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Messages - briwasson

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General Discussion / Re: Good morning America how are you?
« on: May 05, 2010, 09:53:34 am »
Ah, didn't know that about the song! Thanks for the info.

General Discussion / Re: Good morning America how are you?
« on: May 04, 2010, 12:39:30 pm »
Great subject line from the Arlo Guthrie song, BTW! ("City of New Orleans")

Gear Talk / Re: I need lower gears!
« on: May 04, 2010, 10:22:44 am »
>"If it's a standard road triple, the BCD for the middle and outer rings is 130mm, and the smallest you can go in that size is 38 teeth.  Below that, the bolts would interfere with the chain."

A standard road triple back in the '80s had 110/74 BCD, as another poster noted. With a 74BCD you can go down to a 24-tooth chainring.

If looking to upgrade the rear, I'd highly suggest moving up to at least a 7-speed cassette hub from your 6-speed freewheel. Cassette freehubs tend to be stronger due to the way the axle is supported, a factor when under touring loads. Plus, it's easier to remove a cassette even when it's been subjected to a lot of torque, like it would be under when climbing with a load. You could either pick up a used wheel that takes 7-speed cassettes, which is likely to be cheap since they aren't in much demand, or get a wheel with a hub that will take a 7-8-9-10 speed cassette to allow yourself upgrade options down the road. You can run a 7-speed cassette on an 8-9-10 speed hub by using a spacer.

If upgrading the wheel, you'll likely also need to change the spacing in your rear dropouts. You probably have 126mm spacing back there, and modern hubs either use 130mm (standard road spacing) or 135mm (MTB spacing, also often used in touring/hybrid wheels). If you have a steel frame, it's no a big deal to move from 126mm to 130mm. You can either have this done professionally by a bike shop or you can just spread the dropouts by hand each time you put the wheel on/off.

Classifieds / FS: Cannondale SilkTour 700 touring bike
« on: April 24, 2010, 12:27:18 am »
This is a very cool and hard-to-find Cannondale SilkTour 700 road bicycle. The Silk Tour is one of the most multi-purpose bikes you'll likely ever see. Use it for regular road riding, touring, commuting, charity rides, about-town riding, paths, or even light trail riding. Would be a perfect bike for a tour on a trail like the C&O canal or similar (which is what we originally bought it for). It features Cannondale's HeadShok front suspension, with a lockout knob at the top of the fork for on the fly lockout. This gives  you the best of both worlds: turn the suspension on to smooth out bumps, or off for more responsive road riding or climbing. 700c wheels.

Low miles, in nice shape, with some light scratches here and there from moving around the garage (nothing major at all). It's my wife's bike and she rarely rides it (we mostly ride our tandem and triplet). I've held onto the bike despite it gathering dust in my garage because it's such a neat bike; it always gets positive comments on the rare occasions we take it out on a ride. Too many bikes in the garage now, though, so it's gotta go.

Here are the specs:

-Cannondale CAAD2 aluminum frame
-16" frame size, fits a really wide range of sizes due to V-style frame (my 5'2" wife has ridden it, as has my 5'11" friend)
-HeadShok fork with lockout
-Frame has braze-ons including rear rack mounts, fork eyelets, two sets of bottle bosses, etc.
-Drop handlebars and Cannondale HeadShok-specific stem (you can choose between a short or long-reach stem; I have both available)
-Shimano Tiagra 9-speed STI shifters/brake levers, with new auxiliary cross-style brake levers at top of bars (see pics). I actually like the Tiagra levers better than the Ultegra levers I have on my other bikes; the FD shifter has more trim options, making it very nice to use with a triple crank
-Shimano Tiagra front derailleur, LX rear derailleur
-SRAM 12-34 9-speed cassette
-Cannondale-branded Sugino triple crank. 170mm arms, 48-38-28 rings (ramped for 9 speed), 110/74 BCD gives you plenty of option
-Super-strong 700c wheelset, consisting of Mavic T224 rims, 36 spokes, and very nice Cannondale Omega cartridge-bearing QR hubs (made by DT Swiss); Shimano QR skewers
-Conti Top Touring tires, 700x35mm (or maybe 38mm, have to double check)
-Cannondale cantilever brakes (Avid Shorty knockoffs)
-Brand-new Selle Royale gel saddle
-Alloy microadjust seatpost, QR seatpost binder
-Also includes two water bottle cages, not shown, as well as a Blackburn rear rack (if I can find the hardware for it... no promises)

Price is $499 + shipping if needed. For some reason the forum won't let me post photos. See my Craigslist posting for photos (or e-mail for more, higher-res pics) at

Located in the Philadelphia, Pa., area, but am willing to ship if needed. E-mail me (briwasson at verizon dot net) for my phone number if you want to chat more about the bike.

Classifieds / Re: WANTED: 700c touring wheelset w/ 135mm rear spacing
« on: April 20, 2010, 02:56:51 pm »
Just bought almost the exact same wheelset locally off Craigslist (Deore hubs/Mavic rims). Thanks for the post, though!

I've never had water in my tubes from the S&S couplers, and with a tandem and a triple both with couplers, I have a lot of tubes!

I have S&S couplers on three bikes: a Co-Mo single, a Santana tandem, and a Santana triple. Absolutely love them, and they make remote touring much more convenient. Not just the ability to fly more cheaply, but being able to fit in a smaller car, etc.

