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Messages - paddleboy17

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Gear Talk / Re: Camp Stove
« on: January 10, 2017, 01:12:15 pm »
The soda pop stoves might get hot enough to damage the top of a picnic table.  Most Trangia set ups elevate the burner a little, and it will not damage the picnic table.  An alcohol flame can be hard to see in bright sunlight, but it is not invisible, and the flame will be easily visible for breakfast or dinner.  A  Trangia setup is an excellent stove for cooking but it may not be the best choice if all you want to do is boil water.  A full Trangia holds 3oz of fuel, and that has come to a boil in order to bloom (pressurize those little jets).  A partially filled Trangia is harder to start. 

I would suggest that you look at other alcohol stoves.  One of the Vargo titanium stoves is probably perfect.  A stove with a 1oz capacity should easily bring 16oz/0.5L of water to a boil in 7 or 8 minutes, and will be a lot more miserly with the amount of fuel used.  The alcohol stoves are tiny, and alcohol is easy to find.  Alcohol stoves are harder to start below 40F so factor that into your selection.

I have a Whisperlite International.  I find alcohol stoves to be a lot less trouble to use. 

Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for front light?
« on: November 30, 2016, 03:02:12 pm »
Yes, I used 1" PVC. 

Having extra weight on your helmet can be real fatiguing.  For night riding through the winter, I have a pair of 1200 lumen Magic Shine lights.  I like them because they are really bright, and because I can put the battery on the back of the helmet and the light on front, leaving me balanced from front to rear.  I still have extra stuff on the helmet, so balanced or not, all that extra mass is still tiring.  So while you might want to be capable of helmet light, I would not leave it up there all the time.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for front light?
« on: November 30, 2016, 12:44:08 pm »
I have used the Paul stem cap light mount as I do a lot of night riding over the winter.   I have picture of mine down below.  I have something called a Moose Mit on my winter bike that I need to raise the light above.  Moose Mits are a pogie that gives you a nice pocket over your handle bars to keep your hands warm.

I have also used the Minouri T mount.  I find it a little light duty for this, but it is nice in that you can fine tune the rise.

Paul Components makes another thingy similar to the Gino light might.
I think it is intended for mounting a light off the wheel axis (it replaces one end of a wheel skewer).   I got creative and fabbed this up, to mount mid fork, but I have not used it yet.  It based on a Tubus fork mounting kit that I bought from the Touring Store (, and the Gino like Paul Components thingy.

I also have a Planet Bike Blaze light that I take on tour.  I have had it long enough that the lettering is rubbed off.  It takes two AA batteries, but I think it has to be brighter than the 45 lumen Blaze 1/2 Watt that it resembles.  If you are serious about night riding, it pays to take two lights:  one on your handle bars and one on your helmet.  For touring, I might mount a Blackburn Voyager 3.3 on my helmet.  I don't know if the Voyager 3.3 is still in production, but it is small, light, runs on 4 AAA batteries, and most import for a helmet light--it has a really tight beam.  I try not to tax night riding when on tour, but "things do happen".

Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for front light?
« on: November 30, 2016, 12:26:46 pm »
Paddleboy17 - I think your idea could work for me.  Please post a picture.  I think I have a pretty good idea of what you're talking about.

Here is the light mount that I fabricated up for my Tubus Tara front rack.

Some things that might not be apparent...

There is some rubber stripping from an old inner tube between the PVC pipe and the rack hoop.  This increased the contact point and allowed the hose clamp to get a stronger grip.  It also protects the paint on the rack.  PVC can be a little slippery for some bike light mounts, so I wrapped the PVC with rubber stripping and secured it with tie wraps.  A better implementation might be to take a small inner tube, say a 700x23, and stretch it over the whole pipe.  With all the inner tubes I have butchered for rubber strips I was feeling too miserly that day to butcher a brand new 700x23 tube.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommendation for front light?
« on: November 28, 2016, 01:05:25 pm »
I  have a Tubus Tara front rack, and I hose clamped a piece of PVC pipe to the top of the hoop in the rack.  I can provide a picture later.

By all means take a light.  I like one in blink mode on overcast days, or very early/late in the day.

General Discussion / Re: summer sleeping
« on: November 15, 2016, 12:22:28 pm »
Most 45F rated sleeping bags just have no insulation in their bottoms.  I really doubt if you will find a blanket that is more compact than 45F rated sleeping bag.  Mine wads up and fits in a 1L cook pot.  I would just carry a good 45F rated sleeping bag (as others have said). 

Gear Talk / Re: trailers vs panniers
« on: November 02, 2016, 02:17:04 pm »
I think the bike that you are going to use factors into the equation.  I could see a situation in which putting panniers on the bike is not a good idea, but it could tow a trailer.  It would help to know what trailer you were going to use.

