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Messages - dkoloko

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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.

Gear Talk / Re: Saddle bags article from years ago
« on: September 01, 2012, 12:06:09 pm »
As Ken Kifer suggests all the articles referenced so far start with the Blackburn study. I do not concur that most commercial panniers are too small. He railed against "tiny front panniers mandated by the low-rider racks...(and) most of the rear panniers sold to go with them". I use rear panniers front and rear, and do not find my panniers too small.

Gear Talk / Re: map cases
« on: August 13, 2012, 09:35:12 am »
I do not use a handlebar bag. Had one, sold it. I use Bycue cue sheet holder. Insert your own plastic pouch. Available at very low prices if bought in quantity. Recommended to organization's store; no reply.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers and Racks
« on: August 08, 2012, 08:54:53 am »
I have Tubus Tara and Cargo racks and Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus bags. I prefer the lack of shine on those bags. Durability is excellent. I find the inner pockets useful, but could get by without them. I do not recommend small front bags combined with large rear bags. Weight front and back should be equal, or more on front. I use four rear bags, two on front. I find the Bike Packer Plus bags just the right size. Wayne, The Touring Store, recommends against Bike Packer Plus rear bags on front. I disagreed with that recommendation, and have had no trouble over thousands of miles with my setup. I used to use an Ortlieb handlebar bag, but sold it after using it on part of one tour. I found I could do fine with just the four bags mentioned.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 or Opus Legato?
« on: July 31, 2012, 01:48:25 pm »
It is already been said both bikes are similar and each will probably do you. Also, repeated many times on this list, you can't go too low in gearing. All in all, I would choose the Trek between the two. Opportunity for lower gearing is one reason. Some will tell you difference between 24T and 22T chainwheel is small. I can tell you from experience, it can be a significant going up a steep mountain fully loaded touring (carrying all you need to camp/cook). I have removed brifters from several touring bikes and installed bar ends. Too many stories of brifters being inoperable on road and being unable to repair. Lastly, it appears from photo Opus lacks front rack braze-ons; that alone would deter me from choosing the Opus for fully loaded touring, if that is the touring you plan to do.

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