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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Marrakesh
« on: January 04, 2016, 02:43:24 pm »
Last summer I built up a 90's steel mountain bike frame and fork (Kona Cindercone) as a dirt road bike using 10 speed components.  The 10 speed compact double mountain bike crank worked great, but shifting was a disaster (8 speed Durace BarCons in friction mode, 9 speed XTR rear derailleur).  I ended up with 10 speed Durace BarCons, and the 10 speed 105 rear derailleur that spans a 32 tooth rear cassette (there is also a 10 speed 105 rear derailleur that will not span a 32 tooth rear cassette).  I learned three things from the process.

1) Friction shifting with 10 speed sucks--alignment is too ornery.

2) 10 speed road shifters do not work with  9 speed mountain bike derailleurs--mountain bike shifting over shifts and settles into position and road shifting moves exactly where it wants to go and demands that everything else follow along.

3) 10 speed chains want 10 speed jockey wheels.
That's interesting since I have 10-speed triple cranks (FC-5703 and FC-4603) on all my bikes and 10-speed cassettes on three of them shifted using downtube levers (on Retroshift brackets) or one bike with 10-speed barends.   Of course, these are all friction shifters in front and all work wonderfully.   Shifting is fast, precise and reliable.  I can only assume you have a mis-matched, incompatible (or very poorly adjusted) front derailleur and that causes the poor shifting.

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: January 04, 2016, 09:53:44 am »
Dave, do you know what retroshift models you are using?  If I am understanding correctly I would use the CXV for long pull Avid BB7 brakes.
I'm using the CX version since I have older model Shimano road caliper brakes on all of my bikes.  They also work with cantilever and short pull mechanical road disc brakes.

The CXV is for use with V-brakes and long pull mechanical disc brakes.  I had these on a Surly Cross Check with Avid SD-7 V-brakes and they worked fine but I sold that bike.  I also understand the CXV levers are recommended for use with the newest Shimano caliper brakes requiring a longer cable pull, say BR-6800, BR-5800 and similar, but I'd check with the Gevenalle guys to get their recommendation for specific caliper models.

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: January 03, 2016, 05:36:42 pm »
Thanks everyone for the thoughts and input.  Dave B., I have seen the "Retroshift" (now renamed Gevenalle) shifters and thought about going that way.  It sounds like you like them, maybe I need to look at them again.  I'm guessing they will work with my crankset I have chosen.  It sure was a whole lot easier to buy the bike built but i'm learning a lot and having fun along the way.
Yes, Retroshifts will work with any crank and nearly any front derailleur since both the downtube and barend shift levers they use are all friction for front shifting.  I find that a big plus since I can trim the fd to work in any gear combination.  Also I have no trouble quickly finding the chainring I want even though all my bikes have triple cranks.  Best of all worlds to me.

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: January 03, 2016, 09:24:32 am »
I think that there can be a few factors in that.  Compared to bar ends I find them about the same as far as ease of reaching them if not a little easier.  For me they are pretty much the same height as bar ends but further back.  That is at least in part because I ride a fairly small frame and have my bars pretty low.  Folks with larger frames and higher bars will see more difference.  The fact that I spent a lot of years using down tube shifters is a factor as well.

I have found that with bar ends I tend to bang them with my knee, again may not be an issues with a different frame or different cockpit setup.  Maybe a minor annoyance, but I also found that bar ends tended to get bumped out of gear when the bike was leaned against a wall, or railing.
Well, I ride middle size frames (56 or 57 cm) but agree that downtube shifters aren't a lot less accessible than barends.  However, I find both to be too "out of the way" when I need to shift in a hurry because strange terrain surprised me.  You can't always anticipate the need to shift and taking your hand(s) off of the hoods isn't always easy.

I rode both friction and indexed downtube shifters for several years and tens of thousands of miles and was thrilled when something better came along.  But barends, which I've used and still have on one bike, weren't it. 

I used brifters, both Shimano and Campy, for many years in 7,8,9 and 10-speed form and while I loved the convenience I wasn't thrilled with the expense or perceived fragility.  So, what do I do now?

In a word, "Retroshift" (now renamed Gevenalle).   These mount either downtube shifters or barend shift levers right on the brake levers.  All the convenience of brifters, the simplicity, low cost and durability of downtube/barends and cheap "upgrading" when you wish.  I have them on three bikes and see no reason for anything else.  For you friction shifting fans, they are available with friction levers both front and rear and you can mix-and-match components to your liking.

And, no, I have no relationship to Gevenalle, either personal or business.  I'm just a satisfied customer. 

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: January 02, 2016, 04:10:09 pm »
On the original question.  I like that they are simple, work well, are very reliable, and are out of the way.

