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Messages - Old Guy New Hobby

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Going back to the original question - I just found It uses Google maps to create a route, which you can save as a GPX and then send to your Garmin from your PC, or send directly to the Garmin with Garmin Communicator.

Gear Talk / Re: Cross-USA touring bike choices
« on: April 29, 2010, 09:40:26 pm »
Will the 520 cassette get me through the mountains or should I assume I need to replace it?

I have the Trek. Only 500 miles so far, but it feels solid. Instead of changing the cassette, I'm thinking of changing the small chain ring from 26T to 22T.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 chainring
« on: April 25, 2010, 09:14:53 pm »
I get it. Thanks again.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 chainring
« on: April 25, 2010, 05:05:28 pm »
Thanks Wittierrider. Sounds like the 22 will be fine.

Just to clarify: the 26 chain ring works with the 4 largest cassettes now (that's not cross-chaining). Moving from a 26 to a 22 would move the gears down by two cogs compared to what I have now. The overlap between the 26 and the 36 is 2 - 3 cogs. With a 22, the overlap would be 4 - 5 cogs. That's why I need at least half the cassette with the 22 T. (At least, that's what I'm thinking). The chain isn't rubbing against the side of the front derailleur. It's  rubbing against the bottom of the part that guides the chain back and forth. The problem is right now is small chainring - middle cog lowers the chain until it's riding the derailleur, if that makes sense. I looked, and the front derailleur can be lowered. I'm just not sure how much.

Gear Talk / Trek 520 chainring
« on: April 25, 2010, 03:02:22 pm »
I'm just starting out. I rode 2K miles last year on a hybrid and decided I am interested in touring. I bought a new Trek 520 this year and have about 500 miles on it. I'm still working up to my first tour, but I have noticed the gearing is too hard for some of the hills. (At least for me.) The new Treks come with a 11/32 9-speed cassette which I like a lot, and 26/36/48 chain ring. That gets me down to about 22 gear inches. I would like to swap the 26 T for a 22 T, which would get me down to 18 gear inches. But even with the 26 T, the chain starts dragging on the front derailleur 4 gears up from the bottom on the cassette. 

Can the front derailleur be adjusted to work with a 22 T chain ring and give me at least 5 gears on the cassette? Will it work dependably? Or should I settle on a 24 T, which at least gets me to 20 gear inches? Does anybody have experience with this?

I plan to take advice offered in several other posts and include a chain stop to prevent the chain from rolling off the inside of the cassette.

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 21, 2010, 07:42:38 pm »
'Kind of obvious to me from reading this, but nobody else has said it yet ... starting a major tour with a brand new bike is not the best idea.

Gear Talk / Re: New 520 - setup questions
« on: January 27, 2010, 08:51:11 pm »
Thanks for the advice, guys. I pulled the trigger. I decided not to wait for the original tires to wear out -- I'm swapping them right away. This is my first decent-quality bike. I've had several times where my cheap bike took me out but didn't bring me back. Now that the last college tuition check is paid,  I can afford something better. It's going to be a great year.

Gear Talk / New 520 - setup questions
« on: January 24, 2010, 10:53:52 pm »
I feel like I graduated from being a Nube at bicycling only to find myself a Nube at touring.

Last year was great - I rode 2000 miles on a Schwinn hybrid. I am doing all road riding, but some roads are hardpack + a little gravel. I ride most days. When the weather is bad I ride rollers about half an hour. When the weather is OK or good, I ride about an hour on work days, plus a longer trip on the weekend -- 30 to 50 miles, depending on how much time I have.

I decided I am interested in touring. I will start riding longer as the weather improves and maybe look for a 2-day or 3-day "credit card" trip this summer. After quite a bit of research and reading (including these forums), I decided I will buy a Trek 520. I like the component set, I love the bar-end shifters, and the bike rides well for me.

I have a dealer who will help me with my bike, but like many dealers he's more into road and mountain bikes than touring. I don't need to set up my bike perfectly right now, but there are a couple of things I want to get right from the first. It's OK to spend a little money, so long as I won't have to spend it again later for making a lame-brain decision.

Fenders: I want full fenders that will leave plenty of room for wide tires. Do you-all have a recommendation?

Tires: I currently have 26 x 1.5 inch wide tires with a road tread, and I like them a lot. Plus the Trek feels a little harsh, which I attribute to it's relatively narrow tires. I want puncture resistant tires, but nothing extreme. It looks to me like I should be able to fit 38s on the 520 with fenders. Is this reasonable, or am I looking for trouble every time something brushes up against the fenders? Many folks say good things about Continental Ultra Gatorskin, but they don't come very wide. What would be a good tire?

Lights: I don't ride at night, but I won't ride without flashers front and rear. It's easy to install an inexpensive flasher on the Trek's rear rack, but I can't imagine what a good front light setup might be, considering I may well want to put a front bag on the handlebars later on. I also like to keep the handlebars as clean and clutter-free as possible. I started to look at a couple of sites, but the options seem pretty overwhelming at the moment. Can somebody point me in a good direction?

Saddle: Normally I wouldn't worry about this right away, except that I rode the Trek and found the saddle to be pretty bad. The B17 seems to be the hands-down choice. I was thinking of the Champion Flyer, which I believe is a B17 on a single rail with a spring. Did I get that right? What are the advantages / disadvantages of the B17 -vs- the Champion?

I believe everything else can wait until I get more experience. Thanks in advance for any advice you care to give.

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