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Messages - whittierider

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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.

Routes / Re: San Diego to Portland
« on: August 27, 2011, 01:57:05 pm »
whittierider, i'm sure it's not suicide! have you made the ride south to north?
I've ridden portions of it both directions, and hated the headwinds going north but been able to climb at 28mph at times going south.  I like climbing (even without a tailwind), but I hate headwinds, partly just because of the noise in my ears.  I know someone who rode SF-LA in two days, and the fastest I know of for that stretch was 19 hours (approximately 500 miles in one day).  It happened because of the wind.  Yes, the wind is a serious issue, and the DOT knows cyclists mostly go south, and have made the southbound side more accommodating to cyclists.  Suit yourself of course, but to me, going north is not enjoyable.

Routes / Re: San Diego to Portland
« on: August 26, 2011, 11:01:18 pm »
That's suicide, because of the headwinds.  Instead, fly to Portland and ride down the coast.  The wind will push you all the way.  See

Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: August 26, 2011, 03:58:35 pm »

As long as you can at least open them up to inspect them before you leave, and change them if you think there's a possibility they may fail during your journey.

I now trust the GXP BB a lot more than the old-fashioned type.  The reason is that putting the bearings external like that gives room for more balls to share the load, and it also reduces the load on them because the two sides are farther apart.  In fact, the right-side bearings are almost in the plane of the middle chainring.  If you want to take an extra BB with you on an around-the-world trip though, it wouldn't take much room, as the spindle is part of the right crank arm, not the BB.  Removing the crankset takes only an 8mm allan wrench, nothing else.

I worked in a bike shop in the 1970's when all wheel bearings were cup-and-cone.  Although I saw a few that were pitted because they had been installed too tight, I never saw any that actually failed.  I even opened one up that had been packed without any grease at all and ridden that way for a long time, and it looked perfect.  When I opened my rear Shimano Ultegra hub up a couple of years ago to replace the failed freehub body after 8,000 miles, the grease was still that clear yellow-green color Shimano uses.  No graying at all.  When I opened up a Campy one after 20,000 miles and cleaned it up, I could hardly see where the bearings had ridden on the races.  (I can't say the grease was clear, because it was black moly grease when I packed it.)  I wouldn't have any qualms about beginning a 3,000-mile trip without re-packing or inspecting my hubs.  I know they're fine.  I would be more concerned about a freehub body going out again (although I munched freewheels too, and broken rear axles, something that doesn't happen with a freehub body).

All my bearings get cleaned, regreased (waterproof boat trailer wheel bearing grease, no less!) and adjusted at least every 2,500 miles, or whenever I think it might be necessary.

Do you do that with your car too?

And yeah, I meant cassette.  Although mine consists of loose spacers and cogs, not a permanet prefabbed construct.  All of which were hand picked by me to achieve the exact gearing pattern/spacing I wanted.

I do kind of miss the days when you could order a freewheel with exactly the number of teeth you wanted on each cog.  Well, actually you still can, mostly, from .  But with nine or ten cogs on a cassette, the spacing is pretty doggone close, closer than I had with my optimum touring half-step setup with a 5-speed freewheel and triple where through the cruising range each gear was 11.8% higher than the last which is possible only with 13-16-20-25-31 and 30-42-47 (the chainrings can go up or down a bit, together, like 29-41-46, without ruining it, but not the cogs), omitting the combinations that give extreme chainlines.  AFAIK, TA is the only crankset manufacturer left that allows you to have virtually any combination of chainrings you could want (although I understand some sizes are running out and will not be made again).  The disadvantage with this is that the parts won't be mated, so shifting is not as quick.  The bigger cog or chainring won't help the chain up from its smaller neighbor at the right place to make it mesh perfectly with the teeth.  The modern system, when used as designed, makes for shifting that's instant in the back and almost instant (less than half a revolution) in the front.

Routes / Re: Shelf life of A.C.A. maps
« on: August 23, 2011, 06:14:28 pm »
Can they be uploaded to a PC or are they just available for GPS and "analog" (paper maps)?
The paper is actually plastic, not normal paper, so they're very tough and waterproof.  These maps are great in more ways than expected.

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