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Messages - misterflask

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Gear Talk / Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« on: February 12, 2021, 09:55:40 am »
Oh gosh, the reminisce.  I had a Raleigh International in that era.  It was an odd bird of a bike with racing components on a touring geometry frame.  And it also came with tubulars.  I toured on it, but not before replacing the wheels.  I conjured up a 32 tooth freewheel, but that was still a tough go over the Smokies with the 52-42 crank.  Even in the era of compact cranks, the experience has left me with a thing for triples.

Gear Talk / Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« on: February 12, 2021, 08:51:40 am »
I made the jump to tubeless on one wheel of my road bike to see what the noise is about.  Where I'm currently at: If I were a bike racer and someone else was maintaining my bike, I would definitely go tubeless.  Otherwise I think the decision is all in a grey area.

I'm in the process of converting my mountain bike to tubeless, and I think that a few other bikes and wheels will end up tubeless, but going tubeless on the touring bike is way down the list.

-I think there's a pretty good chance that you could ride an extended tour without a flat with tubeless. 

-If some mishap flatted a tire, there's about a nil chance you'll be able to reseat and reinflate without a compressor.  The most common solution is to insert a tube until the wheel can be set up in a shop again.
-Unless you have crazy-strong thumbs, you will probably not be able to unmount / mount a tubeless tire without tire levers. The tubeless beads are super-tight.  And supposedly tire levers run the risk of damaging the critical bead seal.  OTOH, there's no tube to pinch.
-My current experience is that my tubeless tire leaks down faster than the similar tube setup.  Small sample size, though. YMMV.
-There's so much ambiguity about sealant life.  Hard to know when you should update your sealant.  When you do there's a fair chance your tire will unseat and you'll need a compressor to reseat.

My experience on the TA: I rode Marathon Plus which are really draggy but pretty bulletproof.  I had one goathead thorn flat near Pueblo, but I think that occurred when I pulled off the road to talk to a bike shop about my cracked frame.  I replaced a rear tire, but if I'd swapped front-to-back the tires would have easily made the trip.

To clarify HikeBikeCook's post, I believe his experience was with 'sew-up' tubulars which would be a third little-used option beyond tubed and tubeless.

General Discussion / Re: Communication
« on: February 12, 2021, 08:17:24 am »
Entry level amateur licenses are easy to come by these days and would allow you to use the ubiquitous $30 Baofeng handi-talkies.  But 5miles unit-to-unit is a heavy lift and would probably not occur in most areas.  There is amateur repeater coverage in a lot of areas but it wouldn't be 100% US coverage and this is probably way more distraction than you're looking for.

My wife supported my Blue Ridge Parkway tour and we used texting successfully amid -really- spotty cell coverage.  But text messages would queue up in the system and go through whenever you had coverage for a minute.  Our only burble was when I asked her to meet me at the rest area closest to mile 300 and we spent half-an-hour waiting at rest areas at 301 and 299 miles.  But not the fault of the technology.

The Spot X communicator sends texts via satellite, but the recipient would need to have cell coverage.

I used to use an older Spot to let my at-home wife know where I was settling down each night.  It was a pre-condition for touring as she said she didn't want to be one of those spouses whose partner disappeared from the face of the earth and no one knew what happened to them.  She's a pretty good amateur sleuth and figured that armed with a starting point...  But cell coverage has improved quite a bit and I just share my phone location with her.

General Discussion / Re: Free Ranging Dogs and the Cyclist
« on: February 12, 2021, 07:53:55 am »
After a couple weeks on the TA I wished I had pepper spray.  But it seemed the dogs had seen enough of it that just pretending you were going to spray them would stop them in their tracks.

Did anyone else deal with that pack of six dogs in a western Kansas town that would surround your bike while two of them snapped at your ankles?  They seemed to have it all worked out and thought it quite the lark.

I like 'bad dog'.  They know they don't have to respond to your opinions but they have to think on it for a second.

General Discussion / Re: Getting to your start with all your stuff
« on: January 23, 2021, 10:07:21 am »
I have allowed myself the luxury of shipping bikes to a bike shop near the trip origin and paying them to put the bike together.  I think it's usually cost $40-$60.  This has the advantage of beginning your trip knowing that your bike is tweaked and ready to ride (and not bent or shipped to another state) and also that the bike shop will gladly accept a box of your stuff and hold it for you.  Shipping bags cross-country wasn't cheap and I'm not sure that it might not be cheaper paying airline extra bag fees.  But it was low stress flying with just a handlebar bag carryon.

General Discussion / Re: Question about seat height
« on: January 01, 2021, 09:21:08 am »
I was on a tour when I cracked the frame of the cross bike I was riding.  I bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame and transferred components.  During the teardown, I carefully took measurements, which I transferred to the generally similar LHT.  When finished, the ride sucked.  It took a good bit of adjusting to 'this feels right', to turn it into an all-day bike.  So I wouldn't be surprised that your first setup wasn't where you needed it.

I ride an ancient Brooks Conquest saddle, but if I had to give up on it I think I would tour on the Selle Anatomica you mentioned.  It's already a favorite on my road bike.

