Internal cable routing is the new industry trend, and both bike manufacturers and part makers seem to be experimenting about it. Nowadays, (I mean, at least 15 years) every new “technology” or “standard” seems to be aimed to replace any standards prior, making our bikes complete junk, because nothing will work together. Planned obsolesence, again. What are the problems of internal cable routing, now, or a year ago ? Internal cable routing really makes bikes look simpler, streamlined, and more aero, as the man in spandex says. They look indeed simpler, but it’s not. I love the look of a streamlined bike, no strings attached – who doesn’t? But it’s also like having a Bugatti at your disposal, with limited funds. It would probably become a liability than a fun machine, as fast as it can reach 0 to 100.… Continue Reading Internal Cable Routing Headsets, what to know?Continue reading
Do you need a torque wrench ? Why correct torque matters ?
Torque wrenches are rare and expensive, and most mechanics don’t know how to use them. Worse, they need to be calibrated, again, never seen anyone calibrating their torque wrench. So why it should be used anyway? There are two reasons to use a torque wrench, but with carbon bikes or carbon fiber bike parts, it is actually 3! Metals are elastic, though it may seem absurd. Yes. That’s why some people CAN complain about rigidity (otherwise it would be totally absurd, like aquaplaning resistance in road bike tires!). When you tighten a bolt too much, it elongates. This can cause two things, provided that screw holes are made from Adamantium, an imaginary metal that has infinite strongness, hardness, durability, you name it. Or Valyrian steel. Same. When elongated (or stretched) beyond certain limit, a bolt will snap, causing you too… Continue Reading Do you need a torque wrench ? Why correct torque matters ?Continue 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
Biggest debate: Schrader valves or Presta valves ?
Schrader and Presta valves are maybe the most controversial topic in biking history(!). Something so trivial attracts so much attention that there are some bikers who swear by Schrader or Presta. Few years ago, I was shopping for a rim in a busy, well-known and quite old store. A man in his late 30s raised his voice gradually, at some point, I understood its about Presta – we was accusing the shop of being negligient and ignorant. Rather than calling them “Schrader” or “Presta”, we use the “thin valve” – “thick valve” here. Guy was insisting it is an abomination to sell “thick valve” inner tubes (which is obviously, Schrader) as they are for cars. I believe there is some truth in it. According to Wikipedia, Schrader valve was invented by August Schrader in 1891, the man who founded Schrader… Continue Reading Biggest debate: Schrader valves or Presta valves ?Continue reading
How to wash a bicycle, which soap is best for bicycles ?
You have to wash your bicycle time to time, question is how frequently: there are more tips and tricks to make your life easier. Your bike will look shinier, operates as it should, and obviously, will last longer. Some chemicals like wax, soap or degreasing agents can be very helpful on your task, or be very harmful. As always, I’ll try to cover all details regardng bike wash. I’m not too keen to wash my bike(s), for 2 reasons: one, I’m lazy, and I’d better devote the time and effort to ride it, rather than to wash it. Second, we live in a world where water is scarce, and with such levels of breeding, consumption and waste, we won’t survive long. Damned with both being lazy and freaky with attention to detail, there may be some perks in learning some… Continue Reading How to wash a bicycle, which soap is best for bicycles ?Continue reading
How to store bike outside ?
Storing your bike outside can ruin your bike, but there are proper ways to do it. Sun, rain, cold, and even wind is not our bike’s friend. There are lots of things that can go wrong about bikes staying outside. Before throwing out ideas how to store it outside properly, lets have a look what can ruin your bike, what parts are in jeopardy, and how to deal with them. Paint Be it a car or a bike, there are two enemies of paint: sun (UV rays) and rain, especially in big cities. Even in the remotest places to human life, we have acid rains. In the past, this was a problem with big cities, but not anymore. Acid rain eats your paint. You cannot totally stop it, but you can slow it down. UV does the same. I have… Continue Reading How to store bike outside ?Continue reading
2 must-have chemicals for any mechanic: thread lock and copper grease
Copper grease and thread lock compound. Now, you can dismiss 🙂 Or, if you want to know why you need them, stick with me a little longer. If you have a look at the image, you’ll see an ordinary socket hexagon bolt. If you look closely, you’ll notice a tiny hole in it, indicating that it’s not a standard item. When I received my first disc brake set with mounting hardware, I was surprised to discover a very fine wire in the box and wondered what it was. Strangely, even on brand-new bikes, I never saw that wire. It’s a preventative measure against bolts slackening and falling off and causing catastrophic damage to your bike and you: that wire is threaded through two bolt holes and tied together: if they slacken a bit, the wire will not let any further… Continue Reading 2 must-have chemicals for any mechanic: thread lock and copper greaseContinue 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
Why electronic groupsets like Shimano Di2 are the future?
