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Messages - BrianW

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Using a Deore FD with your 105 STI levers probably won't work. As others have noted, road levers have a different FD cable pull than MTB levers. A road FD like an Ultegra or Tiagra will work fine with the Deore cranks and chainrings you mention. It won't be quite as crisp-shifting as if you were using a road crank and stock rings, but will work fine. I have this setup on three of my bikes (Ultegra STI levers, Ultegra or Dura Ace FD, and 48-36-24 chainrings) and have no problems with it.

Look on Ebay for a used Ultegra triple FD and run that. Either get one with an integrated clamp or get a "braze-on" style model and a separate clamp to fit your seat tube.

9-speed Ultegra and 105 STI left levers will handle both double and triple cranks by default. The 9-speed Dura-Ace STIs do come in separate versions, though. I'm not sure whether Tiagra STIs can handle both.

You've mentioned using your left front STI Shimano 105 shifter to shift a triple crankset.  It shifts a compact double crankset now.  I'm not so sure Shimano STI can shift both double and triple.  Shimano makes unique double and triple STI shifters in Ultegra and 105 models.  So I'm questioning whether your crankset change will be as smooth as you are implying.  I think you will need a new left STI shifter for the triple crankset.

Routes / Re: Pittsburgh to Washington, DC
« on: March 02, 2012, 09:46:22 am »
I've written up trip journals for my rides on the GAP and C&O, with planning-type info included and links. See:


With the capability to use MTB-type RDs with STI and any other levers, I don't see any reason to use road derailleurs on a touring bike. The 9-speed XT RDs ("Shadow" and regular) have a 45t capacity with the SGS long cage, which is pretty impressive. Even the 9-speed Deore M591 will handle the 45t wrap.

He probably meant "Make sure your FD is from a road group" in order to work with the OP's STI levers.
Ah! You just totally dashed my hopes that someone makes a high-capacity road derailleur. You totally saved me hours of poring over Google searches.  ;D

I knew about the front derailleur compatibility issue, but the sentence order made me think that there was some other issue with rear derailleurs.

He probably meant "Make sure your FD is from a road group" in order to work with the OP's STI levers.

Gear Talk / Re: Shimano 8-speed
« on: February 21, 2012, 09:52:33 pm »
FYI, Park makes a very useful and reasonably priced tool that makes it much easier to remove a master link like the SRAM models. It's made my life a lot easier ever since I picked one up!

Gear Talk / Re: Shimano 8-speed
« on: February 20, 2012, 10:37:15 am »
I have a couple used, but in excellent condition, 8-speed Shimano XT cassettes for sale if you are interested. They are 11-28 (or 12-28, can't recall). Looking to get $25 each + shipping. E-mail me if you are interested.

Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: tour with small children
« on: February 16, 2012, 11:10:37 am »
We did a two-day overnight tour with our son when he was two (or so) on the C&O Canal. We pulled him in a Burley Solo trailer using our tandem, on which we had front and rear panniers. He didn't complain at all, and actually seemed to enjoy it. Of course, we stopped often to let him play in the dirt with his trucks, run around, etc.

The sooner you get a child in a trailer, the more comfortable he'll be in the long term. Our son loved it! He now rides on the center seat of our triple bike.

Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: tour with small children
« on: February 15, 2012, 10:15:23 am »
For longer rides, I highly suggest ditching the kid seat and getting a one-kid trailer like the Burley Solo or Chariot. First, they are safer. They also give the child much more "play"room where they can have books, stuffed animals, small toys, etc. Also easier for napping. Our son loved riding in his trailer, even on longer rides.

We also found that cars seemed more respectful of us when we were pulling the trailer (with the flag attached) compared with riding on bikes with no trailer.

The Pletscher and ESGE kickstands are the same thing. I believe Pletscher bought out ESGE. In any event, same design. You could try grinding part of it away if that would help any. I did this on my tandem to allow for better cable routing.

General Discussion / Re: What's the century bike ride that everybody loves?
« on: February 04, 2012, 02:20:32 am »
If you are in the Md-Del-NJ-PA area, the White Clay Bike Club in Delaware runs some very nice rides and centuries throughout the year, including the fun "Double Cross," where you cross the state of Delaware -- twice -- in one day, which is a novelty. It's a nice route, too.

Alaska/Hawaii / Re: AK Bike Routes
« on: February 04, 2012, 02:17:24 am »
Good suggestions by the OP. But, a few clarifications:

1. The Denali Hwy is a very nice road, with great vistas, little traffic, and almost no services. From Paxson (on the Richardson Hwy) to Cantwell (on the Parks Hwy) is only about 130 miles or so, and onto Healy adds another 20 or so. Figure 150 miles one-way, not 350 as the OP wrote (probably a typo).

2. I wouldn't say the Glenn Hwy is "low traffic," unless you are riding it in the winter, early morning or after dinner when all the RVs are parked for the night. It's a beautiful road, though, with lots of varied scenery. Some serious ups and downs, though! I was once driving back to Glennallen from Anchorage and came around a turn and almost plowed into a German bike tourist, who was stopped in the middle of the road on a hill because he was tired. After making sure he was OK, I suggested he might want to move over to the shoulder!

3. Glennallen to Valdez along the Richardson is a great route, really beautiful, especially when you get closer to Valdez. Be sure to swing by the old gold rush town and Native Alaskan village of Copper Center en route.

4. From the Rich Hwy, south of Copper Center, a nice ride (although not "grand" like the Glenn or the Rich to Valdez) is along the Edgerton Hwy to Chitna (paved), and then on the McCarthy Road (dirt) to McCarthy/Kennicott. The McCarthy Rd is not for the ill-prepared, though! You are going right through the middle of Wrangell-St. Elias NP with very few services.

Gear Talk / Re: removing tabs on fork
« on: February 01, 2012, 09:26:42 am »
For Mag in NH: simply turn your rooftop bike mount around so that the front of the bike faces backward. That way there won't be so much air pressure pulling up on the handlebars/fork.

But, I will say that in 25+ years of rooftopping bikes on Yakima racks, most if not all without the Lips, I've never had this problem. I suspect there is something wrong with your bike mount fork holder.

Gear Talk / Re: removing tabs on fork
« on: January 30, 2012, 08:52:54 am »
I file them off on all my bikes. A Dremel makes it faster, but I usually just use an old-school flat file.

Classifieds / Re: FS: Walrus Arch Rival 2p Tent
« on: December 12, 2011, 03:08:52 pm »
Price lowered and pic added.

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