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Messages - paddleboy17

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General Discussion / Re: Custom touring bkie vs. mass produced
« on: April 09, 2018, 12:16:57 pm »
Let's say you got that custom bike.  What do you do with it when you're on tour?  If you lean it up against a wall, the wall might scratch that rad paint job.  If you run into a convenience store for a nature break, are you going to worry about will the bike be there when you come out?  Brag about how much it costs, and do you really want to camp in the park in that town and leave Precious Bike outside your tent?  What will you do if it's stolen or damaged?  If it was a production bike, it's feasible to budget a couple thou to replace the bike and keep touring.  If it takes 6 months to get a new custom, are you going home to pout until next year?
(snipped by me for focus)

Well, I am not concerned too much about scratches, I lock my bike, and I don't tell random people that it is a custom bike.  People who know Bruce Gordon bikes come up and talk to me about it, and that's really cool to have that connection.   My bike doesn't LOOK like a bells and whistles bike, unless you know what you're looking for.  It flies under the radar.    I figure if my bike gets stolen, it's going to  likely end my tour.  That would be the case no matter the bike. I can't budget to replace it, so I will protect it.

Touring bike with panniers on them are not exactly sexy looking.  I don't think they are anymore likely to be stolen than any other bike, and the morons doing the theft don't know what they are stealing anyhow.  Adding a rider to your home owner's insurance to cover a bike is pretty cheap.  I think my Waterford is $50/year.

General Discussion / Re: Custom touring bkie vs. mass produced
« on: April 09, 2018, 12:11:08 pm »
I started off with an off the shelf touring advised that most off the shelf touring bikes are terrible touring bikes.  My off the shelf touring bike was a great ride, until you put panniers on it, at which point it wiggled and was unstable to ride.

When exactly did you start out with an "off the shelf" touring bike? I got my Surly Long Haul Trucker 10 years ago and it was very stable to ride with panniers, front and back. While I had the bike built from a bare frame/fork, I've heard that the gearing on the stock builds has been good for touring.

I got my Waterford in 2008.  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 might add that Surly does not push the LHT as a light touring bike. 

General Discussion / Re: Custom touring bkie vs. mass produced
« on: April 04, 2018, 04:05:39 pm »
I started off with an off the shelf touring bike.  Most so called touring bikes sold are light touring or sport touring bikes, and they never ever have panniers on them.  The bike companies know this, so be advised that most off the shelf touring bikes are terrible touring bikes.  My off the shelf touring bike was a great ride, until you put panniers on it, at which point it wiggled and was unstable to ride.  The factory gearing was also too high to tour on.

So I bought a full custom frame from Waterford and had it built up as a touring bike.  There is nothing special about me that requires a custom frame. Sure I got to add features I wanted (that would not have come on a factory frame).  I don't know what Waterford did in designing my frame but I ended up with a fabulous touring bike.  I can make the frame flex, but it immediately dampens out.  I chose the components, so of course the gearing is perfect.

So if you are going to look at a stock bike, be sure to try riding it under load to make sure it really is a touring bike.  A lot of people start with stock bikes and work into a custom bike, and vanity is never one of their motivating factors.

Gear Talk / Re: B17 in the wet
« on: March 29, 2018, 12:36:10 pm »
I almost destroyed a Brooks saddle in a single wet ride. Chances are the that your body will properly shield the top of the saddle while you are riding it.  If you are not riding it, then cover up the saddle.   You have to moisturize the saddle with Proofhide, or else there will be a  host of bad consequences, but if your rear tire sends a stream of water up to the underside of the saddle, then no amount of Proofhide will protect the saddle from that.  I was on an event ride during a heavy and sustained rain shower, when I waterlogged the underside of a saddle.  I got lucky, in that there was enough tension capability left in the adjustments to correct for the stretch my saddle took.  This was a Brooks Imperial variant, so the only lasting scar of the whole wet experience is that my saddle as a peculiar curl up in the center where apparently my butt also curls up.

A fender will protect the underside of the saddle from stream of water.  If you don't want to do a fender, then I would use a non leather saddle.  Brooks has its Cambium line of rubber saddles that are impervious to weather.  I have them on my two bikes that do not have fenders on them.  I find the Cambium saddle to be a bit of a harsher ride than a leather saddle, but so far they are still on the two bikes.  I can't comment on any other brands of saddles.

Gear Talk / Re: Dirt touring handlebar setup
« on: February 22, 2018, 12:25:04 pm »
Dirt touring bar would be the Salsa Woodchipper or Cowchipper.

I am not sure what you mean by bullhorn bars, but if you want traditional road bars...

I like Woodchipper  bars, but the clamp diameter is 31.8mm, and that might make it hard for you to use.

