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Messages - paddleboy17

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Gear Talk / Clipless w/float and platform please
« on: August 14, 2008, 01:24:49 pm »
Setting up shoe cleats is not supposed to be that hard.
The cleat is perpendicular to a line running through the ball of foot.  The cleat is also aligned with the center of the shoe.  If you need to ride with pigeon toe then you have a foot bed issue.  Fine tweaks are possible after that with cleat wedges.


Gear Talk / Clipless w/float and platform please
« on: August 07, 2008, 05:28:56 pm »
I think float is generally overrated.  You probably need a superior footbed in your shoes.  When you the foot is properly aligned, your foot will be parallel to the frame, and you won't need any float.

Look into custom footbeds.  I already had them, but they would not fit in my shoes.  My orthotist (AKA the foot bed guy) modified two pairs of SuperFeet off the shelf foot beds ($40 to modify each footbed) and they work pretty good.  Greg Lemond sell thin wedges that you can use to can't your cleats.  Pre footbeds, I had some massive number of wedges stacked up .  Now I only have one thin wedge under the right cleat only.


Gear Talk / Search for new Rain Jacket
« on: August 04, 2008, 01:46:11 pm »
The trick in touring, is to make each item you take serve multiple functions.  That said, I think if the temperature range was cold enough, you could justify taking rain pants.  The rain pants could also be your in camp pants you wore after you stopped riding.  

I probably would not bother with coated nylon low end rain pants.  But if I felt I needed pants to wear in camp, why not make them serve double duty as rain pants.


Gear Talk / Search for new Rain Jacket
« on: July 31, 2008, 04:23:14 pm »
I have an MEC Bernouli Gortex Rain Jacket.  It might be two heavy on a 90F day, but have worn it on a rainy 80F day, and a lot cooler.  Looks like it is out of production.  MEC (, looks to have replaced it with the Woosh Jacket (75-denier polyester laminated to a waterproof-breathable Entrant® EV non-porous membrane with a nylon tricot backer).  It has the same look and ventilation features of my jacket.

MEC makes pretty good stuff.  Yes getting it shipped across the border is a hassle, and the exchange rate used to be better.  I have had good luck with everything that I ever bought from them, including my panniers.

You can get by down to 55F with the jacket and just tights.  Below that and you might need rain pants too.


Gear Talk / Anyone build a bike with two rear wheels?
« on: July 28, 2008, 01:55:36 pm »
I took the weekend off, looks like I missed some good content.

I went for tandem wheels for two reasons.  

  • I wanted a non-dished rear wheel for strenth
  • I wanted the beefer (stronger) tandem wheels as I am commited to panniers.

I suppose that would have made me a candidate for a Co-Motion, but I wanted a lugged frame.  You always hear, buy a steel bike as you can find a tig welder anywhere.  There might be tig welders everywhere, but how many of them are experienced at welding thin walled  exotic tubing?  I felt I might be more likely to find someone who could braise.  But if truth be told, I got a lugged frame for the beauty of the frame.

My dealer wanted to build the bike up with Shimano hubs.  I have had a good personal history with Shimano hubs, but a friend of mine has had a terrible time with the little rubber booties (they use to protect the cones) rotting with UV exposure.  Shimano is not real good at providing spare parts for anything more than a year old.  I would have like to get Phil Wood hubs, they were too expensive, and that is how I settled for White hubs.

If you are bound and determined to use a trailer, I think there is an argument for standardizing on one common tire for everything.  Having interchangeable wheels seems like overkill.  But having to carry extra tubes and tires because you trailer uses a different wheel size, is a burden.


Gear Talk / Anyone build a bike with two rear wheels?
« on: July 24, 2008, 01:41:32 pm »
I just finished having my adventure bike built by Waterford.  I had my bike built to accept a tandem wheel set, which meant 140mm rear spacing.  Like you, I did not want any dishing on the rear wheel.  I have to confess that I did not think you could make a rear wheel, non-dished, with 130mm spacing.

I have to carry spare spokes for the front and the rear as the lengths are slightly different, but spokes do not take much room.

