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Messages - DaveB

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1
General Discussion / Re: importance of componentry
« on: July 11, 2014, 04:41:45 pm »
I have four touring / commuter bikes and have put tens of thousands of miles on them. Three have Dura Ace one has Ultegra... I have a couple other brakes with Dura Ace also. Never had a failure or a gum problem with any kind on of them. All this equipment is incredibly reliable. Also, instead of moving your hands to the unstable end of the bars away from the brakes to shift is, in my opinion dangerous. Not to mention more difficult to shift than STI.  The performance of Dura Ace is exceptional, even when compared to Ultegra. The idea you get bar end shifter because they are more reliable is silly. . If on the incredibly remote chance that something breaks on tour... there is Fed Ex virtually anywhere in North America, Europe and much of Asia. Perhaps if you are touring in sub saharan Africa, or Siberia in the winter. I can shift with my pinky with Dura Ace. Unless you are really constrained by money, I would get nothing else. If constrained, I would get the highest level you can afford. I have found you get what you pay for with Shimano.
I think Dura Ace is the last group you'd consider for a true touring bike.  There is no longer any triple crank or shifter option, a "compact double" (50/34) is the smallest chainring set available and the cassettes are 11-speed and none with very large big cogs.  It's a wonderful racing and sports riding group but out of place for touring. 

2
Gear Talk / Re: Why not use my [insert bike here] on GDMBR?
« on: July 08, 2014, 12:25:22 pm »
While possible, IMHO it's irresponsible to recommend an X-mart BSO for a ride like the GDMBR.
I think you are over reacting and the comment wasn't a "recommendation" to use a Walmart bike.  This forum gets a lot of questions about using basically unsuitable bikes for specific tours, etc. and the reply that a Walmart bike could be used was meant to be facetious. 

3
This is what I do also. I do as little tire changing as possible.
Yeah, that's my feeling too.  Sort of a let sleeping dog lie approach.  I once tried rotating a used front to the rear and replacing the front.  To my surprise the former front wore out very fast as a rear tire, much sooner than a new rear would have.  I expect the time and miles had effected the rubber even though there was little to no apparent wear.

4
For all practical purposes, bike front tires don't wear at all.  Weigh a new front tire and weigh it again after say 5000 miles.  The weight loss bill be negligible while a rear tire under the same conditions will be worn down to the casing well before that.  Nevertheless, front tires do age and harden with years and miles and shouldn't be used forever.   

I start with two new tires and ride them until the rear is showing casing under the tread.   I replace the rear and keep the front.  When the second rear wears out, I then replace both.

5
Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: June 21, 2014, 06:33:03 pm »
Sandals, even SPD compatible ones, are an acquired taste.  Not everyone is happy with them as either riding or casual shoes.  Full coverage riding shoes offer better coverage and impact protection but sandals as off-the-bike shoes may be attractive.

6
Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: June 21, 2014, 09:01:26 am »
Once I tried clipless pedals and shoes I determined I would never go back to clips and straps.  You can use MTB-style pedals and shoes with recessed cleats that make walking quite tolerable so you don't have to change shoes at every stop.  I would want a pair of light shoes for overnight stops anyway as I wouldn't want to spend every waking hour of every day in the same shoes no matter what the type.

7
Nice looking bike.  However, and this is strictly a personal preference that you are completely free to ignore or disagree with.  I think stem shifters are the most inconvenient and awkward possible type.  They scream "cheap bike" but that isn't my main objection.  You have to remove one hand from the bars to use them but don't have the lower center of gravity that downtube shifters provide while shifting.  I'd either remount the levers as downtube shifters or mount them on the barend pods that Rivendell also sells.  For a bit more money and much better shifting convenience, you could mount those levers on "Retroshift" brake levers and have most of the convenience of brifters without the cost or complexity.

8
I'm sure Surly themselves would have recommendations.  Their web site description of the Ogre says; "Both fork and frame allow the use of a fender, disc brake, and rack at the same time.", so there must be suitable racks.  Contact them directly.

9
General Discussion / Re: Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure
« on: May 26, 2014, 04:41:14 pm »
Using any European country as an example of what we should do in the US is too much an apples and oranges comparison.  Our low population density, huge distances and the fact that Europe was crowded and urbanized for 500 years before they even knew about the "New World" makes that discussion unfair. 

