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Messages - RonK

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Gear Talk / Re: Touring Europe tubeless?
« on: February 25, 2023, 04:22:50 pm »
I have been bikepacking solo into remote areas running tubeless Vittoria Mezcal TNT 2.1 at 50psi for around 7 years without a failure of any kind.

You don't say what size tyres/pressures you use but narrower sizes/higher pressures may be more problematic

Gear Talk / Re: New touring bike recommendations
« on: January 03, 2023, 04:02:42 pm »
The Salsa Fargo should be on your list. Very much a do anything bike.

I had bilateral TKR more than a year ago but have not been able to return to my previous level of cycling.
While I'm able to ride flat routes, even the slightest rise is difficult because it is uncomfortable to put enough pressure through my knees.

General Discussion / Re: Di2 on Supported Southern Tier trip
« on: March 16, 2022, 05:28:26 pm »
I have a Canyon Grizl with Di2 and it is a lovely bike. This is the first I've had with electronic shifting, and I'm really loving it. It was bought for the express purpose of solo credit card bikepacking on backroads into some fairly remote locations.

Di2 has been around for a long time and it very reliable. A failure is unlikely. Crash damage is going to be the most likely cause of issues. It's a risk I'm prepared to take.

Di2 shifting is a whole new world and you will need to learn some new tricks including how to reset it from crash recovery mode. I suggest you get the Shimano EW-WU111 Di2 D-Fly E-Tube Bluetooth Wireless Unit and install it in the cable junction under the stem. This will enable a Bluetooth connection to the E-Tube app on your smartphone so you can adjust the shift pattern for synchronised and semi-synchronised shifting to your preference, and to perform some diagnostics.

General Discussion / Re: What "riding buddies" do you take on tour?
« on: January 17, 2022, 08:03:48 pm »
This lot accompanied me on my first ever tour.

But Boofle has been my companion (and in charge of navigation) on all my subsequent tours and has a whole album of his photobombs. He keeps me mentally connected with home when I am far away.

It seems he's constantly eyeing off my food.

Gear Talk / Showers Pass Transit CC versus Elite 2.1
« on: October 28, 2021, 07:13:31 pm »
I have an Elite 2 and it has been a good, but not perfect jacket until one of the zippers parted at the welded seam. I had no issue with the fit although I could hardly be described as svelte.
Generally it did not breathe well enough to wear except in the coolest conditions, the detachable hood was very claustrophobic, and when I switched from full-dress touring to bike packing it was simply too bulky.
I am now using a Mountain Hardware Stretch Ozonic. It's bright red so highly visible, has three sizable pockets and is very comfortable to wear as the fabric is not only stretchable but it has quite a soft feel. It can also be packed into one of the pockets.
It has worked well keeping the rain out so far   - the hood is a little fiddly to adjust to avoid it catching the wind but it's plenty long enough.
Looks like red is no longer offered but there is an orange and a quite visible green.

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).

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