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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / Touring Bike
« on: November 21, 2008, 02:13:27 pm »
I guess I would have to disagree on the 26inch wheels.  There is something called a 26inch road wheel.  I don't know what Surly uses for their 26inch rims.

A friend of mine got a custom touring bike built for his wife.  Based on her size, the dealer and frame vendor elected to build the frame based on a 26inch wheel.  The dealer fabricated a wheel based on a 26inch road rim.  The bike has ended up being a disappointment as there are limited choices for tires that fit the bike.

The 26" road wheel you friend's wife has is otherwise known as a 650c wheel (ISO 571) and, as you noted, there are limited tire choices in that rim size and they are not widely avaialble.  I agree it was a mistake to specify them for her general purpose use.

The Surly uses 26" MTB wheels(ISO 559) and there is a huge variety of tire widths and types available in that size and even the X-marts cary some of them.

This message was edited by DaveB on 11-21-08 @ 11:13 AM

Gear Talk / Touring Bike
« on: November 15, 2008, 10:58:16 am »
I contacted Surly about a question I had concerning two wheel sets they have listed. They told me that the 700c wheel set only comes on bikes 56 cm and up. I take a 54 cm. which would have 26 wheels. The Performance (if you checked my blogsite) has 26. It just seems to make more sense  to use a larger wheel.  True?

The reason for the smaller wheels on small frames is two fold; 1)they reduce stand-over height a bit and 2)they eliminate toe-overlap (i.e. the front tire hits the tip of your shoe) on tight turns.

It seems the 26" wheels are on MTB rims (ISO 559),   not 650C (ISO 571).  They give you a wide choice of tire widths and types, so are very versatile.

I don't see any downside to these 26" wheels for a touring bike. 700c wheels can be lighter and use thinner, lighter tires with a bit less rolling resistance but none of that is germain for touring.

This message was edited by DaveB on 11-17-08 @ 5:15 PM

Gear Talk / Raleigh Sojourn
« on: December 28, 2008, 01:20:47 pm »
A cheap $35.00 steel wheel on the front should take you across the continent without trouble.

This is very poor advice.  Yes a cheap steel rimed wheel might have the structural strength but it will provide such dismal braking, particularly in the wet, that no one should ever use one.  A steel front rim is even worse than a rear because that's where most of the effective braking occurs.

Gear Talk / Sealed bearings--How many miles?
« on: October 31, 2008, 09:39:37 am »
ISIS bottom brackets were highly variable in quality.  Some wore out very quickly and others were fairly durable.  

Octalink (Shimano) bottom brackets are similar in concept but generally much more reliable.  I have two that are 15,000+ miles old and still in excellent condition with no play and no noise.

Shimano's older square taper cartridge bottom brackets were very durable also.

Gear Talk / Dry Feet
« on: October 10, 2008, 11:01:06 pm »
Unfortunately, I have to agree with bogiesan.  You can't keep you feet dry in a heavy rain.  The best you can do is try to keep them warm.  In warm weather it's no problem, just annoying.  In cold weather you have to keep your feet warm and neoprene or insulated shoe covers will do it even if wet.  

Fenders are effective with wet roads if it isn't actually raining but they only delay the inevitable in a real rain.  Same for shoe covers.  Even fully "waterproof" shoecovers can't keep the water from running down your legs into your shoes.

Once you stop for the day, stuffing wet shoes with newspaper and changing it a couple of times will do a very effective job of drying them out.  Until the next rain.    

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 07, 2008, 11:53:05 am »
Some ideas for getting small amounts of fuel for a white gas/unleaded gasoline stove:  

1. Stop at a gas station and approach someone who is filling their car.  Ask them to add gas to your fuel bottle (bring a small funnel) and offer to pay for the 1 qt or what ever it takes.  The cost should be less than $1 even at today's prices.

2. Stop at a gas station and go around to all of the pumps not in use.  Remove the nozzle from the pump and drain the residual gas into your fuel bottle.  Many people replace the nozzle without draining it and a few pumps may provide all you need free.

3.In any commercial or public campground, find someone with a Coleman stove or lantern and offer to buy a small amount of Coleman fuel from their large can.  

BTW, denatured alcohol (ethanol treated to be non-drinkable) is available in most hardware and home center stores in the paint section, often in 1-qt or 1-pint cans.  It is the solvent used for shellac.

Gear Talk / mtb shoes
« on: September 23, 2008, 09:40:04 am »
The debate about float is never ending but, except in rare cases, it's nothing but beneficial.  

