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Messages - Dan

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Gear Talk / Extra parts on the Great Divide
« on: December 18, 2006, 11:20:18 pm »
When I went N to S in 2004 I carried a spare derailer hanger and a cool little tool called a "hyper-cracker" used to remove the cassette in case of a drive side rear wheel spoke breaking.  Dental floss and needle (for sewing almost anything), wire, and duct tape.  I did break 2 spokes but was able to ride with them broken about 15 miles to a bike shop and had them fix it.  And most importantly, know how to use all of your tools and how to change your spokes if need be.  Of the two of us on the trip one tire blew (shredded) but was because it was a crappy tire to begin with. Replace your cables, throw on a new chain, have your wheels professionally trued, put in new tubes and use new tires and your problems will be minimized.  We each had to replace our chain about 1/2 way through the trip...mainly because we rode through so much rain/mud/sand that all that crap was on our chanin and pre-maturaly wore it out.  

Gear Talk / Topeak Modula Bottle Cage XL
« on: October 31, 2006, 11:43:01 pm »
I have used this bottle cage and mounted one of them to either side of my Rock Shox Judy Fork with hose clamps.  I removed the little plastic piece at the top for narrow bottles and used the 1.5 liter Nalgene bottles that are wide at the top.  I then used "Jannd" velcro ankle straps (to keep your pants out of the chain) to hold the top in place.  I tour mostly off road in remote areas so wanted the extra water but didn't want to carry it all on my back.  It worked great, gave some weight up front which helped even out the weight of panniers on the back but there was one problem.  On the first day of a test run on the local trails the welds broke from the bottle cage and the nalgene, still hooked into the cage, went flying off the bike.  The little metal bracked that was hose clamped to the fork was of course still held firmly to the fork. If you will tour offroad I might consider another bottle cage but on pavement touring they shold work fine.  The problem was due to the heavyness of the full 1.5 liter bottle and the upright mounting position and the very rough trails.  I though about finding an aluminum welder to re-weld and add some reinforcements but haven't done that yet.
Good Luck!

Gear Talk / Ortlieb Regular vs. Plus Fabric
« on: October 03, 2006, 02:35:40 am »
I started wtih the back rollers classic and have since gotten the front roller plus.   I like the fabric better on the plus but have pros and cons with both mounting systems.  The water profness is eually good in my opinion and both are easy to fix in case of small holes.  The classics have done the n. tier and the GDMBR while the plus's have just done the GDMBR.  I found on the rough dirt roads the top mounting hooks on the classics were a bit tighter on the old man mountain rack than the top mounting hooks of the plus's were.  The plastic mounting clips on the plus's actually started to eat away at the aluminum on my rack with  constant jarring/vibration so I had to use electrical tape on repeated occasions to help protect the tubing.  With the classics this was not the case.  The lower mounting hook ate away at the rack with both kinds of  panniers but tape at that end worked too.  Has anyone else had this problem on off road trips?  The fabric of the plus did stain when covered in mud for many days but mine are black and I don't mind the mud stains.  The classics fabric is more plastic like and won't stain as easily but weighs a bit more.  If I bought another set of panniers I'd go with Ortliebs sport packer Plus due to the fabric, mounting, weight, and I think it might be easier to open/close than the roll tops.

Gear Talk / frame bag
« on: March 29, 2006, 10:22:24 pm »
I'm looking for a frame bag that fits on the inside of the main triangle of the bike.  I've seen the little triangular shaped  bags that fit under the top tube and seat tube but was looking for something a bit larger that hung under the top tube and went the lenth of it from the seat tube to the head tube.  I've seen a cyclist with this type of bag but have searched the web and found nothing.  Any suggestions?

