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  1. #51
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    Great TR, thanks for posting!

    Footwear?
    How about handwear too, are you using any pogies for paddling? Neoprene gloves?
    6 speed cog, are you using thumb shifters?
    Last edited by radair; 09-13-2016 at 06:33 AM.

  2. #52
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    Questions:
    1.What size chain ring were you running?
    2.Seat bag (waterproof?)
    2.What are you using as a tent?
    3.Sleepbag/pad system you're using?
    Trust me, I have a beard and gray hair.

  3. #53
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    You can't do a trip like this without a lot of gear. And while I'd never claim that there is only one "right choice" for gear, I've made a lot of mistakes on past bike/boat trips that have educated me on what works best.



    Starting with the boats: All 5 of us used modern Alpacka rafts.
















    Doom, Jaybs, Roman, and I were in Yukon Yaks, Brett had a Denali Llama.



    Doom and Jaybs had open boats -- no deck at all -- and no Cargo Fly zippers.



    Brett, Roman, and I had whitewater decks on our boats, and cargo zips.



    I used my zipper to stash gear low and dry inside the tubes for each of the "big" crossings: The Copper, Controller Bay, and Icy Bay.



    I think Roman used his cargo fly on the same crossings. Not sure if Brett used his.



    While I had the whitewater deck on the boat, I opted not to bring the coaming and skirt. I'd debated it heavily and reasoned that I should pack either those or a light drysuit, but not both, and ultimately concluded two things:



    - I already had too much crap to cart along, and



    -the drysuit packed smaller, lighter, and was more versatile, able to keep me dry both in *and* out of the boat.



    Roman brought his full skirt/coaming/whitewater deck setup, as well as a drysuit. Like the rest of us, he used the drysuit for big chunks of every day. I'm not sure I ever saw him use the whitewater skirt setup.



    If I owned a Yak with a Cruiser deck I'd have brought it, no question.



    None of us had thigh straps, footbraces, or throw bags, and never really missed them. No real need or use on a trip like this.



    I've done a handful of other week+ long bike/boat trips in maritime climates. On the first I skipped the drysuit, on each successive trip I've taken one. They are fragile, no doubt -- you have to be smart about how you use them. That said, I think they are worth their weight in unobtanium when you factor in packed size, personal comfort, and cost. I would never willingly go without one.











    We had zero boat or drysuit damage, thus had no cause to effect repairs.





    Paddles: some version of a breakdown paddle is mandatory. Roman and Doom had Sawyer 5-piece paddles. Jaybs had a 4-piece Werner. Brett had a 4-piece Aqua Bound. I had a 4-piece Mitchell. These paddles have to be light enough to cart along on your back every day, quick to deploy, comfortable to use for long stretches, and durable against accidental (and some not so accidental) rock impact, as well as unfazed by grit. They also get used to support our tents, so it's important that the broken-down size (in my case, 3 out of the 4 pieces of my Mitchell make for a near-perfect, taut pitch of either a 2 or 4 man 'mid) works well with your tent.



    I own a total of 5 Sawyer paddles and currently 3 of them are broken. I love the adjustability and light weight, but I rarely take them far from home -- I simply cannot trust them.



    The Mitchell I brought is a full-on whitewater paddle with bent shaft. Overkill for this trip? Absolutely. But my race-wrecked hands and wrists go numb quickly on a straight shaft paddle, thus the added mass was very welcome both for comfort and peace of mind WRT durability.

















    We had zero paddle failures or repairs.





    Tents: We took two HMG Ultamids. Doom, Brett, and Jaybs shared a 4-man version, complete with bug net and floor.











    Roman and I shared a 2-man, and while we brought the bug net I chose to be penny-wise and pound foolish by forgoing the floor option. At the start of the trip when the sun was out and our packs were crammed full, it seemed like an OK compromise. Once the rain started, I didn't feel the same: Wet sand sticks to everything, and no place is sacred. Had we possessed the floor we would have had much less sand in our clothes, sleeping bags, food, undies, and teeth.











    There turned out to be very few bugs (I think they all drowned...) thus the bug net was superfluous and I'd have traded it for a floor or ground sheet in a heartbeat.





    PFD's: We all wore them for the big crossings. I don't think anyone used them for the quick "disaster style" hops across rivers. We all opted for improvised inflatable versions. All had plenty of flotation -- typically more than USCG requirements stipulate. As with any inflatable, the tradeoff is in saving lots of packed space and weight vs. gambling on durability. My PFD was also my pillow.





