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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight Wrench for the cassette lock ring
« on: June 16, 2009, 09:34:40 am »
Anyone have a lead/idea on a minimalist lightweight 1-inch wrench for loosening the lock ring on the cassette? Just thinking ahead on the odd-chance of having to do a field repair on a broken spoke. So far I'm hauling my Craftsman 1" box wrench and plan to make it do double duty pounding tent stakes. (It's actually lighter than the Park equivalent.)

Santa Rosa, CA
Pac Coast Southbound in July

At the top of the first page above they have two tools designed to undo the lockring on a cassette using the chainstays and turning the cranks/wheels backwards.  I have the original Pamir Hypercracker mentioned on the page and it works perfectly well.

Gear Talk / Re: cannondale
« on: June 15, 2009, 01:30:08 pm »
I'm in the midst of planning a trek across the trans American trail.  I own a cannondale cadd9 5.  I was wondering what kind of modifications anyone suggests for my ride.  Is this the kind of frame that can handle a set of rear panniers?  Also, I assume I will have to upgrade to a set of touring tires.  Any recommendations are much appreciated.

As already stated, you have a ROAD RACING type bike.  Pulling a trailer will most likely work if you are planning on going loaded.  Loaded being camping and cooking.  You can mount a rear rack and go with rear panniers only.  But you will have to limit what you carry and this will lead to extra wear and tear on the rear wheel.  If you go super light and plan to motel every night and ride far every day, then you could get by with just a seatpost type rack and the most minimal of gear.  Your bike will likely only handle as wide as 28mm in back and likely only 25mm in front.  Official touring tires aren't that skinny.

When you say "cheap" what kind of dollar figure are you refering to?

In the fall of 2000 in Portugal and Spain, the cost was about $20 a night for motels, pensiones, etc..  Way back in the summer of 1992 the cost was about $5-15 a night.  But that was 17 years ago so those prices aren't too relevant.  2000 prices may not be relevant either.

Different strokes, but a spare tire is probably overkill. 

No it ain't.  I've used mine on tours and would never ever go on a loaded tour without one.

   If anyone has any touring experience on a tandem recumbent we would like to hear your words of wisdom.
   Thoughts on GPS versus maps and map books. 
   Paniers versus a trailer.
   Carrying spare parts.
   Route suggestions.
   Lodgding suggestions.
   Any other thoughts.

Summer of 1992 I rode from Rome to Brussels.  Eastern part of Europe while you are looking at the western part.  I stayed in cheap motels, pensiones, and youth hostels every night.  Easy to find and at the time pretty cheap.  In late 2000 I went to Portugal and Spain and stayed in cheap motels and cost was reasonable.  Motels are easy to find and cheap and towns are close together in Europe.  Unless every dollar matters, no need to camp.  Actually it may be much harder finding spots to camp in Europe than the US.  There is open space, but not nearly as much as in the US so wild camping will be more difficult.  And laws and customs in a dozen different European countries may not be the same as in the one US.

I used Michelin maps of some reasonable scale.  1:200,000 or something like that.  Bought from a bookstore here in the US.  I suspect you can order them online too.  Do some research from other touring books, websites and see what scale they recommend.  I forget which I used.  The Michelin maps show all the roads.  Even some that are not paved and you really want to stay off of.  Its easy to navigate with the Michelin maps and a compass.  Helps to know North South East West when you come to an intersection.  I also carried a Fodors book for Italy.  Probably not needed.  Sent home later in the trip.

I used panniers front and back.  Even though I did not camp.  Maybe packed extra heavy.  If going again I'd go much lighter.  Never used a trailer so don't know what they are like.

For spare parts I think a spare tire and a couple spare tubes and patch kit are enough.  Bikes should be and are pretty reliable.  And there are bike shops in Europe if something goes wrong and you can still keep going well enough to get there.

Gear Talk / Re: 10 speed triple Cranksets compatible with 9 speed?
« on: June 04, 2009, 03:57:41 pm »

I feel dumb asking this question, but before I make a purchase I want to be sure.  Are the road triples identified for 10 speed really 9 speed chain friendly? 


Yes.  An official 10 speed crankset will likely have the chainrings slightly closer together than a 9 speed crankset.  So in theory the chain may be more likely to rub on the outer chainring when in the inner ring when cross chained because the rings are closer together.  No big deal.

Gear Talk / Re: Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: June 03, 2009, 10:05:01 am »
Thanks for the guess on the Americano's weight.  It sounds overbuilt for general touring with moderate loads.  I guess it depends on where and how you tour though.  On rough roads with heavy loads it might be just the ticket.  Personally I'd rather keep the load light enough to not require such a sturdy mount.

I would also guess the frame weight difference between the Americano and Northwestern to be less than a pound.  I suspect they use tubes maybe .1 or .2 mm thicker on the Americano.  Like 1.2 compared to 1.0 thickness.  As you state the extra toughness may be nice if touring from Prudhoe Bay to Tierra del Fuego or in Asia.  Lot of unpaved roads there and it may not matter how light your load.  Of course for Asia Africa N-S America touring, the Americano has disadvantages that would rule it out for me no matter what the cost.  700C wheels instead of the easier to find 26" mountain bike tires.  Harder to find replacement tires.  145mm rear spacing, tandem width, instead of the common 135mm width for mountain and touring bikes.  Replacement wheel would be harder to find.