My MTB/beater bike pedals are Shimano SPD's with what ever shoes fit your feet and budget.  These pedals are relatively inexpensive, durable, clear mud and debris well and replacement cleats are readily available.

I have no personal experience with Egg Beaters but I've heard reports that the cheaper versions have serious bearing problems.  The better ones seem well liked by the couple of people I know who use them.

BTW, Speedplay Frogs are wonderful road pedals but dreadful for off road use despite being advertised as MTB pedals.  The cleats clog instantly in mud or gritty conditions.  

Gear Talk / Equipment Qestions For A New Guy
« on: September 17, 2008, 10:36:27 am »
You will want booties if it is under 40F.  Get yourself a silk or synthetic balaclava too (fleece is overkill).

I agree about the booties, particularly in <40° weather.  Neoprene booties are heavy and bulky but work when nothing else does.  Sidetrak neoprene booties are a decent compromise between bulk and warmth.  

I disagree about fleece balaclavas being overkill. In the 30's and below they are a great comfort and don't get soggy with sweat.  A helmet cover is also a worthwhile addition in the cold or rain and Suguoi makes the best one I've found.  

Gear Talk / Tandem Roof Top Rack
« on: September 02, 2008, 09:25:30 pm »
I have a couple of front fork mount blocks bolted to a 7" x 40" piece of 1/2" plywood for carrying up to two bikes in the rear bay of my Honda CRV.  I stapled several 6" long pieces of the "hook" part of 2" Velcro to the bottom of the board so it grabs the carpeting and stays in place.

I'm sure something similar, sized to fit your van, would work.  

Gear Talk / Clipless w/float and platform please
« on: August 15, 2008, 10:51:21 pm »
Also SPD's have always had 6° of float.

Do you have a link that says that?  I checked several listings and... They all said that SPD as 4 degrees and SPD-SL as 6 degrees.

Note that both real Shimano and Wellgo list 4° of float for non SL models which are a different product entirely.

I just checked the QBP web site and you are correct that they list 4° of float for both Shimano and Wellgo pedals.  However, having used both, I can assure you Shimano pedals have more angular float then Wellgo's.

I wonder if Shimano's have +/-4° of float for 8° total?  They certainly have more than Wellgos and that's the only explanation I can think of.

And yes, I'm well aware of the difference between Shimano's MTB pedals and their "SL" road pedals.

This message was edited by DaveB on 8-15-08 @ 7:55 PM

Gear Talk / Clipless w/float and platform please
« on: August 14, 2008, 10:41:36 am »
Float is also useful for those of us whose legs are not perfectly straight, causing the heel to move in and out a bit as the crank turns."
That is why I said "often", but I have to wonder...  How often is that heel movement just a result of poor fit or bad form?

I thing "often" should be "nearly always".  It's not "bad form" it's inherent biomechanics.

Tell me, what is the downside of float?  I can't think of any reason not to have it and for most riders it's a benefit.  BTW, the Pros all use pedals with float and if there were a disadvantage, they would be the first to complain.

Russell is correct, the float on SPD pedals is symetrical and the OP has (had?) his cleats oriented improperly. Also SPD's have always had 6° of float.  Wellgos and their private branded SPD-knockoffs have 4°.

This message was edited by DaveB on 8-14-08 @ 7:49 AM

Gear Talk / Camelback stopper
« on: July 10, 2008, 10:21:48 pm »
Most hardware and home centers have it in the plumbing dept.  It's used as a lube and seal on O-rings since it's compatible with nearly all types of rubber and plastics.

A silicone spray will also work (same sources) but is harder to apply to a limited area.

Gear Talk / Camelback stopper
« on: July 09, 2008, 11:59:10 am »
Food-Grade silicone grease is probably the safest for both you and the stopper.  Use very little.

Gear Talk / Bicycle Insurance
« on: July 03, 2008, 11:05:50 pm »
Here in the US we can get a "rider" on our homeowners or renters insurance to cover a specifically "scheduled" item for all hazards including theft outside the home. These are used to cover special high value items like jewelery, cameras, musical instruments, antiques, etc.  You might see if you can add such a rider to your home insurance to cover your bike.  

« on: June 03, 2008, 10:51:50 am »
I don't think the OP was looking for advice on which bike to purchase but the name of a helpful and competent LBS in his area.  There are plenty of suitable bikes out there but very few dealers that have the desire to help a new touring rider pick one.

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