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Quick Q's for my Tour

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Quick Q's for my Tour

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Old 03-03-09, 09:25 PM
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Spirald_out
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Quick Q's for my Tour

Hey Touring Forum! I've read through most of the threads here and all of the stickies.

I am going to be leaving on my southern tier tour in a few weeks and feel like I have about 90% of things under control and accounted for.

I just have a few quick questions now (and I may return later to ask a few more!) if you guys wouldn't mind sharing your opinions.

1. What type of lock do you tour with?
2. Kickstand? Y/N?
3. Front fender? Y/N?
4. Are the wheels on a Surly Crosscheck sturdily built enough for a 190lb guy and full touring gear? I've done several geared up rides but none to the extent of the tour, I want to make sure they won't go boom on me after a few days in!


I also have a request. I saw in a thread a few weeks ago a mention of a device for solo tourers, campers, and backpackers. It was some sort of GPS/Emergency alert thing similar to life alert for old people.

I was wondering because I will be touring alone. I am confident in my route and that I'll come across good people while being safe and having fun.....bbbut my father insists I find this device and look more into it. He's even going to pay for it just so he knows I have an easy emergency option. I did some searching and can't seem to find the thread or the link.

Thanks in advance for the opinions on my first four questions and hopefully on the last request.

Andrew

Last edited by Spirald_out; 03-03-09 at 09:28 PM. Reason: additional question
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Old 03-03-09, 09:44 PM
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tmiller9909
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1. I've only taken a small thin cable intended for a seat lock and a little padlock. Just enough to keep some kid, drunkard, or anyone with no tools from walking off with it.

2. No. Unless you really want one.

3. Yes.

4. no idea. What kind of rims are they? Spoke count?
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Old 03-03-09, 09:54 PM
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Spirald_out
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Originally Posted by tmiller9909 View Post
4. no idea. What kind of rims are they? Spoke count?
That might be helpful information eh?

I'll do some inspecting tomorrow morning and get some more solid information. 32 splokies, though, iirc.

Quick googling gives me Alex AL-DV15 32 spoke rims. I'm not sure if that's what I have, though.

I'd imagine if the wheels are tough enough for cyclocross, they can handle me and my gear on a road. But I want to make sure.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:50 PM
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The lock I use is a Planet Bike Fortress Heavy Duty Cable Lock. I don't want to take a chance on losing my bike.

I don't use a stand and I don't bother with fenders since most of my tours are in dry areas. If I lived and toured in a coastal area with much more rain, I'd go with fenders in a heartbeat.

As for the GPS/Emergency device, I don't see the need for one. My tours are along highways or trails and although I travel solo, I'm almost never alone. Every day on the road I'll encounter other people motorists, other cyclists, hikers and if something bad were to happen, someone would find me quickly. The beacon device probably wouldn't make much difference.

If I were to try an expedition tour in a desolate area such as the Arctic or some of the less inhabited desert areas, I might consider such a device. In North America or Europe, it's not likely you'll be that far from habitation or human contact.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:28 PM
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A little velcro strap around the front wheel and down tube allows you to lean your bike against anything without it rolling, turning, or otherwise falling over, and it weighs a lot less than a kick stand.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:46 PM
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zoltani
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1. What type of lock do you tour with?

Depends on where i am going. If i am doing a tour around the bay area i take a u-lock because i'll want to go into some supermarkets and such and bike theft is high around the area. A heavy cable lock would be good for most applications.

2. Kickstand? Y/N?

The bike i just bought has a kickstand, and it is the first one i have had in a long time. I have to say that i really like having one. It basically comes down to personal preference, and this gets debated more than you would think on these forums.

3. Front fender? Y/N?

Absolutely yes! The worst is to have spray hitting you directly in your face.

4. Are the wheels on a Surly Crosscheck sturdily built enough for a 190lb guy and full touring gear? I've done several geared up rides but none to the extent of the tour, I want to make sure they won't go boom on me after a few days in!

Not really sure on this one. Regardless you should have them tensioned before you leave by a trustworthy mechanic (or yourself if you have the tools and ability).


