Category Archives: General

Ding Bike Lights – a first look

It’s not everyday you come across a novel idea: Ding have produced a light that projects both forwards and downwards!

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Image courtesy of Ding

So why am I so excited about this new light? If you’ve ridden at night or in the early hours of the morning without the aid of street lights you’ll know the importance of a good headlight. Ding takes this one step further, not only does the light offer an excellent front beam, it also projects light around you, illuminating obstacles and improving your visibility.

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Image courtesy of Ding

The light itself is a competitive weight with other dedicated front lights, weighing in at 178g, just 2g heavier than the well regarded Supernova Airstream 2 light. In terms of brightness, both lights provided similar levels of forward illumination however Ding eclipses Supernova for side illumination.

In terms of bulk, this is where the Ding light loses out to the Airstream. The Ding light is much bulkier and is quite difficult to mount under the handlebars of typical road handlebars. Unlike the Airstream, which has a mount which ‘lowers’ the light under your cables, the Ding light attempts to ‘directly’ mount to your bars, and competes with your brake/gear cables for space.

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Even though on their kickstarter campaign they claim that this light can be mounted in complete darkness, I found it difficult to mount to 3 bikes of different sizes. The only solution which I found acceptable was the GoPro mount. Due to the downwards projecting light, you’re forced to mount the light under your handlebars (or stem), where your cables get in the way. I feel that this aspect of the design was missed by the design team and clearly requires a better approach.

Ding mount

Image courtesy of Ding

Ding’s solution to this issue is just to mount it close to, or over the bar tape, but with my cable routing I still found issues with cable clearance. If I mounted it over the bar tape, away from the cables the downward lighting was asymmetrical, which annoyed me more than it should have. Finally, due to the bulk, you can feel the light next to your fingers when you’re riding on the tops, even on 44cm bars.

However, if you have a GoPro compatible Garmin mount, or some sort of BDOP Dashboard Genie (or flat bars with plenty of space) this light will work fine. The GoPro mount weighs an additional 5g, and would be my suggested mounting method.IMG_1349If like me you don’t have a GoPro compatible out front mount etc. you’ll probably be severely disappointed that this light won’t fit your bike, but this light has huge potential to be a market leader, provided they sort out the mounting issues.IMG_1354

 

For $120 AUD this light is substantially cheaper than other market leaders and arguably offers better illumination. However, what this light lacks is the big budget testing bigger brands such as Supernova have. Unlike an Airstream I cannot confidently state that this light will fit your bike and perform as advertised (you can mount it on your bartape section but that defeats the purpose of the side illumination).

Finally, my pet annoyance with riding at night is other cyclists users using super bright lights which blind oncoming traffic, and since Ding make no claims about how much light is directed at the ground (vs directly ahead) I can only assume Ding would fail StVZO testing. Still, it’s exciting to see new ideas come out, and provided Ding can sort out the above issues, this light will certainly be an excellent product. I’ll be following their future developments closely.

 

Veloflex Master Tyre Review

If fine, supple, light tyres are your thing then chances are you’ve at least heard of Veloflex. Many hold Veloflex tyres in high regard, and after spending the last month training and racing on their Master tyres I can understand why these tyres are held in such high regard.

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Veloflex Master 

Veloflex describe the Master as an “all-purpose open tubular”. Featuring tan sidewalls and a 320 TPI corespun casing, this tyre adds a real ‘classic’ look to most bikes. I tested the 700×25 version, which measured roughly 24mm on a 17c rim – quite narrow by today’s standards. Weight was almost bang on claimed, with my two tyres weighing 207g and 201g, giving an average weight of 204g.

Veloflex Master weights

Veloflex Master weights

When unboxing the first thing that struck me was just how supple and thin these tyres are. The bead isn’t very rigid, and when paired with a flexible casing you can fold this tyre up quite tightly. I doubt this effects the tyres performance, though. It’s just interesting to note because I could never fold tyres from Vittoria, Michelin or Continental this tight (and that’s including the Vittoria Open Corsa range).

Very flexible tyres

Out on the road the suppleness of these tyres was immediately obvious. When paired with latex tubes and a reasonable tyre pressure, these tyres gave an impression of ‘gliding’ along the road. Despite only measuring 24mm, these tyres give the comfort of a (lesser) tyre measuring 26mm but also the reactivity of a 23mm tyre. They’re a step above ‘regular’ tyres in terms of road feel.

