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Messages - DaveB

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31
General Discussion / Re: First Bike Tour
« on: March 30, 2014, 06:34:19 am »
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.

However, that's not to say bad things can't happen even to good bikes so knowing how to do your own repairs and having a few essential tools (Allen wrenches, chain tool, tire levers, etc.) and spare parts (shift and brake cable, brake pads, tubes, chain master link or joining pins) should be considered essential as is the ability to use them.   

32
Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar bag alternative
« on: March 29, 2014, 10:25:47 am »
As mentioned by staehpj1, a small to medium fanny pack is a good place to carry things you want easy access to and things you don't want to get separated from like your wallet and phone.   I use one on my rack-less road bike to carry a jacket and other bad weather bail-out items.

33
General Discussion / Re: Weight training and cycling
« on: March 29, 2014, 04:56:05 am »
Big and strong, or at least big, is a negative for cycling as upper body muscle mass is just "dead weight" for riders.  So, your weight lifting is always going to compromise your cycling ability and all you can do is reach a balance that satisfies you.  If you are going to ride for recreation or fitness or to commute, the reduction in cycling ability won't be a problem.   Just don't plan to be a competitive rider. 

34
General Discussion / Re: Weight training and cycling
« on: March 28, 2014, 01:59:36 pm »
Bicycling requires very high repetitions at moderate force.  Most weight training emphasizes very high effort and limited repetitions so it's not specific to bicycling unless modified to achieve that end.  Most of the bicycle-specific weight programs I've seen emphasize the use of light weight at high reps. 

35
Gear Talk / Re: Fixing a shimano shifter.....
« on: March 27, 2014, 05:56:50 am »
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.

36
General Discussion / Re: Tools for adventure
« on: March 27, 2014, 05:53:28 am »
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".

37
General Discussion / Re: Tools for adventure
« on: March 25, 2014, 09:09:02 am »
+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 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.
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.

38
General Discussion / Re: Tools for adventure
« on: March 25, 2014, 05:46:06 am »
Allen wrenches, chain tool, spoke wrench and a leatherman.
This is a start. 

Take the Allen wrenches that fit your bike, typically 3,4,5,6 and perhaps 8 mm if your crank bolts need it.  Get good quality wrenches and be sure they are long enough to be useful.  Many multi-tools have all of these sizes but are shaped so they aren't really functional. 

Open end or box wrenches in 8,9 and 10 mm may be useful or completely unneeded depending on your bike.

A small chain tool and include a short length of chain plus a couple of suitable master links or Shimano's joining pins if you have a Shimano chain.

A spoke wrench to match your spoke nipples is also good.

Small screwdrivers, flat blade and Phillips, can be useful.

Small needle nose pliers.

The obvious; tire levers, spare tubes, patch kit, minipump.

Spare parts within reason like one brake and one shift cable, brake pads, etc.

39
Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: March 19, 2014, 12:44:17 pm »
  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.

40
Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: March 19, 2014, 05:49:35 am »
...at the Bike Expo yesterday I saw some front wheel drive recumbents, a new one to me, the man selling them said they were as good as uprights for climbing. Anyone know about these? They don't look very practical for touring. A trailer perhaps?
I believe your salesman need a physics lesson. Front wheel drive is not better for climbing traction since the weight transfer is rearward and that tends to unload the front wheel. For cars that are front end heavy anyway it's obviously not a problem but bicycles are rear wheel weight biased so a steep climb is likely to allow wheel spin if the front is driven.  Beyond that, climbing on a bike is power and torque limited and recumbents don't allow the rider to use his/her full weight over the pedals so low gears are required.  Which wheel is driven has nothing to do with it.

Quote
What ever bike you get should have minimum 32mm tires, 36 spokes, Disc brakes and Surly racks.
+1 On the tire and spoke recommendation but other rack makes (Blackburn, OMM, Tubus ) are also very good and disc brakes are by no means a requirement or even desirable at their present state of development.

41
General Discussion / Re: Miles Per Day
« on: March 19, 2014, 05:37:40 am »
That mileage of 60+/- per day seems like a general consensus of all of the travel articles I've read too and seems like a worthwhile distance to plan around. Even at only a 12mph average that only 5 hours/day on the bike and leaves plenty of time for sightseeing, photography, meals and just lazing around.

You can do less on a day with rain and/or headwinds and more if the conditions are favorable and there is nothing worth stopping for but 60 is a good average.  You will read about those who do 100+ miles a day every day but that seems to be an intent to just ride, not tour. 

42
Either way, tell the mechanics at REI what you're going to be doing with the bike, and ask them to check it over thoroughly.  I've had new wheels on a Randonnee start breaking spokes within 1,000 miles, and another set of wheels that they checked over now has over 12,000 miles with no broken spokes (that I can remember).
+1.  Unevenly and inadequately tensioned spokes are epidemic on new bikes and lead to premature breakage.  Have the REI mechanic check and, if needed, improve the spoke tension and trueness.  Done properly you should almost never break a good quality spoke if you don't mechanically damage it.

Also, remember neither bike comes with pedals so leave a few dollars in your budget to add them. 

43
Gear Talk / Re: I Found and Purchased My New Bike
« on: March 03, 2014, 08:04:55 am »
Thanks DaveB! I understand you can not convert an existing quill fork to thread less. I have a thread less suspension fork on another bike I was thinking of using. When I installed it I did not cut it down so I have plenty of material to work with. My question was I guess is can you replace the existing pressed in bearings with a thread less bearing set into the headset.
Assuming the new fork's steerer is the same diameter as the old one, yes you can certainly replace a threaded headset with a threadless one and then use the threadless fork.  It's an easy conversion and done frequently.  You will need a suitable new stem and spacers but otherwise it's very doable.

One caveat; the new fork may not play well with the bike's geometry is it's axle-to-crown length is significantly different from the old fork. 

44
The differences are pretty major. 

The Rondonee is a drop bar dedicated touring bike and pretty much a duplicate of other well regarded bikes like the Trek 520 and Surly LHT.   It has barend shifters, appropriate gearing and proper sized road tires.

The Safari is more of a Hybrid with moustache bars, MTB components and wider and heavier tires. 

So, it you are used to or prefer drop bars and plan on little off-road use, get the Randonee.  If you expect to ride on a lot of unimproved roads or trails, the Safari is more suited. 

The Rondanee is more expensive but, to my thinking, the extra money is well spent and it would be my choice for a long road tour.

45
Gear Talk / Re: I Found and Purchased My New Bike
« on: March 02, 2014, 07:32:56 am »
Tthreaded forks cannot be converted to threadless.  Even if there is enough extra length to accept the stem clamp, the threaded section is too weak to take the forces.  To go threadless you need a new fork, headset and stem. 

A work-around is to use a quill adapter in your current threaded fork.  These are a straight quill that goes into the steerer like a quill stem but then accepts a threadless stem. These allow you to use either a 1" or 1-1/8" stem and the newer 31.8 mm diameter handlebars. 

Here is one: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_175545_-1___202442

Converting a 7-speed to an 8/9/10-speed requires a new freehub body (8/9/10-speed is wider), removing some spacers from the non-drive side, recentering the axle and redishing the rim to center it properly.  I believe your 970 has either 130 mm or 135 mm dropout spacing and your current hub matches it so you won't have to spread the stays.  Of course along with the new freehub body, you will need matching shifters, cassette and chain so this can be a relatively expensive conversion.

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