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Messages - MTNGator

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General Discussion / Re: Neck and shoulder pain
« on: September 20, 2009, 08:47:30 am »
Welcome to the forum.

As the saying goes, I feel your pain. First of all, your choice of a Trek 520, if the frame is the right size, was a good one. You will probably need to change the stem in order to get a more upright position and take some of the weight off your hands. I'm curious - when you said the bike shop installed a stem extension, was that to raise the handlebars higher or move them further away from you?

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading Peter White's on-line article on bike fit available at You will see in the article that proper bike fit is a series of compromises so that once you change your position enough to make your upper body more comfortable, you have probably transferred enough weight to your seat to make the current saddle uncomfortable. I have been working out the same problem since I returned to cycling after a long illness. I no longer have anywhere near the flexibility I had three years ago so I have had to raise the handlebars on my Cannondale T2000 above the original bike shop setting of almost two inches below the saddle (they cut the steerer tube too short when assembling the bike prior to my picking it up). This change has involved trying several different lengths of 17-degree rise stems from Velo Orange and a new fork that had the steerer tube cut 45 mm longer than the steerer tube on the original Cannondale fork. I think I am now near where I want to be - but I will probably need to change out the current Brooks saddle for a wider model to accommodate the more upright riding position.

Finally, I agree with the other posts here - get to a bike shop that is knowledgeable about touring bike fit. Good luck.

General Discussion / Re: Any experience with Surly LHT forks
« on: September 12, 2009, 02:25:25 pm »
Will do - also, it is interesting to note (at least I think so) that the 2005 C'Dale T2000 specs, with the fork change, will match exactly the specs of the Vicious Cycles Casual Agent Touring as far as Head tube angle, fork rake and seat tube angle. The VC top tube is 2 mm shorter than the C'Dale and the VC standover is 19 mm more (higher bottom bracket?).

Another touring bike that comes very close to the altered C'Dale is Rivendell's Atlantis - although the Atlantis has has HT and ST angles of 72-degrees with the 45 mm rake while the altered C'Dale has a HT angle of 72.5-degrees and a ST angle of 73-degrees. Rivendell's Legolas "sport/touring" frame/fork (recently discontinued, I believe) had the exact same HT and ST angles as my T2000 and the same 45 mm rake as the replacement fork - so I'm otimistic that the change just might work.

Stay tuned... Ed

General Discussion / Re: Any experience with Surly LHT forks
« on: September 11, 2009, 08:25:31 pm »
No - can't get a trial run on this - the fork is on the bike, I cut the steerer yesterday, got the star nut and crown race installed today and put everything back together. Very short ride seemed okay but weather and other issues will prevent a reasonably long test ride for a few days.

Thanks, Ed

General Discussion / Re: Any experience with Surly LHT forks
« on: September 09, 2009, 04:47:01 pm »
The LHT fork has a bit more rake than the Cannondale fork, so you'll have a slightly wider wheelbase for a smooth ride....
The difference in rake will have a completely negligible influence on wheelbase.  It will, however, effect the handling and responsiveness of the bike.  More rake equates to less trail which will "quicken" the bikes handling, that is the bike will turn a bit more eagerly and be a bit less stable in a straight line.

Small differences in rake, say 2 or 3 mm, won't make a major change in responsiveness so it shouldn't be a problem.  I've replaced a fork with 40 mm of rake with one with 43 mm on a road bike and the handling change was minor.

Actually, the Cannondale fork rake is 53 mm, the Surly is listed as 45 mm, so if I go through with this project the result will be more sluggish handling and more stability in a straight line - correct? Is 8 mm difference between stock and the Surly enough to make this project a no-go?

Thanks again all! Ed

General Discussion / Re: Any experience with Surly LHT forks
« on: September 09, 2009, 06:41:38 am »
I think Waterford will sell their fork.  Independent Fab might also.  You might need to find a dealer who could confirm what angles and rakes are appropriate.  The Waterford fork is $350, I think.

There may be cheaper sources for other steel forks.  I would look at Harris Cyclery and Rivendell.

I checked on the Waterford fork, as well as Vicious Cycles, Steelman, and a few others, but was not willing to spend quite that much money right now. Did not check with Indy Fab but I assumed that they were in the same price range. As far as I know, Rivendell's bikes only come with 1" threaded steerer tubes and as long as I have been reading Grant's webpage I don't think I ever saw it mentioned that any of their forks were available individually. I did intend to order the LHT fork from Harris but their price was $25 more (delivered) than what I paid to get it from a private seller.


