Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Switch Between Cycling and Running

The biggest obstacle to tackling a different discipline is the fear that it will undermine your cycling. Many cyclists build their heart, lungs and legs into a machine capable of riding over Mont Ventoux only to discover that they still can’t run for a bus. ( :D yes, it's true)

According to Mark Walker (sports science consultant and professional cycling coach) there’s a sliding scale: unless you’re preparing to win the Tour de France, it’s unlikely that adding a new discipline will undercut your riding fitness. “There is a common theme to all endurance sports, cycling, rowing, speed-skating: you build up a big volume of base endurance training and then you build your specificity,” Walker says.

“If you’re an amateur and you want to do a marathon and still enjoy some sportives and maybe do some cyclo-cross, there’s no reason why you can’t do all of that together. If you’re a habitual cyclist, transferring to running can potentially cause muscle soreness or injury. I wouldn’t have anyone transfer to, say, cyclo-cross, where you need that explosive sort of running, without first becoming familiar with regular short runs.” 


Caitlin Bradley, of triathlon coaching set-up Team Dillon say “Cyclists aren’t used to impact, so running can have harsh effects on the legs. Also, we are sitting down on a bike, so our heart rate starts at a lower rate, while running has your heart rate increase immediately, so it’s a totally different feeling. We also rely on masses of core strength when we run.”

Running is one of the highest injury prone sports due to the high impact stress associated with it. Running on softer surfaces such as grass will moderate some of the risk of running. Many cyclists know used to be runners but switched sports due to injuries. One thing that causes running injuries is eccentric contractions. In an eccentric contraction the muscle lengthens as you attempt to shorten it (this is why my quads hurt so much going down the stairs, but not up). The calf and quads experience this with every step while running. Everytime you take a stride you are breaking and the muscle contracts. Basically, the muscle is being pulled apart.

On the contrary, cycling relies on concentric contractions – meaning the muscle shortens as it contracts. This is what most people typically associate with a muscle contraction. Since cycling is a low impact sport it allows you to go out for longer and put yourself through more suffering than most other sports will allow. Your energy will wane and your mind will give out long before your joints, muscles, ligaments, etc will concede. In the end, running does not mimic the demands of cycling, and the golden rule is keep your cycling training specific .

The amount of running you can comfortably maintain without affecting your cycling is a very individual thing but in short, moderate running is very good for your cycling. Mainly because it’s an efficient way to get in an excellent aerobic workout in a short amount of time. People like ourselves, who have regular lives outside of cycling, don’t always have time to do a 2-3hr ride but we still want to get in a good workout. A quick run can achieve this.

How cycling can make you a better runner?

1. It’s a great form of active recovery.
Active recovery, such as moving your legs with an easy bike ride, can increase blood flow, flush out lactate, reduce muscle and joint stiffness, and help you get back on the trails sooner.

2. You’ll build strength in complementary muscles.
If your workouts are exclusive to running, you’re only building up certain sets of muscles to perform certain functions. Though your running muscles will become stronger initially, at some point you’ll plateau, because doing the same thing every day will eventually stop yielding results. When you start cycling, you’re using muscles in your legs and core that complement the muscles used for running, making you stronger, more efficient, and faster. 

3. Increase leg turnover. 
Pedaling a bike requires consistent motion and a steady, smooth cadence. Sound familiar? That’s because the exact same thing is true for running. The world’s best marathoners have a leg turnover rate of about 180 steps per minute. Your cadence on the bike can transfer to running. 

4. Your ankles, knees, and hips will thank you.
Runners, especially those who do longer races like marathons and ultras, put a pounding on their body. Because of this, it’s hard for some to maintain high mileage without injury. Cycling gives you a good workout without the impact of a run. If you’re not comfortable with replacing an entire run workout with a session on the bike, even substituting a portion of your run with a cycling workout can make your joints happy. 

My opinion

I started added running in my workout since last year. Like cycling, i must endure some pain and build endurance gradually before enjoy it. Its taken almost a half year to turn myself from poor runner (who can do only a few meters run before my legs given up) into a 5K runner.

Unlike when i do cycling, when speed sometimes its a things to look, i don't really care about speed (pace) when run. Simply, i just want running without injury. Rather than push myself to run faster, i always observe the road surface, my run posture and breathe technique to prevent injury while add more distance gradually.

Now, in work days, i prefer 3-5K run for exercise and leaving cycling in weekend. Its refreshing and i think you should try it too....

Cycling Weekly 01/2017

Ride and Run On!

