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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / Trek 520 rim cracks -no warranty service
« on: October 23, 2006, 04:12:54 pm »
I bought my son-in-law a '98 Klein (after the Trek acquisition) that came with Matrix rims.  A friend bought the same bike a few months later and both rear wheels cracked around a drive-side spoke hole at about 10,000 miles.  These were road bikes and never carried anything but their riders, both of whom are reasonably light.  I think this was too early to fail.  The front wheels are still in service.

My '92 Trek 1420 also had Matrix rims and the rear lasted 20,000 miles and failed by cracking through the brake track from brake pad abrasion.  This wasn't a premature failure

Gear Talk / Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« on: October 25, 2006, 03:22:05 pm »
After over 20,000 miles touring around the country they still work fine but the cables have gotten a bit stiff and I might get them replaced...
No kidding.  I think your cables are about 10,000 or 15,000 mile past due for replacement.  Cables are cheap, easy to replace and a real pain if they break on a ride or trip.  What were you waiting for?

Gear Talk / Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« on: October 22, 2006, 08:30:54 pm »
I don't think I would ever go back to STI, although I find the STI's much more comfortable in my hands, especially on long decents than my new brake levers.

If the minor weight difference isn't a big deal, you could continue to use the STI's just as brake levers and use the barcons as shifters.  Just don't hook the STI's up to the shifters.

Gear Talk / Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« on: October 16, 2006, 11:55:22 am »
I've used both STI/Ergo and barend shifters extensively so I do have some background here.

STI/Ergo are certainly more convenient and are the only shifters that are accessible while you are standing. This is not a minor point.

My experience with their reliability has been very good.  I've had two sets of 105 8-speed STI's last over 30,000 miles each and have 10,000 miles on my current 105 9-speed STI's. My knowledge of other rider's experience is equally encouraging.  The only "premature" failure I'm aware of came after 9000 miles on the bike of a rider I consider abusive to his equipment.  

If maintenance is a selling point, Campagnolo's Ergo levers are rebuildable and can be made to work well with Shimano components by using a $35 J-tek adapter.

Barcons are less mechanically complex and offer a friction option if all else fails.  They are easier to access than downtube shifters but not nearly as convenient as STI's.  

BTW, Fred's comment about barcons being easier for multiple downshifts is not really germane as STI's allow 4-cog downshifts with one lever sweep and two sweeps will cover the entire cassette in a split second.  Even the pros think this is fast enough.  

Gear Talk / Windsor Tourist
« on: October 13, 2006, 10:54:02 pm »
I think you're looking at the wrong listing.

I guess I was but I was looking at the web page the OP linked to and it said nothing about "Tourist".

Buying a Fuji from a dealer should mean you'll get a little more hand-holding and help for things that might not be quite right, where as you're more likely to be on your own going the  mail-order "never heard of the company" route.  It's a trade-off, like most things in life.

I certainly agree.  If there are any problems at all, buying from a reputable dealer will pretty much assure they are corrected properly and your warranty will be honored.  The unknown mail-order dealer is a real gamble for after-sale service if you need it.  

The cost penalty for buying from a dealer isn't that much and you could look at it as an insurance policy.  

Gear Talk / Windsor Tourist
« on: October 13, 2006, 12:30:32 am »
Based on the web site specs, this is a sports bike and would not be a suitable tourer.

The frame geometry isn't given but the chainstays and fork clearance seem to be too tight to fit larger touring tires.  

There doesn't seem to be any way to mount racks or paniers and the wheels are too fragile for loaded use.  The gearing is for a road bike (low is 30x23 or 35 gear-inches) which is way too high for a loaded tourer.

The only really attractive feature is the low price.  There are better, more properly equipped touring bike available for not much more money.  

Gear Talk / Is this an appropriate crankset?
« on: October 13, 2006, 12:14:51 am »
And I'm not quite sure where the issue of external bearing BB's got attached to my post, since I never brought that up.

No, I did. I raised the point because you said you were particularly considering splined bottom bracket such as Octalink and ISIS.  I wanted to note that they seem to have been a fairly short-lived designs having already become passé with the ascendancy of the external bearing type.  

As far as reliability goes, Shimano Octalink bbs have a very good reputation (with the sole exception of one version of the Dura Ace which used unsealed bearings and traded light weight and low drag for a high level of required maintenance).  My personal experience with Ultegra level Octalinks has been excellent.  

