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1X Conversion, Chain Cleaning & Riding No-Handed | GCN Tech Clinic

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– Welcome back to another cracking episode of the GCN Tech Clinic, where we answer and solve your bike-related problems So if you've got one, leave it for me down there in the comments section, I'll do my very best to answer it in a future episode

Right, let's crack on First question this week comes in from Jeroen Hendricks who says, they've got a full Ultegra groupset on the cross bike, everything is running externally, and it has a triple chainset on the front Now, Jeroen says, they only used the middle chainring now, so what do they have to do to make this a single chainring, or a double with a low budget? Right then, Jeroen, if you wanna go one-by, just remove the other chainrings and use the existing chainring bolts, but just take up the slack by using some washers Alternatively, you could get some single chainring bolts, too, to actually work Now if you're looking to run it as a two-by system still, take off the inner chainring, because it sounds like you don't use that, and play around with the adjustment screws, the limit screws on the front derailleur, and you'll be able to use that as a double setup

I do like a bit of hacking and bodging Now we've got Andrew Deck and Andrew says, on their bike, the rear axle and hub is slightly smaller than the width of the bike's rear stays, so when they tighten the wheel into place, they can see the rear stays get slightly squeezed together Now Andrew's assumption is that this is adding a bit of a twist to the chain system and allowing for minor shifting imperfections and also, reckons he notices extra wear on the system Is there anything that Andrew can do to add on to the axle to increase the wheel width to offset this issue? Andrew, this is perfectly normal on frames, really, because the internal diameter, or internal width rather, of a chain stay as well as fork tends to be a couple of millimeters wider than the over locknut distance of your hubs So, when you tighten up the skewer, the frame does in fact just clamp on to those over locknuts

You see where I am? Hopefully still Now, if you had it narrower, you would actually have to pull apart the frame to actually get your wheel in, which doesn't sound ideal really either So it's perfectly fine, and when you're setting up your gears, you always do that with the wheel fully clamped up in the rear, too So you shouldn't be getting any gear imperfections or anything like that because, well, you're setting up like that in the first place As for adding anything onto the axles, I wouldn't do that, so no washers or anything like that, because if you do it, you're not gonna have quite as big contact area between the axle and the frame, which doesn't sound very safe really

So don't go adding anything onto the axles If you look around or ask any of your riding buddies, they will all have the same kind of thing there So, everyone's frame tends to just move in a couple of millimeters when you do up those quick-release skewers Next we've got Chiel van den Boogaard, I hope I pronounced that correctly Now, their problem is they've got a problem with the chain and cassette, which is never good

They clean them every two or three weeks, really thoroughly, they say Now when they ride again, everything is dirty and black straightaway How can they prevent this and keep a clean bike? Right then Have you only cleaned the chain and cassette? That could be the problem Make sure you also clean the chain rings and the pulley wheels too, because they accumulate a hell of a lot of gunk and dirt

And also rinse it really, really thoroughly, too And when I say you've cleaned it thoroughly, and also rinsed it thoroughly, I mean thoroughly Because there's thoroughly, and there's Jon Cannings, elbow grease thoroughly, the two are pretty different Now also, only apply bike-specific chain lubricant So don't go putting a multipurpose grease or anything like that on it, cause it's not gonna do the same job

And, importantly too, only apply it to the rollers of the chain So each individual one Okay, it's gonna take up three minutes of your time, possibly something like that, but it is gonna give you much better results, because all that gunk is not gonna get accumulated As for getting a perfectly clean bike, I don't know I wish I did know

I have actually used, in the past, some mud repellent, believe it or not, that I could spray on the frame I reckon it did work in fact, that mud and dirt and stuff like that, it didn't tend to stick on there quite as much However, I'm not that fussed about it I do actually enjoy washing my bike And you should, too

Next one this week is from Lou Ooxil or something like that anyway They have a question for their favorite bike mechanic Isn't that nice of you? On their vintage commuting 650B Gitane bike, I love a Gitane, whenever they ride no-handed with some speed, the front wheel and handle bars start to wobble How can they solve this? Don't ride no handed No, in seriousness, make sure that your headset bearings and hub bearings are all okay, they're not loose and they're not ultra-tight, anything like that

So they're just silky smooth, buttery smooth, if you like Also make sure your frame and forks are perfectly in line, so not bent or twisted And, importantly too, your handle bars and stem are pointing in the correct direction So I don't mean backwards or anything like that, I just mean they're totally in line with the fork It could also be, maybe, you just need a little bit more practice there with the actual riding no handed

Or it could well be the speed you're riding at, because a lot of bikes do tend to get a little bit of speed wobble once they're up to a really high speed Because of the frequency of the front wheel, and also the frame, they get a bit of vibration from the road, and together, those two, basically, you meet, or they match each other in a really incompatible way, and they start to wobble It's not that common, though I'd say most bikes do get it, you tend to get it at very, very, very high speed On mountain bikes, especially in your case with 650B wheels there, which are more common on mountain bikes, you don't really tend to find it that often But anyway, I hope that you can solve that either with your hub set, or head set in this case, or hub set bearings

Fingers crossed your frame isn't out of line Let me know how you get on with that one Next question is from Doug Mason Now Doug has just bought a new cassette and he ordered a CS-5800 cassette to match his Shimano 105 that he has on the bike Instead, the seller has sent a CS-R7000

