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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Gear weight
« on: May 13, 2018, 03:11:03 pm »
"Handling is superior over a heavily overloaded arse end." ---   Same as with the  human anatomy,  huh? ;D

Apparently you have never ridden a bike in your life.  Its about balance.  Your big, heavy arse is on the rear of the bike.  Its weight is on the rear wheel.  So you have a light unloaded front wheel.  Putting all the panniers on the front balances the bike so an equal amount of weight is on both wheels.  Of course equal does not happen.  You still end up with 60% weight on the rear and 40% on the front even if you only have front panniers and no rear panniers.  Because your big, heavy arse is so huge and cannot be overcome with pannier contents.  Just reduced.  But still much better balanced than your scenario of putting 90% weight on the rear wheel only.  Bad handling.

Gear Talk / Re: Gear weight
« on: May 11, 2018, 04:34:45 pm »
Front left (rain/warm clothing) 5.6 lbs
Front right (tools/medical) 9 lbs
handlebar bag 4.8 lbs
seat bag 1lb
Rear left (stickers/cards/maps/books,clothing)  12.4 lbs
Rear right (clothing, power pack) 10.6 lbs
Luggage bag (camping) 11.6 lbs
Water (three 1 liter bottles)/lock 6 lbs

Move your front panniers to the rear.  And the rear panniers to the front.  The weight will be much better balanced and the bike will handle so much better.  For some reason many people do not know how panniers, specifically low mount front, work.  You want all or most of the weight in the front down low.  Handling is superior over a heavily overloaded arse end.

Gear Talk / Re: My Bike Set-up for TransAm
« on: May 08, 2018, 06:49:19 pm »
I'm wondering how bear repellant works.  Bears are BIG.  500+ pounds?  I don't know how mean and aggressive they are.  But if one wanted to harm you, the only way to protect yourself would be a cage to get into, or a very high power gun.  Think about it for a moment.  This repellant probably sprays 10 feet at most.  Or less.  So you have a 500 pound bear charging at 20mph at you and its less than 10 feet from you when you hit it with this repellant.  Momentum will keep the 500 pound bear rushing towards you and crush you.  Even if it does not bite or claw you because the repellant suddenly made it afraid or gentle.  Your repellant sounds about like repellant for cape buffaloes or elephants in Africa.  Once they are coming at you and get close, you ain't gonna stop them unless you shoot them dead.

General Discussion / Re: Advices needed for bike light design
« on: May 08, 2018, 06:34:48 pm »
To follow up on Pat's comments.  Starbike sells the Schmidt SON Edelux 2 for 139 Euro.  Which roughly translates to $139 USD after removing VAT and converting Euro to USD.  Its considered a very good generator light.  The Supernova is 165 USD.  Considered one of the brightest generator lights.  The Busch Muller lights are 20 to 125 USD.  I think the higher dollar ones are brighter, but all work fine.  I have two Cyo on a bike.  The Germany brands ONLY make dynamo lights.  So that is what I listed.  Germany companies do not make battery powered lights.  You have to go to China for those.  Not sure what you mean with the power supply.  Battery?  Dynamo?  USB is just a computer connection.  USB does not tell us where the power, juice, electricity is coming from.  You could have a thousand square feet of solar panels on your bike collecting solar power and feeding the electricity into the light via USB port.  Through a battery.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier: West to East or East to West?
« on: April 20, 2018, 02:00:38 pm »
Another non-wind thought is if you are an very early riser/depart to ride, E>W might be better so you do not have the sun in your eyes all morning.

Tying this back to wind direction.  In the middle of the Midwest, the winds start increasing in strength late morning and in the afternoon.  Afternoon and early evening is when winds are generally strongest.  So an early start will mean riding with meager or non existent winds for the first few hours.  No matter whether they are head or tail winds.  On my Saturday 7 AM morning rides with friends, the winds are minor when we start.  But can be much stronger later in the morning when returning.

Routes / Re: Northern Tier: West to East or East to West?
« on: April 18, 2018, 09:09:56 pm »
One other interesting takeaway was that as we rode through northern Iowa just south of the Minnesota border we were going through massive utility wind farms on and off for at least two days. All of the windmills were positioned to the NW which led me to believe that that was a common wind direction. The only question on that is if those positions are permanent or are they actually able to adjust the angle of the turbines. If they are adjustable then ignore that thought!

The windmills do change direction depending on the wind direction.  From Wikipedia:  "The nacelle is housing the gearbox and generator connecting the tower and rotor. Sensors detect the wind speed and direction, and motors turn the nacelle into the wind to maximize output."

Routes / Re: Northern Tier: West to East or East to West?
« on: April 18, 2018, 03:40:36 pm »
In the middle of the USA, where there are farms with corn and soybeans, the wind usually blows out of the West and South in the summer.  June-July-August.  The wind can blow from any direction on any day.  But generally in the hotter summer months in the middle of the USA, it is from the West and South.  And in the middle of the USA in winter, the wind blows from the West and North.  Not too relevant to bicycle riding then.  For the areas east and west of the middle of the country, not sure what they have for wind direction dominance.  But for the middle 1000+ miles of the country, the wind has a West and South dominance in the summer months.  Out of the west and south.  So you would have tailwinds going east and north.

Gear Talk / Re: Saddle Recommends
« on: April 03, 2018, 05:15:08 pm »
I have Brooks saddles on six bikes.  Love them.  The sort of skinny titanium Swift model.  And the harder than concrete Team Pro.  And the B17 and the not as hard as concrete Pro model.  All are good.  But I am comfortable on the saddles on the other three bikes too.  One of those is a carbon railed Fizik Arione model.  I've probably done centuries or MUCH longer on most of my saddles.  They all work fine for me.

