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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / Cannondale T2000 vs. Bruce Gordon BLT ???
« on: February 10, 2004, 02:58:13 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

Gear Talk / solar battery chargers
« on: January 24, 2004, 11:24:16 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?  

Gear Talk / Shoes!?!?!?!
« on: January 16, 2004, 12:25:47 am »
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

Gear Talk / tires
« on: January 31, 2004, 06:30:38 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.

Gear Talk / tools - cross country
« on: January 07, 2004, 10:15:24 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.

Gear Talk / STI and handlebar bags
« on: January 07, 2004, 06:46:58 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.  

Gear Talk / Wraparound Prescription Sunglasses
« on: January 07, 2004, 10:32:02 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.

Routes / Atlantic Coast
« on: December 11, 2008, 02:15:53 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!

Routes / AC maps doubts
« on: February 13, 2005, 02:52:50 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.

Routes / Milage routes for city & towns (not freeways)
« on: February 08, 2005, 11:13:16 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

Routes / Cross-Country Tour Route
« on: August 30, 2004, 10:26:25 pm »
I've never done any of these routes so I'm only going on what I've read but isn't the "Western Express" part of the route pretty severe?

I understand it's got very sparse water sources and towns so taking "inexperienced" cyclists on it doesn't sound like a good idea.  

Routes / Finger Lakes Route Help
« on: May 24, 2004, 11:59:52 pm »
A small group of us are planning a week long "credit card" tour of the Finger Lakes Region in mid-August this year and would appreciate your help.
I recall that the Bon Ton Roulet started and finished in Ithaca in 2003 and that sounds like a good start/end point for us as I am somewhat familiar with the city.  

Does anyone here have a copy of the maps and cue sheets used for the 2003 Bon Ton Roulet tour? I would like to use these maps as guidance for our tour as I expect the roads are low traffic and scenic.  We would improvise off of their route but it would be a very good starting point.  

We would, of course, pay for the copying charges and postage.  Please e-mail me at davidhb@telerama. com if you can help.  Thanks.

Routes / Florida trip
« on: May 02, 2004, 05:50:18 pm »
The best riding I know of in FL is north and west of Orlando in Orange and Lake counties centered around the town of Mt. Dora.  The roads are fairly low traffic and rural and there are actually a couple of hills!  Check out "Sugar Loaf Mountain Drive". The Florida Freewheelers Bike Club has maps of several rides in the area on their web site and Orange Cyclery bike shop (on Edgewater Drive) has a big loose-leaf binder of maps they will copy for you.


General Discussion / Newbie Converting a Bianchi Bergamo
« on: January 05, 2009, 10:59:52 am »
One change I'd make is to fit clipless pedals and compatible shoes.  

Shimano's SPD or Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals with their double sided entry and recessed cleats make a great touring combination. The cost should be reasonable too.

General Discussion / Newbie
« on: January 04, 2009, 01:21:21 pm »
Look up the bike clubs in your area.  Most have local rides and know about all of the organized rides in the area.  Any LBS should be able to tell you how to get in touch with them.  

Also, the LAB (League of American Bicyclists) publishes a comprehensive directory of state agencies, local clubs and organized rides nation (and even world) wide. Check them out at:

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-4-09 @ 10:21 AM

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