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Messages - waynemyer

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Gear Talk / Re: Ortlieb trunk bag question
« on: December 31, 2011, 02:30:35 pm »
This won't help you too much, but... it's Ortlieb*. In my experience, you can't go wrong with Ortlieb. Rixen+Kaul clamps are pretty neat, durable bits (I have a few). And Ortlieb bags are invariably impressive: durable, long-wearing, easy to repair if you do something untoward, well thought out, and easy to use. Once you use an Ortlieb bag, you immediately know where the extra money went.

*I have all Ortlieb: handlebar bag, Backroller panniers front and rear, Office QL3 panniers. I have owned Arkel (also a great company), but Ortlieb better suits me.

Gear Talk / Re: Preferred method of terminating handlebar tape ?
« on: December 31, 2011, 02:20:47 pm »
Oh, my.  That's purrrrty.

General Discussion / Re: New Off-Road Bike tours in New York City area
« on: December 31, 2011, 02:19:05 pm »
Hey Mark, looks like a good and fun idea. I grew up in the Mid-Hudson Valley and New Paltz is an amazing place to ride, both on-road and off. The 'Gunks are pretty unbeatable, plus New Paltz has great aprés-ride culture. As I recall, there is also some amazing riding around Bear Mountain.

Karmelj, contact New Jersey Randonneurs (, Central and Western NY Randonneurs ( and Mike B. of VT Randonneurs ( Between them, they should be able to direct you to scenic, enjoyable routes from NYC to Buffalo. If you're up for extra distance, I suggest routing through the Catskills and Finger Lakes regions. The views are wholly worth the extra day or two.

Gear Talk / Re: Hub Generator Lights
« on: December 28, 2011, 07:47:05 pm »
I have a SRAM i-Light D7 disc driving a Supernova E3 symmetrical. Cars flash their high beams at me. I love this light and hub. I have read some reviews of the i-Light hubs wherein the bearings needed replacing after a year. My hub has been in use for 18 months now, with about 12,000 miles of Portland OR commuting and randonneuring.

Everyone with whom I ride uses either a Shimano (the majority) or Schmidt (distant second place), and most of them run Supernova lights. They are all extremely happy, too. Seeing their lights in use is what convinced me to make the jump to dyno. I went SRAM because I don't like Centerlock (thanks for the proprietary tools, Shimano) and didn't want to drop the $250 on a Schmidt without having sussed out the dyno light thing. I can totally stomach the entry fee for Schmidt now, but I am happy enough with SRAM to stick with them.  There are other hubs, you can get into a Sanyo hub for $40. That hub has cartridge bearings. It is difficult to buy a plain cartridge bearing front hub for $40. I also have a Velo-Orange switchable dyno. This is a gorgeous hub that takes a good amount of abuse that I have ditched out. Unfortunately, Velo-Orange seems to run out of these pretty quickly. It's slick because you can actually disengage the generator, thereby reducing the small, yet measurable, drag from the dyno.

I think that dyno selection is less important than light selection. It is amazing what lens/reflector design plus a couple generations of LED evolution will do for lighting. One of my employees has a B+M IQ Cyo and it is a decent light for the price. If you're looking for outright paint-peeling illumination, Supernova E3 Triple is pretty unbeatable. In general, you're probably looking at $100 to $250 for a light worth owning. Uncle Pedro has some really good beam shots and comparisons. This guy also has a lot of really great info and reviews. He also has the benefit of integration spheres for objective measurements.

One of my great issues with dyno lights is that none of the models I have seen have a high/low setting. This is probably a non-issue for most people, but when putting in long hours at night, I would like to save the eyestrain.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS accuracy controversy
« on: December 28, 2011, 07:06:33 pm »
The early adopters who learned about the technology and its limitations would not be surprised.
Yep. Sometimes the GPSr can tell if I am on the shoulder or riding in the right-hand tire track. And other times my accuracy (according to the unit) is >75 feet. Meh; it is what it is.

Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Shorts vs. Padded Liners?
« on: December 28, 2011, 11:31:27 am »
Not sure if you are implying that more expensive is automatically better, but if so I'll voice a differing opinion... Don't assume that the most expensive and the best are necessarily the same thing.  I have found mid range priced shorts to be excellent and some pretty cheap ones to be adequate.  My advice is to find some shorts that work for you and stick with them.
Yep. I have nothing but bad experience with liners, but considering the reviews that liners seem to garner, I must be in the minority. These Pricepoint shorts are my favorite standard shorts ever. Long wearing, thin, muti-density chamois, and just as comfortable as any $100+ short I ever owned. I prefer bib shorts for any significant mileage and the Performance Utra II is my favorite, and not just for cost. For me, these have beat out anything else I tried and I have a graveyard of bibs that didn't make the cut.

