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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / New Fork
« on: October 23, 2007, 09:39:56 am »
I have bikes with steel forks, aluminumm forks and both relatively heavy and extremely light all-carbon forks and I really can't feel a significant comfort difference among any of them.

I think the concept that carbon forks are more comfortable is more marketing than fact.  A carbon fork can be a lot lighter than a steel fork but that's its real advantage.

Gear Talk / Touring Forks
« on: October 21, 2007, 11:04:19 am »
Contact Trek and see if they can provide a direct replacement fork.  You are correct that finding a 1" threaded touring fork with cantilever brake and rack mounts is very difficult.  

One other thing; if you were in an accident that was severe enough to damage the fork, have the frame's headtube and downtube checked for damage also.

Gear Talk / Drive train/gearing changes
« on: October 20, 2007, 09:51:59 am »
A bicycle is a machine of torque amplification, not horse power

Actually that isn't correct.  A bicycle is a distance amplification machine at the expense of torque. The bike travels further than your feet do even in very low gears.

Even if the chain broke first it would continue to follow through the stroke until it reached it's last link as a single unit.

That's not true either.  A popped pin or bent side plate could easily get jammed into the adjacent cogs and do all kinds of damage as it passed through the cassette.  I've seen rear derailleurs destroyed when a broken chain was pulled through them so a broken chain is not smooth and snag-free.  

Gear Talk / Drive train/gearing changes
« on: October 18, 2007, 08:44:28 pm »
I stood to pedal and the 34T bent and the chain broke.
OK, but I wonder about the sequence of events.  You believe the cog bent and then the chain broke.  I wonder if the chain broke and that bent the cog.

The cog, either Shimano or SRAM. should be plenty strong enough to take the load you describe.  The limiting factor would be rear tire grip, not cog strength.  The rear wheel should slip before you should be able to bend a cog. I expect the chain broke and that caused the resulting damage.

This message was edited by DaveB on 10-18-07 @ 4:44 PM

Gear Talk / Drive train/gearing changes
« on: October 16, 2007, 09:06:49 pm »
What I learned: the LX rear cassette bent early on so I changed it for a Scram 11-34. The SCRAM is steel and built to take abuse.

You bent an LX cassette?  LX cassettes are steel too and, since they are mountain bike components, they are intended to take abuse also. SRAM cassettes are no more rugged than any of the Shimano offerings.  

Gear Talk / Brooks saddles and rain
« on: October 09, 2007, 10:27:04 pm »
I live in the maritime Pacific NW and we sometime get rain.

You are a master of understatement.  ;)

Gear Talk / Volpe, Fenders & Tire Size
« on: October 07, 2007, 12:00:41 pm »
The best way to find out is to mount the fenders and then see how much clearance you have with the current tires.  You should be able to judge how big you can go.  

Gear Talk / Laptop to carry on bike trip?
« on: October 03, 2007, 07:39:17 pm »
I'm also not sure what you plan to do with the laptop but there is a very light alternative if you will have access to regular computers such as in Libraries.  

A 2 or 4 Gig USB "Thumb Drive" will hold a huge number of word processing files and complete copies of "Portable Open Office" (a free MSOffice work-alike, that is fully compatible with Word and Excel files) and "Portable Firefox" (a free Internet browser) and "Portable Thunderbird", (a free Outlook Express-type E-mail program).  These programs are all available as no-cost downloads ( one source is ) and work very well.

You can plug the USB drive into any available desktop or laptop and use it as your own personal self-contained drive with access to all of your files, your own word processor and your own Internet and E-mail programs.  

These drives are extremely small and light, durable and cheap at about $50.      

Gear Talk / trek 520 crankset rehab
« on: September 24, 2007, 11:59:06 pm »
Your 520 has the very common "English" bottom bracket threading and the normal road width of 68 mm.  This is almost universal on road bikes these days.  

All current MTB cranks and bottom brackets use English threading but many have a 73 mm bottom bracket width so you would need spacers to fit one to your bike.  They should be provided with the bottom bracket so it can be used with older 68 mm frames.  

I recommend you visit a knowledgeable bike shop and discuss what you need.

This message was edited by DaveB on 9-24-07 @ 7:59 PM

Gear Talk / Rear light for Surly Nice Racks
« on: September 19, 2007, 11:46:25 pm »
DaveB. I did almost exactly what you are suggesting, except that I used an inch or so of a broomstick handle. The wood is easy to cut and shape and drill, and it is plenty strong. Heck, I may even paint it some day.


Paul, right after I wrote the posting about using a piece of seatpost I realized anything cylindrical would also work.  Your broomhandle (or a 1" dowel) is certainly a more available than left-over seatposts. :)

Other suitable adapters could be made from a piece of metal or plastic pipe.

This message was edited by DaveB on 9-19-07 @ 7:46 PM

Gear Talk / Rear light for Surly Nice Racks
« on: September 18, 2007, 10:09:44 pm »
I haven't actually done this but this idea has occured to me.  I'll assume you have a rack with a L-bracket or similar mounting point intended to bolt on a rear light.  

Get a scrap seatpost, a super cheap seatpost or a cut-off section from a seatpost that someone has shortened.  

Cut about a 1" long piece of the seatpost and cross drill it so you can bolt it to the rack's mounting point.  Then mount your light on this short stub of seatpost using the supplied collar.

Gear Talk / The $64,000 question...Riding gloves!
« on: September 08, 2007, 11:54:24 am »
If you insist on mesh backs your choices will be very limited.  Lycra backs are almost universal and the only "retro styled" mesh backed gloves I've seen are quite cheaply made.  

Gear Talk / Touring Bike HELP!!
« on: August 21, 2007, 11:15:30 am »
The 520 is Trek's traditional loaded tourer. It has been in their line for many years and is highly thought of by its owners.  If you want a "real" touring bike, it will serve you well.

Your 1000, if it fits well,  should give you a pretty good idea of which size to order.

Gear Talk / Front Derailer
« on: August 21, 2007, 11:25:16 am »
"Top Swing" front derailleurs have the mounting clamp below the parallelogram and are a new design used on MTB's  

"Bottom swing" fd's have the clamp above the operating mechanism and are the older, more traditional design.  Both MTB and road front derailleurs are available in bottom swing and all road front derailleurs I'm familiar with are bottom swing.

"Wide Links" mean the pivot links are wider than usual to improve rigidity and apply only to MTB derailleurs.

Gear Talk / clip-in pedals
« on: September 24, 2007, 11:53:15 pm »
Im still using the stirrups.Honestly I like being able to jump off the bike in the shoes I prefer that day.Im not saying its better or that I wont switch eventually but this system works for me.
Once you finally try clipless pedals you'll kick yourself for not having done it sooner.  ;)

I personally would much rather carry an extra pair of shoes on the bike than go without clipless pedals.

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