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Old 05-14-02, 07:57 PM   #1
Dwagenheim
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Extra Chain on tour

Do you think a whole one is necessary? How about a few extra links or maybe half a chain.
Also, what do you do about cleaning your important parts on a long tour? I was out on a ride today and twisted one of my links a bit which seemed to cause some skipping on the ring. So it made me think about future problems and how to be best prepared.


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Old 05-14-02, 08:09 PM   #2
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I think for a long distance tour, I would take a few extra links. In your case, I would also plan on having a full overhaul about half way through the tour (in southern CA?), and replacing the chain.

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Old 05-14-02, 08:56 PM   #3
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Hi
Ive been busy and havent posted in a while, New bike new shoes and putting in lots of miles also being spring we are busy with field work and planting at the family farm.

your post caught my eye though. chains and cleaning during a tour. Ill tell you my method but i am sure others will have other ideas and opinions.

Ive never carried an extra chain, too much weight i do carry an extra link and a chain tool My thinking is that if my chain becomes so stretched out that it needs replacing chances are i will also need a cassette. new chain with old woren cassette = problems. One day after spending the morning climbing and decending along the pacific coast i was comming into a town and broke my chain, I looked to see it being layed out on the road. Stoped , got the chain tool out took out a link and put the chain together and continued on. First time i came to a bike shop i bought a new chain

If you are going to be many weeks in the middle of nowhere maybe you,ll justify the weight of carrying a chain you may or may not use.

cleaning the inportant parts during a tour, Yes you should do your best to keep the drive train clean. at least wipe and clean off road gunk keep the chain lubed.

two options i use (my tours are 3-4 months) Ill stop in a bike shop and get talking to the owners most times they are interested in stories from the road, iLL buy something and ask about renting a stand for a couple of hours. SOmetimes they will say no but more often i get the go ahead some times free because they know ILl be buying some parts. SO ill take the chain , cassette, cranks off and tank clean them clean the frame and rims , reassemble and adjust everything .

other times ive asked at a local gas station about the use of their parts cleaning tank and done the same work at a gas station.

Ive talked to people on the road that go to a carwash and use the high presure wand to clean everything up this works i stay away from it though I am not comfortable with the risk of driving water and griime into places i dont want it to be.

During a 6,000 mile tour i took the bike apart and cleaned it 2X the rest of the time i just clean it up with a rag best i can.

If your bike is giving you truble then you may ned an overhaul or tune up in the middle of a long tour. most times i occasionally had to true my wheels in camp at night adjust the breaks and shifter cables and thats about it. I carry one extra break and one derailer cable, some basic tools

touring is fun but challenging to figure how much you can leave behind and still have what you need
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Old 05-14-02, 08:59 PM   #4
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Absolutely bring some links on your tour. A whole chain is a lot of weight to carry and I don't think it is necessary. Bring about 6" of chain so that you can replace some bad links.

In the worst case, you can fix your chain enough to get you to the next bike shop to buy a new chain.

I always bring about 6" of chain and have been very glad of it on several occassion.

By the way, in a pinch, you can usually take out a bad link (you actually have to take out two links) and your derailure festoon will bail out some extra tension and allow you to ride for 100 miles until you can get a new chain.
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Old 05-14-02, 09:08 PM   #5
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Thank you guys for the good info, though if others have more input, please continue posting.


Dave
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Old 05-14-02, 09:12 PM   #6
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I'm definitely in favor of cleaning your important parts, especially on tour. All that riding can make you pretty stinky, and I think the boys deserve a good cleaning at the end of the day.
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Old 05-14-02, 09:15 PM   #7
Joe Gardner
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Lost Marble, I agree! However, i think he was talking about bike parts...
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Old 05-14-02, 09:22 PM   #8
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Well, what are the most essential chemicals to keep with me? Will WD-40 be all I need? Degreaser?

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Old 05-15-02, 02:01 AM   #9
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Don't use WD 40 except to clean off oil, as it strips bearings.

I wouldn't carry an extra chain, but would carry a few links.
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Old 05-15-02, 07:35 AM   #10
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Regarding chains, links and a chain tool are all you need. And you can get by without the links if you're careful to stay out of big/big combos if you have to shorten the chain in a repair.

I just carry a little lube in a bottle with an applicator, so I can re-lube the chain if it gets wet. Something like Pro Link works well to flush out the chain if you let it sit for a while after you apply it. Washing can wait until you hit a town. I always used to look for a bike shop, and they would generally let me use their hose and some citrus cleaner out in back. (It's been too long since I went away for more than a week at a time, drat it.)

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Old 05-15-02, 08:12 AM   #11
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On my alaska to tierra-del-fuego I had very very few problems with any components in the early stages. The Alaska Highway had vast stretches of perfect pavement. I always carried a 4 or five inch set of links for my chain in case i needed them. I also took good care of the chain by wiping it clean and re-lubing it with either wd-40 spray, or basic oil like 3 in 1 oil. Like many other riders I use toothbrushes to scrub the links and small parts. Remember that you get alot of grit on the derailleur cages and thingamajigs so make sure you clean those as well; i turn the bike upside down at my campsite and take the chain completely off the front chainrings, scrub them. Then I pull the rear derailleur cages forward and scrub the free surfaces.

I kept clean using sponge baths for a while. It was chilly and damp in western canada for the entire trip, so I usually would soak a small hand towel in water, soap it up, ring it out, and wash down with it. Don't forget to bring a small sponge to soak up excess moisture in your tent/tent floor during the rainy weather. And to warm up and feel cozy when you are finally in your tent at the end of a long gray day on the road, light a small candle. It gets the mustiness out of the nylon fabric and does wonders for your morale.

I found the roads in Alaska, Canada and the western US that I selected to be SO GOOD that I didn't get my first flat tire until Wyoming in late July, when I had left anchorage on May 31. Again part of it is the helmet rear view mirror which I use so much: if there is no traffic behind me I get right out into the middle of the lane, where there is almost no grit and debris like there is on the shoulder.


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Old 05-15-02, 12:22 PM   #12
Dwagenheim
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Thanks for that informative reply RoughStuff.
Where did you start your tour in Alaska?

Dave
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Old 05-15-02, 12:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dwagenheim
Thanks for that informative reply RoughStuff.
Where did you start your tour in Alaska?

Dave
I started in anchorage, and went north toward Denali National park but turned east and went thru Denali STATE park instead. Folks told me the parts of the Alaska highway east of fairbanks are flat and dull; as well as alot of fires that year. I then took the road to Tok, and on to Whitehorse in the Yukon. The rest, as they say, is history! Nice part of the world, to say the least.

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