Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - RussSeaton

Pages: 1 ... 12 13 [14] 15 16 ... 30
Gear Talk / Re: Recommend a road, touring bag setup?
« on: December 31, 2012, 09:28:53 pm »
Whether he goes heavy with bags or trailer, or ultralight with bags, he needs much lower gearing to get any gear over the mountains.
Many thousands of cyclists who ride the mountains every day with standard road bike gearing might disagree. If the load is light and the rider is fit, standard gearing is fine. Given the option, my preference is low gearing too, but it's not a requirement in all situations.

Even pros (super strong amateurs) go with 39x27 or a compact crank with 34 ring when they ride the mountains.  So non pros probably need quite a bit lower to get up a mountain.  Especially if carrying any baggage.  I've met cyclists who use 39x32 gearing in the Rockies.  Unloaded.  Add 10-15 pounds of bags and I'm doubtful many can make it without at least 39x32 or 34x32 gearing.  The Rockies are sort of easy in grade compared to the Appalachians.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommend a road, touring bag setup?
« on: December 31, 2012, 03:27:43 pm »
For about the cost of making your completely unsuitable bike into a near-miss tourer you could purchase a purpose built touring bike properly equipped right out of the showroom. 
Given that the OP said they "would be using road shoes, lugging lightweight sandals, probably going stove-less, tarp, bug net, quilt, night lights, bike supplies, zero pairs of duplicate clothing, maybe a pair of sil-nylon baggy shorts for zeros in town", I will suggest that a "purpose built touring bike" might not be the best choice.  Something like an LHT or whatever is pretty gross overkill if we are talking a 10 or 15 pound base gear weight.  I know that while I own a touring bike I still prefer to ride a road bike for ultralight touring even when camping and cooking.
It isn't the only lack of luggage capacity that makes his current bike unsuitable, it's the gearing.  Correcting that will be quite expensive.

As DaveB points out, its really his current gearing that makes his current bike unsuitable.  The fact he is thinking about doing ultralight touring isn't really the driver.  Whether he goes heavy with bags or trailer, or ultralight with bags, he needs much lower gearing to get any gear over the mountains.  A loaded touring bike fits the gearing requirement no matter how much gear he takes.  As you point out its not the ideal for ultralight gear.  But it works.  He could get a road racing type bike with a triple crankset, or maybe compact crank and 32 rear cog.  That might be the best bike for ultralight touring.  Converting his current bike to suitable gearing will cost hundreds of dollars.  New wheels would also be nice.  Its probably not the best use of money to convert his current bike when for about the same money he can have a new/different loaded touring bike.  Maybe use it for trail riding or commuting when not touring.  His current race bike is no good for those tasks.  A new racing bike with low gearing also would not be ideal for those tasks.

Routes / Re: Chicago to New Orleans in April, exp cyclists, beg tourists
« on: December 31, 2012, 03:16:55 pm »
April?  Chicago to New Orleans.  April is not a great bicycling month in the midwest.  It can be fine.  It can also be cold, windy, and rainy.  When riding from Chicago south to the end of Illinois (half the distance to New Orleans almost) you will see lots of farmers planting.  They are planting in April because that is a good time to get plants in the ground.  One of the key parts of that is moisture.  Rain.  Freshly planted crops love water.  Rain.  They also love warm weather too.  But the heat can wait until June and July.  Water is key to the beginning of a plant growth cycle.  Water and rain is not great for bicycling usually.  Cold, cool rain is even worse.  In April you could be miserable until you get out of south Illinois.  It could also be wonderful and mild temperatures.  But we don't have droughts and dry warm springs every year.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommend a road, touring bag setup?
« on: December 29, 2012, 03:17:23 pm »
Amusing video.  Cannot see the bike in the video.  Assume its a modern racing bike with factory built wheels.  Not the bike I would take loaded touring.  The gearing can be converted to allow loaded touring.  Costly though.  New triple crankset with 22 or 24 inner ring, new chain, new cassette with 32 or 34 cog, probably want a new long cage rear derailleur too.  (Triple crankset would also require a new/different shifter for the front derailleur.  Your current double shifter will not work with a triple.  Shimano has double mountain cranks that will work with your double shifter.  40/28 or 38/26 rings.  Can put a 22 ring on instead.)  You would easily spend 1/3 the cost of a new touring bike.  Wheels you have may also be problematic.  Not designed for loaded touring.  Could buy regular handmade wheels for $3-400 a pair.  Basically it would be easiest to get a new loaded touring bike and leave your racing bike alone.

