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Messages - DaveB

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General Discussion / safe place to ship bike to in Oregon?
« on: April 12, 2005, 10:44:51 pm »
The airlines now have a 50 pound weight limit for any single piece of luggage on domestic flights but allow two checked bags per person.   Be sure your packed BOB doesn't go over the limit or plan on taking it as two separate items.  Obviously, airlines will take heavier items but the overweight charges are steep.  

General Discussion / anyone carry'n heat?
« on: June 12, 2005, 04:15:51 pm »
 But now that party is dead, and you fled the scene.

Only if you are truly a d*mn fool.  

General Discussion / anyone carry'n heat?
« on: April 16, 2005, 05:20:39 am »
We could all carry guns, and then worry about getting shot by other cyclists.

This is truly one of the most flawed arguments in existence.  In states where concealed carry permits are readily available, the violent crime rate is significantly lower than where firearm carry is severely restricted.  All those claims of a "wild west" mentality have always proven false.

General Discussion / anyone carry'n heat?
« on: March 31, 2005, 12:44:02 am »
There's a reason that photo-recon aircraft are unarmed...

Yes there is but it's not to "avoid trouble".  They are in trouble the instant they cross into hostile territory.  Ask Gary Powers.  

They are unarmed because: 1) they are faster and fly higher without the weight of armament and 2)the photo equipment takes up a lot of space and uses the room armament would require.

General Discussion / Touring in Ireland
« on: April 01, 2005, 01:16:21 pm »
There is a touring company in Ireland named the "Iron Donkey" that runs both supported and self-guided tours in Ireland and England. They sound like what you are looking for. Their web site is:

General Discussion / Continental Breakfast
« on: March 12, 2005, 07:03:11 pm »
Not to sound too moralistic but most places it's considered theft and, if the hotel wanted to make an example of you, they could prosecute.  Want a police record over an English Muffin?  If nothing else it would certainly delay your trip.  

Tom and Huck didn't have to worry about the same things we do. They didn't keep computer records back then.  

General Discussion / Continental Breakfast
« on: March 08, 2005, 05:32:24 pm »
I'm not certain what you are asking.  Do you mean to go into a motel where you are not staying and sample the continental breakfast intended for the paying guests?

If so, the answer is no.

General Discussion / Camping or Cheap Moteling?
« on: March 20, 2005, 02:07:34 pm »
This is strictly a personal choice but I prefer motels and restaurants to camping. I do enjoy backpacking so I'm not against camping for it's own sake but the amount of "stuff" you need to carry on your bike if you camp and cook takes the joy out of  riding for me.  

I can still enjoy my bike if I'm carrying only 15 to 20 pounds in small panniers on a rear rack but carrying 35 to 40 pounds with two sets of panniers on front and rear racks turns my responsive bike into a sluggish pack mule.  Everyone has their priority and mine is to enjoy the riding.

From a strictly economic standpoint, campground fees have increased and motels are so competitive (and usually have a complimentary breakfast) that the cost difference isn't that great.

General Discussion / touring wheelset
« on: February 15, 2005, 11:28:15 pm »
Russell has it exactly right.  Boutique, low spoke count wheels with non-standard hub bearings are the last thing you want for reliable touring service and for repair-anywhere capability.  

If the Fuji you are getting is a real touring model, I expect the factory supplied wheels will be completely satisfactory.  You might ask a good wheel builder to check them over for uniform and adequate tension but then plan on having them for a long time. The rims will probably wear out from brake pad abrasion before you break a spoke.

Years ago broken spokes used to be a real problem but are much less common now.  DT and Wheelsmith stainless steel spokes are very long lived if built up properly.  I have in excess of 28,000 miles on a set of wheels with Wheelsmith XL14 spokes (14/17/14 gauge so they are real light weights) with NO broken spokes and no need for truing.      

General Discussion / G'day from a complete tour NOOB
« on: February 15, 2005, 11:39:31 pm »
I suspect there are hills bigger than I had in Iowa on the northern route.

I'm sure this is going to sound condescending even though I don't want it to but if you had problems with the hills in Iowa, I seriously recommend you avoid West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, etc. not to even mention the mountain West.    

And yes, I've ridden RAGBRAI too and seen the biggest hills Iowa has to offer.  It isn't flat by any means but the hills are pretty modest by most other standards.    

General Discussion / I'm thinking of starting a bike club at my school
« on: April 09, 2005, 11:14:33 pm »
I'm rather disappointed in my responses. Nothing seems to be for teenagers.

If you expect someone to send you a "Build A Bike Club Kit", you are going to be even more disappointed.  There is no such thing.

