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Messages - RussSeaton

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General Discussion / Re: Choosing a Bike
« on: November 01, 2014, 03:17:38 pm »
Everything you mention is correct but it could be summed up in one word: Walmart

No.  Apparently you have not looked at the bikes at Walmart recently.  Below are a few links to bicycles sold on the Walmart website.  And I presume in their stores too.  The frames, fork, components all look to be good quality.  You could easily ride these bikes across the country or around your town for many years.  Assembly may be questionable.  But there are probably a few local bike shops that also do not assemble correctly.  It would be best if you were a bike mechanic yourself.  Of course I think all bike riders should own all bike tools and do all their own maintenance and assembly and wheel building.  Probably not realistic.
Schwinn hybrid with Shimano Tiagra and 2300 components.  700C wheels.
Schwinn Varsity road bike with Shimano 2300 components and Microshift shifters.  Microshift is an STI type click shifter sold by Nashbar also.  700C wheels.
Road bicycle with Shimano 2300 shifters and derailleurs.  700C wheels.
Schwinn road bike with Shimano shifters and derailleurs.  700C wheels.
Aluminum road bike with Shimano STI shifters.

All of these bikes probably have questionable assembly.  And sizing seems weird.  You have one frame size choice for every bike.  No multiple frame sizes for each bike.  Odd.  But all of the bikes above appear to be decent quality frames and forks and components.  With personal mechanic ability, they should all work very well for many years.  A lot higher quality bike than my first Schwinn road bike bought from the local bike shop back in the very early 1980s.  Think of these as Ikea bikes.  Decent quality parts but the buyer has to assemble himself.  Nothing high faluting, but functional.

General Discussion / Re: Choosing a Bike
« on: October 31, 2014, 11:43:14 pm »
I'll give an opinion on the bike.  What everyone else has said should be considered.  This bike does not appear to be setup for touring/carrying baggage.  There does not appear to be any way to mount racks.  The brakes are sidepull calipers.  They will not be able to fit wide tires.  Anything wider than 28mm likely will not fit.  The shifters are mountain bike shifters mounted on top of the handlebars on either side of the stem.  This does not seem like a good way to shift a road bicycle.  Gearing seems OK.  Triple crankset with at least a medium sized 7 speed cogset in back.  Probably low enough gears if you do not run into anything real steep.  You would need to be a pretty good bike mechanic to grease and tune the bike after you buy it.  And be able to true and build wheels.  Assembly is probably not good.  I think you would be better off finding a used bike more suitable to touring.  You probably need to learn more about bike mechanics.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Bicycle
« on: October 25, 2014, 06:35:08 pm »
I'll contribute to this thread.  Already mentioned, Trek 520, Surly Long Haul Trucker, REI Novara Randonnee.  These three are the name brand full touring bikes.  All three are more or less identical.  All sell for about $1500.  All will work fine as loaded touring bikes carrying four panniers and a handlebar bag and a tent on the rear rack.  Other possible options for bike mechanics, Nashbar touring bike and BikesDirect touring bikes.  These are around $700.  These are fairly close to the three name brand models.  The parts are lesser in the hierarchy but will function as well in the real world.  BUT, you will need to tune and overhaul the bikes to make them function well.  Think of them as kits with all the parts but assembly required.  All of these bikes will carry panniers and have low gearing.  Low enough to crawl up any hills you come across.  And you can probably put a 22 or 24 tooth inner chainring on the triple cranksets of any of these bikes.  And a 32 or 34 rear cassette in 9 or 10 speed.  Better to have low gears you do not use than the opposite.  A full on touring bike will work fine no matter whether you are carrying a lot of gear or going ultralight.  Or carrying nothing.  They are durable bikes that keep working almost forever.  You can use them to commute to work or the grocery store too.  They are functional.

I am 5'11" tall and my Trek size is a 58cm frame.  At 6'4" there is no way you fit a 58cm Trek frame.  I doubt a 60cm Trek frame will fit you.  Not sure Trek makes a 62cm frame or not.  But the 58cm Trek is way too small for you.  Way too small.  You need at least a 60cm or bigger frame.  Since you seem to not have a bike or any knowledge of your bike size, you probably need to go to a bike shop to find a bike.

