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Messages - DaveB

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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.

Gear Talk / Chains
« on: June 27, 2006, 08:09:02 am »
I had 1700 miles on a Shimano Ultegra chain and the LBS mech said they are only good for like 700 miles.

Find a different mechanic, yours is ripping you off.  Either that or you ride in horribly abrasive conditions.

I've used many Ultegra level (and below) chains, in both 8 and 9-speed form, for over 7000 miles each with only 1/16" "stretch" and never any failures and I ride in very hilly conditions so the chains aren't treated kindly.  Something is wrong here.

Gear Talk / Repair Kit
« on: June 15, 2006, 08:32:10 pm »
I suggest taking a Park's MT-1 "dog bone" multi-tool tool.  It has 3,4,5,6 and 8 mm allen keys, a small flat screwdriver blade (which fits derailleur limit screws) and 8,9 and 10 mm box wrenches.  It weighs only about 50 gms, costs less than $10 and the shape allows a lot of torque on all of the larger hex keys.  Why it isn't wildly popular is beyond me.  

The MT-1 with a very small chain tool like the Ritchey CT-5 (use the MT-1 as the screw press handle) is as versatile as multi-tools costing 3 or 4 times as much and weighing much more.

Gear Talk / Straight handlebars
« on: June 08, 2006, 08:43:14 pm »
Can you try the moustache bars before committing to them?  Some riders love them but they certainly are not for everyone.  Grant Peterson tries to make it sound like they are magic but there is a reason they disappeared from general use.  

Gear Talk / Straight handlebars
« on: June 01, 2006, 04:10:09 pm »
I've been told the benefits of drop bars, and because of that, I plan on giving them a shot, but to automatically put people into a category of being goobers who don't know any better is wrong.  If I try the drop bars and still decide that I like the flat bars better, that's what I will use when I tour.  It doesn't make me any less of a cyclist.

I don't think Russell or I had any intent of putting you in the "goober" catagory or making you out to be less of a rider.   We just said many riders have no experience with drop bars so they dismiss them as a racing affectation.  

You definitely have no experience with them, as you freely admit, but already say you don't like several features.  I suggest you give them a real test before judging.  I expect your "don't-likes" will turn into "really-likes" after a fair test period.

I've ridden drop bars and flat bars and, IN MY EXPERIENCE, drop bars are far more comfortable for long distances.  

BTW, one warning, don't set your drop bars up with a big drop from the seat to the bars. You are a tourist, not a racer, and if you try to emulate the very low racer position you are almost sure to conclude you don't like them.  Put them at a comfortable level and give them a fair try.

Of course, after that it's certainly your choice what you prefer.  


Gear Talk / Straight handlebars
« on: June 01, 2006, 11:42:26 am »
It could be personal preference or they don't know any better. I would never ride a long distance with flat bars but some riders like them.

Gear Talk / Where to get new wheels
« on: May 29, 2006, 11:58:18 am »
You don't need higher spoke count wheels, you need wheels built with the proper spoke tension to begin with.  If you've broken four rear spokes in that time, the stock wheels were under tensioned as built and more spokes won't help.

I'm about 150 pounds and also carry light loads occasionally and have gotten 30,000+ miles on several 32 spoke rear wheels with no spoke breakage ever. My wheels eventually fail because the rims get worn through the brake tracks but the spokes are all fine.

I suggest Colorado Cyclist as a source for good, well built properly tensioned wheels. Both I and my son-in-law have had excellent service from their wheels.

Gear Talk / Briton needing buy in States - Help!
« on: May 21, 2006, 10:45:39 pm »
Maybe I'm missing something but what is eco-unfriendly about bringing your own bike?

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