Veloflex Master tyres are incredibly thin

You’re probably now expecting me to suggest these tyres offer terrible puncture protection but in fact the puncture protection has been more than adequate – it takes more than riding over glass to get a flat, in fact the only flats I’ve had so far have been pinch flats (I was experimenting with how little tyre pressure I could get away with).

I often find cornering grip can make or break good tyres, and these tyres certainly corner well. In the wet and dry the tyres offered good, predictable grip and feedback. They’re better than the (now superseded) Vittoria Open Corsa line, but not quite as good as a Michelin Pro 3 (or 4). Perhaps I feel more confident on the Michelin tyre because I’ve had more kilometres on them.

From what I’ve described, it appears these tyres would make the perfect race tyres, they’re light, supple, corner and roll well. However, if I were picking race tyres I would probably overlook these because I can get sturdier tyres that corner just as well, if not better. Yes, the Masters offer decent puncture protection, but I would prefer greater reliability in my (road) race tyres. I feel at club level the ‘speed’ difference between this tyre and say a Conti GP4000s or Michelin Pro 4 isn’t going to be the difference between winning and losing, but puncturing is. It’s for that reason that I would pitch these tyres solidly at those aiming to enjoy cycling, and don’t mind fixing the odd puncture. Or perhaps those who are willing to risk puncturing more often, for a marginal performance increase. Unfortunately, I prefer to finish my races, and usually the difference between winning and losing comes more down to race tactics, or training rather than my equipment.

Conclusion: Light, fast and supple tyres that offer decent puncture protection. Great for fast, long rides, but perhaps not my choice for a racing clincher.

TriRig releases new Omni frame

Not exactly something for the ‘weightweenies’, TriRig have officially launched their new Omni frame. The design appears to draw inspiration from the Lotus 108 and 110 time trial frames of the late 1990s, albeit with more modern touches.

The seat angle is a steep 79 degrees, critical for triathletes looking to rotate forwards. It is unlikely that this bike will be UCI legal, however that is not the point of this bike. While only available in three sizes, TriRig offer a reasonable range of cockpit adjustment. From a shorter rider’s perspective, the stack of 490mm should be low enough for most. I personally would prefer lower, but I ride 12.5-50km time trials, not ironman distance triathlons so I am obviously not their target audience.

TriRig Omin Geometry

TriRig Omni Geometry

Despite not being part of the target audience I am still excited by this product because it represents what could be possible if some aspects of the UCI regulations were relaxed. The aero data for the Omni has not been released at the time of writing, but I would be very interested to see the difference between this frame and UCI legal Cervelo/UKSI designs.

TriRig aren’t the first manufacturer to design radically different triathlon bikes, Falco and Dimond have ‘V’ style designs focused specifically for non-UCI events. In terms of Geometry, all three of the mentioned bikes have a similar range between smallest and largest. Dimond offer 5 sizes for slightly smaller increments (but arguably this can be compensated for by stem lengths and spacers) and Falco offer slightly steeper seat tube angles (82 degrees).

The Omni is priced at $4990 for the frameset and $7990 for the complete build pictured above. It is interesting to note the choice of a SRAM 1x set up for the stock option. A surprising (but welcome) inclusion is the 4mm hex wrench from Silca which is required for the ‘quick release’ skewer. The complete build appears to be well thought out (though I can’t really say more without actually working on the bike). Nothing stands out as something that can be a major annoyance.

Before wrapping up I would be interested to see how TriRig have managed the internal cable routing. I would suspect a few tight corners inherited by the bike’s lack of down tube, but perhaps they’ve thought of something clever. If you’re running electronic this won’t be of much importance to you, though.

Not one for the weightweenies but I would suspect that most aeroweenies are impressed. I’m eagerly awaiting the aero results, how mast faster is this UCI illegal design?

Disclaimer: The author is not afiliated with TriRig and the images were taken from the TriRig website. For full details please refer to http://www.tririg.com/omni

 

 

NixFrixShun Ultimate Chainlube

Chain lube is something I’ve never paid much attention to. I’ve always just bought whatever the latest ‘fad’ was (e.g. Rock’n’Roll Gold, Triflow, etc.) without much thought. It never occurred to me that one chain lube would be significantly better than the rest, but that’s possibly because nothing really stood out, not even the ‘King of Lubes’ (Rock’n’Roll Gold).

