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Messages - whittierider

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This looks good too (although they tried too hard in the videography):  Tailfin AeroPack | The fastest way to carry gear on almost any bike

Chapstick (or similar lip balm).  Lubricates, is thick enough to stick to the zipper teeth, and conveniently packaged for application to zippers.

That sounds like an excellent suggestion!!

Thanks everyone for the replies.  I guess the ride down the CA coast is not going to happen this year, but I keep looking.  I did talk to a rider I met up with a couple of weeks ago who had one of the huge Arkel seat bags.  Nice.

For a 117-mile one-day ride to San Diego next week, I wanted to re-mount my Jandd Mountaineering Mountain Wedge III large seat bag, but I found the the main compartment's zippers frozen shut, as if glued, probably from the salt in water that leaked from my two extra water bottles above it behind the seat, and maybe aided by sweat.  (Our younger son, drafting me, has joked, "Um, Dad, can you please quit raining on me?")  I haven't used the bag in a few years.  It would be nice to be able to use it for this ride to be able to carry some clothes to change into for the train ride home late in the afternoon.  I was going to ask if anyone had any suggestions on how to free up the zippers without damaging the cloth or inner structural materials; but just now I tried them again after having them soaking in 409 for a while, and I managed to get the bag open.  Still, I could probably use some suggestions for how to make sure they keep working, and maybe to prevent the problem on other bags.  Thanks.

The Trek has been reliable with the usual rotable replacement components and new wheel set every 10,000 miles
After a few years of going through the stock and boutique wheels like Kojack went through lollipops, I and my family had Peter White of Peter White Cycles build us wheels for a few different bikes, and they have been super.  I have over 35,000 miles on mine, with lots and lots of out-of-the-saddle climbing and sprints.  I got turned on to him by people on the T@H tandem forum who had ten or twenty thousand miles or more on his wheels on tandems, wheels with 24 to 32 spokes, and they're not even really any heavier than the boutique wheels!  That's pretty much unheard of from any other wheel builder, meaning this man understands something about wheel-building that almost nobody else does!  See .  One of our sons commuted for work and was always carrying power tools and other supplies, up to 90 pounds on his rack (which means there's no "give"), on bad roads, and his Peter White rear wheel had no problems at all.  Amazing.

I had forgotten I was on this forum, so I hadn't visited in many years!  What reminded me is that my wife and I just drove up the California coast for our 35th wedding anniversary, and seeing all that road and the beautiful coastline, and feeling the ocean air, made me want to try again to ride down the coast.  Ten years ago, I was all set to ride from Monterey to L.A., had my train ticket to get up there to start the ride, and the night before I was to leave, the weather forecast suddenly changed to significant chance of rain every day of the window I had planned; so I canceled.  Every year that I tried, something came up that kept me from doing it.   :(

I have a 2005 Trek 5000 (made back when the 5000 was made of OCLV carbon and was closely related to the Madones and still made in Wisconsin, before Trek cheapened it and took its manufacturing to China).  I'm totally happy with the bike the way I have it set up, except that it does not have eyelets to mount a rack.  (It's a road-racing bike, after all.)  I have a Jandd Mountaineering Mountain Wedge III large seat bag which, with the expansion open, provides nearly two gallons' space to put a few clothes and toiletries in to go hotel-hopping on a multi-day light tour.  The idea is to travel light, with low wind resistance, and be able to go fast and burn up the road and have fun, rather than carrying camping equipment.  The Mountain Wedge III was still almost not big enough though.

I have a rack pack on our tandem; and that might be better, if there were a normal-size rack that clamps on the seat post and has rods that go down to something that the rear skewer clamps onto.  (I do have a seat-clamp rack for a single bike, but it's smaller than full size, and standard rack packs won't mount on it.)  My Trek has a monostay, further preventing any of the common methods to mount a rack to a frame without eyelets.

I did find this one about the Seatpacker Bikepacking seat bags From Arkel which is not only huge but would also give minimum wind resistance if positioned more or less horizontally (as opposed to being like the tail pipes we see sticking up from certain motorcycles).  I think that ideally it would need to go a lot lower to handle well at speed, and the way my saddle is mounted, the angle will probably get worse than shown, not better.  Revelate Designs' Terrapin System 14L seems to be similar.

Although I have been actively riding, I have not paid much attention to the market in many years.  I have a gazillion old bookmarks, but many of the web pages they go to are now gone.  I can do a web search like anyone else; but it does take a lot of time, and I could still miss some of the best products out there.  Does anyone have a list of favorite bike-luggage suppliers?  I'm mainly looking for large but aerodynamic seat bags now, not panniers, handlebar bags, frame bags, etc..

Gear Talk / Re: Cyclocross bike for touring?
« on: February 11, 2012, 01:33:06 am »
It was recently discussed here and elsewhere.  Happy reading!

General Discussion / Re: Blatant Anti-Cyclist Comic in Today's Paper
« on: February 10, 2012, 05:09:19 am »
4' does not seem excessive to me, because the most dangerous place I remember being outside of a town was on a narrow, two-lane road on a mountain climb going up to a resort area and there were plenty of pick-up drivers pulling boats, and they obviously did not remember that just because the pick-up clears you doesn't mean the boat trailer's wheel or fender wouldn't kill you.  The trailers were much wider than the towing vehicles!  I never used my mirror so much in my life.  I had to use it to control the traffic behind me and not let them pass at all where it wasn't safe.  Since it was a climb and I couldn't go very fast, I'm sure they weren't happy about it, although they could see I was doing all I could to be both safe and courteous.

