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Messages - RussSeaton

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46
General Discussion / Re: Michelin Maps or Google Maps for Europe?
« on: April 14, 2016, 02:50:01 pm »
Don't know anything about these Google maps.  But can you fold them up and stuff them into the map case on top of your handlebar bag?  You can do that with Michelin maps or whatever the other brands are.  Can you buy these Google maps at the local convenience store (in Europe)?  Most or all the local stores sell Michelin or other maps inside the door.  Variety of magnification.  Get whatever size fits the roads in your area.  Some only show the interstates, some will show the alleys.  As much or as little detail as you want.

47
Gear Talk / Re: Wheels without spokes?
« on: April 11, 2016, 05:05:29 pm »
Not exactly spokeless, but Aerospoke makes a wheel with only 5 spokes.  Each spoke is about 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick.  I think they are pretty much indestructible.  Never seen one on a touring bike, or many other bikes actually.  Although oddly enough I have a recumbent tandem in my basement with a 26" Aerospoke on the back and a 20" Aerospoke on the front.

48
Gear Talk / Re: Gear Inches for the Northern Tier
« on: April 07, 2016, 01:08:34 pm »
I might be able to tell you if you can swap out your 11-32 with a 11-34 or 11-36 (or 12-34 or 12-36 depending on your groupset).

What,s the reason for using a 11-36 vs 12-36? Both are available.

Most, all, people never ever use the 11 cog on a cassette.  The only place you can possibly ever use it is if you have a tailwind down a mountain and get into a tuck to be as aero as possible.  Then you will be hard pressed to even turn the pedals at 90rpm.  Its a wasted cog.  Like professional riders would be if you put a 32 cog on the bikes they ride.  They would never ever use it.  You only have 9 or 10 cogs on the cassette.  These 9 or 10 cogs must cover the entire 11-36 range or 12-36 range.  So 25 or 24 teeth depending on which cassette.  With the 25 teeth 11-36 cassette, you will have one jump in the cog spacing where it may be more of a jump than you want.  Its a 3 tooth jump instead of 2 tooth.  With the 24 teeth 12-36 cassette, you will not have that one spot where the jump between cogs is not right.  And this bad jump may happen in a part of the cassette you use frequently.  For shifting its almost always better to have more cogs covering a smaller space.  Exception being the largest cog on the cassette.  Its Ok or even preferable to have a huge jump in teeth to that cog because when you need the biggest cog on the bike, you want it now and its OK and fine and dandy to instantly have a "too" easy gear.

49
Not much help.  Long ago I used bike boxes at airports to fly home.  I cannot remember if the airline itself supplied the bike box, or if there was a universal supply for boxes at the airport.  Meaning all the airlines contracted with a third party to have boxes at the airport.  You went to your airline and asked for a bike box.  They sent you down to the customer service supply office and they gave (charged) you a bike box.  Same bike box for everyone in the airport.  I ALWAYS made sure to have my own roll of tape before going to the airport.  I taped it so it would stay sealed permanently.  I think the bike boxes at the airport were always big so you did not even need to take off the front wheel.  Just take off the pedals, take off the seat, and turn the bars.  But maybe you did have to take off the front wheel.  Not sure.  Don't think you had to take the bars off, just turn them.  Racks always stayed on.  Boxes were good sized unless you ride a 68cm monster sized bike.  As for the airport not having boxes, not really a problem.  If the airline supplies them, you could get a box from another airline.  If its one place that supplies all the boxes, I suspect they would work with you to find enough cardboard to make your own box.  Another reason to have your own roll of tape.

Also should add that on a couple trips I went to the airport the day before and asked to make sure they had boxes available.  Did not want to take a chance that maybe they are out of boxes.  I would always ride into the town I was flying out of one or two days before flying out.  Then either rode to the airport, got a motel near the airport, or took a bus or train to the airport.

50
Gear Talk / Re: Gear Inches for the Northern Tier
« on: April 05, 2016, 01:10:38 pm »
I didn't know what shifters I had but the paperwork in my bike folder it says I have SRAM TT. I am curious how the shifters impact the cassette size?

SRAM TT is bar end shifters for SRAM.  For time trial, triathalon, and touring bikes.  Not sure how SRAM handles compatibility between road and mountain shifters and derailleurs.  Supposedly with Shimano, road and mountain shifters and derailleurs are not compatible sort of since 10 speed began.  Not sure if SRAM allows mixing any and all speeds with any and all shifters and derailleurs.

Shifters effecting cassette size?  No effect at all.  If you have a 10 speed shifter of any kind, road or mountain or time trial, and the right rear derailleur, short or long cage depending on how big the cassette is, it will shift any cassette of any size, road or mountain, with 10 cogs.  Staying with Shimano brand only.  Or SRAM brand only.  You can mix and match Shimano and SRAM chains and cassettes just fine.  But for simplicity lets restrict to all Shimano or all SRAM.  What has to be matched is shifter-derailleur-chain-cassette cogs.  9 speed SRAM shifter, 9 speed SRAM derailleur, 9 speed chain, 9 speed cassette cogs.