Initially, I was quite skeptical about the claims NixFrixShun made about their chain lube, particularly how could you possibly get 10 000 miles out of a 2oz (60ml) bottle of lube? I’ve never gotten anywhere near that out of a (larger) bottle of Rock’n’Roll. Additionally, only applying 12 (small) drops to the chain was a foreign concept to me, I’ve always applied chain lube liberally.

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Nonetheless, I decided to try NFS lube after moving to a wetter climate, I got sick of lubing my chain after every rainy ride (which could be every day if I was unlucky). I stumbled upon the website after a few searches and despite my above skepticisms, I ordered a bottle. As expected, the bottles were quite small compared to other brands. However my initial skepticisms were rejected after the first application, 12 small drops were enough for just under 1000km of smooth riding in wet conditions. Impressive would be understating it.

Size comparison of NFS bottle to Stans 59ml sealant

Size comparison of NFS bottle to Stans 59ml sealant

Usually after a wet ride I’d need to reapply more lube, but not with NFS. Of course, I still need to oil my chain more regularly in rainy periods, but it will at least last me a fortnight before I need to reapply, rather than after every (longish) wet ride. Previously I was quite vigilant with lubing my chain, ensuring to lube my chain before a long ride, but now with NFS there’s no real need, applying a small amount of lube now and then is plenty.

NFS chain lube is easy to apply dropwise with their spout

NFS chain lube is easy to apply dropwise with their spout

5000 wintery kilometres later, I’m still impressed by how durable and smooth NFS lube is. I’d be able to count on my fingers the number of times I’ve had to re-lube my chain, and that’s something I’ve never managed with mainstream lubes (even in summer months). From this experience, I’d agree with NixFrixShun’s claim that their lubes are mostly lube (rather than solvent).

I’ve found that the 12-12-12 method mentioned on their website performs well. I’ve tried applying more, but in my experience more lube just ‘clogs’ the chain and attracts dirt, and if you spend more time wiping then you just wipe of the ‘excess’ anyway. Applying less than 12 drops, but more than 6 (after the initial application) does work if there’s still a decent amount of lube remaining, but I’d rather wait a little longer and apply the full 12 when the chain is a little drier. As you might guess, I find anything less than 6 drops to be ineffective in lubing anything but an already well lubed chain.

The consistency of NFS is thicker than others, and has a slight sheen. Like most lubes It washes off easily with soap. It’s also not so thin that it’ll flick excess lube/grime onto you and your bike if you don’t wipe every drop off. I also haven’t noticed any decrease in performance when  riding immediately after application.

The NFS solution appears to be quite hydrophobic, but also has quite a strong surface tension. This suggests to me that NFS is composed of medium/long chained hydrocarbons, or similar. Of course this is only a guess, but it would be in line with other lubricants. I would suggest that NFS performs better than other lubes because of its well formulated composition of ‘regular’ lubricants, rather than something drastically different.

NFS ultimate chain lube can be bought directly from the NixFrixShun speed shop. They also have a biodegradable formula, and other misc accessories. Fans of Silca may have noticed that Silca and NFS have collaborated to develop a Silca specific formula. I’m yet to test the performance of the biodegradable/Silca formula, but from my experiences of the Ultimate, NixFrixShun certainly have an idea or two about engineering efficient and durable lubes.

Pricing may be towards the more expensive side of the spectrum, but considering how effective and long lasting this lube is I would argue that it’s worth every cent.

Disclaimer: The author has no relation with NixFrixShun, and the lube was purchased at retail pricing.

 

Road Handlebar Widths: how wise is conventional wisdom?

Golliwog’s post on the WeightWeenies forum sparked an interest into the topic of handlebar widths. He asks if others found narrower bars more comfortable, and after doing some reading on this topic it becomes clear that there are different opinions on this topic. Below I’ve (briefly) summarised some of the main discussion points regarding handlebar width, and included a few of my own.

A general rule of thumb for (road) handlebar width is that they should be approximately 2cm greater than the bony bumps on the front of your shoulders. The logic is that this handlebar width will account for the natural outwards curve of your arms when riding, allowing for a comfortable natural position.

