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Messages - RussSeaton

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271
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.

272
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.

273
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.

274
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.

275
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.

276
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.

277
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.

278
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.

279
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.

280
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.

281
Gear Talk / Re: hub generators
« on: January 08, 2011, 12:04:46 am »
In the BQ article, they stated that after two consecutive all-night rides that their hands were numb and tingly. I gathered that it was pretty significant. Total test mileage was 1560 miles.


To put it bluntly, Bicycle Quarterly was making this stuff up.  The Shimano generator hub does not vibrate.  I've used it on PBP as well as several thousand miles of brevets.  It functions quite well.  No resistance is noticed while using it.

http://www.starbike.com/php/product_list.php?prodcatid=28&lang=en&Hersteller=&Kategorie=Std+100+mm&Lochzahl=32&filter_submit=GO

Starbike has the Shimano DH-3N80 for about $95.  While the Schmidt is $230.

282
Routes / Re: newbie needing advice
« on: December 31, 2010, 01:52:22 pm »
I've ridden in Iowa and Indiana.  Lots in Iowa.  Probably every area of the state.  Indiana only the bottom half.

Iowa is flat across the northern third unless you are near the rivers on both sides of Iowa.  Missouri and Big Sioux on the west and Mississippi on the east.  When near the rivers about 10-20-30 miles inland its hilly.  Some hills steep and short, some long but not as steep.  The NE corner north of Dubuque is the hardest.  Middle third is rolling.  Nothing to worry about.  Bottom third is a bit more rolling than the middle.  But again nothing too bad.  I've ridden a single speed 53x19 across the bottom of the state without problems.  Unloaded.

Bottom part of Indiana is sort of hilly.  Some pretty steep.  On an unloaded bike you can manage fine without a triple.  Loaded I would want a triple.  None of the hills are terribly long.

283
Gear Talk / Re: Biking Shorts/Pants
« on: December 15, 2010, 03:36:26 pm »
http://www.adventurecycling.org/store/index.cfm?currentpage=1&fuseaction=category.display&category_id=37

The Adventure Cycling store sells two pair of non lycra form fitting shorts.  Baggy shorts.  Canari and J&G brands.

It's not Lycra I have an issue with. It's the "form-fitting" aspect.

Then you do have an issue with lycra.  Lycra is a stretchy material designed to form fit and stretch around whatever it contacts.  It has elastic in it.  You want the baggy cargo shorts everyone has recommended.  They are NOT made out of lycra.  They are made out of nylon and polyester.  Personally I can't imagine this short is as comfortable for riding as the lycra shorts.  The lycra short keeps the chamois in place by stretching it around the part of the body its supposed to be at.  Whereas the cago baggy shorts are loose around the chamois.  So the chamois can slide around and move while you are riding.  Not ideal.

284
Gear Talk / Re: Panniers
« on: December 15, 2010, 03:28:52 pm »
I have some Nashbar mountain panniers from 1991.  Big single pocket with a side pocket and a top pocket in the flap.  Cordura.  Once or twice the hooks came undone from the top of the rack.  Bag dragged on the ground for a bit but didn't cause any harm.  Fixed it by squishing the hooks in tighter.  I've used them for about 8000 miles of touring.  Plastic bags inside the panniers keep everything organized and dry.  I think mine were made by Cannondale for Nashbar because they have a Made in Philipsburg, PA tag on them.  Current ones are made in Malaysia.  Only $40 a pair right now.  And Nashbar has a 20% off sale going on.  $32 a pair, $16 each.  I'm quite content with the four I own.  I paid a lot more way back when.

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_165648_-1_201511_10000_200350

285
Gear Talk / Re: Biking Shorts/Pants
« on: December 12, 2010, 01:58:21 pm »
http://www.adventurecycling.org/store/index.cfm?currentpage=1&fuseaction=category.display&category_id=37

The Adventure Cycling store sells two pair of non lycra form fitting shorts.  Baggy shorts.  Canari and J&G brands.

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