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From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: alloy failure
Date: 9 Jan 2001 18:45:05 GMT

Jerry Nilson writes:

>> Bicycle science isn't high tech, the most important part of it being
>> marketing, as we see by the colored tires and rims on the road today.

> Hello -- I don't know if you read all the message, but... . Have you made
> some recommendations on rims, tires, hubs etc. here in the forum in the
> past that you could pass on, perhaps -- I would be interested to hear what
> you like!

What I like is durable functional equipment.  In rims that was the 36h
Mavic MA-2, in spokes it was the DT 1.8-1.6mm diameter spoke, and hubs
it was the 6/7-speed Shimano cassette hub.  I do not find useful,
colored or patterned tread road tires, nor 9 and 10 uni-directional
side cut sprockets with pressure faces less than 1mm wide, replaceable
only as clusters.

I see no benefit in small tire clearances that prevent the passage of
dirt on tires either through the fork crown or brake caliper.  Along
those lines, low spoke count is a useless fad.  All this falls into
the category of spoilers on family cars or trunk lids on Porsches that
open above 40mph, that of imaginary aerodynamic advantage.  Short
wheelbases, bent stays, and vanishing tire clearances do nothing for
the bicycle or rider other than make riding less reliable such that a
broken spoke or a bit of mud on the road disables the bicycle.

> I first came across your name before I went on a bicycle trip to the
> dolomites last year (via the Trentino bike-pages)... . I made a little
> trip tour for the web myself that was also added to his site -- you can
> see it through my homepage link below, in case that would be interesting
> but of course you know these roads already... :-).

Sounds like you had a good trip but I couldn't help noticing that none
of your pictures show any baggage.  How did you transport your things?
I can only imagine that you had a back pack that was never in the
picture.  Next time put the baggage on the bicycle.  It's much better
for your back and makes descending far more safe with the freedom of
motion it gives.

Jobst Brandt      <>

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: alloy failure
Date: 11 Jan 2001 01:37:15 GMT

Jerry Nilson writes:

> I hope to be back there another year, but going like 260 km in one
> day as I noticed you had done on your last (?) trip seems a bit too
> much (or I would have to start right when the sun goes up...).

I don't think you should have it so hard if you start early and take
it easy all day, the distances fade away with the lovely scenery and
good meals.  You are still "young and beautiful" as the ladies tend to
say.  That was years ago for me and then we rode farther and faster,
sprinting for most city limits and the like.

If you get the baggage weight onto the bicycle and off your back, I am
sure you would enjoy the ride more.  I ride no-hands down the longer
runs of the Stelvio and take pictures.  If you want speed, take the
Fedaia Pass at the base of the Marmolada from west to east.  That
offers more then 100km/h.  From what you say, it seems you are on the
brakes more than necessary.  Either that or you need some Kool-Stop
(salmon) brake pads.  On one sunny Alpine tour, I stated with 2mm of
rubber remaining and finished without going to the metal because it
didn't rain.  Although I carry spare brake pads, I didn't need them.

It's great to see that you didn't let the details stop you from having
a great ride.  Most folks won't do that without hotel reservations in
advance.  That kills the whole trip because you have to under estimate
all the distances and stick to them even if the weather suggests a
different route.  The spontaneity of planning from day to day is part
of the adventure.  I know where I would like to reach for lunch and the
end of the day, but it often turns out differently.  The Sierra ride
of 1993 is one of those unknown destination rides that was exciting.

I and John Woodfill did the same loop in reverse this September.

Jobst Brandt      <>

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: alloy failure
Date: 12 Jan 2001 17:33:39 GMT

Jerry Nilson writes:

> If I could ask you one more thing -- what kind of bag would your recommend
> for baggage -- I could perhaps be a little open to the idea if there is
> something reasonably aerodynamic alternative -- like a frame bag (triangle)
> of some kind...

The bag I use is from England and is available today as it has for
probably more than 60 years.  It's the Carradice Nelson bag.  They
also have a bag attachment frame although I have my own device that
attaches it with a pull-pin to the saddle.  Don't worry about
aerodynamics.  It makes little difference considering your own size in
the wind.  You can see the bag in:

> I haven't seen anything that has made me very happy yet, but what
> would you suggest -- it surely does not need to be big -- there's no
> use to carry much along anyway.

