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Messages - whittierider

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Gear Talk / Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« on: June 05, 2011, 04:58:42 pm »
Brakes?  Maybe need long reach sidepull calipers.
Even there you can run into trouble if you try to modernize.  Modern brakes Usually have a much shorter bolt in the front with a recessed nut, and what I've found on the older frames I've dealt with is that you can't even ream out the hole in the back of the fork for the newer nut because there's not enough material.  It would break out.  The rear is different too.  I was not able to put modern brakes on the older frames.  Trying to modernize the other stuff was like peeling an onion.  One thing leads to another and you're not done until there's nothing left and you might as well have bought a new bike for all the time and money you spent on the old one.  It's better as the others have said, to mostly just make it all work correctly in its vintage.  Then the only problem you might have is if you have 27" wheels and your brakes won't reach the slightly smaller 700c's, because very few of the better tires are available anymore in 27".  5-speed freewheels and still being made even today, and only cost around $20. is a good place for a lot of the small parts and older components.  eBay is a good place to get a lot of other parts.  I got a brand-new pair of Dura-Ace 7-speed indexed down-tube shifters a couple of years ago for one of our bikes through eBay.

Classifieds / Re: WTB: ACA-Branded Madden Trunk Bag
« on: May 28, 2011, 12:43:58 am »
Depending on the goal, you could use Jandd Mountaineering's Mountain Wedge III expandable.  It's lighter (no rack) and has more room (nearly two gallons' worth of space when expanded).  I got mine for unsupported credit-card tours.

Gear Talk / Re: High capacity, headstock mounted waterbottle
« on: May 27, 2011, 02:45:52 am »
I'm sure there's a business for some entrepreneur who could do custom and semi-custom water containers and water bottle cages and mounts, and maybe a few unusual but non-custom ones too.  When we were riding the tandem a lot, and long distances, I was wishing there were a way to put a long water tank under the oval boom tube.  I imagine it holding no less than 5 litres, and the CG would be as low as you could get it.  In the west there's a lot of riding where you can go many hours without seeing anyplace to refill, no stores, no houses, no streams, and maybe not even see another human being for hours.  On my carbon-fiber single bike, I would like to at least be able to mount another water bottle under the down tube.

Gear Talk / Re: Rohloff hub
« on: May 26, 2011, 01:53:00 am »
I'm on the Bicycling forum too, and velobro.1 there is an industry guru who puts on about 12,000 miles a year, owns a big bike shop, has visted lots of bike factories, has raced most of his life, both on- and off-road, has led bike tours in Europe, etc., and he is not excited about belt drives.  He says they still have too many bugs, although as I remember, he said the belt itself is not the problem-- it's the other things that go with it.  He says he would not recommend it yet.

Gear Talk / Re: mechanic starter set
« on: May 23, 2011, 03:41:16 pm »
You can get individual cogs (if they're available at all) from .  Complete freewheels are only around $20 though, and you will never be able to perform well if you only use the smallest cog.  That's why there are a bunch of them, to keep your cadence up in the general range of 80-100 rpm (the lower end of the cadence range being for climbing).  Out-of-the-saddle climbing may go lower, otherwise you're killing your knees!  My road bike's highest gear is 52/12 (52-tooth chainring and 12-tooth cog) and I don't use it below 37mph (60km/hr).

If you have a cassette, You will need a chain whip to keep the cassette from rotating while you loosen the lock ring.  For freewheels, you would need at least one chain whip to change individual cogs, maybe two chain whips, but none to remove the freewheel from the wheel.

Do your hubs have any play when the wheels are in the bike and the skewers are closed?  If you have quick release, keep in mind that the skewers do compress the axles slightly, so a proper adjustment will demostrate a little play when the skewers are open.  Removing that play will make the bearing adjust waaaaay too tight when the skewer is closed, dramatically shortening the life of the bearings.  As Paddleboy said, you'll need a set of cone wrenches to adjust the cones.  You might need more than one of a given size.  My Shimano 105 rear hub takes two of the same, 15mm if I remember correctly.  I opened it up at 8,000 miles because the freehub body had started skipping and needed replacement.  The grease in the wheel bearings was still that greenish yellow color that Shimano uses, and transparent, totally clean-looking, so I did not bother to wipe it out and put new grease in.  Now the bearings have at least that much more and are still perfectly smooth.

