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Messages - BikeFreak

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Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: July 04, 2014, 09:10:00 am »
When using dedicated cycling shoes (SPD for instance) my toes start sleeping - even though I hava tried different shoe models. This is why I am using regular leather boat shoes to my great satisfaction. I have pedaled 4x across USA with 125 mi/day using those normal everyday boat shoes. That way I only carry one set of shoes and nothing more.

Gear Talk / Re: Asking for Feedback on my Bike Lock Invention
« on: June 29, 2014, 10:36:08 am »
Personally I am interested in bike locks myself and have tried developing something new on my own. The task is extremely difficult because:

1 Most people have no clue how physically aggressive a bike thief might be when steeling a bike. A professional bike thief will have the proper tools at hand and they know how to apply them. Most locks are good to let the occasional drunk take the next bike and not yours. Try to see this shocking video to get inspired:
2 The bike is thrown into a van and in a stress free environment such as a workshop far a way, with the proper tools, the lock is opened.

From your pictures, with the correct adjustment (very tight fit) a Vise Grip locking jaw plier will physically deform the surface of your nut (unless it is solid tungsten carbide or hardened steel) in such a way that the jaw pliers theeth plastically deform their teeth into your nut making a rock solid interlocking with your nut (this works because the teeth are very sharp and made out of hardened steel). In the 10" version you will have enough leverage to open the nut. These pliers work on 12.7 steel nuts and stainless steel 304 and 316. Such a locking plier is one of your last options when loosening a completly rounded bolt or nut before cutting everything off with an angle grinder.

The 10 inch tool is an American made heavy duty piece of quality and not a small cheepish, Chinese copy.

Looking at your pictures I guess I could unwind such a nut within 10 seconds - unless there is something magic to your nuts which I cannot see from the pictures. If you have such a really big locking plier with unworn teeths, try to get at your nut and DON'T be easy on it. You need to be crazy brutal and aggressive - beacuse the bike thief will be.

PS: Did you know that thiefs carry lithium ion operated disc grinders in their backpacks? Such a disc grinder is a very very powerful powertool - it makes noise, but it will go through ANYTHING - even hardened steel. If a thief wants your front wheel he will simply cut off your fork ends with a disc grinder - it will be 5 seconds for each cut (2 cuts in total): He will walk away with your front wheel with the cut fork ends attached to your axle. At home in his workshop he will remove the rest.

You also assume that bike thiefs cannot carry all kinds of tools. Don't assume that. I assume they carry ALL tools.

I don't want to discourage you and be an ass, but this is my honest opinion.

To further inspire you: which I believe has plenty of flaws.

General Discussion / Re: General Advice- TransAm Route
« on: June 29, 2014, 01:56:16 am »
On brakes: V brakes are a VERY powerful system. Because you are riding in the summer, you will not even go through 1 single set of v brake pads. Unless it is literally POURING with rain, you will stop just fine.

For the first time in my life, this winter I destroyed my rear rim on my commuting bike due to v brakes ... due to salt, water, sand etc the rim was abraded so thin, that the side collapsed and bulged open. This will of course never happen to a disc brake.

General Discussion / Re: general advice on making a tour happen
« on: June 27, 2014, 02:29:58 am »
Back in 1999 I was in a bike shop and accidentally stumbled across a Adventure Cycling map section. That map inspired me so much and triggered everything. I bought the complete Northern Tier set and just looked at them and got inspired. Then I read something about pack lists for touring cycles. That was it and nothing more. Sometimes I feel that nowadays I read too much instead of just hitting the road.

So my advice is: Don't read anymore and just hit the road.

General Discussion / Re: dogs and security
« on: June 24, 2014, 12:41:45 pm »
I have ridden the Northern Tier, Pacific Coast, TransAm, Western Express and parts of Atlantic Coast. I would say that the Transam alone has the dog issue. In VA, KY, MO ... bible belt, hill billy country, confederate-flag-on-the-porch-countryside or whatever you could call it, have all the aggressive dogs. I think when I did the Northern Tier I had 2 dog encounters for the entire length. On the Transam maybe 20 - and I never get used to it and I hate it.

I yell and usually pedal faster - it has worked so far. But also having a squeezable water bottle ready should help.

Does anybody know what these ultrasonic dog whistles could do in such a situation? I mean the whistle that most humans cannot hear, but dogs hear them very well.


While I am at it.

I once bought this one

and used it on my touring bike while still using my aero bar.

Advantage: Unlike normal handlebar bags it moves the weight close to the headset with the result that you almost cannot feel the weight. With a 100 mm stem and then the handlebar brackets further extending the weight outwards and away from the headset you really feel the added weight and steering becomes more sluggish.

