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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 17, 2016, 01:35:28 pm »
I just can't determine the advantage of a custom bike at this point (having no experience), so seems foolish to spend the money on a bike I can't even test and hope it will be 250% better! Maybe after this initial tour or sometime down the line, I will.

The advantages of a custom bike are the following:
1.  You demand a unique bike built just for you.  No one else has your bike.  Its unique to you only.  It has whatever you want on it.  Whatever color.
2.  You require a unique, different, non standard size frame.  Smaller or bigger are the usual changes.  But some people have extra long bodies and short legs, so they need a bike to fit them.  Custom.  Standard factory frames are built for the average person ranging from about 5'4" to 6'4" tall with normal sized legs, torsos, necks, heads, feet.  Their bodies fit within the bell curve of normal.  Bike manufacturers make bikes to fit them by the millions.  The normal sized person does not need a custom bike for fit.

I don't need a custom sized frame.  Many manufacturers make perfectly sized bikes to fit me at the factory.  And some manufacturers don't make bikes that fit me very well at all.  Colnago being one of them.  Short top tubes.  But I might want a custom to get different handling from normal, extra stiff, or extra plush, or more tire clearance, or unique braze-ons, or...

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 07, 2016, 01:46:33 pm »
Experienced road bike torers please chime in here. Many say I could do it, but wouldn't enjoy it.

???  The ultra light touring method does not have to use ay racks at all.  Adventure Cycling sells a very large saddlebag and a bag that fits in the main tube (Revelate Designs).  And there are probably handlebar bags available too.  You can carry a fair amount of stuff without any racks at all.  And its lighter not having heavy racks on the bike.  You do have to be very minimal in your gear selection and watch the weight of all the gear closely.  Some like this aspect, counting grams, others do not.  But minimal gear and minimal weight are important for this touring to work.  Minimal gear is most important of all.  Its zero weight if you don't carry it.  And you can then use any bike you want.

Would you enjoy it?  Don't know.  Some people do not enjoy vacations unless they stay in AAA hotels and have limousines drive them everywhere.  Or only go in bus size RVs with Jacuzzi hot tubs.  Others enjoy riding all over the world on an old K-Mart bike with milk crates to carry their gear.  I expect you could look at your current lifestyle to determine whether you would like minimal touring.  If you drive a 15 year old manual transmission compact car to work and the store and are happy, then you would probably do fine touring with minimal gear.  If you must drive the half mile to the convenience store to get your fix of Twinkies using your $88,000 XLT AAA Super Mega SUV pick-up truck with the air conditioner turned on high, then the minimal touring method is probably not for you.  I doubt riding a bike would even appeal to these types of people.  If you don't use or need any luxury in your life now, and live barebones with nothing extra, you have enough, nothing extra, then minimal touring would probably work for you.  If your house is stuffed full of stuff, if you buy stuff all the time, if you love shopping, then the minimal touring method probably won't work for you.

Food Talk / Re: Best Foods for Training
« on: August 06, 2016, 03:26:20 pm »
I suggest you go more on Protein and Less Carbs food. :)

That might possibly, maybe work if you were walking.  Walking is a low calorie exercise.  No need for quick acting carbohydrates, unlike cycling.  When cycling you are burning calories quickly.  You need carbohydrates in your blood immediately to make it to the end of the day.  You cannot wait hours for your body to convert stored fat or protein back into sugar to feed your muscles.  Fat and protein work well when you are sleeping.  Your body will convert fat and protein back to sugar while sleeping to recharge your body for the next day.  But when you need energy to get to the top of the mountain in the next hour, you need carbohydrates right now.

Urban Cycling / Re: commuting by bike
« on: August 06, 2016, 03:14:12 pm »
3km - that's got to be fairly hassle-free.  No clothing change most days, I bet. I'd probably walk or maybe ride the old three speed.

