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Old 02-22-06, 12:25 PM   #1
Eclectic
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Question: cadence monitors, clip in Shoes etc

I am planning on doing my first overnight tour this summer (supported) I intend to do a short one in June (150 miles approx) then if I survive that a longer one in August (410 miles)

My first purchase is going to be good rain gear and I have found what I need there.

I am on a limited budget due to quitting my 2nd job (used to buy my bike and trainer in the first place)

I now am deciding on which is more important to get: a cadence monitor or clip in shoes and pedals.

I have the toe clips which I am pretty used to and am pretty nervous about going to clip ins.

I would like any and all opinions / recommendations of brands for cadence monitors and shoes

the average day ride on these is about 60 miles with some hills, plenty of wind and 90 degree+ heat (but it's a dry heat) -Welcome to NoDak country
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Old 02-22-06, 12:55 PM   #2
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If you're on a limited budget, don't waste your money. Cadence monitors, HRMs -- they're fun and useful if you're into hi-tech monitoring or honing efficiency in a competitive environment. But for touring, they're just expensive toys. You might have to train yourself at first for 'good' cadence, but once learned, it'll become subconcious.

I'm not saying those things aren't fun or useful. Just that, with a "limited budget", they're not worth it. For example, the rain gear WAS worth it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclectic
I have the toe clips which I am pretty used to and am pretty nervous about going to clip ins.
At the risk of starting a controversy, my opinion is the same for clip-ins. I say this because of your comment above. You're on a limited budget, you're comfortable with clips&straps, and quite a few tourers (myself included) are happy with standard pedals. Not the least of reasons, my tours usually include a lot of hiking, days off in cities, staying with family -- I bring one pair of shoes that serve all purposes. Especially hiking, where rocks and mud don't phase those soles.

I'd put clipless pedals/shoes low on my list, if I was preparing for first-time touring. Others might put it up near the top. There are a lot of other things I'd buy first, on a limited budget -- panniers, tent, flashlight, etc. But I'd still put a cadence monitor at the bottom of the list.

-- Mark
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Old 02-22-06, 01:29 PM   #3
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I would suggest the Sigma 1600 for a low price cadence monitor. The most negative review is breaking the plastic case when switching the cyclocomputer fron bike to bike. Since I am only going to use it on one bike, I do not think this will an issue. I will give a review after I get one to try out.
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Old 02-22-06, 01:31 PM   #4
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I agree with Mark. HRM and cadence monitors--nice to have, but not necessary if on a budget. Regarding clipless pedals. When I am home doing day trips, I use clipless for the convenience and increase speed a little. However, when I am on a mulit-day tour (3 days to two weeks) I always convert to clips on my pedals. I find that I spend as much time off the bike--hiking, walking around towns, at the campsite--that it is easier and and more convenint than using clipless pedeals. So for me, it's not a matter of dollars, it simply is easier and better to use clips on mulit-day rides.

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Old 02-22-06, 02:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmCeeBee
If you're on a limited budget, don't waste your money. Cadence monitors, HRMs -- they're fun and useful if you're into hi-tech monitoring or honing efficiency in a competitive environment. But for touring, they're just expensive toys. You might have to train yourself at first for 'good' cadence, but once learned, it'll become subconcious.

I'm not saying those things aren't fun or useful. Just that, with a "limited budget", they're not worth it. For example, the rain gear WAS worth it.
I agree on the heart monitors but computers with cadence functions are relatively inexpensive. The Cateye Astrale 8 is only $30 at Nashbar. That said, I don't have cadence on any bike that I own and never felt the need for it. A simple computer like the Cateye Enduro ($20 at Nashbar) is more than enough. I'd go with a wired system to keep it cheap.

But...if you have to choose between a computer and rain gear, get the rain gear first. That you will need! You can live without a cyclocomputer but you might not without rain gear


Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmCeeBee
At the risk of starting a controversy, my opinion is the same for clip-ins. I say this because of your comment above. You're on a limited budget, you're comfortable with clips&straps, and quite a few tourers (myself included) are happy with standard pedals. Not the least of reasons, my tours usually include a lot of hiking, days off in cities, staying with family -- I bring one pair of shoes that serve all purposes. Especially hiking, where rocks and mud don't phase those soles.

I'd put clipless pedals/shoes low on my list, if I was preparing for first-time touring. Others might put it up near the top. There are a lot of other things I'd buy first, on a limited budget -- panniers, tent, flashlight, etc. But I'd still put a cadence monitor at the bottom of the list.

-- Mark
Clipless are easy to use (once you are used to them). I wouldn't buy road clipless shoes but I do use mountain bike clipless shoes and pedals. New mountain bike shoes usually have enough sole on them to keep them from grinding on rocks and pavement too much. I do carry sandals for showers and wandering around. On my last trip, when I got to a town and spent a few days there, I bought some cheap, and I mean cheap , shoes for walking around town and hiking at Mt. St. Helens.

