When you bolt a rear derailleur to your bike, generally, the derailleur cage will be outside of the cassette, the smallest cog, or high-gear. If you have a rapid rise rear derailleur, you may see that the derailleur cage is closer to spokes, or low gear (biggest cog), if cable is not attached. If you have a derailleur that is produced in 2005 or later, and not Shimano, it’s next to impossible that it’s a rapid rise derailleur. These derailleurs are not “invented” by Shimano, but they made them in late 90’s to early 2000’s. Somehow they embraced the idea, and their XT and XTR derailleurs were rapid rise at the time. However, they disappeared, because nobody liked them. I may be exaggerating, yes, but at least there is quite a lot of hate against them. Why rapid rise derailleurs… Continue Reading What is rapid rise rear derailleur ?Continue reading
Buying bike parts is not just getting more expensive, but also very hard due to ever-changing standards, or worst, no standards at all. In the days when 3×7 or 3×8 drivetrains are high-end, almost everything was interchangeable, compatible, or sort of worked together. Nowadays, even 12-speed chains are incompatible amongst brands, lots of brake pad sizes instead of one universal shoe size for rim brakes, or single hub types for either MTB or road: we have boost hubs with different widths, and we still have QR hubs that is a dying breed now, thru-axle hubs does not come with axles as in QR hub skewers.
I suffered from such problems way too much. Not just that. There are some expensive but rubbish parts, advertised as top notch. Or, really decent cheaper alternatives. There are parts that are not serviceable: some people ride bikes to be more eco-friendly, right? That does not make sense.
I’m a rider, this blog won’t make me rich. I want to earn some money out of this to support my hobby. Bike parts are not cheap, and I want to try different things to be more useful to my readers. I want to help people have fun riding again, like in the days a few decades ago.
Bottom bracket creaking: reasons, fixes, don’ts
Creaks are super annoying, and I saw a lot of people complaining about bottom bracket creaking. However, bottom bracket creaks are rarely related with bottom brackets. There are lots of areas on a bike that can create those annoying creaks. Spotting the exact problem can be easy, or almost impossible, depending on the problem. To cure a problem, we have to ask the right questions first: why people automatically think it is the bottom bracket that creaks? Bacause people tend to think cranksets are not good enough for them. I’ ve seen a lot of people, who cannot sustain 100 watts for a few minutes, complaining about flexy frames or cranksets. Well, I don’t meant to harm your feelings, but you’ re not that strong to flex a frame or bend a fine crankset. That’s where pros or avid riders… Continue Reading Bottom bracket creaking: reasons, fixes, don’tsContinue reading
Classified Powershift, front derailleur killer ?
Everyone seems to have a problem with front derailleurs – SRAM swore to kill them with limited success. Now, Classified, a Belgian company tries something that is actually tried before. I’ve never seen any product they made before, and I highly doubt it’ s a bike component company. Rather, they seem like many companies come up with a good product and attract some funding. It’ s also a small company that looks to be growing. Frankly, I’m not interested in company stories, as they’ re stories after all, and I’ ve never been a fanboy of any company or any product. Basically, Classified Powershift is a wireless -Bluetooth- operated, 2 speed gearhub without a freehub, instead, a proprietary cassette. Dubbed as “revolutionary” by bike media, it’s nowhere nearrevolutionary, as this was tried before, by a bigger and older company… Continue Reading Classified Powershift, front derailleur killer ?Continue reading
All about front derailleurs
Front derailleurs were announced dead a few years ago by so-called bike media, but people still use 2x, even 3x cranksets. I won’t go into detail, but I already wrote what I think about 1x drivetrains. Most riders have or had problems with front derailleurs, mostly due to problems like chain suck, chain drop, etc. Yes; front derailleurs are tricky, and cause problems when they are not setup correctly. I will go full blast with the front derailleurs in this post, describing types, some compatibility tips, capacity, cable pull types, etc – expect a lot of detail. It’s much more important than a rear derailleur for me, because having a nicely spread, broad range of gearing is only possible with a good balance of cassette and chainring combination. If you know how to match front derailleurs with existing groupsets, you’ll… Continue Reading All about front derailleursContinue reading
All about bike chains
Everything that transmits your pedal force to your rear wheel is made of metal. Chain takes the beating most: over 200 rollers in your chain fight against elongation, friction, crossing between cogs and chainrings, and worse of all, dust and sand. Of course, nut just that: Cross chaining. Hits. Water. In the past, when we were happily riding our 3×6 groupsets, things were simpler. Cross chaining was taboo, chains were big and bulky, there was no internet to make comparisons or baseless assumptions, and everything was slow. Unless you ride a high-end road bike, you didn’t pedal fast. In fact, you couldn’t; bikes were heavy, tires were not good enough to stick anything other than tarmac. Now we have up to 11 cogs at the rear, with the same thickness as 6-speed freehubs. (Well; standard 7-speed freehubs are just half… Continue Reading All about bike chainsContinue reading
Newer bike standards that are actually good
