More singlespeed goodness

Got rid of that horrible State singlespeed. Replaced it with a Mango.

The mango came superbly packaged, with all exposed frame wrapped with pipe lagging. Unlike the state bike, no scratches anywhere. I tried to keep my colour choices quite easy, but the mango bikes can be customised to what ever weird colour schemes you can think of.

There where however a couple of issues, but they where not major and dealt with easily. First off, the chain was installed way to tight. This was an issue in removing the rear wheel as there was no way, short of breaking the chain, and at certain rotations of the crank, the chain was over tight.

So, a new chain installed at a more sensible tension installed. The other issue I had was a incredible annoying click through the pedal stroke on the right.

Initially I thought bottom bracket, but before removing that, as I didn’t have a campagnolo tool, I removed the chain ring bolts, and chain ring off the crank. Each contact point on the crank arm that connected to the chain ring had a generous dollop of anti seize. As did each bolt. Clicks stopped. The bike is a pleasure to ride. It’s certainly better than the state bike it replaced. At least the mango had signs of grease being used on the installation. The state bike had no grease anywhere. Not in the headset, bottom bracket or anywhere else.

I did get mudguards for the bike, but it would appear that either the mounts are full of paint, or the threads are not cut properly. So I shall have to tap them when I can.

I might get told off by my mechanic mates for using anti seize over grease, but for a single speed, that sees vastly less maintenance than my road bikes, anti seize is the best choice or the non moving metal on metal surfaces. It’s longer lasting, able to resist water for far longer than grease. The only downside, it makes a hell of a mess.

I’m really enjoying the Mango. It’s fun to ride. I’m going to keep the bike basic. No bike computer, no cadence, speed or any other electronics. This is purely a commute bike. A commute I can enjoy. Just ride the bike and enjoy it. Want to go faster? Pedal faster. Want to get up that hill? Pedal harder and get your arse out the saddle. Just love the simplicity of single speed.

A test ride

With my new job being a little further away than the 100 meters I currently travel, thought I best do a test ride. The quickest way, is straight along the busiest road in the area. And it’s never a nice experience. So, a few plans in Strava and local knowledge I had an idea on a route.

It’s time for a test ride. The route was loose, and open to change. I pretty much just had to ride in kind of the right direction, trying to miss the busy main road. To most extents done.

Anyway, once away from the busy main road, it’s over the stray grassland, which is never fun in bad weather and then follow the bike signs all the way to Hornbeam park. jobs done.

Mavic

I’ve had a set of Mavic Aksiums for a long time knocking around in the garage for ages. I’d not really used them in a long time, but decided to get them ready with a service and a couple of rides, as they make great winter wheels.

So, service time it is. Mavic freehub designs are a little different to the Fulcrum wheels I normally use. The drive ring is internal to the freehub shell, with the pawls on the drive shaft. I started by removing the drive end cap, and pulled off the freehub. Mavic hubs are known for the “Death Squeal”. Caused by the large plastic washer that presses against the hub shell.

You have to be really careful pulling the freehub off, the pawls and their springs may fall, they are not secure in their mounts. Take them out and put them to the side.

So, after the freehub is off, clean both interfaces of this washer, and check for wear. May as well check the bearings while your at it to make sure they spin freely. Clean all other parts. Don’t use degreaser near the bearings, just wipe everything clean. Mavic use a very light oil in their hubs, making it easy to clean up.

There’s many, many threads on what oil to use when lubing Mavic hubs. Of course you can use the stupid expensive Mavic oil, others say use gear oil, sewing machine oil, mineral oil and all manor of other oils.

I used bog standard chain lube. The finish line wet lube. It’s just liquid enough, but clinging oil. A drop on each pivot point of the pawls, smeared on the nylon washer. Putting the pawls back in, the small springs must be on the tiny post on the pawl. Rest the end of the pawl in its cutout, and make sure the other end of the spring goes into the depression on the hub.

To get the freehub back on, hold the pawls in, while lowering the freehub over them. Gently rotate the hub to make sure everything is seated. Re attach the cap, and done.

The Finishline lube I used has the added advantage of making this hub virtually silent. That’s something I haven’t experienced in a long time.

While being a cheap set of wheels, they are not a bad set of wheels, and are great for a set of winter wheels, commuter or just budget wheels.

Hammerhead Wahoo

As you may be aware, I’ve gained a Wahoo Bolt version 2. I’ve also gained a Hammerhead Karoo 2. I’ve been weighing up the pros and cons of each, in order to decide who gets the priority on my bars. We shall start with the wahoo. I’ve time for wahoo, I’ve previously used the original ELEMNT, and found it very good.

So, the bolt has had a couple of issues, but they appear to of been sorted with firmware updates. So, feature wise, the bolt is feature sparse. It does routes, strava segments and everything else you’d expect a gps unit to do. It doesn’t have the climber feature that the Karoo has. But what it does, it does really well. I find it easy to glance down, and see what I need quickly and easily. Even in bright sunlight it’s clear and easy to see. The size however can be an issue. At times, it can just be a little small, especially with turn by turn directions where the instruction is quite long. Wahoo have addressed this by increasing the font size, but sometimes it can still be too small.

