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Messages - RussSeaton

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16
Oddly enough, I have ridden more in Colorado except for the states I have lived in.  Spent two weeks loaded touring there, two week long supported rides, Triple bypass twice, and a 1200km brevet to Kansas and back.  Another few days of riding too.  Wow.  It rained sometimes.  But never enough to be concerned about.  I think I was on top of Mt. Evans at about 4PM once.  Ranger said it was the latest he had ever seen a bicyclist at the top.  Rain and snow on the way down but nothing to be concerned about.  I was a lot lower very quickly and it was gone.  Usually plenty of towns to get water.  Out west it might be a day or half day between towns so carry enough water.  But usually there were plenty of towns.  Never found traffic too bad in the mountains.  Colorado was a fine place to ride a bike.  The eastern half was kind of barren.  Big rolling climbs and lots of flat in between.  Rattlesnakes laying in a coil on the shoulders.  A little bit startling to ride within a few inches of a rattlesnake.  That was the eastern half.

17
Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 04, 2016, 02:29:17 pm »
I built a bike from a custom frame; took months after receiving frame (back order of components, etc). Satisfaction in specifying what you want, but more work, and more value in buying complete comparable bike.

Guess you lost me here.  You state you are satisfied specifying what you want.  But state its a better value to buy a complete bike.  Where is the value if you do not get what you want?  How is it a value if you put up with poor gearing selection?  Wheels that are weaker than they should be?  A shifting system that is not what you like?  You think it is a value to buy something for cheaper but is not what you want or like?  Odd value.

18
Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 03, 2016, 10:49:26 pm »
Russ, thanks I had not really priced the Gunnar frames/forks, etc. I don't think the 480 frame will work for me (too big) but I should compare the specs with the Terry and LHT and also contact Gunnar, especially if I can save $$.

I compared the Gunnar and Terry websites for the bikes.  It appears Terry has Gunnar make them different sized bikes from the stock Gunnar bikes.  Terry does offer one smaller bike than the smallest Gunnar frame.  You might go custom with Gunnar and work with them to make a smaller frame similar to the smallest Terry frame.  Terry gives you its dimensions.  I'm sort of, kind of against the Terry bicycle simply because it is a Gunnar frame.  Terry even says its a Waterford (Gunnar) frame.  So why not skip the middle man (Terry) and buy the frame from its real maker (Waterford/Gunnar)?

Another person argues against buying a frame and building it yourself because the cost is usually more than buying it direct already built as a complete bike.  With the Terry it is very easy to see if this is true or not.  Terry says it is a Gunnar frame/fork.  Gunnar sells its frames direct to the public and lists its prices.  Price both the standard and custom options.  Terry also lists all the parts on the bike.  Simple to find all those parts on the internet and list their prices.  See if the totals work out right or wrong.  Biggest benefit for building it yourself is you get to pick every part yourself and get what you want.  Not accept a half-arse part you don't want.  Like 32 spokes instead of 36 for a loaded touring wheel.  ???  Or lower and better mid range gearing than what Terry offers.  An 11-36 cassette instead of the 11-34 Terry offers.  A 42-32-22 crankset instead of the 48-34-24 crankset Terry offers.  Wider handlebars.  Correct stem length.  Saddle that fits you.  By the time you pay to change all these parts on a stock bike, its probably better and cheaper to buy it right from the beginning.

19
Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 03, 2016, 03:11:45 pm »
If you read the bike description http://georgenaterry.com/coto-donana-tour/
it says it's designed for loaded touring (she makes another model for lighter touring, but it doesn't weigh any less, according to the specs):
http://georgenaterry.com/coto-donana-vagabond/

RussSeaton, I'll look into other custom frame makers as you suggested, but I think they are all in this $3500 range , from some cursory investigation I have done. I liked this bike, but think I've convinced myself I prefer 26" wheels for touring.

