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Messages - rcrampton

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Gear Talk / Re: Rack Platforms
« on: July 10, 2011, 02:35:57 am »
Seems like I'm always strapping crap on my bike here and there. The rack platform has been useful for strapping clothing on to dry (after laundry or rain or whatever). I made something up that holds my thermarest on the back of my rear panniers, but before that I strapped it on top of one of my rack platforms.

On trips to work or around town I will leave my panniers at home and strap on a windbreaker, rain jacket, or whatever on top of a rack platform. Or use small panniers on the rear and strap something large on the platform.

I'd personally make sure I had it on at least one of the two racks, but that's just me!

Gear Talk / Re: sleeping bag
« on: July 10, 2011, 02:30:34 am »
I've been using down for years for bike touring and backpacking.  Just buy a waterproof stuff sack and you'll be fine.  Down bags are lighter and more compressible (pretty important since you have limited storage room on a bike).

Ditto. On trips where I have to carry a lot of clothing and fight for space, the compactness of my down bag is wonderful. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I keep it in a waterproof stuff sack so I don't worry about it getting wet.

I used synthetic my whole life but as I got my backpacking weight down to sub 20 lbs a down bag became a must, and I never looked back.

Gear Talk / Re: 26" v. 700...again
« on: July 10, 2011, 02:22:47 am »
Kind of obvious, but I've got a safari and I have noticed a big difference in rolling resistance depending on the tire I use.

I also tend to sit up more with the trekking bars than drop bars so my wind resistance is higher which can be a big effect too.

The difference between my Safari with high pressure tires and a 700c road bike is in the noise for me, I'm not that consistent of a rider to really say.

I love my Safari though, perfect bike - it rides well on the road and when the pavement ends I keep going!

Gear Talk / Re: Build from Frame Up Information
« on: July 10, 2011, 02:13:51 am »
A frame-up build is a lot of fun, go for it. There are a lot of minor details that can bite you, and if you don't have a lot of expertise already then just expect to get bitten by them and spend a lot of time troubleshooting issues. But if you like doing that then you'll have a good time. if you just want to bolt parts on and have it work then it might not be so much fun.

There is plenty of help online to work through whatever issues come up.

I would start by talking with the frame maker or others that have built bikes on the same or similar frame (maybe there'sa  forum for them) for component recommendations. Frame geometries and such can impact what components you can use.

I agree than the Zinn books are good - road bike or mountain bike, whichever is appropriate for your frame.

The build kits sound like a good idea potentially as long as you can get what you want, or most of it, in one of the kits. Components are really expensive when you buy them one at a time.

Obviously start by picking the big buckets you want to be in (disc vs cantilever etc. brakes, internal geared hub vs. derailleur, grip vs. STI shifters, etc) then work down from there.

Lots of great help online, good luck!

Routes / Re: Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« on: July 09, 2009, 09:11:49 am »
Thanks for the feedback guys. It sounds like there's at least a decent grunt of a climb but it's not an overbearing route to ride. If we think we're interested in making the drive up to NY then I'll buy the maps from ACA and get the detailed scoop.

Thanks again,

Routes / Adirondack Park Loop Difficulty
« on: July 08, 2009, 10:12:28 am »
My brother and I are looking to do a self-supported tour this fall and the Adirondack Loop cams up as an idea. We're both more rails to trails type guys, we don't really enjoy climbing mountains all day, but road tours with some traffic don't bother us any. How would you rate the Adirondack Park Loop route from a difficulty perspective?

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Jersey vs. Under Armour
« on: May 27, 2009, 04:40:18 pm »
I don't use bike jerseys much. In particular when I'm touring off the beaten path I prefer to fit in and wear clothes and biking shoes that look like normal clothes. REI Tech Tee's and Under Amour along with other tech tops and shorts (with padded bikers underneath) are my normal biking wear.

I know others that like the longer backside, and the long zipper in the front of bike jerseys definitely gives you a lever to pull to regulate body temperature with exertion.

I've typically spend $30-$40 for a jersey and $22'ish for an REI Tech Tee.