You asked about bags.  Pretty much any panniers will work fine.  Whether you go with the ultra stylish and expensive Arkel or Ortleib brands.  Or the cheap but functional Nashbar brand.  All panniers hook onto the racks and haul gear.  They are not a wear item.  So if you treat them well, they should last a long time.  Abuse them and they won't.  Cheap to expensive, they all work the same.

You hinted at ultralight touring.  Adventure Cycling sells bags for this.  Probably a few articles at Crazy Guy on a Bike about this type of touring.  A rear rack only would work for this.  But you still need better gearing for your bike.  So a new bike would still be likely.

You mentioned racks.  There are expensive, medium, and cheap racks.  I've found they all work the same.

General Discussion / Re: 2007 Trek Madone 5.0 for touring across the states
« on: December 28, 2012, 11:54:43 pm »
If you have the triple crankset, then you are OK.  Replace the 30 tooth inner chainring with a 24 tooth ring.  And still get the new 10 speed cassette with 11-32 or 11-34 gearing.  24x32 or 24x34 is a low enough gear to get you up any mountain.

Replacing the cassette will require a new chain.  If you have a short cage rear derailleur, you may also want to replace it with a long cage rear derailleur if you change the cassette.  Short cage will work, but may be problematic.
I agree with the triple crank being a necessity and the change of the granny to a 26 or 24T being highly recommended. 

The stock Ultegra rear deraillure will not work and it's not just cage length.  Ultegra rear derailleurs of that vintage, long or short cage,  are rated for a 27T largest cog and, while Shimano is conservative, it is very unlikely that anything bigger than 30T is going to work and even a 30T can be problematic.

 If you are going to fit an Xx32 or Xx34 cassette you will have to get an MTB rear derailleur.  Any of Shimano's 9-speeed MTB rd's will shift perfectly with your STI brifters.  Do not use one of the new 10-speed MTB rear derailleurs.

Ignore most of the previous email.  You do not need a new rear derailleur.  A short cage or long cage Shimano Ultegra rear derailleur will shift a 32 rear cog.  Probably a 34 too.  But definitely a short cage shifts a 32 cog just fine.  Anyone who says it does not work does not know what they are talking about.  They seem to believe things written on paper are true without testing it in the real world.  My brother has an older Trek OCLV frame with a Shimano 600 short cage rear derailleur.  It shifts onto a 32 rear cog just fine.  Now the cage length will affect whether you have chain droop in some combinations.  Long cage allows you to use more gears without chain droop.  But both cage lengths will shift onto a 32 cog just fine.

General Discussion / Re: 2007 Trek Madone 5.0 for touring across the states
« on: December 28, 2012, 08:30:31 pm »
As already said, it will work, but not ideal.  Assume its the bike below.

Gearing.  If its the double crankset, you are in big trouble.  You can get a 38 inner ring instead of the 39 stock ring.  Not much difference.  25 tooth big cog in back is not big enough.  You can get a 10 speed cassette from SRAM and/or Shimano with 11-34 cogs.  Low of 39x34 is not low enough to get you up mountains pulling a trailer.  Close, but probably not quite low enough.  A 39x34 low gear is problematic.

If you have the triple crankset, then you are OK.  Replace the 30 tooth inner chainring with a 24 tooth ring.  And still get the new 10 speed cassette with 11-32 or 11-34 gearing.  24x32 or 24x34 is a low enough gear to get you up any mountain.

