Schwalbe studded Winter Marathon tires set up tubeless

Last winter I switched to using studded Schwalbe Marathon (HS 396) tires for winter commuting, and I have been wondering whether I can set them up tubeless. My reasoning is that I really don’t want to deal with a puncture in the winter. For one, road side repair is pretty much out of the question because my fingers would freeze off and the patch would probably not adhere in sub-freezing temperature. Considering that I usually dress fairly lightly when I cycle in the winter, the prospect of pushing my bike home is not very appealing.

Continue reading Schwalbe studded Winter Marathon tires set up tubeless
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Shimano SLX (M7000) and XT (M8000) single cranks are exactly the same as double

I got an M7000 SLX single crankset for my Krampus, and was surprised to see that it has a second set of chainring mounting holes. Did they sell me a double crank instead of the single? I was perplexed and unsure whether I should return the crankset, so I set out to find out the truth. Continue reading Shimano SLX (M7000) and XT (M8000) single cranks are exactly the same as double

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Rabbit Hole and WTB Ranger 3.0 tires tubeless setup

I took a stab at a tubeless set-up for my Krampus wheels. Here is what I used:

  • Surly Rabbit Hole rims
  • WTB Ranger 3.0″ tires (fast casing)
  • Surly woven nylon rim strip
  • Gorilla tape
  • Stan’s Schrader valves
  • Stan’s Race sealant
  • Park Tool VC-1 valve core removal tool
  • Sprayer bottle with soapy water
  • A 3 gallon air compressor

Continue reading Rabbit Hole and WTB Ranger 3.0 tires tubeless setup

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An improvement on Sheldon’s fixed cup removal tool

I had a really hard time trying to remove the bottom bracket fixed cup from my friend’s Elvish French bike.  I replicated Sheldon Brown’s fixed cup removal tool, although my local hardware store did not carry any 5/8″ bolts, so I had to resort to a 1/2″ threaded bolt.  I believe that I have made two improvements to the tool, which I’ll detail below. Continue reading An improvement on Sheldon’s fixed cup removal tool

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The peril of over-analysing yourself

Last Saturday I was riding in the rain.  I had my helmet rain cover on, like I usually do when it’s cold and raining.  At some point the rain intensified, and I noted that I was feeling rain drops on my skull.  “How funny”, thought I, “I am feeling phantom rain drops on my head even though I’m wearing a helmet cover.”

When I arrived at the destination and took the helmet off… Continue reading The peril of over-analysing yourself

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FSA BB-4000 MegaExo 19 bottom bracket review

My 2014 Specialized AWOL came with an FSA Omega MegaExo 19 triple crank and an FSA BB-4000 bottom bracket.  I bought the bike in October and in March I started thinking about doing some post-winter maintenance.   One of the things that I wanted to do was remove and examine the bottom bracket.  Since I was not familiar with outboard bearing bottom brackets, I did some research about the BB-4000 bottom bracket, and here is what I found out. Continue reading FSA BB-4000 MegaExo 19 bottom bracket review

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Mystery of the Specialized “RCC” hub bearings, or Specialized Twitter support confusion

I could not decipher what was written about the wheel hubs in the official spec sheet for the Specialized AWOL.  For both front and rear hubs, the specs say:

Specialized Hi Lo disc, alloy, RCC bearing system, QR, 32h

What exactly is RCC bearing system?  I could not find anything related to this term anywhere.  So I figured I’d ask Specialized through their dedicated Twitter support account.  The dialogue that ensued was quite comic.

Continue reading Mystery of the Specialized “RCC” hub bearings, or Specialized Twitter support confusion

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Six months of riding the Specialized AWOL

It’s been about six months ago that I bought a 2014 Specialized AWOL. I have the standard edition in size Large.  I’ve ridden it almost every day since I bought it, all through the Winter, but no long distance rides yet, at most 25km.  I have been mostly using it for commuting so far.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the bike, but the impressions are not all peachy.

Continue reading Six months of riding the Specialized AWOL

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SRAM Supercork and Bontrager Double Gel Cork bar tape comparison

I’ve been comparing different bar tape with the idea to find something that’s not much more expensive than $20 and provides good enough grip and cushioning.  I first tried the SRAM Supercork tape and liked it.  I then messed up my handle bar and had to re-tape, so I got a pack of Bontrager Double Gel Cork Tape because I liked how it felt on a Trek touring bike (was it the 520) that the local bike shop had on display.

Continue reading SRAM Supercork and Bontrager Double Gel Cork bar tape comparison

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Norco Glide 20 – a mini review and market comparison

My 6 year old’s bike was stolen from our front porch, so I set out to find a reasonable replacement. I was looking for a 20 inch wheel bike with no shocks, some gearing, and, after reading online articles comparing the bikes (here is one), I was certain that I wanted a bike that weighed less than 10kg.  The odd thing is that there aren’t that many bikes that fit the three parameters.

Continue reading Norco Glide 20 – a mini review and market comparison

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