Posts in the category Hacks

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…


Reader’s Rides: Building your Own Suspended Rollers for less than $150

ASJ suspended rollers

As cyclists, I know there are a lot of do-it-yourself types out there. Why spend your hard earned money on something on something you could build yourself, for less? If that sounds like something you would say and you’ve been looking for a better way to train indoors this Winter, here you go. If you know what rollers are, you are probably familiar with the Inside Ride E-Motion rollers which are fantastic. Basically, the roller frame floats back and forth on a separate frame which combined with additional support rollers for the rear wheel and front wheel bumpers makes roller use easier and more enjoyable. While the Inside Ride version will ultimately be more portable, not everyone has $900 to drop on something they only hope to use on the worst days of the Winter months.

Ever since suspended rollers became a thing, there have been DIY versions but few have the detail of the plans sent into us by Adam St. Germain. Compiled on the Short Handled Shovel blog penned by ASJ and Noah Jacobs, the DIY instructable takes roughly $125 of raw materials plus a set of rollers and transforms them into an impressively functional set of suspended rollers…


Flow Zone Q36R Makes Quick Work of 2015 Fox 36 Wheel Changes

flow zone fox 36 qr quick release (1)

Even after all the hype, it seems the new Fox 36 is holding its own as their new weapon for enduro. It’s lighter. It’s more adjustable. And of course it is more stiff. The only thing that seems to be lacking is the ability to quickly change a flat or take off the wheel to fit it in your car. Fortunately, Flow Zone has the answer.

In previous years, the Fox 36 shipped straight from the factory with a quick release of its own. We’re assuming the decision to remove it for the 2015 36 came down to weight leaving riders with a lighter fork, but 5 bolts standing between them and wheel removal. While the Q36R quick release system from Flow Zone might be stepping into the past in terms of spec, we think there are plenty of 36 owners who will be all too happy to upgrade…


Cyclocross Worlds Tech Finds: Prototypes and Pro Tips, Part 2


We’re back for another roundup of tech details from last weekend’s Cyclocross Worlds in Tábor. Today we’ll start off with the bike of young Dutchman and new world champ Mathieu van der Poel, as he kept a couple of mechanics busy going over his four prototype bikes in prep for Sunday’s big race. The biggest secret we could weasel out of them was probably their heavy use of spray-on wax polish. Besides making frames, helmets, and shoes look sparkly and new, it also does a bit to keep mud from sticking and certainly makes it easier to quickly wash the mud off that does build-up on the bike.

Follow past the break again for part two, where we’ll look a bit more behind the scenes at the prep for the final elite men’s race…


Cyclocross Worlds Tech Finds: Prototypes and Pro Tips, Part 1


Women’s World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot’s muddy 140mm Freeza disc and Di2-equipped Liv-Giant Brava Advanced Pro

We spent last weekend standing out in the cold and snow flurries of Tábor, an hour south of Prague, screaming at cross racers riding around in circles. In between bourbon, beers, and cow bell ringing, we also sought out anything interesting from a tech perspective that we could pass on to you. There were several prototypes from tires to frames, that we’ll offer our guess as to whether they’ll make it to market.

We met with several professional mechanics and the odd directeur sportif to see what kind of special prep they were doing for bikes for a world championship. Some had worked dozens of worlds and had the wisdom to show for it, while a few were there for the first time and just happy to soak in the atmosphere. We also had a chance to get out on the course for a bit with some of the pros pre-riding the course to test out a couple of the bikes we have on test and to help some friends figure out which tires to ride for the changing frozen and muddy track.

So click on through for our first part, and we’ll try to give you a little behind the scenes insight into a bunch of things stood out for us…


Reader’s Rides: Joshua’s Orbea Alma with Di2 Hack and Hand Made Carbon Bar/Stem plus Saddle

Joshua orbea di2 hack hand made carbon  (2)

Before long we’ll be seeing a lot more mountain bikes with buttons where the shifters used to be, but it’s taken awhile to catch up to the road bikes. The wait hasn’t stopped everyone though. Instead of patiently waiting for electronic mountain bike drivetrains, a number of riders have used the K-Edge Conversion kit.  Then there are those like Joshua who have taken the Di2 hack to another level. Custom carbon pieces, wire routing, reprogrammed functionality – all in a days work for this custom Orbea Alma.

The hacks don’t end with the drivetrain either as Joshua is running a hand made carbon bar/stem combo and his own seat. Details next…


Reader’s Rides: The XTR Di2 Hacks Have Begun With Julian Da Silva’s Jamis


XTR Di2 is just starting to hit shops, and with it, we have the beginning of riders modifying their rides for internal electronic capability. Julian Da Silva from Alex Bicycles in Coral Springs, FL took to putting a few holes in his Jamis Dakota D29 Team.

Julian told us “I wanted to show you guys one of my recent builds since you guys like to see them. This is a 2015 Jamis Dakota D29 Team but modified the frame for internal routing of the Shimano XTR M9050 Di2 system. As usual I try to keep everything clean and hidden, it was challenge with the rear chain stay routing the cable thru it, but managed to succeed. Possibly one of my favorite bikes I’ve built, fast, fun and quite comfortable.”

Check out the before and after pics after the jump…


First Impressions: Absolute Black 28-to-40 tooth cassette cluster adapter

AbsoluteBlack 28-40 tooth cassette adapter cluster first impressions and actual weights

If you’re looking to put together an expanded range 1×10 system from your current setup, this provides a good alternative to single cog adapters that make a big jump at the top of the cassette. This one provides a smoother transition onto the larger cogs and a more subtle change between the top four cogs, too.

And, it’s a fairly reasonably priced way to do it. The SRAM 1050 cassette retails for $85 and the AbsoluteBlack adapter for $122, putting you all in at $207. Your alternatives for bumping up to a 40T or 42T cassette are either Shimano XTR or SRAM XX1/X01/X1. With Shimano, the cassette is about $300, and it’s 11-speed only, which requires new chain and chainrings, too. SRAM’s is also 11-speed only and requires a new freehub body, chain and chainrings. Either way, it’s going to cost you a lot more.

As for the range only being 40T and not 42T, you could just opt for a slightly smaller single chainring to compensate, which makes even more sense if you’re dropping the 11T cog off the bottom of the cassette as I did. I found the new range to be very good for our local trails, keeping me mostly in the middle of the cassette.

Another benefit? It can add up to a lighter system than the stock cassette…