Nothing much to report here. Work had me on a short leash but I did get some saddle time in, or since I was SS riding mostly, out of the saddle time.
In fact, Friday night I accepted the veritable gauntlet throwdown by Ed the Tall to ride a local hill climb on the SS. It has a bit of a warm-up and then climbs steadily and steeply into a park/woodland area. It hurts on a geary, so the SS seemed foolish there. Perfect challenge, actually, for a quicky after work ride. It actually was not that bad, 35 minutes of so to the top. Fish tacos soon followed.
I have been thinking about what wheels for the SS make the most sense. I have been dabbling with the thought of running a freewheel type hub like a Paul's combined with a White Industries freewheel. It is not really that much cheaper since the freewheel is knocking on $100.00. that kind of eats up the initial cost savings on the hub over, say a Hope SS cassette hub. Still, I do like the wider hub flange spacing on the pure SS hubs. Very nice.
It works out to be around 131 grams heavier for the Paul/Whites combo though. Ugh. Over a 1/4 pound of added weight. More work to change gear ratios, harder to remove freewheel, etc. Well, I think there is room for improvement in the SS hub world. Why stick with a thread-on freewheel? Give me a decent weight hub with a cassette body that accepts a splined cog and allows for maybe 3 cogs width of chainline adjustment. Something like this, but with higher quality (sealing), lighter weight and lots of options for axles...bolt on, QR, thru axle like a 10mm set-up.
Meanwhile, I weighed a few front wheels I have on the three bikes: The Hope/Flow/Race Kings tubeless on the Lev, the DT Swiss 7.1TK/DT Swiss Onyx/Mtn King w/tubes on the Jabber, and the Giant branded setup on the Giant XTC test bike and a Kenda Karma 2.2 with tubes. All of them had the QRs installed in the wheels and 160mm rotors
4lbs 11 oz for the Jabber's wheel
4lbs 15oz for the Giant's wheel
4lbs even for the Lev's set-up.
Wow. Amazing difference. No wonder the Lev feels so nice when I am climbing. I never thought that it would be such a difference. I figured half that maybe. It explains a bit to me on why the Giant feels a bit lazy when climbing. I really want to upgrade the SS wheels now!
Next up was the brake howl/turkey gobble on the rear brake on the Giant. There is an amazing thread on the MTBR Brake forum about the Avid rear brake noise here. I am waiting for some replacement parts from Avid to see if I can break the Juicy 3 in properly, but meanwhile the silly fishing weight has shut up the turkey for now. How funny. See post #429 for my pics of the 'cure'.
The new Serfas pads on the Shimano brakes on the Lev were the next to get my attention. I have been less than thrilled about the amount of braking force the pads are giving me, but worse than that, the rear brake was squealing nicely. I noticed that the pad looked to be catching the rotor vanes (actually, I think the rear rotor is wearing thin) so I spaced the caliper up with a washer. No noise so far. I really could use a bigger rotor in front with the mediocre performance of the pads. They are quiet for a sintered pad, but the Shimano versions offered a lot more bite.
Now, if I can get the pulsing demon out of my BB7 brakes on the Jabberwocky, I will be much happier, but I have plans for that too.