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Messages - paddleboy17

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Gear Talk / Re: Bike - Light Duty Touring Aluminum vs. Steel
« on: July 14, 2016, 12:57:41 pm »
A couple of thoughts to guide you.

If you go the trailer route, i recommend a longer wheel base bike.

A loaded bike will be pigish compared to an unloaded bike.  As other have noted, you want to do a lot of different things and no bike will do them all well.  You will have to make concessions and compromises.  Touring bikes do not always ride well unloaded either (I like mine fine, but I have heard others complain). 

Gear Talk / Re: saddles and sores
« on: June 17, 2016, 05:04:21 pm »

You skimmed when you should have read.

A few years back, I participated in an event ride, and I rode my beloved Paramount, aka the zippy fast bike.  15 miles into a 65 mile ride, a torrential ride dumped an amazing quantity of rain in 20 minutes.  There was indeed a rooster tail of water, and while I did have a saddlebag, my saddle did get really wet too.  I have always used proof hide on the top and bottom of the saddle.  By the end of the ride, I could hardly believe the damage done to my saddle.   Once the saddle dried out naturally, a week later I might add, I was able to retention the saddle and take up most of the stretch.  There are few disturbing looking stretch marks, that have not done any lasting damage.  If the saddle ever gets wet like his again though, it will be a lost cause. 

The amount of moisture coming off of my backside spread over the area of my backside is trivial.

Gear Talk / Re: saddles and sores
« on: June 16, 2016, 12:52:55 pm »
It is not my damp shorts that I worry about. 

I worry about the rooster tail of water coming up from my zippy fast bike (no fenders) that saturates the underside of the saddle.  That is why I am experimenting with a Cambrium on it.  My touring bike has fenders, so no rooster tail of water to deal with.

But your butt covers the top of the saddle enough to protect it generally from rain.

Gear Talk / Re: bike suggestion
« on: June 02, 2016, 12:57:15 pm »
There used to be some concern about disk brakes on touring bikes.  Something about them not being able to deal with the extra heat from the weight of a loaded touring bike.  Tandems used to come with a drum brake for that reason.  I do not know if a tandem capable disk brake has been developed and if it trickled down to LHTs or not.

There is generally nothing wrong with rim brakes.

Gear Talk / Re: saddles and sores
« on: June 02, 2016, 12:49:57 pm »
Selle Anatomica saddles function like twin hammocks, one for each butt cheek.  Their synthetic leather stretches, so Selle Anatomica saddles are more of a consumable than an investment.

With a traditional Brooks saddle, you have a solid mass with a dent for each pelvic bone.  The saddle reshapes to match the profile of your body.  When you add a cutout to a Brooks saddle, some structural integrity is lost.  That is why the Brooks Imperials come laced.  If you remove the lacing, then I think you get some hammock action, but not nearly as pronounces as a Selle Anatomica saddle.

So as to what is right for you.

Infected hair follicles sound like a hygiene issue.  Maybe you have to be paranoid level diligent.

Comfort wise, maybe a Team Pro is best for you.  They take forever to break in as their leather is thicker.  I did not pick up on if you need a prostate friendly cut out or not.  If you get an Imperial variant, leave the laces alone.  Personally I like the cutout shaped used by Selle Anatomica better than the Brooks Imperial shape.  Monarch Leather is the leather vendor for Selle Anatomica, and they will add a cutout to a Brooks saddle.  When it was $50/saddle, I sent to saddles to them to be cut down.  Once they raised their rate to $100/saddle, I decided to cut my own saddle.  I will have to punch holes for lacing in the near future, as I see a need for that.

Lastly, some leather colors are stiffer than others.  Black is the stiffest, and honey is the softest, and I do not know about the other colors.

I am currently learning to ride a Cabrium C-17 on one of my bikes.  So far I think it is a harsher ride than my leather saddles.  Nose angle seems to be more important.  Ask me at the end of the summer if I kept it or went back to a leather B-17.

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks saddle and bike shorts
« on: June 02, 2016, 12:16:45 pm »
Your saddle may be over tensioned.  There should be a hint of sag, from front to back.  You might also have someone check the fit, when the fit is "right" you tush will neutral for front to back movement.

You have a natural product, so your leather may just be a little harder than normal. Black saddles are harder than honey saddles, it is a function of the dye.  Once your butt forms those tell tale ruts, you will stop sliding around.

Most Brooks leather saddles should show signs of breaking in after 8 hours of riding.  I have owned 5 of them, and that is what 4 of them did.  I had a Team Pro that took all summer to break in.

Gear Talk / Re: bike suggestion
« on: May 25, 2016, 12:12:30 pm »
Lots of discussion on this site already if you would invest in the search provisions...

Gear Talk / Re: Touring with hammocks: any other Pros & cons?
« on: May 10, 2016, 11:54:09 am »
I think that the actual weight difference between a hammock setup or a solo tent comes out to be a wash.

So choose a hammock because that is what you want to do, and accept that sometimes you will have to make a bivy out of your hammock.

General Discussion / Re: Hammocking the Great Divide: bad idea?
« on: April 14, 2016, 12:37:55 pm »
I am committing to a hammock for this year.  Of course I only do week long tours, but I think you need to accept that you might have to deal with no tree situations.