Gear Talk / Fenders
« on: March 14, 2006, 08:57:44 pm »
In January I purchased Planet Bikes Freddy Fenders Hardcord (full coverage with mudflaps) for my 1993 Trek 930 mt. bike turned commuter bike.  They come in sizes that fit tires up to 2.1 inches.  I think they look cool and they work great too! They should fit your touring bike.  I think the front fender is the most important, especially the part that come around the back of the front tire that catches spray that would hit the feet, bottom bracket, and front chainrings.  I also have the kind of partial fenders you mentioned for my trek 8000 mt bike.  They aren't really worth having in my opinion.  I recently took a saw and cut off about 6-8 inches of the front part of the front fender and bolted it to the rear part of the front fender to extend it lower to the ground to hopefully help stop some spray from hitting the chainrings and feet.  It does work better but not nearly as good as the freddy fenders.  I've used "grunge guards" too but also feel they are completely worthless.  A rear rack with a z-rest sleeping pad in a cover of "Tyvek" on it sticking off the back does a great job keeping the mud off your back.  

Gear Talk / semi slicks on the great divide???
« on: June 16, 2005, 06:56:52 am »
Specialized Crossroads Tires!
The Armadillo versions have tougher sidewalls
The FlatJack version is a bit lighter
Both have the same tread pattern and worked great for the Great Divide last summer

Gear Talk / gear help
« on: May 01, 2005, 06:26:49 pm »
I agree with hallorann about the tires...especially if your riding the great divide.  I used the Specialized Crossroads EX (Armadillo version) and had excellent results.  Zero front flats and 2 rear flats over 3,400 miles of loaded touring on the great divide.  Good traction for the dirt but the smooth center strip made the paved portions smooth, quiet, and fast.  The front tire is still in use on another commuter bike while the rear had a bit more wear and was discarded.

Gear Talk / Nashbar waterproof panniers?
« on: April 19, 2005, 04:51:03 am »
Not Good!  My riding partner for the Great Divide Mt. Bike route this past summer had the front and rear nashbar waterproof bags.  They were constant trouble to us and took away from our riding time. Some of the problems will be detailed below. Attachment system--At least once daily they would become airborne on rough descents...yes, they would pop completely off the bike rack and go flying.  This wasn't good for the outside material of the panniers or the contents inside.  If they wouldn't fly completely off the rack, one of the attaching hooks would come off while the other remained which made for a dangerous situation as one part of the pannier was close to the spokes.  At one point of frustration in NM (very rough roads) we actually got out the roll of duct tape and taped each pannier to the rack.  All of the carrying straps/handles ripped off by the end of the trip.  The rivits holding the top hooks onto the panniers broke off after 2,000 miles but for a few bucks at a hardware store for bolds and nuts they were able to be fixed.  The waterproofness was fine as the material is completely waterproof.  They would slide forward or backward while on the rack.  The main problems are in the attachments system.  I think they would be fine for road touring but not so for off road touring as the metal hooks and bungie cord don't keep them in place.   I used the ortlieb panniers and nothing broke, they didn't slide around, they never came off while riding and nothing ever got wet.  I highly recommend them as they will last many tens of thousands of miles of touring.  In the long run, you will same money and time with the ortliebs.

Gear Talk / Which panniers to buy???
« on: March 11, 2005, 03:41:42 am »
I've only done two self-contained tours: northern tier in 2002 and the great divide from Mexico to Jasper in 2004.  Before the northern tier I bought my first set of panniers, Ortlieb Back Rollers (2441 cu/in).  Then for the great divide bought the Ortlieb Front Rollers (1526 cu/in) to even out the weight on the bike.  With close to 7000 miles (2,500 off road) on the back rollers there has never been any sort of problem with them.  In the 3,200 miles of mostly off road travel with the front rollers there has never been a problem either.  I've seen lots of rain, especially on the great divide and everything stayed completely dry.  More time riding and less time worring about your gear. I was so confident in them that I didn't need to worry at all during heavy rains that the down bag and tent might get wet.  The attachment system is such that they cannot come off while riding even the roughest of roads yet are easy to pop off at camp.  Coming out of two days of rain on the great divide before Steamboat Springs the bikes and panniers were covered in mud.  The first bike shop we saw, Ski Haus, had a hose outside that we used to hose the bikes and bags.  We popped off the panniers and gave a thourough high pressure soak while leaving the contents safely dry inside.  I've also used them at camp to do laundry in.  Throw in the clothes, add soap and water, roll closed and shake vigorously, repeat, add fresh water for the rinse cycle.....clean clothes. I like having one large opening and use smaller nylon bags to organize my stuff.  
Negatives might be the price but with the supurb attachment system, excellent reliability, and complete protection from the elements I feel it's worth it.  
True, I've never used any other brands but how the Ortliebs have performed and lasted I'm sold.

