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Rim brakes on a touring bike

Old 05-01-20, 06:24 PM
  #26  
Trevtassie
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
another rider who has ridden and toured on, and does ride, cantis, v brakes and mechanical discs
yes, discs work great and I appreciate how less hand finger pressure = same or stronger braking compared to my cantis , BUT cantis work fine too and like I always bring up, its like downhill skiing--you simply have to have the judgement of what stopping power you have for a given snow and ice surface and know when to rein things in for a given situation to be able to slow down enough for unforeseen things like another skier pulling out in front of you from a narrow side run, or an unseen steep icey pitch that appears....bottom line is that yoiu have to have proper judgement.

same with driving our cars, or riding a motorcycle or whatever.

next topic up--proper braking: the front brake slows us down a lot more than a rear brake, so use the front hard is key, you aint gonna flip your touring bike over--ever.

and do not drag your brakes, use hard applications of both brakes, more force on front wheel, and you will slow down faster AND then release brakes, dont drag. Dragging just heats up everything and you degrade your braking power.
This happens in a car or a motorcycle or a bicycle on long downhills, so no dragging.
Check speed and slow down with a good hard application of both brakes, more on front--let bike run a bit, reapply another hard application of brakes etc. Obviously dont let the bike get going too fast to control--go back to skiing example....cuz then you get into potential trouble.

so sure, I find that with discs I have more wiggle room because of the increased braking power, but hey, lets be realistic, its pretty rare that we are on downhills that we get going fast, so just use judgement and keep speed in control, and all of us have done this with whatever brakes we had on our touring bikes in the past.

and yes, you can overheat discs also, just like you can overcook disc brakes in a car if you drag too long on a long descent....so brake properly and keep things in check, its that simple, even with cantis.
Couple of more tips to this great advice:
Sit up to slow down. Your body is a great sail and can catch a lot of wind, even put your knees out to add drag. Like engine braking in a car or truck.
Pulse braking works because heat takes time to travel, even through aluminium. When you pulse you heat up the surface of the brakes. The higher the difference between air temperature and the brake surface the faster the heat will dissipate so there is less chance for heat to "soak" into the underlying material.
Think about the surroundings. The time I've overheated my brakes were very specific situations, steep hills with variable traction like gravel patches where pulse braking can't be used effectively. If you can't pulse go really slow and be prepared to stop.
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Old 05-01-20, 06:26 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
trev, I've been a lazy b.....rd and never taken the discs off. I do however tape those plastic protector thingees that new bikes come with , onto the disc.
and cross my fingers.
A 203cm box isn't very big, to quote Dolly Parton, it's like getting 10 pounds of mud into a 5 pound sack. I have to jam the wheels in... it ain't pretty.
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Old 05-01-20, 07:01 PM
  #28  
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Ya, I can imagine its hard getting all that into that size. Ive just always used bike boxes gotten from bike stores.

re sitting up etc, absolutely.
and of course, assessing a situation (line of sight, road surface, sidewinds or no, sideroads or no, traffic, all that stuff) comes into play and often allows you to just let a bike run, and its safe doing so. Like you, I'm very comfortable at speed, and most of the time, gradients are such that you dont get much past 50, 60kph anyway, and if the conditions are assessable to be safe, then slowing down only when needed with a good hard application of brakes means no overheating.

Ive always found that with panniers on a bike, ie the windsail effect, a hill has to be pretty darn steep to get past 60kph, but its totally dependant on conditions. Some downhills you dont want to go over 30 or 40, but others even at whatever you can get to, like 70 or 80 , and its fine.
*Another good reason to check tires for embedded glass and whatnot after you ride through crap, and once in a while anyway, to be sure of tire conditions in general)
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Old 05-01-20, 07:54 PM
  #29  
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The first bike I did a tour on was a first gen ATB with stamped calipers... now those sucked! In the rain I had to deploy the foot drag ebrake.

I now have cantis, V's, caliper and mech disc. Ok with them all.