In general, people have made a trailer or panniers work.  As for your specific situation, I don't know enough to comment.

Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 27, 2016, 12:19:35 pm »
Just a warning about Amtrak...I've used it twice, once across the country and once up the west coast from LA to Seattle.  Both experiences were disasters. Filthy conditions, WAY late on arrival, unfriendly and uninformed staff.  Etc.  I'll never use them again.  It sounds like others have had much better experiences, so maybe I just hit the wrong train two out of two times.

A few years back, I did the Willamette Valley from one end to the other, and I needed to get to Portland from Eugene.  Amtrak has a train going through there with roll on/off service, but availability and schedules did not work out for me.  Amtrak also has a bus line going through there, with a bike option.  I got one cargo bay to transport my bike and gear.  The staff on both ends were wonderful.  I was personally met in Portland by the station master, who made sure I had a safe route out of Portland. 

Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 26, 2016, 03:16:40 pm »

I have always thought Greyhound Freight was interesting.  They ship from one Greyhound bus depot to another bus depot.  It has been a while, but Greyhound was pretty flexible on box size--it just has to be low enough to fit in a cargo hold.

Just because it is a Greyhound bus station don't count on it being a station that will accept or receive a bike, and if does one, don't count on it doing the other; my experience.

From Greyhound's point of view, the bike box is just freight.  You of course need a box, and I don't know what happens if a Greyhound staffer flops the box on its side and pile crap on top of it.  I think you have to factor in extra time in case the box has to switch buses too.  I got the impression that freight goes stand by, but there is usually room.

The last time I looked into this, I was going from Detroit to Buffalo, with a bus change in Pittsburgh.  Like I said, it is interesting...

Gear Talk / Re: Getting bike and gear to start of tour
« on: September 26, 2016, 01:44:46 pm »
I have shipped FedEx ground a couple of times. The trick is getting a box shaped so as to not be flagged as over sized.  A bike box is over sized, a frame box is not.

I have always thought Greyhound Freight was interesting.  They ship from one Greyhound bus depot to another bus depot.  It has been a while, but Greyhound was pretty flexible on box size--it just has to be low enough to fit in a cargo hold.

I always wanted to travel by Amtrak, it just has never worked out for me.  Some routes even have roll on/off service.

Time out boys...

I think being able to replace AA or AAA batteries at any gas station is a useful thing.    Chargers take space, and finding opportunities to charge is a pain.  Plus what happens if you need your lights and you guessed wrong on your charge level.  You cannot always head to the nearest McDonalds to hang out in their lobby while you wait for your light's batteries to recharge.  Having your phone go dead is one thing.  Being able to run the lights in blink mode in inclement weather or light the way if you are running late is pretty important.

Gear Talk / Re: Fixing panniers
« on: August 18, 2016, 12:29:35 pm »
Tenacious Tape may be worth trying.

I was going to suggest duck tape (or is it duct tape),  but this looks far superior.  Maybe we should all have some tenacious tape in our kits.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 16, 2016, 02:24:02 pm »
When I looked at the bike specs, it does say 20.5 pounds without pedals.

If you can afford the trip, I think a factory trip might be in order.  I would be very surprised if you could not visit the factory and meet with someone.  You might not get Georgina Terry, but you should get the time and attention from someone competent.

As for the custom issue...

The Georgina Terry bike has a hand welded frame as opposed to a mass welded frame from Taiwan.  I don't remember the component mix on the LHT and what is currently on the bike you were looking at.  Plus I can't check them right now, so I am no help to you there.  There are a lot of poorly conceived and poorly executed touring bikes out there.  The LHT has a good reputation, but I have never ridden one.  And as I said earlier, I have no idea how Georgina Terry does her bike for 20.5 pounds.  I don't think that if you  bought a Gunnar and build it up yourself, that you would end up with a budget Georgina Terry bike.  You should probably look at Rivendell too (also Waterford frames).  They are on the west coast if that is more convenient for a road trip.

I have a Waterford frame.  I got it, because I had a poorly conceived and executed touring bike.  My original touring bike wiggled with panniers, and was a disaster.  It was a great dirt road ride though.  I can get my Waterford frame to flex, but it immediately dampens out all vibration.  I put good stuff on it, and it stickered out at $5200 (frame was $2300).  The ride is fabulous.

Most bike dealers do not carry touring bikes, so there may not be an LHT in your size to test ride either. 

I think Georgina Terry's set up is in New York, so if you can arrange the trip you should.  I know of someone who spent an afternoon at Co-Motion in Oregon, and someone who spent an afternoon with Seven in Massachusetts.  At one point, my buddies and I were going to make a road trip to Waterford in Wisconsin, but it never happened.

