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Messages - paddleboy17

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16
Gear Talk / Re: Building a lightweight touring bike....
« on: May 07, 2019, 12:59:12 pm »
I am a little confused about what you are trying to do.  A bike packer and a touring bike are two different animals -- they are designed to do different things. 

My touring kit weighs 60 pounds, and  provides a comfortable level of food and shelter in four panniers.  Sure a loaded touring bike is not nimble, but it rides well under a lot of road conditions (wash boarded dirt roads really suck).

I bought a Salsa Cutthroat a year ago, and I got talked into a bike packing trip in early May.  My last frame bag gets delivered today, but it will be at least a week before I can practice packing my gear in these new bags.  Sure it will be a more nimble and faster ride than my touring rig, but I think for most of my trips I will miss the comforts of my  heavier and less nimble touring bike.  I ride for the spiritual experience, so speed is not super important to me.  I bought the Cutthroat because I live in Michigan and we do not have nice black top roads any more, and probably never will.  So I don't have nearly as many opportunities to ride my criterium bike anymore.  The Cutthroat is almost as fast as my criterium bike, and does not care what kind of  road, path, trail it is on.  The Cutthroat has all the mount points for bike packing, and I have adventurous friends.   Ask me how I feel about bike packing after my trip...

A Salsa Cutthroat equipped with Rival 1 components is in the same price range as a Janus Renegade Elite, and it comes equipped with a single ring crank already.  If you do the tubeless conversion, the weights should be about the same.  I was wait listed when I ordered my Cutthroat, and agreed to take a Rival or Apex bike, if one could be found (the annual Cutthroat production run sells out quickly).  I ended up with an Apex grouping, but the frames are all the same (except for color), and Apex has proven to be an amazing group.  I also did the tubeless conversion and that was really impressive.

Having finished my bike packing trip, I feel better qualified to talk about bike packing vs bike touring. 

I am not going to retire my heavy touring bike and live out my days with just my gravel bike.  The trip I was on was explicitly designed to be too nasty to do on a touring bike.  Several of the attendees made remarks about how easy I had it this year.  The nasty part was fine loose gravel over crushed limestone.  Missing from last year (which I did not attend), was snow, ice, and standing water.  The fine loose gravel would have made the course too difficult to do on my heavy touring bike with 35MM wide tires.  It was still difficult with my 2.2" wide tires on the gravel bike. 

My Salsa Cutthroat and gear weighed in at 56 pounds.  I used everything except for an extra pair of smart wool socks and an extra pair of shorts.  I had to contend with some rain, and temps that ranged from 30F to 70F.  I figure my kit weighed 31 pounds, and that includes 5 or 6 pounds for a CPAP machine (I have sleep apnea).  I ate my meals in restaurants and I don't know where I would have put cookware or food in my kit.

So I think I would bike pack off road or on really crappy roads.  I can probably rethink what I take on my touring bike to keep the weight down. 



17
Gear Talk / Re: Building a lightweight touring bike....
« on: March 07, 2019, 12:25:27 pm »
I am a little confused about what you are trying to do.  A bike packer and a touring bike are two different animals -- they are designed to do different things. 

My touring kit weighs 60 pounds, and  provides a comfortable level of food and shelter in four panniers.  Sure a loaded touring bike is not nimble, but it rides well under a lot of road conditions (wash boarded dirt roads really suck).

I bought a Salsa Cutthroat a year ago, and I got talked into a bike packing trip in early May.  My last frame bag gets delivered today, but it will be at least a week before I can practice packing my gear in these new bags.  Sure it will be a more nimble and faster ride than my touring rig, but I think for most of my trips I will miss the comforts of my  heavier and less nimble touring bike.  I ride for the spiritual experience, so speed is not super important to me.  I bought the Cutthroat because I live in Michigan and we do not have nice black top roads any more, and probably never will.  So I don't have nearly as many opportunities to ride my criterium bike anymore.  The Cutthroat is almost as fast as my criterium bike, and does not care what kind of  road, path, trail it is on.  The Cutthroat has all the mount points for bike packing, and I have adventurous friends.   Ask me how I feel about bike packing after my trip...

A Salsa Cutthroat equipped with Rival 1 components is in the same price range as a Janus Renegade Elite, and it comes equipped with a single ring crank already.  If you do the tubeless conversion, the weights should be about the same.  I was wait listed when I ordered my Cutthroat, and agreed to take a Rival or Apex bike, if one could be found (the annual Cutthroat production run sells out quickly).  I ended up with an Apex grouping, but the frames are all the same (except for color), and Apex has proven to be an amazing group.  I also did the tubeless conversion and that was really impressive.


