Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Moots spacers

More Ti fever, courtesy of USPS: a full complement of Moots Titanium Stem Spacers. While they are heavier than generic carbon fiber stem spacers, I feel that the Moots stem spacers are better made; Moots and Chris King are two of the few companies who ensure that their stem spacers are properly faced (both sides parallel and perpendicular to the length of the cylinder). That Moots manufactures theirs out of titanium only sweetens the deal  :-P

These spacers will be a perfect complement to the custom Ti-Beam Mountain Stem I will be ordering once I get the length (110mm or 115mm?) and angle (-10, -12, or -15 degrees?) locked down. Ivy has a 5-inch drop between the height of the saddle and the handlebar, while, following conventional wisdom, Cleo has 3 inches (which doesn't work for me).

Moots' weld quality is legendary:

Underneath these microscopically precise welds are perfect miters. This allows us to melt the joint together at a relatively low temperature, using no weld wire, assuring the straightest as well as the strongest weld possible. This first pass in the process assures the joint is held tight through the expansion and contraction of welding. Next, 6/4 ELI weld wire is welded to the joined tubes leaving what is visible on the finished frame. On each frame a specific weld sequence is followed in order to maintain precise alignment. This 'double pass' weld system has proven to be the strongest weld process for titanium.

Moots' first generation mountain stem.

Weld quality of a typical Moots frame. They also offer frames built from Reynolds seamless butted 6AL-4V Titanium. Can you say hubba? :-D

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Crank Brothers Eggbeater servicing

My Shimano SPD clipless pedals: the PD-M747 (XT groupset), purchased in 1992, was only re-lubed once in 2005; the PD-M737 (LX groupset), purchased in 1991, has never been disassembled and re-lubed; both are still going strong. The Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals, however, require periodic lubrication. A maintenance interval of once per season seems to be the general consensus.

The steps outlined in this post feature the Eggbeater SL (blue spring). The procedure is identical for the Eggbeater 4Ti (gold spring).

As the Eggbeaters come with a grease port attachment, I purchased a grease gun:

It seems like a painless, 5-minute job: remove dust cap; install grease port attachment; squirt in new grease, wipe off the old grease (pushed out from the seals on the inboard side); reinstall dust cap; and you are done.

Call me anal, but I decided to double-check with the manufacturer — and I am glad I did:


Thank you for your e-mail.
...we would suggest not using the grease port. We would rather you take the spindle out  and  grease it like that. Just unscrew the endcap and take the nut  off -  then pull the spindle out and re-grease.

Hopefully this helps,


Anka Martin
Customer Service


Sigh. So much for the grease gun. I guess I can resell it to the happy people flouting Section 377A of the Penal Code.  :-P

The route recommended by Crank Brothers is more involved, but still relatively simple compared to the Shimano pedals: no special tools are required; there are no loose ball bearings to fall out; and the entire procedure can be performed without removing the pedal from the crank arms.

To reduce contamination of the internal mechanism, clean the outside of the pedal as much as you can. Then, use a 10-cent coin (Singapore) or a nickel (USA) to unscrew the dust cap. Tip: it is easier (and faster) to rotate the pedal body instead of the dust cap. Dust caps on both pedals are right-hand threaded. I.e. counter-clockwise to loosen.

Dust cap removed. The retaining nut and cartridge bearing are visible.

Use an 8 mm socket to remove the retaining nut. The nut on both pedals are right-hand threaded. I.e. counter-clockwise to loosen.

Retaining nut removed. Gently slide the pedal body out toward you.

Pedal spindle.

Use a paper towel to wipe off the old grease. A little rubbing alcohol on a paper towel is very useful in removing any remnants. Pay attention, in particular, to the threads for the retaining nut, and remove all traces of grease from them.

Ensuring that the parts are not mixed up is a good habit. This is also a good time to take an old toothbrush and wash/scrub the dust caps clean at the sink.

Retaining nut specifications:
Stainless steel Nylon insert locknut.
M5 thread. Socket size 8mm.

