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Messages - DaveB

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I have ridden an number of crushed limestone trails.  It is cheaper than blacktop, but the rolling resistance is higher and I don't know how that affects you ADA requirements.  Runoff does not seem to be an issue.
Not only is the rolling resistance higher, but it can be dusty when dry, which is not friendly to drive trains.  And it is susceptible to washouts - a preventable issue with adequate engineering of ditches and culverts.   On the good side, any of these softer trail materials are more forgiving too tree roots that pass beneath them than asphalt which produces  tell-tale cracks and bumps.
I have ridden both the trails mentioned above and agree that the crushed limestone surface, while "environmentally friendly", does have it's drawbacks.  It's rolling resistance is noticably higher than any blacktop surface, particularly when wet, and it is really dusty in the dry. 

It can be ridden on road tires and I have used a street bike with 700x23 tires but wider Hybrid or semi-slick MTB tires work a lot better. As to wheelchairs, I think it would be very difficult for them and I wouldn't want to have to push one more than a very short distance on such a surface.

General Discussion / Re: Boston to Kansas City on a 30 yo bike
« on: August 08, 2010, 09:16:42 am »
OK, group, what have I forgotten?

Brake and shift cable housings and cables.  Are the cable wires rusted or frayed?  Are the housings dirty or cracked?  If they haven't been replaced in a long time or are in poor shape, replace them all. 

Be sure to use lined housings and pay the slight extra for stainless steel cables for their smoothness and corrosion resistance.

General Discussion / Re: Cutting Weight
« on: August 08, 2010, 09:08:47 am »
Additionally, you've got to a wee bit of math. Your total mass––you, bike, water, food, gear, clothing, tools, spares, everything--must be objectively measured before you begin going ultralight. Say your total moving mass at the moment is 250 pounds. Whittling away a whopping 10 pounds is a mere 4% reduction in your total mass! (240/250=96/100)
Those ten pounds don't gain you anything you can feel in your legs
By your logic then, adding another 20 pounds to the OP's load would also be an "insignificant" difference.

Like staehpj1 my experience doesn't support this at all.  On a recent credit-card trip I carried only 13 additional pounds on the bike including the rack, panniers and my clothing and extras.  The weight difference was VERY noticable and completely changed both the handling of the bike and the effort needed to climb the hills on route.  That 13 pounds only represented 6.5% of the entire system (the bike + me + the load) weight. 

Also, when I took off the loaded panniers (~12 pounds total) at the motel to ride the unloaded bike to dinner, etc. in the evening, the improvement in performance was very obvious.

Gear Talk / Re: Lower gearing: change cassette, chainrings or both?
« on: August 05, 2010, 07:01:54 am »
It great that everything works well for you with the revised gears.  What you have now is pretty much box stock gearing for a mountain bike and it should work very well for loaded touring.   

I expect your next bike will have a 9-speed cassette and shifters (since 8-speed is pretty much obsolete) but you can have exactly the same gear range and just three more usable gears in the middle. 

General Discussion / Re: new 26" wheels for surly LHT
« on: August 05, 2010, 06:51:43 am »
It may seem like a silly question but are your current wheels 26" or 700c? 

If they are 26" , I expect they were poorly tensioned when you got them and a proper retensioning should make them durable and stable as 26" wheels are quite strong if built correctly.  A good LBS with a competent wheel builder should be able to resurect these wheels at low cost just by making the spoke tension right.

If they are 700c, you can't go to 26" since the brakes won't be anywhere near the smaller rims.

General Discussion / Re: B17 makes me numb, why?
« on: August 05, 2010, 06:44:51 am »
also, I hear the avocet h20 air is a great saddle. any feed back on it? more importantly where can you get one?
Returning briefly to your comment in the OP that you have saddle problems only when you ride no-hands for 20 minutes or more.  I find that very strange as I have never seen anyone ride that way for more than a couple of minutes at a time.  So, if that hurts, don't do it seem like an obvious answer.

Now, yes, I have a great deal of experience with the Avocet O2 saddles.  I have both the Ti rail and Cr-Mo railed versions in the "Men's" version.  I've got them on all 5 of my current bikes and have been using them for over 20 years and way over 100,000 miles.  Obviously I like them and they suit me.

They used to be pretty widely distributed and I got my first ones from both mailorder (Nashbar) and my LBS.  Now Avocet seems to have dropped off the retail map entirely and I bought my last couple of saddles directly from Avocet by calling the phone number on their web site (   

Gear Talk / Re: vintage cannondale
« on: August 03, 2010, 12:15:16 pm »
this bike is red, has 26 inch wheels, cantaleever (spelling) brakes,I believe the smaller sprocket is a 22? I hope I gave you the corrrect model number or something close to it. I know its an 86 or 87 year and he did pay $800.00 which was a nice price back then. This bike was tagged as a "mountain bike" I believe although some people called it a hybrid even back then.
If it has 26" wheels it is most likely a real mountain bike from it's day as hybrids have had 700c wheels right from their inception.  I assume your bike has a rigid fork and a hardtail frame but that was what MTB's had in the 80's.