Why not just take a mobile phone instead of the GPS thing? Give your dad your tentative schedule and plan to call to check in at certain points or X days. Maybe you don't want to be bothered with a mobile, but you can ignore it most the time and just use it to check in and in case of emergencies. They do have GPS in them these days you know, so if you dial 911 and then it gets hung up on you the emergency services will still know where you are. Although i am not sure all states allow this information to be used.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:55 PM
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1. Long thin cable and small lock.
2. N
3. Y and N. I've left on trips with a front fender and returned without one. Sometimes not enough clearance for muddy roads.
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Old 03-04-09, 12:02 AM
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1. I use a pretty solid chain key locking chain.
2. Never a kickstand, your bike will be too heavy for it anyways.
3. Fender is a choice option for people in regards to getting wt in the rain. I got rained on pretty much 30 days in a row, so the fender did not or would not have made any difference.
4. That should be no problem. Surley makes some of the best and strongest touring rigs around.
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Old 03-04-09, 02:28 AM
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I take a coil cable with an integrated combination lock. No key to lose. My lock is long enought to wrap around/through odd objects (picnic tables etc).

I use a kickstand on most tours. I gave it away after 6 months on my last tour, but I also used an expandable hiking stick to prop my bike up with for the rest of that trip.

Same with fenders, also as above I gave them away after 6 months. I gave my fenders away not to save weight, but because I was running into tire clearance issues riding in muddy conditions.

I wouldn't take the GPS doohicky, but that's me. Should you? That would be up to you. It does seem like an interesting gadget, though we likely will have better options a few years down the road.
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Old 03-04-09, 07:00 AM
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1. What type of lock do you tour with?
I use a light combination cable lock. It is maybe a $15 lock. In small rural towns I don't usually bother to lock, but in urban areas I don't trust the lock and try very hard to not leave the bike unattended. If I toured in urban areas I might use a better lock.
2. Kickstand? Y/N?
Nope. I don't feel the need. If you usually use a kickstand, I'd say tour with one. Otherwise no.
3. Front fender? Y/N?
Optional but I think they are worth it.
4. Are the wheels on a Surly Crosscheck sturdily built enough for a 190lb guy and full touring gear? I've done several geared up rides but none to the extent of the tour, I want to make sure they won't go boom on me after a few days in!
They sound a bit light. How much will you be carrying? If traveling light or using a trailer you may be OK.

On the GPS thingie (SPOT?)... If he is paying for it why not. It will free you from feeling guilty if/when you go days at a time without calling home and will set you family's minds at ease.
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Old 03-04-09, 07:20 AM
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Thanks for the answers guys.

As for the lock, I was wondering because I understand my touring rig will be to bulky and heavy for someone to just throw in the back of their van while it's parked outside (hopefully). I've got a few locks ranging from cable locks, u-locks, and even a NYC chain lock for when I lived in Chicago. I guess I'll just stick to the standard cable lock and keep my eye on the bike at all times, which I'd be doing anyway, regardless of lock.

I guess that answers my kickstand question. I didn't plan on using one and haven't had one on a bike in a loooong time. I just didn't know if people who were 'in the touring know' used them. I didn't want to get out on the road and be kicking myself for being too cool to have a kickstand.

I'll take a look at front fenders. I'm going to be riding in relatively dry areas and like mentioned earlier. If it's raining enough for a fender for any length of time, I'm going to be wet anyway. We'll see if I can save some scratch and get one on craigslist or used.

The wheels will definitely be looked at. I will be packing light and hopefully planning efficiently so I'm not carrying too much food or other supplies at one time.

As for the GPS beacon thing. I know, it's silly. I don't feel I need it. I didn't need anything like that when I was living and backpacking on the other side of the world in China, Mongolia, and Russia (for a greater length of time, too). But for some reason he's quite adamant that I look into the device.

If it calms his nerves and he wants to set me up with it, I don't see the harm. Worse case scenario is that it's useful. Best case is he feels confident he knows where I am and everything goes as planned.

I appreciate the answers and I think I'll be stopping back every few days with little things that pop up.

Andrew
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Old 03-04-09, 07:18 PM
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Your wheels will be OK, but make sure to have them tuned a bit before you head out. Hope you plan to carry extra spokes though, just in case!

Also, you're probably thinking of this device: http://www.findmespot.com/en/
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Old 03-04-09, 07:50 PM
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1. What type of lock do you tour with?


2. Kickstand? Y/N?


3. Front fender? Y/N?


4. Are the wheels on a Surly Crosscheck sturdily built enough for a 190lb guy and full touring gear? I've done several geared up rides but none to the extent of the tour, I want to make sure they won't go boom on me after a few days in!

Dunno.

Russ
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