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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Front rack on a carbon fork?
« on: March 14, 2011, 10:29:50 pm »
Do you really need a front rack and front panniers for a 4-5 day trip?  Long ago, people toured with everything on the rear rack.  No front panniers were used.  Its definitely better when heavily loaded to have four panniers.  But you can get by with just a rear rack and rear panniers.  Maybe add a handlebar bag too.  Pack as light as possible.

Classifieds / Re: Litespeed BlueRidge Touring Bicycle on eBay!!
« on: March 14, 2011, 10:11:28 pm »
I have a hard time thinking of this as much of a touring bike.  Maybe if you carry very light rear panniers only.  The bike looks like it can accomodate a rear rack.  Seatstay rack mounts.  Or one of those seatpost racks for a rack bag.  The carbon fork will not accomodate any kind of rack.  The STI with the cables coming out the side will not allow a handlebar bag.

Gear Talk / Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« on: March 12, 2011, 01:58:59 pm »
I am going to put a Schmidt NAB28 Dyno Hub with a BM EWERK, on my Comotion. Expensive but it can power my lighting too. (I do not relish dealing with Peter White) Considering the amount of cyclist, in Europe who use this set up, I am surprised more Americans haven't considered this to power GPS's, Phones, and other electronic devices.

Starbike in Germany sells the E-WERK for 98 Euros.  After removing VAT and converting to Euros, its about $115.  The cache battery is 51 Euros with VAT and $60 after removal and conversion.  Plus shipping.  Peter White charges $200 for the E-WERK and $93 for the cache battery.  I did not realize shipping stuff over the Atlantic Ocean almost doubles the price.  I have bought from Starbike and everything went fine.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bicycle choices
« on: March 06, 2011, 11:48:38 pm »
Unfortunately, Cannondale stopped making their touring bike in 2011.  I guess they didn't sell enough of them and they are now making their bikes in China.

Selling enough and making the bikes in China are unrelated.  Like many US manufacturers they saw an opportunity to increase profit margin on each unit by making them in a country with much cheaper production costs.

As for Cannondale not making touring bikes anymore, that is related to not selling enough.  The minimal touring bikes sold did not justify the production, inventory costs of having a touring bike in the lineup.

Its hard to buy a US made bike.  The most expensive 6 series Trek bikes are made in the US.  The only ones.  No Cannondale or Specialized or Surly bike is made in the US.  Small manufacturers and custom bike makers still make their bikes in the US.  And almost all components are from elsewhere.

Routes / Re: The Great Divide Trail
« on: March 01, 2011, 11:25:14 pm »
These are a few quotes from the description of the Great Divide Mountain Bike route.

"A wide variety of road conditions exists along this route. Surfaces range from pavement, good gravel roads, four-wheel-drive roads, singletrack, or old railroad beds."

"Heading into New Mexico, the road surface deteriorates, with much more rocky riding."

Your call on whether a tricycle can be ridden on those surfaces.

I assume you would go from Phoenix to southern Caliifornia and catch the Pacific Coast route north to Bellingham Washington.  I've heard going north on the Pacific Coast route is very, very, very undesirable.  The wind is very strong from north to south along the Pacific coast.  You might consider going south to Phoenix first along the Pacific coast.  Then north on the Great Divide route.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bicycle choices
« on: March 01, 2011, 11:06:33 pm »
...  Advice is to get the smallest inner chainring you can for whatever crank comes on the bike.  Trek advertises a 26 inner ring.  Too big.  Get the shop to put a smaller inner ring on it.

My advice would be to replace the original crank with a mountain bike crank and get a 22 tooth low gear on it.  I did that with a Trek 520 I ordered.  There may be a small up-charge, but it's worth it.