Gear Talk / Re: mechanic starter set
« on: May 23, 2011, 05:45:25 am »
maybe an adjustable flat-wrench?
Most modern bikes don't have a single thing that an adjustable wrench would fit.  For repairs on the road (which should be rare), allen wrenches and a spoke wrench are the ticket for most anything.  Beyond that, you're into the specialty tools for your particular parts.  For example, there are quite a few different bottom bracket tools but you only need the ones that fit yours.

Bearings these days are pretty well sealed up with rubber rings, even if they use loose ball bearings.  They're not perfect, but they're probably a lot better than you're thinking.  Most people who get their bikes really muddy just give them a good bath, being careful not to give bearings a high-pressure water blast that could push through the seals.

The online Park Tool repair manual should be a lot of help to you.

As for a starter "kit," you could spend a couple hundred dollars on one of the kits sold by Performance or Nashbar for example, but most people just get the tools they need as they need them and probably end up with more of what they really need for a lower price in the long run.  I do all the work on my family's bikes.

1 can someone tell me a quick way to figure out whether i have a cassette or cog set? i know on a cog set the smallest cog is a locking ring but i don't know how to recognize that.
They're the same thing.  The more appropriate question might be "Do I have a cassette and freehub or do I have a freewheel?"  The picture at the top of this page should answer that adequately.  Basically in the cassette & freehub system, the "clicker," ie, ratchet assembly, is part of the hub, although it can be replaced, whereas with the freewheel, it's part of the freewheel that screws onto the hub.  Cassettes always slide onto the freehub body.

The problem with freewheels was that as they went to more and more speeds, the right-side hub bearings got farther and farther from the dropout in the frame, and made it easier and easier to break the axle.  The freehub remedied this by putting the right-side bearings in the right end of the ratchet assembly, closer to the frame's dropout.

Gear Talk / Re: "Converting" a hybrid bike
« on: May 20, 2011, 06:07:42 pm »
I don't think I've really seen a correlation between price and durability.  There's definitely a correlation between price and bling, but not durability.  You buy the rims, spokes, and hubs from Peter White and he does the labor for $35 a wheel and you get super good quality, or you could have some inexperienced wheelbuilder at the LBS build up the wheels with the same components and it won't be reliable.

Routes / Re: Long Beach to Long Island - Summer 2011
« on: May 19, 2011, 05:29:17 pm »
Once you get to Riverside... do you head north towards Victorville/Barstow?

In the topic I linked in an earlier post above, someone mentioned the Cajon pass.  I haven't tried the route myself.

What is the best way to find out if there is services between a place like Barstow and Bullhead City?  I understand some maps are misleading because a lot of towns can be ghost towns.

I would do a lot of panning on satelite-view websites whether Yahoo Maps, Google Earth, or whatever.  It makes a huge difference, a little bit like having already been there and being familiar with the places you're going.

Routes / Re: Long Beach to Long Island - Summer 2011
« on: May 19, 2011, 02:53:47 pm »
Getting out of LA shouldn't be a headache - as there are lots of great river trails away from the surface streets.  I was thinking of going up the San Gabriel river...
The San Gabriel River trail takes you mostly north to Hwy 39 which heads into the mountains, going north.  From 39, there are a couple of ways you can take to get east, the road to Wrightwood reaching nearly 8,000 feet, but you will definitely be going out of your way and not saving any distance.  (You can see East Fork Rd, the lower part of Hwy 39, Glendora Mtn Rd, and Mt. Baldy Rd in the Tour of California race stage this coming Saturday.)

OTOH, if you're thinking of getting off the San Gabriel River trail at someplace like Live Oak or Arrow and taking Hwy 66, I've done that (on the way to Big Bear), but you go through an awful lot of city with constant traffic lights and some of it is kind of ugly.

The Santa Ana River trail curves toward the east and gets you into Corona and from there the ride into Riverside and beyond by city streets is a lot more pleasant than Hwy 66 paralleling it farther north.

Either way though of course, all of this will be behind you by the end of the first day of your ride.

Routes / Re: Planned LA to Lompoc ride, route questions.
« on: May 19, 2011, 01:09:26 am »
128 miles in a great headwind.  I hope you're ready.  As for the freeway sections, I enjoy those, especially when the traffic is slow so our 30mph long-term cruise with the tailwind (going south and east) keeps up with them or even passes them.  There's a ton of room on the right side of the freeway, unlike the situation on "lazy" 2-lane country roads.  The freeway is safer.  The last time I rode on a freeway stretch, I made a point of seeing how much room the right-lane traffic left me if I stayed toward the right side of the paved shoulder: 10 to 16 feet!!