General Discussion / Re: Average Weight Loss/Gain on Cross Country Tour
« on: January 01, 2021, 09:05:42 am »
I lost about 1/2pound per day on a TA trip, or about 35lbs.  My BMI was hovering around 30 at the start so I had the weight to lose.  Towards the end of the trip I wasn't terribly hungry, but afterwards my body wanted every one of those pounds back and I couldn't stop eating. 

Two reasons for the weight loss, I think.  I cooked most of my own meals, and you really have to work at it to cook enough calories to support all-day cycling.  Also, I hadn't discovered Yelp yet and too many mediocre diners dampened my enthusiasm for eating out.

I've since whittled my weight down to a BMI<25 through careful-eating and one of the joys of touring is being to eat every doggone thing I want for awhile.  Lacking the weight buffer I started the TA with, I'd work harder at ingesting calories on a longer tour.  I've already resolved to eat more pizza.

The month after my tour the Hostess Cupcake Co. went bankrupt.  I think the end of my support pushed them over the edge.

Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain spare parts for a long tour
« on: December 29, 2020, 09:20:35 am »
I usually have lots to say, but the epicness of this adventure leaves me with nothing to offer.

I would recommend this book by our hometown hero Fred Birchmore.  It probably offers little for planning in this century, but was quite the adventure as he made the trip in 1935.  He didn't carry a lot of spare parts and at one point had his chain held together with a safety pin.

Gear Talk / Re: Tents Designed for Bike touring
« on: December 29, 2020, 09:08:52 am »
I use a Eureka Solitaire.  I'm constantly shopping for a better tent but the Solitaire's endearing trait is that if when you unzip the fly you're looking at the stars and I'm addicted to the view.

I went and measured it and the bag it comes with packs about 20" long.  The original poles are crappy and destined to break, so I had replacements made by some guy out there on the internet.  The replacement poles fold to only 14" long, so I could pack it considerably shorter. 

In a quick internet search I didn't find the guy that made my poles, but the vendor I found would customize #segments/folded length.

Gear Talk / Re: Which recumbent?
« on: December 29, 2020, 08:54:23 am »
<<I'm discouraged by how hard it is for me to drive the darn thing>>

I built a Bachetta clone and rode it around my suburban neighborhood for a week before I felt comfortable on the road.  The best advice I saw on getting started was "push off like you mean it".

Gear Talk / Re: 2 wheeled trailer vs 1 wheel
« on: December 29, 2020, 08:47:49 am »
FWIW; I met a touring couple once who had one bike with a BOB and the other bagged.  They said they were evenly matched cyclists, but when they swapped setups, the rider with the panniers was always a hair faster.

I grocery-shop with a single-wheel trailer.  There have been a bunch of times I've forgotten it was back there and run close to a curb or obstacle.  A two-wheel trailer would have hit them, but you'll usually ease by with a single-wheel.  The trailer is nice to load with groceries because it can be packed so casually, but I'm not interested in taking it touring.

Gear Talk / Re: Bottle Cage Allen screw Size
« on: December 29, 2020, 08:38:42 am »
10-32 machine screws can often sub for M5x.8 in a pinch, but they are just a hair smaller and thus run the danger of stripping out.

We've strayed into that dangerous lubricant territory.  I buy cartridges of Chevron SRI grease for all bike-greasing.  It is a high quality poly-urea based grease, which is fairly water tolerant.  FWIW, it looks just like Phil Wood grease. 

Gear Talk / Re: Off the Bike Shoes
« on: December 29, 2020, 08:26:46 am »
I have carried:
Merrill trail runners, about a pound for the pair.  Make passable hiking shoes and are comfy.
A pair of slippers I picked up during a tour at Dollar General.  Less than a half pound, I expect.  Good to pad around camp.
Cheap foam flip-flops.  Just a few ounces. 

I've been eyeing the disposable flip-flops they issue after a pedicure.  Wouldn't last long and clearly aren't hikable, but weight and packspace would be negligible.

I ride with Shimano MTB SPD shoes.  They are comfy on the bike, and theoretically hikable, but i don't want to try it.  In the evening my feet want something different.
I like riding in my Shimano SPD sandals and they are super comfy off the bike, but it seems like grit gets under the straps and I fear them for a long ride.

Anybody toured with Power Straps?  Seems like that would solve the one-shoe conundrum.  I would have a pair but they really price-punish the big-footed.

Gear Talk / Re: I Blame Adventure Cycling :)
« on: May 25, 2020, 07:56:45 am »
<< Masi Giramondo 700c >>
Just looked it up.  This is an awesome deal at $1300 with it racked up already with Tubus racks.  My bikes tend to evolve from what's lying around, but if I were starting from scratch this is where I'd start.

<< While a dynohub is a lot more expensive it works as long as you maintain a reasonable speed >>

I built a 700C wheel with a SON deluxe hub to charge my cellphone.  Charging kicks in at 8 to 8.5 mi/hr.  This is fine on the flats and rolling hills, but in the mountains with long low-speed climbs and quick descents it couldn't keep up.  I imagine the Son 28 is the correct choice for this application and would do better.  On the plus side, the drag is not noticeable even when charging.

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