Thursday, December 29, 2022

Specialized Aethos: Dura-Ace C36 Wheelset and GP5000 Tires

Building a lightweight bike requires a lightweight wheelset. For the Specialized Aethos, I decided to get a relatively lower profile carbon wheelset to help save some weight.

Previously I got the Dura-Ace C50 wheelset for the Focus Paralane, during the change to 12 speeds. That C50 wheelset with a 50 mm tall rim profile weighs 1493 grams, which is a good weight but not really lightweight.

This time, I got the Dura-Ace C36 wheelset, which is exactly the same as the C50 wheelset, except for the lower 36 mm rim profile. Due to the lower profile, the wheelset will be lighter. Check out the details below.

Dura-Ace C36 R9270 wheelset

Dura-Ace wheelsets are available in 36, 50 and 60 mm rim profiles. The C36 is the lightest but also least aerodynamic.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Specialized Aethos: S-Works SL Stem and PRO Vibe Superlight Handlebar

In the earlier posts about the Specialized Aethos, I have shared some information about the frame, fork and other small parts that come with the frameset.

As the Aethos is designed to use a standard stem and handlebar, with no integrated cable routing at the front, it means that I am free to choose a stem and handlebar to use. I like it this way as I am not a fan of integrated cockpits. Although it looks very neat and clean, it takes a lot of effort to assemble this kind of integrated cockpits. If you leave this job to the experienced bike mechanics at the shop, it is not an issue for you. However, if you prefer to work on your own bikes, I would definitely prefer to have a non-integrated front end that I can work on easily.

For a lightweight build, the weight of every part needs to be considered carefully, as every gram counts. I have considered using super lightweight parts from Darimo, but the price is just too high for me to accept, at $750 for a handlebar and $650 for a stem. An alternative is to use Specialized own stem, which is pretty lightweight. It also matches the S-Works frameset which is a nice touch as well.

Specialized S-Works SL Stem, ordered online from the Singapore Specialized store.

I was surprised to see how moldy it is straight out of the box!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Specialized Aethos: Front Brake Caliper Adapter and Disc Rotors

The Specialized Aethos uses mostly standard components and specifications. For example, it uses a standard threaded bottom bracket and round seat post on the frame. There is no internal routing around the head tube and steerer tube of the fork as well.

However, there is one non-standard design on the fork, which is the disc brake mounting area. Although it uses a flat mount brake design, the distance between the holes are not the flat mount standard.

According to Specialized, the holes are closer than the usual flat mount standard, so that they can make the end section of the fork leg hollow, in order to save some weight. Not sure if it is worth it to make this non-standard design, when most other areas are standard.

Flat mount holes on the front fork, where the hole to hole distance is closer than usual.

Special flat mount adapter (top) supplied with the Aethos frameset, and it means only a 160 mm front rotor can be used.

Specialized Aethos: Thru Axles, Roval Seatpost and Di2 Battery

On the Specialized Aethos, there are many high end components used, with the main objective being to make the bike as lightweight as possible.

Starting with the super lightweight sub-600 gram frame and sub-300 gram fork, even the fork expander plug is designed to shave off every gram possible. To continue with this lightweight theme, the other parts on the bike are also designed or chosen to be lightweight.

In the previous posts on the frame and fork, I shared that the thru axles are designed to rest inside a countersunk, giving a seamless look on the outside of the frame. To do so, the thru axles need to have a chamfered head to match, as shown below.

Aethos 142x12 mm rear thru axle, only 29 grams.

Aethos 100x12 mm front thru axle, only 22 grams.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Specialized Aethos: Headset, Spacers and Expander Plug

Joining the Aethos frame to the Aethos fork is the headset and other small parts around the headset. As mentioned earlier in the posts, the Specialized S-Works Aethos uses an integrated headset design, with the bearing races already molded directly into the head tube of the frame, and steerer tube of the fork. This eliminates any extra headset bearing races that needs to be pressed into the frame, such as on the Fnhon Gust or Fnhon Tornado frames.

