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Messages - RussSeaton

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General Discussion / Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« on: February 18, 2009, 12:50:13 pm »
May I narrow my initial query, & request comments regarding ‘camping-avoidance’ through the western 1/2 of the Northern Tier? Or is it time to invest in canvass & a fat back-wheel?

Actually in the USA its much, much, much easier to find motels everywhere in the EASTERN half of the country.  Its the western part where you may need the camping gear.  In the east the towns are plentiful and close together.  In the west its miles and miles and miles between the tiniest of little towns.  So your plan is exactly opposite of what it needs to be.  Motel the eastern half, say from Iowa-Minnesota-Missouri east.  And camp from North-South-Dakota-Nebraska-Kansas west.

General Discussion / Re: timing and dates for TA
« on: February 18, 2009, 09:38:47 am »
Late September crossing the Rockies.  You will have bad weather.  Rain and/or snow and cold.  Very cold.  Be prepared.

General Discussion / Re: Flat Tire - Safety Alert
« on: February 18, 2009, 09:35:17 am »
You're making stuff up about the needles breaking.  In 30 years I've never had a needle break.  They are tough and will bend, never break.  After a week or two or three of use they eventually get dull.  Needles are not fragile.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 17, 2009, 09:20:53 am »
I suspect in all your Southern Tier travels the weather has never gotten really cold and stayed cold.  By cold I mean 0 F.  20s isn't cold.  And stay at 0 F for days in a row.  Blizzards don't occur when its really cold.  The air is too cold and dry to hold moisture.  Blizzards and snow occur when its in the 20s, relatively warm.  My freehub stopped working after it had been cold, 0 F, for a couple days.  Once the weather warmed up into the 20s or so, it worked fine and did not stop working again.  20 F no problem, 0 F problems.

General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 17, 2009, 09:09:55 am »
If you are talking about installing a kickstand on a loaded touring bike, make sure the kickstand can hold the bike up when it has panniers on it.  The double legged one mentioned would work.  I would not trust single leg kickstands with a loaded bike.  I've always figured its safer to lay the bike on the ground, that way you know its not going to fall over and damage anything.  Laying a bike down on the ground does not hurt anything, or the panniers.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 16, 2009, 03:34:10 pm »
The problem with a bike path is sometimes it misses the towns, convenience stores, places to eat.  The Missouri gravel bike path does that.  It follows the old railroad bed of course along the river, and has extensions into the towns.  But its too remote in many areas.  Now if there was a bike path across the country, or several, that more or less paralleled the main roads, and went into the same towns and went by the the same stores, that would be good.  That was a dislike I had for the Netherlands bike paths.  They did not parallel the direct roads between towns.  They went off in all sorts of directions except the one I wanted to go in.  So as a bike tourist there, I tried not to use the bike paths and stay on the roads so I knew where I was going and knew I would go by places to eat and drink and buy stuff.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 16, 2009, 11:25:08 am »
My freehub stopped working a month or so on a ride.  Freehub, not freewheel.  1991 Deore DX to be exact.  130mm hub, 7 speed cassette.  I soak it in gear oil each year so doubt there is any grease left in it.  My winter commuting bike lives in the garage when its cold.  Gets into the 20s I suspect in the garage.  It had been cold for awhile.  It was near 0 on the day it froze up going to work.  About 1/4 mile from work the pawls stopped engaging so the freehub freewheeled in both directions.  Had to walk the remainder.  Took it inside at work and it unfroze during the day and worked going home.  For a few days I kept the bike inside the house at night and inside at work.  So no problems.  Once it got back up into the 20s for the day I left it outside again and it was fine.  Have no idea if the other ideas suggested work or not.  My suspicion is they do not.  Once it gets into the single digits and lower, freewheels, freehubs stop working.  Only 100% trouble free solution for cold weather is a fixed gear.  I thought about getting a fixed gear / freewheel cyclocross bike that could accomodate my 35mm studded tires and fenders.  Freewheel on one side and fixed on the other.  So if the freewheel stopped working, just flip the wheel around and continue.  For various reasons I have not done this yet.

Routes / Re: Autumn in Rockies and Sierras?
« on: February 11, 2009, 09:11:00 am »
Opinion.  I rode a couple weeks in Colorado in early September back in the late 1990s.  It was cold some mornings.  Not so miserable I couldn't ride, but not really enjoyable either.  Rain too.  That was early September, and you are talking about late September, early October.  You could easily have snow and bad roads at all elevations.  Not just the tops of the mountains.  And in Colorado the tops of the mountains can get snow year round.  Not to discourage you, but be prepared with warm clothes.  Gloves, booties, balaclava, etc.

