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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / bike light
« on: November 02, 2006, 10:45:33 am »

Well, the Nashbar bulbs are less expensive than the manufacturer's normal price but only at their sale price.  

However the other two 6V MR-11 sources are real finds and certainly offer bargain prices. I'd just caution buyers to be certain to get the glass-faced versions.

My point was that all of the MR-11 bulbs I've seen at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. were 12V bulbs.

This message was edited by DaveB on 11-2-06 @ 7:45 AM

Gear Talk / bike light
« on: November 01, 2006, 03:58:05 pm »
Takes regular MR11 or something halogen bulbs so you could change the 10 watt to 12 or 15 or 20 or whatever.

Most bike headlights have 6-volt batteries and the matching 6-volt MR-11 bulbs are typically only available from the light's manufacturer.  

Almost all of the MR-11 bulbs you find in home center or hardware stores are 12-volt. There are a few 12-volt bike lights but not many.  

Gear Talk / Mirrors
« on: February 20, 2007, 10:05:27 am »
I've used the 3rd Eye mirror for several years after trying, and giving up on, other styles.  It mounts fine in drop bars with the mirror below the bars themselves.  I usually adjust it so I can see a slight bit of my left leg as a point of reference.

Another vote for the Third Eye mirror.  It's really best suited to drop bars but gives a wide and stable view.  The only real disqualifier is if you use barcon shifters.

I've also tried all the alternatives; helmet mounts, glasses mounts, etc. and the Third Eye is the only one I use.  

Gear Talk / Trek 520 rim cracks -no warranty service
« on: October 23, 2006, 04:12:54 pm »
I bought my son-in-law a '98 Klein (after the Trek acquisition) that came with Matrix rims.  A friend bought the same bike a few months later and both rear wheels cracked around a drive-side spoke hole at about 10,000 miles.  These were road bikes and never carried anything but their riders, both of whom are reasonably light.  I think this was too early to fail.  The front wheels are still in service.

My '92 Trek 1420 also had Matrix rims and the rear lasted 20,000 miles and failed by cracking through the brake track from brake pad abrasion.  This wasn't a premature failure

Gear Talk / Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« on: October 25, 2006, 03:22:05 pm »
After over 20,000 miles touring around the country they still work fine but the cables have gotten a bit stiff and I might get them replaced...
No kidding.  I think your cables are about 10,000 or 15,000 mile past due for replacement.  Cables are cheap, easy to replace and a real pain if they break on a ride or trip.  What were you waiting for?

Gear Talk / Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« on: October 22, 2006, 08:30:54 pm »
I don't think I would ever go back to STI, although I find the STI's much more comfortable in my hands, especially on long decents than my new brake levers.

If the minor weight difference isn't a big deal, you could continue to use the STI's just as brake levers and use the barcons as shifters.  Just don't hook the STI's up to the shifters.

Gear Talk / Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« on: October 16, 2006, 11:55:22 am »
I've used both STI/Ergo and barend shifters extensively so I do have some background here.

STI/Ergo are certainly more convenient and are the only shifters that are accessible while you are standing. This is not a minor point.

My experience with their reliability has been very good.  I've had two sets of 105 8-speed STI's last over 30,000 miles each and have 10,000 miles on my current 105 9-speed STI's. My knowledge of other rider's experience is equally encouraging.  The only "premature" failure I'm aware of came after 9000 miles on the bike of a rider I consider abusive to his equipment.  

If maintenance is a selling point, Campagnolo's Ergo levers are rebuildable and can be made to work well with Shimano components by using a $35 J-tek adapter.

Barcons are less mechanically complex and offer a friction option if all else fails.  They are easier to access than downtube shifters but not nearly as convenient as STI's.  

BTW, Fred's comment about barcons being easier for multiple downshifts is not really germane as STI's allow 4-cog downshifts with one lever sweep and two sweeps will cover the entire cassette in a split second.  Even the pros think this is fast enough.  

Gear Talk / Windsor Tourist
« on: October 13, 2006, 10:54:02 pm »
I think you're looking at the wrong listing.

I guess I was but I was looking at the web page the OP linked to and it said nothing about "Tourist".

Buying a Fuji from a dealer should mean you'll get a little more hand-holding and help for things that might not be quite right, where as you're more likely to be on your own going the  mail-order "never heard of the company" route.  It's a trade-off, like most things in life.

