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Messages - RussSeaton

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196
Gear Talk / Re: packing panniers
« on: February 15, 2012, 03:52:27 pm »
No it won't cause a problem.  Remember back in 1976?  A couple people rode their bikes across the USA.  Followed some route they called Bike Centennial I think.  Every single one of them had a handlebar bag and rear panniers and lots of stuff piled on top of the rear rack.  Every one of them.  The Adventure Cycling website might have pictures of these people.  These people seemed to make it across the USA OK.  I suspect you can make it through a two week tour OK too.  In Dr. Pangloss's best of all possible worlds it would be best to have front and rear panniers.  But its not necessary.

197
General Discussion / Re: NEW BICYCLE QUESTIONS
« on: February 10, 2012, 07:32:24 pm »
Are you really talking about the Continental Grand Prix 4000 tire?  It is a racing type tire.  Widest is 700x25.  Not appropriate for a loaded touring bike.  I would not even carry it as a spare tire for an emergency.

http://www.conti-online.com/generator/www/de/en/continental/bicycle/themes/race/racetyres/grand_prix_4000/grandp4000_en.html


198
General Discussion / Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« on: February 09, 2012, 01:01:30 pm »
got the bikes new in 2004... getting them refitted in probably our best choice. Front is 48-38-28. and we are 11-34 in back.

Take the bikes to a shop and have 24 tooth inner chainrings installed immediately.  Positive you have road type triple cranksets that take 74 mm bolt circle diameter inner chainrings.  So 24 tooth is the smallest possible.  Going from 28 to 24 will provide a noticable difference.  Not a huge difference lower, but noticable.  Well worth the $20-30 cost of the chainring and labor.  If you have the tools you could do the job yourself in a few minutes easily.  Or if you have friends who are knowledgable about bike mechanics, ask them to install the inner chainring.  Buy the chainrings online cheap.  Its easy with the right tools.  Only a few minutes job.

199
General Discussion / Re: rondanee vs long haul trucker
« on: February 09, 2012, 10:21:57 am »
I agree with the others, keep your current bikes and make sure the gearing is low.  I'm guessing you are not a bike mechanic, so take it to a bike shop.  Get the lowest possible inner chainring.  Probably a 24 tooth chainring ($20) if you have a road type triple crankset.  If you have a mountain bike triple crankset then 22 teeth will be the lowest inner chainring.  Get the biggest cog possible in the back.  Either 32 or 34 teeth cog, whether 8 or 9 or 10 speed cassette ($30-60).  Your bike may or may not be able to shift a 34 cog, so you may have to try it to see if it works.  My touring bike fits a 32, but not a 34 cog.  The rear derailleur hanger is not long enough.  But a 32 rear cog is big enough.  <Maybe need a new chain if you get a bigger rear cog ($20).  No new chain is required if putting on a smaller inner chainring only.  But its good to start a long ride with a new chain anyway.

200
I find it hard to believe that Surly would sell the CC with a triple crank minus the small ring. What would be the point?
The point would be to simplify their inventory.  One crank fits all.

But why leave off the other ring? Cost?  Insignificant.  Weight?  Same.

Because the Cross Check is appealing to a different market than the Long Haul Trucker.  You CANNOT have a cyclocross bike with a triple crankset.  No one would buy it.  Cyclocross is cool.  Double cranks are cool, not triples.  And if by chance anyone actually used the Cross Check in a cyclocross race, a double would work better.  Front shifting during a cyclocross race is abrupt and sudden and forceful.  You don't want the chain accidentally falling to the inner ring.

201
Gear Talk / Re: Folding tires
« on: January 29, 2012, 04:13:20 pm »
I usually carry a small roll of duct tape. It's versatile, small, and light. Could this be another use? Maybe one could fold it over on itself, sticky sides together, and use that as a boot.

Yes it could work as a tire boot.  But maybe not its best use.  Duct tape has fibers in it that form a grain.  The high tire pressure could separate these grains if used as a boot.  PowerBar wrappers, Tyvek envelopes, dollar bills, don't have any grain to get separated by the air pressure.  Duct tape may work OK at 30-40 psi.  60-70 psi, maybe fail.  So....

202
General Discussion / Re: Long distance trip alone?
« on: January 29, 2012, 01:47:10 am »
A close friend of mine is an EMT and he stated that they are explicitly trained to check for medical alert items, be they dog tags, wrist straps, ankle straps, or shoe tags.

But the huge problem with the Road ID is no one knows its an ID.  To an EMT it looks like one of those Armstrong bands.  And an EMT is not gooing to waste time checking an Armstrong band as ID.  Its a piece of jewelry, sort of.  And that is what the Road ID is.  Its a colorful wrist band.  If you want an ID that the paramedics and police are familiar with and know one when they see it, get a Medic Alert necklace or bracelet.  An emergency ID only works if people look at it and know its an ID.  People don't look at Road ID.  They do look at Medic Alert.  Get the basic stainless steel Medic Alert.  Not the gold or even silver ones.  Those look too much like jewelry and a paramedic would easily ignore them.

203
Gear Talk / Re: Folding tires
« on: January 28, 2012, 12:40:06 pm »
PowerBar wrappers supposedly work well, too.

I've heard that too.  I suspect Gu packets would work also.  Just eat the Gu first.  Then use the empty packet.  Be cautious of the sharp packet edges.  They will eventually cut the inner tube.  Takes awhile.  I ride with Gu packets usually, not PowerBar type bars.