51
General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: March 31, 2016, 07:55:50 pm »
LOTS of downtube shifting here in Madison WI and LOTS of manual transmission cars Russ. Jetta especially sells lots of them without having to special order them.

I doubt it.  I've cycled in Wisconsin.  Some parts are very hilly.  Dairyland Dare for instance.  Tell me how many downtube shifters you see on that ride.  None.  Downtube shifters are used by old men who are reliving their youth by clinging to the old time ways of cycling.  Back when chamois were leather, shorts were wool, and cleats were nailed to the shoes.  Anyone who has taken up cycling in the last 30 years does not use downtube shifters.  And all the hip, chic, swinging cool cats ride single speed, man.  Downtube shifters are for the old fogeys with more hair on their chins than top.

Jetta?  Volkswagen?  Volkswagen can't even give their F-ing cars away after the latest diesel emissions scandal.  I think the CEO was kicked out.  The Feds and California are suing them.  And a bunch of other states too.  Volkswagen sales have plummeted recently.  Last year they got hold of the number one car sales title from Toyota.  I think they lost it with this recent disaster.  Go to any car lot in your town.  Look at the cars and see how many are manual.  Even the little cars are automatic.

52
General Discussion / Re: How many bags do you carry on your bike?
« on: March 24, 2016, 02:48:30 pm »
One time I was able to duct tape a freshly baked pie from a roadside stand to the front rack on way home from a long weekend tour.

???  You carried a roll of duct tape on a weekend tour?  Wondering which way the pendulum swings.  Do you carry two rolls of duct tape and a roll of wire for a one day ride?  Or two rolls of duct tape and the wire for a week long tour?  What length of ride do you throw caution to the wind and say "NO DUCT TAPE for this ride!!!!".

53
General Discussion / Re: How many bags do you carry on your bike?
« on: March 22, 2016, 03:49:14 pm »
On loaded tours, a handlebar bag provides the ideal place to put a camera (phone today I guess) and map.  When you come to an intersection and need to look at a map, do you stop, dismount, undo the pannier, and pull out the map to look at it?  Then repeat in reverse after looking at the map.  And when you stop to take a picture, do you stop, dismount, undo the pannier, pull out the camera, take picture.  Then repeat in reverse after the picture.  I just stop, flip the handlebar bag open, take out the camera and take the picture.

54
General Discussion / Re: My Custom Built Surly Disc Trucker
« on: March 20, 2016, 06:47:32 pm »
You have a 54cm road frame fitted to you.  So you know what a properly fitting bike is.  Does its saddle height, seatpost extension, stem angle, stem extension, top tube length (most important) look anything like your orange Surly?  Assuming your 54cm road bike was correctly fitted to you.  Touring bikes, road racing bikes, cyclocross bikes all look a bit different, but they are really all pretty similar.  A correctly fitting one will look pretty similar to the other one.

As for wanting the Surly Trucker, why?  Most bikes are pretty darn similar.  They are somewhat interchangeable.  Trek 520, Gunnar Tour, REI Randonne, Surly Trucker, Salsa something, and a few others I cannot recall.  They are all TIG welded steel frames and forks.  Maybe a little different geometry or such.  But you could interchange them and you would never know the difference without a decal telling you which you were riding.  Gunnar is the TIG welded frame division of Waterford in Wisconsin.  They offer a stock disc touring frame for about $1000 and a fork for about $400.  Add about $300 to that for custom.  About $1800 give or take for a custom built frame that will function exactly like your Surly Disc Trucker bike.  Except fit correctly.

As for describing how a properly fitted bike is different than a non correctly fitted frame.  One feels right, the other does not have that "right" feeling.  Steering, how it handles going down the road, etc. are all different.  Maybe not a lot, but different.  One is right.  The other is not right.  Maybe not horribly wrong, but its not right either.  One you just think about turning and the bike turns almost by itself without you doing anything.  The other you have to fight it to turn correctly.  For me all my road racing type bikes and cyclocross bike and single speed bikes and loaded touring bike all behave similarly.  Not much difference at all if I standardized them by putting the same tires on them.  The size of the tires is probably the biggest factor in how my bikes ride.  They all feel similar.

Does your 54cm fitted road bike feel the same as your orange Surly?  I know one is twice the weight of the other.  And one has big wide tires.  But they both should feel about the same riding down the road on the flat.

I've had a poorly fitted bike.  A small Trek 520 frame.  Long seatpost, 12cm Nitto Technomic stem raised to the maximum.  It rode fine.  I toured on it.  I made it fit.  But it still did not really fit right.  I now have many bikes that fit me.  Better I think.  Much better to have correctly fitting bikes.  Instead of trying to make an ill fitting frame fit right.

55
Routes / Re: Fort Knox,KY restricted?
« on: March 20, 2016, 03:19:16 pm »
Gee, I wish it had been restricted from me in July of 1970, when I started my 4.5 hellish months of basic and AIT there! Actually, rumors at that time were that it was a lot better than several other Army bases at the time (Fort Leonardwood. Fort Polk.....). 

