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Messages - BrianCM

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Gear Talk / gear comparison
« on: December 04, 2006, 01:54:52 am »
There is a far better way to do this.  Sheldon Brown has a gear calculator on his website.

Try it, its easy!

Gear Talk / Weight on Top of Rear Rack and Bike Handling
« on: December 09, 2006, 03:12:18 am »
The only time that your handling will suffer is when the rack is heavily loaded.  For instance, when I go to the store for my shopping I usually get at least 40 pounds of stuff.  It goes in two Ortlieb panniers on the rear rack.  That much stuff on a Blackburn Expedition rack makes it flex a little bit.  Then if I put a jug of laundry detergent on the back, it starts to get definitely wobbly.  The jug needs to go on the front rack for better stability.

So I hope my experience illustrates that the bike handling will only be a problem with a maximum load that is not properly distributed.  I remember that there is a website (not that has one guy's extensive touring experience.  He also advocates an even balance, and to put more on the front than the rear.

Gear Talk / OMM Pannier Rack Research
« on: November 17, 2006, 03:09:45 am »
I recently bought the Tubus Cargo.  The Cargo, unlike the Logo, is a full-width rack.  It comes with a spacer to use it with disc brakes.  Unlike the OMM Red Rock, it attaches to the bike frame instead of the brakes.

Gear Talk / Thermarest pad slipping
« on: November 03, 2006, 03:09:38 pm »
There are non-slip mats at hardware stores and RV stores.  They keep things from slipping around.  Stores sell them as things to keep plates from slipping off of RV tables to keeping rugs from slipping.  Its the same material, just different sizes.  Try some between the pad and your sleeping bag.

Gear Talk / lightweight chainwhip?
« on: November 07, 2006, 12:51:01 am »
The Stein tool seems to be only a cassette cracker.  Park Tools has a reasonably light chain whip/15mm pedal wrench.  If you don't want that, then you can always make a chain whip yourself out of an aluminum bar, some bolts, and leftover chain.

Gear Talk / Recumbent Riders Only
« on: November 17, 2006, 03:11:03 am »
You might get some good responses at, which is specific to recumbent bicycles.

Gear Talk / Recumbent Riders Only
« on: November 10, 2006, 03:22:47 am »
Seel, you should really consider what kind of riding you will do with a recumbent.  If its for touring, make sure that it can be equipped with sturdy racks, if that's your style.  Some recumbents do not allow the use of normal bicycle racks, and you'd need to use a trailer.  (Some recumbents have racks, but they are not built like the Tubus Cargo or at least the Blackburn Expedition.)

Also consider what kind of accessories you normally want on a bike.  I like mine with lots of stuff on the handlebar, so I had to replace the handlebar on my Burley.  Some recumbents look like they don't allow much at all in the way of handlebar accessories, and some use rather special handlebars.

Also I recommend that you do your best to find a dealer in your area with recumbents you can test ride.  When I got my recumbent, I found that my knees hurt a bit when I rode it.  Then I replaced the crank, and I felt better.  So there are always some fit issues.

Gear Talk / Recumbent Riders Only
« on: November 02, 2006, 03:39:51 pm »
I bought a Burley Nasoke.  Since Burley has quit building bicycles (trailers only, now), a lot of dealers have discounted their remaining bicycles.  I bought mine from Calhoun Cycle over the internet, and I had a bad experience with their customer service.  (Nobody took responsibility for assembling or shipping the bike.  Telling, eh?)

Anyways, the Nasoke is a LWB bike with a shock absorber.  The ride is very smooth, very relaxed.  I replaced and upgraded components, because I like tuning a bike for me and I'm mechanically inclined.

When I first got the bike and got it assembled, I found that I had to relearn how to ride a bicycle.  I spent about a half hour just riding it around the block, getting the hang of it.  Then I rode a few miles a few days later, and I did much better.  This past weekend was my first 20-mile jaunt, and while I was a bit tired, I wasn't dead from it.  The hardest part of the ride was learning to simply relax in the seat and just pedal.

When you buy a bicycle, you are basically buying a frame.  If you own the bike long enough, nearly everything gets replaced at some point.  My Giant Sedona has only a handful of original components on it.  The Nasoke has a good base design, but Burley really should sell their stuff like Surly does: frame only.

The time to figure out if a bike "fits" you takes about an hour (at least) of riding.  Pay attention to how you feel after riding it, and note anything minor.

My Nasoke currently has a Tubus Cargo rack, and due to the Tubus mounting accessories I mounted it without using the Burley rack adapter kit.  I have changed the deraileurs, brakes, sprockets, wheels, handlebar, shifters, and I may change forks and steering components later.

