Author Topic: (Cyclo)cross-country  (Read 3232 times)

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Offline staehpj1

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2014, 11:09:47 am »
Keep us posted on how things go and have a great trip.

Offline dkoloko

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #16 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.

Offline staehpj1

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2014, 01:16:41 pm »
Obviously it is an individual preference thing.  I found that a backpack was quite pleasant for me.  On the Southern Tier I used one for water and food on a remote section with no resupply for a long ways.  After that section I found that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages and I kept using it, but very lightly loaded.  I think that is the key, I had maybe 4 pounds on my back which was close to 1/3 of my gear load.

Hot weather can be an issue, but for those who like drinking from a camelbak, having a bladder of ice on your back can be pretty sweet in the heat and the ice lasts for hours even in the heat if you completely fill the bladder with ice.  I tried that on a very hot MTB tour and was pretty happy with it.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2014, 11:26:51 am »
I think your gear spread should be fine if you're traveling light but you will know from the steep stuff near where you live. None of the climbs out west that I've run into are steep, it's just a long grind. 7 - 15 miles at 6 or 7% is like being on a Stairmaster for an hour or two. It's nothing like Mt. Washington, N.H.

I'll just throw in a mention that New Hampshire is between the Portlands of OP's proposed trip.  Even though it's not necessary to go over Mt. Washington, there seem to be a lot steeper climbs in the east than most of the roads out west (except perhaps for the Sierra passes).

Offline PeteJack

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2014, 09:49:40 pm »
Quote from: zzzz
get rid of the knobbies unless you're planning on a significant amount of off road riding
+1 When you put slicks on it will feel like you've been riding with a binding brake. According to Sheldon tread is actually worse than useless on road tires. I've had very good luck with Panasonic RiBiMo tires. My back one did 4500 miles last year with two flats. There are more puncture resistant tires out there (Marathon Plus, Armadillo etc) but I find these heavy and with a harsh ride; the odd, very rare, puncture is a price worth paying for the comfort. It's all really a matter of taste.

And make sure your wheels are up to touring with at least 32 spokes.

Offline DaveB

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2014, 08:52:58 am »
And make sure your wheels are up to touring with at least 32 spokes.
High spoke count is useful but isn't the only way to assure durable wheels.  Deep section rims are more durable and strong and can tolerate fewer spokes that the usual 36 or even 40 often recommended for touring. 

By "deep section", I don't mean the absurdly deep rims used for time trial bikes but deeper than the usual box section designs.  For example, Mavic CXP-33 rims are deeper and stronger than their Open Pros at only a slight weight penalty.   

Offline dkoloko

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #21 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.

Offline DaveB

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2014, 01:03:30 pm »
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.
This isn't a fair comparison.  Deep section rims (in this case VERY deep) have stability problems due to side winds, not so much in cornering loads and the pros are using carbon rims, not aluminum.  What the pros are concerned with isn't an issue for tourists. 

I certainly wasn't recommending the 40 mm or more deep rims used for time trials and triathlons, just a somewhat deeper cross section like the 24 or 25 mm rims of the Mavic CXP-33, Velocity and others.  They provide more strength and rigidity than box section rims and will support a somewhat lower spoke count without sacrificing durability. 

Offline RandomGuyOnABike

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2014, 09:40:23 am »
I'm in the camp with the other posters. You should be fine.

Offline davekov

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Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2014, 07:13:32 pm »
Hey friends!

I am almost finished with the semester, and am getting ready to start my ride. Thanks so much again for all your help.

After weighing your advice, I have decided I'll be taking my carbon bike on the tour, brifters and all. I will, however, be putting on new wheels. I'm having a pair of 36-spokers built from scratch. And: road tires. After 2000 miles my CX tires are bald as slicks anyway; time I took the hint :)

I've still got a few decisions to make. OMM v Thule, as far as racks; whether I want to swap in a new saddle, or just pad the one I'm wearing; stick with MTB clips, or go three-prong. Also I'm waiting until the last minute to buy a sleeping-bag, so I can see what sort of whether to expect. (Still snow on the ground here in Portland, Maine. Yeesh.)

But everything, really, is falling into place.

I'll be blogging the ride at daxelaudax.wordpress.com. I've also been blogging the decisions I've made about Stuff - which tent I picked, which multitool, all that fun stuff. If yer interested.

I swear that this ride - prepping for it, dreaming of it - is the only thing that's gotten me through my first year of law school. Best decision I've ever made.

Thanks again:

-david axel kurtz
davekov.com
-david axel KURTZ
davekov dot com

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2014, 07:17:26 pm »
The only thing in your list I feel at all strongly about is the pedals and shoes.  Stick with MTB shoes.  Get some with stiffer soles and you'll never notice the difference while riding.  You'll want to walk without acting like a duck and/or sliding.

Offline DaveB

Re: (Cyclo)cross-country
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2014, 09:21:31 am »
The only thing in your list I feel at all strongly about is the pedals and shoes.  Stick with MTB shoes.  Get some with stiffer soles and you'll never notice the difference while riding.  You'll want to walk without acting like a duck and/or sliding.
+100  You will be on and off the bike a fair bit while touring and having shoes and cleats you can walk in will be a huge benefit.