I think I covered that in the list of item I find useful:

> I would rather have one more light-weight T-shirt and some walkable
> lightweight footwear -- I really tried very hard to find some good
> light shoes, but couldn't find anything else than beach sandals --
> if you know of something better (esp.  something which is foldable
> (possible to put in the back pockets of the jersey) that would be
> one of the best tips I could get.
 . Guess I asked you two! :-)

I use Shimano SPD pedals and SH-T090 shoes that have rubber soles and
walk comfortably enough that I rider then to work and wear them all
day.  They work well on trails where one must carry the bicycle
because it is too steep since they are designed as Tri-Sport shoes:

Jobst Brandt      <>

From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: alloy failure
Date: 13 Jan 2001 01:05:36 GMT

Jerry Nilson writes:

> However, there seem to be some differences among us -- maybe that has
> something to with age -- dunno --

Which age do you mean.  I started doing this when I was 22 years old
and many years later, today I still do my touring with the items I
mentioned in the list to which I gave the URL.  Carradice makes a
smaller bag that I have also but I don't recall the name.  The bag
size, small as it is, makes no difference to your touring performance.
It's more how much you put in it as weight that counts on the hills.

> I still have a pair of SPD Shimano touring shoes SH-A100 -- very
> nice I thought and my arguing went just like yours some years ago,
> but I sometimes got problems on longer rides with the small SPD
> pedals and decided to change to Look (despite the difficulty in
> finding a good solution (that is -- not koolcovers)), because it was
> the cheapest and most tried system (apart from SPD and clips).

The complaint about small pedal surface is a mental hurdle.  The soles
of today's SPD shoes is rigid enough that you cannot feel the pedal.
The ability to walk safely and to enter a hotel with good floors is
more important anyway.  Otherwise you must carry a second set of shoes.
That's a lot more baggage than I choose to volunteer for.

> I also try to avoid unpaved roads, but contrary to some I know there
> is no big problem going on unpaved roads with racer and occasionally
> I do.  I also would no longer want a frame with the geometry your
> yellow one has... (or clips for that matter).

I don't think you know what the dimensions of my frame are and what
effect that might have on your riding.  Some of those pictures are from
the days before SPD and Look pedals.  I haven't done that in a while.
I'm not sure what you perceive as not your choice in frame geometry.

> I also like to have the shifters up at the handlebars and have
> aerowheels and so ... but in some cases it is probably most a matter
> of taste.  I also think your bag is too big for me -- it just has to
> be something smaller.... .

What do you believe aero wheels will do for touring, that on the route
you described was mostly climbing and braking where such wheels are
only a detriment.  Where you place your shift levers is optional but I
find that my down tube shifters are out of the way and don't get much
use anyway.  They are lighter and less complex and expensive than STI.

> (I also like to take a shower when arriving at the overnight place
> and change clothes before I go out on the "town" ...  but I saw you
> stayed often at small places up in the mountains -- well maybe I
> will try that out also one day... .)

You can be sure that I look forward to a good shower wherever I stay.
Whether you go out on the town or not is again optional.  If you have
a good ride during the day, a good meal and sleep make a good evening

> | walk comfortably enough that I rider then to work and wear them all
> | day.  They work well on trails where one must carry the bicycle
> | because it is too steep since they are designed as Tri-Sport shoes:

> Okay -- it could be something to think of depending on what kind of
> roads one think one will get across on a trip... however, crazy me,
> has been climbing cliffs in my finest rubberless Church shoes... but
> in some cases your shoes ought to be the best alternative, I can
> see... . Maybe I will get wiser eventually.... .

There may be other options but these shoes work excellently and SPD
pedals have worked well for me for many years.  As you can see, I ride
on all sorts of roads and with the same tires that anyone would use on
the best pavement.  In the days when there were only good racing
tubulars for this sort of touring, I rode on 300g silks (Campionato
del Mundo Clement).  In those days, most of the main Alpine passes and
nearly all in the Dolomites were unpaved.  We had fewer flats because
there was fewer beer bottle bing thrown on the road.  The Stelvio was
unpaved as was the Simplon and Grand S. Bernard (Pordoi, Sella,

Jobst Brandt      <>

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