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Messages - driftlessregion

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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.

Gear Talk / women's shorts
« on: May 02, 2007, 11:39:36 pm »
Check out, a maker of cycling clothes for women.

Gear Talk / women's shorts
« on: May 01, 2007, 11:53:46 pm »
Any of the major brands are good: Canari, Pearl Izumi, Cannondale, Sugoi, Hind, Giordana to name a few of the most common. Boure' has a great reputation but I haven't tried them (and can be made in custom sizes for folks with really big thighs but regular hips for instance). I have 5 PI, one Hind, one Cannondale. and one Sugoi and like them all. I buy what's on sale at local bike shop and REI-Outlet (always a short on sale at a great price). I tend not to buy the thickest pad which can move around more and cause more problems than it cures. There are choices in thickness of fabric: if you're in really hot weather, maybe a thinner lycra, but it won't last as long. Just remember, no underwear (seams can chafe) and use a lube like Chamois Buttr. Have a great century!

Gear Talk / Denali Trip bike question.
« on: May 01, 2007, 11:55:01 pm »
My only thought is that the longer the fender the better.

Gear Talk / mounting extra bottle cages
« on: March 12, 2007, 03:51:47 pm »
I don't recommend the velcro strap equipted cage. It wouldn't stay in place on the underside of my downtube. I stopped using it and just lashed the extra bottle or two on top of my BOB bag with bungies.

Gear Talk / Volpe vs. ??
« on: March 04, 2007, 10:15:54 pm »
Check out the Waterford RST series including the fantastic RST-22 using Reynolds 853 frame material. I think it is the middle ground you're looking for. I pull a trailer and have a rack on the back and handlebar bag up front. It is the most comfortable bike I've ever owned, in part because of the custom fit. Quick feel (which is of course partly a function of the wheel/tire setup) yet very comfortable for all-day-in-the-saddle rides. I ride 700/32's WITH fenders when I tour and 25's the rest of the time. Room for the new longer reach caliper brakes which are much nicer looking than cantis.   Hands off is no problem. While Waterford has some stock sizes I think every bike is custom made based on the fit recommended by the shop. For full disclosure I should admit that it is a Wisconsin shop and I'm writing from Madison. I visited the shop when mine was being made and it is very small and not like factory. Someone had to take time from their work to show me around. I've also visited Trek which is only 30 miles away and it is definitely a factory, not to take anything away from that fine company.

Gear Talk / Advice re Trek 520 frame size
« on: February 19, 2007, 11:00:06 pm »
You would be well served to find a shop that can do a professional bike fit. That is the best way to determine not only the size of the frame but how the saddle, cleats and bars are set up. If they don't know how to put you on the right sized frame or ask what type of riding you will be doing, leave. It's too important a task to ignore.  A setup for a tourist is different from one for fast club rides etc. The age of the rider is also a factor as older riders have more difficulty in aero positions. You can go to a pro shop and have the fit and take the data to the Trek shop if need be. I guarantee that yo won't be disappointed in paying the money for a proper fit! (It is worth it for anyone even if they aren't buying a new frame.)  That said, I think a 25" frame is about right, perhaps 24" if you're young.

Gear Talk / trekking handlebars
« on: February 19, 2007, 11:09:21 pm »
I love my Nitto mustache bars for around town but on long tours it has fewer position options, no drops for instance. Mustache has the advantage of greater braking power than on the tops of the STI hoods, and using bar end shifters or down tube shifters you always have friction mode in case the indexing goes awry.
For handlebar bags with Shimano STI I use something I think is called noodles which rerout the cables down and away from the bag.

Gear Talk / Most durable Crankset
« on: January 28, 2007, 11:37:36 pm »
You'll be wasting your money putting a new chain on every 500 miles. With PROPER lubrication, and not lots of rainy, grity miles, a chain should last 3000 miles easy. Proper, means using the correct lube for your weather and most, most importantly wiping off any excess after a few hours of soaking. Excess lube just seems to attract lube.

Gear Talk / heron frames
« on: November 22, 2006, 12:00:40 am »
I can only tell you that since Waterford is making the frames that part of it will be first rate. I speak as a Waterford owner. Rivendell didn't have just anyone built their frames. Remember too that Grant Peterson (Rivendell) designed them originally so the geometry should also be fantastic if they have not messed with it during the change of ownership.

Gear Talk / Thermarest pad slipping
« on: November 11, 2006, 11:33:38 pm »
Get a can of the stuff football players used to spray on their hands to grip the balls. In fact, Thermorest sold something like that before going to the non-slip cover on one side. I used it and it worked.  Maybe you can still get a can from Thermorest.

« on: October 24, 2006, 10:52:48 pm »
A 24 tooth is fine but two cautions. First make sure the chainwatcher is adjusted correctly. It's a pain if the chain gets sucked UNDER the chainwatcher. A drop from a 42 to a 24 is a long way so shift carefully even with the chainwatcher. Slow your cadence slightly and let the chain drop onto the 24 chainwheel before increasing pressure. It works best with bar end shifters because you have more control but is doable with STI if you're careful. A 24/32 is a great low. I would have had to swap out my 105 rear for a Deore der to accomodate a 32 instead of my 27 cog and I didn't want to do that. If your rear der can handle the 32 cog go to and get a 12-32 cassette or better yet a 13-34 or 14-34 and dump the useless 11 tooth cog. Good luck!

Gear Talk / Bar end vs. STI.....who cares?
« on: October 24, 2006, 11:02:06 pm »
Four years, 7000 miles on my 105 STI including mountains of Northern Tier. Love them, but will I keep them on in another two years when I again do a long trip in the mountains?  For a week around Wisconsin next summer fine, but I do worry about them for my next tour in the mountains in 2008 that will be harder on them. I'm thinking of using bar end from my city bike or replacing the STI with new ones before I head west.

Gear Talk / Tents
« on: July 30, 2006, 06:05:18 pm »
If you're tall, be sure to lie down in it before you buy. You can then take the dimensions to compare without actually seeing it. I love having a large vestibule to store things out of the dew but outside the tent. Check out the REI-Outlet site. Always bargains there. The Timberline is sort of like Reynolds 531 framesets: venerable, but lighter (if not stronger) tents are available.

Gear Talk / New bike advice (titanium or full cabon fiber)
« on: July 23, 2006, 11:58:19 pm »
What Sean says is true. Ride what feels good.  In this forum you will find passionate opinions of the virtues of steel vs. aluminum etc. However, also be very sure about the kind of riding you will be doing. I'm not aware of any carbon fiber touring bikes made yet but Litespeed makes a dandy titanium touring bike. What feels good for 30 miles (carbon fiber racing frame) may feel bad after 80 miles pulling a trailer (since I don't think you can put full touring gear on any carbon fiber bike yet). Good luck!

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