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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Shoes/pedals for a cross country ride?
« on: November 13, 2015, 10:14:01 am »
I'm quite happy with 5 10s and pinned pedals. With that combination there's no need for cages for keeping a comfortable and efficient cadence between 98-102.

Reckon I would have to see that to believe it.  100 rpm is somewhat fast.  Every 6 tenths of a second, your leg makes a full rotation on the pedals.  Start your foot at 12 o'clock and pedal it around to the same 12 o'clock position in 6 tenths of a second.  Pedaling 100 rpm on loose pedals is possible for a second or two, no problem.  But pedaling 100 rpm on loose pedals for minutes or hours on end, ???  In ancient times the racers used toeclips and straps for the advantage of pulling back and up while pedaling.  But the clips and straps also kept their feet attached to the pedals when they pedaled at high rpms.  Pedaling at high rpm and having your feet fly off the pedals is not something you want to happen in a close group of bikes on a road.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a combination road / light touring bike
« on: November 11, 2015, 11:57:08 pm »
I looked up your Cannondale SR500 bike.  It is a road racing style bike.  Drop bars, narrow tires.  Not sure if you have downtube shifters or more modern STI style shift/brake levers.  About any bike on earth will work for your van supported Southern Tier.  And it will also work for the other riding you described.  Unless the bike is an exact copy of a Tour de France race bike, it will almost surely accommodate 28mm tires.  You would almost have to search high and low to find a road bike that will not work with 28mm tires.  I'd suggest just going to a bike shop and find a bike you like.  It will work for you.  Make them put 28mm tires on it if you are worried.  For touring, check out the bags made by the companies below.  Carrying a tent and sleeping bag might be challenging, but you might be able to squeeze them in if you get the lightest and tiniest ones you can find.  A large saddlebag, frame bag, and maybe a handlebar bag should hold all you need for light touring.

And road bike tires work fine on gravel roads because the cars have made hard smooth paths in the gravel that are good for riding with road tires.  On gravel roads you are not really riding on the rocks.  You would need 2 inch wide mountain bike tires to comfortably ride on the loose rocks.  The pounded down smooth road tracks on gravel roads are fine for road bike tires.  Nothing special needed.

General Discussion / Re: Flying with a bike . Help!
« on: November 10, 2015, 10:43:41 am »
If possible, try to find out exactly what is meant from the Twitter response given above.  "we'll accept your bike provided it is properly packed in a soft or hard sided case designed specifically for bikes."  Is a cardboard bike box from a bike shop or the ones previously sold by airlines in the airport qualify as a "hard sided case designed specifically for bikes".  Or does the Twitter response only mean the plastic or padded cases sold to carry bikes.  Cardboard boxes won't work.

General Discussion / Re: Getting in shape for touring
« on: November 10, 2015, 10:35:51 am »
Biking is not a difficult or terribly strenuous activity.  Its far less difficult than running a marathon.  I would say most biking is similar to walking at a fast pace.  Not quite jogging speed.  You may be tired and sore after a whole day of riding.  But you will not be so tired you cannot walk into the house or up the front steps or fall over, curl up, and cry tired.  Biking is an activity you can easily do day after day after day for forever.  It is best if you are fit at the start.  Ride as much as possible before.  But you can make it without troubles if you do not ride too.  You have 12 to 16 hours of daylight each day to ride the distance.  If you ride 30 minutes and then rest for 60 minutes, and ride at 10 mph for the half hour you are riding, you can cover 55 miles in a 16 hour day.  55 miles is not a huge distance.  And 10 mph riding pace is not outrageous, even on a heavily loaded touring bike.  Unless you are climbing the Rockies, you will probably be riding at 10 mph or more.  Maybe the most important thing is to be experienced in handling the bike so you ride safely.  Your strength and conditioning and the distance are not too important.

General Discussion / Re: Dogs n' bears
« on: November 09, 2015, 12:58:09 pm »
in E. Europe ,it was the crazy drivers that terrified me.

Odd.  I was only in Czechoslovakia and the former East German part of Germany.  But the drivers all seemed good to me.  Roads were a bit windy and a bit narrower than western Europe.  I suppose its very possible the more eastern countries in eastern Europe, the ones which are more Soviet states, have poorer drivers.

Routes / Re: Bicycle Route 66
« on: November 09, 2015, 12:09:44 pm »
Most of the journals I've seen posted seem to go west.
Are there reasons that it shouldn't be ridden from West to East?

The historic significance of Route 66 is to get people from the dust bowl states in the Midwest to the land of opportunity and prosperity in California.  It was not established to get the rich gold miners of California to the banks in Chicago.  John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath is about a family traveling on Route 66 from Oklahoma to California during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  It is always east to west, never the reverse.

