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Messages - stiker

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Gear Talk / Re: Outfitting a Trek 7.5 FX for a full summer tour
« on: November 05, 2012, 09:34:12 pm »
A local bike shop could make the changes in your gearing.  It would be extremely expensive because bike shops charge MSRP plus 20-30% or more.  To get lower gearing you have to stay with a double crankset.  Your current shifters are for a double crankset.  Going to a triple crankset means you would also have to change the front shifter.  Expensive.  If you look at my post above you will see links to Shimano double cranksets with very low gearing.  You could buy these mail order and pay a local shop to install them.  Probably the lowest cost way to do it because the local bike shop will charge an outrageous amount for the parts and then much more to install them.

Currently you have a low gear of about 27 gear inches.  34x34 low gear.  If you packed ultra light you might might might be able to make it over the mountains with this low gear.  Might not.  You would have to pack ultra ultra light.  You really need lower gears to do any loaded tour.  Even packing ultra light you need low gears near 20 gear inches.  Your problem is you don't know anything about bicycle touring.  To pack ultra light or try to climb the mountains with not low enough gearing, you need experience.  Your first attempt should be with extra low gearing.  Second or thrid attempt you will know if your gearing is low enough and know how to pack light.  Your first attempt won't be light.

BoB trailers are kind of heavy all by themselves.  You can't really pack light if you start with a heavy BoB trailer.  You need low low gearing to pull a heavy BoB trailer.

I think that website might be down atm because i cant click those links. I will try again later but just to clarify would something like a mountain bike have a lower gear inches?

Gear Talk / Re: Outfitting a Trek 7.5 FX for a full summer tour
« on: October 28, 2012, 03:09:04 pm »
I would be getting a handlebar bag too, any suggestions on that?
Sorry to keep asking but i really dont know where i would find something comparing things like this.

Gear Talk / Re: Outfitting a Trek 7.5 FX for a full summer tour
« on: October 28, 2012, 03:07:08 pm »
But, there are far better choices and if the OP is going to spend enough to try to make a true turing bike out of his Trek, the money would be better spent elsewhere.

I agree that I'd not recommend spending a bundle on modifying it.  If he wants to use it with minimal or no modification fine.  So yeah, if he really wants or needs a "real touring bike" it would be better to just buy one.

I do think that not everyone does want or need a "real touring bike" even for transcontinental trips.  I know that I personally have gotten to the point where my touring bike just hangs on a hook in the basement.  I travel light enough these days that it just doesn't seem like the right tool for the job any more and that is with camping and cooking capability.  If someone wasn't camping or cooking it would be pretty easy to make their load light enough to where I would not want/need a touring bike.

I think I started thinking the touring bike was overkill at about 20 pounds of gear weight.  That should be an easy goal for a credit card tourist and not all that difficult a one even for camping and cooking. Going really minimal I find I can camp and cook with a sub 10 pound base gear weight, so 20 isn't crazy light by a long shot.

Note that I am not saying that this should be everyone's approach, but it certainly is an option.  I should also note that it isn't necessarily all that expensive to travel light.  Getting to below 20 pounds can be done with about $300 in gear expenditures assuming the rider has a bike, rear rack, and clothing already, but was otherwise starting from scratch.

I also know folks, even some who travel very heavily loaded, who prefer a road bike and a trailer.  I rode the Southern Tier with a guy who carried what seemed like a ton of stuff in a BoB towed by a carbon fiber road bike with low spoke count wheels and higher gearing than the OP's bike.

Hmmm, I got kind of long winded there, sorry :)

That is what im going for. So far I know i need the BOB trailer some minor things like new petals with toe hooks, rear view mirror, ext. Im not as knowledgeable about  the gears as i would like to be and i dont really understand the doubles vs triple gear set. Is that something i would be able to bring into a local bike shop and have them do?
Also i am going to be camping. Is their a forum with lightweight camping supply suggestions?

Routes / Re: Best route from SC to Cali?
« on: October 24, 2012, 05:17:53 pm »
Check out the Howto section off the main Adventure Cycling magazine page for some introductory information on what to take, training, etc.  Then come back here with specific questions.

Your route question is an interesting one.  I'd suggest you head north to Virginia to start on the TransAmerica trail, possibly connecting with the Western Express.  AC has done a good job of laying out a route, and locating places to stay, services, and points of interest.  Maps are well worth the price.  It's a good way to take your first tour; later, if you wish, you can strike out on your own route.

Alternately, I'd suggest you cut northwest to pick up the TransAm somewhere in Virginia or Kentucky.  You'll cross some of the highest mountains east of the Mississippi on this route, where roads over the ridges tend to be sparse, and therefore relatively highly trafficed.  (Another good reason to take the TransAm, at the risk of seeming repetitive!)

The TransAm to Western Express looks great to me because it ends right in San Fransisco. I would probably have to ride up to Damascus, VA or Berea, KY to hop on the TransAm. The Western Express + TransAm East package looks like it will cover most me most of the time. Are there maps that would cover my route from SC to KY or VA? If not are there any ideas on how to plan that on my own?

Gear Talk / Re: Outfitting a Trek 7.5 FX for a full summer tour
« on: October 24, 2012, 04:57:59 pm »
Assuming your bike has the same specs as those on Trek's current web site you will need:

1. Lower and better gearing.  It comes with a compact 50/34 crank and an 11x34 9-speed cassette.  That gives a barely low enough low gear (27") for loaded touring by a strong rider and an absurdly high top gear(122").  A triple crank with a 22 or 24T granny ring and a 44 or 46T big ring would be a lot more useful. 

2. The wheels are also suspect for loaded touring having only 24 spokes.  Usually the minimum recommended spoke count is 32 and 36 is even better.

3. The pedals should be replaced with those that, at a minimum, take toe clips and straps.  MTB-type clipless pedals and matching shoes would be far preferred.

4.  Obviously you need racks. Rear only if you are going lightly loaded (credit card touring) or front and rear if you are carrying a heavy, full camping and cooking load. 

5. Panniers to match the racks and your luggage volume.

5A.  A travel trailer such as the BOB can be substituted for 4 and 5 above. There are partisans on both sides of which is better.

6. Other minor items include a frame or mini-pump, additional water bottle cages and/or a hydration pack, multitool for on-road repairs, extra tubes and patch kit, etc.     

Frankly, given the deficiencies of that bike for what you plan to do, buying a more suitable true touring bike might be more cost effective and satisfactory.
The gears would really be that big of an issue? Im planning on getting a trailer rather then panniers. I was planning on camping and cooking my own food a lot. Since the weight would be behind the bike instead of on it would the spokes be as big of an issue?

Gear Talk / Outfitting a Trek 7.5 FX for a full summer tour
« on: October 23, 2012, 06:04:55 pm »
I made a post in the routes section, but i also wanted to ask in here specifically about gear. I plan to bike from South Carolina to California this summer. I have a Trek 7.5 FX with nothing but a water bottle mount and bike lock. I would like some help or ideas about gear i should get for my trip. I want to start buying it early. Any help is appreciated!

Routes / Best route from SC to Cali?
« on: October 23, 2012, 05:51:42 pm »
I plan on riding west from Anderson, South Carolina to California. I dont have an exact city in California but San Fransisco is the general idea. I have a Trek 7.5 FX. I am wondering what the best route would be to ride during the summer. I have 3 months before I have to be back at school. Any help on this question, advice about gear to buy, and what maps to get, will be greatly appreciated!

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