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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: 9 speed or 10 speed for my new bike build up?
« on: August 13, 2015, 12:52:35 pm »
is there a way to use drop bars and brifters with a full modern group to get to 20 gear inches or below?

Nashbar and Performance Bike have all the parts.  Both stores sell Shimano STI shifters for triples in the 105 and Ultegra models.  Both stores have long cage rear derailleurs in road models and mountain models.  The mountain models are available in 9 speed too.  If what was stated before about road STI not working with newer 10 speed Shimano mountain rear derailleurs.  The road long cage rear derailleurs are stated to only go to 32 teeth.  But I suspect they would also shift a 34 tooth cog just fine.  Triple front derailleurs in road and mountain and 9 or 10 speed.  Cassettes in 9 or 10 speed in 11-32, 11-34, and 11-36.  Chains too.  Triple or double cranksets in mountain with a low inner ring of 22 teeth.  A 22 inner chainring and a rear cog of 32 or 34 or 36 will get you a low gear of 19, 18, 17 gear inches with 700C tires.  It is very, very simple and easy to get a low gear less than 20 gear inches with 9 or 10 speed and using Shimano STI shifters.  But new 9 speed shifters are getting rarer.  Shimano still makes road triple cranksets that use a 74mm bcd inner chainring, so you could easily get a 24 tooth inner chainring on a road triple crankset.  If using a mountain crankset bothered you.  A 24x32, 24x34, 24x36 low gear will get you to 20 gear inches or lower.

Gear Talk / Re: 9 speed or 10 speed for my new bike build up?
« on: August 11, 2015, 02:25:41 pm »
Russ, what's the crank on this bike?  How small is your little ring?

The crank arms are 1991 Shimano Deore DX.  Square taper bottom bracket of whatever length gets the arms closest to the frame.  Crank was originally for a 7 speed system.  It now has TA 44-33 chainrings in the outer and middle positions.  Inner chainring is an Avid adaptor thing I think.  It takes the place of the spacers for the inner chainring bolts and allows you to mount a 20 tooth 58mm bcd chainring.  Has five bolt holes and bolts that go into the 74mm bcd holes on the crank.  Then has another five holes at 58mm bcd to mount the 20 tooth chainring.  I think Avid made it a number of years ago.  Now I think all triple cranks come with the inner chainring spacers molded into the crank itself, so no separate spacers and no way to mount this adaptor.  A 44-33-20 triple crankset with a 10 speed 11-32 cassette provides perfect gearing for all terrain.  Almost all hills can be climbed with the 33 middle ring and the inner ring is only used for real mountains.

Gear Talk / Re: 9 speed or 10 speed for my new bike build up?
« on: August 11, 2015, 11:49:54 am »
The only issue I can see using 10 speed would be mixing road indexed shifters with mtb 10 speed cassettes.
I would give some thought about the braking you will want to use too.

As I mentioned, I have a Shimano STI shifter 10 speed touring bike.  Shimano 105 triple STI shifters.  SRAM 10 speed 11-32 cassette, assume its one of their mountain bike models.  Shimano Deore mountain bike long rear derailleur, fairly new, 9 or 10 speed model.  Avid Shorty cantilever brakes.  Shimano 10 speed chain.  Shimano Tiagra triple front derailleur, fairly new.  This combination of parts shifts and brakes perfectly.

Gear Talk / Re: 9 speed or 10 speed for my new bike build up?
« on: August 10, 2015, 03:57:00 pm »
My most recent touring bike is 10 speed Shimano STI.  Old one was 7 speed Shimano bar-end shifter.  New one works perfectly all the time.  I also have a couple other Shimano 10 speed STI bikes and a few 9 speed and 10 speed Campagnolo Ergo bikes.  They all work pretty close to perfect too.  9 speed has zero advantages over 10 speed.  They all work perfectly and last the exact same time.

Not sure, but 9 or 10 speed may be easier to find in stores or online, or not.  Actually, 10 speed shifters are easier to find than 9 speed shifters.  Finding 9 speed STI or bar-end shifters may be difficult.  Only 9 speed road shifters Nashbar has are their own brand STI style shifters.  Nashbar has 10 speed bar-end and/or STI from Shimano, SRAM, and their own brand.  As 11 speed has become the new normal, its getting harder and harder to find the older stuff like 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 speed.  10 speed is still current.

Seems a bit odd to me to intentionally build a new bike with out of date components.  I'm sure there are some people who will argue that 5 speed friction shifting bikes with 120mm spaced rear triangles are the most reliable.  Why aren't you building a touring bike like that?  If you were building a new house, would you NOT put a garbage disposer and NOT put a dishwasher in it?  It would be more reliable without these electrical contraptions.

Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: July 22, 2015, 04:20:17 pm »
I would classify folding bikes into two categories.

The small wheel folding bikes such as the Bike Friday and Dahon.  These have 20 inch or smaller wheels, long seatposts and stems, and fold in half into a fairly small package.  Assume they are very quick to fold and transport.  Seem ideal for trips using several methods of transportation such as buses, planes, cars.  These are sort of easy to transport.  Might make good commuting bikes in large cities where part of the commute is bus and bike.  Bike to the bus stop, ride the bus with the bike folded inside, then ride bike to work.  Do it twice a day.

