Crank Brothers New Titanium Pedals: Eggbeater 11

174 grams. Shiny.

This week Crank Brothers announced an entirely new product line, including a replacement to their 2ti and 4ti lines of ultra-lightweight mountain biking pedals. We managed to get our hands on a set of the outgoing 4ti, at a reduced rate, in order to see if they live up to the hype and flashy gold coloring. Still no verdict on the new ones unless Crank Bros decides to take pity on a budget weight weenie.

roughly 18 number 2 pencils, a.k.a an egregious abuse of scientific equipment

If you just have to have the blingingest and lightest pedals out there, consider throwing a set of these on your weeniebike.

How lightweight are they? Glad you asked. Let’s make some stupid comparisons: each pedal weighs about the same as 18 number 2 pencils…(I would have used jellybeans but Whitey a.k.a. C-Dub a.k.a. Chris Wellhausen ATE ALL OF THEM. THOSE WEREN’T JUST JELLYBEANS! THEY WERE PRECIOUS SCIENTIFIC EQUIPMENT YOU PIG.) Needless to say without the precise comparative analogy of jellybeans, we were forced to make do with office supplies.

The new pedals feature improved needle-style bearings and apparently better sealing to reduce the frequency of required rebuilds. My old Eggbeaters (steel model) are holding up fine a couple years later, though not nearly to a high level of abuse. The new pedals are 10g heavier but reported to be a lot more durable.

At the moment I am eagerly awaiting the sound of a postman knocking to deliver the “old news” 4ti pedals which I’ll throw on the scales and possibly on the bike, time provided.

The old pedals were no slouch, and I’m sure the new ones will be just as reliable, albeit a lot more sexy.

The old 4ti eggbeater: reportedly 167g for the pair

Notice how the construction of the new pedals seems to be a lot more seamless. The spring mechanism still looks pretty much the same, but the spindles are noticeably shorter, probably affecting “Q factor” (the distance between both your feet as you pedal. Road bikes tend to be narrow, MTB tend to be wider stanced). Indeed the major complaint a lot of people had on the 4ti was remedied in purchasing shorter spindles from crank bros. I’m guessing enough was heard that they just provided them from the factory now. Also the reduced length should reduce the effective torque on the threading and hopefully help the pedals last longer.

Check out the new and improved specs over at Crank Bros. They’ve got a whole host of new sweet gear for the mid-year.

GIANT XTC 29er gets some weight weenie love

The Giant XTC I just picked up is a great bike. It handles the trails solid and it’s even pretty light for a completely stock mountain bike. We tipped it in at just over 26 lbs (about 11,800 g for the metric lovers) completely stock.

Handlebars: Easton EC90 Flat bars

The first step to getting the bike set up right was cutting down the boat tiller handlebars. After a particularly nasty run in with a narrow pair of trees, a quick trip to a friend’s house yielded bars that were a little more adept at passing through those tree gateways you see all too often at the last minute on the trail.

Still, these bars were quite heavy and stock, and finding a good deal via ebay on EASTON EC70 flat bars with Carbon nanotubes (and since they used a fancy word like nano it must be really high-tech and sciencey) really sealed the deal. The nanotubes thing is supposed to make you feel confident that these bars won’t snap like dried pasta when you huck and shred through some gnar descents. At the very least, they will look super cool cruising to the coffee shop where I can pretend to be a “real mountain biker” and “impress” the cute sleeve-tattooed rayban wayfarer wearing ladies?

TOTAL WEIGHT SAVINGS: 241g-131g= 111g

Stem: KCNC Bone 100mm Stem

The next thing to go was the stem. The factory stem is great, but I had two problems with it: It had the company name “GIANT” all over it (I think the name of the company appears over 20 times on the bike already) and it was big and heavy. I opted for a KCNC Bone stem (scandium with titanium bolts) in a similar size to adjust my position on the bike.

TOTAL WEIGHT SAVINGS: 160g-108g=52g

Grips: ESI Grips

The next step was the bars and grips. The GIANT grips are sweet lock on grips: They even got a great review in this month’s bicycling magazine. The problem I had was that they were made for someone whose hands must look like Chewbacca’s. I can’t hold on to the end of the handlebar and actually reach my shifters from the edges of these things. I opted for some really nice foam grips from ESLGRIPS. Minimal weight savings, but I’m a long time user of these grips and they absorb vibration and stay sticky whether wet or dry.

TOTAL WEIGHT SAVINGS: 102g-56g=46g

Shimano SLX Gear indicator removal:

This process was the easiest. Shimano’s new “SLX” group has nifty little gear indicators. This would be cool if you’ve never thrown a leg over a 2 wheeler since before you had locked lips with anyone other than your mother, however I think most people can at least make a quick glance back if they are confused provided they aren’t drunk, suffering from an ear infection, or coming down from a 3 day methamphetamine binge. Yeah. These dorky things had to go.

