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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Hub Generator Lights
« on: January 02, 2012, 04:17:02 pm »
I'm also active in a German bicycle touring forum:
In this forum the guys have tested all kinds of hub generators and by far the SON is the best:

The above statement is an exageration.  I guess this person would claim a person who has $2002 is by far richer than someone with only $2000.  I imagine the Schmidt hub is a bit better than the other generator hubs.  For this tiny bit extra you pay 100% more in price.  There are many bicyclists who pay $1000+ to save 100 grams on their bike.  Worth it?

Gear Talk / Re: Hub Generator Lights
« on: December 29, 2011, 01:59:11 pm »

I have the above Shimano dynamo hub and Busch&Mueller IQ Cyo light on a bike.  Works well.  I use the hub to drive two of the lights.  The above company builds wheels too.  For about $180 you can have a generator wheel built.  Add another $75 for the light.  The above company also sells the more expensive Schmidt products.

Gear Talk / Re: shoe covers for cold weather
« on: December 12, 2011, 03:40:29 pm »
I'm not a big fan of the neoprene booties, although I used them for years since I didn't see many options.  I was forced out of them when I started using mtb shoes

Neoprene booties go over mountain bike SPD shoes.  You just need to get the booties a couple sizes bigger than the shoes.  I have the Lake winter boots in the SPD mountain bike version.  Size 10.  I use size 13 Performance neoprene booties over them.

Gear Talk / Re: B17 issue. Am I the only one?
« on: December 11, 2011, 04:46:16 pm »
Not sure I have an answer for you, but here is my story.  I have a B17 on one bike.  Not sure how old it is.  It might be 5-6 years old, when I put the saddle on the bike.  Or I might have bought the saddle 10 or so years ago and just never used it until 5 years ago.  Not sure.  But I went to the basement and tried some wrenches on the nut.  1/2" was too small.  9/16" was too large.  13mm was too small.  14mm fit but was a bit loose.  The nut on my B17 seems to need a 17/32" wrench.  Or a 13.5mm wrench.  Neither of these sizes of wrenches exists in the world.  Unless Brooks had custom sized wrenches made for their saddles.  If you had a stubby 14mm wrench, it would work.  Longer wrenches hit the top tube.  Or if you took a 14mm cone wrench and ground the sides off, it would work really well.  14mm is a bit loose but will turn the nut fine.

After writing all this, I wondered if I had the official Brooks wrench.  So I went back to the basement and looked through the bike tools toolbox and found the short chrome official Brooks wrench.  It has 12 corners in it and fits around the nut, does not slide on two sides like a normal wrench.  Its a custom wrench obviously.  It fit my B17.  I measured it and the way I measured it, it came to 9/16" inside the wrench jaws.  But as I said, 9/16" wrench was too loose on the nut.

Gear Talk / Re: shoe covers for cold weather
« on: December 10, 2011, 03:40:32 pm »
What's the best shoe cover for riding in cold weather?

Probably whatever the other guy is wearing.

I have neoprene booties. They achieve nothing except some water protection. If you need to keep your toesies warm in sub-20F, you must have adequate insualtion and you must add heat. Even pedaling at a nice clip (risking wind chill on the exposed bits) you cannot get enough warm blood into your toes to keep you comfortable for long.
Below -20F!!!  Do you actually tour in those conditions?  I could see myself getting stuck with those conditions on an XC ski or snowshoe tour, but if I experienced -20F on a bike tour, I'd be looking for a room to wait for warmer weather.

At home I wouldn't dream of riding in -20F, I would hike, trail run, snowshoe, or XC ski, but riding a bike in those conditions wouldn't even occur to me.

My hat is off to any braves souls who would tour in -20F or lower.

I'm guessing his "sub-20F" quote is really below 20F.  The "-" is just in there to separate the sub from the 20F.  I really doubt anyone bikes in minus 20F temperatures, no matter what they might say.

I use neoprene booties.  Plus Lake mountain bike winter boot shoes.  And wool socks.  This combination is OK for an hour down to about 15-20F.  After an hour, my toes are cold.  In the mid 30s F, road shoes and neoprene booties and wool socks work for about 2 hours.

