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Old 03-31-08, 05:45 AM   #1
jur
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Downtube Mini and Reach Offroad on tour

http://tinyurl.com/2gabz6
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Old 03-31-08, 03:24 PM   #2
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cool

Hi,

sounds like a fun trip! Did you actually manage to carry all of the camping gears on your mini?

I was asking ppl about folders for my commute in some other thread and several people suggested Mini to me. I think you have the exact one I'm eyeing on right now.
http://www.downtube.com/product540.html

Just wondering were there any hills on your trip? How did you Mini handle it? Also, did you put a specific tire on it for dirt trail riding? Thanks!!
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Old 03-31-08, 03:45 PM   #3
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Wow, I have to admit that I have absolutely no interest in recreational day trips, but that looked like fun.
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Old 03-31-08, 04:51 PM   #4
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Hi,

sounds like a fun trip! Did you actually manage to carry all of the camping gears on your mini?

I was asking ppl about folders for my commute in some other thread and several people suggested Mini to me. I think you have the exact one I'm eyeing on right now.
http://www.downtube.com/product540.html

Just wondering were there any hills on your trip? How did you Mini handle it? Also, did you put a specific tire on it for dirt trail riding? Thanks!!
It was credit card trip so we only needed to carry extra street clothes and food and overnight stuff. For camping I need 2 large panniers, see my Tassie trip essay in my signature of how I did it.

The Mini is a great bike, but I made some mods to make it perfect for me. I have just fnished an essay about it, hope to upload it tonight so you can have a better idea.

The gearing on the Mini is from 27" to 82" which is suitable for the majority of what one would encounter in road riding and trail riding. For really steep bits, say slope > 15%, you would begin to struggle if loaded down but the gearing could be lowered quite easily should that be necessary by replacing the front 46T sprocket with a smaller one, say 42T or 39T both of which is commonly available.

The tires on the Mini are suitable for anything you care to throw at it. I decided to keep mine stock for now, but I have succumbed to temptation and now some Big Apples on the way which should improve the ride quality quite a bit. Big Apples are also suitable for just about anything you would get onroad and offroad. Tyres are subject to a lot of hype, even with skinny road tyres you could ride almost anywhere, just a bit slower and less sure-footed on loose gravel.
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Old 03-31-08, 07:52 PM   #5
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great pics, nice upgrade on the mini

That looks like a fun adventure with your mini and reach.

I was wondering if you could tell me what you upgraded on the mini. It looks great!!

thanks in advance!!
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Old 03-31-08, 08:39 PM   #6
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Great trip, Jur! You always do such a great job documenting the trips. Lets the rest of us live vicariously through your adventures.

BTW: Is that a "butchered" Brooks saddle on your Mini? I just cut one for my Merc. I like the looks. I'm hoping that the saddle holds up over the long term.
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Old 03-31-08, 08:58 PM   #7
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Great trip, Jur! You always do such a great job documenting the trips. Lets the rest of us live vicariously through your adventures.

BTW: Is that a "butchered" Brooks saddle on your Mini? I just cut one for my Merc. I like the looks. I'm hoping that the saddle holds up over the long term.
Thanks!

Yep, it is a butchered Brooks B17 Narrow, close to a Swallow after butchering. Being a narrow, it takes much longer to break in (less leather available to stretch) and is still very hard. I rode the trip with a saddle cover. I cut mine with 2 flaps underneath folded towards each other and laced together. This prevents the saddle from flaring open when seated. That's basically what I understand the skirts are for.

I have another B17 on my R20 and that is holding up well, but I do have a support block under the folded flaps to prevent sagging.
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Old 03-31-08, 10:45 PM   #8
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I certainly wouldn't want to be doing that trip on my BF w/ the Stelvios. Nice trip report!
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Old 04-01-08, 10:51 AM   #9
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Sounds like a great trip. Great pictures and writeup!

How did Connie find the gear ratios on the Reach?

Could you post a close-up picture of the Mini's rear rack attachment to the rear dropout? It looks like you made a bracket but I'm wondering what happens if you get a flat.
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Old 04-01-08, 05:04 PM   #10
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Connie likes the gear ratios great - she used the whole range and only on that steep little slope where I had to bail out she also walked. For the rest, on the steeper uphills I have to grind a bit while she still spins comfortably. She doesn't like to go as fast as I go so the top gear is also fine. (Yesteday she went over the handlebars on a gravel road when the front brakes suddenly bit. She has a few bruises and scrapes but otherwise fine. The bike is OK too. I will have to look at that brake.)

The rack on the mini - I have a photo, will post it tonight with details of why and how.
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Old 04-01-08, 05:05 PM   #11
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Thanks Jur for the fine pics and commentary... looks like a splendid way to spend a weekend.. I'm envious!!

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Old 04-01-08, 08:16 PM   #12
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Nice.

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Old 04-01-08, 08:38 PM   #13
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Great essays--The trips you guys have undertaken are really impressive and seem like the best way to see good country. I'd really like to work towards touring on my R20 and take this stuff as inspiration.
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Old 04-01-08, 10:00 PM   #14
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That looks like a great mini-vacation, Jur. I'm jealous! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through your camera.
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Old 04-02-08, 05:36 AM   #15
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The rack on the mini - I have a photo, will post it tonight with details of why and how.
I updated my signature with an index page for all my photo essays; follow the Mini link under Bikes from it, one of the last photos is the close-up you asked for.

Re fixing a puncture with that setup: Earlier I started using the method of setting the bike upside down and leaving the wheel in place, just removing the tyre to the non-drive side and pulling the tube out to find and fix any puncture. My dad taught me that when QRs were not used yet. Anyway, I also have slime liners installed on all my bikes, and no punctures yet. (Slime liners still have to be installed on Connie's Reach, but that puncture by a big iron curl was so vicious I somehow doubt that liners would have stopped it.)
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Old 04-02-08, 09:40 AM   #16
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I like the new website.

Thanks for the new picture, and the details on your Mini mods.
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Old 04-02-08, 02:50 PM   #17
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another nice trip Jur, I sure enjoy your pics of the trip
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