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Messages - RussSeaton

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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.

General Discussion / Re: Light Touring
« on: October 05, 2011, 08:27:52 pm »
Carradice is the name of the saddlebags in whittierider's pictures.  Jobst Brandt has toured many miles using one of those bags for his credit card type tours.  You could also use a seatpost clamp on rack and a large bag on top of the rack as your baggage carrying device.  I have a rack bag similar to the one below where the side pockets unzip into small side panniers.  Quite roomy.

Key to credit card touring is to go ultralight.  2 pair shorts, 1 jersey, bike sandals so you don't need any other shoes, 1 t-shirt, 1 off bike shorts, tooth brush, tooth paste, comb.  Maybe sunscreen and lip balm.  Small digital camera.  Not much else.

Gear Talk / Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« on: September 26, 2011, 01:45:20 pm »
The frustrating thing is Surly only supplies the trucker deluxe in 26" wheels arguing that the tires are more readily available.

It just got a little frustrated that Surly only makes the Trucker deluxe in 26" wheels arguing that tires are more readily available,

Surly has a little bit of truth in their statement.  26" tires are more readily available all over the world.  Asia, Africa, etc. adopted the 26" tire standard instead of the European 700C standard.  In Europe the mountain bike is big too so 26" tires are readily available.  In North America you can find 26" tires everywhere too.  Check Wal-Mart and you will find 26" tires.  Maybe not 700C.  Now, I am not saying you will find 26" tires in the width or tread you want.  Most likely you will find 26"x2.25" knobby mountain bike tires.  But they are 26" and will fit on your rims, but maybe not your frame due to fork clearance and chainstay clearance issues.  So the key is to make sure your bike has clearance for wide knobby tires.  Then you can fit a tire about anywhere in the world and ride.  Replace with a better tire up the road.

Gear Talk / Re: stemcaptain compass
« on: September 14, 2011, 01:24:47 pm »
More than likely this compass will operate more than well enough even if surrounded by steel.  Consider the purpose of the stem mounted compass.  You are not navigating the Spanish Armada from Spain to Mexico and back with plundered gold.  The purpose of the compass is when you come to a 4-way intersection, you will know which direction is North, South, East, West.  Then you can look at your map, or think about what today's general riding direction is, and pick the right road that will take you in the direction you want to go.  I have compasses on a couple bikes.  Touring bike has a flat plastic compass that rides in the map case on top of the handlebar bag.  Its great for helping to follow a map.  One road bike has a compass that snaps around the stem.  It gives good enough direction to tell which general direction I am riding.  And that is good enough since I usually know which general direction I want to ride.  And the compass can help pick out the road going in the right general direction.

Gear Talk / Re: 10 speed vs 9 speed for touring
« on: August 24, 2011, 03:17:35 pm »
SRAM and Shimano both make 10 speed mountain bike cassettes now.  I use the SRAM 1050 model in 11-32 on my touring bike.  11-36, 11-32, 12-32 are available from SRAM.  Shimano offers 11-36, 11-34, 11-32.  No reason to take a chance on IRD poor quality.

Regarding using a 10 speed cassette for touring.  I rebuilt my touring bike with 10 speed STI Shimano 105 5700 shifters and the SRAM 10 speed 1050 cassette recently.  Used to be 7 speed bar end.  After replacing the cassette body on the hub so it would take 10 speed cassette, it worked fine.  Shifts are quick and sure.  Using a Tiagra 9 speed front derailleur.  Shimano 105 10 speed chain.  44-33-20 chainrings.  Not a lot of miles on the setup.  160 loaded miles.  250 unloaded miles.  Went with 10 speed because Shimano's new 10 speed shifters have the cables under the bar tape.  Older STI has the cables flapping in the wind in front of the bars.  Cannot use a handlebar bag with those cables sticking out.

Not sure what gearing you have on your bike.  But, you will need low gears to get up and down Highway 1 and 101.  A triple with a 24 tooth inner chainring and a rear cog of 32 would be ideal.  Barring that, a compact crank with a 34 inner ring and a 32 rear cog would be the minimum.

Gear Talk / Re: Front rack
« on: August 10, 2011, 04:24:14 pm »
Can I add a rack question? my old cannondale mt. bike only has the eyelets at the dropout in front with no braze ons up the fork for securing the rack. I know it had a front rack back in 86 but cannot remember how it was set up. Anyone know of a rack for this type of front fork? thanks.
As you can see from this picture, the Blackburn lowrider rack comes with the hardware for clamping the rack to a fork without the braze on in the middle of the fork leg.  U clamp would be a better description of what is needed.

This one is a bit big, but its the style you want.

Gear Talk / Re: Front rack
« on: August 03, 2011, 10:41:57 pm »
Based on pictures I found online, it looks like the T800 has a regular steel touring fork.  Braze ons in the middle of the fork for the racks.  Eyelet down at the dropout for the racks.  So it will take any and all low rider racks.  I use an aluminum Nashbar low rider.  Works fine.  No longer offered.  Its similar to the Blackburn.

Gear Talk / Re: Novara Randonee Bike - 2011???
« on: August 02, 2011, 01:18:29 am »
It's to bad Novarro changing the specs and "commuterizing" their bikes. I'm curious about where the Gunnar Grand Tour fits in all of this. I hear a lot about the LHT and it seems to be a really solid bike; what about the Gunnar?

The Gunnar Grand Tour is almost certainly a very nice steel touring frame.  I have a Waterford 1200.  Waterford also makes a touring bike and I suspect the dimensions are similar between the Waterford and Gunnar touring frames.  Made by the same people making the Gunnar frames.  In Wisconsin.  Gunnar frames are TIG welded instead of lugs.  Frame/fork price is $1025.  So compared to the Surly LHT or Trek 520 or some of the other bikes mentioned in this thread, its frame/fork costs about the same as the complete bike for the others.  Of course they are made in different continents.  Over the years I have succumbed to the lure of cheap Asian frames instead of American frames.  So I'm kind of torn whether one should spend the extra money for American/European frames or go the cheap route with Asian bikes.

Routes / Re: January routes abroad
« on: July 27, 2011, 01:54:59 pm »
I toured southern Portugal and a bit of southern Spain in November years ago.  Warm weather.  November isn't January.  But I suspect the weather would still be comfortable for bicycling in January too.  Cooler than November would still be nice.

Routes / Re: Lincoln,Ne heading east through Iowa
« on: July 16, 2011, 01:26:38 pm »
Actually I'm heading towards Pittsburgh, any advice or recommended routes would be much appreciated. I'm kind of stuttering in an eastward direction taking in local advice as I go.
Currently at Knoxville,Ia.

Not sure why you rode Hwy 92 since several people in this forum, including me, recommended NOT riding 92.

Anyway, head north out of Knoxville on Hwy 14.  Go north to Monroe, go north of Monroe about 3 miles.  14 is a bit busy and hilly.  You will find county road F62 going east to Reasnor and Montezuma.  Stay on that road to Iowa City.  It changes from F62 to F57, Hwy 85, F52.  But its the same road.  You will hit Sully, Lynnville, Searsboro, Montezuma, Deep River, Millersburg, Parnell, Holbrook, then go south to Frytown.  There will be a road north to Cosgrove and a road south to Frytown.  Go south.  In Frytown get on F62 again and go east to Hills, West Liberty, Atalissa, Moscow, Wilton, Durant, Stockton, Walcott and finally the Quad Cities (Bettendorf and Davenport on the Iowa side of the river).  There are some hills on this route.  Parts of Iowa are flat, part are not.

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