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By Lennard Zinn
Things that work and things that don’t
Would my 9-speed FSA Carbon cranks work with my 2004 Campagnolo Record 10-speed? Do I need to take off my 10-speed rings from my Record cranks and put them on the FSA cranks?
Chad Dear Chad,
Yes, it will work fine as is. And you could not take your Campy rings and put them on the FSA crank anyway, because the Campy rings have a 135mm bolt circle, and the FSA crank has a 130mm bolt circle (or 110mm, if it is a Compact Road crankset).
Lennard Were it a Brooks, it would just be getting broken in
How many miles can a saddle last before it needs to be replaced?
Jim Here’s an answer from Selle Italia
I am not sure that miles is an accurate gauge of wear on saddles. More important may be the maintenance, upkeep and storage of the bike/saddle when not in use. Even if the saddle is not ridden many miles the cover, foam, base are deteriorating with the foam being the most effected by time. When the foam loses its cushioning/ resilience/ability to bounce back, it should be replaced. I am also including the answer from the factory in Italy.
Sales Agent for SELLE ITALIA How Many Miles?
It has been asked “How many miles should a saddle last?” (It is like asking the question – “Which is the best color – blue or red?”) Saddle life can be affected by such a wide variety of elements and riding technique that no one answer will suffice. To get the most life out of a saddle, these 4 simple suggestions are offered.
Keep the saddle clean. Use water and a soft brush to clean. Do not use leather preparation or oils. Use a soft cloth to absorb as much moisture from the leather cover as possible after cleaning. Avoid extreme heat and cold. Such extremes can cause the saddle foam and base to deteriorate before its time. Leaving a saddle in the trunk or back seat of a closed car during hot weather will reduce the life of the cover, foam and base. Cover the saddle with a tight fitting nylon or PU seat cover if being transported on a roof or rear of car/truck. This will protect the saddle cover and foam from extensive wind and element abrasion. Avoid impacts to the saddle. Bent and broken rails are the most common reason for saddle replacement. Even rider impacts can cause rail problems.
Using these 4 suggestions, it is possible to maximize the number of miles from a good quality leather covered saddle. According to a report done by the Fassa Bortolo team in 2003, Allesandro Petacchi was able to obtain 35,000km on his Turbomatic 4, Igor Gonzales 40,000km on his Flite, Dario Frigo 49,000km on his SLR, Franck Vandenbrouke 35,000km on his SLR and Marco Velo 32,000 Km on his Flite. Maybe it isn’t possible for everyone to obtain these kinds of miles but with proper care, technique and some luck it can be done.
Carbon fork for tandem?
I have researched buying a carbon fork for our Burley Tosa tandem, and want to ask you two brief questions. Burley will offer this spring an Alpha Q fork that will be geometrically identical to TT’s Alpha Q CX cyclo-cross carbon fork (47mm rake/395 length). Although it is touted to be stronger, no details are available as to exactly how. Do you still think the latest CX fork is not able to handle road tandem riding? TT’s Alpha Q X2 tandem fork (48mm rake/374mm length) which as been available for a while, has been touted to allow 28c tires in the past, but they will be changing the labeling to 25c this year even though the design and build will be the same. Do you think a 28c Gatorskin on a velocity deep v might fit? My biggest concern with the current fork is the dropping of the front end and problem of pedal ground clearance. You know more than anyone about these forks, what is your take?
Mark Dear Mark,
The old fork did not fit some 28C tires, so True Temper changed the name so nobody would be irritated. They did not change the fork, and it might very well fit over your tire. The new Burley fork is a bit longer and beefier, and it should hold up fine for your tandem.
Lennard Old disc with a new outlook?
I have an older Zipp 950 rear Track Disc, which has the older style bearings, where turning a bolt tightens or loosens the bearings. I find this quite annoying as tightening the wheel in the track dropouts puts addition pressure on the bearings making it difficult to adjust. Is it possible to simply rebuild (by the manufacturer) the hub to incorporate newer cartridge type bearings?
