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Messages - BikeFreak

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Gear Talk / Re: Rear hubs - Phil Wood and Chris King
« on: July 30, 2022, 02:31:33 pm »
That is disheartening about the Phil hubs.

FWIW, my experience with cassette hubs that have LONG mileage on them has been all Shimano Deore XT, 105, and Ultegra with cup and cone bearings.  They seem to last pretty much forever if given a reasonable level of maintenance (repack bearings once in a great while and keep an eye infrequent on adjustment).  Given that, I've never been too tempted to upgrade to Phil Wood or White industries.

+20 years ago my hubs were Shimano cup and cones and I never really liked these hubs since I had to adjust them and adjusting itself was a pain. Needing two wrenches and make minute adjustments taking into account that the cup locking nut pressure would add to the axial play. With industrial bearings in Chris King, Hadley, White Industries, Hope, tune, Phil Wood, this is all history.

I guess I feared that I would have to adjust my Shimano hubs during a 5-10000 mi trip a number of times, bringing extra tools that are obsolete on the higher end hubs.

But if you have personal information proofing that modern Shimano hubs can do 10000 miles without bearing play adjustment, regreasing etc, I am open :-)


Gear Talk / Re: Rear hubs - Phil Wood and Chris King
« on: July 30, 2022, 10:23:14 am »
I want to give an update even though this thread is +10 years old:

My touring bike is fitted with Phil Wood hubs both front and rear. About 15 years ago or so I bought these hubs solely based on internet reviews: Although heavy and pricey they should be the best most bullet proof hubs out there. Install and forget. These hubs are fitted on a normal touring bike only doing paved roads. I weigh 150 lbs and total setup is perhaps 200 lbs.

After some 10-15000 miles, only in dry sunny weather, I started to experience some loud noises from my drivetrain system - like a loud bang or crush. It sounded as if my chain was slipping a tooth on my cassette. As if my dereailleur would get out of alignment for a second, move my chain to the next wheel for only a second and then falling back - making a crunching noise. However I never felt anything in the chain and when I was looking down, the derailleur was stable and not moving anywhere. But the loud noise was there. There was only 1 bang/crunch at a time, usually uphill and it would happen maybe 5x pr day.

I stopped touring for some years and approx 2 years ago I decided to disassemble the Phil Wood rear hub and inspect it. Initially everything looked OK, but then I found that the large spring giving tension to all 4 pawls was broken. And since this spring makes more than 1 revolution around the pawls, more like 1,5 revolution, the parts were kept together and no pieces had fallen out. But it was clear that the spring action was not the same on all 4 pawls anymore.

I contacted Phil Wood and wanted to buy a new spring. Answer: We do not supply this spring anymore. You have to buy an entirely new hub instead. I got pissed about this customer service and decided to have a spring fabricated locally based on the parts I had incl sourcing the right spring material, annealing it (to avoid damage) etc. The new "homemade" spring came out as an exact copy and 3 more were produced for future "problems". After installing the operation seemed OK again. I could bike again with no loud noises from the drivetrain systsem anymore.

With the new spring installed, I went on a 2000 mi bike trip. On this recent bike trip, the noises started to appear slowly again, and at the end I had heavy noises from the drivetrain maybe 20x pr hour, and climbing was not a requirement anymore. When I cam home, the hub as disassembled again: The spring was still OK, but 1 of the 4 pawls had considerable play. I started looking for other hubs on the internet comparing the different pawl systems. I now ordered a White Industries Mi5 hub and the Phil Wood will be discarded. I had hoped that this American made hub would last a lifetime, especially since I have not abused it at all. On the White Industries webpage I can buy all the spare parts incl springs and pawls if necessary - not so on the Phil Wood web page.

When I inspect the Phil Wood webpage, all their cassette rear hubs are sold out. Does anyone know why? To me it seems they are closing down that part of their business.


General Discussion / Re: Transamerica help - May 2022 start
« on: April 19, 2022, 02:32:30 pm »
When I did the Transam arriving in Dulles I could not accept going "backwards" in the wrong direction by public transport to reach Yorktown. I looked at the map and did not find the first few stretches very interesting, so I did something else:

I jumped on the bike right out of Dulles and headed to Front Royal. From Front Royal straight onto the idyllic Skyline Drive. At Rockfish Gap (Afton) the Skyline Drive joins the Transam route again. I admit that the stretch from Dulles to Front Royal was a bit boring but trafic was still low. I would it any day again.


Gear Talk / Re: Need STRONG 135mm hub for Surly long haul trucker.
« on: March 29, 2022, 05:49:22 pm »
I would suggest to look for wheelsets built for tandems. As I recall tandems often have 48 hole rims and very sturdy hubs. Try to google tandem manufacturers and see what the specs are. I think Phil Wood are making tandem hubs.


General Discussion / Re: Grizzlies in Yellowstone and Glacier
« on: March 26, 2022, 07:18:01 pm »
I do understand the problems with bears and have bicycled in the areas too.

My understanding is, that American outdoor culture often involves driving to a remote campground with a car, set up camp, fire up the barbecue and start frying some big chunks of meet, bacon, maybe some fish from the nearby river or lake. All that grease and meat will smell miles away, even for humans. Then in the evening they might dump the grease, the bones, fish remanings "somewhere" since there is no trash can. And go to sleep in their tents. I fully recognize this is a problem. I think the bear practices target especially those campers. Correct me if I'm wrong.

