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Messages - dkoloko

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Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 26, 2016, 03:02:59 pm »

I have always thought Greyhound Freight was interesting.  They ship from one Greyhound bus depot to another bus depot.  It has been a while, but Greyhound was pretty flexible on box size--it just has to be low enough to fit in a cargo hold.

Just because it is a Greyhound bus station don't count on it being a station that will accept or receive a bike, and if does one, don't count on it doing the other; my experience.

Russ Seaton has some good comments. I add that, according to Berto, switching from double to triple crank, 80 percent of the time it is not necessary to change to a triple BB. That has been my experience. Also, if changing cassette to get lower gears, you might as well get one with a 36 tooth cog, as a long cage rear derailleur that shifts to a 34 tooth cog is likely to shift to a 36. That is my experience.

Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 13, 2016, 09:51:18 am »
I use to ship bike ahead. Picked up at your house, delivered to destination, insured for damage, loss. Take with to airport, you are charged a substantial extra fee, and are insured against loss, but not damage, and you have to transport to and from airports.

Routes / Re: connecting the Eastern Seaboard route with the Northern Tier
« on: September 05, 2016, 09:04:32 am »
The Northern Tier route travels the Erie Canal from about Albany, NY to Buffalo, NY, and is one of the features of the route. The canal towpath is composed of very fine crushed stone, smoother than gravel, and asphalt, which I found less appealing aesthetically and more troublesome to pedal, at least when I rode the path, as the asphalt was buckled in a number of places. 

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 16, 2016, 05:00:03 pm »
I just can't determine the advantage of a custom bike at this point (having no experience), so seems foolish to spend the money on a bike I can't even test and hope it will be 250% better!

You'd be lucky if it was 50% better; you pay a lot for small improvements, custom or stock. You can expect the best values in the most popular models.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 05, 2016, 09:12:56 am »

Definitely consider the ultra light method.  Several on this site have talked about that way.  I have a loaded touring bike and panniers.  So heavy loaded for me.  But if I was starting from scratch again, I would seriously consider the ultra light method with a regular road bike.  Adventure Cycling sells several bags that attach under the saddle and inside the main triangle for carrying a large amount of gear.

I tried the ultra light method, rackless bags, on an extended tour last year, on front; kept rack and panniers on back, as I use the rack. The rackless bags were a disaster; weren't that secure, and high load caused falls. I do not recommend the ultra light method for a novice. Lighten the load carried in the bags instead. After experience, you can explore options.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 04, 2016, 10:54:28 am »

Another person argues against buying a frame and building it yourself because the cost is usually more than buying it direct already built as a complete bike.  With the Terry it is very easy to see if this is true or not.  Terry says it is a Gunnar frame/fork.  Gunnar sells its frames direct to the public and lists its prices.  Price both the standard and custom options.  Terry also lists all the parts on the bike.  Simple to find all those parts on the internet and list their prices.  See if the totals work out right or wrong.  Biggest benefit for building it yourself is you get to pick every part yourself and get what you want. 

A lot of work when historically building a bike from a frame costs a lot more money than a comparable complete bike. You suggest making changes; more research. Who is going to decide final component choices? Who is going to install the components? We're talking here of a comparative novice. There is the problem of compatibility of presumptively superior components, a problem you should be well aware. I built a bike from a custom frame; took months after receiving frame (back order of components, etc). Satisfaction in specifying what you want, but more work, and more value in buying complete comparable bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 03, 2016, 05:31:52 pm »
Russ, thanks I had not really priced the Gunnar frames/forks, etc. I don't think the 480 frame will work for me (too big) but I should compare the specs with the Terry and LHT and also contact Gunnar, especially if I can save $$. Will have to ask what the frame weighs also.

Maybe you will save on buying a frame and building bike yourself, but historically, building a bike from a frame costs a lot more than buying a comparable complete bicycle. Also, for what appears your experience, there are a lot of choices when building a bike. A bike shop can build up a frame and help with choices, but don't expect it to be cheaper than a comparable complete bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 03, 2016, 12:03:51 pm »
This is a review of Pangea, Co-Motion's off road tourer. Co-Motion makes tourers more dedicated to road touring, but the Pangea might be interesting, as there is a 26 in. version specifically for shorter riders.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 03, 2016, 10:10:18 am »
Thank you all for your replies. I forgot to mention, I am a 5'1", 120 lb. woman, so a 30 lb. bike with another 30-50 lbs. of gear is relatively a bigger concern to me than a bigger rider (I think). So a savings of ~ 8-10 lbs. in bike alone is substantial.