The Nitto Randonneur has a 25.4 mm clamp diameter.

General Discussion / Re: Touring with Children
« on: February 19, 2018, 03:55:06 pm »
Is there any way that you can invest in a couple of weekend trips together first?

Beyond that, I would say be flexible.  This could be a lot like trying to herd cats.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight stoves
« on: January 23, 2018, 11:44:04 am »
I have had TSA confiscate MSR style fuel bottles.  The bottle was clean and odor free.  They know a fuel bottle when they see one.

Gear Talk / Re: Can I use only a Hammock on Great Divide route?
« on: December 06, 2017, 12:26:46 pm »
I think you need to have a plan for what you will do if your camp site does not have something for you to string your hammock from.
Just like you need to have a plan for what  you will do if it rains, gets cold, or other reasonable events.

Gear Talk / Re: Should I buy a road bike?
« on: November 30, 2017, 12:52:23 pm »
I think all the attention to frame material is misplaced.  A steel frame is ~4 pounds, an aluminum frame is ~2.5 pounds, and a titanium frame is ~3 pounds.  I don't remember generalizations about carbon fiber frames.  So this fixation over a 1.5 pound spread strikes me as moronic.  Frame materials have other qualities that might dictate why you would choose one over the other.

Yes your steel 520 frame is a little heavier.  You also have touring rims and tires, which are beefier and wider, and you will work harder riding on them.

So pick out whatever zippy fast bike fits you and your budget, and it will be faster and less work to ride than your 520.  I would think any criterium bike over $1500 (US) would meet your needs.

My zippy fast bike is a '93 Paramount Series 3, with lugged and single butted steel tubing.  Swapping to a frame that is a pound or so lighter will make no difference in my performance on a club ride, as I already have light components and 700x23 tires.  She may weigh 23 pounds, but she rides like a dream!

I think we should all have several bikes to address the different kinds of riding that we do.  I have 4 bikes and I am on a wait list for Salsa Cutthroat, a drop bar mountain bike.  I live in south eastern Michigan, and we just don't have high quality roads any more, so I am running out of places to ride the Paramount.

The other bikes are a Waterford heavy touring bike, a VooDoo 26" mountain bike relegated to winter riding, and a Kona rigid fork 26" mountain bike that I put drop bars and 32MM wide tires on.  They all get ridden.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 920 Disc vs Trek 520 Disc for touring? Help!
« on: May 25, 2017, 11:54:03 am »
if your goal is off road touring then the TREK 920 might be the bike for you.  And if off road is where you want to go, then maybe you should also look at the SALSA FARGO.

As for plain old regular touring, I don't think I would want the burden of spinning around a set of 29" wheels.  There is just to much mass in those 2" wide tires for me.

If you are looking for other touring bikes, I think you should consider the SALSA MARRAKESH.  I think the MARRAKESH is a step up from the 520.  If you want other 520 like bikes to look at, then consider the SURLY LONG HAUL TRUCKER.

General Discussion / Re: Advice on tires
« on: May 03, 2017, 12:20:42 pm »
The GAP is crushed limestone.  I am sure that whatever tires you have now are fine as long as they are in good shape.

The C&O is a different matter as it was the tow path for mules pulling canal boats, once upon a time.  So it will be a nightmare if it rains, and fun if it does not.  The C&O will benefit from wider, knobbier tire.

You have alluded that you personally want to lose 70 pounds and your gear could weigh 70 pounds.  So that is an extra 140 pounds that your bike would have to deal with.  Call me narrow minded, but I think that is a lot to expect from a light touring bike.  The only heavy touring bike on your list is the Marakesh.  So at this point I would steer you towards a Salsa Marakesh. 

By the way, I have a Waterford and it is great.  I know someone that got a Co-Motion and it is fine too. 

I still do not understand your fit issues.  5'-8" is tall for a woman, and I might guess that the bikes tend to be too long for you.  I do not know about the American vs European thing, but I do know that men tend to have longer torsos than women.  Smaller bike sizes tend to fit for adolescents and women better.  Bigger bike sizes tend to fit men better.  It is pretty common to chose a bike frame size based on stand over height, and then adjust the stem.  If that does not work for you, then you have no choice but to go the custom route.

I did read the Marrakesh specs.  It is designed as a heavy touring bike.  If you are not a strong climber, then you might want to swap out the crank for a compact mountain bike triple crank.  I would replace the cassette too as Alivio is not a durable group.  Everything else looks reasonable.

I will second Pat Lamb on asking why you don't think a TREK 520 will NOT work for you.  I think all bike manufacturers mimic each others geometry.

The Vaya is a light touring bike, so if you put too much weight on it, then you might not like the ride.

Sounds like you might want to try a camping hammock.

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