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Messages - WesternFlyer

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31
Gear Talk / Water bottles and bisephenol-A
« on: July 01, 2008, 01:00:58 pm »
My wife uses both a Klean Kanteen and a Sigg bottle.  She just competed in her first ever triathlon in eastern Oregon (temperature in the 90s).  She said she had to suck pretty hard to get the water out, but she felt it didnt slow her down.  When it is really hot I like to be able to squirt water into the top of my helmet and down the back of my neck.  Perhaps a dedicated plastic bottle for the hot days.  The water will dribble out on its own from both the Klean and Sigg.

Another issue is unless you can stand metal to metal scraping and clanging you need non-metallic bottle cages.

And for the race:  Silver metal in her age group.  Not bad for a 58 year old grandmother in her first race!!!


Western Flyer

It was to such a land I rode.
       L Eiseley

32
Gear Talk / Water bottles and bisephenol-A
« on: June 18, 2008, 03:17:25 am »
Well thats the problem isnt it?  There is not very much research available to the general public.  I am quite suspecting of Wikipedia in general.  I would trust it to tell me, which is shorter the Trans Am or Northerntier, but not which is more beautiful or has safer riding.  I read the article that Fred cited on bisephenol-A, and had as many or more questions after reading it.

I know the plastic bottle industry suggests not reusing PETA bottles that bottled water generally comes it because it can become abraded with cleaning and leach potentially hazardous chemicals into the refilled bottles.  Maybe they are just trying to sell more designer water! Here is a website for the American Chemical Council.  See if it make you feel any more informed or feeling safer???  http://www.factsonplastic.com


Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"

33
Gear Talk / Water bottles and bisephenol-A
« on: May 27, 2008, 01:43:19 am »
What are peoples thought on bisephenol-A and other chemicals leaching from your water bottles into your drinking water while on the road?  Is it a concern or do people even care?  I was searching for a new bottle online and REI had 2 or 3 pages of bisephenol-A free bottles prominently listed.  This plastic additive, which seems to be in lots of plastics we come in contact with every day, may have some pretty serious health effects.

I was looking for a Sigg 1.5 liter bottle and found Sigg is pretty much backordered to Switzerland on many of their products.  Sigg seems to have caught the publics attention in a big way on Oprah where Julia Roberts held up a Sigg water bottle for all the world to see. Sigg claims 0.0% leaching of any chemicals on all of their bottles.

I use a Soma Crystal water bottle for around town riding.  For longer rides I add a Swiss Katadyn Micro Filter water bottle, which pretty much turns tap water from most any source into store bought taste and will filter stream water for bacteria and cysts.  It can even be upgraded for third-world use.  If you normally buy bottled water while on the road it pays for itself, and keeps a lot of plastic out of the landfills.  Both of the above bottles claim to be bisephenol-A free.
As a note my wife uses stainless steel water bottles for her bike.


Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"

34
Gear Talk / Getting lower gearing
« on: June 01, 2008, 03:18:21 am »
I have had less than good luck adding different size chain rings to my existing set.  Over-shifting, under-shifting, stuck chains between rings, etc have been the unfortunate pattern for me.  I bit the bullet and bought a new set of Race Face 24-34-46 rings to replace the OME Sugino 28-36-48, which I had doctored with a Salsa 24 inner ring and a chain keeper.  I have never had a triple chain set shift so well as the Race Face.  And the 46 tooth outer marries well with the 11/34 cassette so I dont need to hunt down or splice two cassettes together for a 13 or 14/34 setup.  Other than a slight adjustment in height of the front derailleur there were no other adjustment required.

In the four-bolt patter Race Face has a 22-32-44 set, which should let you climb tree trunks.  There are probably other manufacturers sets available.  I had never used Race Face before and I am really impressed with their design and precision workmanship.


Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"

35
Gear Talk / Colored Panniers
« on: May 20, 2008, 12:02:03 pm »
There are lots of quality silver or gray panniers available.  Coated Cordura nylon comes in dozens of bright colors including several shades of purple and violet. You could sew a purple face over the existing pannier outside face with little trouble.   Find a local tent and awning shop or custom upholstery shop to order the fabric and do the sewing.  A person with some sewing skills, a good home sewing machine and some patients could do it themselves. Choose panniers that you can remove the hardware and stiffening plates easily (avoid rivets).  Take the hardware off yourself.  I speak as a former sail maker and canvass person; we all hate to take the responsibility for proprietary hardware while it is in the shop and charge accordingly for the headache and liability.  Then you will need to seal the new stitching with a seam sealer that is probably available at the canvass shop, if not REI has it.  And voila you have a brand new custom made silver and purple set of panniers.  For an extra touch you could sew a zipper in for a maps pocket in the new nylon.

Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"

36
Gear Talk / Seat post rack
« on: May 12, 2008, 02:52:55 am »
Topeak has the MTX rack system in three styles that puts the rack a different heights depending on the size and design of the bike.   My wife has the V style (The rack drops down.) for her mountain bike.  It is the slickest design with built in rubber tie-down straps and a very secure, easy to use trunk system.  Her trunk bag came with zip-out flaps that become small panniers.  Somebody should get an A+ in AutoCAD design for this system.  It is load rated at 20 lbs.  And her front Ortlieb panniers clip on easily

I had the Trek seat post rack on my mountain bike.  It is stronger than the Topeak, but only comes with the rack being straight off the seat post.  I had the deluxe Trek Interchange trunk bag to go with it, which has some interesting features and compartments.  It has a very simple clip on system that wasnt very secure.  Jumping a curb or riding on some rough road would cause it to pop off with no warning.  And it leaked badly in the rain.  I wouldnt recommend the system.


Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"

37
Gear Talk / Need a HEAVY duty wheel.
« on: May 01, 2008, 02:59:02 pm »
Try going to the Universal Cycles website. They have a custom wheel building page.  I had them build some new wheels for me.  They were beautiful and at a very reasonable price. One warning, they only have one person who does all the wheel building and he is limited to a few wheels per day so put your order in soon if you are taking off soon. whttp://www.universalcycles.com/wheelkit.php

Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"

38
Gear Talk / Both panniers AND trailer at the same time?
« on: April 29, 2008, 02:08:34 am »
Check out Kool Stop trailers http://www.koolstop.com/trailers/index.php.  I have the Kool Mule, which I use mostly for grocery store runs.  I took it down the Oregon coast last summer.  It can carry a lot more weight than I can pull all day long.  Look at the Kool Wilderbeast.  It is kind of a BOB with panniers.

The folks at Kool are very friendly and helpful in answering questions and getting you spare parts.


Western Flyer

A wheel spins in a circle.
The still point at the center
gives it direction.
Be still.

   "The Parents' Tao Te Ching"

39
Gear Talk / Pannier input please
« on: April 05, 2008, 06:44:54 pm »
Living in the rainy Northwest, I would only use waterproof panniers.  I have Seattle Sport panniers that are built pretty much like kayak dry bags.  They work well enough, but are a bit of a fuss to get on and off when doing quick trips to the store.  I just put Orlieb front Roller Classics on the rear of my wifes bike for commuting to work.  With the panniers loaded she can put them on with one hand.  They almost drop into place, securely.

I guess my years of ocean kayaking make top loading less of a problem.  


Western Flyer

My hip hurts when I move my chin, . . .
and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!
   Shel Silverstein

40
Gear Talk / Which sleeping bag?
« on: March 14, 2008, 02:01:24 am »
Look at Big Agnes down bags with an eVent compression bags, and Big Agnes Air Core pads.  They really have done their design homework.  I got a BA 40 deg bag and 35 deg Air Core last summer and I am really happy, excellent workmanship and design details and incredibly lightweight. http://www.bigagnes.com/

I have not had much luck with this type of item on eBay.  They tend to bid such items to 15% to 10% of full retail and then add high shipping charges.  Whereas you can order from REI, and if there is a retail outlet nearby no shipping, and if you dont like it for any reason or no reason even after using it in the field they will take it back with a full refund.

Remember those comfort rating are very nominal.  If you think you are going to be warm in 20 deg weather with a 20 deg bag without thermal long-johns, wool socks and a fleece hat on, you are in for a very rude and chilling surprise.  Someone wrote some place on this forum, If you dont have to wear every item of clothing you brought your sleeping bag is too heavy.

Check out Sierra Trading Post sometimes they have some great deals, and they have easy return policies.  http://www.sierratradingpost.com/


Western Flyer

My hip hurts when I move my chin, . . .
and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!
   Shel Silverstein

41
Gear Talk / cyclocross bike for long distance touring?
« on: March 14, 2008, 01:16:40 am »
There are really two tiers of cyclocross bikes.   There are the top tier CX bikes, and there everything Russell wrote is spot on, in spades.  Then there are the lower end CX bikes, like my Bianchi Axis, which are really hybrids, designed and marketed as a spirited all weather commuter, weekend fun (road and/or dirt), light touring, and perhaps some real cyclocross racing in the lower divisions.   I read that CX sales have been growing at something like 40% for the last couple of years.  CX racing has not.

Bouncing off Russells and others comments on cyclocross bikes for touring:  My one and only bicycle is my Bianchi cyclocross.  I went in the bike shop intending to buy the steel Bianchi Volpe, which does have cross like geometry, and I was given the aluminum Axis to compare and bought the Axis on the spot.  The liveliness was a noticeable difference.

