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Messages - Jason

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46
General Discussion / Re: advice for setting my bike up for touring
« on: February 23, 2010, 02:01:30 pm »
Something to think about:

There may be varying opinions about this, but your wheels, as they are right now, might very well react completely different when the bike receives the weight on the back (or front even.)  As Whittierider mentioned, the easiest way to ensure that the wheel carries correct tension and is true is to rebuild the wheel.

Though, to your question about tech skills, you have at your disposal right now a rim from which you could learn a great deal; at the very least, even if you decide to go with a new rim, you'll have a better idea of to look for out on the road if you "play" around with your current one.

This is a good place to start:  http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

It will give you a nice foundation on exactly how a rim is laced - you might even want to give it a try yourself.

47
General Discussion / Re: advice for setting my bike up for touring
« on: February 16, 2010, 12:38:01 pm »
Ah, a bike after my own heart...

As a follow centurion owner, I would highly recommend you check out oldmanmountain.com.  I ended up going with the Sherpa, as my frame had no rack mounts near the dropouts, or any on the seat stay.  If you have a look at the photos on this link: http://oldmanmountain.com/Pages/RackPages/RackGalleries/Pages/sherpaRear_gallery.htm - you'll notice they provide clamps to attached closer to the seat.   Their quality is top-notch.  At the very least, if after looking over their site, you can't find something they you think will work, I'd recommend emailing them - they were very receptive to my questions before purchasing.

Others might suggest something different, but I think you have a decent starting point with the wheels.  At 36 spokes, the strength and durability are pretty much spot on.  You may need to play with the gear-ratio a little.  I'm not a big fan of any speeds over just one, so someone else may be able to give you a ratio that will work.  Since the hub is a 12 speed, it should be fairly easy to modify it to fit what you need.

If you're concerned about the rims overall, you might want to have a go at a new rim-band, even just the rear - something with a few more inside chambers.  Easiest thing to do is google either touring rims, or go to a few manufactures - Sun rim, etc.  After that, just have someone with some experience lace them up with decent spokes - 14 gauge should be fine.

As for the derailleurs, you might want to take the bike to your nearest shop and have they give you a price to overhaul it.  What you might not like now about the brakes, etc, could just be that the cables are old, and  components themselves are in need of service.  I would seek the advice of an experienced tech.  They may very well be past their prime; just no sense in replacing something that really doesn't need it.

I would recommend searching through the forum for any questions about tires, or components. 

The key, though, I guess is how comfortable you're going to be.  There are countless suggestions that could be made, but in the end you're still going to have to pedal it; what seems right for you, may be way off for someone else.

Since you're working with a street frame I think you'll find it's going to be rock-solid.  I absolutely love my centurion - even with the Pink and Yellow paint scheme...!!!... :o

Enjoy,

j

48
Gear Talk / Re: What road bikes can fit a 700x32 or 35?
« on: February 16, 2010, 10:24:08 am »
One other thing you might want to keep in mind...

This is based on personal experience, and nothing scientific, but the amount of weight you're carrying, overall, makes a huge impact on the longevity/durability of any tire.  Based on the fact that you're considering a road-bike, verses something specific for touring, leads me to believe you're conscious of weight.  I struggled with the same thing, partly because I wanted to go single speed; and with that, very few (Surly only) touring frames allow for it - which means, again, a road bike frame.

The bike you've mentioned - the Redline - I think you would be fine.  Outfitting a road-bike these days for the purposes of touring isn't hard - racks, etc can be found that will work extremely well.

As for tires, again, you'll be fine with anything around 28mm.  As I mentioned, I chose the Marathon Plus's, which were outstanding; not the fastest tire on the planet, but they last.

http://www.schwalbetires.com/marathon_plus

Cheers,
j

49
Gear Talk / Re: What road bikes can fit a 700x32 or 35?
« on: February 15, 2010, 04:14:31 pm »
John,

This is a question I came to, as well.  I'm using an old steel road bike frame from the 80's centurion to be exact.  I mention this because the rear-end is especially narrow (120mm hub spacing).  28mm were fine, forks and frame, with plenty of clearance on both, enough to fit at least a 32.  For what it's worth, I ended up doing the southern tier on 28's - Schwable's with no problems - i.e. no flats, bent rim, etc.

My plan, here in the next few days, is to head to REI and see if one of the shop guys will let me try out a set of 32's.

j

50
Routes / Re: Mexican excursion from Southern Tier
« on: January 22, 2010, 03:41:59 pm »
I met a couple - Sam and David - in Del Rio who nothing but good things to say about the border town opposite Del Rio.  As most have said, avoid entering Mexico from El Paso.  You might find, as you get closer that there are better places in which to enter, aside from Del Rio...

