Posts in the category Hacks

Readers’ Rides: German’s DIY XTR Derailleur Cage

German diy xtr derailleur cage aluminum  (7)

When it comes to bicycles, there are quite a few things that many of us probably take for granted – access to great trails, well established dealer networks, and affordable repair parts to name a few. Depending on a rider’s location, that last one can make getting your bike back in service much more difficult than just cruising down to the local bike shop and picking up a replacement.

That was the situation a former mechanic from Argentina found himself in when an XTR derailleur needed an entirely new cage. Citing the extremely high cost and limited availability of repair parts in Argentina, German who is now a college professor has continued his bike repairs at his house. Having already repaired 7 or 8 derailleurs for local racers including XT, XTR, and SRAM XX/X0, this was the first time German attempted to build a complete cage for a rear derailleur.

Without a machining background we think German did an amazing job with little more than basic tools, pen, and paper…


That’s One Hot Ride- Weltevree’s Portable Wood Fired Dutch Tub

Dutch Tub being towed behind bicycle

After seeing the above photo, I’m sure we’re all thinking the same thing: Finally! A hot tub that I can tow around with my bike! The Netherlands’ Weltevree wishes to share with you ‘the essence of outdoor bathing’ with their portable wood-fired Dutch Tub.

The Dutch Tub is designed to allow outdoor bathing wherever you can bring it, and of course find 211 gallons of water to fill it up, and some wood to burn.

Soak up all the details after the jump…

Berliner Fahrradschau 2015: An Eclectic Mix of Cycling and Lifestyle Products


Another year of Berlin’s consumer Bike Show kicked off this weekend highlighting a lot of the urban and lifestyle segments of the bike industry that sometimes get glossed over with new derailleur and suspension tech. That means a lot of classic city bikes, many e-bike applications, internally geared hubs, and belt drives, plus more cargo bikes than you can shake a stick at. Over the next week or two we’ll try to roundup a bunch of things that we spotted that stood out from the crowd and the free flowing Henrick’s Gin and Tonics and German beers.

Read on for a modern take on a classic, city bikes and great finishes, some custom bags, and an e-bike to sneak on some group rides…


Can you make Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 perform synchronized shifting?


For as long as there’s been Di2, Fairwheel Bikes has been hacking it, and some of the more interesting projects involved creating a synchronized shifting system using road parts on an insanely lightweight 29er mountain bike. That system ended up foreshadowing the current XTR Di2’s synchronized shifting and some of the anticipated features of SRAM’s eventual entry into the electronic road shifting market.

Since that original hack, they’ve done it again and again, each time on cleaner and more unique builds for road and mountain bikes.

But, once proper sequential, syncho shifting appeared on the new XTR Di2, it begged the question: Can this be made to work on road parts, too? Fairwheel Bikes asked, and graciously invited us to share some of the answers with you here…


NAHBS 2015: Boo hollows out bamboo for new, lighter race-ready gravel grinder & more!

Boo Bicycles SLG carbon and bamboo race-ready gravel road bike

Boo Bicycles has been making carbon fiber-and-bamboo bicycles for years now, but they keep refining the process. The latest iteration becomes the new premium SL offering, which not only drops weight from the frames, but makes them stiffer and stronger, too.

Above is the new SLG top-level gravel road bike, and this one’s built for Boo’s Nick Frey to race at this year’s Dirty Kanza and Crusher in the Tushars.

The upgrade is a new way of forming the top and downtubes. On their normal tubes, they hollow out the bamboo. On these, they hollow it out even more, making it lighter, then an S2 fiberglass load dispersion material is placed on the inside of the bamboo tubes and is cured while under compression from the inside. The result is a tube that’s much more impact resistant. Frey told us there tends to be a lot of downtube damage on composite frames in events like the Dirty Kanza, coming from really sharp gravel flying off the front wheel. Frey says they took a normal bamboo tube and smashed it on a table corner and it cracked, but repeated blows with the new S2-enhanced tubes didn’t show any damage.

But those aren’t the only changes growing on this bike…


NAHBS 2015: Calfee’s amazing stealth SuperClean Di2 stem/steerer hides everything, plus other awesomeness!

Calfee Cycles SuperClean di2 and EPS electronic wire integration into stem and steerer tube

Calfee’s always been one to integrate as much as possible, and now they’ve taken electronic wiring mods to the next level.

Called SuperClean, it’s a patent pending design that funnels the wires coming from the shifter directly into the stem through small ports. From there, the Junction A box for either Di2 or EPS is mounted to the bottom of the expansion plug, and all wires then run through the steerer tube and into the frame.

Where it gets really tricky is with the indicator light and internal wiring…


Prototype TRP Di2 integration clicks climbers switch into Hylex hydro levers

TRP Di2 climbers button integration on Hylex hydraulic disc brakes

TRP has been playing with Di2 integrations for years now, first showing prototypes in 2011 that quickly progressed into more polished looking versions called HyWire.

But it never really became a commercial product, despite having the perfectly good Hylex singlespeed hydraulic disc brake set on which to mount it. Now, they’re back at it, this time using Shimano’s own climbers button pod and integrating it directly into the Hylex’s cover plate. This one’s still a very early prototype, but it’s certainly more polished than the prototype Ben Berden was running this past season. Equally exciting is the thinking behind how they’ll make it available…


NAHBS 2015: Quiring boosts 29+ mountain bikes beyond 148 w/ clever parts use

Quiring 29er-plus titanium mountain bike with 157mm rear axle spacing and offset chainline

With all the hullabaloo surrounding the new Boost 148 rear axle standard, one could be tempted to think that was the only way to accomplish goals like improved wheel stiffness, more clearance and ideal chain lines, all while remaining lightweight.

Well, Scott Quiring thought differently, and he managed the hat trick without it, using off the shelf standards to create a 29+ bike with an insanely short chainstay of just 17″…with 29×3.0 tires!

Here’s how he did it…


Vorsprung Corset air spring canister upgrades add volume, plushness to Fox Shocks

Vorsprung Corset air shock oversized canister sleeve upgrade for Fox Shocks mountain bike components

If we learning anything from our Suspension Setup Series last year, it’s that tinkering is good and that more tinkering can be even better. Once you move beyond the basics of air pressure and knob fiddling, there’s air volume adjustments.

We’ve upgraded our own shocks in both directions, using volume spacers to reduce it to help the rear end keep up with a bigger-than-stock fork, and adding an oversized can to improve overall “bouyancy” to an otherwise firm XC bike. The latter is exactly what the new Vorsprung Corset air sleeve upgrades are offering for Fox Shocks. Available for a wide range of models and sizes, they increase the air volume, which gives the shocks a bit less resistance to initial movement and a cushier mid stroke. The result should be more supple performance on the small stuff and smoother action throughout the middle of its movement…