Friday, December 25, 2020

Cervelo Aspero: Great for All-Terrain Riding!

Do you know what is so awesome about the Cervelo Aspero bike? It is not just the frame that looks good, it is the sheer versatility of the bike that makes it so awesome.

Although it is mainly designed as a gravel bike, it is also a great road bike, once you put on the carbon aero wheels. It has a stiff frame with a relatively aggressive road bike geometry, which is why I had no regrets about using the Aspero to replace my Canyon Endurace road bike.

From fast road rides, to relaxed park connector rides; from light gravel tracks to off-road single tracks, this bike can do it all!

Here is a collection of some pictures, showing the Aspero on the different terrains.

Exploring the park connectors on a beautiful morning. This is near Sunset Way.

On the gravel trail, inside Jurong Lake Gardens.

This frame looks best under direct sunlight, where the paint glitter is the most obvious.

On the smooth dirt track on the Ulu Pandan park connector.

On these cushy wide tires, the bike flies down the path smoothly!

Dirt track + gravel bike matches perfectly.

Suitable for light gravel too. This is on the Green Corridor, at Buona Vista.

GRX rear derailleur with clutch works extremely well on uneven terrain.

With a custom frame bag to fit perfectly inside the frame triangle!

2x11 speed drivetrain is suitable for both road and gravel riding, just with a quick wheelset swap.

Rides well on grass too, with the knobbly Venture 47 tires.

OK to ride on actual off-road single track as well. Just need to be more careful due to the narrower handlebars.

100% gravel bike setup!

With a front double crankset, there are low gears for hill climbing as well.

Gravel wheelset with 2x11 speed gearing.

If there are paved roads, changing to the high profile carbon wheelset will get you there even faster.

Other than taking on all the different off-road terrains using the gravel wheelset, this is also a fast road bike!

Fnhon Gust: Drivetrain

The Fnhon Gust is a 16 inch folding bike, which means that it is meant to be a casual bike, not a race bike. A normal front single drivetrain is all that is needed. Some may even prefer the simplicity of a single speed drivetrain.

In this case, a good quality 11 speed drivetrain will be installed, to cater to both low speed climbing and high speed cruising. It will obviously not be a speedy bike like road bikes, but there is nothing stopping us from using top end road bike components on this Fnhon Gust.

The drivetrain is mainly made up of the crankset, cassette, chain and rear derailleur. For this bike, a Dura-Ace 9000 groupset was supplied, which also matches nicely with the black colour of the frame and fork.

Dura-Ace 9000 rear derailleur, short cage version. Very lightweight at just 160 grams!

Dura-Ace 9000 11-28T cassette, with 5 titanium sprockets. Very lightweight at 195 grams.

Cassette installed on the 16 inch wheelset! Looking good and lightweight.

To match with the rest of the components, a Dura-Ace 9000 crankset was also provided. As it will be a front single drivetrain, only the crankarms will be used, while the original chainrings are not needed.

Just 305 grams for the right side, which is really lightweight.

Left side weighs 178 grams, including the crank arm fixing bolt.

A narrow wide front chainring is necessary, to prevent chain drop during shifting. Usually I will use Wolf Tooth chainrings, as they are proven to be very good. In fact, I use them on most of my bikes, such as on the Dahon MuSP, Fnhon DB11, Fabike C3, etc.

However, the Wolf Tooth chainrings are really expensive, so this time, I sourced for lower cost alternatives. I found this Stone branded narrow wide chainrings on Taobao, and they seem to have pretty good reviews. The price is about half of a Wolf tooth chainring, so I think it is worth trying.

Each chainring is machined according to your required size. Comes in many specifications to fit practically all cranksets.

Chainring bolts are included, which I didn't know.

Looks to be of good quality, although the arm design can be quite plain.

With the signature cutout on one of the arms to fit Shimano road cranks. On older Wolf Tooth chainrings I had to cut it out myself.

Narrow wide tooth profile for better chain retention.

Weighs 128 grams, which is pretty heavy as it is a large 52T chainring.

Problem! The chainring bolts provided by Stone does not fit into the holes on the crankset. Just slightly too big.

It was the first time I encountered this issue, where the chainring bolt was too big to fit into the holes on the crankset. After comparison, I found that the Stone chainring bolts were just slightly bigger than the usual Litepro chainring bolts that I used.

Luckily I had already ordered Litepro chainring bolts, so installation could carry on without any delay. The Litepro chainring bolts fitted without any issue, just like the many chainrings that I have installed previously.

