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I'm back from my first tour: 10 days of ups and downs in the Adirondacks

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I'm back from my first tour: 10 days of ups and downs in the Adirondacks

Old 06-11-10, 08:50 AM
  #26  
EKW in DC
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Yeah, I read your CGOAB journal yesterday, even rated a couple of your photos! Sounds like a good trip. Sorry about the technical/mechanical difficulties, but it sounds like it was a great trip.

Might I add my voice to those asking why magic markers?
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Old 06-11-10, 09:23 AM
  #27  
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Thanks all for the comments: yeah, it's really pretty up there

Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
FYI, rack mounts are usually brazed on, not welded.

I can tell you from experience that TIG welding them is difficult! The problem is that the rack mounts are thick steel while the frame is very, very thin steel. If you try to weld the rack mounts without preheating them, you'll burn a huge hole in the frame (DAMHIKT) before the mounts are even warm. If you pre-heat them, they become difficult/impossible to handle and position. Brazing usually works well enough, if it's done by someone who knows what they're doing. That probably means a frame builder, not a welder... I used silver brazing to attach rack mounts to the commuter bike I built.
Yup. I don't even understand the difference between brazing and welding. I posted on the frame builders forum and I'll ask today at my LBS.

Originally Posted by lucille View Post
magic markers?
Commuter habit: in case you need to write something down fast, like license plates, you write with a magic marker on your palm or arm


Adam
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Old 06-11-10, 12:36 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Yup. I don't even understand the difference between brazing and welding. I posted on the frame builders forum and I'll ask today at my LBS.
Brazing is similar to soldering: it's done at a lower temperature and you don't end up melting the bike tubes or the rack mounts. Instead, you melt a secondary metal (often silver or brass) which is used to join the two parts. Because of the lower temperature, you're unlikely to melt holes in the bicycle tubes. In theory, welding results in a stronger joint than brazing, but there are plenty of bicycle frames where the frame tubes themselves are joined by brazing.
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Old 06-11-10, 12:41 PM
  #29  
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Ah, get it. Thanks! I wish I realized this weakness before buying this frame. On other bikes the mounting hole for the rack is often just a hole in the frame rather than a brazed-on eyelet. I think this creates an inherent weakness.

Like this:

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Old 06-11-10, 01:20 PM
  #30  
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I enjoyed your journal on CGOAB: I ordered my Adirondack Loop maps last week, so I was happy to see it. :-)

One thing I found curious; IIRC, you mentioned somewhere on the journal that your equipment load was ~58 pounds. That seems like way, way too much for a single rider. Looking at your equipment list, there were certainly some things that looked like unnecessary duplication; i.e. Leatherman + Swiss Army Knife, multiple multi-tools, etc, but nothing that stood out as being significant but unneeded weight. I.E. you have a reasonable tent, light sleeping bag, and so on. So I'm curious if that was actually an accurate weight. Just for comparison, my estimated load for myself and my 9-yr-old-son for our upcoming trip, including a 2-man tent, 2 sleeping bags, cooking equipment, clothes for 6 days, etc. is around the 35-40 pound mark.
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Old 06-11-10, 02:31 PM
  #31  
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The tent is 5lbs. The sleeping bag, liner and airpad are very light.

I weighed myself on a regular bath scale then me+bike and subtracted and I got around 95lbs.. The bike itself is probably like 35lbs, at least. So that leaves around 60lbs for the gear. A full Camelback bladder (equivalent to 3 large water bottles) and the Canon DSLR were the heaviest things, probably 10lbs right there.

But I'm also wondering myself. It all adds up quickly though, a pound here, a pound there.

The tools weren't really redundant. The Leatherman provided no bike specific tools. The Pedro has only hex wrenches, flat and philips screwdrivers. And the dogbone is a nut wrench and it's useful to have it separately in case you need to hold a nut with one hand and wrench or screwdriver with the other. The last tool is simple bit driver and it was the only way I could have a Torx driver required for adjusting the disc brakes.



Oh, and the Swiss Army knife vs. the Leatherman. The former if only used for food, fruit, and clean stuff like clean paper or clean rope, etc. The Leatherman for fixing dirty stuff. I don't like grease on my oranges

Last edited by AdamDZ; 06-16-10 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 06-11-10, 02:51 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Ah, get it. Thanks! I wish I realized this weakness before buying this frame. On other bikes the mounting hole for the rack is often just a hole in the frame rather than a brazed-on eyelet. I think this creates an inherent weakness.

Like this:

No, Brazing is very strong... Just not the Kona brazing on that frame apparently. If you get the thing rebrazed by someone who knows whats happening, youll never have a problem again...
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Old 06-11-10, 02:57 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
The tent is 5lbs. The sleeping bag, liner and airpad are very light.

