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Messages - DaveB

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General Discussion / Re: What cyclists see, and nobody else.
« on: August 08, 2021, 01:57:13 pm »
Lots of hand tools, usually wrenches.  I suspect that they fall out of recently fixed cars, where the mechanic failed to put all their tools away.

One thing that started to appear in quantity last year were masks.
+1. I've also found dozens of hand tools over the years, mostly wrenches (SAE and metric) as you note but three hammers, three Vise-Grips, half a dozen screwdrivers, two tape measures, side cutters, lineman pliers, needle nose pliers, two folding knives and a Leatherman-style multi tool.  Most are cheap tools but a couple were really good like a Snap On 18mm combination wrench.

I also expect they fell off of workman's trucks or out of cars.

The Bridge was closed to bicycles last year but I could find nothing just now to indicate the Michigan DOT is not ferrying bikes across now.
Michigan has a very active club and  might be where to look: for help.
DALMAC, the annual organized bike ride from E. Lansing, MI (the Michigan State Campus) to Mackinac City, used to offer one route that did cross the Mackinac Bridge but that was dropped a couple of years ago when MDOT closed the bridge to all bike riders.   There was one day around Labor Day weekend when the bridge was closed to all motorized traffic and open to pedestrian and bike use only but that has also been dropped.

Gear Talk / Re: Finding a Touring Bike 2021
« on: May 12, 2021, 09:59:04 am »
A Google search for "Surly Disc Trucker" showed it's available as a frame set in both 700c and 26" sizes from numerous sources in both the older (non-thru-axle) and current (thru-axle) format.  The current frame is only available in that rather garish "Pea Lime Soup" color so if you can get beyond the color, they are out there if you can build it up from the frame set.

I have "credit card" toured with a small group of friends.  For hotel/motel bills one guy paid for all of them, kept the receipts and billed the others for their share at the end.  We each wrote him a check and settled that way.  For meals we asked for separate checks and that avoided any cost disparities.   Fortunately no one in this group agonized over the exact penny.

General Discussion / Re: Tires for a 29" Fargo
« on: March 25, 2021, 09:08:22 am »
True. And I know that 29" is a bit of a marketing gimmick. That being said, when I hear about a bike with 29" wheels, I think about tires at least 1.75" wide or wider and a bike built around handling that particular width. While someone could slap some 28mm wide Marathons on a 29" wheel, I'm guessing that possibility is slim.
Yes, "29" wheels are typically built using wider rims than 700c road wheel but bike rims are pretty tolerant of tire width.  Years ago I "roadified" an old Trek 7000 mountain bike with drop bars and STI shifters but kept the factory 26" (ISO 559) wheels.  The OEM tires were 2.0" (559-50) semi-knobbies and I replaced them with 1.125" (559-32) road tires which fit and handled fine.

General Discussion / Re: Tires for a 29" Fargo
« on: March 23, 2021, 07:39:44 pm »
You guys do know that 29" is the same as 700c right?  So any 700c touring tire will work fine.

General Discussion / Re: Just bought my first bike
« on: March 21, 2021, 09:38:53 am »
You are starting out with a bike pretty near the top of the cycling sophistication spectrum.  As noted this is a "race/performance" bike, not a tourer or casual rail-trail bike.  BTW, if the frame is badly mis-sized, there is pretty much nothing you can do to fix it and a different bike will be needed.  I hope you picked the right one since apparently you didn't try it before the purchase.
Also, depending on how hilly your location is and how fit you currently are, the gearing may not be low enough for you.   

I make a few recommendations:

1. If you have a knowledgeable friend or a local bike club member or a good local bike shop have them go over the bike with you be sure the size is close to right and to adjust the saddle height, bar position etc to fit.  As noted above a professional fitting would be ideal but costly.  Also, your best position will change as you ride more and adapt to the riding position. 

2. Learn elementary mechanical skills.  At least learn how to fix a roadside flat tire, do minor shifting and brake adjustments, chain lubrication, etc.  A book covering modern bike care and feeding would be a worthwhile purchase and YouTube has a bunch of good (and not so good) tutorials on the subject.

3.  Get a good floor pump and plan to use it before every ride or every two days if you ride a lot.  Narrow, high pressure bike tires lose air a lot faster than auto tires or wide low pressure bike tire and have to be topped up frequently. 

4. Enjoy the bike and ride it a lot!

General Discussion / Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« on: February 27, 2021, 10:04:33 am »
I've heard from one of the crime noir authors I know, that a sure way to draw critiicism to your work is to make a mistake about guns or gun fights.

