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Tour Tech Talk: Ten-speed chains and ConneX links; Cañada’s chainrings; and Vino’s seat post

Ten-speed chains and ConneX linksDear Lennard,I've broken two 10-speed chains, but since using ConneX links I have not had a problem. I use the ConneX chain and the Campy chain and the connecting link seems like one of the best bits of design ever. Are they being used in the peloton, and if not, why not?Peter Dear Lennard,Given the tight tolerances of 10-speed chains and the importance of correct reassembly, why don't teams use ConneX links? I understand that these work very well with either Campy or Shimano chains, as well as with Wippermann.Mark Dear Mark and Peter,Master links

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By Lennard Zinn

The KMC chain and master link used by Liberty Seguros

The KMC chain and master link used by Liberty Seguros

Photo: Lennard Zinn

Ten-speed chains and ConneX links
Dear Lennard,
I’ve broken two 10-speed chains, but since using ConneX links I have not had a problem. I use the ConneX chain and the Campy chain and the connecting link seems like one of the best bits of design ever. Are they being used in the peloton, and if not, why not?
Peter

Dear Lennard,
Given the tight tolerances of 10-speed chains and the importance of correct reassembly, why don’t teams use ConneX links? I understand that these work very well with either Campy or Shimano chains, as well as with Wippermann.
Mark

Dear Mark and Peter,
Master links certainly can be a good idea. I have not seen any Wippermann chains or any Wippermann ConneX links on Campagnolo or Shimano chains in the Tour, but that does not mean there are not some. However, Liberty Seguros does use master links; the 10-speed KMC chains the team uses come with them. Check out the photo.
Lennard

Cañada’s prototype Rotor Q-Ring

Photo: courtesy Q-Ring

Cañada’s chainrings
Dear Lennard,
Referencing your article, “Bobby J’s rings?”:The chainrings on David Cañada’s bike are prototype Rotor Q-Rings, as shown in the attached photo. The factory is testing these chainrings on several elite triathletes and on David’s bike. So far so the feedback has been positive. More information about these Q-Rings will be announced at Interbike if the factory decides to produce them this year. These chainrings have several mounting options (as shown in the many bolt holes) allowing a rider to fine-tune their power phase and make time spent in the downstroke either longer or shorter depending on the rider’s style. The concept is to minimize time spent in the dead spot and maximize time spent producing power. Test results to follow.
Gary Tingley
RotorCranks.com

How about Vino’s seat post?
Dear Lennard,
My question relates to Alexandre Vinokourov’s frame as seen in Graham Watson’s stage-10 picture (scroll down to the pic of Vino’ in the frame at left). It looks as if his seat post is not separate from his frame. Rather, it seems to be a continuation of his seat post as in many time-trial frames. This is certainly not consistent with consumer versions of Giant frames. Can you shed some light on this?
Jean Paul

Dear Jean Paul,
The Giant road bikes of T-Mobile and the pictured BH road (and time trial) bikes of Liberty Seguros all have the continuous aero’ seat tube – you cut it off at the top and glue in or clamp on a saddle clamp, which means you have very little adjustability after that point. Both are available for sale in Europe, but not in the United States. Here is a photo of chief mechanic Faustino Muñoz of Liberty Seguros adjusting the saddle on a continuous-seat-tube-seat-mast BH time trial bike. Below is an answer from Giant.
Lennard

Answer from Giant: We do, in fact, sell the continuous seat tube/seat post versions of our TCR Advanced frameset. Unfortunately, you can only get this frameset in Europe this and next season. We will not offer this frameset in the United States because of the difficulty in cutting the seat mast correctly. As you would imagine, using the wrong blade, at the wrong angle, at the wrong height (lower than needed) would be a catastrophic mistake resulting in many returned frames – a warranty disaster for Giant USA. One further thing to keep in mind is that the bike pictured in Mr. Watson’s gallery is not exactly a “stock” TCR Advanced – and not even a “stock” European TCR Advanced. The bikes the team is riding on are Tour-built bikes that are lighter and stiffer than current production TCR Advanceds. Look at the seat tube/top tube junction. See how it’s more flowy/curved than a stock TCR Advanced? These bikes will not be available for sale anywhere until 2007 (probably).
Andrew Juskaitis
Giant USA

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