The map is detailed enough to see upcoming roads and details, it does however lack certain details. The changes wahoo have made to the maps have been beneficial to the bolt, with inbuilt elevation and street details making on device routing quick and easy.

The varia radar works with clear distinct tones, one thing that irks me, is while the radar is connected, the green bar is permanently on screen, mind you this is the same on all garmin units too. Overall, I like the unit.

The Karoo is a beast. Both in size and power. Based on android, it’s closer to a mobile phone than GPS. It is an excellent unit for exploring, with incredible mapping, that includes many POI and details. Where this unit falls down for me, is readability in sunlight. It’s not great.

However, the varia radar bar does disappear when it’s not required. Sensor wise, both units pair to all sensors you’d expect. Power meters, varia, speed, heart rate etc. One bonus for the Karoo, is that like Garmin units, it can control smart lights. Not with the finesse of Garmin units, but it’ll turn them on at the start of a ride, and off at the end. Both units have issues with my stages gen2 crank. Neither will calibrate, and the hammerhead only connects over BlueTooth. Ant+ causes the power meter to drop out often. To be fair, I’ve not tried calibration on the bolt after the last couple of updates, and hammerhead are saying they are working on power meter code. Both units on that note get regular updates, with Karoo every couple of weeks, and the bolt less frequently.

Update: as of firmware WA20-12513. The bolt now correctly calibrates the Power meter. Karoo have also released an update 1.220.1066 which states they have fixed the issue, but I’ve yet to test. Now I’ve given the hammerhead a quick test to see, and it does calibrate. I shall ride with it tomorrow and see about dropouts.

Using the unit, I find myself looking at it far longer than the bolt, partly due to glare, partly due to having to hunt for what I need. Swiping the data rich pages is a pleasure, each page coming on per swipe. But I don’t get that instant data I get with the bolt. And that’s an issue to me. However, if I was exploring a new area, the Karoo is my choice due to routing, maps and accuracy. If I’m just out on a ride, following a route or not, the bolt is on my bars.

New and old

A new bike computer.

So, I managed to get hold of the he Wahoo ELEMNT bolt. This second version adds a new colour screen, new buttons and some new bugs and issues.

So, while most of the bloggers are going on about the new screens, convex buttons and on device routing, I find some of the bugs quite problematic. Especially the elevation issue. It just reads far too high, and no way of calibrating it.

Apart from this, I’m enjoying the new unit. In order to mount this, I also got hold of an Excellent mount, the Form Mount. Installation was a tad painful, but it’s an excellent mount with a lot of customisation.

I’ve also ditched my look keo blade pedals. They required a service as they where starting to sound rough as hell. Could I find away of stripping them down? Nope. There are videos on YouTube on how to service them, and yet my pedals didn’t match anything at all. No bolts, no flats, nothing. So, back on my trusty shimano R550. At least they can be fully stripped, cleaned and greased without any drama.

And oddly comfortable.

Any way, I’m off to play with the wahoo data fields.

First day done

A longish ride for the first day of the charity event.

Decided on York as my destination, but a route I haven’t previously used. It was a good choice, as I really enjoyed the route, it was quiet with minimum traffic, and the cars that where on the road passed brilliantly.

The route started through Knaresborough, out to Farnham, Arkendale and the first rest point, the bridge over the A1.

From there, it was a quick jaunt out to the village of Martin-cum-grafton and out to Great Ouseburn. I stopped here for a little while, and watched so many cyclists out. It’s a great sight. Setting off again, my Garmin had a bit of a brain fart and couldn’t find my route. A quick bit of thought, and circling found it again and off I went. The whole route from here on, is pretty much flat.

But that as it is, I’d no matter I’m throughly enjoying the ride. Now nearlyat One of the highlights of the ride, Aldwark Bridge. A wooden planked old bridge, free to cross by cyclists, rickety and clanks as you ride over.

Crossing that bridge was an odd feeling as the planks moved, groaned and creaked as you went over. Now on route past the RAF base and onto Newton On Ouse. Nothing notable here, lots of military style housing and a post office.

Then an unexpected route through the grounds of Benningborough Hall. A grand building, and lots of cattle in the fields. Truth be told I wasn’t expecting it as I passed through the ornate gate way. A nice steady cruise through the grounds, until I exited the grounds onto a single track road.

Really nice to be on a quiet single track, with some seriously tight corners to negotiate. Before Overton, after a lump where the road goes over the railway, and is exactly 200 miles to Edinburg.

Round some more serious bends in the road, and back under the railway by a short tunnel. We reach Overton. This is the last of the road riding. From just after Overton, we pick up the cycle path into York.

Finishing along the banks of the river into York on the cycle path, the only fright of the ride was when some kid ran out in front of me causing the back wheel to skid as I braked to avoid him.

View the full ride on my RideWithGPS account.

And don’t forget, you can donate on my JustGiving page.