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Topics - chrisk

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Gear Talk / First Experience with BOB trailer
« on: May 21, 2012, 02:00:57 am »
I just finished a ~250 mi trip across Western Kansas into Eastern Colorado and used the BOB trailer instead of panniers for the first time. I thought I'd share the pros and cons I discovered. I was pretty heavily loaded, though I didn't bother to weigh it all, generally I just as soon not know, I just take what I think I might need and figure that's what I have to have. If I didn't use something I won't take it next time.

While riding I loved the trailer. I barely knew it was back there other then hearing the flag flap around. Keep in mind this was western Kansas and Eastern Colorado so the terrain was quite flat. The bike handled better then with panniers. I had some pretty strong cross winds and I think the low profile of the trailer helped not get pushed around so much by the wind. Also, there was clearly less weight on the rear wheel and it was the first trip that I didn't get a flat. Even though that may be because it was just 250 mi and also the road in Kansas was very clean, very little debris.

When it cane to walking the bike around or parking it though it was a different story. It was quite a pain trying to maneuver the bike as if you tilt it any little bit while walking it around or trying to park it the trailer would want to pull it over. I have a double kick stand and when I used it I had to be very careful that the trailer was lined up just right or it would tip over easily. In fact it did tip over 3 times, 2 of which could be attributed to a strong wind, but one was strictly due to not balancing things well. Also it was very difficult to get into the bag without the bike tipping over. I have decided that in the future I'll only take with me what can fit in the trailer bag, but I'll also have a rear rack that I'll put things that I might need to get to easily, like my camera or rain gear if the weather looks bad.

Since I spend a lot more time riding the bike then walking it around I have to say I preferred the trailer to panniers. So, when I do longer trips on easy terrain I'll probably use the trailer. But, for shorter trips, day trips or just single overnighters,  I'll probably stick with panniers. I haven't tried the trailer in the mountains yet so how it impacts climbs I can't say. I may just not want the extra weight. We'll see.

Chris Kottaridis

General Discussion / bike transportation on Western Express trail
« on: May 21, 2012, 01:28:24 am »
I live in Colorado Springs CO and want to do the Western Express trail from Pueblo CO to San Fransisco CA.

I typically just do 5 day trips of only about 60 miles a day, any more then that and my knees start complaining.

When I look at Western Express trail across Utah and Nevada there aren't too many big cities. I can probably get to Dolores CO, but making it ~450 mi to Cedar City UT is a bit too far for me in one trip. I'd like to split that into 2 different trips.

My question is how do I get me and my bike to starting points and back home from ending points ?

I assume that Cedar City UT is large enough to have bus or air service to get me and my bike to or from it to Colorado Springs CO. But nothing in between Dolores CO and Cedar City UT looks big enough to have bus  or air service. Pretty much the same thing across Nevada for the leg from Cedar City UT to Carson City NV.

Anybody know if there is cross country bus service in between Dolores CO and Cedar City UT that would allow me to break that section up into 2 trips, not more then ~300 mi per trip, or have an alternate recommendation on how to get me and my bike to starting and finish points to/from Colorado Springs CO ?

Ditto for the leg from Cedar City UT to Carson City NV ?

I guess I should ask if anyone knows if Cedar City UT and Carson City NV have cross country bus service. It's becoming less common and I have been assuming that they do have bus service, although I haven't been able to verify it.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Chris Kottaridis

Gear Talk / BOB Trailer Ibex storage versus YAK
« on: September 25, 2011, 10:23:48 pm »
I am looking at getting a BOB trailer and I have some restrictive storage requirements. I'll only be doing road touring not off road so I don't really need the shock feature that the Ibex has.

It looks like the YAK is all one piece. It seems like you can take the wheel off, but the rear fork that holds the 16" wheel is permanently attached to the storage section and is not removable. So, I'd need a space approximately 37" long for storage.

The Ibex has the rear shock and fork assembly that seems to be mounted to the storage section. I can't tell from pictures for sure, but it looks like it is removable from the storage section. I think if it can be removed from the storage section, then I can store the rear shock/fork/wheel assembly in the storage area (along with the front fork) and only need 25" in length for storage.

Can the rear shock/fork/wheel assembly be removed from the storage area ?

If so how hard is it to remove and reassemble ?

Chris Kottaridis

Classifieds / SOLD: Surly Front Rack and Arkel Panniers
« on: September 17, 2011, 03:11:13 am »
Just bought Surly Front Rack and one Arkel GT-18 and one GT18-BP (has back pack straps) for a 300 mile, 5 day, trip in Kansas, (section 8 of Trans America trail).
They worked great. Now that I have some experience I realize I don't really need front panniers. I won't do more then 5 - 7 days at a time and I can fit everything I need on my rear rack and panniers.

So, I'd like to sell the front rack and panniers.

Looking for $225 for the whole set. They were all purchased August 17 2011 and used for one 5 day ~300 mile trip immediately following the purchase. So, they aren't even a month old at this point. Didn't even get rained on.

Email me at if interested.

Gear Talk / 26 inch wheels and tires
« on: July 30, 2011, 08:24:49 pm »
I am putting together a Surly LHT and I need 26 inch wheels.

I only plan on doing road trips not much off road unless the road turns into a gravel road, but no mountain biking with it.

I am used to having narrow high pressure tires, my bike now is a very old 27" wheel and I use 1.125 wide tires. I like the narrower tires.

The wheel I am looking at getting has Mavic XM317d rims and Mavic recommends 1.5" - 2.3" wide tires. In the past I have hated wide tires like that, as I feel like I am dragging something.

The ERTRO for the Mavic says 559 x 19. Would that be narrow enough to hold a 28mm tire ?

This assumes I can find a 26" tire that is 1.125. In perusing the web I think I have found one, but other then that it seems I need to go to 1 3/8 or around 33mm. I assume that would be safe if the inner width was 19mm, and it is within 1/8 of th recommended 1.5.

Any comments or experiences to share about trying to get narrower tires in 26" rims ?

The local Bike Shop has to warn me that they could come off. that's a bit discouraging. But, I do understand he has to cover himself.

Has anyone had any experiences with a narrow tire coming off ?

I would have preferred mavic A319's but they don't come in 26". Th mavic A319's ERTRO is 622 x 19 and the recommended tire width is 28mm to 47mm. Note that both have an inner width of 19mm, so I am a little confused why one says it's Ok to go down to 28 and the other one says to only go down to 1.5" (38mm). My mountian trail riding is just rougher and so it's easier for a narrow tire to get pried out of the rim in that terrain as compared to road riding.

Chris Kottaridis

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