18
General Discussion / Re: Women’s Specific Bicycles
« on: February 04, 2019, 12:10:29 pm »
I think a lot will depend on what your wife's fit issues are.  There are smaller frames, and they are often done with women/girls, and adolescent boys in mine.  In theory, compared to a male of the same height, a female will have longer legs and a shorter torso.  So smaller frames often have shorter top tubes.  Of course most of us are not text book with our fit needs.  I have short legs and a long torso, and have one custom bike, but I almost always can find a stock frame that fits me.

Georgina Terry had a bike company that sold women's bikes with a 700c rear wheel and a smaller front wheel.  Georgina sold her company and retired, but she still dabbles.  Last I heard she was equipping stock frames made by Waterford.  I think she is in New York.  Her bikes are not cheap but they are not outrageous either.  It worth your time to visit her web site.

So if you are not interested on Georgina Terry then I think your next stop is to find a bike shop that you trust and work with them.  Just remember that fitting a race bike is nothing like fitting a touring bike.  I guess it also goes without saying that if they steer you to go custom, that a bike company known for custom racing bikes, may know squat about doing a custom touring bike.

I think I would avoid a custom touring bike for your first touring bike.  Unless you are rich and money is no object, or a very confident that touring is something that you want to do, I would start with something more off the shelf.

Why are you insisting on a thru axle?  This will limit your choices and it is not required for most touring. 

19
General Discussion / Re: Impact of Bikers (and hikers) on a small town
« on: January 29, 2019, 11:49:07 am »
I have not been on the Greater Allegheny Passage website in long time but they used to have a lot of stuff on how each hamlet on the route could maximize the economic benefit of being on the GAP.  I think they called it "Becoming a Trail Town".  It looked to me like someone  had done a lot of economic analysis on bicycle traffic.

20
General Discussion / Re: Salsa Vaya vs Masi Giramondo vs or?
« on: January 25, 2019, 01:03:07 pm »
The Vaya is listed as a light touring bike.  That typical means that it might NOT be a great ride with full panniers.  I know your listed weight expectations are modest, but if you are going to tour on touring bike, why get a light touring bike?  Salsa's Marrakesh might be a better choice than the Vaya, just so you have that extra gear capacity.  If you are going to bike pack instead of panniers then I guess it does not matter.  I do know someone who has a Vaya and he loves it, but he is using it as a relaxed riding position gravel bike.

I have Salsa Cutthroat and I have committed to getting frame bags for a trip in May.  Ask me then how I feel about bike packing versus panniers.

I don't have any experience with Masi, so I really cannot say much.

I have a bike with TRP disk brakes and one with BB7 disk brakes.  They both work, and I have not had any problems.

I hate that both bikes are just spec'ed as chromoly frames, but neither one will tell you which alloy they use.  Not all chromoly steel alloys are up to the task of being part of a touring bike frame.

21
General Discussion / Re: Forged vs stamped dropouts
« on: January 25, 2019, 12:36:24 pm »
Be kind because it has been 38 years since I took my material science class. 

Forging is a superior (and more expensive process).  Parts are with a hammer (it may be hydraulic and not some beef dude looking like a spaghetti western blacksmith) in order to push the molecules closer together.  Forging makes stronger parts.
Tools Dropouts were probably cast one upon a time too.  Stamping is the cheapest way to make parts.

If a frame's design previously used a forged dropout, when changing to a stamped dropout, the new dropout might have to be thicker or made from a different steel in order  to be a good replacement part.

Part of me want to say you are over thinking this but I have seen manufacturers do really stupid things.

Salsa has a really good reputation and Kona has been in business a long time.  I own a Salsa and a Kona bike and I have been happy with both.  I don't know very much about Masi.

I have only every had drop out issues on one bike, and that was a VooDoo mountain bike with a Reynolds 853 tube set and Ritchey dropouts.  In the beginning I toured on the VooDoo with a BOB trailer, and when I did off road trips the BOB trailer sometimes would slam against the rear derailleur and bend that lug.  There is a tool for bending the lug back into shape, and I was always able to save the VooDoo. 

While forging would make a stronger lug, the lug would be more brittle too, and it might shatter instead of bend, and if it did bend, you might shatter it bending it back.  I would want a lug that would not typically bend, and if it did bend, I would want to be able to bend it back.

I think what the BOB trailer did to the VooDoo rear derailleur lug was kind of unique and not representative of typical VooDoo usage.

I think if you buy a bike from a company with a good reputation and a good warranty you will do OK.  There are a host of other design/manufacturing trade offs besides lugs, and you have to trust them to do a good job.  It still does not hurt to be knowledgeable, and buy something else if you think it is a piece of crap.

 


22
Gear Talk / Re: New bike for next ride
« on: January 04, 2019, 12:05:31 pm »
I think it comes down to what do you really want to change over what you have, and what do you need for the ride you are going to do.

