Posts in the category Hacks

The Robert Axle Solves 142×12 MTB Trailer Woes

Robert Axle Ibis 142x12For adventures or those with kids, having the ability to tow a trailer behind their bicycle is essential. Unfortunately for those riders, they’ve been cornered out of the new bike market, because the current 142×12 standard is incompatible with virtually all of the trailers on the market.

Luckily, the aftermarket has come up with a solution in the form of the Robert Axle Project. A company which offers four different axles, with different thread pitches, that fits over 30 of the most popular bike brands.

The axles are easy to install and require no special tools. To find out if there is a solution for your bike and trailer, head over to their website here, and choose your bike and application. Most axles retail for between $52-57 and the company offers flat rate shipping of $7.0 to the US, $24 USD to Canada, and $27 Internationally.

Robert Axle Project

Ari Bike Adds 40/42-Tooth Replacement Cogs for Shimano XT/XTR and SRAM Cassettes

Ari Bike Pignoni oversized 40-tooth and 42-tooth cogs for Shimano and SRAM cassettes

Ari Bike, an Italian maker of various aftermarket spider/chainring units and spiderless chainrings for a wide variety of crankset brands, has just thrown their hat into the oversized cog ring.

Offering three distinct models, they cover Shimano XTR M980 and XT M771 10-speed and SRAM 1030/1050/1070 10-speed cassettes. Like the others, these 40- and 42-tooth cogs sidle up next to the back of the cassette and require removal of the 17t (or 15t for some versions) cog.

Claimed weight is 70g to 73g depending on model. They come with a replacement screw for your derailleur in case a longer B-screw is needed to help the mech clear the new cog. Retail is €65, with delivery available in the US via express courier. Pics and links below…


Friday Roundup – Bicycle Bits & Pieces


  • Red Bull Ride + Style is this Saturday, May 10th, at the Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, CA. More than 50 fixed gear riders from around the world will compete in track and freestyle competitions among obstacles designed and created by street artists. New this year is a race qualifier open to the public. Twenty five slots are open, first come-first served, get there early for the 10am registration!
  • Culprit Bicycles will be demo-ing their bicycles at the Cruisin’ The Conejo ride this Saturday in Newbury Park, CA.
  • Voting is now open for the Eastern region of the Bell Built grants program. Voting ends May 18th, winner will be announced May 5th. Congratulations to the winner for the Central Region: The Cottage Grove Bike Park, headed up by the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC).
  • PowerBar has launched their Don’t Let You Stop You Tour de France Sweepstakes which runs through July 31st.
  • Snapguide, an online how-to community, has launched their bike-hack contest in honor of Bike To Work Month. From now until June 4th, upload your how-to guide on anything bike related to win up to $900 in hand made bike accessories.
  • Timbuk2 is celebrating Bike month with new colors in the Especial Raider Cycling Backpack, and two new commuter bags: the Especial Vuelo Cycling Laptop Bag $149, and the Especial Claro Cycling Laptop Messenger $139.
  • Also, Timbuk2 Facebook fans can enter the annual #ridefree Bike Commute Sweepstakes for a chance to win over $1,100 in gear: Raleigh Bicycle, Lazer Helmet, Kryptonite Lock, Portable Speakers, and the new Timbuk2 Especial Vuelo Backpack.
  • Ellsworth is celebrating the month of May with $500 off complete Evolve C, complete 29 or 27.5 Enlightenment or complete Epiphany Enduro (limited sizes) bikes – or $250 off those frames only. Also, they will be giving away free Rocker and Bling Kit upgrades on all bikes sold in the month of May.
  • Beginning May 11, fans can tune in to NBCSN daily to catch the final two hours of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California live, as well as nightly recaps and highlights. The finale on Sunday, May 18th, will be broadcast on NBC. TV schedule after the break.
  • The Documentary Marco Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist launches May 16th in the UK
  • Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah, will be opening up their family-friendly downhill mountain bike park on June 12th.
  • Rapha is sponsoring the Women’s 100 – a worldwide 100k ride on Sunday, July 20th. Find a sponsored ride near you, set up a group ride, or register to ride on your own here.
  • This Year, the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival will host a Dealer Day on Friday, October 3rd. Touted as an affordable alternative to Interbike, they had 45 exhibitors in 2013 and expect to sell out quickly for this years’ event.
  • The RoadTitans300+ Cycling Challenge is a 3 day, 310 mile, 30,000+ ft of elevation ride this November 7-9th in Oconee, South Carolina.