General Discussion / Re: Dogs n' bears
« on: November 07, 2015, 07:34:50 pm »
I don't think bears are as common as some people on this site seem to believe.  So I took Pete's numbers of black bears per state, and some information from Wikipedia showing the square mileage in each state.  And created the table below.  I assumed Wyoming had the same number of bears as Colorado since his data was incomplete for Wyoming.  Wyoming and Colorado border each other and have the Rockies running through them.

State                    sq mi     Bears   Sq Mi/Bear
 Arizona            113,594     3,000   37.9
 California            155,779   30,000   5.2
 Colorado            103,641   11,000   9.4
 Idaho             82,643   20,000   4.1
 Montana            145,545   10,000   14.6
 Nevada            109,781        225   487.9
 New Mexico    121,298     6,000   20.2
 Oregon             95,988   27,500   3.5
 Utah                     82,169     2,000   41.1
 Washington     66,455   30,000   2.2
 Wyoming             97,093   11,000   8.8
Total                1,173,986   150,725   7.8

For the entire western states, that is all of the states with the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, it averages out to one black bear per 7.8 square miles.  About 2.8 miles by 2.8 miles.  One bear in this area.  150 thousand bears in about 1.2 million square miles.  In California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, there are fewer square miles per bear.

General Discussion / Re: Dogs n' bears
« on: October 30, 2015, 04:52:08 pm »
Bear boxes are containers to store/protect food that can be smelled/eaten by wild animals.  Bears, wolves, coyotes, etc.  They help to minimize contacts between people and animals at inappropriate times.  I think hunters use bear boxes.  If a hunter kills a deer, or brings a day or two of fresh food with them when camping, then they will put the raw/fresh food/kill in the bear box at night.  Very few bikers carry raw food with them.  Do you cycle with raw meat?  Most bikers who are cooking their food will carry rice or noodles or cheese or cans of tuna or oatmeal.  Many just buy the food they are going to cook that night and carry no food while riding and have no food left overnight.  I don't think Gu packs or energy bars or granola bars or fresh apples or bananas are foods that bears or coyotes are attracted to.  Bikers have these foods 24 hours a day usually.  On your biking travels, what foods do you have overnight in camp that would need to go in a bear box?

And bears are not very plentiful in the US.  They are very rare.  There are only a few places in the US with any bears.  Wolves are not much more common.  They are rare too.  Coyotes are very plentiful.  Coyotes are everywhere in the US.  But coyotes do not hunt human sized animals.  Coyotes eat small animals and scavenge.  Wildlife is not very dangerous in the US.

Gear Talk / Re: Shoes/pedals for a cross country ride?
« on: October 14, 2015, 11:28:17 am »
As for shoes and pedals to use on a cross country ride, get some SPD sandals.  Shimano makes good sandals.  And some cheap SPD pedals.  Shimano makes some cheap models for about $30 from  You're all set.

The cheapest ones I saw were around $80 for the shoes alone on Nashbar.

I ended up purchasing some Venzo Shimano shoes with the pedals etc on Ebay for $75 + free shipping. Good reviews across several websites.
Shimano SPD pedals from Nashbar for $26.
Shimano sandals for $75.
Your Shimano Venzo mountain bike shoes and Wellgo SPD pedals for $75 on Amazon with free shipping.  Shoes are probably good although not quite as comfortable as Shimano sandals.  Hopefully the Wellgo pedals will make it through your trip without too many problems.  Then you can replace them with Shimano pedals.

Gear Talk / Re: Shoes/pedals for a cross country ride?
« on: October 09, 2015, 10:53:12 am »
Why are they considered "clipless" when they clip into the pedals? That seems confusing.

The pedals are called "clipless" because they have no toe CLIPS to slide your shoe into.  Long ago bicycle racers used toe clips on the front of the pedals (steel, not plastic) and had cleats on the bottom of their racing shoes.  These cleats had a slot in them to slide over the back cage of the pedal.  Shoes had wooden soles so the cleat could be nailed onto the sole.  Plastic soles and screwed on cleats came along in the 70s and 80s.

Here are pictures of what toe clips and cleats used to look like.  These are modern plastic sole shoes with screwed on cleats.  At the bottom of the page is a picture of leather soled shoes and nailed on steel cleats.

Here are original racing shoes with wood soles and nailed on cleats.

And this is a picture of what people mean when they say toe clips today.  Plastic hoops on the front of the pedal, nylon straps, and sneakers.

As for shoes and pedals to use on a cross country ride, get some SPD sandals.  Shimano makes good sandals.  And some cheap SPD pedals.  Shimano makes some cheap models for about $30 from  You're all set.

Routes / Re: Solo ride from the Bronx to Boston
« on: September 22, 2015, 10:38:48 am »
All NJ state parks are $25 for non-residents.

