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Messages - Old Guy New Hobby

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1
Gear Talk / Re: Touring Bike Selection
« on: June 23, 2015, 07:36:13 am »
You can put a Rohloff hub on just about any bike. Rohloff sells an excellent chain tensioner for standard bikes. It's not cheap. You will need a custom-built wheel. Cables can be run along the top tube with a bracket attached to the rear brake calipers. Or they can be run along the down tube with a bracket on the chain stay. I recommend the latter.

2
Gear Talk / Re: Touring Bike Selection
« on: June 20, 2015, 07:35:44 am »
You don't have to over think this. Go with the tried and true. I have a Trek 520, but the Surly LHT is also  an excellent and popular touring bike. You shouldn't need a "remote builder". A good bike shop should be able to order and build one of these for you. The important characteristics are a stability, a good steel frame, braze-ons for racks and fenders, space for wider tires, rugged reliable components, and low gearing for long rides in hilly terrain. Both of these bikes are excellent tourers and moderately priced.

The fly in the ointment might be your desire for off-road capabilities. If you are talking about bike trails, a good touring bike will be fine. If the trail is poorly maintained with muddy areas, you will want wider tires, possible with treads. But if you want mountain biking on single-track trails, then a touring bike may not do well.

3
Gear Talk / Re: Gloves
« on: June 17, 2015, 07:13:50 am »
I buy a lot of stuff on the internet. The last time I bought gloves on the internet, I didn't get what I ordered. +1 for buying from a local shop. +1 for PI (for now, anyway).

4
Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: May 21, 2015, 07:24:19 am »
Quote
Which model do you have?  I'm using 32mm tires and most of theirs targeted to touring seem to start at 35mm

Tim,

I'm using SKS B53 which goes with my 700 x 38 tires. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't work with smaller tires. In your case, there isn't much of a difference between 32 and 35, so long as there's room in your fork for the width of the fenders.

5
Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: May 20, 2015, 04:52:35 pm »
Quote
During actual rain, fenders do very little as you are getting wet from above, not below

Water from the sky is clean. Water that splashes up from the road, not so much. I was on a group ride on a rainy, muddy road. I was the only one with fenders. We all got wet, but I was the only one that didn't have a muddy streak down the center of the back of my jersey.

I'm loving my SKS.

6
Gear Talk / Re: What tires?
« on: March 22, 2015, 11:45:45 am »
You seem to imply the Schwalbes are the home favorites because the are made in Germany. My Continental gator skins are also made in Germany. They're good enough that I stopped looking for better. I also used the travel contact once. They were a great tire. I stopped riding on trails and didn't need the nobbles. But I agree they're a great tire for those who ride both streets and trails. If you like your tires, why switch?

7
Gear Talk / Re: What lube to use for touring.
« on: January 27, 2015, 01:56:23 pm »
Quote
I sometimes joke that it is my silky smooth spin

That might be a big part of it. "spin" implies high cadence, low force. "Smooth" implies a smooth force without a bunch of jerks as the pedals go round. I think smooth might even be more important than spin. I know another rider who claims his long chain life is due to his very specialized lube ceremonies. But he is also a smooth spinner.

8
Gear Talk / Re: Too tight spokes causes wheel buckling.
« on: January 15, 2015, 03:29:05 pm »
Thanks, Bikinchris. I had heard this before, but I didn't understand why it is true. How tight should spokes be? Does it depend on the spoke pattern?

9
Quote
The bar bag obstructs a handlebar mount and the high-rise solutions are not something that I prefer.

I have drop bars. I mount my front lights at the front of the "U" towards the inside, between the bar and the bag. I use one light on each side.

10
Quote
The Cygolite Hotshot is very bright, USB powered and can be mounted to the rear rack with the optional bracket.

This is a great light, very bright, and does well in rain. The optional bracket is quite cheap on their web site. I use it myself and have had no problems. There are several flash modes, and battery lasts over 20 hours on flash. (I measured it.) However, if you tour, keep in mind that if you can't get to USB power for recharging, you won't be able to just stop at a convenience store and buy a couple of AAAs for the next day or two. This company also has some great front lights. Some of them have large batteries that give 20 hours or more of flash time. Others have smaller batteries that are good for about 6 hours. Read the fine print.

11
Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff Hubs
« on: December 24, 2014, 09:09:21 am »
Pat - thanks for taking the time to post your comments. It's a fair summary and agrees with my experience. Since you mentioned it, my solution to mounting the shifter on drop bars is the bar-end / Hubub adaptor.

