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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:49:08 pm »
There is much conventional "wisdom" and old wives' tales about the inefficiency of internal hub gears.  The best science on the subject (the Kyle/Berto tests) actually found that the efficiency of derailleur and hub gears overlap in the same range (84~98%).
The range of 84% to 98% is huge.  It is not a trivial difference.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:46:24 pm »
.  One novelty someone is selling is a geared hub with an enclosed shaft drive so there's no chain at all.  It would have an advantage if you ride in rain all the time, but the shaft with its bevel gears at each end wastes more than the chain too; so altogether you lose close to 10% of your power. 
Dynamic Bicycles ( makes shaft drive bikes with 7 and 8-speed internally geared hubs.  I got the chance to ride one a few months ago and the feeling of "drag" compared to a derailleur bike was very obvious.  For low maintenance these are unequaled but the efficiency loss is dramatic.

Gear Talk / Re: I need advice on a bike (and yes I am a newbie)
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:39:13 pm »
I would advise against looking for your bike in any department store like Target, Wal Mart, or K Mart. While they have bikes with the same features as good touring bikes, they are less efficient machines.
I would phrase this a lot more strongly.  DO NOT, under any circumstances even consider buying ANY bike from K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.  They are a lot worse than just "less efficient". 

I've tried to adjust several of these things for friends who didn't know any better and found them so substandard they never worked properly. 

Go to a reputable bike shop or a place like REI, where they sell good bikes, can recommend a model that is suitable for your intended use and will fit it to you properly.   

General Discussion / Re: Weather Resources
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:30:32 pm »
A friend of mine is fond of saying; "Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get".  You can make the odds in your favor a bit by assuming the Northern Tier will be cold in the fall, winter and spring and the Southern Tier will be hot in the summer. (no surprises there huh?).  So, make your northern crossing from June to August and the Southern crossing from December through March. 

That said, it can be COLD in the winter in the South.  I have family in central Florida and it has been in the 20's several times this year.   Also, I was on a week long bike trip in Ohio in late June a few years ago and the overnight temperatures fell into the mid-30's twice in that week. 

Upshot, be prepared with adequate cold weather clothing no matter where you are or when. 

General Discussion / Re: I will need help planning my route
« on: February 22, 2009, 05:59:46 pm »
There is a maping web site ViaMichelin that provided routing directions and offers a "bicycle" option to avoid Interstate and similar roads that restrict bicycles.  Here is the URL:

However, most Days Inns, Marriotts, etc are either in larger towns and cities or are located right along Interstate highway exits so you may have a problem finding suitable roads that allow easy access to them. 

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: February 21, 2009, 10:39:46 am »
I was drinking two to three gallons of liquids each day, maybe more, one summer while cycling the S-tier in the eastern regions, and hilly Texas farm roads. I must have lost quite a lot of calcium. I am not sure of any significant loss of bone density. I take supplements. The thing about calcium pills, they say, is that calcium from such sources may not be all that absorbable, ..........I definitely carry supplements with me on bicycling tours. My system may absorb only a percentage of the calcium in the tablet, but some is better than nothing at all.
What greatly improves Calcium absorbtion from any source is Vitamin D and many, if not most of us, are deficient in it.   We work indoors most of the time, and when we are outside we cover ourselves completely in high-SPF sunscreen. So, even being in sunlight doesn't develop the Vitamine D we need.   A 2000 IU Vitamin D supliment taken daily is good insurance and really cheap if you buy house-brand or generics.

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: February 20, 2009, 07:50:15 pm »
Cycling doesn't "cause" osteoporosis, it just doesn't do a lot to fight it.  Bone density is maintained or improved by weight bearing activities such as running, walking, etc.   Since cycling doesn't cause weight bearing impacts on the bones, it's not much help as a preventative or to improve the condition. 

Gear Talk / Re: nashbar panniers
« on: February 20, 2009, 12:49:47 pm »
A word of advice; put everything that can be harmed by water in plastic bags before you put them in the panniers.   No matter how "waterproof" the panniers claim to be or how well they seem to survive the garden hose test, several days of riding in the rain will compromise any brand of panniers.  The plastic bags weigh nothing, can help organize your gear and add an extra layer of protection.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 17, 2009, 09:32:03 pm »
My freehub stopped working a month or so on a ride.......I soak it in gear oil each year so doubt there is any grease left in it. 
Your problem is the gear oil.  It's too viscous to allow operation in severe cold.  There are modern synthetic and synthetic blend oils that remain fluid down to -60°F or there abouts and they will prevent freehub problems at any weather you will ever ride in.  The folks who ride Iditabike have reliable freehubs at super cold temperatures for days at a time so it's quite feasible.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 16, 2009, 07:24:02 am »
I ride all winter, often in well below freezing temperatures and often in rain or on wet roads and have never had a freehub freeze or refuse to work properly.  Annually, I remove the freehub body and relube it with a light oil like Tri-Flow by removing the rear seal and flushing the lube through the internals.   The "secret" is the use of a light, modern oil as these work over a very wide temperature range.

The same technique will work with a freewheel also.  Dribble the light oil into the narrow gap between the stationary core and the rotating outer shell while rotating ther freewheel to distribute it.  It the freewheel is not working, a flush with kerosene or mineral spirits prior to the oil should free it up.

General Discussion / Re: passport/CAN/US
« on: February 11, 2009, 07:09:40 pm »
The simplest thing to do is get a regular passport.  They are good for travel anywhere.

General Discussion / Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« on: January 31, 2009, 01:48:49 pm »
Don't ignore the weather in the East that time of year either.  The TransAm goes through western VA and the higher elevations in Kentucky and parts of Southern IL.  All of these areas can be cold, rainy, snowy or all three in April. 

I've ridden many TOSRV's in southern Ohio in early to mid May and temperatures in the 40's with a steady rain have been frequent conditions.   The TransAm goes through areas that are higher and more likely to have bad Spring weather.

Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain questions
« on: January 26, 2009, 07:51:39 am »
Easiest and cheapest change is to replace the 28T chainring with a 24T.  It's a bigger % change than going from a 32 to a 34T rear cog and much less expensive than changing the cassette.

Are you sure you don't already have a long cage rear derailleur?  Almost all bikes with triple cranks come with them and your current gearing would be very limited if your rear derailleur is now a short cage.

The most common brand of white gas here is "Coleman" and nearly any shop that carries any outdoor gear has it inclusing Wal-Mart, Sports Authority, Dicks, etc. etc.  The problem is in comes in gallon cans (about 4L) so you will have a lot to carry or a lot to discard.

I'm not sure about which MSR stove you have but many of them will burn unleaded automotive gasoline (petrol) too and it's available at any "gas station".  Find someone who is filling their car and ask to fill your fuel bottle.  They may even not ask you to pay for the 1L or so you get.  

Depending on what you intend to do with the new bike, you may be in the wrong forum for advice. 

This is a touring group and most of the expertese is concerned with multi-day supported or fully self-contained tours, not MTB day riding.   

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