Dura-Ace 9000 crankarm with Stone 52T narrow wide chainring

This settles the drivetrain, and in the next post the installation will begin, with more information regarding the brakes.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Fnhon Gust: Wheelset and Tires

The Fnhon Gust will require a 16 inch wheelset, as it is a small folding bike. For 16 inch wheels, there are actually two sizes, 305 and 349. 305 was used by Dahon Curve D3, and it is quite small. 349 is larger, and is also more common. It is used by Bromptons as well.

This bike is designed for 16 inch, 349 wheelsets. This means it will be smaller than 20 inch folding bikes, which are either 406 or 451 sizes. These numbers refer to the rim diameter.

For this bike, the wheelset was bought from AliExpress, and it came surprisingly fast. The cost was around SGD 300.

An all black wheelset was desired, and this wheelset seems to fit the bill perfectly. One more thing to take note, the Fnhon Gust uses rim brakes (caliper or V brakes), so don't get a disc brake wheelset. The OLD of the frame and fork is 74 mm front, 130 mm rear.

All black 16 inch 349 wheelset. 20 spokes for front wheel, 24 spokes for rear wheel.

Double wall rim, with hooked rims.

Black spoke nipples as well. Even the brake track is black, not sure if it will last after some usage.

Inner rim width is a narrow 13 mm, which is really narrow by modern standards.

External rim width is almost 19 mm. Also very narrow by modern standards.

Rim height is only about 18 mm, also very shallow.

With a narrow rim and short rim height, this should keep the weight of the wheelset low. That is the one of the few advantages to having narrow and short rims.

The rims are laced to standard Novatec hubs, which are normally of good quality, are affordable, and relatively lightweight. It is similar to what I used last time, the Novatec A551SB.

Front hub is A211SB, with 74 mm OLD. Straight pull lacing pattern is used for the front wheel.

There is a small gap between the rubber seal and the hub, not sure if this is normal or not.

Rear hub is Novatec F162SB. Straight pull lacing on non-drive side.

Looking pretty good with all black components. Drive side uses cross lacing pattern.

11 speed compatible freehub, important if you want to use a 11 speed road cassette.

The rear freehub has 27 clicks per round, which means 13.3 degrees of engagement angle. This is an unusual number, as a more common value is 18, 24 or 30 clicks per round. I did check a few times so the value is correct.

I forgot to measure the weight of the wheelset, but we can calculate it later, since I did weigh all the parts that go onto the wheels.

Rim tape is provided, 22 grams for a pair.

Quick release axles are included with the Novatec wheelset, 101 grams for the pair.

Next to a full sized 700C wheel (622 mm diameter), the 16 inch wheel (349 mm diameter) looks so small!

Schwalbe Kojak tires are selected for this bike, for a balance of speed and comfort. It was hard to find as it was out of stock nearly everywhere, due to it being a common size with Bromptons.

32-349 Kojak tire. A width of 32 mm is a good width for small wheeled bikes, as narrow tires on small wheels will require high tire pressures, which makes the ride very bumpy.

Each tire weighs 249 grams. These are with wire beads, which will be heavier than those with kevlar beads.

16 inch inner tubes, Schwalbe SV4. It can actually be shared with the slightly larger 18 inch, 355 wheels. This is what was used on the Tyrell IVE.

Inner tube is 84 grams each.

As expected, the tire will bulge out over the narrow rim, but I think it is OK since I have been using this combination for a long time, on the Dahon Boardwalk and Dahon MuEX.

During tire installation, I found that one section of the tire refused to seat on the rim properly, despite inflating and deflating a few times. I had to use the Schwalbe Easy Fit, which is a soapy solution that you apply on the tire bead, to lubricate it as you install the tire. With this, the tire was able to seat on the rim properly.

Schwalbe Easy Fit, with a foam applicator for easy usage.

Schwalbe Kojak tires installed! Managed to achieve the all black look. Size looks normal, until... to a full sized road bike wheel, it looks tiny! The road wheel is from Ascent Bikes.

Front wheel with inner tube and tire and rim tape is 706 grams.

Rear hub with inner tube, tire, rim tape and Dura-Ace 9000 11-28T cassette is 1114 grams.

Front wheel weight with rim tape = 706 - 249 - 84 = 373 grams
Rear wheel weight with rim tape = 1114 - 249 - 84 - 195 = 586 grams

This gives a wheelset weight (inclusive of rim tape) of only 959 grams, which is pretty good. The low weight mainly comes from the small wheel size, and also the narrow and short rims.