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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Ultegra (Carbon) vs. 105 (Aluminum) Shifters
« on: June 03, 2012, 04:16:46 pm »
I have Shimano 5703 shifters on the touring bike.  Aluminum STI levers shift my 44-33-20 triple just fine.  11-32 ten speed cassette.  I have carbon Shimano 7970 shifters on my carbon racing type bike.  Crashed on it this morning.  No harm done to the shifters.  Rubber hoods got a few extra scrapes.  I'd say carbon shifters are tough enough.  I'd probably give the edge to aluminum STI levers but...

Gear Talk / Re: Bottom bracket replacement - 118 vs 110
« on: May 21, 2012, 03:18:33 pm »
When replacing bottom brackets I try to get one as short as possible while not having the inner chainring hit the chainstays.  And another thing to consider is whether the inner cage of the front derailleur will hit the seattube if you adjust it to shift onto the inner chainring.  If the bottom bracket is too short the front derailleur just won't be able to shift to the inner chainring.  Several things to worry about.  Really the only thing you can do is try the shorter bottom bracket to see if it will work.

Would sandals be better?  The toes are open so if your toes curled up, nothing would really be bothered.  I know you said you prefer the stiff Specialized shoes over more flexible Shimano shoes.  But I've always had comfortable feet when riding with sandals.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Bikes Under Consideration
« on: May 17, 2012, 02:48:27 pm »

The current Trek 520 comes with Shimano M543 Trekking crankset.  It comes from Shimano in two configurations.  Either 44-32-22 rings or 48-36-26 rings.  Personally I would change the whole crank to the 44-32-22 model if your dealer would do it.  You want as low an inner chainring as possible.  So no matter what get them to put on a 22 inner ring to replace the 26 ring.  The bike comes with a 9 speed 11-32 cassette.  So a 44x11 high would be plenty high for any touring bike.  The 48x11 high Trek specs is way too high for anything except coasting down mountains.  Kind of demonstrates Trek does not employ people who ride bikes.  Their bike spec person is clueless.  If buying this bike see if the dealer will put on a 11-34 cassette instead.  On a touring bike you want as small a front chainring as possible and as big a large cog as possible.

Routes / Re: USA touring routes - September?
« on: May 16, 2012, 12:54:37 pm »
Since you are flying in from Ireland, you have unlimited choices for starting location.  Another option might be to fly into Miami or Atlanta and then do the Atlantic Coast route up north.  Have to ride a couple days from Atlanta to catch the route.  You could end the ride in Washington DC, New York City, or Boston.  Depending on how much time you have and miles you want to ride.  All those towns have things for tourists.  You've seen the Pacific coast so this would give you a chance to see the Atlantic coast.  Should see plenty of tree leaves changing the further north you get.

Routes / Re: USA touring routes - September?
« on: May 15, 2012, 10:35:01 pm »
Where you live will likely affect where you want to start.  You mentioned the Pacific Coast so I am assuming you live near there.  Maybe not.  So Fred's idea of the NorthEast may not be good if you live on the west coast.  September would be a good time to see fall foliage in the upper midwest.  Maybe either the Northern Tier or Lewis&Clark routes.  Maybe start in Montana and go east on the Northern Tier to Minnesota or Wisconsin.  Wherever the Northern Tier crosses the Mississippii River route.  I think there is a route that follows the Mississippii River starting in Minnesota.  Follow that route down to St. Louis and hook up with the Lewis&Clark route.  Then follow the Lewis&Clark back to Montana.  September-October is pleasant weather in the upper midwest.  Generally not hot or cold.  Starting a bit into Montana and the Rockies should be behind you.  So no early mountain top snowfall to worry about.  The wide open, sparse, unpopulated, empty nature of these routes appeals to me.

Gear Talk / Re: Replacing old RSX chainrings and/or crankset
« on: May 08, 2012, 02:05:15 pm »
Use your existing old 7 speed crankset.  Get new chainrings.  TA and Stronglight sells very nice ones.  Expensive though.  Salsa and a few others sell lower cost ones.  It does not matter what gear number the rings are for, they will fit your crank and shift your 7 speed just fine.  7, 8, 9, 10, they all will work fine.  Have no idea why you say rings are hard to find.  110mm and 74mm bcd 5 bolt chainrings are very common.  Many companies make them.  Every bike shop in the world can get them.  The 110mm bcd allows rings from 33 to the 50s teeth.  The 74mm bcd allows down to 24 teeth.

I have a 1991 Shimano Deore DX 7 speed crankset.  I changed the touring bike from 7 speed cassette to 10 speed cassette.  I replaced the rings with TA Zephyr 44 outer, Stronglight CT2 33 middle, and I have a 20 tooth inner ring.  Uses an Avid adapter thing.  10 speed Shimano chain.  10 speed SRAM 11-32 cassette.  Shimano 5700 STI shift levers.  Shifts perfectly fine.

For you I would suggest a 48 or 46 or 44 outer ring.  A 33 or 34 middle ring.  And a 24 tooth inner ring.  With the 12-32 cassette (12-14-17-20-24-28-32) you will have a low of 24x32.  Low enough.  The high will be plenty high no matter what outer ring you get.  Any chainrings marked for 7-8-9-10 will work fine with your 7 speed chain and cassette and crankarms.  Since your crank is 74mm bcd for the inner ring, 24 tooth is the lowest inner ring you can go.