Replacing the cassette will require a new chain.  If you have a short cage rear derailleur, you may also want to replace it with a long cage rear derailleur if you change the cassette.  Short cage will work, but may be problematic.

Tires.  The 23mm standard tires are not wide enough.  Get 28mm tires.  They will fit your rims and brakes.

Trailer will work fine with your bike.  I know someone who pulled a trailer with a Trek carbon racing bike.  It was a single wheel BoB trailer but two wheel trailer should pull the same.

Routes / Re: USA Corner to Corner
« on: December 26, 2012, 02:14:01 am »
If I decide to go northwest to southeast it would be a mid to late August start, with the remainder of the ride finished in the fall. A spring start would be in the opposite direction with the finish in June or early July.  What I am not as certain of is what to expect on the TransAmerica route through the Rockies and the middle of the continent.

Can't say too much about the Rockies.  Other than I went over Loveland pass in early July a few years ago and had snow and rain on the pass.  Lot of snow.  Cold.  So any weather is possible at any time in the Rockies.  For the midwest states, May is good.  Can be cool to cold and rainy but not usually.  Its almost always windy March through August.  Really windy.  June is good but can be cool a few days.  Rarely hot in June.  July and August can be hot as he--.  Dry in July and August.

General Discussion / Re: self-guided support on lewis and clark
« on: December 21, 2012, 06:20:53 pm »
I don't know if there are companies that offer luggage transporting in the US.  With only 3 people it may be a bit dicey.  But one person could drive the vehicle to the next town, 60 miles.  Then cycle back while the other two people cycle the 60 miles.  Meet about in the middle and ride together the final 30 miles.  This plan would work best if you had 4-5-6 people so maybe two people could ride back and 2-3-4 could ride forward.  So my suggestion is to recruit more people for your trip and have a big vehicle to haul everyone and the bikes and gear.

Buy newspapers each day and send postcards.

He did say "technologically".  I'm guessing newspapers and postcards have been around for 500 plus years.  Since its a supported tour you are asking about, why not just take along a laptop computer.  Have the support vehicle driver figure out how to find an electrical outlet to charge the thing everyday.  Then every night just drive to a restaurant or coffee shop that has WiFi access and surf the web.  Being supported kind of puts you into a whole different world for convenience.

Gear Talk / Re: sleeping bags
« on: December 08, 2012, 03:11:10 pm »
I traveled cross-country with a down bag. Bag getting wet when camping was not a problem. Problem was bag drying after being washed; took too long. After that trip I switched to high grade synthetic bag. I don't plan on going back to down. My synthetic bag packs small. In looking for a synthetic bag I set weight limit at two pounds.

Never heard of washing a down bag.  For fun I went to the Marmot website and looked at their synthetic bags.  They have a 2 pound synthetic that is rated about 32 F for men and 42 F for women.  Cloudbreak 30 model.  Retail price of $169.  I have a Vaude down bag with similar temperature ratings.  It weighs 1 pound.  Half as much.  Paid about $90.  It packs up to about the size of a large grapefruit.  Probably 1/4 the size of the above synthetic bag.

Double the weight.  Four times as much space.  Not automatic deal breakers.  But easily apparent disadvantages.  If everything on your bike trip weighed twice as much and took four times as much space to carry, you would not be able to tour by bike.  Unless you wanted full panniers and pull a BoB.  And only rode 30 miles a day.  Would you tour with a large 8 pound tent?  Most bike tourers probably try to find a small 3-4 pound tent.  Would you tour with biking shoes, hiking boots, sneakers, and thongs?  Or just use your biking sandals for everything or maybe also include a set of sneakers with the biking sandals.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling/Touring companion
« on: November 29, 2012, 02:57:09 pm »
Hello, I live in SW Missouri, but am very interested in foreign touring.  Starting locally would be great.