However, little, if any science has been conducted to investigate if this really is an optimal position. What bearing does handlebar width have to do with shoulder width anyway, your arms can bend/adjust to facilitate different widths. Furthermore have you ever noticed your hands rolling inwards? This doesn’t seem ‘natural’ and may suggest that handlebar widths could be narrower.

If we look back through history, between 1930s and 1970s, bikes had comparatively narrow handlebars. It’s been noted by Jan Heine that Fausto Copi was riding 40cm handlebars despite being a larger rider. These handlebars are slightly narrower than modern widths, though they’re still much wider than the widths I’m about to suggest.

Lately, I’ve been riding 36cm handlebars, down from my usual 42cm (c-c). My first ride on them was a mixed bag. During straight flat sections the narrower handlebars just felt fast, and allowed me to get (possibly) very aerodynamic (reduced frontal area, at least according to my mirror). However, I found cornering and climbing out of the saddle quite challenging as I wasn’t used to the narrower profile. That said, once I had gotten used to the narrower bars my troubles with cornering and climbing quickly disappeared. I soon had a preference for the narrower bars, and on my other bikes which were still fitted with the 42cm bars I felt as though I was acting like a human parachute.

Looking at the numbers, there’s a slight aerodynamic advantage to this change. I’m measuring it very crudely to about 30w, I haven’t done the error analysis so I can’t comment on the significance though. However, provided the errors are within reason, this advantage is nothing to be scoffed at. In addition, the combination of narrower bars and longer stem makes the bike more stable, and actually surprisingly easy to pilot through bunches. With all these benefits, I would have assumed everyone would be onboard. However, most cyclists appear to be skeptical of these narrower bars.

Some may be reluctance to change their handlebars, which is understandable. The saying ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ comes to mind. People have been racing top level on 40-44cm handlebars for years, why change?

Perhaps it’s because the advantages aren’t fully realised, or cyclists just don’t give enough time to adjust for the narrower bars. If I only tried these bars once I probably would have rejected them as a bad idea. But, if we look towards the track, narrow bars are fairly common and a few roadies are taking up narrower bars, most noticeably Adam Hansen and a few of his teammates.

I’ve also heard a few other arguments against narrow bars, for example it restricts your breathing. I personally didn’t experience this, but everyone is different. A more compelling, less personal argument would be; if it was detrimental to speed, why are more extreme positions adopted in time trialling, track racing and by some triathletes?

Another argument is that it isn’t as comfortable for endurance cycling and/or climbing. I personally think Jan Heine covers this issue quite well in his blog, but if anything comfort is quite personal, so if you find narrower bars uncomfortable they may not be for you.

If you’re curious about trying narrower bars (there’s lots of cheaper options around, like the Deda RHM01), I’d recommend trying them for at least 300-400km before making a judgement on the comfort. It could be that they initially feel uncomfortable or weird because you’re so used to wider bars. I’d also recommend dropping the bars a few mm, if possible (if you’re already super low skip this step), and if you’re trying bars which are 4-6mm narrower I’d get a longer stem too. The narrower bars should help you roll your shoulders, so you’ll need to increase your drop and reach to compensate (also note that the effective reach to the hoods is decreased by narrower bars, though this effect is only ~3-5 mm).

In summary, I’d recommend (significantly) narrower bars for improved aerodynamics. The benefits of reduced frontal area also translates well into tight racing. Towards the end of my ‘experiment’ I began to wonder if I really did want to write this post – if everyone started riding narrower bars I would lose this advantage. But, of course not everyone will agree with (or even consider) the above points, and such it seems likely that the vast majority of cyclists will still be on ‘regular’ handlebar widths.

COMPETITION! Weightweenies Gallery

In case you weren’t aware the staff at Starbike are running a gallery competition for you to share your bikes. Share up to 12 photos of your bike to be in the running to win some unique weightweenie goodies for yourself and your bike! You have until the 4th of October to submit your bike to the gallery (you can still submit after this date, however you won’t be able to win the prizes).

All top 50 contestants receive weightweenies kit, with the top 15 submissions winning an awesome custom weightweenies edition AX-Lightness saddle (pictured below). The winner will be presented with a custom carbon fibre trophy, thanks to Berk composites.