Headset bearing races already molded into the head tube, at the top and bottom.

The frameset includes the headset bearings, and here are some pictures of it. Good reference for the future when a new replacement bearing needs to be sourced.

Headset top bearing, with 1 1/8" inner diameter and a 45 degree chamfer.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Specialized Aethos: S-Works Fork

Previously, I showed the Aethos frame, which is part of the Specialized S-Works Aethos frameset. Now, let's look at the S-Works Aethos front fork. This fork is included in the frameset, along with the frame and seat post.

Being an S-Works fork, I expect it to be lightweight as well. At this price range, it is a given that the fork has a full carbon steerer tube for minimum weight. 

S-Works Aethos front fork, with a long carbon steerer tube.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Specialized Aethos: S-Works Frame

Time to build a new bike! I have been reading about the Specialized Aethos, and it seems to be an awesome bike that is different from others. Some of the features that attracted me:

1) Rides very well without being overly stiff nor flexible.
2) Extremely lightweight frameset, especially for a mass produced carbon frame.
3) Non-integrated cable routing at the stem and headset area, for easy maintenance.
4) Threaded bottom bracket for easy servicing.
5) Conventional round seat post, with external seat post clamp.

After doing lots of research, I decided to buy the frameset from the local Specialized dealer. I was able to find the colour that I wanted (Satin Flake Silver/Red Gold Chameleon Tint/Brushed Chrome), or Champagne colour in short.

With this bike, I can go full weight weenie, and source for components that are of high quality and also lightweight. Starting with the frame, follow me on this bike build process!

Specialized S-Works Aethos frame! No large S-Works logo splashed across the down tube.

The colour looks like pinkish champagne, which is very unique as I have not seen it on other bikes before.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Cervelo Aspero: PRO PLT Carbon Road Handlebar

On the Cervelo Aspero gravel bike, I have been using the PRO Vibe Aero Superlight handlebar since the beginning. At that time, the plan was for the Aspero to serve as a dual purpose road and gravel bike, as seen from the two wheelsets that I had.

Later on, after I got the Focus Paralane as a road bike, the Cervelo Aspero was converted to be a dedicated gravel bike with a front single drivetrain. One of the more recent change was to GRX Di2 shifters which work really well for gravel riding.

All the while, the handlebar used was the PRO Vibe Aero Superlight handlebar, which is OK for road riding but not really ideal for gravel. I have some issues with the design of the PRO Vibe handlebar, such as the teardrop bar shape in the drops, and the non-compatibility with standard Garmin computer mounts.

Therefore, after much consideration, I decided to change the handlebar to a more conventional round type, to improve the ergonomics and avoid all the downsides of the PRO Vibe Aero handlebar.

At the same time, I wanted to avoid or minimize the internal routing needed, as it takes more work to route hydraulic hoses and Di2 cables through the handlebar.

Finally I chose the PRO PLT Carbon Handlebar, which is relatively lightweight, with less internal routing and a normal round clamp section on top.

New PRO PLT Carbon Handlebar

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brake Pads: Resin vs Metal, With and Without Cooling Fins

Here is a detailed blog post comparing the different brake pads made by Shimano, for their hydraulic disc brakes. With many model numbers used for the different brake pads, it is confusing for almost everyone.

However, after studying and comparing many different brake pads, I think I have got it figured out. Each brake pad has a specific model number, such as L03A, or K05Ti, etc.

Breaking down this model number into the different parts, using L03A Resin as an example.

L: Shape of brake pad, to match different brake calipers.
03: Version of brake pad. Different revisions are cross-compatible if the other parameters are the same.
A: Aluminium backing material.
Resin: Resin material used for the pad, to reduce noise.

First letter denotes the shape of brake pad. L is the finned brake pad used for road brake calipers.
Other letters that I have seen are K (similar shape and compatibility as L, but without fins) and H (4 piston brake pads). There is also the J and G type for other brake pads, just to name a few.

