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Messages - waynemyer

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The day I find one of those cheap, partially-rain-flied tents that keeps the water out, I will eat that tent poles and all. I use a ten  by twelve polyethylene tarp with poles and lines.
This speaks deeply to my inner engineer/tightwad.  Please elaborate!   :)  What do you use as an insect barrier?  Is there a technique to get the tarp to fold up compactly (I find most tarps to be like cheap road maps: there's no way it's folding up small again!)?  I appreciate all the juicy details you can provide.

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Shoes, Cleat Selection and Toe Clip Survey
« on: April 11, 2010, 11:37:33 am »
I use Frogs on everything -- I love the float -- but I also notice that the cleats seem to wear out awfully fast. How long do the BeBop cleats last?
A touch over 5000 miles so far this year and so far everything is still holding well.  I lube the cleats once every two weeks because the cleat will squeak on the pedal in just-so weather conditions.  This is still better than Speedplay's suggestion of "after every ride."

Gear Talk / Re: Touring Shoes, Cleat Selection and Toe Clip Survey
« on: April 08, 2010, 03:30:57 pm »
I use Sidi Dominator 5 Mega with BeBop CrMo pedals.  I have clodhoppers and the Sidi wide shoe was the first one I ever tried that was really comfortable.

I formerly used Speedplay Frog pedals, but the cleats were wearing out within 1200 miles, no matter what I tried.  At $36 per set, that is a steep ride tax given that I put in about 350 miles per week.  I need the added float because SPD was wreaking havoc on my knees, despite multiple fittings and cleat cantings.

With regards to pain (and I used to have lots), I took the footbeds out of my shoes and removed the canting shims.  I have my cleats positioned just behind the ball of my foot.  I considered midfoot cleat mounting, but I don't have any major foot issues, even up to riding 24 hours straight.  If it ain't broke...

Gear Talk / Re: 2010 Novara Randonee - Slack Head Tube Angle
« on: March 26, 2010, 01:31:47 pm »
Bicycle handling is a very complex system.  But all other factors being equal (impossible), a slacker head angle will result in a slower turning bicycle.  This generally translates to less responsive, more stable at slower speeds, and requiring more lean in order to get the bike to turn.

Gear Talk / Re: Commuter bicycle for 11 km commute
« on: March 23, 2010, 05:32:02 pm »
I would like to add that I use sintered metallic pads for my disc brakes.  In Vermont winters, I was getting less than 800 miles on a set of organic pads.  I have been using the same disc pads now for about three years of daily, year-round commuting, brevets, and light touring.

On my rim brake-equipped bicycles, I am using Kool Stop dual compound pads.  They still get chewed through in short order when the weather is icky, even if I wipe down my rims after every ride.  Standard rim pads yielded me a touch over 200 miles in rainy, gritty conditions before they were too far gone.  Kool Stops are the only way to roll with rim brakes.  IMO.

Any way you slice it: pad selection is critical, regardless of system.

Gear Talk / Re: Commuter bicycle for 11 km commute
« on: March 23, 2010, 02:55:53 pm »
I want a light bicycle for an 11 km, hilly commute with drop down handle bars, gears changing levers on handlebars, disc brakes, light weight.
When you say shifters "on handlebars," do you mean brifters such as Shimano STI levers or are you talking about bar-end shifters?  And just curious, why do you prefer disc brakes?

I offer a dissenting opinion to whittier with regards to disc brakes: in my experience, there is less maintenance involved with disc brakes than with any rim brake.  With 12000 miles last year using one set of disc pads, in hilly wet Portland Oregon, my opinion strongly gives discs the advantage in certain contexts.  The opposition in my experience are last year's 2500 miles on rim brakes, which tell me that rim brakes demand much more care, attention, and replacement in the same hilly and wet conditions.

If you live in dry conditions, disc brakes are overkill.  Disc brakes also make a bicycle much heavier than it would otherwise need to be; this is not optimal for a lot of hill climbing.  Disc brakes are good for descending hilly conditions if you are an inexperienced rider, but you quickly learn your limits.  Which you probably wouldn't feel comfortable exceeding with rim brakes at first anyway. 

All that said, if your spec remains the same, I am going to assume you also want a triple crankset.  Some platforms to consider are the Kona Dew Drop, Novara Buzz Road (compact double crankset), Trek Portland, and Brodie Ronin.  The Dew Drop, IMO, is the best overall value provided the frame geometry works well for you..  There are others, but these are the ones I have test ridden.  I do not suggest the Kona Sutra, which I have owned and it completely goes against your lightweight criteria.

General Discussion / Re: speeding tickets
« on: March 13, 2010, 11:00:01 am »
Speeding ticket, right here.  40 in 30 in Klamath Falls OR.  Not the most bike-friendly town in Oregon, but certainly not the worst.  The judge dismissed the ticket.