Adding to the minus side, the shift from 7 to 8 deserves its infamy, but any shift while under pressure can lead to surprises. I have learned not to shift while pressing on the pedals. A lot of people mention the extra noise in the lower gears. But I think the "freewheel" click is too loud in the upper gears. This is not a quiet device in either gear range. I would like to claim a longer chain life, but mine is highly irregular. Is it variation between chains? Or is it some combination of rain and road grit?

Since my last post, I remembered that some frames built for the Rohloff allow adjustment of the rear wheel to set the chain tension. This might be one of the frame issues. But Rohloff offers a chain tensioner. Like the hub, it's a mechanical marvel, rugged, expensive, and heavy.

As with most things, a lot comes down to personal preference. I hope my preference doesn't make me a "Rohloff lover". The biggest issue for me is that with a derailer, I was dropping the chain several times a year. The reasons varied, but it seems to have always been at a particularly bad time. With the Rohloff, I never drop the chain (so far).

12
Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff Hubs
« on: December 18, 2014, 04:22:14 pm »
So, if we are to know the negative points of a Rohloff, those issues that Rohloff lovers never mention, we are to purchase a year's worth of back issues of Bike Quarterly? The three negatives I see in this discussion are cost, weight, and peculiarities of the frame. The initial cost is certainly known up front, and I specifically mentioned two points where ongoing cost are an issue in my experience. Weight is a big issue for racing, but I don't race. I have a Trek 520 with a Tubus rack, a heavy-duty stand, SKS fenders, etc. Mine is certainly not a light weight bike. Many touring bikes value rugged construction over light weight. The hub works well on my bike without any frame modifications, so I can't imagine what the peculiarities of the frame are.

So if you have negative experiences with the Rohloff hub, what are they? Certainly there are pros and cons to anything. There is nothing that is best for everybody. But if you don't like the hub, you should state your reasons so readers can evaluate the facts or experiences you want to bring up, not the quality of a magazine or the personality of an author.

13
Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff Hubs
« on: December 15, 2014, 05:05:57 pm »
I like mine a lot and would do it again. After 15,000 miles, mine has delivered many hours of trouble-free riding. In fact, it still operates like new. I decided I wanted to put the twist shifter on my bar end. I like that a lot. If you want to do the same, you will need a HubBub Twist Shifter Drop Bar Adaptor, available from Amazon. I like to gear my bike low. Rohloff specifies a minimum front cog size, below which they do not warrant the hub. I geared mine lower than their spec, so my hub is not under warranty. But it has not caused any trouble. As they say in their manual "We built it strong." There are 3 things I don't like about it:

The oil change kits are expensive (about $25).

After the change, oil seeps out of the seals for several weeks, making the rear wheel messy.

The most common installation is to connect the rear cable  guide to the post for the rear brake arm. That created an issue with water getting into the joint. After a year or so, it would get rusty and the one side of my rear brakes would not release correctly. I re-routed the cables to attach the rear cable guide to the chain stay. This requires a straight cable guide (Rohloff part number 8260). The only US source I could find for it was Cycle Monkey. At $25, I thought it was rather expensive.

14
Gear Talk / Re: Seeking Feedback on new gear system
« on: November 22, 2014, 10:30:08 am »
There's a lot of potential with this kind of a idea, but this implementation has just 2 teeth engaged at any one time. Instead of spreading the force across 10 or more teeth, the force is focused, which might be tough on the chain and the teeth. It will be interesting to follow the product as it begins to get real-world testing.

I wasn't overly concerned about visiting the web site. My computer patches and updates are all in place. Just visiting a site is not generally a problem. However, once on a site, I am cautions about what I click after that. You might consider putting more information on the home page, to help visitors decide whether they are interested in looking at this in more detail.

15
Gear Talk / Re: chain ring sizing
« on: November 06, 2014, 09:44:38 am »
About the quick link - I used to lubricate my chain with melted paraffin mixed with graphite. I removed and replaced the chain each time I lubricated it. I found that as the quick link was used, it gradually became more likely to come apart while riding. Replacing an unreliable quick link with a new one would solve the problem. I used to keep a spare quick link in my tool kit. When I started touring, melting paraffin was no longer practical and I switched to Bloeshield T-9 chain lube. Now I don't remove my chain nearly as often, and the quick links last the life of the chain. I still have several spare links that are years old that I will probably never use. You don't mention how many times you have removed your chain. If it's been taken off and on several times, this might be the issue. FYI, I use SRAM quick links.

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