Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - roadrunner

Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7
Gear Talk / Changing from Drop bars to Straight bars
« on: December 21, 2007, 12:04:27 am »
I've found the treking bar on the Novara Safari I bought a few years ago ideal for touring.  The shifters are located similarly to a flat bar, but the shape of the bar give many hand positions, providing body positions from upright to essentially aero.  (The bar has a much different shape from the one in the Shelden Brown article.)  I installed a stem riser to get to bar high enough to fit my "druthers."

Gear Talk / Schrader vs Presta
« on: November 12, 2007, 12:42:31 am »
I converted my touring bike wheels to Schrader for ease of finding tubes if needed out in the boonies.  It's paid off for me when the only source was Wal-Mart.   Having the same type valve on the bike and BoB trailer (and my other bikes) makes life simpler.

Gear Talk / Kick Stands
« on: November 12, 2007, 12:57:57 am »
I've seen several touring bikes equipped with the rear-mounted Greenfield kickstand.  While looking for one on the following website:

I saw the suggestion for mounting the kickstand on the BoB trailer.  I tried that on a tour last month and it worked great (best with the front wheel turned to the right).  It was nice not to have to find a 10-foot wall to lean the bike & trailer against or having to lay the bike down along the road when taking breaks in treeless Kansas.

The site also has the double-leg kickstand.

Gear Talk / Touring tire for mountainbikes
« on: August 03, 2007, 01:18:38 am »
I've had 26x1.75" Marathon Plus tires on my Novara Safari fat-tired touring bike for a year and am completely satisfied with them.  I've put about 2,500 miles on them, including a 1,200-mile tour on pavement, railtrails and canal trails.  I've had only one puncture, a miracle in everything-has-thorns Arizona.  The tires have a built-in puncture-resistant belt, so are heavy, but so what?  The 1.75" width is fine for pavement, while allowing for unplanned off-pavement riding.  The tires show virtually no sign of wear.  I ordered the tires from, which seems to carry about every kind of tires.  The cost was about $34/tire -- pricy, but worth it for the reliability and long wear.

Gear Talk / clip-in pedals
« on: July 27, 2007, 01:32:48 am »
To add a different perspective to your pedal question, my preference is the "old fashioned" cage pedal and Power Grip straps.  I use them on my touring, mountain, and around-town bikes.  The advantages for me are:
a. I can ride in any type shoes - cycling, tennies, sandals, street shoes, or hiking shoes.
b. The staps hold the foot as securely to the pedal as clip-ins and are easy to get out of.
d. No need to carry another pair of shoes on tours for walking, hanging around the camp site, etc.
e. For a quick ride, there's no need to switch to special shoes.
f. I can walk through dirt or mud without having to clean out cleats.

I attached thin metal plates to the pedals of a couple of my bikes, making a platform pedal for riding comfortably with thin-soled shoes or sandals.

Riding without clip-ins is certainly possible -- it was done for more than a hundred years.

Gear Talk / self sealing innertubes
« on: May 24, 2007, 02:50:02 am »
Sorry I was "off the net" for a few days, litespeed.  To make it easier to find tubes "in the boonies", I drilled out my rims to accept Schraeder valves, so I just put Slime in 700x35-38 tubes myself for 38mm tires.  There are other sealents that can apparently be put into Presta-valve tubes, but I didn't find they work as well as Slime.

Gear Talk / self sealing innertubes
« on: May 09, 2007, 02:09:02 am »
Living and riding in Arizona for 9 years where about every plant has thorns has made a Slime-believer out of me.  The minor, virtually unnoticeable to me, additional weight beats the heck out of frequent flats tires, and the Slime is lighter than a batch of extra tubes.  I ride with non-Sliming friends and frequently get to watch them practice their flat-fixing skills. I like the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires I've used for flat-free touring.  I rode them about 2 weeks here before getting a thorn-induced flat.  Since sliming the tubes about a year ago -- no flats.  The fixation to shave weight isn't a top priority to me, not only when I'm hauling 35 pounds of touring gear, but also when I'm just riding for enjoyment or exercise.

