Category Archives: News

New Mavic Open Pro rim

The ‘reference’ rim up until the past decade, the Mavic Open Pro rim finally gets an update. Last year, Mavic revamped their Ksyrium endurance wheelset range with wider, lighter rims and this year it appears as though their Open Pro rim is getting the same treatment.

Spotted on Instagram, Team Dream Team leaked a photo of the new Open Pro rim, claiming that it’s lighter and wider than the previous iteration. Judging by their Ksyrium rims, I expect the Open Pro rim to have a 17mm internal width. Also evident is the ISM4D milling pattern, and Exalith brake surface.

Image courtesy of Team Dream Team Instagram

The built rim appears to be a 32 spoke rim, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mavic only made 32/36 drillings. I think this drilling range is adequate, though I would like to see a 28h rim so lighter riders have the option of 28/32. Having said that, a 32/32 wheel would be great for riders looking for peace of mind and don’t mind the weight penalty of an extra 8-20 spokes. Judging by the low profile the rim will hopefully be lighter than the H plus Son Archetype, Hed Belgium etc but perhaps not as light as a Stans ZTR Alpha 340.

Image courtesy of Team Dream Team Instagram

Personally, I’ve been reluctant to recommend Mavic rims to people who are looking at building custom wheels. However if Mavic manage to hit 420g (or lighter) I expect this rim to be a great option (especially if the current Open Pro price remains). That said, the rim market has plenty of options for wide, light rims, most of which available in more drillings (e.g. DT Swiss RR411). I expect these rims to be more popular since they’re available in more drilling options but that’s not to say the Open Pro doesn’t have a place.

Image courtesy of jonesprecisionwheels instagram

For someone looking for exalith, 32h/36h rim, and perhaps a (slightly) lower weight than the RR411 this rim should tick all the boxes. I’d suggest that this rim would be perfect for anything inbetween touring and big races, a perfect wheel to take on cycling holidays, training and maybe lower priority races.

Looking towards the future I would not be surprised if Mavic also updated their CXP range. A 33mm deep, 23-25mm rim weighing 490g or less available in 20/24/28/32 would be an excellent ‘Light and Fast’ compliment to the revamped Open Pro. Though such a rim already exists… (just not from Mavic)

 

Update: According to social media the rims are claimed to be 435g, 19mm internal and will eventually become available in 24/28/32 source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BRY9NsPAPsL/

I’ll be trying to get this rim in for review when it becomes available.

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.

 

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

 

 

Campagnolo release Potenza 11 speed groupset

When I first found out that Campagnolo were releasing a new Potenza groupset, which claimed to be a midrange groupset comparable to Shimano Ultegra, I was quite excited. I was expecting something to feature the technology of Chorus, Record and Super Record  However, on closer inspection I was left a little disappointed, I believe Campagnolo could have brought more technology down to this new level.

On first inspection, the group is visually quite similar to the higher tier groups. The 4 arm cranks feature the same chainring interchangeability, and the front/rear derailleurs also (visually) feature the same geometry from Chorus/Record. It would be quite easy to mistake this for an alloy version of the Chours groupset, at least aesthetically.

New Potenza cranks. image credit campagnolo/velonews.com

Looking closer at the specifications though, I’m more inclined to see this as a ‘rebadged’ Athena groupset. It features the same power-shift and power-torque technology as the athena groupset, with a few tweaks. Campagnolo aren’t bringing Chorus/Record technology down in price, rather they are updating the existing Athena group with a new name.

New Potenza RD. Photo credit campagnolo/velonews.com

Don’t get me wrong, this group isn’t all bad.  The new power-torque cranks are an improvement, as they no longer requires a proprietary tool to remove the cranks (it is now self extracting). Still, it would have been nice to have the same ultra-torque design of it’s more expensive counterparts. While I understand Campagnolo want a cheaper, less tolerance sensitive, easier to assemble design for OEM, I would still argue that investment into this new power-torque design was wasted. The ultra-torque design is far superior, I would have preferred the old ‘classic ‘ultra-torque cranks with updated rings.