Book Review: Big Book of Cycling for Beginners

If you are new kid on the block of bicycling, this book will be a good companion to start explore the world of cycling. You can find almost anything you need to know to begin your journey. If you want to cycling, of course you need a bicycle. Nowadays, you can scratch your head when go to bikeshop. Maybe the first though in your mind was "Where's the right bike for me?", this book offering guidance for you to choose.

After that, you will find lot of info about how to properly dress up, choose the right community/club for you and many more. you can find tips about nutrition, how to carry things in your bike and about basic bike maintenance. This is a good book for beginner. They pack lot of information for beginner in one book. 

If you ok with black and white page and have a spare time to read, why don't try to read this book? For experienced cyclist, maybe you can finish this book in few minutes, but it doesn't hurt to add this book in your library right? You can use this boo to explain cycling to your family or your friend's,

Ride On!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Tech Talk: Palladini Cinisello Hub

Palladini Cinisello Hub

Sometimes, old parts its doesn't mean out of date. If you lucky enough, you can see old parts with interesting design and didn't exist again in this era. Palladini hub its one of the old part with unique design. These are unusual in that when the rear wheel is removed the sprockets remain in the frame. It make us easier to remove or install the rear wheel. No hassle and struggle with the chain. I wonder why modern hub today doesnt apply this tech.

Oh, i almost forget...Palladini hub seems have a competitor from Cinelli, its called bivalent hub (more on this later). Let's enjoy the pic below:

The hub, skewer and axle

Sprocket stay when rear hub removed
Interesting right?


Ride On!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Tech Talk: Canyon Speedmax CF SLX 2017

Canyon Speedmax CF SLX

How does the new Canyon Speedmax CF SLX differ from the old version? Firstly, “We didn’t have to compromise. We think we’ve produced the best bike for TT and tri,” says senior product engineer Michael Adomeit. It’s faster, too, he explains: “The frameset saves around four watts at 45km/h, but the better integration of storage and hydration of course helps to save further watts. If you were riding a round bottle at the seat tube and switch to the integrated stem-mount bottle, then you’ll gain around 7W more.” The Canyon Speedmax CF SLX is UCI legal, with the integrated front bottle and bento box removed. 

The biggest change to the frame is the dramatically steeper seat tube angle. The old bike pushed riders with longer legs too far back behind the BB. Product engineer Wolfgang Kohl explains the change: “During development two things changed: the new TT rules of the UCI allow smaller riders to sit more to the front, and stub-nosed saddles have become the norm. Both things made us think that a new angle for the seat tube is necessary.”

Hidden brake

The brakes are protected behind a flexible polymer cover, making them easier to access for assembly and maintenance. The fork dropouts can be adjusted too, something Canyon calls ‘Rake Shift’. It’s a cool idea that enables a rider to tailor the handling of the bike. 
Of course, how a bike leaves you for the run is more about your position than anything else. The steep seat tube of the new Speedmax makes it possible to achieve a glute-friendly posture right over, or even in front of, the BB. “They’re specced based on our extensive knowledge and experience and we believe them to be correct for the job,” Adomeit say. The biggest challenge might be holding yourself back on a bike that just wants to go so fast.

Storage Solutions

A bento box in Canyon Speedmax CF SLX

The Bento box’s slit top gives easy access on the move while keeping your bars secure. The 600ml capacity is the same as a small bottle. There’s a quick refill opening at the front and room for two bottles behind the saddle on a removable adapter to save you resorting to aerodynamically compromised bottle locations on the frame. Canyon tell us that the nose bottle is ‘aero neutral’, integrating so smoothly with the frame that it adds no drag. But it does add a large surface to the front end of the bike and in crosswinds, causing a steering reaction.

Integrated toolbox in toptube

The bottle is easy to slide on and off depending on your preference. There is also a neat integrated toolbox in front of the seat post clamp. This is an aerodynamic solution for storing a multi tool, inner tube and CO2 inflator. Last, you can add seattube bottle cage to bring more fuel. its work with single or double bottle cage.


Ride On!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Counterfait Parts, Where Copyright Means Copy-Is-Right Final Part

Open Mold Frames sells carbon bicycle frames. Amazingly, it also sells the clamshell molds needed to make these frames. Carbon cycle frames are baked in these molds. Despite modern non-tube carbon frames being called “monocoques,” they are not, in fact, made in one piece. They tend to be molded in two pieces, stuck together with glue, and then the joins are concealed with a carbonand- resin mix. Premium cycle brands pay competent factories for the creation of bike- and size-specific molds, and these molds are not used by other companies.

Competent and counterfait factories also produce generic “open-mold” cycle frames using molds that are, in effect, rented out to all and sundry. These Chinese-made open-mold frames are cheaper than proprietary frames from the premium brands. Open mold frames can be remixed by using different rear triangle or bottom bracket configurations leading to unique looking frames at a fraction of a cost of making an entirely new design. 

