Friday, November 10, 2006

Why Avid Mechanical Disc Brakes Rock....

I have used just about every kind of braking system from coaster brakes to v-brakes to cantis, to dual pivot caliper brakes - nothing stops as well and as reliably in all kinds of weather and all kinds of terrain.

Avid's are:
- inexpensive
- simple
- easy tool free adjustment
- easy tool free pad replacement
- field repairable
- fade free braking on long steep descents
- excellent performance in wet or snowy conditions
- don't wear out your rims
- don't overheat your rims

The downsides are:
- higher weight than other brakes
- require more wheel dish than other brakes
- can only use disc wheels

For my money the Avids win hands down if you want trouble free braking in all weather conditions and in steep terrain - like a brevet for example.

I can't imagine buying another bike that doesn't sport a pair of these fine stoppers.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Vik 1 - Mother Nature 0

We had our first real blizzard today! Woo Hoo! It was a ton of fun to be riding out in the middle of it. I had to clear my glasses every 30 secs at the worst point just to see where I was headed. The tires worked well as did my lighting system. My only problem was wearing through my rear disc pads at the mid-point of the ride. I had a couple steep downhills that were more exciting than I had anticipated.

All in all it was about 23kms in 100mins with about 2" of accumulation.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Not sleet, nor snow or ice will keep a randonneur from his appointed rides...

My winter bike fears nothing! Mother Nature bring it on...

Bicycle Quarterly Magazine

I received my first issue of Bicycle Quarterly Magazine yesterday published by Jan Heine. I have heard about this publication for a while, but was hesitant to subscribe. It was formerly titled Vintage Bicycle Quarterly and I was not sure how much of the content would be of interest to me.

There was a lot of commotion on the 'net about a recent article in BQ about the rolling resistance of bicycle tires. I decided it was time to get a subscription to find out what the hubhub was about and worst case I would be supporting a small business in the cycling world.

Wow - what a great magazine. The tire article alone was worth the cost of the entire subscription. An objective repeatable test was performed that shatters a lot of long held beliefs about tires. I think most cyclists would agree that narrow high pressure tires are inherently faster. It's too bad that notion is wrong. Interesting Jan found over 20% difference in speed between some of the tires he tested. Think about that 24kph instead of 20kph just by swapping out tires. Now add to that the fact the fast tires might be wider lower pressure ones that are much more comfortable. Pretty amazing stuff.

BQ also running a series of articles about how to be a better randonneur. This issue discusses how to make a randonneur bike faster.