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The Loam Ranger Loves Dogs: Except on the Trail - May 27, 2021, 10:42 a.m.

I have a 12 year old son who sometimes joins me on bike rides. Though I sometimes make arrangements with other small-human owners in setting up specific group rides where he can tag along, my default is to not bring him along on group rides.

He is relatively good at responding to commands and does not shed in vehicles, but the pace and vibe of the ride is inevitably changed by his presence. I've not seen him poop on the trail, but I really wouldn't want to ride through it.

Bearing Swap - 2015 Juliana Roubion 1st Gen. (SC Bronson) - May 21, 2021, 12:48 p.m.

Those earlier VPP bikes use a finer thread pitch on the pivot axles than more recent versions. In my experience the threads are prone to stripping out in the carbon parts. Though the photographed parts look in OKish shape, you can see where the anodizing has worn off of the thread crests and the bolt head bearing surface. I'd recommend periodic replacement of the axles to give the female threads in the rear triangle their best chance of longevity.

I believe adjusting the tension for free running of the bearings, like on an old headset, can also lead to failure. Inadequate tension on these axles can allow play in the threaded interfaces, which causes them to wear away - liberal application of Loctite probably helps to relieve this. I guess one reason SC moved from angular contact to deep groove bearings with a spacer between was to allow higher tension and thus less movement in these threads. If there's room in your link for a spacer it might be possible to fit deep groove bearings kits from later versions, though I've not tried.

Shimano Derailleur Clutch Service - March 3, 2021, 9:52 a.m.

That wasn't what I was trying to point out. The important deviation I see is in setting the clutch friction, where it says "...set the desired tension now. Check that the on/off lever is working properly." - this is where the torque wrench (set at 3.5–5.4Nm) is needed.

This is the only place where I'd bother to bust out the torque wrench, since this is the step where the clutch gets adjusted to work like new, which is the whole point in this endeavor.

Shimano Derailleur Clutch Service - March 3, 2021, 8:46 a.m.

These instructions are at odds with Shimano's, described on page 30, here:

The 3.5–5.4Nm (which is mentioned, but I believe during the wrong step) is the target for clutch resistance when adjusting the cam-squeezing bolt. This is the only place I feel a torque wrench is NEEDED.

In the step where the 3.5–5.4Nm range is mentioned , the specified torque is 7.8-9.8Nm (page 36).

Introducing the 2021 Trek Slash 9.9 XO1 - Sept. 3, 2020, 10:10 a.m.

Is there a hex socket in the bottom of the headset tensioner device to allow you to tighten the headset from the underside of the fork steerer, using the multi-tool?

Can I run 20mm More Travel Up Front? - Sept. 30, 2016, 3:14 p.m.

How's this?

Ideally, I think fork travel should be at least 10% greater than rear travel.

Here's my rationale: Because a telescoping fork slides parallel with the head tube, the vertical travel is only about 90% of the fork displacement.

So if ‘balanced’ is a goal, you’ll want to use a fork which claims 10% more travel than your rear suspension (which is typically measured vertically).

This is not to say that longer forks on an existing bike won’t mess up your BB height or your riding position, or that longer rear travel might be preferable because your rear suspension kinematics have intrinsic anti-bob whereas your fork does not… I've said too much already…

SRAM EX1: Does ‘E’ stand for ‘Everyone’ - May 19, 2016, 1:16 a.m.

MSRP doesn't mean that much, for many brands I think it's just posturing, but that's a whole other conversation, I didn't go there because convention dictates that comments be shorter than the above the fold article. Current, comparable cassettes from Sram and Shimano are around $280 and $65 respectively. Durability may or may not be improved, it's conjecture either way but I'm guessing that the durability of steel cassettes from either manufacturer could be somewhat proportional to the total number of teeth on the block, this will be offset by improved chainline..