No.  When I commuted 2 miles each way, I wore cycling clothes.  Even in 2 miles you will sweat.  Best to sweat in your cycling clothes, not your all day work clothes.  Never thought it would be pleasant to ride in Docker style cotton pants and a Polo shirt.  Walk?  Figure 15-20 plus minutes to walk 2 miles.  Each way.  Walk in your dress work clothes?  Never thought of commuting as something I would want to prolong to enjoy the sites.  And when it is dark both ways, cold, rainy, I'd want it over as fast as possible.

Getting water in the USA isn't much of a concern.  Its not rationed anywhere I know of.  Might not be palatable or sanitary or safe in a few places, but that is a different matter.  I frequent convenience stores when I ride.  I like sodas and fruit pies while riding.  And hot dogs.  Stores always have bathrooms for customers to use.  They usually want you to buy something to use the bathroom.  But they probably would not say anything even if you just went in and used the bathroom, and filled your water bottles.  Might have to find a cup in the store to pour the water into your bottles if you can't get them under the sink spout.  Bottles too tall.  And I am guessing if you went into any kind of store or met anyone on the street and asked for water, they would give you some.  There are lots and lots and lots of A-holes in the USA.  But asking for water probably isn't going to get them going.

General Discussion / Re: Bike touring in the desert?
« on: August 06, 2016, 01:00:56 pm »
No comment on riding in the desert.  But right now you are carrying 1.6 gallons of water.  12.8 pounds of water.  And you are considering adding either 1.5 or 2.5 gallons of extra water.  12 pounds or 20 pounds extra.  Seems to me if you plan your trip so you have water where you camp, start/end of the ride.  Then you should easily make it fine.  If you plan to camp for 2-3 days with no water, then I don't know.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 05, 2016, 12:16:22 pm »
In recent years I have gone lighter and lighter and found that it made a big difference for me.  That said the bike itself is the last place I worried about dropping weight.

Yes and no.  If going lighter and lighter, I doubt you would start with a heavy duty loaded touring bike.  I reckon you would start with a road racing style bicycle.  Doesn't have to be a racing bicycle, just a road bike.  Much lighter than a touring bike.  If starting with no bike, then don't look at loaded touring bikes.  Look at road racing style bikes if going lighter and lighter.  Or use what you already own.

Gear Talk / Re: Davidson Titanium Road Bike
« on: August 05, 2016, 04:12:51 am »
I looked at the Davidson website.  Looks like very fine titanium bicycles.  Road bikes.  Maybe not "racing" bikes.  But definitely road bikes.  Not designed for racks or panniers.  You could attach a rear rack with P-clips on the seatstays easy enough.  Being titanium there should be no paint to scratch.  Not sure I would want to carry much weight.  Minimal gear.  Or use a big seatbag and a bag inside the main triangle.  Adventure Cycling sells these bags.  Go ultra light touring with minimal gear.  Doubt it would be much different than your carbon Specialized bike.  Just a bit tougher, scratch resistant due to being titanium.  If you want a second bike, get this one if it fits.  Looks good.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 05, 2016, 02:23:31 am »
The jury is still out though and for now I am going to concentrate on defining the load I am wanting/willing to carry. Also,trying to borrow a touring bike to load up and do a trial tour or figure out how to setup my current bike for a test run.

Definitely consider the ultra light method.  Several on this site have talked about that way.  I have a loaded touring bike and panniers.  So heavy loaded for me.  But if I was starting from scratch again, I would seriously consider the ultra light method with a regular road bike.  Adventure Cycling sells several bags that attach under the saddle and inside the main triangle for carrying a large amount of gear.