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For full details of how to enter, login to your account on the weightweenies forum, a banner should appear at the top of the page. Make sure you read the guidelines (attached below and on the banner).

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A summary on how the competition will progress:

The 'click here' link is supposed to link to: http://the5thfloor.cc/2013/03/27/bikecheck-the-66/

Here is the fine print on the competition:

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 10.20.24 amGood luck to everybody who enters!

 

Inside Scoop on Macini, Boutique Australian Brand

In the 1980s Macini was one of the most popular frame manufacturers in Adelaide. Renowned for their quality, many top athletes rode Macini. However, over the years new brands started appearing on the market and the Macini name fell by the wayside. That is until 4 years ago, when Brad bought the name from the original frame builder and started producing custom carbon fibre frames. Today, I was fortunate enough to speak with Brad, owner of Macini bikes about the brand and his future outlooks.

Macini Road Classic - a bike designed for long days in the saddle

Macini Road Classic – a bike designed for long days in the saddle

Another Macini Road Classic, this time in a more stealthy colourway

Another Macini Road Classic, this time in a more stealthy colourway

Brad is taking the calculated approach to reviving the Macini name. He’s content with a small, direct to customer business, but wishes to expand to a distribution model as Macini grows. Brad works closely with his customers, ensuring they get a bicycle that is made for them. On his desk were neatly organised spreadsheets with the measurements of each customer, each bike is fitted to the customer and the attention to detail is second to none. Brad has a full array of different stems, saddles and handlebars, ensuring you get the perfect fit straight out of the box.

Macini TT - built by Brad to fit the needs of his customer exactly.

Macini TT – built by Brad to fit the needs of his customer exactly.

Buying a Macini means buying quality. Brad regularly inspects the quality of the frames coming from the manufacturer. He ensures that all frames, forks, stems and bars are independently tested and approved by third party inspection companies to comply with the specific EN approval standards. These independent authority’s ensure compliance to the specifications and requirements and provides a full report of the undertaken tests and the results. Which means that Macini  customers can buy with confidence. When asked about the quality of his frames, Brad says that he’s every bit confident that the quality of Macini can rival the quality of other boutique brands.

Up close and personal with the Macini paint - you won't find any flaws on these bikes

Up close and personal with the Macini paint – you won’t find any flaws on these bikes

A quick inspection reveals that these carbon fibre frames are not rebranded “cheap chinese” carbon fibre frames. The frame shapes are distinctly different, you won’t find these frames on Aliexpress or eBay. Instead, Macini have done their homework and chosen a reputable carbon fibre frame manufacturer in Asia, who make frames for other well known brands. Brad visited the factory and negotiated a few designs to achieve the desired look and ride characteristics. He refines these designs to his own liking, with constant communication between himself and the manufacturer. Currently in development is a new fork for their Track Classic, and an improved cable routing for their new road disk model. Brad isn’t happy with settling for anything other than the best.

An early prototype of a new disk road bike. Brad is currently working on improving the cable routing for better performance and aesthetics

An early prototype of a new disk road bike. Brad is currently working on improving the cable routing for better performance and aesthetics

On closer inspection, we observe that the paint detailing is meticulous. The bikes look impeccable in person, but Brad admits that it hasn’t always been the case. Brad shows me a few earlier frames where subtle details were missed in the artwork, if Brad hadn’t pointed out the “mistakes” I wouldn’t have noticed. It’s pretty obvious that Brad harshly criticises his own work, to a degree where it almost becomes an obsession with perfection. Brad even produces stems and wheels bearing the Macini (Prophecy) logo, just to make sure the stems and wheels match the aesthetic of the rest of the build.

Macini can produce custom painted frames to match any team kit

Macini can produce custom painted frames to match any team kit

Not afraid to admit Macini is a small company, Brad realises he’s in a niche market and doesn’t try to be everything to everyone. Macini are for people who want something different, something special. There’s pressure to try and cater for all different markets, but Brad stands firm to supplying custom built bikes for the racing cyclist. He even supplies teams with custom painted team bikes for the pro look.

Two custom painted McNeill Logistics Team bikes

The future outlook for Macini is bright. Their bikes are receiving rave reviews in cycling magazines such as Bicycling Australia. High profile cyclists including  Jay Sweet are riding Macini track bikes at the Bendigo Madison. Brad’s even looking at partnerships with National Road Series teams.

