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Messages - bikemig

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Gear Talk / Re: Trekking bars vs Jones H bar
« on: February 16, 2017, 07:50:16 pm »
A trekking bar is a heck of a lot cheaper than a Jones H bar. Trekking bars are popular in Europe. I've used one and I like it. I can't compare it to the Jones H bar though; those things are too pricey for me to just try them out.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520
« on: February 05, 2017, 03:45:01 pm »
When I went from a new Fuji touring bike to a Trek 520, my local bike shop, who did not sell me either, said the 520 was better "in every way". Why I would not go that far, I would say, based on my experience, spend the few extra hundred dollars,  buy the Trek.

I've wrenched on my share of bikes over the years and I've examined both bikes pretty closely both online and in person.

A 2017 Trek 520 runs $1360; a 2017 Fuji touring runs $719. That's a whole lot of coin. The Trek has disc brakes which is an advantage. Otherwise the two bikes have a chrome moly frame, deore cranks, deore hubs, deore rear derailleurs, and bar end shifters. The fuji comes stock with vittoria randonneur 700 x 32c tires (pretty nice tires). I have a tough time seeing $600 worth of difference.

Don't get me wrong. I understand why you or the OP might prefer the Trek; it's a famous touring bike. I'm just saying that the Fuji is very comparably spec'd (other than primarily the disc brakes) and costs $600 less.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520
« on: February 05, 2017, 01:00:03 pm »
The Trek 520 is a classic touring bike for good reason. If looking to save some money, it's tough to beat the Fuji touring (the '016 and '017) model. It's nicely spec'd and very reasonably priced.

I've used all three systems and like them all. Lately I've been using double sided pedals (clipless/platform). I'm not sure this has a "right" answer but there is trial and error in figuring out what works for you.

General Discussion / Re: THE NORTHERN TIER
« on: January 26, 2017, 07:10:05 pm »
Bears were occasionally an issue and not just in Glacier. I'd keep food out of the tent and tied up in a tree in bear habitat (if there's a bear box use it). Other than that, it's just like touring pretty much anywhere else. The maps are first rate plus you're likely to be connected to the Net as well so you'll have plenty of info to go on.

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra light sleeping bag, tent and pad?
« on: January 16, 2017, 05:35:52 pm »
I wouldn't just focus on weight since you want stuff which is durable and which fits your needs.

Around 2 years ago, I bought a Marmot atom sleeping bag which is a pretty standard light weight down 3 season bag. I like the bag a lot but if I were looking today for a light weight sleeping system, I'd take a long hard look at a quilt system rather than a sleeping bar. I used one last summer for the first time and loved it. I can't recommend what I bought since it's really only a summer quilt and you're better off with a 3 season one.

For a tent, there are a number of reasonable weight double wall tents. I'm looking to get a new one and I'm leaning towards the MSR bubba nx 1. It's not the lightest tent out there but the weight is reasonable and, by all accounts, it is a sturdy tent. I like the size as well. It also has a usable vestibule which I like.

Routes / Re: Another way to cope with dogs
« on: January 16, 2017, 09:57:48 am »
I grew up in the South. There's no doubt that the dog issue was tough in rural Louisiana. I have yet to have an issue on gravel roads in Iowa.

But it's no easy thing to reroute the Trans Am; that is such a famous and iconic ride.

Gear Talk / Re: Camp Stove
« on: January 15, 2017, 10:25:40 am »
What works best for a camp stove for self contained touring with mostly camping? I currently have an old Wisperlite (gas only) purchased '92 that still works and have used on local overnight trips. My concern is finding small quantities of fuel while on longer trips (cross-country).

I'm was thinking a Wisperlite International as it can burn just about anything but I'm always worried about leaks.
With all these canister type stoves out now I'm wondering if they might be better as I wouldn't have to worry about packing liquid fuel.

I also don't want to pack any more weight then necessary and gas is heavy. Nor do I want to spend a lot of time and energy riding around an unknown city looking for fuel.

Any suggestions / recommendations?

I'd recommend a Primus Omnifuel, runs on anything. I run mine in Petrol most of the time, which is available anywhere in the world.

It isn't cheap, but mines over 12 years old now and certainly had my money's worth.

Also boils a kettle in no time, ideal for making a coffee anywhere, especially when touring in France and you've just bought a load of pain au chocolat..

