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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / mountain bike frames for touring
« on: February 08, 2005, 12:07:12 am »
Be careful of the 26" wheel generality.  There are several rim diameters all generically called 26".

The 26x1 (650C, ISO 571mm) road rim used on tri and some small frame road bikes.

The 26x1-1/2 (650B, ISO 584mm), an obsolete European size making an attempted comeback.  

The 26x1-3/8 (ISO 590mm) used on department store and old 3-speed bikes.  

The 26x1-3/4 (ISO 571mm) used on Schwinn cruisers.

Finally, the 26" MTB rim (ISO 559mm) used on most modern mountain bikes and some hybrids and Touring bikes.

I assume you expect the MTB (559mm) rim is common where you are going but you should check out what's really used.

This message was edited by DaveB on 2-7-05 @ 8:08 PM

Gear Talk / Road Bike for Touring?
« on: January 30, 2005, 03:41:04 pm »
I solve the problem with about $5 in parts and a little creativity...picked up a couple metal loop "thingys" at the hardware store and attach them to the front/rear forks.

The "thingys" you refer to are called "P-clamps" and are available at most hardware and home improvement shops.  They work after a fashion but tend to slip unless you can butt them right up against the dropouts.  If you use them be sure to get clamps with a plastic coating on the section that goes around the seat stays. This is critical with Al or carbon stays.  

There are racks that clamp directly into eyeless dropouts and are held in place by the QR skewers.  I believe Adventure Cycling sells them through their on-line shop and equipment catalogs.  None of this solves the heel-clearance problems that accompany short chainstays and big panniers.

Seatpost racks are very limited in carrying capacity (usually 15 pounds max.) and aren't very stable as they tend to pivot around the seatpost if heavily loaded no matter how you tighten the clamp. You mention that even your reinforced rack was cracking after a trip.  

In order to make the gears work and not have to replace everything, I bought a little switch at the bike shop that is attached on the handle bars.

The switch you refer to was offered as an aftermarket device years ago to allow STI double shifters to work with a triple crank.   When used, it changed the cable's effective length so you had access to any two chainrings at one time via the shifter. They effectively disappeared when both Shimano and Campy introduced STI/Ergo shifters that were designed for triple crank use.

You'll be astonished at the contraptions some people get by with.

You are certainly correct about this! :)


Gear Talk / Road Bike for Touring?
« on: January 22, 2005, 03:10:31 pm »
I'm not sure of the specifics of the Cannondale R-series frames but I doubt it has rear dropout eyelets and certainly doesn't have fork eyelets so mounting racks will be a jury-rig at best.  Even if you manage to mount racks, you will probably have heel-clearance issues due to the short chainstays.  The frame would probably support the weight but you have no good way to hang it there.

If you were planning on "credit card touring" (i.e. carrying only clothing and personal effects but no camping or cooking gear) it might work but not for self-contained touring.

That leaves you with the trailer as the best, or possibly only, option.

One other consideration, how is your R1000 geared?  Do you have low enough gears to handle hills with a loaded bike and/or trailer?  If you have a road double crank (53x39), you are geared way too high.  Road triples generally have a 30T granny and a 12x21 or 12x23 cassette.  Even that won't do for most tourists.  At the very least, substitute a 26T granny ring and a 12x27 cassette.  

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-22-05 @ 11:15 AM

Gear Talk / Surly Long Haul Trucker
« on: January 13, 2005, 07:34:29 pm »
Actually, there is a "good, inexpensive headset" available.  Shimano's Ultegra cartridge bearing headset (HP-6500) is extremely durable and less than $40. I have over 30,000 miles on one set of bearings in mine and the steering is still precise and smooth.
Unfortunately, it is available only in 1" and only for threaded forks so that probably won't help you.   Too bad. :(   Highly recommended if it fits your bike.
I agree that the high end Cane Creeks are good and the FSA Orbit XL is also.  These are cartridge bearing units so they avoid the tendency to pock mark (aka: brinell) the crown race that leads to "index steering" and spells the doom of most loose bearing headsets.

Chris King is the best available but priced WAY up there and, in my estimation, not worth the cost.

The handlebars you are describing sound like Rondanee (sp?) bars which are drop bars with the drops flared our a bit to increase wrist clearance.  These used to be common touring bars but I haven't seen them advertised in quite a while.  You might check the Rivendell web site and see if they have a line on these.  

Gear Talk / rear racks
« on: January 05, 2005, 03:47:41 pm »
....strong, inexpensive and preferably light weight racks...

There is a saying in the engineering field; "Fast, good, cheap.  Pick any two."

"Strong, inexpensive and light" falls in the same category.  If I were going on an off-road expedition where a broke rack would be a major hassle and possibly a danger, I'd pay what ever it took to get strong first and light second.  

Gear Talk / Road bars vs. Flat bars on a Tandem
« on: November 28, 2004, 01:36:24 pm »
Flat bars won't be a hand saver since their hand positions are much more limited than drop bars.  Also, used with the same stem, the flat bars will be just as low as your current drop bars.

A more upright position with road bars can be achieved by changing the stem.  Get a stem with a greater angle (say 0° or +10° instead of the typical  -17°) and/or get a stem with a longer quill.  Either will allow you to raise the bars.  

The Profile H2O stem is a 0° stem with a long quill and will allow a rather high bar position.  Rivendell Bicycle Works offers a Nitto stem that is -17° but has a very long quill and will also allow for a high bar setting.