Oddly enough, I have ridden more in Colorado except for the states I have lived in.  Spent two weeks loaded touring there, two week long supported rides, Triple bypass twice, and a 1200km brevet to Kansas and back.  Another few days of riding too.  Wow.  It rained sometimes.  But never enough to be concerned about.  I think I was on top of Mt. Evans at about 4PM once.  Ranger said it was the latest he had ever seen a bicyclist at the top.  Rain and snow on the way down but nothing to be concerned about.  I was a lot lower very quickly and it was gone.  Usually plenty of towns to get water.  Out west it might be a day or half day between towns so carry enough water.  But usually there were plenty of towns.  Never found traffic too bad in the mountains.  Colorado was a fine place to ride a bike.  The eastern half was kind of barren.  Big rolling climbs and lots of flat in between.  Rattlesnakes laying in a coil on the shoulders.  A little bit startling to ride within a few inches of a rattlesnake.  That was the eastern half.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 04, 2016, 02:29:17 pm »
I built a bike from a custom frame; took months after receiving frame (back order of components, etc). Satisfaction in specifying what you want, but more work, and more value in buying complete comparable bike.

Guess you lost me here.  You state you are satisfied specifying what you want.  But state its a better value to buy a complete bike.  Where is the value if you do not get what you want?  How is it a value if you put up with poor gearing selection?  Wheels that are weaker than they should be?  A shifting system that is not what you like?  You think it is a value to buy something for cheaper but is not what you want or like?  Odd value.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 03, 2016, 10:49:26 pm »
Russ, thanks I had not really priced the Gunnar frames/forks, etc. I don't think the 480 frame will work for me (too big) but I should compare the specs with the Terry and LHT and also contact Gunnar, especially if I can save $$.

I compared the Gunnar and Terry websites for the bikes.  It appears Terry has Gunnar make them different sized bikes from the stock Gunnar bikes.  Terry does offer one smaller bike than the smallest Gunnar frame.  You might go custom with Gunnar and work with them to make a smaller frame similar to the smallest Terry frame.  Terry gives you its dimensions.  I'm sort of, kind of against the Terry bicycle simply because it is a Gunnar frame.  Terry even says its a Waterford (Gunnar) frame.  So why not skip the middle man (Terry) and buy the frame from its real maker (Waterford/Gunnar)?

Another person argues against buying a frame and building it yourself because the cost is usually more than buying it direct already built as a complete bike.  With the Terry it is very easy to see if this is true or not.  Terry says it is a Gunnar frame/fork.  Gunnar sells its frames direct to the public and lists its prices.  Price both the standard and custom options.  Terry also lists all the parts on the bike.  Simple to find all those parts on the internet and list their prices.  See if the totals work out right or wrong.  Biggest benefit for building it yourself is you get to pick every part yourself and get what you want.  Not accept a half-arse part you don't want.  Like 32 spokes instead of 36 for a loaded touring wheel.  ???  Or lower and better mid range gearing than what Terry offers.  An 11-36 cassette instead of the 11-34 Terry offers.  A 42-32-22 crankset instead of the 48-34-24 crankset Terry offers.  Wider handlebars.  Correct stem length.  Saddle that fits you.  By the time you pay to change all these parts on a stock bike, its probably better and cheaper to buy it right from the beginning.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 03, 2016, 03:11:45 pm »
If you read the bike description
it says it's designed for loaded touring (she makes another model for lighter touring, but it doesn't weigh any less, according to the specs):

RussSeaton, I'll look into other custom frame makers as you suggested, but I think they are all in this $3500 range , from some cursory investigation I have done. I liked this bike, but think I've convinced myself I prefer 26" wheels for touring.

