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Messages - dkoloko

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Gear Talk / Re: How to pack my sleeping bag
« on: February 04, 2016, 11:46:05 am »
In my experience, a 20 degree sleeping bag is overkill. I pack my bag in an ordinary stuff bag in a waterproof pannier. If you cannot get your bag inside your pannier, I recommend lashing it to your rack in a dry bag (waterproof seal) or two waterproof stuff sacks, with openings facing opposite. I am not much for garbage bags or other disposable plastic bags, except in an emergency.

Gear Talk / Re: 2016 Cannondale Touring Bikes
« on: January 29, 2016, 11:30:53 am »
I want a bike that can be ridden in group rides at a moderate pace without being dropped.
The Cannondale Touring 1 is going to weigh in at around 30lbs or more. Hard to see you keeping up with a group of riders on lightweight road bikes.

I thought of that. Don't know if the Cannondale weighs 30lbs or more; that's a lot; could with fenders, racks, etc, and heavy tires. Even at minimum weight, with just one rack and narrow, lightweight tires (narrow for a touring  bike), expect it to weigh 24 lb or so; decent for a touring bike, but not lightweight.

Gear Talk / Re: 2016 Cannondale Touring Bikes
« on: January 27, 2016, 09:52:14 pm »
Rivendell Atlantis fills that niche; not so popular since price went up, but will illustrate concept; all everything bike, suitable for light touring, Number of lower cost similar alternatives. It's not aluminum; very limited choices in aluminum touring bikes. Had several Cannondale touring bikes; satisfied with them, but not so I would limit myself to aluminum buying a new touring bike. The fat tubing causes problems, such as finding replacement front derailleur; also the thin walled aluminum dents easily; more problem touring than general riding.

Gear Talk / Re: 2016 Cannondale Touring Bikes
« on: January 27, 2016, 06:44:21 pm »
In general, credit card, randonneuring, bicycles differ from fully loaded touring bikes in having slightly lighter tubing, brifters instead of bar end shifters, slightly higher gearing, two instead of three water bottle cage mounts, narrower rims and tires, and rack braze-ons rear, but not front.

While I understand the merit of double butted spokes instead of straight gauge, they are not high on my list of desirables. I have toured many thousands of miles with straight gauge spoked wheels, factory built and built by me, without problem. I would not reject a bike because the wheels have straight gauge spokes.

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Marrakesh
« on: January 04, 2016, 10:34:22 am »
I don't recall suggesting anyone use 11 speed cassettes on a loaded touring bike.  Did you suggest this?

You stated, "And 11 is the new norm now days." in saying Salsa Marrakesh's components, a touring bike, are behind the times.

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Marrakesh
« on: January 03, 2016, 05:24:12 pm »
Looks very similar to Trek 520, Surly Long Haul, REI Randonee.  Steel frame, fork, bar end shifters, triple crank, derailleurs, braze ons, etc.  Priced about the same at $1600.  Odd that Salsa chose 9 speed instead of 10 speed.  Don't see any good reason to go into the past for parts.  10 speed has been the normal for road and mountain bikes for a decade or more.  And 11 is the new norm now days.  Why intentionally choose parts that are 10-15 years past their prime?

I have not heard of any 11 speed bicycles designed for fully loaded touring. 10 speed has not been the normal for touring bicycles "for a decade or more". I have a 2014 Trek 520, 9 speed. Prefer 10 speeds for a  touring bike if you wish, but I would not say buying a 9 speed touring bike is choosing "parts that are 10-15 years past their prime". This organization's  magazine recently featured a custom touring bike that cost nearly $9000, 8 speed. I questioned that, did you? The editor didn't answer the question.

Routes / Re: Western NY to NYC and the Atlantic route
« on: December 29, 2015, 06:22:28 pm »
The only way you can bike across the Hudson into NYC is via the GW Bridge.

If you are crossing from New Jersey. There are other options pedaling across the Hudson River coming from Illinois.

