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CABLESETS – Part 4: SHIMANO BC-9000

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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CABLESETS – Part 5: CLARKS

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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CABLESETS – Part 6: SUMMARY TABLE

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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Saddles Part 1 – BACKGROUND

Posted on Apr 7, 2013

PURPOSE OF TEST Before getting into the actual analysis, testing and recommendations, I would like to preface these recommendations with the caveat ‘my choices are 100% dependent upon my personal attributes and no way imply the quality of any saddle tested’. What I have learned in this research and testing is that since we are all created differently “What works for me, might not work for you”. I have spent the past several months researching all of the literature and studies from different manufacturers websites, Urology experts, ergonomic experts, etc.  and learned A LOT.  My research started as a quest to find the best fitting saddle. Cutouts, no cutouts, long, short, wide narrow, flat, curved. Everyone seems to have an outspoken preference and I have found out you don’t argue religion, politics, or saddles. What seems to be comfortable for one person might feel like a 2×4 to another. Why?  As it turns out the ‘RIGHT’ saddle depends on several important factors and a small difference in any one of these between two people will result in a complete...

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Saddles Part 2 – SELLE SMP

Posted on Apr 6, 2013

PICKING THE RIGHT SADDLE Here is what the manufacturers have been researching, as well as my analysis after testing these saddles (in the order that I received the saddles from the manufacturers)… SELLE SMP – Their racing saddles fall under one of two product lines. One product line is for cyclists with XSmall-Small-Medium hips, the other product line is for cyclists with Medium-Large-XLarge hips. At the top of both product lines are full carbon saddles. You can equate hip width to sit bone width as these two measurements should be directly proportional to each other.   Since most cyclists prefer some degree of padding, Selle SMP measures the padding in 3 locations to best suit each cyclists preference for comfort. 2” from the front Saddle midpoint 2” from the rear   Each of these different padding thicknesses equate to a different saddle model as can be seen with the three models tested. This also means that each SELLE SMP might have more or less curvature depending on the amount and location that the padding is placed.   BENEFITS of...

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Saddles Part 3 – ISM ADAMO

Posted on Apr 5, 2013

ISM –IDEAL SADDLE MODIFICATION. Their saddles are used by many triathletes. I havent seen too many mounted to road bikes so I thought this might be something to explore.  ISM reports that Dr. Sommer commented that with the ISM saddle, blood flow in the perineum area remained at 100% throughout his tests. Dr. Sommer stated, “ISM – A saddle where there is hardly any blood loss. Which is excellent to preserve sexuality and for preventing erectile dysfunction.”   In a recent April 2009 Study, NIOSH concluded that the best bicycle saddle is one with no-nose. The 2 attached graphics summarize this article which shows the pressure points of a tradtional saddle (left) vs. a noseless saddle, which turns out to pretty much match ISM ADAMO racing saddle pressure points (that include a ‘nose’ -see figure below). These great results are due to ISM placing the riders groin in front of the saddle arms. For 2013, ISM has 11 ‘racing’ style saddles (they will be adding the ATTACK) and 2 sport/touring saddles which offer a wider seating platform and a...

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Saddles Part 4 – SPECIALIZED ROMIN EVO EXPERT...

Posted on Apr 4, 2013

SPECIALIZED’s saddle technology was developed with ergonomic expert Dr. Roger Minkow. This technology is called Body Geometry. The Body Geometry line of saddles is designed with a cut-out or groove to take the pressure off of the arteries and soft tissues for improved blood flow and comfort. Of equal importance is correct saddle width. In order for a saddle to have the Body Geometry classification, it must allow 75%+ blood flow. To get fitted, you sit on a piece of dense memory foam which imprints your sit bones. A measurement is taken then associated with a table to get your Specialized saddle width (see graphic). They will then ask you a question of riding position which is that final factor in determining saddle width. My results were that I need a 143mm wide saddle. SELECTING THE RIGHT SADDLE Specialized has 4 basic lines of saddles, MTB, Road/Multisport, Recreational and BMX/Youth. The line of Saddles I chose was Road/Multisport. Within this category, there are 3 lines of racing saddles; Chicane, Toupe, Romin. The Toupe and Romin are similar, except the...

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