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Messages - PedalOn

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Gear Talk / Teva Omnium
« on: May 08, 2011, 05:18:36 pm »
I've been surprised at how well Teva Omniums work for biking. One caveat: they take a very long time to dry. But at least water does them no harm.

Gear Talk / Why not full mountain gears?
« on: May 08, 2011, 05:12:35 pm »
I'm a huge fan of 22-32-44 front and 11-34 rear. Makes life so much easier.

With a highest gear of 44 front x 11 rear, you can pedal downhill up to about 27 mph. That's actually faster than I want to go on a loaded bike. After about 22-25 mph I just coast happily.

22 front x 34 rear is delightful for climbing hills.

With this gear setup you can ride at about 12 mph with the middle ring and the middle cog. That gives you plenty of room to shift up or down.

I have no idea why these gears aren't available as stock on at least a few bikes in the U.S. They would meet the needs of most ordinary people riding between 4 and 27 mph.

Gear Talk / Re: lightweight, waterproof gloves
« on: May 08, 2011, 04:59:39 pm »
Can you describe the conditions you want these gloves for? Maybe a cold hard rain in the spring or fall?

Speaking as a kayaker, in the spring and fall I use any glove that is more or less water REPELLANT and has good tack. I take a second pair in case the first pair gets wet.

Neoprene isn't waterproof, but it keeps your hands warm nonetheless. Any glove that has seams isn't fully waterproof---you can't immerse your hand in water and expect it to stay dry.

There are various ski mittens that claim to be waterproof.

Gear Talk / Outdoor Products tarp
« on: May 08, 2011, 04:53:18 pm »
Walmart carries a 5x7 coated nylon tarp with grommets made by Outdoor Products. About $10 I think. It might be a bit heavy for bike touring, but it's quite solid and would make a good emergency shelter if you get rained on mid-day---you could use the grommets to tie it to the bike and sit under it. It appears very durable.

Gear Talk / Totally different suggestion
« on: May 08, 2011, 04:35:59 pm »
I'm guessing from your weight that you might not be very fit? In your specific case I think your goal might be to make you as comfortable as possible on the bike with respect to the contact points (seat, handlebar, and overall position) and to match the gearing to your weight and fitness level. I have my doubts that a standard off-the-rack bike will meet your needs. 

I have something completely different to suggest: a fully customized steel-framed Jamis Coda or Jamis Coda Sport (the Sport has a carbon fork). This is classified as a street bike, but the specs below will turn in into a fabulous touring/do-everything bike.

--Full mountain gears to get you up the steepest hills: 22-32-44 front; 11-34 rear.

--Nitto North Road handlebar for a more upright position: For climbing hills you simply move your hands forward.

--A wide but not ridiculously soft seat: Selle Royal Ellipse Moderate Women's.

--SRAM X-5 twist grip shifters: Very comfortable and simple to use. Get the X-5 rear derailleur too.

--Soft ergonomic grips. This shape: Get the thickest gel gloves you can find and make sure the gel is in the palm, not just the heel of your hand.

--Rims: Definitely agree with 36H

--Tires: Vittoria Randonneur Pro 700 x 35

I have this exact bike (except my tires are 700x32). For me personally, this is as close as you can get to heaven on wheels. If you find the right shop the modifications aren't prohibitively expensive. The Coda should come in at under $700 fully modified, from a base price of $500. The Coda Sport will be about $850 modified.

I know my suggestion is not something you were thinking of doing, but consider that thousands of Europeans tour on bikes very much like the above---not on dropped bars. And there are many bike tourists in the U.S. who favor this set-up.

I have biked up to 2000 miles a year on a hybrid with an upright, swept-back handlebar. Don't be worried about multiple hand positions with this bike. I find that when the bike is set up right and I have thick gel gloves, I don't need more than one or two hand positions. As a former carpal tunnel sufferer I can tell you that this upright bar is great for your wrists.

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