30 November 2014

Fresh Goods Sunday - Time Xpresso 12 Titan carbon road pedals

After building my new Dale Nano road frameset up from my old road bike parts i noticed one of the pedals was alittle rough. I looked all over to see if you can buy the tool to strip Time pedals apart and could not find one. A cloth and vice did the same job. Cleaned it down and packed it with grease, it is smoother but still not a 100% but the end axle bearing felt ok. They are knocking on now so thought it was time for renewal. I was never happy with the click in on the Time RXS so had alook at some other manufacturers. Angus uses Speedplay and has no problems, Arran uses good old Shimano with no problems. Looked at Time again but the newer Xpresso model. Had a quick google for reviews and they were mainly possitive so thought what the hell give them a go. They come in a lovely tin with a foam insert, cleats inc fixings & instructions. Removed my old cleats as these are slightly different and fitted the new ones. Removed the old pedals and fitted the new ones, simple enough job with a 10mm allen key & copper grease. The click in is a totally different feel altogether as is the twist out. Its alot easier to locate the front of the pedal before pushing down on the back to click in. The rrp is £225 - yes alot of money and to be honest they are not worth that, shop around - i paid £141.70 inc p&p, now that is a better price.  
Here is the manufacturers blurb -
•Automatic pre-opening of engagement mechanism
•Hollow titanium axle and carbon body with flexible carbon blade
•Oversized pedal platform 700 mm2 with interchangeable aluminium plate
•Adjustment of angular sensations, or “feel”
•Q-Factor adjustment — setting of lateral foot position
•BIOPOSITION Concept — minimal distance sole to pedal axle(14.4mm)
•Angular float (+/-5°) and lateral float (2.5 mm)
•Release angle: 15°
•Weight: 155 g/pair
•Supplied as a pair
•Includes cleats

Bang on the claimed weight

New Expresson cleats & fixings

Old RXS pedals, not much heavier

25 November 2014

Local ride on Krampgrease

Took the Krampgrease out on a local loop and the sun even tried to get out a couple of times. It was 0.5 degrees when i set off and hit a high of 6 degrees on the tops. The lines are still in good condition but very muddy on the offroad sections. Steady away and enjoyed a few miles in the saddle. Forecast for two days solid rain Wed & Thurs so might dry up back end of the week and get in a few more miles. Getting cold now so time to dig out the winter head wear & long sleeved base layers etc. A few pics from todays ride, more soon  


23 November 2014

EVANS RIDE IT - Sportive, Hexham

First sportive i have entered for along time so here we go. Angus got free entry so tagged along as well. We had pre entered the medium route of 54miles - 5300ft climb. I did not sleep well on the sat night and had a bad stomach so that was not a good start but the weather looked ok, well it was not raining. Pulled into the school and there was cars everywhere. I was not expecting it to be as busy but nice to see. Signed on and got our free goodies for pre entering so many weeks in advance. Barcode sticker label applied to the helmet and we were ready. Had the event briefing and we were off. Straight out of the school and a steady climb out of hexham for nearly three miles, that warmed the legs up! The farmer decided to splatter attack his hedges all the way out and some poor riders got punctures straight away. Along the race course road then followed the coutry roads. Again there was loads of hedges that had been cut and riders were littering the verges pumping away and tubes flying all over the place. We passed the Family/Fun split where we seen some riders heading and continued on. Angus then got a puncture in the rear, changed tube and we were of again. It was just over 2 degrees when we were climbing past Slaley Hall with a stiff breeze. Some riders were off and pushing on the climbs and maps out looking for the split points. It was a tough route and caught many novice riders out. At the Med/Short plit point we had a refuel and think about what we were going to do from here. We choose the 32miler instead and enjoy the ride instead of killing ourselves on the 54miler. It was quite after this point so had the roads to oursleves for long time then we started passing a few riders on the return leg. It was all up and down with no flat sections and still freezing cold. The last section was the same road as what we climbed out of Hexham so knew it was going to be a three mile down hill. Got back to hq in one piece and enjoyed the ride. Slight confusion at the finishing line as it was not manned and another rider said we had to go into the main hall to sign back in. No we just had to walk through the tent and the scanner logged us back in so lost 5mins or so but not to worry. They said all the staff were out sorting mechanicals / bringing riders back and they were under staffed! Cake etc to finish off and some engery goodies. All in excellent value for money and very well signed (cannot comment on the med/long routes). We did 31.4miles and 3300ft climbing in 2 1/2hrs. Shame they did not do their offroad sportive as plenty of tracks over the common.  
noe then which way will we go

