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Messages - DaveB

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1081
Gear Talk / Drivetrain Advice
« on: March 26, 2004, 10:32:45 am »
Other than cost and weight, the Rohloff hub has two more disadvantages/problems:

1. The shifter is intended for straight bars and not suitable for drop bars.  I've heard of a couple of home made adapters to allow the use of drop bars but they were somewhat jury-rigged and required a fair bit of do-it-yourself construction.

2. The Rohloff hub requires horizontal dropouts to properly tension the chain, rather like a fixed gear or single speed setup.  If you get very lucky with your chainring/cog/chainstay length combination vertical dropouts can work but you can't be sure until you try it.  Rohloff does offer a chain tension device (sort of a stripped down rear derailleur) to allow vertical dropout use but that defeats some of the simplicity of the installation.

BTW, I just looked up the "Schlumpf speed drive" on Sheldon Brown's web site. My first thought was that it was one of his annual April 1 articles but apparently it's real.  What is also is is EXPENSIVE!  One of these plus the Rholoff hub totals over $1300.

The cost of a couple of chainrings and a derailleur or even a new crank is negligable in comparison.  

This message was edited by DaveB on 3-26-04 @ 2:46 PM

1082
Gear Talk / Drivetrain Advice
« on: March 14, 2004, 10:37:20 pm »
Not sure about Dura Ace but I'm pretty sure an Ultegra front derailleur will work fine with a 26-36-48 crankset.  My son had a Trek that came with an RSX crank with 26-36-46T chainrings and a 105 (same geometry as Ultegra) front derailleur.  It shifted fine with STI despite the small "big" ring.  

Also, I've modified a bunch of 8-speed and 9-speed Shimano road triple cranks from 30-42-52T to 26-42-52T and they also shift well with 105 or Ultegra front derailleurs even though the range exceeds Shimano's published recommendations.

The point of all of this is that the road front derailleurs are pretty tolerant of chainring sizes and total teeth. You should be fine.    


1083
Gear Talk / Attracting investor to back glove invention
« on: February 28, 2004, 12:44:18 pm »
Have you considered licensing the design to one of the established cycling clothing makers?  If your design is as revolutionary as you say, Voler, Pearl Izumi, Cannondale, etc. may be interested in producing them on a royalty basis or buying the rights outright.

Another possibility is a bank loan, maybe a home equity loan, since interest rates are at historic lows now.  Keep in mind a private investor is going to want a big share of whatever profits you generate where as a loan just has to be repaid and the rest is your to keep.      


1084
Gear Talk / Best touring bike buy
« on: February 22, 2004, 07:37:55 pm »
Haven't had a lot of responses have you?  

I don't know about the Giant OCR but the Trek 520 has been around forever and seems to have an excellent reputation.  It may not be the leading edge of technology but appears to have done the job well for a long time.

The Trek's gearing is poorly chosen but typical of major manufacturer's touring bikes.  A 30/42/52 crank coupled with an 11x32 cassette gives an absurdly high top gear (127 gear-inches!) and a moderately low low gear of 25 gear-inches.  Changing the crank for a more useful 24x36x46 or 22x34x44 MTB crank would be a worthwhile improvement and your dealer may be willing to do this at minimal cost.  

This message was edited by DaveB on 2-22-04 @ 5:43 PM

1085
Gear Talk / Dependability of STI shifters?
« on: February 15, 2004, 04:42:53 pm »
Bar end shifters, except for a broken cable, just about cannot fail because they all offer a friction option. BTW, bar end front shifting is always friction. None I'm aware of offer indexing in front.

That said, I believe the worry about STI failure is more of an academic exercise than a real problem.  I had a pair of 105 8-speed shifters last over 28,000 miles and I replaced them because the shifting was getting sticky, not because of sudden failure.  Their replacements have 22,000 miles on them and still work perfectly.  My son-in-law got over 25,000 miles on 8-speed 105's and replaced them only because he wanted to upgrade to 9-speed.  My son has 15,000+ miles on a set of RSX levers (Shmano's lowest line STI)and they are still working fine.

Anyway, my point is STI shifters are quite durable and failure of another major component is at least as likely to strand you.  

I might consider bar end or downtube shifters if I was going to tour WAY off the beaten track but for anywhere in the US or Western Europe I would always have the convenience of STI.  




1086
Gear Talk / Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« on: February 10, 2004, 12:58:13 pm »
I own bikes with both STI and bar-end shifters and my take is that STI is far better for convenience and ease of shifting. This is particularly evident if you are in unfamiliar territory where the next hill can be a surprise.  STI lets you shift either sitting or standing while bar-ends almost require shifting from a seated position.   They are both much more convenient than downtube shifters.

I just checked the Cannondale web site and the 2004 T2000 comes with a 48x38x28T crank and an 11x34 cassette. That gives a (ridiculously high) 118-inch top gear and a 22-inch low gear.  A cheap improvement would be substituting a 26T or 24T chainring for the 28T which would lower the bottom gear to either 20.6-inches or 19-inches.  These are awfully low gears and should get you over almost anything.  

Another useful improvement would substitute a 12x34T cassette giving a more useful 108" top gear and a better distribution of the remaining gears.

I don't know the costs but I suspect the Bruce Gordon is WAY more expensive than the Cannondale. Also, your Cannondale dealer may make the changes I mentioned at little or no cost when you purchase the bike.

This message was edited by DaveB on 2-10-04 @ 12:30 PM

1087
Gear Talk / solar battery chargers
« on: January 24, 2004, 09:24:16 pm »
I can see two problems with solar powered chargers:

1. Does it make enough wattage to recharge the batteries you will use everyday?  If is does, is it too large to be managable?  A battery powered stove has got to require a LOT of battery capacity.