Also, automobiles were an expensive luxury in Europe for decades after they were everyman's appliance here.   

10
Gear Talk / Re: Garmin Edge 810 Connecting to PC
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:12:37 am »
I'd contact Garmin directly.  their tech service staff is very good and should get your problem resolved.

11
Gear Talk / Re: Touring wheel configuration
« on: May 23, 2014, 04:49:41 pm »
I got over-fancy and built up a set of touring wheels on Ultegra hubs, which was a mistake.  The rear hub was replaced twice under warranty.
I have to ask how the Ultegra hubs failed.  Basically all Shimano road and MTB hubs have a stellar reputation for smoothness, durability and ease of maintenance and my experience with them bears this out.  So I'm really interested in what happened to yours. 

12
The one real problem with MTBs is their straight handlebars which give only one hand position.  This can be a problem and cause numbness (aka "handlebar palsy") on successive long days of riding.  At a minimum, if you don't already have them, add bar ends to give you another hand position.

13
Gear Talk / Re: Touring wheel configuration
« on: May 15, 2014, 09:18:40 pm »
The rim vs disc brake debate is still raging and can get pretty heated at times.  It's almost as bad as the Shimano vs Campy arguments of the past. 

So this is MY opinion and MY take on brakes.  Others can (and will) chime in with agreement or disagreement as they wish.

Bicycle stopping distances are not limited by their brakes but by their tire grip and the tendency of the rear wheel to lift under hard braking so claiming one form of brakes provides better stopping then others is misleading.  Any decent rim or disc brake will lock both wheels quite nicely.  So the main differences are:

Disc brakes may work a bit better in the wet but good rim brakes with good pads are very close behind. They are also a bit better at heat absorption on long downgrades and keep the heat away from the tires.  However, they can be overheated if used poorly just like rim brakes. 

Disc brakes don't cause rim wear and this can be a consideration for true off-road MTB use but road rims last a long time anyway.
 
Disc brakes complicate and slow wheel installation and changes.  Probably not a big issue until you have a flat in the rain as it's getting dark.

Disc brakes are heavier and their frames and forks are heavier as they have to be reinforced to take the braking forces and discs are less aero but these are all mostly non-issues with a touring bike.

Front disc brakes used with standard downward facing fork dropouts tend to eject the front wheel under braking forces.  It is ESSENTIAL that a fork with good "lawyers lips" AND a strong internal cam (Shimano or Campy type) quick release skewer be used.  Some fork designers have adopted either front facing dropouts or, better yet, through axles to avoid this problem.   The Disc LHT seems to have standard fork dropouts so I assume they have substantial lawyer's lips.  If you go that way keep the qr skewer TIGHT.

Mechanical disc don't have the modulation or ease of operation of the better hydraulic models but they make it up in simplicity and ease of repair.

To me disc brakes on road and touring bikes are still a work in progress and I expect developments in the future will make them more user friendly.           
 

14
Gear Talk / Re: Touring wheel configuration
« on: May 15, 2014, 12:22:21 pm »
The LHT is spaced for 135 mm hubs so that's not an issue.  I agree than any Shimano hub is a good choice and the XT is probably the "sweet spot" in the MTB lineup.  It's available both with and without disc brake rotor mounts so buy the one to suit your brake choice although the disc-ready hub is fine for rim brake wheels too.   

Shimano's web site no longer lists the XT hubs as separate items and you may have problems finding 36 or more hole hubs these days as 32 seems to be the standard.  However, Jenson still lists the XT in disc form with 36H drilling: http://www.jensonusa.com/Hubs/Shimano-XT-M756A-Rear-Hub¬

15
Gear Talk / Re: Touring wheel configuration
« on: May 15, 2014, 08:53:05 am »
If you have the LHT frame, the brake type has been defined already.  If not, this is going to be a long thread as opinions and recommendations will be all over the place. 

A bit more info is probably useful:

1. What  type of touring do you plan?  Fully loaded and self-contained?  "Credit Card" with minimal luggage and no camping or cooking? Van or car supported?
2. What type of terrain?  All paved roads?  Some dirt and gravel roads? 
3. How much do you weigh?
4.  Are you going to be riding in "developed" countries only (i.e. always near a bike shop and cell phone service) or in undeveloped and remote countries and areas? 

All of these factors will have an influence on the type of wheels and tires and brakes you need.

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