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Messages - Successor to the Professor

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1
Routes / Re: Great Divide Section Feedback
« on: October 03, 2013, 11:46:45 am »
Hey Paul,

I rode the Divide a couple summer back and thought each section presented a unique challenge, but from my perspective, southern Colorado and New Mexico was the hardest. Maybe it was because I was nearing the end of the tour and wearing down, but the climbs seemed steeper and rockier in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, and the New Mexico desert may have been the most remote section on the route. The heat and lack of water available over a few stretches also make that a hard section. Going into it fresh might make a difference.

If I had to pick an easiest section, I might give that to the middle section (Wyoming/northern Colorado). You need to be prepared with water for the Great Basin, but the road surfaces were overall pretty good, and the major climbs were spaced out nicely that you could get a good break in between them.

I think should throw a fourth segment in there and do the Canada/Montana portion twice ;D




2
Classifieds / SOLD: Surly Long Haul Trucker 56cm
« on: March 17, 2012, 10:26:21 pm »
I've got a 56cm Surly Long Haul Trucker for sale that I bought new in late 2008.  This is a well kept bike, and I made sure to hit the inside of the frame and fork with Frame Saver rust protection every few years.  Some of the Surly decal lettering peeled off when I was taping padding to the bike for taking it on a plane, but other than that the paint is in great shape, and there are no dents or dings in the frame or fork.  Aside from the saddle, which has a tear in the fabric on the back side, everything is in excellent shape.  Wheels are true, shifting is smooth, and the chain and cassette have been replaced within the last year.  Here are the full specs.

Crankset: FSA Energy Compact 46x36T
Bottom Bracket: TruVativ outboard bearing BB
Front Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra
Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX long cage
Cassette: 11-32 Shimano 9spd cassette
Chain: 9spd Shimano chain
Headset: Ritchey Comp
Brakes: Tektro Oryx Cantilevers
Brake Levers: Tektro
Shifters: Shimano friction shifters
Handlebars: Soma Mustache Bars, and will also include Kalloy drop bars if you're not into mustache rides.
Bar Tape: Arundel blue
Stem: 26mm Kalloy aluminum
Seatpost: 27.2mm Kalloy aluminum
Saddle: SDG saddle, the only thing on this bike that is in rough shape.
Wheels: Shimano XT hubs laced up to Alex Adventurer rims (36 hole spoke count on each wheel)
Tires: Continental Contact 700x32, still tons of tread on these
Tubes: They're in there
Pedals: Wellgo platform pedals

In addition to this, I'm also including a full set of Planet Bike fenders, Blackburn frame pump, and a Blackburn rear rack.  Basically all you need are panniers, and your ready to tour.  Asking $1000+shipping.









3
Gear Talk / Re: Does anyone wear Compression Tights after.....
« on: June 09, 2011, 02:54:21 pm »
I've been packing them for the last few years for tours and have been a big fan.  After a few long days in the saddle, I start to get heavy legs, and they seem to keep the blood flow moving at the end of the day when I'm setting up camp or sitting around.  If you don't have any circulation problems, I would say you probably don't need them, but if you get 'heavy' or 'loaded' legs between rides where blood pools up and causes bloating or inflammation, I think they are worth checking out.

4
General Discussion / Re: Mexico Gulf Coast: Is it safe?
« on: February 09, 2011, 09:14:43 am »
I didn't make it over to the gulf coast side of the country, but I did spend over a month last year touring the Pacific side, and central Mexico.  The roads were smooth, traffic courteous, and the people kind.  All and all, it was a great experience that I look forward to enjoying again in the near future.

As for any kind of corruption by the officials at checkpoints, or drug violence, I never witnessed anything remotely close to what people hear about in the media, although we steered ourselves clear of major cities and only rode during the day, which is what we like to do no matter where we're touring. We were also consistently waved past the lineup of cars at every checkpoint we came across.

That's not to say corruption and violence doesn't exist there, it exists in some form just about anywhere you go, but even if it were a problem, who are they going to go after.  A sweaty touring cyclist with very few belongings, or some tourists in a rental car?

 

5
Gear Talk / Re: Is there a difference?
« on: December 08, 2010, 09:03:55 am »
Unlike arm and leg warmers, compression gear is not recommended to be worn while riding your bike.  It is meant to be worn between rides to aid in blood circulation and muscle recovery.  My experience with it is that I don't necessarily feel any stronger from it, but I do feel less fatigued after continuous days in the saddle.  I did try wearing it a couple times on the bike, and it was a bit too much, and resulted in cramping.

6
Gear Talk / Re: vintage cannondale
« on: August 11, 2010, 03:03:38 pm »
I commend Cannondale for always offering a true touring bike.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Cannondale will be dropping the touring bike from their 2011 lineup.  Perhaps the value of the bike will be going up!

7
Gear Talk / Re: Bike Purhcase
« on: July 08, 2010, 08:07:00 am »
For a first time 29er, I'm a big fan of starting things out with a hardtail that has a 80mm-100mm travel front suspension fork.  This will be plush enough for most trails, but rigid enough that you still have to focus on picking your lines.  It's a good overall balance.  For brands, I can definitely say I have enjoyed the Cannondale mountain bikes over the years.  Giant will also be releasing some entry level 29ers for 2011 (Talon 1 an 2), with the less expensive of the two coming in around $750 with a SRAM X4 8spd drivetrain.  With just about any bike, you'll find a few parts here and there that you want to replace over time (brakes, maybe upgrade to 9spd, saddle), but it will definitely you started.

