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Messages - PeteJack

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151
Gear Talk / Re: REI tubes
« on: March 07, 2012, 01:41:40 pm »
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Some people have taken to using disposable razors to shave the ridge off
I tried a disposable razor for this without much luck. Mind you it was a used one, next time perhaps I should use a new one?
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Japanese made tubes have gone the way of Japanese made consumer electronics..
Alas I think you're right. I checked out the Michelin seamless ones from Amazon and if the reviews are to be believed some people have had bad luck with them. Also the stems don't come with dustcaps, are threadless and seem to a bit on the short side. The one and only time I got a tube from Walmart (Sorry  :-[ I was desperate and couldn't find a bike shop) it had a very short stem but it did have a dustcap, fortunately my wheels aren't very aero so it worked. As tubes go it wasn't noticeably bad. I thought the short stem was Chinese cost paring but someone has told me it was a standard length meant for non aero wheels.

152
Gear Talk / Re: REI tubes
« on: March 07, 2012, 10:23:02 am »
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How much are you willing to pay?
There's the rub. Sam Walton made the great discovery that people will buy any old junk if it was cheap enough. Has anyone come across tubes made in Japan? Are they better? One can hope.

153
Gear Talk / Re: REI tubes
« on: March 06, 2012, 10:19:20 pm »
Thanks OGNH. These look just the vicar's knickers. I think I'll get 4 for my next tour (1 per wheel and 2 spares)

154
Gear Talk / Re: REI tubes
« on: March 06, 2012, 03:02:23 pm »
W Edwards Demming would not accept the excuse of 'a bad run'. With proper QA a bad batch would have been detected and tossed, they should never have got to market. We're talking a product made with highly automated processes which, if they are done right, should eliminate the variations that result in a bad batches. I see this as a symptom of the Walmartization of the retail sector, margins are so thin even for Chinese manufacturers that they try to get away with as much as they can. In this case as thin and as cheap a material as possible. If we had a wheel collapse because of inferior spokes, should we just shrug (if we still can shrug) and say 'must have been a bad batch'. If you have a front tire blow out going fast downhill it would be difficult to pin point (as you might say) the bad tube. Which is probably why they get away with making iffy tubes.

I don't think it will do much good taking tubes back except to get a refund. I had a Cateye computer die on me, a new battery did nothing. I asked the REI guy if they sent bad ones back, he shook his head. Perhaps if enough people stop buying their tubes it will get their attention.

155
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.

156
I can't address the finer points of derailers. I would urge you to get a 24 or 22 tooth granny. I have 50-39-24 and when you need that 24 you need it. As for derailer capacity I have a 12-32 on the rear with a Deore derailler (it works) on the back but I try to avoid riding with the 32 on the back with the 50 on the front. It does work but the chain seems awful tight and the cage is almost horizontal. Anyway you can get that ratio on the middle ring.

157
General Discussion / Re: Travel info Portland to Seattle
« on: March 05, 2012, 12:59:36 pm »
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Just be prepared for the climb and descent between KM markers 44 and 50. The view is worth it, but it's a doozy.
I'll second that. I did that stretch going south this summer. The hills are really fierce. Someone told me I couldn't have picked a worse route, they suggested going on I5 was better which may be easier riding but it is a freeway. The STP route will probably be fine except for the Longview Bridge: steep, no shoulder, very busy, lots of trucks. For the STP ride itself they organize motor cycle escorts over the bridge (a sight to see).

Art Birkmeyer may be able to give you better guidance than me. Art lives in the Longview area

If you are taking the ACA route avoid Bremerton the place is nothing special and the traffic is terrible. Send me a PM when you are going to be in the area, if I'm around I'll show you an alternate that's more scenic.

158
General Discussion / Re: how safe is it to ride in the US?
« on: March 05, 2012, 12:03:42 pm »
Be particularly careful on roads that cross freeways. Typically you will be going straight a head but vehicles in the RH lane are accelerating to freeway speeds and turning right. The ACA route across San Diego crosses three freeways in a relatively short distance. By the third I found it so scary judging the speed of vehicles behind me using my mirror that I dismounted, waited for a gap in the traffic and walked across the lane. Mind you I suppose it's the same in Europe. So, granny let me show you how to suck eggs.

