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Sounds like a very aggressive schedule. It's a little hard to evaluate without more info about your riding experience, but 85-100/day is a lot more than *most* people do on tour. 60-65/day is more common.+1 Planning 85-100 miles/day is a lot easier sitting at home than actually doing it. Have you ever ridden back-to-back centuries? How about 30 in a row? How about doing them on a loaded bike, over Western mountains or Eastern hills?
I have found the neoprene ones to be pretty warm. The material is like that of a wetsuit.Neoprene is indeed the most suitable material for "booties" or socks. I have both SideTrack neoprene booties and "Supersocks" neoprene socks and together they let me tolerate an hour or so in 20° weather. There are several similar brands.
I've wouldn't ride on anything but a Terry Gel Men's Touring Liberator saddle. When I'm touring I scarcely think about my butt. Now if I could just fine a way to stop the pain in my feet after 80 miles........It's the best saddle for you but I expect there are others who find it torture. Saddles are about the most subjective part of any bike.
Food? (I was thinking of rice and beans and a camping stove...).Do you think both you and your wife could (or want to) survive for four months on rice and beans over a camp stove? Unless you are both into self-flagellation I'd vary the menu way beyond this and plan restaurant stops at reasonable intervals.
Re: Used Bikes.Have you looked into the liability issue with selling used bikes. I know a lot of shops that won't deal with used bikes because of that possible problem.
So far, I have a beat up Gary Fisher, a pristine Bridgestone NB-26, and a decent Specialized HardRock.
I'm trying to find some more used bikes to have in here. Plus I'll be taking trade-ins.
I strongly prefer blow-up pads to self-inflating ones. You can get more than double the thickness (which is infinitely more comfortable for old bones) for less cost and no more weight.The advantage to self-inflating pads isn't just ease of use but insulation. The foam inside is a very effective insulator and, if you camp in cold weather, this is a big plus. Plain, unfilled air matresses are very poor insulators.
Anyone know if you can use the Keens with egg-beater pedals?Any shoe or sandal that will accept Shimano's SPD cleats will also accept Egg Beater cleats or any other cleat that fits SPD-compatible soles. That includes almost any brand MTB-type pedal cleats.
To return the bike claiming dissatisfaction when no such dissatisfaction exists would be fraudulent. Moreover, it could lead to R.E.I. putting limits on its generous policy. And doing something like that would, IMO, be incredibly selfish.It amazing how often a "good idea" is ruined by the few percent that abuse it.
While morally not acceptable, it's not fraud, as REI does offer an unconditional money-back guarantee, which would presumably cover "changing your mind."The reason I consider it fraud is that the original purchaser set out expressly to buy, use and then return the item. He/she didn't "change their mind", they used the return policy as a specific tool to get value from someone else's property with no intent to pay for it.