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Messages - RussellSeaton

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Gear Talk / Touring Pedals
« on: November 20, 2007, 11:58:27 am »
I started riding long distances when toe clips and straps were the choices.  Alfreda Binda Extra straps for those who appreciated quality.  To get the benefit of the straps, I had to cinch them down sort of tight.  Toes went numb.  But my feet stayed in the pedals.  No accidental releases and crashes.  Dangerous to ride with your feet not securely attached to the pedals.  If you ever ride in rain without your feet  clipped in, you will discover shoes don't stay on pedals very well.

One of the greatest events in my cycling life was purchasing a pair of Look pedals back in 1988.  No numb toes.  Had to go back to toeclips for a few more years until 1992 when I acquired Time Equipe pedals with built in float.  Looks did not have float and my knees hurt.  But after I got the Time with float, I've never gone back to the old, painful, dangerous toeclips or no clips method.  For touring the SPD, double sided only, work very well.  Easy to get in and out of.  Durable pedals.  Crank Brothers pedals wear too quickly with their bushings.  They are cheap pedals and wear accordingly.  I like quality bike parts.

SPD sandals or mountain bike shoes are very easy to walk in and still have clipless safety and convenience.  Not sure why anyone would ever want to use non bike shoes to ride a bike.  When I go running I use running shoes.  When I do outdoor work I use boots.  When I wear a suit, I wear wing tips.  Why the desire by people to use inappropriate footwear?  Do people use mountain bikes and tires on double century road rides?  Do people use time trial bikes on cyclo cross races?

Take things Grant Petersen, or anyone in the bike industry with a couple salt shakers worth of salt.  They make their living from selling you things.  They make their living from convincing you to buy their style.

Gear Talk / Showers Pass Elite 2.0 vs Touring jacket
« on: October 26, 2007, 07:25:54 pm »
I used the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Event fabric jacket on Paris Brest Paris.  Wore it almost continously from 10 AM Tuesday through Noon Thursday.  Except when sleeping.  Temps ranged from low 50s to low 70s.  I took it off when it got to the higher end of that range.  Rained off and on almosst all of PBP.  Especially at night.  And headwinds too.  Great jacket for these conditions.  Kept me warm with a short sleeve jersey and a long sleeve jersey underneath.  Was not concerned with dry since with that much continous rain and perspiration, nothing is going to be dry.  The first night of mostly rain I had a nylon wind breaker instead of the Showers Pass, same jerseys, and I was a bit cooler than I preferred.

I'm looking at getting some good quality rain jackets, wind breakers now.  But not the Showers Pass because its only useful for truely miseable conditions.  Under the vast majority of situations, I won't ride in truely miserable conditions.  Or can suffer long enough to get to better conditions.  I could have suffered through PBP with the lesser wind breaker but was happy I did not have to.

Gear Talk / Road or Mountain Hubs for Touring
« on: October 25, 2007, 11:31:42 am »
More spokes is the way to get a stronger rear wheel.  And a good, heavy rim.  Hubs and spacing are irrelevant.  Even cheap hubs are good.  Looking at the Shimano USA website for rear hubs I get the following.  LX spacing of hub flange to center of hub is 22mm right and 37.2mm left.  Ultegra has 20.8mm right and 38.4mm left.  Dura Ace has 20.55mm right and 36.35mm left.  Could not find these same measurements on the other hubs.  For the most part there is no material difference between the 22mm right side spacing on the LX and the 20.8mm right side spacing on the Ultegra.  The right/drive side is where the problems occur.  The website says sealing is double on all of the hubs.  Labyrinth and seals.  I'm not sure if mountain or road hubs are really more waterproof than the other.

Since your bike can accept either, 132.5mm spacing, it probably does not matter.  For people riding 700C wheels on a bike that cannot accept 130 or 135 spaced wheels easily, you may want to go with 130 spacing because a replacement wheel would be easier to find.  700C is predominantly 130 spacing.  Although hybrid bikes come with 700C wheels and 135 spacing.  135 spacing is predominantly on 26" mountain bike wheels.

Gear Talk / Touring Forks
« on: October 22, 2007, 04:56:02 pm »
Go to your local bike shop and have them get out the QBP (Quality Bicycle Parts) catalog.

They list many hybrid forks.  Wioth eyelets (at least one set) and cantilever bosses.  Tange has one for $52 in 1" threaded or threadless.  They also list the Surly cross fork, 1" threadless with one set of eyelets and cantilever bosses.  Also list the Surly Long Haul Trucker touring fork in 26" size.  Should also be able to get it in 700C since the LHT frame comes in both wheel sizes.

