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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: April 13, 2008, 05:19:54 pm »
Padding, particularly a lot of it, on a bike seat is counterproductive for long rides.  Instead of the saddle supporting your "sit-bones" you sink into the padding and it reduces circulation by putting pressure where it's not wanted. If you are using one of the "comfort" seats try one that's firmer and thinner.

Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: April 12, 2008, 10:03:50 am »
I just noticed no one asked if you actually do wear biking shorts while riding.  Do you?  If you wear jeans or gym shorts or similar, a large part of your problem is right there.  The seams are all in the wrong places and you will probably never get comfortable.  

Also, the comment about wearing underwear under shorts is a good one.  Don't do it.  Again, the seams are in the wrong places.

There are people who routinely ride in jeans, etc. without complaint but I don't know how they do it. They must have real iron butts.  

Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: April 11, 2008, 12:22:56 pm »
One other recommendation.  If you ride in relatively flat terrain, you may be sitting the entire ride.  Try standing periodically to relieve the pressure and allow your rear to recover.  Upshifting a couple of cogs will make standing easier even if it's flat.

One advantage to hilly rides is you usually stand to climb some of the hills and automatically get off the saddle once in a while.

Gear Talk / Fishing for Advice
« on: April 09, 2008, 02:28:16 pm »
A few years ago in the Netherlands, I saw a guy on a bike carrying a couch balanced on his shoulders.  

There are ways of transporting some very awkward items on a bike but it probably reduces the joy of riding.  ;)

Gear Talk / Fishing for Advice
« on: April 09, 2008, 11:23:05 am »
If the finest action isn't a big issue, Cabellas lists a 4-piece "Eagle Claw" 7-1/2' fly/spin rod for about $42.  It's rated for 7-weight line so it isn't a delecate wand but for lake fishing it should be fine.  

Here is the URL:

This message was edited by DaveB on 4-9-08 @ 7:23 AM

Gear Talk / Help with Novara Randonee sizing
« on: March 30, 2008, 05:49:32 pm »
Realistically, no one can tell you if the bike will fit and be comfortable unless you try it yourself.  We really don't know what you like and what feels right to you.  

How did you get your inseam measurement?  If you took it the correct "bike measurement" way(in your stocking feet and a book hard against your crotch) then a 59cm does sound marginal for your standover clearance but not dangerously so.  The usual "rule" is 1" of clearance or more and you barely make it. I assume a 57 cm is the next size down and that may be more suitable.  

What is the reach to the bars of your current bike?  Is it comfortable?  Can you adjust the Randonee to match or improve on it by changing the stem length and height?  

Again, this is a decision you have to make after trying the bike in person.

This message was edited by DaveB on 3-30-08 @ 1:51 PM

Gear Talk / panniers in front or rear?
« on: March 30, 2008, 02:40:10 pm »
I've done multi-day credit-card tours carrying the size load you mention (ca 20 pounds) using a pair of small rear paniers and a rack top bag.  The bike handled fine with no instability or other problems.  

The combination of front and rear panniers, as noted above, is intended for really heavy loads (40 pounds and up) to let you distribute the weight so it all isn't at one end of the bike.  For the load you want to take, this shouldn't be needed.

Gear Talk / Which sleeping bag?
« on: March 21, 2008, 10:14:16 pm »
BTW, no ending 'e' in Campmor.

Right.  :blush:  I should have looked at my catalog first.

About two years ago I bought a North Face "Trinity"  +20°F rated synthetic bag from Campmor on closeout for $60 and it weighs less than 3 pounds complete with stuff sack. It even came with a loose ventilated storage sack.  

It has been very comfortable and I don't think a down bag would save significant weight at this temperature rating.  

Gear Talk / Which sleeping bag?
« on: March 16, 2008, 07:21:13 pm »
Forget e-bay.  Look at REI or Campmore.  You will get better quality and better choice.  (An aside: why does everyone think e-bay is a good choice for everything?)  

Personally, I'd avoid a down bag.  Good ones are very expensive and cheap ones aren't worth having.  For the temperature range you are looking at, synthetic bags are plenty light, less damaged if they get wet (wet down is a hazard, not a comfort)and much more reasonably priced.    

