Pictures and descriptions of your bike(s) (page 3) - CycleBlaze

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Pictures and descriptions of your bike(s) (page 3)

John SaxbyTo Randy Richert

Thanks, Randy, that's helpful & encouraging.  I've pretty much decided to stick with my Supremes for touring (no problems in a month in the Rockies, ditto in two-plus weeks around East/Central Ontario).

Reflecting on your account, perhaps I just had a rash of bad luck.  I'm thinking to try the Compass Naches Pass again for day rides with my Raven, come spring.

Because of my less-than-encouraging experience with Compass so far, though, I opted for 700 x 35 Supremes for my derailleur Eclipse bike this past autumn.  Part of the reason for that is that I'll be using the Eclipse in the Queensland/NSWborder range in March/April, and the road debris there can shred tires.

Cheers,  John

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3 months ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Mike Ayling

My first short tours were on department-store mixte-frame bikes and I don't have any photos.  I replaced the Sears Free Spirit I bought when I was 16 after 3 or 4 years when my then boyfriend commented on its weight and said no wonder I had trouble with uphills.  The new one was a step up in quality, a Sekine, lighter but not by much.

In 1987 I bought my Miyata 615GT with 50 cm diamond frame.  It was too big, but the smaller model had a 24" front wheel and felt funny to ride--plus I'd have to carry two sets of spares.  Below is the only photo I have of me riding it, taken when I was communicating my desires to Co-Motion.

You can see it's too big. I still ride it around Vancouver, aka the bike theft capital of Canada. The brake levers have been replaced with the more comfortable modern style and the cranks are now 165. Unfortunately, it was impossible for the shop to obtain a 6-speed cluster so the adapted 7-speed means there's an annoying missing gear.

In 2013 I bought a Felt ZW4 carbon road bike, size XS, that fits fairly well.  What a revelation!  In 2014, I ordered my custom-sized Pangea.  It offers all-day comfort, though like the Miyata, it's capable of carrying way more than I could pedal up a hill at the cost of unnecessary weight.  There's a photo of me on it in my profile, but to give you an idea, here's my 5'10" husband checking the operation of the gears:

Fit is important! 5'10" Al on 5'0" Jacquie's bike.
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2 months ago
Bob DistelbergTo Mike Ayling

Here is my three year old Salsa Vaya, all dressed up for an overnight last summer.  It's pretty much stock other than replacing the crankset with some smaller rings that give me a low gear of about 21 gear inches (we have hills in Vermont).  Since this picture was taken, it's gotten a new set of Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour 700x40 tires.

This bike is my one and only at the moment, after donating my aging Raleigh mountain bike to someone in need last year.  I'm starting to dream about adding another bike to the garage wall, but I kind of think I need to wait until at least the 5 year mark on this one before making another purchase.

This has been a great all round bike so far, and I'm hoping to enjoy it for many years to come.

Bob

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1 month ago
Victa CalvoTo Mike Ayling

Hi Mike and all,

I have two touring bikes and love them both. My Perth based bike is a rebuilt vintage Kuwahara mountain bike from 1987. Well, at least the frame is from 1987, the rest of it is all new parts. I also have an under-used custom built Surly Troll that lives in Bangkok.

1987 Kuwahara Mountain Bike

I prefer steel frames over aluminium or carbon and lugged steel over welded. I can’t think of any off the shelf production lugged steel frames, apart from the Rivendell bikes. I’m sure I could find a custom built lugged steel frame somewhere, but can’t really afford even a Rivendell let alone a custom build, so I feel very fortunate to have found the Kuwahara. According to my research, the tubeset is supposed to be triple or quad butted 4130 chromemoly. I picked it up off of eBay for about $50. For years it had been used as a beach bike. It had all of the original parts, including wheels, but they were all rusted out to the point of no return, so into the bin they went. Luckily, the frame was salvageable and after a sandblasting and powder coat it came out looking fantastic. I also cold set the rear drop outs from 130 to the more useful 135 hub standard.

Getting the bike dialled in to fit my body was a bit more complex. It has a very long top tube and I couldn’t find a stem long enough to bring the handlebars within comfortable reach. Most of the original 1980s mountain bikes came with a high-rise “bullmoose” stem and handlebar and Rivendell was the only place that had them for sale. I ended up getting a Modolo Dumbo butterfly style handlebar. It has a huge amount of height and reach adjustability and now the bike fits like a glove.

