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Messages - ray b

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Gear Talk / Re: Touring on 24 spoke wheels.
« on: March 21, 2022, 10:14:57 pm »
Only thing I noticed is if I stood up to put power down there was some extra flex (felt like in the wheels). But all told the bike held up fine.

On the Trek website they state the Domane can handle a rider weight of 275lbs. My weight combined with gear will be around 220-230lbs.

So. Should I just spend the extra couple hundred bucks (budget is already tight) and get new wheels, or y’all think I’d be ok riding the stock wheels.
Extra flex might suggest spokes generally looser than desired. Of course, it might also have been flex in the stays....

Before every long trip, I put the wheels in the stand and check spoke tension and rim integrity. Especially with only 24 spokes, even distribution of force is critical and your variation in spoke tension should be small.  If the rim's damaged, you'll find some spokes carrying an extra load.  Spokes can also loosen as they start to deform and pull through the rim. (A clean rim might show some early stress fractures.) You should be able to look up your rims and determine what the manufacturer recommends for tension.

If you don't have a way to measure spoke tension, I suggest you get a professional opinion. If I have doubts about spokes or rims before an epic trip, I usually take a couple extra hours to rebuild the wheels along with some peace of mind for those hair-raising downhill runs.  (Anyone catch the winning descent at Milan-San Remo last weekend?)

General Discussion / Re: Di2 on Supported Southern Tier trip
« on: March 19, 2022, 01:55:28 pm »
Plenty of old threads with information.

As an old human performance guy, I've always recommended getting measured out by a pro bike fitter or specialty physical therapist, and then looking for a frame and set-up that will accomplish what you want.

Routes / Re: Route ideas for 300+ miles in May
« on: March 19, 2022, 01:50:03 pm »
Not clear where you live. You might have the convenience of routes out your back door. (I always prefer trips that begin and end in my basement shop.)

For what it's worth, I have a paper version of the ACA Arkansas High Country Route maps in front of me. If you're up for a 50% gravel ride, the loop out of Bentonville is great - though the combination of gravel and hills might make this more of an epic than desired, the lack of traffic is a plus.

Your note suggests you already know - if you hit the internet, you'll see a ton of Arkansas cycling on tap.

Gear Talk / Re: Tubeless versus Tubes - how well do tubeless hold air?
« on: March 12, 2022, 03:44:43 pm »
Sold on tubeless with sealant for off-road riding - especially at lower pressures.

On the road, I'm less impressed, as I generally have fewer punctures, and the seemingly mandatory use of sealant to maintain air pressure (the crux of the question raised in the thread) adds an unwarranted layer of complexity. Will re-visit tubeless for <30 mm tires when sealant is no longer necessary to avoid a lot of tire-pumping every morning on tour.

One more image for those with money. I'll admit that in inexperienced hands, rim cement/tape rivals sealant for creating a mess, but at what point do my fastest rims and tires move from tubular ("sew-ups") to tubeless? (Yes, I still occasionally get to enjoy that hum from high-pressure tubulars on a good road.)

Gear Talk / Re: Shorts, Liners, Tights
« on: March 12, 2022, 03:30:52 pm »
Hope to meet up with you old pros one day on the road.
Right - emphasis on the word, old.

Strikes me, the old part might make us a group selected for our ability to ride long distances with less "saddle" discomfort than others. Maybe, or maybe not, the best group to give advice.

One last image - most strong riders (think professionals) don't carry a lot of weight on the saddle. When cranking, I still feel the saddle is there more for balance and stability than a place to sit. (Those "cranking" moments become fewer and shorter with age)

Think of Cindy Whitehead-Buccowich winning the 1986, 50-mile, Sierra 7500 without a seat.

Although our efficiency goes down a little when we stand on the pedals, don't be afraid to get out of the saddle if your shorts (and chammy and saddle) don't feel right. I feel like I spend many of my second and third days on tour out of the saddle about 70% of the time.

Gear Talk / Re: Handlebar Light and Ortlieb Handlebar Bag
« on: March 12, 2022, 02:49:16 pm »
From high to low (I've used them all):

Helmet mount.

Bar extender, as noted - get the light up. Example -

Fred Bar - if you have enough room on your fork steerer, above your stem, and don't mind spending money. (I also mount my aero bars on the Fred Bar and above my flat bars.)

Use a front rack mount - as noted above.

Mount to forks - I like the Paul Gino mount - has the advantage of better light along the road surface, but disadvantage of difficulty with adjustment, if moving.

General Discussion / Re: Warm Showers
« on: March 12, 2022, 02:37:38 pm »
Many thanks to all.

Not really off-thread, as the answer to the posted question is no longer a simple, "Yes."

