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Messages - Old Guy New Hobby

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Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar bag for wing-style carbon handlebar.
« on: January 21, 2013, 07:46:22 pm »
The Ortlieb website specificly says not to use their cable system with fiber bars.

My bad. Sorry.

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks B67
« on: January 20, 2013, 01:19:53 pm »
I agree with pdlamb. Further, I think the gel seats are the wrong way to go. The body is made to put weight on the sitz bones. Any saddle that helps you do that is doing the right thing. (That includes the Brooks.) Finally, keep in mind that the rider should be active on the bike. Keep some of the weight on your feet. Move around. Get out of the saddle occasionally. Or maybe you really want a recumbent?

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar bag for wing-style carbon handlebar.
« on: January 20, 2013, 01:15:19 pm »
The obvious, Ortlieb, meets both of your criteria.

Gear Talk / Re: Cheap Breathable Rain Gear and Shelter
« on: December 22, 2012, 05:59:43 am »

GPS is new to the list. I heartily recommend an outdoor Garmin GPS unit. Pick the one you like, their similarities outweigh their differences. It runs on two AA batteries, which can stay on all day and last for 2 days of hard riding. It's very rugged and will have no problems surviving on your bike handlebar. You should hook a lanyard to the GPS and wrap it around something. The handlebar mount doesn't latch. My GPS came loose twice over the last year. The lanyard was much appreciated.

On the other hand, if you tried to leave your phone on continuously the battery would last a few hours. So it's only good for occasional GPS checks. And there may be times when you just can't keep it charged. Furthermore, it is a fragile device and should be well protected deep inside your waterproof bag.

You can't make phone calls with a laptop, so you need a phone, which can double as your camera. The very latest smart phones are quite capable on the internet, but typing on a smart phone is a chore. On my last unsupported tour I took a small laptop and a smart phone. You could easily replace the laptop with a tablet to save some space and weight. I used the computer for email, to pay bills, & to blog my tour on I just took a short break during the day, wrote a few words, and uploaded a pic or 2. Months later, I was running into people who commented on my blog.

If you take a computer, save yourself some $$$ and use Wi-Fi. Data plans are expensive, especially when they include teathering to a computer. Free Wi-Fi is available in almost every town (in the East, anyway). The only problem I had was public libraries in Pennsylvania. PA might be the cradle of our freedom, but their library Wi-Fi is locked down tight. Crazyguyonabike was locked out at all 4 of the PA libraries I tried. Every Starbucks I tried worked. McDonalds was OK, but a couple of them had busted Wi-Fi. Small coffee shops were a good bet.

Gear Talk / Re: 2 people, 6 panniers for a cross country tour. Bad idea?
« on: December 10, 2012, 01:36:46 pm »
You really do not need to carry more for a tour that length than for a shorter one.

A longer trip across country that includes low population density, less knowledge of the area, and being further from home & friends might mean more self-reliance for bike repairs, etc. Creature comforts in camp might be more important. There are probably all manner of small comforts that are easily put off for 5 days, but not for months. Still, you probably don't need two more panniers worth of more stuff.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Rack Advice
« on: November 22, 2012, 09:50:30 am »
There are two sizes of receivers on hitches -- 2" and 1 1/4". Make sure your bike rack matches your hitch.

Some hitches are designed to hang the bike from a hook. The wheels are free. I prefer racks where the bike is supported by the wheels. There are lots of brands to choose from. Like most of these types of racks, mine has a curved clamping bar that ratchets down to hold the bike in. The bike I had at the time routed the cables along the top of the top tube. I contacted the manufacturer. They had grooved rubber bumpers to keep the clamping bar from rubbing the cables against the top tube and rubbing the paint off.

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks Saddle help
« on: November 22, 2012, 09:38:33 am »
Good shorts help prevent chafing


There's not much that's more personal than saddles and shorts. You just have to find what works for you.

I have a bunch of padded cycling shorts in my wardrobe, so I wear them. But when I buy new, I buy UA compression shorts and wear a pair of athletic shorts over them. I've found the padding doesn't do anything for me, even on long rides.

I never experienced a "break in" period with my Brooks. It was comfortable from day 1.

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: October 31, 2012, 08:03:35 am »
Plan to give Boeshield a try.

Boeshield lasts a good long time -- especially if it doesn't get wet. Don't over-lube. When you lube, spin off the excess. Also, lube the night before so it can dry.

Gear Talk / Re: Outfitting a Trek 7.5 FX for a full summer tour
« on: October 25, 2012, 08:47:14 am »
You're better off with more spokes.  If one of the 24 spokes breaks, the wheel will be unusable.  It will rub the brake pads.  And it likely takes special spoke wrenches so regular DT ones won't work.  And it will be about impossible to find a replacement spoke.  The wheels are a liability.

Agreed. But who would go on a tour without the correct spoke wrench and some spare spokes? To me, the bigger issue is this. If one breaks a spoke in a shower, or at spot where it's not good to pull over, or just an hour from the end of the day's ride; it's a nice option to be able to ride through until one finds better conditions for repairs.

Gear Talk / Re: Another "what type of bike" question!
« on: October 20, 2012, 09:44:17 am »
Mike -- you're taking a bit of a risk. Any new bike could have problems that aren't detected until loaded, or not detected until well into a tour. There's nothing better than several hundred miles of shake-down riding. I wouldn't consider taking a brand new bike on an unsupported tour. As you are van supported, you will have a lot of options. Just be prepared, you might have to be very flexible.

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: October 01, 2012, 06:59:06 am »
Havings used both and having ridden the C & O - Boeshield is the best for road riding IMO. White Lightening is better at not collecting grime, flaking off to keep the chain clean. I sure hope you have full fenders. It's amazing the difference between my bike and others in the group that didn't have fenders. 

Gear Talk / Re: Tire Selection for the Continental Divide Trail
« on: September 28, 2012, 04:00:31 pm »
Newfydog - very interesting. What is the source for the test data?

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers and Racks
« on: September 23, 2012, 09:26:39 am »
The biggest disadvantage to the rack that comes with the 520 is that it doesn't prevent the rear corner of the pannier from flopping into the rear wheel spokes. As a result, my panniers were always acting like those playing cards we used to attach to our bikes when we were kids to make a motor-like sound.  If you compare the Tubus to the 520 rack, you will see the Tubus has an extra bar on both sides in the back of the rack that comes down, then bends in to the main support just above the mounting area.

The second big advantage of the Tubus is that is sturdier and can support more weight. This is thanks to a combination of a more robust rack and superior mounting system/hardware.

The last advantage is the vertical bar that runs across the back of the rack. The pre-drilled holes match up with mounting brackets for the Planet Bike Superflash and Portland Design Works Radboot rear lights. (Both use the same bracket. It is included with the Portland Design Works and can be ordered separately for the Planet  Bike. See the Planet Bike web site. I think it's $5.) I suppose other rear lights also match the available mounting holes, but I don't know from personal experience.

I may be mistaken, but I don't think the Tubus or any other rack is significantly lower  because of the space needed for fenders.

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