Gear Talk / Re: Shoe Recommends
« on: April 03, 2018, 05:08:20 pm »
Sandals with SPD pedals.  Touring, road riding, all riding.  If you want, on long tours you could use the sandals as your only shoes.  Sandals work just fine for walking around all day off the bike.  And work perfectly on the bike with SPD pedals.  Super comfortable.

General Discussion / Re: Custom touring bkie vs. mass produced
« on: April 01, 2018, 07:28:00 pm »
As to why I 'd buy a custom bike, mostly because I'd like one.  Call it vanity, snobbishness, bragging rights - whatever.

That is one of the three valid reasons for getting a custom touring bike.  Those logical reasons are:
1.  Vanity.  Different from everyone else.  Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine.  Its unique for me.
2.  Size.  You are oddly shaped and no stock frame fits you.
3.  Special function.  S&S couplers would be a special function.  Although several touring frame makers offer this as an option on factory bikes (Gunnar).  Disc brakes, built on racks, kick stand, bell, pump peg, nine water bottle holders, mixte frame, belt drive, eccentric bottom bracket, etc.  Something that is not offered on stock frames.

If you want a custom bike for any of those reasons, go for it.  But if you think you are going to get a "better" bike with custom over stock, then you are smoking weed and chugging booze.  Custom does not get you any better functionality.  Custom or standard bikes all work the same and function the same.  Neither is better or worse than the other for riding a bicycle.  Or touring on the bicycle.  Bicycles, and touring bicycles, have been around for many decades now.  They have been perfected.  No one is going to invent a better mouse trap or bicycle.  You can maybe refine it a little bit.  But there is no miracle break through a custom builder is going to give you on a bike.  Everyone is working with the exact same materials and construction techniques and ideas that have been around for decade and decades.  There are no new ideas out there.

Gear Talk / Re: Gear weight
« on: March 29, 2018, 01:59:16 am »
Unless you are going ultra light, and invested the research time and money before buying the gear, I think a very reasonable gear weight is 30 to 35 pounds.  Including tent, sleeping bag, mattress, clothes, hygiene gear, cooking gear, food.  Not included is all the electronic stuff people seem to not be able to live without.  Amazing how 25 years ago I was able to ride all over Europe without any computer or smart phone.  Just used paper maps.  Amazing.  I seem to recall being perfectly happy on my adventure and I never ever got lost.  Amazing.  Back to the story.  If you invest the time studying and buy the right gear, you can get the weight down from that 30-35 pound number to 10 to 20 pounds all in.  AND most important of all, be smart about what you take.  Eliminate, do not take, all of the stuff you do not need.  That is the best and cheapest way to reduce weight.  Light weight gear generally costs double or more of regular weight gear.  So.....  Then add on 30 pounds for a fully loaded touring bike with racks and fenders and all the other stuff on a bike.  Couple full water bottles.  60 to 80 pounds for a fully loaded touring bike is very average.

General Discussion / Re: best color for panniers
« on: March 27, 2018, 11:12:24 pm »
Funny how most of the posters tell us what they use for visibility, but totally missed the fact that OP was pondering the specific case of detection by autonomous vehicles.

And in his second post, 24 minutes after the original post, he says "I was mostly kidding,".  So people ignored the nonsensical original question, and gave a reasoned response.  My panniers are royal blue.  It was the only color choice, so there was no question about which color to buy.

General Discussion / Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« on: March 21, 2018, 07:36:37 pm »
If you stick to the plainer chain or mom-and-pop motels and away from major tourist areas the cost isn't much more than camping and the comfort is much better. 

For meals, the same technique applies.  Avoid high priced restaurants and your daily meal costs can be very reasonable too. 

A couple years ago I stayed at a motel in western Iowa for $65.  It was a dump basically.  It was in a smaller town in the middle of nowhere.  $85 for a motel in a medium sized town last year in eastern Iowa.  Town had 10 thousand people so it was a big town I guess.  No tourists in these towns.  Motels are at least three times the price of camping.  That is a fact.

If I want to be really cheap I can get by on $10 a day for food eating in restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores.  But basically the cheapest supper restaurant meal you will find anywhere is minimum $10.  Add in $2-3-4 for breakfast food to get you going in the morning.  And $3-4-5 during the day for food.  $20 is minimum for eating out and not cooking.

General Discussion / Re: Hotel/motel vs camping
« on: March 21, 2018, 07:22:34 pm »
In my experience camping is usually cheaper (except for west Texas)

How much do camping spots cost in Texas?  And if anyone else wants to throw in amounts for camping spots in various parts of the USA.

Based on your plans to fly to Sweden in mid June, I am going to assume you are from Sweden.  I have never been to the northern European countries up on the Baltic Sea.  But I do know that Sweden has winter.  So I am going to assume you know what winter is.  Snow and ice and freezing temperatures.  I think the northern US and the US/Canada border do not have winters quite as bad as Sweden.  But I think maybe the Rocky Mountains are much higher than anything you have in Sweden so maybe winter is comparable.  Imagine if someone asked you about riding in Sweden in April.  What would you tell them?  Would you say its great riding in Sweden in April.  Except for the snow and ice and freezing rain and bitter cold temperatures.  Its a biking paradise if you overlook all the misery.

I'd suggest you start in Salt Lake City maybe.  Ride to New Jersey from there.  You can still tell people you rode across the USA.  So you didn't start on the coast.  Nobody will care.

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