    Packs: We each brought our favorite, well-worn and time-tested satchel. Mine is an HMG 2400 Windrider. The size is good, the hip-belt pockets are great, and the mesh exterior pockets are priceless. Pretty much my all-time favorite pack, and "the one" I'd choose if I could only ever have a one-pack quiver.











    The others each had an HMG Porter 3400. Jaybs and Brett added an exterior stuff pocket to theirs.



    None of our packs were truly waterproof. To date I have tried many claimed to be such and found them lacking in both dryness and in how much weight, bulk, and cost were added only to have my gear still end up wet inside. That said, the fabric on our packs never wetted out and never leaked, thus the only way our gear got wet inside was if we put it in there wet to begin with. After a few days of rain we didn't really have a choice.





    Clothing: In a word, wool. I wore a long sleeve wool hoodie every moment of the trip -- it never came off, nor did I want it to. I find this piece to be utterly perfect in design and execution -- so much so that from roughly November through April it is what I wear almost every day. The fabric is soft to the touch, the cut is neither too tight nor too loose, the hood fits well and is warm, as well as unnoticeable when pulled back. Finally, the thumb hooks and ample length to the sleeves add a level of comfort that has to be experienced to be appreciated.



    I wore wool boxers and wool socks for the entirety, underneath a pair of quick-dry Patagucci pants. I've owned this pair of pants for 5+ years now, and I can't think of a way to improve them.



    I carried a pullover rain shell and some thin rain pants. The shell was in use most of every day and sometimes even when sleeping. I used the pants often but would probably opt to leave them next time: My drysuit was drier and I'd never leave home without it.





    Sleeping: I own a really nice, really light, supremely packable summer down bag. I took one glance at our forecast and left it at home. Instead I brought along an old clapped out 40* TNF synthetic bag that I hacked apart years ago -- removing the zipper and the top ~1/3rd of the bag itself. The end result is a "half bag" that I scrunch down into when I sleep. I tend to sleep on my side 95% of the time, and usually fetal, so the added length of a full bag is more or less superfluous. I supplement it with a synthetic hooded puffy that I also wear around camp. On the bottom I had a set of wool long johns and an old set of high-loft alpaca wool socks. These last two are creature comforts that I can do without, but am always glad to have a dry, cozy layer to nest into when camp time rolls around.





    Sleep pads: We all used inflatables. I've owned this one for 3+ years now and taken it on countless trips. Main benefits as I see them are the handy/quick foot pump, a massive dump valve, and a true-to-advertised width. I wouldn't mind a shorter version since I don't use the full length, but I own several 3/4 length pads that never get used because they just aren't as comfortable or user friendly as this Nemo.





    Footwear: Some sort of light trail runner works best. Gore Tex is bad -- once wet it never dries out. I chose a set of these because they fit my feet, are very light, pretty durable, they dry quickly, and the laceless system works well. You can find them a lot cheaper if you take the time to search.



    Phew -- that's a lot of minutia.



    Next post will cover bikes and camera stuff, as well as any questions about stuff I've omitted thus far.



    Thanks for checking in.

    Handbuilt wheels: www.LaceMine29.com

  4. #54
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    When you get to the bike, would you comment on the big picture of this bike vs the "disposable" Pugsley I seem to remember you taking last time?

  5. #55
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    That trip looks looks fantastic, thanks for taking the time to post!

    I have a few questions for you - those Alpacka Stowaway dry suit seem really fragile, at least compared to the 3lb suit I use. Were you wearing it only while paddling, or while bushwhacking and riding? I have been very tempted to get one, just worried about the durability.

    What did you guys do for cooking - wood fires or a stove?

    If you don't mind me asking - how much floating vs biking did you guys do?

    (I can't believe you have 3 broken sawyers - that is a lot of busted expensive fancy paddles!)

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    That trip looks looks fantastic, thanks for taking the time to post!

    I have a few questions for you - those Alpacka Stowaway dry suit seem really fragile, at least compared to the 3lb suit I use. Were you wearing it only while paddling, or while bushwhacking and riding? I have been very tempted to get one, just worried about the durability.

    What did you guys do for cooking - wood fires or a stove?

    If you don't mind me asking - how much floating vs biking did you guys do?