The other category of folding bikes are the ones that come apart such as the Ritchey BreakAway and Co-Motion Americano with couplers.  These are 700C wheels and the frame divides into two pieces.  They do not pack as small as the above folding bikes.  And the packing takes longer.  Not something you would do once or twice a day.  Or even once or twice a week.  But you have a normal looking bike when assembled.  Seem ideal for someone who flies to a 1-2 month tour couple times a year.  Should be cheaper to fly your bike.

My low gearing 26x26 is fine on everything I ride here at home. (Live in the Sierra Nevada Foothills)  I took my bike in this morning to my bike store.  Mechanic said he will swap my 11/26 cassette with a 11/34 for $34 plus a bit for installing

While you are getting your rear cassette replaced, have the mechanic look at changing the inner chainring on the crankset.  There is no reason to have an inner chainring that is bigger than the absolute minimum.

Gear Talk / Re: Gearing for Touring Bike
« on: July 12, 2015, 07:26:35 pm »
No the OP could be the owner of Surly LHT or a Co-Motion Pangea, they both come in 26".  As for gearing, we found that a 38 front and 17 rear seem to work just perfect giving you plenty of range for flats and the most demanding climbs.  :)  8)  :o

There have probably been 10 million more 26 inch mountain bikes sold than Surly or Co-Motion bikes sold.  Kind of implies the person is using a 26" mountain bike for touring.

You recommend a 38 tooth front chainring and a 17 tooth rear cog for climbing mountains on a touring bike.  Professional Tour de France riders use easier gears than that for climbing mountains.  And they don't carry panniers and gear on their bikes.  38x17 low gear.  Sure.

I am interested in doing the TransAmerica Route in 2016.  I have a Trek FX 7.5 with 48/36/26 and 11/26 gearing - I think that should get me by ok.  I have a rear rack and small panniers large enough for 20 lbs.

It sounds like you already have most of the gear necessary for a loaded tour.  The bike should work fine.  Change the inner chainring to a smaller one and maybe put a larger cassette on the rear wheel.  Easy to do.  That will get you low enough gearing for any mountain or hill, loaded or unloaded.  I don't recommend it, but you can use just a rear rack and rear panniers.  You already have them.  You could also figure out a way to attach a front rack to your bike if you want front panniers too.  Easy.  Cheap Nashbar panniers work just fine.  You do not have to spend much money on racks or panniers, or anything else.  Other than some camping stuff, you already own everything you need for a loaded tour.

Regarding motel costs.  They are unbelievably expensive in the USA.  Everywhere they are expensive.  I seriously doubt you could find any room for less than $50 anywhere in the USA.  Once a year I ride in rural Iowa and stay at motels for a couple nights.  $60-70 is what they cost.  One might assume, incorrectly, that a rural town in farmland in the middle of the week would be somewhat cheap.  HaHaHa.  All motels everywhere in the USA are expensive at all times.

Gear Talk / Re: Gearing for Touring Bike
« on: July 07, 2015, 05:17:13 pm »
I have 26" wheels, 26x32 is my lowest gear. Would it be best to go with a 22" in the front?

26" wheels kind of implies you are using a mountain bike for touring.  Fine.  If you have a triple crankset and 26 teeth is the inner chainring, then that implies a mountain bike crankset too.  Mountain bikes come with triple cranks that use 64mm bolt circle diameter inner chainrings that sometimes use 28 or 26 or 24 or 22 tooth inner chainrings.  Your easiest way to get lower gears is to replace the 26 tooth inner chainring with a 22 tooth inner chainring.  Assume its 64mm bolt circle diameter.  A low gear of 22x32 should be low enough for about any climbing.  And it should be pretty easy to replace the inner chainring.  And your middle and outer rings should stay the same and these are the ones you use 99% of the time.  The inner chainring is rarely ever used so changing it is fine.

This is a 22 tooth inner chainring with 64mm bcd.  Should fit your crankset.  If you have any doubts, then take the bike to a bike shop and have them change the chainring.  Should take a 22 tooth.

General Discussion / Re: Winter Cycling
« on: June 28, 2015, 01:37:44 pm »
For tires you want carbide studded tires with as many carbide studs as possible.  And you want the tire as wide as possible too.  Wide allows you to put very low pressure in the tire.  You can then get more tread and studs on the snow, float on top of the snow.  Instead of a narrow tire that cuts through the snow and does not put much tread on the ground.  I have ordered stuff from Starbike in Germany.  Including Schwalbe studded tires.  With the Euro to Dollar rate at about $1.12/1 and not paying the VAT Value Added Tax if in the USA.  Your price is about the same as converting the Euros directly to Dollars.  Cheap compared to US bike shops.

