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Messages - PeteJack

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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.

I think there is now a light rail line from the airport into the city.
There is. Get off at Chinatown for King St station (Amtrak) it's a very short walk.

Gear Talk / Re: Derailleur compatibility lower gears
« on: March 17, 2012, 03:19:14 pm »
When you reassemble remember the lockring is supposed to be very tight. Here's the specs from Park Tool

Gear Talk / Re: Derailleur compatibility lower gears
« on: March 16, 2012, 01:05:59 pm »
a big Crescent wrench to turn it
My lock ring tool has a 1/2" socket. If you have a socket set with a breaker bar you can use that in the socket, it's less likely to slip than a Crescent wrench

Gear Talk / Re: Wheel Skewer verses Bolt
« on: March 15, 2012, 12:30:06 pm »
The front "nut" would work loose quite regularly
Another thing I hadn't thought of. This is probably why having the skewer locking mechanism on the LH side matters. (It's easy to get it wrong on the front wheel) I never realized there was a sound practical reason for what I thought was just a convention. Gawd, is there no limit to the things I haven't thought of?

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Length
« on: March 14, 2012, 06:17:14 pm »
The trouble is that anything to do with chains is as bad as politics or religion. Like these two there seems to be a lot of faith involved and everyone's experience seems to be different. I've just met a mechanic this morning who claims to have worked on the Tour de France who reckons chains are only good for 500 (that's five hundred) miles and that expensive chains are no better than cheap ones. My own experience inclines me to agree with him. I look on chains as a consumable to be changed sooner rather than later; cleaning, different lube regimes etc. doesn't seem to make much difference. Mind you on the Tour I suppose they toss chains pretty quickly, probably a new one for each stage it's not worth taking the risk of them starting to jump gears or you won't be a mechanic for long, so he may be a bit biased.

So, if a rigorous cleaning and lubrication regimen plan brings you peace and contentment, do it. I'll bumble along my way.

To answer the original query I have found SRAM chains to be just the right length, other brands I've had to remove a link. Be careful shortening chains if it's too short and you accidentally go into the big-big gears (which we all know you're not supposed to do) the chain can lock up solid. I know whereof I speak.

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Length
« on: March 14, 2012, 04:12:11 pm »
See Sheldon on chain lube He reckons factory lube is good stuff and you shouldn't use your own until the chain needs it

Gear Talk / Re: Wheel Skewer verses Bolt
« on: March 14, 2012, 04:03:14 pm »
Tightened properly they cannot loosen spontaneously. 
Never thought of that. Has anyone heard of nuts, e.g. the oddball anti-theft types, coming undone? I'd guess the left one would tend to loosen if this happens at all.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire recommendations
« on: March 13, 2012, 09:37:55 am »
Makes no sense.  A spare tire is carried for emergencies.  Not normal replacement of a worn out tire.
Err quite. Myself I've given up carrying a spare: they take up a lot of room, even a Kevlar bead folder. Instead I carry Park Tool patches in the hopes a patch will get me to a place I can buy a tire should I get a gash in a one, like I did yesterday on a day ride. Mind you I don't think patches would be much use if a tire won't stay on a rim (a new on on me). Suppose I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. If I'd not been lazy and replaced the paper thin worn tire I wouldn't have needed the patch. Ah well no fool like an old fool.

And this old fool never starts a tour without new tires fore and aft.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire recommendations
« on: March 12, 2012, 12:06:00 pm »
I know good 700C tires over 28 width aren't always available.
Panasonic RiBMo tires come in 700 X 32 at least, I've had good luck with them but I wouldn't expect more than 5000 out of them. They grip really well.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire recommendations
« on: March 11, 2012, 11:31:36 pm »
if the tread depth is insufficient to properly channel water out to prevent aquaplaning.
According to Sheldon bike tires cannot aquaplane even with no tread at all. What sometimes brings people down on wet roads is oil and grease being brought to the surface by the rain. This may have been mistaken for aquaplaning in heavy rain. Tread is no help on an oily surface any more than it is if you don't take a RR track at 90 degrees. In fact tread only appears to be of any use if the surface is softer than the tire i.e. on mud. So I wouldn't worry about tread depth.

Gear Talk / Re: packing panniers
« on: March 10, 2012, 06:37:00 pm »
With my bike it's opposite:
Hmmm. Must be that bikes differ. My own steed is a Trek 520 I've never heard of this problem with 520s. My front rack I wouldn't describe as rock solid; it's a $50 cheapo I got from the ACA store and actually flexes quite a bit. I wonder if that's the secret i.e. the bendy rack absorbs vibrations.

My only downhill descent problem in recent years was on my Specialized Roubaix with no paniers, not even fenders, that got a horrible wobble at about 40 mph. I had to clamp the top tube with my knees to stop it. It was so bad I took the bike to my LBS to have them look at it, they couldn't find anything wrong.

Gear Talk / Re: thunder jug
« on: March 09, 2012, 02:17:45 pm »
As the years go by I'm getting to thinking I will have one of these on my next tour.

Gear Talk / Re: packing panniers
« on: March 08, 2012, 11:32:01 pm »
I rode for quit some time with two rear paniers and a bar bag and did quite a bit of touring. When I decided to do the Transam I got front paniers because my rear ones are fairly small. They gave me a pleasant surprise: loaded front paniers damp down road vibration a great deal and on rough surfaces make for much more comfortable riding. When you're doing 6 - 10 hours a day this makes a difference. There are people who leave front paniers on year round for that reason. I could be wrong but it seems to me that front paniers make your bike more stable when doing fast descents which are, for me, one of the real joys of touring. In a way it would be better if I didn't like going fast downhill so much, I'd take more pictures. But I digress.

The 50-32 combination is called cross chaining and avoiding it is a good idea as it's hard on the chain.  However, the chain length HAS to allow that big-big combination
Too true. I found this out the hard way. My chain seemed very slack on the 24T ring so I took a link out. Big mistake. I ended up locking the chain up on the Devils Incline just south of SF. The only way I could get enough slack in the chain to unjam it was by removing a derailer pulley. I had to do all this quite literally in the ditch, there is no shoulder. So live with what seems a slack chain on the granny, the amount of time you spend using it is minimal.

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