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Messages - DaveB

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Look again.  A Google search for Traitor bikes produced a lot of hits including  the company's own web site and numerous independent reviews.  I assume REI has vetted them and is satisfied that they are a suitable vendor.

My experience says that a bag rated at 20F (-7C) is the optimum balance of warmth and weight.  You can use it at lower temperatures by wearing some of your other clothing and it's not oppressively warm in mild conditions.

Gear Talk / Re: Cheap racks
« on: July 07, 2015, 10:03:49 am »
I have what I believe is the same rack and it's plenty strong but heavy.  The adjustability is a plus. I didn't see a weight limit listed on the Amazon site but I expect 30 pounds (14 kg) would be safe.

Gear Talk / Re: Trunk bag for Tubus Evo Cargo Rack
« on: July 07, 2015, 09:55:29 am »
As you're going to use it for day trips -- lunches and rain gear? -- I'd think Ortlieb is overkill.  I picked up a trunk bag from either Nashbar or Performance a while back.  It attaches with Velcro, and can fit on any rack I've tried it on.

In other words, don't overthink this purchase.
+1   The Performance/Nashbar rack trunks are very functional and low priced.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Bike Selection
« on: June 23, 2015, 09:17:39 pm »
Shimano will give you anything you want. As long as you order in lots of 10,000 or more units
That's the correct statement.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Bike Selection
« on: June 21, 2015, 07:09:30 pm »
The Shimano triple had the same 30 tooth inner chainring that they have been putting on bikes for decades. They are still doing it today. Clueless. I also inquired if the 520 could be set up with 24-34 low gears. It took them over an hour to confirm the combination was possible.  It was not a good experience.
Shimano isn't "clueless", they are selling most of their triples to road riders, not tourists, so the 30T granny ring is adequate.  However, if you find one of the older FC-5703 or FC-4503  triple cranks, they still have a separate 74 mm bolt circle and will take a replacement granny ring down to 24T.    The newer Shimano triple cranks (FC -4603 and FC-6703) have the granny ring bolted to extended tabs on the middle chainring and with a 92 mm bcd and are indeed limited to a 30T granny chainring. 

As a further possibility, Shimano does make "Trekking" cranks geared 48/36/26 in Hollowtech II format and these have a 64 mm granny ring bolt circle and will take a 22T chainring. 

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 18, 2015, 11:54:12 am »
The Blue Ridge Parkway. Elevation will keep temperatures reasonable. Campgrounds along the way. Pretty scenery. 35 mph speed limit. Light traffic. What's not to like?

Yep, it's a great cycling area alright with one minor disadvantage.  The Blue Ridge Parkway runs east and west.  The OP plans to ride north to south.

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 14, 2015, 04:29:13 pm »
New Jersey bears are athletic:

Seriously...We just missed seeing one in the Gap during an organized century.  Alas, all we saw were his muddy  prints in the road. The year before a couple of them walked out of the woods while the official photographer was photographing cyclists.
I've seen one bear while I was riding my bicycle. :)   A friend and I were riding the access road through Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia when what looked like a large black dog ambled out of the woods and sat down on the shoulder of the road.  As we got closer we realize it wasn't a dog, it was a bear cub!  Next question; where is it's mother?  We stopped a respectful distance away and waited until it wandered off back into the woods before riding on. 

There should be a lot of information on crossing into the USA from Canada as a UK passport holder by automobile and that would have the same requirements as a bicycle. 

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 12, 2015, 06:45:49 pm » might have the pleasure of seeing a bear riding through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Interesting.  I've never seen a bear riding a bicycle.  I didn't know they could ride. 8)

General Discussion / Re: Has anyone biked the east coast?
« on: June 11, 2015, 08:05:30 pm »
Historical temperature and precipitation data can be a useful guide as long as you don't take it as gospel.  A friend is fond of saying; "Climate is what you expect.  Weather is what you get."  As John recommended, go and enjoy the ride.  Take what happens in good spirits.

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 11, 2015, 04:46:21 pm »
You are correct that Shimano brifters are not really serviceable.  For one thing, repair parts aren't available to the consumer or LBS.  Campy Ergo brifters are (or at least were in the past) serviceable and replacement parts were available but it's not a job for the faint of skill.

I agree that downtube and barends are unequaled for reliability and durability but not for convenience.  That's why I'm such a fan of the Retroshifts I discussed above.  All the simplicity and reliability of barend/downtube levers (because that's what they are) but positioned where you can easily reach them.

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 09, 2015, 08:47:37 am »
I'm in agreement with staehpj1 about barend shifters.  I've used them and find them awkward to reach unless you have plenty of notice.  You have to move your hands from the hoods or tops to use them and they are impossible to use while standing to climb.   Brifters are far more convenient but are expensive and can be a reliability problem.  I've found an alternative to both barends and brifters that have nearly the convenience of brifters and the lower cost and durability of barends and downtubes.

"Retroshift" (now called Gevenalle) shifters are brackets mounted on standard Tektro brake levers (both caliper/canti and V-brake versions are offered) and use downtube shift levers.  The levers are right under your hands just like brifters, can be swept across the entire cassette in one motion.  Front shift is friction allowing infinite trim and indifference to crank and front derailleur choices.   They are available with 9,10 and 11-speed Shimano compatible shifters or use your own if you want 7 or 8-speeds. They even have models for hydraulic disc brakes.

I have these on three of my four bikes, two 10-speed and one 8-speed, and am extremely happy with them.  After many tens of thousands of miles on both Shimano and Campy brifters and a few thousands on barends I've found the Retroshift system to offer the best of both worlds. 

And, before anyone asks, no, I have no business or personal relationship with the company.  I'm just a satisfied and enthusiastic customer.

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 06, 2015, 09:39:52 am »
- Reduce the weight in the handlebar bag.
Absolutely.  You have a 5 pound pendulum mounted high and on the steering mechanism.  Make it a LOT lighter.

As Ronk says, you've got some big chainrings.  a smaller granny can help; I've heard of people going to 26 and (sometimes) 24 rings...
If your crank has a separate 74 mm bolt circle for the granny a 24 or 26T chainring is a great help.  I've done it on numerous bikes and it works well.

Misinformation too about STI and sprocket size. It's the dérailleur which limits the cassette range - use a long cage dérailleur and you're set.
More misinformation here.  The derailleur does limit the maximum cog size but the cage length has nothing to do with it.  A long cage road derailleur won't accept a larger cog than it's short cage counterpart, it will only wrap up more chain and allow a larger total tooth count. 

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 Disc - Compatible Fenders
« on: May 29, 2015, 09:00:08 am »
Be sure to make the dealer replace the crappy QR with a safe one, and turn it around so that it clamps on the side opposite the caliper.
That seems to be the proper way for any disc brake bike and if done and/or the quick release is closed properly, the Trek recall for "unsafe" skewers would have been unnecessary.

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