Friday, January 28, 2011

Journey of the Boardwalk: Part 1 (Kinetix Comp & Avid Brakes)

Shall now document the upgrading of my Boardwalk, from its humble beginnings to its current version, Boardwalk Z9, where Z stands for Zhng, haha.

Some pictures of the almost stock Boardwalk, with 7 speed cassette, Grip Shift, original brakes, and Dahon Neos derailleur. The saddle was the first to go, bought a Biologic Aria saddle, still using it even now. This was followed by the brake pads, switched to Gigapower brake pads.




One of the first components that I upgraded was the pedals. Very smooth and nice looking MKS FD-6 folding pedals. Still using these pedals now.


Soon the poison began to seep in. Out went the stock wheels, in came the Kinetix Comp rims and the Marathon Racers. Got the rims second hand, so it was a good deal. Together with the new tires, there was a significant improvement in the ride! These fast rolling tires and wheels enabled my top speed to increase by at least 5 km/h, even riding casually seemed to take less effort. Plus, the 3M reflective strip on the sidewall of the tires look good too!



Next, the brakes were changed. I did not like the mushy feeling of the stock brake calipers, which seemed to flex too much. Also, the brake levers had too much play up and down, and did not feel assuring. Found that the Avid Single Digit 7 calipers and Speed Dial 7 levers have very good reviews, and are reasonably priced. As a bonus they come with stainless steel hardware, so I no longer have to worry about rusting on the brake parts.


Again, this upgrade proved to be worth it as the brake feeling has improved tremendously. The brake levers feel very solid, and the brake calipers rotate very smoothly on its bushings. The levers also come with a red knob to modulate the braking power, where you can control the force transmitted to the brake calipers. In the end I did not use that feature as all, just left it as it is.

Most importantly, the brakes also look good! In the next part of the Boardwalk Journey I will be describing the switch to 8 speeds and also the Ergon grips.

33 comments:

  1. I am impressed by your work. From your post I can conclude that you have excellent knowledge on braking system.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Steve, you took out your mudguards?
    Was it the weather-beater mudguards? Been looking for one lately.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is the very first part of my upgrades, which was done more than a year ago. at that time I have not installed the mud guards.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi bro can check where did u get e brake caliper?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's available on most online bike shops. Some local bike shops may carry it too.

      Delete
  5. Hi,

    My Speed D7 according to bike shops cannot use Wheelsport wheelset because of the 7 speed cassette as the cassette is not threaded enough. So I asked whether can use 8 speed cassette, and was told cannot also. Are there any reason? FRAME?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure why they told you cannot, as I am currently using a wheelsport wheelset on my Boardwalk D7, which is very similar to a Speed D7. Which person and branch did you ask?

      Delete
  6. Hi,

    Steve, my 7-speed cassette is a freewheel type according to mechanic thats why cannot use for the wheelset. Another question is, the D7 NEO 7 derailer will limit the bike speed upgrade unless i can find a NEO 9 derailer? Are there any other ways/methods to get around this? It seems that a mounting bracket cannot be install on the D7 to mount other derailers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah I see. Seems that they have changed the type of stock wheelset that comes with the Speed D7. In this case you will need to change the entire wheelset and the cassette.

      It is best to use the better and newer 9 speed RD for 9 speeds, but the stock one should work too.

      Delete
  7. Hi,

    Steve, so you think the stock NEO 7 derailer can handle up to 9 speed? If that's the case, I only need to get a new 9 sp cassette plus the shifters.

    I have been thinking, I will not be climbing slopes/hills often. Do I really need so many speed range? What is your advice? My current setup is 14-34 7 speed cassette with a 60T chain ring.

    I installed a Lite pro clamp to mount the Ultegra FD to prevent chain dropping. However, for the first few gears, the chain is rubbing the FD. Any suggestion/solution for this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The stock Neos derailleur is able to handle up to 9 speeds, as I have tried it myself. The performance will not be perfect, but it should be similar what you have currently.

      For the chain rubbing issue, try mounting the FD higher up on your adaptor, so that the lower limit of the FD can go nearer to your seat tube. This may help a bit, but I think the 1st gear will still have chain rubbing.

      I would not know your gear range, as it depends a lot on each person's riding style and strength. Perhaps you could let me know the limitations of your current setup, such as spinning out on highest gear, etc.