204
From what I can make of the Surly web site, the Cross Check comes with the exact same crank as the LHT but without the third chainring supplied.  So, all you have to do is buy a 74 mm BCD chainring in whatever tooth count you want down to 24T, buy the bolts, reset the front derailleur's low limit screw and you have an instant triple.  The friction front barend shifters will handle it with no problems.

I see the LHT and Cross Check come with the same crankset.  But it may not be just as simple as buying and bolting on a 74mm bcd mm 24 tooth chainring.  Both bikes come with a Sora triple front derailleur, so that is good.  But the Cross Check comes with a 107mm bottom bracket.  The LHT is 118mm.  You may want to get a 110mm or 113mm or 115mm Shimano square taper bottom bracket to get enough space for the inner ring.  An easy job.

205
The frame looks to have all the braze-ons needed for racks and fenders.  Only one fork eyelet so you will have to put the fender and low rider rack together.  But that is not a problem.  You will need to fix the gearing for loaded touring.  Get a 33 or 34 tooth inner chainring.  TA and Stronglight make a 33 chainring for a 110mm bcd crank.  Little lower than 34 tooth so if you have to buy a new ring, might as well get the lowest.  If you wanted, you could replace the 11-32 cassette with a 11-34 for a little bit lower gearing.  A roughly 1x1 low gear of 33x32 or 34x34 would probably be low enough.  Its none too low for a loaded bike.  I prefer a lower low, but I have a triple crankset and its much easier to get under 1x1 with a triple.

206
Gear Talk / Re: Folding tires
« on: January 26, 2012, 09:38:11 pm »
I always carry a spare folding tire on tours.  Always.  I've used it on two different tours.  Once the sidewall gave out.  But I was extra fortunate that time because I flatted in front of a house along the road.  The guy came out and hauled me a few miles to the local bike shop to buy a new tire.  Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, I forget which.  Another time the bead would not stay hooked on the rim.  Blew off twice before I figured out it was not holding.  No idea why the tire bead would not stay hooked, but I put on the spare and no more problem.  Tire worked OK for 1000+ miles but would not work the final 50 miles.  Last day of the trip so no need to buy a new tire.  My spare touring tire is kevlar bead.  Michelin HiLite Tour 700x35.  Bought two decades ago.

The touring bike always has wire bead tires on it.  They are easier to find in wide sizes.  Cheaper.  And usually come in thick tread models.  Kevlar beads seem to be reserved for thinner, lighter tread tires.  Look at the tires on hybride type bikes.  Thick and wide tires.  And wire beads.  Good for touring.

207
General Discussion / Re: Long distance trip alone?
« on: January 26, 2012, 01:02:46 pm »
I've toured alone.  And liked it.  3 months in Europe.  Few weeks here and there in the USA and Europe.  On some of the trips I met other bicyclists on the road and enjoyed riding with them for a few days.  Even visited them at home later in the trip.  Other people to visit I met at hostels.  Its enjoyable riding with people.  But its also as fun to ride alone.  Having to accomodate yourself to other people can be somewhat irritating on a trip.

208
General Discussion / Re: Most interesting states
« on: January 24, 2012, 04:30:33 pm »
Your rankings by picture count probably are similar to what most people end up with.  Mountains tend to get lots of pictures.  If for no other reason than a picture gives you an excuse to stop while climbing up the pass.  While riding across the midwest states you really don't need to stop until you come to a place you want to eat at.  One town every 20-30 miles.  But climbing the mountains you want to stop as often as possible.  And when you are stopped, you might as well rest awhile and take a picture.  Some of the states like Colorado, Montana, and maybe Wyoming really need to be split into eastern and western halves.  Those states are really two different states in one.  On your Colorado and Wyoming counts, how many pictures were taken in the western mountain portions?  And how many pictures were taken in the eastern rolling prairie portions?  They aren't really the same state.  Having lived and ridden in Kansas quite a bit, I can understand how the rolling prairies would warrant lots of pictures.

209
Gear Talk / Re: bike maintenance on tour
« on: January 18, 2012, 10:12:54 pm »
In my summer long tour of Europe many years ago, I bought one of those chain cleaning devices from a bike shop I went into.  Along with a small bottle of the degreaser.  I used that every few weeks or so.  Other than that I relied on riding in the rain to clean the bike.  I also cleaned the bike with a bucket or hose while stopped at people's houses during the summer.  Couple times.

210
Routes / Re: Best Route St. Louis to Missoula
« on: January 18, 2012, 10:08:58 pm »
Not sure about best.  But a route across Missouri from St. Louis to Kansas City is the Katy bike trail.  Or maybe its officially KT.  Its a gravel, crushed limestone trail that follows the Missouri River across the state.  Its OK.  Its not too bad riding on the crushed limestone.  Towns every 10-15 miles or so.  As long as its not wet...  Once you get to KC you can hook up with the Lewis&Clark route.  I rode 30 miles or so of the KT trail 15 years ago.  It was OK.  Riding gravel does not excite me.  Its not how I would choose to cross Missouri.  But it is officially a bike trail and lots of people seem to ride this rock trail.  And it is direct between St. Louis and a bit south of KC.

If you do the TransAmerica route, then take the Great Rivers route west and south out of St. Louis down 40-50 miles or so until you cross the TransAmerica route.  Then go west.

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