159
Connecting ACA Routes / Re: Seattle to Northern Tier
« on: February 18, 2012, 04:14:02 pm »
This route looks pretty good if you know your way around. When you get to Mercer Island I'd urge you to stick to the signed Greenway, it's bike path with less chance of getting lost. This route avoids one hill then adds another that the Greenway misses. (I rode this yesterday.) Be aware that the Mercer Island police are into giving tickets to cyclists who don't stop at stop signs. Another reason for staying on the Greenway. If you give me a PM when you are about to set off I'd be happy to ride with you out of Greater Seattle.

160
Gear Talk / Re: Folding tires
« on: February 18, 2012, 10:59:30 am »
I'm one of those who has given up on carrying a spare. I carry a Park Tool tire boot. They have an adhesive surface presumably so you don't have to worry about it sliding off the hole. The only time I ever used one was on a club ride when another rider with super light 23 tires had a blow out. It got him home about 10 miles. You may find you have to ride with slightly lower tire pressure to avoid feeling a bump but most of us tourists aren't riding on 120 psi so that's probably not an issue

161
Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 vs Cannondale T1 or T2
« on: February 06, 2012, 01:16:06 am »
I've yet to hear of anyone repairing a steel frame. I suppose steel is less likely to break if you attempt to straighten a bent frame. Forget about welding. In the western hemisphere it's probably easier and cheaper to replace a frame than mend it if it's badly bent or broken. Repairability was not a consideration when I bought my 520. having said that I have had to have the derailer hanger bent back into alignment a couple of times. I suspect a hanger on an aluminum frame may have broken off.

162
Routes / Re: Summer heat on the TA
« on: January 29, 2012, 06:31:08 pm »
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it's always a good idea to be carrying mosquito repellent
This is true and DEET works remarkably well. but remember DEET, or at least the REI version Jungle Juice, will dissolve your helmet if like me you get fed up and spray the stuff all over your head and neck. I found this out the hard way.

163
General Discussion / Re: Bike Friday or S&S Couplers
« on: January 15, 2012, 02:10:19 pm »
I agree about the hassle of dealing with a hard case. For this summer's European trip I've decided to box up my Trek520 as I've done three times before. I'll have to pay for excess bags on BA but I hope to minimize the fees by putting my four paniers tent, mat etc in a large duffel bag I'm hoping to find cheap at Goodwill (i.e. essentially disposable) and only pay for one extra bag. For someone needing to do a lot of plane trips a BF or S & S makes sense but I'm planning on only doing two. I should imagine it's fairly cheap to ship an empty bike box back home within the US.

Besides that I don't have much to offer. I looked at BFs having rode with a couple for hundreds of miles who were on them. It began to look as though I wouldn't get much change out of $4000 if I bought a BF kitted out the way I would like and you can pay a hell of a lot of excess baggage fees for that kind of money. And I still get to ride my beloved 520.

164
General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica 2012
« on: January 09, 2012, 03:07:53 pm »
I've had good luck with BA and a boxed up bike, from Seattle to the UK and back three times. I'm hoping to use them again this spring.

The baggage rules have changed: only one checked bag is allowed these days so I'm hoping to keep extra bag fees down by putting my paniers and bar bag in a big cheap (disposable) duffel bag so I only have one extra bag.

I've worked on baggage handling systems at my local airport (SEA) and they are brutal. It's not so much careless people but the devices known as 'diverters' that shove bags from one conveyor to another that really clobber bags. Also anything a bit loose and flapping like a plastic bike bag is just asking to get caught in conveyor rollers. I don't know how they handle bikes in bags, it would be a major hassle for them to not use the conveyor system. Because of this I think it safer to box a bike with plenty of pipe foam insulation. The only problem I have had was one time when the security people opened the box, they resealed it just fine, but managed to lose my front skewer which was in the bar bag. This video is very good http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2jCN2nVnNY

165
General Discussion / Re: Choice of bike
« on: January 05, 2012, 03:10:58 pm »
Thanks Dave. That sounds about right and explains why I never saw another. So, if absolutely must have a 520 with disk brakes it's probably doable.

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