The new cranks are self extracting. Photo credit road.cc

The shifters also take some design cues from the higher end models, but still retain the power shift from the cheaper models. I think this is a huge mistake, as I feel ultra-shift is one of the more desirable features of a Campagnolo groupset. I would have at least liked to see ultra-shift internals for the front shifting, as it simplifies installation and maintenance. For those who’ve never wrenched ultra-shift, it’s a super pleasant system to work on, the front derailleur is extremely easy to set up, and does not require the use of any barrel adjustors – the tension is much easier to get right with ultra-shift.

New shifters, but same old power shift. Photo credit road.cc

The brakes are essentially the Athena dual pivot brakes. Not too much to say here.

New old brakes. Photo credit road.cc

Campagnolo are also offering an 11-32 cassette with this group. This is new for Campagnolo, but SRAM have been doing this forever with their WiFLi. Just like SRAM’s WiFLi, you will need the medium cage rear mech option to run this cassette.

New 11-32 cassette. Photo credit road.cc

I personally would have liked to see Campagnolo bring ultra-shift technology down a level. If we cast our attention back to 2009, all Campagnolo groups from as low as Veloce featured ultra-shift, so why can’t this new group include this feature? Campagnolo have obviously invested time and money to design a new power torque crank, and update the shifters slightly. However I feel this time/money would have been better spent (re)introducing ultra-shift, particularly since the old design (ultra-torque) cranksets were so nice.

The old ultra-torque Athena cranks, a timeless design. Photo credit bikeradar.

If it were up to me, this new groupset should have featured an alloy version of the current Chorus shifters and derailleurs, along with the old carbon Athena crankset, with updated chainrings.  Unfortunately, all Campagnolo managed to do with this new groupset (assuming they’ll keep Athena) is complicate their product line-up, and dumb down their products. Yes it features some new technology, but it features the wrong new technology (e.g. no ultra-shift). Shimano and SRAM are able to bring the key features of their Dura-Ace/Red groupsets down to 105/Rival, so why can’t Campagnolo bring Record/Chorus down to Potenza?

Disclaimer: I have not had a chance to ride this groupset, these opinions were formed from reading the press releases of other sites, road.cc, velonews and cyclingtips. The photos used were also obtained from these sites. You can view these original press-release articles at:

http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/03/bikes-and-tech/first-ride-campagnolo-potenza-groupset_398720

http://road.cc/content/tech-news/182759-campagnolo-unveils-new-potenza-groupset-first-ride

http://cyclingtips.com/2016/03/campagnolo-announces-new-mid-range-potenza-groupset/

SRAM Release Apex 1

Earlier this week SRAM announced a new 1x groupset, Apex 1. With this new groupset SRAM wants to offer ‘unrivalled value’ and simplicity, which it achieves by trickling down 1x technology to Apex level. SRAM expect the group to be available during June 2016.

SRAM offers shifters for both flat bar and drop bar bikes. The drop bar shifters feature a new master cylinder design, and easier bleed port access. SRAM claim a weight of 344g

SRAM Apex HRD Shift/brake controls

The rear derailluer features cage lock technology for easier wheel changes. The long cage design can take an 11-42 cassette and is compatible with both 10 and 11 speed SRAM 1x systems. The cage is made from steel, making the system quite heavy with a claimed weight of 314g

SRAM Apex 1 RD

Moving onto the chain and cassette, SRAM are offering a new 11-42 PG-1130 cassette which will apparently fit 10 and 11 speed freehub bodies (11 speed freehub bodies requires 1.85mm spacer). If this claim is true it might mean you can use your older 10 speed wheels with this group. The cassette weighs in at a huge 538g (claimed).

