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Messages - ducnut

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Gear Talk / Re: Could a cyclo-cross bike do?
« on: September 29, 2011, 08:49:11 am »
I don't know if this helps or not but here is my 2 cents.  I just completed a cross country with a girl who rode a Specialized Tricross.  She abused it badly with her packing style and it held up fine.  About a week into the ride, her low budget rear panniers failed and so she just overpacked her front ortliebs (brimming to the top) and put everything else into one big bag on top of her rear rack.  I would have bet the farm the bike (or at least the racks) would have broken but she had no issues at all.

There are at least 2 others on the forum who've done XC on Tricrosses, too.

Gear Talk / Re: Could a cyclo-cross bike do?
« on: September 27, 2011, 10:48:04 am »
Second, I think "cyclocross" means about as much as "hybrid" any more.  Just as hybrid can mean anything from a road bike with flat bars to a mountain bike with bars reaching for the sky, so CX can refer to almost anything between a full carbon road racing bike modified for wider tires, to an all-steel loaded touring bike frame with a double crank.  If you take the Surly Crosscheck as an example of the latter, check out the chainstay geometry.  16.9 inches, a little less than the 18.1 inch chainstay of the LHT, but at almost 17" it's still longer than almost any bike made ten years ago.  I'd call that a pretty good compromise, even if it's not optimal.

That was exactly what I meant by "know what you need to be looking for". I wanted something that was longer/taller than a criterium race bike and less than a touring bike; shoot for the middle. I gather that's what the OP is looking for.

Gear Talk / Re: Could a cyclo-cross bike do?
« on: September 26, 2011, 05:56:38 pm »
Many manufacturers label a model "cyclocross" bike, but, they aren't a true race bike. They may be a 'tweener; something in between a do-it-all/commuter and a real 'cross bike. So, don't be swayed by the naysayers. Just know what to look for. Below are a few of my (nit)picks.

-The most basic thing is look for a steel frame, as an aluminum frame isn't going to have the vibration damping nor will it have much compliance.
-Look for eyelets. There are a variety of 'cross bikes out there that have a complete set of eyelets. Generally, they'll have more all-around geometry.
-Pay attention to the drivetrain. For what I do, I can get away with a compact crank (50/34T) and 36T cassette. Most 'cross race bikes have a 46/38T crank.
-Closely look at the geometry and know what you need to be looking for. The biggies are headtube length and angle, chainstay length, rake/trail, and effective toptube length.
-Know how much tire you want to run and if it will fit.

Like you, I didn't want a full-on tour bike. I don't carry heavy amounts of gear. I wanted to have one all-around road bike that was fairly lightweight and responsive. I bought off eBay, as I knew what I was looking at and had a budget. I bought a leftover '09 Specialized Tricross Comp. It has carbon seatstays, seatpost, and fork legs. It was the last year to have all the carbon frame sections and still have mid-fork eyelets. The geometry is a compromise between a tour bike and road bike. It'll accept my 40mm studded tires and fenders, at the same time. I added a 125 degree stem, to get the bars up. I wanted the double 'ring crank. I already had a SRAM Apex mid-cage derailleur set that allowed a 36T cassette that I swapped onto the bike. For me, it's just about the perfect compromise. In hindsight, I would've sacrificed some responsiveness/stiffness for a steel frame.

Having said all that, there are some steel, all-arounder bikes out there worth looking at:
Surly Cross-Check-Unfortunately, has 46/38T crank, but, are seen on eBay and are affordable.
Salsa Vaya-Starting this year, you can get double or triple crank build options. Light-tourist/all-arounder. Hard to find 2nd hand.
Salsa Casseroll
Gunnar CrossHairs-I'd only buy 2nd hand, as they're expensive new.
Jamis Coda-Steel, flat-bar, multiple build levels, eyelets, and disc option.
Jamis Bosanova-For me, very intriguing; probably what I would buy if buying new, today. Less long-haul than their Aurora and more all-arounder.
Motobecane Fantom CXX-$800, with Apex drivetrain, from Made in Asia, like most every other bike. I've heard good reviews of the site.

This is the first time I have ever seen such bikes and tires. It looks like they're loaded for bear. I would imagine they can go just about anywhere with those bikes.

Although, he's on a custom Bilenky ride, Surly and Salsa both offer bikes with that tire setup. They're very common in northern regions, where it snows a decent amount. They work exceptionally well on sand, too.

General Discussion / Re: State flag stickers?
« on: April 01, 2011, 09:43:47 pm »

Gear Talk / Re: Aerobars and bikepacking
« on: March 23, 2011, 05:32:09 pm »
If you look at a side view, you'll see the lungs are behind the arms, not between them, and I find I can inhale every bit as deeply with my elbows together for a narrow frofile as I can with my arms way out.