As for future touring use, most trailers are disc brake compatible, so you can always take that route.  Just make sure you have enough clearance for the larger wheel size. 

8
Hey Daniel,

One good thing to know about flying a bike is that smaller airlines, (such as Soutwest, Alaskan, or Allegiant) will charge far less or a bike than major airlines (Delta, Continental, United).  If you can book your ticket so that you check your bags initially with a small airline, you will pay their baggage fees, even if you are connecting to a major airline later in the trip.

With smaller frame sizes, you can sometimes break the bike down into two boxes.  You generally get 62 linear inches for packing, and you may be able to fit the frame in one box, with the fork, bars, stem, seatpost, and wheels in another box.  For padding, just pack your panniers and clothes around the bike parts.  This route can be pretty tricky, and does require some extra mechanical know-how, but it can be another option. 

My last suggestion, which can be risky, is to purchase a bike near your arrival destination, and try to line up a buyer for the used bike when you are finished with your trip.  Just make sure you can get racks on the bike, or perhaps a trailer.

Thanks, and good luck.

9
Routes / Re: Favorite tours?
« on: February 05, 2010, 12:39:55 pm »
I have to go with the Great Divide route, and hopefully that will happen soon while I'm still in shape to attempt the Tour Divide http://tourdivide.org/.

10
Gear Talk / Re: Are fenders useful on Great Divide?
« on: January 29, 2010, 10:12:58 am »
I would lean towards fenders for the great divide.  The biggest pros towards fenders are exactly what you mentioned.  Reducing the amount of crud that ends up on your seat tube, cables, and gears will reduce the amount of time you spend washing your bike at the end of the day.  Unfortunately, to get the most out of fenders, you really need to have full coverage, and most full coverage options aren't built to stand up to this kind of abuse, and will rattle around quite a bit.  In the end, something is better than nothing, and they really don't add a ton of weight, considering all the gear you will probably be carrying. 

11
Gear Talk / Re: Jamis Aurora vs. Surly LHT
« on: January 27, 2010, 03:07:13 pm »
Bang for buck, those are two of the best bikes out there.  The biggest difference between the two is that the Jamis is running Shimano Tiagra STI shifters, while the LHT runs bar end shifters.  If you're going to be on the road for awhile, and away from a bike shop, the bar ends are easier to service than STI, and less finicky overall.

The LHT has some nice built in features, such as a third set of mounts for bottle cages, and spare spoke holders.  The Jamis does include fenders, and they have a neat system for easily adjusting your stem height, although I've read a few reviews from people that have trouble with the adjustable stem slipping.

My personal preference swings towards the Surly, but no matter which you choose, be prepared to swap out the saddle.

12
Gear Talk / Re: Tires when riding from San Diego to Phoenix
« on: January 27, 2010, 02:23:09 pm »
It might be worth checking to see if your local bike shop has puncture resistant tubes.  Couple that with a thick touring tire, and you will be nearly unstoppable.  I had good luck with that setup while rolling over goathead thorns in New Mexico and Arizona.

13
Gear Talk / Re: Mitts or Gloves for extreme cold
« on: January 27, 2010, 09:55:24 am »
If you're using STI style shifters, I would steer clear from mittens, otherwise go for them.  Another option is to check out Bar Mitts at http://barmitts.com/.  

14
Rocky Mountain / Re: Skalkaho Pass Advice
« on: October 29, 2009, 09:36:15 am »
Heading from Philipsburg to Hamilton, you turn onto Hwy 1 (Skalkaho Hwy) from Hwy 38.  From here, you will have around 10-12 miles of smooth pavement.  There isn't much of a shoulder on this road, but traffic is pretty low.  When the pavement ends, you will be riding on a smooth gravel road.  The climb in this direction is pretty mellow, and a few miles into the gravel you will hit the only rest stop between Philipsburg and Hamilton, which is a Sapphire Mine gift shop with soda and snacks.  On your way up to the top of the pass, there is a random 2-3 mile stretch of very smooth pavement before jumping back onto gravel.  Once you hit the top of the pass, it's a long winding descent, but the gravel is pretty smooth.  It won't turn back to pavement until you get close to the base, and at that point it's a smooth ride into Hamilton. 

The pass is closed from mid-October through early June.  If you plan on riding this during mid-late June, be prepared for some wet roads, and possible light snow near the top of the pass.  For information on road conditions, you can call the State Highway Department at 800-226-7623.


Would like to hear from anyone who has ridden Skalkaho Highway between Philipsburg and Hamilton, MT.  I am particularly interested in road conditions.  Using Google Street View, it's diffiuclt to tell whether the road is paved, and there is a gap in coverage that includes the pass.  I am also interested in when the road usually becomes passable.  I am hoping to use it as part of a trip that I would like to do in mid to late June.

15
General Discussion / Re: Any experience with Surly LHT forks
« on: September 08, 2009, 11:25:05 am »
The LHT fork should work just fine on the Cannondale T2000.  The LHT fork has a bit more rake than the Cannondale fork, so you'll have a slightly wider wheelbase for a smooth ride, and at around $80, it's hard to beat the price.  The LHT fork will also hold up to a good deal of abuse, as I've been using it for a lot of off-road/gravel tours this season.

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