If I were to naval gaze and dream about the ultimate expedition tour bike I think I might get stuck trying to decide whether the simplicity of canti's, with their attendant rim wear was better than the more delicate nature of disc's that coincidentally preserved the rim. I could ruminate on that for quite some time.
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Old 05-02-20, 09:11 AM
  #30  
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On fitting rear racks with disc brakes, some of the touring bikes that have disc brakes have them mounted on the chainstay instead of seat stay. That is where it is on my one bike that has a rear disc, and I had no problem at all fitting the rack. Thus, if shopping for a bike that you want to put a disc brake on, there are so many good bikes out there to choose from that the location of the brake unit could be added to your wish list.

Front, there are not many great solutions.
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Old 05-02-20, 06:45 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
If I were to naval gaze and dream about the ultimate expedition tour bike I think I might get stuck trying to decide whether the simplicity of canti's, with their attendant rim wear was better than the more delicate nature of disc's that coincidentally preserved the rim. I could ruminate on that for quite some time.
ya, I dunno.
Clearly at first when I got my first (and only) disc bike, I found them to be a pain in the arse with not being able to work on them properly and getting it wrong often. Cantis sure are easier and a no brainer for putting on and taking off a wheel, and its bing bang boom, done. I have commuted a lot in the rain, and always wipe my rims down super quickly to get the gritty grunch off, and that is fine. Now on trips over the decades, I've never really had much rain and certainly not touring on steep, dirt roads that is the worst for rim brakes, so its never really been an issue....
Back to discs...once I figured out how to align the calipers better, and also had a good mechanic notice that the caliper mount at the rear of my bike had been mounted backwards by the original owner, which made it really hard to get to the rear bolt to properly align the caliper--so now its faster and easier to put the front wheel back on and easily eyeball the tiny amount of clearance between the rotor and pads to not have rubbing.
I also find that really, Ive never had any problems with the rotor staying true, so all in all, I have to say that I have a heck of a lot of confidence in discs, mechanicals anyway like my Avid BB7's, and have screwed around with them enough and made most of the mistakes that I feel pretty comfortable with them now.
I've also been pretty darn impressed by the pad life for me, so with new rotors and pads that can probably last 10.000kms in the best case scenario, I'm happy with the long term lasting thing overall.
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Old 05-02-20, 09:08 PM
  #32  
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OMG!! We're all gonna DIE because nobody in history of cycling had ever used rim brakes on a touring bike! /sarcasm

Really? what do you think we all did before disc brakes were a thing? I toured with Dia-Compe center-pull brakes - before cantilever brakes were even a thought. I'm certainly not the only one still alive.
Same goes for 5-6-speed freewheels and triple cranksets vs 8+speed cassettes with 'compact doubles'.

Quit listening to the cycling rags. They take money from advertisers that are pushing these new technologies. Not all that is new is 'better'.

Just ride!!!

I toured on this - BEFORE the triple crankset or six-speed freewheel. Imagine - touring with only ten gears and with rim brakes!!! No braze-ons! Only ONE water bottle!! AND with using rear panniers only on a cheap Pletscher rear rack!: Oh, the horror!!





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Old 05-02-20, 10:19 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
OMG!! We're all gonna DIE because nobody in history of cycling had ever used rim brakes on a touring bike! /sarcasm . . . . . . . . ....

