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Messages - driftlessregion

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Gear Talk / Spare parts for BOB
« on: May 10, 2008, 12:23:03 am »
Ditto the cotter pins. It seems hard to imagine but the rubber tie does get caught on things in the campground and before you know it the pin is gone. You can make them yourself out of a spoke.

Gear Talk / msr whisperlite or simmerlite stove
« on: May 10, 2008, 12:19:31 am »
The simmerlite is great but don't buy it if you want a quiet stove, because it is very noisy.

Gear Talk / Sore butts
« on: April 13, 2008, 07:09:09 pm »
Get thee to the pro shop in your town and pay whatever they charge for a bike fit. All physical issues, saddle sores, knees, hands etc can only be fixed after the fit is correct. I'll spare you the gory details of my own woes but the cure was simple: a good fit. Don't accept some kid in a shop who guesses what would be good for you. Find the folks who know physiology and cycling. They don't need the fancy machines, though they might work fine too. You want someone who listens to you describe your problem and the style of riding you do. Andy Pruitt is one of the acknowledged experts but there are others. My pro studied with Andy. There are books that detail fit, such as at but once there are problems it is best to go to an expert. Good luck.

Gear Talk / Shoe Choice
« on: March 29, 2008, 02:01:43 am »
Lake also makes some shoes in wide sizes.

Gear Talk / Touring Saddles?
« on: January 27, 2008, 10:54:39 pm »
If you take the time you will find many discussions here about saddles. Yes, we Brooks fans are fanatical about the venerable leather saddles, B-17 and the Pro (which takes longer to break in but lasts twice as long).

Gear Talk / bar end vs brifter shifting for touring bike?
« on: January 11, 2008, 12:06:30 am »
I agree with preferring STI but if I was going doing a Willie Weir trip I definitely would go with bar end or down tube shifters. If I was going to be where I could not get repair parts easily (STI are not easy to work on) I would want to simplify the moving parts.  There's really no difference between bar end and down tube shifters except a foot of wire which is insignificant in function or risk of breakdown.

Gear Talk / Changing from Drop bars to Straight bars
« on: December 19, 2007, 10:06:27 pm »
Thanks. Boy these things are picky. I was just trying to put a period at the end of the sentence!

Gear Talk / Changing from Drop bars to Straight bars
« on: December 18, 2007, 10:30:54 pm »
As always the Sheldon Brown website has good info (by Tom Deakins) on this (and any other bicycle topic):
Photos of several types of bars and their efficacy for touring.

Gear Talk / Touring Pedals
« on: November 24, 2007, 05:47:31 pm »
Inappropriate footwear? Take any strong opinion with a grain of salt.  If you are comfortable and the bike moves down the road that's all that counts.

A touring pedal has a larger surface area to suppport your foot for the long hours that a tourist is on the bike. Racers do too but their shoes have stiffer soles to compensate, and but their goals are different; weight matters most. Also they don't care about walking ease off the bike. The only downside that I can see to the pedal with SPD on one side and platform on the other is that they weigh more (I ride them on my city bike, almost never with my cleated shoes); but for tourists does the 249 grams difference between the Shimano (SPD) M324@ 530 g. (platform on one side) and top of the line Dura Ace road pedal @281 g. matter? The quality of any Shimano pedal will be excellent.
As for toe clips being dangerous, more people fall over on their bikes with SPD pedals than they ever fell off riding with toe clips. That said, I ride SPD on tours exclusively.

Gear Talk / Kick Stands
« on: November 09, 2007, 11:03:48 pm »
Check out this foldable kickstand:

Gear Talk / Brooks saddles and rain
« on: October 22, 2007, 09:54:53 pm »
If you're off the bike throw on a cover; there are several made including by Brooks. On the bike don't forget the water coming from underneath so put on the fenders. If you don't ride it soaked, not just wet from sweat, it will be fine. Riding it really soaked may cause it to droop.

Gear Talk / Rain Gear
« on: August 26, 2007, 11:15:18 pm »
Actually one of the 02 jackets does have a hood. However, I don't like hoods and I'd rather either use a shower cap (dime store for a buck or so, and great patterns!) which gives my better peripheral vision, or none at all if it is warm out.

Gear Talk / Rain Gear
« on: August 26, 2007, 07:24:08 pm »
For light rain, light weight, and low price,  02 raingear is good and found in many bike shops and  For top shelf you can't beat Showers Pass ( or Gore (

Gear Talk / BOB and old steel frames
« on: July 15, 2007, 10:55:39 pm »
It is pretty common to cut the skewer and tap it at its shorter length. Any good shop should be able to do this for you.

Gear Talk / Bike recommendation (under 1200 dollars US)
« on: July 06, 2007, 10:07:14 pm »
Let's not confuse the issue by saying that drop bars equals racing bikes.
 Most people find that for long days in the saddle touring a racing bike with its shorter wheelbase, and narrower, harder tires is not as comfortable as a touring bike. A touring bike affords riders the option of not bending over as much which is easier on our backs. Try to get the bars even with the saddle on a newer racing bike. I've never seen someone buy a touring bike complain about comfort, but lots of people who buy racing frames who are uncomfortable, especially the older rider (I'm 55 and that means me). Fit, fit, fit, touring frame or not is the key. FitKit is fine but a real pro can do it just as well by watching you ride on a trainer and asking you what kind of riding you do.

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