    (I can't believe you have 3 broken sawyers - that is a lot of busted expensive fancy paddles!)


    Stowaway suits *are* fragile, but not nearly as much as Sawyer paddles!

    We wore the suits riding and floating. Not while bushwhacking on this trip, but in the past we have -- and we just put our khaki's and rain shells on over them to protect them. Works out to about the same level of dryness, but the suits don't get thrashed.

    Cooked ~75% over stoves because it was too hard to get fires going, and too wet to stand around them. Would prefer to cook over fire but it wasn't to be on this trip.

    Much, much more riding than floating. Dunno %'s -- but I bet Roman took a stab at it in his TR.
    Handbuilt wheels: www.LaceMine29.com

  7. #57
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    A few years back when I did the Lost Coast South, I took a massive amount of camera gear along because I didn't want to regret going light in such a spectacular place. That meant two Canon 7d bodies, a 28-300 tele zoom on one and an 8-16 UWA on the other. I also had 8 spare batts (they are bulky for the 7d), an intervalometer, plus a Contour POV (and 5 more batts) in it's silly waterproof case. Because of where we were and what our objective was, I had to have 2 separate waterproof bags to carry this stuff in. Any way you slice it that was just too much photo gear, even if the results seemed to vindicate the decision to carry it.



    This time around I went much simpler. I no longer have the 7d bodies -- one actually died on the trip described above -- thus I brought my one and only DSLR: A Canon 5d3. I schlepped along a Canon 28-300L lens, which is just a massive piece of metal and glass for this sort of trip. I've owned 2 of these now, and both have been simply unparalleled as far as IQ and covering a massive range are concerned. That said, I have a love/hate relationship with this lens: Love the results, hate carting it along. First world problem, anyone?



    I carried this body/lens combo in an Ortlieb "waterproof" bag, usually strapped to my handlebars. I added quotes because it's a nice bag: great size, easy open/close zipper, and it does pretty dang well with moisture management. But it is emphatically not waterproof in any way. It manages a few hours of rain OK but after an all-day rain (during which I kept it sealed shut) it completely wetted through and there was a small puddle in the bottom of the bag. Doom and Brett both used these bags as well, and both had moisture management issues as I did.









    Camera bag bottom left. I most often slung it over the front of the bars, but sometimes clipped it to my shoulder straps and had it on my chest.





    Our forecast was so dismal that I forewent bringing a UWA lens, simply because I knew I wouldn't want to be swapping glass in such a humid and gritty environment. Given a choice I'll always prefer to shoot from a UWA perspective ~50% of the time on any given trip. But because of the rain and wet sand infiltration we experienced, coupled with the fact that the camera/lens combo I carried is a bonafide 28mm, I didn't regret the lack of UWA more than once or twice.



    I brought an intervalometer but never used it on this go round, simply because I couldn't foresee many time lapse sets working out with the near-constant fog, drizzle and wind.



    I carried 4 extra batteries for the 5d3. But because we had so much rain the DSLR never left it's water-resistant bag for the entirety of 2 of our days out, which meant I only used 2 of the backups. Raining sideways and blowing salt spray are not the ideal environment for electronics of which one is enamored. On those days (and many other times when I wanted a quick from-the-hip shot) I exclusively used a Go Pro Hero Session and a few-year-old Olympus TG-830. Image quality on both of those is meh, but they're waterproof and coming home with a low-quality shot beats nothing at all. I was glad to have both of these.



    Food: I carried organic pop tarts (no nuclear ingredients like the capital P version) for breakfast, salami, string cheese, and tortillas for lunch, and then freeze dried meals for dinner. I had an even split of Backpackers Pantry and Good To-Go, and have learned that I vastly prefer the G2G stuff: Flavor and cost are about the same but I can pronounce and understand everything on the ingredients label of the G2G meals.



    We cooked over canister stoves most of the time. Normally this group would opt to heat water over a driftwood fire, but the copious quantities of precip made the effort of kindling fire with wet wood tedious, and the desire to stand over it in the rain non-existent. We were glad to have stoves.



    I had a handful of treats like chocolate bars, peanut butter cups, and licorice as "head food". I don't ever seem to be able to carry as much of that stuff as my body would like to consume. N+1 seems to be the correct quantity.



