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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Touring crankset
« on: June 22, 2013, 02:51:16 pm »
The simplest fix for you is to change the chainrings.  The outer two rings are 130mm bolt circle diameter.  You can put anything from a 60 to 38 on those two positions.  The inner ring is 74mm bcd.  It takes down to a 24 tooth.  You can change the outer two rings by just loosening an allen wrench, five of them.  To change the inner ring you have to take the whole crankset off the bike because you can only get to the inner ring from the inside.  And the inner ring only fits from the inside.  It can't go over the spider from the outside.  You could probably get some Sugino rings for sort of cheap.  Check the internet.  Maybe 48-38-24 rings.  Or 46-38-24 rings.  Put them on the crank and bottom bracket you already have.

General Discussion / Re: Trikes and rumble strips...
« on: June 22, 2013, 02:41:18 pm »
Rumble strips?  Not sure why you are concerned with rumble strips.  Only place I see rumble strips are on county roads before stop signs.  Three of them with about a foot of solid road on the right side.  Upright bikes can get by them easily.  And the other place with rumble strips is along major highways on the paved shoulder.  These usually have about 6 inches of solid road on the right side so are not rideable by any bike.  And being major highways I would never ride that road anyway.  So why are you concerned about rumble strips for a tricycle?  You don't encounter rumble strips when riding.

Practically every Starbucks, McDonald's and many other fast food chains have free WiFi. You don't even have to buy anything, just stand outside with your bike. With Skype on my iPod touch, I don't even need to use a cell phone when I cross the US.

The ACA Northern Tier and Transcontinental routes go through small towns.  Use backroads.  There are close to ZERO Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, fast food restaurants on the route.  The ACA routes avoid all big towns.  And most medium towns.  The places to connect with free WiFi on the ACA routes are very few and very far between.  This is what happens when you choose a very rural route across the US instead of a metropolitan route.

I have very little knowledge of this subject.  But...  You can go to a Wal-Mart or K-Mart or Target and buy a phone off the shelf.  These will have monthly contracts you renew each month.  Or will have a number of minutes you can renew at will.  Some of these phones also have internet connection, smart phones.  Not sure how you could use that to connect a laptop computer.  Maybe there is a way.

General Discussion / Re: Choosing a bike and could use advice
« on: June 05, 2013, 03:40:28 pm »
Do not buy that bike.  It is very old and not high quality.  It will be difficult to change parts on it or even repair it.  The $350 price is also very high.  Wow.  Try to find a much more recent bike.  Even one of those hybrid style bikes would work for touring.  Or a mountain bike.  Anything but that bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra Light TransAm Ride
« on: June 04, 2013, 04:41:59 pm »
I will change the cassette to 9 speed 11-34.
Make sure your rear derailleur will handle it. I don't know how to do that, but somebody here does.

You put the cassette on the hub and try to shift the derailleur.  If the upper pulley does not hit the cogs when in the lowest gear, it works.  32 cog always works.  34 cog may or may not work.  Just depends on how long your rear derailleur hanger is.

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra Light TransAm Ride
« on: June 03, 2013, 04:58:06 pm »
The cassette is a 9 speed 11/30.  So I gather I should change it for a larger one.  Yes?  The Sora front derailleur has never worked.  In general the SORA drivetrain has been a pain.  I'm willing to upgrade to the best touring drivetrain if it can be done affordably.

Your crankset is 52-42-30 currently.  You will do OK if you leave the cassette alone as 11-30.  But change the inner chainring on the crankset to 24 teeth.  It has a 74mm bcd inner chainring.  It will take down to a 24 tooth inner chainring.  A new cassette of 11-32 or 11-34 will cost $30-40, so it may be worthwhile to do that too.  Have someone competent look at the front derailleur and set it up.  It should work.  If you replace the STI shifters with Shimano 105 for instance, that will cost you $250.  Maybe another $40 for a new Deore rear derailleur.  And $30 for a new front derailleur.  Changing the shifting parts on a bike is exorbitantly expensive.  Figure out how to get the Sora working.

Trek has produced the 520 for years. Comments have been weak rear rack and not low enough gearing. I am turned off by the Kona by the high front rack braze-ons. Front rack bags should be centered on front axle for maximum stability.

Not low enough gearing on the Trek 520?  Bizarre.  It comes from the factory with 26x32 low gear.  Fairly low.  It has a crankset with 64mm bcd inner chainring.  So tell the bike shop to put a 22 tooth inner chainring on it before you buy it.  Easy.  22x32 is low.  And you could also tell them to put a 11-34 9 speed cassette on it before you buy it.  22x34 is very low.  You can also buy these parts from Nashbar for $34 cassette and $16 chainring.  $50 for super low gearing.  Can't complain about that.  Kona is the same gearing as the Trek.  So do the above to both bikes before you buy them.

Kona does have a high front rack for some reason.  It has two holes for bolting the rack on the fork.  Picture shows it using the lowest hole already.  Guessing Kona believes this is a semi mountain bike.  Have heard mountain bikes have high racks for clearance off road.

