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Messages - Successor to the Professor

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Routes / Re: How much to save to do the TA
« on: March 02, 2009, 07:02:18 pm »
$3000 should get you through the country pretty comfortably, which is a little more than $30/day.  There will be some nights in there were you will be camping for free, so you're biggest budget item will be food and beverage.  My advice is to ration it out pretty carefully throughout the early stages, and when you're nearing the end, you can start to splurge on whatever you have leftover.

Gear Talk / Re: New Touring Bike (RTW)
« on: February 04, 2009, 02:33:39 pm »
Those test results are fun to look at, but I think the point of the article is construction over material.  Any material can be engineered poorly.  Trek had all sorts of problems with their first line of OCLV bikes in the mid-90's when their pro riders where shattering the bottom bracket shells.

The bottom line for me is that when a steel frame brakes, it can be repaired.  Maybe not immediately or efficiently, but at least it's not trashed.  When a carbon bike breaks, you might as well strip off the components and find the nearest dumpster.  Metal bikes also give you the flexibility of adding and removing features, such as extra bottle cage mounts, fender and rack mounts, pump pegs, and even S&S couplings.

Gear Talk / Re: mtb shoes
« on: January 09, 2009, 01:46:40 pm »
Float aside, the egg beaters have a few nifty features, and a few annoying features.  They shed mud better than most pedals thanks to the four entry points, however, the platform is very small and they are not very forgiving if you miss the clip in.  I'm a bigger fan of the Time ATACs and the CrankBros Candy SLs.  They have a larger platform for quick jumps on the pedals, and also have great mud shedding characteristics.  While the egg beaters are very light (depending on the model you choose), there isn't a huge jump in weight gain from those up to a larger platform pedal.

Gear Talk / Re: Xtracycle
« on: January 08, 2009, 06:10:55 pm »
I've talked to a few people who have toured with an xtracycle and have heard good reviews and bad reviews on the subject.  They are nice in the sense that it's a complete and tidy package.  The downside is that it's big and bulky.  If you are camping out a lot, then it's fine, but if you're spending a fair amount of time in cities and hotels, it becomes a real pain to carry around.  With panniers and a trailer, you can always remove parts to make transport easier.  Flying with these bikes is also a pain due to the large size. 

Like any bike, this works for some people, and doesn't for others.  Think of the type of touring you want to do and then decide if this is a practical option or not.

Gear Talk / Re: Bianchi Volpe or Jamies Aurora
« on: January 08, 2009, 06:02:03 pm »
I'll go ahead and cast my vote for the Jamis Aurora.  Both are steel bikes and have similar ride characteristics.  The 2008 Bianchi did not come with eyelets for a low rider front rack which is a bummer.  The Jamis Aurora is solid, and if you want to smooth out your ride a bit more, I like the Aurora Elite with the beefy carbon fork.

General Discussion / Re: Biking from the West Coast in May: too early?
« on: January 08, 2009, 05:54:21 pm »
I would shoot for later in the year.  Even if there's minimal snow, it's still going to be wet, and there are few things worse than being cold and wet.  I would try hitting the Cascade region no earlier than June.

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