I've heard good comments about those chemical heaters that you activate and then put on top of your shoe toebox inside neoprene booties.  Not tried them yet.

Gear Talk / Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« on: November 27, 2011, 10:43:58 pm »
Additionally, and like Shimano, a nice all-SRAM touring drivetrain could be put together mixing their road, mountain and Truvativ lines.

And what SRAM road bike shifter would you use to shift the triple crankset?

Gear Talk / Re: Wheel build spoking question
« on: November 21, 2011, 12:41:46 pm »
The reason to have trailing spokes with their head to the outside, and spoke length to the inside, is because when you pedal, these spokes will load up with tension and straighten out.  Thus pulling them a tiny tiny bit closer to the hub body and chain.  And maybe maybe in just the right circumstance have the chain get into the spokes.  You could also win the lottery tonight.  I've built a number of wheels and don't think I ever pay attention to this.  Don't recall ever having a chain go into the spokes either.

Gear Talk / Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« on: November 06, 2011, 01:47:33 pm »
Campy Ergo brifters address and/or eliminate most of your comments on the disadvantages of brifters. 
-They have a "micro-shift" ratchet for the front shifting so you can trim any deraileur to center it over any chainring, including triples. 
-The upper lines (Record and Chorus) allow a full sweep of both the cassette and chainrings in both directions, upshifting and downshifting. 
-Ergos have had the shift cables under the bar tape since the 8-speed days so they don't interfer with any handlebar bag.
-Ergo brifters can be rebuilt so the durability issue is lessened
I ride the drops a fair bit but I don't, and most other riders don't, climb with my hand in the drops and that's where the ability to shift from the hoods or tops is so very welcome.   For the record, both Ergo and STI brifters can be shifted from the drops if you wish.  Bar ends can only be shifted from the drops.  I'm not frightened of them, I've used them more than enough to give them a good evaluation and found brifters better in almost all conditions.
Finally, I assume everyone is going to say, true but they can only be used with Campy (read expensive) components and their gearing range is limited.  Well, Jtek's Shiftmate will make Ergos compatible with otherwise all Shimano components and they shift like a dream.   

I suspect I have many many more tens of thousands of miles riding Campagnolo Ergo than you do.  But I have never bought into this adaptor thing.  If you want to use Campagnolo, then use Campagnolo shifters, hub, cassette, rear derailleur.  Don't add adaptors that may or may not work into the mix.  Especially not on a touring bike.  Reliability is something most people want on a touring bike.  Shimano is the only touring component maker.  SRAM does not make a triple shifter.  Campagnolo does not make cassettes bigger than 28 or 29.  And is impossible to find in the US market.  Easy to find and replace parts is crucial for a touring bike.  I'm aware IRD makes some kind of adaptor cassette that fits on the other hubs or has spacing like the other company.  But again its a specialty adaptor part, not commonly available.

As for Campagnolo being expensive, this is a myth unknowledgable Americans perpetuate.  European bike shops, mail order places sell Campagnolo for less than the cost of Shimano.  Anyone who buys Campagnolo from the US is just wasting money.

Routes / Re: Suitability mapping?
« on: November 06, 2011, 01:28:27 pm »
I don't really use them.  My state has one of these cyclists maps.  But I don't think it has all of the county roads on it.  It might, haven't looked at it too closely.  I'll sometimes use it when riding out to RAGBRAI.  Might help find smaller roads to get to the town I want.  Might.  Might not.  But I know all of the local cycling roads so don't need a map for 99+% of my cycling.  I don't ride away from home very much.  If I did, I'd try to get a state map that shows county roads.  Hopefully they exist.  Then make my own route using county roads.  I know these have less traffic than the main roads.  So what extra benefit does a cycling specific map provide?  Its hard to imagine cyclists are so stupid they cannot look at a map and figure out which roads are the least travelled.  My state has maps with light gray thin roads for county roads.  And big wide black roads for main highways.  Can't you already figure out which roads are the best to ride?

General Discussion / Re: bike travel in cuba
« on: November 06, 2011, 01:15:57 pm »
I am almost 100% certain Adventure Cycling magazine had an article about cycling in Cuba within the past couple years.  Personally I don't have any way of looking through the old magazines.  But maybe there is a method to search stories on the Adventure Cycling website.  Then order that particular magazine.  Or call up Adventure Cycling directly and request the issue.