This message was edited by DaveB on 11-28-04 @ 9:37 AM

Gear Talk / butterfly handlebars
« on: November 27, 2004, 03:01:29 pm »
You may be thinking of what are usually referred to as "mustache" handlebars.  These sweep back somewhat like a drop bar but do it horizontally so they provide a lot of hand positions while maintaining a more upright position.  

Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycle Works ( ) is a strong advocate of them and the Rivendell web site has pictures and descriptions.  Check it out and see if they are what you are looking for.

Gear Talk / changes for self-supported tour
« on: November 25, 2004, 04:45:50 pm »
Adventure Cycling's catalog lists racks that mount to the rear dropouts of any bike and are held by the qr skewer. They don't require eyelets so your Litespeed could be fitted with them.  The major problem might be heel clearance with panniers since your bike has short chainstays.

Rack or BOB, a triple is definitely the way to go.  A "compact" crank has a 34T inner ring while Shimano's road triples have a 30T granny ring and can be easily refitted with a 26T.  Either will give you a lower gear than the compact. Your current "braze on" front derailleur tab should have enough adjustment to properly set the FD over either a Compact (50T) or road triple (52T) crank.

You will need a long cage rear derailleur and a new bottom bracket for the triple.  A long cage rear derailleur will probably be needed if you go with the compact crank, particularly if you use a wide range cassette.

Assuming your current set-up is Ultegra 9-speed STI, you will not have to change shifters.  The left 9-speed STI shifter works for both double and triple cranks.

It's not obvious but 14-15-14 butted spokes are more durable than straight 14-ga spokes.  Spokes don't break in the middle, they fail from fatigue at either the head or the nipple threads, both of which are in the thicker sections.   The thinner inner section of butted spokes actually serves to reduce the shock loading on the vulnerable ends.  

It is true that 36-spoke wheels are more durable than 32 but unless you plan on carrying a huge load, 32's are strong enough.

Gear Talk / Wheel advice
« on: October 22, 2004, 09:28:05 pm »
Mavic road rims will easily take 700x32 tires.  In fact, many cyclocross bikes run Mavic Open Pros and 700x35 or 37 tires with no problems. Your CXP22's aren't any narrower than Open Pros.

Gear Talk / STI \ NEXAVE?
« on: October 22, 2004, 09:24:56 pm »
When you say "the outer rail is about 3/8" away from the big ring" do you mean the outer plate of the cage is about 3/8" above the big ring?  

If so, that is easily fixed by lowering the front derailleur until the lower edge of the outer plate is 1 to 2 mm above the big ring.  That should dramatically improve your front shifting.  My experience is that STI compatible Shimano road front derailleurs can be made to work just fine with big chainrings as amall as 46T.

Gear Talk / Sweating in cold weather
« on: October 12, 2004, 10:12:48 pm »
Avoid cotton or cotton blend clothing of any kind. Wool is better but not as good as the new synthetics.

Polypropylene is probably the best fabric for wicking away sweat and keeping a dry feeling but it is heat sensitive and must be kept out of a clothes dryer.  The various technical polyesters (Coolmax, Thermax, etc., etc.) are probably the next best fabrics for both remaining dry and are easier to wash and dry. The polyester fleeces are the best combination of warmth with minimal weight but need a windshell over them.

This message was edited by DaveB on 10-12-04 @ 6:23 PM

Gear Talk / Travel Cases
« on: October 13, 2004, 09:02:13 pm »
.....make sure you get the fork dropout spacers with it.

If dropout spacers don't come with your travel case or you are just shipping a bike in a cardboard box, you can make excellent spacers from trashed hubs.  Ask your LBS for wheels that have been damaged beyond saving or hubs with bad bearings.  Most shops have a few of these lying around and will be happy to give them to you.  

To reduce bulk and weight, I remove the axle, cones and locknuts from the hubs and throw away the hub shell.  Reassemble the cones and locknuts on the axle with the proper spacing and hold them in the dropouts with your skewers.  

You can use nutted hubs too but you need the proper size wrench(es) to put them in place and remove them so QR hubs work better.  

BTW, don't rely on the plastic slip-in spacers used to ship new bikes.  They don't fit tightly enough to stay in place for the type of shipping most of us do.  I found this out the hard way.  :(

Gear Talk / Trailer for Dog?
« on: October 12, 2004, 02:36:14 pm »
Why do you think your dog won't jump out of ANY trailer unless you restrain him?

Gear Talk / STI shifters for XT drivetrain?
« on: October 03, 2004, 10:06:53 pm »
STI rear shifters will work with almost any 7,8 or 9-speed road or MTB rear derailleur and with any cassette with the proper number of cogs. The only exception is 8-speed Dura Ace and you are unlikely to have to worry about it as it has been obsolete for years.  

STI front shifters require a road front derailleur to index properly.  However, this isn't a problem as road front derailleurs work fine with chainrings much smaller than they are designed to mate with.  For example, an Ultegra triple front der is designed for a 52T large chain ring but shifts fine with an RSX triple crank with a 46T large ring.  My son's older Trek 1200 came stock with this type of setup and shifts very well.

This message was edited by DaveB on 10-3-04 @ 6:08 PM

Gear Talk / Prescription Sunglasses
« on: October 02, 2004, 02:11:51 pm »
I've never used the inserts and always ridden with many regular prescription glasses and sunglasses.  However, frame type has a big influence on how much protection they provide.  A "closed bridge" is essential to keep the wind from bothering my eyes.  Frames with an open bridges and nosepads leak air.  Closed bridge frames aren't easy to find as they aren't as "fashionable" but they can be found and work well.  

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