Gear Talk / Tires...
« on: December 10, 2004, 06:49:22 pm »
Specialized makes tires in their Armadillo line that
are very tough, have bead to bead protection, and
are durable.  The tread pattern I've used is the
"Crossroads" (26 X 1.9).  It has a solid center strip
that makes smooth roads nice but has the large
side knobbies for off road.  I used these tires on
the GDMBR last summer (Starting in Antilope
Wells and continued riding to Jasper, Canada) and
had only 2 flats (both rear) over 3,200 pannier
loaded miles.  The flats came from a 1 inch nail
and razor sharp tiny rock around miles 1,200 and
1,250.  The front is still like new  while the rear
should be replaced.  A bit heavier than some tires
but the piece of mind in having a tire holding up is
well worth it.  I'd highly recommend them for any
sort of off road touring.  

Gear Talk / off road tires
« on: February 04, 2004, 06:17:58 pm »
It seems most of the tires mentioned under "tires"
are for road touring.  Can anyone mention any
ideal tires for a great divide tour.  If anyone has
ridden the great divide could you say what tires you
used and how many flats you had.  

Gear Talk / Great Divide Equipment
« on: January 23, 2004, 09:49:43 pm »
I forgot to mention in the first message I weigh
145-150 lbs.  My bike is about 26.5 lbs (w/ slime
tubes) with no accessories on it.  I went ahead and
put an old man mountain rack on the rear (white
rock) and front (sherpa) so I'm forgetting about the
handle bar bag idea.  Plus, that will put some
weight up front and take some pressure off the
rear wheel.  I prefer to travel as light as possible
and feel 20-25 pounds is doable and also realize
that the weight will increase significalnly on those
occasions when I do need to carry more water and
food.  My plan is to carry two Ortlieb Classic
panniers and a trunk rack or a small dry bag with
8-12 lbs strapped to the other rack.  I haven't
decided if the panniers will go on the front or rear
but wherever they go I'll strap some other gear to
the other rack .
Thanks for the input so far.  

Gear Talk / Great Divide Equipment
« on: January 09, 2004, 06:26:08 pm »
I'm planning on riding the great divide route this
summer and would like some feedback regarding
how I haul my supplies.  I plan on carrying
20-25lbs of supplies.  
If I just use a rear rack with panniers do you think
that would be too much weight for the rear wheel
over rough terrain.  Handling?
What about a rear rack/panniers and a handle bar
bag to put  5-8 or so pounds up front.  
A front and rear rack with panniers might be the
best but I don't want to spend the money on a front
rack and panniers and also don't want the extra
Anyone have experience with a rear (or front) wheel
failure while weighted down.  This is what I'm most
concerned with.  I ride a Mt. bike with Bontrager
Satelite wheels.
Thanks for the input!

Gear Talk / tires
« on: February 04, 2004, 06:29:04 pm »
I used a Performance city st (26 X 1.5) on the rear
and a Ritchey Tom Slick (26 X 1.0) on the front
while on a 3600 mile west to east cross country
tour and had 3 flats the whole trip.  Two on the rear
and one in the front.  I also used slime tubes.  If the
slime didn't completely fill in the puncture it let the
air escape much slower so I could ride a mile or
two farther to a preferable/safer place to apply a
patch or install a new tube.  I will add that all 3 of
my flats occured because of that thin piece of steel
wire that come from car tires after they blow out.  

Gear Talk / YAK Plus Trailer vs. IBEX Plus Trailer
« on: January 08, 2004, 06:10:17 pm »
Please send me the photo too.

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