The Trek 520 comes with the Deore FC-M543 crankset.  Shimano makes it in either 44-32-22 or 48-36-26 rings.  Trek specifies the trekking/hybrid model.  Its the same crank as the mountain bike model.  Just different rings.  104/64 mm bcd.  Hard to say whether a bike shop would be more willing to swap an entire crankset or just switch the 26 inner chainring for a 22.  The Trek 520 comes with a 9 speed 11-32 cassette.  So for gearing purposes the 44-32-22 rings may be better.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bicycle choices
« on: March 01, 2011, 12:35:09 pm »
The Trek 520 and Surly Long Haul Trucker are very similar.  Very similar.  Trek is a couple hundred more expensive though.  As already mentioned, any bike shop can get a Surly bike.  Surly is a division of QBP, Quality Bicycle Products.  Every shop in the country has an account with QBP.  I'd figure out what size you need in the Trek 520, see if it is about the same as the Surly, test ride, then have the bike shop order in the Surly LHT.

I had a Trek 520 from 1991.  It worked very well for loaded touring.  Advice is to get the smallest inner chainring you can for whatever crank comes on the bike.  Trek advertises a 26 inner ring.  Too big.  Get the shop to put a smaller inner ring on it.

I'm not claiming the Trek 520 or Surly LHT is the best touring bike.  Both are competent touring bikes.  Just like the others on your list I assume.  Touring bikes are kind of a commodity.  They are all very similar with similar equipment, similar frames, similar geometry.  All handle, ride, carry about the same.  They are all trucks basically.  Designed to carry stuff.

As for taking a bike bought elsewhere into a shop for service, no problem.  A competent bike shop will work on any bike brought in.  They should realize they cannot and will not sell every bike sold in the world.  So to stay in business, they have to work on bikes bought elsewhere.  Does your car mechanic dealer only work on cars bought there?  No, they work on any car brought in.

Gear Talk / Re: Ortlieb Front Roller City Panniers
« on: February 23, 2011, 05:05:18 pm »
I have a pair of regular Front Rollers that are splendid. My only gripe is that they slide back on the front rack and the clip rubs against the fork chafing it down to bare metal.  Any suggestions for preventing this short of sacrificial electrical tape around the fork?

How about wrapping some electrical tape around the rack tube?  The horizontal top tube the bag hangs from.  I am pretty sure I did this to keep my front panniers' hook from sliding into the fork.

General Discussion / Re: Novice looking for basic advise
« on: February 23, 2011, 04:54:31 pm »
I was thinking of that Northern route. Do people know is it much of it off road just so i can decided on appropriate tires and pressure. Motels average at about $50 a night right? From what i have read it doesn't common place for attacks to happen. Also what kind of climbs should I be expecting?

The Norhern Tier route is all paved roads.  As well as all of the other Adventure Cycling routes except the Great Divide and other mountain bike specific routes.  So any tire will work fine.  Assuming your Felt is a road bike, put as wide a tire as you can fit.  25 or 28mm most likely.  Trailer pulling puts extra weight on the rear tire.  Smoother the tire the better.  $50 a night will probably be about right for rural areas.  Maybe a little lower in some places.  Bigger cities figure $70 a night.  Climbs will vary from about 10 miles at 5-7% in the Rockies and Cascades to 1-4 miles at 15% in the Appalachia mountains.  And lots of ups and downs and rolling in between.  I assume you have a triple crankset on your Felt road bike.  You will need it.  Put a 24 tooth inner chainring on it.  24 tooth will fit and it will shift just fine.  Put as big a cog as you can fit on the cassette.  27-28-30-32-34, biggest that will fit.  It is probably possible to buy your BOB trailer after arriving in the USA if traveling with it is not good.  Just figure where you will start, contact a local bike shop, and have them get one for you when you arrive.  Do take your own bike from home.

Gear Talk / Re: Why internal hubs?
« on: February 12, 2011, 06:33:09 pm »
How does one justify the added expense, weight, and complexity (non standard parts) of the internal hub system?

Sturmey-Archer made internal gear hubs from 1902 to 2000.  Long before derailleur gears were invented.  I bet there are lots of hubs 30-40-50-60 years old still in service today.  Many more than derailleur gears of a similar age.  Internal gear hubs just work forever and ever without much if any maintenance or care.