I was taught in automotive classes — and by my Dad, who taught Mechanical Engineering — that locknuts with plastic inserts should not be reused (unless they are reusable Nylok™ Blue Torq-patch™ locknuts). Curiously, Crank Brothers' advice deviates from this:


You shouldn't need to replace the nut. If ever you need a new one, we  can send you some.
Torque should be 30 in. lbs.


Anka Martin
Customer Service


Looking at the way the pedal is designed, I can understand why Crank Brothers prefers eschewing the grease gun: with the retaining nut and pedal spindle blocking the center, the only way for the grease to get to the rest of the pedal is to push through the seals of the cartridge bearing. Ouch.

The inboard side of the pedal. Clean up any old grease from the lip of the seal with a Q-tip (cotton bud). Be careful not to introduce any dirt into the interior. (Here, you will appreciate having priorly cleaned up the outside of the pedal.)

Apply new grease to the pedal spindle, taking care not to get any on the threads where the retaining nut will mount. I use Teflon Bicycle Grease™, by Finish Line™. Phil Wood™ (of San Jose, CA) also makes an excellent grease.

Taking care not to get any grease on the retaining nut threads at the tip of the spindle, slide the pedal body back on. If you accidentally "catch" the cartridge bearing on the spindle tip and dislodge it, do not panic.

Use a paper clip or similar object to gently prod the cartridge bearing back in place. Do not use a sharp object such as a nail or pin as you may puncture or deform the seal.

Pedal body fully seated and cartridge bearing in place.

Wipe off excess grease from the seal lip on the inboard side.

If you are re-using the retaining nuts, clean both nuts thoroughly with rubbing (or denatured) alcohol and let dry. Put a small drop of Loctite™ 222 or 242 on the threads.

Install retaining nut.

Torque to 30 inch-pounds or 2.5 foot-pounds.

Put a small dab of Loctite™ Assure™ 425 on the threads of the plastic dust cap — if your Eggbeaters come with metal dust caps (i.e. Ti, 2Ti, Triple Ti, and 4Ti), use Loctite™ 222 instead — and reinstall.

Repeat the procedure for the other pedal.

Check and ensure that pedals rotate smoothly.

You are done. Go ride.

Related post
Crank Brothers Eggbeater servicing II

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Eve's new steed

Eve purchased a sweet Scott CR1 Pro over the weekend.

While she desired the component spec of the CR1 Pro (i.e. Shimano Ultegra groupset), she preferred the colors of the CR1 Team:

Viki of the excellent folks at CycleCraft was happy to swap the components over for her. Since the frame is identical between the CR1 Pro and the CR1 Team, except for the color, Eve basically has a sleeper CR1 Pro! Way to go, gal!  :-D


Scott CR1 Pro CR1 carbon technology
Road geometry
Integrated headtube

Scott carbon CR1 Pro 1 1/8" carbon steerer integrated

Ritchey Pro integrated

Derailleur (Rear):
Shimano Ultegra RD-6600 20 speed

Derailleur (Front):
Shimano Ultegra FD-6600

Shifters / Brake Levers:
Shimano Ultegra ST-6600
Dual control 20 speed

Shimano Ultegra BR-6600
Super SLR Dual pivot

Shimano FC-R600 Hollowtech II

Bottom Bracket:
Shimano Ultegra SM-FC 6600

Ritchey Road Pro 31.8 Oversize Anatomic

Ritchey Road Pro 31.8 1-1/8" four bolt

Ritchey Pro Carbon 31.6mm

Selle Italia C2 B-Colour

Hub (Front):
Mavic Ksyrium Equipe

Hub (Rear):
Mavic Ksyrium Equipe

Shimano Ultegra CN-6600

Shimano Ultegra CS-6600 12-25 T

Mavic Ksyrium Equipe

Mavic Ksyrium Equipe 20 front / 24 rear

Continental Ultra Race 700x23 C

7.7 kg (16.9 lbs)

