Flippin’ Bodgetastic…

Bodgetastic!!! A shimano granny ring bodged onto a Specialized Four Arm Chainset
The problem – Carla’s granny ring is shot. It’s already been rotated 90 degress for more life, so that’s not an option. What’s more is that the Specialized Four Arm chainset takes a non standard granny ring, and only TA Spécialités make them. We have one on order, but it won’t arrive in time for Sundays VTT Rando at Bessines. Some lateral thinking is required.

The thinking – I thinking about eliptical chainrings, and how it wouldn’t matter too much if the granny ring wasn’t exactly centered as the rear mech could cope (certainly for a couple of hours). Maybe it would be possible to mount a standard Shimano granny ring just using one bolt to anchor it, and some of the others to hold it. I decided to try it.

A stroke of luck – After removing the old granny ring, I was offering up, checking, measuring, when I noticed that the outer edge of the bolt holes lined up nicely with the inner edge of the granny ring. So thinking about which way the pedaling force operates I bodged the chain ring on as per the picture. It worked perfectly!!!

Carla rode the Rando, which was excellent by the way. The bodge worked perfectly!

Specialized S-Works BG MTB Shoes 2008 – Lightest and best ever?

S-works shoes 2008 in black
Got some new shoes courtesy of Pearce Cycles and Specialized. They look fabulous, I’m loving the ‘Boa rotary and Powerzone lacing systems’, very easy to use and adjust. They feel very light, so I weighed them. They’re 379g (size 45), that’s some 50g lighter than my old ones. Mind you, my old ones, which have been and still are brilliant, might be holding a little moisture from Sunday’s damp outing.

Fitting the cleats – It can be difficult getting the cleats set up on new shoes, but I’m lucky in as much as I’m staying with the same manufacturer, so all I have to do is copy the setup from my old ones. Also i’m lucky in that I just set the cleats in the middle of the slot, in the middle of the shoe, and don’t suffer any problems. I’m so average innit? However, I do feel more comfy with my left foot turned out slightly more than my right foot. I dunno why.

To help me line my cleats up I use a 12mm spanner. It fits just nice on the back of a Shimano cleat making alignment and micro-adjustments easier. I can see where the end of the spanner is on the old shoe, and set the new one up the same. Simple. I use a little Copaslip anti-sieze grease on the threads of the bolts.

New Shoes tip – Whenever I get new biking shoes I always phase them in. So I’ll wear them on a couple of recovery rides first, then shorter training sessions and so on. I’ll do this over a period of about a month. Legs with a lot of miles in them don’t like change, even small ones.

Scrimpers tip – Shimano cleats are the same for left and right, but once fitted they don’t wear the same. When the cleats start to wear and feel a little sloppy in the pedals I take them off and swap them over, left for right. It’s easy to do because they fit in exactly the same place, and you get more wear for your pair!

Keeping your knees warm

Someone asked me where they could get the hot emrocation that I mentioned in my post about winter training. So I thought I’d do a bit of an update….
I recommended Muscolor and Equilibrium as good makes to use, as I had tried both. However, Muscolor isn’t avaliable any more, and Equilibrium has become Qoleum. They’re the same see…
Equilibrium has become Qoleum

My tin of Equilibrium lasted years. You use it sparingly/carefully…….. and now, I back the embrocation up with, */roll of drums/* ta daaaaaa!!!! My homemade kneewarmers!
Homemade kneewarmers

Yes, laugh if you like, but for me, early season ‘toothache of the knee’ is a thing of the past. Oh, hang on, you don’t think I wear them like that do you? No, I just pinned ’em on the outside of my tights to show what they look like. Normally I just tuck them inside my tights, and the tights hold them in place. Simple! and they work brilliantly.

I made them from the hood of an old duvet jacket (you’d never guess would you), which means that they have a ‘hollofil’ insulating layer. What do you think of them?

Scrimper 3 – rotate your ring

Shimano Octalink Chainset Chainrings don’t last long in the winter mud do they? Some say they’re made of cheese! The way ramped chainrings are designed they’re meant to be fitted one way only. The big ring especially often has a bar that goes behind the crank arm so that should the chain come off it cannot slip down between the crank and the ring. Now, bear in mind that most cyclists do not/cannot pedal with equal force throughout the 360 degress rotation of the cranks then the chainrings become worn more through the ‘power phase’ than through the ‘resting phase. Or, they become worn more just after ‘top dead centre’ where you get more power down than they do anywhere else.

When your chainring is sufficiently worn your chain starts to jump. But always in the ‘power phase’ where the rings are worn most. So what’s to stop you rotating the chain rings through 90 degrees to even out the wear? Nothing really. Especially if you’re not in the habit of changing under load. Shifting efficiency should be affected, but I can’t really tell the difference, and like I’ve said before….Riding budjet is finite, and when it’s gone it’s gone. What you spend on mundane stuff you can’t spend on groovy stuff, so scrimping will help you get a little more miles for your moolah.

Scrimpers 2 – Chainstay slapper stopper

Spesh chainstay protector Riding budjet is finite, and when it’s gone it’s gone. What you spend on mundane stuff you can’t spend on groovy stuff, so scrimping will help you get a little more miles for your moolah.
Not only does the slapping of chain on chainstay drive me mad, it also damages the frame. Didn’t want no ‘lizard skin’ holding moisture and grit, so made this natty little number from an old Spesh tyre. Stayed in place no problem for a couple of years now. Good scrimp yes? 🙂

Scrimpers 1 – Keep it close to your chest

CW models the chestwarmer!Riding budjet is finite, and when it’s gone it’s gone. What you spend on mundane stuff you can’t spend on groovy stuff, so scrimping will help you get a little more miles for your moolah.

Here’s an idea for that old pair of tights you have, or that leg-warmer that was once one of a pair. Simply cut it to length then cut open almost all the way, and hey presto! a natty chest and neck warmer, for those cold winter days. I made this one around 4 years ago, and it’s still going strong.

Lusso make one, it’ll cost you £12 ish. Make one (or even two if it’s from old tights) like mine for nothing, and spend the money you save on somethin sexy 😉