I weighted myself on a regular bath scale then me+bike and subtracted and I got around 95lbs.. The bike itself is probably like 35lbs, at least. So that leaves around 60lbs for the gear. A full Camelback bladder (equivalent to 3 large water bottles) and the Canon DSLR were the heaviest things, probably 10lbs right there.

But I'm also wondering myself. It all adds up quickly though, a pound here, a pound there.

The tools weren't really redundant. The Leatherman provided no bike specific tools. The Pedro has only hex wrenches, flat and philips screwdrivers. And the dogbone is a nut wrench and it's useful to have it separately in case you need to hold a nut with one hand and wrench or screwdriver with the other. The last tool is simple bit driver and it was the only way I could have a Torx driver required for adjusting the disc brakes.

Oh, and the Swiss Army knife vs. the Leatherman. The former if only used for food, fruit, and clean stuff like clean paper or clean rope, etc. The Leatherman for fixing dirty stuff. I don't like grease on my oranges
Ah, ok. I think some of the discrepancy is because most people don't include the weight of food/water/panniers in the total, so depending on their weight, that could easily be 10-15 pounds off.
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Old 06-11-10, 03:00 PM
  #34  
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Oh yeah, I weighted it ready to go, right before leaving, all packed up with water and some food.
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Old 06-11-10, 03:51 PM
  #35  
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Thanks for the CGOAB journal and write up here,it was great.I never knew N.Y. had such nice places,just wonderful.

I gather your rear rack needs to be cantilevered out to clear the disk brake.Not good.That puts lots of stress on the eyelets.When you get the mounts repaired,use 6mm eyes and if there is enough material in the dropout,notch the dropout and bury the brazon in it about halfway.If you can't bury it,cut the biggest flat on it you can,that should eliminate any problems with it.

Thanks again,great reading and pictures.
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Old 06-11-10, 04:23 PM
  #36  
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NY has some really pretty places: Adirondacks, Catskills, The Finger Lakes Area, even some parts of Long Island are pretty

I got a name of a framebuilder in Brooklyn from my LBS, I've just called him up and I'll go see him on Monday. Yes, I will ask him to replace the broken and the good eyelets with bigger and stronger M6 eyelets.

I have a theory: after my kickstand broke off, I put the bike on its side at least once. Maybe the eyelet could not handle that kind of weight in this position.
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Old 06-12-10, 01:04 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Ah, get it. Thanks! I wish I realized this weakness before buying this frame. On other bikes the mounting hole for the rack is often just a hole in the frame rather than a brazed-on eyelet. I think this creates an inherent weakness.
Ah... I was thinking you'd damaged the upper mount rather than the lower.

As you suggest, the lower mount is usually just a hole in the rear drop-out. It looks like this is the case on the Kona too... they just used a crappy drop-out that didn't have any metal surrounding the rack mount. Since the break is on the disc brake side, you might see if your frame builder could weld metal to the disc brake mount, then drill and tap it for a rack attachment. I'd also see about getting the mount on the other side of the bike reinforced so that you don't run into the same problem there, too.
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Old 06-16-10, 09:51 AM
  #38  
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I got it (them actually) fixed. I found a framebuilder in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, only a few miles away from where I live, through my LBS. He replaced both the broken and the remaining eyelet with larger M6 eyelets and put a lot of metal around them. Although I'll have to have the frame painted at some point, I guess. Right now it only has some protective primer on it. But I don't really care as it won't be visible anyway. He filed them down a bit on the inside since he wasn't sure if I needed clearance for anything, but it turned out to be unnecessary.



Oh, he also concluded that the eyelets were not originally brazed on but were a part of the frame, molded together. And he commented that the frame itself seems to be very "beefy", but the rack eyelets were indeed ridiculously weak compared to the overall quality of the frame.

So, I guess anyone with Kona Sutra who wants to carry significant loads should have these proactively replaced. Otherwise, I'd steer clear of this frame. I'm still dreaming of a Big Dummy I saw one in real life recently as well as a bike extended with a Free Radical. The complete Big Dummy frameset is more expensive but totally more substantial. if I had the funds I'll start building one right away!

I may in the end actually sell this frame and the wheels and use the parts for a Big Dummy build.

Comparing to what it was before, these new eyelets look significantly more substantial too



I still have over a week left before returning to work so I'm thinking about leaving tomorrow again and do a ride to MA and CT and then take a ferry to Long Island and get back home from there. I figure, 5-6 days. I'd go for more but I also need to spend some time with my wife so we'll go car camping for a few days later.

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Old 06-16-10, 10:17 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Ah, get it. Thanks! I wish I realized this weakness before buying this frame. On other bikes the mounting hole for the rack is often just a hole in the frame rather than a brazed-on eyelet. I think this creates an inherent weakness.