If you've been writing for a while, you probably have some expert consultants you can use. If not,  you might hit up a trainer in your region and perhaps a well-trained cyclist who carries a weapon.  Most of these folks will usually consult for the cost of a dinner and proof your fight scenes for you.
+100.  So many authors that try to include firearms use or descriptions make egregious technical errors and get pounced on by knowledgeable readers.  Those errors do a lot of damage to the credibility of everything else you have written so be sure to get really expert help if you go this way. 

General Discussion / Re: Low profile rugged touring tires
« on: February 16, 2021, 10:13:01 am »
Road bikes, particularly those a few years older, often have tight tire clearances and won't clear anything bigger than 700-23 or, at best 700-25.  What size are your current Marathons?  You apparently need a smaller tire or a different bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff SpeedHub
« on: January 24, 2021, 01:22:44 pm »
  I can, if so desired, put a sprocket on back that gets my gear inches down to 13 (low) and 73 (high) or I can put in a sprocket that changes my gear inches from a low of 22 to a high of 117.
Rohloff (and other IGH makers) has a minimum chainring/cog ratio that you shouldn't go below to avoid exceeding the hub's torque limit.  The minimum primary ratio Rohloff recommends iis 1.9:1 (2.5:1 for heavy riders and Tandems) and given the hubs low gear of 0.279 that gives a low gear of 14.3 gear-inches so your 13 gear inches is a bit lower than Rohloff likes even if you are light and your touring load modest. 

Gear Talk / Re: Bottle Cage Allen screw Size
« on: December 31, 2020, 10:35:31 am »
We've strayed into that dangerous lubricant territory.  I buy cartridges of Chevron SRI grease for all bike-greasing.  It is a high quality poly-urea based grease, which is fairly water tolerant.  FWIW, it looks just like Phil Wood grease.
Yeah, grease preference threads can get very contentious and, really, for no reason.   Bicycle bearing service is very undemanding compared to many automotive and industrial uses so almost any decent grease is perfectly satisfactory. 

I've been using Phil Grease since the '80's and it's been very good but many other "bike specific" and "general purpose" greases would be just as good.  Phil in the 3-oz tubes is absurdly expensive per ounce but I buy it in 640 gm (22.5-oz) tubs which makes the cost reasonable and it lasts for years.  I refill a 4 oz Dualco grease gun from the tub and dispense it from there.  That keeps the bulk grease clean and meters it accurately with little waste.

General Discussion / Re: Newbie bicycle tourists, Don't get fooled.
« on: December 23, 2020, 10:38:39 am »
DaveB - you say that - to get a more friendly rider position you need to replace the bars for drop bars. I disagree with that. There are very comfy MTB bars that function very well for touring.
No, I didn't say that, the OP (Westinghouse) mentioned changing from flat bars to drop bars as a low cost way to make an MTB more suitable for  touring.   

I agree that many riders are fine with flat bars for road and touring use.  I'm not one of them having ridden a flat bar bike enough to realize I don't like them but many do.

General Discussion / Re: Newbie bicycle tourists, Don't get fooled.
« on: December 20, 2020, 09:03:26 am »
You want reliability.
Comfort is indeed important but reliability is at least equally important and that's what disqualifies most Big Box and Department store bikes.  I recall reading an interview with the President of one of the big box bike brands like Huffy who said the average LIFETIME expected distance for one of their bikes is about 75 miles.  That doesn't make for a lot of confidence as a touring bike.     

To keep the cost down a used, good condition MTB or road bike by a big name bike shop brand like Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Fuji, etc is a great starting point.  Routing checking of your local Craigslist should eventually turn up something suitable and some judicious modifications can make it a very suitable touring bike without great expense.  Ideally a used touring bike would be the best starting point but there are few and far between.

Gear Talk / Re: Better components?
« on: December 19, 2020, 01:09:05 pm »
How's that saying go?  Marry the frame, date the parts?
Ever tied explaining that approach to your wife?   ;D

General Discussion / Re: Newbie bicycle tourists, Don't get fooled.
« on: December 19, 2020, 10:49:21 am »
One comment on your OP, item #2.  Converting an MTB to a more tour-friendly rider position requires much more than just switching handlebars and cable lengths.  To fit drop bars to an MTB also requires new brake levers and shifters and probably a new stem.  Replacing the knobby tires with more roadworthy tires is also a highly recommended change. 

This is quite possible and several years ago I "roadified" an old rigid fork, hardtail Trek MTB doing what I mentioned above and it was relatively cheap since I had the needed extra components in my parts boxes as take-offs from other bikes but it would not have been particularly cheap if I had to buy new parts.

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