. . . . . . I toured on this - BEFORE the triple crankset or six-speed freewheel. Imagine - touring with only ten gears and with rim brakes!!! No braze-ons! Only ONE water bottle!! AND with using rear panniers only on a cheap Pletscher rear rack!: Oh, the horror!!
Yup, a 1973 Peugeot PX10 with 12-28 5 spd. freewheel, 45/52 crank, and Mavic center pull brakes

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Old 05-03-20, 05:59 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Yup, a 1973 Peugeot PX10 with 12-28 5 spd. freewheel, 46/52 crank, and Mavic center pull brakes
Most freewheels back then were 14 to 28, there were some with a 13T small sprocket. Not sure where you found a 12T. And I think you meant Mafac brakes. If my recollection is right, that had plastic Simplex gearing and tubular tires.
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Old 05-03-20, 06:04 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
OMG!! We're all gonna DIE because nobody in history of cycling had ever used rim brakes on a touring bike! /sarcasm

Really? what do you think we all did before disc brakes were a thing? I toured with Dia-Compe center-pull brakes - before cantilever brakes were even a thought. I'm certainly not the only one still alive.
Same goes for 5-6-speed freewheels and triple cranksets vs 8+speed cassettes with 'compact doubles'.

Quit listening to the cycling rags. They take money from advertisers that are pushing these new technologies. Not all that is new is 'better'.

Just ride!!!

I toured on this - BEFORE the triple crankset or six-speed freewheel. Imagine - touring with only ten gears and with rim brakes!!! No braze-ons! Only ONE water bottle!! AND with using rear panniers only on a cheap Pletscher rear rack!: Oh, the horror!!
I agree with that sentiment to a point. We tend to go overboard. Now everyone seems to NEED an 18" gear, disc brakes, a brooks saddle, 11 speed cluster, and on and on. The thing is that a lot of that stuff is nice to have, we just forget that good enough can indeed be good enough, especially when advising people starting out. There is nothing wrong with just heading out on whatever bike you have.

People seem to think they need some ultimate rig to go on a tour. The funny thing is that I seen plenty of folks who were having a great tour on a clunker that would be deemed unsuitable here and folks who were miserable on tricked out bikes with all of the finest doodads. Having a nice bike is great and improving the bike you have can be fun, but the need to have the "perfect " setup can become a disease imo. I think if folks enjoy it that is fine, but we do folks new to touring a disservice when we inflict that on them.

BTW, those Diacomp center pulls, other than being a little heavier than necessary (not a huge flaw) were pretty good brakes if my memory serves me correctly. I don't think I'd mind touring with them today. Maybe that is just nostalgia fogging my brain though.

I actually like riding a fairly old bike even today. My last tour I rode an oldish (1990) bike. OTOH, I am not ready to go back to some of the stuff that I rode way back when. Part of that may be because way back my budget was low. I remember stuff like steel rims on the 3 speed english racers if I look back a little further and of course I won't even consider the WW2 vintage paper boy bikes I rode in the 60s.
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Old 05-03-20, 09:04 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I agree with that sentiment to a point. We tend to go overboard. Now everyone seems to NEED an 18" gear, disc brakes, a brooks saddle, 11 speed cluster, and on and on. The thing is that a lot of that stuff is nice to have, we just forget that good enough can indeed be good enough, especially when advising people starting out. There is nothing wrong with just heading out on whatever bike you have.

People seem to think they need some ultimate rig to go on a tour. The funny thing is that I seen plenty of folks who were having a great tour on a clunker that would be deemed unsuitable here and folks who were miserable on tricked out bikes with all of the finest doodads. Having a nice bike is great and improving the bike you have can be fun, but the need to have the "perfect " setup can become a disease imo. I think if folks enjoy it that is fine, but we do folks new to touring a disservice when we inflict that on them.
.
all really good points.
Certainly lots of this is because of the internet, and folks spending tons of time researching stuff and sometimes, not always, feeling the need to have everything "perfect".

the other side of the view is that its nice that people dont have to go and make all the mistakes that we did when we started touring, so it is nice to get info that can avoid stuff, but again, with the internet, how to know when to stop obsessing and or who or what to believe, given that all of us jackasses have an opinion and the interwebs gives us a soapbox to blah blah blah....