Gear Talk / Re: Pedal Suggestions for Soft Soled Shoes?
« on: April 22, 2009, 01:41:14 pm »
Is there a reason why you don't use clipless pedals when riding?  Cycling shoes prevent your feet from being sore the next day because they have stiff soles.  Your sore foot problem is due to soft shoes.  No recommendation on what non cycling shoes will work for cycling.  Since most shoes are designed to flex when you bend your foot and walk.  This flexing is not what you want when cycling.  You also don't want a shoe with soft cushiony insoles made for walking, since these will compress while cycling and make your feet sore.  Non cycling shoes just don't work well for most people for any kind of distance riding.  Cycling shoes are not just some fashionable accessory item that makes you look like a cyclist.  They perform a valuable function.

As for pedals, these may work.  It looks like they accept toe clips.  They appear to have a large amount of surface area for your shoe soles.

Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Sandals
« on: April 22, 2009, 09:26:09 am »
My Lake sandals don't have any leather on the straps.  But the interior around the heel is a cloth type material and foam.  It soaks up water.  I can't imagins any sandlas have all plastic/foam construction, even where the heel is.  So all sandals will soak up water in the interior padding.  Unless its a warm summer, I would not go out of my way to get and keep them wet.

Routes / Re: Is there a better Southern Tier to Trans Am Connector?
« on: April 21, 2009, 03:39:47 pm »
Race Across the West, RAW, run by RAAM goes in that general direction.  I'm assuming there is only about one road between these towns so finding the route they use should be easy.  Somewhere along here you could likely make a northward jog to catch the Trans America route.  Since this is a bicycle race, I'm guessing the roads are somewhat not heavily trafficed.

Oceanside, CA
Lake Henshaw, CA
Brawley, CA
Blythe, CA
Salome, AZ
Congress, AZ
Prescott, AZ
Cottonwood, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Tuba City, AZ
Kayenta, AZ
Mexican Hat, UT
Montezuma Creek, UT
Cortez, CO
Durango, CO
Pagosa Springs, CO
Chama, NM
Antonito, CO
Taos, NM

Routes / Re: GDMBR Salida to Abiquiu logistics
« on: April 17, 2009, 09:27:07 am »
Long ago I rode through and stopped in Salida.  Road ride.  Started in Canon City and made a big loop out west and back.  Loop.  Started and finished at my vehicle.  Easy.  Alternatives:  Fly into Colorado Springs, ride the bikes to Salida.  One long day ride.  Its about 60 miles of big rollers from Colorado Springs to Canon City then another 70 miles over to Salida.  Only one long hill to climb.  Easily doable.  Then ride the trail out X days and back X days, then ride the roads back to Colorado Springs.  Loop.  Makes life a lot simpler than figuring out transportation at both ends of a bike trip.  You're only giving up two days of the trip for road riding instead of trail riding.

Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Sandals
« on: April 17, 2009, 09:20:19 am »
I have the Lake sandals.  Ridden 150 miles in a day just fine with them.  700 in a week just fine with them.  SPD pedals.  Brother had a pair of the first Shimano sandals.  Loved them.  Wore them out wearing them all the time on and off the bike.  Got another pair.  Hated them.  Didn't fit the same.  New Shimano have three velcro straps.  Stupid for sandals.  If/when I go on another tour, sandals will be the only shoes I take on and off the bike.

On the Adventure Cyling website they have articles about ultra light mountain bike touring.  Everything carried in a big seatbag or seatpost rack bag.  Light and minimal.  And they are camping out and cooking too.

Routes / Re: Boulder to Chicago
« on: April 08, 2009, 11:58:33 am »
I've ridden Hwy 36 from Louisville CO to about the middle of Kansas and back.  Got onto Hwy 36 60 miles east of Denver.  Good riding road.  I know someone who has ridden Hwy 36 from St. Joseph MO clear out to Denver all the way through Kansas.  When you get over to Iowa, I'd sure recommend staying off of Hwy 34.  It has traffic and is not where you want to be bicycling.  Hwy 2 in the south part of Iowa is OK for bicycling.  Some traffic but not too much.  There are also lots of county roads in Iowa and likely Illinois that will get you from west to east and off the main roads.  Just get a state map from the DOT.  On the east side of Iowa Hwy 6 is OK.  Some traffic but not too bad.  Hwy 36 in CO and KS has a town of sorts every 30-40-50 or so miles.  Nothing in the towns.  Accomodations and food and water are scarce.

Gear Talk / Re: How many people tour with non-touring bikes?
« on: April 03, 2009, 10:37:00 am »
There are race-specific 'bents and, in fact, recumbents hold every unassisted land speed record but those bikes do not do anything except make speed runs (seek human powered vehicles on google).

Except any climbing records.  If you look up the Mt. Evans race and the Mt. Washington race you will find recumbents do not hold the record for those.

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