The bike is on its third rebuild, this time as a full-on expedition grade tourer built to take a fair bit of abuse. I previously went through two sets of lighter weight Velocity and Mavic rims, so now I err on the side of caution and build wheels to last. The Kuwahara’s 26” wheelset is custom built around 36 spoke a Shimano XT rear hub, front SP dynohub and Sun Rhinolite rims. My Surly Troll has a set of 36 spoke Rigida Sputnik rims. 

Both bikes run on 2” plus tyres and in recent months I’ve had quite a lot of success running them tubeless. So I’m a convert to the trend towards big fat tyres and sturdy wheels – especially when riding off the grid in remote locations. I can’t see the value of disc brakes on off road tour bikes, so both bikes stop on V-brakes with koolstop pink pads.

As you can see in the photo, that's a Brooks B67 saddle, DMR platform pedals, a Tubus rear and Topeak front rack. The Topeak is actually a rear rack, just reversed to fit on the front - it works faultlessly. 

The Kuwahara's running gear is a mix of mid to high end Shimano/Chris King/Phil Woods parts. The headset is a threaded Chris King and the bottom bracket is a Phil Wood outboard bearing bb. It's set up with a 10 speed cassette (11 to 42) in the back and a 22/32/44 Deore LX crankset in the front. The 14 gear inch ultra-low granny gear is just what an old bloke needs to grind and winch himself over those steep hills.  I shift with Rivendell friction shifters – set them once when you install them and then forget about them. The derailleurs are an ageing Shimano XTR in the front and a new long cage Deore in the back to handle the pizza plate sized 42 cog in the back. I picked up the XTR cheap on an eBay auction about +10 years ago, but it’s wearing out now. I’ll be sad to see it go…   

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1 month ago
John SaxbyTo Victa Calvo

Nice work with your Kuwahara, Victa -- from rescue to rebirth, and then again a couple of times.

I share your liking for stump-pulling low gears:  I don't trek around the outback on my Thorn Raven-mit-Rohloff, but my 15.4 first gear does very nicely on the mostly tarmac hills I see. These are usually around 12-14% at most in Eastern Ontario, but occasionally steeper when we visit our family in the Queensland/NSW border country.

You seem to have worked out a way to satisfy your liking for lugged steel frames, but if you ever find yourself with a big lump of change burning a hole in your pocket, you could check out the offerings here:  https://mariposabicycles.ca/#b...  Their touring bikes tilt towards the light-and-fast, but they're lovely creations.  Clara Hughes, who won half-a-dozen Olympic medals in both winter and summer games (speed skating & cycling) rode one across Canada a couple of years ago, on a speaking tour which was part of her advocacy for mental health.  I checked her gear ratios, and they're a bit higher than mine, as you might expect -- she used a 12-36 at the rear and a 26-36-48 triple at the front.

Enjoy your rides, stay cool(-ish), 

John

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1 month ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Mike Ayling

Both the missus and I ride Thorn Ravens mit  Rohloff using a 40/19  chain-ring/sprocket combo giving us 15.3" at the low end and 80.3" at the high end.   At the low-end it means I am doing 4.4 km/h at 60 rpm which is great on the hills because I hate walking my bike.  The 80.3" at the high end means at 80 rpm I only get to 30.8 km/h but this doesn't bother me too much because I freewheel any downhill that I can.  Brakes are Deore V-brakes.  Andra rims with Schwalbe Marathon Dureme tyres.  I regret not fitting CSS rims .  Saddles are Brooks - B17 for me and B67 for Leigh.  They're our only bikes and and they carry everything we need for day-to-day life - there is no space for the n+1 theory for homeless folk like us .

Leigh's bike is a Step-Thru which suits her shorter legs. It's a remarkably capable touring bicycle and has been trouble-free over some terrible terrain around the world.
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1 month ago
Mike AylingTo Jean-Marc Strydom

Nice bikes Jean-Marc. The Thorns are a bit heavy but are built like brick outhouses!

There was a thread going on the Thorn forums a month or two back suggesting that the CSS rims might be out of production but there was no response from either Thorn or Rigida/Ryde to confirm or deny.

Enjoy your current trip.

Mike

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1 month ago
John SaxbyTo Jean-Marc Strydom

Lotsa wood (for the winter?) stacked in that first photo, Jean-Marc -- where was it taken?

A Raven will take you just about anywhere, eh?

Cheers,  John

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1 month ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo John Saxby

Hi John.  The woodpile reminded me of Chilean Patagonia (where the photo of Leigh's bike was taken) but it was actually on the south side of Shikoku, Japan.

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1 month ago
John SaxbyTo Jean-Marc Strydom

Great connective memories for you both, Jean-Marc--good vibes across a gigantic ocean :) 

I find woodpiles reassuring, a signal that the neighbourhood has both water and heat.

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1 month ago