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FWIW, the care my chains get is mostly sloshing on some lube and wiping it off with a napkin. They very rarely get any cleaning beyond that.Hmm. It could be I'm not oiling my chain often enough. I took the Dumond label at its word when it says not to relube until you can hear the chain. I'll try more frequent oiling and see if that makes a difference. I can live with oiling more but the cleaning razmtaz is insufferable.
That surprises me. It sounds like you change chains every 1500 miles or so and that cassettes only last you maybe 4,000 or 5,000 miles. Is that correct or am I reading that wrong? Is that with a steel cog cassette? Aluminum? Something else?No you're not reading it wrong. Good for you with the chain life thing. Can't be bothered myself. I use vanilla SRAM or Shimano cassettes whatever the LBS has in stock. Different strokes, different folks
Chains typically last me 10,000 miles or so (with very minimal care) and truth be told I have only rarely ever worn out a cassette, but some of them have certainly lasted me 20,000 miles or more, some of them probably a lot more.
when I did the NT I replaced my chain twice. I look on chains as disposable and not worth the effort and mess of trying to make them last by cleaning etc. It's a 5 minute job replacing a chain like a SRAM that has a Quicklink if you know the trick for opening gummed up Quicklinks. And they aren't that expensive. I carry a Park CC-1 chain checker and replace them sooner rather than later to preserve the teeth on the cassette (generally I get 3 chains to a cassette another consumable)
Is there a special lube that stays clean that I'm not aware of? Wax lubes stay clean but a person would have to reply it every day, is that what touring people do? My experience with drip on wax lubes is that my chains get about 2/3rds LESS mileage on them before they are worn out, so replacing a chain once or twice going across country would be ridiculas too.
I am going a different route...This sounds like a good way to go. Now, does the BA pocket work with Thermarest pads or do you have to use the BA pad? I suppose I could ask them at REI but they have been wrong before today.
Big Agnes has a line of sleeping bags where there is a pocket to put your mat in. I did a fall hang where it got down to 32F both nights and I was quite comfortable in my Big Agnes bag.
Wherever my bag went, my mat was forced to follow.
chiptoothed, I have to totally agree with what PeteJack responded with. Going alone is a great way to travel for sure on such a personal adventure taken, and for the obvious reason he mentioned. My own travels alone have been chock full of many great memories and experiences had, as well as other similar travels having been made with fellow cyclists. Remember, the TransAm route is an established bicycle route, and odds are pretty good that you will easily see, and come across many other cyclists who are both coming & going while your out there on the entire distance.+1 One thing I would urge you to do is to tell your new friends "You guys go ahead. Don't wait for me" if they are obviously more comfortable with a faster pace than yours. It's all too easy to let your ego spoil your fun. I did that twice on my last NT.Edit. Told people to go on that is.
I myself will be starting the same route as you at the end of April - east to west direction. I am cycling solo too, well kind of I guess I would say since my wife and family pet will be traveling along just shortly ahead of me daily in a family vehicle.
+1 It is amazing what a difference a properly fitting bike makes.
If you haven't already, consider going to a certified bike fitter to fine tune how your bike fits you.
It will be interesting to see how long this thread goes. Panniers vs Trailer has the same potential for heated discussion and disagreement as Shimano vs Campy and "whats the best chain lube?" questions.+1 Unless you've got plenty of space trailers present the problem of finding somewhere to put it when you ain't using it.
In west Texas through hill country. Nice following wind today, but yesterday had many steep hills and side / head winds. Schwalbe Marathon tire on back is delaminating. The nearest bike shop I know of is in El. Paso. Hope I make it. Doing roughly 65-67 miles daily.I take it that's a Marathon and not a Marathon Plus. I had bad luck with a Marathon on the TransAm it wore down to the brown stuff and started getting flats after about 2K. My helpful companion told me I should have put new tires on before I started. (I had) Someone once told me that NASA has done a study and found that things generally last a lot longer than you think they're gonna. That could be BS but I've found that in general stuff wears slower than you think. So fingers crossed. I don't know your schedule but you could get a tire sent to a post office a few days ahead. I had good luck with that when I found my debit card had expired in the middle of the NT.