This is followed by a number, usually 02, 03, 04, 05 and so on. It is just the revision number of this brake pad design. For example, L02A was recently replaced by L03A, which has a more durable resin pad material. Different revisions are compatible as the pad shape is unchanged.

After the number, the letter refers to the backing material. The backing is the plate that the brake pad is attached to. This can be made with aluminium, steel or titanium.
A: Aluminium
S: Steel
Ti: Titanium
C: Combined

Final part of the model number refers to the pad material, whether it is made of resin or metal.

With different backing materials, different pad materials, and different shapes, it gives rise to many different combinations and thus many different options. In fact, I think there are too many variations which makes it very confusing.

Here are 5 different brake pads that I have, to match different brake calipers.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Dura-Ace Crankset Comparison: R9100 vs R9200 plus others

When Dura-Ace was refreshed from 11 speed to 12 speed, the crankset was changed as well. However, what I noticed was that the new R9200 crankset is actually heavier than the old R9100 crankset, and not by a small margin.

By comparing the individual parts of the crankset, we can see what are the parts that contributed more to this weight increase. Both of the cranksets have 50/34T chainrings, and are of 165 mm crank arm length.

At the end of this post, a brief comparison with even older Dura-Ace cranksets will be made. I kept some of these old parts of Dura-Ace crankset, just for collection's sake. For other comparisons, such as 9000 vs R9100, check this out.

Dura-Ace R9100 right crank arm, 303 grams.

R9200 right crankarm is 38 grams more, at 341 grams. Quite a substantial increase.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Dura-Ace Cassette Comparison: 12 Speed 11-30T vs 11-34T

When I was upgrading the Focus Paralane from 11 speed to 12 speeds, I was not sure which 12 speed cassette I wanted. There were 2 options available, the 11-30T cassette and the 11-34T cassette. From the online specifications, the only functional difference was that the 11-34T cassette omits the 16T sprocket, and adds a 34T sprocket at the back.

11-30T Cassette: 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21-24-27-30T
11-34T Cassette: 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30-34T

It came down to a single decision: Whether you prefer to have the 16T sprocket for finer cadence control, or the 34T sprocket for easier climbing?

I was not sure which was more important to me, as both are good benefits to have. When I was using the 11 speed 11-30T cassette, the difference between the 15T and 17T sprocket can sometimes be annoying, although not a huge problem.

On the other hand, a wide gear range such as the one offered by the Sunrace RX1 11-36T cassette is awesome for climbing steep slopes.

In the end I got both the 11-30T and 11-34T cassettes as I could not decide, figuring out that I can always use the other cassette for another build. That gives me the perfect opportunity to compare both cassettes in detail, as I have done for so many other cassettes previously.

The box for the 11-34T cassette is much bigger, although the sprocket size difference is only between 30T and 34T.

Apparently there will be a 11-28T cassette available for even smaller gear steps, although I have not seen anyone use it yet.

Unpacked! Larger 11-34T cassette on the right.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Focus Paralane: Changing Rear Rotor Size from Diameter 160 to 140 mm

I am always swapping or changing parts around on my bikes, to try out different setups and components. The latest setup on the Focus Paralane all-weather commuting road bike is the 2x12 speed Dura-Ace Di2 groupset.

Now, I will change the rear disc rotor from 160 mm to a smaller 140 mm diameter. It will be the same XTR MT900 rotors, just in a smaller size. Reason is to common the rotor size with another upcoming bike, the Specialized S-Works Aethos, so that I can swap wheels easily if both have a 140 mm rear rotor diameter.

XTR MT900 rotor, in 140 mm diameter. I have previously used a 140 mm rotor on the Fnhon DB12 folding bike.

SS means it is the smaller 140 mm size, while S would mean 160 mm diameter.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Focus Paralane: Garmin Rally XC200 Power Meter SPD Pedals

Recently I had the chance to test out a pair of Garmin Rally XC200 Power Meter SPD pedals. These are new power meter pedals from Garmin. What's cool about these pedals is the small size and the SPD compatibility.

