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Ask RBA

August 5, 2010
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I have been riding the 7850 SL’s with Hutchinson tires for over 800 miles and I have to tell you that they are amazing.  The ride quality of my Soloist Carbon has gone from ROUGH to comfy, you can really feel the difference, and the rolling resistance is significantly less.  The only negative I saw was when the tire was damaged on a steel bridge.  I had to replace the tire with a new one, the latex sealant had saved the tire before but this was a ripped tire.  I changed the tire myself which was not to difficult.  I then tried a hand pump to fill the tire up, and I could not.  You will  not be able to inflate the tire at home after a change unless you have a small electric pump, I bought one and now I change the tires.  In conclusion, you will still need to take a tube with u on long rides in case you get a beetle flat but otherwise this is the future, an amazing/wheel tire system.
TD

I use a 16-gram mountain-bike-sized Co2 inflator from Innovations In Cycling to seat the bead of a reluctant Road Tubeless tire. It is a quick fix on the road and handy at home too. I find that one in four tubeless tires are troublesome to seat. Thanks for the road report, your experiences become a valuable part of RBA’s knowlege base.

I was reading about ASEA, actually looking for some semblance of an ingredients list, and your name came up as having tested it for your magazine.  Is that true, and what did you find please, if you don’t mind.  I couldn’t find the article on your website.  I know this is a time intrusion, but I’d like to know if you have a moment.

The Asea test is in the print version of Road Bike Action Magazine. I have not yet posted it on this site. The ingredients of Asea are tragically simple: sodium and chloride compounds which are held separately in solution by a means which has not been explained to me. The smell of chlorine from the bottle bears witness to this. Of course, when bonded together, Asea’s ingredients amount to nothing more than salt water-which has been a source of great controversy on the web. I am happy to say though, that the stuff has been a secret weapon for some of us at RBA for both racing and training, as it shortens recovery rates significantly.

I stumbled across a statement in a magazine a few years ago saying, “titanium’s dirty little secret is that frames lose their snap over time.” Does titanium fatigue? How does one test for this?

A second question. I have a set of Bontrager Race X Lite wheels from 2006. How do I convert the freehub from Shimano/SRAM to Campagnolo?

Thanks,
Michael Munro
Lansing, Kansas

If you have the Bontrager Race Lites that use DT Swiss hubs, you are in luck. DT Swiss freehubs can be dissassembled without tools. The axle ends and spline bodies pull apart with firm hand pressure. You’ll need to buy a new free hub spline assembly and press it on with a twist motion to engage the spline teeth. Press on the axle end cap and you are good to go. Some mechanics say that it is easier to pull the freehub off with the cassette on, so you can get some purchase from the big cog. Also, a rod pushed through the axle end from the opposite side can be used to shove off the drive-side axle end cap.
 

As far as I know, the sense that a titanium or quality steel frame loses its spring after a year or so of hard use is a false notion. I checked this a long time ago when I was making bikes. When we put the olderframes on a granite alignment plate, they deflected the same as new frames. I attribute the “dirty-little secret” to owners getting bored with the feel of their bikes and to their vain hope that a new bike will invigorate their old legs..which actually works for a week or so. Who hasn’t suffered behind a rider who is powering off the front and leading every climb-fueled by the emotional high of “new-bike-syndrome?”
 

Really enjoying the June issue! It’s hard to believe that at 42, I still get excited when RBA Mag. shows up in the mail! In this month’s Q&A. you addressed a question regarding weight lifting during the official cycling season. I had always heard (not just for cycling but for most sports) that the off-season was the time to lift heavier weights with lower repetitions – to build mass. In-season, the idea was to reverse the philosophy and go with a lighter weights and an increase in repetitions, to preserve muscle mass while decreasing overall body weight. Just wanted to see if this was the correct approach. Thanks & keep up the great work,

Steve Payne
Woodstock, Ga.

Yep, You got it right. I find that many cyclists lag on their climbing near peak season (May/June) because their legs and lungs outpace their upper body and core strength. At this time, some weight lifting can help attain a last-minute balance and boost performance before July is over and the season begins to wind down.

Richard,
My dad just replaced his old Trek 5500 with a brand new Project One Madone, so the 5500 now belongs to me. I’m actually a mountain bike racer (downhill mostly), but I’m a little tired of running for my aerobic fitness so I’m going to give road riding a go. I love the frame and it actually fits me quite well, but it has 8 speed Campy Athena out back with a compact up front as well as a quill stem.

First, the drivetrain situation. Should I just try to find new shifters, or will the Athena derailluer only work as an 8 speed? I’m thinking about getting a used 9 speed Chorus setup or maybe a 10 speed if I can afford it, but I’m looking at getting a new mountain bike and that’s my priority so I can’t pour a ton of money into this road bike right now.

As for the quill stem, the reason it’s an issue is because it has a 26mm diameter bar clamp. I want to get some carbon bars to dampen the vibrations a little more, but the most cost effective bars are nearly impossible to find in a 26mm format. I’m thinking about getting an adapter so that I can use a threadless stem with a more conventional bar diameter. Is this a good plan? If so, what stem and bars would you recommend for someone on a budget? I do work at a shop so I have some discounts I can take advantage of, but less money is still better.

Cheers,
Zack

I am a closet Campagnolo fan, so if you can swing the price tag, a Chorus 10-speed group would look great on your bike-and it would be different than the typical SRAM/Shimano items found on entry-level sport racers. Ten speed is good because you get a wider, more evenly spaced gear selection that is low enough to facilitate climbing, without hurting the tightly-spaced shifts you’ll need for flat-land performance. 
 
That said: Shimano’s 105 and SRAM Rival ensembles are affordable ten-speed drivetrains that might better suit your needs. I ride SRAM Red at present and it rocks. Rival’s performance is only a click or so off from Red’s.

I agree that a conversion stem stub would be a better handlebar/stem solution. Try FSA-they have a great lineup of stems and handlebars that lead in the affordable performance arena.


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