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Messages - paddleboy17

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691
General Discussion / Tour Planning - Ten months out
« on: August 25, 2008, 09:44:51 am »
It is late in the season, but perhaps taking a back packing class would benefit you.  There is a lot of crossover.  A lot of the gear is the same, and a lot of the techniques are the same.

I would also encourage you to do some overnight shake down trips while you work out your way of doing things.  You will want to know where you packed your tights for quick access if the temp drops or where your raincoat is if it starts to rain.

Good luck.

Danno

692
General Discussion / bob trailers
« on: August 06, 2008, 02:05:38 pm »
I did 1000 miles or so of touring on a Bob trailer before I gave mine away.  I am not a big fan of Bob trailers, but if you can accept their limitations, then it may be the ticket for you.  

The attachment mechanism has backlash in it.  This is feature that you will notice off road.  When you lean the bike to one side, there will be some delay before it follows.  This is neither good nor bad, it is just a property of the Bob.

The attachment mechanism may create a lever in which the trailer can come in contact with the rear derailleur and bend the rear drive side lug. It is not a problem on all bikes, just some bikes.  You may do fine if you are aware that it is a problem to manage.  It is definitely a problem if you take the bike off-road and have obstacles to ride over.  You must detach the trailer to carry the bike over obstacles.

Another rider and I have sparred over the bounciness of Bob trailers.  I think they are prone to bounce, he will tell you that they do not bounce if the tires are properly inflated.  I don't agree with him, and he does not agree with me.  I also believe that the trailer is not good at dampening a bounce once it gets airborne.    I had a scary experience on a highway shoulder going around road kill because I got the trailer bouncing.  It could be argued that may I should have seen the road kill sooner and taken a gentler evasive action.  All I know is that I had to struggle to keep control of the bike.  Immediately after that, my partner and changed our route to a less traveled road where we would not have to ride on the shoulder.

I gave my Bob trailer to a friend and he road the continental divide in Colorado without incident.  He was very happy with the trailer.

I don't think you will find anything better at the price that the Bob trailers sell for.  

Two of my buddies tried to design a trailer that had no backlash and not bounce.  Their design featured a 26" mountain bike front tire. It tracked beautifully, with no backlash or bounce.  They applied and were granted a patent, but took it no further as it would not have been cheap to build commercially.



Danno

693
General Discussion / new bike for trails
« on: July 09, 2008, 12:38:29 pm »
For the most part, equipment just keeps getting better.

Probably, a hard tailed bike (front suspension only) will meet your needs.  

In your day, there where center pull, cantilever brakes, which are only found on really crappy mountain bikes (still there on road bikes, but that is a different discussion).  Then along came linear pull brakes which are only found on lower end bikes.  The top of the food chain is a disk brake.

Other than that, I think it comes down to your budget.  I personally like Shimano LX or better components, and I cannot speak for other vendors except to say that I really like SRAM chains.

I extend no loyalty to any bike company.  Buy the frame you like with the components you like from whatever bike company make it.

Danno

694
General Discussion / Touring bike question
« on: June 09, 2008, 02:13:33 pm »
I am not a big fan of Bob Trailers.  I toured with one, and I felt they have a tendency to bounce.  I stopped using a Bob trailer after two trips as mine liked to leverage off of the rear deralleur and bend my rear drive side lug.  The only other person I know who bought a Bob trailer had the same problem.

I would not encourage you to tour on your existing bike.  I would be concerned about if the 5000 could carry the extra weight of your gear, and I suspect that you won't like the handling with the gear on it.

I currently have a Bianchi Volpe (my new Waterford Adveture Cycle may be in this afternoon).  While the Volpe is not as zippy as my 1993 Paramount Series 3 bike, it is still a lot of fun to ride.  I would suspect that a 520 or LHT would handle similar to my Volpe. Light touring bikes are a blast for commuting, and riding dirt roads.  The frame and wheels can take a lot of abuse.  

You might want to consider taking a back packing class.  You pack for touring a lot like how you pack for back packing.  I found the class that I took to be quite helpful.  For the record, I hate back packing but love touring.

I have not toured out West, but I hear that the biggest difference is that they have switchbacks on their mountains.  I am from Michigan, but I have toured in the Canadian Maritimes and Pennsylvania.  


695
General Discussion / c-pap machines when "tenting" on group rides
« on: May 12, 2008, 02:02:24 pm »
I have the same problem, I physically cannot sleep with out a CPAP machine anymore.  I bought a compact CPAP machine, for around $300.  I want to say that I bought a Puritan-Bennet Good Night, but I am going from memory and may be a little off.  I am able to make room for it in my panniers.  I am in the process of fabricating a battery pack for it that uses D cells.  One thing you will have find out is current draw.  I need 0.5, amps which means 4 amp-hours per night.  I think 8 D-cells will give me 2 or 3 nights.  I still need to actually try it out though.  The pre-fabbed battery packs are really expensive, like $300 for a 4AH batter pack.


696
General Discussion / Eating on Tour
« on: June 10, 2008, 01:41:13 pm »
I have always toured through small towns and have had the luxury of buying the ingredients for dinner that afternoon.

My personal favorite is Rice Aroni, canned/chunked ham, and canned pineaple.  The ham usually have enough fat to cook the Rice Aroni.  You can even cook it on an MSR Whisperlite (no simmer capability) if you stir it enough.  Feel free to fortify it with vegetables if you want.  The pineaple makes a wonderful desert.


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