Routes / Re: Western NY to NYC and the Atlantic route
« on: December 24, 2015, 11:30:57 am »
Another suggestion for getting from Albany to NYC is to go down 9W and across the George Washington Bridge. This puts you right near the north end of the Hudson River Bikepath. When I lived in Hoboken 9W was my favorite get-out-of-town ride. 9W is lightly trafficked as all the traffic is on the freeway. On much of it you are just riding through the trees.  I admit this was almost 40 years ago but things probably haven't changed much. US9, across the river, is much more congested.

True, Rt 9 has heavier traffic than Rt9W; in general roads west of Hudson River have less traffic than those east. However, I still recommend avoiding Rt9W; much less trafficked roads are available.

Bicycling to NYC from where you are coming from depends in large part where you want to cross the Hudson River. Check to see the bridge you are planning on crossing does not have limited hours for bicycles or is closed to bicyclists because of construction.

Besides the Allegheny hills, when I bicycled across Pennsylvania I had problems of roads suddenly becoming arterials, closed to bicyclists, without any indication where bicyclists should continue.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a combination road / light touring bike
« on: November 16, 2015, 12:11:03 pm »
Titanium is not the dream bike tubing it once was, but that is what you want, go for it. I still recommend a randonneuring bike for its versatility, but if your touring is going to be strictly limited to van supported tours, any road bike, particularly one suited for long events, will do. I recommend one that will take wide tires, up to 28-32mm, with fenders. Even if you don't want fenders now, you may later. Building a bike from a frame is a project; be forewarned. I carefully chose components for a custom frame, only to make many changes until I got the bike I was ultimately satisfied with.

Gear Talk / Re: Looking for a combination road / light touring bike
« on: November 12, 2015, 07:51:47 pm »
I recommend you buy a randonneuring bike. Typically they have brifters instead of bar ends and separate brake levers, braze-ons for rear rack but not front, enough clearance for 28-32 tires and fenders if desired, two water bottle mounts instead of three, a slightly livelier frame than a fully loaded touring frame, maybe two instead of three chainwheels, and maybe little higher low gearing. Rivendell Atlantis fills that niche; not so popular since price went up, but will illustrate concept, Number of lower cost similar alternatives.   

Routes / Re: cheap camping near charlottesville va.
« on: October 27, 2015, 11:46:20 am »
I bicycled from Florida to New York this summer following the Atlantic Coast Trail. I was quoted up to $70 for a campsite.

Going south to north, after Florida expect hills. Not at all times, but they will be there.

Classifieds / SOLD: Superlight Tent
« on: September 29, 2015, 03:21:40 pm »
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL-1, $177.49 plus shipping.

Features: Free standing. Neutral color. One of the most popular solo backpacking, bicycle touring tents sold. Good head room; can sit up, unless very tall. Double wall tent; mitigates condensation problems of single wall tents. Very lightweight; 3 lb. total (Big Agnes says 2 lb, 9 oz, if comparing to other tent specs), including tent bag, poles, pole bag, stakes, and stake bag. Can use inner and outer tents together or separately. Tent poles are short enough to fit inside my pannier.

Inner tent is brand new. Outer is in excellent condition. This tent sells for $280.00. (This is the late model with clips for fast erection.)

More information at Big Agnes website,

Gear Talk / Re: List of tools
« on: September 14, 2015, 12:30:13 pm »
I've never seen so many tools to carry. I can hold all the tools and spare parts I carry in palm of one hand, not counting spare tubes and pump, and I've toured up to 5000 miles. My bikes have derailleur drives, which may reduce carrying spare parts.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700cx35 Hybrid, Touring. or Commuting Tire, with Smartguard. Less than 500 miles. How many miles will you get? Schwalbe says, "The Marathon Plus is outstanding with its extremely high mileage of approx. 8000 to 15000 km". What about flat protection? Schwalbe says, "flatless"; I say, maybe get a flat, but this is Schwalbe's best yet tire for durability and flat protection. A reviewer says also faster than Marathon Supreme. Have two; sold separately. $32.99 plus shipping. $5 discount on total if buy both. This tire sells for $59.09.

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