I did part of the Great Divide in New Mexico about 15 years ago, and I think there were times when there were trees, and times when there were no trees.

General Discussion / Re: Newbie
« on: March 16, 2016, 12:08:44 pm »
Go to Google maps, click on the 3 lines next to the city search box. Click on bicycling. All paths, trails and shared streets will appear.

What bike are you using? If cross, or MTB is available, then take gravel roads. More scenic, safer (In my opinion).

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

You are not going to find a rail trail that goes from Chicago to LA, but there are routes with a couple of days of riding in them.

The Greater Allegheny Passage goes from Pittsburgh to Cumberland (Maryland), and connects with the Chesapeake-Ohio Tow Path which goes on to Washington DC.

The Katy goes the width of Missouri

The Erie Canal Trail goes from Buffalo to Albany.  It is fragmented and sometimes you are routed on low traffic roads.

Many states have bike tourism routes.  I have done the Willamette Valley in Oregon and Route G in Pennsylvania.

As was previously mentioned, the Google Maps bicycling layer is a great tool.  I think Rails to Trails has maps and references.  Most states have bicycle touring web sites.  You should have no trouble coming up with routes with minimal car interaction.

It looks like you can start in Minneapolis and end up in Carver, Victoria, Lester Praire, Cedar Mills, or Hanover.  I think you got options in  your own neighborhood.

General Discussion / Re: Newbie
« on: March 15, 2016, 01:17:16 pm »
It is hard to knock rail trail based touring.  You have a couple of possibilities right in your neighborhood.

Gear Talk / Re: Who makes decent rain gear....
« on: March 11, 2016, 07:20:22 pm »
Down to about 50F, I can make do with a pair of tights.  If was raining and it was colder than 50F, then I would be looking at paints of some kind.  There is a variant of nylon that looks like cotton which I wear in colder weather (supplex nylon?).  I don't know if it is waterproof but it is definitely wind proof. 

My cool weather jacket is made of Gortex.  Yes it was pricey, yes I might never find a replacement, but it is really comfortable.  If you really want a rain pant for colder weather, then Gortex would be a wonderful choice. 

So at what temp do you think you need rain pants.

I do have a pair of coated nylon rain pants (and the matching jacket).  I think I have worn the pants once, and that might have been just to test the fit.

Gear Talk / Re: Who makes decent rain gear....
« on: March 11, 2016, 12:20:09 pm »
Are you really sure that you need the pants?

I find I can tolerate a lot with a good rain jacket, a pair of tights, and neoprene booties to keep my shoes and socks dry.

Gear Talk / Re: Shimano Hollowtech experience anyone?
« on: March 09, 2016, 12:24:54 pm »
Shimano has a long history of planned obsolescence.  All of the bike companies are guilty of pointless specsmanship.  Tapered square might be heavier, but the bolt circle is almost nonexistent, so it is a foolish issue to talk about weight here.  The engineering term is moment of inertia.  I think the only real negatives about tapered square is that you need special tools to service it, tools not likely to be on your bike.  OK, since you are forcing the soft aluminum crank arm onto the hardened steel axle, you also deforming the soft aluminum crank arm and if you do it enough times you wear out the crank arm.  I still have some tapered square bottom brackets in service, and I have not worn any of the crank arms out yet. 

As for cranks based on out board bearings...

Since the bearings are on the outside of the bike frame, they are more exposed to the elements, and that makes them more vulnerable.

Either way, bottom brackets do not generally instantly fail, and you almost always have enough  warning to plan for getting the crank serviced.  I would not spend a lot of time fretting over the life of the crank. 

Gear Talk / Re: LHT with 26 Inch Wheels?
« on: February 29, 2016, 12:12:54 pm »
I have a friend with a 52CM sized LHT.  It also comes with 26" wheels, and it rides fine.  Surly did not just plop on a set of 26" wheels, the brake bosses and fork crown were placed for 26" wheels.

If you do not want a bike with 26" wheels, then look at a bike other than the LHT.  I also ride a 50CM frame, and it is possible to get a touring bike in that size that is based on a 700C wheel.

Touring bikes often come with bar end shifters as the they are more reliable than brifters.  I have been screwed over enough times that the last time they gunked up on me I seriously considered down tube shifters.  I like bar end shifters, but you cannot put them on a short wheelbase road bike as you might get stabbed by them.  So I replaced the brifters on my criterium bike with another set of brifters.  The speed with which you can shift is rarely a big deal on a touring bike, and I have never found bar end shifters to be too slow for me.  There is a period of adjustment but you may grow to like them.  Replacing shifters is not difficult, as long as you can cut cable housing and set up the derailleur afterwards. There are special tools for cutting cable and crimping the end fitting.  I like cutting housing with a metal cutting blade on a Dremel Tool.  You will have to rewrap your handle bars too.  Again, that is not hard, and I would recommend using vinyl electical tape to terminate the end rather that whatever tape comes with the bar wrap.

Brifters are pretty expensive, and the dealer will want a fair amount to do the conversion for you.

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