Gear Talk / Novara Safari..opinions of ownership
« on: May 09, 2007, 02:27:30 am »
I've had a Safari for a couple of years and, like Trailpatrol, love it.  I used it on a 1,200 mile self-supported tour of about half pavement/half trails this past fall; it performed wonderfully.  It's also great for general riding.  The treking bar look a bit goofy, and I had to add a stem-riser to get it high enough for a comfortable riding position, but it's very comfortable for riding.  It provides a half-dozen hand positions, including a semi-aero mode with forearms on the back part of the bar.  The small Cannondale handlebar bag fits on the bar (by slightly flexing the sides of the bag).  I like the treking bar so much, I'm considering putting one on my BLT.

Gear Talk / Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe
« on: December 28, 2006, 12:55:38 am »
My experience with the REI bike mechanic at the Tempe, AZ, store was very good.  He did a fine job of assembling the Navara Safari I purchased 2-1/2 years ago.  The process included adding a stem riser and tire liners, checking the trueness of the wheels, and several interations of adjustments to get the fit right.  While I don't have the Randonee you're considering, the Navara Safari is a great bike.  I did a 1,200 mile tour with it this fall, and it performed great -- totally reliable and comfortable.

Gear Talk / Novara Safari?
« on: March 31, 2006, 11:31:46 pm »
I have a 2005 Safari and have been very satisfied with it.  This "oldie" has V-brakes, which work well.  Most of the components are Deore LX, which have worked great, with no problems, on many tours with my 10-year old Bruce Gordon BLT.  I use a BoB trailer for tours. I'll be taking the Safari on a Chesapeake Bay to Mississippi River tour this summer, half of which is on rail or canal trails.  The only fault I found with the Safari is the handlebars are too low for comfortable touring.  I ended up putting two stem risers on it to put the bars in a comfortable position for me.

Gear Talk / touring shoes
« on: November 23, 2005, 02:19:04 am »
I like to keep my gear simple, light, and comfortable when touring.  The combination I've settled on for footwear/pedals is a pair of tennis or running shoes with relatively hard soles and Power Grip pedal straps.  I take along a pair of regular Teva sandals for off-bike wear, showers, and river swimming and find them fine for riding up to about 25 miles on layover days.  Power Grips provide a very secure attachment to the pedals with virtually any shoe.

I've tried several "touring" shoes, including Shimanos, but haven't found any really confortable for extensive walking, especilly after several day's riding.

I prefer wool sweatshocks for touring.  They provide much more cushioning than nylon socks, dry faster than cotton, are warmer (particularly when wet), and keep one's feet warm when the sleeping bag isn't quite up to the night's chill.

These items have worked well for me on self-contained tours up to 2,500 miles.  I'll never make it as a bike catalog model, but my feet are happy.

Gear Talk / Bianchi? Trek? Bruce Gordon?
« on: November 23, 2005, 01:54:17 am »
I purchased a Bruce Gordon BLT in 1996, have used it on many self-contrained tours, both with his racks and paniers and a BOB trailer, and am completely satisfied with it.  It has been completely reliable; the only components I've replaced have been chains and cassettes.  The gearing is good for any terrain and load, which can't be said for many "touring bikes."  It also serves as my "road bike" and errand runner.  It's heavier than a go-fast road bike, but I don't worry about riding through potholes and on gravel roads.

Gear Talk / BOB skewers--do they break?
« on: April 27, 2005, 02:39:59 am »
I've toured several thousand miles with a BoB, including 850 miles this month along the Chisholm Trail route, and never had a problem with the skewer.  I did lose a connecting pin on one trip, so now carry a couple of spares duct-taped on the BoB.

Gear Talk / CamelPak bladder size and color
« on: March 09, 2005, 02:42:40 am »
Whoops, didn't answer your last question.  The "construction model" Camelback fits and rides fine; it doesn't interfer with my helmet or restrict any body parts.

Gear Talk / CamelPak bladder size and color
« on: March 09, 2005, 02:39:36 am »
I use the blaze orange color "construction" model Camelback for summer riding in Arizona and when touring and am very happy with it.  I'm a firm believer in being as visible as possible and think a brightly-colored Camelback makes a lot more sense than the usual dark-colored ones. The 70 oz capacity has always been adequate for me; if not for a full day's riding, it's enough to get to somewhere to refill.  If I think more water might be needed, I add a waterbottle or two.  I prefer that to carrying more on my back.  The construction model Camelbacks aren't as comfortable looking -- no padded shoulder straps, but that's no problem.  My only complaint about the blaze orange model is that over time, the strong Arizona sun fades the color so it isn't as bright.  I tried painting it with blaze orange paint; that brightened it up, but then the paint faded also.  I ended up buying a new blaze orange one.

Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7