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Messages - Old Guy New Hobby

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The last couple of years, I found myself with 5,000 miles on the tires (more or less) and a tour coming up. The tires still looked OK, but I changed them both anyway. The piece of mind out in the middle of nowhere outweighed the cost. After all, how many more miles was I going to get? I kept the front tire around in case of a mid-year blowout, then I tossed it when I had the second used front tire. Of course, this strategy wouldn't work for the high mileage guys. ;)

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Gear Talk / Re: Saddle Suggestion other than Brooks
« on: May 08, 2014, 07:45:46 am »
Why change saddles for a tour? If the saddle you have is OK, just go with it. If it's not, you should have changed by now. I try to make my equipment changes after a tour. Then I have lots of time to shake things down.

Everybody's anatomy is different. There is no saddle that is good for everybody. For me, the most important point of the saddle is that you can put your weight on your sitz bones. Nature put them there to support your weight. http://www.nikkiyoga.com/where-are-my-sitz-bones/

The next most important thing is how you sit on the bike. Keep an active stance. Don't rest on your hands, but use your core to hold your body up. Transfer weight to your feet when you can. Move around and sit in different positions.

The last thing is to bring some Neosporin (or similar). I find that no matter how much I prepare for a tour, I tend to develop some chaffing in the first few days. A little cream can provide a lot of comfort.

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Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 24, 2014, 07:58:26 am »
I used parafin mixed with graphite for a season. It worked well, but I gave up for reasons others have stated. In addition, I applied it by melting the parafin  / graphite on the chain in a foil pan. This required removing the chain at each lube. I did this with a removeable link. After a while, the link got loose. I lost two links on the road. Totally not worth it, IMO.

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Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: April 21, 2014, 10:33:58 am »
Quote
I've still got the old SD-5 on the rear and it seems plenty adequate so it's staying. I reckon you don't want too powerful braking at the back, locked wheel etc.

You never know about unfamiliar roads or braking in sketchy weather. I usually try to apply equal pressure front and back, and release if the rear wheel skids. It's easy to survive rear wheel skids. Front wheel skids, not so much. Of course, this works best if front and rear brakes have similar stopping power.

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Gear Talk / Re: Cateye time & average speed funky readings
« on: April 14, 2014, 07:50:10 am »
If it's wireless, I would replace it with a wired unit.

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Gear Talk / Re: Towards an ergonomic gearing system.
« on: April 12, 2014, 10:15:03 am »
What a post! I don't understand why gears are so close together. I guess that 90% of all bikers don't race. For us, there is a fairly broad power-cadence curve. We could easily get buy with the gears further apart. Often, by the time I shift, I want to shift two gears. We put triples on the front but get only a small increase in range. (Changing the front chainring typically adds only 2 or 3 gears.) We add more gears on the cassette and space the gears closer together. Most of us would get by fine with 7 or 8 gears, if they were spaced further apart to give decent range.

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Gear Talk / Re: solo bike security
« on: April 05, 2014, 06:55:26 am »
Quote
Carry a light cable lock to keep people honest, perhaps, and a detachable handlebar bag with ID, camera, cash, credit cards, etc. stays with you all the time. 

+1 Also be aware of what nice gizmos are on your handlebars because they can attract the eye. The only theft I experienced was with a device on the handlebars. I ride with a GPS. When I'm off the bike, the GPS goes in my handlebar bag, and the bag stays with me.

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Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar bag alternative
« on: March 29, 2014, 03:58:11 pm »
Bengrier, that is an intriguing look. It's almost like having front and rear torpedos. Perhaps reminiscent of a James Bond bike? Keep your hands away from that red button! I like the way it emphasizes a bike's narrow, 2-wheeled essence; while emphasizing the trajectory of the ride. It's a nice style. Let us know what your finished bike looks like.

Edit -- I just noticed your water bottle holders. I have long wanted another water bottle. Yours is a good idea.

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Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar bag alternative
« on: March 29, 2014, 02:30:37 pm »


How can one call this ugly? Maybe it is a little bug-eyed, but ugly?  ;) It provides a waterproof location for first aid supplies, cell phone, wallet, keys, and other important items. This medium-size bag even has room for the cable and lock (which I think looks ugly mounted anywhere on the frame). If rain is imminent or temperatures are marginal, I can even roll up a jacket and put it in that very cool rounded top for instant access.  The snaps on the outside hold a waterproof pouch for a map or a cue sheet. It's easily removed to take with me when I leave the bike. For me, it's a solution that can't be beat.

Besides, one's eyes should be on the road, not the handlebar.

