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Messages - RonK

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General Discussion / Re: eBikes for touring
« on: July 16, 2020, 04:40:50 pm »
This couple have toured over 27,000 km on e-bikes.

Gear Talk / Touring capable road bike
« on: July 15, 2020, 09:58:41 pm »
My wife is now 70 and has had road bikes rather than touring bikes.  Her last one has to be, I'm guessing, over 25 years old.  It is a Cannondale SR400.  She's no longer doing triathlons and would like a sporty bike that's capable of being used for touring.  I did the Northern Tier last year, but I suspect future tours for the two of us will be shorter - 7 to 10 days timeframe.  She's done weekends in New England with me, but is willing to try something longer.
Firstly JW, my compliments to yourself and your wife to be still cycling and willing to consider touring at age 70.

I'm approaching 70 myself and can perfectly understand her wish for ride that is nimble and easy to handle. And the responses here are entirely predictable.

I'm a lifelong roadie, I appreciate bikes that ride and handle nicely. My first touring bike was a Surly LHT. It's probably the most over-rated bike I've ever owned, it was a slug to ride and I couldn't get rid of it quickly enough after only one tour.

Despite the entrenched ideas and disapprobation of the retro-grouches who typically frequent touring forums, I went my own way and built a titanium tourer with a carbon fork and integrated brakes/shifters. That carried me over many 1000's of kms, and despite dire predictions the sky didn't fall down - not even once (I still have this bike, but it now languishes unused).

Later I built a titanium bike with a Rohloff hub - but the Rohloff is probably even more over-rated than the LHT, and like the LHT it didn't last long before I got rid of it.

Currently to lighten the ride even further I've built up a Salsa Fargo (steel with carbon fork) and adopted a bikepacking setup. Now I'm looking around for a more versatile bike, one I can take on local bunch rides as well as bikepacking trips - just as your wife desires. BTW, if the the idea of bikepacking interests or appeals, take a look at this page. Bikepacking 101

The good news is - such bikes do exist, and in fact they are becoming more and more common at the same time as traditional touring bikes are disappearing.

They are called gravel bikes. They are built robustly enough to tackle unsealed roads without sacrificing ride and handling qualities, have suitably low gearing options and appropriate tyres for light touring.

A comprehensive list of such bikes can be found here: Riding Gravel: BikeFinder

As you can see there are many choices. I've spent a fair bit of time looking into these bikes, and have picked the Norco Search XR as a likely candidate for my next bike. You can get a Search XR in steel, alloy or carbon, but my choice is for carbon with a 2X crankset. Norco Search XR C3

Carbon is a mainstream material for bicycle construction, has been for decades now and the engineering requirements are well understood by the manufacturers.

I'm betting you are NOT going to set out on a self-supported world tour. You don't need a bullet-proof bike that will last another 20 years. Don't be afraid to make unconventional choices - disregard the naysayers here and get your wife the bike SHE wants.

A happy wife is a happy life.

General Discussion / Lube when long distance touring
« on: June 13, 2020, 06:16:11 pm »
After an initial wipe to remove any accumulated crud I use Rock n Roll Holy Cow, applied liberally as per directions, then a final wipe after a few minutes when the solvent base has cleaned the chain which then dries to leave a lubricating film.

Gear Talk / light tour bike
« on: February 25, 2020, 03:20:37 pm »
I had a Surly LHT, but quickly became disenchanted with its weight and sluggishness. I replaced it with a titanium frame a carbon fork and a custom light but strong wheel build , saving around 2kg over the Surly, achieving a more lively and more comfortable ride.

Gear Talk / What shoes?
« on: November 24, 2019, 07:15:09 pm »
I only take one pair of shoes when I tour, so they have to presentable and practical whether I'm catching a flight or train, dining out, taking in the city sights, hiking a side trip, and of course for riding.
So I prefer conventionally looking shoes - with no garish colours, and with lace up fastenings, or at least only laces visible under long pants.
I've been using Northwave all mountain shoes for over 10 years, currently the Escape. They are stiff enough to transfer power to the pedals but not too stiff for walking, and have quite high internal volume which suits my big flat feet. They also have grippy soles for traction off the bike.
Looking at the current lineup I'd opt for the Tribe.

Edit just realised the Tribe is for flat pedals so I'd probably stick with Escape.

Gear Talk / Dynamo - What are you using for a light?
« on: October 23, 2019, 06:57:08 pm »
My Sinewave Beacon was exposed to several days of torrential rain on the west coast of New Zealand, a region known for its very high rainfall. And that was with the auxiliary battery connected to the USB port.
Any light has to be aimed correctly. Even shaped beams can dazzle if they are too high. However it's pointless aiming dynamo lights too high, they are just not bright enough.
You may be different, but when touring I rarely ride at night. But I do run my lights during the day. The Beacon has a nice feature that prioritises charging over lighting  but still provides a very visible daytime running light.
And if my SP hub fails (a not so uncommon situation) I can power the Beacon from the auxiliary battery.

Gear Talk / Dynamo - What are you using for a light?
« on: October 22, 2019, 06:56:12 pm »
For an elegant solution that won't fall apart or leak, sell the Sinewave Revolution and get a Beacon instead.

This might be a useful page.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / ACA gpx on Wahoo?
« on: July 28, 2019, 05:22:53 pm »
The Wahoo Elemnt does not have navigation capabilities and cannot navigate  a route.
It can only follow a track.

GPS Navigation 101:

A route is series of intermittent waypoints which mark the location of towns, services and points of interest. It contains no detailed navigation information. The device must be able to navigate its way between waypoints.

A track is a series of hundreds or even thousands of closely spaced track points depending on the length of the track. The device does not need navigation capabilities to follow a track.

The ACA files are routes, not tracks.

Gear Talk / Re: New bike for next ride
« on: December 27, 2018, 04:21:44 pm »
None of the bikes mentioned would be any improvement on your Kona Sutra.
For a supported tour I'd be looking for a lightweight road bike with a wide gear range. That would be a carbon fibre bike such as the Norco Search XR or Merida Silex, both of which have the more relaxed geometry you prefer.

Gear Talk / Re: To paint titanium or not
« on: November 09, 2018, 02:33:42 pm »
Leave it natural rather than polished. Mine still looks good without being overt.

Gear Talk / Re: Cassette Question
« on: October 10, 2018, 11:29:38 pm »
Most likely you have exceed the derailleur capacity and probably need one with a longer cage.

There is a useful article about derailleur capacity here: Derailleur capacity – what is the max my derailleur can handle?

General Discussion / Re: Coordinated stalking on the road
« on: October 01, 2018, 10:38:44 pm »
Some people love to see conspiracies where there are none. I think your humour detector may be broken - or perhaps you simply cannot pick a South African's dry wit.

I've remarked about this phenomenon in my own journals. I think of it as Murphy's Law of Traffic, of which, I'm convinced there are several.

General Discussion / Getting bikes to Banff
« on: August 04, 2018, 04:05:44 am »
My friend is there now - he flew into Calgary and took a bus from Calgary to Banff.

General Discussion / Re: Slime tubes for off-road touring?
« on: July 26, 2018, 05:52:35 pm »
In my tubeless repair kit I have a dynaplug kit, a heavy darning needle and unwaxed dental floss to stitch up sidewall cuts. A 2oz bottle of sealant.  A Tubolito tube in case I cannot make a repair.
I have not had to use any of it in over 5 years of tubeless use.

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