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Messages - John Nelson

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Gear Talk / Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« on: October 15, 2020, 07:13:23 pm »
I thought the 2009 was the one year it came with fenders (shortys) although I may be mistaken(?) otherwise the 2009-2011 models appear identical. Mine is fenderless.

The Trek archive is a wealth of information about particular years and models:

I checked my records and I see that I have a 2009, not a 2010. But it is metallic root-beer. I got thrown off because you mentioned the color, and I thought root beer was only available in one year. The archive shows that both the 2009 and 2010 came in that color. The 2009 was the first year they reduced the crankset to 48/36/26, thus making it a true touring bike for the first time (even though they claimed it as such forever).

I was surprised to see in the archives that it looks like 2009 was the only year they included those short fenders. Maybe they weren't too popular.

I read this somewhere but I don't see it on my bike:
"In addition, the front brake lever has a small push pin (not sure what else to call it) that, when pushed, allows for more play in the brakes when compressing the brakes to remove the noodle."
Does that sound familiar to you?
Nope, I don't know what that is.

BTW, do you know if the stock rims have a single shallow scored groove on their braking surface?
Yes, my rims have that groove. Well the front one does. My rear rim split apart in the middle of my second tour, so I had to have a new one built at a small bike shop in the middle of northern Minnesota. I was quite disappointed to only get about 8000 miles out of that rim. The bike shop guy agreed that it shouldn't have failed that soon, but doubted that Trek would do anything about it.

Gear Talk / Re: Anyone Familiar with the Trek 520?
« on: October 14, 2020, 01:03:51 am »
I have exactly the same make, model, year and color bike as you.

I adjust the brakes as they wear down by taking up more cable at the bolt. It's pretty simple. You don't really need exact adjustment anyway. Somewhere close is good enough. An adjustment every thousand miles is usually good. Takes just a minute.

Interrupter brake levers aren't my cup of tea. You have limited braking power from them, they are unnecessary, and they might get in the way of your handlebar bag.

I've used Schwalbe Marathon XR (no longer made), Marathon Supreme and Marathon Mondial, usually in 700x37 size. The folding Mondial are my favorite. I don't like the wire-bead Mondial. The size of tires that will fit in the frame is not limiting (within reason), but the size of tire that will allow fenders may be.

I'm not a huge fan of fenders. The little half fenders that come with the 520 are good enough for me.

I use the Tubus Cargo on the rear and the Tubus Tara on the front, both with Ortlieb roller classic bags. All solid as a rock.

I ride in SPD pedals and wouldn't do anything else.

General Discussion / Re: Maximum/minimum speeds
« on: October 13, 2020, 03:59:39 pm »
Interesting tidbit: Monarch Pass in CO, at over 11,300’, was once home to the world’s highest Subway restaurant. I think it’s now gone.
I've been over Monarch Pass many times, as recently as last year. Although there is a well-stocked general store on top (Monarch Crest), there is no Subway, and hasn't been in my memory.

General Discussion / Re: Maximum/minimum speeds
« on: October 13, 2020, 02:49:23 pm »
A cattle truck driver waved me around while I was descending the west slope of Monarch Pass. I declined because the shoulder was in bad shape. Staying behind him allowed me to take the lane.
I would never pass on the shoulder. If I'm going to pass a vehicle, I always go around on their left. That's the same way a car would pass.

Heading east in eastern Montana I managed to maintain 32.5 mph over flat ground for several miles during a 20 mile stretch to Malta. The wind was that strong.
Yes, I had one of those days in Montana too. In my case, it was between Cut Bank and Havre, just a bit west of your day. I had originally intended to stop in Hingham that day, but I just couldn't give up that tailwind so I kept going. I call it my 129-mile rest day. Those Montana winds can be amazing, both for and against you.

General Discussion / Re: Maximum/minimum speeds
« on: October 13, 2020, 12:53:40 am »
I’m a data head, so I track lots of data. My fastest touring speed was descending  Chief Joseph Pass towards Lolo. I passed a truck and two cars. Slowest touring day was eastbound into a fierce headwind all day in eastern Montana on a 99° day. I started at 6:10 am and ended at 9:50 pm with almost no breaks.

Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain spare parts for a long tour
« on: September 26, 2020, 01:36:23 am »
If you want to keep moving 100% of the time, consider carrying one spare. But I’m not sure I’d even do that. Anticipate your needs and order ahead and have it sent to where you’re going. I’d only carry spares if you’re in a big hurry or going through a 5000-mile long jungle.

Gear Talk / Re: Tubus Tara Lowrider Front Rack Mounting Question
« on: September 03, 2020, 10:17:12 pm »
It took me a bit of fiddling around, but I eventually got the Tubus Tara mounted dead level on my 2009 Trek 500.

Yes, I'm pretty sure that all the county, state and federal highways that traverse the Navajo Nation are still open. It's only the Nation-owned roads (5000 miles of them) that are closed to visitors.

General Discussion / Re: A musty item -
« on: August 25, 2020, 12:20:02 am »
Not pleasant when your chain lube leaks all over your clothes.

General Discussion / Re: A Bicycle Chain
« on: August 17, 2020, 12:47:40 am »
Yes, I've never known anybody to get as many miles out of a chain as Pete does. I don't understand his secret, and I don't think he does either. I've heard him explain his theories, but I doubt that they completely explain his results. There's something else going on.

Food Talk / Re: Recovery time when cycling across USA?
« on: August 17, 2020, 12:44:55 am »
I never found recovery days to be helpful. I occasionally take a day off, but only because there's something there I want to see, never just as a recovery day. I think the trick is to always cycle within yourself, so that you can fully recover each night. On a long tour, you can't afford to get into debt. Get plenty of sleep each night, whatever your body tells you that you need. In almost all cases, I sleep until I wake up. Only rarely do I set an alarm on tour, and that's always because of some constraint.

But I've never tried to get across the country "as fast as possible." I understand why some people would do it that way, but not me.

California / Re: Need advice
« on: August 16, 2020, 05:46:44 pm »
Check too. You can also price it out directly with FedEx and UPS  Even though the bike shippers are merely FedEx or UPS resellers, they often offer better rates.

I don’t know what price you consider high nor where you are shipping from, but it’s never what I would call cheap. Also investigate what it would cost to take it with you as luggage (my preference). Different carriers charge wildly different amounts, so consider the total cost before you buy your ticket.

Gear Talk / Re: Compression sacks - do you use them?
« on: August 08, 2020, 08:27:14 pm »
I do not use them. I don't need one more thing to fuss with.

Gear Talk / Re: Tents Designed for Bike touring
« on: August 06, 2020, 12:29:24 pm »
Thanks BikeliciousBabe for the information. I really like the two doors and two vestibules. I store stuff in one vestibule, like my helmet, shoes, gloves and sunglasses, which remains easily accessible but doesn't get in my way as I go in and out the other vestibule. There is one downside, however, in storing stuff in the vestibule. On a particularly windy night in Arizona, the vestibule guy line broke and my gloves left home and never returned.

General Discussion / Re: The Truth about $8.00 Walmart Break Pads.
« on: August 02, 2020, 07:21:59 pm »
There are so many things we want out of our brake pads in addition to wear. They have to be smooth and not grab, they have to work wet and dry, they have to stop quickly, they have to not excessively wear out your rims, they need to be quiet, they have to shed grit, etc.

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