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Messages - ginarae

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Gear Talk / Re: The Best Touring Bikes/Frames (and other parts, as well)
« on: November 18, 2009, 10:17:33 pm »
Sure wish I lived near you, would love to shop in your store that specializes in touring! :-)

Gear Talk / Re: Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« on: November 18, 2009, 10:14:26 pm »
Thanks for all the feedback!  I think I should have clicked on the notify button at the end of the thread (or check the forum more often), because I didn't realize I had some replies.  I saw the bike assembled the other day in the LBS, and I fell in love with it immediately, but I'm pretty sure it's not the bike I'm looking for right now.  If I had a whole lot of money to spend, I'd get it as a commuter and play bike for sure.  But for now I'm shopping for something to tour with (I have to keep reminding myself, lol!). 

I wasn't dressed for test-riding the bike the day I was there, which is probably a good thing, because it just looked incredibly comfortable (and beautiful).  What's not selling me, though, is the gearing, and the spokes (think I counted 24).  I would probably already own it if not for that.  Annie, I did see a Tricross (not the comp) in the LBS, just not in my size so I never tried it out.  It did have the triple though. 

I like the idea of the Surly, except for the shifters.  I imagine they are great for folks who are used to them, but I've grown very used to the STI shifters on my road bike, I really like them.  I have no idea how difficult (or expensive) it would be to put STI's on the Surly.  This is definitely not easy shopping, especially with very few touring bikes to actually see and feel in person, but since my holiday plans to tour have been curtailed I have a little time. 

Thank you all again!


Gear Talk / Specialized Tricross Comp 2010
« on: November 14, 2009, 03:46:30 pm »
Hi, Gina from Arizona here.  I'm brand new to touring, and have never done a single tour.  I've been dreaming about it for years though, and now is when I'm going to start.  I'm shopping around for my first touring bike, and my LBS is interested in selling me a 2010 Specialized Tricross Comp.  I have read reviews of the 2007 - 2009 models on other web sites, and they were all pretty good reviews, but they were all written by either cyclocross enthusiasts or pure roadies.  I searched this forum for info on this bike, and I found where some folks had recently bought one, but not much yet about their performance as touring bikes.

I'd like to buy a touring bike from my LBS -- not only do I want to support my small community, but the shop folks are also my weekend riding friends.  I believe they want to help me get a fabulous bike, but I definitely want to run this by some seasoned touring cyclists.  Some traditional touring bikes that they don't carry but could order for me include the Surly LHT, the Fuji Touring, and the Windsor Touring.  I supposed they could also get me the Specialized touring bike (not sure what that model is).

One of the things that concerns me about the triX is the double chainring (48x34T with 12-27 10-speed cassette).  I don't know much about bike specs, but I read in one of the bike buying guides on this web site that the gear inches on a touring bike should be 25 or less.  I used an online calculator to find that the triX gear inches are 34 (if I calculuated it right).  I'm wondering if this gearing will kill me on the hills.  If so, would changing it out be very problematic?

Here are my personal specs:  I'm 45, 5'9" and 150 lbs.  I'm a moderately fit road rider, but pretty slow on hills compared to most of the folks I ride with (just not getting any younger, argh!).  I ride a Trek Pilot 5.0 for local rides, and chose it for its relaxed geometry.  I do use the "granny gear" on steep hills once in a while.  My plans for touring include starting off with a couple of supported rides while I learn the ropes, then probably doing unsupported credit card touring mixed with fully loaded touring (I think I'm a bit spoiled and prefer cc touring, but if I ride with others who want to camp, I'll camp).  I'll be a weekend and vacation-time touring cyclist for a long time because I work full time.

Any advise on the Specialized Tricross Comp, as well as any other newbie advice, will be greatly welcomed.  Thanks!


p.s.  I'm planning on doing my first cc tour with my mom driving support for me will be over the holidays this year, planning to go to California somewhere, please see my other post if you think you might have any advice about that:

California / California Between Christmas and New Years
« on: November 14, 2009, 03:05:39 pm »
Hi all, Gina here from Arizona.  I'm brand new to touring, don't even have a touring bike yet, but I was thinking of heading over to California and riding part of the Pacific Coast route (maybe modified somewhat) from Christmas to just past New Years.  I will be credit card touring and riding alone, but will have a driver to haul my stuff (lucky me!), so I'll probably take my road/racing bike.  Part of the incentive for the driver (my dear mother!) is sight-seeing, so I want to be sure to catch some sights that she would enjoy.  Her idea of excellent sight-seeing would include Alcatraz, Winchester Mansion, Hearst Mansion, things like that.  I'll be content with seeing things like the beautiful coast and the redwoods.  I'm sure I'll see plenty of what I want to see, so I'm more concerned with keeping my driver happy.  Can you recommend some awesome sight-seeing side trips that I might not have heard of yet?

Do you think the weather would be decent enough over the holidays to start in San Francisco and head South?  If not, where would you recommend I start?  I could always drive to San Francisco, see the sights there with my mom, then drive South and start riding from somewhere else.  I can do cold and wind and rain, but I don't get all excited at the prospect, lol!  Also, do you recommend the Adventure Cycling route as-is?  I already bought the two maps that cover the region I'm interested in.  I also ordered the book "Bicycling the Pacific Coast."

I picked California for its mild winter climate (and I have use-or-lose leave to take before the end of the year, so vacation here I come!).  I do live in a mild climate, but I'd like a change of scenery.  I'd like to ride anywhere between 45 and 90 miles a day, depending on the terrain.  That may seem a bit ambitious for a newbie, but I will have no load.

Any suggestions on region, route, and sight-seeing will be greatly welcomed!


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