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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / clip-in pedals
« on: July 27, 2007, 11:39:45 pm »
"I've had very good performance from Speedplay Frog pedals. They are a MTB design, but work wonderfully for touring (lots of on and off the bike during the day). They imbed in MTB/touring shoes (I love Shimano's sandals BTW), thus you don't loudly announce your entry into every establishment."

Well, I've heard the opposite...
This is what a few lbs have said:
The cleats do not imbed into MTB shoes, they need road shoes - unless you're willing to cut up the soles of MTB shoes which is not reccomended. They also require little rubber caps for walking & still will mess with your stepping normally.

Frogs are indeed "MTB" pedals and use recessed cleats just like Shimano SPD's, Time Atacs, etc. I've used them on road bikes for well over 60,000 miles and have them on three bikes right now. They are light, double sided, easy to enter and exit and have plenty of float. They do not need protective caps and walking in them is quite normal.  

That said, while they are wonderful road pedals, they are not good MTB pedals.  The cleats are prone to clog in loose conditions and won't let you clip in.  I've had them jam with mud, ice and gravel so they are not really suited for heavy-duty off-road
use.  The up-side is that they never refuse to release so you can't be trapped.

This message was edited by DaveB on 7-27-07 @ 7:41 PM

Gear Talk / BOB and old steel frames
« on: July 13, 2007, 11:45:08 am »
Your frame probably has 120 - 122 mm dropout spacing which was standard in the 5-speed freewheel days.

To make the BOB trailer fit, you could add spacers outside of the dropouts to build up the extra width needed to accept the BOB hitch.  

The problem you might have is keeping the rear wheel clamped tight enough.  I assume your frame has horizontal dropouts and the wheel can shift if it isn't very tight.

A better fix would be to cold-set the frame to 130 mm and replace the rear wheel with a current width (130 mm) hub and wheel.  That will solve the problem more fundamantally but at greater cost.  You can't just spread the dropouts and still use your present wheel.

This message was edited by DaveB on 7-13-07 @ 7:45 AM

Gear Talk / Underwear
« on: August 21, 2007, 11:12:02 am »
There is no substitute for proper bicycling shorts. They are a serious piece of athletic wear designed for a specific purpose.  They are not a fashion statement.

Riding in jeans or street shorts is really self-flagellation. :)

If you are embarrassed to go into stores or restaurants wearing them, carry a pair of light nylon or thin cotton street shorts to put on over them when you get off the bike and pack them away when you get back on.

Gear Talk / Bike recommendation (under 1200 dollars US)
« on: June 28, 2007, 01:22:25 pm »
Thats why I'm stuck with buying mine from the local dept. store and hoping I'll have a good bike , that will bring me miles of enjoyment .I just got my second bike . A hybrid Scwinn , and am hoping it will last longer than the first ( 2 weeks )....

This is a good illustration of the saying; "Only a rich man can afford cheap tools."  Buy cheap and you will not only get poor service, you will have to replace it very soon.  Good money after bad.

There is no reason to buy the most expensive bike but always buy quality.  The OP's original budget is well within the high-quality range.

I certainly agree with Russell Seaton.  I also don't understand why new cyclists with no experience always assume a "racing" (i.e., any drop bar) bike will be uncomfortable.  For long rides they are much more comfortable and efficient.

Gear Talk / Facilities/Bike Shops in Anacortes
« on: May 24, 2007, 03:15:39 am »
I assume the stove fuel you need is NOT white gas but pressurized butane or butane/propane cannisters.  These will only be available in outdoor shops. Check for such stores in Anacortes too.

Gear Talk / Facilities/Bike Shops in Anacortes
« on: May 20, 2007, 12:41:17 pm »
The cable lock and phone charger should be available in any Wal-Mart here unless you need have a very unusual phone.  Stove fuel will likely only be available in outdoor supply shops.  REI in Seattle is almost sure to have what ever cartridge you need but an e-mail to them would be worth it to be sure.  

« on: May 16, 2007, 09:19:19 pm »
Just a bried addendum to Russell's postings.  The 14x25 cassette is a bit of an odd-ball since it's intended for Junior racers who's bikes have gear restrictions so it's not commonly stocked by most dealers or mail order shops.  

Mix-and-matching of loose cogs and spacers is a great, and often cheaper, way to get the gearing you want.  As Russell noted, the cogs are all the same functionally.

