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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / Locks/ theft
« on: January 31, 2008, 11:12:45 am »
I carry about 6' of plastic coated 3/16" "aircraft cable" and a small padlock.  I had the hardware store where I purchased the cable form a 2" loop in each end with crimp sleeves for the lock to go through.  The whole thing weighs about 200 grams and is long enough to go through the frame, both wheels and around a parking meter or road sign post.

It's certainly not strong enough to stop a determined thief but it stops the casual or opportunistic types since it would require a pair of cable or bolt cutters to remove.

BTW, I recommend a 3 or 4 dial combination lock since you cannot lose or misplace the key.  If you can't remember the combination, you probably can't remember where you left the bike either. :)

Gear Talk / Touring Saddles?
« on: June 03, 2008, 10:56:19 am »
Saddles are about the most subjective bike part available.  One person's wonderfully comfortable saddle is another's torture rack.  That's why you get so many conflicting opinions and why there are so many designs available.  

My PERSONAL choice is the Avocet O2 40 Mens model. I have them on 7 different bikes and three more on the shelf in case they stop making them. However, you may hate them.

Gear Talk / Disc Brakes or Rim Brakes?
« on: January 31, 2008, 11:02:50 am »
The technique Russell described for heavy-duty long-downhill braking is the one recommended by most experts I've read too.  Appling the brakes HARD near the corner and letting the bike run free as much as you can keeps the rims cooler and the braking more predictable than steady but lighter pressure.  

Gear Talk / Touring bike for smaller person?
« on: January 28, 2008, 08:24:11 pm »
If the rider puts the saddle in the same location relative to the bottom bracket (as they should), the two frames have nearly identical effective top tube lengths.  The 75° seat angle of the Surly is more upright than the 74° seat tube angle of the Jamis so the rider will have to slide the saddle back further on it's rails to be in the same position.  

Gear Talk / Touring bike for smaller person?
« on: January 24, 2008, 09:52:47 pm »
The Trek 520 frame is available down to 17" or 43 cm and has a standover heightof 27.4".   That's pretty small and should fit her.

The only way to get something significantly smaller is to go to 650c wheels and, most likely a custom frame.

As Jay H noted, Terry specializes in women's bikes and may have something more suitable.

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-24-08 @ 5:53 PM

Gear Talk / wich burner?
« on: January 21, 2008, 09:36:43 pm »
Alcohol (either denatured Ethanol or methanol) can be purchased at hardware stores and home centers like Home Depot or Lowes.  These are widely available in the US.  

Gear Talk / bar end vs brifter shifting for touring bike?
« on: January 11, 2008, 09:29:05 pm »
If you really want to be able to shift without removing your hands from the brake levers and you have any reservations about brifters (including the cost which is sometimes nearly 25% of the bike), there are other alternatives for mounting down-tube or bar-end shifters right next to the brake lever hoods.

You are describing "Kelly Take-Offs" which are brackets that mount just inboard of conventional brake levers and provide mounts for downtube shifters.  They aren't quite equal to STI/Ergo brifters for convenience but are far ahead of barend or downtube shifters. I have them on my rain/beater bike having replaced the barends it originally had and they they are worlds better.  You can use friction or any speed downtube levers.

Unfortunately (and this is really unfortunate) Chris Kelly is out of business and no longer sells them so the only source I know of these days is e-Bay.  If you can find them, they are highly recommended.    

Gear Talk / Changing from Drop bars to Straight bars
« on: December 20, 2007, 08:32:26 am »
Another vote for don't do it.  Straight bars have one hand position and poor aerodynamics.  Drop bars, even if you don't use the drops, have at least three places for your hands.

Straight bars with bar ends do have one more hand position but at the cost of greater weight and remoteness from both brake levers and shifters.

Gear Talk / Rollers and trainers
« on: December 02, 2007, 01:38:46 pm »
Rollers are a bit tricky to learn to use and most models don't provide any serious pedaling resistance. Some do by using small diameter rollers and/or by adding a resistance fan but they are in the minority.  Rollers require your constant attention while using them and a wandering mind can launch you right into the nearest wall. They do improve or maintain your bike handling skills.    

Stationary resistance trainers that mount your bike on them and use a fan (effective but noisy), magnetic resistance (quiet but too linear) or a fluid resistance unit (quiet and realistically non-linear) to provide a work load are generally more effective at providing a workout but do nothing to improve riding skills.  The upside is you can watch TV, movies, etc. while using them which helps compensate for the incredible boredom they produce. ;)

I have a Performance house brand (Travel Trak) fluid trainer I use when the weather is too nasty to ride outside.  About all I can say in defense of any of them is that it's better than doing nothing.  

Gear Talk / rain gear
« on: November 23, 2007, 11:51:14 am »
A cape works for falling rain but does little or nothing to protect you from the road splash thrown up by your wheels.  Fenders on your bike are almost essential if you use a rain cape.  

Gear Talk / rain gear
« on: November 20, 2007, 09:11:08 am »

You will hear this comment quite a lot over the next several weeks. I believe it's actually been set to music. ;)


Gear Talk / rain gear
« on: November 18, 2007, 02:12:52 pm »
There is a Communist guy from Moscow that's an expert on this topic and you might want to consult him.  I'm sure you're aware that:

Rudolph, the Red, knows rain gear.

Gear Talk / Touring Pedals
« on: November 18, 2007, 07:37:14 pm »
Carrying replacements for weird pedal systems
is a personal decision. That's how I ended up back at SPDs after trying
Frogs and Bebops and some Cranks. You can get SPD parts anywhere.

That's a good point.  SPD's are certainly the most widely supported and common pedal system.  Speedplay pedals and cleats are also widely available and Crank Bros. are getting there.  Bebop has had it's problems and is all but gone from the market.

Gear Talk / Touring Pedals
« on: November 18, 2007, 02:09:12 pm »
First, I started riding over 20 years ago when platform or toe clip/strap pedals were the only choices so I'm not unfamiliar with them having ridden thousands of miles using clips and straps.

Now I know better and disagree that clipless pedals are of little benefit to casual riders unless you are VERY casual.  If you only ride in flat areas, their benefits may not be as obvious but in the hills they are almost essential.  The LBS certainly didn't "bully" me into using them, experience did and I'd never go back.

I wonder if your SPD's are adjusted properly.  I ride in both Speedplay Frogs (super easy exit and a lot of float) and Shimano SPD double sided pedals and find the SPD's very easy to enter and exit, even compared to the Speedplays.  SPD's have a tension adjustment and perhaps yours need to be loosened.

As to "touring" pedals, I think Peterson is referring to quill pedals that accept toe clips and straps.  Many "sneaker" platform pedals are not set up to fit  toe clips and straps.


Gear Talk / quick release vrs bolt on hub
« on: November 10, 2007, 11:20:02 am »
Are you talking handlebar stem, as in the thingy that lets you steer the bike, as in the thingy that supports 30% of your weight? Geese! Scary.  

Yes, that's what broke.  And yes, it certainly was scary.

I called Profile (it was one of their stems) after the incident and they sent me a new, stronger model right away at no cost.  I think they were grateful I wasn't hurt and wasn't threatening to sue.  

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