Scott 3Rox Mountain Bike Team Plays Hide the Di2 Battery


Way back in the spring of 2012, Geoff Kabush’s Scott Spark revealed the first look at the Shimano/Fox electronic integration, using a Di2 battery to power the iCD lockouts for both fork and shock. At that time, it was pure prototype. Things got official the following April with Fox’s formal introduction, which was preceded by a second look at Kabush’s bike.

Now, the 3Rox team continues to tweak their electronic lockout set up with the new internal Shimano “seatpost” battery. Except they didn’t stick it in the seatpost…


Updated Gear Ratios: Comparing SRAM and Shimano’s 1x Drivetrains with XTR M9000

Shimano XTR m9000 11 speed 1x 2x  3x (19)

Not too long ago, Switchback Bikes posted an excellent gear ratio comparison chart that was put together by Daryl Smith. Obviously, when Daryl put the chart together the new option packed XTR M9000 group was still under wraps, so the comparison to its 11-40 wide range cassette couldn’t be made. To keep with the times Daryl has updated his chart to include the 1x options for an XTR group.

Crunch the numbers after the jump…


Null Winds’ Upper Wheel Fairings Blinds Headwinds with Science


Null Winds Technology has taken their Upper Wheel Fairings to Kickstarter to bring wind cheating shields to the masses.

Admittedly, they’re not for racers. And they’re different looking. But the science is interesting, so let’s have a look. Inventor Garth Magee says wind speed affecting the top of the wheel is up to 3x the speed of the headwind. That’s because the tire and spokes are all rolling directly into the wind at twice the speed of the bicycle. Of course it’s variable based on head wind speed and bicycle speed, but the power needed to overcome the drag rises in proportion to the cube of the wind speed. So, the faster the wind and the faster you try to go, the more power you’ll have to pump out for smaller and smaller gains.

His Upper Wheel Fairings block the spokes from “fanning” the wind against your efforts. Magee says the result is up to 20% more speed for a given effort…


SOC 14: More Anodizing, Hubs, and Lefty Supermax adapters from Project 321

Project 321 anodized lefty max hub cannondale sis2 cranks stan's wheels (8)

Given the fact that we seem to be heading into a renaissance of Day-Glo colors and color matched anodized parts, consumers seem to be paying more attention than ever to the individual components of their bikes. Those looking for colorfully anodized parts are at the company’s mercy hoping they will eventually offer what they want in the color they like, or can look to the anodization experts like the folks at 321 Components. We spotted Project 321 pushing around an Ibis with some Pink Thomson bits at last year’s SOC, so we wanted to stop by their booth and see what they have been working on since. The answer is more colors, more hubs, and more Lefty compatibility…


Hack! Custom Di2 Buttons Paired with Magura RT8TT Hydraulic Brakes on Triathlon Bike

Alexs Bicycle Pro Shop Di2 hack with remote buttons on a Cervelo P5 triathlon bike with Magura RT8 hydraulic brakes

What happens when you want hydraulic brakes with electronic shifting on a top end triathlon bike? Well, you could use Shimano’s stock bar end and climber’s shifter pods. Or, for about the same price or less, you could take your existing parts to Alex’s Bicycle Pro Shop and have them create some very slick stealth buttons placed right where you need them by the Magura RT8 hydraulic brake levers. Here’s what Julian Da Silva from the shop had to say:

I wanted to show you guys a cool little project I worked on for a customer who wanted to utilize Di2 shifters on his hydraulic brakes that came with his Cervelo P5 Six. The customer had a spare sprinter switch that he wanted me to use, so naturally from my experience playing with the di2 components, I was able to take it apart and make some modifications. The circuit board is a simple design with a common ground and positive switch. I tapped into the circuit and utilized a tactile momentary push button to act as the independent buttons on the brakes. The customer requested that he only wanted to operate the rear shifter, but if someone wanted to do front and rear, it would be no problem. This technology can be outfitted to work for disabled riders as para-athletes or take it a step further as another form of customization.

We charged $150 to do this service, this is of course if the customer has a spare shifter already.

Photos of the process below…


Absolute Black Unveils 4-Cog 40-Tooth Oversized Cassette Adapter


The oversized cassette hacks brigade just keeps on rolling, this time with a unique entry from Absolute Black.

Rather than replace just the single top cog, AB’s offering adds a 40t large cog onto a single piece of machined aluminum containing your 28, 32 and 36 cogs, too. Founder Marcin says the benefits are three-fold. First, it’s a stiffer unit as a cluster, so shifting should be very precise. Second, there’s more surface contact area on the freehub body, so less likely to dig into it and get stuck.

Third, it’ll weigh a lot less. How much so? Shift down and see…