Gear Talk / Re: Shorts, Liners, Tights
« on: March 07, 2022, 11:07:35 am »
.... I've taken to wearing G-Force cycling shorts with padded hips and a decent chamois.
What is the purpose of padded hips?  In case you crash???  I'm getting up in age but maybe there is something I get to look forward to in later years?
Most cyclists - racers in any case - have a slightly lower bone mass than say, competitive marathon runners. I most recently reviewed this information a few years ago while waiting for a trauma orthopedist to wire my distal humerus back together after high-siding my track bike on the way home from work.

Newer armor is relatively thin, but quite effective at energy dissipation. I'll do whatever I can to avoid a broken hip - not in case I crash, but when I crash.  (And yes, I now also wear elbow/forearm protection.)

Gear Talk / Re: Quad Loc Phone Holder?
« on: March 06, 2022, 08:10:17 pm »
While a bit bulkier than the Quad Loc, Ram Mount makes a holder for all kinds of things, including phones.  I have used them for about a decade and have had no issues whatsoever with their products.  The thing I like about that is that all their parts are inter-changable and that they are super super secure, i.e. motorcycle trail riders use them and the phones stay on. 

Tailwinds, John
Ditto - though this has two levels of security to keep it from popping out. If I'm using the camera for photos, I'll often bring my Garmin eTrex to keep me on route.

Gear Talk / Re: Shorts, Liners, Tights
« on: March 06, 2022, 07:44:47 pm »
What are you wearing? What features do you like? Advice on buying welcome.  Thanks.
An old guy, who like a lot of cyclists carries less bone mass than non-cyclists, I've taken to wearing G-Force cycling shorts with padded hips and a decent chamois. (Well not really leather, but we still talk like it's the days of wool and leather.) They also have a version with coccyx protection if needed.

Although not well known, they have pads made in Rhode Island and they ship out of a building here in St. Louis..., though I've only seen them in retail stores in Colorado....

Gear Talk / Re: Chair
« on: March 06, 2022, 07:25:23 pm »
Does anyone else carry a chair with them while on tour?
I also have a Zero that I carried once on the bike on the flatness of the KATY trail. It's now relegated to motorcycle and ski camping.

Saw a few chairs on the GDMBR this summer..., well, two. One was carried by a pretty strong rider in a very purposeful, no-hurry mode, along with his ukulele and flip flops.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping pads
« on: March 06, 2022, 07:17:37 pm »
Out of curiosity, does anyone use the black closed foam pads anymore?  I rarely have an issue with my NeoAir and I always tour with several Tear Aid patches but have thought about going back to the foam pads.
Memory lane. Still have a couple of thicker pads for use in the snow, but they haven't found their way onto my bike in years.

Gear Talk / Re: Tread type
« on: February 09, 2022, 08:57:50 pm »
No tread needed for coarse gravel....
It's the fully loaded downhill into the 90 deg turn on an exposed dusty or muddy road bed that demands some knobs on the side wall.

Always fun.

I don't like the vibration of knobbies on pavement - so if the ride includes pavement, I run street tires including 42 mm slicks.

Remember, they call it adventure cycling....

Gear Talk / Re: Breaking in Brooks B17 Imperial
« on: February 04, 2022, 07:27:37 pm »
Is it the saddle you break in, or your rear end?
Good point.... I had a Brooks Professional that felt great after the first 10,000 miles, but as it remained rock hard for 10 more years without requiring adjustment, I suspect it didn't change a lot during the "break in."

I've also seen guys with the same B17 for a couple decades. They claim it's been comfortable all that time, but given that the shape changed gradually from a straight line to a U-shape without change in comfort implies some accommodation by the rider.

About 15 y ago, I found a synthetic make and model that fits me out of the box and will never change shape, and I have now gone that route. 

General Discussion / Re: Amtrak Bike Travel
« on: February 04, 2022, 12:32:33 pm »
I will be taking Amtrak in June but because of Covid they have made changes that make it more difficult to bring my bike.  I will be traveling through Portland, OR to get to Whitefish, MT.  The train to Whitefish from Portland no longer provides bike service so I will have to box my bike.

When you say "no longer provides bike service", do you mean roll-on (unboxed) bike service? If so, the Empire Builder from Portland to Spokane never offered this.

When Amtrak started to do roll-on service on the Empire Builder a few years back, they only did it for the Seattle segment.

Under the category of what goes around comes around, I'll point out that my first big cross country trip included a ride in May of 1979 from Chicago to Seattle on the North Coast Hiawatha (with a layover week of training in Missoula) and then down the coast to LA. (FWIW, '79 was the last year for the Hiawatha, hitting the Congressional cutting block in October.)

I rolled my fully loaded Bob Jackson crit bike (Messina) over to the baggage car at Union Station where a Greek-American baggage handler rolled it onto the baggage car and secured it.  Rolled it off and on in Missoula and Seattle, and off in LA. Worked like a charm, and the tips didn't seem mandatory. I suspect that with fewer personnel, less care in loading, and more complaints of damaged equipment from cyclists, the move to mandatory boxing followed.

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