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.
It's pretty well known that there's a large market of counterfeit cycling products, mostly coming out of China. What's been debated endlessly over internet forums and group rides are the merits of buying and using these counterfeit products, who it hurts, and if these products are really "OEM" (original equipment manufacturers) versions of the retail products you can purchase at your local bike shop. Opinions vary from the "sure, I'll try anything" to "you're as bad as a serial killer for purchasing these" and everything in between.
Most interestingly, there's been very little done about these counterfeits thus far. Sure, Ebay will occasionally take down a listing that's been reported enough times or a major manufacturer (Specialized and Pinarello jump to mind) will issue a release stating that their products are being copied and you should beware of the fraudsters. Until now, there hasn't been any active enforcement or shutting down of these Chinese retailers.
Until now, that is…
Continue reading “Counterfeit Cycling Retailers Shut Down” »
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” »
As I reported back in December, I had an issue with my Quarq Cinqo Saturn unit. Specifically, I had ridden in wet conditions, and the unit died shortly thereafter. On that occasion, Quarq replaced the unit, however with it being around the holidays, turnaround was about 10 days. I received a new electronics pod on the original spider, along with the explanation that "there was a run of bad pods, and this was probably one of them." I was told that there shouldn't be any more issues with my Cinqo. Fair enough, back to training and all was right in my world.
Fast forward to February, 2013. After a training ride for Battenkill (in other words, pissing rain, lots of dirt roads and mud, and overall shitty weather) the magic stopped a second time, and my Cinqo was once again dead. Off to South Dakota with it again, this time overnight, only to be replaced again. I had a brand new electronics pod AND spider in hand in 4 days, I was told that there wouldn't be another problem with it, and again all was right in my world.
Or should I say it was until Friday, April 12th.
Continue reading “Quarq Warranty Experience (Part Deux)” »
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” »