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Messages - DaveB

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General Discussion / Re: Misting phenom
« on: March 09, 2009, 07:36:58 pm »
The cold and very hig humidity that accompanies the storm may be causing condensation on the inner wall of the tent from your breath or just from the humidity in the air.  When the rain drops hit the cloth, they force the water already on the inside to pop off and it appears the rain went completely through the fabric. 

General Discussion / Re: transam 2010
« on: March 09, 2009, 07:31:00 pm »
That's nice.

Gear Talk / Re: Bike Question - Specialized Roubiax
« on: March 08, 2009, 11:53:28 am »
I replaced both front and rear tires at a cost of about $400.
I assume you replaced both wheels for that $400, not just the tires.

General Discussion / Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« on: March 08, 2009, 10:39:50 am »
Interesting that Bicycle routes can't exceed 200km on that site but auto routes can be thousands of miles.  What is up with that?
I don't know why the limitation.  Maybe the Europeans (The site is by Michelin, a French company) never go more than 200km at one time  on a bike. 

Anyway, you could put together any length route by piecing together from one endpoint to another within the 200km range. 

General Discussion / Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« on: March 06, 2009, 09:09:04 am »
Along with the Advbenture Cycling maps there is a mapping web site that allows you to specify a "bicycling" option so their suggested route avoids prohibited Interstates, etc.

Gear Talk / Re: Should I get a new bike?
« on: March 02, 2009, 04:13:53 pm »
I recommend either using your MTB in it's current format but adding smooth or nonagressive-tread tires and calling it good or getting a real touring bike. 

Obviously, if you use your current bike, be sure the bearings are lubed and adjusted properly, the cables are good, the chain and cassette are in good condition and the brake pads are sound, which is what you would have to do with any bike. 

It is possible to convert an MTB into a road/touring bike but, unless you can do all the work your self (or have a friend who will do it at no charge), and have access to a large stock of parts, the cost will be more than the cost of buying a good used touring bike.

I've done this conversion but I had all of the needed change parts already on hand from upgrades of other bikes and I did all of the work myself.  It would have been prohibitively expensive any other way.   

Gear Talk / Re: Should I get a new bike?
« on: February 28, 2009, 10:47:28 pm »
If the rust isn't too widespread or deep, there is no reason you bike shouldn't last for decades more. 

That said, an MTB isn't the best choice for touring but, if you like it and realize its limitations, go for it.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 28, 2009, 11:23:27 am »
I would be willing to pay a bit extra, and do with some negligible decrease in pedaling efficiency if it meant far fewer or no more broken spokes on the freewheel side. I am going to have to tie in to those web sites and do more reading on the subject, which I definitely will do.
Do you have a problem with broken spokes or are just concerned about the possibility?  Decades ago, in the days of plated or galvanized steel spokes, broken spokes were fairly common.  Now with stainless steel spokes and a proper wheel build, broken spokes are very rare, even with 32 spoke wheels and fairly heavy riders. 

The broke spokes I've ever encounter were on the rear wheel of an '85 Bridgestone 400.  The wheels were 36H, 27" Arya rims with 14 ga straight cadmium plated spokes laced 4X.  I.e. in concept, a very rugged build.  They began to break on the drive side at about 8500 miles.  Now, the factory tension may have been inadequate too which can be a major contributor. 

Since then I've had wheels with DT or Wheelsmith 14 ga., 14/15/14 db or 14/17/14 db stainless steel spokes, all 32H, laced 3x in 27", 700c and 26" and NEVER broken a spoke on any of them in over 120,000 miles of riding.  Several of these wheels had 30,000 miles on them when they were replaced due to rim cracking at the brake track or the rim getting too thin from brake wear to trust. My riding includes some pretty rough roads too so these wheels were never babied.