The Terry bicycle you listed is NOT custom.  Its an off the rack bike frame.  Terry says it is made by Waterford.  Gunnar is Waterford's TIG welded bike name.  Gunnar charges $1400 for a custom tour frame plus $400 for fork.  $1800 custom Gunnar tour frame/fork.  $1500 for a stock frame and fork Gunnar.  So your $3500 Terry bike is $1500 Gunnar stock frame/fork and $2000 parts to get to the $3500 total Terry price.  The two smallest stock sizes for Gunnar tour bike have 26" wheels.  Looking at the specs for the Terry bike, I am not sure you are getting $2000 worth of parts.  It would be cheaper, and better, to buy the Gunnar frame/fork and all the parts individually.  End up with a better bike in the end.  More customized for parts.  You could pick a Shimano mountain bike crankset with better gearing than the one Terry provides.  Its gearing is too high for touring.  48x11 high gear?  Who needs such a high gear?  And Terry provides 32 spoke wheels.  36 is better for loaded touring.  Your money would be better spent getting the Gunnar stock frame/fork and buying the parts yourself over what Terry is offering.  Not sure you need to get a custom bike or not.  Just a small bike with 26" wheels should work fine.  26" wheels are correct for your size.

Now, the question of which bike should you buy?  If you tour LIGHT, light one man tent, light bag, few clothes, nothing extra, then a regular road bike may be a better choice.  If you tour loaded with 4 panniers and lots of stuff, then the loaded touring bike may be best.  Loaded touring bikes are not FUN for spirited riding.  You can do it.  But all the time you are thinking it would be nicer, faster if I had my road racing bike instead of this heavy duty loaded touring bike.  So try to figure out what kind of touring you want to do first, then get the bike.  Almost all bikes work for almost all riding, but they do have specialization.

20
Not so, if your bike is set up right.

If you are comfortable using the drops while climbing and shifting bar end shifters with your hands still on the bars, then your bars are WAY too high.  You must have a 45 degree angle in your back while using the drops.  And a 90 degree back when using the hoods.  Your bars are way too high and probably your reach is too short.  In case you did not know, which I suspect you did not, when riding in the drops, with a slight bend in your elbow, your back should be flat, horizontal to the ground.  When your hands are on the hoods your back should be about 45 degrees to the ground.

ROFLMAO!  You're wrong, but keep the nonsense flowing, it's really entertaining.

No.  You have a very poorly fitted bike if you are comfortable climbing using the drops.  Unfortunately, poorly fitted bikes are very common.  Drops are used for getting aero.  Minimizing wind resistance.  You have to get your back flat to do that.  You cannot climb with your back flat and your eyes staring down at the road under the front wheel.  Breathing isn't as easy with your back flat.  Yet you claim to climb with your hands in the drops.  So when in the drops, you do not have a flat back.  You ride in the drops with your back at a 45 or 60 degree angle.  That is a poorly fitting bike.  I'd recommend you get a properly fitted bike.

21
Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 02, 2016, 10:12:29 pm »
Don't know anything about Terry bicycles.  Long ago they specialized in making bikes for small women with 700C rear wheels and small 24" front wheels.  Don't know if they still do that or not.

Your questions:

Is the 20 lb. weight for a custom fit steel frame worth the price (~$3500)?
Are there any drawbacks to a lighter frame?

I'll assume the 20 pounds is for the whole bike maybe including racks and fenders too.  My large man's bike weighs 30 pounds with racks and fenders and pedals and everything else.  So 20 pounds would be light.  But the frame may be much smaller too.  Custom size is good IF you need custom size.  If not, then its more or less wasted money because many higher end tour bike makers use very nice steel and lugs and such to make standard size bikes.  Just like custom makers except the size is standard.  Construction is identical.  $3500 is sort of standard price for custom.  Sort of.  I think Gunnar and Independent Fabrications have custom frames for much cheaper price.

As for potential drawbacks going lighter, it depends on whether the frame is strong enough to handle what you are going to do with it.  If loaded touring, then it will not be light no matter what because the steel needs to be so strong and thick to handle that type of work.  You can get light by going with aluminum or titanium or even carbon frames for touring.  As long as they are made strong enough to handle the loads required.  If you are touring light, then you don't need a loaded touring bike.  Use a light road frame to start with.  You could use a loaded touring bike, but it would not be enjoyable.  I rode a loaded touring bike on RAGBRAI last week, with no bags.  It worked, but I would have preferred riding any of my road bikes instead.  Loaded touring bikes are not great for general riding.