Chinese open-mold frames don’t have names; they have numbers: three digits after FM (FM stands for frame mould). So, FM099 is an open mold frame baked in “frame mould ninety nine”. FM099 is also a familiar looking shape – it looks an awful lot like the Specialized Venge. In short, it’s a knock-off, and is known online, wink-wink, as the “Fenge.” FM098, on the other hand, doesn’t encroach on any design rights – it’s a popular frame, available from consumer-direct from vendors such as HongFu and Deng Fu.

Chris Mei of VeloBuild, a Chinese trading company that sources and sells open-mold frames told BikeBiz that 30 percent of VeloBuild’s sales are to Europe, 65 percent to North America and five percent to Australia. Open-mold frames sometimes get a bad rap on internet forums – usually for issues with internal cabling and frame misalignments – but it’s important to note most of them are not fakes, they are no-name frames. Some open mold frames may have been built to very high standards with premium carbon. Others not. There’s no way of telling which is which, and generally very little comeback available.

Do They Crumple?

Manufacturers and brand owners like to claim that fake frames and parts are little better than papier-mâché and will, at some point, collapse. The uncomfortable truth for the industry is that despite YouTube videos that appear to show fake handlebars being crushed with biceps many fake frames and parts are actually almost as tough as the genuine articles; some are perhaps even tougher – it’s cheaper to over-engineer a product to make it strong than it is to use all sorts of clever computer programs and complex carbon pre-preg layups.

Even genuine products fail – the difference is that consumers who buy pukka products from bonafide retailers can rely on supplier warranties, and if the worst came to the worst the consumer can sue the locally-accountable supplier for any injuries caused by defective products. It would be far harder for a Western consumer to sue a reputable Chinese manufacturer directly, and next to impossible to sue the here-today-gone-tomorrow merchants buying from counterfait factories.

There are no figures available on how many injuries – or deaths – have been caused by fake products collapsing on riders. Nevertheless, it’s probable that it’s statistically less safe to ride with products made by factories with little interest in the latest ISO standards and even less interest in cycling itself. Genuine products may crumple, but they are usually designed so that in the unlikely event of a high-speed failure they crack or split in a relatively predictable way, with the rider hopefully being able to ride to a stop; fake products don’t benefit from the same sort of failsafe protocols.

According to Raoul Luescher of Carbon Bike Repair of Australia, common problems include:
  • Delamination – “where the plies are separated and can no longer transfer load.”
  • Unbond – “when the plies or other fittings were not bonded properly during manufacture.”
  • Porosity – “dispersed air trapped in the resin during cure causing a reduction in mechanical properties.”
  • Void – “large, trapped air bubble.”
  • Cracks – “broken fibres and/or matrix.”
The aerospace industry relies on composites. Every carbon part is tested for such problems, usually with nondestructive inspection (NDI) technologies such as ultrasound. The cycle industry doesn’t yet test every frame and part with NDI imaging methods. Luescher uses ultrasound equipment to work out where repairs to the matrix are required. “I am not aware of any of cycle factories doing any ultrasound scans of production frames or parts,” Luescher “Other technologies such as CT scans may be more likely to be used. Larger voids could be found like this. However, they would typically not be able to find porosity.”

“I have scanned some of the fakes, mainly Pinarellos,” says Luescher. “The compaction was mainly ok. There was some variability – some were better than others. However, you also can get this in the original brands as well. Overall the laminate was comparable from a porosity and void perspective. “The unknown is the fibre and resin quality, grade and type as well as the ply orientation. I would need to do destructive tests to identify these parameters.

The fakes were similar in weight and wall thickness and there was no sign of low-cost glass fibres in the scans. “I have seen some bars, forks and rims from the fakes all the way up to the very high-end brands that were full of porosity, voids and other flaws such as wrinkles, which could cause a catastrophic failure or at the very least reduce the life span of the part. “One thing that was noticeably different on the fakes was the poor quality of the headset bearing seats and other fittings.”

In the near future there may at least be a baseline for safety which is accessible by all, even the counterfait factories. Improvements are in the pipeline for the current international safety standard for bike frames and structural parts: ISO 4210. This is essentially a set of fatigue tests to tick off. The forthcoming changes aim to bring ISO 4210 up  to speed with composite materials, although whether counterfait factories will apply it any more diligently than they do the current version is open to debate.

One of the weaknesses of the existing standard is that it was developed before carbon became commonplace, and doesn’t take into account carbon’s very different build, use and failure characteristics. Experts from the cycle industry, testing laboratories, and trading standards bodies have been working on the composites-specific CEN Technical Committee 333 Working Group 8, or WG8 for short.

