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Messages - EnduroDoug

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Gear Talk / Re: 700/29er tire & tube availability?
« on: March 29, 2010, 02:05:51 pm »
Thanks velo. I figure if worse came to worse, I could coach a family member via skype on what to buy and where to ship it from the US if I happened to crack a rim.

Gear Talk / 700/29er tire & tube availability?
« on: March 22, 2010, 02:48:06 pm »
Forgive me if this question should be on another forum since it's more about international touring than American touring but I know there's a wealth of experience on this board and well...

I've seen a lot of anecdotal information about how much harder it is to find tires/tubes/rims for the larger diameter wheels in the less developed parts of the world and it's really throwing a wrench in my bike-buying decision. I've been an avid mountain biker for over a decade and switched several years ago to the 29er wheels and have no intention of going back to 26-inch wheels for mountain biking, but my wife and I are also planning a lengthy cycling tour through Morocco and over to Turkey. I'm planning on using fully-rigid mountain bikes (the Novarra Safari most likely) but I'm concerned about the 29er tires that come with the larger sizes. On the one hand, that's what I prefer and I don't mind taking a chance and risking having to have something shipped in while I wait for a repair if the odds are 50/50 of finding a shop with something usable on hand, but are the odds even that high?

For those who have had to deal with repairs in Morocco and/or Turkey (or nearby Greece for that matter), have you ever noticed 29er tires or tubes available?

Most touring bikes seem to come with 700 tires -- are people only using these in first-world countries like USA/Canada and western Europe? Has anyone taken a 700/29er (sometimes called a 28") to the less-developed countries with success?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Routes / Re: Planning my first bike tour
« on: March 22, 2010, 02:04:26 am »
Just as any FYI: the Snoqualmie Pass Tunnel that the Ironhorse Trail goes through on your way from Cle Elum down towards North Bend, WA is currently closed indefinitely due to maintenance concerns. It may be open this summer, but we're not counting on it. You will want to exit the Ironhorse Trail at Hyak (you'll see Lake Keecheelus on your right just before the tunnel) then you can head down the frontage roads past the ski resort (on your left) and cross under I-90 to the north side of the highway and descend the Forest Service road past Franklin Falls and campgrounds. You'll need to take some forest roads down on either side of I-90 to the McClellan Butte trailhead and join back up with the Ironhorse Trail at that point. Check your maps for details.

Routes / Re: Crooked Road route
« on: March 17, 2010, 08:44:00 pm »
Depending on what kind of bike you're riding, might be worth slapping on a little wider tire and connecting this route with the Virginia Creeper Trail. It's just a 35 mile rail-trail, but it goes through some beautiful scenery. I'm sure the local roads do too, but this might get you even closer to nature.

Gear Talk / Re: suspension seat post...
« on: March 17, 2010, 06:44:28 pm »
I'm quite late to this thread, but I've got some experience in long days on the mtn bike. Years ago I had success softening the ride of an old Klein aluminum hardtail with the Cane Creek Thudbuster seatpost. It's a bit heavier than the other options at that time (about 9 years ago) but I found it really made a difference.

Nowadays, for long off-road rides, I absolutely love having a 29er softail. Specifically, the Mooto-X YBB. I think you'll find that just moving to the 29er tires will add some cushion and ease things up, but that 1" of flex afforded by the YBB really helps ward off the back ache. Now, I'm not that old (YET!) but this bike helped keep me feeling pretty loose all the way through a 24-hour solo event mostly on singletrack.

Salsa also makes a 29er softail as well, but I've heard some guys in the 190+ weight range comment that it didn't feel as solid as they would have liked YMMV. Good luck!

Routes / Re: Crooked Road route
« on: March 17, 2010, 06:36:54 pm »
Haven't been on the roads there, but I know the section of the Appalachian Trail that runs through southwest Virginia (specifically the Mt. Rogers National Rec Area) is one of the most scenic along the entire trail. I suspect it's pretty low on cars and high on scenery!

Routes / Re: Moab Utah to Cortez Colorado(Mesa Verde)
« on: March 16, 2010, 03:57:32 am »
You can get a sneak-peek of the scenery and the width of the shoulders with Google Maps. Just grab the little orange-guy icon near the zoom bar and pull it onto the map. All the roads that lights up blue have continuous 360-degree photos. And by the looks of it, every road in that area has been photo-surveyed.

And it looks like the others are right -- boring scenery, but not a bad road for biking.

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