Thursday, October 23, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Diamond geezers.

The black diamond heavies are playing Mono on the 30th of october. Supported by wilson tan - gotta be done.


Found an old USE safe T headlock thingy. It is 5mm threaded 0.8mm pitch, so it works perfectly as an alternative to the qr axle. All i needed to do was work out how to transfer the hardware from the dt rws to the new axle, and bob's your uncle.

Here is a photo essay.

The old man mountain supplied skewer is top (though this is the front one). Its not a great piece of kit. Vague closure, and not the most secure, as all external cams are in my opinion.

Below is the rws that will act as a donor for parts. It *is* a very secure skewer. But, it aint long enough to stretch all the way through the alloy rack carriers and the hub...

This is what you get when you ease an rws apart. The splined thread on section needs thread locked onto the axle, then the red bolt carries the spring that allows the lever to move as a ratchet. Simple, light and solid.

The threaded rod was donated by the old USE safe T head lock. All i needed to do was bind two nuts on it, and a 6mm allen key provided plenty of torque to remove the alloy top section. Next, i used a tap to clean the thread with wd 40 and then alcohohol. The rws head was threadlocked in place and the mechanism replaced. The axle was cut to size and...

Bob is your uncle.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

More wheels.

I love building wheels. Cliched i know, but it truly is a zen like practice, and it is nice to know that the very structure responsible for your enjoyment was made from component parts by your own hand.

The town bike needed a new front wheel. For some reason, all the tension went from the right side of the wheel over the space of a few days and the creaking and wobbles set in, prompting me to reach for the spoke boxes and loctite. The Xt front hub was retained, and dt double butted black comps, to alloy nips with a bonty mustang gave a really nice wheel. I am becoming a fan of slightly fatter rims for road riding. Seems to make the tire nice and stable, whilst minimising the chance of pinches.

Next i stripped down the rear dt singlespeed on the tIF. It has served well for 2 years, but the bearings had developed a small amount of play. Having had the dt tool kit for while, and spare bearings (bought needlessly after strathpeffer a year or so ago) i set to work. Easy peasy, though i did put the star ratchet retaining ring in the wrong way up initially(on account of rebuilding it upside down compared to the instructions). Easily sorted, and as new. Bonty duster with red alloy nips and dt comps in black. Swish.

Time spent fettling.

I wanted to ditch the square taper crank and bb from both the town bike and the roshambo. Square taper is just not as stiff, or long lasting *for me* compared to shimano HT II. With the help of dave at alpine bikes, i faced and fitted the bb and crank to the roshambo. I completely failed to fit the 105 triple, despite fiddling with several bb's and spacing configurations. Yet again, it went on with masses of space between the drive side crank and the frame, with the non drive side hitting.

The shimano mtb bb cups are less deep than the road ones, so i was using an xt and all the spacers on the other side. No joy, still hit.

BTW: If anyone knows why on some frames the cranks are off set to the drive side please let me know. We looked at some of the bikes in the shop and some are and some arent. Weird.

On returning home, i used a 5mm (red) 1" headset spacer and a rubber sheet trimmed to fit and seal it onto the axle. This is 2 mm thinner than the original plastic spacer on the crank. I then used the 105 bb and a 2.5mm spacer on the non drive side of the town bike (a dambala) and it all went together beautifully... nice.

Cross, baby!

So, 3 races into the tight scottish cyclocross season (see schedule on scottish cyclocross linky over to right, down there...). 3 very different races. Bannerman high, a course with everything - sand pit, tight corners, run ups and mud. Aviemore, a neato technical (for cross) course with 2 monster steep sealed climbs to slam the legs to 11 each lap. Then today, Auchentoshan. Wild, wet and windy. An unforgiving run up a 45 degree muddy slope from a small stream halfway through a quick but wet course.

Think i did ok today. Certainly had some vim and vigor in the legs, i kind of like cross when its really wet and windy. I like to suffer and hang on with grim determination despite the conditions. John and marty and jac all punctured out. Chris duncan and anja (who won the womans race) reprasented the vc moulin with Andy wardman who came within a whisker of winning the hard fought mens. Chris rocked the humu and suspect enjoyed the conditions (broadsliding with abandon) more than most.

