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Posts by Madcow

Hub Conversions for Shimano 11 Speed

January 4th, 2013

Madcow

Hub Review

Last year Shimano announced that the new Dura Ace 9000 and 9070 groupos would be moving to 11 speed.  Since that time there have been lots of questions about what hubs are compatible, which can be converted and what is required to do so and what effects those conversions will have on wheels.  A lot of different answers and numbers have been thrown around on the internet as answers, but as far as I can tell many of these are just guesses or assumptions.  What follows are the true answers that we’ve been able to gather talking directly with each manufacturer.  We of course aren’t going to try and compile this for every hub, but here we have answers for the most common high end hubs. Read more

12 High End Skewers Reviewed

December 19th, 2012

Madcow

Skewer Review

It’s been over 4 years since I wrote the last skewer shootout and many of them have since changed.  I’ve decided to do an updated review featuring the latest and greatest.   Writing this review has made me realize that things have changed over the years and the gaps between brands have definitely shrunk.  They do still have their differences but those are becoming smaller.  Any of the skewers in this review are just fine and there won’t be clear winners and losers but there will be some differences.

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AICAN Bungarus Superlight.

August 1st, 2012

Madcow

bungarus1

We often get sent lots of samples of new, upcoming products in the hopes that we’ll give it our endorsement and add it to our catalog. Many items get rejected before we even test them, others after we test them. Some do get a thumbs up from us and get added to our product list. The latest one to make it through is the AICAN Bungarus. Most of you are asking yourself at this point, “what the heck is that?” I had to ask the same question as well. It’s a super light segmented cable housing that runs without an additional inner liner.

If you’re like me and you hear the words super light you naturally have to wonder, how light is super light. Claimed weight is 18gr per meter, which is definitely light but isn’t beyond some others, or is it? In this case the 18 grams per meter is a bit deceptive and here’s why. The 18 grams per meter is not only the shift housing, but also the brake, and that weight is indeed impressive.
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2012 Hub Review: Information overload?

July 19th, 2012

Madcow

Hub Review

A couple of years ago we introduced our first full blown hub review which was an experimental joint review.  We’ve realized that the review is now old and out of date so have decided to update it.  In the previous review we brought Ron Ruff from White Mountain Wheels on board to give his thoughts as well.  We figured having different points of view would be advantageous, so we’ve once again brought Ron back for the new review.  Ron, like us, really seems to enjoy the geekier side of wheel building and is one of the custom builders we most respect.  For sake of clarity we’d like to disclose who else is writing this article.  Offering the FWB perspective is our master wheel builder Troy Watson as well as Jason Woznick aka Madcow.   We should also mention that while some of this review is taken directly from the original we’ve changed much of it as well as added to it.  So don’t skip a paragraph thinking that you read it in the last one, just because part of it is the same doesn’t mean that all of it is.

The specs were compiled by us here at Fair Wheel and Ron at White Mountain Wheels, and while we did do our best to be careful there were an awful lot of numbers and calculations thrown around over those days. So with that in mind I’d like to put out the disclaimer that it isn’t impossible that we might have transcribed, written or recorded a number incorrectly. So please forgive any typos or mistakes. We’ve already corrected a ton and now like to think that most things should be correct, but with the scale of this thing it’s still possible that one will find a mistake. Read more

Shimano 2013, Part 1. Dura Ace 9000

May 31st, 2012

Madcow

crank_01

The new Shimano Dura Ace groups are official now, and you’ve likely had a chance to see and read a little bit about them.  Having already had the chance to play with the pieces and ride them, this seems like a good chance to to talk about them.   It’s a massive amount of information and I can’t really decide what to leave out.  So I think the best approach is to just sit down and start typing and see where it goes.  The only thing I know for sure is that there will be a few occasions in this post where I will have to eat my words, and that this will be a long post, or 3.

I also think it’s important to point out that while I am a fan of Di2,  I have not liked 7900 and have been a harsh critic of it.  Honestly, I was not expecting to like the new 9000 group, but I have to admit after riding it I am thoroughly impressed. Read more

Shimano 2013, Part 2, 9070 Di2 Dura-Ace

May 31st, 2012

Madcow

Products-electronic-dual-control-lever

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.
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Shimano 2013, Part 3, Wheels

May 31st, 2012

Madcow

Products-base-wheels-c75

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.
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Smart Enve System Clincher Rims

May 3rd, 2012

Madcow

clinch6

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

Custom Project: Right Part 6

January 17th, 2012

Madcow

bike1

*** The Final Update of Project Right has been posted.

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.

Custom Project: Right Part 5

December 21st, 2011

Madcow

fork9

*** The Final Update of Project Right has been posted.

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.

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