All posts in Bike Parts

06 Oct

Shimano 6800 11 Speed Review

In Bike Love,Bike Parts,Product Review by wrench / October 6, 2013 / 0 Comments

The long awaited Shimano 6800 11 speed groupo is now available and it is exactly what Shimano described. This trickle down version of the Shimano Dura Ace  9000 groupo has more similarities than less.  The ergonomics of the levers feel much more natural, especially compared to previous versions like the Shimano 6600 10 speed group. Shifting feels almost effortless with the reduced shifter ratios and shift cable that appear to defy friction.

6800 Ultegra

Shimano Ultegra Levers

On the first test ride, I immediately noticed the increased braking power as I squeezed the front brake; it was very reassuring having that much stopping power. Unfortunately, the kit I built up did not require the installation of the Shimano bottom bracket because I went with a Chris King bottom bracket instead. I believe that it is very difficult to top the quality and reliability of King products and plus, who doesn’t like a little extra bling?

11 Speed Ultegra Groupo

Shimano 6800 Ultegra Group

One feature I am sure that cyclists will like is the 11/28 cassette, with 11,12,13,14,15,17,19,21,23,25,28 individual cogs keeping ratios close. It is also available in other ratios ranging in several variations from 11/23 to 11/32. One of the most impressive aspects of this group is the 39/53 standard crank set with the four arm spider.  A multitude of chain ring options are available in 53-39,50-34,52-36,46-36 and best of all – they are all interchangeable. The large chain ring is massive and does not appear as if it would flex even under large amount of watts.

11/28 11Speed Cassette

11/28 Shimano Ultegra Cassette

The chain ring bolts screw directly in the chain ring, this means no more butter knife or silly chain ring tools. According to Shimano North America, the 6800 crank is supposed to be as stiff as the Dura Ace 9000 11 speed crank set. The Hollow Tech 2 designs allow cranks to be hollow internally yet incredibly stiff, without sacrificing structural rigidity. This technology seriously drops the weight and makes these cranks the benchmark for stiffness in the industry.

31 Dec

Flying With Your Bicycle

In Bike Love,Bike Parts by wrench / December 31, 2011 / 0 Comments
S&S Coupler

S&S Coupler

Do you find yourself often traveling with your bike? You may want to consider choosing a tried and true solution to aid you in those traveling pains associated with bike shipping. If you fly with your bike, you are going to be penalized with oversize charges for the giant box you would be checking onto the plane. Financially speaking, in most cases you are better off renting a bike for a day or two. But, if you are like me, I would much rather ride my own dream machine then some boring rental bike!

This DeSalvo traveled through Istanbul.

This DeSalvo traveled through Istanbul.

S&S Couplers are a common name in the world of high-end bicycles. They provide a practical, space saving solution for transit without compromising the frame’s structural integrity. Couplers can be installed on most frames, but are most common on steel or titanium frames at the time of building, or as a retrofit by a qualified welder.  Essentially, the bike is broken down into two 26” triangles so that it can be packed into a case that is half of what it would be normally. The standard S&S cases are 26″ x 26″ x 10″ which totals to exactly the 62 inch limit.  The cases meet airline regulations for standard checked luggage, as of this post.


Bon Voyage!

16 Aug

Have you checked your chain lately?

In Bike Parts,Tips by wrench / August 16, 2010 / 1 Comment


Have you checked your chain lately? Manufacturers such as Shimano recommend replacing your chain once the wear reaches between 0.075 mm to 0.1 mm. Using a chain measuring gauge like this Rohloff Caliper 2 chain gauge, allows for fast and easy inspection.

By pressing the tool into the chain, the amount of wear is measured and displayed. Once wear has reached 0.1mm, it is time to replace it. By knowing the wear, you can maximize shifting quality and chain life.

12 Apr

Chris King R45 hubs

In Bike Love,Bike Parts by wrench / April 12, 2010 / 0 Comments

The long awaited Chris King R45 hubs are hitting the door at the Pro Cycle Works studio. Prior to handling this hub set, I wondered how could they improve a hub design already above and beyond their competitors?

Since the original Chris King hub-set, the benchmark has been set high. King hubs have always had a much more responsive free hub body mechanism than the competition. This is especially noticeable when you are riding and about to attack a hill, or when doing a low speed technical maneuver where modulation of power is critical.  Immediately, you notice the superior engagement of power delivery of King hubs.

Standard King hubs use a 72-tooth drive ring. This design has over 3 times the number of engagement points of a standard free hub body that uses 24 points of engagement!

This revised, road specific hub set weighs about 100 grams less then the standard road version. The front hub weighs 102 grams and the rear weighs in at 215 grams. Various hole configurations available to suit and even low spoke count options, which are ideal for building custom carbon wheels.

Window cut outs on the rear hub, none drive side flange, knocked the weight down further and provide an interesting aesthetic detail. Weight was dropped off of the R45 set by using a titanium ring drive with 45 points of engagement vs. the standard 72. This is still much more response then the 24-point engagement.

Because of the reduced number of engagements, the hub dramatically quiets down. The “angry Bee sound” that has long been synonymous with King hubs is now gone with the past. Lower drag seals that reduce friction while protecting the bearings are now also being used. This minor update may sound ridiculous to some, but others take it very seriously in the world of watts competition.  I can’t wait to get the first ride on them!


Erik Vitela