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Topics - PeteJack

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General Discussion / Useless advice/help
« on: November 14, 2014, 09:33:29 am »
I've often benefited from the kindness of strangers like a night's stay in CT or a bottle of Snapple at the top of a hill in PA while on tour but once or twice the 'help' was anything but. Like the time I came out of a cafe in Ellensburg WA and a passing stranger informed me my back tire was flat. Now I think there's a fair chance I would have noticed that on my own. I know the guy meant well but nevertheless I found it irritating and felt obliged to thank him for pointing out the obvious. Anybody else had a similar experience?

The previous time someone pointed out a flat tire was in Valence France, I was pushing my bike because my left arm was in a cast, I'd broke it a couple of days before. The man not only pointed out the flat tire but he fixed it as well! He was a master, fixing the flat without taking the wheel off and re-inflating it for me in about 5 minutes. I was so grateful I was going to tip him my last 12 euros and then I found my wallet had been lifted. The same man recovered it for me. (I'll never know but I suspect he was the lifter. All the cash was gone but my credit cards etc were still there.) All in all quite a day.

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Gear Talk / chain ring sizing
« on: November 05, 2014, 11:48:33 am »
A friend of mine who is an expert(!) was appalled that the front triple on my 520 was 51-38-24. He claimed that you're not supposed to have more than a 20T gap between the largest and smallest rings. Does he have something?

the only odd thing I have had happen was when I got to the top of a longish hill and shifted up from the granny perhaps a bit too soon and the Quicklink came undone. It was all twisted when I checked it so I replaced it with a spare and was on my way. Other than that strange incident I've rode any thousands of trouble free miles with this arrangement.

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Gear Talk / Thule towbar rack and fenders help please
« on: September 12, 2014, 07:54:05 pm »
I've just bought a Thule T2 towbar mounted rack and it looks a fine piece of kit. According to the instructions I cannot clamp the front wheel with fenders on. Our front fenders poke out about 4 1/2 inches from the Vee brakes. Do I have to chop off my fenders? or can I get away with clamping right next to the existing fender tip? Is this all CYA from Thule?

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Gear Talk / Cateye time & average speed funky readings
« on: April 13, 2014, 08:53:42 pm »
On my Cateye Enduro 8 the readings: speed, distance, max speed,  time of day all appear to be working just fine but the ride time and average speed is rubbish. On my last ride it showed a time of 35 minutes for a 35 mile ride (!) and an average speed of 1.0 mph. Sometimes the average display shows a letter E. Does anybody know what's going on? Is it just the battery running down? I've done some searching and could find nobody with the same problem. Plenty of people with iffy Cateyes. e.g. intermittent failures. But with these the problem always seems to be the whole thing going blank. I don't really care about average speed so I can live with it but I'm curious as to whether it's a symptom of a dieing device. :(

I've just been out to check it again. The irritating arrows that indicate above/below average speed no longer appear to be working. Now that I can live with.

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General Discussion / Pleae help me watch the Tour
« on: March 11, 2014, 01:07:42 pm »
I got rid of cable and satellite TV but still have one of those 'smart' TVs that lets me watch Youtube and Netflix. Now, how can I watch the Tour de France with Phil Ligget's commentary and all that for a reasonable cost? Is there something I can subscribe to on the internet? It's a big deal for me as the first stage goes within 5 miles of my house in the UK.

FWIW this stage goes through some of England's most exquisite countryside - the Yorkshire Dales.

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General Discussion / ACA maps and crummy areas in big cities?
« on: March 05, 2014, 01:25:44 pm »
I love ACA maps and I get the impression that they route away from undesirable areas in big cities, at least I have that impression from going through Philly and Cleveland and I further believe that ACA maps in this respect are superior to, say, Google maps which will pick the most direct route from A to B. Am I right or not? I realize this may be a sensitive topic for some but I have just advised a young lady to stick to ACA routes to avoid potential trouble on the Southern Tier.

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Gear Talk / Poor Trek520 brakes
« on: February 10, 2014, 04:12:09 pm »
My 520 now has 41K on it and for about 40 of the 41K my front bake was dreadful: very noisy and not very effective. If there was a STOP sign at the bottom of a steep hill I found it almost impossible to stop with my hands on the hoods having to reach round from the drops and to squeeze like hell to get any stopping power at all. I managed to ameliorate the squealing a bit by using Jagwire pads but the stopping power was still very poor.

Here's how I fixed it. I replaced the Single Digit SD-5 front brake with a Single Digit Ultimate brake and replaced the OEM levers with Tektro RL-520s. The Ultimate cost 5 times as much, ($111 from the internet) as the SD-5 but it's like night and day. I now descend steep hills braking from the hoods in comfort thanks also to the Tektro levers which seem to have better ergonomics than the originals. The Ultimate is silent in operation with no toe in. I still have the original SD-5 on the back with KoolStop pads which works just fine.