    I treated ~1/100th of the water I drank with Aquamira drops -- basically just the stagnant stuff when we were thirsty and uncertain when the next moving water would arrive. Anything flowing we just dipped and drank. I flavored my water with Nuun a few times a day.



    Tomorrow: bike geek minutia.
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  8. #58
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    Yes!!! Another beach trip write up! My favorite!
    I have to go back and read this thread another 48 times and let it all sink in.

  9. #59
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    Yeah lots to absorb here, I'll go through it a few times.

    For water I try to find it coming out of the ground and not filter that, the ground filters it for you. I am paranoid about getting sick out there so I generally religiously filter water. Especially when you see marmot sh!t on the rocks beside the beautiful babbling alpine brook... and bears everywhere. Glacial water makes filtering difficult.

    I carted around my Nikon 200-500 the other week, that is a beast. But I am glad I brought it, I got some nice shots with it. I wish I had brought my Sigma 10-20. I used the Nikon 35 f/1.8 which is good, I had it on a full frame sensor D610.

    I brought too much other stuff, mostly electronics and batteries I didn't use. Too much food as well but this was a new route so I didn't know how long I could be stuck out there.

    I'm already looking forward to getting back out, maybe Mexico later this year if I can get the time off.

  10. #60
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    The bike.


    My main goal in choosing a bike for this trip was to find something modular. Sure, it needed to fit me well, fit big tires, and have decent soft-surface geometry. But before all of that it had to be able to accept a geared, derailleur based shifting system, and then in the event that something happened to that shifting system, this chassis needed to be convertible to singlespeed without major shenanigans. In other words, it needed sliding or horizontal dropouts.



    I spent a week searching the 'net in my spare time, and if you discount custom frames you pretty quickly end up looking at Surly's frames, or the Trek Farley.



    I've owned and loved a Pugsley and Moonlander and wasn't averse to leaning in that direction. The only real downside I could find to the Surly frames is that they're made of steel, and steel + salt water immersion is eventually going to be a bad thing.



    The fact that the Farley (at least the one I was willing to spring for) is aluminum ever so slightly pushed me in that direction. The fact that the Farley's use on-center laced wheels pushed me over the edge. For daily use an offset-laced wheel works out just fine, but will never compare to the lateral rigidity and ultimate durability of an on-center build. When I'm going deep I really don't want to give any second thoughts to my equipment once underway. In short, the bomber run-em-over-with-a-truck-and-they'll-still-be-fine reliability of on-center wheels was the decider in this case: I ordered a Farley frame and fork.










    While waiting for them to arrive I laced myself a set of wheels using Bontrager Jackalope 27.5 x 80mm rims, DT Swiss Big Ride hubs, DT Swiss SuperComp triple butted spokes, and DT Prolock brass nipples. I chose this diameter of rim because I've had a fair bit of experience with it over the last ~9 months. The easiest way to explain what I like about it is to point the payback machine to 1999, when I got my first 29" wheeled bike. Remember your first ride on a 29 incher, and how effortless it seemed to keep those tall wheels rolling over pretty much everything, at least relative to the 26" bikes that were still in favor at the time? Then as now, a taller wheel will roll over obstacles with less effort. So if you've got a fat enough tire to float across soft beach sand, then why not make it a bit taller so that it can erase holes, roots, beach cobbles, rain ruts, and other momentum sucking obstacles?



    Why not indeed. Ever since trying "B Fat" late last winter, I've been smitten and can't really see a benefit to 26 x 4 or even 4.8. I still prefer a 26 x 5.2" setup for pure snow riding, as nothing yet available floats as well when the snow is bottomless the way it is in our backyard. But for three-season use on beaches, down washes, or off-piste entirely, I have converted to B Fat and I ain't goin' back.











    Why the Jackalope rims? In a word, rotating mass. "But Mike!" you say, "There are lighter rims out there!" And this is true, to a point: There are lighter rims available. But, I retort, most of those rims are doublewall -- which means that every time we ride through a slough, or push our bikes through a too-deep-to-ride river, or play chicken (and lose) with the dumping breakers, some of that water gets between the walls of the rim. And stays there. Thus very quickly your gucci light rims are ounces if not pounds heavier than they were when you built them. No bueno.