22
Not so, if your bike is set up right.

The previous posts were about using the drops while climbing.  If you are comfortable using the drops while climbing and shifting bar end shifters with your hands still on the bars, then your bars are WAY too high.  You must have a 45 degree angle in your back while using the drops.  And a 90 degree back when using the hoods.  Your bars are way too high and probably your reach is too short.  In case you did not know, which I suspect you did not, when riding in the drops, with a slight bend in your elbow, your back should be flat, horizontal to the ground.  When your hands are on the hoods your back should be about 45 degrees to the ground.  Since you seem to want to ride with your back straight up in the air, I'd suggest you get a recumbent bike.  Lawn chair bike as they are called.

23
Gear Talk / Re: The Newer Cro-Mo Steel Frames
« on: August 01, 2016, 01:34:33 am »
I believe this is why the old steel bikes made with the real stuff, Tange, Tru-Temp, Reynolds etc. have skyrocketed in price.  Something to ponder.

What fantasy imaginary world are you living in?  Old steel lugged frames from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s have value for "collectors" if they have the right Campagnolo parts on them, and Cinelli stems and bars, and Alfredo Binda toe-straps, and Wolber tubular rims with Clement silk tubulars.  And the right brand name on the frame.  Cinelli, Ciocc, Colnago, Masi, etc.  Otherwise, nobody really wants them.  Even though they are fine frames.  The used price for old Columbus and Reynolds steel frames has not changed much if any in the past decade or two.

24
Food Talk / Re: Malnourishment on a long tour
« on: July 20, 2016, 01:49:42 am »
Vegan would be tough on a tour.  The daily carbohydrates would be easy enough.  Assuming vegans can eat high fructose corn syrup drinks and other "garbage" food that is not healthy unless you are burning calories like crazy on a bike tour.  Guess I am assuming vegans would also be against eating awful foods like Coke, Twinkies, and Hostess fruit pies.  If you are against eating animals I would think you would also be against eating sugar grown in almost slave plantations by big corporate evil enterprises.  Maybe three people died getting a Coke to you and that should be more important than killing a hog for bacon.

25
General Discussion / Re: Bike Touring on Rainy day's
« on: July 20, 2016, 01:39:28 am »
On my lengthier tours I rode in the rain.  I think, but not sure, it was raining when I started the ride.  If it starts raining during a ride, obviously keep riding.  But if it was raining at the start, I suppose you could postpone for awhile.  Never took rain gear on any of my tours because they were all in the summer or a somewhat warm area.  Portugal in November can get cool in the rain, but its not really winter cold.  I guess I have been lucky to always have pretty good weather on my bike tours.

26
I like the idea of getting a lower gear for climbs (22t). A recommendation of crankset here would be much appreciated.

Your bike has a triple crankset with a 74mm bolt circle diameter for the inner chainring.  It can accept as small as 24 teeth inner chainring.  That is it.  Current mountain bike cranksets use a 64mm bolt circle diameter crank.  You can put a 22 tooth inner chainring on those cranks.  You can buy a new 24 tooth 74mm bcd chainring for about $15.  Easy to install yourself (friend) if you have the tools.  Or pay a bike shop $10.  New cranksets are $100-200 to get the 22 tooth chainring.  May or may not need new bottom bracket.  Going from 26 to 24 to 22 is all small incremental changes.  Easily worth $25 or less to go from 26 to 24.  Probably not worth $100-200 to go from 26 to 22.  There are also now old cranksets that used a 58mm bcd inner ring.  They go down to 20 tooth.  You'd have to search to find them.  Doubt anyone sells them retail anyplace.  Again you are $100-200 for new crankset and rings.  20 tooth inner chainring is extra nice to have but it would be a bit of trouble and money to get it.