Gear Talk / Re: Terry Touring Bikes - Coto Doñana Tour
« on: August 16, 2016, 01:14:19 pm »
Russ, thanks I had not really priced the Gunnar frames/forks, etc. I don't think the 480 frame will work for me (too big) but I should compare the specs with the Terry and LHT and also contact Gunnar, especially if I can save $$.

I compared the Gunnar and Terry websites for the bikes.  It appears Terry has Gunnar make them different sized bikes from the stock Gunnar bikes.  Terry does offer one smaller bike than the smallest Gunnar frame.  You might go custom with Gunnar and work with them to make a smaller frame similar to the smallest Terry frame.  Terry gives you its dimensions.  I'm sort of, kind of against the Terry bicycle simply because it is a Gunnar frame.  Terry even says its a Waterford (Gunnar) frame.  So why not skip the middle man (Terry) and buy the frame from its real maker (Waterford/Gunnar)?

Another person argues against buying a frame and building it yourself because the cost is usually more than buying it direct already built as a complete bike.  With the Terry it is very easy to see if this is true or not.  Terry says it is a Gunnar frame/fork.  Gunnar sells its frames direct to the public and lists its prices.  Price both the standard and custom options.  Terry also lists all the parts on the bike.  Simple to find all those parts on the internet and list their prices.  See if the totals work out right or wrong.  Biggest benefit for building it yourself is you get to pick every part yourself and get what you want.  Not accept a half-arse part you don't want.  Like 32 spokes instead of 36 for a loaded touring wheel.  ???  Or lower and better mid range gearing than what Terry offers.  An 11-36 cassette instead of the 11-34 Terry offers.  A 42-32-22 crankset instead of the 48-34-24 crankset Terry offers.  Wider handlebars.  Correct stem length.  Saddle that fits you.  By the time you pay to change all these parts on a stock bike, its probably better and cheaper to buy it right from the beginning.

I am pretty sure that all the custom frames are Waterford and all the stock frames are Gunnar.  So there is no custom Gunnar.  A Gunnar is always TIG welded, and a Waterford could be TIG welded or lugged (silver soldered).  And if the frames are the same size, and come from the same tube sets, and are both TIG welded, then why is the Gunnar less expensive and is it better than the Waterford frame?  Waterford frames are done one at a time, and Gunnar frames are done in batches.  This is sort of like comparing machine built wheels with custom wheels, done to the the same rim, spokes, and hubs.  Should you not know, there is more attention to details (like spoke tension) in a custom wheel.

I used to be an automotive engineer, so I will throw out an analogy.  Back when cars were more generic, a model might be available as a Ford, a Mercury, or a Lincoln.  So you could find a Ford with the same trim level as Lincoln, and the Ford would cost less than the Lincoln.  I was in engine engineering, so I can't speak to all of the differences between a Ford and a Lincoln, but a Lincoln had to always start on the first crank--a Ford was allowed to stall once.

I would bet that these are Waterford frames done to Georgina's specifications, which includes a smaller frame size than is available from Gunnar.

I want to know how she gets the weight down to 20.5 pounds (does include saddle, does not include pedals, does not include racks).  I think she is making assumptions about a woman's more petite weight, as I would not normally spec a 32 spoke wheel in a touring bike.  Georgina is a pretty straight shooter and has long held a good reputation.  I am more incline to trust Georgina, than I am to trust Trek or Specialized or any of the other big bike companies.

I think our original poster has a misguided perspective on weight.  The frame normally accounts for 4-5 pounds (for a quality steel frame) out of the total weight of the bike.  The rest of that weight comes from the components and wheels.  I would expect a steel touring bike to come in at 23-25 pounds (no racks or fenders).  I don't know why the LHT is 28 pounds.  Maybe the frames are heavier due to the using single butted tube sets able to dampen on frame flex on a loaded bike.  I seem to remember an LHT frame and fork is ~$700, so there has to be reasons why it is $1100 cheaper than a Gunnar.  Sure the welder in Wisconsin gets paid more than one in Taiwan, but shipping cost are down too.

A loaded touring bike is not going to be nimble and it is not going to be quick and that just needs to be accepted.  One can spend $1200 on an LHT and get this and $3500 on a custom bike and get that.  The weight of the load can be reduced by eating out and/or not camping.  Life is full of tradeoffs.

General Discussion / Re: SPD Cleats-SH51 Versus SH56?
« on: August 11, 2016, 01:00:03 pm »
I like the SH56 multi-release cleats for mountain biking.  I used to have a more aggressive riding style and like the assurance that they would release when I got launched over the handle bars during and endo.

The stock SH51 cleats are more than adequate for road riding and touring.

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