    The solution is to use a singlewall rim to start with. And because I have stacks and stacks of these in the shop, and have been building with every iteration available (and some that never made it to market) for the past 15 years, I've developed favorites. The Jackalope has the easiest, most intuitive, and most reliable tubeless interface of any singlewall rim I've used to date. I can install tires by hand, no tools needed. I can, should the need arise, also remove tires with no tools needed. Perhaps most importantly, I can inflate a tire, tubeless, with a mini hand pump -- no compressor, floor pump, or even frame pump required. And that last bit is what pushed me over the edge on rim choice: If I were to cut a tire on, say, mussels or barnacles at some point of this ride, I could peel it off, stitch it back together (yes, I carry a needle and nylon carpet thread), then reinstall the tire and reinflate it tubeless on the spot.



    There are other singlewall rims out there to choose from. They are either hideously expensive when you consider how I was about to treat them, or famously fragile, or they have tire fit issues that make the tubeless interface or field repair of a flat somewhere between difficult and diabolical.



    Choosing the Jackalopes was, as they say, a no brainer.











    Tire choices are still somewhat limited for B Fat. I use the B Fat Hodag's on my full suspension fatbike, but they didn't seem quite big enough once I started throwing gear into a pile for the Lost Coast. The added mass of a boat, paddle, PFD, camera gear, repair kit, tent, sleep kit, and many days of food meant that very quickly I chose the biggest B Fat tire available to date: The Bontrager Barbegazi 27.5 x 4.5". These treads have decent grip but more importantly they have surprisingly little rolling resistance -- especially given how much float they afford. I used them on a desert traverse this spring and really couldn't find fault with them there. Tall, fat, light, durable, and tubeless ready -- check.



    Why the DT hubs? I've used DT's star ratchet hubs (240s, 340, 350, 440, and 540) for decades on my own personal bikes, and on the bikes of every customer that will let me lace them. Down the spine of the continent on the GDR, across Alaska on the Iditarod, plus countless alpine and desert tours in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. We're talking literally hundreds of thousands of miles with *zero* failures or even hiccups. They are among the lightest hubs on the market, they can go thousands of miles without service, they are unbelievably easy to maintain (a rag, a dab of grease, and ~3 minutes are about it) and yet they very rarely need maintenance. I continually experiment with new and interesting hubs on rides close to home, but when I'm going deep I never, ever have to wonder or worry about the DT. All that and, somehow, they are among the least expensive hubs available today.



    I learned from Eric and Dylan that brakes in a coastal environment are largely superfluous. You use them more when schwacking than when riding -- to keep the bike in place as you find footing or hoist yourself forward. As such there's really no need for *two* brakes. Given a choice between front or rear, I choose front simply because there's less hose out there to get caught on brush, plus it's easier to stuff your gear back under the bars with only the front loop of hose to deal with. I had a single Hayes Prime Comp brake sitting on the shelf, orphaned after some previous project. I've had great success with these brakes over the past 4+ years, and so if only to keep from spending yet more money on a bike that was going to get thrashed in short order, I shortened the hose and bolted it on.











    Comfort is important on a beach ride: Since the terrain is relatively uniform you don't move around on the bike as much as you would on an engaging trail. The best you can hope for is firm sand to keep the pace high -- and failing that you're either groveling along at stupid low pressures, or you're walking. If you get your wish and the sand is firm, you sit and spin not unlike a road ride -- which is great for average speed but not awesome for contact points that would prefer to not always be in contact. I spent a few hours fine tuning the bar height so that I had a good balance of weight on both hands and butt, then raised the bars another inch for good measure, knowing that I could always lower them, but also that I was unlikely to do so.



    I had an old set of no-name take off bars sitting on the shelf in a ~680mm width. Too narrow by modern standards, but when it comes to schwacking through brush with a bike, every extra millimeter of bar width matters. I was happy to take something narrow, and thrilled that they were being recycled instead of buying something new. I screwed a clapped-out set of ergo grips on and called the cockpit good.



    I experimented last winter with a Bodyfloat isolation seatpost on my snowbike. I freaking loved it, despite how ugly it is. In a previous life I'd used the Thudbuster suspension post and both Moots and Eriksen ti posts. One ride on the Bodyfloat convinced me that rigid posts on hardtails are stupid, no matter what they're made from. By the second ride the stictionless suppleness of the coil-sprung Bodyfloat had me wondering whom I could give my Thudbuster to. I was thrilled to have the Bodyfloat on the bike for this trip. It squeaked a bit after 3 solid days of rain, grit, and seawater, so I dug out my chain lube and put the tiniest dot of lube at the base of one of the pivots, and it was silent the rest of the trip. As a group we swapped bikes a few times and I always immediately missed the Bodyfloat, while whomever was on my bike immediately commented on how good the post felt.