27
The OP's primary goal is to make the bike as comfortable as possible for long climbs. Don't really see how getting rid of the bar ends would contribute significantly (or even at all) to the attainment of that goal.

The OP stated the following:

"make some modifications to my stock-component 2009 Surly LHT, primarily to make it as comfortable as possible to climb with load for long stretches.... So, my question: what is the single best modification/investment I can make to my Trucker?"

You concentrated on the first statement.  Climbing.  I concentrated on the second statement.  Single best modification.  I ride my touring bike without a load too.  So I want it to be enjoyable to ride/shift then too.  As well as comfortable for climbing.

28
So on touring bikes you have to make a compromise and pick a next best, second choice to make road and mountain components work together.  Thus bar end shifters.  What new bike seller is going to sell a NEW bike with now 5 year old 10 speed STI shifters, and 10 year old 9 speed rear derailleur?  This combination works but is not current.

So Russ, are you advocating "upgrading" a current LHT by putting 5 year old shifters and a 10 year old derailer on it?

And just FWIW, a preference for STI is just like any other preference -- personal.

YES.  It is a great upgrade.  My statement is in reference to NEW bike companies selling NEW touring bikes.  A company cannot sell a NEW bike with 5 year old 10 speed shifters and 10 year old 9 speed rear derailleurs on it.  The person before brought up Trek and a couple other companies selling new touring bikes with bar end shifters.  Yes they do that.  But I explained they do it because it is the only way to offer a new from the factory bike.  Individuals building their own bike or modifying their own bike can easily put 10 year old 9 speed rear derailleurs and 5 year old 10 speed STI shifters on the bike.  And still call it new if they want.  A bike company like Trek cannot call a bike new if it starts with 5 and 10 year old parts.

Personal?  Are you still using 27" wheels instead of 700C?  Are you using freewheels instead of cassettes?  Does your frame have 120mm spacing instead of 130 or 135mm spacing?  Are you using centerpull brakes instead of cantilever brakes?

29
Trek, Bruce Gordon, Peter White, and other highly respected assemblers of touring bikes specify bar end shifters.

As I already stated before, touring bikes are somewhat unique because they require drop road bar and road shifters, with mountain bike derailleurs and cranksets.  For some reason Shimano decided to make their current road and mountain components non compatible.  So on touring bikes you have to make a compromise and pick a next best, second choice to make road and mountain components work together.  Thus bar end shifters.  What new bike seller is going to sell a NEW bike with now 5 year old 10 speed STI shifters, and 10 year old 9 speed rear derailleur?  This combination works but is not current.  So bike sellers sell all new parts on their all new bikes.  Bar end shifters work with everything and are new.  At one time single pivot sidepull brakes and center pull brakes were the standard.  They worked.  But now almost everyone uses dual pivot sidepull brakes.  No center pull brakes are used anymore.  Why?  Something better came along and people realized it and switched.  Same with bar end and friction shifters.  They had their day.  And that day is long past now.

30
Consider the above a very personal opinion.

No.  Not very personal at all.  Almost every single "costly" bicycle sold has combination brake/shifter levers.  Mountain and road bikes.  Both.  If bar end shifters were desired by a majority of people, then the capitalist society we live in would provide them.  If friction shifters were better than the indexed click shifters on every single bike sold, we would have friction shifters.  In a capitalist society, the businesses provide the buyers what they want to buy and will pay for.  That is how capitalism works.  But if you are trying to sell what no one wants, then you won't sell anything.  That is capitalism too.  How many friction or bar end shifters do you see people using?  Almost none.  Touring bikes are somewhat bizarre because they use mountain bike components and need road shifters.  Bar end shifters are an easy way to make this work.  Otherwise you have to mix and match various years and models of road and mountain together to get it to work right.  Go to all your local bike shops.  How many bar end or friction shifting bikes are sold?  None.  Why?  The bike shop is there to make money.  If all their customers want to buy bar end shifters, they would sell all they could.  They would make money and be happy.  But no one wants bar end shifters.  So the bike shop does not sell any.  Very simple.  All the customers want those new fangled (25 years old now) combination shifter/brake do-hickeys.

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