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Messages - keithmisegades

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Gear Talk / Re: Higher quality racks
« on: November 19, 2021, 04:12:31 pm »
To HikeBikeCook:

I agree with you, as we get older the additional weight is noticeable.  I too notice it...

I quoted Alee since he found that it was primarily wind resistance rather than weight is perhaps our largest nemesis out on the road.

Being 58, and not getting any younger, I'd rather climb hills with weight than fight the strong headwinds of the Wind River Range where even drafting another loaded tourist, we could only average about 7 mph for the day's ride.  I remember that day well, but still enjoyed it.

You are right about shipping weight home.  I too sent about 8 lbs home after 3 days on my first big bike tour and never missed those items.  As a side note, I did have my wife ship me some cold weather clothing on one trip, so I did add a bit of weight.

I now have three touring bikes where I can load them up for self-sufficient loaded touring.

A Kent Eriksen (pictured below) minimalist touring rig tops out around 48 lbs.  Can't do cold weather touring on this due to the limited amount that is carried.
A Bruce Gordon with a more normal weight tops out around 65-70 lbs
A Co-Motion Siskiyou where nothing is left behind tops out around 80-90 lbs or more

Yes, I am faster on the Kent Eriksen, but my average speed is pretty much the same on the two heavier rigs.  I too thought I would be slower with the additional 15 lbs, but was amazed when I compared similar trips.

You make very valid points.  Thanks for replying.


Gear Talk / Re: Higher quality racks
« on: November 19, 2021, 10:46:30 am »
To John:

Yes, I still do have the original small j-hooks and locking metal brackets.  They worked really well, but not very user friendly when you wanted to frequently remove the panniers from the racks.  Since, the stealing of panniers is quite rare, I elected convenience over security.  The rotating cam on the Arkel mounts are quite good and I've had no problems with my mod and can now remove my Beckman panniers much quicker, plus I don't have to worry about losing the 5mm lock screw.

I sent you a email to your travel@ address.  When you have time, can you check it out?


Gear Talk / Re: Higher quality racks
« on: November 18, 2021, 10:46:29 am »
Thanks to all that have replied.

The general consensus appears to be that most are happy with the available rack offerings.

I posed this question on the forum based on my own experience. 

The blue bike pictured below is a Bruce Gordon Rock N Road with Tubus racks and a pair of Beckman panniers.

The red bike is my new Co-Motion Siskiyou with Beckman racks and Beckman panniers.
On a side note: If you're tired of maintaining chains and derailleurs while touring, I highly recommend a Pinion-based touring bicycle.  Yes, they're a bit heavier and a bit more expensive, but the lack of maintenance and worry is worth it to me.

The pictured pannier is the back of one of my Beckman Panniers.  I have modified it from the original by installing an Arkel quick release mechanism that is all metal.  I also added to substantial J hooks that go over the bottom rail of my Beckman racks.  The combination of the locking Arkel mechanism and the shock corded hook ensure that the pannier will never come off the rack.  The two bottom J hooks ensure that the bottom portion of the pannier will not flex or flap away from the rack.  The Arkel system and J hooks are attached to a 1/8 thick aluminum plate that is inside the pannier.  This is a bombproof setup.

I have found that the limited rack support area on the bottom of the Tubus racks allows those panniers to flex and move around more than the all Beckman setup.  Hence, the Tubus-based setup imparts more movement into the frame of the Bruce Gordon which can affect the handling.  Yes, the tubes on the Gordon are thinner than the Co-Motion, but when I had the all Beckman setup on the Gordon, it was more stable.

Hence the Tubus setup is not as stable as the better all Beckman setup.  Yes, the Beckman racks are heavier, but testing done by Alee over on has proven that the overall weight of the bicycle really doesn't affect your average touring speed.  So, I agree with Alee, that the overall weight is not something to be overly concerned with.  Anyway, we are not racing on these touring bikes.

John Nettles is dead right about the security of the Beckman bags and racks.  With multiple support hooks on the top and bottom tubes of the Beckman racks, the bags are very stable and secure.  All other bags, from my experience, just have two hooks on the top and then a small lever or nylon strap with a spring that attempts to keep the bottom from flapping around.  I have seen other bicycle tourists bags flapping and moving around which does nothing to help the stability of the rack and pannier system.

Another short coming of most racks is that the bottom portion is quite narrow and does not allow a good support mechanism to tightly hold that portion of the pannier.  The bottom portion of better racks are wide to better allow this type of support.

Of course, the bags and panniers have to be compatible and the industry standard is the two hook and lower stability lever.  I personally feel that that is not the best way to do it, but I can't change the industry.  I too have used that system and it worked just fine for me, but wanting to be a closet engineer, I am always searching for something better and found it in the Beckman system.

Since I am now retired, I may teach myself how to braze 4130 chromoly tubing and build or modify a set of existing racks to my desire.

I have worked with a custom frame builder that modified my Beckman racks further so that I could use a Decaleur bag rather than hanging it off the handlebars.  That custom work, though not cheap, worked out perfectly.

Thanks again for all the replies and your generous input.


Gear Talk / Higher quality racks
« on: November 16, 2021, 05:13:28 pm »
With the loss of Bruce Gordon and Robert Beckman no longer making racks I feel that there are limited options for a high quality rack.