Do you need clipless? Probably not but they are somewhat easier to get into than clips and straps (I've ridden many,many, many miles with straps). And they are easy enough to get out of that I use them exclusively for mountain biking - and I'm no shrinking violet when it comes to trail riding.

Mark is right about getting the panniers, tent, stove, etc. first. Then go for the toys.
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Old 02-22-06, 03:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info - I am Soooooo glad I found this site (while researching rain gear)

I thought of another question - how big a tent should I take? (they haul our stuff and I don't have to do any cooking) I have a small 2 man dome that is easy to set up by myself, but a veteran of the candisc (the august tour I am aiming for) asked if it was big enough to fit my bike in in case of rain, I haven't tried it yet but it could be tight

Weather around here is very unpredictable and severe thunder showers with high winds can come up out of nowhere at anytime day or night.

AND another question - What do you sleep on? I am not that tough that I like direct ground contact (forgot the air mattresses camping one time and don' t relish the thought of doing it again especially after riding 60 miles)
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Old 02-22-06, 04:27 PM   #7
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I know some people who like to put their bike in their tent in case of bad weather, but I have always just left it out, locked up if needed. Usually I have a pieces of plastic to wrap around my saddle. If it rains and it is windy, that's life. The bike gets wet. You wipe it off and oil the chain, and you go. It's not any different than riding through a rain storm. The bike still gets wet.

For something between your sleeping bag and the ground, I would suggest buying a Thermorest pad. It rolls up tight during the day, and takes little space. And I have found them to be comfortable. In my younger days, I used a foam pad, which also seemed to work, but is not as comfortable.

Dave
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Old 02-22-06, 05:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoCyclist
I know some people who like to put their bike in their tent in case of bad weather, but I have always just left it out, locked up if needed. Usually I have a pieces of plastic to wrap around my saddle. If it rains and it is windy, that's life. The bike gets wet. You wipe it off and oil the chain, and you go. It's not any different than riding through a rain storm. The bike still gets wet.

For something between your sleeping bag and the ground, I would suggest buying a Thermorest pad. It rolls up tight during the day, and takes little space. And I have found them to be comfortable. In my younger days, I used a foam pad, which also seemed to work, but is not as comfortable.

Dave
Yeah, leave it outside. Put a plastic grocery bag or two around the saddle. Take some extra lube just in case however.

As for the pad, I prefer the Big Agnes pads over the Thermorest. They aren't self inflating but they are the size of a nalgene bottle. I can put it in with my sleeping bag and save some space. It also makes less luggage that you have to keep track of.

You can find them at REI. They are thicker than a Thermorest too.
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Old 02-22-06, 06:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclectic
I am planning on doing my first overnight tour this summer (supported) I intend to do a short one in June (150 miles approx) then if I survive that a longer one in August (410 miles)

My first purchase is going to be good rain gear and I have found what I need there.

I am on a limited budget due to quitting my 2nd job (used to buy my bike and trainer in the first place)

I now am deciding on which is more important to get: a cadence monitor or clip in shoes and pedals.

I have the toe clips which I am pretty used to and am pretty nervous about going to clip ins.

I would like any and all opinions / recommendations of brands for cadence monitors and shoes

the average day ride on these is about 60 miles with some hills, plenty of wind and 90 degree+ heat (but it's a dry heat) -Welcome to NoDak country
It sounds like you are going to be riding Bike The Border bicycle tour. I created BTB...tis my brainchild.
It is 159 miles (not one traffic light) in three days with camping on grass (schools). In severe weather (thunderstorms, hail, high wind) the campers/riders will be moved into the school gymnasiums. I drove around for days decidingon/laying out the route....you will enjoy the scenery.
Due to my 1965 Vietnam "tour", I am unable to use clipless pedals/shoes and am very happy with MKS touring (platform) pedals. http://www.loosescrews.com/ has them for $25.95
Please take a look at http://www.nbtda.com and http://www.bicycletour.com for additional tours to consider.
Good Luck...
BCNU
Gary
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Old 02-22-06, 08:22 PM   #10
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Hey Eclectic!

Re: sleeping pads. I now have a thermarest, and really like it. BUT they are expensive and that may make one prohibitive for you. For many years while backpacking in the Rockies, and during my first years of cycle touring I used a home-made pad. It worked just as good as a thermarest, cost nothing, and was considerably lighter, though it was bulkier.

What I did was collect the white foam wrap that is placed around new furniture/appliances to protect them in shipping. This stuff is closed cell so it doesn't soak up water and actually quite resilliant. I cut it to width and length and stacked similar lengths (about 6-8 layers) and used a shoe lace to sew one end together. Don't sew both ends because the layers have to shift as you roll it up. Tie it with a cord of some sort.

The only reason I don't use it now is that after several years of use the cells break down and have no cushioning or insulation value. And I had a tough time finding a new supply.

This is as cheap as you can get, and it works like a charm!

Good luck!.......Murray
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