“The current fatigue tests are based on the properties of steel and aluminium,” says Peter Eland, technical service manager for the Bicycle Association of Great Britain. “There are differences in fatigue behaviour between metals, but the differences between metals and composites are very much more significant. The key factor is that impacts have a far more significant effect on composite materials than they do on metals. But low-cycle impact loads were not really considered when the original tests were agreed.” This means that a composite component could very likely pass all of the fatigue testing specified in the current standard, but could still fail in use.

New tests proposed by WG8 – which includes tech experts from Shimano, SRAM, Trek, Accell Group, and Mavic – will include the effect of temperature on composite rims, which have to withstand burst pressure from the tyres when heated through braking (or being left in a car in the sunshine). There will also be composite-specific tests for steerer tubes and composite saddle rails. WG8 will make its recommendations in a Technical Report due out soon, and this will eventually become part of the ISO standard for bicycles.

Bike AU, Autumn 2016
E-book "Faking It" by

Ride On!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Counterfait Parts, Where Copyright Means Copy-Is-Right Part 2

Why buy fakes product?

Love has a theory for what drives customers to buy fakes. He draws a line graph with price rising on the Y-axis and likelihood of a counterfeit increasing on the X-axis. He calls it the LOP Theorem; the letters stand for “legal,” “opportunistic,” and “piracy”. He points to the upper-left corner: “Here is a Venge frameset for $3600 that’s clearly legit.” Then to the lower right: “At $50, it’s obviously a fake and you have a piracy-inclined buyer. But there’s a gray area where people are opportunistic,” he continues, drawing a large circle in the middle. “They may wonder, ‘Is this a scam, or am I just getting a good deal?’

Love’s theory make sense to Dr Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University who’s studied the psychology of counterfeit buyers. We convince ourselves that it’s okay to buy a fake, he says. “There is a rationalisation where you say, ‘These companies make too much money, and this frame is made of the same material as the real ones,’” he says. These rationalisations are generally rooted in buyers’ perceptions – beliefs that are only sometimes true. For instance, many consumers believe that because almost all modern cycling gear is made in Asia, it all comes out of the same factories.

“About 15 years ago, a lot of the European and American brands began to outsource their production,” says John Neugent, a former bike industry executive who helped brands do exactly that. But there’s a broad spectrum of factories in Asia making cycling gear, from those that make products exactly to the specification of the brand, to so-called “open mould” suppliers, to full-on counterfeiters. The world’s top bike brands have their frames made in Asia not just because labour costs are low but because the facilities and the framebuilding technologies built up over 30+ years are world-beating.

The circumstances here are nuanced. By outsourcing to Asia, Neugent explains, the bike industry bears some responsibility for the problem. “In Asia, even if you have intellectual property agreements with the factory, when you show people how to build your products, you teach them trade secrets,” he says, adding that trade secrets are not subject to patent. “If the factory manager leaves and starts his own company, he has that knowledge. It’s just the way the business works.”

Another consumer perception: skyrocketing retail prices mean companies are getting rich even as they take advantage of cheap manufacturing in Asia. That’s only partly true. In fact, the cost of manufacturing in China has risen over the past decade to the point that $1 of manufacturing power in the US equals 96 cents in China. As well, direct comparisons of products show that retail prices have in some cases remained static or even declined over the past decade. 

What is true: at the high end, prices have exploded. Cannondale’s SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Team, Trek’s new aero Madone series, Specialized’s new Venge ViAS – all can make a significant dent in an annual wage. It’s no surprise, then, that consumers may suspect they’re paying inflated prices when they’re inundated with listings on marketplaces that promise the same products, but at wholesale prices that cut out the middleman. “Customers are bombarded by $400 wheels,” says John Balmer, aftermarket category manager at SRAM. “Their trust is shaken. They wonder, ‘How can Zipp wheels really cost almost $3000? These seem like the same thing."

The Fake Ones

The fake frames may be the same shape as high-end frames but underneath they probably haven’t benefitted from the same complexity of design and lay-up. The top layer of carbon – which is for show and doesn’t hold the frame together – is no indication of what’s below. The best carbon frames – with “best” being subjective; best at climbing or all-day comfort? – will be made of up to 13 layers of carbon fibre of various stiffness moduli.

