Pages Navigation Menu
supported by:
Bike Fit and USCF Coach

In case you were wondering … Gear Numbers

Posted on Jan 17, 2015

This can be viewed as a TECH NOTE for the cycle computer manufacturers as well as the GPS manufacturers. Last week I was testing several different GPS head units and cycle computers that ‘talk to’ Di2. But, after comparing the data, I noticed that something just wasn’t right. But let me take a step back. The Shimano D-fly wireless transmitter sends several pieces of data to ANT+ devices. These data of importance being Di2 battery level and gear position (front gear number, rear gear number). Its up to the cycle computer/GPS to take this data and display it in a value added format such as a graphical representation of what gears you are currently in and by recording time stamps, can tell the cyclist what % of the ride he/she was in what gear. So what’s the issue? After entering (a) Cassette Model 9/10/11, (b) Cassette type (11-23, 11-25, 11-28, etc.),  and (c) Crankset Type (50-34, 53-39, etc.) into your cycle computer/GPS, it has enough information to display all kinds of data for you. And that’s the issue. In this example,...

Read More

2014 Products of the Year

Posted on Jan 14, 2015

For the 2014 Product of the Year Awards, I have added the categories of  HARDWARE, SOFTWARE, CLOTHING and HONORABLE MENTION. This was actually pretty tough to put together since every product I have tested has been top-notch from every manufacturer. Not a dud in the group. Every product I tested lived up to its manufacturers spec-sheet and every product performed extremely well and met/exceeded its intended purpose. For 2014, each manufacturer put a lot of quality back into their products and every manufacturer I have spoken with has up front and honest when answering any and all of my questions. Therefore, this made it extremely difficult to pick the best of the best. What I decided to do is create a THEME for 2014 … ELECTRONICS. Since Di2 has been out for awhile, I looked at what’s next. I decided to look at the ‘accessories’ built to support Di2. So here goes; HARDWARE – In keeping with the 2014 theme, I chose the Shimano d-fly SM-EWWO1 wireless transmitter. This small transmitter adds a whole new dimension to Di2 by transmitting Di2 data such as % battery remaining, current gear...

Read More

How to gain back some free wattage – Shimano RD-6800/6870 Upper Guide Pulley fix...

Posted on Dec 31, 2014

This simple how-to article is specifically for the Ultegra line of rear derailleur tension & guide pulleys, aka jockey wheels. In this specific case, the RD-6800 guide pulleys are identical to the 6870 guide pulleys so for sake of simplicity, we will call them RD-68xx. This article does NOT apply to the Dura Ace RD-9000/9070 tension & guide pulleys since the RD-90xx pulleys use sealed bearings. While cleaning my bike the other day, I noticed that the upper pulley had considerable resistance so that it was hard to turn by hand. Since my RD-6870 only has a couple thousand miles, it seemed unlikely that the pulley/ceramic bushing was worn out. I had already removed the rear wheel so I took a brand new 3mm allen wrench and quickly removed the upper jockey wheel. Note: using a NEW allen wrench will help prevent stripping of this screw. Pinching the dust caps together ensured that I wouldn’t lose any bits and pieces. Placing the jockey wheel on the workbench I stripped it down completely. HOW IT WORKS The upper jockey wheel is located in what...

Read More

Titanium Pulleys… Why ???

Posted on Dec 30, 2014

While testing some different rear derailleur jockey/pulley wheels for a client, a flyer came across my desk advertising a titanium rear derailleur pulley wheel set. At first these parts looked intriguing, but, looking into it further, I started asking why? First off, any metal pulley wheel will be a lot noisier than a standard plastic OEM pulley wheel. Second, metal pulley wheels just don’t run as smooth or shift as well as the standard OEM plastic ones from the same manufacturer that makes the rear derailleur. Third, look at the MSRP of the titanium set.  3x that of a Shimano RD-9000/9070 and 5x the price of a RD-6800/6870 pulley wheel set. Fourth, look at the weights. The titanium set is 56.25% heavier than the RD-9000 set and 39% heavier than the RD-6800 set. A typical OEM plastic pulley set is quieter, shifts better, is lighter and costs far less than the titanium model, I again ask why would anyone buy...