I like panniers for on road, and trailer for off road as pannier would make the bike too wide.  

I don't know much about American Classic hubs.  It looks like they have loose bearings.  I chose a White Industries Daisy hub as the cartridge bearing are pretty bomb proof and low maintenance.  My wheel set is pretty rugged, so I don't worry about reliability.  I am OK with the fact that I can't ride with a spare wheel because I can't image how I would taco a wheel.

It sounds like you are concerned about ruggedness.  Maybe mountain bike hubs and 26" wheels would make more sense?

Where are you going that you need that kind of ruggedness?


Gear Talk / Trailer or panniers
« on: July 10, 2008, 07:11:47 pm »
I have done both.  I prefer a trailer off road and panniers on road.  BOB trailers tend to bounce, and this can be a little scary at the higher speeds found on a road tour.  I would expect any other trailer based on a small wheel to behave similarly.  BOB trailers may also use your rear derailler as lever to bend the lug your derailler is screwed into.  It is managable if you know that it can happen and are careful.  Just look at the clearances.

For me, the burden of pulling a trailer versus a heavier bike was a wash.  I suppose that the extra weight could cause your frame to flex, but that is something that you would have to check personally.

I cannot speak for your trike would behave.

I once did a road tour where we averaged 80 miles a day.  I felt that I missed out on enjoying the ride and that a shorter daily target would have been better.  Your decision though.  You will ride a lot slower loaded than unloaded.  


Gear Talk / Communications on tour
« on: June 24, 2008, 01:27:51 pm »
My experience is with mountain biking and cross country skiing.  FRS is in theory 2 miles, but besides hills, some vegetation will dampen your signal.  Most of the time, you can count on a mile.  I also moved up to GMRS, which is a lot of the same frequencies, only you can run with more power and a more efficient antenna.  This was a nominal improvement for me.  

I stopped pursuing this when cell phones became cheap and reliable.  All you need is good line of site to the tower.  Have you considered using cell phones?  They work most of the time.  

I did part of the continental divide in Colorado, and there was no meaningful cell phone coverage there.  So yes, a cell phone is not a universal solution.  Maybe a combination of cell phones and FRS radios would work for you.

I ran experiments on other frequency radios.  Don't waste you time on the CB band as you cannot carry a long enough antenna.  I also thought about short wave, but again you need an FCC license and are dependent on  whatever repeaters are available.  So GMRS is the way to go if you want a step up from FRS.


« on: August 20, 2008, 12:48:56 pm »
The Waterford does indeed handle well with panniers on it.  No frame or rack flex under normal operation.  I can make something flex if I try, but I can live with that.

I think you might find light touring bikes at you local bike shop.  Touring bikes have a more upright riding position than critereum road bikes, so there is a market for them.  There is also not a lot of difference between a light touring bike and a low end cyclocross bike.  Some bikes are also designed to do either.  In SE Michigan, there is a lot of interest in cyclocross.

In short, you won't know until you go to your LBS.  You might have to go to all of your LBS to what they have.    Any Trek dealer can get you a 520.


« on: August 07, 2008, 05:21:22 pm »
You LBS is one of most important relationships that you need to establish.  For most of you, a ~$1000 touring bike will meet your needs.  You can certainly do your background research and decide which bikes your interested in.  Either you like barcon shifters or you have to have STI shifters and so on.  Find dealers that carry what you are interested in and go see them.  Any good dealer can fit you to a bike that you want.  The LBS makes its money off of the accessories, not the bike.  Fit is everything.  Your relationship with the LBS is pretty important, as they want you happy (and buying more stuff), and we solve ride problems.  You just might need a shorter stem or saddle swap, and see if you can get that from a .COM.

