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Messages - RussellSeaton

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General Discussion / Re: Tales of Calamity and Woe
« on: October 31, 2012, 08:56:02 pm »
My worst mechanical failure was in 1992.  In Czechslovakia.  Rolled my front wheel into a sewer grate and fell over before I could get my foot unclipped.  Tacoed the front rim.  I walked to a store close by.  Somehow I met a man in the store.  He hauled me to a local bike shop where I purchased a front wheel off a hybrid bike.  I then spent 3-4 days living with his family and another family they were vacationing with.  Small cabins near town.  Both families had two kids each.  Between 10 and 16 years I think.  I was about 22 at the time so I could play with the kids and talk with the parents comfortably.  Very enjoyable days.   The Olympics were going on and the USA pro team was winning.  Looking back I really don't see the wheel being ruined as a bad thing.

Connecting ACA Routes / Pueblo CO to Minneapolis, MI
« on: May 08, 2007, 11:11:56 am »
The book below has various routes around Colorado.  One I recall has some that go from Pueblo or Colorado Springs out to the eastern plains.  From there you can find a road up north to Hwy 36 and take it all the way across Kansas.  Maybe get onto Hwy 24 in the eastern parts of Kansas.  Hwy 36 across Colorado from Byers to about the middle of Kansas is the Colorado Last Chance 1200k route.  Its an OK road.  And its about the only road for bicycles going east in that part of the state.  Get out your Rand McNally and find Hwy 36 in Colorado and Kansas.  You could take Hwy 36 clear into Missouri and then hook up with Hwy 69 going north into Iowa.  Hwy 69 is not traveled too much due to I-35 taking all of the traffic in Missouri and Iowa.  And Hwy 36 in CO and KS is not traveled too much due to I-70 taking all of the traffic.

Colorado Cycling Guide by Hartley and Jean Alley

Connecting ACA Routes / Grand Canyon + Western Exp to Cali in February ?
« on: October 01, 2006, 04:48:13 pm »
The Western Express route crosses the Sierra Nevada mountains between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.  I think Lake Tahoe has many ski resorts.  I think Lake Tahoe is sort of the Nevada-California version of Colorado's Aspen-Vail.  I'm guessing any place that has lots of ski resorts has lots of snow in February.  I could be wrong.  But I'm guessing the people who invested millions and millions of dollars to build ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area concluded there would be a high likelihood of snow in the winter.

The Grand Canyon route starts in Phoenix and ends up in the SW corner of Utah.  About halfway is Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.  There are mountains, lots of mountains between Flagstaff and Phoenix.  The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is at something like 6,000 feet elevation.  On Thanksgiving weekend 1996 I drove from Las Vegas to a town 40 miles west of Flagstaff on I-40.  The next morning I woke up and there was snow on the ground.  I drove up to the South Rim and saw the Grand Canyon.  As I was driving east to get to the North Rim I drove into a blizzard.  Wind, snow, ice, slick roads, etc.  After 50 or so miles I was out of the bad weather and then it was just cold temperatures.

As for the Pacific Coast route, it rains every day north of San Francisco along the coast in the Fall.  Not sure if it rains every day in the Spring too.  The Redwood trees that only grow in that part of the world require lots and lots of rain.  I suspect there is also a recommended travel time for the Pacific Coast route too.

My suggestion is to cross the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern California in the winter.  Then take the Pacific Coast route to Oregon starting as far south as you can.

Gear Talk / Moutain bike Lights
« on: December 29, 2008, 09:23:52 am »
Cool running (whatever that is worth, I don't touch the bulb when its on) and longer bulb life I'll give you as advantages.  But as you say, watts are watts.  Longer run time is not an advantage.  See examples below.

Seca Light & Motion 400 with 400 lumens, $400

My HID light, 500 lumens, $310.

2.5 hour run time for the LED, 6 hours for the HID.  And the cost difference of course.  Seca also makes a 700 lumen model for $550 that runs 3.5 hours.  But I figured the 400 lumen model was a better comparison to the 500 lumen HID.

LED are wonderful if you want some light, although small, in a small light package.  Rear blinkies in LED are wonderful.  The new generator driven LED lights are vast improvements over the older halogen bulbs.  But if you have no real limitation in battery size, and want lots of light, then LED are not good choices.  The cannot produce the amount of light an HID can without using much more juice than a comparable sized HID.

Gear Talk / Moutain bike Lights
« on: December 26, 2008, 09:48:42 am »
But your full brightness LED is a pathetic weak light you can't see with.  What does 16 hours of unusable light get you?  Compared to my HID light your LED light is a laughable joke.  To put it very bluntly.  I have a Princeton Tec EOS helmet light that runs on 3 AAA batteries and runs for many hours on three different levels of brightness.  Perfect in conjunction with a generator powered front light for all night riding.  Used mainly to see signs.  Its also good for emergency use.  But for actually seeing while riding, no.

Gear Talk / Moutain bike Lights
« on: December 08, 2008, 03:43:46 pm »
I have not kept track whether the light actually meets its listed burn times.  I charge the battery after every 2 or 3 rides.  I've run out of battery once and was not happy limping home with the Princeton Tec EOS helmet light as my only front light source.  Its good for 2-3 1.5-2 hour rides in the dark.  Good enough.  It provides an immense amount of light.  Compared to name brand HID systems, its reasonably priced.

Gear Talk / Moutain bike Lights
« on: December 08, 2008, 09:53:40 am »

My light.  Don't monkey around with pathetic LEDs if you are going with a battery light system.  They are nothing compared to HID.