2. How reliable is the "solar" you will need?  If you are biking in the Southwest desert in the summer, no problem.  If you are biking in the New England or the Northwest you can go days with no direct sun.  Then waddaya gonna do?  


1088
Gear Talk / Shoes!?!?!?!
« on: January 15, 2004, 10:25:47 pm »
I have road ridden with Speedplay Frogs for over 60,000 miles so I believe I can speak with some authority. I love 'em. :) They are easy to enter and release, never release inadvertently and have the float you've learned to love in the X-series. They are also lighter than nearly any other road or MTB pedal.

The old-style Frog cleats require a small amount of surgery on the cleat pocket to fit most MBT shoes. (A Dremel tool with a sanding drum is ideal for this.)  The new design is narrower and should fit nearly anything with no modifications. In fact Speedplay says the new design can be used with road shoes, but they obviously won't be walkable that way.

My favorite shoe is the Shimano SH-T090 (the current version is SH-T092)which lists at around $90. They are styled like a road shoe and have a flat, but quite stiff, rubber sole with a recessed cleat pocket.  They aren't as "clunky" looking as fully lugged MBT shoes but are very walkable and keep the cleat off the road and floors.

I also like Performance's house brand MBT shoes and these will take the old style Frog cleats with no cutting.  They happen to fit my feet well and are less expensive than the Shimanos if you catch them on sale.  However the sole is "real" MBT.  

The only downside to MBT shoes is that they are slightly heavier than their road going counterparts.  This isn't a big issue for touring or non-racing use.

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-15-04 @ 8:27 PM

1089
Gear Talk / tires
« on: January 31, 2004, 04:30:38 pm »
Two Comments/Questions:

1. Why the insistance on * when you spell pass?  Are you that worried about sounding "obscene"?

2.  Doesn't this posting belong in the "Classified" section?  It's obviously an ad for your book.


1090
Gear Talk / tools - cross country
« on: January 07, 2004, 08:15:24 am »
One tool I'm very fond of is the Park MT-1 "dogbone" type multi-tool. It's about 4" long, weighs 50 grams and costs under $10.  

The MT-1 has 3,4,5,6 and 8mm hex keys, 8,9 and 10 mm box wrenches and a small flat blade screwdriver, The best thing about its design is that the larger hexes, 4-8mm, are at the ends of the tool and at right angles to its length so you can get real leverage if needed.  I once used the 8 mm hex to reinstall another riders crank that had come loose.  Try that with your Alien.

I also carry Richey's tiny 25 gram chain tool (CP-5?).  The combination of these two tools does almost everything the massive multi-tools do at a quarter the weight and half the cost and bulk.

Finally, the question as to which tool do you use.  You are not a carpenter, you don't expect to use your tools, but you better have them just in case. I rarely have had to use them on my own bikes but I've bailed out several other riders over the years.


1091
Gear Talk / STI and handlebar bags
« on: January 07, 2004, 04:46:58 pm »
STI shifters have proven very reliable in my experience.  I have over 30,000 miles on a set of 8-speed 105 triple STIs and there have been no problems of any kind.  A squirt of Tri-Flow every few months is all the maintainance they get.

My son-in-law had over 25,000 miles on the same model 105 8-speed levers when he upgraded to 9-speed and the 105's were still working fine.

My son has 15,000 miles on a set of RSX 7-speed STI levers (the bottom of Shimano's line at the time) and they still function perfectly.

The few problems I've heard of with STI's have been gradual stickiness and reluctant shifting, not catastrophic failure.

I ride with both STIs and barcons.  STI's are FAR better.  




1092
Gear Talk / Wraparound Prescription Sunglasses
« on: January 07, 2004, 08:32:02 am »
This message may be a bit late to do you any good but I have some thoughts on this subject.  I've worn glasses since I was 10 years old and been riding for 18 years so I've got some experience with this.

Prescription inserts for the various "boutique" sports glasses have gotten mixed reviews. Some riders like them.  Others find that with four surfaces to keep clean, the extra weight, fogging tendency and great expense for the combination, they aren't worth the trouble.

I've always ridden using my regular prescription glasses and sunglasses but have discovered one factor in frame design that makes a big difference. The bridge must be "closed" to prevent air leakage and protect your eyes adequately.  Frames with nose pads don't work well but a universal bridge makes a world of difference.


1093
Routes / Atlantic Coast
« on: December 11, 2008, 12:15:53 pm »
The only negative to riding the Barrier Islands is the wind driven sand and salt spray can be very hard on your bike. Use a dry-type chain lube and plan on a major cleaning once you return to the mainland.  

We used to camp and fish near Hatteras Village and, after a couple of days, our green car looked like it had been painted white.

Otherwise, they are beautiful!


1094
Routes / AC maps doubts
« on: February 13, 2005, 12:52:50 pm »
I've never had to use the AC maps but I can tell you that relying on AAA (American Automobile Association) road maps or commercial road maps would be a big mistake.  They show only major roads that are often very busy or even closed to bicycles.  If you get adequately detailed maps, such as individual county maps, you will need a suitcase full to have what you need.

If you know where you are planning to go, most state's tourism departments have bicycle route recommendations and these would be better than regular road maps.   Still, the AC maps are better than anything else.  Money well spent.


1095
Routes / Milage routes for city & towns (not freeways)
« on: February 08, 2005, 09:13:16 pm »
Some local Bike Clubs publish ride maps for their area that show low traffic routes and have both cue sheets and mileage figures. You might be able to find help there.  

Also, many state Tourist Bureaus and/or Departments of Transportation have specific bicycling maps available for the asking. You should be able to find information about them on-line.

This message was edited by DaveB on 2-8-05 @ 7:13 PM

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