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Messages - Galloper

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Gear Talk / Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 08, 2010, 08:48:32 am »
I recently bought a Salsa Fargo for use on an extended tour.   What a big mistake!   The bike was fine unloaded but as soon as I loaded it up it turned into a dangerously unstable bike, with the front wheel shimmying violently.   With the guys from the bike shop, I tried every trick in the book, changing the handlebar height, varying the front to rear weight ratio, changing the load.   Nothing made any difference, it was too dangerous to ride.   Eventually I gave up and swapped it for a Surly LHT which was a joy to ride.   The Surly, my Dawes Karakum and an elderly Claud Butler all handled the same load with ease which had the Salsa wobbling all over the road.

My advice to anyone considering buying a Salsa Fargo for full on touring is: Don't!   Oh!   And don't expect any response from Salsa if you do tell them of the problem.

General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier, Section 2 B=New Mexico
« on: April 03, 2010, 06:57:46 pm »
There's a Best Value Motel in Claypool just west of Globe on the right hand side just after a Walmart which is quite reasonable.   When you get to Safford, the Paradise Inn, between Thatcher and Safford is also quite well priced.

You can make good time up the valley to Safford as long as you've got a following wind :)

Routes / Re: Mexican excursion from Southern Tier
« on: April 03, 2010, 06:45:24 pm »
From local news it seems to be a place to be avoided.   The news in Arizona is full of reports of the killing of a local rancher and shootings of US citizens on the Mexican side.

General Discussion / Re: Passing other tourist riders
« on: February 28, 2010, 07:37:25 am »
Ooh!   Stop and talk to me, I'm starting the Southern Tier in about 10 days time. (West to East)   I'm the tall handsome Irisihman,   OK, 2 out of 3  ;D

General Discussion / Re: Folding Bikes
« on: February 28, 2010, 07:33:59 am »
Don't forget the tweed plus fours  :)

General Discussion / Re: My Idea
« on: February 28, 2010, 07:30:38 am »
I recommend reading any of Josie Dew's books on her cycling adventures.   She's ridden most places, includia ride across America and will give you a lot of laughs and a lot of useful advice.

Have fun

General Discussion / Re: Folding Bikes
« on: February 26, 2010, 05:48:05 am »
Depends how neat you want it to fold.   Something like the Dahon Cadenza is quite good but doesn't fold too small.

The best is a Brompton.   I've had mine about a year and am always surprised at how versatile it is.   It folds up into quite a small package, it's robust and well made and handles everything including some quite bumpy cycle paths.   It takes about half a mile to get used to the steering which initially feels very twitchy but once you're used to it it's fine.

Being a small wheeler, they accelerate very well and there are plenty of options to choose from.   Evans Cycles stock them and if you're a CTC member you'll get discount.   The only thing I don't like is that tor the front bag, you need a special mount which is supplied separately. 

General Discussion / Re: Fly a bicycle Sweden-US-Sweden
« on: February 21, 2010, 06:18:23 am »
I've looked into the costs of doing something similar.   A fairly substantial bike bag, which offers a good level of protection costs £70 here in the UK.   The extra cost of shipping on British Airways, one way from London to Los Angeles was £32 and the same again from Miami back to London.

You could probably get a local bike shop to box it up for you quite cheaply if you didn't want to use a bike bag.

There's a very good guide on this site on preparing a bike for travel if you choose to do it yourself.

I wouldn't worry too much about parts, most transmission, wheels and running gear is pretty much universal these days.   Perhaps you have hub gears and dynamo?   Again, most parts are fairly readily available and even if the worst comes to the worst, I'm sure you could get anything you need sent overnight from Sweden.

If you are worried about it, there are plenty of very good bikes available quite cheaply which will do a very good job of getting you to Washington.

Have fun


for lots of information.   There are quite a few youth hostels in Germany so worth while joining for cheap friendly accommodation.   Other than that, look for Gastattes (bars) with a "Fremdenzimmer" sign.   The rooms are generally very good and a lot cheaper than hotels.   Plenty of campsites in the more scenic parts.

There's plenty of choice in terms of food, a lot of bars serve food and it's generally very good.   You also get plenty of fast food stands and they're also pretty good.

You'll find lots of information on the normal tourist web sites.   If you're in a town, look for a sign "Verkehrsampt"   It's the tourist office and they will be able to tell you what accommodation is available and book it for you as well.

International / Re: Ride through Germany and Holland
« on: February 07, 2010, 12:00:13 pm »
The ADFC produce an excellent cycling guide to the whole country.   It used to be available free from the Sustrans web site, which is an excellent source of maps and guides.

Yout can also order a copy from their main web site.

If you're planning a cycling trip to Germany, it's well worth having.

Gear Talk / Re: Baggy shorts
« on: February 07, 2010, 11:52:32 am »
I got a very good pair of Dakine 8 Track from Cycle Surgery for £41 recently.   No chamois but a good mesh liner.   Other than that, I have an elderly pair of shorts which I got from Wiggle in a sale.   They've lasted two years of fairly hard use, have a reasonable chamois and are my all round favourites.  I've also got a pair of Enduras with a click fast liner which are very good.

General Discussion / Re: 2010 Tour de France
« on: February 03, 2010, 03:52:06 pm »
I reckon the Tourmalet is going to be absolutely crazy this year.   Two stages!   That's at least 10,000 wildly enthusiastic Basques  ;D

General Discussion / Re: Rashes and detergents
« on: February 03, 2010, 03:46:37 pm »
Can you get Assos cream in the States?   Generally regarded as extremely good in preventing rashes, sores etc.   In addition to application to the skin, it can also be used on the chamois to help in extreme conditions.

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle rental in the UK
« on: January 28, 2010, 11:28:37 am »
Sorry, forgot to mention that a decent Bike Bag from Wiggle will cost you £66 and BA will charge £32 for an extra 23kg of luggage entitlement so you can take them home with you at the end of your holiday for about £100.

Cheap as chips :)

General Discussion / Re: Bicycle rental in the UK
« on: January 28, 2010, 11:26:21 am »
Not sure about any companies renting bikes over here, but you might be surprised at how inexpensive bikes are.   Edinburgh Cycle Co-Op have an own brand tourer complete with rear rack, fenders and quite a reasonable spec for £500.  As the end to end is likely to take about 10 days, that might be a cheaper option.   Spa Cycles will sell you a Dawes Horizon for £550 or a Karakum for the same price.  The latter is more of a trekking style but is an excellent tourer and comes complete with fenders, rear and front racks.

Halfords is a large auto parts chain but have a pretty good bike section where you can buy cheal luggage.

Bring waterproofs :)

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