MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — Specialized is continuing to work with the legendary auto racing company, McLaren, working with the company to develop a limited edition S-Works McLaren Tarmac bike. Specialized will build 250 of the bikes, which will be sold with a pair of S-Works road shoes and S-Works Prevail helmet, both color matched to the bike.
FT. COLLINS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Effetto Mariposa is now offering a larger size of its inflator/sealant canister, for large volume mountain bike tires. The Doppio Espresso has a 125 ml cartridge, twice the size of the standard Espresso
Disc brakes are now the standard on most mountain bikes, but what should you be looking for when it comes to shopping for your ideal stoppers?
This guide explains the basics, and the jargon buster below will help you get to grips with the terminology.
Power varies with each calliper and its pad surface/leverage, but the biggest difference is rotor size. The bigger the rotor, the more leverage your brake has on the wheel and the faster it can stop it. Each 20mm increase in size roughly equates to a 13 to 15 percent increase in power.
140mm (5.5in) discs are the smallest and a bare minimum for braking on the back wheel. 160mm (6.3in) discs will slide a rear wheel easily, but only the most powerful brakes will really stand a bike on its nose easily with a 160mm disc up front. That’s why many brakes now use a 180mm disc up front.?
For ultimate downhill stopping power you want 200mm (8in) discs. Big discs heat up less and cool faster than smaller ones, again making them better suited to downhill/heavy duty usage. They do weigh more though, and not all forks and frames are warrantied – or have space – for the largest discs.?
Removing metal from the disc to save weight makes it more likely to warp when hot, which is why some brakes use a pimp-looking alloy spider in the centre of a steel disc. Shimano’s Ice-Tech discs use a three-layer construction that combines an alloy core with steel braking surfaces on the outer edge. Vented discs cool better, and wavy or toothed ones clear muck faster than round ones.
When it comes to fitting the discs to your hubs, there are two different standards?– six-bolt and CenterLock. The former is pretty self explanatory, and uses standard Torx- or Allen-head bolts. The latter uses a splined design, which needs to be tightened with a?cassette tool. There are pros and cons to each of the systems. Adaptors are available to convert from one standard to the other.
The brakes should apply their power smoothly and progressively, or you’ll just launch yourself over the bar or slide your tyres rather than making the most of the available traction.
The brakes need to be easy to live with, easy to set up in the first place and easy to adjust to the feel you want. They also need to be as maintenance-free as possible in the long term, whatever the weather.
The business end of the brake houses the cylinders that push the pads onto the rotor. Some callipers are magnesium for minimum weight but most are alloy in a one-piece casting or a two-piece, bolt-together design.
Some brakes use two pistons either side rather than the standard single one, to allow use of a longer pad, but you can’t really tell any performance difference on the trail or dyno. A slotted post mount attachment on the calliper is almost universal now, although you’ll need different spacer mounts for different frames and rotor sizes. Cheaper brakes often have a fixed exit angle on the hose.
The hose joins the lever to the calliper and needs to be free of air bubbles to keep the brakes working consistently. It needs to resist massive hydraulic pressures without popping, and needs to resist squashing or splitting too.
Most brakes use a simple reinforced plastic hose that’s tough and flexible enough for most purposes. Braided hoses – used on some complete brakes and available aftermarket – use a steel sheath for a tighter, more accurate brake feel and improve crush resistance. Formula have introduced a super-light Kevlar reinforced hose on their R1 Racing. Whatever the hose is made of, make sure it’s long enough for your frame or fork.
The pads create the friction that provides the stopping power of the brake and are therefore crucial to the overall performance. The basic division is between resin and sintered pads. Most brakes now come with sintered pads, which have metal (normally copper) swarf added into the resin base mix. This increases the wear life and heat tolerance of the pads, particularly in wet conditions.
Softer resin pads bed in faster and give better friction in dry, low-speed conditions but they wear very quickly in wet and gritty conditions, and fade quicker on long descents as more heat stays in the rotor.
The lever end of the brake is arguably the most important part. The master cylinder (the posh name for the brake lever body) contains the reservoir that automatically adjusts for pad wear and heat expansion of braking fluid. It also has the brake lever at one end and the bar clamp at the other. While it’s not essential, having a hinged or separate clamp plate and a symmetrical either side ‘flip-flop’ design make the brake a lot more versatile.
Lever blade shape, sweep geometry and material govern the feel under your fingers. Levers vary in shape from curved to crooked, narrow to broad, smooth or drilled, one finger, two finger, two-and-a-half and so on. Some of them wobble and some are rock-solid. If you’ve got the money you can save a few grams by opting for a carbon fibre lever blade on most brakes too, although these are rarely noticeably lighter and can be flexy. They are warmer when it’s really cold, though. Make sure the levers fit your hands and preferred bar positions relative to the shifters.
