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Messages - DaveB

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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.


Gear Talk / Building a Thorn Nomad
« on: January 20, 2007, 07:14:51 pm »
I've been to the South Rim three times over the past 40 years all on family vacations.  The last time we were there was three years ago and I had my bike with me.

I rode from our motel just outside the park entrance to the Grand Canyon Village and several points on the rim.  From the hotel to the rim was a real slog and I was wondering why I was so slow.  The way back to the hotel was REAL fast so I had been going up a slight grade all the way in without it being obvious from the landscape. The altitude does have a noticable effect on us low-landers too so be ready to go a lot slower than you normally expect.

BTW, the entire area is staggeringly beautiful.  The Grand Canyon is impressive beyond belief and no amount of seeing photos or films of it can prepare you for the real thing.  I envy you.    

Gear Talk / Building a Thorn Nomad
« on: January 20, 2007, 05:12:14 pm »
XTR should make a great touring group if the expense isn't an issue.  

Using a 44T big chainring and an 11xXX cassette will give you a 108 gear-inch high gear which is identical to a 52x13 so that should be more than adequate unless you insist on pedaling down big hills.  

You will also have a very low low gear either 22x32 (18.5 gear-inches) or 22x34 (17.4 gear-inches)depending on the cassette you choose which should get you up anything!

Summary, XTR will cover about any conditions you are likely to face.

The Grand Canyon area is at 7500' at the South Rim and about 8500' at the North rim so the altitude makes it feel harder.  And, while the climbs aren't real steep, they can be very long.  

Gear Talk / Building a Thorn Nomad
« on: January 20, 2007, 03:00:38 pm »
What kind of terrain do you expect top ride on and how heavy will your loads be on tour?  

If you are only going to ride in moderate hills and carry a modest load, a road triple such as Shimano Ultegra or what ever Campy now calls their top Triple group with a 12x27 or 13x29 cassette should do fine.  

If you are going to carry massive loads up big mountains than an MTB group such as Shimano XT with a MTB crank and something like a 11x32 or 11x34 cassette will likely work better. You will need a road front derailleur if you mate the MTB stuff with STI shifters.  Barcons will shift anything in front.

Gear Talk / Advice-buying a Cannondale'Touring Classic' ?
« on: January 11, 2007, 10:52:33 pm »
I believe Cannondale doesn't sell any model called the Touring Classic in the US and it may be a name used for a European and/or UK/Irish model.  If you can get the specifications for the Touring Classic from your bike dealer you could compare them with the Cannondale US web site's description of the T2000.


Gear Talk / does anyone use a rolhoff speedhub on their tourer
« on: January 06, 2007, 01:15:56 pm »
Looks like an incredible bit of engineering. Super expensive, I would guess.

Yep, you could say so.  Sheldon Brown's web site lists them for $950 to $1200 depending on the model.  Remember, this cost is ONLY for the hub, the rest of the bike isn't included.:)

One downside to the Rohloffs is the twist-type shifter is intended for straight bars only.  I've heard of homemade adapters to allow it to be used on drop bars but they seem crude and awkward.

Gear Talk / Touring computer
« on: December 24, 2006, 08:09:27 pm »
I use and like CatEye wired computers.  Enduro or Mity.  $20-25.

We certainly agree on this.  I have Cat-Eye Mity and Enduro cyclocomputers (same computer but a heavier gauge wire) on six of my own bikes and friends and family have them on a dozen more.  They've been ultra reliable and the batteries last for years.  Very good choice.

Gear Talk / cannondale
« on: December 24, 2006, 08:05:09 pm »
the only thing was a questions was finding bike shops that would service canndondales,...

I don't understand this at all.  Bikes aren't like cars with engines, transmissions, etc. unique to a particular make.  Except for the frames, bikes all use the same components made by one of two or three mamufacturers (with the VAST majority being by Shimano) and every shop has seen them all.  ANY shop can work on almost ANY bike.  

Gear Talk / Suspension seat posts
« on: December 16, 2006, 05:55:00 pm »
I can't recommend a specific post but I do know the saddle isn't included.  All you get is the post.  

Gear Talk / STI shifters with XT crank?
« on: December 07, 2006, 12:48:19 pm »
I was told each front derailleur works best with only the size big chainring it was designed for. An Ultegra designed for a 52 tooth ring will have problems with a smaller mtn 44 big ring and vice versa.

Theoretically this is true but in reality a road fd intended for a 52 or 53T large ring will work OK with a 44/46 big ring.  The shifting won't be the very best but you probably won't notice the minor difference.  

Years ago Shimano had the RSX triple group that came with 46/36/26 chainrings and an RX-100 road fd meant for a 52T chainring.  It shifted fine with that "mismatched" combination.  

You probably can't use an MTB front derailleur satisfactorily with a road crank since the cage radius is too tight and the fd would have to sit too far above the chainring to clear it properly.  

Gear Talk / STI shifters with XT crank?
« on: December 01, 2006, 05:03:38 pm »
No, the XTR front derailleur is not likely to work with road STI shifters,  The geometry and cable pull for MTB derailleurs and shifters are different from those for road derailleurs andn shifters.  You will need a road fd to work with  STI's.  You can use the XTR crank with a road fd.  

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