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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Bike selection for use with trailer
« on: May 11, 2011, 12:56:50 pm »
I know a kid who used a Trek 5200 mid 2000s frame to pull a BOB trailer.  Short tour.  But it worked fine pulling the trailer.  Only problem with the bike was the 30x27 low gear.  The Dura Ace triple crank only allows a 30 tooth inner chainring.

A lot of your general touring questions can be answered by reading some of the touring books Adventure Cycling sells.  Libraries may have them too.  They cover the basics and the rest you figure out as you ride.

Netherlands.  I rode in from Germany in the NE corner.  Then along the dam that goes for 30 or more miles along the north coast of the Netherlands.  Bike route on top of the dam/barrier/causeway.  Then south along the coast to Amsterdam and out the south through Rotterdam.  Lot of bike trails from the dam south near the coast.  Officially I think you have to ride on the trails instead of the roads.  Which is a problem if you are trying to get from point A to point B.  The trails aren't direct.  They meander.  Hard to figure out which one goes where.  I stayed in hostels, AYH.  They were scattered so I hit one every 60 miles or so.  I suspect there are cheap motels/hotels/pensiones in most towns.  So camping isn't required.

I rode in August.  Warm.  Windy, windy, windy.  Some rain too.  Good riding weather.  The route I rode was perfectly flat.  I think there are some hills in the eastern areas of the Netherlands.  Its not tough riding terrain.  Towns everywhere, every few miles.

Gear Talk / Re: Gear Chainring
« on: May 09, 2011, 01:59:56 pm »
Be careful. If you have too big a difference between the big ring and the granny; if the chain is short enough for the granny gear it may be too short for the big ring. If you see what I mean. I

Not sure how this problem would ever occur if you size the chain correctly.  Wrap the chain around the big ring and big cog and through the rear derailleur.  Just long enough to make this circle with a tiny tiny amound of extra play.  Then the chain is the right length.  If you are in the small chainring and small cog, the rear derailleur may not have enough length to take up all of the slack.  No problem.  Having the chain hang loose on the bottom does not cause any concern.  And using the small chainring and smallest 1-2-3 cogs is not something you should ever do anyway.

Gear Talk / Re: Gear Chainring
« on: April 28, 2011, 01:33:23 pm »
I've ridden in the Rockies and only used a 24x23 low gear.  Never needed the 24x28 lowest gear.  It did not hurt me.
Not sure where you rode in the Rockies, but I will say that the route that the OP is talking about has much steeper climbs than anything I saw in the Rockies on the Trans America. 

Slumgullion, Wolf Creek, Red Mountain, Rocky Mountain Park, Rabbit Ears, Molas, Coal Bank, Monarch, Squaw, Berthoud, Vail, Loveland, Mt. Evans.  The point of my comment was to point out that a 24 inner ring gets you a lower gear than a 28 ring.  So with the same cassette, you will have one lower gear with the 24.  Maybe you won't need to use it.  You will be able to get by with the 24 ring and your next to biggest cog.  Nothing is harmed if you carry your biggest cog and don't need it.

Gear Talk / Re: Gear Chainring
« on: April 28, 2011, 04:02:04 am »
Since you mention a 28 tooth chainring, I'm guessing you have a road bike triple crankset.  With the inner chainring using a 74mm bolt circle diameter.  You can easily put a 24 tooth chainring on such a crankset.  No matter how big your outer chainrings are, the 24 inner will work perfectly.  Having a 24 instead of a 28 may mean you only have to use your 24x28 gear instead of your 28x32 gear.  So you have one extra low gear in reserve.  No harm done having too low of a gear.  I've ridden in the Rockies and only used a 24x23 low gear.  Never needed the 24x28 lowest gear.  It did not hurt me.


For visibilty of the rider, this is about the best product you can buy.  OK-1 mesh surveyor's vest.  Fluorescent yellow with reflective stripes.

Gear Talk / Re: Race Face is in receivership
« on: April 11, 2011, 07:00:36 pm »
Was Race Face an actual manufacturer or just a distributor of cranks made to their specifications somewhere else, like Asia?  If they didn't make the cranks in their own facility, the cranks could easily reappear under a different marketing name.

Race Face was a real company.  Not a company that put its name on stuff made elsewhere.  I don't know if Race Face had factories making its stuff or contracted with others to make stuff for them.  But Race Face did design and create the product.  Their stuff was not a generic thing picked out of a Chinese factory catalog.  I suspect if anyone bought Race Face, it would be for the brand name and its designs.  Those are its assets.  Although the designs may not be too valuable since the company went into bankruptcy.  I doubt you will see Chinese companies coming out with Race Face look alike products.  The products I recall from Race Face were unique.  They were not simple cheap to make products.  They required CNC machining.  The Race Face Next LP crank was an I beam shape.  It had to be milled to look like that.  They also had a carbon/aluminum crank.  The arms were aluminum wrapped over carbon.  Not something a Chinese company could do.  The good Race Face products are not going to be copied by anyone because they were costly.

Gear Talk / Re: Race Face is in receivership
« on: April 09, 2011, 02:54:47 pm »
Seems quite a few bikes use their rings and cranks.

10-15 years ago Race Face was a big after market chi-chi high end supplier of cranks.  I don't recall them ever having much of the manufacturer market.  They did not come original on many bikes.  So if your goal is to have a wide choice of new replacement cranks to switch on and off your bikes, it will affect you.  If you just buy bikes from your local shop and ride them, you won't even know they are gone.