Gear Talk / Topeak Modula Bottle Cage XL
« on: October 31, 2006, 10:53:31 pm »
The Topeak cage is very much like the old Blackburn Bomber cage, but it is adjustable while the Blackburn is fixed.  To use my Blackburn, I have to be very picky about what 1.5L bottles I buy.  I have a Blackburn Bomber on my Giant Sedona.

1.5L bottles are all over, just walk into any store and walk down the bottled water aile.  The vast majority of bottles should fit in the Topeak cage.

For a bottle to fit in the cage, the diameter is what's important.  Maybe the Nalgene would fit, maybe not.  I recommend that you simply buy a couple of different 1.5L water bottles from a grocery store, and see what fits.  If it doesn't fit, enjoy the water and recycle the bottle.  If the bottle fits, it will last a good while before its too brittle and cracks.

My Sedona carries 1.5L, 24oz bottle, and then my 1.5L Nalgene pack.  Lots of water, and it lasts all day.

Gear Talk / bike light
« on: October 31, 2006, 11:53:03 pm »
I must say, I'm glad how bicycle headlight technology has improved.  The first headlight I bought for my bike over 10 years ago was a little halogen with 4-AA cells which gave me a scary 20-mile night commute.  The next one was a dual 10w/15w VistaLite with water-bottle-sized rechargeable battery, but I never used that on a commute because it didn't last long enough.  Then I bought the EL500, and it is bright enough for me, but I do use it in conjunction with a smaller second headlight.  (I have seen one guy around here riding with a 2D-cell flashlight clipped to his handlebars.)

Next year Busch & Muller is coming out with the Big Bang which is supposed to put out as much light as a car headlight.  Of course, the price is also a big bang at $900.

Gear Talk / bike light
« on: October 30, 2006, 04:54:22 pm »
Hi, Jat!  Most likely the reason nobody has replied to your post is because nobody here has had experience with that particular model of headlight.

The only things that influence my decisions in purchasing a light are brightness and burn time.  The DiNotte lights use rechargeable batteries, and the model you mention runs for only two hours at full brightness.  If that's enough time for you, then the light looks fine!  Make sure to break in the batteries according to their directions.

I use the Cateye EL500 (1-watt) because it has a long life.  I think that my next light will be a generator unit because of my long commute time.  The Busch & Müller DIWA Plus system has a tail light which changes brightness (and comes on when the headlight is off) when it senses you are stopping.

This message was edited by BrianCM on 10-30-06 @ 2:48 PM

Gear Talk / Mirrors
« on: October 28, 2006, 01:25:57 am »
I use bar-end mirrors.  They fold out of the way when I don't need them, and they don't take room on the handlebar.

« on: October 26, 2006, 07:10:35 pm »
Do you mean the Mr. Tuffy kind of tire liner?  When I first bought my bike I used those in my tires.  They wore a hole in the inner tube, and the tire went flat one morning about a mile from work (fortunately).

If you know that you will be riding through a region with a lot of puncture problems, then I suggest that you bring thorn-resistant inner tubes, and install them just before entering the area.  These inner tubes are as heavy as a tire, so riding with them will sap a good 2mph off of your speed.

A tire sealant in an inner tube, like Slime, will leave a tube virtually unpatchable.

I rode the Seattle-to-Portland group ride (200mi) with Continental Town and Country tires, and nothing punctured those.  Other people got lots of flats, while I kept riding along.  You might also consider Schwalbe Marathon Plus (built-in liner) and Marathon XR (Aramid fiber tire carcass).

Some of the extra-security tires weigh more, but they don't make your speed suffer.  After my Continental SportContact tires got nailed by glass, I put on Schwalbe Marathon XR which weigh twice as much, and my distance speed doesn't suffer.  Yeah, my sprinting speed is down, but I'm only going after the groceries. :)

Gear Talk / A recumbant for centuries and possible touring
« on: October 28, 2006, 01:38:43 am »
Which Burley are you riding?  I bought the Nasoke when a shop put it on sale.

One thing I did with mine is I replaced the crank with a Rotor Crank.  If you can afford it, I recommend it highly.  The upside is that it makes pedaling the bike easier since when one foot has finished its stroke the other is already into its down stroke.  The downside to the crank is that its really pricey.  

Gear Talk / pedals?
« on: October 29, 2006, 11:31:24 pm »
TulsaJohn, try toeclip pedals at Yellow Jersey.  They have a page dedicated to cleats for toeclip pedals, and of course toeclips.

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