Actually, they did teach a good course on electronics at the time. Basic, however, was another matter.  Don't get me going; sometimes I feel like I'm still recovering.

Reminds me of some stories my Dad told about the Army a few years before yours.  He had his basic training in El Paso.  Did his two years of mandatory service in Alaska.  Talks about getting off the boat and standing on the docks in Alaska in the freezing cold and blowing wind while a sergeant went up and down the line screaming at them.  Needless to say, the Army did not give a God D-mn about the soldiers.

56
General Discussion / Re: My Custom Built Surly Disc Trucker
« on: March 20, 2016, 03:10:32 pm »
I like the color.  Orange frame, fork, and stem.  But "custom" must mean different things to you and me.  To me custom does not mean taking a factory built standard frame and repainting it.  To me custom means having the factory build a frame to fit my body precisely.  Nothing standard or off the floor to it.  Looking at the way you have the bike setup, I think you would have been wise to take the repainting costs and invest them in having a custom frame actually built for you.  You have a short little stem sticking straight up in the air.  You have about 2 inches of seatpost showing.  The frame does not fit you.  It is way too long and low for you.

57
General Discussion / Re: Asking too Much?
« on: March 20, 2016, 02:59:16 pm »
I could not make two bikes work.  But you might be different.  For me, loaded touring is 4 panniers and a handlebar bag.  Maybe stuff on the rear rack too.  Heavy.  Local riding is fast 15-25 mph with friends.  If I work really hard I can keep the touring bike at 20 for awhile.  But not 25.  If local riding is easy 10-15 mph riding for short distances, then a loaded touring bike would be fine.  With any tires it would work fine.  Also depends on what kind of loaded touring you do.  If ultra lightweight, then a racing bike might work fine.  And be good for fast local riding too.  But if touring is carrying lots of panniers and tents and cooking, then ultra lightweight may not work and you need a loaded touring bike and wheels.

What you are describing is kind of like what pick-ups are undergoing.  Most pick-ups are driven in the city by city people.  Going to work and the grocery store and McDonalds.  So a pick-up with low profile tires and sway bars and a taut suspension is all the rage.  But this kind of truck "SUCKS" for actually doing what a pick-up is designed to do.  Haul weight.  And if you have a one ton or bigger pick-up that can haul and pull weight, then it "SUCKS" for going to the grocery store or to a bar.  The same kind of truck can sort of be made to do both.  But you have big compromises so its not ideal for anything.  I remember when my grandpa and uncles had pick-ups in the 1970s.  They had older basic pick-ups.  None of these sissy boy extended cabs and crew cab nonsense.  Just two doors and one seat in the pick-up.  They were used on the farm to haul animals or grain or other junk.  My grandpa and uncles all owned cars too.  The idea of driving the pick-up to town or the store was a foreign concept.  You drove the car for that.  The pick-up was for farm work only.  It was not a city truck.

58
General Discussion / Re: Passports?
« on: March 19, 2016, 05:27:07 pm »
Not sure how overseas trips and vacations relate to a bike ride across the US on the TransAm trail.  I doubt people in the middle of a bike ride across the US are going on a spur of the moment overseas trip needing a passport.  Passports can be used for identification in some situations.  Doubt you would ever have any on a cross country bike ride.  The vast majority of people you will meet on a cross country bike ride have no idea what a passport is or looks like.  So if you tried to use it as identification, they would look at you perplexed.  And demand to see your driver's license as identification.  Keep your passport at home, someplace safe.

59
Routes / Re: Century day along the TransAm route
« on: March 18, 2016, 02:43:29 pm »
East to West.  In the middle of the country, the Midwest, the wind will blow out of the west about 40% of the time during the summer months.  And from the south the wind will blow about 40% of the time during the summer months.  The other 20% the wind will either not blow at all or maybe, maybe come from one of the other directions.  The wind blows from the west and south in the summer in the Midwest.  Wait for one of the rare days you have a tailwind and ride your century.

60
General Discussion / Re: Newbie
« on: March 17, 2016, 01:26:11 pm »
I'll counter that with....In Iowa there are three packed strips.  One in the middle and one to each side.  Cars stay on their side of the gravel. Even the non-packed parts of the road is rideable (in Iowa).  Benefit of gravel is much fewer cars, you can hear them coming from a distance and they are speeding at 45mph (so much less speed than highway).

I ride in the middle and SE Iowa.  Gravel roads in those parts have two strips of packed road.  Ditch-3 feet loose gravel-packed strip-4 feet loose gravel down the middle of the road-packed strip-3 feet loose gravel-ditch.  The non packed, loose gravel on each side is where the snow plows pile the gravel when they plow the roads in the winter.  And the cars push it aside too as they speed up and down the roads.  The loose gravel in the middle is where no one drives.  45 mph is about right.  Odd that with people speeding 97 mph on the highways, 45 mph is thought of as slow and safe.  Trying to keep upright in 3 inches of loose gravel on the side of the road while a car slowly passes you at 45 mph inches away is considered safe.

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