I like chainrings spaced 10 or 12 teeth different.  14 teeth difference will also work.  But 10 or 12 different makes a good difference between rings.  So 44-34-24 rings is very good.  With a 7 speed 12-14-17-20-24-28-32 cassette, you will use the 44 and 34 rings for 99+% of your riding.  The 44x12 gear is high enough.  If you need to go faster, coast.  Rings of 46-34-24 will give you a little higher high, 46x12.  Some might be happier with a higher high gear.  If so, fine.  The 24x32 low gear is about 20 gear inches.  Low enough.  Not super duper low, but its low enough to get a loaded bike up just about any hill or mountain.  Might have to stand up and work hard for a short distance.  20 years ago I toured Europe with a low gear of 24x32 and made it up the Dolomites and Pyrennes and Alps.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: May 07, 2012, 04:46:36 pm »
I have seen a lot of LHTs, but I have never seen one with panniers on it.  The tubing diameter looks small to be stiff enough to tour on.  I ended up with a custom touring bike because my light touring  bike that came from the LBS wiggled with 60 pounds of gear on it.

Cannot speak for the Long Haul Trucker specifically.  But I had a 1991 Trek 520, their touring bike.  It had a steel frame with skinny tubes like the LHT.  I never experienced any wiggling of the frame descending mountains at 40 mph with front and rear panniers, handlebar bag, and rear rack bag.  I tend to think all bikes are more than stiff enough for anything.  People who complain about stiffness of a bike says more about them than the bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire width - 28 too narrow for touring?
« on: May 06, 2012, 02:32:35 pm »
I use wide 35mm tires for the touring bike.  But in your case, why can't you buy some 28mm tires for the 95% riding and put the 32mm tires back on when you go touring.  Carry one of the 28mm tires as a spare tire.  Then switch the tires back when you are done touring.  Tires are not that expensive.  Buying another set of tires can't be that big of a financial burden.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: May 04, 2012, 04:03:43 pm »
Considering what you would spend on a Surly or LHT you might consider having a custom bike made.

I don't think the prices are that comparable.  $1200 for a LHT at my local bike shop.  Rock Lobster sells a custom touring bike for about $1600 for frame and fork.  Not sure he is the cheapest but pretty close to being the cheapest custom bike maker.  Figure another $800 at least for parts for the touring bike.  You are looking at about double the price for a custom over the LHT.  Not saying you should not get the custom touring bike.  It may be the best, finest, greatest bike ever.  But it will cost you at least double what the LHT costs.  Prices for steel utilitarian bikes are not comparable between custom and a big factory bike maker.

Gear Talk / Re: 2012 Novara Randonee rear rack
« on: April 22, 2012, 06:36:14 pm »
The REI Novara Randonee rear rack uses 10mm / 3/8" solid aluminum tubing.  It looks like a very good rack to me.  I would not hesitate to use it for any loaded touring.

Gear Talk / Re: Bar-end mirror & front down tube shifter?
« on: April 22, 2012, 06:29:31 pm »
Rhode Gear brake lever mirror.  Works very well.  Used one long time ago.  If you are worried about the wind this will catch, then you have more pressing problems to deal with.,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&wrapid=tlif133513260966210&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=6282444138125891355&sa=X&ei=x4GUT-SKBsiAgweD9-DoBA&ved=0CH4Q8wIwAg#
Bike Peddler Take A Look bicycle mirror.  Mounts on eyeglasses or helmets.  The very best mirror there is.  None of the problems you imagined.

By coincidence I happen to have an REI Novara Randonee in the basement.  Friend bought one with the 20% sale recently.  It has braze-ons on the downtube for the cable bosses.  I think these are the same braze-ons for downtube levers.  So you can find a braze-on downtube lever and bolt it onto the bike and shift the front derailleur.  Either use the bar-end shifter for the rear or use down tube lever for the rear and the other braze-on.  $85 for Dura Ace 10 speed downtube braze-on shifter set.

Gear Talk / Re: Cars and bike racks
« on: April 04, 2012, 10:38:56 pm »
I am not sure if putting the bike inside the car is an option for a Corolla.

One bike, easy.  Corolla has the rear seat that folds down.  You only have to take the front wheel off and can fit the whole bike into the trunk with the rear seat folded down and the rear wheel still in the frame.  If you don't fold down the rear seat, then you need to take both wheels off to get the frame into the trunk.  Putting the bike in the trunk is my preferred method for hauling the bike over any bike rack.  But when you get two bikes and more than two people and lots of gear, bike rack on the trunk makes sense.

General Discussion / Re: "inexpensive" supported tour
« on: March 30, 2012, 01:10:43 am »
RAGBRAI is always fun.  Its supported.  Either the Des Moines Register will carry your gear, or you can easily find another group to go with that will carry your gear.  Its different than all other rides if you haven't done it before.

Gear Talk / Re: Cars and bike racks
« on: March 27, 2012, 06:04:55 pm »
I have a Toyota Corolla and use a Saris Bones 3 bike rack.  I think its a very good rack.  Can fit any car.  Get the Bones 3, not the Bones 2.  The Bones 2 only has one leg to rest on the car trunk top.  The Bones 3 has two legs on the car trunk top as well as two legs on the car bumper.

Problem with a hitch rack in this case is the question asker has a Tercel.  Hitches mounted to small cars like this are the ones with the tongue permanently attached.  Unlike hitches put on trucks and SUVs where the rack frame is attached to the frame of the truck.  And then you have a separate tongue hitch part that fits into the 2" square pipe.  The truck hitches easily accomodate bike hitch racks.  But they do not work with hitches on small cars where the hitch tongue is part of the rack.

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