Easton EC90 Crankset

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For the last 9 months I’ve had been riding the Easton EC90 crankset and ceramic bearing BB.

Easton leapt into the crankset market with the EC90 road crank after thoroughly testing the competitors’ offerings. What they came up with was a hollow structure with a spine down the length of the crankarm. The end result is visually bold, or bulky depending on your point of view. I would say that the EC90 crank looks right on a carbon bike, the left crankarm cupping over the external BB (which is fully compatible with Shimano external bearing cranksets), but the Easton crank looks awkward on slimmer metal framesets, even on my oversize-ti Bianchi.

Frame Saver Injector

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A customer recently ordered a lugged steel Davidson to be completely chromed, something like a first for Davidsons. We wanted to use JP Weigle’s Frame Saver, a rustproofing treatment, on the insides of all the tubes, but the seat stay vent holes are particularly small and difficult to get to. Ordinarily one sprays Frame Saver aerosol can through one of those slim straws, but that invariably requires some clean up. The decals had already been applied to the frame and we were worried what the Frame Saver might do to them. So Bill shows up with a hypodermic needle and syringe with which we mainlined those seat stays.

Back before the Weigle marketed his Frame Saver product, one would use something like linseed oil to coat the insides of a steel frame. I did that twice with my Bianchi EL/OS, and let me assure you that is one messy, smelly job. And linseed oil can take months to fully dry. Unsurprisingly, Weigle’s Frame Saver is THE choice for protecting your fine steel frames nowadays.

Bumblebars

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Not too long ago I got a box from Bumblebar. Their logo prominently features a bee, so I figured the plethora of energy bars inside had to have some kind of honey or pollen food commonality. This is not the case. Bumblebars are organic and vegan, socially and environmentally conscious, and produced in Spokane WA, but they apparently do not involve bees. But all the flavors are based on sesame and flax seed, and even if I’ve never sought out vegan products as an issue of principle, I do find sesame and flax tasty.

The bars are made with brown rice syrup or agave as sweeteners and are high in fibre and essential fatty acids. They are designed to provide sustained energy without sugar spikes or crashes. I find the texture satisfying without being overbearing, as the toasted seed base is a welcome break from the styrofoam quality of the hoards of energy bars with a crisped rice structure. However, Bumblebars are more suited to moderate riding, or post-ride. In a fast ride scenario, I want something like a gel block that I can scarf down fast without distracting me from the demands of the riding environment. Also, if you are already bonking, the calories won’t become available fast enough.

I like the nut-flavoured Bumblebars more than the fruit, as the fruitier ones were hard to liberate from the wrapper when the summer’s heat made them soft and sticky. I’d say my favourite was the Cashew.

You can buy them direct from Bumblebar on their site.

Content Strategy for the Web

Kristina Halvorson’s book is out in two weeks. I spoke with Kristina on the Try Making Yourself More Interesting Panel at SXSW earlier this year. As we talked about then, interestingness is key to web charm, to awesomeness online, and we recommend you Do Epic Shit.

Anything epic requires a strategy, lots of work, and Kristina will teach you how to create meaningful content in Content Strategy for the Web.

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Big Mag Zinn

Recently I did an ergopower rebuild on a custom bike from Leonard Zinn. As a long time technical writer for Velonews and author of a series of books on bicycle maintenance, Zinn has offered custom bikes for riders, who like the man himself, fall on the tall side of the rider bell-curve.

Zinn 01

This bike is manufactured from welded magnesium alloy, which makes it rather rare. Magnesium’s low density, good strength-to-weight ratio, and vibration characterists make it attractive for building high performance bikes, but it doesn’t lend itself easily to welding. And magnesium has poor corrosion resistance. Few builders dare to use it (Pinarello’s original Dogma model is the highest profile example), but Zinn has building with it for a few years.

Yet the bike’s geometry is even more unique than its frame material. The design is driven by the extraordinary crankset, also a Zinn creation.

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