Previous iterations of power meter pedals are usually rather large, and with a bulge at the pedal axle. For this version, Garmin has managed to shrink down all the electronics, such that it all fits inside the pedal axle! At the same time, the SPD platform is what I prefer, so that I can use it with my Shimano RX8 gravel shoes

I have previously been using one-sided crank based power meters, such as the 4iiii Dura-Ace or the 4iiii 105 versions. Being one-sided, it takes the power generated by the left leg, and multiplies it by two to give an estimate of your total power. This assumes that your power is equal on the left and right legs, which is usually not the case. If it is not equal, the total power will not be accurate. This is the case on the Focus Paralane, where the 4iiii 105 left crank arm is currently installed.

I decided to install the Garmin pedals on the Focus Paralane, since it is the bike I ride most often. Let's take a look and see how it compares to my existing pedals.

XTR M9120 Trail pedals, next to the Garmin Rally XC200. SPD mechanism looks similar.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Focus Paralane: Switching to 105 R7000 Power Meter

It was not long ago when I completed upgrading the Focus Paralane to a full Dura-Ace Di2 groupset. However, on that groupset, there was one component which is not from the latest R9200 groupset, and that is the left crank arm.

I was still using the older R9100 left crank arm with 4iiii power meter, as it is useful to have power readings even though I am not training with the help of a power meter.

When I was using the Dura-Ace R9100 2x11 speed crankset, the right and left crank arms were matched as a set. Then, when I changed to 12 speeds, I only swapped the right crank to R9200, leaving the left crank arm still as R9100 with power meter.

Now, I plan to install the unused R9100 crankset on another bike, and I would like to move the R9100 left crank arm with power meter over as well. Therefore, I need a left crank arm for the Focus Paralane.

I actually have many spare left crank arms, as I have two different left crank arm power meters, the R9100 and also a cheaper 105 R7000 version. In fact, the R7000 power meter was on the Focus Paralane previously, when it was a 1x11 speed setup.

The 105 R7000 left crank arm with power meter is currently on the Cervelo Aspero, but I think it would be more useful on the Focus Paralane, given that I ride it more often and on the road, where power readings are more useful than when riding on gravel.

This gives me a rare chance to have both the Dura-Ace R9100 and 105 R7000 power meter left crank arms off the bikes, for a side by side comparison.

105 R7000 crank arm on top, Dura-Ace R9100 crank arm below. 
They are both of 165 mm crank arm length.

Different surface treatment, and the R9100 crank arm looks more well used given that it has been in use since it was first installed on the Canyon Endurace.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Cervelo Aspero: Dynaplug Racer Pro Tubeless Repair Tool

Here is a tool to plug tubeless tires, easily and quickly. I first read about it on CyclingTips, and it seemed so awesome that I have to try it for myself.

My Cervelo Aspero gravel bike uses tubeless tires, and so this tool would be very useful if I ever encounter a larger hole that the sealant is unable to seal automatically.

This is the Dynaplug Racer Pro, which is one of the more expensive version. There are many other versions for road or MTB tires, and so on.

Dynaplug Racer Pro, with 4 tips for quick and repeated usage.

Non-descript black aluminium tube, along with a mini yellow brush to clean the inside of the plug insert when reloading the plugs.

XTR and Deore XT Trail Pedals: M9020 vs M9120, and M8020 vs M8120

Previously when I was just a beginner SPD user, I prefer the use of pedals with SPD on one side, and a flat platform on the other side. This allows me the flexibility to use SPD shoes or normal flat shoes on the same bike, depending on the type of ride. My favourite pedal is the PD-A530, which has been replaced by PD-EH500.

More recently, I realized that on some bikes, I will only ride them while wearing proper cycling shoes, which in my case means SPD shoes. This applies to almost all my full sized bikes, such as the Focus Paralane commuting bike and the Cervelo Aspero gravel bike.