If you read the bike description
it says it's designed for loaded touring

 So does the lighter weight alone make it less stable under load (shimmy)?

RussSeaton, I'll look into other custom frame makers as you suggested, but I think they are all in this $3500 range , from some cursory investigation I have done. I liked this bike, but think I've convinced myself I prefer 26" wheels for touring.

You would not be saving 8-10lb. My Trek 520 weighs 24 lb. At 21 lb., you'll save 3 lb. With a load, I doubt you'll note much difference. A full waterbottle weighs 2lb. Think you'll go faster after you've drained a waterbottle?

Yes, you can have shimmy with a loaded lightweight bike. However, I'd trust Terry that this bike, although lightweight, is designed for fully loaded touring.

I'd investigate Co-motion, highly respected proven model at same price, with advantage of being semi-custom fitted to you.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping Pad Recommendation
« on: July 22, 2016, 12:22:39 pm »
Do the geometry in your head. Something full length and non-inflatable that is even a mere 1" thick is going to be bulky when folded or rolled. You are not going to find such a pad that packs down to a size comparable to an inflatable.

Not criterion that the pad "packs down to a size comparable to an inflatable". Not bulky means to me, fit in pannier. Also, non-inflatable does not mean non-compressible.

Gear Talk / Sleeping Pad Recommendation
« on: July 20, 2016, 04:58:42 pm »
Looking for sleeping pad recommendation. Requirements are full length, non-inflatable, not more than a pound or so in weight, and not bulky. Currently have Ensolite pad; should be something better. Non-inflatable I have seen in stores are much too bulky. Had number of inflatable pads, self inflating, blow up, pump, no pump; soured on inflatables when on last trip inflatable valve failed. REI pad; no repair, even if I paid for repair.

Back when I owned a Surly LHT I made several mods to it, each of which improved it significantly.

3. Moved the bar end shifters to Paul Thumbies

Be interested in more information. Paul Thumbies on drop bars? Thanks.

Consider the above a very personal opinion.

No.  Not very personal at all.  Almost every single "costly" bicycle sold has combination brake/shifter levers.  Mountain and road bikes.  Both.  If bar end shifters were desired by a majority of people, then the capitalist society we live in would provide them.  If friction shifters were better than the indexed click shifters on every single bike sold, we would have friction shifters.  In a capitalist society, the businesses provide the buyers what they want to buy and will pay for.  That is how capitalism works.  But if you are trying to sell what no one wants, then you won't sell anything.  That is capitalism too.  How many friction or bar end shifters do you see people using?  Almost none.  Touring bikes are somewhat bizarre because they use mountain bike components and need road shifters.  Bar end shifters are an easy way to make this work.  Otherwise you have to mix and match various years and models of road and mountain together to get it to work right.  Go to all your local bike shops.  How many bar end or friction shifting bikes are sold?  None.  Why?  The bike shop is there to make money.  If all their customers want to buy bar end shifters, they would sell all they could.  They would make money and be happy.  But no one wants bar end shifters.  So the bike shop does not sell any.  Very simple.  All the customers want those new fangled (25 years old now) combination shifter/brake do-hickeys.

Trek, Bruce Gordon, Peter White, and other highly respected assemblers of touring bikes specify bar end shifters. Neither their customers or this touring bicyclist "All...want those new fangled (25 years old now) combination shifter/brake do-hickeys". My comment, as appropriate to this list, is about touring bicycles, not about "how capitalism works", or all the other bicycles a bike shop may sell. The originator of this topic can decide if follow the advice of the number of manufacturers of touring bicycles or your very personal opinion.


Shifting:  The LHT comes with bar end shifters.  Fine choice.  Some love them.  Until they ride a bike with the new fangled modern supposedly delicate and breakable STI shifters.  Then they want to take a hammer to bar end shifters and pound them into junk.  You could make your riding, loaded or unloaded, more fun with STI shifters.

Consider the above a very personal opinion. I have swapped brifters for bar-end shifters on several touring bikes. For most any touring bike gearing, getting lower gears, and tires are primary considerations.

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