Of course, there are a number of other custom bike builders that will make a rack. I have found little else out there that has the craftsmanship of the two mentioned builders.

Of course a few rack manufacturers make some good racks that serve the purpose which I have used with success.  Unfortunately, none of them match the quality of my Robert Beckman racks.

I find it interesting that no one has come out with some higher quality racks to match the quality of some higher end touring bikes. 

I’m not trying to be a snob, I just think there is a place for a higher quality rack where the customer doesn’t have to go to a custom builder.

A higher quality rack would support the entire pannier, provide a bomb proof attachment system, have attachment points for lights, allow internal wiring for lights, and other features.  Of course, this increases the price of entry, but why put a feature limited rack on your dream bike?

Am I the only one that has pondered this?  Is everyone else happy enough for what is now available?

What features would you want in a high quality rack that isn’t available today?

Your thoughts?


Thanks for following up, but I have already found a complete set.


That attachment is close to what my Beckman's used to have.

I converted mine to use the Arkel attachment system a couple years ago while replacing the aluminum back on my panniers.

Works great for me.

If you don't get any takers for the bags, then please keep me in mind.

I have a full set of Robert Beckman panniers and love them

How close are the BLT's to them?  Same white interior, pocket structure?

What attachment mechanism does the BLT's use?

I'd be seriously interested in the bags only at this time if you're willing to separate them

Keith Misegades

Gear Talk / Re: Shimano Cycling Sandals
« on: March 18, 2019, 07:01:18 pm »

Many thanks for the info.

A few days ago, I sent my Shimano's back and have ordered the Exustar's.

They appear to be the only other viable option at this point.

If they fit then I'm going to order an extra pair as a backup.

The newer Shimano SH-SD5's just didn't fit my foot like the older SD65's did.


Gear Talk / Shimano Cycling Sandals
« on: March 14, 2019, 09:36:04 pm »
I know that this topic has been beat to death, but...

I have used Shimano Cycling Sandals for years and my SH-SD65 models are getting a bit worn out.

I have tried the newer SH-SD5, but no amount of adjustment allows them to be comfortably worn.

Does ANYONE know where I might find some NOS (New Old Stock) SH-SD65 sandals in 41/42 size?

The SD5 has two straps and the ones I want, the SD65 has three straps.

I have tried many regular bike websites and Ebay, all with no luck.

I should have bought a few pair when they were available, because eventually a great product gets changed and it doesn't work for you anymore.

The image shows what I am looking for.


Gear Talk / Re: Building a lightweight touring bike....
« on: March 14, 2019, 09:25:45 pm »
Though this answer probably blows your budget, here's how I achieved a lightweight touring rig.

A few years ago I had Kent Eriksen build me a lightweight titanium touring frame.  I use an FSA 30/44 Adventure double crankset with a SRAM red 22 setup and a 32 tooth rear cog.  I use 4, 8 liter dry bags strapped onto my own custom made plates.  I also use an Arkel trunk bag and a Giles Berthoud bag on a decaleur.  With all this, I can do multiple week tours if you don't have long steep mountains to get over and you are in the warmer time of the year.  Due to the lack of space, it's very hard to carry warm weather gear with this somewhat minimal setup. 

Total weight of bike and gear come in around 45 lbs.  The image shows my setup during last years double RAGBRAI crossing where I rode this both ways carrying what you see.

Classifieds / Arkel Bike cover - Used once
« on: October 26, 2007, 03:37:03 pm »
I just purchased this about two weeks ago and used it on one tour.  It is in poerfect shape as I only need to cover my bicycle once.  I personally find it a bit bulky and heavy, but it may be just perfect to you. I purchased it here at

I paid $69.00, make me an offer and it can be yours.  

You can contact me at or reply here.  First come first served...


Gear Talk / REI Stratos Rain Jacket
« on: October 26, 2007, 03:28:46 pm »
A bit of rain did get in behind the collar, but the Stratos jacket has a high collar lines with a nice wicking material, so during heavy rains I zipped up the front and it kept the rain out for the most part.  My sweating inside the jacket probably made me just as wet as a little bit of rain coming in through the collar.  I am not looking to stay completely dry, but was trying to stay comfortable and with the pit-zips opened for ventilation, I was able to do that.  I also liked the pull tabs on the pit-zip zippers that allowed me to adjust them with my gloved fingers.

Gear Talk / REI Stratos Rain Jacket
« on: October 23, 2007, 10:00:36 pm »
I rode 50 miles in the rain yesterday and this jacket did an excellent job of keeping me comfortable.  Highly recommended if you can find one.  I believe that REI is phasing it out and they don't have an integral hood, but otherwise it worked really well.

Gear Talk / Arkel Bike Cover
« on: October 26, 2007, 03:30:06 pm »
Thanks for the tip.  My Arkel cover is going up for sale very soon...If anyone wants a good deal..

Gear Talk / Arkel Bike Cover
« on: October 23, 2007, 09:58:19 pm »
I am on a bike tour in Kentucky and at the last minute purchased the Arkel Bike Cover.  The description said that it was made out of lightweight nylon, but this thing is heavy.  I can attest that it is watertight as my bike stayed dry while in use, but I would like to challenge the engineers to come up with a lighter cover.  Perhaps something like my tent fly.

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