You have a touring bike, and given your mileage target you sound like you want a zippy fast bike.  You may want relaxed fit and the ability to carry snacks and apparel, features not normally found in a zippy fast bike.  The Vaya is nice, but it has wider tires that may slow you down.  Maybe a cyclocross bike?

23
Gear Talk / Re: Titanium vs. Steel: Worth it?
« on: November 06, 2018, 11:42:32 am »
If your only reason to go Ti is to save weight, I think at best you would save a pound.  I think aluminum gets you a pound and a half, and carbon might get you 2 pounds.

I would get  a steel frame from a proven frame builder, and see if you could not take pound out of your kit.

24
General Discussion / Re: Is my bike suitable for the Great Divide?
« on: July 11, 2018, 10:00:53 am »
Thanks everyone!  So, just to clarify, I would be able to find attachments for my current bike.  Also, 29" or 27.5" tires are not required in order to have an enjoyable ride.

However, I was wondering if anyone could compare riding on variable with 29" or 27.5" as opposed to 26".  Also, I've ready some articles about how to properly switch from a 3x to 1x gear system and was wondering if doing so would be an advantage?   Finally, what are the advantages to riding with a trailer compared to panniers?
I can give you some answers, but a lot of this will be my opinions and I think you should get others thoughts as well.

Consider a wash boarded road.  Cars tend to be of a certain length and height, and so all wash board tends to be similar.  A 26" wheel will pretty much roll completely into a wash board rut before rolling out.  In other words, if you were to take the arc of a wash board rut and extend it to draw a circle, that circle would have a diameter of about 26 inches.  The larger wheel sizes do not roll completely into a washboard rut, instead there is a point where the wheel is supported by the rut peaks and part of the wheel is in air spanning the two rut peaks.  So the impact of the rut is not as severe.  If you are able to bring in a soft tire as you tend to see in tubeless mountain bike tires, the ride quality is even better.  Because they are smaller, 26" wheels accelerate more quickly.

As for 1X, 2X, and 3X drivetrains. 

A 3X drivetrain has redundant ratios that show up because you have both 3 front chain rings and in your case, 9 rear chain rings.  That is neither good nor bad.  The upside of 3X drivetrains is that you can chose from your redundant combination a combination that minimize how much the chain has to flex side to size. 

In a 2X drive train,  you will give up some redundant combinations, and you may give up some range (probably on the high end).  If you use one of the new derailleurs designed for 1X drive trains (they have longer cages and more powerful springs which can span bigger chain rings), you might not loose any range at all.  Riding is simpler because there are fewer redundant combinations to decide between, and you only have to visualize what you can do with two front chain rings.  2X chain life is probably shorter than 3X chain life since the chain will have more side to side flexing.

In a 1X drive train there are no redundant combinations.  1X is possible because they use a derailleur that spans 42 teeth instead of the 32 teeth found in traditional long cage derailleurs.  Compared to a 3X drive train, there will be less range, so you will have to decide what range you need to cover.  This is done by changing the front chain ring.  Shifting decisions are easy to make as there is only a rear derailleur.  I would expect chain life to be shortest of all for 3X drive trains.

My touring bike is a traditional 3X9 drivetrain.  I opted to use bar end shifters with a non indexed shifter on the front derailleur and I have to problem keeping the front derailleur in a happy position.  I took a mid-90's steel mountain bike frame and made a  gravel bike out of it by putting drop bars on it and converting the 3X8 drivetrain into a 2X10 drivetrain.  The low end of the range is enough for anything I will find where I ride, but there is no high end to the range.  I do not find chain life for a 2X drive train to be intolerable.  Finally, when I bought a Salsa Cutthroat and it came in a 1x11 configuration.  I would like more low end, so at some point in the near future I will put a smaller front chain ring on the bike which will give me more low end capability and less high end capability.  I have only been riding the bike for a couple of months so I cannot comment on chain life.

A loaded bike needs more low range gearing than non-loaded bike.  When I did part of the Great Divide in New Mexico with my buddies, we carried a lot of water because you could not resupply every day.  We also rode in March and had temperature spans of 20F to 85F.  So I cannot see doing this ultra lite.  I do not think I would want to do this with a 1X drivetrain.

As for trailers vs panniers.  I generally prefer panniers, except when off road (I prefer a trailer as the bike is too wide with panniers).  I started with a trailer because it was cheaper.  In New Mexico, none of us had road bikes geared low enough, so we all used mountain bikes.  We wanted to leave the front suspension forks alone, so trailers allowed us to use the mountain bikes pretty much as is.  I later migrated to panniers as the coupling between trailers and bikes has certain amount of back lash and I found that annoying.  A lot of what I remember about riding the Great Divide Trail in New Mexico was that there was gravel two track and hard pack two rack and some narrow roads that had wash board.  I think riding over wash board with panniers would be unpleasant.