The Scott CR1 is a very nice bike. Check out the accolades:

A recent test performed by EFBe (Engineering for Bikes), an independent test facility in Germany, proved that the SCOTT CR1 is the benchmark carbon road frame. Awards were given in three categories at the conclusion of the performance rating test. The test starts by applying an “out of saddle load” to measure fatigue life and then considers frame weight to categorize each frame. The CR1 was rated number one in EFBe’s “Top Performance” category, comprised of the best top quality construction frames.  (Engineering for Bikes fatigue test)

The following is a review of the Team Edition CR1. The frame is a little lighter than the CR1 frame in the Pro and Team. Geometry remain the same.

The CR1 dials the road vibration down as well as anything tested (not light praise), gives up stiffness only to the heaviest in class and weighs less than everything else in it’s durability range (check the guys at www.EFBE.DE). It actually weighs less than anything in any range...

This is a great lean man's bike. That’s not to say that the CR1 is not a big man’s bike, but a big man probably isn’t looking for a sub 2 pound frame anyhoo (nor should they…). This bike is a dreamboat for guys light enough to actually feel a difference. That said, it's not a bad choice in to the upper mid sized folks as well.

I can’t explain the ride feel except to say that, when coasting along, it feels like an old steel bike with 25c tires inflated to 100lbs. It’s just that smooth. But, stand up and step on the gas on a sharp little climb, and it feels like there’s nothing there.

[ . . . ]

Handling is also very good. It is Crit [Criterion] quick, and it's light weight allow you to move it around at a flick. But even at that, it's angles give it respectable stability at speed. There are better things to scream down a mountain with, but almost nothing better to get up the mountain in the first place...

The fit and finish are extremely good. You will want some clear protection film for the frame where cables rub, as the (thin) clear coat and gloss black will show scuffs. The bottle cage bolts, drop outs and bb and head set shell are all clean as a whistle. Someone pays quite a lot of attention to these bikes before they head to the customer...  (PezCycling News)

I'm not going to bore you by going on and on about how the CR1 weighs in at just 880g. We all know that the Scott CR1 is the lightest frame out there. But the lightest bike in the world won't amount to much if it's not comfortable to ride. So how does the Scott CR1 ride?

[ . . . ]

My initial impression of the Scott CR1 (and one that continued to stick) was of the incredible stiffness of the frame, coupled with absolute road dampening comfort. It felt as if every ounce of pedal stroke went directly into the drivetrain.

[ . . . ]

We spoke with BiciRace.com Inside Scoop writer Marco Pinotti after his prologue ride.

"Marco, how do you like your Scott CR1, and how does it compare with aluminum frames you've ridden in the past?" Marco looked me square in the eyes and said, in his Italian accent, "It is the best bike I've ever ridden; I love it! With an aluminum bicycle, at the end of the year, you need a new one. This one is strong year after year. It is very stiff, and good on the climbs. [ . . . ]

The Scott CR1 continuously amazed me with how comfortable it was, how fast it felt climbing, how smooth it descended and how responsive it was to out of saddle accelerations. Every time I went into my garage and saw her sitting there, I got a smile on my face and a little jump in my step.

Now, I'm no Gilberto Simoni, but I felt like a mountain goat riding the CR1. It's not like I'm usually dropping people in the hills. Actually it's usually about survival. But climbing aboard the Scott CR1 was an absolute pleasure! Sure it's light, but the real joy was the incredible responsive qualities of its ride. Nothing was lost from the pedal strokes, and when you accelerate hard out of the saddle in a switchback, it's all there right underneath you.