Classifieds / Re: FS: Cannondale Touring, Jumbo Sized Frame
« on: October 14, 2014, 04:23:53 pm »
Here is a website showing the Jumbo frame size dimensions.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a good touring shoe.
« on: October 11, 2014, 04:07:10 pm »
About half my bikes, including the touring bike, have Shimano SPD pedals using the two bolt cleat.  The other half of the bikes have Shimano SPD-SL pedals using the Look style three bolt triangle cleat.  The SPD pedals are the lower priced Shimano pedals, two sided, no cage for sneaker shoes.  You can find the lower priced Shimano brand SPD pedals for about $30 to $50 online.  For shoes I use sandals with the SPD pedals.  Lake or Shimano sandals.  Unfortunately I don't think the Lake sandals are made anymore.  The sandals will work as your off bike, walk around town shoe too.  No need to bring a pair of sneakers for non riding days.  Still need a pair of flip flops for showers.

General Discussion / Re: Handlebar Grips
« on: September 22, 2014, 08:21:40 pm »
I am going to go along with Paddleboy on this.  Something is not adding up right.  You have a hybrid bike.  You should be sitting pretty much straight up and down with all of your weight on your backside.  Your hands should just be touching the handlebars with absolutely no weight on them.  You probably should not be bent over at a 45 degree or 30 degree angle with your hands holding up your upper body.  And you stretching forward a lot.  Are your handlebars low?  Below the saddle?  Maybe, maybe, maybe trying a shorter stem with it angled upwards would work to get your upper body more upright and you not leaning forward and down.

General Discussion / Re: Can scooters ride the routes?
« on: September 08, 2014, 02:00:55 pm »
so I can hop on and off the bike path when needed.

NO.  Let me repeat so you understand, NO you cannot ride a motorized scooter on bike paths.  That is the rule/law in my state and I assume it applies to bike paths in other states.  Scooters, like the Italian Vespa ones, are not allowed on bike paths.  They are quasi motorcycles.  Motorized bicycles, bikes with a motor driving one of the wheels, are a different matter.

General Discussion / Re: Help me decide on this last minute tour.
« on: August 24, 2014, 03:01:34 pm »
I vote for your Colorado ride.  I have ridden two organized week long rides in Colorado.  There used to be a couple organizations that put on week long rides.  They were good.  Enough mountains to climb.  Few hundred or few thousands of people.  I think they were June or July.  I have toured two weeks in September in the Rockies.  Silverton, Durango, and other towns to the east.  Cold and rainy a couple days.  But the weather was OK.  Pleasant out of the mountains and the climbs and descents were not too bad.  Colorado is good in September.  Plenty of motels in Colorado towns so you do not have to camp.  Enough towns so you do not have to ride too far between refreshments.  Although riding east out of Durango on the state road that goes back to the Rockies, there is nothing for 50 or more miles.  Just wide open desert, waste land.  No towns, no services, no nothing east of Durango.  Never much traffic on the side roads in Colorado.  Always a car every now and then, but you usually have the road to yourself.  I've even ridden on a few busier roads and they were not that busy.

Routes / Re: Seeking Advice for a Cross Country Route
« on: August 15, 2014, 11:09:20 am »
Your departure dates are February 1 to March 31.  Too early to be riding anywhere in the northern two thirds of the country.  I'm in the middle of the Midwest, and we can easily get snow and freezing temperatures through March.  Sometimes into April too.  And if you try to start riding in the northeast in Feb. or Mar., you will get snow and freezing temps too.  As already mentioned, the Rocky mountains will have snow and freezing temps into June.  But trying to cycle from the Atlantic to the Rockies before May or June would be so miserable you would likely give up cycling for the rest of your life.  Starting in Feb. or Mar., your only viable option is to ride the Southern Tier.  And if you are finishing up the Northern Tier now, you don't have too much time to get out of the NE and down south to the Southern Tier starting point before the bad weather hits the NE.  You will have bad weather and cold in the NE starting in October and November.  So don't hang around the NE too long.  Get south fast before winter hits.

Gear Talk / Re: trikes
« on: August 06, 2014, 04:20:06 pm »
I have a friend with a trike.  That is as close to trikes as I have gotten.  So be forewarned.  All recumbents are as low as trikes.  Recumbents and trikes have similar riding positions.  So having your head at the same level as a car grill is not unique.  I'm guessing recumbent riders overcome it so trike riders must too.  On recumbents and trikes you are sitting on your backside leaning back a bit with your back against a fabric chair.  And your feet are in front of your body pedaling.  Sticking straight out in front of you.  If being so low bothers you, then do not ride recumbents or trikes and stick with regular bicycles where your head is above the car.

