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Messages - wildtoad

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General Discussion / Re: Night Riding, Pros and Cons??
« on: February 23, 2023, 11:08:13 pm »
I prefer the very early morning approach to beating the heat as opposed to riding into the night/evening (I try to avoid riding into the night/evening to the extent possible in all cases). Early a.m. is generally the quietest time, the late night crowd is off the roads, temps at their coolest, early morning drivers might be more alert (that's the hope, at least), etc. Not always feasible depending on the route, accommodations, etc., but has worked well for me on occasion. Obviously good lighting and other visibility measures are essential.

Nowadays I have standing agreement w/ family that a tour is over if there are more than a couple of consecutive days of extreme heat.

General Discussion / Re: Seattle to Boulder Tour :)
« on: February 23, 2023, 08:13:27 pm »
Regarding the heading S to CA and then E scenario, keep in mind that the Sierras in CA have an immense snow pack (with more snow on the way) and its been a cold winter in California. If the cool weather continues thru March, I expect several of the good passes for riding will remain closed well into June.  Hard to say exactly, especially this early, but things are different this year than they have been in recent years w/ drought and warmer temps.

Not familiar w/ the situation further north.

Gear Talk / Re: Flat Bar Touring Bike--Upgrade or New?
« on: February 23, 2023, 06:56:19 pm »
Hi RossKB, I'm late to this thread and you may have moved forward w/ a decision. In any event, I am familiar w/ the Bridge Club. I helped a friend build one up from a frame. It's a great frame, very flexible and versatile, reasonably affordable as new frames go. In her case, the appeal was her new-found love of touring rather than riding mountain bikes, and she wanted to move over some parts from her old bike to the new frame. The Bridge Club was an ideal choice as it works w/ older QR disc wheelsets and mountain double cranks, and has all the rack and cage mounts that one might need. She loves the bike and uses it primarily as a dirt road/gravel/some pavement touring bike.

I believe has a thorough review of the complete Bridge Club, but it may have been the earlier double crank variant (a more useful bike IMO than the 1x version). I glanced at the current complete bike spec. It's a good value. One issue for pavement 1x touring on that bike....because of the very wide tire clearance, you will not have much choice re upsizing chainring size to avoid spinning out too much on rolling terrain (a real limitation of 1x for touring IMO, at least for my preferences).  Good climbing gears won't be a problem. There are other frames out there that still offer good tire clearance but a bit more flexibility re 1x chainring size.

Reinvigorating/modifying your current bike is certainly an option. I am a big fan of doing so for certain bikes. That said, I enjoy searching for used/"obsolete" parts and I do all the install work myself. In your case, I give your shop the thumbs up as it appears you would have the shop do the upgrade work. Definitely worthwhile to take a pause and think about how you want to ride in the future, and whether or not a different frame might be a better choice. It's quite possible that the shop stands to make more money on the labor to install a new drivetrain, new fork and build new wheels for you compared to the margins on a new bike sale (particularly a bike at the price point of a Bridge Club).

All the best w/ your tour preparations.

Looking at it from a broad perspective, a rack/pannier setup with a few bikepacking-style bags mixed in will give you the most flexible setup across the broadest variety of "tours." You maintain the footprint of a bike, which can help tremendously when traveling to/from a tour start point, parking your bike securely on off days, partaking on tours that might involve connecting segments on buses, ferries, trains, etc. Such concerns might not apply to every tour, and a trailer is not always a problem in such scenarios. But I have toured w/ companions who experienced complications w/ trailers in those situations. They have all sold off their trailers and use panniers/bikepacking bags nowadays.

And, of course, with a trailer, you have an additional tire/wheel to worry about. Many years ago was touring w/ a friend in British Columbia. He had a BOB at the time. The tire on the BOB started to gradually disintegrate. By a stroke of luck, we stopped in a medium sized town that had a bike shop. They sold him a hot pink tire from a kid's bike on the shop floor, so he finished that tour in high style!

If you have any interest in doing small group self-contained tours, you will likely be the only participant running a trailer (different story 10+ years ago). As such, the group will designate you as the grocery getter as it's easiest to transport all that heavy food from store to campsite on a trailer!  Fair warning.

General Discussion / Re: Lube when long distance touring
« on: February 22, 2023, 03:07:29 pm »
Oh my, a long-running thread about lubes.
For what it's worth, I like T-9 for my pavement bikes, works well, no fuss, and handy to have around the house, garage, barn for other purposes. Pretty easy to find as well.
For dirt-oriented touring, I prefer Wolf Tooth WT-1 over T-9. Works well, no fuss, lasts a long problem doing a 10 day dirt bikepacking trip w/out reapplication.  With WT-1, it does help to wipe down your chain w/ a small rag periodically between applications.