I would not think a Primus would be a big improvement ove a Whisperlite.
Am I missing something?

This thread got me to do some reading on the two stoves. Here is a very good review of the two and their respective pros and cons:

I read up on the tent; it looks like a really interesting tent but that is one place where you could save some weight.

If you're having trouble sleeping, I'd focus on the mattress. This is one place where a thicker mattress helps and you may not want to go lightweight. If you can't sleep well at night, then focus on a mattress that lets you do that. I use a REI camp bed 3.5 for car camping. It's awesome. I wouldn't take it bike touring as it does not pack down well and its heavy. Still you may not have a choice.

I'd check out the neoair dream,

I ended up buying the REI 3.5 because it was cheaper but the neoair dream is a heck of a mattress as well and it packs up smaller than the REI campbed.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight touring bike?
« on: January 09, 2017, 10:36:14 pm »
Once you get into 20 pounds or less on a bike, the bike is likely to come with short reach brakes. At that point, you likely top out at 25c on a tire. I wouldn't want that narrow a tire on a bike I ride all day. I'd want at least a 28c and that means you likely need a bike that takes long reach brakes (assuming you're running calipers).

I'd be concerned about 2 factors more than weight--gearing and the size of tire that will fit on the bike. You can change the gearing but the frame geometry dictates how large a tire you can fit.

For example, take a look as the Soma ES frame.

It takes a long reach brake and has eyelets (so you can run a rack if you like) and will fit a 28c tire. You can run a carbon fork up front (or steel). The point is that the bike has a geometry somewhere between a full out racing bike and a touring bike. You may find that a bike with that kind of geometry is ideal for the kind of lightweight touring you are doing.

Gear Talk / Re: Camp Stove
« on: January 06, 2017, 10:42:48 am »
I've always used a trangia with meths in a sigg bottle in a spare cage. Any diy store has meths and a bottle lasts me a camping week.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Trangia is awesome. Not the lightest but it's righteously light. It deals well with wind (it was designed to work in Scandinavia) and, unlike some other alcohol stoves, you can cook on it with the simmer ring (not just boil water). If all you want to do is boil water and keep it as light as possible, check out trail design caldera stoves.

Adventures in stoving blogspot is a good place to read about stoves,

Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: January 06, 2017, 10:38:00 am »
Bike flights has pretty good prices.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier vs. TransAm
« on: January 02, 2017, 12:48:15 pm »
Timing is everything. If going W to E, I'm not sure I'd want to be on the road in July and Aug in the middle part of the US. I'm not a fan of the heat. When I did my cross country, I ended up doing the northern tier to stay as far north as possible (I even cut through the Michigan Upper Peninsula and went into Canada before dropping back into the US in upstate NY to stay as far north as possible).

Like a lot of nashbar bikes, that's a lot of bike for the money esp. if you get it on a sale. From the pics on Nasbhar's site, there doesn't appear to be a lot of clearance for fenders though. Still all in all, it looks like it could be a fine touring bike (esp. for bikepacking as someone else suggested) other than the crank. A 50/34 compact crank with an 11-30 9 speed cassette on the back would not be my ideal choice for a touring bike. A lot depends on age and condition as well so this might work for you.

If not, I'd look around for a 46/30 crank like this offering from FSA, the FSA tempo adventure. Plus you could go larger in the back but the Sora RD may not be able to handle a much larger cassette (check the capacity). Plus if you change out too much stuff, this can get expensive fast.

By the way, I like the name of your bike (the Dawn Treader since I'm a CS Lewis fan as well).

For fenders, nashbar sells planet bike and SKS. Both are very good but the SKS is a bit better quality and a little fiddlier to set up.

You really can't go wrong with most of showers pass stuff; the company makes fine rain gear.

For a down jacket, a lot of companies make pretty minimalist lightweight down jackets. I'm a big fan of outdoor research products and I really like their transcendent down jacket. Frankly you might get more use out of a down vest than a jacket. I find vests add a lot of warmth and are very good for layering with as well.

For a sleeping pad, I find that the volume of air really matters. I really like the rei flash air pad. If weight/packability doesn't matter, get something with even more volume. The REI 3.5 inch camp bed is hands down the most comfortable sleeping pad I've ever used. That thing is massive. I use it for camping and supported touring.

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