Blog: March, 2014

21 Mar 2014

Pads with your wheels

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I recently became a SwissStop dealer and just listed brake pads for sale. Often overlooked, good pads make a material difference to stopping power, wet weather performance and feel at the lever. Add SwissStop pads to your wheel order and pay no extra shipping.

The driver behind this decision is upcoming carbon projects (stay tuned). If pads matter in general, that goes double for carbon rims. Braking generates heat — too much heat can melt carbon. SwissStop put a lot of work into their Black Prince compound, which, in tests, produced significantly lower temperatures. Dry braking power isn’t compromised and stopping distance in wet conditions is getting better. No matter which pad you prefer, reserve a set for use on carbon alone; alloy rims contaminate pads with abrasives that will damage carbon. I say don’t pinch pennies on pads.

Let me know if these or any other SwissStop pad interests you.

15 Mar 2014

Substance behind looks

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There was a great tweet from @SCVelo that OEM wheels say “check out our bikes but don’t look too close.” Don’t ask about wheel weight, stiffness, how reliable the hubs are, what kind of spokes are on there, replacement parts availability, don’t ask about the build standards and so on.

You might not like the answers.

Identical to a previous wheelset, these have more to offer than most OEM wheels. Their stiffness is excellent, the star-ratchet hubs are high quality at an affordable price, and spokes are butted. Butted spokes decrease weight and increase fatigue life. This set is 28h with alloy nipples — a recipe for durability with a nod to weight. These are nice parts and I like to think they’re put together as well as a wheel can be, which is an important determiner of maintenance requirements and lifespan.

07 Mar 2014

White Industries red

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I mentioned before that White Industries was introducing color finishes, starting with T11 and CLD hubs. This set of red T11 hubs arrived at the shop today so I took a couple snapshots.

This is my favorite road hubset at the moment. Not the cheapest option but far from the most expensive; good weight; and terrific hubs for the DIY mechanic since illustrated guides for bearing replacement and adjustment are posted online. (Get your bearings from me.)