but I really do agree, that for someone starting out trying bike touring, in the end you have to actually get out there and do it to see if its something you like.
For someone starting out, like this fellow, he has a bike that with some small changes like if possible a smaller granny gear and some better brake pads, is a bike that he can set off on and try this whole bike touring thing.
Buy used panniers cheaply, other used stuff, beg and borrow stuff, and especially given that he has the same bike as my first touring bike, I know that he can set off and have a fun time. Sure, he might have to walk up a hill or two, not the end of the world, and he might or probably take too much crap, but most of us did on our first tours, but hey, thats part of the experience.
Same with having 7 speeds vs 8 or 9 or 10 or 11....
same with the frame not being as stiff loaded as more modern bikes....
or the cantis not being as strong as discs...

lets face it, on bike tours carrying stuff, we plog along at a snails pace usually. Over all the years touring, my average speed that I use for guesstimating days has been consistently pretty much the same, somewhere in the 15, 16, 17 KPH range , so maybe 10 miles per hour--and slower in hilly terrain.
Sure, I have no big interest to ride all day shifting downtube shifters anymore, and I certainly appreciate wider gearing with smaller jumps between ****s, but hey, its a start for this fellow and his bike does have barend shifters also.

so Stae, its good to bring up your points and put things in perspective.
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Old 05-03-20, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I agree with that sentiment to a point. We tend to go overboard. Now everyone seems to NEED an 18" gear, disc brakes, a brooks saddle, 11 speed cluster, and on and on. The thing is that a lot of that stuff is nice to have, we just forget that good enough can indeed be good enough, especially when advising people starting out. There is nothing wrong with just heading out on whatever bike you have.
....
Fully agree.

My most recent touring bike build was three years ago, drive train with eight speed cassette and chain, square taper triple crank. The rear derailleur was one I bought used that was made in the 1990s. Rear hub with quarter inch loose steel ball bearings and a steel axle.

I have always wanted a Titanium bike, I could have picked any components I wanted to install on it. But my component choices were mostly driven by wanting reliability, robustness, easily replaceable, and easy to repair components. So, I picked components that I knew from prior experience rarely fail when I built up the new bike that I always wanted to have.
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Old 05-03-20, 09:33 AM
  #38  
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One thing I do however think it's good to impart is low gearing. Too many friends have over geared bikes, and when you add touring weight..
Taking care of knees over a lifetime of riding, and especially for not 20 year olds, and not 20 year olds who don't ride much and want those knees working into the next decades, having the OPTION of downshifting to make it easier on ones ones is very important.
If you don't use it, fine.
A lot of riders use too slow a cadence, and I think the average person will always benefit from lower gearing, there is no downside to lower gearing.

But my friends with bad knees came from years of pushing too high a gear. And while some of you have tractor legs and knees, most people don't.

Hence my harping on about hopefully having low gearing. But you guys have been listening to me for years here about this....
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Old 05-03-20, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Most freewheels back then were 14 to 28, there were some with a 13T small sprocket. Not sure where you found a 12T. And I think you meant Mafac brakes. If my recollection is right, that had plastic Simplex gearing and tubular tires.
You are correct about the 14-28 freewheel. At my age, I'm suprised that I got it that close. I had 3 freewheels 14-21, 14-24,and a "low"14-28. You are also right about Mafac brakes. That particular bike was set up with Simplex Super LJ front and rear derailleurs (there is not any plastic used in those components), and a roller bearing headset. The shop also built up a set of clincher rims to use for training. They were also good for touring. Most competition bikes in those days came with fender mounts which worked well with the older Blackburn rear racks. I considered long tours as "training rides". I did not stop to smell the roses very often


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Old 05-03-20, 02:59 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
One thing I do however think it's good to impart is low gearing. Too many friends have over geared bikes, and when you add touring weight..
Taking care of knees over a lifetime of riding, and especially for not 20 year olds, and not 20 year olds who don't ride much and want those knees working into the next decades, having the OPTION of downshifting to make it easier on ones ones is very important.
If you don't use it, fine.
A lot of riders use too slow a cadence, and I think the average person will always benefit from lower gearing, there is no downside to lower gearing.

