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Messages - patrickstoneking

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Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: April 25, 2012, 01:47:07 pm »
Lucas (aka BikeFreak):

This is an interesting analysis.  It sounds like spokes should never ever break, and yet we all have broken them.  One of my buddy's does not break spokes, but he does regularly break spoke nipples.

I guess I have been lucky.  I have yet to break a spoke in 35 years of road and mountain biking.  Whacked a wheel out of true?  You bet.  Taco-ed a wheel after hitting an obstruction at high speed?  Yep - that's me.  But never a spoke.

Gear Talk / Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« on: April 19, 2012, 04:17:56 pm »
I use a larger, water resistant bright yellow bag from NOMAR ( in SEATARP fabric.  The bag is highly rain resistant, indestructible, and you could easily use it on the tour itself.  Reuse is much better than use once and toss.

General Discussion / Re: Good workout supplement to cycling?
« on: April 05, 2012, 11:35:41 pm »
I'm a big fan of either the rowing machine or actual paddling (kayak or canoe).  Both use some new muscle groups, keep my limber, and builds strong back and ab muscles.

Gear Talk / Re: Mountain bike forks
« on: April 05, 2012, 11:32:20 pm »
I have no issue with using a hard tail mountain bike (with a front suspension) for touring.  I've done it several times on the White Rim Trail in Utah and it was fantastic for going off pavement.  My bike, a 15 year old Breezer Lightning with a Marzocchi fork, was the perfect tool for this 100 mile trip.  There are front racks that can be made to work with a front suspension fork.  However, I just used panniers on the back to hold my gear and left the front unracked.  I sensed no issue with peddling efficiency.  If fact, the comfort factor alone probably enabled me to pedal at a more constant cadence.

I have never tried my full suspension bikes and probably never will.  Not for any reason other than the fact that I have what I need in my hardtail.

General Discussion / Re: Bibs VS casual commuting to work??
« on: April 05, 2012, 01:27:36 pm »
I hate bib shorts.  Hate them, hate them, hate them.  Nobel prize winners would have a hard time conceiving of a worse piece of clothing.

When I commuted, it was only 2 miles each way.  So did not get too sweaty.  I carried my work clothes in a backpack.  Left shoes and a hair brush at work.  Always wore cycling clothes for the ride to and from work.  I always wear cycling clothes whenever I ride the bike.  Not sure why anyone would not wear cycling clothes when cycling.  Cycling clothes are the best for cycling.  Why would you not wear the best for an activity?

My commute is between 14 and 17 miles each way depending on whether I take the sort route or the scenic route.  I happen to love bibs and have at least 15 pairs - winter and summer weights.  I typically ride fully suited up and then shower at the gym at work. Here in Cleveland we even have a really nice bike parking, repair, and showering facility managed by the city for commuters downtown.  I haven't needed to use it but I would if I didn't have the facility at work.

If my commute was under 5 miles I would probably just wear my work clothes.  I don't get that sweaty in the 20 minutes it would take me to get to work.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: April 05, 2012, 10:50:17 am »
I gave it a try last night and noticed zero issues with approximate 300 lbs (bike, rider, and gear) on the bike.  I have had issues with rim brakes in the past heating an aluminum rim up enough on long descents to damage the rim or blow a tire.  I have also had enough experience with rim brakes not working when wet to convince me to spring for the disc trucker over the LHT.

Regarding fade, my experience with down hill mountain bikes has indicated that the hydraulic disc brakes can experience fade but it is very difficult to do.  The cable disc brakes don't fade at all because the is no fluid to overheat.

Gear Talk / Re: Cars and bike racks
« on: April 05, 2012, 08:27:33 am »
I for one absolutely hate having my bike in the car.  I ride all year long and half the time the bike is wet, covered in mud or other road grime, etc.  I like to keep all that junk outside of the car if possible.  However, I live in an extremely low crime area so I do not fear leaving my bike locked to the rack outside of my car.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: April 04, 2012, 02:26:36 pm »
I will know better this weekend after I take a short trek.  However, given my experience with disc brakes on down hill mountain bikes, there is no issue with the wheels being damaged due to the braking force.  I'm not a small guy and I've never seen a wheel damaged this way.

