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Messages - Westinghouse

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Gear Talk / Raleigh Sojourn
« on: December 26, 2008, 11:13:43 am »
I have never heard of a 32 spoke wheel for a touring bike. I am no expert on wheels, but unless there is some new kind of extra strong 32 spoke wheel out there, it is not recommended for heavy touring. 36 is as low as you want to go for touring, and 40 is good too. Get what you can, but if you cannot afford all that much, do your spending on the rear wheel. Not all bicycle wheels are equal by a long shot. A cheap $35.00 steel wheel on the front should take you across the continent without trouble. The rear wheel is a very different matter, especially on tough hilly / mountainous routes.

Gear Talk / Raleigh Sojourn
« on: October 30, 2008, 01:49:19 pm »
I looked at the picture. That is a good bike for long distance touring. I could not see close enought to determine if there were eyes for fastening a rack in the front. A good touring bike should have such eyes fore and aft. Other than that, it is an excellent bike for touring.

Gear Talk / Sealed bearings--How many miles?
« on: October 25, 2008, 04:26:48 pm »
Thanks for the information. It looks like I had better just install a spindle with cups and bearings.

Gear Talk / Sealed bearings--How many miles?
« on: October 25, 2008, 12:38:45 pm »
I am considering another tour across the southern tier east to west. I am just beginning to purchase new components. Today I got a freewheel remover, and yesterday I bought a chain and a freewheel.

One thing I already have installed in the bottom bracket is a set of sealed bearings in a cartridge  that just screws into the bracket. It is not a top end cartridge; it cost about $30.00--$35.00. It already has something over 1500 miles on it. Does anyone have any idea about how many miles it is good for in loaded, long distance touring?

Gear Talk / B.O.B. trailers
« on: October 25, 2008, 12:12:04 pm »
I have read many journals from Trailers seem to be the choice of carriage for many cyclists. If you go with the BOB you will most likely be satisfied with it.

My own point of view is somewhat different. I read that occasionally the connection to the bike might break or have some other problem. A trailer means one or two more wheels and tubes and tires of smaller size. You might need to carry an extra tire and tube or two. You will also be pulling the extra weight of the trailer itself. Then there is the extra length, and lifting up over curbs when necessary. In my opinion, using a trailer adds weight, and it adds more moving parts and a connection that could break or go wrong. Not only that, it costs extra to do what can done for much less with racks and panniers. Of course, I already have racks and panniers, so the way I see it is this. Why buy a trailer?

All that said, if you use a trailer you should have a perfectly good time with it.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-25-08 @ 9:12 AM

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: December 26, 2008, 11:42:51 am »
Where is Reminiscence? I suppose he got out there on his velocipede and forgot all about us.

Frankly, I would not want to tour long distance and loaded on a mountain type bike. I know people do it all the time, but not me.

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 30, 2008, 02:11:34 pm »
Quite a few times, while cycling cross country, I came across country churches somewhat out in the middle of nowhere, or at least a few miles from the nearest houses and stores. Invariably these churches had at least an outside water faucet out back somewhere. Using a hose ot just my water bottle, I got showers that way. Be careful on Sunday mornings though. You never know when some of the congregation might show up.

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 22, 2008, 12:44:33 pm »
I think it would be cool to hear from Reminiscence on this forum at intervals while he is doing his journey.

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 20, 2008, 07:43:40 pm »
There you go. You have a quality new bike, and you got it cheap. I have seen quite a few really good deals on quality used bikes. I am not saying you are going to pick up a like new $2000.00 Cannondale for $25.00 or anything like that, but there are perfectly good bikes for cheap. You just have to be lucky enough to find one. Other than that, you might just have to shell out a considerablke amount of cash for a new bike at a bike shop.

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 20, 2008, 12:26:36 pm »
I have seen some really good deals on touring bikes. But of course, if you are going the distance you will probably need to replace all moving parts which will cost approximately $250.00-$350.00, and that is if you buy online or at bike stores. These would be lower end prices but still quality components and wheels, etc.

You can shell out for a new bicycle, but if you do a long ride on it like 3000 miles or so, you will probably still have to replace moving parts to do another long tour. Preventive maintenance keeps you going the full length. You do not want to be broken down in the middle of the desert because some part that should have been changed before starting out was left on the bike in the off chance that it would stand then trip. Push one of those $7.00 Wal Mart chains past 3000 miles, and watch out. It could break on you at any moment.

Used bikes are often advertised in the classified section of the newspaper. Some person may have come into possession of an expensive bicycle, of which he knows nothing. He does not ride and just wants to get it out of the garage. He sells it for fifty dollars. In a culture of motorized transportation the lowly velocipede has little value.