Descending on the Scott CR1 was smooth. It handled like a dream and felt super tight bombing through corners. (Scott CR1 SL Reviewed)

This thing is obviously light and incredibly responsive. When I first rode it, it almost felt too damp, almost dead. But when you hammer on the pedals, it takes off, it also is a great climber and handles the downhills very well. I was going 50+ in strong winds, both tail and cross wind gusts up to 60mph. The hill was only a 5% grade so you can imagine the tail wind to get up to 50mph. The bike handled great and never got sketchy. Used to ride a Specialized 2001 S-Works aluminum frame. What a difference the carbon makes. I do not feel beat up after a ride, no more sore shoulders and neck. It does a great job of absorbing the road vibrations.  (jeffc7)

Tour de France Tech — July 15, 2005

Saunier Duval-Prodir's American rider Chris Horner told Cyclingnews that he thinks his Scott CR1 team bike is "the best road bike on the market today" and he's already won a Tour de Suisse stage this year to prove it. Scott's CR1 frame weighs in at just 880g without fork, which makes it easy to build into a bike that hits the UCI weight limit of 6.8kg. In fact, as Saunier's mechanics have found, it makes it too easy - we'll get to that in a moment.

[ . . . ]

Saunier Duval's Leonardo Piepoli one of the smallest men in the Tour and therefore rides a size S frame. That means his frame is lighter than most and grams also drop off because he's also using shorter cranks and stem, a narrower handlebar and so on. It's only five grams here and five grams there but it adds up. Or rather, it subtracts, and the practical upshot is that, with Campagnolo's lightweight Record carbon group on the bike, Piepoli's machine ends up well under the UCI's 6.8kg weight limit.

Since the UCI's regulations don't specify what constitutes a bike for the purposes of the weight rule, various inventive ways have been found of getting bikes to hit the target over the last couple of years. We've heard, for example, of mechanics dropping chains down the seat tubes of bikes belonging to female track cyclists to get them up to the weight. The Saunier Duval mechanics are even more blatant - Piepoli's bike has 140g of lead strips bolted on under the water bottles!  (Cycling News — Tour de France Tech)

Anti weight-saving - things have become silly when team machanics have to add lead to get small bikes up to the UCI weight limit.

There is a caveat though. The Scott CR1 is far, far, far from your Wally World bike, and as such, requires demands expert maintenance. Take it to your neighborhood Joe Blow bike shop and he will probably wreck it. Read on:

The Scott set’s the record for the most Caution / warning tags relating to torque on a bike frame. It is a race bred, tight tolerance mechanism, and I wouldn’t let any shop close to building one up that didn’t have torque wrenches at the ready. The material at the seat clamp for instance is near paper thin (as is the case on a few light carbon bikes), and danger lurks for the heavy handed wrencher as much or more on the Scott CR1. But that doesn’t mean this is like those thin walled (even more brittle) flyweight single season Aluminum bikes.  (PezCycling News)

The folks at VeloGoGo have the last word on this:

I don't consider Scott CR1 to be a particularly nice-looking bike to look at. But I think it's one of the most bad-ass looking bikes in the peloton. It's built to be raced. Hard. And that's what I find appealing about CR1. I look at it as a "Cannondale in Carbon" with its thin-walled, (very) large-diameter tubesets. CR1 is just a mean looking son of a bitch...

The lucky owners say the same thing about CR1's ride — light, stiff, comfy, climbs like a goat on EPO, eats up corners and sprints at local crits like teenage Japanese boys at Nathan's hot dog eating contest. There's also one unusual thing people commonly comment on... that it rides kind of like steel. That sounds beautiful. A 15Lbs steel ride. Yum.

[ . . ]

Everything about CR1 screams bad ass and it would be a perfect race bike to own if you got the legs to push it around.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bacon Attacks

Ling's recent Pengareng ride turned out to be a boar  :-D

So much so that you can say two riders were literally bowled over.

A wonderful specimen of free-range, organic bak kua boared right into two mountain bikers (and a sharp, revolving disc rotor). Reports indicate that the injured hog is currently hunting for legal representation to sue the disc brake manufacturer.

No, this is not a real YouTube player, but clicking on it will bring you to the real video. The soundtrack is a hoot!

Next time, every rider should have a hard disk video camera with a lipstick cam attachment to record every frame of the action close up!  :-P