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Messages - RussSeaton

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General Discussion / Re: First Bike Tour
« on: March 20, 2014, 01:04:15 pm »
Assume you already have a touring bike and panniers and gear.  If not, then you have more troubles.

2-3-4-5-6 times during May and June, go on test campouts on the weekend.  Load up the bike.  Leave Friday after school, work and ride 40 miles or so to a park for camping.  Get up Saturday morning and pack up all your stuff on the bike. Go ride 60 miles to another camping spot.  Set up camp.  Get up Sunday morning and load up the bike.  Ride 60 miles back home.  All of this will get you in shape and get you used to riding and prepare you for camping.

General Discussion / Re: Miles Per Day
« on: March 18, 2014, 07:47:22 pm »
Personally, for me, I find 60 miles per day the ideal distance to ride loaded per day.  Less than 60 miles and I start doubting myself.  Thinking I wasted the day by not riding far enough.  More than 60 miles and I start questioning whether I am having fun or simply working to put in the miles regardless.  Give or take 5 miles, I find 60 miles an ideal distance to ride loaded each day.  And unloaded too.  Anywhere between 50 and 80 miles is a good distance for each day.  You can start at a good time in the morning.  8 to 9 AM.  And finish in a good time in the afternoon.  3 to 5 PM.  Find a place to stay for the evening, get cleaned up, and get to supper before its too late.  And get back to camp or the motel in plenty of time and get to bed early.  60 miles.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Travel and Visiting Dress Up Sites
« on: March 10, 2014, 02:54:11 pm »
As already mentioned, in more official churches, shorts and short skirts are not allowed.  Period.  It doesn't matter how you look or smell.  You are not allowed inside.  But most big visitor places in Europe have all kinds of people coming and going.  Your bike clothes will not stand out at all.  Dress up?  Whatever.  You probably should not be covered in mud, but other than that, who cares.

A friend bought the REI Novara Randonee 2-3 years ago.  I overhauled it before it went into service.  Seemed like a very good bike with good components.  Nothing major in the overhaul.  It would be one of my top choices for riding across the USA with panniers.  Equal to the Trek 520 or Surly Long Haul Trucker.

Routes / Re: Biking Spain - Valencia to Barcelona
« on: February 26, 2014, 10:55:02 am »
Not a lot of help, but...  I rode a few days in the SW corner of Spain about 13 years ago.  November.  The part of Spain that touches Portugal and the Mediterranean Sea.  Weather was pleasant.  Roads were great.  Traffic was minimal.  Plenty of good untraveled roads going everywhere.  Towns were a reasonable distance apart.  I stayed in motels and ate at restaurants and convenience stores.  Easy to find and low cost.

You're talking about Barcelona and the NE corner of Spain.  Might be different up there.

General Discussion / Re: touring in the rain?
« on: February 18, 2014, 03:38:55 pm »
Keep in mind rain limits visibility.  For car drivers.  So you are harder to see on your bicycle.  If you ride in the rain on the road, turn on all blinking lights and wear a yellow rain jacket.  Yellow jacket is for visibility.  Not to keep water off you.

As for whether to wear any rain gear while riding.  Temperature decides that.  If its cold, then wear all the clothes you have.  Being wet and cold is bad.  If its warm summer rain, nothing extra is needed.  No matter what you wear, you will get wet riding in the rain.  If its cold and wet, then try to get as little wet as possible.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route Northbound
« on: February 14, 2014, 02:51:42 pm »
Northwest winds accompany high pressure and dry weather.
Southerly winds accompany storm systems and rain.

Hmmmmm.  If what you state has any truth at all, it means weather patterns are dependent on where in the world you live.  NW and NE winds in my part of the world mean storms.  South winds mean dry and hot.  I suspect I could go back in time 100 years and never find a storm or rain coming out of the south.  Look at all the snow storms hitting the SE and NE parts of the country over the past couple months.  They have all come out of the NW.  None came out of the south.

Gear Talk / Re: STI Triple 9 Speed with canti brakes
« on: February 11, 2014, 03:50:35 am »
My touring bike has Shimano 105 5703 STI levers.  And 10 speed SRAM cassette.  Shimano Tiagra triple front derailleur.  Shimano Deore mountain bike rear derailleur.  Crankset has 44-33-20 chainrings.  With an 11-32 cassette it has plenty of high and low gears.  Chain is 10 speed Shimano or SRAM, can't remember which.  Bike shifts perfectly.  Brakes are Avid Shorty 6 cantilever.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking For Cannondale TX1000 Info - Who Has or Had One
« on: January 30, 2014, 05:14:28 pm »
My opinion on used bikes is buy them IF you are a bike mechanic and do ALL of your own mechanical work.  If you are paying a bike shop to do the mechanical work, then stick with new or almost new bikes.  Slightly used only.  Newer bike parts such as shifters, hubs, gearing, brakes are better than parts from 25 or more years ago.  Parts change over the years and trying to fix older parts may be difficult.  And hard to find.  And the new stuff does work better.  There probably isn't a good reason to add stress and hassle to your life.  So stick with newer bikes.  Especially if you don't know anything about bike mechanics.

Concerning the Cannondale 1000.  If its 1990 or newer, worth considering.  But since its Suntour, its probably 1980s or before.  Maybe not worth considering unless you know bike mechanics.