All good clean fun. In a muddy, wet way..cross rocks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Playing away.

Friday night, after a looong week at work and a slow recovery from a cold for me, gareth and phil arrive in time to have a beer or two and put bicycles back together after another 'no-bikes-unless-they-are-wrapped-up-with-the-wheels-off-so-they-can-be-classed-as-luggage' journey from london town.

Early doors saturday, load trina's and my cars, install passengers and point anja and me towards aviemore, where, after a huge feed at the mountain cafe, we intend to ride in the sunshine of the afternoon, before getting ready for scx round 2 at the famous glenmore lodge.

A sparkling ride with chris, jac, mark, marty and dan on some inappropriate 'whips', pin-balling off rocks and roots with smiles spreading fast, we fed our appetites with the sublime trails of rothiemurchas. Some carbo loading and a few jars was followed by a well deserved snooze.

Sunday: bright and crisp. Beer primes placed. A moderate number of entrants, but most of the usual faces, and the course - formed with assuredness by mark, marty, jac, chris and carl from glenmore - had the racers smiling under their grimace. The pace was hot, several mechanicals, and one or two primes.

Anja took the ladies win, despite interfacing her rear derraileur and spokes, phil roared into 5th and the rest of us fared pretty well, other than gareth who bowed out from a top ten with a rear puncture, close to the end.

This is what we live for.

Neo Belgium


Cross bike love

Monday, October 06, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

What do we have here?

Well, that is a 9mm rws dt swiss thru bolt skewer, one of the best ways to tighten up the front end of your bike without resorting to the 20mm (or new 15mm) standards.

The bottom left end cap is from a dt 440 fr front hub (which at the moment is very hard to find with the 9mm rws end caps. Near impossible, infact. The other end cap is for a dt 240 front hub and shows what would need to happen in order to allow me to use the 9mm rws skewer and get the best from the 25 mm axle in the 440 fr hub.

The stepped, conical drill bit will make drilling the required hole with my new toy easier (see below, where p-phone is helping me mount a vice with old headset top caps and star nuts to the tray on the pillar drill i just bought).

I have also discovered (d'oh!) that 135mm rws skewers will *just* fit the front of the pink bike with the old man mountain rack mounted. 2 options here: use the aforementioned pillar drill to widen the aluminium brackets to accept the thru bolt version, or just use the standard qr style axle.

Finally i'll feel better about the security of the front end. There has been a lingering worry because the IF forks have downward facing dropouts, i use a 180mm rotor and with me and the load, there may be enough force to pull the hub out of the drops. I have noticed a micro amount of shift a couple of times.

Next~? well, i *may* be able to increase the diameter of the rear old man mountain rack brackets so that i can use (ti?) m10 bolts with the bolt-on end caps for the dt 240 ss rear i have on the pink bike, again increasing retention strength. Only issue, i wont know how much i will weaken the brackets. Might ask omm and see what their thoughts are....

Avant-garde yodelling.

Damo opened my ears to triple r radio, melbourne. The other day - to give you some idea of the eclectic playlists - i listened to some avant-garde yodelling. To be fair, it was quite KLF, buuuuuuuuuuuut its all good, ok?

So whassup, eh? why no speak in so long, eh?

Busy at work.
Busy building wheels (why so many have needed replacing this year, i dunno).
Busy looking at pillar drills (more on this later).
Busy watching a dvd of Deadwood.
Busy using our new recycling service.
Busy stroking the cat.
Busy in Yorkshire.
Busy running, in preparation for cross season.
Busy listening to music.
Busy laughing with friends.

We supported at the 3 peaks cross race last week end...everyone was a star: philgarethshaggyjacanjaemilydeannigelchrisdscottishphil360jenn and the photogs were in good form too...see vc moulin for write ups, including anja's third place female. In your first 3 peaks? a podium? yup. Hardcore.