After reviewing Shimano's compatibility chart, it looks like it should work just fine Can I confirm? Yup, that will work just fine And do you know what, Doug, you're a lucky lad, because you've actually got an upgrade there because that's the latest generation, so it's, what, four years on from the 5800 cassette that you ordered There's nothing better than getting a cheeky, unexpected little brucie bonus in the post, is there? And yeah, it's gonna work just fine Next question comes here from Horia Popan who says, Jon, have you ever used a RoadLink derailleur hanger extension

Now they would like to use their 105 or Ultegra rear long cage derailleur with an 11 to 40 cassette instead of the 11 to 34 cassette they've currently got Good news, I have used one I didn't use the wolf tooth specific one, in fact I used an online copy of one, naughty, I know, but yeah it was very, very cheap and it arrived very, very quick And it did work, and it allowed me be able to drop my rear derailleur about two centimeters lower than its usual place on the rear derailleur hangar What does that allow then? Well, it allows the rear derailleur upper pulley wheel to just be a little bit lower so you can accommodate a bigger or a wider range cassette, if you like

So I managed to use a short-cage campagnolo rear derailleur, which normally would allow a 28 or 29 tooth cassette, I think it is, maybe a 27, I can't quite remember which model it was off the top of my head Anyway, I managed to use a 36 tooth cassette with that So with your long-cage 105 or Ultegra rear mech, a 40 tooth with a road link, not a problem at all At least not in my opinion Next up is Stuart Freedman who says, they're thinking about converting their stem and adding drop bars onto an 80s mountain bike

I love it, this is going And then you wanna use it this winter Now Stuart, as a tested solution for the thumb shifters, which I'm glad to hear, cause that was actually gonna be one of my questions back to you, but they're curious as to whether drop bar brake levers will have enough pull distance to work well with v-brakes Right then Well, from my experience, you can use standard drop bar brake levers to work with v-brakes, but the pads of the v-brakes need to be really, really, really close to the rim, and obviously then, your rims have to be perfectly true, which isn't always the case for everybody out there

And probably not that practical either So, couple of solutions here You could use a problem solver's travel agent, which is a little bit that you put onto the v-brake system, and it adjusts the amount of cable pulled to allow you to use drop bar brakes along with those v-brakes Alternatively, you could use the Tektro RL520, I think they're called drop bar levers, which are actually purpose-designed to use drop bar levers with your v-brakes Now, and also, send us a picture of that drop bar conversion

I love em Next one, Andrew Dettmer, who has recently bought a TT bike with an Ultegra 6800 crank with 52 and 36 chainrings Now Andrew wants to put on the big boy TT chain rings Now, they're not gender-specific, Andrew Will the Dura Ace 9000 55 42 chainrings fit on the crankset? Yeah, they will

The BCD and pattern are the same, so they are easily interchangeable So go ahead and fit those big dog chain rings on there Something to consider though, remember as well to have enough room on your front derailleur mount to accommodate a 55 tooth chainring Very, very, very likely you will, only in extreme cases, people have to get brackets made or extenders to actually fit that big a diameter So just be aware of that, and it depends on if you're using mechanical or Di2 groupset

If it's Di2, you're fine If it's mechanical, you may well need to get a new inner gear cable cause it could well be frayed, just where it's been clamped But yeah, it's gonna work absolutely fine And the final question this week I'm always sad at this point cause I do like to answer your questions

And it comes in from King85 who uses regular continental race tubes on their DT Swiss 460 training wheels and have a separate Zipp 404 NSW for racing crits Do I think that King85 would benefit by using latex tubes or is it simply marginal gains? Keep up the great work Tough one here really cause a benefit is a marginal gain and a marginal gain is a benefit So, yeah, in my opinion, you will benefit from using latex tubes because they tend to be slightly lighter weight, therefore less rolling resistance meaning you have to put out less power to go the same speed, which is always good, isn't it? Which means you could put out the same power, and go a little bit faster Either way, you're benefiting

Now, there are a couple of downsides actually, because they are porous, or more porous than butyl tubes, so that means you are likely to lose a few PSI during your ride Well, it depends on how far you're riding, to be honest I do know that there was, or still is in fact, teams who used to put a certain amount of pressure into their tubular tires before Paris-Roubaix or at the startline, sorry, of Paris-Roubaix So, they'd lose enough air, it only is fractional, but it is marginal gains we're talking about, so when they hit the first sets of cobblestones in Paris-Roubaix, they're at the optimal pressure because latex tubes do in fact lose some air, as I've already mentioned So, just be aware of that

Overnight you are gonna lose a few PSI, I dunno 15, 20, all depends really on what brand you go for But yeah, latex tubes, I used to use them years and years ago, but they tended to go a bit out of fashion or a bit out of favor, and not so easy to find But yeah, I would say if you really want to go for those marginal gains, go for it Alright, I hope that that answered your question, King I did digress a little bit in there about Paris-Roubaix tech, but well that's the sort of guy I am

Right, remember as well, if you've got a bike related problem, leave it for me down there so that, in the future at GCN Tech Clinic, I can help solve it Also, like and share this video with your friends, especially if they've got one of these awful problems I've just tackled in there Then don't forget too to check out the GCN Shop, shopglobalcyclingnetworkcom for a whole heap of goodies

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