General Discussion / Re: How Many ACA Map Tours Are Done Each Year?
« on: April 06, 2009, 10:08:47 pm »
Wow, that's impressive, thanks for the information!

General Discussion / Re: my big ride
« on: April 01, 2009, 07:24:43 pm »
It's impressive you landed the folks you did as sponsors. Looks like a great start to a great plan.

How have you learned everything you need to do to get such a ride together? Just figure it out as you go along? Done it before? Know someone who's done it?

General Discussion / How Many ACA Map Tours Are Done Each Year?
« on: April 01, 2009, 12:40:09 pm »
Just curious, how many people do you think are out there doing ACA tours? I don't recall seeing ACA publish anything along the lines of how many maps they sell per year. I assume there are more than a few hundred of us? Any data points that you know of?

Routes / Re: Suggestions about getting in and out the BlueRidge
« on: January 24, 2009, 01:49:32 pm »
You're probably well aware of it, but the Blue Ridge Parkway is brutal in elevation gain. It's pretty much always going up or down, which means us cyclists spend all day going up hill. I don't remember the numbers I've read, but it was impressive, something like 50,000 ft of gain. it's a really beautiful road though, and not much traffic during the week.

Given the route you're describing I'm guessing you're not scare of climbing though!

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast Route Camping
« on: January 24, 2009, 01:36:59 pm »
As the others said, the campgrounds in Oregon are unbelievable, particularly for the money for hiker/biker sites. Some of the nicest I've stayed in across the US. Washington was very nice as well. I ran into very few mosquitos in WA until the very south and then had them throughout Oregon. Not sure if that's typical but that's what I saw.

I wouldn't expect to see the hiker/biker sites fill up but I've generally been off season. Most (all?) of the ones we stayed in didn't have designated spots #1,2,3, they were just an area.

It was a great ride. Didn't really see much actual cost in Washington but got a lot of it in Oregon. WA was must more remote, OR was fairly busy traffic-wise in comparison.

One of my all-time favorite tours.

Gear Talk / Novara Safari Front Rack? and Fenders?
« on: September 02, 2008, 11:18:35 pm »
I saw that price last weekend, it's a great deal. I have a Safari and put an OMM rack on it. I'm almost 100% sure it's the Sherpa. I used rubber clamps around the forks to attach the rack.

It's tough to find fenders that fit as well. I ended up with Planet Bike fenders and did a couple of easy mods to make it stable on the front. My brother has a Safari and went a different route with fenders that he says fit better. I think these are the ones I have:

Note that the Safari rear rack doesn't use stainless hardware and the construction isn't what I care for. I planned to use it for a few years before swapping it out but after < 2 years I had a bolt rust out a bit and fail. I had a tough time stopping creaks from the rear rack when I was riding as well.

I have a habit of riding my touring bikes off road and even on slightly technical single track, so I've smashed up the foam grip a bit on my Safari, too. I'll replace that with Fitzik shortly, which is more durable.

If you'd like some pics of anything on my bike just let me know. I talked to the guys at Arkel in Canada, they were very helpful with touring equipment for this bike.

I'm curious to see what you think of the Town & Country tires. I didn't like them at first but they've grown on me. I'd estimate I'll get nearly double the mileage on those that I get on the Continental Contact on my 700c bike. And they have actually performed OK on and off road. Not great in sandy trail, but serviceable.

This message was edited by rcrampton on 9-2-08 @ 8:19 PM

Gear Talk / need advice for bike purchase. please
« on: August 19, 2008, 10:20:52 pm »
I think it depends on what you're looking for. To get started riding a bike to see if you like it, it's nice to get in without dumping a bunch of money. A used bike might be a better route, you can get a lot more for your money, and cross over into the quality level where it will hold up better.

For loaded touring a trek 520 may be easy to find and is a really great bike that can last a lifetime. A Novara Randonee is cost effective, as is the Fuji Touring.

For unloaded touring any of the mid-range bikes can be a good buy used.

Gear Talk / MTB tires
« on: August 19, 2008, 10:27:11 pm »
Continental makes some nice tires as well. I forget which models I've ridden in 26" for road/dirt, but they have some nice ones.

Schwalbe is a popular choice, some nice ones from them too.

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