TOTAL WEIGHT SAVINGS: 20g

OVERALL WEIGHT SAVINGS: 229g or .505 lbs

That wasn’t a bad way to cut 1/2 lb off the front of the bike. More to come…


GIANT XTC 29er 1 Riding Update: The seatpost SUCKS!

Now, I have one gripe with the XTC 29’er: The seatpost sucks. It’s absolutely awful. I’m not the only one with this problem either. Giant, please take note, the seatpost has this great fancy looking mechanism by which you can angle the seat with all sorts of clever indicators, and the parts are even anodized a fancy blue.

The problem is that when you stick a post that pivots with only one bolt holding it in place, the moment you hit a nasty change in elevation (say, going down a drop and then back up again) the saddle angles straight up into taint pounding, anus puncturing attack position. I’m honestly lucky I somehow escaped this seatpost’s failure without feeling like I’d done a month in the state penitentiary. I’m still waiting to ride this thing hard until I can get either a different seatpost from GIANT, or a Thomson, which would fix the problem once and for all. GIANT: please stick to making frames. This foray into parts making almost left me with an anal prolapse.

(update: the Thomson is on and it is WONDERFUL to be able to ride this thing again. I can now remove the local colorectal surgeon from my speed dial.)

What’s next? A new set of brakes, as the juicy 3’s work fine, but they gobble like turkeys and are a bit squishy compared to my old, trusted, and solid HAYES 9 Carbon brakes on my SANTA CRUZ BLUR (which is for sale. Hey-o!)

And after that? A new set of tubeless wheels. Currently debating the benefits of Industry nine’s 3 degree engagement versus the very time entrusted and allegedly bulletproof Chris king hubs laced to some Stan’s rims, and hopefully utilizing what would be the absolute ugliest color combination I could put on my bike. Any suggestions?

Pedro’s Trixie Tool Review

The Pedro's Trixie tool.
The Pedro's Trixie tool.

Sometimes you need a bit of change in your life.  It might be when you’re 50 and you’re tired of your wife and kids so you go out and buy a Mercedes CL550, get a spray on tan and find some 20 year old girl to be your new mistress.  Or it might just be when you’re tired of spinning you’re legs to pieces because you thought it would be fantastic to pair a 20t cog with a 42t chain ring.

Fortunately for me the latter was the case as I had a set of deep Vs with a cog that didn’t quite fit my needs. A few hours later I was walking out of Houston Fixed Gear with a the Pedro’s Trixie and a new track cog.

Pedro's Trixie Opening a Bottle of Saint Arnolds.
Pedro's Trixie Opening a Bottle of Saint Arnolds.

Pedros’s describes the Trixie as the “ultimate urban survival tool.”  It comes with two wingnuts to screw the tool into your bottle cage holders, a lockring tool, 8,9,10mm box end wrenches on the interior of the tool with a 15 box end wrench on the bottom, a hole to create a chain whip, a 5mm hex key and of course a bottle opener.

The tool is nice a sturdy and the lockring works just as I’d expect any lockring tool to function.  In fact it works a whole hell of a lot better than the hammer x screwdriver collabo I had used to put the first lockring on. Using the Trixie as a chain whip is a tad bit difficult and some grooving on the anterior of the tool would have made things much easier. The 5mm hex key is just the right length to tighten and release the majority of components on any bike, but a 4mm and 6mm would have been nice too.   My biggest beef with this tool believe it or not is the bottle opener as it doesn’t quite have enough lip to properly grab the cap of your standard beer bottle.

Overall the tool is great value and would certainly find its way into my bag if I were headed to the velodrome on a regular basis; however for day to day riding I’ll stick to keeping a Park rescue tool in my seat bag and keep using my bottle cage bosses for holding bottle cages.    You can view more pictures of the Pedro’s Trixie tool in action in the gallery below.

Paul Smith Japan x Cycling collabo

jbcj-888h-p0603-ml-36156

Yes, this is real. In fact it is so real, I saw it last week while I was picking up my sweet arse Paul Smith suit over in Shibuya-ku (I’m in Tokyo again. I wish it was for good, but alas it is not)

I think I might have to pick this up. Along with a set of these beauties (Paul Smith x Rapha gloves collabo)

1543-01

from Rapha.cc then I could roll in complete velo couture. I’m happy to see how many of the high end boutique s lining the Tokyo “Champs Elysees” of Omotesando street have front displays featuring a bike or cyling related goods, even if the store has nothing to do with it.

orig src from : trackosaurusrex

Hipster Action Figures

Now we just need to place them outside of a coffee shop, or sitting at Poison Girl or Boondocks drinking PBR and the scene is complete.

I spent 3 years color coordinating my track bike
"I spent 3 years color coordinating my track bike"

via HypeBeast

this development has lead Whitie to tease me about the very real fact that I will probably me moving to PDX within the next couple of months (at least before the hellish Houston summer sets in, that way I can continue the road racing season as long as possible)

movingtoportland

make sure to give the members of Team HighFlange a wish of good luck as they head to Austin this weekend for their first road race of the season!

Rubber down!