For years, many photographers insisted on DSLRs and ignored mirrorless cameras. Then, something very silly happened: camera makers started making mirrorless cameras with a DSLR “hunch”. Now, everybody is flocking to mirrorless cameras, selling their perfectly fine DSLRs for pocket money and grabbing mirrorless cameras at highly inflated prices. Why? People doesn’t like change. But when it’s unavoidable, or that change provides real opportunities, they follow the crowd. Electronic groupsets is good for ordinary people like you and me. The reason is not the groupset itself: they’re heavier and more expensive. Thing is, in Shimano-speak, they are capable of “syncro-shifting”. For those who don’t know what it is, it automatically adjusts gears so that each consecutive gear combination that is selected is the perfect combination. Let’s say you have hypothetical 3s chainrings, namely A,B,C; A being the biggest chainring. Then… Continue Reading Why electronic groupsets like Shimano Di2 are the future?Continue reading
In depth look to cheap Chinese cycling computer, XOSS G
I was on the lookout for a cheap, GPS cycling computer when I first saw XOSS G / G+. I used Strava with my smartphone for about 2 years. It was bulky, battery drain was too much because of GPS and huge screen, and not nice when you fall down, crash, or in any case of rainfall. Garmin or Polar units was nice, but needlessly expensive. Besides, no mapping functionality needed. XOSS came to life as a KickStarter project and mass production began in 2019, August. I’m not sure if XOSS was the first introduce sub-50$ GPS enabled unit (XOSS G is on sale now, currently 25$), but they democratised the access to GPS enabled cycling computers. It’s not sold in here, I didn’t want to wait AliExpress which may take up to 2 months, so I bought one second… Continue Reading In depth look to cheap Chinese cycling computer, XOSS GContinue reading
What should be in your toolbox to repair / maintain your bike?
I like breaking/fixing things since my childhood, so it’s no surprise I’m fixing, maintaining, or even building my bikes. This proved to be a good habit because if I can’t, I’d suffer a lot. I read a lot of romantic stuff about bikes these days, especially becoming more common with Covid-19 and e-bike frenzy, but let’s face it: bikes can be dangerous. Lots of people die when riding a bike. You may say, lots of people die, also when taking a shower, but it’s not the same thing: an unmaintained shower head cannot kill you. A loose pedal getting off the crankset when you’re pedaling downhill at 90 km/h is disastrous, and more common than you think. I learned to never trust a mechanic, even the manufacturer. There are lots of skillful, capable, well-mannered people in the business, but some… Continue Reading What should be in your toolbox to repair / maintain your bike?Continue reading
What’s wrong with disc brakes for bicycles ?
Cars borrow from planes, motorcycles borrow from cars and seems like, bicycles are getting from motorcycles… When I got my first hydraulic brake set, I immediately detest it. Yes; it was an entry-level Acera 355. Later upgraded to Deore 615’s. Guess what? Deore’s are even worse! Still, I miss my Deore V-brakes a lot. They were much more powerful, easy to adjust, lighter, and obviously, cheaper to run. When I got into hydraulic disc brakes, I did not choose to: the new frame I bought was meant for disc brakes only. Good luck finding an MTB frame, manufactured in the last 10 years, with brake bosses. You cannot. Now it’s becoming the norm for road bikes. Even pro road cyclists don’t like them, but they have to accept these because of sponsors. Hydraulic brakes on a bike seem like a… Continue Reading What’s wrong with disc brakes for bicycles ?Continue reading
Truth about bike tires
I consider myself lucky, being a petrolhead when I was younger. That teached me a thing or two about tires… Bike tires are overrated; dismiss all the talk about it. They are simple to understand, choose, and manufacture despite all the marketing bullshit around it – because unlike motor vehicle tires, they do not have to endure big problems like weight, aquaplaning, even weather. I laugh at all “tire review” bullshit. Especially ones talking about “aquaplaning”; written by elementary school grade (or less) knowledge of physics. Aquaplaning is a serious threat to road cyclists. With 100 psi in your tires, you’ll have a risk of aquaplaning if you go over 160 km/h! Another new and popular bullshit is, “wider tires have less rolling resistance”. Really? If that’s the case, we should expect wider tires on road bikes, but never seen… Continue Reading Truth about bike tiresContinue reading