Routes / Re: Long Beach to Long Island - Summer 2011
« on: May 19, 2011, 01:02:25 am »
Getting out of LA from Long Beach, CA will be a major headache as well.
You go down PCH (mostly east) to the Santa Ana River trail (north & northeast) to start, which is not a headache at all.  From there, this topic should help.  It actually looks pretty feasible.

As for the Mojave desert, see this topic.

Routes / Re: Long Beach to Long Island - Summer 2011
« on: May 18, 2011, 05:44:00 pm »
Do take what the others are saying about headwind going up the coast seriously.  When coming down the coast, I have found myselft climbing at 28mph because of the tailwind.  I can hardly imagine having to go the other direction.

In the book "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" by Kirkendall and Spring, the preface is entitled, "Why North to South?"  Here's some of it, telling about Kirkendal's first coast ride, going north.  (I think copyrights allow this since I'm giving credit to the book and it may increase sales of the book.  If the owners of the copyright don't like it, I'll edit this and remove the quote.)

"North of Santa Barbara, encoutered stiff headwinds that blew the fun right out of his adventure.  Scenery and the thrill of exploring became secondary to his daily battle with the wind.  The wind created an invisible, never-ending hill that had to be constantly climbed.  The wind beat dirt into his face, produced an annoying whistling through the vents in his helmet, while attempting to push him back to Mexico.  By San Francisco, riding had become a chore.  In Oregon, 80-mile-per-hour winds blew him to a stop while going down a steep hill.

"When describing that trip, Tom will pull out his trip journal.  The beginning of the journal is full of his thoughts and impressions; in the second half he wrote only of the wind.  His journal describes how he got up early in the morning to avoid the winds that blew strongest in the afternoon.  ...Nowhere in the second half of that book is there any mention of beautiful vista points, magnificent redwood forests, sea otters, sea lions, lighthouses, sand dunes, and fascinating old forts.  Nowhere is there any mention of the word fun.

"The following summer, Tom and I rode back down the coast to prove it can be fun.  It was an incredible trip.  The wind was still blowing but this time it was pushing us south.  Near the Sea Lion Caves in Oregon, I had to apply my brakes to stop on a steep uphill grade....We were surprised to note that the highway department expects cyclists to travel from north to south.  We frequently enjoyed a good shoulder on the southbound side while northbound cyclists had to dodge trucks and cars on a shoulderless roadway."

Gear Talk / Re: "Converting" a hybrid bike
« on: May 16, 2011, 09:26:06 pm »
The components you've mentioned are fine, but the quality of the build job makes a big difference.  We've gotten wheels made by Peter White of Peter White Cycles and have been very pleased.  You get a very durable, nearly maintenance-free, and reasonably light pair of wheels for a good price (just over $400 for a pair) and with a lifetime warranty on anything having to do with the quality of the build.

Gear Talk / Re: Cantilever brakes for touring bike
« on: May 16, 2011, 02:44:59 am »
Let me suggest new brake pads before replacing brakes. Cheaper and faster, if they do not work out you can transfer them to the new brakes. Kool Stop seems to be the favored brand.
+1.  Just consider it standard practice, whatever brand of brakes you get, to replace the pads with Kool Stop pads.  You'll get stronger braking and longer rim life, and you won't get the little metal bits embedded in them.  They last a lot of miles too.  The ones on my main bike have something over 20,000 miles on them and they still have life left in them.

Gear Talk / Re: clean hydration pack
« on: May 16, 2011, 02:39:49 am »
I'm about to go on the Sierra Cascades route and want as much water-carrying capacity as possible, so I'd like to carry it on this trip.
So that's in addition to bottles, right?  I say that because you can get more capacity with just bottles than with just the hydration pack.  Put two 32-ounce Zefal Magnum bottles on the frame in the normal places for 64 ounces, and two more behind the seat in one of the twin water bottle holders mostly used by the triathlon bunch, like the ones made by XLab, for a total of 128 ounces.  If you put another one under the down tube, you'll have 160 ounces.  Twofish makes one that mounts with velcro if you don't have the places to screw in a cage under there.  This web page might give you some ideas too.  The water storage bags mentioned there look like a good, tough, high-capacity solution.  There are several sizes up to ten litres which is over 2.5 gallons.

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