In those cases, there is no need for a flat platform side on the pedal. Rather, it is best to have SPD on both sides of the pedal, so that I can clip in easily regardless of the pedal orientation.

After the bike fitting done at LOUE Bicycles, I eventually decided to use pedals of different stack height on left and right sides, in order to balance out the unbalanced leg length and hip rotation.

That is how I eventually ended up with so many different pedals, as I only need one side of pedal from each set, to get different stack heights. Anyway this gives me a chance to compare all these different pedals.

XTR PD-M9020
XTR PD-M9120

Deore XT PD-M8020
Deore XT PD-M8120

Packaging for the newer XTR and Deore XT pedals

Monday, October 31, 2022

Dahon MuSP: Outward Folding Handlepost and External Cable Routing

The Dahon MuSP is a really nice drop bar folding bike that I assembled back in 2018. It's a rarely used bike, but it is always available as an option if you need to transport a folded drop bar bike to another location.

As shown below, when folded, it can be placed on the backseat of a car, or in the boot if the boot is large enough. On this Dahon MuSP, I chose an inward folding handlepost for a more compact folded size. Most of the time, it works, but it can also be rather awkward during folding.

The problem with the inward folding handlepost with a drop bar is the difficulty of actually folding the handlepost and drop bar, without the saddle or other parts of the bike getting in the way.

Another issue is that the shifters protrude from the folded bike quite significantly. For storage it is fine, but it barely fits in the backseat of the car, as the shifters are already touching the windows.

Folded Dahon MuSP on the backseat of a car. Shifters are right up against the window.

After much consideration, I decided to try a more conventional outward folding handlepost for this drop bar folding bike. Although the folded size would be wider, at least it would be shorter and perhaps easier to place into the car.

New outward folding T-shaped handlepost on the right, just a tiny little bit taller. Shorter ones are practically impossible to find.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Focus Paralane: Phase 2 Assembly Completed

After finally getting the 12 speed Dura-Ace crankset, I can complete Phase 2 of the 12 speed upgrade to the Focus Paralane. Previously I had all the new 12 speed components except the crankset.

Dura-Ace R9200 12 speed crankset, with 50/34T chain rings.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Focus Paralane: Dura-Ace 12 Speed Crankset R9200

On the Focus Paralane all-weather commuting bike, I had already upgraded most of the groupset to a 12 speed Dura-Ace system. Only one component was missing, and it was the 12 speed crankset. Due to production delays, I was not able to get the crankset at the same time as the rest of the components.

During Phase 1 of this upgrade, all the components have been changed to the latest Dura-Ace R9200 groupset, except for this crankset. Even so, there is no issue with using the older R9100 crankset in the 12 speed drivetrain, as they are mostly compatible, although you may not get 100% of the function.

Now that I have this 12 speed R9200 crankset, I can complete the upgrade in Phase 2 of this project.

Unboxing the new Dura-Ace R9200 crankset! New packaging design for Dura-Ace.

I chose the 50-34T chain ring combination, and a crank arm length of 165 mm. According to my own experience and also bike fitting, this length is good for me.

Most of the box is actually just air, as the crankset has a shape that takes up quite a bit of space.

Dura-Ace R9200 crankset!

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Fnhon DB12: Dura-Ace R9100 Crankarms and PRO Stealth Saddle

A few months ago, before I converted the Focus Paralane from a 1x11 speed to 2x11 speed road bike, I had the Dura-Ace R9100 crankset available and not in use on any of my bikes. This is the original R9100 crankset that I had on the Canyon Endurace, since year 2017.

Therefore, I decided to put this Dura-Ace crankset on the Fnhon DB12, because it is black and matches the frame well. Prior to this, an Ultegra 6800 crankset was in use.

Dura-Ace R9100 crankset with the Wolf Tooth 44T chain ring for AXS 12 speed chain.