High-end frames are computer designed with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) programs to make sure the strips of carbon fibre are in the right place in the 3D jigsaw, determined by the fibre orientation relative to the frame section and to the stacks and plies of the layup in that part of the frame. To achieve a certain ride characteristic the aim will be for the high-end frame to be rigid in some zones, compliant in others. This is achieved with the precision layup of the strips of carbon fibre, with an optimum layering technique leading to consistent laminates. “Lay a sheet a few millimetres in the wrong direction or in the incorrect order and the characteristics and integrity of the frame may be compromised,” says Phil Latz, editor of Australia’s Bicycling Trade.

The layers of carbon plies are thin and precise in expensive frames; thicker and less precise in cheaper frames, and possibly slapdash in the fake frames. The factories producing the fakes may use questionable materials, including cheaper (and lighter, weaker and less stiff) fibreglass as well as carbon fibre (although the carbon repair workshops say they have yet to find any evidence of this).

The counterfait factories may not be so fussed about checking for voids, porosity or other internal flaws, and they may not pull out samples, cut them in half and check laminate thicknesses. Fake frames may be made with a greater concentration of woven carbon cloth rather than unidirectional fibres. The faked end product often looks just the same as the real thing, the only person who ever knows the fake is spongy to ride is the end-user, thousands of miles from the factory and who has nobody local to call should the frame flop. The counterfait factories’ quality-control manager is the end-user. 

To be continued...

Bike AU, Autumn 2016
E-book "Faking It" by

Ride On!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Counterfait Parts, Where Copyright Means Copy-Is-Right Part 1

A fake purse is one thing; it breaks, you get a new one. But the disturbing reality that sets counterfeit bikes, parts and accessories apart is that, when you need them most, they may fail you catastrophically. And if they do, there is no one credible standing behind them.

Counterfeits of prestigious bike brands have a long history. But in the era of steel or aluminum frames, the deception was usually obvious even to an unskilled eye. The frames were usually substantially heavier than those they were imitating, the workmanship immediately obvious as inferior.

Counterfeiters generally are made up of two broad groups: factories that make illicit goods and vendors who sell them. Multiple industry sources told us that sometimes they are one and the same, but more often they’re separate entities. The factories churn out the fakes, and the sellers buy them to resell. The practice is mostly beyond the reach of Western law enforcement, with almost 90 per cent of seized goods coming from China and Hong Kong.

The Way They Sell

Complicating the issue is how counterfeit goods are sold, with the internet giving crooks an opportunity to proliferate that didn’t exist when counterfeit goods had to be sold in person. Some of the bolder counterfeiters sell direct on their own sites, like Greatkeen Bike and OEMCarbon. And fakes are still sold regularly on Amazon and eBay. But Love estimates that 95 per cent of the counterfeits he sees are on Asian marketplace sites like DHgate, or Ali Express and Taobao, which promise Western consumers direct access to Asian manufacturers, without the middleman.

“Alibaba alone is an umbrella with six or seven different platforms,” says Michele Provera, vice president of brand protection for Convey SRL, an Italian internet brand protection firm. “It has extremely evolved e-commerce and hundreds of millions of users a month.” Since Convey started working with Pinarello in 2013, the firm has taken down 45,000 listings for counterfeit goods (a listing can include multiple items). Wei Tang, who works on Andrew Love’s team as Specialized’s dedicated liaison to Alibaba Group sites, says that in the first seven months of 2015, he got more than $5 million in fake inventory delisted just from Alibaba websites. Specialized knocks down about $15 million a year total in counterfeit sales, across more than 80 platforms.

Candice Huang, a spokesperson for the Alibaba Group, said that it has more than 2000 staff devoted to fighting counterfeit on its sites, a problem that founder Jack Ma has called “a cancer”. And the cancer is proliferating, thanks to new dedicated shopping apps that are beyond the reach of most anti-counterfeit tools. Andrew Love (Specialized brand security and investigations.) predicts that the next frontier will be peer-to-peer sales on social media – Facebook, he says, recently rolled out a mobile payments processor. With sales hidden inside a dedicated app, and financial transactions routed out of plain sight, the entire counterfeit network could drop from view, but be as close as a couple of swipes on a smartphone screen.

The online malls do their best to police their listings but with so many moles it’s tough to whack them all. In a 2014 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission the Alibaba Group wrote: “Although we have adopted measures to verify the authenticity of products sold on our marketplaces and minimize potential infringement of third-party intellectual property rights through our intellectual property infringement complaint and take-down procedures, these measures may not always be successful.”

Alibaba removes 120 million suspect listings each year. The group’s online malls have seven million merchants offering 800 million items – ranging from cosmetics to swimwear, and from electronics to sunglasses. Of the 60,000 Dahon folding bikes for sale on Alibaba’s sites, half are fakes or infringe Dahon’s design rights. Taiwan-based Dahon spends more than $200,000 a year to combat counterfeiters.

