Svelte Cycles without comproise

Saturday, June 28, 2008

SRAM Pit Stop Superlight Bar Tape

OK. So I know I said that this weekend will bring the review of the Zero Gravity Neg G brakes but I have some loose ends to tie up first. A couple weeks ago I installed some SRAM PitStop Superlight Bar Tape, took a bunch of pictures, made some mental notes then got all caught up in bike racing and forgot about my bar tape review. Well damn. Here it is short and sweet.

This stuff is wikid awesome. Why?

1. Nice Packaging.

2. Velvety Smooth feel. Think pool table. No not that way. Just the way a pool table feels. Back to the bar tape.
3. Sticky backside too. Very important... You don't want the tape moving around on you.
4. It doesn't stretch much when you wrap it so you gotta be like Jack Black with tenaciousness. And for fcuks sake man... wrap it the right direction!
5. Cut it at an angle so you look all PRO and badass. (Check out those scissors. Found them on a training ride in Italy a looooong time ago.)

6. Nice, solid, sturdy finishing plugs that wont fall out or crack.

6. Voila!
Don't waste your bar tape cash on anything else. SRAM PitStop is the way to go. I do like the Fizik as well but hey... the SRAM just makes you want to never use gloves again (bad idea though). Go ahead and treat yourself to a roll or two HERE.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Coming This Week. Zero Gravity Neg-G Ti Brake Review!

Are they all they've been hyped-up to be? You will know what I think starting this weekend. Look Out!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

First few rides. Impressions.

It's been too long since I've been on a nice set of tubulars. Don't get me wrong, the new Michelin Pro3's are "da bomb", but I don't think any clincher, no matter how nice, will be able to match that "pingy", "zippy" feeling of a nice road tubular at pressure. The Zipp Tangente's impressed and it will be interesting to see how well they hold up.

The Edge wheels have also impressed me so far. My first ride out was in very windy conditions and yes, the front wheel did blow around a little which is to be expected in 20-30mph wind and also if you are a light framed guy/gal. My recommendation for those riding in predominately windy area's would be to go with the 1.68's but keep a 1.38 front wheel lying around for when the winds are howling. The rear wheel won't blow around on you regardless of the conditions and the lower profile front will ensure a solid line. This is why you see a lot of the Zipp (High Road, CSC) using the lower profile front. You get all the benefits out of that super stiff/aero rear wheel but cut down the risk of getting blown around while still maintaining some semblance of aerodynamics by running the lower profile front. That and it looks very cool.

When I wasn't resembling a human kite I can tell you the first thing I noticed was how fast the Edge's spun up. This was surprising to me as they are very deep profiled. None the less they accelerating like a high quality low profile wheel, yet far surpassed the likes in terms of stiffness. The accelerate without hesitation. ROCK SOLID.

Overall aerodynamics were impressive. I'm not the type to monitor average speeds as I feel there are too many variables on a day to day basis but I did not I was home quite a few minutes early from my normal loop. I would be nice to have a radial front however as I feel that I am a little handicapped when looking down at the front hub and seeing those spokes 1 crossed over one another. It would be interesting to compare perceived stiffness over a 1x to a radial front.

Despite my worn out front brake, I can tell the braking surface on these is dialed. Edge went to great lengths to ensure a solid, smooth braking tract and this was very evident after only a couple rides.

Conclusion: So far, so good. These are everything I had hoped them to be and more as they spin up faster and maintain speed up long climbs far better than I anticipated. I will check back in after a couple months of riding these and let you know how well they stand the test of time. Going by my sensations on them so far, I am confident there will be no issues. But if there are... You will hear about it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Problem Solving...

I had some "issues" my first time out on the Edge's. The first major issue was that the front tire was not holding air. I generally don't like valve extenders as I feel you can never get an accurate pressure reading from them and they just seem like a quick-fix/unreliable thing in general. Initially I only had one replaceable valve core long enough for these deep rims so I installed that in the rear and used and extender for the front.... friggin' thing let me down as expected. Upon returning from Philly I wanted to get back on these things right away and didn't want to wait a few days for a new extra-long valve core so I decided to make one last ditch effort to make the front tire work. I ripped off the front tire and lined the threads on the valve core and then again on the valve extender with "PTFE Seal Tape". I rethreaded everything back together nice and snug. Mounted the tire again with a fresh roll of Tufo Extreme Tape. It worked like a charm!

Not only was the tire holding air rock solid, but I was getting accurate gauge readings on my new Joe Blow pump.
The second issue was that I was getting a strong "pulsing" when applying the front brake with reasonable force rolling to a stop. At first I thought it must be the brake tract on the rim but then became curious and thought that perhaps the problem was not from the rim, but from the brake itself. When I rolled to a stop at a red light I reached down and grabbed the Zero Gravity brake caliper firmly in my hand and pushed and pulled it back in forth in an effort to simulate the forced the rim placed on during braking. Sure enough it wasn't the rim, but the brake! Luckily for me Zero Gravity is just about the coolest company in the biz and they sent me out a new front caliper (in addition to a set of the new Neg G's for testing) right away. All they asked was for the existing front with play in it so they could figure out what the problem in hopes to fix it in future models. Thank You Zero Gravity!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Part 3: First Ride on Edge's.

This morning I set out for my first ride on the Edge's. Seeing as how I haven't trained on tubular's in ages there was first some prep work to do as to insure I wouldn't be stuck out in the middle of nowhere should I flat. Personally I would rather be thirsty than have a tire obnoxiously strapped to my seat's rails, so I made a bottle cage-tubular tire holder.

1. Get some old bottles from 1994.

2. Cut the tops off both of them where they begin to taper up from the body.

3. Fold your spare tubular into 3's. In this case I was sure my spare have a valve extender pre-mounted... those rims are deeeeeep.
4. Shove the tubular in the case nice and snug.

5. Cut 3 little slits in the other bottle so it will slide over the tubular-holding bottle more easilly.

6. Slide the two chopped bottles together, place in the bike. Fin. Now make sure you bring your pump!
Here is a pic of the this nifty little Euroesque contraption on my test bike.