I understand your motivation for starting the conversation and thank you for bringing this to our attention. Nothing new or great would happen without thinking outside the box and I'm sure this will be helpful. My contribution to the conversation, based on having recently switched a bike to 1x with an 11-42 cassette, struggling to adapt to the more limited gear range and perceiving the larger steps between gears, is that if you're intrigued by the E-Block cassette, perhaps some other solutions are worth looking at. Those situations might not require hybrid 8/11 speed drivetrain components. My position is not that it's too expensive, or heavy, or that blue is better than red, or that all progress is a conspiracy, or that HB cut the course (the UCI said it was cool). It's that with similar expense there are other options which avoid the wide gaps between gears that many find uncomfortable. Sram, Sunrace and others have competing cassettes, perhaps I shouldn't have used the competitor as an example.

Sram's information indicates that the motivation for the E-block cassette is to reduce shifting by offering less sprockets, because the e-assist removes some of the discomfort of being in the 'wrong' gear and chains break less when there's less shifting and less chainline offset. There's something in there about meat and motors having different torque curves and I suspect that the chain encroaching on the motor and arcane international safety standards might be a factor too.

You're welcome, and I look forward to hearing your long term review!

SRAM EX1: Does ‘E’ stand for ‘Everyone’ - May 18, 2016, 1:05 p.m.

But it's not significantly cheaper, Sram's website has the E-block listed at $390USD.

Shimano's 11-46T XT cassette will likely list at $90, or you could assemble an 11-speed SLX shifter, derailleur, chain and XT cassette for about $220. There's enough left that you could get a Wolftooth sprocket if you needed the extra teeth for the big cog.

Obsolete - March 24, 2015, 10:38 a.m.

Hi CoilAir, I wrote most bike companies are small businesses, not that Shimano is a small business. When 100x15mm front and 142x12mm axles were developed I worked as an engineer at a bike company with less than 50 employees. Shimano consulted us, and I assume other bike companies in their development process. The guys at Shimano are enthusiastic about making the best stuff they can, they're not trying to gouge aftermarket customers - the majority of their sales are OEM.

Loam Ranger Goes Electric - Sept. 3, 2014, 10:16 a.m.

I've heard a lot of opinions on the issue of e-MTB's. However, legal trail access is not an issue where these opinions matter - most (no, not all) MTB- legal trails in the US are not legal for motorized vehicles, some newly printed trailhead signs I've seen specifically prohibit electric bicycles. IMBA haven't spoken out against electric bikes, they've just said that they're not a part of their mandate.

Obsolete - July 11, 2014, 9:31 a.m.

You're allowed to be troubled by whatever you choose, Dirk/Dave.

Obsolete - July 10, 2014, 12:01 p.m.

Do you really think the industry is conspiring against you by planning obsolescence?

I challenge you to find either an evil despot or devious minion at Interbike this year. Most industry folk I know would love for there to be greater availability of 20mm axles, 26″ wheeled bikes and every other imaginable variation, but SKU counts have to be kept low because most bike companies are small businesses, not the Koch Brothers, so they make what they hope will sell and offer improvements when they are viable.

Rock Shox stuck with 20mm axles as best they could but they don't sell enough to justify widespread existence. Though the 20mm axle is stiffer, the 110mm width results in a wider crown which is typically flexier at a given weight - much of the stress in the system is at the crown, hence the proliferation of 1.5″ (tapered) crowns, the possibility of making safer carbon steerer tubes and the existence of dual crown forks (Boxxer, Lefty). The complete 15mm assembly may not be that different in terms of weight or stiffness than 20mm, but it is easier to use, which probably accounts for its popularity.

The New 2014 Santa Cruz Nomad - April 3, 2014, 10:42 a.m.

AWESOME is what the music was.

The Vimeo source notes say it's from, it's a mash-up of The Good the Bad and the Ugly movie theme, Whole Lotta Love music and Helter Skelter words with Primal Scream-esque backing stuff. I've played this over and over, it's got me pumped.

The New 2014 Santa Cruz Nomad - April 2, 2014, 2 p.m.

AWESOME, that is what the music was.

The liner notes (here:

say the music is by these guys . It's a mash-up of The Good the Bad and the Ugly movie theme, Whole Lotta Love and Helter Skelter with Primal Scream-esque backing noise. I've basically been playing this on repeat all day now, it's got me pumped.

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