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Messages - RussSeaton

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1.  Depends how much you are going to carry.  Cyclocross bikes have forks which do not accept front racks, particularly lowrider racks.  Touring forks accept these racks so you can haul four panniers.  Cyclocross bikes are good for rear rack only loads and a handlebar bag.
4.  No lock or a light minimal lock to use when you go into stores.

Gear Talk / Re: Fenders and tires for a Surly Disc Trucker with 26" rims
« on: August 01, 2013, 02:59:04 pm »
If you know you are riding the C&O Canal Path, and it is rock/gravel/dirt, then by all means get wider tires.  Assuming the price is right.  Wider tires are better for unpaved surfaces.  You should be able to find some tires around 2 inches wide with a fairly smooth tread.  You want smooth tread, not knobbies.  For all around riding, paved, unpaved, whatever, the 1.5 inch Continental tires you currently have are great all purpose tires.  Nothing is better for all riding.  But specifically for unpaved trails, wider is better.

1.5 inch tires are fine for paved roads.  That is roughly 38mm in metric.  Ample for a loaded touring bike.  Going narrower or wider does not really get you much extra.  Narrower might possibly be a little faster.  Maybe.  Wider might be a little more comfortable.  Maybe.  But 1.5 inch width is a great tire size for all roads.  Paved and unpaved.

As for fenders, look online for some designed for 26 inch tires.  I'm sure they are out there.  Make sure the front fender goes as low as possible and has a flap.  You don't want water spraying on your shoes.  And try to get the rear fender to go down as far as possible and has a flap.  To keep water off anyone following you.  You may have to bolt on flaps yourself.  You can buy them online I am sure.  Or make them out of pieces of rubber or milk jugs.  Cutting up a wide mountain bike tire would probably work as a flap.  Bolt on with screws and washers.

Gear Talk / Re: Uncoventional bike conversions?
« on: July 30, 2013, 06:51:15 pm »
It kind of depends on your definition of long distance bicycle touring.  Do you mean fully loaded, camping, cooking, carrying four panniers?  Or motels and restaurants and carrying minimal gear?  For fully loaded you kind of need a touring bike like the Surly Long Haul Trucker or Trek 520.  It comes with a fork that can mount lowrider racks on the front and can carry four panniers front and back.  Only loaded touring bikes come with forks that can mount racks on the front and carry panniers on the front.  So about any other bike won't work too well for fully loaded touring.  The BoB trailer can be pulled by any bike so I guess any bike can be a loaded touring bike.  But for carrying four panniers, you need a loaded touring bike.  Nothing else will work.  I know that many years ago people toured across the country with only rear panniers.  You could do this today I suppose.  Its not as good as having four panniers, but...  So any bike that can fit a rear rack could be a loaded touring bike.  If you are going minimal with motels and restaurants, then your gear should be very minimal.  And about any bike should be able to carry minimal gear.

Gear Talk / Re: My "new-to-me" bike!
« on: July 30, 2013, 06:10:17 pm »
Would you wear your SPDs on days you are not riding the bike at all? How about having to replace those clips?

I wear my SPD cycling sandals as my only shoes when on tour.  In addition to flip flops for the shower.  Cycling sandals work great for walking around town or the campgrounds.  They are super comfortable on and off the bike.  Replacing the clips?  Do you mean replacing the SPD metal cleats on the bottom of the sandals?  SPD cleats never ever need replacing.  They are steel.  They are recessed into the sole of the shoe so see little wear on pavement.  When you are clipped in to the pedal you are not wearing the cleat on the pedal mechanism.  SPD cleats last forever.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: July 03, 2013, 10:45:13 pm »
The leather Brooks bar tape is not a good idea.  Leather is slick when wet.  Wet from sweat or rain.  It will be very hard to hold onto your bars.  The leather used for the bar tape is also very thin.  It has no padding.  It will be about like grabbing the hard aluminum bar directly.  No comfort at all.  About like the old time Benotto plastic handlebar tape.  There is a reason different materials are used for different parts of bicycles.  Leather is not a good idea to use for handlebar tape.  The foam stuff used for tape now days works good.  It provides cushion so its comfortable.  And it has some texture to it so you can grab it when its wet and not have your hands slip off.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring crankset
« on: June 27, 2013, 02:38:31 pm »
Ramps and pins on the chainrings are good.  They help shifting.  Essential, no.  Helpful, yes.  You have a nine speed 11-32 cassette.  I suspect you will ride most of the time on the middle or outer ring and do all shifting with the rear derailleur.  Shift the front rarely.  So you could easily do without ramps and pins on the chainrings.  They help shifting but they cost more.  Your choice.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring crankset
« on: June 26, 2013, 07:41:19 pm »
The person has a 11-32 cassette.  A 22x32 low gear is 18.2 gear inches.  A 24x32 low gear is 19.9 gear inches.  If you think you can tell a 1.7 gear inch difference in a gear, you're living in a fantasy world.  Yes the percentage difference is important.  But you somehow forget it depends on what number its a percent of.  I get 8.3% difference between 22 and 24.  8.3% difference of 20 gear inches is about 1.7 gear inches.  8.3% of 100 gear inches is 8.3 gear inches.  It depends on what gear you are talking about.  Big difference between small gears and large gears.  Have you ever thought that is why the small cogs on a cassette change by one tooth.  While the large cogs change by 3 or 4 teeth.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring crankset
« on: June 25, 2013, 03:36:13 pm »
I wholeheartedly endorse using mountain bike triple cranksets on touring bikes.  The 44-32-22 possible chainrings make lots of sense combined with the 11-32 or 11-34 9 or 10 speed cassettes available today.  More high gears than you need and low enough low gears.  Great.  But the person starting this thread already owns a Sora crankset and bottom bracket with 130mm bcd outer and middle rings and 74mm bcd inner ring.  So its cheaper and easier to just change the chainrings than to buy and install a new crankset and maybe bottom bracket too.  Putting a 24 tooth inner ring on his current crankset gets him a low of 24x32.  I toured Europe using that low gear so its low enough.  Cost wise he would be best to just replace the inner chainring with a 24 tooth and leave the 52 and 42 alone.  Just ride in the 42 and 24 rings all the time.  He has bar end shifters so he can shift anything fine.  If he wants to get crazy he could buy a new cassette for $34 from Nashbar and get 11-34 9 speed cassette.  Little bit lower gearing.  Not worth the money but...