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Gear Talk / Re: Schmidt Dynamos for charging batteries… HELP!
« on: March 08, 2014, 07:27:18 am »
Good catch, Mark. How did I missed that? There is the B & M Dymotec S12. If it's still for sale, it's pretty expensive. This doesn't look very promising.  :-\

I guess it's finding a power outlet at the camp site, or packing lots of batteries.

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Gear Talk / Re: Schmidt Dynamos for charging batteries… HELP!
« on: March 07, 2014, 08:33:33 am »
You seem to have put a lot of work into this, so I'll skip the discussion of alternatives.

The camera's battery has a capacity of 1800 mA Hours. The hub will generate enough energy to keep it charged. As you have already stated, the problem is that there doesn't seem to be a charger that accepts power from a USB hub. However, there are chargers that accept power from a car adapter. They often include a spare battery, so you can keep one charged while using the other. For example:

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Decoded-Battery-Charger-Adapter/dp/B00FCERDOK/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1394198873&sr=8-4&keywords=Olympus+PEN+E-P5+battery+charger

You will want to set the e-Werk to it's maximum voltage output. The power outlet from a car is typically a little over 14 volts, but 13 volts should work fine. Positive voltage goes to the center connector of the adapter, negative voltage to the outside ring.

If you want to know more about charging hubs, I wrote a post here:

http://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=10463.msg52821#msg52821

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Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: March 03, 2014, 04:24:58 pm »
I wouldn't wait too long. A couple of years ago, I got my tent at a great price by buying an older models on clearance at LL Bean. I put it in my basket, but didn't buy it that day. The next day, I came back to find it was no longer available. I called them. Because it was already in my basket, they sent me the last one. I conclude that the quantities are limited and this is a very popular way to buy equipment.

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Gear Talk / Re: Input on buying a bike
« on: February 16, 2014, 11:47:34 am »
When I was looking for a touring bike, I traveled quite a ways to a large shop that carried a number of different touring bikes, and test-rode several. I don't think there is "a best" bike. But I found that one was "twitchy" -- the first time I looked back to check for traffic, I nearly lost balance and fell off the bike. That's not what I was looking for in a touring bike. I am intentionally not mentioning specific bikes, because bike models change from year to year, and because a bike characteristic that is important to me might not be important to somebody else. The point is, there are significant difference in bikes. Without the test ride, I might have been talked into buying a bike I couldn't live with.

As it turned out, I decided to buy from a shop that was closer and was willing to order my bike. That wasn't my original intent, but that was the decision I made after the test rides, and talking with the bike staff at the first shop. I simply felt the local shop would do better job of helping me with any maintenance issues I might have. I'm not advocating test rides at a shop, knowing that you won't buy there. Over the long haul, the long-term "free service" some shops offer isn't nearly as important as working with a shop owner you like who has good mechanics. Other options are to get a guarantee from the shop that they will take the bike back if necessary, or test riding a buddy's bike. I wouldn't buy a car without a test ride. Nor will I buy a bike that way.

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Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: January 03, 2014, 09:16:29 am »
 "Big Agnes" or "Hubba Hubba" are both popular tents. Do you suppose the very cool names have something to do with it? Mine is the Hubba Hubba, and it has served me well. Their customer service is great. I packed my fly wet and left it too long. When I finally unpacked it, there were ugly dots of mold all over the fly. The company was very helpful in getting me a new fly without buying the whole tent.

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Gear Talk / Re: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?
« on: December 01, 2013, 11:08:26 am »
Just to offer a different line of thought ... a GPS can be good for  finding your way back after you are lost / navigating around closed roads / taking impromptu side trips to local points of interest. As was already mentioned, the maps show very little more than the recommended route. You can use a program like RideWithGPS to plot the route as several "GPX files", then load them all in your GPS, along with all streets for the states you will ride through. (This often requires a memory card for the GPS.) My unit has a "screen saver" mode that blanks the display unless you press the screen. That minimizes distractions.

Some downside:  Cost /  You will have to charge or replace batteries every couple of days / There is a technology learning curve to make all this work well.

Some advantages of a GPS over a cell phone are: Map data is stored in the GPS -- no cell access is required / GPS units can be quite rugged, easily surviving drops, bumps, and rain / a GPS battery generally lasts for 2+ days of riding (emphasis on the "+" if you don't use the screen a lot).

One last thing for me personally. I enjoy finding good local eateries as I ride. The phone can find them for you (when you have cell access -- you might have to work ahead a day or two). The GPS can help you modify your route to get there with minimum additional mileage and using small (normally lower traffic) roads.

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