Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Successor to the Professor

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6
Gear Talk / Re: How many people tour with non-touring bikes?
« on: June 05, 2009, 04:53:57 pm »
You can ride whatever you want to ride for a tour.  Here at Adventure Cycling, we see standard touring bikes, old 1970's Schwinn road bikes, new carbon road bikes, cyclocross bikes, mountain bikes, recumbents, folding bikes, and more, all loaded.  The truth is, while one bike might handle the load better than another, it's all about how you adapt to the bike and the load.  Once you get used to the way a bike handles, it's going to feel natural.

If you're worried about whether or not your bike can structurally handle a load, opt for a trailer.  There are a million ways to tour and not one of them is right.  I spent years racing, training, and touring on one cyclocross bike with no problems.  Before that I was touring on a road bike, and now I'm touring on a standard touring bike (Surly LHT).  As far as I'm concerned, they all got the job done satisfactory.

Gear Talk / Re: panniers
« on: June 05, 2009, 12:16:18 pm »
What kind of pannier to buy depends heavily on their intended use.  If you're looking at a pretty long tour and/or plan on taking more trips in the future, I would suggest investing in something that's going to last (Ortlib or Arkel).  They very durable, and have a wide range of options that let you pick out panniers that suit your style.

If this may be your only self contained trip, I suggest looking at a Nashbar variety, or perhaps the Arkel Sakaroo, which are basic, can get the job done, and will save you money that you can spend elsewhere on the bike or yourself.  Just because they are inexpensive doesn't mean they are going to break down on you, but they won't be as bombproof or reliable over the years, or through long expeditions. 

Gear Talk / Re: Selle SMP saddle?
« on: June 04, 2009, 06:00:24 pm »
The Selle SMP saddle might be a tricky saddle for a touring bike.  It is set up to put you in more of a race fit, as opposed to a more upright position on a touring bike.  I've tried the carbon model on a road bike and it was actually super comfortable. when riding on the hoods and in the drops.  I've heard from a few people that the embroidery on the leather saddles is a bit intense and wears at the shorts, but overall I think it's plenty comfortable and doesn't require a big 'breaking in' period. 

That all being said, I still run a Brooks B17 on my touring bike. 

Gear Talk / Re: 10 speed triple Cranksets compatible with 9 speed?
« on: June 04, 2009, 05:51:11 pm »
Just for future reference, if you ever decide to swap over to a 10spd setup, you only need to buy the cassette, shifter levers, and chain.  An 8 or 9spd derailleur will work with a 10spd setup just fine.

Gear Talk / Re: Help on choosing rain gear
« on: May 22, 2009, 06:15:26 pm »
I wouldn't worry too much about a hood when looking for a rain jacket, but if you do go for a hood, make sure it fits under or over your helmet easily.  I like to look for lightweight jackets that aren't going to tear easily, especially if you plan on wearing it on the trail.  I've had two rain jackets in the past that have been superb.  I highly recommend Showers Pass or Bellweather for jackets that will last a long time, and are very practical for cycling.

There aren't a lot of lightweight waterproof booties out there, and the ones that are available I have had little luck with.  Water still manages to work it's way in through the cleat holes, and down the tops no matter how much I cinch them down.  I like to go with plastic bags over my socks.  That all being said, booties are very nice if you're going to be riding through some colder regions. 

Routes / Re: Texas roads on Southern Tier
« on: May 19, 2009, 05:23:19 pm »
Iowa as one of the worst states to ride in?!  As a Montana resident, I'm throwing Iowa way up near the top.  You can ride endless routes and loops through low traffic roads on pavement, gravel, and dirt.  With tons of river valleys throughout the state, there is plenty of varying terrain.  As far as rumble strips are concerned, they are fine if you're rolling solo, but in a group of riders they are the bane of my existence.

In addition to nice roadways, Iowa also boasts 1200 miles of multi-use trails, which doesn't even include the mountain bike trails.  You will also have a hard time convincing the hoards of 10,000+ RAGBRAI riders that Iowa is a poor state to ride in.


The big benefit of riding solo is that you can run entirely on your own schedule.  If you want to hang out in a town for a few extra days, or sidetrack your route a bit, no problem.  On a ride of this length, you'll surely make friends along the way, and you may even be able link up with some of your existing friends along the route.

Depending on the type of person you are, being alone for a few months may or may not be a pitfall.  It can, however, be nice to have a partner along to help navigate tricky scenarios that will certainly come about along the trip (finding a place to spend the night, fixing mechanical failures, you miscalculated the funds needed, etc). 