Hope this helps somebody.

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Gear Talk / Trek 520 poor brakes
« on: November 11, 2013, 03:24:46 pm »
The brakes on my Trek 520 that I love dearly are not very good. Originally the front brake was very noisy and didn't work at all well. Braking was something I had to plan especially loaded up. I got some relief from the noise by using Jagwire pads and cured the noise problem completely by replacing the Single Digit SD-5 front brake with a Single Digit Ultimate at great expense (5X the cost). The new front brake is does work a bit better but hard braking with my hands on the hoods is still difficult, I have to reach round to the drops to do that. Is there anything in the way of different levers, cables etc. Can anyone suggest a way of improving braking from the hoods? The cable outers and levers are the originals that came with the bike in 2005.

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Routes / How do I get a copy Cycling British Columbia? Please help.
« on: September 28, 2013, 12:28:28 pm »
A friend of mine lent me a copy of Cycling British Columbia by Paul Wood ISBN 0-9684826-2-7.
This seems to be a superb guide I would like my own copy but I can't find one anywhere. The only one I've found is on eBay and they want hundreds of dollars for it! I've called book stores all over BC, no luck. I even call the publishers and they have no copies and plans for a reprint

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Routes / Help addressing Gettysburg
« on: March 13, 2013, 02:28:54 pm »
in late May / early June I plan on riding from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, probably using Route S which I believe goes fairly near to Gettysburg. I very much want to visit the battlefield but from what I can make out Gettysburg itself is a spendy tourist trap so I would appreciate advice on accommodation, motels etc. or campsites that won't break the bank. I'm riding down the Atlantic Coast route to Philly so it will be difficult to make bookings ahead of time. Thanks in anticipation.

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Classifieds / Otlieb mesh pocket
« on: October 28, 2012, 09:33:04 am »


$10 +postage

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Gear Talk / Need a large lightweight bag
« on: April 14, 2012, 02:46:37 pm »
I'm flying to Europe next month to do the North Sea Cycle Route from Bergen. I plan on keeping my airline bag count down to 2 by: using my boxed bike as one 'bag' and having a large duffel bag containing my paniers, sleeping bag, tent etc as a second bag. Now here's the challenge: the only duffel bag large enough that I have found so far is a canvas army type bag that weighs a ton (probably 2 tons when wet) and doesn't fold up small. Does anyone know of a large bag made of strong light tear-proof nylon stuff  that I can take on tour that will roll up small? The other one is so clumsy I'm thinking of tossing it when I get there and finding something else for the trip back.

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Gear Talk / REI tubes
« on: March 06, 2012, 12:09:56 pm »
REI is so handy for bike tourists it's pricey but you have: everything in one place, knowledgeable help (usually), decent quality and a return policy second to none. BUT their tubes are rubbish. If you get a flat with an REI tube and can't find where something went through the tire, chances are the tube is coming apart at the seams. This happened to me a couple of days ago. I fixed the leak and by next morning the tire with zero miles on it was soft again.  Another leaking seam about 2" from the one I'd just fixed! I'm not the only one who thinks this if you check out the reviews of their tubes there are a couple of dozen negative ones. I've also had the join of the valve stem and the tube leak. Completely unrepairable.

Some people find that pumps slip off the stems without threads. I took some sandpaper and roughed up the stem and that seemed to fix it.

And these tubes are not cheap.

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Gear Talk / Ortlieb trunk bag question
« on: December 30, 2011, 07:50:46 pm »
Has anyone had experience with the Ortlieb rack bag? http://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-212.htm It seems to be a new product and I can't find any reviews on the web (well three actually). They also sell an adapter that allows you to hang paniers easily which would be nice. I currently have a cheap Novara bag with velcro attachment and it's a bit of a struggle sometimes to attach my Sport Packers.  The zip top seems really handy too.

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Gear Talk / B17 issue. Am I the only one?
« on: December 11, 2011, 12:07:04 pm »
About a year ago I was touring in Washington State and called into a bike shop in Ellensburg to buy a tube. While there I decided my saddle needed tightening so I asked the owner if he had a Saddle wrench I could borrow. He said he didn't but very kindly took one from a new B17 saddle he had for sale (Both saddle and wrench were mounted on cardboard for display. You know the sort of thing I mean) to my surprise the wrench didn't fit! It was too small. I know they are a bit fiddly so I had the bike shop man try. He couldn't get it to work.

The old nuts were an imperial size. My guess is that Brooks couldn't get any more imperial stock to make the nuts out of and went to the nearest metric size. Brooks website only advertises one wrench so if I buy one will it fit? I tried contacting Brooks via their site but got no reply. Was this all a bad dream or what?

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