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Messages - whittierider

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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.

Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: August 23, 2011, 04:33:06 pm »
BicycleRider, I like some of the old stuff too, but be aware that Shimano's hubs all still use cup-and-cone bearings because these last pretty much indefinitely if they're adjusted right, meaning there's some play in them when they're out of the bike, just enough that it just barely disappears when you squeeze the skewer down tight.  With rubber seals just inside the dust caps, they keep the dirt out a lot better than the older type also.

Modern external-bearing bottom brackets last far longer than the old loose-bearing ones we had decades ago.  (That's not true of the internal-bearing ones though, especially the Isis type.)  I have 26,000 miles on my GXP external-bearing BB and it acts and feels like brand new, in spite of a lot of climbing.  You mention the "cog set" though.  If you mean a cassette, that goes with a freehub body, so you better have the tools to remove and replace that too, because they do go out.  For Shimano, it just takes a 10mm allen wrench.  If you mean a freewheel, make sure you add the appropriate freewheel remover to your list of tools.

Gear Talk / Re: 10 speed vs 9 speed for touring
« on: August 21, 2011, 07:14:31 pm »

I am currently doing a build and am considering using a IRD rear cassette to extend the low end gearing a bit. I have not been able to find any reviews of these parts do you remember where you saw these ??  Thanks in advance.

I did not bookmark them and I don't remember where.  I would just have to do a search again.

Gear Talk / Re: cargo trailers
« on: August 21, 2011, 03:52:40 pm »
I am leaning towards the single wheel as it looks like the double can tip over easy.
Bicycling magazine had a review of two-wheel trailers several years ago, and they said it was almost impossible to make them tip over, even if you try hard.

Routes / Re: Southern Route in June
« on: August 12, 2011, 10:27:38 pm »
I haven't done it but it should be good to get through the Mojave desert early.

Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: August 10, 2011, 01:50:36 pm »

Despite the thread arrangement I have had pedals loosen up.

Very strange.  Was that with anything in recent decades where the left pedal is left-hand threaded?  I used to put pedals on hardly more than finger-tight and never had a problem; but then I started tightening them a little more after reading that not tightening them may cause thread damage even though the pedal does not come loose.

Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: August 10, 2011, 12:26:42 am »
but if you were you would need a pedal wrench.  I use a short one as a compromise.

Many pedals now have a hole for a 6mm allen wrench.  Check yours and see if yours have it.  It can't apply as much torque as a real pedal wrench, but there's no need to get pedals very tight since precession keeps them from loosening as you ride.

Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: August 08, 2011, 01:50:58 pm »

I've read axles don't break nearly as frequently with the modern freehub/cassette as they did with the older freewheel/cluster.  That sounds like a holdover from ancient days.

It was the frames with horizontal dropouts

that required an awful lot of force to keep the axle from slipping forward on the right side with a lot of chain tension.  Now that road bikes use vertical dropouts

the skewer doesn't have to be so tight.  Actually a lot of the modern skewers' cam design makes them nearly impossible to get tight enough to hold well in the older horizontal dropouts.

Broken skewers are extremely rare as far as I can tell, but it would make sense that they're usually ones used on horizontal dropouts.  Assuming you have vertical dropouts, there's no worry, unless clamping a trailer mount adds a new worry.

Gear Talk / Re: Your Portable Repair Kit - What's Inside?!
« on: August 07, 2011, 11:37:16 pm »
If you're going to have some of those like a 10mm allen wrench which is only useful for changing the freehub body, you might as well have a chainwhip and a tool to remove the cassette plus a big wrench to operate it.  That's pretty unnecessary though unless you're going across a third-world continent.  Even an 8mm allen wrench is only for removing the crankset which with external-bearing BBs will be unnecessary for tens of thousands of miles or however long it takes you to wear out a steel granny ring (since you probably can't get the granny ring over the crankarm).

For the tire repair however, I would have a good set of tire boots.  That would include several pieces cut from a Mr. Tuffy or similar tire liner, an a large one cut from an old, thin, worn-out tire with the beads cut off for the worst tire problems.  That way there is no tire problem that will require replacing the tire on the road, even if you blow a big hole in a tire.

If you're going to carry spare spokes, you should at least have one of each length needed on the back.  The front may use a third length, but font-spoke breakage is more rare.

I'm not sure about the extra nuts and bolts, but there have been a couple of times electrical tape would have come in handy.

My cleats take a big flatblade screwdriver.  The one I carry has an L-shape at each end and no bulky handle.


Based on what I saw out on the road, a BOB is the standard touring trailer [...] and some hate the way a trailer makes a bike handle

The BOB setup will be terrible for the way the bike handles, but it's kind of necessary to get the one-wheel arrangement that's especially needed if you go off road and do singletrack.  OTOH, my wife and I rode with the neighbor who was pulling a 2-wheeled trailer with her little daughter and was very slow, so I offered to pull the trailer.  Its pivot was right at the left side of the bike's rear axle, and I couldn't even tell the trailer was there.  I kept looking back, wondering if it had come off and fallen back.  Really.

Gear Talk / Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« on: August 05, 2011, 12:36:28 pm »

transitions are what we used to call photo-gray lenses.

Again-- I was very happy with my Fotogray lenses, but I hate the Transitions which don't work nearly as well.  I was told Fotogray is only available in glass, and Transitions in plastic/polycarbonate.

Plastic lenses are good but high grade polycarbonates are not necessary for bicycling

How's the difference in scratch resistance?  I was concerned that all the salt from my abundant sweat drying on the glasses would scratch the lenses when I clean them.  I've always gotten real glass until the ones I got a couple of weeks ago, because I keep my glasses for ten years or more.  I still have virtually the same prescription I got 23 years ago (only 1/4 diopter different, which is the minimum).

BTW, I find plastic (polycarbonate) is more difficult to get smear-free when cleaning than glass is.

unless you know why you might want the additional impact/shatter resistance.

When I mentioned glass to the people at the glasses store next to the optometrist, they thought that was terrible because it could shatter and get glass in your eyes.  I told them that when we were kids, they were all glass (tempered, unlike what our grandparents had), and we all got hit in the face with balls on the playground many times, and the glasses never broke on our faces.  Never.  What did happen sometimes is that the glasses would get knocked off and fall and, on very rare occasion, break when they hit the concrete-- but never on our faces.  One woman there had a "horror" story about someone she sold glas to who got in a car accident and the edge of the lens was pressed into the skin above the eye and cut it; but the lens did not break.  It only got popped out of the frame.  The same thing could have happened with plastic.

Gear Talk / Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« on: August 04, 2011, 11:47:06 pm »
I should have added that the glasses that cracked and one lens fell out as I was riding were Fotogray (sp?) instead of Transitions.  I was very happy with Fotogray, but I found it's only available in real glass.  The only thing I could say that's less than stellar for Fotogray was that they took a long time to lighten up when I went indoors.  They darkened up quickly when I went out though.

I would also recommend getting bows that are flat, not round, so you can mount a mirror on them and not have the problem of it rotating down around.  My wife made that mistake, so she can't put a mirror on her glasses.

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