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LOTS of downtube shifting here in Madison WI and LOTS of manual transmission cars Russ. Jetta especially sells lots of them without having to special order them.I'm with Russ on this one. Maybe in very flat areas downtube shifters and manual transmissions are a bit more common but nowhere else. I think you have seen a few of both and generalized that they are far more common than they really are.
I wanted my touring bike to have 700c tires and with the Surly Truckers to get the 700c tires they start at 56cm, nothing smaller. I could of looked at other bikes but I chose not to as I wanted the trucker.We've had this discussion here before and several of us recommended not compromising the frame size for your unnecessary insistence on 700c wheels. Too late now and I'm sure the bike you have will be adequate.
Thanks. Yep, Its a Zefal HPX Classic Aluminum Pump. I bought mine from eBay, but there are other places to buy it from. I saw them on www.chainreactioncycles.com for around $28.I bought mine back in the late '80's before they were called "Classic" and were just standard frame pumps. Still works but is so heavy that I never use it.
Nice! What kind of pump is that?Zefel HPX
The bike your looking at has a suspension fork if I'm correct. I'm curious to see if anyone has thoughts on that for a touring bike.The OP is planning on riding the "GDMB" (Great Divide Mountain Bike) route which is an off-road route and a suspended mountain bike, or at least a suspension fork is highly recommended. This is not a road tour and a standard road touring bike is not recommended.
Let me say something about how 'improvements' come to market........NB No discussion of whether it's a better product for the average Joe It all boils down to making the most moneyI think you are too cynical about how component changes occur. A lot of the changes are driven by performance rider's constant demands for the holy grails of "stiffer and lighter" and the new designs provide both of those. Touring riders are not that concerned but they are a tiny portion of the market anyway.
I've no idea whether Shimano operates like this but over a lifetime in manufacturing I have sat in similar meetings.
However, the little screws do seem to come loose and I have to tighten them with those little screwdriver kits for glasses.Clear nail polish on the threads will make that problem go away. Use Locktite if you never want to remove the screws for any reason. Even the "Blue" grade is stronger than those tiny screws.
By far the most common item I have seen is 1 (not both :- ) work glove.I've seen one, not two, shoes several times along the road. I always wonder how that happens.