If you do travel with a companion, be sure to go into the ride with the understanding that it won't be all fun and games for the entire stretch.  Over that span of time, drama is sure to ensue, so be prepared to work it out.

Gear Talk / Re: Safari Kick Stand
« on: May 18, 2009, 02:08:46 pm »
You've got some pretty big tubes with that bike, and the disc brakes don't make matters any easier.  Try giving the click-stand a look.  It doesn't attach to your bike, but it's very light and portable, and will support just about any bike.

General Discussion / Re: What's on your iPod?
« on: May 18, 2009, 02:00:03 pm »
As far as safety is concerned, I usually go with one headphone, and keep the ear facing traffic open.  Having an emergency vehicle come screaming past you while you're jamming out is never pleasant. 

Here's a recent post I did on my list.

Routes / Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« on: May 12, 2009, 11:30:10 am »
Renting a bike is pretty easy, just about any bike shop will have rentals or demos available, but they are mostly mountain bikes.  I ended up traveling with my own bike. 

Just a note about flying bikes to the islands, the major airlines charge anywhere from $75-$150 each way, but the smaller airlines (such as Mesa) only charge around $25-$40 each way.  I started the flight towards Hawaii on Delta, and was charged $80 for my bike, but on the way back I started with Mesa, and only paid $25.

There are a lot of opportunities to camp on the islands, but there are also a lot of different rules for each campground depending on the district (State Parks, National Parks, Forest Reserves, County Parks, and Private Camping facilities).  Here's a really good resources that has pretty up to date prices and locations of camp sites on each island:

Routes / Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« on: May 11, 2009, 04:57:07 pm »
I rode the big island, and it was incredible.  If you're in the region, I would suggest steering clear of the Kona side.  It's extremely touristy, the roads are narrow, and the traffic is fast.  That being said, it would also be fun to ride the Kona Ironman course through the lava fields.

If you hang out near the Hilo side of the island, you'll have a lot less traffic to deal with, and incredible views.  The ride along the coast on Hwy 137 was one of my favorite stretches, had great beaches and an outstanding restaurant on the south end of the road.

If you're very ambitious, I really have to plug the ride up to Mauna Kea.  I made an attempt to ride from sea level in Hilo to the peak at 13,800ft, and only made it up to 12,500 ft before the altitude really got to me.  I would suggest driving up to the visitors center and riding up from there.  No matter how you get up there, you really have to check it out, it's out of this world.

The last ride would be up to Volcano National Parks.  The lava fields in that area are some of the best, and I had the chance to watch an active lava flow while riding around last year. 

Gear Talk / Re: touring wheels
« on: May 11, 2009, 04:44:57 pm »
Check out Grand Performance on 1938 Grand Avenue in St. Paul, MN.  They have some great mechanics at their shop.  Just make sure to let them know what style of riding you intend to use the wheels for, and they'll tension them up accordingly.

Gear Talk / Re: NuVinci hub
« on: May 08, 2009, 06:53:35 pm »
The Ellsworth Ride is running this setup.  It would be perfect for touring since it doesn't use gears.  The rotating spheres inside the sealed hub don't take on the wear and tear that gears do.  This gives it a longer lifespan, makes for a quieter ride, and provides smoother shifts.  Since there are no gears, you don't have the jumps from one gear to another, meaning the resistance never jumps more than you want it to when shifting. 

The downside is that they are very expensive, making the Shimano Alfine 8spd hub a little more attractive.

General Discussion / Re: Furthest Distance
« on: May 08, 2009, 06:47:07 pm »
145 miles in around 8 1/2 hours, which is nothing compared to these guys

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: Garmin Oregon Series
« on: May 05, 2009, 02:28:26 pm »
I haven't had the chance to use these in the field, but I've played with them a little bit.  Taking away the navigation buttons and giving you one massive touch screen makes reading this very easy.  The touch screen didn't seem very refined to me, but I'm sure you would get used to it over time.  Even the base models take microSD cards, so you can load a ton of maps for long trips. 

I might hesitate on this a little for a bike trip because it would live in your pocket or bag.  I'm a huge fan of the Edge series that you can mount to your bars or stem.  The Edge series also has a lot of features that will eliminate your need for a cyclo-computer, such as speed, cadence, distance, heart rate, etc.  The Edge series is also a lot cheaper than the Oregon series.  You can get the top end Edge 705 for the same price as the base Oregon 200 model.

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6