Buy It From Your Local Bike Shop

SRAM PC 1071 chain, showing list price of $69.99.  The name of the local bike shop has been whited out so as not to embarrass them.

Over the last few years I’ve spent a lot of money buying, building, and fixing my various bikes.  Too much money, really.  But if you have to have a vice, I guess one that makes you healthy is the best kind to have.  And being a local business owner, I always try to shop locally if possible. As I began writing this article, I decided to check Quicken to find out exactly how much I’d spent.  I was astounded to find that I’d spent $33,239 supporting this addiction of mine over the last three years or so.  Fortunately I’ve sold quite a few bikes and lots of extra parts.  I also pulled up the receipts from the two local bicycle shops that I try to support, although truthfully one has received the bulk of my business. Again, I was surprised to learn...

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Pre-Season Cyclocross Races 1, 2 & 3 at Raleigh, NC

It's a beautiful day for a ride in the park.

The 2013-2014 cyclocross season is about to start and there seems to be a flurry of pre-season races popping up around the area.  I decided to race the BHB Cross Central Cyclocross Series because it was close and four of the five races are on Saturdays. Races 1-3 of the series were held at the Spring Hill Campus of Dorothea Dix Hospital in downtown Raleigh, a great venue.  The course was really a roadie’s course in that it was fast, flat, and non-technical, but it was still a great place to tune-up the cyclocross skills before the season begins. For the first and second weeks, the course was roughly 1.67 miles in length and with only three minor changes: the placement of the barriers, a turn was widened to go around a tree that fell between weeks one and...

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Fully Rigid and Single Speed (Part 2)

Nearly two pounds heavier with the Fox Terralogic fork.

Okay, so I gave it a try (see my article on making my single speed Raleigh Talus Carbon Pro fully rigid).  Today I rode about 20 miles at a moderate effort today on various surfaces.  What were the pros and cons and what was the verdict? Weight.  Yes, the rigid bike was lighter — much lighter.  Rigid was 18 lbs. 6 oz.  With the Fox Float FIT Terralogic 80mm fork the bike weighs in at 20 lbs. 5 oz. for an increased weight of 1 lb. 15 oz. or a hefty weight penalty of 10.5%!  Fortunately it is static weight. Handling.  Obviously handling is a subjective thing.  Speed, on the other hand, is not subjective.  I found myself bouncing around even the mildest corners and downhills.  Cornering was somewhat slower.  Downhills were much slower.  My...

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Fully Rigid and Single Speed (Part 1)

They don't get much lighter than this!

I finally did it.  I’ve been threatening to do it for a while, but have always talked myself out of it.  Not this time.  I took the Fox Float FIT Terralogic 80mm suspension fork off my single speed Raleigh Talus Carbon Pro. I’ve always liked riding rigid — the bike just feels like it is not even there it’s so light.  It climbs like a goat and it corners like it’s on rails.  Well, unless there are lots of roots and rocks, in which case it tends to bounce around a bit.  Technical descents get a bit bumpy as well. Lately I’ve been reading a lot and researching online trying to figure out how to ramp up my technical skills and one common theme I keep coming across is riding a fully rigid bike.  The theory seems to be that with suspension you...

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Homemade Power Bleeder

Power bleeder 480

I have brand new Hayes Prime hydraulic disc brakes on my two race mountain bikes.  Great brakes.  Reasonably light.  Easily adjustable.  Like all hydraulic brake sets, they come pre-bled from the factory.  The bummer is they come with 75′ long hydraulic lines, just in case you are installing them on a tandem or other gigantic bike.  Well, I ride a small frame bike so I have two options:  Option one is to leave the system pre-bled and roll up the extra 3 feet of brake line and tape it to frame or handlebars.  Definitely falls under the “you might be a redneck if…” category.  Option two is to shorten the lines to properly fit the bike.  But that means breaking the factory seal and allowing the possibility of air going into the...

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Raleigh Talus Carbon Pro Single Speed

Raleigh SS - 4

This bike is my cross country single speed race bike. It has a twin sister that is a geared version of the same bike. Raleigh doesn’t make a single speed version of this awesome frame, nor does it come with a BB30 bottom bracket so running an eccentric is not an option. This setup replaces a rear derailleur with a Melvin tensioner. I’m running a Rotor 34t Q-ring up front and KMC hollowpin chain. Wheels are American Classic Mountain 29s, brakes are Hayes Prime, fork is the Fox Terralogic that automatically senses when to lock and unlock, crank is RaceFace Evolve, seatpost is Thompson Elite, and bars are Easton Monkey Lite Carbon. Tires are Kenda Karma 1.9″ and running tubeless. Pedals are Xpedo titanium. The bike weighs in about half a pound...

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Raleigh Talus Carbon Pro SRAM 1×10

Raleigh 1x10 - 3

This bike is my cross country geared race bike.  It has a twin sister that is a single speed version of the same bike.  This one features a 1×10 XX group with one exception: The rear derailleur is XO with clutch, a feature not available in XX.  This setup is essentially the 10 speed version of the new XX1 11 speed group from SRAM.  I’m running a Rotor 34t Q-ring up front and KMC hollowpin chain. Wheels are American Classic Race 29s, brakes are Hayes Prime, fork is Manitou Tower Pro with remote lock, crank is RaceFace Evolve, seatpost is Thompson Elite, and bars are Easton Monkey Lite Carbon.  Tires are Kenda Karma 1.9″ and running tubeless.  Pedals are Xpedo titanium.  The bike weighs in just under 21 pounds ready to ride and there still...

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