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Messages - spudslug

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Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs Parking
« on: May 30, 2016, 10:10:35 pm »
This question has come up several times in different Topics.

I live near Crouch and would recommend it as a starting point. There are a handful of businesses that might let you park your car. I've heard that riders have parked at the Wander Inn motel or at one of the RV parks (there are 3). You could also ask at the RV storage lot. The town has a few motels, a few restaurants, a grocery store, a saloon and a laundromat so it has enough services for a good starting and ending point. There is also a USFS Ranger Station near town that might suggest some places or check with the Chamber of Commerce.

Gear Talk / Re: Wind noise in ears
« on: January 05, 2014, 09:36:27 pm »
Thanks for the info. I had not seen this product before.

It is interesting that this is essentially the same concept that I tried with fleece years ago, but I just used safety pins instead of velcro and didn't use it anymore after I bought the Slip.

I am still using the same pair of Slips and they are holding up fine.

Gear Talk / Re: Shaving Creme
« on: April 15, 2013, 01:15:25 pm »
I'm a woman and I use hair conditioner to shave my legs while traveling or touring. My favorite is Garnier Fructis (look for the bright green bottle) and might be available in small travel sizes at discount or drug stores. It doesn't lather but it doesn't need to in order to do the job. It rinses off easier than sunscreen or oils (cheaper too). I have to use conditioner on my head after shampooing, so it does double duty. A combo shampoo/conditioner might work too. I find that conditioner is less drying and irritating than shampoo for shaving.

Gear Talk / Re: Aerobars and bikepacking
« on: March 25, 2011, 11:34:08 am »
Here is a photo of my setup before I got front panniers: Flip up aerobars by Profile, a Mountainsmith fanny pack strapped to them, a modified Trek handlebar bag underneath, a Bento box on the top tube, a Jandd 188 in3 frame pack, seat pack and camping gear strapped to the rack. The bike handled horribly with most of the weight on the back! I thought the bike would be hard to handle with front panniers. But the opposite is true. It's very smooth and stable now.

Since then, I got a more compact, but more comfortable inflatable sleeping pad (Big Agnes) that fits in the panniers so nothing is strapped to the rack. The fanny pack goes in the panniers. I no longer need the handlebar bag, frame pack or seat pack. I never needed the 3rd water bottle so now the pump is mounted under there. But, odd as it looks, the pump fit fine in this tight spot for the entire trip. I highly recommend this pump (Topeak Road Morph G) .The frame pack worked great too.

Another thing to consider about aerobars on the GDMBR; they require many bolts. Be sure to check them regularly for tightness.

Gear Talk / Re: Aerobars and bikepacking
« on: March 23, 2011, 12:23:25 pm »
I road tour with aerobars and use front and rear panniers. I find that the bike is stable enough unless there are strong crosswinds. I use the style that has flip-up armrests so I can still place my hands on the top of the bars. The fixed-position style aerobars, like shown in the photo provided by ducnut, block the top of the bars so you lose that riding position.

Your speed on gravel roads will be slower so you won't gain much aero advantage, except in a headwind. I think the main advantage would just be an alternate body/hand position. Metal aerobars are heavy. Carbon fiber ones are expensive. Unless you have a full suspension bike, aerobars might be uncomfortable on rough roads. You'll have to decide if it is worth it.

Before I got front panniers, I modified a Trek brand handlebar bag by first adding more velcro strap length. The straps fit around the handlebars and aerobars (slightly twisted) and the bag hung below the aerobars (watch for cable interference). This bag has elastic cords with metal rings on the ends that attach to hooks you install on the forks. The cords keep the bag stable by preventing it from swinging. It fit fine but was difficult to access the top zipper between the narrow aerobars. So, I could only use it to hold things that I didn't need frequently, which is contrary to the purpose of a handlebar bag (but might be useful on the Divide if your carrying capacity is limited). I eventually quit using it, when I got front panniers  because it was heavy because it had plastic stiffeners inside to hold it's shape. I had to cut the top of the stiffener about an inch to compensate for the space that the aerobars took up under the bars. I covered the cut plastic with duct tape to prevent the sharp edges from cutting the bag fabric.

For one tour I tied a fanny pack to the top, lengthwise along the aerobars. But it was difficult to tighten or loosen the straps as needed. I gave up on that too. What works well and that I use regularly is a clear map case with velcro straps that I strap to the top of the aerobars where it is always handy. It fits between the handlebars and where I place my hands on the aerobars and I can glance down and read it between my arms.

Good luck!

Gear Talk / Re: Wind noise in ears
« on: March 23, 2011, 11:37:36 am »
Here's an update after 2 years use of The Slip:

They have held up fine during lots of use including mountain biking and multiple road tours. I have a neoprene/velcro armband that holds my Ipod. It fits perfectly through the vents on the back of my helmet. I wrapped the armband through the helmet so the Ipod is held against the outside back of the helmet. I tied the Ipod and earphone cords into the helmet harness with twist ties. So, the Ipod, earphones and cords stay on the helmet. There are no cords dangling and I don't have to disconnect anything until I need to recharge the Ipod.