Depending on the design, there are various adjustments you can make to the way the brake feels. Most brakes let you adjust the reach to the levers, but being able to adjust the bite point at which the brakes contact the pads is an increasingly common feature. Some brakes also let you adjust leverage and power. Be aware that the more adjustable mechanisms there are, the more potential problems there are too.
Don’t fret about bleeding brakes. If you have to trim the hoses to fit them, you might need to re-bleed the brakes, but most shops will fit them for free. Otherwise, they should be fine if you leave them alone – we can’t remember the last leaky set we had, and we can count the number of unplugged pipes we’ve seen after crashes on one hand. Changing pads is the only regular maintenance needed.
Workshop: How to bleed Hayes Stroker disc brakes
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Workshop: Bleeding Hope disc brakes
LOS ANGELES (BRAIN) — New wheel holders for fat bikes are now available from Hollywood Racks. Designed to accommodate all bicycle tires up to 5 inches wide, they are sold as a pair (for one bike) and replace the standard wheel/tire holders on all Hollywood Sport Rider and Trail Rider racks (mounts to 1¼-inch tubing). The holders include reinforced extra-long wheel straps.
Trek today announced the release of two new Domane endurance bikes, both with the same fantastic bump-eating ride of the original series but now with disc brakes and thru-axles at both ends. The changes will of course add a little bit of weight but also superb all-weather capabilities plus additional tire clearance, too.
The top-end Domane Disc 6.9 (US$7,899/?6,000) uses Trek’s upper-end 600-series OCLV carbon fiber blend, an integrated no-cut seatmast, and a premium parts blend that includes a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 electronic transmission, Shimano R785 STI Dual Control levers and hydraulic disc brake calipers, a carbon fiber Bontrager bar and saddle, and Bontrager’s brand-new Affinity TLR Disc alloy clincher wheelset.
The far less expensive Domane Disc 4.0 (US$2,099/?1,600) subs in Trek’s 400-series carbon fiber formula and a standard telescoping seatpost (which adds weight and firms up the ride quality). Of course, the parts spec is more budget friendly as well with a Shimano Sora 9-speed transmission and STI Dual Control levers, TRP HY/RD mechanical-to-hydraulic disc brake calipers, alloy Bontrager cockpit components, and a more basic Bontrager wheelset.
The 142×12mm thru-axle rear dropouts on both bikes are essentially borrowed from Trek’s mountain bike range and are therefore convertible for use with standard quick-release disc wheels should you be so inclined. We don’t expect many (if any) buyers will do so, however, since the fork tips will work only with 100×15mm thru-axle wheels.
With the switch to disc brakes – and the resultant omission of the brake bridge on the seat stays – the frames will now have room for even bigger tires than on the standard Domane, too. Both bikes will come stock with 25mm-wide rubber but by our measurements, tires as big as 30mm might fit depending on the make and model.
Otherwise, both bikes carry over features from the standard Domane carbon chassis, including the superb IsoSpeed ‘decoupler’ at the seat cluster and matching IsoSpeed extra-curved carbon fork, convertible internal cable routing, a tapered 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in front end, the 90mm-wide BB90 bottom bracket shell with directly pressed-in bearings, an integrated chain catcher, keenly hidden fender mounts, and a pocket in the non-driveside chain stay for Bontrager’s DuoTrap wireless speed and cadence sensor.
We recently received a Domane Disc 6.9 sample here at BikeRadar’s Colorado office so expect a more in-depth review soon. Actual weight for a 52cm sample without pedals is an impressive 7.52kg/16.58lb.
Both bikes should be available at Trek retailers now.
Reading between the lines
While Trek has only announced these two Domane Disc models, it’s a fair bet that more are on the way, in particular an alloy version at an even lower price point. Generally speaking, endurance-type riders often aren’t quite as concerned about weight as more racing-oriented Madone buyers anyway, plus they’re more likely to appreciate the more consistent all-weather stopping capabilities of disc brakes so it’d be a natural progression.
That said – and especially given the UCI’s stated intentions on disc brakes in the pro ranks – we expect that a disc-equipped Madone isn’t far behind, even if it’s made available to the public before being widely adopted by seasoned professionals.
Also on the anticipated docket is a move to front and rear thru-axles on Trek’s fantastic Crockett Disc cyclocross bike, too.
AIGLE, Switzerland (BRAIN) — The UCI on Friday reminded the industry that starting in the new year, it will relax some rules on how riders are positioned on time trial bikes, making the bike approval process at races quicker and more predictable. Earlier on Friday, BRAIN reported that the UCI had delayed implementation of new tests for aero wheels , and that the bike industry was increasingly optimistic about improved relations with the UCI. Brian Cookson was elected the organization’s president in September, after a contentious election in which he promised reforms in a number of areas.