Like this:

Is your rack attachment to the eyelet through a long horizontal screw through a spacer to clear the disc brake? If that's the case it isn't the eyelet that's the problem but the poor mechanical attachment that puts a bending force on the eyelet and not a near vertical one as is common on most dropouts without disc brakes.

oops, I should have continued on down the thread. I like what the fellow did for the broken eyelet. He did it for both sides right? It's that angled bracket business that's the problem.

I wouldn't right off the frame but consider better methods of rack attachment, maybe an OMM style to the axle and stays.

Last edited by LeeG; 06-16-10 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 06-16-10, 10:22 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Ah, get it. Thanks! I wish I realized this weakness before buying this frame. On other bikes the mounting hole for the rack is often just a hole in the frame rather than a brazed-on eyelet. I think this creates an inherent weakness.

Like this:

The "holes" are on the "dropouts". While the dropouts are part of the frame, most people are going to think of something else when they read "hole in the frame" (something like waterbottle cage holes).

Dropout eyelets are typically casted as part of the dropout (all at once) or drilled into the dropout. It's typical that the casted eyelets stick out, like ears. This type of eyelet works fine (failures of this type are not common).

It looks like the Sutra eyelets are just not that well made and you had a large load.

Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Oh yeah, I weighted it ready to go, right before leaving, all packed up with water and some food.
No big deal, but you weighed it (measured the weight). "Weighted" means adding weight (like adding ballast).

====================

Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
I'm still dreaming of a Big Dummy I saw one in real life recently as well as a bike extended with a Free Radical. The complete Big Dummy frameset is more expensive but totally more substantial. if I had the funds I'll start building one right away!

I may in the end actually sell this frame and the wheels and use the parts for a Big Dummy build.
While the Big Dummy serves a purpose and probably serves that purpose well, I think it would seriously suck as a touring bicycle (unless, maybe, there were no hills).

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-16-10 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 06-16-10, 10:24 AM
  #41  
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Not really a spacer, the rack is designed for disc brakes so it has a thick L-tab as you can see on this picture, the black L shaped piece is the bottom of the rack, this is the "inside" view across the frame with the wheel removed:



It's better than a plain spacer, since it's rigid and has larger contact surface but still not ideal. The issue you mentioned still exists to some degree. That's one more reason to go Big Dummy

Yes, he did this to both of them. I wanted them improved not just fixed and he agreed that the other one was just waiting to be broken off

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Old 06-16-10, 10:26 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post

No big deal, but you weighed (measured the weight) it. "Weighted" means adding weight (like adding ballast).
LOL, thanks English is my second language and I still make lots of mistake after nearly 20 years of living in the US Although, I weighted it quite a lot in the end as well
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Old 06-16-10, 10:34 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
LOL, thanks English is my second language and I still make lots of mistake after nearly 20 years of living in the US Although, I weighted it quite a lot in the end as well
No problem, really! I noticed you had a lot of ballast! Your English is fine.

=============

It looks like you mounted the rack and the fenders through the same eyelet (there's only one eyelet on the rear dropout). This might have contributed to the failure. Most touring bikes provide two eyelets at the rear: one for the rack and the other for the fender stay.

Often, the fork has two eyelets. The top eyelets are rackeyelets and the bottom ones are for the fenders. The problem is that low rider racks use the fender eyelets! The Tubus Tara rack has fender eyelets so that you can mount the fender to the rack.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-16-10 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 06-16-10, 10:47 AM
  #44  
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Oh, I missed your comments on the big dummy. I've seen blogs and posts from people touring on Big Dummies. Not to mention the famous Riding The Spine fellows. The danger there is that it will invite me to overload and I know overload I will So for now I will continue riding this frame to get some experience. If this problem happens again I will perhaps look into some of the newer frames that have the disc tab mount in the chainstay so that solves the rear rack mount problem.

Still, I will probably get a Big Dummy anyway next year as I want to lower my car usage. Driving around NYC really irks me off. I can use my commuter for most minor shopping and errands but for bulkier items I have to use the car. When I was driving to drop this frame off and then to pick it up I was wishing I had a Big Dummy or at least a trailer, while sitting in traffic. Although a trailer takes away some advantages of a bike: narrow "footprint" and agility.
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Old 06-16-10, 11:14 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Oh, I missed your comments on the big dummy. I've seen blogs and posts from people touring on Big Dummies. Not to mention the famous Riding The Spine fellows. The danger there is that it will invite me to overload and I know overload I will So for now I will continue riding this frame to get some experience. If this problem happens again I will perhaps look into some of the newer frames that have the disc tab mount in the chainstay so that solves the rear rack mount problem.
https://www.ridingthespine.com/gear/xtracycle.html

People manage to use all sorts of "nutty" kinds of bikes for touring!

