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Posted on Apr 15, 2013

Before going too far, I need to give a warning to anyone installing any super-slippery coated (brake) cables… BACKGROUND: The OEM cable set on my test bike is tight, way too much friction. After one season of training and racing, all of the steel cables are corroded, the ferrules are rusted into the calipers and the rear brake housing is starting to fall off the bike … yes, it’s time to change the cables. So, I put out some feelers to the following companies for a cable set system to install, test, and report back on. Since I have the Shimano Dura Ace 7900 on my bike, this testing will clearly tell if the cable system works. (Note: the Dura Ace 7900 took a lot of criticism for mushy shifting and braking compared to the group it replaced – the butter smooth 7800. ) *Note: PTFE is also known under DuPont brand name as Teflon. The companies that replied and submitted product for testing were genuinely very interested in working with me, answering all of my questions and did...

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Posted on Apr 14, 2013

NOKON – WHATS IN THE PACKAGE: NOKON cables, which I heard were one of the best, were the first to arrive, so, let’s give them a try… Even though each box contains both stainless steel shift cables AND stainless steel brake cables, you will still need 2 sets in order to have enough ‘Konkavex’ pieces and end caps to be able to install both shift cables and brake cables onto your frame. Konkavex, I believe means concave-convex, since each piece has a concave end and a convex end which fit together end-to-end. Each ‘Shimano road’ package contains 2 Nokon cords (PTFE liners that come pre-built with konkavex-parts) One cord has 2 pre-built sections for REAR BRAKE AND/OR REAR DERAILLEUR The other cord has a single pre-built section of konkavex parts for FRONT BRAKE AND/OR FRONT DERAILLEUR 2 stainless steel Brake cables 2 stainless steel Derailleur/Shift cables Extra konkavex parts, misc. round beads and end caps Larger cable liners INSTALLATION OBSERVATIONS:   When separating and laying out all of the parts, I noticed there were 2 prebuilt sections of cable,...

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Posted on Apr 13, 2013

YOKOZUNA – WHATS IN THE PACKAGE:   Yokozuna sells brake shoes and disc brake pads, but are best known for their Shift and Brake cable systems and high quality replacement stainless steel cables. The makers behind the Yokozuna brand have decades of experience subcontracting to the largest drivetrain makers in the cycling industry, providing cables and housing for these manufacturers pro-level groups. Currently, Yokozuna manufactures 2 models of cable systems (Premium and Reaction). For this test, I have chosen the Reaction Cable System. Here are the differences in these two systems: Premium Cable & Housing Kit – an OE replacement cable system SHIFT kits (Shimano/SRAM; Campagnolo) BRAKE kits (Shimano/SRAM; Campagnolo) Jet-Lubed housing that is grease filled end-to-end, not just filled at the tips which offers a claimed 10% less cable drag than with conventional housing. Two different diameter shifter housings are now available (4mm, and 5mm) All housing is lead and dioxin free Premium Quality Stainless Steel cables Reaction Cable System – a premium compression-less cable set consisting of both brake system and shift system featuring Rapidwire Technology which...

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Posted on Apr 12, 2013

SHIMANO DURA ACE – WHATS IN THE PACKAGE When I first received this newly introduced BC-9000 cableset (2/2013), there was not a lot of technical information available about these new  cables and housing. A call in to Shimano Bike Customer Service yielded the following: “The Dura Ace 9000 cables are different than anything preceding them. The Dura Ace 9000 shift housing is the same as SP41 (actually it is SP41), but the brake housing is completely different and MUST be used with the new polymer coated brake cable. Unlike standard SP41 housing, the new BC-9000 brake housing comes pre-lubed with special polymer compatible grease.” BACKGROUND: To take every advantage of the newly and completely redesigned Dura Ace 9000, Shimano put extra effort into designing a new cableset resulting from 2 separate feedback channels, (a) people complaining that Dura Ace 7900 was a step backwards compared to the Dura Ace 7800 -one of the smoothest operating groups ever built, and (b) the current trend of new frame designs are hidden cables and although more aerodynamic and aesthetically pleasing, the drawback...

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Posted on Apr 11, 2013

CLARKS – WHATS IN THE PACKAGE:   I was supposed to test the Zero-G compression-less brake and shifter sets. What came in the mail was the Zero-G Brake system and a standard Stainless Steel cable kit (packaged in the Zero-G box). So, for this article, I will be testing the Zero-G brake set. I called Clarks to discuss this issue and they said they would look into what happened and then send out the correct shifter cable kit. This was a number of months ago and I have not heard back from them yet. To summarize, it is very apparent that Clarks wants to go light. While most manufacturers use steel braiding for the brake housing, Yokozuna uses alloy, Clarks uses an even lighter Kevlar™ braiding. This is about as light as you can go. I believe this is a fantastic idea since Kevlar is very strong and stretch resistant. Clarks also uses cables that are a little on the thinner side. Yes, it really looks like Clarks wants to go as light as possible with their cablesets.  ...

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Posted on Apr 10, 2013

RESULTS SUMMARY: I compared the brake lever pull using the stock Shimano Dura Ace 7900 OEM cable set as the baseline. Shown below, using either the NOKON (compression-less) system, the Shimano Dura Ace 9000 system, or the Yokozuna Reaction (compression-less) system, there is a significant reduction in the amount of force needed to pull the brake levers, resulting in a very smooth and controlled lever action for BOTH shifting and braking. Click on chart below for full size graphic.   The table below is a summary of the findings. Click on table below for full size...

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A Low Cost Laundry Detergent Mixture that Really Gets the Smell Out of Athletic Clothes!!...

Posted on Apr 10, 2013

WHATS IN THE PACKAGE(S): I have been looking for a cost effective solution that will actually work to clean our families bicycle clothes. While in high school, my daughter was in cross country and came home with some foul smelling clothes. Using a powder instead of a liquid is what her coach recommended, but, the clothes were still not 100% fresh. One day, just for the heck of it,  I added some baking soda (equal amount) and this seemed to be the boost that the detergent needed. I have been using this formula for over a year now and this mixture has not had any adverse reaction with the cycling clothes. Clothes now come out of the washer smelling fresh and clean.         +     COST: Energy efficient washing machines recommend using the lower line of the scoop. By doing this, I am getting 80 washes from the Laundry Detergent. The 13.5 pounds of baking soda is good for 200 loads. Combining these, I can do a full load of sports clothes for less than 10...

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Rotor Q-Rings Explained

Posted on Apr 9, 2013

Jeremy asked about Q-Rings. “Why are they better, what makes them work?” I found a youtube video from Rotor/Cervelo Test Team from 2010 that explains this very well <click here> Also, for a more detailed explanation of the actual science behind the Q-rings <click...

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