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Messages - driftlessregion

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General Discussion / Tire Inflation Pressures
« on: January 23, 2006, 12:29:42 am »
I'm sorry but I don't know. There is lots of discussion on other websites such as and I think Sheldon Brown weighs in as well. Basically, we have been fed bad information for years about tire pressure. I used to run my tires ABOVE the maximum to get that added rolling benefit. But it was an illusion. The difference just wasn't there. Harder tires are more prone to cut because they can't give and are too hard to grip on tight turns, not too mention the comfort factor.

General Discussion / Tire Inflation Pressures
« on: January 14, 2006, 07:32:58 pm »
The tire pressure stamped on a tire is the MAXIMUM pressure for that tire. Higher pressures do not give significant reduction in rolling resistance, especially for a tourist, to justify the reduction in safety that a stiffer tire provides. Lower pressure allows a tire to grab the road better and contrary to popular belief does not increase the possibility of flats. Al Ardizone of also claims that tires last longer at the lower pressure. I've forgotten what I ride touring with the 35's but when I ride 25's I put in 90# front and 95# rear despite being able to put in 120#. Some riders are using 85#. The handling is also far superior at the lower pressure.

General Discussion / Amtrak Boxes for Tall Bikes?
« on: January 14, 2006, 07:38:09 pm »
I understand the frustration. My 64 cm barely fits into my box I got from Colorado Cyclist. You might want to contact a shop at the end of your ride and see about having them save a big box for you to get home.

General Discussion / Safety/money/ATMs/Cash/Traveler's Checks/etc.
« on: November 08, 2005, 12:02:49 am »
The strange thing about travelers checks is that banks won't cash them. I have never had a problem cashing them in cafes or grocery stores but always a problem in a credit unions and banks.

General Discussion / Doctor Sez NO!
« on: December 18, 2005, 09:42:49 pm »
How are we to know which saddle, if any, protects us? I have never had numbness with my Brooks saddles, including two past seasons of over 3500 miles each. Last week I used my Selle Italia Trans Am (identical to the Terry Fly and the manufacturer of the Terry) and had numbness, (not to mention a sore butt since it isn't as soft as the Brooks) even with the nifty cutout.

General Discussion / Doctor Sez NO!
« on: December 14, 2005, 09:50:41 pm »
Does anyone know if damage occurs without any symtom such as numbness? If we don't have numbness can we assume we are out of danger?

General Discussion / Doctor Sez NO!
« on: November 10, 2005, 11:07:19 am »
Here's a very promising alternative:

General Discussion / Doctor Sez NO!
« on: November 09, 2005, 12:00:07 am »
Also check out a new saddle that supposedly "increases blood and oxygen supply to the genitals by an average of 4x over a traditional tear-drop shaped bicycle seat design while riding in an aero, drop bar position." See it at

General Discussion / Doctor Sez NO!
« on: November 08, 2005, 12:17:58 am »
Check out a review of the noseless saddles by Ed Pavelka,  one of the most respected cyclists in the country. The problem with the NY Times article is that it doesn't say who was in the test group and what kind of saddles were used. I've never met anyone who have had problems when using a Brooks saddle. Maybe that is because the leather gives. All other saddles except the Saddle Co Flow ( have a hard plastic base under that nice leather cover, which is why they are notoriously uncomfortable.

General Discussion / I got halfway there when...
« on: September 09, 2005, 12:17:22 am »
The previous writer is correct that it is more important to stay warm than dry.  Lycra-rich leg warmers or tights keep me as warm as Gore-Tex pants and are much lighter. There are several light weight breathable jackets for not much money out there now. $.99 shower caps make great rain hats over your helmet and don't impede vision like attached hoods do.

General Discussion / I got halfway there when...
« on: September 03, 2005, 05:54:24 pm »
The best advice I have is to have your bike running 100% before leaving for the tour. I do much of my own maintenance but before anything more than a couple of days away I will have my shop make sure the bike is ready. Also, don't leave without a practice weekend ride with ALL of the weight you plan to carry for the tour. Nothing like weight to shake out the weak spots in a bike. Have a great tour and you are absolutely right for planning now.

General Discussion / Knee Issues
« on: September 03, 2005, 06:03:21 pm »
If you have never been quite sure of your bike's setup that is the first thing to do. Pay the professionals the $75-100 to do a fit with you on the bike! You will not regret it!  If you must do it yourself one good resource is Jim Langley at  "Andy Pruitt's Medical Guide for Cyclists" is an excellent book available in some bookstores but also as an ebook at Good luck.

General Discussion / How fast do you ride?
« on: August 10, 2005, 10:23:35 pm »
I recommend Fred Matheny's Complete Book of Road Bike Training available from  In it he lays out training plans even for us tourists. One of the things he says is if you train at XX mph that is what you will be good at. If you want to ride faster, you have to train at some faster speeds. Be careful of overtraining if you're doing 6 rides a week. I'm 53 so understand where you're coming from. I rode with a 70 year old on a tour last year for several weeks and our experience was 10 mph overall; 70 miles, 7 hours. 14.5 is pretty good for loaded touring anyway.  Having fun is the main thing!

General Discussion / What pump for loaded touring
« on: May 22, 2006, 11:52:17 pm »
While I don't pump every day (more like every 3 days) I don't think that squeezing the tire is an effective way of determining the volume of air in the tire.

General Discussion / Chafing
« on: July 21, 2005, 01:58:31 am »
A touchy subject. I rode the Northern Tier last year WITHOUT ANY saddle sores.  But you may remember that it was cool last year. I had my first saddle sores in 10 years last week despite using Chamois Butt'r minimally. But, it was very hot and I got irritated after an 80 mile day of 90 degree weather. I soaked in a tub and used much more Chamois Butt'r and it didn't get worse. The heat was the only thing different so in the future on hot days I will use either Vaseline or thicker Chamois Butt'r which is water soluble.

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