As for safety of trikes.  I have not heard any stories of high rates of accidents with trikes or recumbents compared to regular bicycles.  So guessing they are not any more dangerous or safer than regular bicycles.  I have heard stories that recumbents and likely trikes are more noticed than regular bicycles because they are so different.  Car drivers see them because they are unique.  Safer?  Maybe.  Trikes do have the disadvantage of being wider than a regular bicycle.  Trikes are about 3 feet wide total between the outside wheels.  Regular upright bicycles are about 2 feet wide.  The width of the rider's behind.  So its easier to fit between objects with an upright bicycle.  When riding on the right side of the road, you will have one wheel close to the white line.  And the other wheel will be about 3 feet over.  So with a trike you are taking up more space on the road.  Maybe easier to get sideswiped by a motorist not paying attention or caring.  Probably in reality one foot difference in width should not make any difference on the road.

General Discussion / Re: brooks saddle break-in how long
« on: August 04, 2014, 08:28:14 pm »
I'll add to this thread.  I have six bikes with Brooks saddles on them.  And one or two more Brooks saddles in boxes in the basement waiting for their day.  It takes many many many thousands of miles to break in a Brooks saddle.  More miles if its one of the untreated thick models.  Like the B17 or Professional.  Little easier if it one of the soft pretreated models like the Swift or the Team Pro.  Although I think they use extra thick leather on the Team Pro, pretreated or not, its a hard thick saddle.  Two Swift, which are broken in.  Two Professional, which are sort of kind of broken in I guess.  One Team Pro, which is not broken in after years and years and thousands of miles.  It is a hard hard hard piece of leather.  One B17, which is broken in.  As for treatment, put lots of oil and paste and such on the underside and topside, frequently.  Just keep on rubbing various oils on the saddle until it looks like the oils have absorbed into the leather.  Then be sure to coat the saddle once a year, both sides.

Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: July 22, 2014, 10:02:40 pm »
Cycling shoes have been some kind of plastic for about a decade or two now.  Wet cycling shoes is not really an issue.  If you wear socks, the socks will get wet from sweat or rain.  But plastic shoes getting wet is not a problem.

General Discussion / Re: Touring on carbon
« on: July 21, 2014, 11:22:28 am »
It is a bit odd to revive such an old thread for not reason.  Oh well.  All bicycle frame materials will break.  Racing bikes probably the most often because weight is an important criteria for them and they use the thinnest tubes possible.  Thus less strength.  Its very easy to make a very fragile steel frameset.  Just use very thin and lightweight tubes!  But most companies use heavier and stronger steel tubes because they do not want the reputation of making bikes that break.  Again easy to do.  I suspect touring bikes use steel because it is probably the cheapest material to make a bike from.  Steel foundries and fabricators are very common.  Suspect its easy and cheap to roll a sheet of metal into a circle and weld it into a tube.  Cheapness is why companies do things a certain way.  Steel is cheap!  Whether its the best touring frame material?  Who knows.  You could make a stronger and superior frame out of titanium maybe.  But it would be costly so its not done.  No one uses titanium for touring bikes because of cost.  Making a touring frame from carbon would also be costly probably.  So its not done.  Cheapness is the reason for many many things.  Steel is cheap to make into bike frames.  Long ago all bikes were made from steel because it was the only material.  1970s aluminum started to be used.  Carbon in the 1980s.  Titanium about 80s too.  Steel is also cheap because its an old way of making frames.  Its been around a long time.  Working with aluminum, carbon, titanium is newer and less known.  So more expensive.

Routes / Re: Bicycle Tour
« on: July 01, 2014, 04:40:08 pm »
Go to the page below and click on the following routes:
Lewis & Clark
Northern Tier
Transamerica Trail
Pacific Coast

The Transamerica and Lewis&Clark routes both go through Missoula.  Missoula is the home of Adventure Cycling.  The Northern Tier route is about 150 miles north of Missoula.  I am sure the people at Adventure Cycling could tell you which roads to take to get up to the Northern Tier route.  The Pacific Coast route goes down the coast.  Getting from Provo Utah you will have to ride east to meet up with the Transamerica route.  Or go north to Missoula Montana.  Couple hundred miles.  State maps should work fine.  Lewis&Clark, Transamerica, Northern Tier all go over to the Portland or Seattle area.  Meeting up with the Pacific Coast route.  Adventure Cycling sells maps for all of the mentioned routes.

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