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Messages - tgpelz

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Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 21, 2008, 03:06:17 pm »
Considering my total weight, plus my bike and my panniers, my 10 liter MSR water bag and my 120 0unces of water bottles that I carry, the weight of my fuel and my stove is minor.

I have the MSR whisperlite.  Before a trip, I fill the bottle for the stove and make sure that my spare is filled.  This I have never ran out ... yet.   I must admit that I usually am on 5 day trips, not a month long trip.

I admit that the majority of my meals are purchased.  However, my wife and I like the freeze dried food and Ramen noodles at least once a day.

Thus, I use the stove only about once a day.  

Gear Talk / MTB tires
« on: August 30, 2008, 11:57:11 pm »
I use schwalbe tires.

I also use a slime filled inner tube


a liner between the tube and the tire.

I also carry at least one extra inner tube and four or five patches.    Hate flats when I am riding.

Gear Talk / MTB for touring
« on: June 13, 2008, 09:22:20 am »

With size 12, you will not be limited.   I ordered five pairs of shoes from Bike Nashbar, with the understanding that I would be able to send back what I did not like.

I wanted something with regular soles that fit well.  The SIDI were the only ones that fit well.

So, I keep a pair of walking shoes readily available in my panniers, so when I am forced to walk up long hills, it is more comfortable.  Note, my vanity dose not force me to push me beyond my limits.  Each year, after I start riding, the better I am able to climb.   Still, when I am biking up a hill at 2.8 MPH and know that I can walk the bike up the same hill at 3.3 MPH, it makes more sense to push.

Regarding toe clips. I have tried them and did not like them.  My wife love them.   Try riding with toe clips and see.    

The biggest reason for the clips is the extra help you get by lifting up with your feet when you peddle.


Gear Talk / MTB for touring
« on: June 12, 2008, 09:38:02 am »
Regarding clipless pedals.

I use SIDI mountain bike shoes and clips, not the road/racing bike shoes.

I would (and have looked for) something more practical than the SIDI, but with size 15 feet, they are the only ones that fit me.

I like to be able to get off the bike and walk about without having to walk weird because of the attachment devices on the shoes.

On my recumbent, I have pedals which permit me to use the clips or regular shoes.

One more thing!    Don't forget to unclip BEFORE you stop.   Not only does it break things on your bike, but your wife gets a good laugh watching you make like Artie Johnson of "Laugh In"


Gear Talk / MTB for touring
« on: June 11, 2008, 08:04:53 pm »
I would suggest a mountain bike frame with:

a: front shock easier on the hands, arms, shoulders

b: seat post with shock absorber

c: comfortable seat (Wife and I use the Easy seat)

d: Front Disk Brake.  I don't care about the rear, I only want a disk on the front because it gets really hot on long down hill rides, and you don't want the rim to get overheated.  If you can get both front and rear disks great.

Do not get hydraulic disks.   I use a velcro type of device (looks a lot like a pant wrap to keep your pant leg out the the chain) as a front brake.   It keeps the bike upright when it is parked.  (A hydraulic will leak when used as a perking brake.  That is why your car's parking brake is mechanical)

e: Front chain ring 46/36/26.  Rear gear cluster, 9 speed 11-33.

f: SRAM shifters, derailers.  

g: Bike Planet wireless speedometer with built in theromenter.

h: Old Man mountain rear pannier rack

i: a good low rider front rack

j: large panniers front and rear (I use Arkels)

k: digital Camera

L:  ROAD Tire, not knobbies.   I prefer the Schwalbe brand with slime filled inner tubes.

M:  I insist on good rims, good quality hubs, thick spokes AND loktite on each of the nipples (if the dealer is making the wheels himself.

I could go on and on, but you were asking about the bike.

Now, if you have a good frame, you can add all of that to your old frame, IF you are inclined to be mechanical.

OR, if you are not inclined, go out and by something new with the above already installed.

DO NOT BUY the cheapest.  Get a good bike with above average components.   You do not need the "best" components, only the middle of the line stuff or better.  Honestly the good stuff really works better than the cheap stuff.

Negotiate with the bike dealer.  He/she can work with you to get you what you want.  IF he/she won't, go somewhere else.   When I said, work with the bike dealer, I did not mean dicker for price.  I meant demand quality components, comfortable seat, and a properly fitting bike.


« on: June 03, 2008, 12:59:45 am »
since you are on the Adventure cycle website, you might call them and have them send you a copy of their annual touring bike issue.

If you get a lot of grief from the bike shops, then consider the following:

Jamis Aurora:  Trek, Cannondale,  Bike Friday.

The real question is:  How much do you weigh?   If you are as big as I am, consider a mountain frame with street tires, a more upright position (obtained by changing out the handle bars, etc.

Bike Friday can solve your problem also.  I have one of their bikes and love it.

You can even use the suit case it comes in as a travel trailer, with wheels.

Then there are CoMotion, and other high priced bike shops.

Have fun sorting out what you want.


Gear Talk / Need Gear Advise for a Randonee
« on: May 27, 2008, 11:27:37 pm »
I have the Arkel bags, front and rear.  The GT54 in the rear and the GT28 in the front.   I could not ask for a better set of bags. Well designed, well thought out and work great.

I had worn out four Cannondale bags before I bought the Arkels.   I am impressed with the workmanship.

My sister has Ortlieb.   She likes them.  I like the Arkels because I like lots of pockets to put things in.  

Make sure you get the rain covers.  

I have the big handle bar bag. I like it.  

I carry a lot of stuff when I tour.  Books, food, clothing, towels, cook stove, fuel, etc.   I also carry a water purifier and a 10L MSR water bag, plus four water bottles.   I like the place for my rolled up air mattress.  

