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Messages - dkoloko

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Gear Talk / Re: sleeping bags
« on: December 08, 2012, 06:57:08 pm »
"Never heard of washing a down bag.  For fun I went to the Marmot website and looked at their synthetic bags.  They have a 2 pound synthetic that is rated about 32 F for men and 42 F for women.  Cloudbreak 30 model.  Retail price of $169.  I have a Vaude down bag with similar temperature ratings.  It weighs 1 pound.  Half as much.  Paid about $90.  It packs up to about the size of a large grapefruit.  Probably 1/4 the size of the above synthetic bag.

Double the weight.  Four times as much space.  Not automatic deal breakers.  But easily apparent disadvantages.  If everything on your bike trip weighed twice as much and took four times as much space to carry, you would not be able to tour by bike.  Unless you wanted full panniers and pull a BoB.  And only rode 30 miles a day.  Would you tour with a large 8 pound tent?  Most bike tourers probably try to find a small 3-4 pound tent.  Would you tour with biking shoes, hiking boots, sneakers, and thongs?  Or just use your biking sandals for everything or maybe also include a set of sneakers with the biking sandals."

Washing rather than dry cleaning is recommended. Although down bags can be dry cleaned without damage, only a dry cleaner with extensive experience dry cleaing down is likely to do it correctly.

As I suspected from your prior post you haven't been keeping up with synthetic fills. My experience is much different from your comparison of your down bag and catalog description of synthetic bag. My down bag weighed nearly twice my synthetic bag; I keep just as warm in the synthetic bag and bulk is less. While volume is a consideration, I wouldn't place undue emphasis on it for a down bag. Over compression may harm the down, and tight compression can significantly retard the down's restoration to original loft. I would expect in time more original loft is lost in a down bag than synthetic.

Gear Talk / Re: sleeping bags
« on: December 07, 2012, 03:38:52 pm »
"Three season synthetic?  Synthetic are great when you have unlimited space and a motor to carry your gear.  Car camping for instance.  When you have to carry the gear with your own muscles and have limited space like panniers or a backpack, DOWN sleeping bags are the choice.  Small and traveling on your bike with a synthetic sleeping bag?  Good luck."

I traveled cross-country with a down bag. Bag getting wet when camping was not a problem. Problem was bag drying after being washed; took too long. After that trip I switched to high grade synthetic bag. I don't plan on going back to down. My synthetic bag packs small. In looking for a synthetic bag I set weight limit at two pounds. That's what my bag weighs. I suggest a high grade synthetic bag. Highest grade synthetic fill gives you just about all down fill provides, with a lot less care. I used to buy down vests, jackets, etc; now all synthetic.

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: October 16, 2012, 09:55:44 am »
" I don't clean chains and look on them as a consumables. I put a new one  on after no more than 1000 miles: every few hundred I oil with Dumond lubricant and it's a five minute or less job changing a chain with a Quicklink. This way you don't get the chain stretch"

On tour of 5000 miles, that would be five new chains. Traveling that distance I bought one new chain, starting with a used chain. Perhaps your method would mitigate chain stretch; whether your method and choice of lubricant would mitigate grit more than wax I use is a question. In what Berto called a definitive study on chain lubricants wax caused least drivetrain wear.

Gear Talk / Re: Best touring tires
« on: October 12, 2012, 12:06:22 pm »
Your question holds part of it "Top 700c touring" or more specifically "Top Touring" which is what Continental used to call their touring tires.
Expensive to buy, but less $ / mile.  When I used them from Portland OR to SF I never even craked my pump in the 2 1/2 weeks, and continued to use them for another couple thousand miles of commuting.

"I never even craked my pump". If means not need replenishing of air, all tires lose air. If means not gotten flats, luck on flats can be just that, granting that some tires have better reputation for flat resistance than others. I used Top Touring tires and had flats. In general, the tires that have the best reputation for flat resistance are the heaviest.

Gear Talk / Re: What kind of bike?
« on: October 08, 2012, 12:18:10 pm »
"If you are capable of bike maintenance (and if not you should learn before the transam), Bikes Direct has a bike that looks interesting for $800. Of course you will not be able to ride it first, but if you know what you want adequqtely it is an option."

Bike maintenance is good to know with any bike you own, and on tour may be necessary with any bike.  Bikes Direct has been mentioned many times; see archives. Cautions are name brands may not be what you think; merely purchased names of bankrupt companies; if dissatisfied you may receive less than stellar customer service.

Gear Talk / Re: tent for transam
« on: October 08, 2012, 12:12:57 pm »
" I can clean up and keep my JanSport -
LOTS of room, but even with new poles (~$50), a new fly (~25 fabric) it will still weigh ~ 4 #."