Gear Talk / Re: big, wide feet need touring shoes
« on: February 10, 2009, 05:38:54 pm »
Biking sandals for certain situations.

Gear Talk / Re: new crankset
« on: February 10, 2009, 05:37:37 pm »
Does anyone have experience marrying a mostly shimano 10 sp road bike with a Sugino xd600, 46-36-26 crankset? I'm trying, using a 12-27 cassette, 105 FD-5603 (band type), 110mm BB. Kind of works, but shifting from the middle to the top is not so smooth. Any suggestions on what I can do to improve this? Any other options for crankset gearing in this range on a 10 sp?

Your problem is front derailleurs are shaped for specific size chainrings.  Road front derailleurs are shaped to curve just right along the outside of a 53 tooth chainring.  The tail end of the front derailleur will hit the chain just right when shifting and move the chain up to the big ring.  With your smaller 46 ring, there is a big gap between the tail of the front derailleur and the chain.  The tail of your front derailleur is an inch or so higher than the chain.  So the chain hits towards the middle of the front derailleur when upshifting.  Whereas on a road bike, the gap between the tail of the front derailleur and the chain is less than half inch.  There isn't much of a fix for your situation other than trying different front derailleurs in the hope one will shift better.  Or change the outer and likely middle ring to the common road size of 53-39.

Routes / Re: Great Divide Route - Type of Bike
« on: February 05, 2009, 01:32:17 pm »
I saw on the ACA article that Salsa Cycles has a bike marketed for the GDMBR.  The fargo Complete.

Look good but I did not see front suspension on the bike.  Everything I have read suggest front suspension.

My experience is if you are riding self contained, it is all about weight.  Secondly, it is all about reducing risk of equipment failure.

As you state, its all about weight and reliability.  Non suspension fork is lighter and more reliable than suspension fork.  Now days with huge tires like the Schwalbe Fat Albert tire is available in 26"x2.4" you get plenty of suspension from the tire itself.  No need for extra weight and complexity in a suspension fork.

Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: Sag or not to sag?
« on: February 03, 2009, 04:21:09 pm »
"My thinking right now is to go fully self-supported."   This philosophy would introduce considerable extra cost and hassle.  A touring bike would be required if using panniers.  So whatever the kids are riding right now would not work.  Extra cost.  Racks and panniers would be required.  Or a trailer.  A trailer would likely allow them to use whatever bike they are currently riding.  BOB trailer is $300?  One time use most likely.  I can hear the sales pitch now to the parents.  You need an official touring bike, $800-1200.  And/or a $300 trailer and/or $200 panniers to go on this trip.

I'd suggest having a van/truck carry the gear and having a parent drive it.  Then the kids can likely use whatever bike they already have.  And riding unloaded is generally more fun from a riding perspective than loaded with baggage.  Get the kids interested in riding first, then they can expand to the loaded touring later if they choose.

I understand the desire to do it self supported.  Bigger accomplishment and all that.  Doing it yourself.  But the extra cost and hassle and struggle kind of out weigh this.

Gear Talk / Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« on: February 03, 2009, 09:28:17 am »
Russ > you make a good point.  Might I suggest a Waterford.  Beautiful lugged frame.  About $2200 frame/fork to start and they go way way up.

Already own a Waterford 1200.  Made from the finest steel ever made by man.  Reynolds 753.  Short point lugs.  Candy red color.  Beautiful.  My favorite bike.  But I'm not sure I would go for one of Waterfords touring bikes.  The Adventure Cycle 1900 anyway.  Its too nice.  Maybe the TIG welded T-14 would be okay.  Its less nice.  When I've toured my bike took some abuse.  Airline flights in cardboard boxes.  Turned upside down or on the side.  Leaning against stuff and falling over while on tour.  For a touring bike I want a utilitarian bike without any niceness or flash to it.

Routes / Re: Transamerica advice please....
« on: February 02, 2009, 05:04:07 pm »
As already mentioned, look at the routes and see if a non camping route is possible.  Some of the more remote western routes may not offer motels within a days ride (75-100 miles) every day.

Gear Talk / Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« on: February 02, 2009, 05:00:38 pm »
For a few years there was a web page showing the results of a frame-breakage test where they took about six frames of each material and put them on a jig that stressed them back and forth as if a strong rider were standing on the pedals and climbing a 10% grade rather fast for a mile a day for two years.

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