There is even a removable kit for first aide and another for your bathing stuff.  

I do not think you will be unhappy with the Arkels.

Oh, I have had no problem connecting them to my racks.    I did buy some the of old man mountain racks because they permit the rear panniers to be slightly further back and out of the way of my big feet.  That is one of the ways I wore out my Cannondale bags.


This message was edited by tgpelz on 5-27-08 @ 7:39 PM

Gear Talk / Getting lower gearing
« on: May 30, 2008, 09:38:59 am »
I am not sure how many others got started with bike touring.

I did not begin with a long trip.  I began with multiple short trips of two or three days biking (plus the time to get to and from the trip starting point).

As I rode, I also began to determine what stuff I needed to carry along to meet my needs.

Now, before any trip, I open up one of my panniers, remove the moth balls, placed there to keep the mice out, remove the check list I have and then  gather the stuff I need and set off.

After a trip, I clean and repack my panniers.  

I also keep a log of most of my trips.   The log included things I think I should add to the stuff I carry, but might need on another trip.  

For example, I carry a small container of LokTite.  That stuff helps prevent screws from coming undone.  It  is a very small bottle and fits in one of the  pockets of my Arkels.  The times I have used it have been worth time trouble to carry it.

Same goes for my water filter system, my 10L MSR water bag, my roll of black electrical tape, etc.

Back to the point.  Begin with short trips, of a couple of days and then grow into the fun and pleasure of bike touring.

Another point.  Having my wife (or daughter) with me has been an asset.  People are more willing to talk / help a couple than they are a single male.    

Still, people are very friendly to most of us on bikes and will often let us camp in their front or back yards.



Gear Talk / Getting lower gearing
« on: May 27, 2008, 11:38:24 pm »
Regarding daily touring distances.

My goal is the trip.  For example, I will ride any distance and if I find something interesting, I will spend a long time exploring the location.   One time I only rode 10 miles in one day.

Well, there was another time I only rode 5.4 miles, but that was a long uphill climb out of an 8000 foot MSL elevation Colorado town.  The climb ended at 10,500 feet.   Not a good day for a low lander from Wisconsin.

On the other hand, if I don't find something interesting, I will keep riding until it approached dusk, then, I find a place to pitch my tent.

The I have both Arkel Panniers and a Bob trailer.   I put my camera equipment in the trailer, or attach it to my wife's bike, and make her haul some of the stuff we carry (we each take roll up chair  and I carry a roll up table)


Gear Talk / BOB & Rear Suspension?
« on: June 03, 2008, 12:15:34 am »
I  have a regular mountain bike with front shocks and a seat post shock.

I have had not a bit of problem with the seat posts shock.     The problem is finding one at a reasonable price.

I recently found one in the Nashbar website for about 40 dollars.  

That worked better than a full suspension bike.   I have one on my wife's bike also.  She loves it.


Gear Talk / Need a HEAVY duty wheel.
« on: June 03, 2008, 12:25:04 am »
You should be able to have a good wheel built for less than 300 dollars.

Just us larger spokes.  

Tell the builder that you will be using the wheel for loaded touring!

This message was edited by tgpelz on 6-2-08 @ 8:27 PM

Gear Talk / Need a HEAVY duty wheel.
« on: June 03, 2008, 12:23:31 am »
I can relate to your problem.   I am 6'3" and weigh about 270 pounds.

I found that heavy duty spokes and a good rim are all I need.

I also insist that the builder use LokTite on the spokes so they don't loosen.

Did I forget to tell you that when I tour loaded, my bike weight is about 180 pounds with front and rear
Arkels, and a full ten Liter MSR water bag.

I also carry a fold up table and chair, in addition to tent, sleeping bag, stove, food, etc.

My last wheels were built by a local (SW Wisconsin) bike shop, with the loktite.  I have not had a problem in the last five years.

Since then I have ridden in Norway, for 10 days as well as Wisconsin.

Usually, I wear out rims, not break spokes.  


Gear Talk / Both panniers AND trailer at the same time?
« on: June 03, 2008, 12:32:18 am »
I normally tour with front and rear panniers.

I have also used a BOB in addition to the panniers when I want to take along some camera equipment.

When my wife rides with me, she is not heavily loaded.  That is, she carries about 40 pounds of stuff in her panniers.  We load bulky stuff in the BOB and then attach it to her bike (we have BOB Nutz on both bikes).  

My wife hardly knows that she is pulling the BOB.

Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: June 03, 2008, 12:38:23 am »
I have NOT had a sore butt in the past 18 years.  

I use the EASY Seat (or Eazy Seat).  Google it.

My wife's butt also likes the easy seat.   She will not ride on anything else (other than a recumbent).

OH, that is another thought.   Get a Linear recumbent.  I have one of them.  I love it.  Hills are a bit more difficult, but I like my recumbent.

The only problem with the recumbent is carrying front and rear panniers is not going to happen.   So, for my loaded touring trips, I am on a standard bike with the easy seat.


Gear Talk / Folding Bikes on Airplanes
« on: June 03, 2008, 12:50:57 am »
I have a Bike Friday.  It will fit into a suit case, but you have to take things apart, more than just folding it up.

If you have problem with taking things apart, (really it is a bigger problem putting it back together) you could have a bike shop do the work.

With the Friday, the entire bike and wheels (bike and trailer.  The suit case becomes a trailer with attaches to the bike easily) fit into the suit case.  You have to put your panniers in a separate bag.

If you fly yourself, take the rear seats out of the airplane, remove the wheels, wrap an old towel around the chain, sprockets, etc., remove the seat, disconnect the brake and gear shifting cables from the top tube and then rotate the handle bars 180 degrees.

Then place the bike into the airplane upside down, with the handle bars in the back.

Works perfect for me.


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