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Messages - RussSeaton

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I've been to southern California several times in my life.  Not as steep as San Francisco but there are hills.  A low gear is good to have.  Your housing situation is not too relevant to a discussion about bike touring.  100 pounds is far more weight than any normal person carries on a bike.  I'd suggest cutting that weight in half.

I started with 26x38x48t in 2008 and gone to 24x34x46t and in 2013 I gone with 24x32x42t for Southern California rolling hills and the I added 22t

Other than the slightly high 26 tooth inner ring on your first crankset, all of these choices are fine and dandy for loaded touring anywhere in the world.  I rode the Dolomites, Alps, Rockies with a 24 ring and 32 cog.  So it is a fine low gear for a loaded touring bike.  22 is a little nicer, but not earth shattering.  All the cranks you had or have are fine.  Leave your cranks alone and work on some other part of your bike.

I am using 11-34t cassette 9 speed and I am also using Shimano XT M771 Traditional Dual Pull FD and Derailleur Capacity: 22 so 42-22=20 and 40-22=18 and I am staying with 22-32-42t

If you have 42-32-22 crank, and are staying with it.  Why did you ask about the 40-30-22 crank?

You have a 42-32-22 crank now.  You are looking at a 40-30-22 crank.  Other than reducing your high gear by a few gear inches, what would you gain with the change?  I'll assume you are using a 9 speed cassette with 11-32 or 11-34 now.  42x11 high is a fine high gear for a loaded touring bike.  Not too high, not too low.  You would actually use it some.  A 40x11 high gear may not be quite high enough for me.  But others might find it fine.  A 42x12 is probably equal to a 40x11 so you aren't really changing anything.  With 40-30 rings instead of 42-32 rings, you would use the smaller cogs a bit more.  But with a 9 speed cassette, you have enough cogs to use with any chainring size.  Again, what does this new crankset really get you?  Why are you doing it?

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra light sleeping bag, tent and pad?
« on: February 03, 2017, 01:52:26 pm »
RussSeaton, What's the name of your bag so i can research it? My older down bag weighs 3.14 (rated @ -10).

My one pound 800 down bag is made by Vaude.  I bought it from Sierra Trading on a super duper closeout sale with an extra coupon code sale.  I paid $100 or less.  Its rated for 40-45-50 degrees or so.  Great for summer.  In the winter (25 degrees) I put it inside a 20 degree synthetic bag.

General Discussion / Re: Training program recommendations
« on: February 03, 2017, 01:44:35 pm »
I'm planning to ride the Northern Tier, west to east, starting in late May/early June of this year.  I currently ride around 130 mi/week.  Can anyone recommend a 4 month training program to get me into shape for 350-400 miles per week?  I will be riding a relatively light bike, with sag support for my gear.  Any advice appreciated.

Training for bicycling?  Bicycling provides its own training.  The more you do, the better you get.  In your last four months, lose as much weight as you possibly can.  Off your body.  Get fit!  Get healthy!  400 miles a week is an easy 60 miles per day.  You can ride that starting at 3-4 PM and have an easy evening bike ride.  Or start early in the morning and be done by mid morning.

Gear Talk / Re: Ultra light sleeping bag, tent and pad?
« on: February 01, 2017, 03:19:39 pm »
Has anybody heard/know anything of "Hyke & Byke" down bags? They have one rated at 32 degrees weighing at 2.2lb. for $99.00.
I'm replacing my current bag which is a down bag made by Feathered Friends rated at -10 degrees weighs in at 3.14 lb.

2.2 pounds is not a light down bag.  32 degrees for summer camping?  That probably makes sense in upper Canada for summer.  I have a down bag rated at about 45 degrees.  It weighs one pound.  Perfect for summer.  If it got cold, I could put on a balaclava and tights and long sleeve jersey and jacket and wool socks.  Assuming I even bother to carry those cold weather items in summer.  I also doubt a real down bag rated at 32 degrees will be $99.  Down bags are not that cheap unless you get real lucky and catch a super close out sale.

Gear Talk / Re: Reflective Clothing; Jackets/Jerseys Etc (Warm Weather)
« on: January 31, 2017, 08:28:43 pm »
My only preference is that I prefer reflective gear that I can remove    but because I've had thugs try to grab my bike before as I rode past during a late night commute, and there's been times when I've heard what sounded like gun shots nearby.

Not sure how having removable high visibility clothing would help.  If the thugs trying to steal your bike see you with the high vis clothing, removing the clothing is not going to make you instantly invisible.  They will still know where you are at unless they are 100 yards away.  And if they are 100 yards away, then you really aren't in much danger.  And if you stop to take off the clothing, the thugs would catch up to you.  With the gun shots it does make sense to be less visible with removable clothing.  Assume the gun shots are not right next to you but are a ways away.  If the gun shots are right beside you, then trying to become invisible by removing the clothing probably is useless.

Gear Talk / Re: Reflective Clothing; Jackets/Jerseys Etc (Warm Weather)
« on: January 30, 2017, 06:21:34 pm »
I like the vest shown below.  Yellow with reflective stripes.  Mesh.  Great for visibility.  But as stated, lights are essential too for night riding.  The yellow vest helps in daytime because its very visible.  Unless you are huge, the S/M size is best.