CHICAGO, IL (BRAIN) — RentaBikeNow.com, a nationwide bike rental network that helps cyclists find and rent bikes when traveling, has added direct deposit to its payment services so that bike rental payments are made directly into bike shop accounts. Direct deposit also allows shops to set any deposit amount they want on advance rental reservations instead of the standard 15 percent. The new payment system can collect a deposit on advance reservations and then collect a full payment for walk-ins automatically. The new payment system retains credit card numbers and allows balance due charges or incremental fees to be collected
While much of the cycling industry seems content on making incremental increases in rim width, American Classic is taking a much bolder stance for its 2014 wheel range. Nearly every model, both road and mountain, sports a wider-than-conventional rim. There are lot more tubeless and disc brake compatible models, too, making American Classic one of most progressive wheel companies currently on the market.
There’s wide – and then there’s wide
Highlighting the mountain bike range for the coming season is the new US$849 Wide Lightning, which uses a brand-new aluminum extrusion with a massive 29.3mm internal width – a 5mm jump from American Classic’s other models, about 50 percent wider than Mavic’s latest enduro offerings, and more than 8mm wider than most so-called ‘trail’ wheelsets currently available.
“I saw what was working and how we were evolving and then looked at where I thought the end point would be,” said company founder and engineer Bill Shook.
Despite the breadth, American Classic is aiming the new Wide Lightnings primarily to the cross-country and trail categories. Claimed weight for a pair of Wide Lightning 29er wheels is just 1,569g, while the 27.5in version is only 1,512g – on par with many companies’ carbon wheels. Notably, there is no 26in version – for any American Classic mountain bike wheel, in fact.
The new Wide Lightning is nearly 50 percent wider than most traditional cross-country rims
“By going wider we can actually save weight on the tire for cross country use,” Shook added. “You can use a smaller tire and get the same air volume and the whole package is lighter even though the rim is wider and a little bit heavier.”
Shook says that dedicated cross-country racers will probably still opt for the company’s US$999 MTB Race Tubeless wheels, which are about 5mm narrower but also roughly 100g lighter per pair. Likewise, Shook recommends that enduro racers and riders who are generally more abusive with their gear stick with the company’s existing US$849 All-Mountain wheels, which are the same width as the Race Tubeless wheels but use a thicker extrusion for better ding resistance. Claimed weight for the All-Mountain wheelset is still light – 1,673g for the 27.5in size and 1,752g for the 29in version.
The MTB Race is still American Classic’s lightest off-road wheel option
In addition to the usual plethora of axle options, all of American Classic’s disc-compatible wheels are now also compatible with 11-speed Shimano and SRAM road cassettes, which should make them viable options for privateer cyclocross racers who prefer to run tubeless instead of tubulars. Racers entering UCI-sanctioned events will want to limit themselves to tires labeled no wider than 30mm, however, as the wider rim will balloon any tire several millimeters larger than the stated width.
Wider road rims, too, plus more disc options
The ‘wider is better’ philosophy also applies to American Classic’s updated 2014 road lineup, with the biggest beneficiary being the mid-range Victory 30. Last year’s version was just 13.6mm wide (internal width) but the new version grows to a far more generous 18.1mm. Even better, the 30mm-deep rim is now tubeless compatible and 45g lighter. Claimed weight is a competitive 1,547g and suggested retail price is US$559.
Key rim dimensions on the higher-end 30mm-deep Hurricane carry over from last year with the same 18.1mm internal rim width as the Victory 30. However, American Classic has revamped the extrusion for 2014 – it’s essentially a thicker version of the top-end Argent – to add tubeless compatibility. Claimed weight drops just slightly from last year to 1,580g and the retail price is US$799.
“The Hurricane is still our super duty wheel even though the rim is light,” said Shook. “The wheel is extremely strong.”
Looking for a stiff and durable road wheelset? American Classic says the Hurricane is for you – and it’s available in disc and rim versions
Still want more? Both the Hurricane Tubeless and Argent Tubeless get disc brake compatibility (and dedicated disc-specific graphics) for an additional US$50. Interestingly, adding that lumps an extra 60g of weight on to the standard Hurricane but about 160g on to the standard Argent according to American Classic’s specs.
American Classic has several new carbon road wheels for 2014 as well: the 46mm-deep Carbon 46 Tubular in both rim brake (US$1,799; 1,278g) and disc brake (US$1,849; 1,435g) flavors; the 40mm-deep Carbon 40 All Carbon Clincher (US$1,799; 1,580g); a lighter-weight Carbon TT Disc tubular rear wheel (US$1,599; 1,050g); and the three-spoke Carbon TT 3 tubular front wheel (US$1,199; 684g).