« on: May 06, 2007, 08:11:42 pm »
The difference will be a 6.3% lower gear. If you have an MTB rear derailleur, it will handle the change.  Check to be sure your chain is long enough to cover the new big-big combination.

Also, please turn off the Caps Lock key. Your posting reads like you are shouting.

Gear Talk / women's shorts
« on: April 20, 2007, 11:29:25 am »
i am doing my first century ride. it is actually my first ride, ever...

Do I read this correctly that the century will really be your FIRST bike ride?  If so, you need a lot more advice than just what shorts to wear.

Gear Talk / Experience with Bontrager tyres?
« on: March 16, 2007, 08:45:36 am »
The damage needen't have been malicious. A piece of glass or metal on the road could cause the cut you experienced.  

Tougher, touring type "tyres" are more resistant to this type of damage but light weight, thin sidewall tyres are vulnerable.  

Gear Talk / mounting extra bottle cages
« on: March 14, 2007, 11:14:38 am »
I've had bike shops add the pop rivet bottle cage mounts to a steel frame and aluminum frame.

I assume they used "Riv-nuts", not pop-rivets.  Riv-nuts are what a lot of frame builders use on Al, Ti or Carbon frames and they work well if installed properly.  The thread size should be M5x.8  

I agree that velcro straps or zip-ties are not going to position the bottles reliably.

One other possibility: a Camelback.

Gear Talk / Volpe vs. ??
« on: February 28, 2007, 11:58:57 am »
About the only "justification" for a more expensive boutique bike, assuming you don't require custom geometry to get a good fit, is pride of ownership and personal satisfaction.  It's not likely to be enough of a superior product to really warrant the extra cost.  

That said, even the most expensive touring bikes are financially small change compared to many other products.  The cost of depreciation the first hour you own almost any new car dwarfs the total cost of nearly any bike.   The cost difference between a modest home theater and a top-of-the-line system will pay for any bike you want.

Bicycles are one product you can indulge all of your fantasies with out risking financial ruin.      

Gear Talk / Building an expedition touring bike
« on: February 23, 2007, 10:15:02 am »
If a suitable complete bike is more expensive in Ireland or the UK than it is in the US, why do you think individual components will be cheaper?  Since you are going to tour in the US could you wait to buy your bike here?

Have you looked at buying a used touring bike and making only essential changes?  A lot of used bikes are nearly new since many would-be tourists lose interest before they really go anywhere.  

Like Russell, I've built up several bikes myself but cost saving certainly wasn't the intent or result. I got just what I wanted but at a known and accepted cost penalty.  

I have built up complete bikes at low cost but that's was possible only because I have 20+ years worth of accumulated used parts, take-offs, "cherry-picked" items bought at closeouts, gifts from friends who were upgrading, etc.  

I also have the tools and a workshop to do all of these things.  I don't think you do in your present situation.  


Gear Talk / Advice re Trek 520 frame size
« on: February 20, 2007, 09:58:08 am »
One rough but quite effective method for choosing frame size is "stand over height", i.e. the distance from the ground to the top of the top tube.  For the 560 Trek gives 31.7" (80.6 cm) for the 23" frame and 33.5" (85.2 cm) for the 25" frame.  

Measure your "bike inseam" (not your pants inseam) by standing with your back against a wall in your stocking feet with your feet about 10" or so apart.  Push a moderately thick book, spine up, between your legs until it meets firm resistance.  Measure the disstance from the floor to where the top of the book hits the wall.  That's your bike inseam.  Compare that distance to the standover height.  The stand over height should be at least 1" less than your inseam measurements.

Unless your legs are abnormally long or short for your overall height, this is a good starting point.        

If the inseam of 34.5" you gave was measured this way, the 25" frame just makes it and will allow you to get the bars relatively high which is desirable for touring.  

I hope your dealer will work with you to get the stem length and bar position that are comfortable.  It sounds like they aren't familiar with Touring bikes at all and tried to size you based on sports or race bike fit.        

Gear Talk / Most durable Crankset
« on: January 28, 2007, 03:44:15 pm »
Absolutely ANYTHING should last 1000 miles unless you ride exclusively through wet sand.  Road cranks last tens of thousands of miles and I've easily gotten 30,000 miles on the same chainrings.


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