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Messages - CastAStone

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General Discussion / Re: Long Term Parking in Buffalo Area?
« on: August 01, 2010, 12:47:40 am »
Cool, I also went to that school, under its new name, Williamsville South High School; In fact I biked there almost every day (luckily, I lived at the top of the Onondaga Escarpment, near Garrison Park. I wouldn't have wanted to bike there from Hunters Lane).

I don't imagine they existed in your days there, but I spent my teens (late 90s) biking a series of paths that run from Maple and North Forest up to North Tonawanda, then down to the Grand Island Bridges - A nice 15 mile jog each way. I think the steepest grade is about 1%.

Go Billies!

Gear Talk / Re: Lower gearing: change cassette, chainrings or both?
« on: July 31, 2010, 10:54:43 am »
Three things just a little off here:

The actual curvature of the derailer itself is different between a road FD and a MTB FD. A road FD is much flatter than a mountain one. So shifting performance is inevitably affected, although its much more noticeable if you put a MTB FD on a road bike (good luck getting into a 53 with a MTB FD).

However, an Altus IS an MTB FD. Not sure where bri got his info, but its incorrect. Its actually designed SPECIFICALLY for a 44 as its ideal large chainring, 48 as its max.

But that doesn't even matter, because the 2008 TCR3 shipped with an R443 FD, which is the rough equivalent of a Tiagra FD; its designed for Shimano's flat bar road bikes system, with 53 teeth as its ideal. Shimano's tech docs recommend a gap of at least 10 teeth between high and middle gear, and a gap of no more than 22 teeth between high and low gear. I suggest you follow those standards.

So my conclusion is that if you regear, you may or may not find you need a new FD, but if you're having trouble shifting, something like the SRAM x.7 is only $30 and is incredibly powerful. Seriously, the higher-end SRAMs have fantastic springs.

General Discussion / Re: Long Term Parking in Buffalo Area?
« on: July 31, 2010, 10:35:38 am »
Tourista, I used to live off of Main St in Williamsville! Howdy former neighbor!

General Discussion / Re: Long Term Parking in Buffalo Area?
« on: July 30, 2010, 02:30:16 pm »
P.S. if you do park in Tonawanda, grab a hot dog at Teds. Local landmark.

General Discussion / Re: Long Term Parking in Buffalo Area?
« on: July 30, 2010, 02:28:10 pm »
North Buffalo has street parking on most residential streets without needing permits. As long as nothing is visible inside of it, your car should be safe anywhere north of Amherst St. Same with Tonawanda - no permits, safe to leave a car. An even safer place to leave your car would be on a residential street on Grand Island, across the river from Tonawanda, plus the Grand Island Bridge is pretty fun on a bike (when there's no construction).

If you want to leave it in a lot, Sheridan Park, Ellicott Creek Park, and Nia Wanda park all have parking in Tonawanda. I wouldn't leave it in a park lot overnight in the city.

General Discussion / Re: cassette for phil?
« on: July 22, 2010, 08:57:43 am »
You won't find anything made of harder, sturdier metal than a SRAM 70 series cassette (870, 970, 1070 depending on your cog count). It wears slower and is less likely to break than anything else on the market. It has an alloy spindle and steel cogs. Its not as light as their top of the line 90 series, but its stronger; its also stronger than their lower-end 50 and 30 series, and anything Shimano makes (nothing against Shimano, whose XT series is usually the strongest on the market, but cassettes is one area where this is not true).

Its also reasonably priced.

General Discussion / Re: best touring bike for a fat boy
« on: July 19, 2010, 11:54:40 pm »
The most useful thing I ever bought was a book called "Quick Bike Repairs" by Chronicle Books. Its tiny and easily fits in a handlebar bag or pannier. Good luck finding it, but if you do its fantastic, pictures, diagrams, easy to understand.

Otherwise, this is a pretty good book:

whittlerider - I understand your point, and I believe you, I'm just saying there isn't anything independent about a company that produces the product. I would love to see a research university or a magazine like Consumer Reports spend $100K and really put carbon and aluminum through the ringer.

lily - Aluminum and Steel will NOT necessarily show any signs of fatigue before snapping. I broke a metal crank arm one time while cranking up a hill; it just clean snapped in half with no warning and I nearly broke my leg. Like I said, if your worried about durability, stick with the cross bikes.

No one has ever done any systematic, large-N, independent testing to verify manufacturers claims that carbon fiber is stronger than metal, but in theory it should be. The problem with both materials is that manufacturers try to put as little material as possible into the bikes to make them lighter, at the expense of strength. However, this is probably not an issue on any Cyclocross bike like you have; they're made to be strong.

