Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cateye Padrone+ Cycle Computer and REC Mount (Cateye/GoPro)

Most combination mounts available in the market are designed for a Garmin on top and a GoPro type mount below. There are very few mounts that can cater for other cycle computers on top, such as a Cateye.

As I did not want to get another Garmin unit for the Avanti Inc 3, and also did not want to share the Garmin Edge 510 with the Avanti Inc 3, I decided to get a Cateye cycle computer as a standalone cycle computer for the Avanti Inc 3.

Prior to that, I searched on Taobao to find a combination mount with Cateye on top and GoPro type mount below. There were a few, and I bought two of them to try out, since they were not too expensive. However, the quality of the Cateye mounts from Taobao were quite dreadful.

As you may know, most Cateye computers are activated by pressing the bottom of the screen, which tilts the whole unit to depress the small button at the back of the unit. However, after inserting into the first Cateye mount, I could not press down the screen at all. The design is flawed and this makes the Cateye computer useless as I could not interact with it at all.

As for the second mount of a different brand, I could barely depress the button after inserting the Cateye computer. Worse still, upon removing the Cateye, the snap fit arm of the mount broke! This is really poor quality. Either the button does not work, or the mount breaks. Seems that it is not so easy to copy and make the Cateye mount...

I have no choice but to get a mount of a higher quality in order to ensure that it works properly. I found the REC mount which is designed and made in Japan, which should work better since Cateye is also from Japan. It can be found at The Bike Settlement.

In any case, I decided to get a large screen Cateye computer to match with the new REC mount. Last time, when I first saw the Cateye Padrone, I thought it was ridiculous as the screen was so much bigger than the Cateye Strada that I have.

However, I recently realised that it is actually very useful, as it makes it so much easier to read the numbers on the screen. Besides, the Garmin computer also has a large screen.

The Cateye Padrone+, which has backlight compared to the non-plus version of the Padrone

Comes with the standard Cateye sensors which I have already installed so many times

Comparing the size to my hand, it does not look so big...

...but compared with the Cateye Strada, it is huge!

The user manual which is the usual Cateye style. Highly detailed but also utterly confusing.

The backlight function can be set so that it only activates during a preset timing, such as when it is dark. I set it to activate at 6pm and deactivate at 7am.

Small but useful backlight

Weight of entire speedometer setup is only 53 grams

At the same time, I also got the REC mount which has a Cateye mount on top and a GoPro mount below. Having tested it at the shop before buying, the Cateye mount works well like the original. It has to work, since it is actually more expensive than the Cateye Padrone+ cycle computer!

REC mount for Cateye. Garmin mount is also available as an interchangeable piece as seen above.

The dazzlingly array of mount combinations and types available from REC mount

Close up look at the mount. Very minimalist design.

See how thin the clamps are!

You can change the mounting bolts to black ones (supplied) if you prefer

A spare Garmin mount is supplied

The Cateye mount is actually an adapter that allows the Cateye to be fixed onto the standard Garmin mount

Big Cateye Padrone screen on the slim REC mount

Mounting hardware for the GoPro mount at the bottom

Bottom of the REC mount for mounting the GoPro mount or other light mounts (sold separately)

Position adjustment is possible by using alternative mounting holes or by flipping the whole mount upside down

REC mount weighs 77 grams on its own

Cateye on top, Cycliq Fly12 below 

Still looks bulky from the side 

From the top view and rider's point of view, at least it still looks quite neat, with only the Cateye and the Spurcycle bell visible.

With the installation of this REC mount completed, the Cateye and Fly12 can now share the same mount, and take up much less space on the handlebar. Not a commonly used combination, which is why it was difficult to find a suitable mount to fix these items onto the bike.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dahon MuEX: Kinetix Pro Wheelset

Recently, my friend upgraded his Tern folding bike to a 1x11 speed setup, and the rear wheel had to be changed to be 11 speed compatible since the original wheelset cannot accomodate an 11 speed road cassette. As such, I had the chance to buy over the original wheelset from the Tern bike. This wheelset is the high quality Kinetix Pro wheelset, originally seen on top end Dahon bikes such as the MuSL or MuEX. It is my dream wheelset for a Dahon folding bike, having first seen it through the glass facade at a bike shop many years ago. This wheelset is compatible with 8/9/10 speed cassettes.

This second hand Kinetix Pro wheelset is still in great condition as it has not endured high mileage or heavy loads. Due to the low spoke count, there is greater chance of spoke breakage than other wheelsets, although they claim that the stronger rims and spokes make up for the lack of spokes. Nevertheless, I wanted to get the wheelset and install it on my Dahon MuEX.