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 18, 2008, 03:45:23 pm »

It is possible to do a 60 day tour of the S.T. for the amount of money you mentioned, say $20.00 or $25.00 a day. Another person and I did it for about $1600.00 total for the two of us, and that meant free camping the great majority of the time, or staying somewhere free of charge. Motels up the ante a bit, and can up is very much if you make a habit of it. On some days I would spend $30.00, and on other days $8.00. Within certain limits you can spend about as much or as little as you want on such a journey.

As for myself, I like to drink ice coffee and hot coffee, and a Starbucks is kind of hard to pass up. I add on costs, but what to heck, if I cannot enjoy it, why do it? And I do use motels occasionally. I rented a room in Van Horn, Texas one winter and planned to stay a couple of days, and then cycle on through El Paso. A winter storm came along and covered the ground and roadways with ice and snow. It snowed continually. I ended up keeping the motel room for about six days instead of two. You have to deal with exigencies sometimes.

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 17, 2008, 01:48:45 pm »
When you get a used frame or complete used bike make sure it is a quality piece of equipment. Reading about the quality frames and bikes will tell you exactly what to look for. Wal Mart is not an option when it comes to a long distance tour of thousands of miles. Ride one of Wally's velocipedes for a while, and then try out a well made touring machine in good condition, new or used, and you will feel the difference soon. There is not much of a comparison when it comes to smooth riding, speed, comfort, and a general feeling of efficiency in operation and pedaling. When it comes to getting a really good touring machine, the educated consumer should come out ahead of the one who goes tripping off to Sears or Wal Mart or Target to get his ride.

There are some cycling items you can purchase from Wal Mart and such stores for long tours, but they are limited. I have used those Bell chains that cost about $7.00 on several long tours, and they have always held up, but you do want to scrap them after 4000 miles or so. WM has cables, saddles, and lighting systems that are pretty good.

Gear Talk / A unique situation (SouthernTier).
« on: October 16, 2008, 03:07:29 pm »
A used frame is fine as long as it fits you. What about the components, wheels, tires? They may need to be changed. Used chains can break. Used freewheels can wear down and make your chain skip around and dance like a snake in a fire. How about the brakes?
Carry extra spokes for the rear wheel, and carry a freewheel remover if you have a freewheel and not a cassette.

As for maps, you can see the details of maps on ACA's web page. Print them out. You can use them to route your course. If you look at how the lines run on their maps and the towns they go to, you can pretty well look on standard road maps and see which roads they are using. Actually, some of their route takes you through areas that are much hillier, but no more scenic than other roads, or at least that was what I was reading in journals written by people who had used ACA's maps.

Interstates 10 and 8 are good for cycling where no other roads are available. Going west to east will have you eating a lot of headwinds. Many say west to east is the way to go, but if you read Donna Ikenberry's book on the Transam, you will see she chose east to west, and she tells why. I did more research on the internet, and have done the southern tier a number of times. East to west is a good way to go. Of course, in your situation, west to east is the only way to go, but I thought I would mention it.

Trailers are fine. I have never used one, but I have read journals by those who have. One thing about trailers. They add more wheels, and tires that can wear out. You need to carry extra tires for those odd sized wheels. There is a connection to the bike, and these connections have been known to break. The trailer adds its own weight to the load you already have. In my way of looking at things, adding a trailer is just adding more that can go wrong, along with extra weight.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-16-08 @ 12:10 PM

Gear Talk / Touring Tires & Brakes
« on: October 25, 2008, 12:22:25 pm »
I just went to Wal Mart two days ago and bought one of the patch kits out of the automotive section. It was cheap and held about 18 pieces, even if the package said it had 13 pieces. What does all this tell you? Those patch kits belong in the cycling section too.

That one kind of glueless patch Wal Mart sells really is totally and completely useless for anything. It is like trying to use two pieces of limp spaghetti as chopsticks. Totally completely bogus and useless.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-28-08 @ 10:50 AM

Gear Talk / Touring Tires & Brakes
« on: October 18, 2008, 04:03:44 pm »
I agree with Whittierider on all that. Wal Mart here sells two types of glueless patches for bicycle tubes. As for one kind I bought and tried to use---well, what can I say? Wal Mart ought to be sued for selling completely useless garbage. I have not used their other brand of glueless patch, and I will not either.

You do not want to be caught out in the middle of nowhere patching an innertube with patches that are completely bogus. The round or square rubber patches used with rubber glue work just fine. Do not trust Wal Mart for much at all when it come to long distance cycling. Their selection for cycling is really low grade, and very limited.

I went into department stores in west Germany, and checked out their bicycling sections. One such store was named Le Clerk. I think I got the spelling right on that name. They had just about everything you could possibly need, and it was high quality equipment too, no junk. From adjuster screws for saddles to wheels, frames, nuts and bolts, and complete bikes, they were set up complete just like a professional bicycle store. Wal Mart, Target, and Sears are a very far cry from that.

Know your tentative route. The internet can tell you if there are bicycle shops in certain towns. You can call ahead. Keep ready with spares of what will need to be replaced.

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