General Discussion / Re: B17 makes me numb, why?
« on: August 03, 2010, 12:08:28 pm »
While in classic riding position, I have no issue,..... but I notice that when I ride no hands for more than 20 minutes I numb out.
Do you mean you ride no-hands for 20 minutes or more all in one stretch?  Excuse the obvious answer but the preventative is simple; don't do that.

Gear Talk / Re: bIKE COMPUTER
« on: July 31, 2010, 08:55:17 am »
+1 for Cat-Eye anything, particularly the wired versions.  I have Mity 3 and Enduro 8 Cat-Eyes (same head but the Enduro has a thicker, stronger wire) on several bikes and a wired Astrale on one bike and all have been flawless.  Battery life is several years and the batteries are the very common and cheap CR2032. Finally, they are a weather-proof as anything ever made. 

Well worth the slight cost difference.  Buy quality, buy once.

Gear Talk / Re: which bike to buy?
« on: July 31, 2010, 08:48:39 am »
I have a  sojourn. I really like it. The handle bars did not fit me so I went to a traditional drop with STI shifters. 
This is usually an expensive upgrade as new STI shifters are expensive as after-market components and used ones (e-bay, etc.) are very much a crap shoot for reliability.  If you want STI shifters, you will do better to buy a bike already equipped with them.

Gear Talk / Re: Lower gearing: change cassette, chainrings or both?
« on: July 31, 2010, 08:25:05 am »
..... but the general word on the street is that Shimano road FDs don't work well with MTB chainrings.
Actually it's not the FD's that don't work well across road/MTB chainrings.  What doesn't work well is an MTB fd with STI road shifters or a road fd with MTB shifters. 

Road and MTB front derailleurs have different cable pull geometry so they pretty much have to be used with their own type of shifter unless you are using friction shifters such as barends or downtube.

Gear Talk / Re: Lower gearing: change cassette, chainrings or both?
« on: July 28, 2010, 09:35:39 am »
No question that the two larger chainrings on a triple should be matched to each other for consistant and good shifting.  My point was that granny rings (and only granny rings) are pretty much generic so any one you find will work as well as any other as long as the bolt circle is correct.

Gear Talk / Re: Lower gearing: change cassette, chainrings or both?
« on: July 27, 2010, 09:49:03 pm »
IOW, if you have 24-XX-52, the "XX" should be at least 39.  It will also be best to keep middle and outer rings that are mated to each other, ramped, and pinned.  (They will be all three if you keep your current crankset and only change the granny ring.  The new granny won't be mated to the middle ring, but that's life.)
All of the advice in this posting is very good but I would add one thing.  All granny rings are dead flat with no pins, ramps or the other shifting enhancements common to the larger two rings.  I have granny rings that came stock on 7,8 and 9-speed Shimano triple cranks and on a 10-speed Campy triple crank and they are all plain, flat chainrings.  Therefore, what ever size and make granny ring you buy will be "mated" to your other chainrings.   

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520
« on: July 26, 2010, 09:28:21 pm »
  I've seen highly touted sports touring bikes with 73 degrees and a 55mm fork that handled like pigs - supposedly for "stable" steering.  For dirt roads an even slacker angle is better. 
You have the rake figure backwards.  A 73° headtube angle with 55 mm of rake would have very little trail and would be very darty and excessively responsive, the exact opposite of stable and slow responding. 

Remember more rake= less trail and trail is the major parameter in determining steering response.

General Discussion / Re: cassette for phil?
« on: July 26, 2010, 09:19:55 pm »
Dave B,

Thanks for the education, will aluminum spider cassettes have any advantage besides weight for touring use? Is it true that they just notch out you freehub?
Whittierider is correct.  The only problem is using steel cogs on an aluminum freehub body if the design isn't up to the load.  Almost all Shimano and SRAM freehub bodies are either steel or Ti and aren't subject to the notching you are concerned about.  Campy does use aluminum freehub bodies but designs their cassettes to be compatible so it isn't a problem with them either.

Shimano did make some recent aluminum freehub bodied hubs (Dura Ace 7800 and a few high-line pre-built wheel sets) but designed them with taller splines to distribute the load better.  Those are known as 10-speed ONLY hubs since Shimano 10-speed cassettes have deeper notches to match while 8 and 9-speed cassettes do not.   These aluminum bodied hubs are no longer being made and all current Shimano hubs now have steel or Ti freehub bodies and work with 8, 9 or 10-speed cassettes. 

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