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VeloNews technical writer Lennard Zinn is a frame builder, aformer U.S. national team rider and author of several books on bikes andbike maintenance. Zinn’s VeloNews.com column is devoted to addressing readers’technical questions about bikes, their care and feeding and how we as riderscan use them as comfortably and efficiently as possible. Readers can send brief technical questions directly to Zinn. Zinn’s column appears each Tuesday on VeloNews.com.
I’ve been thinking about putting a 650mm wheel on the front of my bike.Will it help with acceleration as well as by dropping the front down 50mmgive me a more aerodynamic slipstream? I was going to refit with a fork for that wheel size, what do you think? –Thomas
It’s a terrible idea. The bike would be tipped down so much that your head angle would be super steep and hence handle very quickly and be less stable. Furthermore, your bottom bracket would become so low that you would be clipping your pedals all of the time. –Lennard
Just wondering how I could obtain a copy of your great VeloNews article on the subject of Ergo power rebuild. I lost the issue in a recent move.–Brent
It’s in “Zinn &the Art of Road Bike Maintenance,” in even more detail. You should be able to find the book in any book or bike store or at Amazon.com or velogear.com –Lennard
I would like your recommendations for a new set of wheels. I am a recreation rider (6 foot 3, 215 lbs.) who rides about 60-100 miles per week (use torace 20 years ago and think about doing it again someday in the distant future). I ride on city streets (San Francisco) and frequently break spokes(about every 350 miles). My existing wheels are Campy record hubs, Mavicopen with 32 spoke rims. The wheels were rebuilt about 14 months ago and lasted about 4 months without breaking spokes. Is there a wheel that can carry my weight, and city bumps but is light and good looking? I like the looks and idea of the Campy, Spinergy, and Velomax Orion types of wheels. Any advice? –Gordon
I have had great success personally as well as with my big customers on Mavic Ksyrium SSC SLs (most of my custom-frame customers are over 6’5”and 200 pounds).
I read your prior answers in regards to speed wobble on some bikes I have a very similar situation with my Litespeed classic model year 2002.We have tried everything from different wheels to fork types and rakes, nothing helped I even rode a Trek 5500 and it still did that, currently the bike has a Ouzo pro fork 45 rake, Ksyrium wheels, Prima bar, Ritchey stem threadless 11/8 fork. I get the wobble at 22 mph and over when I remove my hands of the handle bars the store and Litespeed was very helpful tryingto solve the problem to no avail. My last choice is to return the bike, and I do not want to do that because I like every thing else about this bike. If it is not dangerous to ride it as is then I will not remove my hands of the bars at 22 mph or more. – Ike
P.S. The bike is steady like a rock even descending at 40 mph with even one hand on the handle bars. Your advice will be very much appreciated. I am 205 pounds 5 foot 9 and please don’t tell me to lose weight, as it is all muscle.
Either return the bike or live with it. Those are your choices. As for danger, it will happen at much higher speeds on fast descents, especially when tucking with your hands in close to the stem, I am quite sure. It is up to you if you can live with that and with always holding onto the bars.
Comment on LED lights:
I was interested about your piece on LED lights (see “TechnicalQ&A” – November 20). May I bring an issue to your attention? After the evenings were becoming darker here and I found myself caught out in the dark on longer rides so I bought a compact set of LED lights but found that they didn’t get along with my cordless flight deck computer. When I turn the front light on, it stops the signal from my fork to my cordless computer. It does not affect an older specialized “cordful”computer I have however.
Comment on noisy Record triple:
In your technical Q&A on the velonews.com web page, some guy had problems with a Campy triple chainring on a Giant bike making noise. The Campy rep gave a long list of things to debug but he forgot one of the most obvious. If the chain is too short for such a large cog/chainring combo, it may be making a lot of noise. Try running a longer chain and see if that helps.
Another comment on noisy Record triple:
WRT to the guy who wrote to your tech column complaining about a noisy Campagnolo drive train, I had a Veloce cassette that was noisy for the first month or so, but is now about as quiet as anything else, it seemed as if it just needed a certain amount of mileage to mesh perfectly w/ the chain. (An SRAM in my case).
Comment on wind trainers
I thought your response to the new cyclist wanting to get a trainer was very appropriate. You might suggest that if she still wants to ridea trainer in the winter, she might do the following to make it more pleasurable.
1. Find a gym that does spin classes; the price of a trainer would easily cover the spin class registration for a couple of seasons.
2. If she does get a trainer, first find a store, club or team that does group trainer workouts. I find with trainers, it really does help to have company and someone giving training cues. Hope this is helpful advice
VeloNews technical writer Lennard Zinn is a frame builder, a formerU.S. national team rider and author of several books including the pairof successful maintenance guides “Zinn& the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance” and “Zinn& the Art of Road Bike Maintenance.”