Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Journey of the Boardwalk: Part 22 - More Gold Bling for Dahon Boardwalk X20-R

When all your bike components have already been upgraded, the only thing left to do is to add some bling to your bike to customize it! Anyone can buy an Ultegra crankset or get a fast-looking wheelset for their bikes, but colour customization is what makes your bike stand out from the rest.

As you would already know, for my Dahon Boardwalk, the colour scheme is mainly black and gold. Using black coloured components as the base, I add gold coloured bits here and there to make the bike unique. This time, I added gold coloured bits at some less-noticed areas. You can read about how I started sourcing for gold bling for my Dahon Boardwalk here.

One of the rarer coloured bits you can find would be the left crank cap on a Shimano Hollowtech II crankset. This is a black plastic cap that is used to preload the bearings in the Hollowtech II bottom bracket cups. If you want to make your bike unique, this is one of the parts where you can really make a difference!

Default crank cap on the left crank. Size M20 for newer cranksets, M15 for older cranksets.

Ta-da! Gold coloured crank cap! Super bling, I like it!

All the gold bits on the bike. Some parts are a different shade of gold, but no matter, still looks nice!

Another gold part that I got are the barrel adjusters for road caliper brakes. Again, these are uncommon parts to add bling, unlike common bits such as chainring bolts or bottle cage bolts.

Original barrel adjuster on the Tektro R559 Extra Long Reach caliper brakes

New gold barrel adjuster! Good colour contrast with the black caliper brakes

At the same time, I decided to change out the gold coloured brake pad holders which I had been using. These gold coloured brake pad holders were installed a few months earlier. However, due to an issue with the function, I decided to change to special brake pad holders.

Gold brake pad holders. Even with the brake pad holder moved all the way to the bottom of the brake arm, the brake pad comes very close to the tires during braking, with a clearance of only 1mm.

Because of this small clearance, I don't feel at ease with the brake pad so close to the tires. If the brake pad is shifted out of place, it will rub on the tire during braking and rapidly wear out the tires. The brakes work, but I will feel safer with properly aligned brake pads that can afford more clearance. This time, function is more important than appearance.

I found these special brake pad holders that has the brake pads offset from the mounting bolt. Referring to the picture below, the standard gold brake pad holder has the brake pad located at the same height as the mounting bolt. However, the special black brake pad holder has the brake pad located below the mounting bolt. This effectively gives me extra reach with the brake calipers.

Given the same mounting location, the brake pad in the black brake pad holder is located lower by about 1 cm.

Not too clear from this picture, but with this special brake pad holder, I can locate the brake pads slightly lower on the rim, providing more clearance between the brake pad and the tires.

View of the brakes before the changes

View of the brakes after the changes. Removed the gold brake pad holders, but added gold barrel adjusters

These are merely cosmetic upgrades, they don't make the bike faster or lighter. However, they do make the bike unique and strengthens the colour concept of gold on black.

In the next part of the Dahon Boardwalk upgrade series, I will be discussing an upgrade in SPD pedals. Stay tuned!

17 comments:

  1. Where did you find those nice black offset brake pad holders?

    ReplyDelete
  2. from Taobao.com, bought thru a friend

    ReplyDelete
  3. any idea what they are called on the site? part number?

    ReplyDelete
  4. search for Alcon brake pad, may need to search in Chinese

    ReplyDelete
  5. I know Chinese. But I just don't know what to type in on that website. I used " Alcon brake pad" but I couldn't really find it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry it's not Alcon, it should be Aican brake pad.

      Delete
  6. any chance someone could order me some???

    ReplyDelete
  7. It would be great if you could share a link. I reaaly need to buy something similar or exact for my built. So far only Bdopcycling seems to produce but yours are alot nicer and black which is what I need.
    Please give us info about this brake pad holders.
    Thank you very much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Search for Aican brake shoe on Taobao.

      Delete
  8. Hi was wondering where did you find those crank cap? are they from taobao as well?
    are most of the crank cap standard size?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is from Taobao. It differs in size depending on which crankset. The newer ones have a bigger thread diameter. You can refer to part 20 of my boardwalk upgrade series for a picture showing the difference. Which crankset do you want to put the crank cap on?

      Delete
    2. I am not exactly sure what crankset is that.. its stock on my drhon vitesse D8 which i recently purchase, still a noob on these. but after reading through your blog, it really helps in giving me a better understanding.

      Delete
    3. The stock crankset does not have this crank cap. This cap is only for Shimano Hollowtech II crankset.

      Delete
  9. Hi Steve, how did you get the toe-in for your rear brakes using the Aican extenders? I just can't get it even with pushing the extender all the way forward. Any tips to share? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Aican brake pad extender doesn't have much room for toe in adjustment, as the washer is quite flat. Try getting a concave washer from another brake pad holder and see if it helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Steve, that didn't work either. Filed the brake pads eventually to create the toe-in (was a last resort as it is quite wasteful..) Interesting as i have the same rear setup as yours (Tektro R559 + Aican), and mine is a speed D7 frame. Think its the Tektro make.

      Delete
  11. Hi all, can anyone tell me the exact amount of offset the AICAN pads have?

    ReplyDelete