Looking good with my signature 4 colour chain ring bolts!

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Shimano HG vs Microspline vs Road 12 Speed vs SRAM XDR Freehub Body

Nowadays, there are so many different types of freehub bodies, mainly due to different manufacturers and also different cassette requirements.

The most common one is the HG spline standard, or the Shimano spline that has been in use since 8 speed cassettes. In fact, 8/9/10 speed cassettes use the same HG spline. 11 speed cassettes have the same spline pattern, just that it is 1.85 mm longer.

Then, there is the SRAM XD and XDR standard. This are radically different from the original HG spline, as there is only a short spline section. It is originally designed for MTB cassettes with a small 10T sprocket. I first used it on the Fnhon DB12 wheelset, when I changed to the SRAM Force 10-36T 12 speed cassette.

There is also the Shimano Microspline freehub, for Shimano 12 speed MTB cassettes. I have not had the chance to use a Microspline cassette on my own bike, but this is the Shimano alternative to the SRAM XD/XDR freehub.

The most recent addition to the freehub collection is the new road spline for Shimano 12 speed road cassettes. Once again, another design that is different from existing designs.
Microspline and XD/XDR can accommodate cassettes with a small 10T sprocket, which is useful for a wider gear range without going to even bigger sprockets at the other end.

The new Shimano road spline cannot have a 10T sprocket, as it is designed just to fit 12 speed Shimano road cassettes with a small sprocket of 11T.

From left to right: Microspline, standard HG (11 speed version), and XDR freehub bodies.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Shimano GRX Di2 vs SRAM Force eTap AXS: Rear Derailleur

Traditionally, rear derailleurs are either road type or MTB type, and were designed quite differently to meet the different requirements.

Road rear derailleurs are small and lightweight, and have short cages to match the road cassettes. On the other hand, MTB rear derailleurs are built to be tougher and thus heavier, and they also have long cages to match the wide range MTB cassettes. Most importantly, it is equipped with a clutch to prevent chain slap and chain drop when riding on bumpy terrain.

Then, in comes gravel riding, and neither road nor MTB rear derailleurs are completely suitable. Road rear derailleurs are a bit too delicate for gravel riding, and the absence of a clutch causes the chain to bounce too much and result in chain drops. MTB rear derailleurs work a bit better, but are also not completely suitable as they are not suited for closer range cassettes.

Shimano has their GRX range of gravel rear derailleurs, while SRAM has the Force 1x series for gravel setups. Here is a comparison between the two different gravel rear derailleurs by Shimano and SRAM.

There are 4 types of gravel rear derailleurs by Shimano. Either mechanical or electronic shifting, and either front single or front double drivetrains. Pick the one that matches your setup!

GRX Rear Derailleur RD-RX815, which is for 2x11 speed gravel drivetrains, up to 34T cassette size.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Dura-Ace C50 R9270 vs Ascent Zenith Elite Wheelset

Here is a comparison between two carbon road wheelsets with similar specifications. Both are 700C road wheelsets, with 50 mm rim height. The wheelset weight is is also similar as you will see below.

In this comparison, it is mainly about the physical characteristics of each of the wheelset. Let's check out the new Dura-Ace C50 R9270 wheelset, versus the previous Ascent Zenith Elite wheelset. For the detailed analysis of each wheelset, check out the individual posts via the links.

Dura-Ace C50 R9270 vs Ascent Zenith Elite wheelset! Different spoke lacing pattern as seen here.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Dura-Ace Cassette: 11 Speed R9100 vs 12 Speed R9200

On the latest Shimano road 12 speed drivetrain, the 11-30T cassette is still the most common cassette used. With a good gear range and also enough closely spaced gears, it is suitable for all-round road use if you pair it with a front double crankset.

From 11 speed to 12 speed, the 11-30T cassette has gained a sprocket, although the range is still the same. This means a tighter gear step in the middle of the cassette, which I will elaborate on later.

Let's check out some of the physical differences between the 11 speed and 12 speed 11-30T cassettes.