25
General Discussion / Re: Is my bike suitable for the Great Divide?
« on: July 10, 2018, 02:07:15 pm »
I need to read with better comprehension...

I rode a Great Divide section in New Mexico (Pie Town to Silver City).  I recall a lot of washboard, for which a wider tire could be better.  Actually bigger tires, 27.5 and 29, would be better for washboard, but I made it through with just a 26" mountain bike.  I did use a trailer instead of panniers.  A few years later, two of my buddies did more of the Great Divide, again on 26", mountain bikes with BOB trailers.  They did just fine.

I remember the bike shop I was working with being concerned about thorns, and that might be where the thicker sidewall thing comes from.  If you can make tubeless work, this might be a great situation for tubeless tires.  Your bike being a 2005, who knows how difficult a tubeless conversion would be.

If you still feel compelled to get a new bike...I bought a Salsa Cutthroat and I just love it.  I have a touring bike so I am not ready to embrace frame bag based bike packing.  I still think about doing something with my BOB trailer and my 26" mountain bike.  There is nothing wrong with proven technology.

26
General Discussion / Re: Is my bike suitable for the Great Divide?
« on: July 10, 2018, 11:52:39 am »
Unless your drive train is worn out, I don't see why you cannot use the bike that you have.  You should consider new tires, something smoother and narrower than what you have.  I like 1.5" wide tires.

Minouri also makes racks that mount to  rim brake posts.

27
Gear Talk / Re: Dumb Rack Question
« on: July 05, 2018, 11:49:20 am »
You might check ans see if your bolts are too long.  The sensation that you describe matches what would happen if the bolt were hitting the far side of the tube before seating.

28
General Discussion / Re: Advices needed for bike light design
« on: May 08, 2018, 11:56:58 am »
I have a set of MagicShine MJ-808s (no longer in production).  I thought they were awesome, 1200 lumens, 10 degree spot, 2+ hour battery, and under $100 (US).  In my mind, this is what you would have to beat.

29
General Discussion / Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« on: April 19, 2018, 12:28:21 pm »
Well, I think a custom built bike is an unnecessary luxury. But over-the-counter bikes may not meet your needs. As some people alluded to above, I went with something in-between, after a lot of research. An excellent frame from Surly, and them working with my regular bike-shop guys on the build. Got the major components on-line, for best pricing, and saved by using things like my REI 20 percent off member coupon. Ended up with a great bike, with better components than the stocky Surly. Spent more than a stock Surly, but think I got a bike comparable to the  customs -- for less money.

I don't think anyone would every buy a custom bike for its equipment, you buy one because there is something worthwhile in the frame.  Part of what makes a custom bike so expensive is cost of equipping it.  You can almost always buy a finished stock bike for what a build kit costs, based on the the same components and wheel set.  There are 3 ways to buy parts:  at list price, in a build kit ( where you save 10% or 20%, it has been a while so I don't remember exactly, other than being disappointed on the discount for a build kit), or attached to a bike.  When you buy a new stock bike, most better bike shops will give you a credit for the parts that you don't like as long as you buy the replacement parts from them.

There are lots of reasonable reasons for getting a custom bike.  I went that way because at the time I did not believe that I could get a stiff enough frame from any of the stock bike makers.  I did indulge myself with a lugged frame, but I did not get hand carved, stainless steel lugs from Italy.  I have a friend with a long torso and short legs, and he has fit issues outside of what can be done with a set back seat post and a longer stem.  Most of his bikes are custom, just to get the fit issues right.   Many women have a hard time getting a bike to fit them.  The big guys seem to have walked away from women specific bikes.  I know of a local bike shop whose business plan seemed to be fitting petite Latinas on Gunnar (Waterford's budget line) frames.  If you are tall and thin, there is a stock bike for you.  Everyone else has fit challenges. And most small frames are designed for adolescent males, not women.

30
General Discussion / Re: Custom touring bkie vs. mass produced
« on: April 09, 2018, 01:29:18 pm »
2008 is also the year that I saw my first LHT.  I have seen a lot of people ride on them, but I have not seen anyone touring on one.
I am surprised to read that.  On some tours the LHT was the most common bike among other tourists I met.  That especially was true of my Trans America in 2007 and my Pacific Coast tour in 2011.  It for some reason seemed less common, but still popular on my other tours.
I tend to do shorter trips in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  I am seeing more touring bikes now that the US routes are taking off.  USBR 35 covers a lot of my favorites. 

My wife has family in Oregon, right on the Trans America route, and I have done a lot of day rides there.  It must be a timing thing as I never saw a single touring bike there.  I suspect the bikes come through in the spring and the fall but not summer.

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