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Messages - DaveB

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General Discussion / Re: Best Camera for touring?
« on: March 24, 2009, 08:58:14 am »
7 megapixels will provide very sharp detailed photographs unless you are making poster size prints. 

I wonder if your problems are with the photographer rather than the camera.  Do you hold the camera steady when you shoot?  Most digital cameras are very small and light and most photographers hold them at arms length to view the LCD screen at the back.  Both these things  make for a very unsteady platform. 

Try mounting your camera on solid tripod and using the self timer to take a few pictures.  That should eliminate camera shake entirely.  Then see if you picture quality improves.  Don't be at all surprised if it does dramatically.  If it still isn't adequate, look for a camera with a better quality lens but more megapixels, by themselves, probably aren't the answer.

Gear Talk / Re: big, wide feet need touring shoes
« on: March 20, 2009, 01:21:07 pm »
MTB shoes do recess the cleats far enough to make walking possible and even rather easy but they were never intended to be hiking boots. 

If you plan to do a lot of walking or hiking on bike tours you should include suitable shoes with your gear.  For that matter, I wouldn't want to spend every waking hour in riding shoes of any kind even if I didn't plan on a lot of off-the-bike walking.

General Discussion / Re: House Bill 3008 Oregon
« on: March 20, 2009, 01:14:10 pm »
Actually, if they would install more trails going across between rivers, similar to our freeway network, more people would get out of their cars and ride the trails, which would mean that freeway-widening projects could be delayed.  IOW, cyclists  reduce the costs of infrastructure.  We don't increase it.  Realistically, I think all this bill will do is reduce the number of people getting some much-needed exercise.  This bill is not good for Oregon or for other states that might follow.

Rep. Krieger seems to have a chip on his shoulder from cyclists not stopping at stop signs and lights.  Please, everyone, don't give people more fuel to hate us.  Obey the laws.  But I also have to say Krieger is wrong about the intended us of the roads.  It was the League of American Bicyclists that originally pushed for paved roads a hundred years ago; and now that motorists have the paved roads, they want us off the roads (or at least damaging them in a car instead of riding a bike).  It makes no sense.

Ever hear the saying; "The power to tax is the power to destroy."?  Maybe Rep. Krieger is mostly interested in getting bikes off the roads, not in increasing revenue.

Yes, the LAW (as it was then known) was instrumental in getting the roads paved and those roads were then taken over almost exclusively for motor vehicles whose operators resent bicycles. 

However, bicyclists were also the major force behind the first Rail-Trail conversions and on most of the resulting trails, the walkers, skaters, runners, etc., etc. now view bicyclist as dangerous and unwelcome intruders on "their" trails. 

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: March 09, 2009, 07:45:20 pm »
The most I ever got out of a $30.00 rear wheel before breaking a spoke was about 3,800 miles. After a spoke breaks, they keep breaking.....

The thirty dollar wheels I use are not good on the back of the bike, but I have not had a broken spoke on a front thirty dollar wheel even on very long tours and rough roads. But of course, after tour I must buy new wheels. I cannot use them over and over again touring like others can on better quality wheels.
Well, I typically get 30,000 or more miles out of a wheel built with Shimano 105 or Ultegra or Campy chorus hubs, DT or Wheelsmith spokes and Mavic CXp-33 rims.  The rear wheel costs about $160 so, since I get nearly 10X the number of miles, my per mile cost is just over half of your $30 wheels and I NEVER break a spoke, the rims eventually crack from brake wear.

There is a saying that; "only a rich man can afford cheap tools."  You must be rich.

General Discussion / Re: Misting phenom
« on: March 09, 2009, 07:36:58 pm »
The cold and very hig humidity that accompanies the storm may be causing condensation on the inner wall of the tent from your breath or just from the humidity in the air.  When the rain drops hit the cloth, they force the water already on the inside to pop off and it appears the rain went completely through the fabric. 

General Discussion / Re: transam 2010
« on: March 09, 2009, 07:31:00 pm »
That's nice.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Question - Specialized Roubiax
« on: March 08, 2009, 11:53:28 am »
I replaced both front and rear tires at a cost of about $400.
I assume you replaced both wheels for that $400, not just the tires.

General Discussion / Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« on: March 08, 2009, 10:39:50 am »
Interesting that Bicycle routes can't exceed 200km on that site but auto routes can be thousands of miles.  What is up with that?
I don't know why the limitation.  Maybe the Europeans (The site is by Michelin, a French company) never go more than 200km at one time  on a bike. 