But my friends with bad knees came from years of pushing too high a gear. And while some of you have tractor legs and knees, most people don't.

Hence my harping on about hopefully having low gearing. But you guys have been listening to me for years here about this....
I recommend low gearing too. I just have always figured having a 25" gear was having low gearing. I guess it is a matter of to what degree you need to go whether that is 25", 20", 18" or whatever.
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Old 05-03-20, 03:28 PM
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Re low gearing, I readily admit I'm a "chicken leg guy", and now I'm an older chicken leg guy, so just don't have super torquey knees and legs like some of you, but I'm a pretty good climber, loaded or not and don't shy away from mountains.
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Old 05-03-20, 03:50 PM
  #42  
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GRIM brakes. FIFY Pffft.
Not much more advanced than the ones Fred Flintstone used. LOL

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Old 05-03-20, 05:07 PM
  #43  
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Once again thanks for all the input...

I'm getting closer to actually getting on the bike. It's good to ride now but there's no destination to camp in which is a big part of this hobby. Once the campsite opens I'll load up and go to town.

I'm coming from a bit of a different perspective than some of you here. When I was younger, in my twenties, I read most of the Mountain bike magazines that I could find. I bought into the marketing hype and had to stay on top of trends. I would feel that the latest and greatest was the must have item and I would try to go out and buy it. I was a good consumer and followed what at the time was the most hyped.

Now I'm different in how I think. I try not to mindlessly consume goods. I like bicycles from the era of canti's and v brakes and have ridden a handful of other peoples modern bikes. I try to research now before I commit to purchasing and now that I have more idle time I try to double and triple think before I purchase. The bike I have is set at seven speeds in the back and it's a triple up front. With the right gearing as pointed out by a few of you I can ride my bike instead of walking it up a steep hill. This to me is the desired effect. It's good to hear from all of your experiences on touring bikes and pick and choose what will work for me, both physically and financially. I see bikes now being priced way to high in my opinion and debatable as to whether they're worth it. I've tried carbon fiber bikes and didn't think they were affordable for most rides. I've tried titanium mountain bikes and realized that they didn't make me a better rider. I don't want to buy the latest and greatest as it's from a mostly money driven perspective that it's the latest and greatest. For the riding I hope to do durability and ease of repairing are important. Cost as well. I know that some expenses can't be helped but I want to hear from perspectives that aren't from a magazine. I'm late to the forum but I want to benefit from it as much as I can and I'm doing that. I like that this hobby isn't driven by money or speed. It's not the Tour De France and I'm happy...I've never been very competitive anyways.

To me the biggest benefit of asking questions here is getting honest feedback, which you are all giving me. It's invaluable and I hope that what I learn and experience here I'll be able to pass on to my nephew and niece. I don't know if they will enjoy cycling in the same was as me but I want to guide them in whatever way I can. Knowledge is power as they say.
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Old 05-03-20, 05:27 PM
  #44  
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To me the most important thing is to get riding regularly, if you can every day or two. Start with short rides and gradually increase the time out. I've personally always found it handy to have a few loops that I can do, but no matter, just getting out regularly, whether its for 30 mins and then more, that's all that's important.
Andthen you can gradually start adding more stuff in a pannier, and gradually get used to riding with more weight.
And of course through all this time, starting to figure out stuff like padded bike shorts (no underwear remember) and seat position, and padded bike gloves etc that all help with less discomfort.
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Old 05-03-20, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
To me the most important thing is to get riding regularly, if you can every day or two. Start with short rides and gradually increase the time out. I've personally always found it handy to have a few loops that I can do, but no matter, just getting out regularly, whether its for 30 mins and then more, that's all that's important.
Andthen you can gradually start adding more stuff in a pannier, and gradually get used to riding with more weight.
And of course through all this time, starting to figure out stuff like padded bike shorts (no underwear remember) and seat position, and padded bike gloves etc that all help with less discomfort.
cheers
djb...I've got a lot of time on my hands. I'm hoping to take my bike out for a ride tomorrow. I don't have my Arkel rear panniers yet so it won't be a loaded pannier ride. It should do the trick in feeling how the bike handles and how it fits. Thanks for all your input.
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Old 05-03-20, 06:16 PM
  #46  
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No probs. With all this covid stuff and family stresses and everything stresses, getting out for short rides is so good for body and mind. Riding has always been that for me, plus it's damn fun, even after 50 years+
Happy riding
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Old 05-03-20, 06:38 PM
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I did my first pannier test run by getting a 24 case of half liter water bottles (needed at home) splitting the weight between front and back (14/10) and riding back about 20 miles. Darned interesting, and really led me to appreciate the front stability of full sized bags on low riders. At about 40mph, steered like Gibralter

