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Messages - dkoloko

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Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 24, 2014, 03:46:05 pm »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour.

Don't forget "and another time every time it rains."  Chacun a son gout.

No, no, no, no! About every 500 miles, including rain days. As far as all the trouble to wax every 500 miles, it's less trouble for me to wax than to clean and oil type lubricate chain, and, as explained, I enjoy extra long life from my drivetrain components. The topic originator asked that there be no lube wars. Keep that in mind when you think you have a clever comeback.

Gear Talk / Re: Parrafin heads only
« on: April 24, 2014, 10:59:38 am »
I use paraffin riding locally and touring; have done so for decades. Weight of my can of paraffin is 10 oz; could reduce amount of paraffin. Application touring lasts me about 500 miles. This means for a 1000  mile tour I wax once on tour. I do not add anything to the wax. None of the previous respondents mentioned the prime advantage of wax; it came in first in what Berto called the most definitive test for chain lubricants for least drivetrain wear.

Gear Talk / Re: 11-32 vs 11-34
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:31:55 pm »
You don't say how many cogs your bike has, 8-9-10 or what; that may limit which cassettes are available. If change, I would change to 12-36, not 11-34 or 11-36. Personally, I would use existing cassette, and not change unless I had to; but, since you asked, maybe you'll be more comfortable changing before you begin trip.

Routes / Re: From east to west starting June 2014
« on: April 10, 2014, 11:25:12 pm »
Add, I don't recommend NY State bicycle routes; too much follow main roads.

Gear Talk / Re: Making wheels stronger with a mixed spoke pattern.
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:55:29 pm »
Actually I did not invent the idea. Frank Berto did an article for bicycling called building a bicycle for an adult female. He did radial right and 3 cross left. He pointed out nearly all of the torque would be transferred to the left side which is under less stress. You are certain to bust a flange with radial spoking. 

There was burst in interest in weird spoking patterns at the time Berto built the wheel you mention. He told me he broke a Dura-Ace hub with a weird spoking pattern, and that was the end for him with weird spoking.

Routes / Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:43:36 pm »
Hi Ben -

The only part of the trail that I dislike is around Rochester.  There are sections where the tree roots have pushed up the pavement and it a jarring/bumpy ride.  There are also some section where you integrate with roads and there was broken glass to deal with.  Only around Rochester though from my experience.


I rode the trail in 2003. Tree roots still a problem? Understandable that the park service had to deal with path deterioration, but the "solution" of asphalt paving was a disaster, both esthetically and in durability. 

I got separated from the trail several times, onto weedy, narrow single track; maybe my error.

Routes / Re: From east to west starting June 2014
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:31:32 pm »
I rode NYRATS, New York Ride Across the State, which went from Niagara Falls/Buffalo to New York City. The only public place I know of to view the maps is at

If you get to Buffalo, I suggest going a little further to Niagara Falls. View is better if you cross into Canada.

In general, the route follows a diagonal path through the Finger Lakes region; hilly. You will also cycle though the Catskills; hilly. Catskill: where Rip Van Winkle woke from his sleep.

Going north from NYC traffic is lighter west of the Hudson River; you can ride over bridge at Newburgh.

Gear Talk / Re: "SKS" Fenders??
« on: February 28, 2014, 09:40:09 am »

The single best bit of advice I've seen regarding SKS fender installation is to make sure you file the ends of the cut fender mounting rods round.  Greatly reduces the chance to stab yourself (or your wife).

If you lose a fender stay cover use a Presta valve cover.

Gear Talk / Re: Retiring, getting into self contained touring
« on: February 17, 2014, 12:32:07 pm »
None of the replies so far focus on choosing between the two bikes you are considering. Going by specs, I'd choose the Elite for the better derailleurs. As far your kit is concerned, IMHE, you'll make many changes before settling on what suits you most.

Gear Talk / Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« on: February 15, 2014, 09:46:25 am »
Deep section rims are more durable and strong and can tolerate fewer spokes that the usual 36 or even 40 often recommended for touring. 

This is debatable. US pro team eschewed deep rims on front wheels, fearing while deep rims may be stronger vertically they are weaker in the other direction and may wash out when bike is leaning as when cornering.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier - bike shops in Bangor or Bar Harbor
« on: February 13, 2014, 02:47:35 pm »
I  had a poor experience with the Bar Harbor Bike Shop and do not recommend them.

Gear Talk / Re: Racks
« on: February 05, 2014, 10:11:12 am »
For what it is worth, on my first cross-country tour back in the 80's I actually broke two Blackburn low-rider front racks.  Granted, I may have been packing more weight up front in order to try to better balance my load front to back, however, the overall weight wasn't anything extreme.

What was the weight on the low riders? Was mounting to braze-ons or clamps? Were the low riders hooped? I had no trouble with hoopless braze-on Blackburn low riders over years of use with loads up to 20 lb a side. Not doubting your experience; just wondering details.

Gear Talk / Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« on: January 30, 2014, 12:31:38 pm »
I carried a small backpack bicycling across USA; never again. Sweat built up under backpack, and once I forgot it, when I took it off to let my back breathe during a break. Luckily it was still there when I pedaled back miles over hills to retrieve it.

As far as a large backpack, IMHE, it is the least desirable way to carry.

Gear Talk / Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« on: January 27, 2014, 01:12:18 pm »

Brakes: Any brakes are fine. Disc brakes on touring bikes are uncommon.

IMHE sidepull brakes are doable, but I would not say "fine". Cantilevers, with greater stopping power, are more standard for touring.

Bar-end shifters: These are sometimes preferred because the cables don't get in the way of your handlebar bag. If that's not an issue for you, then what you have is fine.

Opting for bar-end shifters to avoid cables interferring with handlebar bag is a last reason I would give for making that choice. Of greater importance is robustness of bar ends compared to brifters. Many have toured with brifters (combining shifter/brake), but I have switched several bikes from brifters to bar ends for more reliability for fully loaded touring. Usually, if brifters are standard on touring bike it is on bike made for light touring

Gear Talk / Re: Ortlieb Pannier Shoulder Straps???
« on: January 25, 2014, 03:42:23 pm »
John Nelson apperentely has Classic series; I have BikePacker Plus. I have no use for the shoulder straps, nor for compresion straps. I would like the flap straps longer.

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