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Messages - DaveB

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Cycling Events / Etape du Tour
« on: November 28, 2007, 12:39:33 pm »
I'm getting the impression that advertisements are beginning to take over this forum.  This is the second topic I've seen today that's obviously commercial.

Moderators, are these postings considered acceptable?

Urban Cycling / what bike do you use for pure urban ridin'?
« on: January 08, 2007, 12:10:30 pm »
My errand/rain bike is an '83 Trek 400, lugged steel frame and fork with a mix of parts-box components.  The drive train is a SR triple crank, and Shimano low-line derailleurs with 7-speed indexing downtube shifters mounted on Kelly Take-Offs. Most of the benefits of STI/Ergo at a small fraction of the cost.  It has fenders and a rack and weighs a ton.

Where I live (suburban Pittsburgh) a fixie or single speed isn't suitable for all but a very few relatively flat areas.  

Urban Cycling / top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: December 27, 2006, 04:36:13 pm »
???  Wide right/curb/outside lanes are a different thing from the mispositioned striped-off bike lanes you seem to be describing.

True but what I described is much more common that the bike lanes you desire.  You ask for well designed bike lanes but get terrible ones and the local officials then gloat about their great attention to the "needs" of bicyclists.  

There is a downside to the wide, curb side bike lanes you want too.  Cars from the auto travel lane that are turning right at an intersection cut across them and bicyclists that are going straight are too often overlooked.  Also, cars pulling out from a side street or driveway will often pull out into the bike lane to see what auto traffic is coming.  It's the same hazard riding on sidewalks pose.  

Urban Cycling / top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: December 23, 2006, 11:18:32 am »
....give me restriped thoroughfares to create wide right lanes,...

Be careful what you wish for.  Chicago has done just that and the results couldn't be more dangerous and less bike friendly if they set out to make them that way.  

The "bike lanes" in Chicago are striped dedicated lanes outside of the parking lane and inside of the auto travel lane.  Do you see the problem?  Every parked car pulls across the bike lane either while parking or while coming out of the parking space.  Drivers open their doors directly into the bike lane.  None of them ever looks for bicyclists.  

As i said above, be careful what you wish for.

This message was edited by DaveB on 12-23-06 @ 7:19 AM

Urban Cycling / top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: December 15, 2006, 01:39:54 pm »
..being on dedicated bike paths.

Where do you get these?  All of the "dedicated bike paths" I've ever seen are shared with walkers, runners, kids on skateboards, baby carriages, dogs on loooong leashes and, in general, users not paying the slightest attention to traffic discipline. In fact, most of them look at bicyclists as unwelcome intruders on THEIR trail.

In many ways, they are far more dangerous than road riding.

I agree that rail-trails far away from residential areas and at least one mile from major road crossings or parking areas can be nice to ride on but city trails are a horror for biking.

This message was edited by DaveB on 12-15-06 @ 9:40 AM

Classifieds / FS: 55 cm Litespeed Blue Ridge $1150
« on: March 04, 2005, 12:31:39 pm »
A couple of questions:

1. Did you change the chainrings?  The stock Ultegra triple comes with 52/42/30 rings.

2. What make cassette are you using?  Shimano's widest range 9-speed road cassette is 12x27.  Who makes a 12x28?

Gear Talk / Converting a Bianchi Bergamo
« on: January 05, 2009, 11:02:10 am »
See the replies to your same posting in "General Discussion"

Gear Talk / new crankset
« on: December 25, 2008, 08:45:38 pm »
If you stay with a 24T granny ring, your lowest gear will remain exactly the same as it is now but fitting a "touring" crank with smaller middle and large chainrings can give you more usable intermediate gears with smaller steps.  A current MTB crank (58 mm BCD or 64 mm for the granny ring) will accept down to a 20T chainring.  

Note to Wittierider: 110/74 BCD triple cranks used to be very common and, in fact, were the original MTB crank configuration.  Suguino, SR, Shimano and Sun Tour all made them in the past.  Shimano's RSX triple road crank, made through the late '90's had a 110/74 BCD.  

A 110 mm BCD will accept down to a 33T chainring but 34T rings are far more common.  

Gear Talk / Moutain bike Lights
« on: December 26, 2008, 10:26:56 am »
Don't sell the newer LED lights short.  Sure, the small fractional watt LEDs, even bunches of them, are pretty weak but the newer 3W and higher LED's, particularly with two or three lampheads can be extremely bright.  They also cost in the same range as HID lights so cost isn't an advantage.

The advantages of LED's are cool running, improved battery life (however watts are watts) and vastly improved lamp life. You will never have to limp home with a burned out bulb.  Been there, done that, don't want to do it again.      

