring, I am sooo old school that I strongly prefer (but can't find anymore) the old Dettio Piedro??? riding shoes with the old nail in cleats with leather straps and steel toe clips.  I have tried Look, SPD, and bolt-on cleats but I still like the old style.  Technological  "improvements" can sometimes not be improvements. :)

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

TulsaJohn

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