Posts by Madcow
May 31st, 2012
Welcome to part 2 of my 2013 Shimano introduction. Unlike part 1 for the mechanical Dura-Ace 9000 group, I did not get the chance to ride 9070 Di2 for this review. However I don’t feel bad since there aren’t even any prototypes in the U.S. that I know of, so I’d be surprised if more than just a couple of people have actually ridden it. I’m not going to bother talking about the cranks, brakes, cassette, or chain since that is all the same as 9000 and was covered in part 1. So we’re going to focus on just the electronic parts of Di2.
May 31st, 2012
This will be the last segment for now on the new 2013 Dura Ace and we’ll cover the new wheels.
There are 4 models of rim each one coming in a couple different versions. There is a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 75mm. The models are split into two groups.
Group 1 has its focus as being lightweight climbing wheels, and group 2 — which is being called the blade series — has its focus on aerodynamics and handling. All the wheels are 11 speed and many of the changes stem from this so it seems the logical place to start. The freehub body has grown in length by 1.85mm. The spline pattern is the same as existing 10 speed so new 11 speed wheels are compatible with 10 speed cassettes. There is a 1.85mm spacer that will be used in addition to the 1mm spacer that is used already with 10 speed. This increase in freehub body has led to a change in lacing, all the new rear wheels are 21 spoke triplet laced. 14 drive side spokes laced 3 cross and 7 non drive side spokes radially laced. Right flanges had to be moved in to make space for the new body but the left flanges have moved out increasing the bracing angle by 7mm, which is a significant amount. The lower profile rims also use an offset drilled rim. The new hubs have retained 130mm spacing despite claims by some that there has been an increase in OLN spacing. The new freehub body changes to titanium as do the pawl retainers, shaving a bit of weight from the hubs.
May 3rd, 2012
For the last several months there has been lots of anticipation about the Smart Enve System (SES) clincher rims. Now that we have them in stock we have had a chance to play with them and form an opinion. In short they’ve surpassed my expectations, which honestly were quite high.
Since the tubular versions of 3.4 and 6.7 have been out for almost a year and a lot of people are familiar with what makes the SES rims special, so there’s no need to go into great detail. We will, however, touch on some aspects that I find interesting as well as some which maybe just haven’t been much talked about. All of the Smart Enve System rims are designed to be used in matched pairs to produce the best results. All the rims are wider than standard Enve rims, but the front SES is wider and shallower than the rear (26mm wide front and 24mm wide rear), this is said to reduce drag and improve handling and the results are really noticeable. All SES wheels feel super fast, and wind tunnel data that I’ve seen backs this up. Perhaps even more importantly, handling is insanely predictable/stable. Read more
January 17th, 2012
Working with Rob English is always a tremendous pleasure, not only is he a talented builder but delivers what he says he will, when he says he will. That’s a true rarity among custom frame builders. So now I get to present the completed, though certainly not finished, project: Right. Again just a photo update, we still have some really special touches to add. The build list is still finished drawing from both the road and mtb communities. Next a base coat has to be chosen and sprayed so that it can go off to artist Geoff McFetridge for some hand painted awesomeness and then back to the painters for finish work.
December 21st, 2011
Mostly a pictorial update today. The axle has been finished for the righty hub, and put into the nearly completed fork. The 514 gram fork will use an inverted headset with the attachment point at the crown which means the steerer tube will be integrated as part of the stem rather than part of the fork. Front disc brake has been mounted inverted as well for right hand use. To get the brake to work on the right side of the bike, the mounting had to be changed. To do this we are using the front postmount and the lower body bolt. This meant the rear mounting tab could be removed. and also the cable stop could be as well. The actuation arm was removed and a new hold for the sping was drilled adn the spring reinstalled in a different location so that it pulls up to actuate. There is also an internal cable stop brazed into the leg of the fork.
December 14th, 2011
Part 4 of Project Right. The frame is coming along nicely, not done, but lots of progress. The rear hub is finished. 3 steel pins were placed between the axle and the carrier to transmit the torque and an endcap holds the whole thing in the frame. The hub is polished and ready to go to anodizing. Also the extremely heavy 500+gram Phil Wood belt freewheel has been trimmed by more than 100 grams of unecessary weight.
December 7th, 2011
Just another quick update on this NAHBS project. The rear end is coming along nicely. Rob had this to say, “Jigging the back end of this thing is tricky. With a regular frame the stays are triangulated, and thus don’t move during the brazing process. With the mono-stay I have to keep the stay from moving with the heat, and ensure the ‘dropout’ remains perfectly in plane with the bottom bracket shell.
December 2nd, 2011
Time for another quick update on Project Right. Part one can be found here. Frame builder Rob English has continued machining on the hub, which now is almost completely finished, it’s needing just some polishing, spoke holes, splines and anodizing. I think an interesting point is the non-conventional look and design of the rear hub. As you can see the rear hub is not terribly heavy at 174 grams, and will still get a bit lighter. Also shown is a selection of frame tubes to be used. Read more
November 28th, 2011
A big part of what we do here at Fair Wheel involves building one off custom projects. Not long ago, I realized that we’ve never chronicled a project start to finish. The timing of this realization was pretty good because we are just starting a new and very custom project. Project: Right. Eventually the name will make more sense, but since we don’t want to give anything away we won’t be talking about or showing anything that isn’t done. We’ll definitely make sure to share progress as it moves along. Those of you that know me, know that I really enjoy these project bikes, the only thing that could make them even more fun is working on them with someone who enjoys them as much as I do. One of the few people who fits that description and shares my enjoyment of doing things different is frame builder Rob English from English Cycles. Read more
November 24th, 2011
View our Custom Wheel Program here.
I got a visit from my keeper this week and he told me that I needed to update the blog. So I thought I’d take this chance to talk a little about our custom wheel program. We’ve been doing custom handbuilt wheels since 1973, but just recently we decided to really expand on that and brought Troy Watson from Ligero Wheelworks on board to head the program. Troy brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to our custom wheel program. We have a pretty extensive selection of rims, hubs and spokes and can build just about anything to suit each rider. This seems like a good chance to once again introduce Troy, the program and even show a bit of the workshop where it all takes place. Read more