My first question is: are any other students interested in this bike club or are you alone?  If you have no others, preferably several others, your idea is probably doomed. Clubs typically start when groups of people with the same interest get together.

The LAB can help a small group grow and get organized but it can't force folks to be members.

General Discussion / New here and seeking advice
« on: January 01, 2005, 10:31:07 pm »
Glad to help.

I think you read the salesman right.  He wanted to move the expensive bike, irrespective of what you really need.  Talk to someone else or to a different shop.  "You get what you pay for" is valid only if it meets your requirements.

As to specific models, I've got the '05 Trek and Specialized catalogs in front of me and the following models look like they would be suitable and meet your price point:

Trek sports-tourers:  Models 1500 and 1200.  The 1500 has  better components but the Al frames are identical.  Both come with triple cranks.  BTW, Trek has a lifetime warranty on their frames for the original purchaser.

Trek's pure tourer is the 520.  It has an excellent reputation as a fully-loaded tourer but is a bit too single-purpose for what you describe as your intended use.

Specialized sports-tourers: Allez Sport. Allez and Roubaix  These  have similar Al frame but the Sport and Roubaix have better components.

I'm not familiar with the details of Cannondale's line but they have competitive models in the same cost and component range.



General Discussion / New here and seeking advice
« on: January 01, 2005, 03:54:11 pm »
Hi and Happy New Year!

Apparently you didn't tell the salesman your bike budget, intended use and level of experience since he pretty much started you near the top of the line.   Carbon fiber framed Treks are good bikes but serious overkill for someone just starting out and looking for their first good bike.

For supported touring (i.e. no luggage on the bike) a sports-tourer is the best choice for utility and lightness and be sure it has low enough gears for the terrain you will be riding.  I believe a triple crank should be strongly considered for your level of fitness and the riding area you will be in.

A pure racing bike will work but is really the tool of the very accomplished and strong rider, not someone just starting out.

Go back to the bike shop(s) and look at some of the Aluminum framed Trek, Cannondale, Specialize, Fuji, etc.  They will be in your price range and be available with suitable gearing and good quality components.  A budget of $1000-$1500 should get you a really good and suitable ride.  

Also, be SURE you get the proper size and use a shop that's willing to take the time to adjust and/or change the stem, seat position, etc. to fit you properly.        

General Discussion / Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??
« on: March 03, 2005, 06:32:44 pm »
Hub drag, no matter which make, is a very minimal part of the overall drag on any bike.  If you want to reduce drag to a minimum, remove the big lump on the top of the bike, i.e. you! :) Agonizing over hub drag is a waste of time and money.

Chris King, Phil Wood and similar boutique hubs are beautifully made but offer no advantage over Shimano or Campy's top line hubs except a super premium price.  In fact, Shimano's hubs (and Campy, but they don't offer any off-road hubs)can be serviced anywhere by any bike shop.  That's not true of the various boutique hubs that require special bearings and tools.

Also, Chris King hubs are NOISY since they ratchet loudly while freewheeling.  Not a big deal but it can be annoying.

General Discussion / folding bikes
« on: November 28, 2004, 08:52:55 pm »
....for occasional air travel, a non-folding frame with couplers can certainly make for a smaller package....

BTW, my son-in-law has a Bike Friday and I have the S&S equipped Co-Motion I mentioned above so I'm familiar with both types.  

Actually, Bike Fridays fit into a somewhat smaller package when folded than a normal size S&S coupled frame so compactness while traveling isn't the benefit of the couplers.  The assembly/ disassembly time is about equal, with perhaps a slight benefit to the Bike Friday so, again, the coupler equipped bike doesn't have an advantage.  Both types take a fair bit of time and it's not something you want to do every day in either case. I don't think an S&S bike is limited to occasional travel any more than a Bike Friday would be.

Your are correct that 20"/406 wheels, tires and tubes are common but not in good quality versions.  Every Bike shop, K-Mart and Wal-Mart sells 20" tires but  almost all are intended for children's bikes.  Want to tour on these?  Good 406 tires are available but certainly not common (small wheel recumbent riders have the same supply problem).

The other 20" size used by Bike Friday, the ERTTO size 451, is much less common and a special order item everywhere I know of.  

Yes, the BF drivetrain parts are standard (except for the odd size chainrings needed to compensate for the small wheels).  However, the stems and seatposts are anything but standard.

Finally Bike Fridays have handling characteristics that are somewhat different from a 700C wheeled bike.  They are quicker and a bit "darty".  Nothing you can't get used to but it takes some adjustment.  

I wasn't so much recommending against a BF as pointing out there is a viable alternative with its own benefits.  


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