Wednesday, August 28, 2013

USE Sub Fork

   Good to see some competition for the lefty! This fork is designed to resist dive, which is when the fork compresses when you hit the brakes. Does it work? Reviews are in and they are good!

USE Sub 
   The front wheel actually moves forward as the suspension works, so the geometry is supposed to be less effected by the compression of the fork. This should result in more predictable handling.

Mounted up

   Disadvantages? There are only a couple - price tag, at about $1200 it isn't cheap. And while performance under braking is supposed to be better than a standard fork, performance when not braking is said to suffer. Apparently USE has some really good customer support, and there's even a rumor of free parts upgrades for the life of the fork (!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pressure Heat Map Paint Job

   Some sexy Monday paint for you. So heat map testing is a pretty cool technology.It can show strengths and weaknesses in materials using color representations. Here's a couple examples:

Load testing

Some other kind of testing

   This makes for a cool visualization, but this Specialized has taken it to another awesome level!

The warmer the colors are where the bike experiences the most stress. Awesome! Thanks to Chris Taylor her contribution of this image!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday WTF: Motor Powered BarSpin

   Ryan Nyquist, father of dirt jumping, has a new project that involves strapping a streetbike starting motor on a bmx bike to do motorized bar spins. Check out the mayhem here!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

24 Hour Human Powered Distance Record Bike

   Ever wonder what kind of bike is used for setting a distance record? At first, modifying bikes for anything but commutin was all in the gearing (and 3 piece suits):

   After a while, frame design started to change to get more efficient riding positions:

  In recent years, new materials have allowed for some wild designs. Enter Greg Kolodziejzyk - setting records I didn't even know existed. He currently holds the 24 hour human powered distance record. How far is that? It is an incredible 650 miles!

   Check out his ride below:

Finally, a cool recumbent

   The gearing is also pretty wild. For this record, keeping both the bicycle and the rider in the most efficient positions was paramount, and Greg tweaked and tweaked until he had the bike set up perfectly.

More chains!

   Here's the bike in action. Looks like a fighter jet!

Fly on, you crazy diamond

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Switching and Cleaning Cassettes

   As cycling season is gearing up, you may notice a noise coming from your rear wheel like a cement mixer. After the Sunshine hill climb, which ends on 4 miles of unpaved road, my bike was sounding pretty rough. Sand and dirt in your drivetrain will dramatically increase the wear on your parts. It's the opposite of lubrication, it's increased friction! Here's how to clean that cassette up and keep it running smooth like butter. 

1. Pull all the cogs off the freewheel and drop them into something. I am using an old disc golf disc.
2. I use WD-40 to clean the cogs. It cuts the grease well. Here I'll point out that WD-40 is a great degreaser, but not a great lubricant, so don't use it for that. 

Soaking the cogs

3. After they soak for a bit, I took each cog and wiped off the gunk and excess WD-40 with an old sock. It is important to not only get all the road crap off, but also dry the cog completely. A moist part will just attract dirt again.

All clean!

4. Here you can see the comparison between the dirty and clean cogs.

Clean (top) vs. Dirty (bottom)

6. Be sure to get the freehub body as well. Just take a rag moist with degreaser and wipe down the mechanism thoroughly.

Cleaning the freehub

   As long as I am going to the trouble to get the cassette clean, I will also clean the chain and chainrings. This way, all the parts are clean at once and should result in a smooth ride, and a longer life.
   Reassemble all the cogs, and you should be smooth as butter.