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Messages - newfydog

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Gear Talk / Re: Panniers - dry bag vs. traditional
« on: October 02, 2012, 02:07:28 pm »
We tore.up many different  bags mountain biking.  About ten years and fifteen trips ago we bought arkel panniers.  They work as well as the day we bought them.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire Selection for the Continental Divide Trail
« on: October 02, 2012, 01:59:19 pm »
What rims are you running sspeed?  Most of our wheels and tires are non ust and the is no way to get the initial seal without a compressor.  We used a conti ust tire in the desert last year which might seal up with a hand pump but I have not tried it.  The learning curve applies to both riders and manufacturers, but I have no doubt tubeless is the future.  They roll better and I have not had a puncture for two years.  I have had two burpouts which sealed and just lost some air and one valve stem seal breakdown..  I think as my stuff wears out it will.get replaced with better and better tubeless set ups.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers - dry bag vs. traditional
« on: September 29, 2012, 04:38:30 pm »
Check out sea to summit dry light a stuff sacks, and really waterproof.  No need for a sealed molding pannier.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire Selection for the Continental Divide Trail
« on: September 29, 2012, 04:36:57 pm »
Tubeless is great, but there is a bit of a learning curve.  We now go tubeless, and carry a slime tube in the event of valve stem failure.  Why a slime tube?  One a tire has been run tubeless it can be full of things that would prick a tube.  Thorns and wires cn be in there for months without causing any trouble.

The tire data link is somewhere in that bikepacker thread.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire Selection for the Continental Divide Trail
« on: September 28, 2012, 11:07:49 am »
I find knobs are only slower at high speeds on pavement, where they buzz.  On gravel, rolling resistance is more related to casing flexibility.  There are all sorts of test with some pretty knobby tires rolling great.  I do find them more stable descending any sort of loose gravel road. And having ridden that gnarly section in Montana in dry conditions just last week, essential if you want to try and ride it.

On the other hand, those tires which feature a big slab of rubber with a modest thread cut in, such as the Schwalbe Marathons will wear forever but ride like a dead fish.  I have a 26 x1.75 Marathon and find it amazingly heavy and slow.

Here's a good thread from on what tires people use for the Great Divide.  The WTB nanaraptor and the Geax Saguaro seem popular.,1924.100.html

Here's some test data.  The Geax looks good, and the Continental X king looks phenominal.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire Selection for the Continental Divide Trail
« on: September 27, 2012, 01:49:58 pm »
I did a bit more thinking about your question, and looked at the Schwalbe marathon.

I would look for a smooth rolling tire, but not a narrow one.  On any unpaved route, wider tires roll best.  Check out this;

We have used the WTB Vulpine and The Kenda small block 8 as a front tire with good results.  I hesitate to run them in the back with a load.

It is true much of the great divide is cruising on gravel, but there is a lot of washboard, so you'll like a soft fat tire.  You also will appreciate more knobs than the Marathon on this charming piece outside of Helena:

Gear Talk / Re: Stem leaks
« on: September 26, 2012, 03:06:56 pm »
I have had MTB tire/rim combinations where this problem was horrible.  What happens is the the tire bead slips on the rim during hard braking, rotating the tube and stressing the valve base.

I find they hold up better without the stem nut, allowing some tilting instead of shearing off.

I have cured it to some degree by sanding the rim to give it more grip on the tire, but the best answer seems to be find a tighter rim/tire pair where they don't slip and rotate.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers and Racks
« on: September 26, 2012, 02:57:03 pm »
We just finished what must be our 15th tour with Old Man Mountan racks and Arkel Panniers.  They work as well as the day we bought them.

Ortlieb makes some very waterpoof panniers but for the rough riding we do we find the are a bit of a floppy sack.  We pack our clothes in  Sea To Summit drybags which make  a super light waterproof liner bag, lighter than many stuff sacks.

Gear Talk / Re: Tire Selection for the Continental Divide Trail
« on: September 26, 2012, 02:45:40 pm »
I think a  racing type tire with low profile knobs would be fine, but most of those have sort of scary thin sidewalls for loaded touring.  There are some sections with sharp rocks.

I've found the Geax Saguaro can't be beat.  The center knobs sort of link up to form a center ridge, particularly after some wear.  They roll great on pavement pumped hard and handle like a knobby mtb tire when run softer, and are really tough.

Routes / Alternative to Interstate-- Great Divide
« on: September 25, 2012, 11:41:39 am »
We just got back from finishing up a segment of the Great Divide in Montana which was closed for fires when we rode it the first time.  We were dismayed to see that from Basin To Butte, the route takes the Interstate(the only piece of interstate on the entire route).  We did some research on Google Earth and the topo maps and found a wonderful alternative, all on public roads which must not have been available when the route was originally put together. 

The route is only a few miles longer, and is on smooth, quiet gravel roads.  There is an easy divide crossing, shared with the Continental Divide Hiking Trail., and a nice forest service campground.  While the existing route enters Butte via big-box land, this one comes into the historic district.

I wrote the mapping department that this would be a worthwhile upgrade.  The route and GPS data can be found here:

Routes / Re: Trans Canada trail or Trans Canada highway?
« on: September 24, 2012, 06:57:23 pm »
We biked the Trans Canada Trail from Banff to Vancouver Island.  It was a great trip, and while it would be possible on a hybred, a mountain bike is much better.

There is not much technical riding, a lot of rail trail, though some of the best rail trail, such as the Kettle Valley Trail has been chewed up by quads.

The route development and marking varied from good to non-existant. 

Routes / Re: Santiago de Compastela
« on: September 24, 2012, 06:48:41 pm »
I've biked many of the pigrimage trails, twice to Santiago.  It is a wonderful ride, best done on a mountain bike.

Here's a forum with all sorts of info, including a cycling forum;

The Higginson book mentioned above is one road biker's route he did roughly parallel to the trail.  It is not the way most people go, and not the experience I'd recommend.  The roads can be busy and the actual route is easy mountain biking.

Hi, new to this forum, but a veteran GPS-Bike user.  I did two segments of the Great Divide this year and never looked at a single named waypoint.  I just loaded the track from Topofusion and followed it. I loaded free topo maps from GPS for a base, and only looked at the ACA map every few days to see an overview. I use a handlebar mounted Garmin Dakota 20.

I think waypoint lists and GPS units that can't handle tracks are obsolete. I know I have a few gathering dust. Any phone or resonably modern GPS can handle a huge long track and a basemap. 

I feel adventure cycling is a bit behind in this field.  The Adventure Cycling website could be the first source for detailed .gpx or .kmz files of your routes, but there does not seem to be much available.  With a bit of Googling, good tracks can be found on sites like Garmin connect, Topofusion, GPSies, Strava, etc. The points from ACA can be  made into a rough track, but they could use some filling out!  The topfusion track for the great divide is great---it has enough detail that by zooming up you can tell in a glance whether a road is the turn you need to take, or just a recent dead end logging road.  No written decription is needed, and it is rather liberating to know you aren't going to get off route.

 A few volunteers could click out all your routes in detail on Google Earth pretty fast, but I'll bet you could find recorded tracks on the internet and among recent riders fairly easily.

PS:  Hey there Tsteve!  Thanks for the pics of you and L in Montana.--

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