Monthly Archives: December 2008

Learn how to repair and care for your bicycle

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Learning how to care for and repair your bicycle is something every owner needs to know.  If you are like my friend Derek, you don’t even know how to clean your chain.  Of course, all of us start out at this point at some time or another.  Now even if you know how to clean your chain, there are a lot of other things you can learn about your bike.

I’ve come across a great website to teach you just about everything you’ll need to know about caring for and repairing your bicycle.

biketutor

This website is almost perfect.  I say this because the guy who does the videos, although helpful, is a bit of a drag on the ears.  Not only are there a ton of videos teaching you how to do this such as:

  • Give your bike a complete home tune-up
  • Patch flats
  • Replace grips and handlebar tape
  • Adjust brakes
  • True a wheel
  • Overhaul a bottom bracket
  • Remove the cassette
  • Replace spokes
  • Replace chainrings
  • Lubricate your bike
  • Overhaul wheel bearings

There are a lot of other videos on the site as well.  I certainly hope they will help you on your next journey and save you from having to watch me do repairs on video.

A lot of the tools and stuff they use on bicycletutor can be had quite cheaply over at REI.com, check it out.
Minoura Gyro V270 Mag Bike Trainer

Super sweet bicycle trainer from rei.com

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Blog Layout Updated

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Just wanted to state the obvious and mention we’ve completely overhauled the blog.  New logo, new layout, new pages, and new inspiration!  Expect more posts, 2009 touring bike model reviews, and more.  Make sure to check out our dedicated website over at theultimatetrek.com

Let us know what you think of the new design.

Bicycle gear on sale. Great deals at REI.com

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Save an extra 15% on all Clearance items at REI! Dec 19-24
Happy holidays everyone.  I just wanted to give a quick update on what’s happening over at REI.com right now.  They are offering an EXTRA 15% off of clearance and sale items until the 24th of December.  REI is a great place to pick up cycling, touring, and camping gear.  These sales are particularly good times to buy cycling clothes like tights and padded shorts.

Remember, clicking the link above helps support our ride for charity.  Thanks.

Topeak Alien II 26 function tool.

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Topeak Alien II 26 Multi-Tool

Fixing your bike on the road is something you’ll have to do just about every day on a bicycle tour. A multi-tool is a perfect way to carry a bunch of tools in a small package. The Topeak Alien II 26 is a very effective tool and is the go-to when it comes to bike multi-tools. Though it is a bit heavy, it is extremely versatile.  I found most of the allen wrenches fit my bike and only had a little trouble using the wrenches on a water bottle mount and the tool size was a little restrictive inside the water bottle cage.  This tool does split in two which certainly helps cut down its size and make it more maneuverable.

Let’s look at some of the features and how they might help you out on the road.

  • Universal Chain Tool-  This is useful if you don’t have a quick-release chain.
  • Allen-wrenches- There are useful in adjusting brakes, pedals, clips, seatposts, and panniers.
  • Bottle opener- Self-supported tour? Alcholic? Either way or both, this is handy.
  • Knife-  Very useful while camping or cutting straps on the bike or panniers.
  • Tire levers- Nice heavy duty levers for replacing flats.
  • Wrenches-  Work when I need to adjust my front and rear racks.
  • Spoke wrenches- A very handy tool to have in this set, that way the small thing isn’t lost in a bag.

There is a universal chain tool, allen wrenches, spoke wrenches, wrenches, knife, bottle opener, 2 tire levers, and more! This is a must-have for a tour, pick one up cheap at rei.com by clicking on the picture above.

The Road Ahead- Part Three

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It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted an update to The Road Ahead series, but it’s finally here.  There has been a lot of commotion on the planning front.  With this in mind I made a little mistake.  I should have placed this post between Part I and II but didn’t have the information yet.  Well, now I do, so we can look at the Korea to China ferry.

Weidong Ferry

The Weidong Ferry

For those of us on the Korean Peninsula with bicycles who are looking to get out of the country. You have options!  I believe you can get on a boat to Japan or China.  I don’t know much about Japan, but have done the research for China.  There are a ton of ferries that leave Incheon/Busan for China, I’ve chosen the  Weidong ferry.  They are fast, relatively cheap, and hopefully will take on our loaded bikes. We’ll be headed to Qingdao, about as far south as we can get.

Room rates are as follows:

Economy: (Many beds in Japanese-mat style): 100,000 w ($70)

Business: (2 bunks for 4 people):  140,000w ($100)

Royal: (1 double bed for 2 people, bathroom, living room): 160,000 ($120)

I may be a little off with my fare quotes, but they’re close enough.  Well, since we’re hauling bikes, looks like a Royal Suite is in the works.  Just remember, you must reserve at least a month in advance.  We’ll see if a boat ticket and a map to Kazakhstan floats with Chinese visa officials 🙂

2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker

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Last minute shoppers head to REI.com for your bicycle touring fanatic, they’ve got everything!

REI.com for Cycling

The new 2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker’s are hitting the shelves as I write this post.  With the holidays approaching, I’m sure some of you are in the market for a new purchase.  The new models mean a couple of things to us.  First, we get new colors.  Check out the new Truckachino frame color!  Nice, and would look great with some brown handlebar wrap, a nice brown leater seat, and me sitting on top.

truckaccino

What else does this new model mean to us?  Well, for those of us looking for a deal, head to your local LBS and look for 08′ models.  My LBS is selling them at $250 off to make room for the new models.

It also means that for those of you who couldn’t find your ideal frame size in an 08′ model, the whole set is being put out and you should be able to get what you want.  I know that during the last half of the year, it was hard to find 54cm and 56 cm models.  Shouldn’t be a problem soon.

One last thing to look at are the changes to this year’s model.  There are a couple.

1. PMT handlebars.  No big difference here.

2.Andel Crank

3.WTB SST saddle. Anyone tried this saddle yet?

That’s about it, mostly just a new color.

TOPEAK Road Morph G Master Blaster with Gauge

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Looking for a last minute gift idea for your bicycle touring fanatic?  Get a giftcard from REI, low prices on all types of touring gear.
REI.com

Frame pumps are a necessity on any tour, and getting a good one if often difficult to pull off. After a lot of research and a little testing, I selected the Topeak Road Morph G Master Blaster.

Topeak Road Morph Master Blaster

Here are the specs:

* Head – Presta / Schrader
* Barrel – Butted Aluminum
* Gauge – In-Line
* Hose – 10 Inches
* Thumb Lock
* Handle – T-Type Plastic / Kraton
* Capacity – 160 psi/ 11 bar
* Added Features – Fold out Foot Pad, Hose Dock, Mouting Bracket, Single Action

After a couple of months of use, I’ve written down a list of the goods and bads of this pump.

Goods:
* Good pumping power, can get the bike up to pressure fast, somewhere around 120psi from my experience.

*It’s small and only 200grams
*Fold-out foot stand helps pumping a lot
*Very efficient
*Inexpensive ($35.00 )

Cons:
*Mountain bracket is huge and makes the pump stick out.
*In-line pressure gauge is all over the place, it basically starts at 0 and with one pump jumps to 120 and sits there then jumps to 160 with the next pump.
*Mounting straps scrape the heck out of the frame 😦

Overall, this is a great pump, I’d buy it again if I was in that position. I have since put rubber connectors on the mounting bracket and mounted it under my headtube for more clearance.

Pick on up cheap at REI.com.

88x31 REI Logo