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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / touring wheels
« on: April 18, 2008, 08:46:26 pm »
I've had excellent service from Mavic CXP-33 rims.  I retired one set after 29,000 miles and the rims were still fine but the sidewalls were getting mighty thin from brake wear.  It was a precautionary retirement, not a failure.

I have about 6200 miles on another set and they are holding up very well.  

Gear Talk / hauling child, plus - trailer recommendations?
« on: April 20, 2008, 10:31:42 am »
I had one of the very first Burleys in Boise ID back in 1983 when my son was 2-1/2. I kept it long past the time my boy was no longer interested in riding to interesting places with his father. It hauled tons of groceries.

Your useage is highly unusual as any review of Craig's List, Bike Shop For Sale boards or E-bay will demonstrate.  

As I noted, bike trailers are usually sold after a fairly short ownership period as soon as the kids outgrow them.   There are big savings to be had on good trailers in nearly new condition if you buy them used.  

Gear Talk / hauling child, plus - trailer recommendations?
« on: April 17, 2008, 10:29:38 pm »
Post a WTB (want to buy) on Craigs List, at your local bike shops and in any bike club newsletters for used trailers to keep the cost down.  

These things tend to have short useful lives as kids grow up quick and the parents don't want to have the now unneeded trailer filling up space. Many are in as-new condition at a small fraction of the new price.  

Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: April 13, 2008, 05:19:54 pm »
Padding, particularly a lot of it, on a bike seat is counterproductive for long rides.  Instead of the saddle supporting your "sit-bones" you sink into the padding and it reduces circulation by putting pressure where it's not wanted. If you are using one of the "comfort" seats try one that's firmer and thinner.

Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: April 12, 2008, 10:03:50 am »
I just noticed no one asked if you actually do wear biking shorts while riding.  Do you?  If you wear jeans or gym shorts or similar, a large part of your problem is right there.  The seams are all in the wrong places and you will probably never get comfortable.  

Also, the comment about wearing underwear under shorts is a good one.  Don't do it.  Again, the seams are in the wrong places.

There are people who routinely ride in jeans, etc. without complaint but I don't know how they do it. They must have real iron butts.  

Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: April 11, 2008, 12:22:56 pm »
One other recommendation.  If you ride in relatively flat terrain, you may be sitting the entire ride.  Try standing periodically to relieve the pressure and allow your rear to recover.  Upshifting a couple of cogs will make standing easier even if it's flat.

One advantage to hilly rides is you usually stand to climb some of the hills and automatically get off the saddle once in a while.

Gear Talk / Fishing for Advice
« on: April 09, 2008, 02:28:16 pm »
A few years ago in the Netherlands, I saw a guy on a bike carrying a couch balanced on his shoulders.  

There are ways of transporting some very awkward items on a bike but it probably reduces the joy of riding.  ;)

Gear Talk / Fishing for Advice
« on: April 09, 2008, 11:23:05 am »
If the finest action isn't a big issue, Cabellas lists a 4-piece "Eagle Claw" 7-1/2' fly/spin rod for about $42.  It's rated for 7-weight line so it isn't a delecate wand but for lake fishing it should be fine.  

Here is the URL:

This message was edited by DaveB on 4-9-08 @ 7:23 AM

Gear Talk / Help with Novara Randonee sizing
« on: March 30, 2008, 05:49:32 pm »
Realistically, no one can tell you if the bike will fit and be comfortable unless you try it yourself.  We really don't know what you like and what feels right to you.  

How did you get your inseam measurement?  If you took it the correct "bike measurement" way(in your stocking feet and a book hard against your crotch) then a 59cm does sound marginal for your standover clearance but not dangerously so.  The usual "rule" is 1" of clearance or more and you barely make it. I assume a 57 cm is the next size down and that may be more suitable.  

What is the reach to the bars of your current bike?  Is it comfortable?  Can you adjust the Randonee to match or improve on it by changing the stem length and height?  

