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Messages - DaveB

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1021
General Discussion / Re: cassette for phil?
« on: July 24, 2010, 07:57:36 pm »
"Alloy" cogs in bike-speak implies aluminum and no one makes aluminum cogs any more.  All decent name-brand cassettes (Shimano, SRAM, Campy, etc.) are good quality steel and differ only in finish and weight. Higher line cassettes have groups of cogs mounted on aluminum spiders to save weight.

The very highest line (read: expensive) cassettes such as Dura Ace and Campy Record have a couple of the largest cogs made of titanium as a weight savings measure but sacrifice durability for low weight.  In fact Campy makes an all-titanium cog cassette but it is a very expensive specialty item and isn't a consideration for your use. 

CastAStone's generalization that SRAM cassettes wear better and are stronger than Shimano's doesn't match my experience at all.  I find Shimano cassettes just as durable and "strong" as any SRAM.  You won't go wrong with either.


1022
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« on: July 05, 2010, 01:26:44 pm »
Frankly, the Trek Valencia looks pretty low-line and the components are entry-level.  I believe the crank has riveted chainrings so you can't even change the 28T granny ring for something smaller.  If you want straight bars, look much higher in the Trek Hybrid line-up. 

The "Mendota" appears to be much more suitable and the 11x26 9-speed cassette could be easily exchanged for a 12x32 or 11x32 cassette giving you a quite low low gear.

1023
General Discussion / Re: Expected daily mileage on hills
« on: July 05, 2010, 01:11:12 pm »
Alfonso, I'm wearing regular cotton shorts with polyester boxers, I thought thight cycling shorts were not my style ;)
Well, that's your problem right there.   

True cycling shorts aren't a fashion statement, they are VERY functional riding gear.   If the classic spandex shorts aren't your "style", get some MTB shorts.  They are pretty much standard cycling shorts with a loose, street-wear type short over them so they appear "normal" but have the proper padding and the seams are placed where they don't cause problems.   

1024
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« on: July 04, 2010, 08:02:46 pm »
+1 on Baer Wheels.  I've seen and used their services on both GOBA and TOSRV and agree they are a competent shop. 

1025
Gear Talk / Re: Chain Rings
« on: July 04, 2010, 07:56:12 pm »
You could in principle change the 30 to a 26 or even a 24.
You can do it in practice too.  I've converted numerous 52/42/30 Shimano 7, 8 and 9-speed triple road cranks and even a Campy 53/42/30 10-speed triple crank from the stock 30T granny to a 26T granny with universal success.  They all shift well with the only somewhat sluggish shift being from the granny back to the 42T middle ring.  You are rarely in a rush for that shift anyway. 

I do recommend fitting a "chain watcher" to keep the chain from derailling inside on a hurried shift to the granny.  The Third Eye Chain Watcher and N-Gear's Jump Stop both work well.     

1026
General Discussion / Re: Camp Stove - Fuel
« on: July 04, 2010, 07:44:17 pm »
Most "white gas" stoves will also burn unleaded automobile gasoline and, of course, the supply is available at any gas station.  Buy a 1-gt (actually 1L) Sigg or similar metal fuel bottle and refill it as needed.  You might even get what you need free if you catch someone filling their car and ask for a small amount for your bottle.

1027
Gear Talk / Re: carbon fork or steel?
« on: June 04, 2010, 10:45:28 am »
OK, assuming you can get a carbon fork with the right geometry and clearances, now the question is what's it's advantage, right?    A carbon fork will be somewhat lighter but that's it's major difference compared to steel.  The downside is, of course, cost.

You will hear that carbon reduces ride harshness and is more comfortable.  That's a bit misleading. I've ridden numerous carbon and steel road forks and see very little comfort difference.  For a road bike the weight difference is huge and that's the real improvement.  If you want a comfortable ride, use larger tires at lower pressure.

Steel will be more forgiving of abuse and for a tourer, particularly one used for even mild off-road riding, that is an advantage.

1028
Gear Talk / Re: carbon fork or steel?
« on: June 03, 2010, 09:04:18 am »
By a "29'er" I presume you mean a MTB frame.  If so, can you even get a carbon fork with the correct geometry and clearance for the wider tires the frame implies?  Perhaps a carbon cyclocross fork would do it but a carbon road fork will have too tight clearances.

1029
Gear Talk / Re: Windsor Tourist
« on: May 29, 2010, 08:33:50 am »
But further, the distributor that sells Windsor has had a ton of other problems besides the frames themselves, ranging from easily chipped paint to things assembled improperly to false advertising and the worst customer service in the industry.  I would never send a friend to them.  I know there are some people who are happy with the product; but this company has had a disproportionate number of very angry customers.

As long as you are going to post in both threads on this subject, I might as well too. :)

+1.  I've seen very mixed reports about Bikesdirect products.  Some customers are quite pleased and others terribly disappointed.  Partly it depends on how good a bike mechanic the customer is.  

Good mechanics expect to go over the bike in detail correcting the assembly flaws and shortcuts and aren't surprised by what they find and have to fix so they are satisfied with their purchase.  

Inexpert owners can run into a lot of problems they have to pay someone else to correct and will be very disappointed.

