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Messages - DaveB

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Gear Talk / Re: Bike Choice for Bike Tour in Tibet
« on: August 24, 2017, 08:06:48 am »
I'm not sure there is a $500 mountain bike I would trust on a trip like that.  You are likely to spend more time fixing than riding. $500 is about what you should be spending on the wheel set, not the whole bike. I would recommend something like the Surly Troll with 1.75 or 2.0 marathon mondials. You didn't say if you were supported or un-supported. If you are supported you can get away with a more normal mountain bike that may be available at a reasonable price on the used market. Definitely check out adventure cycling.
+1  A $500 mountain bike is going to have a lot of compromises to meet it's price point and you really don't want to be dealing with low line components and wheels in the middle-of-nowhere.  A simple but higher line MTB or "fat tire" bike would be more suitable.  A full suspension bike would be more comfortable but the complexity may cause more problems then it's worth.  A "hard tail" frame is both simpler and lighter and a rigid fork may also be worth the added simplicity.  The Surly Troll is a good example of a simple but suitable better quality bike.

BTW, Mountain bikes come with three different wheel sizes these days: 26" (ISO 559"), 27.5/650B (ISO 584) and 29" (ISO 622, same as 700c road rims).  World wide 26" wheels and tires are much more commonly available and 29" can use a 700c tire.  27.5 is much more uncommon.  A 26" wheel is probably your best choice for where you are going to be.

What's this trip going to cost?  Don't compromise it by taking cheap equipment.

Gear Talk / Re: front gears
« on: August 08, 2017, 10:34:00 am »
1X gearing seems popular with MTB riders since it eliminates the sometimes problematic front derailleur and the wide gaps in gearing aren't that much of an issue off-road.   For road riding the situation is quite different.  Front shifting isn't that difficult or tricky under road conditions, even with a triple, and close gearing is far more appreciated. 

My road bike (not touring) gearing is a 50/39/26 triple crank and a 12x27 10-speed cassette.  My high gear is 112 gear-inches and my low gear is 26 gear-inches which is more than adequate for most road riding and my cassette is a "straight block" from 12T to 17T with small steps below that. 

Gear Talk / Re: Bike fitting is recommended or not?
« on: August 03, 2017, 08:45:58 pm »
Also keep in mind that you shouldn't mix steel with aluminum if you can help it... One will give up electrons to the other (I don't recall which direction it goes). The end result is that one will weld to the other in the short term, and in the long-term one will actually weaken the other. In construction they make special coated steel nails to use. I had forgotten about this issue of mixing aluminum with steel, but was reminded when I took the bolts off to rearrange the rack for the hitch, and had to break the slight beginnings of a weld to get the bolts off.
Ever hear of anti-seize or just plain grease?  Either will prevent the conditions you are describing? 

Also, even unprotected that aluminum corrosion will not happen very fast unless the bike is wet a great deal of the time.  When you hear of badly stuck seat posts or stems they have usually been neglected for years.

Gear Talk / Re: Racks with child trailer question
« on: August 01, 2017, 10:27:44 am »
Weight is weight and redistributing it from the trailer to the bike won't make climbing any easier.

If you've already been to SF as a tourist and have seen the city, then keep going and avoid the high cost of staying there.  If you decide to stay in the city, look around the Union Square area.  It's  conveniently located and the hotels are "reasonably priced", at least by SF standards, and there are a lot of plain but good restaurants.

Gear Talk / Re: Need help with European bike
« on: July 15, 2017, 07:12:52 pm »
Given the shipping costs both ways for your own bikes and the fact you need to have a bike shop assembled the bikes at the European destination and perhaps packed by them for return to the US, that $1000 rental cost is starting to sound reasonable. 

Gear Talk / Re: Rigidity of S&S Couplers?
« on: July 12, 2017, 08:28:00 am »
The couplers are stiffer and more rigid than the tube they are installed in.  The do not reduce the frame's stiffness or stability at all.  Their only downside is cost and a slight weight penalty.