    Drivetrain: I got creative here, for several reasons. Primary driver was not wanting to spend a pile of money on something that was just going to get treated like dirt for 2 weeks straight. I dug into my drivetrain drawer and found a thumbshifter, a clutched derailleur, a used-but-not-used-up chain, and a shoebox full of loose cogs. Knowing that our trip started with ~17 miles of hard-surfaced road gradually descending to the Copper, I knew I'd need a go-fast gear to keep from flapping feebly in the breeze. But then once we left that road and hit the delta, the lagoons, and the beaches, I knew I'd need a few go-slow gears to choose from. From the Lost Coast North trip I knew that SE AK has some really bad brush through which we might have to schwack, so I wanted to keep the drivetrain as simple and clean as possible -- to minimize the potential for breakage. I also wanted to be able to go to a singlespeed if I bent my der hanger or tore the der clean off the bike.



    Thus I decided on a 6 speed setup -- largely because the gears I'd be likely to need in a singlespeed situation were the 5th and 6th cogs, and these had the best chainline. The spread was 11 to 26t, and I just filled in the gaps between with even jumps.











    For cranks I picked Surly Mr. Whirly's simply because I knew I could remove the spider and bolt a titanium 20 tooth Action Tec ring straight into the 58mm bolt circle of the crank. Remembering Eric's epic chainring failure of '08, I basted the chainring bolts liberally with blue loctite.











    Wanting to keep cable runs to a minimum -- both for concerns about saltwater intrusion and to minimize the possibility of snagging one while schwacking -- I bolted the thumbshifter onto the seatstay rack mount, which gave me a massive 8" long cable run to the rear der. I couldn't easily reach that shifter from the saddle, which meant I approached this ride from the perspective of a singlespeeder, always reading the lay of the land and ramping up in advance when necessary. Over the course of the trip I think I averaged 2 shifts a day -- and of those probably only one was necessary.











    Alas my desire to go the extra mile to keep things simple ended up biting me in the ass -- and I'm still not sure why. I broke my chain 4 different times, all of them apropos of nothing that was happening. Grit may have been a factor, but then why weren't the others breaking theirs? Same with saltwater -- why only me? I wasn't shifting enough to speak of and I was diligent about cleaning and lubing the chain a few times a day -- more than the others as far as I could see. 4 broken chains might equal every other chain break I've ever had in a 40+ years of riding bicycles. Never did figure this out, but somehow when I'd used up all of my quicklinks and spare links, and learned that no one else had brought any, the breakages stopped.







    Shifter placement visible above.





    I got creative with pedals. On many previous trips I'd learned the importance of removing pedals for long periods of pushing or carrying the bike. Once removed, not only do you not bang your shins on them when walking, but they can't catch on willow or alder and come swinging around to hit your shins or calves even harder. But carrying and keeping track of an extra tool is sort of a bummer, so I went looking for a solution. I found these on eBay and ran them on my commuter for 3 solid seasons, expecting them to somehow crater. But they never did. So I ordered a second set and when they arrived I compared the bearing feel and tried to find any difference in interface slop from the 3-year-old set to the new set. And I really couldn't tell a difference. So I bolted 'em on for the trip and ultimately used 'em throughout. It was really, really convenient to be able to to just pop a pedal off and stick it in a pocket during the big boat crossings, or while schwacking our way up to the glacier. I'd always make a point of rinsing the spindle in some ~fresh water before snapping the pedal back into place for the next fetch. Really tickled with these.



    Seat was an old WTB Vigo that just plain fits. I think it's my last one -- may need to start scouring eBay this winter...



    Bags: I used a Revelate Gas Tank to keep an iPhone close at hand for navs. We used Gaia to locate ourselves, mark daily progress, and a few times to "see" what was over the bluff and help determine fine route choices when things got really bad.



    I chose a stock Revelate frame bag because it fit the frame really well and because I was able to swing into Revelate and just grab it when I got to Anchorage. Inside I kept most of my lunches, some water, bike tools and repair kit, and a spare tube.