      Delete
  8. Hi Steve,

    Most of the time, I am using the 6-7 gear moving off from stationary. I do not climb slopes also. Not issue as spinning out on highest gear yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. seems that your gear range is OK for now. getting more speeds does not necessarily mean a wider gear range, but smaller steps between gears. this allows better cadence control for more comfortable and efficient riding.

      Delete
  9. Hi Steve,

    Ok thanks. Back to the FD issue. As I am using a Ultegra FD, will it also helps if
    I install a 8/9 sp FD eg. (105 double, triple FD) which are slightly wider? Btw
    Are there braze on types for 8/9 sp FD? Any models to recommend?
    Will try mounting the FD higher as you suggested. Thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes a wider FD such as those for 8 or 9 speed will help. Just don't expect it to shift properly if you ever want to shift the FD. 9 speed would be Tiagra or Sora, 8 speed can try Claris 2400

      Delete
  10. Hi Steve,

    I found out from MBS that if I change shifter without changing the deraileur,
    The gear shift display with become opposite being 9 the lowest and 1 the highest.
    They also told me the stock NEO deraileur will not shift as well compare to 8 speed.
    From your mass experience, any comments?

    They can get a deraileur mounting for me so that I can change other brand deraileur.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes the gear indication will be the other way round because of the different RD. Most RD are top normal RD, but the Neos RD is a low normal RD. you can google that if you want to know more.

      and I have already stated that the shifting performance will not be perfect. if they can get the RD hanger for you, then might as well just wait for the hanger. then you can just change all to road 9 speed (shifter, chain, RD, cassette) at one go.

      Delete
  11. Hi Steve,

    The other thing is I prefer the Shimano shifting than SRAM shifting.
    Can my NEO 7 use a Shimano Altivio 11-34T cassette without any problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use either Shimano or sram cassette, but you will need a Shimano mtb shifter for the neos rd.

      Delete
  12. Hi Steve,

    Ok thank you very much. Any Shimano 9 speed models to recommend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you can get the road 9 speed series, Sora 3500.

      Delete
    2. Hi steve,

      9 speed altera can handle right? My current setup is 2x8 speed, intend to chng to 2x9 speed cassette, crankset w/o changing RD and FD, only need to change shifter right

      Delete
    3. What is your FD and front shifter? Acera doesn't come in front double.

      Changing from 8 to 9 speed also needs to change chain and FD as the chain width is narrower.

      Delete
  13. Hi Steve,

    Read from your blog that you got a Driveline bashguard. Can check with you,
    The bashguard only prevents the chain from falling outside, do we need another plastic guard to prevent chain from falling inside?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inside chain guard is only necessary if you have front shifting. If only rear shifting, it is unlikely that the chain will drop off to the inside unless your chain line is quite off.

      Delete
  14. Hi Steve,
    For a old Speed D7, if I get a used kinetix wheelset with 9 speed casette and neos 3.0 RD, can I just get a SRAM attack or X7 trigger shifter to complete the upgrade?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For your shifter, you will need a 9 speed Sram attack shifter, or a 9 speed Shimano MTB shifter. Don't forget a 9 speed chain too.

      Delete
  15. Hi

    I just got a pair of sd7 to replace my old ones. When I fit in the sd7, I notice that the brake arms are not able to install fully into the brake post/stud. There's like 1-2mm gap, is this normal for sd7. The stock brake is seated in fully and flushed.

    I can't see clearly from your pic, need your advice.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0xR92bkbDME/TULcGlX6gcI/AAAAAAAAAtU/tobpNJpo4vQ/s1600/Image671.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A small gap is acceptable. Just make sure that when you tighten the fixing bolt, the brake is neither too loosen or too tight to move.

      Delete
  16. Hi,
    I just got a pair of 8spd dahon wheelsets (no sign of kinetix comp), its a freehub with sunrace cassette. The freehub is giving some bearing noise. Have u try to remove and overhaul/ service this kind of freehub?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it a QR axle or a nutted axle? For QR axle freehubs, it is usually easier to service. For nutted axles, it is almost always cup and cone bearings which can be serviced, but is messier. You can check online for instructional videos on how to service a freehub.

      Delete
    2. It is a QR axle with cup and cone, the freehub is the thing which making bearing humming noise :( and i find no way to take it out.

      Delete