Kinetix Pro wheelset with red rims, black hubs and black spokes

With smooth rolling Kinetix front hub...

...and the high quality American Classic rear hub. Aluminium freehub body has steel inserts to prevent damage from the cassette splines.

Kinetix Pro wheelset, the top level 20 inch wheelset available in the market. Spoke nipples are hidden within the rim.

Front wheel weighs only 408 grams

Rear wheel weighs only 590 grams!

This reminds me that I need to do a wheelset weight comparison. This will be between the Wheelsport Smart 1.0 wheelset, the custom Novatec/Chris King wheelset, and this Kinetix Pro wheelset, all of which are 20 inch 406 sized wheelsets. All the weight includes cloth rim tape.

Wheelsport Smart 1.0 front wheel: 452 grams
Wheelsport Smart 1.0 rear wheel: 692 grams
Total weight of Wheelsport wheelset: 1144 grams

Novatec front wheel with LitePro rim: 494 grams
Chris King rear wheel with LitePro rim: 658 grams
Total weight of new custom wheelset: 1152 grams

Kinetix Pro front wheel: 408 grams
Kinetix Pro rear wheel: 590 grams
Total weight of Kinetix Pro wheelset: 998 grams

As you can see from the comparison above, this Kinetix Pro wheelset blows the competition out of the water with the total wheelset weight of only 998 grams, below the magical 1000 grams. This is one seriously light wheelset!

Putting on fresh cloth rim tape

Comparing the Kinetix Pro with the Wheelsport Smart 1.0 front wheel, which is also a good wheel.

Rim width is almost the same

Kinetix Pro front wheel with Schwalbe Kojak tires

Kinetix Pro rear wheel installed

Red coloured rims stand out from the rest of the bike components

The red rims really stand out from the rest of the black components on the Dahon MuEX!

Loving this Kinetix Pro wheelset on the Dahon MuEX!

Full specifications of the Dahon MuEX after upgrading to the Kinetix Pro wheelset

With this upgrade, the weight of the Dahon MuEX has been reduced to just 8.7 kg without pedals! Even with pedals, it is a relatively lightweight 9.1 kg, which is the lightest that has been achieved on this bike throughout all the modifications.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Moon Nebula W Front Light

After upgrading the Avanti Inc 3 to Alfine 11 Di2 with drop bars, I have been struggling to find space on the handlebars to mount a proper front light. Since a drop bar is narrower than a flat handlebar, there is just not enough space to mount a front light properly, together with the other accessories.

I always prefer to have two sets of rear and front lights, to act as backup in case the other one suddenly runs out of power. Depending on the route and traffic conditions, I will sometimes run one set on blinking mode, while the other set is on steady mode for enhanced visibility.

Since there is no more space on the handlebar, I have to find other places on the bike to mount a front light. I wanted to run D-Light front lights on the stem spacers like on the Merida Scultura 5000, but the hydraulic hoses will get in the way. Alternative  mounting points would be on the front fork or QR axle (by replacing the QR nut).

While browsing at a bike shop, I came across the Moon lights. I have always like Moon lights as the glow is really nice and the mounting system is so versatile. This time, I spotted the new Moon lights that have a different mount, which mean that it may work on the front fork!

Moon Nebula W front light, very bright with 240 lumens in such a compact package!

Beam angle and brightness

Battery runtime depending on mode chosen. Noted down here for easy reference next time.

The array of features on this light

All the contents of this light package.

This is the innovative mount that I wanted. Instead of having a fixed radius, both ends can swivel to conform to a non circular mounting point, such as an aero seatpost or the front fork legs.

Angle adjustment is also possible with the ratchet to firmly hold the selected angle.

Maximum tilt angle possible

The light itself. Has a full array of Chip-On-Board (COB) LEDs to give that wonderful glow instead of a beam or point lighting

Standard Moon mount which allows for positioning 90 degrees apart

Uses a Lithium-Polymer battery

Charging port has been changed to the more common Micro-USB type, instead of the Mini-USB type used on the first generation of Moon lights

Lovely ring of glowing LEDs

How to switch from steady mode to flashing mode

Weight of light alone

Weight of light plus mount and rubber band

Mounted on the front fork of the Avanti Inc 3! With the innovative mount and the tilt angle, this light is able to shine straight forward.

Slim profile of the light does not protrude out from the fork leg

Moon Nebula W front light mounted on the bike

With the new mount from Moon, I am able to mount a front light on the front fork leg of the Avanti Inc 3 with great results. In fact, it looks quite good and I am quite tempted to buy another one to make it a pair. However, this light is quite expensive and so I will just wait and see.

By the way, the other front light on this bike is from the Cycliq Fly12, which combines the front camera and front light.