General Discussion / Re: Continental gator skin bicycle tires.
« on: February 22, 2023, 02:56:51 pm »
For those running relatively narrow tires for touring, Gatorskins are an okay choice. I ran them for "winter" road riding in the Bay Area for many years. They served me well, rarely flatted and lasted quite a while. Not the best riding tires, and there are better choices nowadays for the type of riding that I was using them for.

Anecdotally, I did a small group, self-contained pavement tour last summer, and only one rider had problems w/ flats. Rider was running 25c Gatorskins on a loaded bike. Now, I believe current bicycle tire science would suggest that running such narrow tires at the necessary high pressures to support a touring load = a setup more vulnerable to road debris punctures. That was certainly the case on this tour. But otherwise, frequent punctures on tour involve bad luck, weather conditions, road conditions, more bad luck, rider error, etc. etc. etc.

Glad to hear that the OP was happy with their tire choice and had a good tour.

Gear Talk / Re: New touring bike recommendations
« on: January 03, 2023, 01:24:28 pm »
Jake, I would say you are looking for an "all road" touring bike. A few additional ideas for you if you are still searching:

Bassi Hogs Back (usually sold as frame but dealers can build complete bike)
Veloci Cycles Plan Big (same as above)
Panorama Cycles Forillon (an interesting brand that puts together a limited line of very well spec'd bikes for the money. This would be my choice if I were in the market for a new, complete touring bike w/ reasonable pricing)
Marin Four Corners (very affordable, but I am not a fan of the stock gearing for all road touring)
Tanglefoot Hardtack (sold as frame, but primary dealer in VT builds up completes and frequently has demo bikes for sale @ discount). Has received some great reviews as of late.
Salsa Marrakesh

If you leaned more toward dirt touring w/ acceptable pavement performance, then Black Mountain Cycles La Cabra, Tanglefoot Moonshiner or Salsa Fargo are some ideas.

Of the other bikes mentioned in this thread, both the Kona Sutra and Masi Giramondo are super solid choices for what you are looking for. My current touring bike is the original guacamole green Masi Giramondo, heavily modified and upgraded over several years of riding. The geometry hits the sweet spot of what an all road touring bike should be, and the ride quality is surprisingly excellent for a bomber bike. Tremendous on pavement and dirt. Giramondos can be hard to find. Masi was on a roll from circa 2014-2019 with a unique product line, affordable pricing w/ obviously savvy product management. They announced a new product manager just before the pandemic hit, and the brand seems to have been in the doldrums ever since. Very poor supply and, outside of the Giramondo, a relatively uninspired product line in contrast to the prior run.

Good luck and enjoy whatever you decide on.

Gear Talk / Re: tubes or tubeless for a cross-country ride??
« on: November 04, 2022, 09:44:22 pm »
Primary issue seems to be with the tires, not running tubes vs. tubeless. No experience w/ the Surly tires, but if they are typical of many Surly accessories, they are probably overbuilt, over stiff, etc. Good for some things, but not tires. There are better choices in tires that will go on and off properly, deliver a better ride quality, and can provide sufficient flat protection. Running appropriate lower pressures on wider tires that are not overly stiff can also help minimize flats.

There was a pretty thorough thread on this sub-forum last year/early this year on road touring tubeless, worth it or not.  I shared my experiences...tubeless offers benefits in some circumstances, but I didn't find the associated "faff" (British slang term that summarizes my experience nicely) remotely worth it in the road tire/higher pressure environment.  I have gone "back" to tubes on all of my road-going bikes, including touring bike. Had a flat free touring season this year...yippee. Now expecting a flat fest next year.


Gear Talk / Re: Fork Help - Gravel w/ Low rider rack mounts
« on: November 04, 2022, 09:30:21 pm »
Well, sounds like you've done some thorough research and are thoughtful about what you are looking for and would like to accomplish. You may have reached the "analysis paralysis" stage...been there myself too many times :)

My only direct experience w/ carbon "adventure forks" is the excellent Ritchey WCS Adventure Fork, but I don't use it for rack/pannier touring. It's a "cargo cage" fork meant for lighter loads, and it won't run your tires w/ fenders. It's great and I run it on a bike where a lighter weight approach makes sense (not a loaded touring bike).

I do plenty of self-contained "all road" (pavement, gravel, direct, whatever) touring with a Tubus Tara in front/Tubus Cargo in back, misc bikepacking gear thrown in, 650b x 48 tires (the best choice for such touring w/out question), etc.  For that kind of touring, my frame and fork of choice are (and will always be) steel.