Gear Talk / Drive train/gearing changes
« on: October 15, 2007, 10:53:27 am »
Why not just leave the bike more or less alone and ride it?  Why the urge to change and "upgrade" everything before you even ride it?  Put a 24 tooth inner chainring on the crankset.  Cheap and simple to do and you get lower useful gears.  I did this long ago.  Had the shop do it before I bought the bike so it cost me nothing.  Your low gear will now be 24x32=20".  A 24x34=19".  Big deal.  You can't tell the difference.  After you wear out the current rear derailleur in 10-20-30,000 miles you can "upgrade" it.

If your goal is to build and rebuild bikes, instead of riding them, then you should have started with a bare frame.  Then buy all of the parts individually.  Its fun.  But costly.  Most expensive option of all is to do what you are doing.  Buy a complete bike and then "upgrade" everything on it in the first year or two.

Gear Talk / Touring Bag or Panniers
« on: October 10, 2007, 11:28:46 am »

Jobst Brandt packing list for three week credit card tours in the Alps each summer.  The key to credit card touring is to not take much.  A Carradice, a handlebar bag, a large wedge saddlebag, or a rear rack and racktop bag should all be big enough to hold the gear needed for a credit card tour.  Each will affect handling of your bike a bit differently.  But use whatever you already have or want to buy.

Gear Talk / Brooks saddles and rain
« on: October 09, 2007, 12:27:41 pm »
I think the rain and leather saddle concern is blown way out of proportion.  I have Brooks saddles on all of my bikes.  Ideale on the touring bike before I replaced it during the big touring bike refurbishment project a couple years ago.  I never cover the saddles when it rains.  They are not harmed from a few hours of rain.  When you are riding in the warm summer months, you are sweating.  Your shorts will be soaking wet at the end of a long ride.  These soaking wet shorts are on the fragile Brooks leather saddle for hours and hours of riding.  That is far more moisture than you will ever get from rain.  You should keep the saddles well oiled with Proofide, mink oil, paste wax, or whatever to help keep moisture from getting into the leather.  But that is all you need to do.  I would also suggest not storing your leather saddled bike outside year round in all weather.  Bring it inside.  On tours if you are concerned, put a plastic bag or shower cap over the saddle at night to keep dew off of it.

Gear Talk / trek 520 crankset rehab
« on: September 25, 2007, 12:23:44 pm »
Does your Trek 520 NEED a crankset replacement or are you just replacing parts for the fun of it?  My 1991 Trek 520 came with DX cranks.  110mm outer and middle bolt circle diameter, and 74mm inner bolt circle diameter.  Can take down to a 24 tooth inner ring.  Your 1994 LX crank may also be a 110/74 crank.  So it would be easy to just buy a new 24 tooth 74mm bcd inner chainring.  Not sure if you have 7 or 8 speed cassette in back.  Either way, you can get a new cassette with a 32 or 34 tooth big cog for cheap.  24x32 or 24x34 is pretty low.

I suspect you can easily make any and all new or old cranksets and bottom brackets fit.

Gear Talk / Rain Gear
« on: September 04, 2007, 12:24:23 pm »
I agree with staying warm.  Or warm enough.  Not dry.

Just did a ride in France with cool temps, 50s, at night and cool temps in the day, 60s.  Plenty of rain off and on.  Clothes were wet the entire ride.  Used a short sleeve jersey and long sleeve jersy under a wind breaker jacket (like Pearl Izumi Zephyr) the first night.  And leg warmers.  I was cooler than I prefer but not dangerously cold.  Then I used the Showers Pass Event rain jacket from then on during the day and night.  Short sleeve and long sleeve jerseys and leg warmers stayed on.  Heavier rain jacket added more warmth than the wind breaker jacket.  Tended to get hotter in the heavy rain jacket when the weather was sort of nice for a few miles.  But being a little hot is better than being a lot cold.

In June I came down Loveland Pass in Colorado in the rain, snow, wind, 30s-40s temps.  After getting soaked the last few miles to the top in the rain and snow.  And stopping at the top to put on arm and leg warmers and balaclava and gloves.  Used short sleeve jersey, wind breaker jacket, balaclava, arm and leg warmers, long fingered liner gloves.  Just warm enough with these clothes going down the 8-9 miles in the rain, wind, snow to make it.  Soaking wet of course.  But barely warm enough for pretty extreme conditions.  A friend used his Showers Pass Event heavy rain jacket, heavy gloves, tights, etc. and was more than OK on the same descent.

Gear Talk / Montague Paratrooper...
« on: August 15, 2007, 10:23:07 am »
A folding bike of questionable history priced at $695 for touring?  Hmmmm.  If you NEED folding, or the ability to pack into a small case, Bike Fridays have a proven history.  And the small wheels are somewhat standard items so spares are not too difficult to come by.  Lowest priced one would be about double the price of the item you cite.  S&S couplers are also proven.  Cost $400 plus repainting and shipping on an existing bike.