American Classic has revamped its 46mm-deep carbon rims with a more rounded profile
American Classic unfortunately doesn’t offer its top-end models as standalone rims, but DIYers still get the new 18mm-deep AC RD 2218 hoop for 2014, featuring an 18mm internal width, CNC-machined sidewalls, tubeless compatibility and an appealing claimed weight of 375g,? Retail price is US$99.
We’ve got several key models already incoming for test, so stay tuned for full reviews soon.
LANCASTER, NY (BRAIN) — DP Brakes, manufacturer of sintered metal braking pads for motorcycles, is growing its product line with offerings for the bike market.
Trek has a stacked roster of freeride and slopestyle athletes. Andrew Shandro, Brandon Semenuk, Brett Rheeder, Cam McCaul and Ryan Howard have hucked their way across the pages of magazines and through countless videos. They’ve won numerous freeride and slopestyle on compeitions on frames that were available only to C3 Project athletes.
Trek has heard the cries of riders who felt it was downright criminal to support a team and not offer consumers the chance to ride the same products. Starting this fall, Trek will offer the Ticket S, Ticket DJ and the all-new Session Park in limited quantities.
The Ticket S, or at least some version of it, has been one of Trek’s athlete-only bikes for almost a decade. When freerider Cam MacCaul joined trek in 2004 the company modified the Session 77 to suit MacCaul’s highflying antics. As the years went by and the sport progressed the bike slimmed down, losing both weight and suspension travel. (Click here for a look at MacCaul’s 2011 Ticket S prototype.)
Trek’s C3 Project athletes thought the Ticket S frame was dialed as far back as 2009; Trek mountain bike engineer Ted Alsop thought differently. He worked with the athletes to redesign the Ticket S to have geometry that matches up to the hardtail dirt jump version of the Ticket, allowing for a nearly seamless transition between bikes.
The Ticket S sports 100mm of very progressive rear travel via Trek’s ABP suspension. The progressive nature of the rear suspension allows it to pop off jumps and take the edge off landings. Upfront, the frame can handle 100-130mm suspension forks.
In addition to the ABP suspension, the Ticket S also gets Trek’s Mino Link. This offset chip located in the rear of the rocker link allows for a .5-degree change in headtube angle and a 10mm change in bottom bracket height. The steeper setting, used by Trek’s slopestyle competitors, also makes the rear suspension even more progressive. Flipping the Mino Link to the lower, slacker setting transforms the Ticket S into a dual-slalom and 4X racing machine.
The Ticket S will be available this fall and will retail for US$1,500 for the frame with Fox Float shock. (UK pricing and availability has yet to be announced.)
Initial availability will be limited to just 125 units.
Ticket S Signature Series
Until now the Ticket S was only available to team riders. Each rider had his own signature paint scheme artfully painted at Trek’s Waterloo, Wisconsin, headquarters. For 2014, Trek will be offering the Ticket S in versions with paint schemes dreamed up by Brandon Semenuk, Brett Rheeder, Cam McCaul and Ryan Howard.
Availability will be limited to 50 frames per color scheme, with no upcharge in pricing over the standard matte and gloss black Ticket S.
Ryan “R-Dog” Howard’s all-American Ticket S will be the first in the series
Signature Series versions of the Ticket S will be available in early 2014. Trek plans to roll out one version per quarter.
The Ticket DJ was offered as a production model several years ago. As a complete bike the price tag was rather steep and sales were sluggish. The Ticket DJ will be available as a frame-only for US$700 next spring. (UK pricing and availability has yet to be announced.) Initial availability will be limited to 100 frames.
The Ticket DJ has an aluminum frame, ISCG-05 chainguide mounts and a tapered headtube
While the geometry is the same as the frame formerly available to consumers, the Ticket DJ does get updated 142×12mm sliding dropouts, allowing it to be run geared or as a singlespeed.
Freeride and downhill race bikes have become increasingly distinct creatures as the years have gone by. Long, low and slack bikes, such as Trek’s Session 9.9, are purebred gravity race rigs that shine on the racecourse, but have geometry that’s not as well suited general park riding, where flickability and fun trumps speed.
The all-new Session Park is Brandon Brandon Semenu’s weapon of choice for this year’s Redbull Rampage
The Session Park was developed withBrandon Semenuk. Seminuk wanted a bike that was more nimble than the standard Session’s for events such as the Redbull Rampage. The Session Park shares the same carbon front triangle of the Session 9.9, but has an aluminum rear end that is 20mm shorter. The Session Park also sees a reduction in rear wheel travel from 210mm to 190mm.
The Session Park will be available next spring. Price will be US$4,500. (UK pricing and availability has yet to be announced.) Initial availability will be limited to 50 frames.