The point of this is to ask if you are over reacting to the possibility of broken spokes or really have a problem with them.  Properly built and tensioned wheels with modern spokes should be very durable and reliable.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:49:08 pm »
There is much conventional "wisdom" and old wives' tales about the inefficiency of internal hub gears.  The best science on the subject (the Kyle/Berto tests) actually found that the efficiency of derailleur and hub gears overlap in the same range (84~98%).
The range of 84% to 98% is huge.  It is not a trivial difference.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:46:24 pm »
.  One novelty someone is selling is a geared hub with an enclosed shaft drive so there's no chain at all.  It would have an advantage if you ride in rain all the time, but the shaft with its bevel gears at each end wastes more than the chain too; so altogether you lose close to 10% of your power. 
Dynamic Bicycles ( makes shaft drive bikes with 7 and 8-speed internally geared hubs.  I got the chance to ride one a few months ago and the feeling of "drag" compared to a derailleur bike was very obvious.  For low maintenance these are unequaled but the efficiency loss is dramatic.

Gear Talk / Re: I need advice on a bike (and yes I am a newbie)
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:39:13 pm »
I would advise against looking for your bike in any department store like Target, Wal Mart, or K Mart. While they have bikes with the same features as good touring bikes, they are less efficient machines.
I would phrase this a lot more strongly.  DO NOT, under any circumstances even consider buying ANY bike from K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.  They are a lot worse than just "less efficient". 

I've tried to adjust several of these things for friends who didn't know any better and found them so substandard they never worked properly. 

Go to a reputable bike shop or a place like REI, where they sell good bikes, can recommend a model that is suitable for your intended use and will fit it to you properly.   

General Discussion / Re: Weather Resources
« on: February 27, 2009, 08:30:32 pm »
A friend of mine is fond of saying; "Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get".  You can make the odds in your favor a bit by assuming the Northern Tier will be cold in the fall, winter and spring and the Southern Tier will be hot in the summer. (no surprises there huh?).  So, make your northern crossing from June to August and the Southern crossing from December through March. 

That said, it can be COLD in the winter in the South.  I have family in central Florida and it has been in the 20's several times this year.   Also, I was on a week long bike trip in Ohio in late June a few years ago and the overnight temperatures fell into the mid-30's twice in that week. 

Upshot, be prepared with adequate cold weather clothing no matter where you are or when. 

General Discussion / Re: I will need help planning my route
« on: February 22, 2009, 05:59:46 pm »
There is a maping web site ViaMichelin that provided routing directions and offers a "bicycle" option to avoid Interstate and similar roads that restrict bicycles.  Here is the URL:

However, most Days Inns, Marriotts, etc are either in larger towns and cities or are located right along Interstate highway exits so you may have a problem finding suitable roads that allow easy access to them. 

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: February 21, 2009, 10:39:46 am »
I was drinking two to three gallons of liquids each day, maybe more, one summer while cycling the S-tier in the eastern regions, and hilly Texas farm roads. I must have lost quite a lot of calcium. I am not sure of any significant loss of bone density. I take supplements. The thing about calcium pills, they say, is that calcium from such sources may not be all that absorbable, ..........I definitely carry supplements with me on bicycling tours. My system may absorb only a percentage of the calcium in the tablet, but some is better than nothing at all.
What greatly improves Calcium absorbtion from any source is Vitamin D and many, if not most of us, are deficient in it.   We work indoors most of the time, and when we are outside we cover ourselves completely in high-SPF sunscreen. So, even being in sunlight doesn't develop the Vitamine D we need.   A 2000 IU Vitamin D supliment taken daily is good insurance and really cheap if you buy house-brand or generics.

General Discussion / Re: Osteoporosis and long distance cyclists
« on: February 20, 2009, 07:50:15 pm »
Cycling doesn't "cause" osteoporosis, it just doesn't do a lot to fight it.  Bone density is maintained or improved by weight bearing activities such as running, walking, etc.   Since cycling doesn't cause weight bearing impacts on the bones, it's not much help as a preventative or to improve the condition. 

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