Anyway, thought I'd mention it,

Cheers,
j

51
Gear Talk / Re: Camping Tent
« on: January 07, 2010, 12:53:05 pm »
My two cents:

i went across the southern tier with this one

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Product.aspx?top=1830&prod=3402&cat=1854&viewAll=False

During my trip it rained  - a lot - during some evenings winds over 40/50 miles an hour (Louisana, and east-Texas.)  The tent is light-wieght, easy to set up and the tent material is durable.  The only real concern was the main tent pole, which suffered a break in each of the rivets, not a huge issue if your prepared with a sleeve or the like, but something to consider. 

i ended up giving back the tent west of Austin since it was so dry - just slept in my sleeping-bag.  But when it comes time to go back out on the road in April, I'm going to repurchase the same tent.

Cheers,
j

52
Routes / Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« on: December 12, 2009, 11:33:26 am »
I second the comment about asking the local services for assistance with camping.  East of Austin, it's usually hit and miss, but there are a few opportunities.  West of Austin, you'll be fine.  Some of the towns, obviously, are little more than a blinking light, so you may have to resort to asking people at a cafe, or whatever; in either case you'll be fine.  As was the case for, I would be asked about my nightly arrangements at a store or cafe or whatever, before I had a chance to ask them.

There's a thread about Southern Tier camping that a few of us commented on a few days back that you might want to look over.  Having just finished the ST I would recommend going at it with the idea if you're creative enough, you can swing a place to camp (which is likely true anywhere in the world.)  As someone noted above, "pickign a tent" rather than camping is a safe way to think about it; I would just ask for a small plot of land, etc.  It sounds more stressful, or harder maybe, than it will actually work out to be.

The local fire/police departments are more than open-minded about you camping for a night just about anywhere - local park, side of their building, etc.  Again, same with Churches.  Being on a bike is disarming (and comforting) for just about everyone you would end up asking, vs showing up with a huge RV in need of "hook ups..."


53
Routes / Re: Southern Tier Camping
« on: December 05, 2009, 11:16:44 pm »
Just happened to think of another in Palo Verde.

This one is kind of hit or miss, but it worked so I'll mention it.

I got stuck with no place to stay in palo Verde, and asked around at the burrito place there - only one.  The lady who runs it suggested i check with the lady who runs the conv. store.  She directed me to the trailer park directly across the street - through an iron arch-way.  Seriously, it worked.  Huge tree at the back of the place.  Even had a shower.  If you're en route to Palo Verde anytime after say 4pm i would suggest it as the Choc. Mtn area is plenty rough.  Also, the trailer park closes after 4pm - I spoke with a few people who lived there full time - seems bicyclist have been staying there - for free - for years.  Like I said, it was last resort, but worked out extremely well.

cheers

54
Routes / Re: Southern Tier Camping
« on: December 05, 2009, 11:04:16 pm »
Just finished the southern Tier last week - east to west.

The suggestions above are spot on.  A few more to consider, which will be outlined in the maps.

1. Del Rio - Elks lodge is free, call ahead and you're golden.

2.  Arrey - man, what to say about the Arrey RV park.  Dick, who owns it, is one of the best people I've met.  $6.00 afte he asks you the following:  "you want to camp on gravel, or stay in the kitchen..."  the kitchen has couches, heat, tv, etc...

3.  Octillio - Check with the local fire department - you can stay at the community center just to the left of it.  nothing special, but the fire department offered me a shower.

4.  West of wickenburg there are plenty of places to camp on the side of the road.

5.  San Carlos Res is decent - $6.00 for a shower and a plot of land.

6.  Campwood - Wes Cooksey is really nice $6.00 your own electric outlet, near the river, etc...  people who own it flat out rock

7.  Three way - definite suggest the option to stay at the Ranger station - beautiful scenery, nice people, etc.


Honestly, you'll have no trouble staying anywhere west of Austin.  Word of caution - Vanderpool.  There's an RV park/lodge listed on the map - it's neither really, more like a resort.  I think it's called Heaven on earth, or something.  Long story short, they market it like it's a campsite, but after you ride 2 miles up a rode better suited for heading to hell, you find that they have "either primitive (no water) or these cabins which go for $120.00 a night..."  I was able to bargin down to I think about $70.00.  If you opt for the state park in Vanderpool - there is one - make sure you call ahead a least two days before arriving, otherwise you'll be out of luck.

If you have specific questions after reading over the map, let me know.  Most everything listed checks out really well.

55
Routes / Couple of questions
« on: August 08, 2009, 11:00:49 am »
I've spent a good bit of time here lately researching a transamerican route.  I'm currently living in Atlanta, and am entertaining (planning) to make a go for Vancouver.

I'm curious if anyone has made a trip west, from Atlanta.  I assume that I could go from Atlanta to Tupelo, MS on a my own route, then get on course with one of the ASA maps through to vancouver.  Just wonder what would be the best route from Atlanta to MS (or somewhere perhaps better...)

Cheers,

j

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