Pages Navigation Menu

Can You Compare Steel to Carbon?

Posted on Feb 27, 2014

Which is Better, Steel or Carbon Fiber? You hear it all of the time – One camp says ‘Steel Is Real’, the other camp ‘You wouldn’t say that if you have ever ridden a Carbon Frame’. I’ve been thinking about this question and there are too many variables to gain any useful conclusion. Steel bikes – In the ’80’s and ’90’s there used to be many different varieties of steel, each tuned for a particular type of riding. To name a few, Columbus, Tange, Reynolds had several models available – from very high performance and high performance to medium performance and general production. Couple this with the quality of the brazing, whether by the hand of a high quality craftsman or via assembly line – two frames could have a complete different feel. Other variables are the components – especially wheels, as well as the rider – a novice will report complete different results than a seasoned pro on the same frame. Another factor is miles. Steel fatigues and goes ‘dead’ after some length of time depending on how...

Read More

Simple Solution for Tight Cable Housing Bends

Posted on Feb 10, 2014

My daughter has a 51cm R5 Cervelo. It has a 128mm tall head tube and she has it set up with a slammed -17° x 100mm stem. This doesn’t give a lot of room for the shift cables to bend when using a standard housing such as Shimano SP41, or SRAM. After building her bike, she complained that the steering was way too tight. I double-checked the headset and it was perfect. The problem was that due to a ‘too-tight’ bending of the housing, the shift cables pressed themselves very hard into the fork crown. In fact, they were so tight against the fork crown that each ended up putting a dent into the fork crown. Taking it back to the bike shop, they suggested making the cables a little shorter and rerouting. This didn’t work either since the right shift cable/housing now interfered with the front brake housing prevented the handlebars to be turned to the left. So, two solutions remained. First, a very expensive $200 solution (shift and brake) – replacing all of the housing with one...

Read More

Comparing Shimano SH-R260 to SH-R320

Posted on Jan 27, 2014

  SHIMANO SH-R260 Last year, I was asked to test the new SH-R320 – Shimano’s newest flagship road racing shoe. {REVIEW IS HERE} Even before the first ride, I was thoroughly impressed with the quality as well as the fact that someone from Shimano had taken the time to look at the shoe as an entire system. Everything about this shoe is perfect including the best manufacturer supplied insole I have seen. I have high arches which places a lot of the load on the balls of my feet. The remedy for anyone with high arches is to get an insole that is thin enough to fit comfortably inside of a cycling shoe but with an arch support that lifts the arch high enough to take the pressure off of the balls of the feet and onto the middle of the foot where it belongs. Prior to the R320’s, I searched for pain relief in the form of semi-custom insoles and finally found a great little company in Australia with fantastic insoles. Check out http://g8performance.com.au for the best affordable...

Read More

SAFETY – Check Your Rims for Wear

Posted on Jan 13, 2014

ALUMINUM RIMS Several times during the year, its a great idea to check your rims for wear. Each time the brake pads come into contact with the rim’s braking surface, a little rim material is abraded away. After a while, the rim will have a concave channel cut into it from the brake pads. The picture to the right shows this result when holding a flat edge to the side of a worn out rim. The real issue here is SAFETY. When rims get this worn, i.e., this far past their intended life, there is very little structural material remaining to hold the rim together. Not only is there 100psi or so pushing out from the inside, the rim takes a lot of abuse and shock from running over bumps in the road as well as flexing under load. This can easily cause a catastrophic failure of a worn out rim causing the rider to be launched hard into the ground. Most wheel manufacturers drill a small wear indicator hole into the rim (see photo to the right) so...

Read More

Braking Constraints – Aluminum vs Carbon

Posted on Jan 12, 2014

Aluminum vs Carbon Fiber Wheels In choosing a wheel technology (aluminum, scandium, carbon fiber, ‘carbon wrapped aluminum’), several important aspects need to be considered. The following information was obtained from Mavic and describes the advantages/disadvantages and issues well. But first, it is my opinion that Full-Carbon Fiber wheels should be used in racing ONLY, configured as a tubular wheel. For training, use a high quality clincher wheel. A Carbon wrapped aluminum wheel is OK for training but the cost is usually more than a high quality clincher. Braking Constraints: Heat Dissipation: Brake heat is the first barrier to overcome when designing a reliable carbon clincher rim. It has to be treated first in priority. Heat dissipation & related issues: During sustained and hard braking both the rim brake track surface and the pad surfaces can reach +200°C (+392°F).  If the rim brake track is not 100% flat and smooth, wide spots in the brake track can concentrate heat up to 250°C (+482°F) in the area between the rim hooks, which also heats the inner tube which is getting into...

Read More

Quick Tip for Grinding Brakes

Posted on Jan 9, 2014

Quick Tip- After early seasons rains, I hear a lot of metal-on-metal grinding sounds when cyclists come to a stop. This is because as you brake, small shavings come off the rim and embed themselves in the soft rubber brake shoes. This (a) decreases brake efficiency, and (b) wears the rims out quicker due to the metal in the brake pads grinding on the metal rim. Solution: Every month, take a small tool with a sharp edge on it (I use an old small screwdriver that I have reprofiled to a sharp edge on each side of the spade, but you can use anything else such as a small knife blade, the point of a small pick, etc) to dig the metal shavings out of the shoes. This will result in more efficient and noiseless braking, and extended rim life. A good set of Dura Ace wheels will set you back close to $1,000 so all the better reason to make them last as long as possible. Remove the wheels from the bicycle and carefully dig out the shavings....

Read More
Page 18 of 25« First...10...1617181920...Last »