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  #181  
Old 10.05.2010, 16:56
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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For MT-biking stick to the forests.
I don`t agree, I belive a good adjusted MTB with ideal non profile tires is much better. Wider MTB tires are a must have thing for non sealed roads and if you want to drive over tram rails safer.
Many people buy a too big framed road bikes where balls get jammed very often
Of course, if you want to travel far with high pressure +10 bar tires you should get a race bike like set up, with them you feel every ant you run over. But i don`t think you can get a bike which will suit long distance travel and every day and picnic cross country.

what is becoming popular here in EU/CH are 29' MTB's..I got the specialized 29' Rockhopper SL..fast, comfortable and does well off road....
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  #182  
Old 10.05.2010, 23:34
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

The best types of bikes for the National Cycling Routes would be a cyclocross bike or a drop-bar touring bar (i.e., a "classic English steel tourer" - Dawes Galaxy or Trek 520 being good examples), those will easily take 700 x 32-35mm tyres (or 29" x 1.4" if you prefer to use that terminology), which would be ideal for the mixed surfaces of the National Cycle Routes (plus, an audax/randonneur may also take those tires, and would be lighter than the tourer). They'll all be more efficient and lighter than most MTBs (which would be unnecessarily overbuilt for the task), and will offer more variety of hand positions than a straight-bar bike (although butterfly bars would be another way to achieve that goal if you want a high riding position).
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  #183  
Old 13.05.2010, 09:33
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland Solid Air, Nendaz

Solid Air Nendaz 2010, 10 hours VTT race for charity with teams of 5

What a great day pics and more details http://www.skiproperty4vallees.com/blog.php

Will be attending next year, great atmosphere.
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  #184  
Old 13.05.2010, 18:06
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland Solid Air, Nendaz

Does anyone know if the Klausen is open yet? I fancy heading up there if the weather's ok on saturday.
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  #185  
Old 13.05.2010, 18:34
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

I found with google:

10. Mai 2010 ... Klausen-Pass in beiden Richtungen gesperrt bis 28.05.2010. (Wintersperre).

You have to wait untill June 2010
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  #186  
Old 13.05.2010, 22:01
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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I found with google:

10. Mai 2010 ... Klausen-Pass in beiden Richtungen gesperrt bis 28.05.2010. (Wintersperre).

You have to wait untill June 2010
Blackbird, thanks for that. Would do a 'thank' but i don't think i have enough posts yet.
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  #187  
Old 15.05.2010, 22:35
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

... so I clocked up 3000km and decided to replace all worn bike parts. I went shopping in the same bike-shop where I got the bike and purchased two brand new tires (2 x CHF26.50), brake pads (CHF19 for four pieces), new chain (CHF38). The guy explained to me in Swiss German something I understood was: make sure you measure old chain and shorten the new one to the same length and you need special chain tool for that purpose.
I took my whole bike apart which gave me an idea to clean all bits an pieces cog after cog, gear after gear. This kept me busy whole 8 hours starting early afternoon and I've just finished now as we speak. All the dirt and grease's been removed and lube applied. I tried to do this job most carefully I only could and I ended up with truly watchmaker's accuracy. The bike looks like brand new and shiny. It was sheer nightmare removing the dirt and I sacrificed few old white shirts. I was lucky that a chain in the packet was exactly same length as the old one. All I had to do was to pull it over and snap the pin. The whole thing was quite a rewarding exercise and saved me another CHF100 for servicing in the same shop. And I only used the very primitive tools from Lidl for CHF10 but they worked awesome.

I only have a question as I forgot to ask the bike guy in the shop. Where do I dispose of old metal parts and tires. Should I cut them to small rubber pieces and recycle in Gemeinde sack as usual or look for a special purpose place?
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Last edited by jacek; 16.05.2010 at 15:11.
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  #188  
Old 16.05.2010, 11:17
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

I would recycle the metal parts(there must be a place in your town or ask at your local bike store), the tires
would i place in the bag with the rubbish from the household(gemeindesack).
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  #189  
Old 16.05.2010, 14:39
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

I guess such consumables like tyres don't qualify for retreading as a case with car tyres and the latter can be scrapped. I thought as much. Thanks anyway, this answers my question.