All of my overseas loaded tours were accomplished by getting a box from the bike shop, or airline on the return.  Putting the cheap but rugged and durable Trek 520 into it and taping the box up.  Traveled just fine.  If I was touring a couple times a year and had to fly to the start, then I could and would worry about getting a bike that fits into a small case or bag.  Or just start the tours from my own driveway, no transport necessary.  Or for US tours, drive to the start instead of flying.

For most people, a folding easily packed touring bike is a luxury that may not be needed or used but rarely.  I would not worry more about getting a proven, sound touring bike first, then worry if folding is worth it.

Gear Talk / clip-in pedals
« on: September 25, 2007, 12:13:36 pm »
I agree with Dave B.  Back in 1988 I bought a pair of Look pedals.  It was wonderful cycling and not having my toes go numb from the toestraps.  Unfortunately this was before Look invented the floating red cleat so one of my knees hurt from being fixed in place.  So back to toestraps until the summer of 1992.  Used Time Equipe pedals, and Duegi road racing shoes, to tour Europe.  Pain changing shoes whenever I stopped but the floating Time cleats were wonderful.  This was before floating mountain bike cleats were invented.  Bought a pair of SPD pedals and cheap mountain bike shoes in 1997 and toured some more.  Easy walking and comfortable shoes.  Except the shoe soles were flexible and my feet hurt after 50 miles with the SPD pedals.  Bought some Carnac stiff soled shoes years later and feet did not hurt from the SPD cleat until about 100 miles.  Small SPD cleat hurts no matter how stiff your shoes are.  But stiffer shoes postpone this problem.  Stiffere shoes are not nearly as easy to walk in though.  Couple years ago I bought a pair of SPD sandals, Lake.  No hurting feet at all from the SPD cleat.  Even though the sandal soles are not too stiff.  Kind of odd.  Maybe the comfort of the loose sandals overcomes the small SPD cleat somehow.  I also use Shimano M737 SPD pedals.  These have a platform of sorts around the spring mechanism.  More support than the M747 or M520 models I also have.  Larger platform probably helps too.

Next time I go touring, I will use the Lake SPD sandals and M737 SPD pedals as my only shoes.  On and off the bike.  The cleat is recessed enough it does not make too much sound when walking.  Lake sandals are comfortable for walking.

Gear Talk / Internal hub bike
« on: June 22, 2007, 10:47:01 am »
"Looking for an 7-8 speed internal hub bike that would be used for light touring or randonnuring events."

I'd suggest you ride some brevets (randonneuring events) before deciding on a hub gearing system.

Gear Talk / Bike recommendation (under 1200 dollars US)
« on: June 08, 2007, 02:38:10 pm »
Sounds like you need to find a bike shop first.  Hopefully there are good ones in your area.  Talk to some of the people in the club you plan to ride with and figure out the preferred bike shop.  Go there and buy a bike.  Almost any bike sold by bike shops is OK.  Decent fit is desirable of course.  At 5'11", you would probably be on a 58 cm center to top frame.  I'm a similar height and ride 58 cm center to top or 59 cm center to top.  Subtract a couple centimeters to get a center to center seattube measurement.  Top tube length will be 57 cm, give or take a half centimeter.  So any compact style frames you look at, you will need to look at the geometry chart and see if the effective top tube length is about 57 cm.  Assuming you are not abnormally shaped and not injured somehow, a bike size I describe above will be a good fit.  Minor tweaks with the stem, handlebars can easily be made.

"I am not a racer and do not want to be uncomfortable but still want to be able to ride efficiently."

Based on your comments you presume a racing bike is going to be uncomfortable.  Always amazes me that people always have this incorrect presumption.  They don't know what bike to buy or what will fit them, but they always know a racing bike will be uncomfortable.

Gear Talk / schwalbe marathon supreme tires
« on: June 01, 2007, 07:11:20 pm »
I've used the Gatorskin tires in the past and they wore extremely well.  And seemed to resist flats better than other tires I've used.  But they were not impervious in the past.  Just seemed to get flats less than the ones I am riding now for some reason.  Bad luck?

Gear Talk / schwalbe marathon supreme tires
« on: June 01, 2007, 01:01:29 pm »
No experience with Schwalbe tires.  But I have the Continental Gatorskin tires on a bike.  700x25.  Not a whole lot of miles on these tires.  A flat on the rear tire at the end of each of the past two long rides.  Piece of glass penetrated the tread on the first flat and caused a slow leak.  Piece of rock probably penetrated the tread on the second flat and caused a slow leak.  No tire is perfect.

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