One problem with the Big Dummy, for touring, is that it will "invite you to overload". It also might not be so hot, handling wise, going fast (eg, down hills). It might not be so hot for going up steep/long hills.

Keep in mind that I'm talking about touring on good roads and paths (eg, rail trails).

A proper touring bike might allow you to travel faster and whether or not you want to travel fast, being able to travel fast can be a useful option to have (eg, if you are running out of daylight). The Big Dummy is also a big bike, which means it will be harder to get onto trains (for example).

In my opinion, for touring, the Big Dummy reduces your flexibility in multiple ways over a "standard" touring bike.

Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Still, I will probably get a Big Dummy anyway next year as I want to lower my car usage. Driving around NYC really irks me off. I can use my commuter for most minor shopping and errands but for bulkier items I have to use the car. When I was driving to drop this frame off and then to pick it up I was wishing I had a Big Dummy or at least a trailer, while sitting in traffic. Although a trailer takes away some advantages of a bike: narrow "footprint" and agility.
Note that I wasn't saying the Big Dummy is bad. I'd bet it's pretty good for what it is intended for. Though, for what you might need, a trailer might be better.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-16-10 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 06-16-10, 11:29 AM
  #46  
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Glad you had fun and learned lots of valuable lessons along the way. One good thing about all this learning is that pretty soon you will be touring with little or zero problems along the way.

I just did a little 550 mile week long tour here in Washington State. It was my first attempt at trying out one of those cat can stoves... While it works for boiling water and is great for it's simplicity..... I will not tour with it again. Might bring it along as a backup.... Not as a primary.

That was the only item I toured with that I wasn't familiar with..... I was only trying one item that I wasn't familiar with....... You had many more unknowns. Next time out those unknowns will be less and the lessons you learned this time will go a long ways towards a smoother adventure.

Glad you had fun! Learned lots and are excited to do it all over again.
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Old 06-16-10, 12:23 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
It looks like you mounted the rack and the fenders through the same eyelet (there's only one eyelet on the rear dropout). This might have contributed to the failure. Most touring bikes provide two eyelets at the rear: one for the rack and the other for the fender stay.

Oh no. I attached the fender struts to the rack tubes with P-clips. And yeah, that's one other gripe I have with this frame but the framebuilder said there wasn't enough room to add a second eyelet in a reliable fashion, without the risk of weakening the dropouts in the process.


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Old 06-16-10, 12:28 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by kayakdiver View Post
Glad you had fun and learned lots of valuable lessons along the way. One good thing about all this learning is that pretty soon you will be touring with little or zero problems along the way.

I just did a little 550 mile week long tour here in Washington State. It was my first attempt at trying out one of those cat can stoves... While it works for boiling water and is great for it's simplicity..... I will not tour with it again. Might bring it along as a backup.... Not as a primary.

That was the only item I toured with that I wasn't familiar with..... I was only trying one item that I wasn't familiar with....... You had many more unknowns. Next time out those unknowns will be less and the lessons you learned this time will go a long ways towards a smoother adventure.

Glad you had fun! Learned lots and are excited to do it all over again.
Yeah, I'm going tomorrow for 5-6 days again and I'm putting some of the experience to use: I hope to load even lighter this time. And ever since I came back I want to ride my bike everywhere. I had to drive to Brooklyn twice with the frame and I hated it. With a Big Dummy that would be a snap. Out of town driving can be pleasant but around the city it's a frustrating experience.

I think I'll look for a cheap kid trailer and convert it for cargo purposes and see how that goes.

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Old 06-16-10, 12:50 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
https://www.ridingthespine.com/gear/xtracycle.html

People manage to use all sorts of "nutty" kinds of bikes for touring!
Have you seen this one:

https://www.ridingthespine.com/Journe...the-chupacabra

But yeah, they rode off-road nearly all the time and it was really rugged at times.
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Old 06-16-10, 01:53 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Oh no. I attached the fender struts to the rack tubes with P-clips.
Good job!

Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
And yeah, that's one other gripe I have with this frame but the framebuilder said there wasn't enough room to add a second eyelet in a reliable fashion, without the risk of weakening the dropouts in the process.
One might be able to low-temperature braze an eyelet to the rear of the rack one. The second eyelet doesn't have to be very strong for a fender.

Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
I hope to load even lighter this time.
A lighter load means less chance of equipment failure.

Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Have you seen this one:

https://www.ridingthespine.com/Journe...the-chupacabra

But yeah, they rode off-road nearly all the time and it was really rugged at times.
Interesting. Thanks. For road riding, I think it's a solution in search of a problem!

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-16-10 at 02:01 PM.
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