Sintered versus Organic Brake Pads

Different brake pad compounds can make a huge difference to braking performance with each having their own advantages and disadvantages. The brake pad compound we choose ultimately comes down to personal preference (when you take into account the conditions in which you’re riding) but if you’re new to brake pad compounds the choice open to…

FatSpanner (Avid Elixir replacement) brake pads

I needed to replace my Avid Elixir 9 brake pads and thought I’d give these pads a try on the advice of the bloke in the shop.  They’re from UK tool maker FatSpanner and there’s not a lot of information around about these pads so I can only tell you what I know from the…

Hope Retainer Ring

I’ve been running my Hope Retainer Ring for over a year now so thought it was time to give my thoughts. What are narrow wide chain rings? The technology was originally developed by SRAM and alternates narrow and wide teeth around the chain ring to ‘grip’ the alternate narrow and wide links in the chain. …

What does ‘pcd’ or ‘bcd’ mean?

Pitch circle diameter (pcd) or bolt circle diameter (bcd) refer to the diameter of the imaginary circle which passes through the centre of the bolts or bolt holes on your chain ring/crank arm (or wheel bolts of you’re looking at a car wheel). For a 4 bolt crank simply measure the distance between 2 opposite…

Shimano Saint versus DX Flat Pedals

Over the past few months I’ve spent the majority of my time on my trail bike, braving the winter conditions, but with races looming I dusted off the 4x bike this weekend.  It took me a bit of time getting used to the cockpit again but after that I came back to the headache I…

CBoardman Super Light Innertube

I recently thought I’d give these innertubes a go as they were advertised as ‘superlight’ and were £2 less than the Continental Supersonics.  When I was buying them I thought the box felt a bit heavy and when I got them home found that they weighed the same as my bog standard Continental inner tubes…

Multi-purpose Elixir Brake Levers

Got away with what could have been a nasty one at Aston Hill this weekend.  I managed to catch a pedal as I turned in while coming down the black run.  The impact flicked the back of the bike up & the front wheel washed out.  Luckily for me Elixir brake levers have multiple uses…

Stu Parkinson’s Urraco, Freewheels v Freehubs & Sheldon Brown.com

Sad but true that Stu Parkinson’s Claud Butler Urraco is getting on a bit.  I’ve been helping him keep it running over the last few years but the rear hub and freewheel recently gave up & it’s looking like he’s thinking it’s new bike time.  What’s a freewheel you ask??? Traditionally the centre of a…

Hope Quick Release Skewers

I’ve heard mixed reviews about these things with some reports of them being difficult to tighten, some difficult to undo when your hands are cold &/or wet and others of them backing off while riding. I decided to give one a go on my Omen as the spec looked good: Stainless steel (so should last…

Yeti service? 1st class

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