Gear Talk / Re: Ultralight Panniers?
« on: January 29, 2014, 09:33:11 pm »
I think staehpj1 already mentioned it, but you can sort of go without racks and panniers.  Adventure Cycling sells various bags that hold lots of gear.  Large saddlebags, bags that go in the main triangle, and handlebar bags.  Revelate Designs is the company that makes these.  And Carradice makes large saddlebags.  Jandd makes a large saddlebag too.  Pretty sure these bags are lighter than normal panniers.  And you are eliminating the rack weight.

Gear Talk / Re: First Touring Bike
« on: January 23, 2014, 08:06:50 pm »
Can't really help much since you are asking about bike size.  And only you know what size bike fits you.  Probably from riding it and changing the saddle, stem, bars to fit.  So I would suggest finding the bikes at a shop and riding them and trying to fit them to you.

Concerning bike fit, you really don't have to fit it very well to ride it.  I rode a 21" Trek 520.  Too small by a couple inches.  Still made it fit with a long post and long stem.  Rode it many years quite happily.  Now have a 60cm Redline.  Little too big.  Still made it fit and ride it quite well.  Humans can adapt to a wide variety of bike sizes and make them all work fine.  It helps to get the correct size.  But an incorrect size does not prevent you from riding it for years and years.  Both my poorly fitting touring bikes rode fine with panniers and handlebar bag.  So fit does not affect how the loaded bike rides.

Gear Talk / Re: Which triple crankset will fit my bike?
« on: January 19, 2014, 01:48:37 pm »
I will go the new chainring route and keep it simple. I didn't know I could get a 24 in 74 BCD. Thinking 50-36-24, that gives me a good spread of choices with my 34-12 cassette. It is just like my compact road cranks with the 24 for loaded hills, I like it.

I started looking for chainrings online and there aren't many places that have much selection, any suggestions.

Peter White Cycles sells TA chainrings.  High quality.  Expensive.  Here is what he says.  38 is the smallest you can use with the Ultegra 6503 crankset in the outer and middle positions.  Not 36.  Your crank has 130mm bolt circle diameter for the middle and outer positions.  74mm bolt circle diameter for the inner position.  Cheapest inner chainring you can find is perfect for the inner position.

"My most popular chainrings are 48 - 38 - 26 and 24 tooth replacements for Shimano's 9 speed Ultegra and 105 triple cranks. This makes for a much better range of gears if you're touring. Most of Shimano's 9 speed cassettes start with a 12 tooth cog, and some start with 11, which is wasted when your largest chainring is 52 teeth and you're carrying a heavy load. Reducing the size of all the chainrings lets you actually use all nine cogs in back. Why have nine speeds if you can't use them all? 48,38,24 shifts very smoothly with the Ultegra 9 speed front derailleur and STI shifters. When you change the size of the outer chainring, you'll need to change the position of the front derailleur. With every tooth reduction, the derailleur needs to be lowered by 2mm."

"For chainrings compatible with Shimano road triple cranksets, like Dura Ace, Ultegra, 105 and Tiagra, scroll down to the TA Alize 130mm rings for the middle and outer positions. Then scroll to the TA Zelito 74mm rings for the inner (triple) position."

"If you are using STI, you'll need to use a Shimano derailleur specifically designed for STI. The Ultegra Triple FD and the IRD Alpine clone of the Ultegra are designed for a 10 tooth difference between the outer and middle chainring. They're more flexible about the difference between the middle and inner ring. The Dura Ace 9 speed Triple FD is designed for a 14 tooth difference between the outer and middle ring. I get frequent requests for 38 tooth rings to replace the middle 42 tooth ring on the Ultegra Triple crank. But the shifting will be very poor if you do that. If you want a 38 in the middle, either change the outer to a 48, or change the FD to a Dura Ace Triple."

Do a search on TA chainrings and you will find Europe sellers.  They will be cheaper than Peter White Cycles.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire availability
« on: January 17, 2014, 11:36:38 pm »
A better bet would be the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires.  Q Tubes.  With some of Schwalbe’s Doc Blue put in the tubes will have you almost flawless.

BikeTiresDirect sells the Schwalbe Marathon Plus for $52 each.  MSRP of $59.  Don't know what Q tubes are, but bet they are expensive.  Some folks, including me, are cheap when it comes to buying bike parts.  Spending nearly $60 for a bicycle tire isn't something I will ever do.  Those $20 WalMart 700C tires look pretty good.

Gear Talk / Re: Which triple crankset will fit my bike?
« on: January 16, 2014, 04:09:45 pm »
I'd suggest keeping it simple and just changing chainrings on the crankset you own right now.  You can put 48 or 46 outer ring, 38 or 39 middle ring, and 24 tooth inner ring on the current crankset.  That will provide great gearing.  And be easier than changing cranks and bottom bracket.  Use same front derailleur.  Just lower it a few millimeters.  Cost wise it will be about the same price as buying a new mountain crank and bottom bracket.  Chainrings are kind of expensive when bought individually.  High end ones like TA or Stronglight with pins and ramps on the outer and middle rings to help shifting will be best.  But costly.  Cheapest inner ring you can find.  Keep it simple, change chainrings on the crankset you own right now.  46-38-24 crankset will give about the same gearing as the mountain crankset.  Perfect for riding with the 12-34 cassette you have now.  Not quite as low gear but still low enough.  24x34 is a low low gear.  The difference between 22x34 and 24x34 is not enough to worry about.

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