You gotta be kidding!

You gotta be kidding!

Shit the bed!
A women’s Supercorsa???



Random madness that passed by here

“my hubgear is not working….”
(yes man, you thrashed it)

funny stuff2 funny stuff1

“why this crank broke??”
(erm…. a little bit of rubbing from your shoe??)

funny stuff3

My bottom bracket is making funny noises….!
(How about the frame??)

funny stuff4


“my bottom bracket is making noises….” (2)

funny stuff9


“Do I really need to keep my bike clean??”
(Yes, alluminium too doesn’t like much salt/grit on the roads)

funny stuff5


It does exist!
Shimano UN72 bottom bracket inFRENCH thread 35×1

funny stuff6


This looks like air bubbles withing the rubber mould. See what happened when the tyre has been inflated

funny stuff7 funny stuff8

“my Di2 doesn’t work….”
(let’s talk about how to avoid the build-up of crap around?)

funny stuff10

Disk-Brakes on cyclocross? Not a novelty.

Check this out.

Condor cycles, made out of steel (very likely by Dave Yates), with Hope mechanical disk brakes.
Yes, you read it well, Hope did this mechanical disk brakes. note the rotor that is just “screw-on” the Hope hub.
And yes, the mechanical leverage of the road shifter/brake lever wasn’t ideal, but it worked a hell of a lot better than cantilevers in that time, and today’s ones too when is wet

This was in the second half of the ’90s, if I’m not wrong.





As far as I’ve been told, the frame does use some heavier gauge of tubing for the seatstays and fork blades. This bike reported no particular “juddering” while braking, nor the frame shows weakness. I like the solution of the rear caliper in between the end of the seat and chainstay, it does the job to oppose the torque generated while braking.
The rims had been replaced at some point.

Let’s talk about bottom brackets. BB30 to Shimano Hollowtech2, for example

I see the BB30 standard as a good idea, and so far seems the longer lasting and more compatible one.

The idea of having the bearings easy to replace is a good thing, and so is the narrow b.b. shell to achieve a low Q-Factor whenever the cranks are made to be “BB30 native”.
But this has drawbacks, the bearings easy to replace are actually too thin in width and prone to mis-alignement; and the narrow b.b. shell makes the bearings being in an unfavourable position when adapters are used.

In this case, the frame is BB30, and Shimano Hollowtech2 cranks are used.
The adapters are the widely used and reliable Wheels MFG; nothing more than two blocks of hard Nylon machined to good tolerance.

Let’s start by removing the cranks.

Pinch-bolts have to come undone. Make sure that the allen key is a good one, those bolts have to be tight when fitting the cranks (12-13Nm), and their head is prone to get rounded. Be wise then


Now is time for the preload cap to be removed. Use the specific tool, like the Shimano TL-FC16 or the Park Tool BBT10 shown here. There’s plenty of compatible ones on budget, they do the job: this cap is meant to be “finger-tight”.
Oh, there’s fancy alluminium ones, mostly to be moved via an 8mm allen key. Just be careful to not get carried away by that long allen key handle…

bb30Bearings&Adapters2             bb30Bearings&Adapters3
Note the “safety plate” in between the slot, lift it up before removing the L/h crank

Slide the R/h crank altogether with the axle, gentle use of a rubber mallet may help. Do not touch the rings, if you have to, go on the spider on alternate points.

Then the b.b. shell is left with the BB30 adapters, to remove them you can use two plastic tyre levers. I won’t recommend to use a Splice tool (like the one to remove headset cups), for a couple of reasons.
First, it won’t go easy trough the hole (tool is more than 1″, hole is 24mm); second and important thing, is that you may actually catch the circlips that work as a shoulder for the BB30 bearings. That would make a bit of a mess.
Also, I like to limit any “hammering” on the frame, especially if we consider that is very likely we’re dealing with a carbon frame…

For the same reason as the second and third one above, for removing the bearings I do prefer this little tool.
Very effective, would catch the bearing from the inside (note the moving flaps), then extract it with the screw attachet to the flaps. Genius.
bb30Bearings&Adapters6    bb30Bearings&Adapters7  bb30Bearings&Adapters8

bb30Bearings&Adapters9  bb30Bearings&Adapters10

Now let’s clean the b.b. shell from inside. Note the circlips in the second picture

 bb30Bearings&Adapters11  bb30Bearings&Adapters12

This anti-seize from Finish Line is actually a variant of the “copper-grease” used in automotive industry.
It is very effective in preventing rust and corrosion between any kind of metal. It is also very sticky, this mean that would not get “moved” when a part works on it, it is very adhesive (and stains your hands and clothes!)