Gear Talk / Help me outfit a bike
« on: December 01, 2008, 11:26:47 am »
I'd suggest going with one of the many official touring bikes being sold by bike companies.  These are more or less already setup pretty darn close to what you want/need on a tour.  Some that come to mind are the Cannondale T800, Trek 520, Surly/QBP Long Haul Trucker.  You can make minor changes to gearing and such pretty cheaply to customize it.  The link you provided is for a local shop that has frames made for them someplace.  Then they slap on a build kit.  OK if you know what you want/need.  Maybe not if you leave it to the shop to decide everything for you.  One shop doing everything may have odd ideas about touring.

Gear Talk / Surly LHT with 26" wheels
« on: November 24, 2008, 10:07:51 am »
Many people seem to ride their 26" mountain bikes without smashing their heads into walls in anguish.  26" wheels are more versatile than 700C.  Many more tire choices from a wider variety of sources.  And for a touring bike you end up with slightly lower low gears due to the slightly smaller wheel diameter.  I see nothing but positives with 26" wheels on a loaded touring bike.

Gear Talk / Co-motion Americano vs Norwester Tour
« on: November 24, 2008, 09:54:17 am »
"The Co-motions are fit, order, pay, and hope for the best. I hear they are great to deal with but..., I have never purchased a bike without a test ride."

I presume you've been riding your Cannondale touring bike for awhile.  Why would a new bike built with similar dimensions ride/fit any different?  Assuming it fit you, you have more than sufficient knowledge to order a custom frame.  Just get one similar to the one you had.  Only someone who has never ridden a bike and does not know what size frame they need should never get a custom frame.

Gear Talk / Touring Bike
« on: December 19, 2008, 09:53:47 am »
"Once again, it seems like 559s would be a better choice for small frame road bikes - just a bit smaller yet than 650Cs, and much better tire availability."

Not really.  26" 559mm bcd tires are not really available in skinny road widths.  On the Nashbar website for 26" tires the narrowest tire they show is 1.1".  28mm wide.  370 grams.  Heavy.  Continental Gatorskin is available in 559x28mm.  I presume a local bike shop might ba able to special order it from Germany for MSRP plus 50% markup.  I presume if you looked long and hard you might find one or maybe, maybe two other 559 tires in a road width such as 28mm or maybe 25mm.  The simple fact is 559mm bcd tires are not available in road widths.  559mm bcd is only available in 1.25 and bigger.  Not really road widths.

Gear Talk / Touring Bike
« on: November 20, 2008, 02:05:27 pm »
"cluster and crank choice.  I no longer have the leg strength to climb on a fully loaded touring bike with a 12-27 cluster and a 30/39/50 crank.  You might have the leg strength."

When picking out a touring bike, whether its 9 speed or 10 speed has a big affect on gearing.  Low gearing choices.  9 speed cassettes are readily available from everyone with up to 34 tooth big cogs.  With 10 speed, only IRD makes a 10 speed cassette with 34 teeth.  Special order from only one source for this.  9 speed provides better gearing choices.

Gear Talk / Touring Bike
« on: November 20, 2008, 09:51:40 am »
"The dealer fabricated a wheel based on a 26inch road rim.  The bike has ended up being a disappointment as there are limited choices for tires that fit the bike."

You had a bad dealer.  26" wheels come in two variations.  Road, which is 650C, 571mm bcd.  And mountain, which is 26"(note the inch symbols), 559 bcd.  The 26 road, 650C, is the triathalon wheel size.  There is one 28mm width tire made for it sold by Terry Bicycles.  Otherwise its 23 and 20mm widths.  The 26" moountain bike wheel is available in tire widths from 1" to 2.2".  This is the size Surly uses on its smaller bikes.

Gear Talk / Raleigh Sojourn
« on: December 29, 2008, 09:05:26 am »
"For its maiden voyage I took the Sojourn on a familiar 75-mile route with about 5K feet of climbing. It literally wore me out. There was a brisk wind yesterday but I am curious to know if this is normal. I can usually do this route at 15 to 16 mph.  On the Sojourn I was down to 12 mph and completely spent.  Is this to be expected when switching from a road bike to a touring rig?"

A touring bike will be slower than a road bike due to the extra weight, likely more upright riding position catching the wind, and heavier more rolling resistance tires.  But what you describe seems a bit much.  Try putting your road bike tires on the touring bike and seeing if the time/speeds get closer.  Might not be able to do much about the different position and weight issues.

Gear Talk / Raleigh Sojourn
« on: December 19, 2008, 01:58:54 pm »
"Unless the only activity a touring bike is used for is loaded touring, I'd recomend the owner have two sets of wheels: a light set for general riding and a robustly built set for loaded touring."

Wouldn't it be simpler to just have two sets of tires?  35mm width tires for touring.  And 28mm width for general riding when not touring.  Its not like you would be changing tires ever other day so the time and effort to change tires is immaterial.  And changing tires instead of wheels means you don't have to adjust the brake clearance every time you change wheels.  Touring suitable rims are wider than general light riding rims.  Simply switching wheels as described in the above post is not as simple as its made out to be.  As for light weight and such.  Velocity Aerohead rim is 425 grams for the light wheel.  Velocity Dyad rim is 480 grams for the heavy wheel.  55 gram difference.  Not too much.  Continental Contact tire in 700x37 is 660 grams.  Continental Sport Contact in 700x28 is 460 grams.  200 gram difference per tire.  Switching wheels saves you no weight.  Switching tires saves you tremendous weight.

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