The first Kickstarter we ever mentioned TiGrLock is back with a mini version and already funded, and a staff pick. We’ve got one in and it’s like original, but not like hanging a titanium bow on your bike – the original was designed to lock both wheels and the bike. I asked Jim to tell me about the new mini
We played around with different shapes. We listened to folks. The locking area of our mini is similar to a mini ulock.
The locking area makes it possible to secure a wheel and frame to a rack, or just the frame - like a mini ulock. It works well for the Sheldon method of locking rear wheel and rear triangle to a rack.
We liked how having a straight side enables it to ride on a bike in a stable way.
We wanted to use as little Ti as possible in order to get the price down. The mini uses half as much Ti as our standard length bow. Using less Ti also reduces the weight even more.
What I liked then about Jim and TiGrLock is they send out photos for media to touch and test.
Along the Duwamish River, the Tarmac’s industrial design fits right in.The gear wheel is from the recently rebuilt South Park Bridge and the crane sits near an old Boeing Building. This industrialized waterway served the gold rush, war, jet age, tourism, and I cross it at least once on every ride. Earlier this year, I shared another photo from this park and more thoughts on Seattle’s only river.
A view from the South Park Bridge north towards Seattle
Smooth pavement, knowledgeable riders, sticky 25mm tires and a bike with geometry I trust. It’s a pretty good recipe.
The Tarmac turns heads around town and riding it on familiar routes, I’m appreciating that good recipe even more: a tuned ride and engineering learned from a collaboration with McLaren. Read more about the Tarmac’s intent in my recent Wired review.
It’s the intent and the experience: what a bike is designed to do, how it handles, and the way it connects to the ground for a distinctive Tarmac feel.
On the roads that follow the Duwamish, the connection to the ground is just as distinctive, with the disc brakes making it handle even better.
Friday before a holiday and you’ve got some time to waste? Spend hours clicking through these galleries curated by Spoke Sniffer. That’s the Flickr handle of BB who I met at Specialized HQ a few years ago.
Wipperman finally joins the 11-speed game with their Connex 11sO (nickel-plated) and 11sX (nickel plated w/ stainless steel inner links) chains. There was a time during the early 10sp era when I pretty much used only Wipperman chains. You see, I had Dura Ace drivetrains, and since Shimano chains didn’t have a masterlink, I chose the drivetrain brand-neutral Wipperman chain so I could easily pull the chains off to fully degrease before re-lubing. I had also come across some independent testing that suggested that Wipperman 10sp scored best among 10sp chain wear resistance. That said, I have a tendency to sprint hard at stop lights, either charging for a yellow light or punching it off the line when the red goes green, and I’ve ripped apart an awful lot of Wipperman chains (I kill other brand 10sp chains too).
When I switched allegiance to SRAM drivetrains after Dura-Ace 7900, I just used SRAM chains, but I missed the easy disengagement of the Connex masterlinks (most other 10 or 11sp masterlinks are too tough to disengage with your fingers alone). I was surprised that Wipperman has taken so long to roll out an 11sp chain; I guess they finally decided to make their move before the market sailed away from them.
Still, I’m not whipping out the plastic for a Connex 11sp chain just yet. I’ve more or less drawn a line in the sand at 10sp. Going to eleven cogs on the back of a road bike is faux progress. If you still prefer Shimano, well I would say that the 11sp groups from Shimano offer much better shifting because the shifters have a much smoother and refined action than the rather disappointing 2nd-gen 10sp groups (7900, 6700, 5700-series)…..but the fact they have another cog on the back just means that the chains and cassettes will wear out just that much faster. For SRAM, the last generation of 10sp Red has the same basic form and function as the 11sp-gen; I’m so pleased as is I have no desire to spend to update my bikes to 11-sp, not to mention my wheels which don’t accept 11sp cassettes.
The one area of drivetrain development in which I grudgingly approve of 11sp is 1x11 mountainbike drivetrains (oh, I guess 1x11 gravel grinders too). If your cog range is 10-42 or 11-40, 10sp would leave awfully big ratio jumps somewhere in cassette, but ditching a front derailleur and lefthand shifter is worth the less durable chain and slightly more finicky cable adjustment of 11sp in my book. To put a finer point on it, I race CX with a 1x10 drivetrain because there is no CX course in my neck of the woods that requires something lower than a 38x28 ratio. I don’t feel that an eleventh cog offers anything to gain in a 11-28 or 12-27 cassette range, so I am satisfied with ten cogs in total on the back. If you needed to run 11-32 on your CX bike, I could see a marginal benefit for 11sp, but It won’t put you at the top of your local series if you weren’t already on the heals of the leader. And if you are looking for something to keep you from getting lapped by the leaders at every race, an eleventh cog should be pretty low on your self-improvement agenda.
One last issue about Wiperman chains is that I haven’t been able to use a Connex chain on my wide-narrow chainrings in my 1x10 CX drivetrains, because the wide teeth won’t let the Connix chain fully enage. I wonder if Wipperman has taken steps to make their 11sp chains more compatible with 1x chainrings.
Changes: We see it in gear, attitudes, priorities, technology and even jobs. We look down the road at what’s coming.
Is the theme of the issue and for Mark, its’ toggling between high-end, custom road bikes to a vintage focus, and finding gear for it, like a odd Sugino Mighty Tour Double crankset with 51/37T chainrings.