Read More

Best Place to Position the Brake Pads on Aluminum Road Bike Rim...

Posted on Dec 30, 2014

 So where’s the best place to position your road bike’s brake pads? Last Saturday, while waiting for everyone to arrive at the group ride, the self-proclaimed bike repair guy, whose shop is in his basement, was helping a female cyclist who was fairly new to the sport. She told him that something was rubbing and shaking while she was riding, especially when braking. He took the bike for a quick up the block and back and told her it was her brake pads. She was running them dead center on the brake track and he said that he prefers to see them as high as possible. I sat there for a minute trying to understand his logic which still doesn’t make sense. The True Answer is that it’s better to run the pads lower than higher (lower as in closer to the spoke nipples than higher which is closer to the tire). In fact, its best to run them as low as possible just before they start hitting the side of the rim. There are two reasons for this. From a...

Read More

STRAVA incorrectly calculating total elevation/altitude...

Posted on Dec 10, 2014

Recent issue with Strava. Meaning … DON’T BELIEVE THE ALTITUDE DATA IN STRAVA. I did a local course this morning. The Magellan Cyclo 505 stated 4,080.56 feet of climbing. When I uploaded this ride to Strava, Strava said 6,918 feet. How can these be so different? The Magellan Cyclo GPS creates a GPX file and every second builds on this file as you ride, updating each parameter including Lat, Lon, elev, hr, power, etc. After the ride, when you hit STOP, the cyclo ends the recording, calculates the totals and closes the file – that’s why it takes several seconds for the Cyclo 505 to respond after you hit STOP. At home, you can upload this file to your local Magellan account where a graphical representation of the ride is displayed. Regarding Altitude, the Magellan adds all of the waypoints up and, for this ride was calculated to be 4,080.56 feet. I then uploaded to Strava and now the total Ascent is 6,918 feet. So where is the discrepancy? I then took the GPX file and changed each <ele> to <xxx>...

Read More

Should I Wear a Bicycle Helmet?

Posted on Oct 15, 2014

This article is from HELMETS.ORG, specifically, shouldi.htm. Reprinted here ensuring viewing by a greater audience. The topic came up the other day when someone posted a picture of a group ride saying how much fun it was. I replied with “all except the guy in the back without a helmet.” You wouldn’t have believed the backlash I took since this was one of their ‘world champ’ celebrities I made a comment about. There were over 100 replies with 95% against me for mentioning that this person should have been wearing a helmet. Of course, reading their comments, there was no merit or common sense behind any of their arguments. Responses such as “he’s a world champ, he’ll never crash”, “he knows how to handle a bike better than you so he’ll never crash”, etc. etc. The most idiotic response was “did you know that you are more likely to get a head injury while taking a shower than riding a bicycle” <- WRONG! I asked a friend of mine, a very bright individual who just got his PhD, what...

Read More

THE LAST WORD ON CHAIN LUBRICATION

Posted on Jun 22, 2014

THE LAST WORD ON CHAIN LUBRICATION I have been testing chains, lots of chains, lots of different companies chains to failure in real world conditions. Mostly, I have been testing how 11-speed chains work on 10-speed drive trains. Also, I started looking closely at lubes and the role they play in overall chain functionality. I have read numerous lubrication testing articles, what works, what doesn’t and why. This includes the infamous Velo News/Friction-Facts testing articles during 2013 where they concluded that a wax-based PTFE lube is best. Since PTFE will not stick to anything and nothing will stick to PTFE, Friction-Facts solves this by suspending the PTFE inside their wax (and Finish Line suspends PTFE inside their Dry Teflon® lube). In theory, Friction-Facts wax with PTFE makes for a great chain friction inhibitor … as long as the wax stays between the plates, pins and rollers. In real world conditions, this does not work as well as in the laboratory. In real world cycling, you are shifting the rear derailleur up and down the gears dozens and dozens of...

Read More
Page 2 of 41234
supported by:
The Parts Shoppe Bearings and Grease
supported by:
The Parts Shoppe Bearings and Grease

Pin It on Pinterest