P.S. don't take me as an expert opinion, just someone whose been looking stuff up on the internet.

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica: Which direction?
« on: July 09, 2010, 01:31:09 pm »
:) :) Wow, Great stuff. I especially like the wind maps. I had not considered that Apalachians may be our toughest climbing. We are going to start out in May, this leads to the East to West based on best time to cross the mountains in the West. All in all great information. I will keep reading.

The roads in the Appalachians were built long before we had the technology to blow holes in mountains or helicopter over a mountain to find the flattest route. The grades on roads in the Appalachians routinely reach the high teens, and there will be long climbs in the low teens. The roads in the Rockies were built mostly this past century. AC was able to easily pick out roads following 6-8% grades up the mountains instead of 10-19% like out east. That said, the mountains in the West are noticeably taller, and the shorter grades mean you have to ride twice as far to gain the same elevation, but I know for me personally, I'd much rather ride a few hours on a 7% than a few minutes on a 19%.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« on: July 08, 2010, 05:46:40 pm »
You'd think if ACA magazine recommended Trek 7.3FX for touring, it would be good but the cheaper price worries me. Should it?

It shouldn't. The 7.3 is a sweet spot for the FX line - the 7.2 is too cheap component wise, and the 7.5 has a carbon fork, which means you can't put a front rack on it. Its cheaper than the 520 because its flat barred, doesn't come with a rack or fenders, and has a 1 step lower rear derailler. If you have an extra $75 to spend on it, you should have the shop upgrade the rear derailler to an LX or ideally an XT. They might even give you credit for the stock Deore derailer.

Now if you don't care about the ability to mount a front rack, the 7.5 is a great choice as well, and will do great without needing to upgrade anything.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« on: July 07, 2010, 03:27:52 pm »
If you don't like drops, its only because you haven't used ones right for you yet - you can get wide drops mounted high so their like flat bars but have the added benefits of the extra hand positions so your wrists don't start to hurt...

If you want flat bars, like I said Baer Wheels in Columbus has a great selection in store of all types of bikes, and almost certainly would have something that would certainly match you well. However, if you're just looking to buy something easy, get a Trek 7.3FX. Adventure Cycling magazine recommended it last year for flat bar touring. Its geared well for it, its got absolutely fantastic tires for it (the same tires as the 520), and it has a really customizable geometry. It also doesn't have the ludicrously wide tires that the Safari has, just regular old 700x32s.

You do realize that you can put handlebars like the Safaris on literally any bike at all, right? just ask the bike shop that you buy the bike at to swap them for you.

General Discussion / Re: Buffalo Bike Shops
« on: July 07, 2010, 03:14:37 pm »
I lived about 6/10ths of a mile from the airport until a year ago. Berts is fine. I've bought stuff there before. Their staff is not great, but they're huge and have a huge selection. Its hard for me to believe that the Transit road Berts bikes isn't much, much closer to the airport, its only about 2-3 miles away. Then you can literally just ride straight up Transit to meet the AC route in Lockport. They're always extremely backed up so make sure that you have an appointment if your using them to build your bike.

The thing is, as Jeff indicated, the bike shops along the lake/river cater to touring cyclists to some extent because its a popular place for touring riders to ride. However they are much smaller than the Berts Mega-stores, with their mega-wall stacked to the ceiling with "new" 2007 model year bikes that they're still trying to sell at full price to the uneducated consumer.

General Discussion / Re: best touring bike for a fat boy
« on: June 30, 2010, 06:54:07 am »
The Surly LHT is a good choice, but make SURE you buy it from a store with an EXPERT wheelbuilder, not just your average bike mech. I mean a wheelbuilder so good his wheels dont go out of true, ever. You'll have some mad issues otherwise.

The problem guys like us (315# here) have isn't the frames, its the wheels. A steel frame like the LHT or the Trek 520 will be more than adequate, but you'll need much stronger wheels than the average person. Wheels that come on racing bikes are typically made with a weight limit of 180 lbs, on most other bikes the weight limit is 250 or 275 - and that's assuming that you have a top-notch wheelbuilder building the wheels.When you see those numbers, you need to include your gear and the weight of the bike. Some touring bike wheels are built to support a little bit more; the stock wheels on the LHT are right on the line of good idea/bad idea for you. Consider having the shop special order wheels for whatever bike you choose; wheels with XT hubs and Mavic A719 rims should do the job nicely; ask for 36 spokes in a triple-cross pattern.

The only frame issue you'll have with an LHT versus a 180lb person is a shorter fatigue life, expect to retire the bike after riding only half of the typical 50,000 to 100,000 miles expected from a steel bike.

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