Going from 10 to 11

I have an old wheelset laying around and I was looking into upgrading it from 10 speed to 11 speed cassette. The cassette width has changed so it isn’t so straight forward, but there are few options available in this case.

  • No replacement freehub body unfortunately available or can’t just find the right model from Novatec
  • 11s Shimano MTB cassette largest sprocket has 36 teeth so longer rear derailleur would be needed
  • Special adapter cassettes are expensive (Token TK-128, Edco, Dark Speed, Lasco Concept, Wheels manufacturing)
  • Milling 1.85mm off cassette (40mm diameter) would require a lathe
  • Filing 1.8mm off the freehub body

So generally it sounds like the easiest and cheapest solution would be the first one, but the last one is the only one practical in my case.

On cycling safely

During the Covid-19 lot of new people have taken up riding bikes. Novice cyclists are often times unsure of themselves and scared of riding on the road. It seems this leads to some exaggerated behavior. Many have this notion that they can control the environment with blinky lights, neon gear and riding in the gutter. Worst part is that they propagate and recommend this information to their peers. Here are some thoughts around the topic that may help cycling safely and with confidence.

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At the crossroads

Another year has passed and the end results last year were half decent. I did attend a few new events and did some new type of rides, but in all honesty physically there was no significant progress (FTP ~200, BMI 26). I have said I will continue cycling at least until I’m 50 years old, but it feels kind of boring to keep doing more of the same. So either I really need to wind it up a notch or decide I ride a bike just for fun. If I were to try crank it up I would need to ride way more and much harder. Cycling is fun, but I don’t know if I want to make that kind of sacrifice.

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New coming of Strava?

I use the free Strava ride tracking service pretty much after every ride. Considering how much I’ve complained about the service in the past it is only fair I review the latest changes to the service. The big news this week was that there are now some new limitations to the freemium plan. At the same time the silly tiered premium model was dropped. The new model is more attractive, but to be honest Strava is still lacking in some key areas (Bluetooth/ant+ support in app, multi-sport etc.) and the yearly subscription does appeal to me.

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Bike fitting the hard way

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The thing with building up a bike from the frame up is that you will need to figure out how to set everything up. Unless you can copy from an existing bike or you have attended a professional bike fitting session it can be a bit of blind shot. Having almost made all the bike fitting mistakes here is my recount of the symptoms that can help you guide in bike fitting.
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Going global

20200503_162949[1]The Coronavirus pandemia has reached our northern shores. It took some time, but it was pretty evident nothing will totally stop the disease from spreading. Ice hockey halls and gyms are closed due to the outbreak so it is time to start the cycling season. The winter has been extraordinarily warm so the roads are clear of ice and the sun is shining so the only open issue is the disease itself. I’ve experienced some mild headaches and an itchy throat. It is really difficult to judge whether the symptoms are just spring allergies, normal influensa or light COVID-19. At least it is pretty unlikely to catch the dreaded illness riding your bike. Still it is better proceed with caution. For example I could not find much information about the risk of myocardia so it is probably good idea to start the season with easy endurance rides.

Stay safe!

Why do I ride my bikes?

vaasaEvery now and then cycling feels little pointless. It is good exercise of course, but people are worried about your safety and in the end you can’t deny you are just going around in circles. So it begs the question why I keep getting back at it every spring. My guess is that the explanation is related to gaining sense of personal achievement and the fact that I enjoy the visual beauty of nature. While cycling you really feel alive and it is hard to get tired of the changing vistas in front of you. So in essence my love of cycling boils down to bragging rights, visual stimulation and defying mortality. Continue reading

Plans for 2020

20200422_181256I have had a habit of writing down some concrete things I wish I could get done over the next cycling season. Sad thing is I can keep recycling many of these from year to year.

If there is one single thing I would like to accomplish in 2020 that would be riding with my son and wife bit more. In hindsight those were the best parts of 2019 anyway. Continue reading

Live and let live

20200105_102806I have been open to you about my own run in with the big C. Nothing is guaranteed in life, but I might have gotten lucky. Still, I can’t say I feel 100% safe. The monster is always lurking in the shadows and it is going to affect every third of us. Recently a buddy of mine got to hear some harsh news. I don’t know too much about his situation, but needless to say it was very difficult to accept for me. This latest turn of events raised some very strong emotions. I don’t know how to react. It all just feels so unfair and senseless. Continue reading

Zwift on the cheap

zwift Zwift offers a free 25km trial every month. What not a lot of people know is that you can keep riding and finish your training session after the trial ends. I do lot of other sports during the winter so I have found out the monthly trial is more than sufficient for my needs. I can do two short 30 minutes sessions riding up a mountain and still have a couple of hundred meters left in the trial to start a third longer ride. The only downside is that your level does not get higher and you do not get drops after the trial expires. If you are still eager to do additional training there are other free apps or trials around. I choose to run, snowboard, skate or play icehockey, floorball or basketball during my off-season. Continue reading