Gear Talk / Moutain bike Lights
« on: December 07, 2008, 03:49:55 pm »
If all you are doing is reporting on lights you found good quality and have no interest in the company, then: "Hi, welcome newby." and apologies all around.

However, we have had similar postings that turned out to be ads for the poster's company and that's why the suspicious sound of the first reply.  

Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: December 02, 2008, 07:18:26 pm »
You are the second person with a favorable comment. How tough is it to break the bike down and reassemble it? When touring, what do you do with the case? Ship it home or send it to a future location, ie, motel to hold? Bob

Disassembling and packing an S&S bike is about a 30 minute job if you are experienced and a lot longer the first few times.  The actual couplers come apart in seconds and, assuming you have cable splitters for the shift cables and rear brake, they disconnect very quickly too.  You also have to remove the pedals, rear derailleur (let it hang from its cable)and the bars/stem assembly.

The slow part is padding each frame tube with the Velcro-fastened padded wrap that comes with an S&S equipped bike.  Cutting them to custom length for each tube the first time takes quite a while but you only do that once.  

Once the padding is in place, the various parts are placed into the case in a specified order.  The tires of a 700c bike have to be deflated (not removed) to get the wheels in and the whole case closed on the resulting jig-saw puzzle.

Reassembly is a bit faster but still a 20-30 minute job. Be sure to pack a good frame pump or strong mini-pump.  The Topeak Road Morph pumps are particularly good for this.  

I've never traveled point-to-point with my bike so the case remains at my starting point and I pick it up for the return trip or I just take day trips. I use mine only for vacation and business trips.

I think if I were going to tour so that I couldn't return to the start, I'd either not bother with the couplers and pack the bike in a cardboard bike shipping box from an LBS or disassemble it but use a disposable packing carton that was smaller than a bike box.

Note to MRVere: NEVER Loctite the couplers.  S&S recommends a teflon based high-pressure DuPont grease which works very well and absolutely prevents seizing and galling of the coupler threads.  As I said above, tighten them properly and they stay tight until you want to uncouple them.  

This message was edited by DaveB on 12-2-08 @ 4:23 PM

Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: December 01, 2008, 06:03:55 pm »
There is a down side to couplers--the couplers can come loose.  So you have to check them every ride.

That's not correct.  If you torque them properly they do not loosen ever.  I have a Co-motion Co-Pilot (a single bike) with S&S couplers and once they are tightened they never loosen on their own. I do check them periodically but they never need to be tightened once they are assembled.  

Gear Talk / STI vs. Bar ends
« on: November 22, 2008, 06:39:52 pm »
The bike's wheelbase is too short to do bar end shifters (I would get stabbed every time I used the bike).

The wheelbase should have nothing to do with whether your knees clear barend shifters.  I may be your bars are too narrow or you stem too short.  

Some riders cut an inch or inch and a half off the ends of drop bars when installing barends so the length of the hooks don't change.  I've never found this necessary but it's worth considering.  

Gear Talk / STI vs. Bar ends
« on: November 21, 2008, 02:05:04 pm »
For a while there was one alternative to all of these shifter options: "Kelly Take-Offs".  They consisted of brackets that mounted under regular drop-bar brake levers and allowed mounting downtube levers just inboard of the brake levers.  

You had most of the convenience and accessibility of brifter but with the simplicity, friction option, cost and durability of downtube shifters. The cable runs were a cross between barends and Shimano brifters.

Unfortunately they never really caught on or were not publicized enough and are now only available NOS on e-bay, etc.  Originally they cost $40 plus the cost of the dt shift levers.

I have a set of Kelly Take-offs using Shimano 7-speed downtube shifters mounted on my rain bike.  As I said, they provide most of the convenience of brifters at much less expense.  

Gear Talk / STI vs. Bar ends
« on: November 17, 2008, 08:12:52 pm »
Just another data point.  I have not found STI to be particularly finicky the only adjustment that seemed to ever change at all once set up was the cable length.  The upper and lower limits are set the same whether STI or bar end and neither require any attention once dialed in.

Absolutely my experience exactly.  I've used 7,8,9 and 10-speed STI's and Campy Ergos for years and find them very reliable and they definitely hold their adjustments.  All indexing shifters of any type need minor tweaking after a cable change as the cables "bed in" but STI/Ergos are no worse than barends.  

I've also used barend shifters and do like them but STI/Ergo brifters are far more convenient.  

I would  recommend barend shifters to someone taking a bike "way back of beyond" as they have a friction option and are mechanically simpler but for anywhere near civilization, STI/Ergo brifters are my clear favorite.  

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