Yes indeed, and that is their main disadvantage.  They are out of the way when you really need to get to them.

General Discussion / Re: training for trans am westward
« on: January 02, 2016, 10:44:08 am »
Your overall fitness should be fine but, as Pat noted, get a lot of saddle time, particularly several days in a row to get used to riding long hours every day.  75 miles/day is a lot particularly for multiple days in a row so don't be too surprised if you decide to either do shorter days or take a few days off.  What that means is don't schedule your self too tightly as rest days and bad weather can play havoc with an aggressive time table.

Finally, do ride with your full touring load (or similar weight) as your bike will feel and handle a lot differently than unladen.  I also second the recommendation for a "shakedown cruise" for a couple of overnights before setting out.  A local campground is the place to find out what doesn't work and correct it.

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: December 31, 2015, 08:11:50 pm »
Anyway, downtube shifters died out pretty quickly after the advent of Ergo/STI in the early 1990s.  It still existed but many or most new bikes sold, especially more expensive ones, had the Ergo/STI shifters.  Bike equipment makers are in business to make money.  If they invent a new way to do something, they want to sell it to everyone and make profits.  Staying with the old ways does not help them.
Manufacturers  didn't not "stay with the old way" just to sell stuff.  Then didn't because the riding public very quickly realized brifters were so superior that they would buy almost nothing else.  I rode downtube shifters, both friction and indexing, for several years and was thrilled when something better came along.

A lot of posters here and on other bike forums I read seem to think new components are part of an evil conspiracy to separate ignorant and gullible riders from their hard earned money.   That's foolish.  Yes, there are those who have to have the "latest and greatest" as a statement of their "coolness" but most of us buy newer designs because they improve our riding experience.  Not every innovation is commercially successful and many have failed in the marketplace because they didn't offer a perceived advantage.

General Discussion / Re: Down Tube Shifters
« on: December 30, 2015, 11:03:14 pm »
Same here.  When I first began riding they were the most common shifter on "serious" bikes and I used them for years and thousands of miles.  I would NEVER go back to them. 

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Marrakesh
« on: December 28, 2015, 08:03:15 pm »
It's another disc LHT with a different logo.  The only real difference is that the Salsa is available in flat bar format too. Both Salsa and surly are owned by QBP.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT/Disc Trucker
« on: December 28, 2015, 08:13:55 am »
Yes - but since you have a choice, opt for the 44-32-22.

A 26t chainring is too big for hilly routes.
I agree the 22T chainring would be better but a 26T granny ring paired with a 32T or 34T rear cog does give a suitably low gear (22 gear-inches or 21.6 gear-inches)

General Discussion / Re: (Catastrophic) injury insurance while cycling?
« on: December 26, 2015, 03:52:37 pm »
The only justification I can see for additional medical insurance is if your current coverage is an HMO and is very insistent that you stay "in network" or the co-pays, deductibles, etc. are very high.

General Discussion / Re: bike vs. bike
« on: December 22, 2015, 09:30:12 am »
I've got a 520 with 51000 miles on it so I may be a bit biased. I use it for touring and all my daily riding and love it. The main complaint I had was the SD-7 V-brakes that came with it which were noisy and ineffective. No matter what I tried, all kinds of pads, toe-in etc they were still poor at braking and very noisy.
I had SD-7's on a Surly Cross Check and the braking power (with Kool Stop Salmon pads) was plenty good but they were very squeal prone and nothing I did quieted them down reliably.  Substituting road brake pads and holders for the OEM ones helped a bit but not enough.  My solution was to sell the bike and replace it with a Pacer and caliper brakes.  These are always quiet.

Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain HELP
« on: December 12, 2015, 06:45:59 pm »
Just curious, for a touring bike what's the perceived benefit for going with XT instead of mid line Shimano?
I thought XT was mid-line and sort of the Ultegra of the MTB world.  XTR is the Dura Ace equivalent.

Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain HELP
« on: December 11, 2015, 09:24:48 am »
And since I rarely use the outer chainring, so for my new build I have decided to dispense with it altogether, and use a 2x10 setup with 36x22 chain set and an 11-36 cassette.

On the 36x11 combination I could reach 25mph at 90 rpm, but such pace is unlikely when loaded unless there is a strong tailwind or steep descent.
This makes sense if you only use the bike for loaded touring.  If you ride it unloaded, the 88 gear-inch high gear may be a bit of a nuisance downhill or with a tail wind.  The 103 gear-inch high gear provided by the 44T chainring would be more versatile. 

General Discussion / Re: Europe border closings.
« on: December 10, 2015, 09:06:08 am »
Unless things change dramatically, there are no border checkpoints in the EU and your passport (I assume you are an American or Canadian) should be more than sufficient if you enter non-EU countries unless they currently require visas.

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