The rear dropouts are drilled and threaded for fenders and/or racks, and the seat stays have eyelets.  Many other CX bikes have similar setups; Surly and Soma are two (Soma only sells frames).  I got a Tubus Logo rear rack, which fit perfectly.  The Logo puts the panniers down and back, and my size 11 shoes have room to spare.  CX frames have the bottom bracket up a little higher and a shorter wheelbase than most touring frames, which is balance/handling consideration, especially for fully loaded setups.  At best it is a light to medium weight rig.

The fork is carbon/aluminum (and are on many CX bikes), and is set up for fenders only.  I think the Surly has an optional steel fork with low rider mounts.  I put on a small brake-boss mounted rack designed for mountain bikes.  I got it from Nashbar, and it is rated at 15 lbs.  I strap a little soft-sided six-pack cooler to it with maybe 7 to 9 lbs max.

The wheels:  16 front and 20 holes rear hubs, flat blade spokes, with deep aluminum rims.  The little bit of dirt riding I did and pulling an overloaded trailer down the Oregon coast last summer the wheels did fine.  On my last trip of the year with my new rack and panniers a spoke and the rear axle broke on some course pavement (those fiber spokes work!).  Our dearly departed brother Sheldon Brown has testified to Bianchi cutting corners on the wheels and pedals, and he sold them.  I now have 32/36 Shimano hubs and Mavic touring rims.

Im some what a follower of Lao Tzu when he says, A wise traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving, and Robert Frost, Two roads diverged in a wood, and I  I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.  This is where the CX comes into its own for touring.  I carry my dirt tires as my spares.  A CX frame allows you to get pretty fat and knobby between the forks and stays.  And that opens up lots of one less traveled by.  To be fair there are some touring frames that can take fairly wide tires.  

If I were younger and planning a trip around the world with ADVENTURE in my eyes, I would be looking pretty hard at the Surly Travelers Check.  Im looking anyhow.


Western Flyer

My hip hurts when I move my chin, . . .
and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!
   Shel Silverstein

42
Gear Talk / Speedo
« on: March 01, 2008, 03:42:32 am »
I use a Trek Incite 9I.  It is simple enough for me.  I chose it over others in the same price range for having an ambient thermometer and a dual wheel size switch as I typically ride with relatively narrower road tires, 700/28 and fatter dirt tires, 700/35.  I wish it had a built in compass.  I went online and Trek has one with a digital compass, but you are halfway to buying a GPS unit and still not knowing where the next Starbucks is!

It has never faltered in three years.  I just changed the battery, but it didnt need it.  I had bumped the pickup out of place.


Western Flyer

I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!
   Shel Silverstein

43
Gear Talk / MSR Fuel Bottle Size?
« on: February 13, 2008, 03:54:38 am »
I use a Sigg 1 liter bottle, which I think is identical to the MSR 33 oz.  I burn ethanol and it is usually sold in quart cans so it is a nice match. With a little alteration it fits neatly into a nylon Profile Design bottle cage.  I put a little crease into the bottles side with the side of a screwdriver and a small hammer so the cage retainer fits into the bottle. Profile Design makes a carbon fiber cage for 7x the price that should also work.  
http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=17597&category=2




 












Western Flyer

I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!
   Shel Silverstein

44
Gear Talk / Touring Saddles?
« on: February 17, 2008, 11:20:37 pm »
Does anyone have any experience with the Selle An-Atomica Saddle?  I tested one at the North American Handbuild Bicycle Show in Portland, OR.  It seemed very nice, but three minutes on a trainer is not three weeks on a tour!
www.mcmwin.com.

About the Brooks saddles, I had one in my youth. Back then all saddles were leather, but Brooks was still considered the best.  I think it took two years to really break-in and then it was really comfortable.  I applied every leather dressing and incantation know in the mid-twentieth century to hasten the process.


Western Flyer

I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!
   Shel Silverstein

45
Gear Talk / Disc Brakes or Rim Brakes?
« on: January 27, 2008, 06:53:59 pm »
I have noticed my rims getting hot and have had tire failures that may have been related.  Also riding on hot summer pavement on tires inflated with cool  morning air have resulted in blowouts.  Reading these posts has me thinking about pressure relief valves.  In my past life with marine and aerospace designs I have used pressure relief valves in a number of situations at lower pressures 10 psi to .01 psf.  I did a quick search and found a source for relief valves for automobile racing tires.  There might be an opening for an entrepreneurial cyclist to adapt some existing technology.  http://www.diamondracingwheels.com/TireValves.htm

Western Flyer

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