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Messages - cotterg3

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Gear Talk / Re: Gear Chainring
« on: April 27, 2011, 03:24:20 pm »
I rode in that area last year with a 30t chainring and 27t cog. My bike and gear was also around 60 lbs, I weigh 155 lbs, and I was 27 years old. I consider myself in good shape but necessarily a very strong cyclist.

It wasn't totally painful, but I really wished I had a lower gearing. I had to stand on nearly every climb. Honestly, I would have been very happy with mtb gearing (something like 24 in front 32 in back). In my opinion, swapping to a lower gearing would have been worth the money, and I generally recommend it.

General Discussion / Re: Great News-New Baggage Policy for Bicycles
« on: April 15, 2011, 01:36:50 pm »
Excellent news! I hope its a trend.

Gear Talk / Re: For you Surly Cross Check owners
« on: April 12, 2011, 11:43:49 am »
.....aaaaaaaaaaaaand then I realized this topic was over a year old.

Gear Talk / Re: For you Surly Cross Check owners
« on: April 12, 2011, 11:35:46 am »
I actually have two cross checks. One is almost entirely OEM (just a new stem and brooks saddle). I put a jandd low rider front rack on it, which essentially uses hose clamps to attach to the midblade of the front fork. It worked out just fine.

On the other cross check (actually its a travelers check, but same geometry) I put the surly front rack on. Its a beast (I think 2.2 lbs) but I love it. The platform in front is great for extra cargo, multiple rails is nice to adjust load height or throw massive panniers on front, and its got its one little eyelet to mount the fenders to the rack (pretty cool). It comes with a ~5 lb bag of hardware and is highly adjustable so I imagine it mounts to just about anything. On this build I used titec h-bars (jeff jones design) with a twist shifter.

Also, you can buy the new surly cross check fork which comes with midblade eyelets. Comes in black. My LBS ordered it for $75 (I think MSRP is ~$90). I was successful selling my old fork for $40, which you could try.

Gear Talk / Re: Disc Brakes conversions
« on: April 12, 2011, 12:34:14 am »
You could get a new fork and go disc only in the front. I've heard 70% of your braking power comes from the front brake (hopefully someone can confirm or give the exact figure).

They also sell conversion kits, example:

The conversion kits appear to be very well reviewed, except for the 1 out of 20 guy whose frame broke  :P

General Discussion / Re: Bike locks
« on: April 04, 2011, 10:55:52 pm »
Ah yes, the search button. I always seem to forget about that.

Indeed it depends. I am looking specifically in the context of 12+ day plus tours where a variety of situations are to be expected (including semi urban areas and touristy spots).

Thanks for your input, I was curious to see if there would be an overwhelming response of either horror stories or 'haven't had a problem yet' responses which may sway my opinion one way or the other. For the record, I typically use a medium gauge cable lock and leave the bike for extended periods during the day, but not overnight.

General Discussion / Bike locks
« on: April 04, 2011, 09:58:24 pm »
To what extent I lock my bike and secure my gear is an issue I struggle with when planning for a tour.

The bike is my ticket home, so on one hand I'm tempted to bring a heavy U lock with thick long cable for the wheels or to wrap around a tree. On the other hand, even if my bike is well protected, all the gear strapped on the bike can still be easily lifted (and would probably be more irritating to replace than the bike itself) which has me tempted to just go with a smaller cable lock.

I'm curious what other touring cyclist bring with them in terms of locks/cables and how that decision affects the extent everyone is willing to leave their bikes unattanded for short periods of time.

General Discussion / Re: I was asked a question today...
« on: March 18, 2011, 01:48:27 am »
Well, here are a couple of devices that make the problem a bit easier:

LOL @ the product title the "Sani Fresh Freshette"

In KS I "invented" the 'wait for downhill and no cars, unclip right cleat, place right foot on rack, lean forward and go' technique. The learning curve was short yet somewhat brutal. 

General Discussion / Re: Rack, Fenders, and front pannier
« on: March 16, 2011, 01:13:37 am »
Too wide is not really a concern in my opinion, except possibly from an aesthetic standpoint. I googled the brand and noticed they also sell a slightly less wider version intended for tires <35 mm wide if you wanted something a little skinnier.

General Discussion / Re: Rack, Fenders, and front pannier
« on: March 15, 2011, 10:14:15 pm »
I already own the rear Surly rack. I was looking at fenders and wondering if there are different sizes for the fenders. I will have 32s on my Surly LHT and am not sure what size fenders to get according to the sizes listed. Do fenders fit most all wheel/tire sizes?