The Terry bicycle you listed is NOT custom.  Its an off the rack bike frame.  Terry says it is made by Waterford.  Gunnar is Waterford's TIG welded bike name.  Gunnar charges $1400 for a custom tour frame plus $400 for fork.  $1800 custom Gunnar tour frame/fork.  $1500 for a stock frame and fork Gunnar.  So your $3500 Terry bike is $1500 Gunnar stock frame/fork and $2000 parts to get to the $3500 total Terry price.  The two smallest stock sizes for Gunnar tour bike have 26" wheels.  Looking at the specs for the Terry bike, I am not sure you are getting $2000 worth of parts.  It would be cheaper, and better, to buy the Gunnar frame/fork and all the parts individually.  End up with a better bike in the end.  More customized for parts.  You could pick a Shimano mountain bike crankset with better gearing than the one Terry provides.  Its gearing is too high for touring.  48x11 high gear?  Who needs such a high gear?  And Terry provides 32 spoke wheels.  36 is better for loaded touring.  Your money would be better spent getting the Gunnar stock frame/fork and buying the parts yourself over what Terry is offering.  Not sure you need to get a custom bike or not.  Just a small bike with 26" wheels should work fine.  26" wheels are correct for your size.

Now, the question of which bike should you buy?  If you tour LIGHT, light one man tent, light bag, few clothes, nothing extra, then a regular road bike may be a better choice.  If you tour loaded with 4 panniers and lots of stuff, then the loaded touring bike may be best.  Loaded touring bikes are not FUN for spirited riding.  You can do it.  But all the time you are thinking it would be nicer, faster if I had my road racing bike instead of this heavy duty loaded touring bike.  So try to figure out what kind of touring you want to do first, then get the bike.  Almost all bikes work for almost all riding, but they do have specialization.

Not so, if your bike is set up right.

If you are comfortable using the drops while climbing and shifting bar end shifters with your hands still on the bars, then your bars are WAY too high.  You must have a 45 degree angle in your back while using the drops.  And a 90 degree back when using the hoods.  Your bars are way too high and probably your reach is too short.  In case you did not know, which I suspect you did not, when riding in the drops, with a slight bend in your elbow, your back should be flat, horizontal to the ground.  When your hands are on the hoods your back should be about 45 degrees to the ground.

ROFLMAO!  You're wrong, but keep the nonsense flowing, it's really entertaining.

No.  You have a very poorly fitted bike if you are comfortable climbing using the drops.  Unfortunately, poorly fitted bikes are very common.  Drops are used for getting aero.  Minimizing wind resistance.  You have to get your back flat to do that.  You cannot climb with your back flat and your eyes staring down at the road under the front wheel.  Breathing isn't as easy with your back flat.  Yet you claim to climb with your hands in the drops.  So when in the drops, you do not have a flat back.  You ride in the drops with your back at a 45 or 60 degree angle.  That is a poorly fitting bike.  I'd recommend you get a properly fitted bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 02, 2016, 10:12:29 pm »
Don't know anything about Terry bicycles.  Long ago they specialized in making bikes for small women with 700C rear wheels and small 24" front wheels.  Don't know if they still do that or not.

Your questions:

Is the 20 lb. weight for a custom fit steel frame worth the price (~$3500)?
Are there any drawbacks to a lighter frame?

I'll assume the 20 pounds is for the whole bike maybe including racks and fenders too.  My large man's bike weighs 30 pounds with racks and fenders and pedals and everything else.  So 20 pounds would be light.  But the frame may be much smaller too.  Custom size is good IF you need custom size.  If not, then its more or less wasted money because many higher end tour bike makers use very nice steel and lugs and such to make standard size bikes.  Just like custom makers except the size is standard.  Construction is identical.  $3500 is sort of standard price for custom.  Sort of.  I think Gunnar and Independent Fabrications have custom frames for much cheaper price.

As for potential drawbacks going lighter, it depends on whether the frame is strong enough to handle what you are going to do with it.  If loaded touring, then it will not be light no matter what because the steel needs to be so strong and thick to handle that type of work.  You can get light by going with aluminum or titanium or even carbon frames for touring.  As long as they are made strong enough to handle the loads required.  If you are touring light, then you don't need a loaded touring bike.  Use a light road frame to start with.  You could use a loaded touring bike, but it would not be enjoyable.  I rode a loaded touring bike on RAGBRAI last week, with no bags.  It worked, but I would have preferred riding any of my road bikes instead.  Loaded touring bikes are not great for general riding.

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