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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / Re: cold feet! Recommendations?
« on: December 15, 2009, 08:53:29 am »
I have found the neoprene ones to be pretty warm.  The material is like that of a wetsuit. 
Neoprene is indeed the most suitable material for "booties" or socks.  I have both SideTrack neoprene booties and "Supersocks" neoprene socks and together they let me tolerate an hour or so in 20° weather.  There are several similar brands.

For the truly dedicated or those with extremely cold sensitive feet, there are battery heated socks sold to skiers and hunters that will let you tolerate almost anything.  For occasional use, the single use "heat packs" sold in sporting goods stores can be place inside your shoes and will provide several hours of warmth.

Finally, insulated, wind resistant tights go a long way toward keeping your feet warm since keeping your legs warm allows the blood flow to your feet to be warmer.

General Discussion / Re: saddle help!
« on: December 12, 2009, 10:02:25 pm »
I've wouldn't ride on anything but a Terry Gel Men's Touring Liberator saddle. When I'm touring I scarcely think about my butt. Now if I could just fine a way to stop the pain in my feet after 80 miles........
It's the best saddle for you but I expect there are others who find it torture.  Saddles are about the most subjective part of any bike. 

Now, about those feet; what pedals and shoes are you using?

General Discussion / Re: My first x-country!
« on: December 09, 2009, 05:54:14 pm »
  Food? (I was thinking of rice and beans and a camping stove...). 
Do you think both you and your wife could (or want to) survive for four months on rice and beans over a camp stove?  Unless you are both into self-flagellation I'd vary the menu way beyond this and plan restaurant stops at reasonable intervals.

An advantage to bicycle touring/camping is that, unlike backpacking, you don't have to have the entire trip's meals with you from the start.  Every town you ride through is an opportunity to restock for your next meal. 

I would keep both the cooking gear and stove relativly simple as they are both bulky and heavy. 

General Discussion / Re: Rent tour bike in Pennsylvania ?
« on: November 22, 2009, 12:46:26 pm »
There is a bicycle rental place right in downtown Pittsburgh that rents cruisers, hybrids and road bikes.  It's:
Golden Triangle Bicycle Rental
600 1st Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

They are located right on the Eliza Furnace Trail (aka "The Jail Trail" as it goes right by the county prison) and the trail is a good start as it connects to many others.

Gear Talk / Re: The Best Touring Bikes/Frames (and other parts, as well)
« on: November 21, 2009, 09:17:37 am »
Re: Used Bikes.

So far, I have a beat up Gary Fisher, a pristine Bridgestone NB-26, and a decent Specialized HardRock.

I'm trying to find some more used bikes to have in here.  Plus I'll be taking trade-ins.
Have you looked into the liability issue with selling used bikes.  I know a lot of shops that won't deal with used bikes because of that possible problem.

As a touring bike specialty shop, prepare to change the gearing on any line of major brand touring bikes you sell.  Way too many of them come overgeared with things like 11T small cogs and 52 or 53T big chain rings on road cranks. 

I'll second the recommendation to make Co-Motion your specialty/custom touring bike supplier.  They do excellent work and have at least two truly well designed and spec'ed touring bikes.

General Discussion / Re: Money and Banks
« on: November 07, 2009, 10:29:33 pm »
Uh, apparently you didn't notice this thread is 5 years old.  I assume our New Zealand friends managed to solve their money problems by now.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« on: October 25, 2009, 09:05:20 pm »
I strongly prefer blow-up pads to self-inflating ones. You can get more than double the thickness (which is infinitely more comfortable for old bones) for less cost and no more weight.
The advantage to self-inflating pads isn't just ease of use but insulation.  The foam inside is a very effective insulator and, if you camp in cold weather, this is a big plus.  Plain, unfilled air matresses are very poor insulators.

Gear Talk / Re: Sleeping Pad Issue
« on: October 23, 2009, 09:34:12 am »
Unless this thing is very different from all of the other Therm-A-Rest pads,  it is self inflating.  You just open the valve and let is sit for a few minutes so the interior foam can expand and "suck in" enough air to get the pad pretty much up to full size.  All you have to do by mouth is add the last few breaths to get the firmness you want.

Gear Talk / Re: Cycling Sandals
« on: October 20, 2009, 09:57:05 am »
Anyone know if you can use the Keens with egg-beater pedals?
Any shoe or sandal that will accept Shimano's SPD cleats will also accept Egg Beater cleats or any other cleat that fits SPD-compatible soles. That includes almost any brand MTB-type pedal cleats.

General Discussion / Re: Potential Resale Value
« on: October 20, 2009, 09:47:50 am »
To return the bike claiming dissatisfaction when no such dissatisfaction exists would be fraudulent.  Moreover, it could lead to R.E.I. putting limits on its generous policy.  And doing something like that would, IMO, be incredibly selfish.
It amazing how often a "good idea" is ruined by the few percent that abuse it.   

One option that wasn't mentioned.  UPS or Fed EX the bulky items such as the tent, sleeping bag, ground pad, cooking gear, extra clothing and even the paniers themselves.  Ship them a few days in advance to your destination if you have a friend, family member, bike shop, etc you can use as a delivery point.

General Discussion / Re: Potential Resale Value
« on: October 17, 2009, 11:52:32 am »
While morally not acceptable, it's not fraud, as REI does offer an unconditional money-back guarantee, which would presumably cover "changing your mind."
The reason I consider it fraud is that the original purchaser set out expressly to buy, use and then return the item.  He/she didn't "change their mind", they used the return policy as a specific tool to get value from someone else's property with no intent to pay for it.   

General Discussion / Re: Motel/hotel discount
« on: October 16, 2009, 05:39:07 pm »
If you are still employed, many companies have a corporate rate with many hotel/motel chains and car rental companies.  Mentioning your employer will often get a much better rate. 

General Discussion / Re: Transporting a bike: box or bag?
« on: October 07, 2009, 10:15:01 pm »
Rear stays aren't very strong when they don't have a wheel between them. I would want to stick an old hub or some kind of block in there is shipping a frame stripped down. When its buried in a duffel bag, no one knows that its a bike frame.
Forks aren't either so it's best to place a spacer in both the fork and rear dropouts no matter how you pack the bike for shipment.  Bikes shipped to bike shops have plastic fork spacers installed for shipment and you can get them free from any bike shop.

For routine shipping use, I've made reusable spacers from defunct hubs. Your bike shop shop should be able to provide these at no or minimal cost.  Mine were free for the asking.   

I removed the axles, cones and locknuts from the hub shell, threaded the cones back on and then add the locknuts to the bare axle.  Adjust the width between the locknuts to be a snug fit in the dropouts and tighten the cones against them to keep them in place.  Install these in the dropouts and use your qr skewers or, if you used threaded hubs, use the axle nuts to keep them secure.   

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