Again, this is a decision you have to make after trying the bike in person.

This message was edited by DaveB on 3-30-08 @ 1:51 PM

Gear Talk / panniers in front or rear?
« on: March 30, 2008, 02:40:10 pm »
I've done multi-day credit-card tours carrying the size load you mention (ca 20 pounds) using a pair of small rear paniers and a rack top bag.  The bike handled fine with no instability or other problems.  

The combination of front and rear panniers, as noted above, is intended for really heavy loads (40 pounds and up) to let you distribute the weight so it all isn't at one end of the bike.  For the load you want to take, this shouldn't be needed.

Gear Talk / Which sleeping bag?
« on: March 21, 2008, 10:14:16 pm »
BTW, no ending 'e' in Campmor.

Right.  :blush:  I should have looked at my catalog first.

About two years ago I bought a North Face "Trinity"  +20°F rated synthetic bag from Campmor on closeout for $60 and it weighs less than 3 pounds complete with stuff sack. It even came with a loose ventilated storage sack.  

It has been very comfortable and I don't think a down bag would save significant weight at this temperature rating.  

Gear Talk / Which sleeping bag?
« on: March 16, 2008, 07:21:13 pm »
Forget e-bay.  Look at REI or Campmore.  You will get better quality and better choice.  (An aside: why does everyone think e-bay is a good choice for everything?)  

Personally, I'd avoid a down bag.  Good ones are very expensive and cheap ones aren't worth having.  For the temperature range you are looking at, synthetic bags are plenty light, less damaged if they get wet (wet down is a hazard, not a comfort)and much more reasonably priced.    

Gear Talk / cyclocross bike for long distance touring?
« on: April 14, 2008, 10:00:58 am »
If a 27 gear-inch (1:1) low gear is low enough...
Actually I don't consider that low enough for loaded touring if real hills or mountains are part of the route.

Neither do I but Jeffrykellog's posting said he did and was content with a 34x34 (27 gear-inch) low gear.  My point is that a triple is a better way to get that gear without leaving huge gaps in the middle gears.  

As to the 46x11 or 48x11, sure, have it if you like.  However, it is an infrequently needed gear and, again, you give up some more useful ratios to get it.  A 48x12 is still a pretty tall high gear and is the same ratio as a 52x13.

Gear Talk / cyclocross bike for long distance touring?
« on: April 13, 2008, 09:24:39 pm »
Compact drive cranks. 11-34 rear cassette with long cage rear derailleur
this gave me a 1:1 (34:34) first gear and was amost identical to the triple gearing of the Trek 520 with less confusion.

I've never understood the aversion to triple cranks some riders seem to have.  What's so "confusing" about them? An 11x34 cassette, even a 9-speed has huge gaps between the gears and a 48x34 compact crank does too.  

If a 27 gear-inch (1:1) low gear is low enough, a triple crank with 24x38x48 chainrings and a 12x25 9-speed cassette provides the same useful gear range (BTW, do you really need a 48x11 or 118 gear-inch high gear on a touring bike?) with many more useful intermediate gears. If you want a somewhat lower low gear a 12x27 cassette gives the same middle cogs and only changes the two largest cogs.    

Gear Talk / Speedo
« on: February 29, 2008, 10:36:56 pm »
I like most of the Cateye wired models.  I prefer one that does cadence so I use the Cat Eye Astrale 8.

+1 on the wired Cateyes.  I have Enduro or Mity model Cateyes (same computer but the Enduro mount has a heavier gauge, more rugged wire) on all 6 of my bikes and they have been as trouble free as any electronic devise I've ever seen.  Battery life is excellent (literally years) and the batteries (CR2032) are cheap and available at any Wal-Mart or drug store.

I have no personal experience with the wireless models but other peoples stories have convinced me to avoid them.  The increased purchase cost and need for two batteries isn't worth the small appearance gain.

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