General Discussion / Re: Any experience with Surly LHT forks
« on: September 09, 2009, 01:51:53 am »
I went ahead an picked one up from a guy on eBay who bought it for a touring build project he never completed. It is new with an uncut steerer and I got it for $80 delivered. Maybe it is just in my head but I preferred the steel fork on my old Cannondale (1987) touring bike compared to the aluminum "Ultra Fatty" that came with the T2000.

The Surly LHT fork specs are very close to the Cannondale so I expect this to work out - I'll report on the results once my bike is back together and I have a chance to take it on a long test ride.

Thanks again to all who continue to offer comments and suggestions! 

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« on: September 01, 2009, 10:35:51 am »
I am used to narrow saddles - my favorite (that got away from me) was a Selle Prolink Gelflow (older style) that was sold with another bike I had. Should have kept that saddle. Anyway, at that time the Brooks felt like it was starting to work for me - I could usually get 20-25 mile in before the sit-bone area started to get sore (not so bad that I got saddle sores but the area was sensitive for a day or so). I don't think I had over 100 miles on the Brooks at that point.

Like I said in an earlier post, I'm going to try to work with what I have for a bit longer - the mink oil, saddle soap, working the sit-bone area with my hands to soften it up all are great suggestions. I have a Brooks spanner and I checked the tension yesterday - the bolt is backed all the way out so nothing I can do there - and I have used a good deal of Proofide on the saddle over the years. It probably comes down to spending more time on it and that is exactly what I plan on doing.

Thanks again for all of the replies. By the way, I am already a customer of Wallingford Bike and I know what great touring-related stuff they carry so I appreciate the referral!

Bike Clubs / Re: UTAH... A True Touring Club ! ! !
« on: September 01, 2009, 05:41:14 am »
I just tried the link to the club's Website and it doesn't appear to be active/correct anymore - just wanted to see how someone made a succesful stab at starting a "touring" bicycle club - maybe they didn't make it!

Several years ago I looked into joining a club that actually had the word "touring" in its name. However, reading the club description/ride schedule I soon found out that all they were interested in were "crits" and other races, pacelines, 18 mph average time rides and the like.

Does a true Touring Club actually exist or are we destined to travel solo?

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« on: August 31, 2009, 06:36:10 pm »
The Team Pro (in green) was standard equipment on my fairway green, 2005 Cannondale T2000.

For many miles I thought I had it, and my backside, "on the same page" - unfortunately cancer kept me off my bike from October 2006 until mid-2008. I trying to get back where I was before diagnosis/treatment/recovery from treatment. including felling okay on a great looking British saddle.


Gear Talk / Re: Brooks saddle break in period
« on: August 30, 2009, 12:55:03 pm »
Thanks all for the responses - I have used liberal amounts of Proofhide (and nothing else) since I started using the saddle. I will try the other hints suggested and give it a go for a few hundred more miles. Ed

General Discussion / Any experience with Surly LHT forks
« on: August 28, 2009, 07:54:35 pm »
Hello - I'm thinking about buying a Surly Long Haul Trucker fork for my Cannondale T2000 (2005 model year) bike - I'm not too impressed with the "Ultra Fatty" stock fork as far as comfort/stability is concerned - I liked the 1987 Cannondale steel fork much better. Any thoughts/comments???? Thanks, Ed.

Gear Talk / Brooks saddle break in period
« on: August 28, 2009, 07:48:10 pm »
Hello All - How long until my Team Professional becomes the most comfortable touring saddle ever??? It has 550 miles on it already and still hurts in the sit bone area after 18-29 miles each ride. Thanks, Ed

General Discussion / Re: older riders
« on: August 19, 2009, 06:45:58 pm »
I'm a 59-year old, this is my first post on this forum, cancer survivor who has always dreamed of the long tour but put it off for career, family and other obligations. Well the bucket list demands more than dreaming so I'm doing the "state ride" next year on my Cannondale T2000 and then who knows???

I can attest to some of the other issues raised here - especially the "bike fit" comment. My 1987 Cannondale fit great "out-of-the-box" but the same size frame in 2005 has been a disappointment. A lot of stems and seat posts have not yet produced the perfect fit but I'm still working on it.

Nice to be here on the forum and looking at the grass from the green side. Ed

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