Nashbar has Shimano XT cranksets in 44-32-22 for $200.  And a Race Face crankset in 44-32-22 with bottom bracket for $100.  So if he goes low cost he can end up with a mountain bike triple crankset for only about $30 more than replacing the chainrings  Worth it?

Gear Talk / Re: Touring crankset
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:11:25 pm »
If it were me, I would invest in a mountain bike compact triple crank set and the tools to do the job.  It sounds like the crank would be more that you want to budget, but the tools could be cheaper than what the dealer would charge you to do things.

Why are you advising the author to throw money in the toilet?  Your advice is very expensive compared to changing the chain rings.  The mountain bike triple you recommend can get down to a 22 tooth inner ring.  He currently has a road triple crankset with 130mm bcd for the outer and middle positions and 74mm bcd for the inner ring.  He can put a 24 tooth ring on his current crankset.  There is so little difference between a 22 and 24 inner ring that its not worth talking about.  You're advising him to spend an extra $100 to get two less teeth on the inner ring.  Big waste of money.  Cheapest and easiest is for him to just leave the outer and middle rings alone at 52-42, and replace the inner ring with a 24.  $15 plus the labor of changing the inner ring.  Or he could spend the extra $60 and change the outer and middle rings to 48-38 or 46-38 for fun.  But changing the crankset is throwing money in the toilet and flushing it down the drain.

For fun I went to Amazon and typed in "Sugino chainrings".  Came up with a $15.23 24 tooth 74mm bcd ring, $21.70 for a 130mm bcd ring, and $33.25 for a 50 tooth 130mm bcd ring.  If you looked closer I'm sure you could find other tooth counts for about the same price as listed here.  So for $70 in rings the author can have a 50-38-24 crankset using the crank and bottom bracket he already owns.  Minimal labor to change rings.  Your idea of a new crankset would not get within $100 of the $70 listed here.  And not have much better gearing either.  What is the point of spending more money than you need to?

Also do a search on Amazon for "Vuelta chainrings".  Vuelta and Sugino are comparable.  I came up with a $79 total for Vuelta 48-38-24 rings.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring crankset
« on: June 22, 2013, 02:51:16 pm »
The simplest fix for you is to change the chainrings.  The outer two rings are 130mm bolt circle diameter.  You can put anything from a 60 to 38 on those two positions.  The inner ring is 74mm bcd.  It takes down to a 24 tooth.  You can change the outer two rings by just loosening an allen wrench, five of them.  To change the inner ring you have to take the whole crankset off the bike because you can only get to the inner ring from the inside.  And the inner ring only fits from the inside.  It can't go over the spider from the outside.  You could probably get some Sugino rings for sort of cheap.  Check the internet.  Maybe 48-38-24 rings.  Or 46-38-24 rings.  Put them on the crank and bottom bracket you already have.

General Discussion / Re: Trikes and rumble strips...
« on: June 22, 2013, 02:41:18 pm »
Rumble strips?  Not sure why you are concerned with rumble strips.  Only place I see rumble strips are on county roads before stop signs.  Three of them with about a foot of solid road on the right side.  Upright bikes can get by them easily.  And the other place with rumble strips is along major highways on the paved shoulder.  These usually have about 6 inches of solid road on the right side so are not rideable by any bike.  And being major highways I would never ride that road anyway.  So why are you concerned about rumble strips for a tricycle?  You don't encounter rumble strips when riding.

Practically every Starbucks, McDonald's and many other fast food chains have free WiFi. You don't even have to buy anything, just stand outside with your bike. With Skype on my iPod touch, I don't even need to use a cell phone when I cross the US.

The ACA Northern Tier and Transcontinental routes go through small towns.  Use backroads.  There are close to ZERO Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, fast food restaurants on the route.  The ACA routes avoid all big towns.  And most medium towns.  The places to connect with free WiFi on the ACA routes are very few and very far between.  This is what happens when you choose a very rural route across the US instead of a metropolitan route.

I have very little knowledge of this subject.  But...  You can go to a Wal-Mart or K-Mart or Target and buy a phone off the shelf.  These will have monthly contracts you renew each month.  Or will have a number of minutes you can renew at will.  Some of these phones also have internet connection, smart phones.  Not sure how you could use that to connect a laptop computer.  Maybe there is a way.

General Discussion / Re: Choosing a bike and could use advice
« on: June 05, 2013, 03:40:28 pm »
Do not buy that bike.  It is very old and not high quality.  It will be difficult to change parts on it or even repair it.  The $350 price is also very high.  Wow.  Try to find a much more recent bike.  Even one of those hybrid style bikes would work for touring.  Or a mountain bike.  Anything but that bike.

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