While we've already dealt with choosing crankset gearing, you may still be in the dark about choosing cassette gearing. Along with your crankset gearing, that cluster of cogs on your back wheel is what will determine if you're toddling happily up the next climb or walking (and cursing) on the way up.
So how do you assure that you're not plodding when you should be pedaling? What factors go into choosing a proper cassette to match your ability and terrain?
Let's look at how to choose the proper gearing for you.
Continue reading “Choosing Cassette Gearing” »
Since the weather became nice enough to start using tubular wheels again, the eternal frustration with valve extenders has become yet again apparent. Adding to the frustration is the fact that I'm a devout user of the Lezyne Alloy Floor Drive pump (which screws on to both presta and schrader valve stems) and that just doesn't work with a non-threaded valve extender.
And let's face it…that old Park floor pump I have in the garage is a piece of junk at best.
Enter the machined aluminum, laser etched beauty that is the Lezyne alloy 70mm valve extender. With a presta threaded top on it, wrench flats to ensure proper torque on the stock valve and a little baggie (I do mean little, it almost requires tweezers to open and I have fairly thin fingers) full of o-rings to make a perfect airtight seal, these things are more than worth the fifteen bucks that I paid for them.
As well as looking awesome, they function extremely well (at least as well as a piece as simple as a valve extender can.) They threaded presta cap means you can use the awesome screw on Lezyne pump or you can use any standard pump you want, making life infinitely easier.
The biggest downside to these extenders is that they screw onto the top of the existing valve stem and merely provide a conduit for air to get from the pump head to the valve. I'd prefer if the extender actually moved the valve parts out to the end of the valve extender, much like the ENVE extenders do. The issue with these extenders is simply that in order to access the valve (to open or close it, or to remove it to spray in Stans or anything similar) you have to remove the valve extender, and it may still be impossible to access the valve stem anyway (otherwise you wouldn't be using extenders.) That aside, I've had no issues with them, especially as they relate to the Lezyne Floor Drive pump.
The only other thing one could wish for was stealth black with the sweet laser etched "Lezyne" logo on it. But the polished silver certainly looks the part.
By now the new SRAM Red group has been available for about a year (if you recall it was introduced last year and ridden to great success by Tom Boonen in the spring classics.) I've been using the shifters for a year now, and the front derailleur for only a few months less. However, there is still some confusion about how to install the front derailleur properly.
Installing the Yaw derailleur isn't vastly different than installing your garden variety front derailleur (which is really every other one on the market) but there are some subtle differences that vastly change the unit's function. Without taking these special steps into account, users may be significantly frustrated by the poor shifting performance and constant chain rub.
After the jump, we'll go step by step through the installation process.
Continue reading “Installing the SRAM Yaw Front Derailleur” »
Campy started the trend a few years back. Shimano jumped on board with Dura Ace 9000. Now SRAM is following suit with the release of their two new group sets, dubbed "Force 22" and "Red 22." Obviously the 22 in the name refers to the total number of gears available, and also obvious is the official release of the Red hydraulic brake offerings that have been teased for months.
What is less obvious are the changes to the existing Red group and the changes to the Force group.
After the jump, we'll take a quick look at those changes.
Continue reading “SRAM True 22 Unveiled” »
It all starts with some spy photos: blacked out parts, blurry shots of cyclocross races, SRAM team guys with suspicious shift levers and cranksets. Then SRAM made a splash early last year by redesigning their flagship group and releasing it just prior to the spring classics. They have marketed their new group as the best mechanical group on the market, making waves about Boonen winning Flanders and Roubaix on the new gear and have Hammered the media with their successes.
But how is it, really?
Some of you may have gathered that I'm something of a SRAM fanboy, and having ridden SRAM for the past 5 years (starting with the old original Force which is still kicking on my cyclocross bike) I wanted to do this methodically, piece by piece. I've started with the shifters, as they're the most important part of the group (in my opinion) and will compare them to the old model Red shifters that they have replaced.
Continue reading “Review: SRAM Red Shifters” »