Four pounds is not a lot for a lightweight tent for 1-2 persons. Yes, I know there are lighter tents, but in my experience, that'll be about average for 1-2 person tent weight (inc fly, poles, etc) of other bicycle tourers you'll meet.

Routes / Re: Detailed maps
« on: October 04, 2012, 01:02:25 pm »
I suggest getting official state maps; often free. Peruse each state's website you wish to travel. For more detail, get county maps, available from county highway departments; peruse county websites; maybe small charge for maps. For cities, request maps through the cities websites.

In general, Interstate highways are to be avoided, and in congested areas prohibit bicycles. State highways are next worst choice for bicyclists. County roads are often best way to travel. Town roads are the least congested, but are often short.

The maps of this organization show the most bicycle friendly routes; they also list campgrounds, bike shops, etc along the way.

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: October 01, 2012, 09:52:37 am »
dkokolo  - do you do old,old school melted wax application? Wax stick? Other?

Melted wax in a pot (can, actually, on tour). Tried White Lightening type wax lubricant; disappointed.

Mention was made of cleaning chain. My "cleaning" consists of wiping chain before dumping into pot. As mentioned, wax picks up very little grit; what is still on chain before dumping into pot falls to bottom of pot, and can be cleaned out later.

Gear Talk / Re: tent for transam
« on: September 30, 2012, 09:30:21 am »
As to free standing tent, "free standing" does not mean can stand and be usable without stakes. (My "free standing tent requires 12 stakes.)

As to using non-free standing tent under pavilion, I've managed to do that; not a problem high on my list of concerns.

As to sitting up in tent, Spitfire, with height of 40 in., may be a challenge for you, at 5 ft 10 in., to sit up in.

Gear Talk / Re: Chain Maintenance on Tour
« on: September 29, 2012, 11:50:02 am »
I use wax on tour and at home. I kept a log on recent tour on how often needed to re-wax. Don't have data at hand; think it was about every 500 miles. In what was called definitive article on chain lubricants, wax caused least drivetrain wear. Wax should be the least likely to pick up grit.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers - dry bag vs. traditional
« on: September 29, 2012, 11:42:49 am »
I use Ortlieb bags. I can't comment on merit of waterproof cheaper bags. A factor is whether to buy roll up bags or not. I use Bike Packer Plus bags; they are not roll up (dry) bags; will not withstand dunking, but keep out rain fine. I do not miss more pockets. My latest model Ortlieb bags have slim pockets inside, and a waterproof pocket outside; enough for me.

Prior to buying Ortlieb bags I used non-waterproof bags with covers. I am far more satisfied with waterproof bags. I do not have much problem with things not drying inside the bags. I try not to put wet things in the bags, and, if I had to, I take them out to air soon as possible. Drying items inside bag is probably more a problem with roll up bags.

Personally, for the amount of money you are going to spend on your trip, I would buy Ortlieb bags and quit thinking about it.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers and Racks
« on: September 22, 2012, 04:00:45 pm »
"I think I might try a Tubus rack to get the paniers a bit lower. Currently I'm using the one that came with my 520. Any thoughts?"

Rack front or back? Front bags should be centered on hubs; rear high (Blackburn study).

Gear Talk / Re: Frame Saver or T-9?
« on: September 16, 2012, 08:36:02 am »
"Linseed oil is a coating but that's all.  It's only advantage is low price and availability from any paint or hardware store.  It's also more difficult to apply properly, particularly to the chain and seat stays and fork blades and is very slow drying."

Boiled linseed oil is boiled to accelerate drying.   

Gear Talk / Re: Top Touring Bikes for Ultralight TransAm?
« on: September 15, 2012, 03:35:21 pm »
The cyclocross bike recommendation is seemly to allow wide tires. For such a low weight load I don't think tire width is that much of a consideration. There are two major types of touring bikes. randonneuring and fully loaded touring. The first, comparatively, typically has brifters (shifter/brake levers), rear rack braze-ons, no front rack braze-ons, two waterbottle braze-ons instead of three, lighter tubing, and narrower tires. For your purpose I would get a randonneuring bike, and use one pannier, or two small front panniers, front or rear. A randonneuring bike will allow more flexibility if later you wish to do more fully loaded touring (cook, camp). It will also be more considerate than a non-touring bike of heel clearance (not hit pannier), fender clearance (if wish to add), etc.

General Discussion / Re: Gross maximum trailer weight
« on: September 01, 2012, 12:12:16 pm »
I use a bicycle trailer to haul firewood out of the woods. I have weighed loads up to 125 lb. Since weighing a load I have switched to a larger trailer, so weight I have hauled is more. Weight of trailer is additional.

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