I certainly agree.  If there are any problems at all, buying from a reputable dealer will pretty much assure they are corrected properly and your warranty will be honored.  The unknown mail-order dealer is a real gamble for after-sale service if you need it.  

The cost penalty for buying from a dealer isn't that much and you could look at it as an insurance policy.  

Gear Talk / Windsor Tourist
« on: October 13, 2006, 12:30:32 am »
Based on the web site specs, this is a sports bike and would not be a suitable tourer.

The frame geometry isn't given but the chainstays and fork clearance seem to be too tight to fit larger touring tires.  

There doesn't seem to be any way to mount racks or paniers and the wheels are too fragile for loaded use.  The gearing is for a road bike (low is 30x23 or 35 gear-inches) which is way too high for a loaded tourer.

The only really attractive feature is the low price.  There are better, more properly equipped touring bike available for not much more money.  

Gear Talk / Is this an appropriate crankset?
« on: October 13, 2006, 12:14:51 am »
And I'm not quite sure where the issue of external bearing BB's got attached to my post, since I never brought that up.

No, I did. I raised the point because you said you were particularly considering splined bottom bracket such as Octalink and ISIS.  I wanted to note that they seem to have been a fairly short-lived designs having already become pass√© with the ascendancy of the external bearing type.  

As far as reliability goes, Shimano Octalink bbs have a very good reputation (with the sole exception of one version of the Dura Ace which used unsealed bearings and traded light weight and low drag for a high level of required maintenance).  My personal experience with Ultegra level Octalinks has been excellent.  

ISIS bottom brackets have been much more problematic.  Some models seem to be ok but there were serious reliability with others.  It may be an inherently superior concept but the execution has often left a lot to be desired.          

Gear Talk / Is this an appropriate crankset?
« on: October 10, 2006, 11:42:34 am »
There is nothing wrong or deficient about square taper bottom brackets so I wouldn't let that sway my choice of cranks.  Square tapers have a long and honorable history of excellent service and are still readily available.  

Shimano's Octalink is a proprietary design that Shimano wouldn't license for quite a while so the ISIS splined interface was designed as a substitute.  In both cases, the splined interfaces seem to be going out of style as the external bearing bottom brackets are the current "hot set-up".  


Gear Talk / converting litespeed firenza to touring bike
« on: October 10, 2006, 11:35:43 am »
I also had custom wheels made with Ultegra hubs and Sunrims Rhyno Lite rims so I could comfortably use Continental Top Touring 37's. The Mavic Open rims that came on the bike weren't really suitable for any tire over 28mm.

The wider rims and tires will probably fit a touring/cross fork if the OP refits one to his bike but they won't fit the rear on a Firenza frame. The seat tube and brake bridge won't clear them.  Your Blue Ridge was designed for touring and the Firenza wasn't.

By the time the Firenza is cobbled into a sort-of touring bike, the cost will approach buying the real thing from scratch and it will still be a compromise.  

The better way to use the Firenza would be to tow the BoB trailer packed with everything and forget the use of paniers.

This message was edited by DaveB on 10-10-06 @ 7:35 AM

Gear Talk / cables
« on: September 19, 2006, 08:09:37 pm »
In 110,000 miles of riding I have never broken a cable of any type. I do change them about once a year (~7000 mile intervals) and use good quality cables.

Gear Talk / Advice on bike options?
« on: July 15, 2006, 11:49:53 am »
Depending on exactly when in the '70's your Raleigh was made, it is likely to have Raleigh's proprietary threading for the bottom bracket and headset.  The bottom bracket will have "English" dimensions for everything except thread pitch (26 tpi instead of 24 for English threading).  That is a deal breaker for fitting any new cartridge bottom bracket, particularly if you want to use a Shimano Octalink or an ISIS crank.  

Sheldon Brown has a good article about these older Raleighs and what to do with them:  Look here:

I expect by the time you get the Raleigh set up suitably for your needs, the cost will exceed buyin a suitable bike outright.  One possibility is too look for a good used Trek 520 or Cannondale T-series bike.

« on: July 10, 2006, 11:36:15 am »
As a low-cost expedient you can change just the 30T granny ring for a 26T.  I've done this on many 7,8 and 9-speed Shimano road cranks and it works very well.  That change combined with a suitable cassette should give you a very low low gear at small cost.

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