We started to see emerging new “standards” or “tech” especially in the last decade. Most of them are vaporware, causes more problems and confusion then to provide a solution to problems they address. I’ll try to see the brighter side today. There are some standards that are actually needed. Stupidly, most of them tries to fix some problems that were non-existant before. It’s still good to solve a problem, without thinking about the causes, or who messed it up in the first place: Thru axles: Thru axles is a nice idea, and it solves 2 problems: one is the one with disc brakes, and the other one is about cup and cone bearing hubs. QR (Quick release) is quite an old piece of ….technology, first made by Campagnolo. I never liked it a bit, because you are compressing the hub… Continue Reading Newer bike standards that are actually goodContinue reading
Bearings in bicycles: cup and cone, cartridge bearings, ceramic etc
Bearings is a hot topic for me, as for many bikeheads. Being a former mechanic worked on quite a lot of engines, cars and bikes, I had lots of experience with them; especially why and how they fail. Understanding bearings is useful if you’ re shopping, replacing parts – because, when you buy a particular component, like hubs or cranksets, you’ re also getting a certain kind of bearing type, which directly effects performance, longevity and of course, price of the component on the long run. There are many “half-truths” or bullshit regarding bearings in bike industry. But let me quickly explain types of bearings used in bikes. 1.Cup and cone bearings Shimano’s favorite hub bearing type. This is the best bearing type for hubs: it rolls nice, cheap, and handles both radial and axial forces best. This is a… Continue Reading Bearings in bicycles: cup and cone, cartridge bearings, ceramic etcContinue reading
All you need to know about rear derailleur
Rear derailleurs have bling factor, and also dictates how your bike ride, along with gearing. A bad derailleur, either front or back, easily makes you detest your bike. Yet there is a lot of nomenclature, slang, love and hate, mechanical parts and legends involved, it works amazingly simple: In fact, it’s a movable chain guide, and that’s all about it. As the name suggests, what it does to “derail” the chain into another cog. It is generally operated by Bowden cable, in engineering speak, but electronic versions are getting more common, albeit with slow adoption due to huge price difference. Weirdly, it may even be operated by hydraulics, like some Rotor groupsets. What is long cage? short cage? When buying a new drivetrain, or even a new chainring for your crankset or new rear cassette, you should consider derailler capacity.… Continue Reading All you need to know about rear derailleurContinue reading
Bottom Bracket types and standards
Bottom bracket is simply what mates your frame and crankset together. Other then that, it’s far from being simple. There are millions of frame shells sizes that accepts bottom brackets, and also millions of bottom bracket types. You may come across many, many categorisation of bottom brackets. Like, press fit, outboard bearing, square taper, etc. Nomenclature is vast; yet it’s not really hard to determine what type of bottom bracket you have, or what you will need for replacement. I’ll follow a simpler categorization. Since a bottom bracket is fitted to your frame shell, it can be fitted in 3 ways: Either pressed (no threads on your frame shell) or, threaded inside, or threaded outside. What that means? Modern bottom brackets like Shimano’s Hollowtech II, Sram’s GXP or DUB, have 2 exterior cups that is bolted outside your frame shell.… Continue Reading Bottom Bracket types and standardsContinue reading
When and why to replace your bike chain?
Chains are generally the cheapest and the weakest part of the drivetrain, yet can do a lot of damage to your cassettes, chainrings, and derailleur pulleys if not maintained properly. They are exposed to all weather and terrain conditions, like water ingress, dust or mud, etc. You’re not driving a car: if you’re traveling long and remote distances, especially alone, you have to take care of your bike, and learn to maintain and repair it. Chains are fragile. At least, you have to know how to clean, lube and remove / install them. The most obvious sign the chain is giving up is elongation. Contrary to popular belief, chains doesn’t elongate because plates get stretched out: they get a bit longer, because rollers and bushings get worn. Personally, I lost few good chains to corrosion,too! I was shocked to see… Continue Reading When and why to replace your bike chain?Continue reading
Why and how Hollowtech II bottom brackets fail
On paper, Hollowtech II is a step forward to old 3-piece cranks. It’s lightweight, bottom brackets are easy to remove / replace, cranks are easier to pull out. Getting the Hollowtech II bottom bracket cups is very easy and foolproof thanks to sturdy tool; while “inboard” bottom brackets like the first Hollowtech, ISIS, or the classic, conventional threaded ones are harder to remove; because they tend to “fuse” with aluminium frames, where these threaded type bottom bracket bodies are steel. Galvanic corrosion due to two different metals touching together can also damage these parts, especially aluminium, in the long run. You can use copper grease to slow it down; but thats not a permanent way to stop it forever. Hollowtech II (or similar) cranks are also lighter due to simpler bottom brackets. There is a common misunderstanding that Hollowtech II… Continue Reading Why and how Hollowtech II bottom brackets failContinue reading
Guide to bike chain cleaning
Sand, mud, dirt causes premature wear in drivetrain, especially chain, and of course, wasted precious effort. There are millions of methods to clean a chain, ranging from cleaning each roller with a cotton swab to dubious ones like jetting water. Funnily, most of the time, its the lube, or lack of it, that makes cleaning a pain. I’m an advocate of waxing chains, but also lazy enough to lube (some) chains. If you wax your chain periodically, a wipe with a soft, damp cloth is almost always adequate. Dry lubes that is meant to be used in dry weather does not make a huge mess, while wet lubes and other nasty stuff people use, like used motor oil (don’t!) can make your chain super hard to clean. Depending on condition, I use either “Quick” or “Deep” cleaning procedures: Quick bike… Continue Reading Guide to bike chain cleaningContinue reading