ISIS bottom brackets have been much more problematic.  Some models seem to be ok but there were serious reliability with others.  It may be an inherently superior concept but the execution has often left a lot to be desired.          

Gear Talk / Is this an appropriate crankset?
« on: October 10, 2006, 11:42:34 am »
There is nothing wrong or deficient about square taper bottom brackets so I wouldn't let that sway my choice of cranks.  Square tapers have a long and honorable history of excellent service and are still readily available.  

Shimano's Octalink is a proprietary design that Shimano wouldn't license for quite a while so the ISIS splined interface was designed as a substitute.  In both cases, the splined interfaces seem to be going out of style as the external bearing bottom brackets are the current "hot set-up".  


Gear Talk / converting litespeed firenza to touring bike
« on: October 10, 2006, 11:35:43 am »
I also had custom wheels made with Ultegra hubs and Sunrims Rhyno Lite rims so I could comfortably use Continental Top Touring 37's. The Mavic Open rims that came on the bike weren't really suitable for any tire over 28mm.

The wider rims and tires will probably fit a touring/cross fork if the OP refits one to his bike but they won't fit the rear on a Firenza frame. The seat tube and brake bridge won't clear them.  Your Blue Ridge was designed for touring and the Firenza wasn't.

By the time the Firenza is cobbled into a sort-of touring bike, the cost will approach buying the real thing from scratch and it will still be a compromise.  

The better way to use the Firenza would be to tow the BoB trailer packed with everything and forget the use of paniers.

This message was edited by DaveB on 10-10-06 @ 7:35 AM

Gear Talk / cables
« on: September 19, 2006, 08:09:37 pm »
In 110,000 miles of riding I have never broken a cable of any type. I do change them about once a year (~7000 mile intervals) and use good quality cables.

Gear Talk / Advice on bike options?
« on: July 15, 2006, 11:49:53 am »
Depending on exactly when in the '70's your Raleigh was made, it is likely to have Raleigh's proprietary threading for the bottom bracket and headset.  The bottom bracket will have "English" dimensions for everything except thread pitch (26 tpi instead of 24 for English threading).  That is a deal breaker for fitting any new cartridge bottom bracket, particularly if you want to use a Shimano Octalink or an ISIS crank.  

Sheldon Brown has a good article about these older Raleighs and what to do with them:  Look here:

I expect by the time you get the Raleigh set up suitably for your needs, the cost will exceed buyin a suitable bike outright.  One possibility is too look for a good used Trek 520 or Cannondale T-series bike.

« on: July 10, 2006, 11:36:15 am »
As a low-cost expedient you can change just the 30T granny ring for a 26T.  I've done this on many 7,8 and 9-speed Shimano road cranks and it works very well.  That change combined with a suitable cassette should give you a very low low gear at small cost.

Gear Talk / Chains
« on: June 27, 2006, 08:09:02 am »
I had 1700 miles on a Shimano Ultegra chain and the LBS mech said they are only good for like 700 miles.

Find a different mechanic, yours is ripping you off.  Either that or you ride in horribly abrasive conditions.

I've used many Ultegra level (and below) chains, in both 8 and 9-speed form, for over 7000 miles each with only 1/16" "stretch" and never any failures and I ride in very hilly conditions so the chains aren't treated kindly.  Something is wrong here.

Gear Talk / Repair Kit
« on: June 15, 2006, 08:32:10 pm »
I suggest taking a Park's MT-1 "dog bone" multi-tool tool.  It has 3,4,5,6 and 8 mm allen keys, a small flat screwdriver blade (which fits derailleur limit screws) and 8,9 and 10 mm box wrenches.  It weighs only about 50 gms, costs less than $10 and the shape allows a lot of torque on all of the larger hex keys.  Why it isn't wildly popular is beyond me.  

The MT-1 with a very small chain tool like the Ritchey CT-5 (use the MT-1 as the screw press handle) is as versatile as multi-tools costing 3 or 4 times as much and weighing much more.

Gear Talk / Straight handlebars
« on: June 08, 2006, 08:43:14 pm »
Can you try the moustache bars before committing to them?  Some riders love them but they certainly are not for everyone.  Grant Peterson tries to make it sound like they are magic but there is a reason they disappeared from general use.  

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