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Topics - hikerjer

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Gear Talk / The shoe dilemma
« on: January 13, 2022, 08:35:55 pm »
This has probably been discussed many times before but I'm still in an quandary over it.  What do you use for shoes? Currently I use Shimano Shimano M324 SPD dulal sided pedals with clip-ins (not toe clips) which allow me to use rigid biking shoes that I can clip into on one side. The other sides are basically platforms that allow me to use regular flat bottomed shoes - in my case, Teva sandals - when it's appropriate. I like the control the clipside gives me when riding but the disavantages are obvious - it's tough to walk very far or gracefully in them when not on the bike. I do like the sandals for off the bike and in situations where I may need to get on and out of the pedals frequently such as in heavy traffic.  They are also great for walking relatively long distances in easy terrain but not so good to do in any serious hiking in. The obvious other disadvanage is you're carrying two pair of shoes. I am reluctant to spend money for an expensvie new pedal/shoe setup when I have a setup that works fairly well but am open to suggestons.

Any insights?

Thank you.

Gear Talk / Tubeless tires -enligthen me.
« on: February 04, 2021, 11:18:38 pm »
So, although I've been riding for decades on regular tires with tubes, I've heard enough about tubelss tires to make me want to know about them. At this point, I don't know much. So what's the difference between regular tires and tubless? How are they different besides the obvious? Advantages and disavantages.


General Discussion / State bike trails
« on: April 12, 2020, 12:39:43 am »
Can anyone point me in the direction of where I can find a comprehensive state by state description of bike trails if such a directory even exists?

Thanks much.

General Discussion / Mercian bicycles
« on: March 06, 2020, 12:15:54 am »
I have a chance to buy an older model Mercian "classic" bicycle. It looks t be in pretty good shape.  I'm buying it mostly for the frame as I plan on rebuilding  it into commuter/gravel bike. I haven't been able to find out much about the brand. I know it's British and I've gone to their website which, of course, makes them sound great, but I'm pretty unfamiliar with the brand. It is Reynolds 531 which is a good sign and has some really nice lug work and braze- ons. Anyone out there had any experience with Mericians or know anything about them?


Gear Talk / Gear in two panniers?
« on: February 18, 2020, 07:46:47 pm »
OK, here's the deal. I've take several long tours of 2500 miles/6 weeks.  I'v always used four panniers (front and  back) and a small handlebar bag and my stuff fits into it pretty well along with a sleeping pad strapped to the top of the rear rack. However, I'm always amazed by tourers I see using just two rear panniers and stuff strapped to the rear rack.  I just couldn't get all my gear in that limited space.  What I'd like to see is  complete list of gear from you guys that use just two panniers and a handlebar bag to carry stuff. I generally tour in mid to late summer to mid -fall, norther Rockies and PNW and camp and cook most of my meals. I don't think I'm particularly heavy, about 32 lbs , although I know that's not real light either compared to some of you guys. Help me out hear with your gear list and how you pack  it.  Thanks.

Gear Talk / Motobecane Fantom CX
« on: January 15, 2020, 04:34:18 pm »
I have the opportunity to purchase a Motobecane Fantom CX for $450.00.  It looks to be a 2014-15 model and is like brand new. Hardly ever been ridden. Aluminum frame,  Sora front derailleur, Tiagra rear derailleur, Sora brakes, Sora triple front chain ring, Ritchey stem, Alexrims for wheels (never heard of them) Vero FSA crank.

I know you can, or used to be able, to get one online for about $700.00 more but shipping will add considerable extra to the cost.

My plan is to put fenders, a rear rack and commuting panniers on it and use it as a commuter bike with occasional sojourns as a gravel bike which I believe what it is marketed as.

One other thing. My road bike is a 58 cm frame and fits me perfectly.  This is a 56 cm frame. Will the slightly smaller size be significant enough difference be a deal killer?

Good deal? Reasonable deal?  Lousy deal?  What say you?

Thank you.

