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Messages - DaveB

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General Discussion / Re: Bicycle tools for a cross country ride
« on: July 27, 2015, 08:05:41 am »
Yes, a master link :)  I had no idea what they were called!  I never had a broken chain on tour, but did once when I borrowed a rusty old bike for a day. Resulted in a 9 mile walk back.  Master links are very cheap and take no space at all. Well worth having just in case!
Remember, master links aren't universal.  They come in a variety of widths to match 7/8, 9, 10 and 11-speed chains and you need to have the one that matches your chain.   

Gear Talk / Re: Gearing for Touring Bike Followup
« on: July 16, 2015, 11:11:25 am »
Keep in mind that touring bikes are a very small part of the overall bike market and, as noted, not all of them are used for actual touring.  If you know what you need it is very possible to customize an over-the-counter "touring bike" to be exactly what you require.  Yes, it costs a bit but it's quite possible.  My pet-peeve is the prevalence of 11T smallest cogs that are  spec'ed on a huge range of inappropriate bikes, not just tourers.

Gear Talk / Re: Gearing for Touring Bike
« on: July 14, 2015, 05:26:28 pm »
Here we are crossing Brenner Pass, Austrian and Italian Border. Made it with a 38x17 on my 26" Co-Motion Pangea Rohloff.....
Seem you left that word out of your earlier posting.

Look again.  A Google search for Traitor bikes produced a lot of hits including  the company's own web site and numerous independent reviews.  I assume REI has vetted them and is satisfied that they are a suitable vendor.

My experience says that a bag rated at 20F (-7C) is the optimum balance of warmth and weight.  You can use it at lower temperatures by wearing some of your other clothing and it's not oppressively warm in mild conditions.

Gear Talk / Re: Cheap racks
« on: July 07, 2015, 10:03:49 am »
I have what I believe is the same rack and it's plenty strong but heavy.  The adjustability is a plus. I didn't see a weight limit listed on the Amazon site but I expect 30 pounds (14 kg) would be safe.

Gear Talk / Re: Trunk bag for Tubus Evo Cargo Rack
« on: July 07, 2015, 09:55:29 am »
As you're going to use it for day trips -- lunches and rain gear? -- I'd think Ortlieb is overkill.  I picked up a trunk bag from either Nashbar or Performance a while back.  It attaches with Velcro, and can fit on any rack I've tried it on.

In other words, don't overthink this purchase.
+1   The Performance/Nashbar rack trunks are very functional and low priced.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Bike Selection
« on: June 23, 2015, 09:17:39 pm »
Shimano will give you anything you want. As long as you order in lots of 10,000 or more units
That's the correct statement.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Bike Selection
« on: June 21, 2015, 07:09:30 pm »
The Shimano triple had the same 30 tooth inner chainring that they have been putting on bikes for decades. They are still doing it today. Clueless. I also inquired if the 520 could be set up with 24-34 low gears. It took them over an hour to confirm the combination was possible.  It was not a good experience.
Shimano isn't "clueless", they are selling most of their triples to road riders, not tourists, so the 30T granny ring is adequate.  However, if you find one of the older FC-5703 or FC-4503  triple cranks, they still have a separate 74 mm bolt circle and will take a replacement granny ring down to 24T.    The newer Shimano triple cranks (FC -4603 and FC-6703) have the granny ring bolted to extended tabs on the middle chainring and with a 92 mm bcd and are indeed limited to a 30T granny chainring. 

As a further possibility, Shimano does make "Trekking" cranks geared 48/36/26 in Hollowtech II format and these have a 64 mm granny ring bolt circle and will take a 22T chainring. 

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 18, 2015, 11:54:12 am »
The Blue Ridge Parkway. Elevation will keep temperatures reasonable. Campgrounds along the way. Pretty scenery. 35 mph speed limit. Light traffic. What's not to like?

Yep, it's a great cycling area alright with one minor disadvantage.  The Blue Ridge Parkway runs east and west.  The OP plans to ride north to south.

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 14, 2015, 04:29:13 pm »
New Jersey bears are athletic:

Seriously...We just missed seeing one in the Gap during an organized century.  Alas, all we saw were his muddy  prints in the road. The year before a couple of them walked out of the woods while the official photographer was photographing cyclists.
I've seen one bear while I was riding my bicycle. :)   A friend and I were riding the access road through Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia when what looked like a large black dog ambled out of the woods and sat down on the shoulder of the road.  As we got closer we realize it wasn't a dog, it was a bear cub!  Next question; where is it's mother?  We stopped a respectful distance away and waited until it wandered off back into the woods before riding on. 

There should be a lot of information on crossing into the USA from Canada as a UK passport holder by automobile and that would have the same requirements as a bicycle. 

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 12, 2015, 06:45:49 pm » might have the pleasure of seeing a bear riding through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Interesting.  I've never seen a bear riding a bicycle.  I didn't know they could ride. 8)

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 11, 2015, 08:05:30 pm »
Historical temperature and precipitation data can be a useful guide as long as you don't take it as gospel.  A friend is fond of saying; "Climate is what you expect.  Weather is what you get."  As John recommended, go and enjoy the ride.  Take what happens in good spirits.

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 11, 2015, 04:46:21 pm »
You are correct that Shimano brifters are not really serviceable.  For one thing, repair parts aren't available to the consumer or LBS.  Campy Ergo brifters are (or at least were in the past) serviceable and replacement parts were available but it's not a job for the faint of skill.

I agree that downtube and barends are unequaled for reliability and durability but not for convenience.  That's why I'm such a fan of the Retroshifts I discussed above.  All the simplicity and reliability of barend/downtube levers (because that's what they are) but positioned where you can easily reach them.

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