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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...

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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...

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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....

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Voler’s new kit – Black Label Bibs and Jersey...

Posted on Dec 12, 2013

  SUMMARY Voler’s new Black Label line uses the highest quality fabrics from mills in Europe. Couple this with their new form, fit, and function, and the Black Label line is now on par with the best the cycling industry has to offer. The new Black Label line  equals the top-end products from the best known cycling clothing companies. OVERVIEW I have been on the same Team Simple Green Masters cycling team for quite a few years now. A great group of people.  We have about 250 members but only a handful race. As far back as I can remember, we have exclusively used Voler for our kits. What’s nice about having this many members ordering clothing is that we can get  everything we need to supply us for the entire year. But, with every team kit, there are/were pros and cons. PROS of TEAM wear clothing Lasts forever. The season will be long over and the team kit will look as good as it did when it was new. Very inexpensive and reasonably priced for high quality. Voler...

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Cervelo R5ca – 2 years later

Posted on Dec 9, 2013

12/1/2013, I ticked over 22,000 miles (35,406 km) on my Cervelo R5ca. The frame is as solid today as it was on day #1. This bike has helped me become a much better climber and it is also FAST on the flats. I have opted for Dura-Ace C-24 wheels helping to make this bike stiff as well as comfortable. With the BBRight Bottom Bracket, no wasted power going to the rear wheels. I have ridden a lot of different bikes and there are a lot of good bikes out there, but very few great ones. This, my friends, I can honestly say is one of the great...

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Road Tubeless Tires – IRC vs. HUTCHINSON

Posted on Oct 17, 2013

ROAD TUBELESS TIRES IRC vs. HUTCHINSON   The advertised benefits and claims of tubeless road tires are Lower rolling resistance Greater flat protection (over rough pavement/gravel roads) No pinch flats, no tubes Silky Smooth ride I also measured mileage of these 2 manufacturers’ tires as well as initial installation observations: I also compared the total cost of a clincher system to that of a tubeless system. See Tables 1, 2, 3 below for an interesting conclusion.   WHATS IN THE PACKAGE: IRC categorizes the ROADLITE tubeless as “The best tubeless road tire for training and endurance.”  The package reads “The highly abrasion resistant rubber compound used in the slick tread increases durability and reduces rolling resistance. The 120tpi casing promises a smooth ride.” The questions I will be able to answer after wearing the tires out are How accurate are these claims? How does this tire ride/perform? How long did it last? Is the tire worth the money?  But first, I need to install them.  INSTALLATION OBSERVATIONS: For this test, I acquired a brand new set of Shimano Dura...

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