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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Flashlights for bike are needed
« on: May 30, 2015, 01:22:56 pm »
Sometimes flashlights can be the right choice for a bicycle.  Use a small LED flashlight that takes 2 or 3 AA or AAA batteries.  It will run for an hour or two and provide enough light to ride good enough.  And can be used to see around camp or fixing a flat at night.  Use a TWOFISH Cycleblocks holder to strap the light to the top of your handlebars.  Link below.  And a small flashlight that is 4-6" long and 1-1.5" diameter.  Small.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: May 20, 2015, 11:11:51 am »
Why wouldn't you have them on a loaded touring bike?  My bike already weighs 30 pounds, so an extra 1/4 pound ain't gonna matter much.  They don't seem to cause any problems in the dry.  And they do help in the wet.  Don't see much downside to having them on the bike.  I bolted them onto my current bike about 10 years ago and have not touched them since.  Claiming they add extra wind resistance isn't applicable to a loaded touring bike.

Gear Talk / Re: How heavy is your touring bike (unloaded)?
« on: May 20, 2015, 11:04:40 am »
30.2 pounds for the aluminum Redline Conquest Tour loaded touring bike.  Including fenders, lowrider rack in front, rear rack, pedals, 2 bottle cages, computer, rear blinkie, and a little compass bobble on the handlebars.  No tire pump or saddlebag.  Your question prompted me to take the scale to the basement and weigh the bike, first time I ever weighed it.  Bike has 35mm Specialized tires that weigh about 2 pounds each.  I would not worry much about the weight of your Bruce Gordon bike.  Its probably around 30 pounds, like all the other bikes mentioned here.  Seems like a good weight to me.  The tires alone will make it feel very different than a racing bike.

I am planning on using my 29er to ride the GDMBR however as I have experienced before on my 26er a Stump Jumper there is too much pressure on my hands.  Although I didn't notice it ridding single track for an hour or two I do notice it riding gravel rail trails and dirt roads even for as little as an hour.

The bar position is about level with the seat so I don't want to go higher.  Thinking using an offset seat post to move the seat reward which I believe would result in a more up ride position.

Your 29 and 26 mountain bikes both put too much pressure on your hands when riding gravel roads.  But not single track because when riding single track you are always moving your hands and body every few seconds.  On gravel you stay more stationary with your hands and body so weight will put pressure on your hands.  Your mountain bikes do not fit.

There is no law against having your bars even or above your saddle.  If it improves comfort, do it.  An offset seatpost moving the saddle rearward will stretch you out more and put more weight and pressure on your hands.  Moving the seat rearward will not put you in a more upright position.  Based on you writing this, I surmise you do not know how bikes fit.  So I advise you to find someone who can fit you to a bicycle.

Simple and easy step would be to put a shorter and higher stem on the bike and see if it makes you more comfortable.  $20 mail order isn't too much to try.  Try that for both the 26 and 29 bikes.

My father lives in France (southwest, not too far from Bordeaux), and the last two years, when visiting him, I've been using a bike I bought there and left with him to take a weeklong tour.  This has been reasonably light credit-card touring, just rear Ortlieb panniers pretty much;

For those of you who have done both touring in Europe and touring in the US,

I have quite a bit of European touring.  Rome to Brussels.  Southern Portugal and SW Spain.  Shorter, smaller areas in the USA.

Overnight costs.  Europe is 1/4 or 1/3 the cost of USA.  The US is unbelievably expensive for housing.  Campsites in the US are as expensive or more expensive as motels/pensiones/hostels in Europe.  You get a private room with a bed and small breakfast and maybe shared bathroom in Europe for the same price you pay for a campsite at a park in the USA.  Adventure Cycling seems to promote camping.  It lists all the campsites on its maps.  The people on this forum all seem to camp and cook their food when biking.  I am not sure if that is because USA bikers love camping and cooking or because they would be in the poor house if they tried to motel and restaurant in the USA.

Restaurants are cheaper in Europe too.  Convenience stores are bigger and more plentiful in USA.  Slim pickings for convenience stores in Europe.  But there are lots of grocery stores, every town has one.  Much less traffic, less traveled roads in Europe.

I'd advise you to fly back to Europe and tour again there.  Skip the US.

Gear Talk / Re: Need advice
« on: March 21, 2015, 05:33:17 pm »
You need a hybrid bike.  They have 9 or 10 speed cassette and triple crankset.  Good for touring.  And will have upright 3-speed style handlebars.  Good for sitting upright and not bending your neck.  Surly Ogre and Surly Troll look appropriate.

Gear Talk / Re: Tubeless?
« on: March 17, 2015, 10:32:53 am »
Not familiar with tubeless.  But don't you need an air compressor to seal the tire against the rim when inflating?  You need a lot of air blown into the rim very quickly to seal the tire against the rim and inflate.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly LHT and fatties fit fine
« on: March 06, 2015, 11:41:52 am »
Deflating the tire would work better than removing the brakes.  Forgot about that one.  But I think I have done it before, long ago.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly LHT and fatties fit fine
« on: March 05, 2015, 02:02:44 pm »
Well if you take the cable off you should be able to get a much wider tire on.