SRAM PG-1130 cassette

A new chain has also been released by SRAM (PC-1110) which is designed to work specifically with X-SYNC chainrings. SRAM site compatibility with all SRAM 1x groupsets. SRAM use solid pins, with a claimed weight  of 232-273g (depending on chain length, SRAM haven’t specified how many links this is for).

SRAM’s new PC-1110 chain with POWERLOCK link

There’s currently only a hydraulic disk option, designed around 160mm and 140mm rotors. They can fit either 74mm or direct mount frames.

SRAM Apex disk

Finally, the new 1x crankset, branded as s-350 feature a 42t X-SYNC chainring. It features a 24mm spindle and is available in 170mm,172.5mm,175mm crank lengths. SRAM claim a weight of 762g.

SRAM S-350 Crankset

I’m personally quite excited by this new groupset, it should see adventure/cross bikes with hydraulic disc brakes coming down in price, which I welcome. I currently don’t see a cable rim brake option for this groupset so I presume SRAM is pushing hard for hydraulic disk brakes.

Mavic Update Ksyrium Elite, New for 2016

Some say, you’re not a true weight weenie unless you hate Mavic wheels. If you’re new to the sport, it’s hard to understand why, especially when Mavic make a wheel like the Ksyrium Elite, a respectable weight, respectable durability for a respectable price. Sure, their hubs aren’t the best in the market, and their cosmic carbone line of aero wheels are a few generations behind on the aero game, but overall if you’re buying a Mavic wheel you know you’re not buying a bad wheel. If anything, they represent the safe option, they’re not particularly good value for money, nor are they particularly cutting edge, and for the weight weenie crowd, not being either of those options (and having proprietary parts) gets you shunted.

Mavic continue the tradition with their new Ksyrium Elite wheelsystem for 2016. With a recommended retail price of 630 EUR (vat included) and a claimed weight of 1550 grams they’re not particularly cutting edge, in fact, if you look at the previous Ksyrium Elite S wheelset, which are cheaper and 1520g you might ask what’s the deal?

Mavic Ksyrium Elite 2016

Mavic Ksyrium Elite 2016

Looking at the finer details we observe that Mavic are using a wider rim. Sure, wider rims are old news but what’s particularly exciting is that Mavic are bringing their ISM 4D technology down to this wheelset, meaning they’re able to make incredibly light weight wide rims. Mavic are claiming a weight of 405g for the rims, which is very competitive to the other wide rims on the market today (generally in the 440-500g range). Mavic are keen to emphasise that the rim is a complete redesign.

New ISM4D Rims

As you can see Mavic are still quite keen on their proprietary spokes, and selling the wheel as a wheel system. This may be a deal breaker for some (particularly those who are confident working on their own machines), but for the majority of cyclists (especially those who are not confident with wheel maintenance) it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. We also notice that Mavic (not surprisingly) continue to insist on their Isopulse spoke lacing. According to Mavic it’s supposed to make a more “balanced” wheel (evens out the spoke tension). However, in practice radially laced spokes aren’t as effective as transferring torque, requiring a stiffer (heavier) hub body.

Notice the radially laced spokes on the drive side of the wheel - characteristic of Isopulse

Notice the radially laced spokes on the drive side of the wheel – characteristic of Isopulse

It’s interesting to note that Mavic recommend a minimum width of 25mm for these wheels, and supply their own 25mm tyres with the rim system. The rims are still 24mm (front) and 26mm (rear) deep but now feature a toroidal shape for (slightly) improved aerodynamics.

I understand for many of you this is quite a boring topic, especially since wide (and reasonably light) rims have been around for a while, but for Mavic this is a huge step, and in my humble opinion a step in the right direction. I hope that we see a wider Cosmic Carbone wheel, using this Ksyrium rim as a platform in the near future.

And of course, Dan Martin likes them

And of course, Dan Martin likes them

Expected them to be available with Starbike within the next few months, and as always, active weightweenie members will receive a 5% discount on items purchased from Starbike. I’m currently looking at getting a set in for review so stay posted for my review on these wheels.

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) ;)