Fresh new bearings.
BB30 use the size “6806”, which is 30x42x7. They do exist in various levels of quality, my opinion is that there’s no particular need to spend 50 bucks for one bearing, get one that is good quality (SKF, INA, FAG, Enduro, etc.) and press it correctly: it is pointles to have the best quality of bearings if you have to hammer them in, and/or leave the not well aligned.
This press is made by Wheels Manufacturing, you can have it alone, with a choice of drifts, or with full kit of drifts.
I do have a panel of bearing drifts 🙂

The same Anti-Seize on the crank spindle, note that when the adapter slides onto, the Anti-seize is very much entirely still in place, and the adapter fits just tight enough.
bb30Bearings&Adapters15   bb30Bearings&Adapters16

We’ll fit the R/h crank with the spindle (well, that is obvious, it’s a one-piece) and the R/h adapter on. not shown here (you can see below) is the Anti-seize on the inner and outer part of the adapter, the part that holds onto the spindle and the bearing.
But first, a run of grease just off the inner border of the b.b. shell: this will reduce the water seeping in

Normally, the spindle with the R/h adapter, and the L/h adapter, will go by hand
bb30Bearings&Adapters18   bb30Bearings&Adapters19

Anti-seize on the L/h crank clamping area, too; then the preload cap goes in position again. It has to be finger-tight. Check that the cranks would spin as free as possible, still no axial play is allowed

bb30Bearings&Adapters20   bb30Bearings&Adapters21

Don’t forget to check the safety plate: if you can’t push it down in position until it almost “clicks”, then the adapters are probably not fully seated. This makes the L/h crank not clamping on enough portion of the axle.

If the safety plate can be pushed down correctly, the you’ve done well. Now tighten the two pich-bolts to 12-13Nm.

And that’s that

Carbon rims, ok, but the bladder?

I do understand that in some ways, the carbon-fiber has to be moulded, and it seems that using a bladder makes life easy for manufacturing. Because I am no expert in composite materials, I won’t go in details about this.
However, I have to say that some “cleaning-up” should be done at the factory; especially in parts where the space to work around becomes a premium.

This rim gave me a bit of headache for about 1/2hr, removing the sunken nipples took a lot more than what expected.

See the nipples, there’s one with the leftovers of the bladder that’s still on. Look how it managed to wrap around while unscrewing the nipple. Note that this part is well inside the rim.
Yes, nothing that would become impossible, just some more time required.

Had to pull out some of this plastic, which when the matrix is cured, has obviously no part in the structure of the carbon fiber

Something is still there, but the holes are now clear enough to insert the nipples, in order to rebuild the wheel.

I will use a little grease outside the nipple, for protection against corrosion.
Best thing will be some Lithium-based grease (the manufacturer is called Nimrod) of which I have wast experience on long-term basis, and never found it to react or create problems with any composite material.
Being a radial-laced front wheel, I will add a little of Loctite222 on the spoke thread, just to “keep it there”. I quite like the 222, it doesn’t lock, but rather makes the small threads to stay in place without loosening. And when cured, the torque to break the compound, doesn’t require too much force, resulting in moderate twisting of the spoke.

Down-tube cable stops. An emergency repair

Clever guy.
Home-made frame respray, you can live with. But make sure that barrel going across the down-tube will stay in place!

This gentlemen removed it, so there was no way to stop the cables on the frame… what to do, what to do?
We never have too much time to waste. Had to take advantage of the curve on the tubing, while keeping tight the cable-stops blocks with the frame (copying its tubing profile), this would make them steady enough.
All we need then, is a sleeve threaded on both sides, and long enough to reach the two sides of the down tube.

“detto e fatto” (spoken and readily done, in Italian)

Preparing the sleeve, two M6 threads are cut in this alluminium sleeve

How the frame looked like: a big hole with nothing that could hold the cables!

The sleeve is then Loctite’d to one side with the cable-stop block, dome-head M6 bolts are used (the hole in the cable-stop had to be drilled to a bigger diameter of 6.5mm)

Just flush with the frame!

Doesn’t look that bad.
downtubecablestpos9 downtubecablestpos8

And it works! I was able to stretch the cables with a very small amount of rotation of the cable-stops blocks onto the tubing.
Needs to be said that an old-ish fromt mech was used, which tipically featured a return spring that is weaker if compared to modern units. If that was the case, a modern front mech or one with a strong return spring, I would have certainly used alloy cable-stops, like the good Campagnolo or Shimano Dura-Ace: being metal ones, they would hold better on the profile of the tubing.

Note that this repair is fully reversible, whenever we’re given the original barrel to bond where the hole was!

Hello 2013!

New year, and already so much to do!
I’ve got plenty of good proposals, after all, would be worthless to get lazy unless having something to do, wouldn’t it? 🙂

Apart from jokes, had some lovely time in Italy over Xmas. Meeting my parents, yes. Having some great food, oh yes. Catching with some friends and chaps hadn’t seen in a while, oh good! And some really good cycling, hell yeah! Forgot what it means to be on open, quiet roads in 2 miles away from home, and riding for long, and some decent climbing too.

Christmas day, glorious sunshine for a ride along the coast. Close to 20º… ’nuff said!



The sunday before, was cloudy but still warm. A good 80k within the mountains around



Thanks to Antonello for the video and the two pictures above! 🙂

Miss that already, but the will be more cycling right there, this springtime.

Oh, and the 1st january 2013 was a nice -albeit cold- day. Good for a ride around town!