In your case, you already have a bike, it's conventional to run carbon forks on Ti frames, and I don't know what your long-term aspirations are re expanding your touring horizons. Enve stuff generally has an excellent reputation, but no personal experience on my end. If you haven't discovered it already, is a great resource for the type of component you are researching. I believe they have a nice summary of available "utility" forks w/ mounts, including carbon. Their reviews tend to be quite thorough, and the comments sections for individual articles often have great feedback, first hand experience, and a constructive tone. You might find some helpful info there, and you could always post a follow up question in the relevant thread.

Good luck.

Gear Talk / Re: Rear hubs - Phil Wood and Chris King
« on: August 18, 2022, 08:18:43 pm »
Thanks for the long term update. Boutique, rebuildable parts are great as long as the manufacturer is around and supports them (or to the extent they use non- proprietary, common parts). Phil makes great grease and hand cleaner, but I’ve never been tempted by their components. I have White Ind stuff across different bikes (no hubs) and their products are solid so good luck with the hubs.
As much as I enjoy and appreciate finer bike components, most of my bikes run Shimano hubs. Older LX, XTR, newer XT, 105, the venerable Ultegra tri-color, etc. Some of these hubs have been going strong for 30 years with periodic, simple maintenance. And they are quiet ( not a fan of loud hubs). Have also had great experience with DT Swiss hubs on Campy equipped road bikes. Perfectly reliable and parts readily available.

Gear Talk / Re: Click-Stand
« on: August 18, 2022, 07:29:17 pm »
I’ve had my Click stand for about 10 years now and it’s been great. Indispensable. Same one works on my touring bike and hardtail. Now, I don’t need to use it all the time as I can often lean the bike up against picnic tables, fences, solid walls etc. But when those conveniences are lacking, the Click stand is awesome.
The elastic brake bands do wear over time and should be refreshed periodically.

Gear Talk / Re: Need 90 PSI bicycle pump, a legitimate 90 PSI.
« on: July 18, 2022, 06:43:33 pm »
If you are looking for a new on-bike pump, the Silca pumps are rock solid. I've had a Tattico for a couple of years now and it's replaced all of my mediocre (compared to Tattico) mobile pumps. Now, I no longer run high pressures even on my road bikes (top out around 75psi), but the Tattico has been great across the board.
I believe it is rated to 100 psi. The guy who runs Silca is super responsive so I would recommend dropping him a line and asking him re 90psi. He also makes a roadie style frame pump that is longer but that is quite a bit more expensive than the Tattico (which, in the scheme of things, is reasonably priced iMO).

General Discussion / Re: Tents and panniers
« on: July 10, 2022, 10:30:55 pm »
Good questions and lots of good info in response; I will add my opinions.

Re tents, I am a fan of using a good 2 person tent (really a 1 person w/ extra room) with a great vestibule and a gear loft. Luxurious! But seriously, the extra weight is no biggie, and you can always split up tent components in your packing setup if you are picky about weight distribution, etc. The extra space comes in handy in so many ways (practically and mentally). There are so many good tent options on the market nowadays.

Re panniers/bags, it can be variable, but I usually leave some on the bike and put a couple in the tent vestibule so I can easily access if needed. My panniers are easily removable. Can vary based on weather, how well I packed, where I'm camping, etc. My advice would be to give yourself the option of taking stuff off the bike if circumstances warrant (and thus vestibules are awesome and indispensable IMO).

Yes, keep food and toiletries out of the tent, always.

Re stoves, I love my Trangia, but would not bring it on a cross country trip during the summer months. There are a number of areas in the West where alcohol stoves are prohibited due to wildfire concerns (lack of on/off capabilities and fuel spillage potential). This issue has been discussed in some other posts on this forum. I use my Trangia when/where allowed, but otherwise bring a basic, light weight canister stove to avoid the problem. Not an issue to fool around with given the wildfire crises facing the mountain West.

Happy planning....

Gear Talk / Re: Compass Switch Hill TC vs Teravail Rampart Durable
« on: June 23, 2022, 03:08:08 pm »
You don't mention which casing variant of the Rene Herse (formerly Compass) Switchback Hills you are running, extralight, standard or endurance. The endurance version would likely be most comparable to the "Durable" variant of the Teravails.

I am currently running endurance Switchback Hills on one bike, and standard casing Humptulips Ridge on another. In both cases, adding soapy water to the bead during initial setup was necessary to properly seat the tires w/ a standard pump. No problems after initial seating.

If your existing tires are in good condition with no or minimal signs of wear, then I would just ride what you already have. Generally, based on my own lessons learned, I like to avoid major equipment changes on a bike on the eve of a big tour unless absolutely necessary. YMMV

Hope you have a wonderful trip.


General Discussion / Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« on: June 13, 2022, 06:03:09 pm »
Those who drive mid-range EVs are also generally pretty in tune w/ the subtleties of the road grades in a given area. Speaking from personal experience....

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