DFB, have you ridden a tandem before?  It's not a get-on-and-go affair.  There are a lot of skills that the captain (the person steering, shifting, and braking) needs to have in tip-top shape if the stoker (person not in control of steering and brakes) is to have a vaguely comfortable ride.

The Blayleys have a lot of good, no-nonsense info:

And the really easy way to search all of Craigslist is to use Google's "site:" search modifier.  Here is a search of CL for tandem bicycles:

If your budget for your tandem is $2000, that will generally buy you a decent to very nice used tandem.

Gear Talk / Re: Tires when riding from San Diego to Phoenix
« on: February 08, 2010, 08:10:04 pm »
I'll toss another item into the fray: tire strips.  Something like these:

My partner and I were getting very frequent flats on our tandem as a result of metal wire from shed radial belting.  I put in a pair of these and have not had a flat since.  And I have picked up (and out) lots of wire; it just didn't make it into the tube.

Gear Talk / Re: What is the best new or used $400 road bike?
« on: January 29, 2010, 04:49:59 pm »
Buying a production bicycle will get you rolling sooner.  Building up your own bike, in my experience, is cheaper in the long run when you know what you like and want

Looking at some of the steeds on, you can get a workable whip in your price range.  Some of the touring bikes sold at BD even rate favorably in some of the stories on Crazy Guy on a Bike.

Integrated shift levers are definitely going to add to your bottom line.  Bar-end shifters give you a lot of durability and much lower entry cost.  You might be surprised how workable and enjoyable they are.

Gear Talk / Re: cold feet! Recommendations?
« on: December 15, 2009, 06:48:56 pm »
For temps from 34F down to -20F (the coldest ride I ever took), I use 1 pair of heavy wool socks, a neoprene overboot, Sidi Dominator 5, and Hotronic electric insoles with the M4 (high capacity) battery.  For temps -20F to about 10F, I use a sock rated for -30F.  Any warmer and that sock is uncomfortably warm.  The electric insoles are not warm, per se.  Instead, the Hotronics kick out just enough heat to prevent the body from cutting off the blood supply.  This combo has held me for as long as two and half hours.  At the end of those rides, my toes were lacking pain and numbness and the rest of my foot was sweaty and warm.

I also used a piece of aluminized (shiny) mylar below my insole.  This has helped, but the minor friction wore off the coating before too long, and negated the benefit.

There is a lot of talk elsewhere about switching to a platform pedal, but I like my cleats.  I find that the plastic body of the Speedplay Frog helps prevent the cleat from becoming as much of a heatsink as an SPD cleat.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Snow
« on: November 30, 2009, 05:38:53 pm »
It's dangerous to cycle in snow but
some does it. So how do you cycle in snow?
  • Studded tires, namely Nokian, although there are other good brands.
  • Disc brakes with sintered ceramic pads.  Stock/OEM pads get destroyed in short order.  When I lived in Vermont, OEM disc pads would last maybe seven weeks.  I haven't replaced a set of sintered ceramic pads yet and still have the same braking power.
  • Full coverage fenders
As others have said, falling is a matter of when, not if.  Knowing how to take a fall makes bruises about the worst you'll experience while riding in the snow.

General Discussion / Re: New to Adventure cycling. Need good bike .
« on: July 23, 2009, 04:00:14 pm »
With regards to folding bikes, I used to own a Bike Friday New World Tourist.  It was amazing.  I loved the ride, the handling, the durability, and the ability to take it everywhere with me.  Including riding it to the airport.  Unfortunately, in your price range, you probably won't find many folders that fit your needs.

The more you spend on a folding bike, the more it will feel like riding a full-sized bike.  My NWT had the 451mm wheels (as opposed to the standard 405mm on NWTs).  Bike Friday claims that their bikes are "As good as your best bike."  They mean it.  My other bike was a Cannondale R1000 and I promptly got rid of my Cannondale.  You can sometimes find a good, used folder on Craigslist for a decent price.  But don't count on it.

Be sure to check out the Adventure Cycling Buyer's Guide:

General Discussion / Re: Sort of a medical question
« on: July 20, 2009, 02:25:05 pm »
I don't think that there is anything to be done for it.  For most people I know, aerobic activity results in running nose.

General Discussion / Re: Motel/hotel discount
« on: July 20, 2009, 02:12:14 pm »
Everything is on sale, especially in the current economic climate, usually just for the asking.  A smile, warm demeanor, and genuine gratitude go a very long way, as you seem to have already experienced.

I always followup a discount or good service with a reciprocal treat (although watch out: in some areas/cultures, this could be insulting).  In hotels/motels that I have stayed, following up has often resulted in yet another perk: champagne compliments of the manager, discounted/free additional stay, special treatment at a local restaurant, et al.

At the same time, I think there is a time and place for haggling.  I have been offered discounts when I did not think it appropriate or that I should pay the full price.  It's a matter of context and I think it's one of those important social skills.

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