Gear: Page 502

Bike and gear reviews, maintenance how-tos, and tips

Technical Q&A with Lennard Zinn freehub fix

Making the transitionDear Lennard,I have spent a couple of years "tinkering" with my position on thebike. I feel like my position is now as close to perfect as possible.I am now worried that if I change shoes or damage my bike, etc. that Iam going to lose my "perfect position". What measurements shouldI record in order to duplicate my current setup on a new bike in the future?Also, I currently wear Sidi cycling shoes. How difficult is it toduplicate my cleat placement on a different manufacturer's shoes if I chooseto switch brands in the future?RyanDear Ryan,This is a perfect question for

Tech Report: SRAM looks toward 2008

Last year, SRAM’s RockShox brand debuted a line of new long-travel single-crown suspension forks capable of competing with the market’s best. But at the same time SRAM admitted that it did not have the industry’s best-in-class rear-suspension components, especially after Fox Racing Shox introduced its RP23 air shock in 2006. This is what you call motivation. SRAM got busy, digging down deep into its BlackBox program. And at Sea Otter, program manager Jeremiah Boobar showed what had been unearthed: a 1998 BlackBox four-way coil-over rear shock that was ridden to two World Cup overall titles.

Technical Q&A with Lennard Zinn: Old-school rims and bearing drag

Old-school rims at Paris-RoubaixDear Lennard,I noticed that all the teams for Paris-Roubaix used old-school tubular rims for the race. How come they don't use the fancy composite tall rims as they do during the rest of the season? Did it have to do with their stopping power in the dry, dusty conditions or the punishment of the cobbles?Peter Dear Peter,Both. Carbon rims, especially deep-section ones, are so much stiffer that they are likely to crack rather than flex and bend like an aluminum rim would. In a crash, jagged carbon edges are worse than bent aluminum. And of course,

Tech Report: Shimano’s XT group gets updated for 25th birthday

A quarter of a century is a milestone. It’s real history. When someone or something has been around that long it has had a chance to grow into its true being. In 1981, Yoshi Shimano, president of Shimano’s U.S. sales office, noticed a weird new segment of bikes popping up in the U.S. bicycle market and immediately informed corporate headquarters in Japan that Shimano needed to be a part of this new “mountain” bike movement. The following year, Shimano introduced the Deore XT component group to the world. Since other full component group options were virtually non-existent, both bicycle

Tech Report, with Lennard Zinn – Night riding at Sea Otter

During this month’s Sea Otter Classic, Princeton Tec invited some of us on a night ride to roll out its new Switchback lights. Princeton Tec’s Sean Leslie lined up local Monterey bike mechanic, single-speed devotee and high-school senior Erik Ebberoth to lead the ride. Ebberoth took us on some great trails, perfectly suited to testing lights, weaving in and out and up and down through thick underbrush and overhanging trees laden with long strands of moss dangling low over the trail. We slapped the lights on our borrowed full-suspension Konas, which was easy thanks to the quick-open slotted

Tech Report, with Lennard Zinn – A Sea Otter Gallery

It’s a sign of the times. It used to be that the 29-inch mountain-bike was the thing of the fringe elements of the cycling world. No more… at least if the tech expo at Sea Otter was any indication. Major labels – Mavic, Hutchinson and Manitou among them – have recently embraced the concept and have rolled out a host of products including tubeless 29er wheel and tire sets and new long-travel 29er forks. Another theme is that of the event itself as well as many of the products promoted at it being ever more green. Clif Bar ran all of its vehicles for the event on recycled-cooking-oil Bio

Michael Barry’s Diary: Pays Basque, a warm-up for the Ardennes?

Last Friday afternoon, under dark gray skies that made the moment feel as if night were about to fall, I stepped aboard our team bus, gingerly, and sat down. The bus was empty except for one soigneur who pulled out a washcloth and lotion and began scrubbing the grime off of my tender legs. Moments later Axel and Scott stepped on the bus, neither smiling, and sat down, legs outstretched, leaning way back in the chairs waiting their turn to get cleaned up. They looked beat, and if I could have seen my own face I would imagine it was just the same. Beat, but relieved. The last road stage of a

Tech Report, with Matt Pacocha – New developments at (a very wet) Sea Otter

It could be an option if California officials ever have to find a solution to a drought. Hold an edition of the Sea Otter Classic and then just wait for rain. This year the rains came on Saturday, just in time for a weekend of serious racing. The rain came quickly and biblically, temporarily shutting down the dual slalom and ending the women’s road circuit race prematurely. The heavy rain also sent the cross-country racers scrambling for the right tire for the short-track event. Thomas Frischknecht (Swisspower) pulled out a special weapon for the race; a pair of 26-inch Dugast Rhino tubular

Tech Report with Matt Pacocha: A Sea Otter tech gallery

Bumping elbows with the pros — that’s what Sea Otter is about. Subaru-Gary Fisher professional racer Sam Schultz knows the feeling. The young racer was at Laguna Seca raceway on Friday for SRAM’s launch of its new Monarch air shock platform. He recounted a time not so long ago when he would come to the big events looking around to see what the fast guys were riding. Now we’re checking out what he’s riding, whether he knows it or not. But Sea Otter is about more than just who's using the stuff. The cycling festival gives tech geeks a chance to check in with a host of industry engineers,