Macini Track Classic - Jay Sweet will be riding this frame in the Bendigo Madison

Macini Track Classic – Jay Sweet will be riding this frame in the Bendigo Madison

Acknowledgements: We’d like to thank Brad from Macini bikes for taking the time to talk with us about Macini bikes. The author is in no way affiliated with Macini. For further information on Macini bikes see their website http://www.macinibikes.com

Velocite Syn Testing Program Now Active

As many of you may be aware, I’m a sponsored Velocite rider and I thought I would share some exciting news with you.

If you’ve been following Velocite over the last few months you would have noticed a few pictures floating around of their new Syn bike. It’s a new aero road bike designed to accommodate disk brakes, ahead of the anticipated shift towards road disks. Over the last few months Victor and the R&D team at Velocite have been developing preproduction prototypes and are now making some available for select members of the public to test. What does it mean to be a “select member”? Well, typically someone who rides a L sized frame, and has a spare $699 USD + Shipping (Shipping is estimated to cost $180, depending on where you live).

To apply please get in touch via Velocite’s contact form here: Contact us

Here’s what Velocite had to say about the bike:

Those of you that have already registered or expressed interest in participating will have received an email message outlining the program details and the basic terms and conditions. A limited number of size L Velocite Syn 3rd generation prototype frames will be made available to successful test program applicants. The test program aims to gather user experience feedback on the performance of the Velocite Syn, starting from the ease of assembly, all the way to how it makes you feel or perform as a rider. Your feedback will allow us to make a better product.

Velocite Syn prototype in red, side view

For those not familiar with the Velocite Syn road bike, here is some background information. It was developed entirely in house with the sole purpose to be the best road bike on the planet, according to Velocite’s interpretation of what “the best” means. So, what does the best mean, in Velocite’s language?

1. It is aerodynamic – aerodynamics matter at any time you are moving forward, but really start making a difference at around 25 km/h apparent air speed. This does not mean that the Syn is intended to be just an aero road bike, but that it is more aero than any high performance general duty road bike on the planet. Think Pinarello Dogma, Giant TCR (or even Propel), Specialized Tarmac and Venge, etc. It is especially more aero if you use standard or even long round water bottles mounted on the downtube and seat tube as a means to deliver hydration. The patent pending Velocite Syn downtube in particular was designed to deliver optimal aerodynamics in that situation. We spent 6 months of development just on aerodynamics. We are very serious about aerodynamics. It is not just a styling or a marketing exercise to us.

Velocite Syn downtube CFD simulation with water bottle showing attached boundary layer and low downstream turbulence.

2. It is stiff – in fact the Velocite Syn is stiffer at the head tube and at the bottom bracket than the likely stiffest road bike on the planet, our own Velocite Magnus. The numbers are:

Chainstays: 61 N/mm
Head tube: 132 N/mm
Bottom bracket: 187 N/mm (!)

This means that you will move forward about as soon as you think that you are moving forward. The response is instant. The stiffness is further helped by the use of 12mm x 142mm through axle on the rear dropouts and 100mm x 15mm through axle for the fork. This stiffness does not come with a weight penalty as the raw frame in size L comes in at 950g. We achieved this the same way as we have been achieving this since Velocite started – by knowing how to use carbon fiber composites.

3. It s comfortable – this is why the seatpost is round. “Aero” seatpost does nothing of benefit to the rider and we chose not to sacrifice comfort in the name of expectations. You see, we have significant volume of data from research conducted in Germany (cannot name the institutions as this is their internal data) that show that most of the rider comfort is derived through wheels, tires, and the seatpost. The same data also indicates that in order for the frame to start delivering significant amounts of comfort, that frame would render the bicycle almost unrideable due to unfavorable handling characteristics.

The Velocite Syn also handles well, and is full of small touches that enhance the riding performance: seatpost clamp is a removable three piece wedge type made of aluminium and steel (yes, two metal types to ensure durability), the seat tube is capped by a silicone weather shield that also features a large “bumper” which serves as an elastomer to dampen the seatpost movement and high frequency vibrations, all cable routing is internal and weather sealed at the bottom bracket, the bottom bracket is PF30 so the frame is compatible with the vast majority of cranksets in the market.

