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Messages - RonK

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General Discussion / Re: Best book you've read on bicycle travel
« on: October 23, 2021, 04:02:34 pm »
French Revolutions by Tim Moore. Highly amusing.

General Discussion / 29er tire search
« on: October 05, 2021, 07:10:02 pm »
I have an excellent fast rolling all-rounder for mixed surfaces, the Vittoria Mezcal in 29x2.1 on my Fargo.
They provide good grip and float on gravel and even single track, but roll nicely on hard and sealed surfaces.
I've used them for several backroads tours and highly recommend. Get the TNT version, not the TLR (race) version and mount them tubeless.
BTW - I'm 68 and have had bilateral total knee replacement, so have put a lot of research into finding the perfect tyre for me.

General Discussion / Re: The best music for touring
« on: October 05, 2021, 06:57:05 pm »
Not music, but audiobooks. There are quite a few cycling related titles, such as French Revolutions by Tim Moore. But I've also listened to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a dramatization of Lord of the Rings (while  touring in New Zealand), Don Quixote, Game of Thrones, and many others.
These are a great way to get of to sleep in camp too - I set the app to read for 30 minutes and that's enough for me to drift off.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: Is gpx info working on my Bolt?
« on: June 13, 2021, 04:54:48 pm »
It's my understanding that the ACA files are route files, not track files.
Unless you have the very latest Bolt that was released just a couple of weeks ago your Bolt does not have navigation capabilities so can only follow a track file.
If you have the latest Bolt, it does have navigation capabilities and can follow a route file.

As I've grown older, I've become less and less inclined to haul the weight and bulk of a full dress touring bike.
I think transitioning from a carbon fibre road bike to a tourer would be a backward and likely unhappy step.
I moved from steel to titanium touring bikes and currently ride a steel bikepacking bike. I'm about to move on again. Next bike will be a carbon fibre gravel bike, a likely candidate is the Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon. You should look closely at this bike and others of its type. It's lightweight with comfortable geometry and reasonably low gearing, with plenty of mountings for bikepacking bags.
Of course the traditionalists here won't like this kind of bike but at 68 I don't care what they think.

Gear Talk / Touring bike for 80% pavement, 20% gravel/dirt
« on: April 29, 2021, 05:27:04 pm »
Forget about those conventional touring bikes. Yes, they manage ok over short sections of gravel, but for longer routes they require a high level of concentration, and become quite tiring. And once you start riding the gravel back roads (which will take you to many places sealed roads never will) you'll want to ride them more and more.
A better choice for riding mixed surfaces is the Salsa Fargo.
29x2.1 Vittoria Mezcal tyres will roll very nicely on sealed roads or gravel.
You will have the option of using bikepacking gear or conventional racks and touring luggage.
They are very popular and stocks sell out quickly, so get you order in early.

There is an app called Settle Up made specifically to manage shared expenses.

General Discussion / Re: Low profile rugged touring tires
« on: February 28, 2021, 05:46:34 pm »
I only wanted to know if someone could recommend a tire as durable as Schwalbe, 700 by 32, but with a low enough profile to  fit this Giant road bike and not rub the frame.
I've had this problem as well - trying to fit a 35mm tyre size the tyre rubbed on the fender mounting screw in the chain stay brace.
The only solution was to run without fenders. There are no low profile bicycle tyres, they are all round in profile. I returned to 32mm tyres rather than run without fenders but ultimately I replaced the bike.

I am in Australia. There is a global supply shortage - bike shops here are almost bare of stock, and spare parts are difficult to find.
I’ve also been looking around the world to buy a particular bike since mid last year but delivery dates keep blowing out and stock is currently not expected until June.
So you can assured you are not alone in facing this problem.
You may have to broaden your choice of bike. I hear Salsa Cycles are expecting new models this year, but have not looked into availability. Consider a Marrakesh or Fargo (Fargo stocks won’t last long once available as they are in high demand).

Gear Talk / Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« on: February 08, 2021, 04:35:47 pm »
It's certainly worth trying, particularly if you are likely to be riding through an area where thorns are prevalent.
It may take a little practice to master the art of mounting the tyres without getting into a mess of sealant, otherwise it not much different to mounting and running tubed tyres. If you do make a mess, the sealant washes away with water. You do need to top up the sealant every six months but that is easy to do.
I don't expect to dismount my tyres until they are worn out.

Gear Talk / Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« on: February 07, 2021, 04:17:04 pm »
I have toured into quite remote places on tubeless tyres and have no concerns at all.
Some tyre/rim combinations may require a compressor for the initial mount, but the set I'm using can be mounted using an ordinary floor pump.
But that is irrelevant anyway. In the unlikely event that I get a puncture, the sealant in the tyre will stop any air escaping in moments. A larger penetration may require the use of a plug. None of this involves dismounting/remounting the tyre.
If there is a very large penetration that cannot be sealed or plugged then I would simply install the lightweight tube I carry for just such an eventuality.
However I've now been riding tubeless for five years and I'm yet to have a puncture of any kind.

Gear Talk / Rohloff SpeedHub
« on: January 14, 2021, 04:48:05 pm »
John, that would take a very long post, something that I don't care enough to do anymore. The post above covers some of the issues.
Suffice to say the only one of Rohloff's marketing claims is 100% true is that you can change gears while stationary.
But the two issues which I consider unacceptable is the unremitting noise and the poor shift quality, particularly the 8-7 shift.
That's long enough already.

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff SpeedHub
« on: January 13, 2021, 04:35:29 pm »
I did tour with a Rohloff, I don't have one any more. They are overpriced and overrated, a triumph of marketing. Keep your money in your pocket.

General Discussion / Can you tour on a carbon road bike?
« on: November 17, 2020, 04:02:35 pm »
As a experienced bikepacker I can tell you it’s volume, not weight that you need to be concerned about.
Using only the bags you mentioned it’s going to be very difficult to fit in what you’ll need for a camping tour.
You’ll need to carry ultra compact everything, and will still have to make sacrifices.
But compact gear will invariably also be light. I don’t think your bike will be tested by the amount you’ll be able to carry.

Gear Talk / Salsa Cutthroat vs. Co-Motion Cascadia
« on: November 12, 2020, 05:11:17 pm »
The Cutthroat is a race mountain bike built for the GDMBR and is not intended to be weighed down with panniers. It's actually a race version of the Salsa Fargo - the logical choice for bikepacking (or touring with panniers if you must).

This is my Fargo loaded with three seasons camping gear and clothing for a month long back roads tour in New Zealand during autumn. It is my do everything bike. I have a second set of wheels so I can join my local bunch rides when not bikepacking.

If you want lighter and have deep pockets there is a titanium frame available. Built to your specification it's probably price-comparable with a Cutty or Co-Motion and looks fantastic.

There is a very good Salsa Fargo page on FB.

I've done plenty of full dress touring in the past, but would never go back from my current setup.

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