In the fight against fakes, Love and outfits like Convey use a variety of tools. They work with law enforcement to seize shipments, they pursue financial trails and get counterfeit sellers’ PayPal and creditcard accounts shut down and funds seized, and they have high-level direct contacts with the marketplace sites themselves. But the benchmark tool is a form known as a takedown notice. Almost every major online marketplace has a version of it. The idea is simple: a brand can register its trademarks and other intellectual property rights with the site, then use the form to submit a takedown request. Since the intellectual property rights are already on file, the sites rely on an affirmation by the rights holder that it believes, in good faith, that the advertised item is a counterfeit.

Naturally, counterfeiters find ways to outsmart the system. Tools like these rely heavily on automated web-crawling software that uses a keyword search to flag listings as questionable. Algorithms can easily spot the fraudulent use of brand names, so merchants get around this by not listing them. Instead, they will place photos of, say, Pinarello frames next to listings that, to an algorithm, look as though they’re connected with plain carbon bikes. It’s up to brand owners – and trackers such as NetNames, MarkMonitor and Convey – to spot the use of photos. Some of the photo tracking can be done with image recognition software, but the fakers can obscure them enough to throw sniffers off the scent. Many of the photos have to be spotted, and flagged, manually. The fakers can post new listings, from newly named merchants, just as quickly as the offending ones can be taken down.

To be continued...

Bike AU, Autumn 2016
E-book "Faking It" by

Ride On!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Tech Talk: Sonder Broken Road

Sonder Broken Road

Sonder bikes its brand from Alpkit, a UK direct sales outdoors company that has recently ventured into the cycling world. Working with Brant Richards, who had designed bikes for On-One, Planet-X, and Ragley, among others, Alpkit built the Sonder bike brand around a few new bikes designed to “Go Nice Places & Do Good Things”.

There are six bikes in the range and all are aimed at the adventurous traveller. There’s this, the titanium Broken Road with an impressive frame-only price tag of £799. While the name conjures up images of trendy gravel bikes, the Broken Road is a bone fide trail hardtail, with adjustable dropouts and generous tyre clearance that allows for the use of 27.5in, 27.5 Plus, or 29in wheels. The frame is available in four standard sizes, from small to extra large,

Rocker style dropout

The Broken Road frame itself is welded from 3/2.5 titanium tubing, and also uses a flattened toptube for added comfort while maintains lateral stiffness. It uses an adjustable, rocker-style drop out that lets you set the bike up as either a conventionally geared ride, or with a singlespeed or internal geared hub. It also gets external routing, a machined chainstay yoke for short stays and big tire clearance, a threaded BB, and long, slack geometry, but adds in a wealth of extra bottle braze-ons for the long tours. 

Sonder Broken Road with Ti fork

A titanium fork option pairs well for a comfortable ride, able to handle any terrain. It is also designed to handle various wheel standards, including the ability to run a true fat bike front wheel/tire combo for rolling over the loosest surfaces imaginable. Plus, you can always swap in a short travel suspension fork to eat up even rougher trails. Both frame and fork use thru-axles to keep the bike tracking true, sticking with 100&142 spacing.


Ride On!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Tech Talk: Craftworks ENR

The Craftworks ENR is a rare beast indeed, and not just because it’s only recently come into existence. It uses a very novel suspension system. You can buy it direct from the manufacturer. And rather than being the product of a full design team, just one man is behind it all; from frame layout to suspension kinematics. That man is Hugh McLeay, and he’s not employed by a big bike company, or any bike company for that matter. He’s simply a very smart cookie who wanted to design a better long-travel trail bike, so in typical Australian fashion he set about doing just that.

The ENR (short for Enduro Race) is available as a frame only or as a complete bike but it’s only made in two sizes; either medium or large (425mm and 445mm reach respectively). Colour choice is non-existent; the ENR only comes in a very film-noir anodised matte black with white logos. The bike’s lines are clean and straigh. Straight tubes are the lightest and strongest tubes anyway, and they endow the ENR with a distinctly muscular look. Most tubes feature large diameters with big junctions and solid chunks of metal make up the suspension components. The welds are very clean and you’ll find oversized bearings at all the pivots.

Internal cable routing features throughout; it’s tidily done but the entry and exit ports are small with no guides to make installation easier. You’ll find a 142x12mm rear axle tying the dropouts together, so it’ll fit your favourite non-Boost wheels. You can fit a water bottle inside the frame (where it belongs) but there’s no option for a front derailleur; the ENR is a strictly 1X affair. It does come standard with a custom MRP chainguide and taco plate, the former is a necessity while the later is appreciated.