Gear Talk / cyclocross bike for long distance touring?
« on: April 14, 2008, 10:00:58 am »
If a 27 gear-inch (1:1) low gear is low enough...
Actually I don't consider that low enough for loaded touring if real hills or mountains are part of the route.

Neither do I but Jeffrykellog's posting said he did and was content with a 34x34 (27 gear-inch) low gear.  My point is that a triple is a better way to get that gear without leaving huge gaps in the middle gears.  

As to the 46x11 or 48x11, sure, have it if you like.  However, it is an infrequently needed gear and, again, you give up some more useful ratios to get it.  A 48x12 is still a pretty tall high gear and is the same ratio as a 52x13.

Gear Talk / cyclocross bike for long distance touring?
« on: April 13, 2008, 09:24:39 pm »
Compact drive cranks. 11-34 rear cassette with long cage rear derailleur
this gave me a 1:1 (34:34) first gear and was amost identical to the triple gearing of the Trek 520 with less confusion.

I've never understood the aversion to triple cranks some riders seem to have.  What's so "confusing" about them? An 11x34 cassette, even a 9-speed has huge gaps between the gears and a 48x34 compact crank does too.  

If a 27 gear-inch (1:1) low gear is low enough, a triple crank with 24x38x48 chainrings and a 12x25 9-speed cassette provides the same useful gear range (BTW, do you really need a 48x11 or 118 gear-inch high gear on a touring bike?) with many more useful intermediate gears. If you want a somewhat lower low gear a 12x27 cassette gives the same middle cogs and only changes the two largest cogs.    

Gear Talk / Speedo
« on: February 29, 2008, 10:36:56 pm »
I like most of the Cateye wired models.  I prefer one that does cadence so I use the Cat Eye Astrale 8.

+1 on the wired Cateyes.  I have Enduro or Mity model Cateyes (same computer but the Enduro mount has a heavier gauge, more rugged wire) on all 6 of my bikes and they have been as trouble free as any electronic devise I've ever seen.  Battery life is excellent (literally years) and the batteries (CR2032) are cheap and available at any Wal-Mart or drug store.

I have no personal experience with the wireless models but other peoples stories have convinced me to avoid them.  The increased purchase cost and need for two batteries isn't worth the small appearance gain.

Gear Talk / Stylish Biking Cloths?
« on: February 28, 2008, 01:32:45 pm »
The "baggy" MTB shorts are a good compromise between the need for riding comfort and a more casual, everyday appearance. The "diaper" may be a bit of a bother off the bike but it's not obvious to others and you will treasure it while riding.

I would avoid regular Khaki or jeans shorts as the seams will be in exactly the wrong places. Even with bike short liners they are going to be a problem.

Shirts can be any style but, as noted, avoid cotton as it gets wet and heavy and stays wet and heavy.  There are a lot of T-shirts and even "golf-style" shirts available in all-synthetic fabrics.

I don't think you will ever be stylish in clothing suitable for bike riding but you can avoid the bike-geek look and still be adequately comfortable.

This message was edited by DaveB on 2-28-08 @ 9:34 AM

Gear Talk / soma double cross for loaded tour
« on: February 03, 2008, 02:10:33 pm »
Why not try a short ride with the bike loaded to the level you plan for the trip? Fit your racks and panniers and fill them with books or anything you have to get the weight up to your expected total.  Then ride for 20 miles or so seeing how the responsiveness, stability and comfort are.

That should tell you more about it's suitability than anyone else's opinion.  

Gear Talk / Locks/ theft
« on: January 31, 2008, 11:12:45 am »
I carry about 6' of plastic coated 3/16" "aircraft cable" and a small padlock.  I had the hardware store where I purchased the cable form a 2" loop in each end with crimp sleeves for the lock to go through.  The whole thing weighs about 200 grams and is long enough to go through the frame, both wheels and around a parking meter or road sign post.

It's certainly not strong enough to stop a determined thief but it stops the casual or opportunistic types since it would require a pair of cable or bolt cutters to remove.

BTW, I recommend a 3 or 4 dial combination lock since you cannot lose or misplace the key.  If you can't remember the combination, you probably can't remember where you left the bike either. :)

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