BTW, I wonder what the OP wound up buying. It's been 4 years so he should have done something by now.  It would be nice to have feedback on his experience.
  
 
 Report to moderator    74.111.127.40  
 

1030
Gear Talk / Re: Windsor Tourist? Is this a good bike?
« on: May 29, 2010, 08:29:17 am »
But further, the distributor that sells Windsor has had a ton of other problems besides the frames themselves, ranging from easily chipped paint to things assembled improperly to false advertising and the worst customer service in the industry.  I would never send a friend to them.  I know there are some people who are happy with the product; but this company has had a disproportionate number of very angry customers.
+1.  I've seen very mixed reports about Bikesdirect products.  Some customers are quite pleased and others terribly disappointed.  Partly it depends on how good a bike mechanic the customer is. 

Good mechanics expect to go over the bike in detail correcting the assembly flaws and shortcuts and aren't surprised by what they find and have to fix so they are satisfied with their purchase. 

Inexpert owners can run into a lot of problems they have to pay someone else to correct and will be very disappointed.

BTW, I wonder what the OP wound up buying. It's been 4 years so he should have done something by now.  It would be nice to have feedback on his experience.

1031
General Discussion / Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« on: May 25, 2010, 06:46:57 pm »
That said the fit of my bike is very important as I have found myself to be very biomechanically sensitive...... My bike is perfectly set up for me and changing something as important as shoes, pedals, and cleats is not worth it.  I will be sticking with my road shoes and cleat covers.  If I wasn't so finicky I would be using an SPD set up with MTB shoes for sure.
The main difference between road pedals/shoes and MTB pedals/shoes will be the stack height, that is the distance between the pedal spindle and your foot.  Typically MTB shoes and pedals position your foot further away.  Try to measure this distance for both your road and MTB set ups and raise your seat by the same amount.  That should make the bike feel the same.

1032
Fenders? Absolutely.  If your frame and fork have the clearance for them, full coverage fenders are a blessing in any kind of bad weather.  They keep you dryer and your drivetrain a lot cleaner.

I've used several other brands and the Planet Bike (these: http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7004.html ) are my favorite.  They are easy to install and adjust and give very good protection at minimal weight.

1033
General Discussion / Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« on: May 23, 2010, 10:05:54 am »
@DaveB - I fully agree with your points and would add that I pretty much tour and commute solely in regular trail running shoes with toe cages and platform pedals as a way to eliminate having to carry redundant sets of footwear. It is not as efficient pedaling but allows for frequent dismounts and sightseeing and I still don't have any issues putting in similar high mileage days when required.
When I started riding in the mid-80's I did too since clipless pedals were in their infancy and hadn't made it to the ordinary rider level.  However, as soon as I got the opportunity to try a pair, I was sold. 

I ride in a lot of hills and the ability to pull up and through the stroke without coming out of the pedals was a revelation and I'd never go back.  BTW, I put a pair of toeclip/strap pedals on one bike a couple of months ago to take a short local ride.  Never again. 

I can walk fairly comfortably in my MTB-style riding shoes during riding time and carrying a pair of light shoes or sandals for off-the-bike wear are a well worth the slight extra weight while touring. 

1034
Gear Talk / Re: Tool kit?
« on: May 22, 2010, 01:56:31 pm »
Multi-tools are convenient and cool but they are merely marketing successes, too.
I pretty much agree with one exception; Park's MT-1 "Dog Bone" multitool.  It has 3,4,5,6 and 8 mm hex wrenches, 8,9 and 10mm box wrenches and a small flat screwdriver, weighs less than 40 grams and costs about $10. Better yet all of the larger hex wrenches are oriented so you can get some real leverage.  I once used mine to retorque someone's loose crank arm and it got them through the rest of the ride.

The MT-1 paired with a small light chain tool and a proper size small spoke wrench should do almost any roadside repair that's feasible.   

KNow how to use your chain tool......If you shop for individual tools, beware cheap tools that can chew the edges off your nuts and bolts.
+1 on both accounts. 

1035
General Discussion / Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« on: May 21, 2010, 05:50:39 pm »
MTB Pedal/Cleat systems pro:
-Easy to walk in.
-Secure if you put your foot down at a stop light, etc.
-Cleats don't wear out from walking on them.
-All common designs double sided so you don't have to flip the pedal over to clip in.

MTB Pedal/Cleat systems con:
-Shoes and pedals are usually heavier.
-Shoe soles are usually (not always) not as stiff as road shoes

Road Pedal Pro:
-Stiffer soles on most shoes
-Lighter shoes and most pedals
-Style points with the "serious" riders

Road pedals con:
-Difficult and awkward to walk in even with cleat covers.
-Slippery footing when stopping at traffic lights, etc.  Even worse if the road is wet.
-Walking damages cleats unless you go to the trouble of using cleat covers EVERY time you get off the bike. Uncovered cleats will damage many floors too.
-Most (Speedplays are the notable exception) are single sided so the pedal has to be flipped upright to clip in. 

My conclusion: For touring and recreational riding MTB pedals are the clear choice.  Road pedals are for racing, serious training and riders who rarely walk or ride in traffic.


 
 
 

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