The Slip holds the earphones away from my ear but still blocks the wind so I am able to listen to music at low levels and still hear traffic. The only problem is I wear an extra small helmet so there isn't a lot of helmet strap length to work with. I can't get The Slip and earphones positioned perfectly. I had to trim off some of foam in The Slip. It also makes wearing sunglasses uncomfortable after time. But that's the price until something better comes along. I looked at the Swedish ear covers. There is no way to attach earphones to them.

One drawback of The Slip and earphones: since it is time consuming and takes a lot of adjusting to get them positioned right, it is a hassle to remove them to clean my helmet straps.

Gear Talk / Re: 2002 Trek 520 - NEW
« on: March 26, 2010, 10:57:02 pm »
It's disappointing to hear the shop's approach on this. Doesn't sound like they see the bigger picture...

Well - here's my two cent's worth on the 520. I LOVE IT! After searching for a used one in my size for over a year, I finally found one locally on Craig's List and snapped it up for $500. It's 13 years old but in very good shape. Did I overpay? Probably. Do I care? No. It was way cheaper than a new one and I don't need to baby it. The only thing it needed was to gear it down, which cost about $25 parts plus labor. I toured on it last year and was thoroughly happy. Look at it this way, with you money you save by not buying the latest model, you can outfit the bike with some nice panniers!

Gear Talk / Re: Wind noise in ears
« on: June 19, 2009, 12:57:06 am »
"The Slip" arrived. First impression is that it is not very sturdy. It has tiny plastic snaps, thin fabric, thin straps and tiny cords. Earbuds do not just slip in. You have to take it partly apart to put them in. Not difficult but not super quick. I'll have to be more gentle with my helmet to not tear the fabric or tangle the cords.

I gave it a full day test run. It cut the annoying level of wind noise down to a tolerable level, especially on fast descents. It is comfortable enough and didn't bother me. Better than nothing and certainly better than a headband especially on a hot day. So I give it a thumbs up although the design could use some improvement.

Gear Talk / Re: Wind noise in ears
« on: June 17, 2009, 01:17:18 am »
I decided to order only "The Slip" because of the earphone capability and sun protection. It hasn't arrived yet, but "The Slipstream" wind deflector concept got me thinking.

Today I created low-tech, no-budget wind deflectors by wrapping a piece of fleece around each front helmet strap and safety pinning them in place. They reduced the wind noise substantially and since they are soft, they didn't bother me and I didn't need a headband. I wish I would have thought of that years ago. Probably looks ridiculous but that's a small price to pay for the big increase in hearing comfort and riding enjoyment.

Gear Talk / Re: Remounting tight tires
« on: June 14, 2009, 09:51:18 am »
I've never bought tires at a dept or discount store but that's good to know because when I'm touring I might have to buy a replacement at one of those locations.

I bought this Trek 520 used. The tires are new Continentals and are clearly marked with the make, model and size. The rims are also clearly marked with the diameter and original Trek stickers. I measured the inside diameter of the rims and checked the Sheldon Brown website to confirm that the tires are the proper width for the rim. The tubes are normal, not thick heavy duty. Although I added Tuffy liners, that's never made a difference in the fit on my other bikes. Everything checks out ok. That's why I'm perplexed by the tight fit.

Gear Talk / Re: Remounting tight tires
« on: June 14, 2009, 12:15:40 am »
Thank you everyone for your input.

Gear Talk / Re: Remounting tight tires
« on: June 12, 2009, 06:04:02 pm »
This is the first I've heard of stretching a tire with a bead. The bike was stored upside down with the tires deflated for the past year. Perhaps the rubber shrunk and will stretch somewhat now that they're inflated?

Gear Talk / Re: Remounting tight tires
« on: June 12, 2009, 01:28:34 pm »
Thanks for the replies. These are Continental Ultra Sports and came with the bike. Sounds like a different make or model is the simplest solution.

Gear Talk / Remounting tight tires
« on: June 11, 2009, 05:51:57 pm »
The tires on my bike were a very tight fit and are now even tighter after I added Tuffy liners. In 20 years of cycling I've never experienced tires this difficult to remove or remount. I needed metal tire irons to get them back on while using a vise-grip to prevent the bead from slipping off as I worked my way around the rim toward the vise-grip. The tires are fairly new so I don't want to buy different ones. Carrying a heavy vise-grip on the road is not appealing. I ride alone so won't have help available.

Anyone have a solution to prevent the bead from slipping off one part of the rim while trying to leverage the rest of the bead on? Is there a lightweight, compact gizmo made for this problem? I suppose a hose-clamp might work but don't want to scratch the rims. (Using metal tire levers and not scratching the rims is a challenge.) Has anyone ever cracked a rim while using metal levers?

Gear Talk / Re: Wind noise in ears
« on: June 10, 2009, 04:23:49 pm »
Fantastic! Thanks for the replies. I'm going to order both since the prices are reasonable.

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