Disadvantage: As a bag for my mini front rack, I used a small 2,5 litre Ortlieb roll. I would roll up the bag and let the two ends wrap around the aero bar on the top and close with the quick release buckle. So the aero bar made sure I would never loose my bag, however the bag was not really fixed sideways on the bottom, and I hated that.

I would be happy to receive suggestions on a proper multicompartment bag for this mini rack :-)


General Discussion / Re: Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure
« on: June 08, 2014, 03:44:26 am »
And our tax rates, especially on the rich, are very low compared to the social democracies of Western Europe and compared to our own 50-60 years ago. 

Don't expect our situation to improve a lot until we get a more equitable tax structure ...

I live in Denmark and would consider being in the middle class. I pay approx 60% income taxes (you have to earn almost nothing in order to have that rate reduced). And the VAT is 25% in Denmark (on everything - even food). I have to pay the equivalent of 40 US cents for 1 kWh of electrical power. I have to pay the equivalent of approx 10 USD (due to taxes) for 1000 liter of water = 260 gallons out of the tab. Gasoline costs 8,5 USD pr gallon (due to taxes). 2 things are cheap in Denmark (to name a few): Electronics and meat.

So based on all this income tax and VAT, we should have bike lanes and bike bridges built constantly and everywhere. I have not seen any new ones for years - most were built 20-30 years ago.

I can tell you for sure that many people are furious about that system.

The values are very similar in all Scandinavian counties.

But overall this is an interesting thread.

For years I have toured with rear panniers alone and an aero bar. It worked really well, however:

1. I could sometimes miss a handlebar bag for my camera, money and other valuable stuff. The main purpose of that bag would be convenience of just clicking it on-off when going to a shop for doing groceries. Also I would carry some of the "heavy" stuff in the handle bar bag so I could shift my weight ratio more properly. I have really missed that.

2. Oftentimes, maybe my rear panniers struggled with the volume so I was missing a bit of space. But it worked. Having my valuable stuff in my rear panniers in a waist belt kind of bag was always annoying because I felt I had to empty a pannier each time when going to a grocery store.

I have bought an Arkel handle bar bag and it is beautiful and I have made some small tours with it, but I feel I miss the aero bar. Then I see the Revelate bags which enable me to combine both an aero bag wih a handlebar bag. But due to their strapping system and that it basically is a roll only, I will miss the convenience of rapid "in and out" combined with multiple pocket for optimum organization.

I would be happy to hear about some solutions :-) (without hijacking this thread).


Interestingly, I NEVER had hand numbness on my mountain bikes.

Yeah, me too - I never had any numbness. Unless I do a crazy ride for 30 days with no rest days and pull off 125 mi/day - then I get numbness after a couple of days - even with drop bars.


General Discussion / Re: Starting the TA in mid August...
« on: March 06, 2014, 06:08:42 pm »
You will not have any problems if you ride +150 mi/day :-)


Routes / Cross country East - West on dirt/gravel
« on: March 02, 2014, 01:31:56 am »

By "accident" I found this webpage:

It looks highly interesting. Something like a horizontal Great Divide Trail.


General Discussion / Re: Best routes for newbies?
« on: February 13, 2014, 06:50:25 am »
Best camping possibilities are probably CA, OR and WA with all their cheap hiker biker sites.

On the contrary, in the Eastern states, private campgrounds can easily reach 30 dollars pr night for 1 person and 1 tent.


I have done the Northern Tier, Trans am, Southern Tier, Pacific Coast, Western Express and parts of Atlantic Coast. If you REALLY want an answer, I liked these areas the least in terms of safety:



Don't know if it's mentioned in the piece, but a side effect of the ramp up has been a marked increase in drug use, drinking, violence and prostitution.

Exactly this is also adressed in the the piece. For instance it is mentioned that strip clubs make more money than in Las Vegas ...

Back in summer 2000 i biked the entire Northern Tier passing through Williston, ND. A few years ago I was puzzled why Adventure Cycling had made a large detour around that area. I was told it was due to the major oil boom with lots of heavy traffic.

This evening, in Danish prime time, a 20 min documentary was shown on national TV about the situation in ND. I guess that 10% of the entire Danish population saw that program. So now a large group of at least 500000 people 5000-10000 miles away know about the situation. It is a Danish program, however it is texted with lots of English language.

I have no idea whether the link works outside of Denmark. Try it out:

I was just sad to see what has happened. I guess you cannot have both worlds ...


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