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Messages - DaveB

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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.

Gear Talk / Re: Flashlights for bike are needed
« on: May 27, 2015, 09:06:44 pm »
Sorry for that I did not provide enough information. I would like to get a "See" flashlight for I like night riding. As for the running hour for the flashlight, I would a a full charge can run more than 2 hours, and the budget is around $150, I will choose one from the Sure Fire or Tank007 flashlight site
It sounds like you don't need a flashlight at all but a bike headlight.  See my posting above for a few reliable names and there are others. A true flashlight can be used as a bike headlight but the beam isn't ideal and mounting it is a bit of a problem.  A true bike headlight solves both problems.  Surefire, etc. do not make what you say you want.

Gear Talk / Re: Flashlights for bike are needed
« on: May 26, 2015, 08:18:25 am »
How much light do you need and for how long at a time and for what use?   

For an around-camp or utility light get an LED flashlight with enough output that uses AA batteries.  Those "Tactical" lights like Surefire and Streamlight tend to be overbuilt and very expensive and use expensive CR123 batteries.   Maglite's AA LED lights come in very powerful versions (200+ lumens) using two AA batteries and are reasonably priced and durable. 

For on-bike use as a headlight, a powerful (300 lumens or above) LED rechargable headlight is the way to go and there are many makes like NiteRider, Cygolight, Light and Motion, etc. that work well.  The headlight can double as a camping light but you need to be able to recharge it every day or two.

Gear Talk / Re: Single pair of shoes, or bike AND walking shoes?
« on: May 22, 2015, 09:00:22 am »
I find any true riding shoe, even MTB shoes with recessed cleats, to be uncomfortable for anything but short walking distances.  A shoe stiff enough to be efficient on the bike isn't a good hiker.  However, I won't compromise my riding so I take either a pair of flip-flops or light "running" shoes for off the bike use depending on how much walking is to be done.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: May 21, 2015, 09:03:00 am »

Water from the sky is clean. Water that splashes up from the road, not so much. I was on a group ride on a rainy, muddy road. I was the only one with fenders. We all got wet, but I was the only one that didn't have a muddy streak down the center of the back of my jersey.
I don't have a rear fender but my rear rack has a top plate that acts as a decent splash guard to keep the rear wheel's thrown up water off my back.  It does nothing to keep the spray off the rider following me but it does protect my jersey.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring without fenders - big mistake?
« on: May 20, 2015, 12:54:49 pm »
During actual rain, fenders do very little as you are getting wet from above, not below.  On wet roads they are a real benefit as they keep the road splash off of you and off of your drivetrain.  If you ride with a friend or a group the rear fender, assuming it's long enough, does your buddies a real favor by keeping the "rooster tail" from the rear wheel out of their faces.

"You can take bicycles on board an ICE train as long as they are folded away in a bike bag.
If you’d like to take a bike that doesn’t fold away, you may want to consider the luggage courier service. Your bike will be delivered to your destination for a charge of (currently) €25.80."
Does this mean you can take a standard bike but it just has to be packed in a bag or that the bike must also fold, like a Bike Friday, Dahon, S&S coupled frame or similar?  If it requires a true folding bike, just having the bag won't be enough.

General Discussion / Re: How much water to carry?
« on: April 29, 2015, 09:30:00 pm »
 Give a lot of consideration to a Camelback or similar backpack-type water reservoir.  Even the small ones hold the equivalent of two water bottles and the big ones up to four.  They also make drinking more convenient and thus less likely to be ignored until you are dehydrated.  I have used one on long rides and was very happy to have it.

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