Anyway, you could put together any length route by piecing together from one endpoint to another within the 200km range. 

General Discussion / Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« on: March 06, 2009, 09:09:04 am »
Along with the Advbenture Cycling maps there is a mapping web site that allows you to specify a "bicycling" option so their suggested route avoids prohibited Interstates, etc.

Gear Talk / Re: Should I get a new bike?
« on: March 02, 2009, 04:13:53 pm »
I recommend either using your MTB in it's current format but adding smooth or nonagressive-tread tires and calling it good or getting a real touring bike. 

Obviously, if you use your current bike, be sure the bearings are lubed and adjusted properly, the cables are good, the chain and cassette are in good condition and the brake pads are sound, which is what you would have to do with any bike. 

It is possible to convert an MTB into a road/touring bike but, unless you can do all the work your self (or have a friend who will do it at no charge), and have access to a large stock of parts, the cost will be more than the cost of buying a good used touring bike.

I've done this conversion but I had all of the needed change parts already on hand from upgrades of other bikes and I did all of the work myself.  It would have been prohibitively expensive any other way.   

Gear Talk / Re: Should I get a new bike?
« on: February 28, 2009, 10:47:28 pm »
If the rust isn't too widespread or deep, there is no reason you bike shouldn't last for decades more. 

That said, an MTB isn't the best choice for touring but, if you like it and realize its limitations, go for it.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 28, 2009, 11:23:27 am »
I would be willing to pay a bit extra, and do with some negligible decrease in pedaling efficiency if it meant far fewer or no more broken spokes on the freewheel side. I am going to have to tie in to those web sites and do more reading on the subject, which I definitely will do.
Do you have a problem with broken spokes or are just concerned about the possibility?  Decades ago, in the days of plated or galvanized steel spokes, broken spokes were fairly common.  Now with stainless steel spokes and a proper wheel build, broken spokes are very rare, even with 32 spoke wheels and fairly heavy riders. 

The broke spokes I've ever encounter were on the rear wheel of an '85 Bridgestone 400.  The wheels were 36H, 27" Arya rims with 14 ga straight cadmium plated spokes laced 4X.  I.e. in concept, a very rugged build.  They began to break on the drive side at about 8500 miles.  Now, the factory tension may have been inadequate too which can be a major contributor. 

Since then I've had wheels with DT or Wheelsmith 14 ga., 14/15/14 db or 14/17/14 db stainless steel spokes, all 32H, laced 3x in 27", 700c and 26" and NEVER broken a spoke on any of them in over 120,000 miles of riding.  Several of these wheels had 30,000 miles on them when they were replaced due to rim cracking at the brake track or the rim getting too thin from brake wear to trust. My riding includes some pretty rough roads too so these wheels were never babied.

The point of this is to ask if you are over reacting to the possibility of broken spokes or really have a problem with them.  Properly built and tensioned wheels with modern spokes should be very durable and reliable.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:49:08 pm »
There is much conventional "wisdom" and old wives' tales about the inefficiency of internal hub gears.  The best science on the subject (the Kyle/Berto tests) actually found that the efficiency of derailleur and hub gears overlap in the same range (84~98%).
The range of 84% to 98% is huge.  It is not a trivial difference.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:46:24 pm »
.  One novelty someone is selling is a geared hub with an enclosed shaft drive so there's no chain at all.  It would have an advantage if you ride in rain all the time, but the shaft with its bevel gears at each end wastes more than the chain too; so altogether you lose close to 10% of your power. 
Dynamic Bicycles ( makes shaft drive bikes with 7 and 8-speed internally geared hubs.  I got the chance to ride one a few months ago and the feeling of "drag" compared to a derailleur bike was very obvious.  For low maintenance these are unequaled but the efficiency loss is dramatic.

Gear Talk / Re: I need advice on a bike (and yes I am a newbie)
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:39:13 pm »
I would advise against looking for your bike in any department store like Target, Wal Mart, or K Mart. While they have bikes with the same features as good touring bikes, they are less efficient machines.
I would phrase this a lot more strongly.  DO NOT, under any circumstances even consider buying ANY bike from K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.  They are a lot worse than just "less efficient". 

I've tried to adjust several of these things for friends who didn't know any better and found them so substandard they never worked properly. 

Go to a reputable bike shop or a place like REI, where they sell good bikes, can recommend a model that is suitable for your intended use and will fit it to you properly.   

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