    I used the Revelate Terrapin under the seat, as I've done for many previous trips. This is my all-time favorite seat bag, largely because of it's modularity and waterproofness. Easy to just toss the whole thing into the tent at night, then repack it from within the comfort of the tent in the AM, and then quickly slip it in place and away you go. I had this thing stuffed with all of my dinners, all of my breakfasts, the bug net for the mid, a fuel canister for the stove, and any overflow that I didn't want on my back.











    The Farley frame came with a QR seat binder, which I used frequently when it came time to schlep the bike on the boat. Open the binder, spin the post 180* and drop it completely, and the seat bag was instantly both out of the way of my body inside the boat and my paddle blades outside. Handy.



    All I can think of. Don't hesitate with questions.

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  11. #61
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    THAT was comprehensive.

    No questions here.

    Thanks for spending the time to educate the vicarious masses.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  12. #62
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    WOW!! Thanks for taking the time to write up this great TR and sharing so much detailled info! I can hardly wrap my head around how much saddle time and OCD gear geeking are compressed into these posts.

    Taking a shot at your chain problem vs why others in your group didn't. Were they running more "conventionnal" 1x drive train (i.e. 32 or 30 front rings)? If so, could it be your front 20t "micro drive" that caused the issues? Riding a 20-20 ratio is identical for your legs as your partner riding 32-32. But your chain tension will be ~35% higher because of the smaller leverage the 20T ring has. Plus this tension will be distributed on fewer teeth putting more stress on your links. Add grit, salt water, pre-used chain vs new...

    It's just a theory?! I could be way out in the left field!

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankzetank View Post
    WOW!! Thanks for taking the time to write up this great TR and sharing so much detailled info! I can hardly wrap my head around how much saddle time and OCD gear geeking are compressed into these posts.

    Taking a shot at your chain problem vs why others in your group didn't. Were they running more "conventionnal" 1x drive train (i.e. 32 or 30 front rings)? If so, could it be your front 20t "micro drive" that caused the issues? Riding a 20-20 ratio is identical for your legs as your partner riding 32-32. But your chain tension will be ~35% higher because of the smaller leverage the 20T ring has. Plus this tension will be distributed on fewer teeth putting more stress on your links. Add grit, salt water, pre-used chain vs new...

    It's just a theory?! I could be way out in the left field!
    If I hadn't used these exact 20t ti rings for a ~decade before this, I'd wonder if that was possible. I just don't see why it matters now, but didn't matter for the previous decade?
    Handbuilt wheels: www.LaceMine29.com

  14. #64
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    Why did one chain fail like that? There is no way to really figure it out. Too little data. It's just one of those things that happens. Hopefully once in a long time and you are done with that for many trips to come.

    Now that the bike is home how is it looking? Does 2 weeks of use like that mean it will need a full overhaul?

    Are you keeping it long-term for these kind of trips or going to sell it and worry about another sacrificial fatty when you need one down the road?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Why did one chain fail like that? There is no way to really figure it out. Too little data. It's just one of those things that happens. Hopefully once in a long time and you are done with that for many trips to come.

    Now that the bike is home how is it looking? Does 2 weeks of use like that mean it will need a full overhaul?

    Are you keeping it long-term for these kind of trips or going to sell it and worry about another sacrificial fatty when you need one down the road?

    Yep, agreed. Not enough info to dig deeper into and determine a cause. Still tough for me to let go of something so off the charts as far as precedent. I think that chain had a few hundred miles on it, at most, before I installed it on this bike.

    The most "damage" is to the frame, where the frame bag sat, and where grit and moisture got between the two and rubbed things raw. Purely cosmetic, but no less ugly.

    I cleaned and regreased every bearing, ****canned the chain and brake pads, flushed the BB shell, seat tube, and head tube with WD40, then threw a whole slew of new parts on it, including tires. With the exception of the frame scuffing, it looks and rides like a new bike.

    I won't need a 'beater fatty' for another ~10 months, thus I'll sell this one locally in the next few weeks, and buy another when the time comes.
    Handbuilt wheels: www.LaceMine29.com

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    ...said the fatty beater.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Yep, agreed. Not enough info to dig deeper into and determine a cause. Still tough for me to let go of something so off the charts as far as precedent. I think that chain had a few hundred miles on it, at most, before I installed it on this bike.

    The most "damage" is to the frame, where the frame bag sat, and where grit and moisture got between the two and rubbed things raw. Purely cosmetic, but no less ugly.