General Discussion / Finding a place to sleep
« on: December 17, 2019, 11:29:10 pm »
While I absolutely enjoy solo self-supported touring, my greatest concern is always finding a place to camp for the night. I've wild camped many times without issue, stayed with warm showers hosts and in public and private campgrounds.  I've never really had a problem and have always found some place to pitch my tent or throw out my sleeping bag. Still, as the afternoon wanes, finding a place to spend the night starts to weigh heavily on my mind and I'm uneasy until I'm settled in some place where I feel safe and comfortable. I don't know why, since like I said, I've always found a place. Anyone else experience these anxieties and if so, how do you deal with them?

Gear Talk / How many patches?
« on: September 30, 2019, 06:35:42 pm »
So while this question applies specifically to my mountain bike,  I think it's relevant to any bicycle. I just put the sixth patch on the tube to my mountain bike (dang goat head thorns).  All the previous patches are holding fine and this one probably will too.  Still, I wonder when is enough.  How many punctures do you repair before replacing the tube? I know the time comes to just toss the tube and get a new one but I'm kind of a cheap guy.

Thank you.

General Discussion / Bike shop dilemma
« on: May 07, 2019, 11:56:09 pm »
So, walking home from downtown today, much to my surprise, I came across a new bike shop where for some time there had been nothing but an empty store front. Naturally, I stopped in. The owner/operator was a very nice young local guy who is just starting out. He's been in the bike industry in Colorado and Bozeman for sometime as a salesman and mechanic and wants to strike out on his own. Owning his own shop has always been his dream.  Right now, his shop is just a sort of hole-in-the-wall type of operation but he appears to have a good repair shop and a fair selection of bikes- Trek and Giant - and was extremely personable. He also seems to know bikes having on display, several frames he built himself. What's more, its only a few minutes walk from my house. Furthermore, it located in the downtown district and I always like to support downtown businesses.  Here's my dilemma. The current shop I frequent and from which I've purchased several bikes is run by a great guy who has always been more than accommodating to me. I really like him.  The problem, of course, is who do I patronize in the future. On one hand, I'd really like to help out a young guy just starting out on his dream but I don't want to be disloyal to a guy that I like and whom I've been dealing with, quite happily, for years.

What to do?

Gear Talk / Jones handlebars
« on: February 15, 2019, 12:04:31 am »
I've always toured with traditional drop handlebars. Lately I've been reading a lot about Jones handlebars and am somewhat interested in them since so many people rave about them. I'm planning a cross-country tour for this coming summer and am considering switching to Jones. Any insights you'd like to share?

General Discussion / Walking your bike
« on: February 03, 2019, 05:02:55 pm »
At what point do you get off and walk/push your bike while touring be it due to wind, ground surface, hills, utter exhaustion, etc.? How many mph/ What conditions? Or do you just refuse to do it. I'm certainly not above doing it given the right or should I say, wrong , conditions.

Just curious.

General Discussion / No car
« on: December 31, 2018, 06:28:53 pm »
Since we're all cycling enthusiast on this  forum, or at least I assume we are, I wonder how many of us don't actually own a motorized vehicle - car, truck, suv, motorcycle, etc.  I wish I could have I haven't got one but I'm too much the typical American, I guess.  I always admire those that don't own one.

Routes / Riding through Chicago
« on: October 18, 2018, 11:05:29 pm »
Next summer, if the stars and planets all align properly, I hope to do a cross-country tour. I'll be passing through the Chicago area and would like to know about routes through the city. Is there a continuous bike route/path through the entire city and environs, west to east, that one could take? I suppose I could by-pass the city entirely, but I'd kind of like to see it from a bicycle. How about catching a ferry from the downtown waterfront to southern Michigan? Possible?

Oh, and yes, I know about Gary, IN


Gear Talk / Tire pressure gauge - suggestions?
« on: August 29, 2018, 02:00:16 am »
I'm looking for a reliable and durable tire pressure gauge. It's going to be used on both a road bike and a mountain bike so it must register to at least 100 psi.  Any suggestions?

Thanks much.

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