​​​​​​Best wishes for an enjoyable tour!
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Old 05-04-20, 04:59 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
You are correct about the 14-28 freewheel. At my age, I'm suprised got it that close. I had 3 freewheels 14-21, 14-24,and a "low"14-28. You are also right about Mafac brakes. That particular bike was set up with Simplex Super LJ front and rear derailleurs (there is not any plastic used in those components), and a roller bearing headset. The shop also built up a set of clincher rims to use for training. They were also good for touring. Most competition bikes in those days came with fender mounts which worked well with the older Blackburn rear racks. I considered long tours as "training rides". I did not stop to smell the roses very often
...
Sounds like you are a former racer, there are a few on this board. I worked in a bike shop the year your bike was new, but Gitane was the only French bike our shop sold.
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Old 05-04-20, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Sounds like you are a former racer, there are a few on this board. I worked in a bike shop the year your bike was new, but Gitane was the only French bike our shop sold.
Yes, I did race, and was pretty mediocre at it. But I had fun, and got to ride a bike, that I normally would not be able to afford

This is the only and most treasured award I ever got from racing. It was from my young son:

Last edited by Doug64; 05-04-20 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 05-04-20, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
OMG!! We're all gonna DIE because nobody in history of cycling had ever used rim brakes on a touring bike! /sarcasm

Really? what do you think we all did before disc brakes were a thing? I toured with Dia-Compe center-pull brakes - before cantilever brakes were even a thought. I'm certainly not the only one still alive.
Same goes for 5-6-speed freewheels and triple cranksets vs 8+speed cassettes with 'compact doubles'.

Quit listening to the cycling rags. They take money from advertisers that are pushing these new technologies. Not all that is new is 'better'.

Just ride!!!

I toured on this - BEFORE the triple crankset or six-speed freewheel. Imagine - touring with only ten gears and with rim brakes!!! No braze-ons! Only ONE water bottle!! AND with using rear panniers only on a cheap Pletscher rear rack!: Oh, the horror!!





.
And TOE CLIPS!!! How did we ever do it? My first tour was a 300 mile round trip with two friends, we were 15 years old in 1972. Speaking of hardship, one of my friends had lost his right arm to cancer a few years before (he was rigth-handed) so his 10-speed Raleigh Competition was set up with a stem-mounted front shift lever and bar-end for the rear. Oh, did I forget to mention FRICTION SHIFTING? Oh I forgot to add, we were all running sew-up (tubular) tires. Had that same rack - although that IS crappy for touring. We didn't have panniers, we just strapped bags of stuff to the crappy rack. No GPS, no cell phones. Our mothers were fools or they just had confidence in us. I'm sure we called home from a pay phone every day or two or three. We had paper maps. And paper money. And regular clothes and sneakers.

It was such a good time that I continued to tour through my life and still doing it at 63. How did I ever survive all that old technology? How did I not give up in frustration because my brakes were crappy (actually they were not - just as good as most new brakes).

The new stuff is great but not so much better that you need to spend much money. Listen to the advice to JUST DO IT!

The one thing I FULLY AGREE WITH IS LOWER GEARING.
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