Gear Talk / Re: 1988 Trek 520 recommended upgrades????
« on: February 12, 2011, 06:11:57 pm »
I had a 1991 Trek 520.  Little different than yours.  7 speed, bar end shifters, half-step plus granny gearing.  Check if your rear 6 speed is a cassette or freewheel.  I'm not sure cassettes were ever made in 6 speed so you might have a freewheel.  If so, then changing the number of cogs means getting a new rear wheel.  Although there are 7 and 8 speed freewheels made.  Not sure if there are 9 speed freewheels in existence.

If you do decide to go with 9 speed gearing in the back.  Consider Shimano bar end shifters.  $80 from England shops.  Work quite well.  Cantilever brakes are exceptionally good.  No need for nonsensical disc brakes.  You would need a new fork for disc brakes anyway.  Don't get Kool Stop pads unless you love to hear your brakes squeal like the proverbial stuck pig.

General Discussion / Re: Compact carbs? Do they exist?
« on: February 10, 2011, 07:44:28 pm »
Those gels like Powergel, GU, Clif would probably be your highest calories per ounce food.  I think they come in larger bottles than the individual packets.  There may also be some that have protein in them.  Or you could squeeze 100 or so into a plastic bottle and make your own large quantity.  I don't think I would want to live on this stuff for too long.  But it would work for a short period.

Also I think Army type food would work.  I think the military has condensed food and enriched food.  Small volume but high calories.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT: Need help setting my bike up
« on: January 19, 2011, 03:28:40 pm »
Tires-Wider is generally better.  Particular model doesn't matter.  Once you get into the wide category, they are all fairly tough and durable.
Stem-The right length and angle.  You determine this by riding and fitting the bike to you.
Saddle-I use Brooks.
Brakes-Doesn't your bike already have some?  I've never found much difference in brakes.  They all seem to work well enough to stop the bike.
No suspension seatpost.  Wastes too much energy.
Computer-Cateye wired.  Always works.
Lights-Carry a flashlight that can be strapped to the bars for the front.  Also useful in camp.  Get 2 or 3 rear red blinking lights.  Put a zip-tie through the back vents of your helmet and hang one there.  Put the others on the backs of bags or racks or seatstays.  More is better for rear blinkies.
Pump-Blackburn frame pump.
Bottle cages-Some aluminum ones.  Or stainless steel ones for looks and coolness.
Racks-I use a Blackburn Expedition on the rear.  Blackburn low riders on the front.

Gear Talk / Re: hub generators
« on: January 13, 2011, 12:57:57 pm »
Jan Heine is one of the most respected cyclists and authors on cycling in the country, including to Adventure Cycling Magazine. To suggest that "bicycle Quarterly was making this stuff up" is absurd at best and libelous at worst. Your experience may have been different than Jan's but that is not proof of his dishonesty.

Its a lot more libelous for Mr. Heine to write his stuff.  Shimano may have a claim against him.  He operates a bike shop.  He sells Schmidt hubs and lights.  Seems he has a vested interest to put down the competition.  He is most definitely not an independent reviewer.

Routes / Re: CO Routes 145, 50, & 160 - Safety?
« on: January 13, 2011, 12:48:30 pm »
I've ridden 160 and 50.  Parts of them anyway.

Hwy 160 about 12 years ago and this summer.  12 years ago from Durango to South Fork.  No traffic at all.  Wide open.  No services either.  This summer from Pagosa Springs to Alamosa.  Not bad getting up Wolf Creek to South Fork.  Lot more traffic going east to Alamosa.  But there was a fine shoulder.  From South Fork to Alamosa 160 is dull and uninteresting.  From Durango to Pagosa Springs it was good.  Rolling and wide open.  Up and down Wolf Creek was good.  I would definitely recommend going west to east across Wolf Creek.

Hwy 50 about 12 years ago.  From Canon City to almost Monarch.  I don't recall there being too much traffic.  Then this summer I was on 50 from about 10 miles before Gunnison to about 10 miles after Gunnison.  Lot more traffic.  There was a shoulder though.  50 is kind of flat and kind of boring.  Nice scenery on either end.  Black Canyon near Monarch and Royal Gorge near Canon City.  And Monarch pass near Salida.

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