Regarding retrofits, I highly recommend Stephen Bilenky ( in Philadelphia. I haven't used him for a retrofit on my personal bikes (they are all from the factory), but have used him for other frame work over the years (he just added a kickstand plate to my triple for example). He's probably the leading S&S retrofitter i the USA and does great work. I was just at his shop a few weeks ago and saw several frames in the midst of being "hacked," including a Titanium frame. All looked really well done.

One data point re: 26" wheels: they are much easier to fit into the 26x26 stock S&S case compared to 700c wheels.

General Discussion / Re: pine creek trail in pa
« on: April 12, 2010, 11:15:48 am »
Definitely recommend the Colton Point Motel. Really nice people, reasonable rates, and only a few minutes bike ride to the northern end of the trail. Pine Creek Outfitters is very close to the motel, too, making for a convenient shuttle if needed.

There is also a new(ish), nice rail trail that connects Wellsboro with the Pine Creek Gorge trail, so you could start in Wellsboro, too, if you wanted (more motel choices, restaurants, etc.).

There are a few primitive campsites along the trail, and at least one commercial one if I recall correctly.

I've noticed several nice, high-end touring bikes on Ebay and Craigslist that you may be interested in. None are mine, I don't know the owners, etc. Sadly not one of them fits me, or else I'd be buying one!

48cm Bilenky Travelite S&S frame and case. Looks nice! @$800 with no bids yet.

47cm (compact) Bruce Gordon Rock-n-Road. Fully built. Sweet looking BG bike.

23" Bilenky Signature Touring in Florida.

The airport in Newport News/Norfolk, Virginia, is the closest to Yorktown. US Airways serves that route through Philadelphia (LHR-PHL-ORF), and several other airlines connect through other cities. Just did a quick Travelocity search on June 5 and saw a fare of $695 USD RT through New York (good price for June!).

You could also fly into New York or Philadelphia and catch the AMTRAK train down to Newport News, Virginia (near Yorktown), then ride from there.


Classifieds / WANTED: 700c touring wheelset w/ 135mm rear spacing
« on: March 22, 2010, 04:38:46 pm »
Looking for a decent-quality 700c wheelset with 135mm rear spacing and 8/9 speed Shimano cassette capability. Please e-mail with what you have and how much you want for it. Photos would be great. Thanks!

There are a number of good tandem brands out there. Good brands include Santana, Co-Motion, Cannondale and Burley. If you can swing it, Santana and Co-Motion are best. Santana tandems have better geometry for loaded touring than Co-Motions, IMO. Most Burley's are a bit lower-end but are typically very good values.

When looking at used tandems, be sure to stick with a tandem that has 700c or 26" wheels (not 27") and will take an 8/9-speed cassette. Otherwise, you are likely to have expensive upgrade issues down the road. If you are on a budget, I would consider a 7-speed tandem, too (nothing wrong with 7 speeds), but realize that if you ever want to upgrade you'll need a new rear wheel. Do not consider a tandem with a freewheel unless you plan on upgrading the rear wheel right away. For touring I'd also stay away from older tandems (70s/early 80s) as the tubing is not likely to be up to the challenge of loaded touring.

Places to find used tandems:

2. (also a good place to post a WTB and questions)
3. Craigslist. I use search portals like or to search beyond my local area.

Routes / Re: C&O canal to Pittsburgh via cumberland MD.
« on: March 12, 2010, 09:30:36 am »
RE: rental car. I meant, leave your own car in D.C. (like at Regan National airport, which isn't too hard to get to on bike) and rent a car one-way from there to Pittsburgh. Even cheaper, then, if there are only two of you, as you don't need a minivan. Just make sure you get a rental car where the rear seat folds down (most sedans do this now).

Routes / Re: C&O canal to Pittsburgh via cumberland MD.
« on: March 11, 2010, 01:20:52 pm »
Yes, parking at Great Falls and biking into the city allows you to truthfully claim that you've ridden the entire path! :-) The section just after Great Falls, going toward D.C., is really pretty, running along a small man-made lake. It's all path until you get to Georgetown, where you'll then be back in "civilization."

I've never had an issue getting bike boxes at AMTRAK's Philadelphia station. Not sure if you can call ahead to reserve. I think they are around $10-15/box. I usually buy two because I'm generally shipping a tandem, and they have always had enough. The baggage people in Philly are always remarkably friendly, too. I've shipped three tandems cross-country on AMTRAK with no problems at all.

Personally, I'd still seriously consider the rent-a-car and drive yourself option. A lot more flexible, and probably not that much more money. A quick Travelocity search shows around $240 for a one-way rental in late May. Just get a minivan/van and you should be fine with four people and bikes. Split four ways that's reasonable, even with gas and tolls.

Classifieds / Re: FS: Car drop in Arctic, early summer 2010
« on: March 11, 2010, 01:09:55 pm »
Nice thought and offer! You (or the new "owner") might have trouble, though, if you leave a U.S.-registered car in Inuvik Canada. Anyone picking it up in Canada and trying to drive it over the border might get snagged for a possibly stolen car. Likewise, if you just abandon it, the local police/RCMP might not look favorably on that. 

You'd likely have better luck with Deadhorse. Maybe post the offer on the Fairbanks Craigslist, asking whoever gets the car to drive you up to Deadhorse and drop you off (transfer the registration to them there). Or, stop at the hostel in Anchorage or Fairbanks and see if somebody is interested in taking you up on the offer.

Have a great trip!

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