A threaded bottom bracket will keep your creakphobia at bay while the rear shock is the excellent and ultratuneable Cane Creek Double Barrel Inline. It is worth mentioning that due to the upper pivot location you’ll not be able to run the longest droppers on the market unless you have very long legs; that shouldn’t be an issue for the vast majority of riders but it is worth mentioning.

i-Track Tech


Hugh said he wanted to develop a long travel suspension system that delivered excellent bump performance and downhill speed combined with high pedalling efficiency and limited pedal kickback. When he started toying with this idea, most long travel bikes saw these attributes as mutually exclusive. In principle i-Track is not dissimilar to a dual short link design, similar to what a number of brands now use. However the devil is always in the detail when it comes to suspension design, and in this case there are two very distinct details to note; the vertical lower link and the idler pulley mounted on the upper link.

Unlike other short-link designs where the lower link is almost horizontal and barely moves at all, the lower link on the ENR goes from its near vertical resting position to almost horizontal at full compression; this results in 50mm of rearward axle movement. On a different design this amount of movement would cause so much feedback through the pedals that the bike would be virtually impossible to pedal over bumps. So this is where the idler pulley comes into play.

By positioning the idler closer to the instant centre of rotation it mitigates the amount of anti-squat and pedal kickback. The end result is a system that has slightly higher anti-squat than a DW-Link design but with generally much lower pedal kickback. Because the idler is mounted to a moving link rather than fixed to the frame, it also means that the anti-squat varies throughout the travel as well as with the gear selection.

Pedalling in the largest cog will result in a nearly flat anti-squat curve, but in the smallest cog the anti-squat rises significantly as the suspension compresses. When you try to accelerate by pedalling a bike, your centre of gravity shifts rearward. With i-Track the increasing anti-squat helps resist the tendency to bog down and instead transmits more of your power into forward movement. As a result, when you’re descending at speed and crank out a few extra pedal strokes between turns the ENR bolts forward with more enthusiasm than any 160mm travel bike has a right to do.

Mountain Biking Australia magazine, 01/2017

Ride On!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

All About Spokes

Wire wheels are used on most bicycles and are still used on many motorcycles. They were invented by aeronautical engineer George Cayley in 1808. Although Cayley first proposed wire wheels, he did not apply for a patent. The first patent for wire wheels was issued to Theodore Jones of London, England on October 11, 1826. Eugène Meyer of Paris, France was the first person to receive, in 1869, a patent for wire wheels on bicycles.

Even the earliest bicycles used spokes of one sort or another. In fact, even in ancient times many chariots and animal-drawn carts used spokes. A spoked wheel can be made as strong as a solid one and have only a fraction of the weight. While early spoked wheels were almost always made out of wood, the bicycle wheels and spokes of today are made out steel or aluminum or occasionally more exotic materials such as carbon composite or ceramics.

The Spoke

The material of choice for spokes is stainless steel. Stainless is strong and will not rust. Cheap wheels are built with chrome-plated or zinc-plated carbon-steel spokes which are not as strong, and are prone to rust. Titanium is also used for spokes, but should only be used with brass nipples. Carbon fiber, aluminum alloy and polycarbonate plastic (Kevlar®) spokes also have been available, but they all have to be thicker than steel spokes. The best spokes are made from the best wire, and most companies seem to agree that the best wire comes from Sweden (Sapim, DT Swiss and Pillar all use wire from the same mill).

All steel spokes begin life as silver wire. Most bikes now come with black spokes, the wire is electrostatically coated after production. Traditional spokes have a J-bend in one end and a thread on the other end (rolled into the wire rather than cut). Modern variations abound: straight pull spokes, double threaded spokes (a thread at each end) and spokes designed so the head sits in the rim and the threaded end fits into the hub to name only three

How Many Spokes?

Up until the early 1980s, virtually all adult bikes had 72 spokes. 32 front/40 rear was the standard for British bikes, 36 front and rear for other countries. The exception was super-fancy special-purpose racing wheels, which might have 32 spokes front and rear. The Great Spoke Scam: In the early '80s a clever marketeer hit upon the idea of using only 32 spokes in wheels for production bikes. The resulting wheels were noticeably weaker than comparable 36-spoke wheels, but held up well enough for most customers. Since then, this practice has been carried to an extreme, with 28-, 24-, even 16-spoke wheels being offered, and presented as it they were somehow an "upgrade." 

If you want highest performance, it is generally best to have more spokes in the rear wheel than the front. For instance, 28/36 is better than 32/32. People very rarely have trouble with front wheels: Front wheels are symmetrically dished (except with disc brakes). Front wheels carry less weight. Front wheels don't have to deal with torsional loads (unless there's a hub brake). If you have the same number of spokes front and rear, either the front wheel is heavier than it needs to be, or the rear wheel is weaker than it should be.

