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Gear Talk / (not so) Low gear on Bikepacking bikes
« Last post by Goodaches on December 01, 2016, 06:18:17 pm »
I'm trying to select a pair of bikes for multiple extended, self supported, off road, bikepacking trips including the Great Divide.

I was looking for bikes with 27.5+ size tires to get the foot print and compliance we need but I am finding the fixed forks and frame geometry that makes mission sense are built around 29+ tires. That's fine since it would gives us the 3" width I want with even better rollover. However, I am noticing that these tall wheeled bikes don't come with very low gearing.

With the 1x11 or 1x12 drive trains first gear is in the high 20s but even with the 2x_ drive trains 22" is common for first gear. I understand that the + size tires are a problem for 3x_ drive trains.

Since I'm pulling a BoB Ibex with most of the gear weight for two people I'd like first gear around 18" or less so I can stay on pedals for the steep grades. I am looking at bikes that are marketed for bikepacking so why aren't the gears lower?     

Input? Discussion? Clarification questions? I'm looking forwarded to finding out what's in everyone else's head on the topic.

Thanks, Gary
Routes / Re: English gentleman doing San Fransisco to New York City ride - June/July 2017
« Last post by Snowy on December 01, 2016, 05:45:59 pm »
Thank you Patco, I will have a look at that option.

Hi Jamawani, is 45 days an unusual or unrealistic target?
45 days?
Routes / Re: English gentleman doing San Fransisco to New York City ride - June/July 2017
« Last post by Patco on December 01, 2016, 02:40:44 pm »
If you are considering the Transamerica route, it intersects the Atlantic route north or Richmond, Virginia, which has a side route into NYC. See if that will work for you.
General Discussion / Re: best sleeping bag for bike packing?
« Last post by johnsmith on December 01, 2016, 05:39:01 am »
Well, I pack all necessary things in Marmot Hydrogen every time I go on French Alps Cycling Tours for riding.
Routes / English gentleman doing San Fransisco to New York City ride - June/July 2017
« Last post by Snowy on December 01, 2016, 04:07:49 am »
Hi all. I am planning to ride from SF to NYC in June/July 2017 and would appreciate some advice.

My initial idea is to follow the Western Express and Transamerica Trail but then it gets a bit fudgy when it comes to reaching NYC.

Can anyone recommend where to look to make a suitable route or can suggest one? Should I follow the ACA route to meet up with the Northern Tier and then divert off to reach NYC? Sorry if these sound like silly questions but sitting here in England looking at the map, its not very obvious.

Is leaving around June 9th and taking 45 days (ish) ok in principle regarding the weather/temperature etc?

Thank you and any help is greatly appreciated  :)
Gear Talk / Re: gear help Portable Speakers
« Last post by jim baross on December 01, 2016, 01:01:56 am »
Portable, Bluetooth speakers! These would likely plan MP3 if sent over Bluetooth. The OMAKER-M4 has standard small input jack.
Wow! I have tried out the Omaker model OMA2130 and their OMAKER-M4 provided to me to test and report. They have worked great; easy to connect to my Bluetooth capable Android phone playing my Pandora music feeds, easy to recharge via USB jacks. Both are amazingly small for their volume. The OMA2130 is about a 1.5" cube size. The OMAKER-M4 is water proof and makes showering a new experience. They both provided plenty of volume for adding music to my bike riding. And they are each available for under $30. I find listening to music via earbuds or headphones to be far too distracting for bicycling in any kind of traffic, and I'd miss out on the other natural sounds around me, but these little speakers add rather than detracting from my bicycling experiences.
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Last post by paddleboy17 on November 30, 2016, 03:02:12 pm »
Yes, I used 1" PVC. 

Having extra weight on your helmet can be real fatiguing.  For night riding through the winter, I have a pair of 1200 lumen Magic Shine lights.  I like them because they are really bright, and because I can put the battery on the back of the helmet and the light on front, leaving me balanced from front to rear.  I still have extra stuff on the helmet, so balanced or not, all that extra mass is still tiring.  So while you might want to be capable of helmet light, I would not leave it up there all the time.
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Last post by jwrushman on November 30, 2016, 02:44:58 pm »
Paddleboy17, thanks for the pictures.  It looks like 1" PVC that your using - right?  I'm thinking about using handlebar tap to wrap the PVC.  I'll post a picture once it's complete.  I've still got to try the light on the helmet too. 
Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for front light?
« Last post by paddleboy17 on November 30, 2016, 12:44:08 pm »
I have used the Paul stem cap light mount as I do a lot of night riding over the winter.   I have picture of mine down below.  I have something called a Moose Mit on my winter bike that I need to raise the light above.  Moose Mits are a pogie that gives you a nice pocket over your handle bars to keep your hands warm.

I have also used the Minouri T mount.  I find it a little light duty for this, but it is nice in that you can fine tune the rise.

Paul Components makes another thingy similar to the Gino light might.
I think it is intended for mounting a light off the wheel axis (it replaces one end of a wheel skewer).   I got creative and fabbed this up, to mount mid fork, but I have not used it yet.  It based on a Tubus fork mounting kit that I bought from the Touring Store (, and the Gino like Paul Components thingy.

I also have a Planet Bike Blaze light that I take on tour.  I have had it long enough that the lettering is rubbed off.  It takes two AA batteries, but I think it has to be brighter than the 45 lumen Blaze 1/2 Watt that it resembles.  If you are serious about night riding, it pays to take two lights:  one on your handle bars and one on your helmet.  For touring, I might mount a Blackburn Voyager 3.3 on my helmet.  I don't know if the Voyager 3.3 is still in production, but it is small, light, runs on 4 AAA batteries, and most import for a helmet light--it has a really tight beam.  I try not to tax night riding when on tour, but "things do happen".
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