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Messages - MNRider

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Gear Talk / Am I on the right track?
« on: July 09, 2012, 08:02:15 am »
I originally built my bike as a heavy duty fitness/hybrid but after reading some of the AC articles and lurking on the forum, it appears that it might work adequately as a touring bike. Please let me know if I'm on the right track and if there is anything else I need to get started on day and weekend trips.

Current specs:

  • Frame - 1990 Trek 700 MultiTrack, chrome-moly main triangle with hi-ten stays and fork
  • Drivetrain - Alivio 48/36/26 crankset, Shimano HG 12-25 9sp cassette, Deore FD and Deore LX RD
  • Wheels - Handbuilt 36-spoke, Deore LX hubs, Salsa Delgado doublewall eyeleted rims, DT Swiss butted spokes, Specialized All Condition Armadillo 700c x 25 tires
  • Controls - Flatbar with Deore v-brake levers and Deore LX trigger shifters
  • Brakes - Deore v-brakes
  • Cyclist Interface - Ergon GC2 grips with built-in bar ends, Specialized Avatar saddle, Shimano M530 double sided pedals SPD/Flat
  • Add ons - Bontrager rear rack, underseat bag (tubes and tools), small triangle bag (rain jacket and/or walk-off cable and lock), 144 lumen headlight, three mode LED taillight

Outside of panniers, what else would I need to outfit this bike for short duration trips? Thanks for any tips.


Gear Talk / Re: Which Touring Tires Fit Tightest?
« on: July 08, 2012, 10:12:59 pm »
I recently discovered that Specialized All-weather Armadillo are substantially tighter fitting than any other 700c tire I have tried in similar width. Had to give up when trying to mount them on some narrow, somewhat tight Matrix rims. I could get them on but what a PITA, no way I wanted to be changing a tube by the side of the road in the rain with this combination. The Armadillos are now on my Salsa rims and are still snug but not nearly as difficult to mount.

General Discussion / New here and just getting into touring
« on: July 08, 2012, 09:36:40 pm »

Just wanted to say Hi and introduce myself.

I'm 46 years old and was an on again, off again casual cyclist in my late teens and early 20s. After about two decades away from the sport, I got back into it seriously last year as part of my comeback from allowing myself to become quite obese (300 lbs) and suffering some heart problems and weight related injuries. Happy to say I'm 70+ pounds lighter and off all medications with my doctor's blessing.

I've ridden a few centuries (both organized and solo) and participate in organized B group rides from an area bike shop, as well as enjoy a lot of recreational/fitness cycling on the rural highways and paved county roads in my area. While I enjoy the B-level "noncompetitive" group rides, it didn't take long to realize that my interests are more in the line of longer distance riding rather than short and fast. I've got an old aluminum Trek 1400 that is my "road" bike, but even that is equipped with a triple and a more touring height and angle on the stem. My touring bike is a flatbar 1990s Trek 700 Multitrack that I built from the frame up. Between the bikes, I have ridden 2,200 miles so far this year and feel I'm ready for some new challenges. 

I'm very interested in getting into touring and am contemplating some 2-3 day trips around MN. A friend gave me a copy of the Adventure Cycling magazine and the touring community seems to be just what I am looking for.


Gear Talk / Re: Bike Shorts
« on: July 08, 2012, 09:17:38 pm »
The best bang for the buck I've found in cycling shorts is Aerotech's Top Shelf line. I've got a few other brand name shorts that are fine but are either not as good, more expensive, or both.

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