11 speed R9100 cassette on the left, vs the new 12 speed R9200 cassette on the right.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Dura-Ace Di2 Rear Derailleur: R9150 vs R9250

Time for a comparison between the new 12 speed Dura-Ace Di2 rear derailleur and the previous 11 speed Dura-Ace Di2 rear derailleur. On first glance, they look pretty much similar, but there are definitely some differences that are not obvious at first sight.

Left side is the new 12 speed rear derailleur, beside the 11 speed version on the right.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Focus Paralane: Phase 1 Assembly Completed

Phase 1 of the Focus Paralane 12 speed upgrade is finally completed! To be accurate, the upgrade was actually completed more than 6 months ago, but I only found the time to write about it now.

This is considered Phase 1 as the upgrade is not completed, as the new 12 speed Dura-Ace crankset is not yet available, so I am still using the older 11 speed Dura-Ace R9100 crankset. Since the pros are also using this older crankset with the new 12 speed groupset, I guess it works well enough not to be an issue.

Here are the pictures of the completed bike, with new 12 speed Dura-Ace components!

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Focus Paralane: Dura-Ace 12 Speed Assembly Begins

With most of the new 12 speed components in place, I am now ready to upgrade the Focus Paralane from 11 speed to 12 speed! Check out the Focus Paralane - 12 Speed page for all the juicy details of the 12 speed components.

2x11 speed Focus Paralane, before disassembling it for the upgrade. Mudguards and accessories have been removed. Weighs 7.6 kg in this bare configuration with pedals.

Ended up stripping nearly everything off the frame, except for the stem and handlebar.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Cervelo Aspero: Bike Servicing after Dusty Gravel Ride

This dusty gravel ride was actually done last year in 2021, just that I didn't get around to writing about it until now. For those who do not know, the trail around Pandan Reservoir is made of light gravel, with small stones that are doable for most bikes.

Using a gravel bike is nice, but it is actually not necessary. Road bikes with wider tires (> 28 mm) are fine as well as I have tested with my Focus Paralane. That said, it is a good place to test out gravel bikes with some fast riding, as it is an unbroken stretch of gravel that you can ride round and round.

Approximate distance for one round is about 6 km, which is easily done on a bike but takes some effort if you are jogging.

One quirk of this gravel trail is the dusty conditions. When the trail is dry, it actually generates quite a bit of dust as you ride over it. The result is a bike that is entirely coated in a fine layer of dust, as you will see below.

Tungsten All Weather Wax Lube and Chain Preparation

I have been reading a lot on bicycle chain lubrication, and it is quite fascinating to learn how the different chain lubes have such big effects on the chain efficiency and durability.

For my "dry" weather bikes, such as the Cervelo Aspero gravel bike and the other folding bikes, I have been using the Prolink chain lube since a long time ago. Not sure why I chose it, but it has worked well so far.

As for the wet weather bikes, such as the chain drive version of the Fabike C3 and the most recent Focus Paralane, I have been using the KMC EPT chain, which is extremely rust resistant. For that chain, I used Finish Line wet lube, which is water resistant and does not get washed away by rain. However, the wet lube does pick up quite a bit of dirt that makes the chain dirty easily.

From Zero Friction Cycling, I came across this new type of drip on wax lube, which is almost as efficient as the full molten wax dip, and yet is easier to apply as it is a drip on type.

Which is why I decided to get this Tungsten All Weather Wax Lube to test it out for myself and see if it is really as good as it says.

Here it is! Let's give it a try and see how it goes.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Focus Paralane: Dura-Ace Wheelset Sub-Assembly

Time to set up the wheelset! I will be transferring the Continental GP5000 tires and the XTR RT-MT900 brake rotors over from the existing Ascent Zenith Elite wheelset. This new wheelset will then be reinstalled onto the Focus Paralane for a 12 speed setup.

GP5000 tires installed! No issues faced during installation, looking good so far.