Carbon Brake Pads!

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by Byron on Jun 04, 2007 at 7:20 AM

Ok, the oft-asked, much debated, and a bit confusing question on brake pads came up for me this weekend at a hilly race when a set of Kool Stop carbons squealed like Lindsay Lohan at a Hollywood coke party.

I had run just regular Dura Ace pads on my Hed Stinger 50s with no problem, but understand with the heat and descents they’ll melt with disastrous results. So I switched to the Kool Stop and they were fine for the first hour, then the horrible squeal started.

So what do you do? Live with the squeal, use a different pad, what?

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2008 Trek Madone

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by Byron on Jun 02, 2007 at 12:34 PM

Trek launches the 2008 Madones with a brochure site and lots of new technology, including a oversized 90mm wide bottom bracket shell, no headsets, seatmast, new carbon designations, and a fuselage approach. Responding to their competitors, like Specialized, Trek is coming out firing with a “we invented carbon bikes” approach and a frame that’s a half-pound lighter

By de-emphasizing specific materials and instead focusing the discussion on our OCLV Carbon process “ a process we invented 16 years ago and have been refining ever since - Trek can leverage our manufacturing, engineering, and design expertise to underscore the unique nature of our carbon fiber frames: a difference we’re confident makes for the best carbon fiber frames on the planet.

Just last month, I glowingly reviewed the Specialized Tarmac SL, another bike emphasizing technology. I’ve ridden Madones for years, reviewed them positively, and they’re great, solid, racing bikes, but have relied on 16-year old tube and lug technology.

Looks like Trek is changing the game again. More reactions

Updated

08_madone.jpg

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NYTimes.com: The fixers

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by Byron on Jun 02, 2007 at 9:17 AM

A NYTimes.com media feature on the fixed-gear phenomena, includes the King Kog shop, the Kissena Track, scenes from the streets, and how to make $500 a week riding your bike.

nytimes_fixed.jpg

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Photo of the Day: Rusty ride

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by Jason Swihart on Jun 01, 2007 at 5:49 PM

A bike just waiting to be restored …

Bike Hugger Photostream

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Portland Ride

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by Jason Swihart on Jun 01, 2007 at 5:42 PM

A fixie affixed to a rack in Portland

Bike Hugger Photostream

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Team Bike Hugger is Hot

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by Byron on Jun 01, 2007 at 11:08 AM

Team Bike Hugger is hot and I mean “hot,” literally hot at the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic.

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Bike Rescue

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by andrew_f_martin on Jun 01, 2007 at 9:14 AM

One of my favorite pastimes is finding a use for old bikes. If I can keep them out of the landfill and help them to ride again - I feel like I’m contributing a little to the common good. The funny thing is I develop a deep affinity for my pieced-together bikes: Short trips to the store, bike polo in the park, taking a spin in the snow, and taking it off some sweet jumps. I think my total out of pocket cost for this singlespeed cross bike was somewhere around $100.

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In the Bike Shop: Eezox Cycle Tune-Up

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by Byron on May 31, 2007 at 5:51 AM

cycle-tuneup-tn.jpg In the ongoing Bike Shop quest for the “best lube ever,” the legendary framebuilder Bill Davidson told me about Eezox Cycle Tune-Up yesterday. By way of the gun community, a truly obsessive corrosion review, and an observation that the Vashon Island hippies would love it, cause it’s not petroleum based. He’s thinking it’s an unknown, to-be-discovered miracle lube that, “is a unique synthetic high-tech formula that will prevent excessive wear and dirt pick-up because it goes on wet, and lubricates dry.”

The conversation with Bill reminded me of Boeshield’s arrival in the bike shops, which is a great waxy lube until you try to clean your chain and realize that it doesn’t come off and what works for aerospace parts … well not so much for bike chains. Then there’s the stalwart Dumonde Tech that I run on my race bikes. Problem is, as Bill noted, when cyclists clean their chains by soaking them, they remove the oil between the plates and you can’t get that back in (why Shimano doesn’t sell that odd-smelling briny lube the chains ships with, I don’t know).

And here’s my secret lube tip: we had our garage door spring replaced (that’s a good way to learn about how energy is stored and released when one of those springs breaks in your garage!) a couple years ago and the installer left behind a can of this nasty-ass Lubriplate Chain and Cable Fluid that the Vashon Island hippies would definitely not dig.

So one dreary morning, about to ride my rain bike, I was desperate for lube and sprayed the Lubriplate all over the chain and haven’t cleaned it since. Not only does Lubriplate fill the house with the essence of an oil well, it also, cleans (lifts and separates), penetrates, and quiets the chain. The chain ain’t pretty to look at, but hey it’s a rain bike.

A lube that did the same thing, was synthetic, didn’t tap an oil well, and smelled better, I’m all for trying it. Bill is definitely onto something.

chain_good.jpg

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