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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Shaving Creme
« on: March 19, 2013, 05:05:57 pm »
Not sure about plain water.  But bar soap or shampoo lathered on your face provides a frictionless surface for the razor.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 16, 2013, 10:34:15 pm »
I think that's a reasonable hope.  However, I can imagine Cat getting into Portland in the middle of busy bike shop season, and she may do well to get any new bike fit to her.  The dealer should cut her a deal to change the crank, but will he have the parts and the shop time to make a change?

I don't think it would be too difficult to arrange with the bike shop to have the bike in the right size, AND demand ahead of time that they change the rear cassette, inner chainring.  A new inner chainring of 22 teeth for 64mm bcd or 24 teeth for 74mm bcd is a standard item in every bike shop in the country.  You only need the inner ring, not a new crankset.  And a 9 or 10 speed cassette of 11-32 or 11-34 is also a standard item.  Every bike shop in the country will have these replacement parts on the shelf.  No need to order them.  Changing a cassette, chain, inner chainring is a 30 minute job at most.  So demanding these things be done when you pick up the bike should not be too much.  If so, then buy the bike from another shop.  Portland is a big town with lots of bike shops.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 16, 2013, 05:54:02 pm »
One nit on Russ' response, the Randonnee is a 10 speed for the last couple years.

And FWIW, the Randonnee is the second least expensive choice with a stock front crank smaller than 30 teeth, listing at $1200.  (At least a couple weeks ago.)  The Jamis Aurora is least expensive at $950, though you might want a bigger rear cluster, followed by the LHT around $1350 and the 520 at $1500.  I personally spend a lot of time in my bottom two gears when I'm riding loaded, and the Salsa Vaya is geared a bit high, at least for me -- plus it's more expensive than the four models above. 

OK on the 10 speed for the REI bike.  A friend bought one last year and I overhauled it for him.  I forgot what its cassette and bar end shifters were.  I have a 10 speed cassette and STI shifters on my touring bike.  I find they work just fine.  9 or 10 speed, both are durable enough.

I'd agree you should go with the cheapest of the bikes mentioned.  All are identical enough to not make a difference.  All can have their gearing changed to be low or lower.  The triple cranksets will take 22 teeth if a four arm mountain bike crank using 64mm bcd.  Or will take 24 teeth if a road triple with 74mm bcd inner ring.  And all will take a 32 or 34 tooth rear cassette.  Hopefully anyone buying any of these bikes will DEMAND a 22 or 24 tooth ring in front and a 32 or 34 rear cog in back.  Before they leave the shop.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 15, 2013, 06:14:10 pm »
Today I have been reading a lot about Salsa Vaya 3. That would be a good touring bike, right? As I would need a 54, I would get 700 tires. The disc brakes don´t seem to bad.

The Salsa bike will make a fine touring bike for heavy loaded touring.  And lightly loaded touring too.  Pretty much identical to the Surly Long Haul Trucker, Trek 520, REI Novara Randonnee.  All are 9 speed I think.  Triple crankset.  Bar end shifters.  Steel frame and fork.  All will work fine.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 15, 2013, 05:49:55 pm »
My tours have all been of the short 7-10 variety for many of the reasons raised.  It is clear to me that for some folks taking extended bike tours are worth significant deprivations in other areas of their life.  While that is great for some people, it doesn't work for everybody.  But there are lots of ways to have fun on a bike tour and you don't have to be gone for 3 months to have a memorable trip.   

Short 7-10 day bike trips and 3 month bike trips are not comparable.  They are at different ends of the spectrum.  On a short bike trip you are always thinking about the end and going home.  On a long trip you can get consumed by the trip and forget about your life before and after the trip.  Your whole goal is that day.  Its not about your job, going home, getting back to your vehicle, your next vacation plan, etc.

"Significant deprivations in other areas of their life."  Living below your absolute means for a few years is a significant deprivation?  Saving money is a significant deprivation?  Not buying a new or luxury vehicle every other year is a significant deprivation?  Buying and driving a basic car for ten years is a significant deprivation?  Not buying the most expensive house in town is a significant deprivation?  Not flying to the beach twice a year and staying in the most expensive hotel is a significant deprivation?

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 14, 2013, 10:09:14 pm »
Another popular thing to wonder about is how those couples who have been traveling for the last 10 years finance it. It's a mystery.