I'll let you know what I learn.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: April 04, 2012, 01:05:51 pm »
I've been riding my disc trucker for the last couple of days and it works as expected. It was a little complicated getting the fenders and Surly racks to fit but in the end everything fit fine.  Rides just like a LHT but stops a lot better.  The only thing I am not thrilled with is that Surly changed from silver components to black for the Disc Trucker.  It was not what I expected when I ordered the bike and frankly I like the silver components much better than the black.  At some level I feel deceived by Surly and probably wouldn't rush to buy another bike from them again without a better understanding of the changes they have made.  Also not super thrilled with the Shimano LX substitution for the former XT deurallieurs.

Gear Talk / Re: For CC Touring:Trek 1.2 or Surly LHT?
« on: April 04, 2012, 10:42:14 am »
Thanks everyone for the advice.  I need to clarify some things.  My cycling nomenclature is flawed.  It wasn't long ago that I first learned the term "pannier".  I just thought they were saddle bags, until someone called them panniers.  And I ran wild with it.  For the record, I carried about 25 lbs of stuff on my rear rack, including the Bontrager interchange unit and two SADDLEBAGS.  Sorry for the confusion.  But I really spent too much time on the  carry-on and not enough time explaining what my real question is.  With that amount of load, I know I can use my Trek 1.2.  But I'm curious to know how much better (if any) the Surly LHT would ride with a load like that?  (BTW, I'm currently 210 lbs and shrinking, so that may be a factor.)I'm talking the wear and tear on my body from road cracks, bumps etc.  I know the LHT can be loaded down and performs nicely.  Maybe I've got it wrong, but CCT to me means the bike selection is in the category of "tweener".  I guess we all like to classify things.  Thanks indyfabz for bring that to our attention.   And thanks Russ, for destroying all my cycling confidence.  At least until I figure this all out.   Just kidding, I appreciate all of your input.  I've at least learned to use resources other than the LBS.  I thought with my limited experience I could count on theirs.  Most of the problems I had on my short tour were the result of that "advice".  Rack, saddle bags, inferior tires.  But it was a hell of a good time anyway.  Keep the suggestions  coming!

My advice - ride whatever you have but get out there and ride.  If the bike doesn't work to your satisfaction try something different.  I have 12 bikes, from full carbon race bikes, xc mountain bikes, hard tails, , touring bikes, etc.  The bike I do most of my trips on?  A butted steel 27 year old Bianchi Nyala mountain bike.  Weighs a ton, has too short a wheel base so my foot occasionally hits my bags, etc.    However, I have been riding it since 1985 and it has never failed me.  With touring tires I can average 14 mph all day cause the gearing and I are meant to be.  And boy oh boy have we had adventures. 

My new Disc Trucker is fantastic and may become my default touring bike sometime in the future but that old, beat up Bianchi is, right now, my hands down winner.

Gear Talk / Re: Cars and bike racks
« on: April 04, 2012, 10:27:00 am »
I've been using Thule pedestal hitch racks for 20 years.  They may get a little rusty but they never fail (may be the total lack of plastic parts) and they protect your bike well.  I would watch Craigslist as they come up for sale all the time.  My favorite pedestal  rack is the Thule Helium.  It's light, doesn't rust (high quality aluminum), and the soft cradles really protect your bike.

Gear Talk / Re: used zipp wheels
« on: April 04, 2012, 10:22:12 am »
I am trying out a demo version of Zipp 404 clinchers for potential purchase. The front wheel has been rebuit and the back wheel has clearly been worn. Is it worth purchasing this set for half price or is it better to purchase a new set. My ride performance is clearly better but I am concerned about longevity.

I ride these wheels every day on my road bike.  After 4000+ miles, my experience has been that they are very durable, standing up to the potholes, debris, gravel, etc that we have on the roads here in Cleveland.  That being said, I would never use them on a self supported tour as they do have specific weight limits.  If you really wanted to use them like that I would look to buy the Clydesdale version, which I have no experience with.

These wheels do not sound like a good price for the condition.  Demo wheels?  They sound like they have been abused.  You can buy new wheels from discount online bike dealers for 1/2 retail any day of the week.  That's where I bought mine and haven't regretted it.

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