The fenders will say on the packaging, or on the planet bike website what tires they will fit. The fenders should be the appropriate diameter (did your LHT come with 26" or 700c wheels?), and have the appropriate width (maybe around 10 mm wider than the tire at a minimum). I don't see freddy fenders on the planet bike site, but if you check the link for their "hardcore touring fenders" (for example), it will give you the proper info on what tires they will fit:

General Discussion / Re: Rack, Fenders, and front pannier
« on: March 15, 2011, 12:39:01 pm »
OMM Front Rack - Cool rack! Its intended design appears to be for bikes with no eyelets on the front fork. Is this the case with your bike? If so, then it looks like the best option I've seen. However, if you have no eyelets, how do you plan to mount the front fenders? If your fork does have eyelets, then I would say this fancy design is a tad pointless (in my humble opinion) and would consider some of the more standard designs that bolt onto the eyelets (like the tubus front racks, if you don't mind paying $100).

There aren't a lot of lowrider front racks out there. I generally prefer the design which has the bar coming over the wheel to connect the left and right sides, though it has been shown this is not 100% necessary. I was more than happy with the jandd lowrider ($60), simple and sturdy.

Fenders - Planet bike is fine. If you want to keep riders drafting you and your feet dry in wet conditions, a bigger mud flap comes in handy.

Front Panniers - Ortliebs are very nice. I also like waterproof. Problem with ortliebs is there just aren't a lot of compartments. If you go front and rear ortlieb (like I do) the only drawback is trying to compartmentalize everything and having to dig out the bag to find that last granola bar or allen wrench. Handlebar bag for common items (wallet, snacks, camera) is highly recommended in this case.

General Discussion / Re: Bike Troubles
« on: March 14, 2011, 01:52:27 pm »
***Never mind, I checked delta's policies and my original post's suggestion would not be practical.

General Discussion / Re: How can I find....
« on: February 27, 2011, 09:42:08 pm »
I helped start a running club this winter. We start and end at the bar, which seems to encourage attendance.  ;D

General Discussion / Re: Novice looking for basic advise
« on: February 24, 2011, 10:19:31 am »
Regarding hotel prices, I'm sure they vary quite significantly. My figure of $50 is from my experience only, and mostly reflect the prices found in rural farming communities of middle America from kentucky to eastern colorado, and in southern california [non pacific coast of course]). I was not on an ACA route in these areas. Anywhere else, the camping was so good it didn't even occur to me to check motel prices.

Regarding bears, bear attack DEATHS is a bit of a misleading figure. A bear isn't going to walk up to you and take your head off unless you're somewhere in alaska maybe. However, I maintain that it is not impossible for a bear to become aggressive and charge you. This could happen if it is surprised, if you go near its young, food is involved, etc. I imagine the chance goes up if it is post hibernating (when they are starving) or mating season. Keep in mind the park service essentially kills or transports out of a park every bear not mortally afraid of humans, so the number of bear encounters is very rare these days, especially if you're in a park. That said, I would agree not to worry about bears. There are other safety factors (crashes, cars, etc) that totally outweigh the possibility of bear attack.

General Discussion / Re: Novice looking for basic advise
« on: February 23, 2011, 04:00:18 pm »
If it makes no difference to you, I recommend riding east to west. Most people agree that the western landscapes (rocky mountains, desert, pacific coast) are the most attractive part of the journey and I feel this makes it a more satisfying finish. Going through nevada and southern utah can be very hot in the summer (as well as quite desolate). Consider starting/ending in the northwest USA.

Simply attaching a trailer to a bike works fine. I have never tried it, but speaking to those that have, they're only issues occurred when riding downhill fairly quickly.

In small towns hotels average ~$50 a night.

As far as climbs, the western roads are newer. They are lower grade (typically less than 10% usually) and have long uphills and downhills (as long as 20 miles). The east coast can have much higher grades (as high as ~15%) and tend to have a lot of up and down over the hills. Many find the appalachians more challenging than the rockies as a result. These are approximate, not exact figures.

Bear attacks are very rare but do occur. Keeping your food out of reach and away from your tent at night will keep you 99.999% safe, and keep your distance from a bear if you see one. Bear pray can protect you, and will also be useful against stray dogs (a more likely threat).

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