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Messages - RussSeaton

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General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 18, 2015, 01:26:57 pm »
You are "lucky", in that both the 54 and 56cm frames can fit you without too extreme of measures.  On the 56 you will look right by everyone who sees you.  If a frame fits you, you will look right on it.  On the 54 you may have to use a longer stem than really ideal.  Maybe a bit more seatpost sticking up.  Maybe the saddle pushed way back further than on the 56 frame.  Maybe extra spacers to get the bars high enough because the 54 frame will have a shorter headtube and the bars will therefore be lower.  If you add all these somewhat easy and normal modifications together, people looking at you on the bike may say "the bike is a little too small".  Not extremely too small, but still too small.  Doing one of these modifications to get the frame to fit, that is OK.  But you may have to do all of them to get the slightly too small frame to fit.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 17, 2015, 09:05:38 pm »
Yeah, I have had people say I look big on the 54CM.  I was fitted for it and he said it fit nicely, I bought it used so it was what I had to work with.  I have put about 2000 miles on it and it is very comfortable, including a century or two and one back to back.  However I am a normal looking 5'10".  I stood over my cannonade and there is about an inch maybe before it is crammed into my crotch, maybe 1 1/2".

Your current bike was purchased used, so the fact it is not the right frame size is not surprising.  I used to have a 21 inch Trek 520 bike.  It fit me after I put a 12cm Nitto Technomic stem on it, raised to its maximum.  And modified the aluminum rails on my Ideale saddle to slide it backwards an extra inch.  I toured on the bike many thousands of miles.  It fit perfectly after my modifications.  But it was still not the right size bike for me.  I should have been on a 23 inch Trek 520 frame.  You can get many bike sizes to fit you.  And your 54cm Cannondale is not extremely small for you.  So with just a 13 or 14cm stem and raising the seatpost an extra inch or two, it will fit OK.  Professional bike racers often ride frames that are really one size too small for them.  And they use extra long stems and tall seatposts and it fits them.  They end up in the right position to ride 100s of miles day after day.  But it still does not mean its the right size bike for them.  At a normal 5'10" you need a bike frame with a 56 or 56.5cm toptube.  I am a normal 5'11" and I ride bikes with 57 or 57.5cm toptubes.  And 12cm stems.  And setback seatposts with the saddles slid all the way back.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight Slip-Jaw Pliers?
« on: November 17, 2015, 03:07:59 pm »
OTOH, I have a hard time imagining carrying slip joint pilers on tour.

Agree.  Slip joint pliers in the mechanical world, tool world, are sort of the Leatherman tool.  They work usually, but are rarely the first choice to accomplish a job.  I have several Channel Lock pliers of various sizes, but rarely use them.  I usually use the right tool given a choice.  On a bike the slip joint pliers could be used to tighten bolts holding racks, bottle cages, stems.  But it would be easier and better to just carry the right size Allen wrench or open ended wrench.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: November 17, 2015, 02:51:23 pm »
I ride a 54CM comfortably and was fitted to that size bike, a Cannondale Super Six. 

My question is, I am 5'10" 215lbs.

I have a couple Cannondales.  Older CAAD7 and 9 aluminum models.  Maybe Cannondale sizes bikes differently now.  I am 5'11" tall and normal sized.  I ride 58cm Cannondale frames with a 12cm stem.  About 57cm toptube.  If you are a normal sized 5'10" tall, then your Cannondale is one size too small.  You should be on a 56cm Cannondale.  And a 56cm Surly LHT.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a combination road / light touring bike
« on: November 17, 2015, 12:00:27 am »
I have two ti touring bikes - complete and ready to tour both weigh at least 3kg less than their equivalent in steel, and both are a pleasure to ride vs the lifeless steel-framed slugs they replace.

Hmmm.  At least 3 kilograms is 6.6 pounds or more.  Assuming your touring bikes had similar parts and racks and bags before and after you changed from steel to titanium frames, then the frames would weigh about 3+ pounds for the titanium frame, and about 9+ pounds for the steel frame.  I'm pretty sure the steel bikes sold by K-Mart in the 1970s did not have 9 pound frames.  To get to 9 pounds you would need to weld up some plumbing pipe into a frame and fill the tubes with lead.  Or use solid steel bars to make your frame.  But I'm pretty sure all bike frames are made with hollow tubes.  Not solid.

I have a titanium Litespeed bike.  Its titanium frame weighs around 1300 or 1400 grams.  3 pounds or so.  I've ridden it on a few lengthy rides.  Two brevet series and a 1000k and PBP in 2007 for starters.  And a few shorter rides too.  Its a fine bike.  I also have bikes made out of carbon, steel, and aluminum.  I've ridden all of them on short and long rides.  They all ride fine too.

Try to find one of those websites that show the daily temperatures for highs and lows in various points along the route.  The bottom half of California has pretty pleasant temperatures in the winter, but it might still be a bit cool with the winds blowing off the ocean.  Also check the sunrise and sunset times for January.  My home is about even with San Francisco and in January sunrise is about 8AM and sunset is about 4PM.  Give or take a few minutes.  So you don't really have too much time to ride each day.  Or enjoy the scenery along the coast.  Assuming the temps are cool in the morning until about Noon, and you do not start riding until 10 or 11AM each morning, you end up with only 4-5 hours to ride each day.

Gear Talk / Re: Shoes/pedals for a cross country ride?
« on: November 14, 2015, 02:49:18 pm »
Considering this is a post about shoes your assumption would be correct. I bought X-Road Fuel II but that's irrelevant. Was asking about the brand in general.

The title of this thread is "Shoes/pedals for a cross country ride?"  And you consider it irrelevant to mention the model of your Pearl Izumi shoes?  Hmmm.

Pearl Izumi is a fine brand.  Its a slightly premium brand.  Some brands are much more premium.  Many other names are less.  Pearl Izumi is at least average or better on most or all of the things they make.  Can't go too wrong if you choose Pearl Izumi.  It costs more than the lesser names.  But is not quite as expensive as the extreme premium names.

Gear Talk / Re: Shoes/pedals for a cross country ride?
« on: November 13, 2015, 03:36:00 pm »
I found some 2014 Pearl Izumi's at REI's warehouse in Seattle for $48 ($110 retail) because they were "last years model."

You might want to be a bit more specific.  Pearl Izumi makes a wide assortment of shoes and clothing for bicycling.  I have shoes, shorts, tights, jerseys, and gloves made by Pearl Izumi.  I could almost do a commercial for Pearl Izumi advertising their cycling clothes.  Making the assumption you are talking about Pearl Izumi shoes, you might mention which exact model you bought.

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.

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