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Messages - whittierider

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Gear Talk / Re: cargo trailers
« on: October 16, 2011, 04:10:45 pm »
It's related to why fifth-wheel travel trailers handle so much better than a trailer on a trailer hitch that's way behind the pulling vehicle's rear axle.  I've pulled a 2-wheel trailer that had the hitch at the left end of the bike's rear axle, and I couldn't even feel that it was there.  It did not affect the handling of the bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Fork and Frame Choices
« on: October 12, 2011, 12:34:26 pm »
The head tube angle and the fork rake work together to produce "trail," and these work together to determine stability.  The Rivendell Reader, issue #31 from Jan '04, had a report on some experiments Rivendell did.  They made a special fork with long, horizontal dropouts, so the wheel could be moved forward and back.  They did not have a way to change the head tube angle so easily, but from what they did try, the writer says about trail: "The biggest difference came out in no-hands riding-- the low-trail bikes were easy to ride at low speed, where the tons-o'-trail bikes were hard; and at high speeds it was just the opposite."

There's also the matter of how far forward from the steering tube you put your hands on the bars (involving the bar reach and the stem length) affecting the handling, as well as the practical matter of toe overlap.

Then you also have to weigh the effects of panniers and other loading.

General Discussion / Re: Light Touring
« on: October 05, 2011, 06:06:16 pm »
If "light" means you stay in hotels instead of camping, you could get away with no panniers or rack like pdlamb said.  The biggest of the seat bags he's referring to have around 1500 square inches of space, with internal supports to avoid sagging and swaying.

Jandd Mountaineering's Mountain Wedge III only has about 450 cubic inches, but that's still nearly two gallons' worth of space.  Here's mine:

Another I just found out about that has more space than Jand's is Revelate Designs' Viscacha with 3.7 gallons' worth of space, 14 litres which is something like 850 cubic inches.

You could augment with a handlebar bag too, but I've ridden probably at least 10,000 miles with both and I can tell you the handlebar bag ruins the handling of the bike a lot more than a big seat bag does.

Routes / Re: Pacific Coast in January-February
« on: October 04, 2011, 02:54:15 pm »
I hope you like rain, because that's the time to get it.

General Discussion / Re: School Project on cycling
« on: October 03, 2011, 11:40:56 pm »
Yeah, these surveys done by non-cyclists never ask the right questions.  The person who set up the survey is asking what they're curious about, not realizing that they're missing the meat of the situation, so what they have is pretty irrelevant.

With that said, I commuted 25 miles each way for school in 1982, and it took me consistently an hour and ten minutes, with panniers for clothes and books.  If the freeways parallelling the bike trail were clogged up, the bike could actually be faster than the freeway.  Health requires exercise anyway, so even if it takes a little longer than a car, it's a savings of time to not have to take the exercise time out of an additional part of your schedule.  As far as riding in town with traffic lights and all on the boulevards though, I used to tell people when they thought it was too slow, "If you can get there in 15 minutes in a car, chances are it will take me 18 on my bike-- not much difference."  I do fine in fast, heavy boulevard traffic (I can go 0-30mph in just a few seconds), and I don't need bike lanes, although I do want the right lane to be wide enough for cars to safely pass me in the same lane.  The problem with many bike lanes is that they're just the door-opening zone for the parked cars, so you have to ride on the left line of the bike lane, or even avoid it altogether.  There are plenty of good web pages about this sort of thing.  I work at home now, so I don't commute per se, by any means of transportation.

General Discussion / Re: School Project on cycling
« on: October 02, 2011, 03:45:59 am »
I think it's but he copy-and-pasted it from another forum post where the display of it is shortened.

Gear Talk / Re: Could a cyclo-cross bike do?
« on: September 26, 2011, 03:46:09 pm »
A true cyclocross bike has very little in common with a touring bike.  Don't confuse the two.  See this post from someone who has owned many CX bikes, owns a big shop, has led tours in Europe, and raced for decades.  He's a little bit abrasive but really knows his stuff.  The link should land you on the post starting with the quote, "Where can I get some good information?" and then his longish answer about the differences between true cyclocross bikes and touring bikes.

Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: September 20, 2011, 12:32:37 am »
Some cassettes (my SRAM anyway) have big gaping holes in them that would allow you to get the zip ties through without interfering with the teeth.

Although I won't say it definitely can't happen, I have never heard of a freehub body totally giving out catastrophically.  What I've had happen is that they will skip under high torque like when climbing a steep hill or accelerating hard.  The last time I had one go out, the problem showed up when I was climbing a 16% grade.  I had to zig-zag up the hill to effectively flatten it out a bit and remain seated and keep the torque as constant as I could around the turn of the pedals instead of having a torque peak where each crank arm reaches the forward-pointing position.  It was similar to having a chain skip from the cog or chainring being too worn (which they definitely were not in my case).  I had a lot of 6% grades after that before the end of the ride and it held fine on those.