Not really much of a mystery.  Assume a person or couple works for ten years.  Lives cheap.  Saves half their money.  Then tours SE Asia, India, China, Africa, eastern Europe, South America for ten years.  They have no rent, mortgage, utilities in the US.  Zero costs in the US.  Their touring costs consist solely of food to cook, cooking fuel, and that is it.  You don't pay to camp in the above places.  You can easily live on $1-3 per day in the above locations.  $1000 a year.  They saved for ten years.  They started with $50,000-100,000 in cash.  They could easily bike tour in the above locations for ten to twenty years.  They have to spend a little to get to the countries.  You can live really cheap in most of the world outside of US, Canada, western Europe.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: March 13, 2013, 05:23:55 pm »
I suspect the Specialized bike you linked to would work OK for a loaded tour.  Might not be ideal though.  Gearing is 34x30 low.  Not super low for a loaded bike.  You could probably change the cassette and go lower but extra hassle.  Since your trip is a loaded tour with camping and cooking and you are carrying everything, it makes sense to get a loaded touring bike.  Surly LHT, Trek 520, REI Novara Randonneee are all candidates.  $1200-1500 in the US.  All are identical.  All will work fine.  Racks, fenders, bags, super low gearing is all possible with these.  Make sure you get super low gearing when you buy the bike.  You already have a Specialized racing bike.  So might as well get a strong, do everything loaded touring bike for its partner.  Use it for commuting and groceries when you get back home.  And riding across the USA here.

A loaded touring bike is probably what you want for a loaded tour.  If after you start you decide to go ultra light and carry minimal gear, that is good.  The bike will still work.  You won't notice a problem riding it.  Once you get some bags on a bike, they all ride the same.  10 pounds, 20 pounds, or 30 pounds.  They all ride sort of bad.  So having a light bike or a heavy bike won't matter.  When I say bad I don't mean awful, horrible, terrible.  Just bad as in not quick and agile and light.  Its got pounds of bags hanging on it.  Its no longer a quick lively bike.  Its a beast of burden.  You're not going to sprint up the hill carrying luggage on the bike.  So whether its the Surly LHT, or Cross Check, or that lighter Specialized bike, it makes no difference.

Gear Talk / Re: 2013 summer tour bike
« on: February 22, 2013, 12:37:27 pm »
Based on the bikes you listed, I assume this Spain tour is not loaded.  A vehicle will be carrying any gear.  Overnights will be at motels.  Spain has mountains and lots of little roads that were just thrown down on whatever ground was there.  Meaning they are steep roads.  Gears as low as possible will be appreciated.  Even if you are not carrying any gear.  Pretty sure the low gears on all of these bikes can be lowered by putting on a new cassette.  32 or 34 tooth rear cog.  And the triple crankset bike can have the inner chainring changed to a 24 tooth.  Compact cranksets with a 34 chainring and 32 or 34 rear cog will get you a low of about 26 or 28 inches.  Low enough.  The triple will get lower.

Trek or Specialized, either side of a coin.  Both are large conglomerates making most of their bikes in China.  Both use the same parts from Shimano to equip their bikes.  The bikes you listed are 8, 9, or 10 speed cassettes.  Sora, Tiagra, and one grade lower than Sora are the derailleurs, shifters, cranksets, brakes, etc.  I suspect all will work OK.  Never notice much difference.  8 and 9 are kind of older technology now.  Parts are still available.  But 10 speed is more current  Does this make a difference?  Probably not.  The most expensive Specialized bike has Tiagra 10 speed.  So its parts are higher end than the other bikes.  Thus it costs more.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: February 20, 2013, 04:14:53 pm »
The LHT is their fully loaded tourer and the Cross Check would be a slightly lighter tourer but both have fittings for front and rear racks, fenders, wide tires, etc.  For the price, you can't do better. probably can do better.  Surly/QBP thinks their stuff is gold plated.  The person who started this thread is from Sweden.  Not the US.  So if they buy a Surly in Europe they will pay that extra price.  Doing a search I found the Surly LHT for 945 Pounds in UK.  $1.55 per Pound equals $1465 for a LHT.  In the US the LHT costs $1275.  $190 upcharge for Britain.  Then I found a place in Sweden selling the LHT for 12699 Swedish Krona.  6.35 Krona per $1.  So that works out to $2000.  A $725 premium.  If you buy a Surly in Europe you are paying more than the US price.  A Surly may be a poor economic choice in Europe.  You can likely find a much lower cost alternative that will perform the same.  In the US the Surly LHT is competitive with others like the Trek 520, REI Novara Randonee, and othr touring bikes.  All are similar in price and components and function.  But in Europe Surly adds a premium because of its "American" name.  More than likely you will find other brands with the same function at a lower cost in Europe.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring bikes...
« on: February 18, 2013, 01:48:40 pm »
You have a bike now that fits.  Right?  So you know its geometry.  Find the 5 or 6 touring bikes sold in the world on the website and compare their geometry to your bike.  You should be able to find one that fits.  Then find a Portland bike shop that sells that brand.  Buy it and arrange for them to have it when you land.  And ask about racks too.  Assume you will bring your own panniers from Sweden.