As for clothes to stay warm, as many as you can put on.  Those chemical warmer things for toes and fingers are also good.  But the best advice is to keep your rides short, short, short.  1 hour maximum or less.  Ride hard for 30 minutes then get inside and get warm.  Then a few hours later go for another short ride.  Short, quick rides in the cold.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Bike Selection
« on: June 20, 2015, 07:49:35 pm »
The day I made my decision I went to Richardson Bike Mart. I asked to see touring bikes. They showed me an ugly green Trek 520. Low gear was 30 front, 34 rear. Useless. I left.
I drove to Plano Cycling, a Co-Motion dealer. Two hours later I had been measured, selected colors and written a check for a custom Americano. Stock low gear on the Americano: 24-34.

For some reason you forgot to mention the Americano frame is $2000.  Complete bike around $4000.  Trek 520 is around $1500 I think for the whole bike.  Richardson Bike Mart is a high end shop in Dallas.  If you had told them up front you wanted to spend $4000 on a touring bike, I suspect they would have found you one.  Depending on what year you looked at the Trek 520, it may have used a Shimano triple crankset that could take a 24 tooth 74mm bolt circle diameter inner chainring.  If so, the Trek 520 would have the exact same gearing as the Americano, for $2500 less cost.  For the green color, can't help you.  But I think there are companies that paint bikes for a few hundred dollars.  You'd still be a couple thousand less than the Americano.

Gear Talk / Re: Gearing for Touring Bike
« on: June 18, 2015, 03:21:43 pm »
Its very helpful to know what your crankset is, in addition to the cassette.  I use a 11-32 ten speed cassette on my touring bike and it works fine.  But I also have a triple crankset with a 20 tooth inner chainring.  A 20x32 low gear is very low.  I have not ridden in Montana but guessing its Rocky Mountains are similar to Colorado.  The Rocky Mountains are not very steep.  Long, but not steep.  So you don't need a super low gear.  But if you already had problems in Canada, maybe you do need some extra low gearing.

You can get lower gears two ways.  Make the cassette bigger or make the crankset smaller.  You have a 32 tooth cassette now.  More than likely you can accommodate a 34 tooth cassette.  But if you try to use a 36 tooth cassette, then maybe the rear derailleur hanger will not be long enough to allow the rear derailleur to get underneath the biggest cog.  May or may not have problems with getting a long road derailleur to clear a very big cog.  Mountain derailleurs will generally clear big cogs.  So changing the cassette may or may not be an easy thing.  Have to try it to know if it works.

Not sure what crankset you have now since you did not provide that crucial information.  Lets assume its one of those road triple that only takes down to a 30 tooth inner chainring.  Getting a mountain crankset that takes a 22 tooth inner chainring will be pretty easy.  Making a big change on your inner chainring helps your gearing much more than a small change in the cassette.  And changing the inner chainring leaves the outer and middle rings alone, and these are the ones you use most of the time.  The inner chainring is really only used to climb mountains and hills.  Otherwise its never ever used.

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 06, 2015, 04:12:31 pm »
Based on specs given for the Raleigh Sojourn bike, it uses a Shimano FC-R453 triple crankset.  It has 130mm bolt circle diameter chainrings in the outer and middle positions.  And 74mm bcd ring in the inner position.  Your crankset can accept a 24 tooth inner chainring.  They are cheap and easy to find.  If you want to spend money you could put 48-38 rings on the outer two positions and 24 inner ring.  That would be a fine combination for touring.

As for your rear derailleur and cassette, it depends.  Your rear derailleur may or may not be able to get underneath a 34 tooth cassette cog.  You may be stuck with your 32 cog.  For some reason people forget there is a derailleur hanger bolted below the rear dropout.  It is what the derailleur attaches to.  If it is not long enough to allow the derailleur to get low enough, then the derailleur will not clear a 34 cog.  Its a combination of how long and low the derailleur hanger is and the derailleur itself.  But put a 24 inner ring on your crankset and the 32 cog will be OK.  Going up to a 34 cog won't get you much lower.

As for your bad handling.  Put as much weight as possible in the front panniers.  People forget they are on top of the bike and the bike is hauling their weight.  If you weigh 200 pounds, about 75% of your weight is supported by the rear wheel.  25% of your weight supported by the front wheel.  So that is 150 pounds on the rear and 50 pounds on the front.  You could put all of your baggage on the front panniers and you would still only be about equal in weight distribution.  I have toured with just front panniers only, no rear panniers at all.  Handling was perfect.  I always put the heavy items in the front panniers.

Routes / Re: Southern tier in the summer time
« on: June 01, 2015, 02:53:11 pm »
But on the other hand the early morning rides in the desert are really nice starting around 4:30 am.

4:30 AM?

Gear Talk / Re: Flashlights for bike are needed
« on: May 30, 2015, 01:22:56 pm »
Sometimes flashlights can be the right choice for a bicycle.  Use a small LED flashlight that takes 2 or 3 AA or AAA batteries.  It will run for an hour or two and provide enough light to ride good enough.  And can be used to see around camp or fixing a flat at night.  Use a TWOFISH Cycleblocks holder to strap the light to the top of your handlebars.  Link below.  And a small flashlight that is 4-6" long and 1-1.5" diameter.  Small.

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