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Messages - csykes

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You may want to take a look at your tires.  23 or 25mm tires are normal on most road bikes.  You could probably switch to 28mm tires such as Conti Gatorskins which are very durable and should fit your frame.  Bigger tires are more comfortable for long hours in the saddle as you can run lower pressure without getting pinch flats.  A good pump such as the Topeak road Morph G will make it easier to top up your tires in the morning, the gauge is great and it works more like a floor pump than a typical hand pump.

You may be able to make your bike less aggressive by flipping the stem over and putting in a spacer. I did this to my Bianchi 928 which is race-oriented, and it keeps my back and neck much happier on long rides.

General Discussion / Re: Mistakes and Attitude while on the road.
« on: April 05, 2011, 10:33:10 pm »
Some good thought-provoking comments.  I like the best of both worlds: to use forums, books, and other resources to learn from others and find out what you don't know; but then don't obsess if you don't have the best of everything and have not considered every possible twist and turn.  These days it's very easy to be paralyzed by having too much information.

General Discussion / Re: Complete Newbie Considering Touring
« on: March 24, 2011, 02:32:17 pm »
Since you are new not just to touring but to cycling in general, I would suggest hooking up with a bike club or shop in your area.  Many shops offer beginners classes along with weekly rides. Bike clubs come in all sizes and varieties, and most welcome beginners. Climbing hills even without a load can be difficult for some newbies, so be sure to get a lot of miles in your legs before you head out for a tour.  I have learned a lot about the bikes to consider for touring just by searching within this forum.

General Discussion / Re: Hypothetical question...
« on: March 23, 2011, 11:19:48 am »
Great job on the weight loss and for commuting to work!  I would put racks and panniers on your bike and add weight every week.  Sounds like you are making great progress in preparing for your tour next year.   

General Discussion / Re: Cross Country Trip: Money, What To Do?
« on: March 21, 2011, 10:59:22 pm »
Most Credit Union are members of the Co-op ATM network which has about 25,000 no-fee machines in the U.S. and Canada.  A lot of 7-11 stores also have a machine with that logo.  My credit union also has a lower "foreign ATM" fee than my big bank charges.  Another way to get cash with no fee is to use your debit card at a grocery store that lets you get cash back with the purchase.

General Discussion / Re: Cadence Question
« on: March 20, 2011, 10:50:39 pm »
I for one don't obsess about cadence, I also mix it up on some rides.  I found that once I had a computer with that function and paid attention to it, I have become a more efficient rider.  It's a good a tool but I don't look at it continuously, as I now normally pedal at a faster rate than I did when I was a lot younger. Riding with a higher cadence has helped me with my usual club ride, but I was not sure if it was normal for touring.

General Discussion / Re: Cadence Question
« on: March 19, 2011, 10:37:44 pm »
Thanks all; that confirms what I had assumed.  It took me a while to get comfortable with higher-cadence pedaling, but it certainly is easier an my aging body than hammering away in a big gear.  On long climbs my cadence slips to about 70, but currently my lowest gear combo is 34 x 27.  I will go to lower gearing before I do any touring.

General Discussion / Cadence Question
« on: March 19, 2011, 07:01:12 pm »
I am a recreational Roadie who hopes to begin some light (credit card) touring reasonably soon.  I was wondering about cadence.  On the road bike I try to pedal 85 to 95 rpm which is comfortable for me.  I understand that it is different with a loaded bike and that touring bikes have wider and lower gears. Do cycle tourists typically pedal in this range?

I had a herniated disc a few years back and found that gentle riding helped a lot.  Definitely do not ride sitting straight up, but don't get too aggressive either.  I switched from 23mm tires on my road bike to 28 mm and dropped the pressure from 110/115 to 85/90 which makes for a smoother ride as well.  I also went to Spinergy Xaero Lite wheels with the fiber PBO spokes which soak up some of the micro chatter from the road.  I weigh over 200 pounds and the Prednisone from the doctor helped me gain over ten pounds which cycling helped me to lose.

For sure get out and ride, do daily back stretches and regular core strengthening exercises.  The best my back felt was the week following a strenuous 80 mile ride in San Diego's mountainous back country.  All that blood circulation did wonders for my lower back!

Good luck with your recovery!

General Discussion / Re: How can I find....
« on: March 02, 2011, 11:04:46 pm »
I am a ride leader for entry-level rides for a major bike club in San Diego.  We are a "racing Club" but most members do not race.  We hold weekly rides that leave from a bike shop every Saturday morning rain or shine.  Originally "the ride" was a 45 mile long hammer fest which only appealed to the racers.  Over the years additional ride groups were added to where we now have seven separate rides which accommodate all levels from pros to newbies.  Our beginner-level ride is about 10 miles in length and is led by a 350 pound gentleman.  I normally lead a 25 mile ride that is "no-drop," and completely tailored in speed and coaching level to whoever shows up that morning.  I proudly refer to myself as a Clydesdale as I weigh over 200 pounds.

My though is for you to partner with an existing bike club or cycling group that might welcome a leader for a beginners ride.  Most of the people who show up for the first time for our rides were referred by friends and bike shops.

General Discussion / Re: Buying the right size touring bike.
« on: August 30, 2010, 11:57:49 pm »
Thanks for the info.  If I buy a LHT, I would purchase if from my LBS.  They are a great shop and would have no problem letting me take it out for a good ride.  I know that the geometry is different than the race-oriented Bianchi 928 that I ride, but I  figured that I can use that as a starting point for size when looking at touring bikes.

General Discussion / Re: Buying the right size touring bike.
« on: August 26, 2010, 04:51:44 pm »
A general question regarding sizing:  Typically, should your touring bike be a little smaller or larger than your road bike?  I ride a 61 CM Bianchi road bike and it fits me very nicely.  I'm dreaming about a LHT as I would like to start touring.  Both my local REI and LBS carry the LHTs.  I have not requested a test ride yet as I'm not quite ready to buy, but would the 60cm frame typically be a good choice for me if it feels right?

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