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Broken screws are "common" in auto repair so there are a few devices available that will allow you to retrieve it. Most auto parts store will most likely have one you can purchase. Sears may also have them in stock.They are called EZ-Outs but require drilling a pilot hole in the broken stub to let them work. That's not easy with a typical M5 bolt.
I have 52/11 and very often wish I had a higher gear, and I have never raced.Really? A 52/11 is 127 gear-inch and gives 38 mph at 100 rpm. Can you really ride that fast except on a big downhill where you would go as fast or faster by just tucking in and coasting? My problem with the excessive use of 11T cogs is that you give up a far more useful interior cog to get it.
One should also consider that you can walk up to a farm and ask if you can use their wrenches etc for a few minutes.I wonder how many farm have a set of metric Allen wrenches. Some tools you should carry with you.
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.
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.
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.+1 The Performance/Nashbar rack trunks are very functional and low priced.
In other words, don't overthink this purchase.
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.
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.
New Jersey bears are athletic: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.
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.