Long ago I had a Trek 520 touring bike and toured on it.  Worked fine.  Looking at the specs on the two bikes you mention, it appears they are pretty similar.  About the same components on both.  Just different brakes.  I like the simplicity of V brakes.  Others might like the supposed better stopping of disk brakes.  Looks like the Kona comes with fenders and front rack too.  Same price for both.  $1500+sales tax basically.  Trek will be about $80 higher once you put a front rack and fenders on it.  Your choice.  Doubt there is much difference in these two bikes.  Both will work.  You test rode both so that can help make up your mind.  The extra weight and sluggishness of the Kona may be due to the extra 2-3 pounds of the front rack.  Weight wise they should be about the same once equipped the same.  And if carrying four loaded panniers, the raw weight of the bike means nothing.  Handling will be identical once loaded with full panniers.  Steering will be sluggish.  That is what you get when you hang 20 pounds of panniers on the fork.  You can put a 22 tooth inner chainring on both bikes.  Great.  Have the bike shop do this before you leave the shop.  Make it part of the purchase price or you walk away.  Both bikes have 36 spoke wheels.  Blue Kona with blue fenders looks better.  If that matters.  The less sloped top tube on the Trek looks better to me than the radically sloped Kona top tube.  Guessing warranty is comparable.

I think both of these bikes will work perfectly for loaded touring and commuting where you are carrying weight/bags.

In summary, Ha.  These are the differences between these two bikes.
1.  Brakes.  Disc or V.
2.  Front rack and fenders come with the Kona, have to buy them extra for the Trek.
3.  Cost.  About $80 more for the Trek once it is outfitted the same.  Not enough to care about.
4.  Different length top tubes.  Trek has a 1+ cm shorter top tube.  This may make a difference in the small size you are looking at.

General Discussion / Re: Doin' it well
« on: May 25, 2013, 04:28:27 pm »
You had 400 miles planned over 6 days of riding.  About 70 miles per day average.  Reasonable mileage per day.  Under normal riding conditions its a very good average mileage to maintain.  Assuming you start at 8 AM and finish at 4 PM, that gives you 8 hours to ride, eat, rest, see.  Works out to 9 mph average including nonriding time.  Reasonable to me.  But you had bad weather take all the fun out of the ride.  Can't blame you for ending the ride early.  I don't like to be oustside in bad weather.  Sounds like your sore knees and muscle fatigue is due to not enough training miles.  You need to ride more, get stronger and in condition.  Do lots of short fast rides to get in shape.  Do some weekend tours.  Take off Friday evening and ride 30 miles.  Then ride 40-50 miles on Saturday and Sunday back to home.  And ride 30 miles in the evening during the week.

General Discussion / Re: In low gear and can't ride up hill!
« on: May 25, 2013, 04:07:58 pm »
You must tell us what model of crankset you currently have and what size of chainrings.  And you must tell us what size cassette you have on the rear wheel.  Number of cogs and largest cog.  Giving the model year of the bike and/or components would also help determine what type of bottom bracket you have.

Gear Talk / Re: Disc Compatible Dynamo Hub
« on: May 24, 2013, 04:47:26 pm »
Schmidt and Supernova make dynamo hubs for centerlock.  And Schmidt makes it for 6 bolt.  Shimano also makes a 6 bolt.  Buy your dynamo hubs from Starbike unless you love to pay twice the cost.  Your choice.Ā6 boltĀShimano 6 bolt

General Discussion / Re: Tents
« on: May 01, 2013, 05:21:35 pm »
One door or two doors?  The tent I use on RAGBRAI is a good sized four man tent with two doors and two vestibules.  I sometimes share this tent with another person.  Not once have we ever used more than one door and vestibule.  We put the sleeping pads in it so our feet are at the door we use and our heads are at the door we do not use.  We never ever use the other door and vestibule.  So I don't think having more than one door would matter at all to me.

General Discussion / Re: 3 years to retirement.
« on: May 01, 2013, 01:00:57 pm »
Yes you can replace the suspension fork with a rigid fork.  Probably the best bet is to have your local Trek shop do it.  They can probably order an appropriate fork from Trek.  Ordering a fork online would also work if you want to do the mechanical work yourself.  If touring loaded you would want a fork with lowrider pannier mounts.  Gearing can also be lowered on your bike.  A 22 tooth inner chainring can replace the 28 tooth your bike currently has.

Gear Talk / Re: OCD bike tech and extra spare parts?
« on: April 29, 2013, 06:26:33 pm »
The glueless patches (Park brand) are not permanent.  They work for a week or two and then leak air.  So do not count on glueless patches fixing a hole in your tube permanently.  They are temporary patches.

When touring I carry a spare tire.  Plus tire boots in the saddlebag.  On at least one occassion I had a tire blowout and it could nto be booted.  I think the bead gave way and the tire would not stay mounted anymore.  So a new tire was the only choice.  Carrying boots and a spare tire is wise.

I'd suggest using thread locker on bolts and screws on your bike.  May not need spare bolts or screws if you use thread locker.  Thread locker keeps bolts in place.

Rear derailleur hanger?  I suppose since your wife and you have the same bike then its easy to take a spare hanger.  But otherwise, skip it.  You can always rig the bike up single speed if the hanger breaks.  Assume you have a chain tool in your kit to shorten the chain and make it single speed length.

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