Sunday, May 27, 2012


Ryder. What a name for a cylcist!!!!!

With Cadel winning Le Tour last year and Ryder winning the Giro this year, we now have two Grand Tour wins in two years by former mountain bikers!

I think this really does say something about how mountainbiking has changed, and even improved the sport of cycling. It makes for an interesting situation when a mountainbiker whoops up on the traditionally powerful roadies.

I'm a cyclist, not a MTBer or a roadie. I'm both. But all my time in cycling, I've watched as mountain bikers were looked down on by the road scene. The reality however is that all disciplines of cycling are challenging. All disciplines add to the skill set and abilities of those who practice them.

Congratulations Ryder. Buono Giro!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I've always loved the look of drilled vintage components. The weight savings realized by doing it is trivial, however, the class that it adds to a good looking component is immense.

I think a Drillium project might be in my near future.....

WC Cranks and Ring Photo credit to 'Drillium Revival'.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Skins For The CX Training Wheels

So, I've been running Continentals and Vredisteins on my CX training and fun wheels. The Contis are wearing out pretty quickly. Center tread was gone, so they had great traction when it was dry and went to hell when it was wet out...

The Vredesteins are basically the same tread as the Challenge tubulars I normally run for racing, but they are wrapped on a narrow tiny casing.

So a fellow local racer put up an advert on our local MTB forum for a set of Schwalbe Racing Ralph CX clincher tires. The price was right, so I grabbed them.

They measure out as a true 35c tire, which is what I wanted, and the casing feels pretty supple. The tread pattern is nicely knobby tire.

I'll give a good review of their performance and handling as soon as I get a chance to roll them down the trail.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


So, the other night, I got the chance to ride the new(old) wheels.

Needless to say, I love riding the new tubulars. They ride well, hold air much better than I expected, and corner beautifully.

I did my normal weekly group ride with the team and rode the Colnago. I was a bit slow, but that was not the bike's fault. Motor was the issue.... or lack of motor.

As I mentioned, the wheels handle and feel great. There are two issues however.....

First issue is that the freewheel has one semi-bad cog on it. That is preety easily beaten by buying a new freewheel, or even just the worn cog.

Second issue is not easily beaten, but is not that bad of an issue. The issue is that the brake tracks on these wheels are 'lumpy', and so the brakes pulse pretty violently when braking.

This all makes me want to build a new set with the Campag hubs and some nicer rims..........

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vintage Wheels Part Deux

When I left off with the new vintage wheels, I was ready to go ride them. I was excited at the prospect of riding tubulars on the road (which I've never done in 20+ years of riding on the road!)

I decided to go check them over and look over my gluing job. I was neat when I did the job, and so there really was not a lot of mess when done. Everything looked pretty good. I did the typical push on the sidewall test to check the strength of my gluing job and got a suprise..... The tire rolled right off.

Huge dissappointment! I looked over the job, and the tires were glued well in the 'valley' of the rim, but nothing out near the braking track. Desparate, I wicked more glue into the edges and put a 'come-a-long' strap around the tire/wheel combo and pressed the tire into the glue with all the force I could muster.

After leaving that setup for a week, I pulled off my impromptu clamp and gave her a try. After pumping up the tire to 100psi, it peeled right back up. Nothing was going to hold that tire in place.

I've since decided that Vittoria's design of pre-sealing the basetape with glue is a good and bad idea. Probably very good when the tires are fresh and the glue is pliable. However, over time, it appears that it begins to shrink a bit. The result is a sharp, pronounced Vee shape of the base tape.

I peeled the tires off and threw them in the trash.

That was a month or so ago.

This weekend, I went by my secret stash of tubulars and found a nice set of 23mm Continental Sprinters. They were/are in excellent shape and feel very pliable.

I opted this time to use Tufo tape. Its expensive, and according to the 'SlowTwitch' guys, it actually slows you down through 'hysterisis'. I don't know about this last claim, but I'm not exactly a fast dude, nor will I be racing crits or other races on this bike. I just train and have fun on it.

Frankly, as for installation, I'm totally sold on the Tufo tape. With as little time as I have these days, the quick installation was totally worth it! I'll ride it this week and will have to ring back later with impressions on how it performs in the short and long term.

Oh yeah... the weight weenie in me came out as I finished up the install - 36 spoke tubular wheels and an ancient Shimano 600 freewheel, and the bike weighs 19.98 pounds. Not bad for some vintage steel!