Hmmmmm?  Most folks when they go overseas to tour, they fly from home to the touring location.  You're suggesting riding from the middle of the country to one of the coasts and then flying overseas.

You mentioned Portugal and some other place.  I toured a little bit of Portugal a dozen years ago.  Early November.  Started in Lisbon along the coast about in the middle of the country.  Went down the coast to that old old fort on the very tip of the country.  Then along the south edge into Spain.  Up north aways then across the middle of Portugal back to Lisbon.  Great weather.  Mild temps.  Sunny.  Did get pouring rain and cold the last night in Lisbon.  Assume I bought a map somewhere.  Just picked out some smaller roads on the map and rode.  Saw a lot of cork trees and other agriculture.  Mostly farmland I rode through.  Lisbon is big and crowded but I managed to ride to and from the airport in and out of town.  Took a ferry out of the center of town when I left.  I stayed in cheap motels, pensiones.  Food and wine was cheap.  Portugal was a great place to ride.  Very little traffic in the rural areas.

I would disagree with the statement that helmet mirrors are the most effective.  They often vibrate and give a smallish view of the road behind.  I use a bar end mirror which provides a great view to the rear and never vibrates at all.

Odd, but you stated the exact opposite of the truth.  Helmet mirrors do not vibrate because they are attached to your helmet which is on your head and body.  Your head and body absorb all of the vibrations from the road.  Its soft tissue that cannot transmit vibrations.  Vibrations are absorbed by your body.  Whereas the bar end mirror is attached directly to the bike.  Vibrations from the road go through the hard metal of the frame and through the hard metal of the bars and vibrate the mirror.  I'm guessing you ride a bike occassionally.  Ride on a gravel road or pot-holed road and look at your bike and its parts.  They move and vibrate.  A helmet mirror also provides a very large view of the road behind.  Its a small mirror, but its 4 inches from your eye.  Being so close amplifies the view seen.  Bar end mirrors are about 2 feet from your eyes.  Even with their larger size, they still provide a small viewing area.

General Discussion / Re: The TransAmerican for a beginner?
« on: November 21, 2012, 07:22:01 pm »
I crossed the North Cascades W-E in October one year in the pouring rain. Climbing was OK, the exertion kept me warm but descending from Rainy Pass to Mazama I came close to hypothermia.

Heck, I came close to getting hypothermia due to rain on Sherman Pass (along Northern Tier in Washington) in June!

I rode over Loveland Pass in late June.  Raining/snowing the last several miles of the climb.  Snow at the top.  Snow several miles on the descent.  Temps in the 30s.  Put on the garbage bag wind vest at the top.  Climb was not too bad.  Cold standing around on the top.  Cold and a bit dangerous on the hairpin turns going down.

General Discussion / Re: Step thru frames
« on: November 19, 2012, 07:50:47 pm »
I have no problems with the frame of the pictured bike.  Its strong enough to make it through a tour.  Looks like oversized aluminum tubing.  My problem starts with attaching racks to it.  It does not look like there is a rear rack mount on the seatstays.  So you may have to get creative to attach a rear rack.  Maybe one of those Old Man Mountain rear racks that don't need traditional rack mounts.  And the suspension fork is not something I would want.  And mounting a rack to it will require the Old Man Mountain rack.  These are expensive racks.  High quality but expensive.  Budget was mentioned as a concern.  You could go with a rear rack only and tour ultralight.  But that costs.  I'm kind of favoring going with a different bike.  A used touring bike should come with racks already installed.  Might be able to get it for not much more than the Old Man Mountain racks.

Gear Talk / Re: sleeping bags
« on: November 16, 2012, 02:28:28 pm »
Three season synthetic?  Synthetic are great when you have unlimited space and a motor to carry your gear.  Car camping for instance.  When you have to carry the gear with your own muscles and have limited space like panniers or a backpack, DOWN sleeping bags are the choice.  Small and traveling on your bike with a synthetic sleeping bag?  Good luck.

Pages: 1 ... 12 13 [14] 15 16 ... 30