Even for cyclists setting up a tent for the night?  Wow.  I realize every motel in the northeast is $175 minimum.  But it still seems exorbitant.

Classifieds / Re: FS: '06 Cannodale T2000 $600
« on: September 21, 2015, 01:59:10 pm »
It would be helpful to put the size of the bike in your posting.  The picture does allow you to guess the approximate size.  But most folks prefer to know the actual size of the bike.  Makes things a little easier.

General Discussion / Re: How much is this bike worth?
« on: September 14, 2015, 12:20:16 pm »
I've never heard of this custom frame maker.  Maybe he is more famous around his area.

Says he was with Fat City back in the day. Independent Fabrication. was started by some former Fat City people.

Independent Fabrication and Fat City are well known.  So this bike company may have some history.  But Independent says they make a custom steel touring frame and fork today for $2300.  Lower price than I would have guessed.  $2300 or so for the frame and fork may be the correct retail price for this bike.  Igleheart website shows a custom frame price of $2200 and a fork price of about $500.  Not too bad.  More than Independent, but...  I think the person trying to sell this bike should use these full retail prices as a good source of information.  You are right about the Igleheart decals looking just like Independent Fabrication decals.

General Discussion / Re: How much is this bike worth?
« on: September 12, 2015, 07:00:27 pm »
Its worth what someone will pay for it.  $9000 is probably 100+% retail price, plus a little extra added on just because.  I've never heard of this custom frame maker.  Maybe he is more famous around his area.  Most custom frames and forks in steel are around $2000-3000 or so.  Give or take a few hundred either way.  Gunnar is Waterford's TIG welded steel frames.  Their custom tour frame is $1400 plus $375 for a fork.  So $1800 for a custom made TIG welded steel touring frame.  Just like the one you are selling.  Except the paint.  I have a friend with a Gunnar and he is happy with it.  Real famous builders can charge extra for reputation.  Not sure this maker has any reputation to charge extra for.

Custom frames are built for the buyer.  Not sure on this one.  Are you selling a bike already built for you or someone else?  Its not custom for a buyer then.  Or are you selling the "right" to have a custom frame built for the eventual buyer?  Your post says "Touring Bike for Woman 5’1”-5’6”.  A bike for a woman 5'1" will not fit a woman 5'6".  And vice versa.  Are you selling a frame already built for a woman about 5'3" and therefore will also be good enough for a woman 5'1" or 5'6".  Who needs a custom frame to actually fit right.  5'1" or 5'6" what is the difference.

I suppose you can find what this builder charges to make his frame and fork.  But you can also find other custom frame builders who will charge less.  Is this builder's reputation worth the extra?  I suspect the final custom frame and fork will be the same from about every builder.  All will be good enough to be happy with.  But factory built frames are also good enough too.  Custom is only worth it if you want the reputation of the builder, or NEED a custom size no factory makes.  A cheap Surly frame made in Taiwan or China will function just as well as a custom frame.

All the other parts you can find the retail price.  Then try to get 50-75% for them.  Maybe.  Looks like the light is Schmidt.  Assume generator hub is too.  They are costly.  But again, 50-75% of retail, maybe.  All the parts are new.  But they really are not new because you are not the factory, company selling them new.  So you cannot get new prices for them.  I can find every part you are selling and pay 100% for them.  Or get them on sale for about 90%.  With warranty.  Maybe you can get 75% if lucky.  No warranty.

The fishing rod and case is somewhat humorous.  Maybe there is a biker who wants to carry a fishing rod on his bike.  Good luck finding him.

As for this bike being Travel Oregon and having a custom paint job.  Whatever.  Collectible?  Whatever.

Routes / Re: which route in usa
« on: September 08, 2015, 03:52:50 pm »
"My big objection is the middle bit which appears to be 1200 miles of pretty flat , straight roads."

Believe it or not, the middle of the US is not that flat.  And the secondary roads are not that straight.  The middle of the US was created by glaciers a long time ago.  They came down from the north and left lots of really fertile ground behind.  The ice sort of flattened things out when it pushed and receded.  But except for a few patches here and there throughout the thousands and thousands of square miles of ground, its not very flat.  You might not need to use your inner chainring to get up any hills, but you will have to shift both derailleurs frequently.  And you will have plenty of turns during a day of riding.  Nothing is very straight.  As for dull?  I've never felt boredom while riding a bike.  Not even commuting to and from work in the dark.  Please tell us how this "dull" occurs.

Of your two suggested routes, I would opt for the second.  I've seen quite a bit of the US via a car.  And a little bit on a bike.  Your second option has a diverse array of geography and hits quite a few of the grand scenic sites in the US.

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