Ok, I pumped up the tyres up to the pressure achievable by a tiny hand pump just to be able to ride and took it down to the nearest garage to use the compressor with gauage, further adjusting tyres pressure up to 4,0 bar. The bike runs smoothly but during the gears transition I can feels minor difference. As I had to tune up the brakes' cables upon changing the pads, should I also readjust the Shimano's transmission cable tightness all the same? It could also be that the parts are new and they need to trim themselves inside the drive train?
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  #190  
Old 17.05.2010, 11:07
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Hello,
I've been reading posts about some of the amazing cycling tours taken by my fellow EF'ers and I've decided to join in the fun. This is what I have in mind:
Start in Basel and ride about 166 km the first day to Walenstadt (southeast of Zurich) which is a little long but very doable without any mountain passes and with a nice lunch break. The next day would be a bit easier from Walenstadt to Thusis which should be a fairly easy 70 km, and the last day would be another 70 km to St. Moritz via BergŁn over the Albula pass and a train back to Basel.
I'm thinking having a longer first day will give me more time for sightseeing once I get to the mountains, and I won't hit the big pass with heavy legs. I like to think I am a fairly decent cyclist with multiple Ironmans under my belt but I've never done a multiple day tour so I think this will be a challenge for me. I also like the idea of seeing the Southeast part of Switzerland for the first time.
I do have a few questions for the more experienced folks:

1. Any experience along this route? (re: traffic/road conditions?)

2. I would prefer to use my road bike with a small backpack but have an option of putting slicks on my hardtail 29er. Which one would be more suitable?

3. Would anyone want to join me? I'm thinking either next month or sometime in late August.

Before anyone agrees to join I'll just say that once I hit anything around 7% grade or steeper my average speed drops to embarrasing levels (I'm 1.92 mts and 98 kg) so you may be riding solo for a good bit of the pass with me suffering off the back...

Thanks for the input,
Carlos
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  #191  
Old 17.05.2010, 11:52
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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1. Any experience along this route? (re: traffic/road conditions?)
The Albula is an awesome pass! Both times I've done it, it's been at the end of a long day, and I was too tired to enjoy it properly. It's good that you should have a complete day to fully enjoy it. It is very long, so make sure that you have some breaks along the way. The first part of the road leaving Thusis is a bit busy, with several long tunnels, but it clears up once most of the traffic has turned off to the Julierpass, and is fantastic from there on. You can always take the train for this first section if you really don't like the idea of riding in the tunnels.

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2. I would prefer to use my road bike with a small backpack but have an option of putting slicks on my hardtail 29er. Which one would be more suitable?
Personally, I hate wearing a backpack when riding, and almost never do it. I find it makes my shoulders and neck ache, it makes my balance a bit top-heavy, and if it is warm then my back gets sweaty very fast with even the best-designed backpack. Despite this, I see a lot of other cyclists using a backpack all the time. Instead of a backpack, I use all sorts of methods for attaching stuff to the bike. The simplest of these are a handlebar bag, a seatpost-mounted rear rack with a bag mounted on the top (the rack just clamps to the seatpost and nowhere on the frame), and a 'bento-box', which is a small bag that mounts on the top tube behind the stem that is popular with triathletes. There are also methods for attaching a full rear rack to any bike that doesn't have mounting points by using a kit sold by Tubus to connect the lower part using the quick release skewer of the rear wheel and the upper part by using a special seat-post clamp that has extra eyelights to attach the rack's upper stays to. You still shouldn't put a huge amount of weight on such a setup, but you can certainly attach what you would otherwise carry in a backpack. There are also bags that mount inside your frame, and you can buy plastic straps to mount an extra water bottle cage underneath your down-tube, near the bottom bracket, which I sometimes use to put a special water bottle that is designed to hold a tool kit. If you need any specific details on these options, then just ask.

Slick tyres on a hardtail 29er would also work. The bike is probably an extra 4+kg, but more important than that is which bike is comfier. The MTB probably has a higher hand position, which means less strain on your back, but also means more weight/pressure on your butt (because less weight is on your hands). MTB bars are also not the most comfortable for long distances because they only have one hand position which twists your wrists in an unrelaxed orientation. Make sure that you at least have some bar ends to give a second hand position (and a more natural wrist orientation), and I would get some Ergon grips to make things as comfortable as possible. But, if you have a position on the road bike that you find comfortable for a decent length of time then I would go with that option (with the proviso of not carrying weight on your back, because that is likely to guarantee discomfort).
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  #192  
Old 17.05.2010, 12:08
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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I would recycle the metal parts(there must be a place in your town or ask at your local bike store), the tires
would i place in the bag with the rubbish from the household(gemeindesack).