Oh, and the first test versions and the first Velocite Syn bikes will be disc brake only. Why disc brakes? Because they work really well in diverse conditions, and allow safe use of deep profile carbon fiber wheels. We are also testing disc brakes first as making a disc braked frame is a little more difficult than making a rim braked frame. This means that the rim braked Velocite Syn version will not follow far behind this original disc braked version.

To the test program then, this is what we are offering:

Velocite Syn 3rd generation safe to ride test prototype frameset size L (top tube 570mm) which consists of frame, fork, front axle, seatpost clamp, and various fittings in matte black finish with all Velocite Syn decals as well as a special “Velocite Test Team” decal on the seat stay.

Price: US$ 699 + shipping. The price paid for the Velocite Syn will be credited towards your purchase of the final Velocite Syn, in case you want to upgrade sometime in the future.

You may also need the wheels as the Syn uses disc brakes and rather large axles.

Filament wound Venn Rev 35 TCD tubeless carbon clinchers: US$ 418 /set +shipping

or

Venn Alter TCD tubeless carbon clinchers: US$ 435 /set + shipping

More information about Venn here: www.venn-cycling.com

You will be able to purchase the Syn once we process your application. After that is done we will send you a hidden link to our website that will allow you to use PayPal or a credit card to pay for your order.

Here are some renderings of what the special edition Velocite Test Team Syn looks like.

Velocite Syn Velocite Test Team edition side view

Front View

Top/rear view

I’m quite excited about this product, not because Velocite sponsor me, but because it’s one of the first aero road bikes with disk brakes.

Stay tuned for further updates!

Weightweenies forum down again!

Hi all,

Just letting you know that it appears as though the weightweenies forum may not be functioning. We’re doing our best to get it up and running again. The source of the problem is currently unknown.

If you need access to any information on the forum, search the topic on google and view the “cached” version on google. You cannot post, or log in, however you can view the content that was present when google took a snapshot. You should be able to view the posts made before the 3rd of February. Click the “down” arrow to expose more options, a diagram is provided below:

Click the little triangle at the end of the link to view the cached page

Click the little triangle at the end of the link to view the cached page

Your patience is appreciated!

In the meantime you could read through my blog (if you haven’t already) ;)

Coming to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under? Check out Super Elliots

As many of you know, I live in Adelaide, and the tour down under is one of the biggest sporting events of the year for our small city. For those of you visiting, there are a few good local bike shops in Adelaide, and my favourite one would be Super Elliots, at 200 Rundle street. These guys are booked out for services, but they’re more than happy if you want to come in and use their track pump. So if you’ve forgotten your pump or your spares the boys at Super Elliots can bail you out.

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The shop front – apologies for the low quality photos, but I’ve got a maximum file size restriction.

They’ve also got some shop merchandise, which could be a perfect souvenir. Ranging from inexpensive bottles to custom Santini kit they’ve got something for every budget.

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Starting off with their cheaper shop branded merchandise are their bottles and cages, their bottles are quiet simple, and being available in two sizes (medium ~700ml and large ~850ml) you can pick a suitable size for your needs.

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A nice little logo to remind you of where you’ve been

They also have carbon cages, made by Bikecorp. Nothing too weight weenie, but a reasonable 22g cage.

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Shop branded bottle cage, made by Bikecorp.

They also have a full wardrobe of kit, unlike some shops in Adelaide (which will only stock summer kit now), they also have floor stock of some winter kit, perfect if you need it back home.

I particularly like their shop Jersey, nice and classic.

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Santini short sleeve summer top

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Logo on the sleeves.

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The front. They also have matching long sleeves, and bibs if you want the full kit.

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The shop kit being worn by Alan Gill. Image courtesy of Tina Jones Photography.

These guys are open 9am till 5:30pm on weekdays, with the exception of Friday, which they open till 9pm, perfect if you’re checking your bike over before the weekend ride and find that you need another tube etc. Weekends they trade from 11am till 4:30pm. They can get quite busy, best time to go is usually when they open, till about 11:30am.

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They’re open 7 days, perfect if you urgently need spare parts.

Check out them out on facebook or in store for more info.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Super-Elliotts-Cycles/