Gear Talk / Re: Best Brake pads
« on: July 11, 2017, 08:38:43 am »
My impression of the Koolstop salmon was that they worked well even in the wet, but they had enough negatives that I avoid them now.  The negatives based on my observations when I was using them:
  • They tend to squeal more easily so toe in and general setup is fussier
  • They tend to be a little grabby
  • They seemed to wear out rims faster
Adding to my first posting, I've never experienced any of these negatives with Kool Stop Salmons.  My experience is:

1. Installed on good quality caliper brakes (i.e. stiff arms and good pivots) they are completely silent even if installed with no toe-in.  The only noisy brakes I've had were a set of Shimano cantilevers and a set of Avid SD-7 V-brakes that squealed no matter what pads (Shimano, Avid or Kool Stop) or toe-in I used. 

2. Their action is predictable and not at all uneven or "grabby".

3. My rims last extremely well using them.  One bike has over 40,000 miles and the other over 25,000 miles on the same rims which are still in excellent condition. Obviously, these aren't routinely ridden in the rain, which will wear out any rim more quickly no matter what pads are used. 


Gear Talk / Re: Best Brake pads
« on: July 10, 2017, 07:48:25 am »
Coming from google and need help to identify the best brake pads. I have short listed 3 brands and those are SwissStop, koolstop Shimano. I read few other article and those answer confusing like this thread. Which brake pad should buy? I know, people choice will be different. But, want it creates more confusion. Thus, I want to ask what should consider before buying a brake pad. I mean how to measure the quality of a brake pad?
You will notice that the majority of the recommendations are for Kool-Stop.  They are very effective, widely available and reasonably priced.  I've used them for years with complete satisfaction.

Swiss Stop are good pads but hard to find and very expensive.  Shimano pads are generally considered not as good.

BTW, Kool Stop Black pads are harder and more durable but not as effective in wet conditions.  Kool Stop Salmon pads are softer and work better in the wet but, even being softer, their durability is very good so they last a long time in typical use.  Kool Stop does offer pads that are half Black and half Salmon and are a compromise.   Any Kool Stop pad is a good choice.

Gear Talk / Re: Tent ground cloth?
« on: July 09, 2017, 08:59:59 am »
Remember to cut it just smaller than the floor, so it doesn't catch rain.
Yes, a good point.

Related question: Is using a ground cloth better than just relying on a heavy waterproof floor?  That seems to work fine for me.
Most tents don't have very heavy duty floors so the extra protection from abrasion is worthwhile. 

Gear Talk / Re: Tent ground cloth?
« on: July 08, 2017, 05:45:10 pm »
I've used heavy (6 mil) polyethylene sheet but Tyvek should work fine.  Why are you concerned about it's "long term" durability? It's cheap and easily replaced.

Gear Talk / Re: Endurance bike advice
« on: July 04, 2017, 09:04:48 am »
A triple crank road bike would be ideal but, as Russ noted, they are quite rare today.  Shimano's current triple road cranks have a 92 mm BCD for the granny so you can't go below 30T.  So, a useful triple crank would have to come from Shimano's MTB or Trekking lines or another brand like Suguino's various triple road cranks.

The best Hollowtech II road triple Shimano offered was the 105 FC-5703 that had a 74 mm BCD granny but these are no longer in production so you have to find one NOS or used.   I have them on two bikes now geared 50/39/26 paired with a 12x27 10-speed cassette and they would be ideal for your needs.

A favorite saying of mine is: "Climate is what you expect.  Weather is what you get."  A general longterm forecast is nearly useless.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 for off-road
« on: June 07, 2017, 09:48:02 pm »
I haven't ridden (or owned) a 520 but on the Rail-Trails around me, which are mostly crushed limestone, even 700cx23 tires on a road bike work OK and my Surly Pacer with 700cx28 tires is very suitable for them.  I'm not sure what the largest tire the current 520 will take but anything 25 mm or wider should work well on that type of trail.

General Discussion / Re: Canada+USA: Biggest accepted bill?
« on: May 29, 2017, 05:55:14 pm »
A credit card is more secure and accepted nearly anywhere for any amount.
Many small town general stores frown on plastic especially for small purchases, so carrying some cash is essential IMO.  I tend to carry a limited amount of cash at any given time, sometimes it might get down to as little as $50 and I typically never carry more than a couple hundred.  I typically have it mostly in tens and twentys.
I wasn't recommending carrying no cash at all.  You are right some smaller stores don't like credit cards and some places aren't even equipped to handle them so some cash is essential.  However, the OP was apparently proposing to carry a huge bundle of cash and that's not a good idea or necessary.

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