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Messages - DaveB

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16
Gear Talk / Re: Ultra light sleeping bag, tent and pad?
« on: February 09, 2017, 08:20:40 am »
We had a friend who cycle-camped using 2 or 3 layers of bubble wrap for a pad.  How we laughed.  It was uncomfortable and cheap.   He reckoned he could have made a 5ft thick mattress of bubble wrap for the cost of our Neo-Air.

Ian
Didn't the "popping" every time he turned over keep all the others awake?

17
Gear Talk / Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« on: February 05, 2017, 01:12:05 pm »
The initial finding that helmets protect your heat  have never been replicated in any good scientific study
OK, I realize this is a contentious issue and the data in favor of helmet use is mostly anecdotal since it's impossible to replicate an accident with and without a helmet and compare the outcomes.  No one has done controlled, instrumented crash studies I'm aware of.  That said I can add two anecdotes to the evidence as I have destroyed two helmets in bike accidents. 

One was a slip on a slippery road at a walking speed.  The bike simply went out from under me and I landed on my right side.   I had a chipped shoulder blade and a mild concussion that wore off with no lingering effects later that night.  My helmet was cracked in three places from the impact.  I can only conclude the helmet prevented more serious damage. 

My second accident was the result of hitting a big pothole in a poorly maintained road shoulder when a passing truck got a bit close.  That one caused a Grade 3 shoulder separation and a concussion serious enough that I don't remember a thing from the accident time about 4:00 in the afternoon until I woke up in the hospital at 7:00 the next morning.  Fortunately, again there have been no lasting effects.    And also again, the helmet had several cracks and was a throwaway. 

You will never convince me that helmets  aren't beneficial.   Don't conclude I'm just accident prone as those were the only incidents in 31 years and 205,000 miles of riding.

18
Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520
« on: February 04, 2017, 09:22:51 am »
You are half correct - 73/55 is a very low trail design, but low trail means that the handlebars have to turn a lot to make the bike turn - not good handling.  You can have the bars "twitch" all over the place and nothing happens.

With a high trail design, the bike steers significantly with every "twitch" of the bars.
Again, I think you have this backwards.  "Trail" is the same as "castor" and controls the self-centering tendency of the front wheel.  A large trail figure tends to keep the front wheel pointed straight ahead and makes turning sluggish but makes high speed stability better.  Low trail is more responsive but requires more attention to keeping the bike in a straight line.

19
Gear Talk / Re: 30 Day Tour Packing List? Hotel every 5 days'ish!
« on: February 03, 2017, 09:46:38 am »
One advantage to bicycle road touring, as apart from backpacking or MTB touring, is that you are rarely far from shops so anything you forgot can be purchased along the way.  The other side of that coin is anything you find you don't need can be shipped home.

20
Gear Talk / Re: Ultra light sleeping bag, tent and pad?
« on: February 03, 2017, 09:26:42 am »
All of the reply posters here seem to be talking to each other.  The OP has never returned to let us know where or when he will be traveling so all of our recommendations are guesses. 

21
General Discussion / Re: Training program recommendations
« on: February 03, 2017, 09:22:25 am »
Another consideration is to get used to riding your bike when it's loaded with the weight and distribution of your touring luggage.   It will feel and handle quite differently from your regular unloaded rides. 

22
Gear Talk / Re: Reflective Clothing; Jackets/Jerseys Etc (Warm Weather)
« on: January 30, 2017, 06:12:03 pm »
Reflective clothing is a good idea but it is "passive" and relies on the other vehicles having lights and having those lights located to reflect the rider's position.  Active lights, battery, dynamo or whatever powered tail lights/flashers and headlights, are far better as they can be seen by other vehicles no matter their  lighting or position.

23
Gear Talk / Re: Sizing Surly Trucker vs Trek 520
« on: January 30, 2017, 03:52:36 pm »
Yesterday she rode the Trek 520 in both 51 and 54cm sizes. The 54 was a really good fit while the 51 was clearly too small.
If she rode the Trek and it fit well, why not just buy it? 

24
I am planning on riding the Western Express in late March....
You probably should reconsider.  It's not just how clear the roads have been plowed but what's still falling.

25
General Discussion / Re: ?How easy are SPD pedals to get use too?
« on: January 23, 2017, 05:49:58 pm »
.... and if all that hasn't put you off...  beware of the reverse fall where you unclip one side (Hooray!) and then for whatever reason forget and try to put the other foot down ....  do this and you will fall.   
There can be some lapses but if you do that often, you are really beyond help.

26
Gear Talk / Re: Ultra light sleeping bag, tent and pad?
« on: January 16, 2017, 08:40:32 pm »
You didn't say where you plan to travel and what time of year.  That information can have a huge bearing on what will work and how light you dare go.

27
General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Iceland
« on: January 16, 2017, 08:37:03 pm »
I believe a biking trip around Iceland was written up in a past issue of Adventure Cycling also.  Try a search of the archives.

28
Gear Talk / Re: Shifters-integrated vs bar-end
« on: January 11, 2017, 08:54:58 am »
I went through this very same thing when I started looking into getting my tour bike. They all came with bar-end shifters and after road bike riding for years with STI's trying to adjust to bar-ends was not working. I like to tour on both paved roads and also unpaved Rail Trails and just couldn't get comfortable maintaining my line while shifting with bar-end. Even though my first road bike used down tube shifters. STI's are so much quicker and stable with two hands on the bar, when in gravel this is nice. I also like to have a mirror mounted on the end of my left bar end.

The problem I ran into with STI's with a triple crank and low cassette gearing is that the newer Shimano parts won't work, as per bike shop. Apparently Shimano changed things around so STI's would no longer work with Mt. bike gearing/derailleurs which is what is used on touring bikes. After some research and convincing the bike mechanic I was able to change out the small chainring and front derailleur to get my gearing lower, though still not as low as I need or want.

So your decision comes down to what you need for gearing to suit you're riding needs. If you want STI's you won't get as low of gearing then if you go with bar-end. There is always the possibility of finding some used older shifting components and a good mechanic.
At the risk of redundancy I'm going to again suggest the Gevanelle brifters.  They are available in 9,10 and 11-speed versions and offer shifters compatible with both Shimano's Dyna-Sys MTB rear derailleurs as well as road rear derailleurs and both mechanical (caliper, disc and V) brakes and hydraulic disc brakes.   All front shifting is friction so they work with nearly any crank and front derailleur.  Low low gears are no problem and the cost is equal to or lower than most brifters.

As I noted above they offer all the accessibility of brifters with the durability and versatility of barends. 

29
Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight touring bike?
« on: January 10, 2017, 09:21:40 am »
[quote author=staehpjJust one data point.  I did the ST with a 25" low gear.  I was 60, not especially fit, and carrying 14 pounds of gear (base weight).  The 25" gear was okay.
[/quote]
Doesn't the ST route avoid the high mountains of the west and the steepest hills of the Appalachian/Blue ridge/Smokies if TN,KY and VA?

30
Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight touring bike?
« on: January 09, 2017, 07:41:09 pm »
I am guessing back in 1976 many of the first cross country riders did not have super low gearing.  They made it over the Sierras, Rockies, Appalachians. 
Yes but the great majority of those first Bikecentennial riders were young, fit and you never heard of how many of the worse hills they walked.  The fact that someone got away with that equipment 40 years ago doesn't mean it was a good idea then or we should do it now.

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