California / Re: Pacific Coast Sections 4 & 5
« on: September 12, 2011, 02:13:52 am »
I hope I'm not inappropriately resurrecting old threads ???; but, we are tenatively planning trekking from Nor-Cal to Santa Barbara, returning via Amtrak next summer on a tandem. Any info on train travel experiences would be HUGELY helpful.
See the 2nd paragraph of my post above, the 3rd post in this topic!

General Discussion / Re: pacific coast route weather/october
« on: September 10, 2011, 08:46:37 pm »
You're more likely to get rain than summer, but it's not quite into the real rainy season.  I planned an October Pacific-coast trip a couple of years ago, and the ten-day forecast was perfect until the night before I was to leave, then they turned it to a significant chance of rain every day for the foreseeable future.  You'd think that if they think they can give you a ten-day forecast, at leat the first several days of it would be accurate and they wouldn't be changing it all suddenly.  I don't enjoy rain riding at all, so I cancelled it.

Gear Talk / Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« on: September 05, 2011, 02:53:48 pm »

Transition although good initially, the lens will not come back to clear after awhile.

Will they darken more as they get older too?  My complaint about my new ones is that their threshold to darken is too high, and they hardly darken unless sun is hitting them directly, which doesn't normally happen when I'm on the bike.

General Discussion / Re: removal of post
« on: September 02, 2011, 01:56:10 pm »
I'm glad the old posts from a LOOONG way back are still here.  I've learned alot from them without having to ask. 
+1!  There have been many times that I read something with only mild interest, but later had a situation that made me much more interested and I wanted to go back and read more, even years later, and I remembered enough to do a search and find it again.

General Discussion / Re: Great Music For My Tour? Suggestions?
« on: September 01, 2011, 05:30:22 pm »
As much as I like music, I too agree it is unsafe to ride with headphones
which is why it's illegal in California (although I see it all the time on the class-1 paved bike trails where the vehicle code is not really in effect)

Gear Talk / Re: Yet Another Newbie Gear Question, OH YEAH!
« on: August 30, 2011, 03:24:40 am »
A true cyclocross bike has very little in common with a touring bike.  Don't confuse the two.  See this post from someone who has owned many CX bikes, owns a big shop, has led tours in Europe, and raced for decades.  He's a little bit abrasive but really knows his stuff.  The link should land you on the post starting with the quote, "Where can I get some good information?" and then his longish answer about the differences between true cyclocross bikes and touring bikes.

Secondly, please be aware that the distributor you mentioned is by far the most disreputable of all the distributors I know of.  There have been too many horror stories with them.  It always looks inviting up front, but then it's too often that you get something wrong, right out of the box, and zero customer support.  It not always but often turns out costing more than it would have if you had just done it right, and being a big frustration.  bikesdirect is one of the very worst offenders.  They do have some happy customers, but a disproportionate number of ones who are angry over false advertising, bad paint, bait-and-switch, no customer support, bad assembly, etc..  One person wrote on the above-mentioned forum that he got a bike from them whose frame was cracked right out of the box-- never ridden.  Another one tells of his vacation ruined because they delivered a problem bike and wouldn't follow up.  It has been a hot topic in past years.  Until recently their BBB rating was "Unsatisfactory" because of so many unanswered customer complaints.  I would never send a friend to BD.

I am not too fond of handlebar end shifters; however, I have been told they are easier to field service.  Although I have ridden thousands of miles without field servicing STI shifters on road or tri bikes.
We have both in our family.  The STI ones have frozen up many times and needed a good lube job to get them working.  Although it was a quick job, it would not be practical to have to do out on the road.  The only shifter we have had actually break was a bar-end.  The indexing ring broke and was poking out.  The shifter could still be used in friction mode.  One thing that has been unpopular with STI is that the cables interfered with the handlebar bag.  Who am I to talk though.  I use my aerobars almost all the time, partly because they're comfortable all day, and aerobars definitely interfere with a handlebar bag.  Since my hands are there though, the logical place to have the shifters is on the ends of the aerobars.  That's my favorite now, as is the case with both sons.

General Discussion / Re: removal of post
« on: August 29, 2011, 03:44:52 am »
Just click on "Show unread posts since last visit."!  Unfortunately it does leave the ones you haven't read showing for a long time, so to remedy that, when you're done reading the ones you want (by right-clicking and choosing "Open link in new tab"), click "MARK ALL MESSAGES AS READ" at the bottom of the index page.  Very easy solution.

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