The bike lane near home however is simply the door zone.  Riding in it is just asking for trouble.  See the picture in the middle of , and the one right below it.

General Discussion / Re: Blatant Anti-Cyclist Comic in Today's Paper
« on: February 09, 2012, 12:40:57 pm »
California law does allow taking the lane if it's too narrow for vehicles to safely pass you in the same lane, but that apparently is not the case in the senario illustrated in the cartoon.  Motorists tend to lump us all together; so cyclists who do not ride courteously and do not obey the laws give us all a bad name, and endager all of us.

Gear Talk / Re: removing tabs on fork
« on: February 01, 2012, 08:04:41 pm »
For Mag in NH: simply turn your rooftop bike mount around so that the front of the bike faces backward. That way there won't be so much air pressure pulling up on the handlebars/fork.
Like someone else said, the big problem is not pressure from the front, but the side-to-side motion that tends to pry the fork ends away, one side at a time.  You could go ahead and file them down but not quite all the way, so that opening the skewer still lets the wheel out but there's still a barrier to a closed skewer.

General Discussion / Re: Farfarer trailer
« on: January 31, 2012, 05:56:07 pm »
Having the pivot right near the axle (or even below it) will definitely give the best handling.  Burley and others use a mount that clamps to the left-side seat stay and chain stay, putting the pivot near the axle but not over the axle itself.

Gear Talk / Re: removing tabs on fork
« on: January 29, 2012, 08:22:54 pm »
The tabs are a relatively recent thing.  If you operate the skewer correctly and don't have a disc brake, the wheel will never come out while you're riding.  I file them off, since they defeat the purpose of having a quick-release.

Gear Talk / Re: How to clean a hydration system (tube)???
« on: January 22, 2012, 08:23:36 pm »
The big health problem with drinking water (or foods) and plastic is BPA, which, fortunately, is not used in most cycling water bottles.

Some people like the hydration packs because they have difficulty reaching for a water bottle and controlling the bike while drinking.  Probably a greater reason however is that they're looking to carry more water, and make the mistake of thinking that the hydration pack carries more.  I like to promote the 33-ounce Zefal Magnum water bottle.  I and my family put two on the frame as usual, giving 66 ounces, and two more in the holder behind the seat total 132 ounces, which is more than a gallon altogether.  This comes to a lot more water than even the very biggest hydration packs, without having to have any weight on your back.  If you put another bottle cage under the down tube, you'll have over five quarts--165 ounces.  Cleaning is extra easy with the wide-mouth top which is plenty big to put big ice cubes in if you care about that stuff.  (Myself, I don't like my drinking water cold.)  These have no BPA in them.  If you want to supplement these by adding a hydration pack like to go long distances in hot mountains or desert where you won't have a chance to refill for a long time, go for it; but I'd say start with the bottles.

The Zefal Magnum bottle was unavailable for awhile, but is back now.  We've bought 15-20 of them and never had any problems with them, but apparently a few people did have leakage problems, so Zefal apparently redesigned it and re-introduced it.

Gear Talk / Re: Cassette Life
« on: January 11, 2012, 01:04:48 pm »
BTW we used White Lightning on a portion of the TA and hated it.  I never saw so much waxy buildup in my life.

I've seen this many years ago to, before they had the shedding forumula.  Have you tried the shedding formula?  It should keep flaking off the excess so you don't get the build-up.  I haven't tried it.

Gear Talk / Re: Folding tires
« on: January 10, 2012, 12:07:37 am »
All of the catastrophic or near-catastrophic tire problems I and my family have had were on tires that were new or nearly new, meaning there was a manufacturing defect.  For this reason, I'm not as confident in a tire until it gets through the first 250 miles without a problem.  I would want to have that many miles on a tire before starting a tour on it.  I've bought and maintained somewhere around 200 tires for myself and my family though, and we've never had a problem that could not be fixed with a boot.  That even includes a full blow-out where there was a big rip down the middle of the tread.  That one did go in the trash after that ride was over; but for smaller cuts (like ones you could stick a pencil all the way through), we've ridden tens of thousands of miles on booted tires, with no problem, and with full confidence to go 55mph on a downhill.  One of the boots we all carry is a 3" piece cut out of a worn-out but otherwise undamaged racing tire, with the beads cut off.  That's the extreme, the big one, and we've never used that one so far although I sure could have used it on the blowout I mentioned above if I had had such a boot back then.  The smaller boots are cut from Mr. Tuffy or similar tire liners.  Patching the inside of a tire is definitely not adequate, as the patch is stretchy and is intended to seal leaks, not give strength.  We just use the pressure in the tube to hold the boot in place, and we never use glue or adhesive.  It stays in place.

Gear Talk / Re: Folding tires
« on: January 07, 2012, 05:44:00 pm »
Wire-beaded ones are somewhat cheaper, and to me, they're easier to put on because they hold their shape unlike the folding ones which keep trying to curl up into a figure-8 (or worse) while you're trying to mount them.

General Discussion / Re: Alert to reply
« on: January 05, 2012, 05:49:41 am »
kirk89 above is a spammer.  He starts out on other forums with posts like that and "Glad to meet you.  I'm new here too," and then goes on to advertise cruises.  Kick him out.

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