As far i know bicycle tires should be disposed at your bike shop where you buy new ones. They don`t belong in the household bin. I think it is not worth to buy new tires somewhere and mount them by yourself at home when you can get that made at your bike shop with good advice which tire to use for only a few bucks more.
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  #193  
Old 17.05.2010, 16:09
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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As far i know bicycle tires should be disposed at your bike shop where you buy new ones. They don`t belong in the household bin. I think it is not worth to buy new tires somewhere and mount them by yourself at home when you can get that made at your bike shop with good advice which tire to use for only a few bucks more.
Hey, since when can you write without misspelling every single word? And suddenly, you sound much more like a native speaker using complicated grammar than a borderline illiterate...
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  #194  
Old 17.05.2010, 16:29
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Personally, I hate wearing a backpack when riding, and almost never do it. I find it makes my shoulders and neck ache, it makes my balance a bit top-heavy, and if it is warm then my back gets sweaty very fast with even the best-designed backpack.
Thanks ChrisW, that makes a lot of sense. I'm going to attach something to my road bike since I'm far more comfortable on it for longer distances, and I'm going the weekend of June 18-20. C'mon nice weather!!!
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  #195  
Old 17.05.2010, 20:13
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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As far i know bicycle tires should be disposed at your bike shop where you buy new ones. They don`t belong in the household bin. I think it is not worth to buy new tires somewhere and mount them by yourself at home when you can get that made at your bike shop with good advice which tire to use for only a few bucks more.
Thanks Tom for your insight and sensible advice, truly pragmatic approach. But imagine that I'm kind of the man cherishing concept of DIY for fun and achievement reasons. It would have been much more simple to let the bike shop mechanique get his hands dirty in grease and he gets paid for this service. In reality, I found it quite rewarding how to learn such things yourself.
I'm sure you find things in your household that do not belong there and need special place to be disposed.
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  #196  
Old 17.05.2010, 20:39
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Back with my amateur question possibly in the wrong section but please bear with me...

I rode the bike first time after changing the above mentioned parts. Whenever I engaged the higher gear, the transition seems to be smooth but say after three revolutions of pedals or so I feel like chain slips or skips as you put it with grinding sound. This just happens once or twice and it's ok again. At lower gears that doesn't take place. I wasn't sure and thought that the new chain could be longer than the old one. So I measured both again and counted the links. The number corresponds exactly to 116 links on both old and the new chain respectively. So it's not the length of the chain. I checked the cogs and cassette and it seems to be fine too. Today I rode about 30km and this notorious slipping up a gear makes me suspicious about derailer's cable tightness. Do you think it will settle out by itself or the bike needs additional adjustment. Referring to some bike forums discussions on this topic would be much appreciated...
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  #197  
Old 17.05.2010, 20:51
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Thanks Tom for your insight and sensible advice, truly pragmatic approach. But imagine that I'm kind of the man cherishing concept of DIY for fun and achievement reasons. It would have been much more simple to let the bike shop mechanique get his hands dirty in grease and he gets paid for this service. In reality, I found it quite rewarding how to learn such things yourself.
I'm sure you find things in your household that do not belong there and need special place to be disposed.

At minimum, a cyclist should be able to do certain things themselves, changing a tire is not any different than changing a flat (which is a skill that all cyclists should have).

I think your gearing just need to be adjusted. Have you tried adjusting the tightness of the derailer cable at all? I would try googling Sheldon Brown. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html
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  #198  
Old 17.05.2010, 20:55
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

This Saturday and Monday the organized bike ride "Jura Derby" in Boningen will take place. You can choose between different race- and mountainbike routes. Pretty well organized and beautiful landscape. I can recommend.

More info: http://www.vcborn.ch/

I will start on Monday. Anybody interested in joining the long race bike tour?

Best regards,
Biagio
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  #199  
Old 17.05.2010, 21:36
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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At minimum, a cyclist should be able to do certain things themselves, changing a tire is not any different than changing a flat (which is a skill that all cyclists should have).

I think your gearing just need to be adjusted. Have you tried adjusting the tightness of the derailer cable at all? I would try googling Sheldon Brown. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html
Thanks it looks good. I tweaked an indexing adjustment and previously loose cable seems to be tighter now. I will ride tomorrow morning and find out if it gets any better. I also thought it could have been a stiff link but less likely so...
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Old 18.05.2010, 09:54
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

@dakman: Your hint was good. It was indeed gearing adjustment (index on derailer). I gave it few turns and today there wasn't even a single slippage of chain over 10km route.
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