hes happy we are doing the short one



Fresh Goods Sunday - Park Tool TL-5 Heavy Duty Tyre Levers

Spoons, i can remeber trying to take tyres of my bike when i was a young'un with the ends of the spoons from my mums cutlery draw, what a laugh. How times have changed, i have been through loads of cheapo plastic levers that snap, levers that just dont work to my good old fashioned metal levers (see pic below). I dont like using tyre levers if at all possible but when you have got a tight tyre/rim combo and your thumb ends are red raw theres no option. My metal ones are strong enough but you cannot get much leverage on them as they are only short - hence i have bought the grand daddy of all tyre levers - Park TL-5 heavy duty beasts. I have not tried them yet but are ready and waiting for action! rrp is £23 (for a pair) shock horror, i would not pay that but as normla shop around, I paid £13.36 inc next day delivery, i still hink that is on the high side but they are the grand daddies. Here is the blurb from Park Tool on them -  
The TL-5 Heavy Duty Tire Lever Set is designed for use on the toughest tire and rim combinations.

•Made of forged steel, these beefy levers are a full 8" (20.3 cm) long for superior leverage.
•Specially designed tip engages tire bead so it can be removed with just two levers.
•Ideal for difficult to remove downhill and freestyle tires.
•Set of two.

Found these old Pedros Milk levers in my rubbish tub, retro or what

22 November 2014

Busy, busy Saturday - early morning road ride, Neccl Rd6 & preparing bikes etc

Up and out for an early morning road ride on the Litespeed winter machine, yet again cold, windy, foggy and just plain awful weather. Overnight rain so the road were soaking wet as well. Rode over to Witton Gilbert then the back climb upto Broom House Farm and along to Burnhope. As you can see in the photos below there was dense fog again until i got to Edmondsley where it started to lift again. Back in and prepare & pack the two cx bikes for Neccl Rd6 @ Hetton Lyons Country Park. The park is up the naffs in mud now with all the recent rain so proper cx conditions! Both lads had a good race then back home to wash the bikes and another four dirty bikes from this weeks rides. Then prepare the two roads bikes for tomorrows Hexham Evans Ride It Sportive. Oh and gave the car a wash when we were soaked and frozen as well. Back in and uploaded a gallery of photos from the first two races at Hetton.
Going to pack my kit bag and then hit the couch for some r & r if that is possible.
climb into the fog, lights on all the time again during the ride

Foggy on the tops

could not see anything of the mast today

All ready

and there off

Go boy go

Time to get the hogger out

New front led light ready for tomorrow, might need it!

19 November 2014

Back on the Krampgrease & an update on 29er inner tubes

Back on the Krampgrease for todays local offroad ride along the old line to Bishop. Its been a while since i have ridden this line and Durham County Coucil are spending some money resurfacing a couple of sections. One if from the "stinky pond" to old railway station house and both sides of the ramp on the crossing to tow law road. Not sure why the ramps needed doing again, they were perfect and only done approx a year ago. As for the section to the station to the pond again this was well over 6ft to start with, yes the stretch alongside the pond area needed clearing but hey ho let them bash on. Again a very overcast and cool day with little wind and no heavy rain, same old really. Could do with some good overnight frosts to try and get the sun back out again.  

From station house to pond area

alongside the pond section

One side of the road crossing ramp, surface very loose now

This is what we need so good old frost
Onto 29"er inner tubes update
When i was building the Krampgrease i bought some Surly 3" tubes and then some cheaper Conti 2.5" tubes. The Conti test has been hit and miss on the rear but perfect on the front. Not sure why but the front may get less squashing under body weight etc but i have had a couple of rear punctures and a tear / split down the seam mould on the inside one tube and a hole on inside seam on another. The tube must be stretching too thin to fill the 3" tyre volume. I am now testing some Panaracer 29x2.35" tubes in the rear to see if they last any longer. They are nearly the same weight, same width as the conti's but feel thicker in the hand. It has blown up to full volume and no depressions on the tyre sidewall like the conti near the valve hole so time will tell. I paid £2.78 in next day delivery for the Panaracer & £2.68 for the conti's this time inc next day delivery.
The next option might be to try the tubless route!