However, if you are a cyclist I believe no matter what, how much care you take, there will always be some odors. 6 hours earlier you might have spilled a drop of juice or soda on your pants, maybe you were at a family restaurant and a drop of grease came into contact with your pants unnoticed. For some reason a bread crumb entered your pocket. You ate a chocolate bar and put the wrap in your pocket where a tiny amount of chocolate came in contact with the pocket fabric before you could find a bin.

I get the feeling, the only way to prevent bear attacks is to run around naked all day long, shower in cold water with no soap and no shampoo to keep the up the "human odor", never eat and never brush teeth with tooth paste.


PS: If I had a bear in my camp at 3am in the morning I would not be able to sleep anymore.

General Discussion / Re: TransAm Stats?
« on: March 26, 2022, 06:07:01 am »
When I did the transam a few years back I was surprised at how lonely the route was. It should be the most popular route of all but I guess I met a total of maybe 10 groups (in both directions). By "groups" I mean anything from 1 person and up. At one point I catched up with the unsupported ACA group somewhere in western Colorado. They were 6 people or something like that. Of course it all depends on your daily average. The faster you travel the fewer riders you will meet.


General Discussion / Re: Camping along the Southern Tier
« on: March 26, 2022, 05:58:34 am »
If you dont have the Adventure Cycling Maps for the Southern Tier, I would buy them online and have them shipped somehow poste restante to the next post office ASAP. These maps are the best and the Adventure Cycling staff has researched everything. However, there are some "addendums" you need to look into since campsites are closed and opened after the map has been published.


In most European countries you can now travel again without being covid vaxxed. And most restrictions are lifted.

Does anyone know about some specific dates where a) USA and b) Canada will reconsider and allow for international travelers again who are not vaxxed?


Routes / Re: Maps for trans-Canada trip?
« on: August 16, 2020, 04:40:14 pm »
The greatest thing about Adventure Cycling maps is their detailed information on gas stations, grocery stores, campgrounds - even in the middle of nowhere - something that is very important when planning your trip. When I planned my trans Canada trip I spent a few weeks on Google Maps tracing all the necessary details onto a paper map.

I once met a guy who rode across USA only with his smartphone and an internet connection to google maps.

Food Talk / Recovery time when cycling across USA?
« on: August 15, 2020, 05:36:25 pm »

Does anyone have some in-depth knowledge/information on recovery principles when doing sports such as biking across USA?

The theory on recovery time states that the body needs to rest between each physical exercise otherwise strength cannot be built and the opposite happens - the body becomes weaker. Recovery time can have a duration from one nights sleep to several days.

Among touring cyclists an anticipated method is often to increase milage=strength=stamina during the trip day-by-day thus starting out as a weak cyclist and then become stronger and stronger. This is often used as an argument when biking across USA: Bike east-to-west - then you will have the rockies towards the end and you have built sufficient strength to fight them.

Now lets assume 2 cyclists, A and B:

Both plan on biking across USA as fast as possible however always observing their physical capabilities. None of them plan on rest days - they will both bicycle each and every day. It is not a race with a support van - still normal biking with a tent, sleeping bag etc.

A: Has done no long distance touring exercise on a bike previously and starts as a happy cyclist from day 1 and plans on building his strength as he is biking across USA.

B: Has done a lot of training approaching the departure date observing the recovery principle and thus building his strength prior to the departure date. One could say that he has a good head start compared to A.

B will have a higher milage from day 1 and will finish faster than A.

Will A over the course of the trip slowly build the same strength=stamina=milage as B towards the end and thus be as powerful after lets say 30-60 days of cycling? Or will he keep struggling with his strength=stamina=milage due to the fact that his body simply needs more recovery than just 1 nights sleep? Or even worse: Will his milage drop?


Gear Talk / Re: Tents Designed for Bike touring
« on: August 15, 2020, 04:08:02 pm »
When touring in the US, particularly in the upper states during summer, a free-standing tent is very important to me. Why? You will find many options a long the way where you can put up your tent on a covered concrete slab. This is gold when you are dealing with serious condensation problems due to dropping dew points on grass.

Gear Talk / Re: A must item
« on: August 15, 2020, 04:02:08 pm »
A folding cup for my oat meal in the morning.

General Discussion / Which non greasy sunscreen?
« on: August 13, 2020, 05:24:13 pm »

In 2012 I asked a similar question but recently I have been struggling again with finding a proper sunscreen. I am looking for a sunscreen that:

1. Leaves a non-greasy (dry) coating on the skin.
2. Does not leave a sticky feeling on the skin.
3. Will not leave residues on clothing (socks and t-shirt). A zinc rich sunscreen will typically leave white residues on socks and t-shirt sleeve ends. It looks horrible/dirty right away.
4. Comes in a rather large bottle (preferable 16 fl oz or in that size range).
5. Price of no importance.
6. Available in Walmart, Walgreens or similar.

Anyone with some good recommendations?


What camera did you use for taking the pictures - they look great and full of color. Did you process the pictures or just uploaded them?



This is regarding at least the Sonoran desert which is located in the Western Part of Arizona. I biked in that area before during summer time and will likely do it again this year. It is common knowledge that the Sahara desert (Africa) gets ice cold each night, but why does it never cool down in the Sonoran desert? Probably the same in the Mojave desert. It can easily stay at 90 to 95 degF during the night which is really annoying when camping out. Can anyone link to some scientific explanation? :-)


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