Spoke Gauges

The diameter of spokes is sometimes expressed in terms of wire gauges. There are several different national systems of gauge sizes, and this has been a great cause of confusion. A particular problem is that French gauge numbers get smaller for thinner wires, while the U.S./British gauge numbers get larger for thinner wires. 

The crossover point is right in the popular range of sizes used for bicycle spokes: U.S./British 14 gauge is the same as French 13 gauge U.S./British 13 gauge is the same as French 15 gauge Newer I.S.O. practice is to ignore gauge numbers, and refer to spokes by their diameter in millimeters: U.S./British 13 gauge is 2.3 mm U.S./British 14 gauge is 2.0 mm U.S./British 15 gauge is 1.8 mm U.S./British 16 gauge is 1.6 mm

Spokes come in straight-gauge or swaged (butted) styles. Straight-gauge spokes have the same thickness all along their length from the threads to the heads. Swaged spokes come in 5 varieties: Single-butted spokes are thicker than normal at the hub end, then taper to a thinner section all the way to the threads. Single-butted spokes are not common, but are occasionally seen in heavy-duty applications where a thicker-than-normal spoke is intended to be used with a rim that has normal-sized holes.

Double-butted spokes are thicker at the ends than in the middle. The most popular diameters are 2.0/1.8/2.0 mm (also known as 14/15 gauge) and 1.8/1.6/1.8 (15/16 gauge). Double-butted spokes do more than save weight. The thick ends make them as strong in the highly-stressed areas as straight-gauge spokes of the same thickness, but the thinner middle sections make the spokes effectively more elastic, allowing them to stretch (temporarily) more than thicker spokes.

As a result, when the wheel is subjected to sharp localized stresses, the most heavily-stressed spokes can elongate enough to shift some of the stress to adjoining spokes. This is particularly desirable when the limiting factor is how much stress the rim can withstand without cracking around the spoke holes.

Triple-butted spokes, are the best choice when durability and reliability are the primary aim, as with tandems and bicycles for loaded touring. They share the advantages of single-butted and double-butted spokes. 

Spoke lengths

Spoke lengths depend on a few factors:

Rim ERD (Effective Rim Diameter) - This is the distance from the end of a spoke to the end of the spoke directly across from it in a built wheel. It is not the rim diameter that you normally know (700c, 26", 29" etcetera) but a number like "542" or around 590 for 700c road rims. It can sometimes be obtained from the manufacturers' websites or some spoke calculators will have a listing chart but you have no idea if the information is correct or not. By far the best way of getting the ERD is to measure it yourself.

Hub dimensions (flange diameter, flange spacing) Some hub makers list their hub measurements. But again - use others' measurements at your own risk.

Spoke crosses - are you going to use 3x, 2x, 1x or radial? It makes a big difference in spoke length.

Shape Variety of Spoke

Its a common shape you can find in bicycle

Elliptical spokes are a variety of double-butted spoke in which the thin part is swaged into an elliptical cross section, making these spokes a bit more aerodynamic than round-section spokes.

Bladed spokes have a more pronounced aero shape, flat, rather than elliptical. Although they are the most aerodynamic of spokes, they won't normally fit through the holes in a standard hub because they are too wide.

J vs Straight

J-bends spokes tend to suffer more breakage issues due to poor build quality and low spoke tension. Also, some hubs have spokes holes too large, which causes poor fit of the elbow. Most of the time you can chalk up premature J-bend spoke breakage to corners being cut in the wheel-building process.

Straight pull spokes were invented to accomplish two things: Eliminate the weak point at the bend in a traditional spoke and to make wheel building faster. These are great benefits to have, but straight pull spokes have some drawbacks too. A lot of bike shops don’t keep them in stock because a significant percentage of wheels that feature straight pull spokes also use proprietary spokes, which means the shop has to carry a huge spoke inventory to keep everyone covered.

Another issue with straight pull spokes is that they can sometimes spin in the hub flange. A third drawback of straight pull spokes is that they are difficult to use when building custom wheels because there are no available universal straight pull spoke calculators due to the differences in various straight pull hub designs. Calculations can be done, but it requires a lot of extra steps and a good amount of experience building custom wheels with straight pull hubs to get it right.

A fourth drawback is that with a straight pull hub a wheelbuilder has only one option for the wheel’s spoke lacing pattern, the one built into the hub. This means the wheelbuilder can’t tune the wheel’s weight, stiffness, or ride quality by altering the number and type of spoke crossings. 

Bicycling Australia 1/2017

Ride On!