That said, I will tell you a tale critical of my LBS.  I had a $950 touring bike.  I am a big guy, and do to an injury I have a lot of upper body movement.  So my bike would ripple from front to back when I road it under load.  I talked to my LBS, and their answer to buy another $1000 touring bike.  Wrong answer.  I need a custom touring bike, designed to support my weight and dampen my upper body.  I changed to another bike shop that someone who toured on staff, and we designed a $5000 custom Waterford heavy touring bike (that took 6 months to get from start to finish).  I have had it 5 weeks, and it does indeed ride like dream.  I am doing my first loaded tour Saturday, and I will let you know how it handles under load.


Gear Talk / Getting lower gearing
« on: June 10, 2008, 01:56:42 pm »
A Shimano LX crank and front derailleur are ~$200.  Would you consider that?  Its not hard to install, and would give you extremely favorable gearing.

Gear Talk / Touring Saddles?
« on: June 10, 2008, 01:53:50 pm »
I just got a Selle An-Atomica saddle (Watershed leather variant).  My criteum bike had a Brook Professional, and my urologist forbid me to ride on it anymore.  I find my Brook B.17 to be the most comfortable saddle I own (I also have a Brooks Conquest, similar to the Flyer only shorter and narrower).  My critereum bike requires a more aggressive position, hence I needed a saddle to allow that, and now you know why I have a Selle An-Atomica saddle.

You don't really break in a Selle An-Atomica.  And you might have to reconsider your shorts as I am more aware of the seams and padding than I am with any other saddle.  But if you need a cut-out, this saddle is your only choice.  I may at some point consider one of their modified B.17s.  And of course I wait for the day when the Brook Imperial goes on sale.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Mapping Software
« on: August 07, 2008, 10:31:17 pm »
I have sometimes made my own custom routes.  I have mostly used Delorme Street Atlas.  I find a lot of mistakes in their data, and when I have tried to send them corrections, they were not particularly grateful.  I currently have Street Atlas 2006 which is no more accurate than Street Atlas V7 and has an even more dumbed down user interface.  

I assume that GPS users might generate their own routes.  How do you do it?  What software do you use?

With Street Atlas, I can mark my start and end points, insert VIAs to adjust the route (go through here), and define stops.  The stop feature is a little frustrating as Street Atlas shows over all mileage, not mileage between stops.  I just can't do 80 mile days anymore, so the daily mileage is important to me.  Sometimes I want to incorporate Rail Trails in my routes, but they don't show up the map.  I don't even think the rail roads that used to be there show up half the time.

I also have scanned topographical maps from MapTech, but I think laying out a route on them would be painful.

I am not sold on loading waypoints into a GPS unit yet.  I would be perfectly happy to print paper maps.  I would appreciate any and all suggestions.


Routes / Cabot Trail
« on: June 27, 2008, 03:18:24 pm »
I did the Cabot Trail in 2000, so some things may have changed.  I rode the trail with an ex-girlfriend (we made much better friends that lovers).

We drove in and spent night 1 at a motor lodge east of Baddeck.  I do not remember the name of the lodge, but they let us stage our car their while we were riding.  We rode the next day to Cheticamp campground inside Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  This is a full service campground, and pretty nice to boot.  From there we rode to Macintosh Brook camprgound (still inside Cape Breton Highlands National Park).  This site has some buildings, but you had to boil drinking and cooking water.  I don't remember if they had showers or not (somehow I think they did not).  The next day we rode to Ingonish campground (still inside Cape Breton Highlands National Park).  This was full service and pretty nice.  From here we road back to the motor lodge and stayed there before driving down to Peggy's Cove (there is also a nice three multi day bike ride from Peggy's Cove to Lunenburg).

The roads are all paved.  Yes you go up and down a lot.  The mountains are not that high, but the grade is steep as there are no switch backs.  And oddly enough, the mountains are all flat at the top.  You go past places to buy lunch and groceries for dinner.  The scenery is fabulous,  the natives friendly, and the cars few and respectful.

There is a nice map at:

You can also get an overview at:


General Discussion / Cycling Goggles
« on: October 20, 2008, 11:51:33 am »
I am not familiar with Kroops.

What about using something designed for down hill skiing?  I used to downhill ski and wore eye protection (sorry but I don't remember any details other that the price, $75 USD).  I don't remember having any fogging issues.


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