Archive for April 2008
BicyleR Evolution – The Shopper
There are times when you need to tote more than you can comfortably carry on your bicycle, even a long wheel base recumbent designed for self contained touring. That is when you need a trailer.
I used a trailer for all of my European Tours and for Newfoundland and Labrador. I didn’t use one for any of my trips in the South, the West or Quebec because I have trimmed down the size and weight of what I carry when Touring. However, I will be using my trailer again for grocery runs now that the weather is better.
Let’s discuss when to use a trailer and what types of trailers work best for touring:
Nice set of tips on fixing Rear Dérailleur shifting problems. This video is not a tutorial on how to adjust your rear deraileur see Rear Deraileur Adjustment Made Simple – Wow!!! for that.
Instead this video goes through common rear shifting problems and how to fix them on the road. Yes, the video is in the shop but the techniques shown only require a 5MM socket and a screw driver, tools that you would have with you if you are touring.
Nice price at Campmor on Rain Pants, they are on sales for $14.97 (List is $60). These won’t be around for very long so if you would like a pair of rain pants for summer/spring wear at an excellent price grab them fast. At this price these kind of pants make sense. They don’t last long but at this price that is OK.
A new edition of Cycling in Quebec: Official Guide, 5th Edition in English is coming out very soon and can be ordered now. This is the best guide available for La Route Verde and cycling around Montreal and Quebec City. The English version is hard to get and usually sold out before summer. So if you are thinking of bicycling in Quebec order one now.
Click on the link above to order. The site is in French but easy to figure out. Just remember that Courriel is the official French word for email address. If you have any trouble with the French page, you will find an example of a completed form at the end of this post.
See: Official Opening of Longest Bike Path Network in North America for some of the reasons I like this guide.
My Keen Commuter Sandals arrived today from REI. I have been hearing people rave about them and despite price decided to buy a pair.
These are very nice looking sandals with a comfortable foot bed. Unfortunately for me they have a shallow toe box that crushes my Hobbit toes. I was not able to put the sandal on and walk in them because of the pressure on the toe nail of my big toe.
If you have thinner toes these might be just the sandals for you. They look very nice but unfortunately don’t work for me so I will have to leave further comments to others. I am glad I purchased from REI, who is great on returns.
So far the Ragster from Nashbar are the only cleated sandals that fit comfortably on my feet.
Follow on from an earlier post: Another Cycling Sandal – Nashbar Ragster
Update 4/24/08 -It ha s been unseasonably warm this week and I have been wearing the Ragsters without socks. Not so good without socks, as expected the foot bed is pretty rough on bare feet. It is too bad that they couldn’t have made these sandals just a little better, but that seems to be typical of Nashbar clothing. These are still the only cleated sandal I can wear but I wouldn’t recommend riding with out socks.
I wasn’t expecting much from the Bike Nashbar Ragster Bicycling Sandal but I have been very pleasantly surprised. They don’t look as impressive as the Shamino or Lake Sandals but they work on my feet. This is the first cleated sandal that I can wear comfortably and they are also a lot less expensive than the others I have tried.
The reason these sandals work for me is simple, they have an adjustment strap at the back of the foot that adjusts where the foot falls onto the foot bed. These is a key adjustment for me or anyone else that has problems with the toe grip on the foot bed hitting the nerve at the base of my toes. They also have an open toe area so my Hobbit toes can self actualize without being crushed.
These sandal are as good as any cycling sandal I have tried for walking, not great but more than acceptable. On the bike they really grip the pedals, almost too well.
The bad news is that they don’t seem to be available right now. I bought them on sale and am just getting around to trying them out. But Nashbaar may bring them back as summer gets a little closer.
These aren’t fancy but they work. This is the first time I have been able to say that about a bicycling sandal that accepts cleats. However, the quality just isn’t there. I can only call these sandals acceptable barely.
I will be trying the Keen Commuter Sandal from REI that is getting raves later in the Spring.
Note: I have only used these sandals without cleats but I expect good performance with cleats. However, I don’t plan to be using cleats this year.
Just got off the phone with Garmin after trying to update the maps in my 60cs. I purchased the retail version of the maps because it was cheaper than the $75 on line update. But I couldn’t get it to work.
Here’s what I learned, the retail version of the Update does not work with the 2610 or the 60cs. If you want to update maps on those units, you must buy the $75 online update for each unit directly from Garmin, there is no retail version of this update.
So if you thought you might save a few dollars over the $75 online price for the 2nd unit update by buying the 2008 Update some where else, Garmin has made sure that won’t happen.
After installing shorter cranks, I just needed to touch up my front derailleur. Here’s a video on Front Dérailleur Adjustment.
The good news is that front dérailleurs are more stable than rear derailleurs and don’t require much attention. When they do you usually don’t have to go through the whole procedure, most of the time it is just a minor chain rub.
If you have a minor chain rub just adjusting the in-out travel limit screws on the top of the dérailleur will usually do the job. Just remember that these screws are often the reverse of what you would expect. For example for my Shamino XT Front Dérailleur, the screw closet to the frame on the top of the dérailleur sets the outer travel limit for the dérailleur. So if your chain is rubbing on the largest chain ring, then the inner screw is adjusted. If it is rubbing on the smallest chain ring then the outer furthest from the frame) is adjusted.
Just be sure that the when you adjust the Front Dérailleur that the chain is on the right rear sprocket (sprockets are driven by chains, gears are driven by gears by we usually call them gear on bikes anyway). When adjusting a rub on the largest chain ring use the smallest rear sprocket. When adjusting for a rub on the smallest chain ring use the largest rear sprocket.
If that doesn’t work, clean, lubricate and try again. Then if that fails follow all of the steps in the Video.
When you first put your foot on the pedal after installing KneeSavers, things feel quite different. You can feel the wider spacing and it feels awkward. After riding a few miles that feeling diminishes.
Yesterday, I fell for the first time in quite a while. Just a twisted knee and a bruised shoulder but major embarrassment. As I was riding across a bridge, suddenly I was on the ground and a little dazed. The diamond frame rider behind me asked if I was OK and then added “Nice ride”.
What had happened was that the bolt that connects the steering bar to the steering lever on the front wheel had fallen out. When that happens the front wheel turns sideways and you are very quickly on the ground.
I have taken this bolt out several time to transport my Slipstream. I have always used anti-seize on the bolts and I suspect this bolt just loosened up or that I hadn’t tightened it well last time.
Take away from the fall:
1. Yes, you really should check all bolts each year at least, monthly would be even better.
2. A little purple Locktite makes a lot of sense on this bolt.