To get that adjustability, you give up a lot of simplicity and the ability to use off-the-shelf racks and, I presume, fenders.
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First, four cross is usually used for higher spoke count wheels, and two cross for lower spoke count wheels. The idea, as I understand it, is to get the spokes coming off the hub at roughly a right angle to the radius through the center of the hub. Are you advocating going to a 48 spoke wheel? If you're using 4x with 36 spoke wheels, are you coming off the hub at an acute angle?A 36 hole rim and hub laced 4X will produce a tangential spoke line and is the smallest number of holes that will allow 4X lacing
Second, the ping you note as a new wheel is ridden is caused by windup of the spoke during tensioning and truing. This is normally fixed (by a skilled wheelbuilder) by over-correcting and then backing off during final truing. I don't see this as something that can be corrected by changing the length and angle of a spoke.Correct. "Pinging" is prevented by proper stress relieving of the spoke line, lubing the spoke threads and preventing or correcting spoke wind-up during tensioning. The wheel's construction geometry is not a factor.
Third, the wheel is centered by balancing the tension of the right and left side spokes. If you're using the same number of spokes on each side, as is the case for every wheel I know of on the market now, you can lengthen or shorten the spokes on the left (non-drive) side, but the tension will have to stay the same unless you pull the rim off-center. With the same tension on the spokes, keeping the wheel centered, the only change is going to be frictional losses as the (almost) unloaded spoke shifts. This is unlikely to be significant, and so I doubt you'll change the load the wheel can take before a spoke goes to zero tension.As noted by mathieu there are asymmetrically spoked wheels these days but how much is structural and how much is a fashion statement is debatable. One way to balance the required tension differences with a dished wheel is to use thinner spokes on the non-drive side. Say 2.0/1.8/2.0 on the drive side and 2.0/1.6/2.0 on the non-drive side.
A better approach might be to replace box rims with a stiffer (V) rim. The V rim adds some structural rigidity, meaning you share the load across more spokes. This, in turn, means you can carry a larger load on the V wheel without the spoke losing tension.
Most touring bikes have MTB or friction shifters so that they can use MTB derailleurs.I don't think this is correct any longer as most of the touring bikes I see advertised have brifters. They can use MTB 9-speed rear derailleurs with 9 or 10-speed cassettes and brifters and have to use a road front derailleur. The touring bikes with barend shifters have a more latitude with their front derailleur choice but the same rear derailleur limitation.
Knowing his to fix your bike is really important as well. Simple stuff like replacing links in a chain can really make a difference and you will have to put a lot of maintenance along the way. My first tour was when I was 19 (San Francisco. - DC). And I knew little about repairing my bike. I had some uncertain times with my bike and was my biggest regret.A good quality bike in well maintained condition should not require a lot of maintenance even over a 4000 mile tour. Chain lubing and tire pressure should be the only routine items with wearing out or damaging a tire as a possibility. If you start with the components in good shape cables, shifters, brake pads, chains, wheels, etc. should last the duration of the trip with no problems. The operative term is "good quality" and X-Mart level bikes don't qualify.
Hi, my shimano shifter stick has become very loose, which is affecting the gear shifting. There is a bolt that holds the unit together, but i can't tighten it fully with a wrench or pliers because it's housed with a partial cover. Has anyone had this problem or know how to fix it?What type and model is it? Brifter? Downtube? Barend? Road or MTB? A lot more detail is needed. Pictures would be a great help too.
Know how to use your tools.That's the big thing! Having tool but not knowing what to do with them makes them useless weight or makes a bad situation worse if they are miss-used. There is a saying among bike shop mechanics that; "a spoke wrench in the wrong hands is our greatest source of wealth".
+1. I used to think a chain tool was unnecessary. I rode across the country with 13 people. Over 52,000 bike miles. Not one chain problem. Never had a chain problem on any other tour. Then last Saturday I was on a group ride on my LHT when my drivetrain started skipping even in friction mode. It kept getting worse so I dropped out of the ride and stopped to take a throrough look down. That's when I discovered that half the outside plate of my speed link was literally missing. Fortunately, I was able to spin to a bike shop about 1.5 miles away. Got it replaced in 10 min. at a cost of $5 and change, which was slightly more than it would have cost to take the train home.I've always carry a very small chain tool, a 25 gm Ritchey CT-5, now out of production. I've never needed it for my own bike but have helped three other riders over the years. One broke a chain when his wheel threw a piece of tramp wire into it, another had joined his chain improperly and the third had mis-set limit screws and jammed his chain into his crenk. So, a chain tool is certainly a useful addition and replacement master links a necessity.
I will be getting a chain tool and some spare links this weekend, wiill learn how to make the necessary repairs and will be never take another trip without them.
Allen wrenches, chain tool, spoke wrench and a leatherman.This is a start.
You do not need disk brakes, but please do not be worried about reliabilty or performance.I still read way too many reports of noise, disc run-out, slow wheel changes, alignment problems and pad clearance issues to recommend disc brakes to the rider who isn't pretty well versed in mechanical issues. Yes, they work. No, they aren't simple, even mechanical discs, and hydraulics bring an entire set of issues of their own.