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Messages - DaveB

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General Discussion / Renting a bike for touring
« on: February 06, 2007, 10:35:28 pm »
One other possibility is to review Craig's List for the city you are going to start in and see if there is a suitable bike listed.  Call the seller and explain what you want to do.  You might save a lot of money this way and possibly pick up useful local knowledge in the process.  

General Discussion / I'm new here...
« on: January 13, 2007, 10:17:14 am »
The Surly is a very good choice at it's price point and can be set up exactly as you wish. The Trek 520 and Cannondale T1000 and T2000 are also well thought of but come pretty much as fixed packages with only minor customizing by the bike shop possible.

I'm also in Pittsburgh so I can give you a couple of bike shop recommendations if you wish to discuss them.

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-13-07 @ 6:17 AM

General Discussion / Bicycle Friendly States
« on: January 09, 2007, 11:13:40 am »
I would guess that West Virginia and Pennsylvania might be bad states unless you plan your route well. They are mountainous and the traffic is probably funnelled into the valleys. The population density is relatively high.

As a PA resident I guess I have to defend my state's honor. ;)

Actually western PA is a very good bicycling area as there are a lot of rural, low-traffic roads and scenic roads.  I'm 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh by car but 30 minutes from my house on a bike and I ride by farms with cows and horses.  The best of all worlds.  

I'm a bit familiar with WV too and there are wonderful biking areas there too.  

Both states share one trait; they are not easy riding.  There are hills, hills and more hills.  Bring low gears and a willingness to work and you can have a lot of good riding time here.

This message was edited by DaveB on 1-9-07 @ 7:14 AM

General Discussion / Searching the web
« on: December 31, 2006, 07:00:15 pm »
Try Bike Forums (  There are both a "Bike Mechanics" and a "Collectible and Vintage" forums with tons of help.  Another terrific site for repair and parts, particularly for older bikes, is Sheldon Brown's web site at Harris Cyclery. ( This is a treasure.  

General Discussion / Please Help! :-)
« on: November 21, 2006, 09:58:14 pm »
Keep in mind that the Raleighs you buy here are not made by the same company as the former English Raleighs, they just license the name.  

So if your instructor has fond feelings for the Raleigh of his/her childhood, the current ones aren't made by the same company.  This is not an altogether bad thing.

General Discussion / Multi-Day Cycling Events
« on: November 21, 2006, 09:50:25 pm »
The problem with most of the week long cross state tours is logistics.  

A lot of them are point-to-point so you have to leave your car at the finish and get transportation to the start or the reverse. RAGBRAI is typical of these.  

One exception is GOBA in Ohio.  It is always a big loop so the start and finish are at the same place.

General Discussion / Multi-Day Cycling Events
« on: November 20, 2006, 06:35:23 am »
Did you do three different week long tours or one 3-week tour?  It wasn't completely clear.  If you did three different tours, what were they?

This message was edited by DaveB on 11-20-06 @ 2:36 AM

General Discussion / Lazy North Americans?
« on: November 20, 2006, 06:33:19 am »
The Netherlands are small, flat, have a relatively mild climate and have a huge population density. (The Netherlands are 1/3 the land area of Pennsylvania but have 50% more people).  

There are very few areas in the USA or Canada that have these characteristics and even other European countries that are similarly configured don't have anything like the bicycle use that the Netherlands do despite similarly high fuel prices.  

The Netherlands are unique.  In the developed world, there is no other country in Europe, Asia or the Americas where bicycles are used as much for daily transportation.

General Discussion / going south
« on: October 02, 2006, 11:50:40 pm »
One other item, get and bring a passport.  I'm not sure when the regulations take effect but sometime soon travelers between the US and Canada will be REQUIRED to show passports.  Also, I think Canadian citizens need a passport to enter Mexico.

General Discussion / Wheather and departure date
« on: September 26, 2006, 09:30:09 am »
I think you wouldn't be foolish, you would be suicidal.  Russell is absolutely right about the March/April weather in the mountains.  I've driven over some Rockie Mountain passes in early June and there were still 10' snow drifts at the side of the road.  Even April/May weather in the Great Plains can be harsh and that's about when you would get there.  

Leave later.

General Discussion / Bike Friday Touring Bikes????
« on: September 29, 2006, 09:21:11 pm »
My son-in-law has a Pocket Rocket with 9-speed STI shifters and components and the shifting, particularly in front, has always been poor.  Three e-mails to Bike Friday's tech service brought prompt replies but not much help.  Their answer was sort of "they all do that".  The very long and convaluted cable runs on the Bike Fridays are responsible for the shifting problems according to their tech guy.  I'd recommend barcon shifters if you buy one.

And, before anyone asks, yes I know how to properly install and  set up STI, Ergo, barcon and down tube shifters for every speed from 7 through 10 so I did do it correctly.  

General Discussion / Loaded Weight
« on: September 19, 2006, 07:05:54 pm »
I image if you eat out all the time and stay in Motels, one could easily achieve a load weight of 35-45 lb.
Under these circumstances, I've typically had a loaded (panniers and contents) weight of under 20 pounds.  I wouldn't have a loaded weight as high as you mention if I included the weight of the bike.  You are carrying WAY too much.  

General Discussion / Watering holes on TransAm
« on: November 07, 2006, 10:31:40 am »
Consider one of the Camelback or similar hydration packs.  The smallest ones (50-oz) hold almost two large water bottles worth and the large ones (100-oz) up to four bottle equivalents.  

They don't require bottle cages, are insulated enought to keep the water cold much longer and, most important, are convenient enough to encourage you to drink more often.  

They take a bit of getting used to but once you are, you will be very satisfied.

General Discussion / good deal or not a good deal?
« on: August 26, 2006, 11:00:35 pm »
Well, this is a little late to be asking since you already made the purchase but, yes, it sounds like a reasonable price.

General Discussion / Do I need a new bike?
« on: July 13, 2006, 11:04:05 am »
If you are going to do fully loaded touring, you will have problems mounting adequate racks on your Cannondale. The "R" series means "road" so it is unlikely to have the dropout and/or fork eyelets needed to properly mount racks and the short chainstays will probably cause your heels to hit full size rear panniers.  

If you are going to do lightly loaded "credit card touring" satisfactory rack mounts can be made using P-clamps since the load will be light and the panniers small.

Another possibility is to ger a BOB or similar trailer as these can be towed by nearly any bike and you Cannondale will be fine for that use.

One more problem with your Cannondale is gearing.  If it has a double crank and is geared 53/39 you will probably not have sufficiently low gears.  If it has a triple you are most of the way there. You could fit a road triple with a 26T granny in place of the standard 30T and use a 12x27 cassette which should do the job.

So, the answer is; maybe.

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