All touring bikes are very similar.  Whether you have the first five rides on it in Sweden or the US won't make any difference.  20+ years ago I started a long loaded tour with a bike I had ridden 3-4 times total.  Loaded once.  Worked just fine.  Realized years later it fit awful.  But that did not matter.  I still rode it just fine.  So having a perfectly fitting bike is not necessary.  Or having a bike you are familiar with.  Any bike will work.  Riding with loaded panniers is not some mythical and mysterious technique.  You ride the same.  Bike is heavier and slower, but you ride it the same.  In five minutes you will be familiar with it.

Now I'm not exactly advising you to buy the bike in the US.  By the time you pick up the bike in the US, get it fitted.  Get racks and bags on it.  Test ride it a bit.  You will add 2-3-4 extra days at the start of the trip.  You have to pay for that lodging.  So the extra $2-300 in lodging you pay is the same amount of money you saved by buying the bike in the US instead of Sweden.  You don't come out ahead either way.  Might as well get a bike in Sweden and bring it to the US and start the trip the day after you arrive.  Save hundreds in lodging costs.

20-30 pounds of gear is not exactly lightweight.  So a full on loaded touring bike will probably work just fine for you.  A lighter racier bike will not be much easier or nicer to ride and may have compromises with your gear weight.  I have a touring bike and racing bikes.  The racing bikes are nicer to ride unloaded.  But the touring bike rides OK too.  So you may be wise to just get a loaded touring bike.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle Touring vs Backpacking
« on: February 12, 2013, 08:08:53 pm »
For paved roads, the east and midwest have the western states beat.  There are numerous county and state paved roads connecting all of the small towns in the east and midwest.  All of the farm towns up and down every river.  The west does not have many towns.  And the few roads connecting the few towns are main, highly traveled roads.  The west does have the advantage of every paved road being a scenic road through the mountains.

Gear Talk / Re: Ironman and Europe Tour on one bike??
« on: February 07, 2013, 12:53:14 pm »
I toured western Europe 20 years ago.  Assuming things are still similar, you can get by without camping.  Hostels, pensiones, cheap rooms, etc.  Towns are really close together in western Europe so you are never more than 20 miles from a town to sleep and eat.  Its not like the western US where you can go 100 miles between any towns.  So you could get a very nice sort of high end road bike with a triple crankset or compact crankset and large rear cog, put on aero bars for the triathalon, and use this one bike for lightweight touring and the triathalon.  Carrying minimal gear is possible with a seatpost rack and rack bag or large saddlebag like a Carradice.  And maybe a handlebar bag after you remove the aero bars.

Gear Talk / Re: Generator Hubs and USB Devices
« on: January 21, 2013, 06:55:32 pm »

Busch&Mueller Luxos IQ2 U model is able to charge USB devices while riding.

Gear Talk / Re: Front Quick Release Skewers Too Short with Rack Fitting
« on: January 13, 2013, 07:27:14 pm »
Try Old Man Mountain.  They have racks that mount through the front dropout.  They sell skewers.  They might be longer than normal to fit their racks.

Gear Talk / Re: '13 Trek Madone 2.1
« on: January 11, 2013, 06:08:16 pm »
A seatpost rack and bag will work fine for light touring where you stay in motels.  Or a Carradice bag on the back of the saddle.  Looking at the Trek website, your bike comes with either a compact 34x30 or triple 30x30 low gear.  Good enough for light touring.

Seatpost rack with side racks to keep panniers out of spokes.

Rackbag with side pockets that fold out to become panniers.

Carradice bags on back of saddle.  Attach with toestraps.

Adventure Cycling sells the bags that go inside the main triangle.

You can put a rear rack onto your bike.  Just use P clips to attach the rack to the seatstays at the top and bottom.  May not be the prettiest, but it works fine.  Your frame is aluminum so it will be fine with P clips.

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