No.  The quick release on the cantilever brakes is open.  The brake pads hit the seatstays.  There is no taking the cable off.  Cable travel or slack in the cable is not a factor.  The brake is as wide as it can be because the brake blocks are hitting the seatstays.  The only way to get the brakes wider is to take them out of the cantilever posts and release the cable from the brake.  I doubt many people would want to do that every time they remove the rear wheel.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly LHT and fatties fit fine
« on: March 04, 2015, 02:59:28 pm »
Not a direct answer since I do not own a Surly LHT.  But I'm guessing my touring bike is comparable for tire size.  38mm is the widest you can fit.  I am currently using 35mm tires and there is plenty of room at the chainstays and the fork.  I could probably fit 45mm tires between the chainstays and fork.  But there is another problem to consider with wide tires on a road bike.  I have 38mm tires on my cyclocross bike.  It uses cantilever brakes like my touring bike.  The brakes do not open wide enough to allow the 38mm tires through cleanly.  You can still push them through the brake blocks, but they rub.  Anything wider would not fit through at all, even with a lot of pushing.  35mm tires barely clear with no or minimal rubbing.  Anything wider and you get some rubbing with cantilever brakes, with the quick release open.  35mm or 38mm is the widest tire you can use with cantilever brakes on a road bike.  Rim width is irrelevant.

General Discussion / Re: Newbie questions on solo touring.
« on: February 28, 2015, 10:11:37 pm »
I can maybe give some route advice.  If you go over to the Adventure Cycling website and go to their routes and maps page you can show the following routes:

Pacific Coast
Sierra Cascades
Southern Tier
Western Express

These are the road routes going from Portland to Austin.  The simplest would be to get on the Pacific Coast at Portland and ride it with the tailwind down to San Diego.  Then get on the Southern Tier and ride it with likely winds out of the west to Austin.  Another option would be to take the Pacific Coast down to San Francisco, then the Western Express to the Sierra Cascades route.  Go south on the Sierra until it ends at the Southern Tier near San Diego.  Then the Southern Tier to Austin.  This would give you some mountain riding and maybe avoid some of the heat along the coast in southern California.  But the problem with both of these routes is you are riding the routes at the hottest time of the year.  June-July.  Not sure how you like riding and camping in heat.  One other option is the Pacific Coast down to San Francisco.  Western Express to its end in Colorado, south-middle.  Then use state maps to pick out some county roads to get you down to Austin.  From Colorado to Austin its about 600+ miles.  Solid week of riding.

I did not see you wrote the following:
"should I head east after san Fran to avoid the southern/ I-10 heat that time of year? Ideally I'd like to go through Utah/salt lake and Colorado."

If this is a goal then by all means take the Pacific Coast down to San Francisco, take the Western Express to its end in south/central Colorado.  Then county/state roads down to Austin.  Not sure going through Nevada and Utah will be any cooler than southern California.  Expect the heat will be identical.

Gear Talk / Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« on: February 18, 2015, 10:00:41 pm »
Giant hybrid bike you linked to.  Looks OK for touring rides.  Especially short ones.  Probably OK for longer ones to if you figure out a way to carry bags.  Frame looks like it can accept a rear rack.  Has holes/braze-ons for the rack.  Front fork even looks like it will accept low-rider rack.  Good.

Original tires were 28mm, maybe want a bit wider for loaded tours or even local tours.  The bike will likely accept up to 32mm tires.  Most likely.  I'd suggest ordering some tires from Nashbar and installing them yourself.  Order some 28, 30, and 32mm tires.  Keep the widest that fit.  Look for smooth road tires that say they are "touring" or "hybrid" tires.  Any will be fine.

If it is hilly in your area, you may want lower gearing on the bike.  Probably easiest to take the bike to a bike shop and pay them to change the inner chainring on the triple crankset.  Probably/certainly accepts a 74mm bolt circle diameter inner chainring that can go down to 24 teeth.  Chainrings of 52-42-24 and an 8 speed cassette of 12-26 will give you low enough gears.  Should be pretty cheap to do this 24 teeth inner chainring change.  $20 for the part and $20-30 for the labor.

Interesting.  I am not in favor of it.  However, there is a slight chance it could be beneficial.  Of course mandating all children only get hauled to school in 2.5 ton Chevy Suburban vehicles would also reduce the vehicle deaths of children.  I don't think that has been proposed yet.  Or mandating all vehicles be yellow or orange in color.  Again not proposed.  When riding I try to wear bright clothing.  My Pearl Izumi wind jacket is that bright yellow color.  It helps make me more visible.  I have various brightly colored jerseys.  I have NO dark black jerseys.  Shorts are all black though.  At night I always have the red blinking light going on back.  2 or 3 of them.  I want to be very visible at night, and in the day.  But safety of the rider is the least of the motives for this legislation.  I won't say what I think the real motives are.

I always wondered if something like a corn field drive way are treated as public domain or if farmers are friendly about bike touring campers when there is a wooded area just off the road.

I can answer this, NO the inlets to corn fields alongside the road are NOT public domain.  These road outlets belong to the farm field they go into.  But for most farms in Iowa and the rest of the Midwest, if you stop at the farmhouse nearest the field and ask to camp in the inlet roadway or if they have for somewhere for you to setup camp, they will say yes.  Best to ask first.  And give them lots and lots of details of your ride and where you are from and where you are going.  Be friendly and they will say yes camp there.  Or try to find some obvious public land, park or bridge, and setup camp there out of sight.  Always try to be out of sight.

For riding from Denver into western Kansas, Hwy 36 is good.  It parallels I-70 the whole way.  36 goes east to the Missouri border, not sure how the road is once you get out of the western part of Kansas and eastern Colorado.  Hwy 36 starts on the east edge of Denver and hits towns every 30 miles or so.  Long ago I rode the Colorado Last Chance 1200k brevet.  It uses Hwy 36 about 100-200 miles into Kansas then turns around and goes back to north of Denver.  The Colorado portion has a shoulder along the highway.  No rumble strips on the shoulder.  I cannot remember if the Kansas portion of Hwy 36 has a shoulder or not.  There is very little traffic on the road, all the traffic is on I-70.  About the only troubling part is rattlesnakes curl up on the shoulder of the road.  So if you are riding the shoulder, your bike tires go within inches of the rattlesnakes.  Snakes are on the shoulder to get warm in the sun.

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