James Here’s an answer from Zipp
The problem is most likely due to pairing hub parts from two generations of model 950 discs. It’s fairly common due to the number of years this basic model was manufactured and the several incarnations of hubs available as the industry transitioned from freewheel to cassette and 7-, 8-, 9- and finally 10-speed systems. It’s also one of those things that can be cleared up pretty quickly by phone if you have the disc in hand to look at and you call the ZIPP technical support line at 1 800/447 8372. Ask for Bill Vance. I’m old enough and have been here long enough to have seen pretty much every configuration imaginable. James did not say if he purchased the disc new or used, but I suspect due to the age of the disc that somewhere along the line the wrong axle kit or parts from a different generation of hub was installed. Because of the difference in the size of the hub flange center to center spacing between 7- and 8-speed freewheel versions and the corresponding difference in length of the raised center spacer on the axle, this will put an undue side load on the bearings when the bolts or track caps are tightened as the disc is installed on the bike. A small spacer or shim placed between the raised shoulder of the axle and the inside race of the bearing will re-establish the correct spacing. The Model 950, along with its sibling model 1150, was introduced as a “flip-flop” 7-speed thread-on freewheel and track compatible model all the way back in 1989 and continued in various hub styles and configurations until being replaced by the model 900 in 1998. There are still several thousand of these older but still functional discs in use and floating around for sale used, many of which have seen several owners. The problem James describes is common to these discs as new owners try to adapt the old technology to their needs. Adding to the confusion, for many years ZIPP offered an up-grade service where the owner could send the disc back to the factory and for a fee have the hub up-graded to the latest generation. For most of its production run, the 950 was available in two basic types: The more familiar road cassette freehub body style hub or the “flip-flop” style that could convert from a track disc with track cog and lockring threads on one side, or by changing the axle kit, to a road compatible thread-on freewheel mounted on the opposite side of the disc. In the old days and up until the advent of 9-speed systems, this was the preferred model 950 disc configuration as it allowed the disc to be used both on road and track with a simple change of the axle kit. As noted above, there are thousands of these older discs still being used, sold and traded. (Note that the current ZIPP Model 900 Dimpled disc can also convert from road to track configuration quickly and easily.) When ordering a 950 “flip-flop” disc, there was also a choice of 7speed or 8speed freewheel compatibility. To convert the disc for track use, the corresponding 7- or 8-speed track axle kit was required. If the axle is black with hex shaped nuts and the hub flange up against the disc is black with white lettering, this would be a 7-speed freewheel / track version and one of the first 75 to 100 discs produced by ZIPP. (Two years ago, three of the first 10 manufactured in 1989 showed up from separate owners, so it would not be unheard of…) If the metal hub flanges on the disc are red or black with white writing the disc is a 7-speed freewheel / track version. On either of the two styles above, even though the hub was originally designed for a 7-speed freewheel on the road side, the solution is to install a new track axle kit from the 8-speed version of the “flip-flop” hub along with a spacer between the bearing and the raised shoulder on the axle kit to re-establish the proper interior spacing. Both the axle kit and the spacer are available from ZIPP. This does not mean you can use an 8-speed freewheel on the road, but it can be adapted for the track. The axle kit is available from your ZIPP dealer or direct from ZIPP Tech support for $37.95 plus shipping. 7- to 8-speed adaptor shim/spacer can be included at n/c for the asking. The only trick is determining what generation of hub you have…7- or 8-speed. Again, if there are any doubts, we are happy to help at 1 800 447 8372.
ZIPP Speed Weaponry
Feedback on putting a 1-inch steerer in a 1-1/8-inch standard frame
Read the letter from Cliff with the 1 1/8-inch head tube and 1-inch steerer tube. If the head tube is not machined for a Campy headset, it is probably for the Cane Creek “standard.” FSA makes headsets for both Campy and CC standards for the 1 1/8-inch x 1-inch steerer combo. Their headset model No. 16A/CC fits a 26.4/27.0 crown race and a head tube machined for a 41mm outer diameter x 45 degree angle cut head tube. Their Orbit CF does the same thing for a Campy machined head tube.
Technical writer Lennard Zinn is a frame builder (www.zinncycles.com), a former U.S. national team rider and author of several books on bikes and bike maintenance including the pair of successful maintenance guides “ Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance” and “Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance.”Zinn’s regular column is devoted to addressing readers’ technical questions about bikes, their care and feeding and how we as riders can use them as comfortably and efficiently as possible. Readers can send brief technical questions directly to Zinn. Zinn’s column appears here each Tuesday.