There may be some advantage to using two different brands or models though so if one chafes you a bit on a given ride you can switch to one that fits a bit differently the next day.   I generally do not need to do that though.
Another yep. I have not experienced any difference.

I do not consider it a huge deal if my shorts don't get washed out every day, but tend to wash them at least every few days.  I think that hygiene is less of a concern than we tend to make it.  I like to get a shower and wash out my clothes every day, but do not believe there are serious health consequences for failure to do so.  Weekly bathing was the norm not all that long ago and that was in a time when folks were less likely to have air conditioning and more likely to actually do manual labor out in the hot sun.  So if it isn't convenient I don't mind skipping a day or two here and there.
staehpj1 is just racking up the +1s today! I can't find a link right now, but there was recent research regarding cleanliness vs hygiene. There is a bacteria that lives on our skin (Lactobacter? Pseudomonas? something else?) that helps to keep Staphyloccocus in check. The gist of the research was that the mutualistic bacteria washed off much more easily than staph. This past summer, I toured and had a few points where I went two to four days without a shower. It was the first time ever since I started regularly riding serious distance (100+ miles per day) that I was completely free from saddle sores.

Gear Talk / Salsa Fargo, Redeemed
« on: December 25, 2011, 08:51:51 pm »
2012 Salsa Fargo

The frame is cushy, but rigid enough for loaded touring. Equipped with a Salsa Downunder front rack and a Wanderlust rear rack, I can easily carry about 70 pounds of gear in Ortlieb panniers.  There is noticeable lateral flex under full load, but nothing drastic. I had a Burley Vagabond that flexed just as much under similar loads. Even with 25mm Continental Gatorskins inflated to 110 PSI, the ride is smooth and comfortable even over the worst pavement.

I had to change out the handlebars and stem. The stock Woodchippers were too narrow for me, so much so that I was getting serious cramps between the shoulder blades. This was a drastic pain that I had never experienced heretofore on any bicycle. If I could have stayed on the flared drops, I would have been fine. I changed to a Salsa Bell Lap; I wanted a Salsa Cow Bell, but I found a really killer price on the Bell Lap. I have a Bell Lap on my SU200 and I am satisfied with these bars.  Despite a 550mm effective top tube, the Fargo felt short in reach to me. I switched to a 110mm road stem. The combo gives me a decent reach, with options of sitting up or kinda stretching out. With the deep drops of the Bell Lap, I can duck out of head winds to a reasonable degree.

I also changed out the Thudbuster seatpost for a rigid Kona post. The Thudbuster allowed for remaining seated over the worst that Portland has to offer, but the flex really interfered with getting a good spin. Above 120 RPM, the elastomer would allow my hips to bounce. Yes, I know that is because of my bad form.

The drastic slope on the downtube makes for easy starts and dismounts when fully loaded, but presents other issues. The frame is too small to fit two water bottles. I can barely fit a 27 ounce bottle on the downtube, but can’t fit any bottle on the seat tube mounts.

I put on 42mm Continental Tour tires. These tires suck. They feel like a brake is dragging. At first I thought it might have been the bike. I was averaging 15.5 MPH on my commute on my usual commuter. I average 12.5 on the Fargo. Putting 25mm Gatorskins on the wheels gets my average commute speed back up to 15.5. That’s a pretty drastic difference just because of tires.

If you want to run fenders, Planet Bike Cascadia 29ers are the only fenders to use. I tried Planet Bike Hardcore, and those were wholly inadequate. The 29er model is excellent. The front standoff interferes with using a front pannier, but some finagling can take care of that.

The FSA mountain double crankset leaves a lot to be desired. It isn’t low enough and it isn’t high enough. The 10-speed drivetrain is annoying because it hard to match a crankset to the rest of the mechs. It’s enough to make me go back to 8-speed triple. And I just might with this bike. If I did it again, I would have built my Fargo from scratch. When road hydraulic levers come out, I will be rejiggering the drivetrain with 8- or 9-speed triple, a 165mm crankarm, and aiming for an 18 gear-inch low.

I have descended fully loaded on some serious grades and the bike is sure-footed without any signs of shimmy.  The handling is impeccable, faultless, and balanced: hands-on, hands-off, pleasantly nimble for urban commuting, and stable under load and speed. The stays are long enough to fit my enormous clodhoppers with my Ortlieb Backroller Classic panniers. I did install a set of Ortlieb Office Large with QL3 mounts. Those actually required a little tweaking to accommodate my feet, but that is exactly what the QL3 system is designed to do.

I love my Fargo and think that it is a very decent replacement for my SU200. The two are very similar bikes, but different enough to keep them both. The Fargo is a more capable touring and off-road bicycle; the SU is a more capable, but much less comfortable commuter. If you can only have one bike, the Fargo would be a good candidate. Like an SU, the Fargo can do just about everything and do it quite capably.