    I cleaned and regreased every bearing, ****canned the chain and brake pads, flushed the BB shell, seat tube, and head tube with WD40, then threw a whole slew of new parts on it, including tires. With the exception of the frame scuffing, it looks and rides like a new bike.

    I won't need a 'beater fatty' for another ~10 months, thus I'll sell this one locally in the next few weeks, and buy another when the time comes.
    Chain failures...

    I think some tool at the chain factory was wearing out when your chain came off the chain riveting machine. Probably an anomaly. I would immediately get a new chain and abuse it to see what happens. Of course, I would have kept the old chain for comparison (I'm curious that way, and it's kinda my job sometimes).

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    If I hadn't used these exact 20t ti rings for a ~decade before this, I'd wonder if that was possible. I just don't see why it matters now, but didn't matter for the previous decade?
    Maybe the rings are finally worn enough to start causing problems?

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    Maybe the rings are finally worn enough to start causing problems?
    Mike would not take an old ring on such a trip.

    A buddy of mine broke his chain 4 times on one ride a couple of weeks ago. It got very annoying after the second time. There was nothing obviously wrong but it was theorized in the pub later that he had a bent tooth on one of his cogs. Don't know if that was verified or not.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    Maybe the rings are finally worn enough to start causing problems?
    Given the way I answered the question to which you were responding, I can see why you'd lean in that direction.

    Thus I should clarify. The chainrings are Action Tec ti. I bought 6 or 7 of them in the middle 2000's, and used them on most of my bikes through 2013 or so. One would generally last 2-3 years of full-time use.

    It was a *new* ring that I put onto this Farley for this trip. Cogs that were matched with it had, at most, a few hundred miles on them, as did the chain. In short, none had been used enough to have any wear to speak of. I inspected all for a bend or a burr that might be causing the breakage, and there was nothing -- not during the trip, not now afterward.
    Handbuilt wheels: www.LaceMine29.com

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelf View Post
    Boone ti cogs?
    Cogs were all Shimano or SRAM.
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  22. #72
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    I appreciate these posts as they fuel my desire to embark on an epic adventure like this. I also stalk these posts to see when mike is selling some of his awesome gear

    Like that bike with the 5.05

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Given the way I answered the question to which you were responding, I can see why you'd lean in that direction.

    Thus I should clarify. The chainrings are Action Tec ti. I bought 6 or 7 of them in the middle 2000's, and used them on most of my bikes through 2013 or so. One would generally last 2-3 years of full-time use.

    It was a *new* ring that I put onto this Farley for this trip. Cogs that were matched with it had, at most, a few hundred miles on them, as did the chain. In short, none had been used enough to have any wear to speak of. I inspected all for a bend or a burr that might be causing the breakage, and there was nothing -- not during the trip, not now afterward.
    Yeah, I guess I misinterpreted that and thought it was a ring that was used off and on for a few years. Sounds like it was just one of those things that will never be figured out. I'm sure you have already, but I'd just pitch the chain and move on. I don't remember seeing it, what chain was it?

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by blidner View Post
    I appreciate these posts as they fuel my desire to embark on an epic adventure like this. I also stalk these posts to see when mike is selling some of his awesome gear

    Like that bike with the 5.05
    I only sell stuff if I think I can improve upon it, or if I'm just not using it.

    Nothing better (for snow, yet) than the Vee 2XL tires, thus that bike is staying at least for this season.
    Handbuilt wheels: www.LaceMine29.com

  25. #75
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    I'm going to look at the Lenz you sold me!!!

    I'm totally taking away from the the thread so won't perpetuate this, but that Lenz is amazing

    And despite mikes desire to keep pushing for excellence, his pre loved bikes are awesome

  26. #76
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    It took me way too long to find these pics of the der/shifter and improvised "chainguide", but they still seemed important to add for future reference.

    Still working on the video -- but not quite there yet.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails In the footsteps of giants.-8a3a2115.jpg  

    In the footsteps of giants.-8a3a2113.jpg  

    In the footsteps of giants.-8a3a3034.jpg  

    Handbuilt wheels: www.LaceMine29.com

  27. #77
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    Reminds me of my grandfather's old International Scout where you'd have to jump out and lock the hubs to go 4x4. Got to really want that shift.

  28. #78
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    Finally finished the accompanying video. See it here.
    Last edited by mikesee; 1 Week Ago at 11:11 AM.
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