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We had a friend who cycle-camped using 2 or 3 layers of bubble wrap for a pad. How we laughed. It was uncomfortable and cheap. He reckoned he could have made a 5ft thick mattress of bubble wrap for the cost of our Neo-Air.Didn't the "popping" every time he turned over keep all the others awake?
The initial finding that helmets protect your heat have never been replicated in any good scientific studyOK, I realize this is a contentious issue and the data in favor of helmet use is mostly anecdotal since it's impossible to replicate an accident with and without a helmet and compare the outcomes. No one has done controlled, instrumented crash studies I'm aware of. That said I can add two anecdotes to the evidence as I have destroyed two helmets in bike accidents.
You are half correct - 73/55 is a very low trail design, but low trail means that the handlebars have to turn a lot to make the bike turn - not good handling. You can have the bars "twitch" all over the place and nothing happens.Again, I think you have this backwards. "Trail" is the same as "castor" and controls the self-centering tendency of the front wheel. A large trail figure tends to keep the front wheel pointed straight ahead and makes turning sluggish but makes high speed stability better. Low trail is more responsive but requires more attention to keeping the bike in a straight line.
With a high trail design, the bike steers significantly with every "twitch" of the bars.
Yesterday she rode the Trek 520 in both 51 and 54cm sizes. The 54 was a really good fit while the 51 was clearly too small.If she rode the Trek and it fit well, why not just buy it?
I am planning on riding the Western Express in late March....You probably should reconsider. It's not just how clear the roads have been plowed but what's still falling.
.... and if all that hasn't put you off... beware of the reverse fall where you unclip one side (Hooray!) and then for whatever reason forget and try to put the other foot down .... do this and you will fall.There can be some lapses but if you do that often, you are really beyond help.