Friday, 22 November 2013

Top 10 mountain biking moments

Here are my personal top 10 mountain biking moments, not in any particular order...

The 90's... We had a massive group of friends, we rode every day and everywhere... good times
 Afan 2006: My friend Paul and I went to Wales for a days riding and discovered 'Whites Level'...
2007 Cortina: This was a Marzocchi press trip to Cortina, lots of great riding in the Dolomites. I'll always remember getting technique tips from 'Dangerous Momo'... legend! 
 2009 Suisse Normade: Riding all day in and around the river Orne in glorious weather.
2010 Les Duex Alpes: Our road trip to the Pass Portes was extended to Les Duex Alpes. Riding in the Alpes is very special and Les Deux Alpes was just amazing.
2011 Suisse Normande: Riding with your friends is the best and my friends are the best.
2012 Les Gets: Ripping for fun, clear sky's and dusty trails. 
 2012 Pass Portes: probably the best I have ever ridden, technically and fitness wise. The feeling of completing it well ahead of schedule was utterly euphoric.
 2013 QECP: Riding enduro trails with my 11 year old son was a special day, proper mountainbiking.
 Bikes: Above it all I just love bikes and the Mountain Cycle San Andreas is just a bit special

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Headsets and associated standards

If you though bottom brackets were complicated, then you will love headsets!
Rather than use a third party naming system, I believe the simplest way to identify what headset you need it just to use the actual measurements. And the route to finding the correct headset can be reduced to a few simple questions.

1/ Is the bearing part of the headset internal or external to the head tube?
2/ Do you have to press cups in to the frame or do the bearings fit directly in to the headtube?
3/ Is the headtube straight or tapered?
4/ Is the fork steerer tube straight or tapered?

That’s basically it, you have narrowed down the type you need and if it doesn't give you the answer check the ID of the headtube and compare it to the poster. Sometimes there will be a new strange headset when a cycle manufacture decided to invent yet another new standard as the ones we already have are obviously not good enough...

Headtube standards measurements 

Conventional head tube: Straight traditional headtube with external bearings. 
ID = 30mm for 1” steerer tube
ID = 34mm for 1”1/8 steerer tube
ID = 49.57mm for 1.5” steerer tube
Conventional headset
Internal head tube: Often called Zero Stack or Semi-integrated, this head tube takes press in cups for 1”1/8 steerer tubes or external lower cup for 1”1/8-1.5” tapered steerer tube.
ID = 41.4mm, economy type for OEM manufacturers.
ID = 44mm, the most common MTB type. 
Internal, zero stack style
Differential head tubes: Tapered head tubes for press in cups (internal or external), mostly used on MTB’s.
ID = 44mm upper, 49.57mm lower
ID = 44mm upper, 55mm lower
ID = 44mm upper, 55.96mm lower
Internal for tapered head tube
Intellasett head tubes:  Press in cups with external cups the same diameter as the headtube for the integrated look.
ID = 34mm
Integrated head tubes: Direct bearing fit in to the frame, the two most popular types being Cane Creek (36 x 45) and Campagnolo (45 x 45).
ID = 41mm, 1”1/8 with 45 degree bearing seat (CC 36x45). *Upper seat can be 2.7mm or 3.2mm deep
ID = 41.7mm, 1”1/8 with 36 degree bearing seat (TH 36x36)
ID = 42mm, 1”1/8 with 45 degree bearing seat(Campy 45x45)
ID = 47mm, with 45 degree bearing seat 1”1/4 straight
Integrated headset
Differential Integrated head tubes: Direct bearing fit in to the frame for tapered head tubes.
ID = 42mm upper with 45 degree bearing seat, 52.10mm lower with 45 degree bearing seat. For 1”1/8-1.5” tapered steerer tube.
ID = 41.2mm upper with 45 degree bearing seat, 49.1mm lower with 45 degree bearing seat. For 1”1/8-1”3/8 tapered steerer tube
ID = 42mm upper with 45 degree bearing seat, 47mm lower with 45 degree bearing seat. For 1”1/8-1”1/4 tapered steerer tube
ID = 42mm upper x 6.5mm deep with 45 degree bearing seat, 47.1mm lower x 6.5mm deep with 45 degree bearing seat for 1"1/8 - 1" 1/4 steerer. NEW Overdrive system.

Integrated headset for tapered head tube
all you need to know!
1"1/8 to 1"3/8 tapered headtube

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Bottom Bracket "standards"

Over the past few years there have been numerous attempts to replace the threaded BSA bottom bracket shell, here are the current standards on the market for road and MTB bikes.

BSA: this is the ENGLISH threaded standard bottom bracket. 68mm or 73mm wide, with variants of 83mm and 100mm. Less common now is the ITALIAN threaded standard that is 70mm wide and has right threaded cups on BOTH sides.
BSA threaded, external bearing type
BB30: Initially designed as an open standard utilizing direct fit bearings and an over size alloy 30mm axle, 68mm shell and 41.96mm ID. BB30 has a lot of issues, the main being the tolerance of the frame's b/b and the fact that the bearing gouges the shell, meaning when you replace the bearing the fit is never as good.
BB30's direct fit bearing is very simple
PF30: is a direct evolution of BB30 and uses the same oversize axle and shell width (68mm), but the shell ID changes to 46mm. This shell size increase is to accommodate a complete press-in unit.
PF30 cartridge
BBright: introduced by Cervelo is similar to BB30 but has a wider (79mm) asymmetrical BB shell, but retains the shell ID of 41.96mm (of BB30). Instead of having a BB shell that is symmetrical 68mm wide, the non-drive bearing is moved outward from the centre plane of the bike by 11mm. BBright requires a specific crank set with an 11mm longer axle. The bottom bracket is a standard BB30 item.

BBright is also offered in a PF30 variant using the the same asymmetrical 79mm shell but with the PF30 ID of 46mm.

BB86: is a press fit ROAD standard developed by Shimano. The BB shell is 86.5mm wide with an ID of 41mm. This standard is compatible with 24mm or 19mm axle chainsets.
BB86/ 92 cartridge unit
BB92: is a press fit MTB standard developed by Shimano. The BB shell is 92mm wide with an ID of 41mm. This standard is compatible with 24mm or 19mm axle chainsets.

BB90: is a direct bearing press fit system used by Trek bicycles, easily identified by the 90.5mm BB Shell width. This standard is compatible with 24mm axle chainsets.

All press fit designs can suffer premature bottom bracket ware if the shell is not correctly reamed. If the shell is slightly out of round it can deform the BB creating fast bearing ware. If a fame has an ovalized BB shell and it is not correctly reamed bearing failure will be frequent.
BB standards made simple...