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Messages - PeteJack

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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.

Gear Talk / Re: REI tubes
« on: March 07, 2012, 01:41:40 pm »
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?
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.

Gear Talk / Re: REI tubes
« on: March 07, 2012, 10:23:02 am »
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.

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)

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.

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