Small frame doesn’t fit water bottles
Stock gear range is not low enough and not high enough
Some fork braze-ons conflict with front rack
Fender conflicts with disc brakes, but that is SOP with disc brake bikes

Super comfortable
Adroit handling
Plenty rigid unloaded; comfortably compliant when loaded
Rigid enough for fully loaded touring
Very versatile
Braze-ons everywhere

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Mirror
« on: December 18, 2011, 02:19:42 am »
Watching some of the replies to this thread, I would like to add:
I am so accustomed to the helmet mirror that I am spoiled. When walking down the sidewalk, I keep snapping my eyes up and left, expecting to be able to look behind me, both to the rear left and rear right. I feel naked without my mirror.

Again, that is strictly my personal experience. YMMV. Your preference may vary. And until you try a variety of mirrors, you won't know what works best for you.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Mirror
« on: December 15, 2011, 01:33:36 pm »
In my experience with mirrors, both for myself and introducing other riders, you just have to try a few models until you find what you like. Models that go on glasses, models that attach to the helmet, large, small, ball joints, flexible wire... Every mirror out there has its detractors and proponents. I have my preference, but some people that use this mirror hate it and others think it is the best thing going (I am neither; it's just the least sucky mirror in my opinion).

That said, I will caution you: mirrors that attach to helmets with two-sided tape should actually be crazy-glued in place. The adhesive just doesn't have the oomph for a bicycle mirror, especially when the temperature gets warm.

Alaska/Hawaii / Re: AK Bike Routes
« on: December 14, 2011, 03:26:03 pm »
Zombie Thread! Thanks for advice PinkFatBike. I am planning on a three-week Alaska tour in 2013 and this was Anchorage to Denali is exactly a route about which I was wondering.

Gear Talk / Re: shoe covers for cold weather
« on: December 09, 2011, 03:07:16 am »
You haven't mentioned the conditions in which you cycle. I am quite tolerant of cold weather, so that said...

In my experience, Sugoi booties are some of the best going. Good for wind and rain, have stood up to three years which is two and a half years more than I expected. The chink in the armor with any bootie, however, is the cleat. Any clipless cleat is a big ol' heatsink swinging in the breeze.

Above freezing, I don't really give a flying foo. No body parts are going to fall off and it's all only just discomfort. Below freezing, I use Hotronic M5 (I think they call them E4 now). It's just enough heat to keep the body from shutting down blood flow. You can also switch them into overdrive wherein the system will dump a ton of heat into the ball/toebox, enough so to reverse painfully cold toes.

General Discussion / Re: Choice of bike
« on: December 03, 2011, 12:30:58 pm »
Define "break the bank." Is $2000 too much to spend on your touring platform?

Off the top of my head, the Salsa Vaya 2 is the only one I know that hits the most of your requirements. Are you absolutely determined to have a Flight Deck computer? I ask because the shifters are SRAM Apex and are not Flight Deck compatible. Other than that, the component spec is really nice, albeit geared a little too high for fully loaded touring. You will have to make some changes. Another point about the Vaya: the Salsa racks (Wanderlust and Down Under) are a good match for the bike, which is a plus or a minus depending on your perspective.

There are other bikes that almost get you there, but most off-the-shelf disc touring bikes have bar-end shifters, in part for their durability and fault-tolerance, in part to keep the price down. If you are willing to sacrifice integrated shift levers (or upgrade afterwards), some models to consider are:
  • Kona Sutra - I owned one, a little too short in the stays for me, but an otherwise great handling frame. You may be able to find these used.
  • Surly Long Haul Trucker Disc - new for 2012, I haven't yet seen these in any shop.
  • Raleigh Sojourn
  • Raleigh Roper - a little lacking in the eyelets, but if you use a trailer, entirely fits your bill.

Gear Talk / Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« on: December 01, 2011, 10:18:42 pm »
Thank you for pointing out the obvious. Hence my adverb "completely" in the phrase "made in China."

Gear Talk / Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« on: December 01, 2011, 06:09:37 pm »
My take is that it is a good idea but at $140 and not including any shifters, the price is awfully steep.  I wouldn't consider them myself for that reason and will stick with STI.
if Tektro or Cane Creek or someone manufactured them rather than doing a costly modification and therefore brought the price down to the sub $40 range (plus shifters).

I know, that "made by American workers in an American shop" is a pretty hard price tag to swallow. I'd much rather buy something made completely in China by cheap labor where they don't have to worry about things like environmental standards.

Gear Talk / Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« on: December 01, 2011, 10:04:43 am »
Some of you might find this development of interest
Basically a downtube shifter adapted to a cross brake lever.

Thank you for that link! Finally, a best of both worlds solution.

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