Routes / Re: warm weather winter routes?
« on: April 09, 2011, 02:49:32 pm »
You seem to be fixated on the US for some reason.  Portugal and Spain was my choice many years ago for a November tour.  Great weather.  If you are going to fly to the ride, flying domestic or international makes no difference.   Same outrageous cost.

My wife and I have a trip planned to visit family in Baltimore, MD on May 7th and I just talked her into letting me ride my bike from our home in Clearwater, FL to meet her their on the 7th.
1. very short notice...only 17 days away. I'd have to leave on the 27th of April to allow enough time to make the trip.
2. No previous experience with a long distance trip like this although I am in very good physical shape from running and cycling on a regular basis.
3. I want to travel lite but have no idea what to and what not to pack. I planned on adding just a set of rear panniers and a front handlebar bag to my bike.
4. My bike is not a touring model. It's a Scott S20 Speedster which is more of a aggressive road setup.
5. Safe routes. What is the best way to find a safe route along the way?

10 days riding.  Its about 1000 miles between Clearwater and Baltimore.  Doable.

No experience necessary.  Just ride your bike every day.

Traveling light.  Two pair shorts, one jersey.  Maybe a t-shirt and shorts for when you are done riding.  Biking sandals ans SPD pedals so no need for extra shoes.  Toothbrush and toothpaste.  Any medicine you use.  You will stay in motels every night.  So they provide soap and shampoo and towels.  Eat in restaurants or convenience stores.

Adventure Cycling has an Atlantic Coast route map.  I suspect it would get you most of the way along the eastern seaboard.  Already mapped for you.  Check where the towns are to be sure you can ride between towns that have motels.  Check the map to see what kind of hills or moutains are on it.  I think they talk about those things on the maps they sell.  See if the hills warrant you changing the gearing on your bike.  If so its easy to get a cassette with bigger cogs and a compact crankset.  Your racing bike will handle a 27-28-30-32 rear cog and 50/34 crankset with no other changes.  Except chain may need to be longer.  Front derailleur lowered.  If you're feeling like spending money you could get a long cage rear derailleur for fun too.   Not needed though.

Gear Talk / Re: Why internal hubs?
« on: April 05, 2011, 05:09:38 pm »

Use an off-center rim, ie, rim with the holes off center, to eliminate the dish on a wheel with a freehub and cassette, like the Velocity Aerohead O/C:

The off center rear rim helps even spoke tension and reduce dish.  But it does not eliminate it.  I think the Rohloff wheel is almost completely symmetrical.  I've built wheels with the Velocity Aerohead off center rim.  Spoke tension was closer between drive and non-drive.  But still not equal.  And less dish.  The off center feature moves the spoke holes about 5mm to the non-drive side.  Not terribly fond of Velocity's rim quality.  Required quite a bit of tweaking to get the hop out of them.  No where near as round as DT rims.  The DT rim was a dream to work with.  Unfortunately DT does not make any off center rims.

Gear Talk / Re: Wireless Comps....
« on: April 05, 2011, 04:56:26 pm »

Cateye Mity/Enduro wired computer.  Maybe the most reliable longest lasting bike computer on the face of the earth.  It works forever and ever with rarely a hitch.  I'll admit to having one that does not pick up consistently now.  Maybe a new battery will fix it.  Wireless computers have a large transmitter down by the fork tip.  Seems huge compared to the small slim pickup on a wired unit.  The wireless has to be big enough for the extra battery.

General Discussion / Re: Bike locks
« on: April 05, 2011, 04:48:36 pm »
My touring has been in Europe and the USA.  I'm not sure I took a lock on any of my tours.  Its been a few years so I may have forgot what I carried.  I recall visiting a museum for a day in Munich and leaving the bike outside in a visible area.  Unlocked.  Bags and bike were still there when I returned.  In most hostels and motels I took the bike into the room at night.  For going into stores I put it right outside the building in clear sight in a traveled area.  Not around the corner in an alley where no one could see it.  I visited Amsterdam.  I think I rode straight to the hostel and put the bike away and then roamed around on foot.

Gear Talk / Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« on: April 01, 2011, 12:48:11 pm »
Russ, thank you for the information. Are you using a Schmidt Dyno Hub? If so, where did you purchase it. So, if I understand you correctly, the next time I go to Europe I should pick up the ewerk and cache battery over there.

I use the Shimano DHN70 or something generator hub.  I think it was bought from Peter White back in 2006 by a friend.  I acquired it from him.  I bought a Shimano DHN80 generator hub from Starbike last year and built it into a wheel for a friend.  Bought the rim and spokes there too.  No problem at all with the order.  I buy lots of bike stuff from Europe.  No problems.  No need to travel to Europe to buy from there.  Have never used the Ewerk thing.  But I think it has gotten some talk on the randonneur forums.  They are concerned with charging the GPS units during 90 hour rides.  Pretty sure the Ewerk will plug into any generator hub.  Just like lights fit any hub.  Its not Schmidt specific.  Starbike also sells the Schmidt generator hubs for much less than Peter White.  They can build entire wheels too if you don't do that yourself.

Gear Talk / Re: Any advantage of using 4 vs 2 panniers?
« on: March 21, 2011, 01:20:25 am »
I did a week long tour with two panniers once.  Front panniers on low rider racks.  When you sit on your bike, a vast majority of the weight is on the rear wheel.  So its best to get as much weight as possible to the front low rider panniers.  Low rider racks and panniers help stabilize steering.  But long ago people toured with just rear panniers and seemed to do fine.

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