Thoughts of Cyclocross...

The weather has been a bit wet, and quite cloudy.  I was almost fully into roadie mode, but then this weather has brought me back to thinking about cyclocross.

Yeah, cyclocross.  In June.  So?  Here's a few miscellaneous things floating around in my noggin:

Brakes
Okay, check it out; cyclocross brakes use normal mountain bike brake pads.  Why?  I think it's because that's what's cheap and available.  So last winter, I asked myself why?  Why are we using these stupid brake pads?   I have a lot more to say on this so I'll post later after I've done some testing.

Tubeless
I'll for sure be running tubeless clinchers this coming season.  Considering going with Michelin Muds again, but those Hutchinson tubeless ready tires are very tempting, with their sexy tubeless specific sidewalls and all. And hey, looks like Stan's Notubes is going to offer a 'cross specific version of their Crow, dubbed the Raven.

I've also dug in and considered converting an existing wheelset to tubeless for use on my single speed 'cross bike.  I've said before that I wouldn't do this, opting instead for Stan's own rim design.  Further research has assured me that's the best decision.  However, if you're insistent on giving a standard wheelset a try, allow me to share my thoughts on the matter:

  • Wider is better
  • Shallow drop channel (where the spokes live) is better.  Deep channel is no good.
  • Notubes.com is now selling cyclocross specific rim strips
  • While I LOVE Continental tires, stay clear of the Twister Pro for tubeless applications.
  • Watch the video on the Notubes site illustrating sealing up a difficult tire, and do what the man says.
  • Ksyriums seem to be very good candidates.  On the down side you'd be riding Ksyriums in the mud.

Morningstar
The rear hub on my cyclocross race wheel was seized up and full of more crud than I thought possible.  Personally, I like Shimano hubs because they use loose bearings, and are serviceable.  However, I was lazy and didn't service them well, especially after the last USGP race weekend.

If you want to overhaul a rear Shimano hub, it sure makes life easier to remove the dust cap.  The problem is, they're nearly impossible to put back in.  I tried, it broke.  I cannibalized another from an older hub.  It broke, too.

Turns out Morningstar makes some sweet reusable dust caps.  I bought a couple at Loose Screws.  And while I was at it, I got a Freehub Buddy, which I believe is the only way to easily overhaul the freehub body on a Shimano hub.

Hopefully, I keep up with the maintenance a little better this time around.


Okay, kids, that's all I've got for you today.  Catch you later.

Comments
That 'Raven' tire looks really really interesting. It's hard to go wrong with MichMud2s, but shoot,
this news shakes things up a bit in my mind. I'll have to see them up close and personal to truly decide,
however I may very well test this out. Seem like a great match to the ZTR rims.
# Posted By Dan Porter | 6/6/08 1:05 PM
# Posted By Brian Johnson | 6/9/08 12:14 AM
I will explain why I think they are stupid in another post, soon.

Not cheap for YOU. Cheap for them - cheap because they where already available, and how often are stock pads high quality?

I like salmon Kool Stops, definitely the best EVAR. More later.
# Posted By erikv | 6/9/08 6:48 AM
mmm scott mathausuer(sp) pad compound...

that stuff is wickedly awesome in goodness factor...
# Posted By gewilli | 6/9/08 8:29 AM