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Topics - hankj

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For me it's about 90"

Last summer did my three weeks road and gravel CC touring Austrian, Italian, Swiss and French Alps, French countryside, Netherlands.  On a Diamant Rad 136 HER.  It's a Trek subsidiary in Berlin.  Similar tube set to Trek 1120, nearly identical geo to Salsa Fargo but stretched to 1120 wheelbase because of 468mm chainstays.  It's not heavy, very smooth for aluminum and rides better loaded.

Stock 11-51 11sp cassette.  Came 1x with a 40t big ring. No frickin' way!  I need a lower low gear than that. 

Ended up with 36 up front and 90"-19.5".  Would have loved a little lower low, but workable given light load (8-10lbs).

90" high gear was good!  I don't think I could go lower.  Not because I want to go fast, but because on a 100 mile day I need to stand up on the flats sometimes or I might get an injury from staying static.  I like to stand for a couple of minutes every 20 minutes or so, and a 90" gear lets me cruise of flat terrain comfortably while standing at about 60rpm.  Lower and there's not enough resistance to stay up comfortably.

I do wish I had 2x gearing, but  1x is so simple.  Hard to think about returning to 2x (much less 3x) for me.

So 90" it is for me.  You?  I'm curious about what works for others and why.

Gear Talk / Touring Europe tubeless?
« on: February 25, 2023, 12:31:16 pm »
Hi fellow cyclists!  I've seen a number of threads about touring tubeless, but mostly either not up to date (tubeless has improved a bit since 2017) or drifting into other subjects.

I tour a bit in Europe every summer with my family, and tack on a solo tour before or after they arrive.  It's standard tarmac and gravel track stuff.  Last year did 1300 miles in 2.5 weeks, about half in the Alps.

I ran Schwalbe Aerothan tubes.  Expensive! But roll as fast as latex, are tougher to puncture than butyl, hold air over time better than both aforementioned, spares weigh very little and take up very little space, and are easy, quick secure to patch (alcohol wipe and a sticker).

Downside, IMHO, is blasted plastic valve stems.  10 go rounds with the torquey imprecision of a mini-pump and they can start to fail and metal cores blow out at high pressure or when tweaked a little on pump head removal.  Boo hiss (literally)!

I'm sizing up tires this year and would need to buy four new Aerothans - almost the same as two new tires.

Tubeless of course is awesome - rolls so fast and comfy, punctures seal.  I'd prefer it if I wasn't chicken about solo riding long distances far from home on tubeless.  It's easy to forget the tubeless headaches when you can deal with them in your garage shop.  Like for instance out of nowhere your tubeless tape fails.  Etc, etc.  And don't forget etc.

So how about it?  Anyone feel great about tubeless on long tours?  Tips for minimizing the potential problems?  Stern warnings?  I feel like I'm standing on the edge and need either a push or a soothing voice luring me away from the precipice.

Thank you!

Hi folks!  I'm hoping some of the more travel savvy forum members here can help me gain some insight into a logistical issue.

I'm traveling to Europe with my family for the last 2.5 weeks in August.  After that I'll spend the month of September cycle touring.

I will of course need to have a bicycle on which to tour. Renting a decent bike for that long is quite expensive and constrains me to having to return it where I rented it. I could buy a bike, and then sell it. But what I want most is to have my bike from home. I really love my Cutty, would love to ride it all through the Alps and into Italy.

My family and I start our trip in France, and then we'll fly to Vienna where we will end our trip together. It's not practical for me to fly my bike to France and then deal with dragging it around on our non biking French part of the trip, and then try to box it up again and fly to Vienna with us.

What seems to make the most sense is just shipping my bike from home (Seattle USA) to Vienna. The cost of doing so is pretty reasonable, not a whole lot more than the airline would charge me for flying the bike as luggage anyway.

What I'm trying to figure out is where to send my bike in Vienna so that I can pick it up. We're staying in an Airbnb, so that addresses out. In the US there are UPS stores where you can have things shipped to pick up, but when I look for similar in Vienna it seems like the shipping business is often a side part of a different business. Maybe a bike shop, but I wonder what's in it for them? If there's anyone who has local knowledge or general wisdom about how to send a pretty big bike box with a not-cheap bike inside to somewhere reliable for pickup, I'm all ears!

Thank you,


Routes / Little Help With Canadian Okanagan Itinerary Please
« on: July 20, 2019, 12:52:33 pm »
Hi adventure cyclist!  I'm working out a short tour in/around the Okanagan Valley.  We'd like it to include non to lightly technical dirt/off road terrain, some roads okay. We'd planned to camp, but the penciled in trip looks like we'd be better off not carrying all that gear and coughing up for some hotels/cheap rooms.  The sketchy, incomplete core of the itinerary at this point is something like:

Start Penticton, climb KVR to Chute Lake, stay at Chute Lake Resort.

From Chute Lake on the KVR through Myra Canyon Section.  Long Down hill to Kelowna.  Stay Kelowna, maybe at UBC campus hostel.

From Kelowna to Vernon on the new Okanagan Valley trail.

So now some questions if you please, and chip in with anything really:

We'd like to ride 2 more days.  Given that these sections string out in a line, does it make sense to start farther south, maybe in Osoyoos, and ride the KVR south spur, and return by public transit or hired shuttle service (does that exist?)  Not too interested in backtracking.

Should we travel south to north or north to south?  The climb up to the KVR seems less steep from the south than from the north from Kelowna.  But outside that for some reason N-S seems better ....

Should we do a lay day somewhere, take off the bags and hit up a mtb park or spend a day on a lake SUPing or the like?  If so where would you schedule the lay day?

My buddy has his gear dialed, titanium Fargo and lot of tires, nice bags etc.  I'll be riding my hardtail MTB, Scott Scale Plus, light, slack, comfortable.  I feel though that my 2.8" 27.5 "mistake eraser" tires are going to be too slow for this ride which will be a mostly lot of rail trails, some sandy and rough, some single track, a bit of pavement.  And recommendations for tires?

If we're not camping can I get away with a frame bag (my bike is XL and has a big triangle) and a bar bag or a seat bag?  I'm a light packer.  If so which is better, frame bag and seat bag, or frame bag and handlebar bag?

And lastly the background: I ride a bike to commute to work every day for 30 years, Can carefully MTB easier black trails in the Seattle parks but do not the hit big jumps or big drops or gnarly features, bike tour two weeks in Europe most summers.  Buddy is like experience/fitness level with solid bike camping experience.  All that said we aren't looking for an epic, rather get some good exercise everyday in a beautiful outdoorsy surroundings, probably cap mileage at 40 a day if there's climbing involved, eat some good food, drink some wine, take a swim, etc.

Okay, thank you in advance for some feedback, particular thanks for route and local info.


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