Gear Talk / Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« on: November 05, 2011, 02:17:29 pm »
Pluses and minuses with each shifting method.  Front derailleur shifting is superior with bar end.  You can trim the front derailleur to any position.  STI has very limited trim function so the front derailleur and chain may be rubbing in some gears.  Bar end allow you to shift many gears at once.  STI is one gear at a time when going to smaller cogs.  STI does allow 2 or 3 larger cogs at a time.  Both types of shifters are easy to reach.  But this is spoken by someone who actually rides in the drops.  99+% of bicyclists have never touched the drops on their bikes.  These people would be very frightened of bar end shifters.  For durability, bar end wins.  Bar end shifters allow any handlebar bag.  The newest STI 10 speed shifters rout the cables under the bar tape so they can accomodate any handlebar bag.  Older 10 speed and 9 and 8 speed STI have the shift cable sticking out the side of the lever.  Exactly where a handlebar bag goes.  A tiny handlebar bag might fit inside the cables with these older STI levers.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers and Lightweight System Bags
« on: November 05, 2011, 01:57:21 pm »
Adventure Cycling sells a light weight system that does not use racks.  Its sort of intended for mountain bikes.  But there are no rules saying you can't use it on a road bike.  A large saddlebag does not care what kind of a bike its mounted underneath.  A pack that fits under the top tube in the main triangle does not care what type of bike its on.  I've seen other companies selling the bag that fits in the triangle.  Can't recall who though.

The Jandd Mountain Wedge 3 is also a large saddlebag.

Personally I like this lightweight system.  Maybe not quite as light as the no rack methods, but simple.  A seatpost clamp rack with side racks on it.  And a large rack bag with side bags that look like little panniers.  If and when I ever go on another extended tour and stay in motels, I'll pack this way.

General Discussion / Re: Edinburgh - Lisbon (Winter) Possible?
« on: October 30, 2011, 05:58:04 pm »
I rode in Lisbon in early November many years ago.  Early November is different than January though.  It did get cool weather, 50-60 F or so, and rainy in Lisbon.  Personally I don't think your route is very good for that time of year.  See if you can fly down to Madrid Spain and just ride around southern Spain instead.  Or southern Italy.

Routes / Re: Boulder, CO to New York City. Northern route suggestions?
« on: October 25, 2011, 01:39:54 pm »
For getting across Colorado and at least 1/3 of the way into Kansas, Hwy US 36 is good.  It starts about 50 miles east of Boulder near I-70.  It has a shoulder in Colorado.  Can't recall if Kansas has a shoulder or not.  Not much traffic.  Big wide road.  Some rolling, lots of flat.  Few towns.  US 36 keeps going east in Kansas to the Missouri border but I am not sure how busy it is once you get half way or so across.

Routes / Re: Weather: Transamerica E to W for fast cyclists
« on: October 11, 2011, 03:41:05 pm »
I've ridden in the Colorado Rockies a few times.  Mid June, late June, early July, and early September.  All 1 to 2 week rides.  The June rides all had good weather.  The numerous passes had good weather.  Nothing extreme for rain or snow or cold.  Pleasant riding.  The July ride had some unpleasant weather.  Going from Idaho Springs to Dillon over Loveland Pass.  It snowed a couple miles from the top and a couple miles down the other side.  Hard snow and windy.  And cold.  But pleasant weather in Idaho Springs and Dillon, the valleys.  The September ride had rain and cold on Red Mountain pass and in Silverton.  But pleasant weather going from Silverton to Durango after a day of rest holed up in Silverton.

The weather in mid to late June in the Rockies can vary from sunny, warm and wonderful to cold, rainy, snowy and miserable.  But even if the weather is awful at the passes, it does not last long.  Half hour or so before the top and then 10 minutes of descent.  And the 30 minutes or so of climbing isn't bad because you are generating plenty of body heat.  I went over Loveland Pass in the snow and cold with just shorts, short sleeve jersey and a garbage bag wind vest put on at the top.  Wasn't ideal, but I made it.  No gloves, no balaclava, no tights, no jacket, no booties.  I would advise carrying a wind/water proof jacket though.

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