You can try this experiment at your desk: Put your elbows close together in front of you, bent at 90 degrees, then inhale absolutely as much as you can.  Then separate your elbows and see if you can inhale any more.  I can't.  Not one bit.  The upper ribs anchor into the sternum, so top of your rib cage is not compressible like the bottom is, and it will keep the same volume available for your lungs regardless of your arms' position.

I'll agree to disagree.

Riding at speed, in exertion, your lungs are compressed by narrow arm pad placement. That's a fact that is proven in labratory testing. The key is balancing aero with performance.

There's, also, a difference in where one is setting up their arm pads fore and aft. The pros seem to run them way forward from where I do. I'm using them for support of weight, more than just a bicycle guide, as the pros do. Likewise, they use the nose of the saddle as a guide. They put so much power into the crank that there's not much weight on the saddle. I use the saddle to support my weight. Different setups for different folks for different reasons.

Furthermore, MTB riders use bar-ends to open up the chest cavity on climbs. Again, they've proven that it works.

Gear Talk / Re: Aerobars and bikepacking
« on: March 23, 2011, 04:40:15 pm »
Would they be of much value on the GDMBR?

Many of the Great Divide racers use aerobars on their MTBs. If you watch the movie Ride the Divide, you'll see them. However, I haven't researched how the racers achieved their setups, as I know I can't get aerobars to comfortably work on my MTB.

Quote from: spudslug
I use the style that has flip-up armrests so I can still place my hands on the top of the bars. The fixed-position style aerobars, like shown in the photo provided by ducnut, block the top of the bars so you lose that riding position.

I put my hands on the tops of the arm pads for another position. But, I've been eyeing the flip-up style, too. I may get a set to try, this summer. Also, I can still use the curved part of the tops of my handlebars. Not ideal, but, it works.

Quote from: whittierider
He has his really far apart, losing much of the aero advantage, although the comfort value would still be there.

I have them far apart for stability and comfort. There's still aero advantage to using them the way they are. I've experimented, on my TT bike, and found that placing the pads close together cost me time. That pinches ones chest together and inhibits the lungs from fully filling with air. And, the instability on crappy roads and in crosswinds wasn't worth it, either. Some can do it, but, I'm not that person.

General Discussion / Re: Hypothetical question...
« on: March 17, 2011, 04:38:07 pm »
For sure, I think you can do it.

Here's some inspirational reading:

Flagged as spam, for some reason. It's not.

General Discussion / Re: Wheel help
« on: March 16, 2011, 10:08:56 pm »
You may try stretching the bead on your current tires. Don't get too crazy pulling on 'em. No way would I consider buying new tires or wheels over this.

General Discussion / Re: Rack, Fenders, and front pannier
« on: March 16, 2011, 09:58:00 pm »
On fenders, go with the wider of the two widths that most offer. You want to buy for the future, not for today. You may be running a 32mm, but, may want to try something wider and you'll want plenty of clearance for debris.

SKS versus Planet Bike: the SKS offer a bit longer fender, though with no flap. However, the PB flap doesn't add much anyway.

I'm not familiar with the Civia fenders. Looking at them, I don't think they're as versatile as either of the two aforementioned options. They have only one set of stays. I'd think that aluminum construction could potentially create more noise/rattles.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycling coast to coast off road....
« on: March 09, 2011, 05:23:02 pm »
I have read about that trail. I have also seen photos of sections of it. Some parts looked to be extremely deeply rutted and muddy. You'd have to go around parts like that.

^^^ Those are photos of the trail during the rainy season and only in one section. Also, there are bypasses for some the really difficult sections, especially in the mountains.

I'd think you'd want to ride some kind of MTB on this trail.

For even more info on the motorcycle TransAm, search the ride reports on the ADVRider forum. Just enter "TAT or Trans Am" in the search function. Many a motorcyclist have traversed the trail. There are more reports and pics of that trail on the forum than any other ride.

General Discussion / Re: I don't like dogs! (around my bike)
« on: March 09, 2011, 05:13:12 pm »
I use a repellent called Muzzle. It's suitable against animals and humans.

I had a couple dogs, at the same house, chase me every time I passed. One use of the repellent stopped them from ever chasing me again. The stuff works!

General Discussion / Re: Motorbike riders out there?
« on: March 02, 2011, 11:42:42 pm »
I currently have a '09 Triumph Tiger 1050 and '96 Ducati 900SS. She has a '02 Suzuki SV650S. I've had a '06 Triumph Daytona 675, '94 Yamaha Seca II, '83 Suzuki GS1100E, and my first was a '78 Suzuki GS750.

Gear Talk / Re: 1986 Miyata 610
« on: February 11, 2011, 01:08:41 pm »
There's no need to coldset the stays with a 4mm variance. Take a look at the hardware on the new wheelset. If there are washers between the locknuts, you can remove them to narrow things a bit.

Don't forget to get your seat experiments out of the way before leaving on the trip.

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