General Discussion / Re: Touring/Hybrid Bike recommendation
« on: January 30, 2017, 06:09:42 pm »
Sounds like you are going to ride the Pacific Coast route.  Vancouver is just a bit north of Seattle.  And Mexico is just a little south of San Diego.  So the Pacific Coast route would be the best way to ride from Vancouver to Mexico.  I think there are many threads on this forum about the Pacific Coast route.  Its all paved roads along the coast.  Not sure how it is set up for finding indoor sleeping every night.  But should be doable since the coast has lots of towns along it.  Any road bike should carry the minimal gear you need for credit card touring.  Not sure why you need 38mm tires on a paved road bike.  Unless you are carrying 50 pounds of gear in panniers on a loaded touring bike.  There are other routes you could take to get from Vancouver to Mexico.  You could go diagonally from Vancouver to San Antonio.  Probably best to just use a bunch of state maps to plan the route.  Road bike would work fine for that paved road riding too.  Again, not sure why you would choose 38mm tires for paved road riding.

Gear Talk / Re: Sizing Surly Trucker vs Trek 520
« on: January 30, 2017, 02:45:48 pm »
Not really sure what your problem here is.  Your wife rides a road bike that fits perfectly now.  It has a top tube of 53.5cm.  Guessing the Trek she rode had a top tube of about the exact same length.  Give or take a half centimeter.  Find a Surly with the exact same top tube as your wife's current 53.5cm and/or the same as the Trek.  Trek and Surly have about the same frame.  Same seat and head angles.  Same everything more or less.  Just different paint.  So if one fits, the other will fit too.  And your wife's current road bike has 53.5cm top tube.  So you know any bike you buy should be very, very close to that.  53 to maybe 54cm.  Pretty sure Trek and Surly publish frame dimensions for all their bikes.  And your wife's current bike has the frame dimensions online somewhere.  Find a size that matches.  I am assuming all the bike makers use decent tape measures to measure their bikes.  Tape measures are not off by 5cm.  And the bike makers have robots and jigs to make their bikes to the same size every time.  No random size frames made.  All 54cm frames are made the same size and all are measured correctly.  Maybe an assumption.

I do not recall what mountain roads look like in winter.  But in the Midwest, in the city, the snow is maybe close to the white lines on the side of the road.  So all the pavement within the white lines is plowed.  Plowed does not mean perfectly clear.  After plowing there is not a lot of snow left, but some still on the road.  And lots of slush too.  Figure maybe the white line is visible or the snow is removed within 6-12 inches of the white line.  Out in the country in the Midwest, the snow is usually pushed off the road between the white lines.  Again, its not a perfectly snow free clear road.  Snow plows also will come back for a second or third run and push the snow well onto the shoulders.  The shoulder is not clear.  But you can see a plow has pushed and plowed some of the snow off the shoulder.  If you wanted to ram your car and get it stuck, you could get it onto the shoulder in the snow still remaining after the second or third plowing.  This is how snow plowing occurs in the Midwest.  Maybe similar up in the mountains too.

Routes / Re: Can I Cycle the Sierra Cascades route in March?
« on: January 24, 2017, 02:50:32 pm »
You should be able to get over the Sierras on the the Western Express route. It crosses the mountains at Carson Pass which the state tries to keep open year round. There's currently 10' of snow up there and it's open now.

This kind of sounds like someone in Louisiana or Florida, two days after the big hurricane goes through, saying its 80 degrees and sunny.  Come on down!  Just ignore the fact every building within 100 miles is flooded and destroyed, roads and bridges are all washed out, no electricity, no stores.  But its 80 degrees and sunny!  Blizzard last night, snow plows just cleared the roads, 10 feet snow walls along the road.  But the road is open, good riding!

My current set up is:
-Vangoo Banshee 200 tent: weighs 2.3kgs or 5.07 pounds.
-standard summer season sleeping bag.
-Thermarest blow up mattress.

Your tent does not seem extremely light.  Not heavy but not light.  I think the small, light one man tents can be 3 pounds or so.  Get one.  Assume your bag is goose down.  I have a summer down bag that weighs one pound.  For the Thermarest people have talked about a very light one.  Not sure if that is the one you have or not.  Look on their website.  Think its one of the lightest inflating pads around.  As for aching when you wake up, that is what camp sleeping is about unless you have one of those 5 pound, 3 inch thick pads.  It ain't as comfortable as your bed at home.

Gear Talk / Re: Lightweight touring bike?
« on: January 09, 2017, 02:13:23 pm »
Get a bike with low gearing no matter what.  Triple crankset.  Or one of those compact cranks with big cassette cogs.  Or maybe one of those mountain bike double cranks with a tiny inner cog.

I've wondered about this for a while.  I'm old, slow, and heavy, so I've got gears down to 20 gear inches on all my bikes, even the one without racks, so I can climb some ridiculous hills when it's hot and I'm tired.  But some people recommend doubles for touring with light loads.  At what point of youth, fitness, and light load does a 27-30 gear inch low become a viable option for touring?

Guessing age and weight are the keys.  If young, fit, and carrying minimal gear, then a one to one ratio of 34 chainring and 34 rear cog would be acceptable.  27 gear inches.  Rocky Mountains would be easy on this low gear.  Rockies would probably be sort of easy with this low gear even if old and heavy gear.  And if you don't mind standing for a long time or working hard for awhile, then this low gear would be OK for other mountains too besides the Rockies.  For a double crank I did suggest the mountain bike doubles with an inner ring of 22 teeth.  Or some now extinct cranks used 94mm bcd so a 29 tooth would work.  Old five arm 110mm bcd cranks can use a 33 tooth ring.  33x34 low is about 26 gear inches.  I am guessing back in 1976 many of the first cross country riders did not have super low gearing.  They made it over the Sierras, Rockies, Appalachians.  Back in 1992 my first Trek 520 came with 28x28 low gear.  50-45-28 crank, 12-28 seven speed cassette.  Someone at Trek thought this was good enough for touring.  I immediately changed to 24 ring and 32 cog of course.

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