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December 2015

16:46 Saturday 26 December 2015

Boxing Day Mud 2016

Managed to squeeze in a cross country ride on Boxing day from one set of parents to another. The weather in the South East is not severe as elsewhere around the country but it's still wet enough to be very muddy everywhere.

I didn't ride into the puddle, the bike was placed in the puddle purely for the photograph. The wheels were in the water for several minutes.

When I got back on and resumed cycling the mud that was on the part of the wheel that was immersed in water slid off while everywhere else it continued to stick causing the wheels to drag and release, drag and release, and so on.

Further along the track became stony and less muddy and I knew it would have puddles along it I could use to clean the mud off the wheels simply by riding through them.

The puddles spread across the track, a good eight feet wide in places and on riding through them discovered some were probably a foot deep in places. I got rather wet and the noise caused the horses in the field beside the track to run around in circles watching me. I also caught the attention of a young horse rider whose head I could see over a fence grinning at me.

Now my bike was relatively clean, it was time to get back into the fields and orchards for the final leg of the journey where it got covered in mud all over again.

18:40 Sunday 6 December 2015

Black Friday

During the run in to Black Friday I was ruminating upon the opportunity to buy more bike stuff when the idea of new brakes for my Canyon Nerve XC seemed particularly appealing.

I never had been impressed with the factory fitted Avid Elixir 3 brakes, they just didn't seem to perform as well as the Shimano Deore brakes I'd been using on my hardtail for the past eight* years.

They also didn't appear to be doing well in the durability stakes with the finish on the lever body and caliper body showing obvious surface corrosion. The old Deore hydraulics are bomb proof in comparison.

Given my budget, I was aiming to aquire a set of Shimano XT brake levers and calipers (and use the existing rotors). After a few days resisting the click of the proverbial buy now button, I decided new brakes were an extravagance I didn't need.

Then I started looking at Shimano SLX brakes, one step down from XT. The reviews were very positive and seemed to suggest XT didn't have much performance-wise over these, just a little bit lighter and boasted a pointless adjustmer nobody ever used.

Using on a popular forum I soon found confirmation that SLX brakes are a worthy upgrade to Avid Elixirs (nobody even to contradict it). I found the best deal I could for a set of front + rear levers, hose, and calipers, pre-bled and ready to bolt on and ride with.

Then I discovered the reason for their low price - the length of the rear hose was rather short. I measured the hose for the Elixirs and it was 15cm longer but I hoped I'd get away with it, especially as the Shimano brakes allow the hose to be angled where it is attached to the caliper.

Alas I was wrong, the hose was too short, but sending them back wasn't an option as Black Friday deals had ceased by this time! I looked at alternative routing options and a more direct route along the top-tube would be fine for the hose length.

But then that would require spending money on cable guides to hold the hose in place, thus losing the saving gained by the short hoses. Or I could kill two birds with one stone here, and finally do away with the cable ties holding the dropper post cable in place and do it properly with guides.

Except the top tube isn't circular in profile nor uniform along the length, so the wrong shape for guides which clamp on. Forum posts about cable guides suggested the stick-on guides lacked durability and reliability.

Eventually I found a solution which wouldn't require too much work for me to make. I would use a strip of aluminium sheet and bend it to have two loops; one for the dropper-post remote cable, and the other for the hydraulic brake hose. The guide would be held onto the top tube by way of rubber o-rings (as commonly used for holding lights to handlebars).

The first I made became a prototype after cutting the lips for holding the o-ring far too short. On the plus side, I now knew what was involved, what to use to for shaping the aluminium to fit snuggly around the hose and cable, how to clamp it in the vice to bend it.



A page detailing new stuff and other random noise.

The journal is a general place for writing about what I am doing, or for making more official announcements concerning the things I do. It's also a place where I can write freely about my ideas, or just play with words and language.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris as expressed here in the past may or may not accurately reflect the opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris at present, moreover, they may never have.

this page last updated:29th April 2013 (C) 2003 - 2017 James W. Morris

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