It's been a while
and I suppose I should post a little write-up on the parts and how they fared in the long-term.
SRAM Red (178g) vs Recon ALU (104g): Could never get the Recon to shift really well. Lots of skipping under power after 10 rides or so. Annoying, but more importantly, embarrassing in traffic / race situations.
Power Cordz (2 or 3 grams) vs Steel Cables: Power Cordz are just fantastic. Perhaps it's because I left soggy CZ, but the Power Cordz are now a year and a half old and still work great! Longest cableset I've ever owned.
Power Cordz (rear derailleur cable): Ok, this one never worked right. I hear that Frankie got his working well but I never did. I tried I-Link mini cables at first, then tried standard cables. Perhaps it's possible with 5mm end caps (the 1.2mm cables still seem larger than SS cables and tend to have friction on the cable ends). I don't know on this one. Standard cable with mini I-links is good, better if you use standard housing for the rear derailleur loop (last longer as the sheath on the i-links wears out) and I also got frustrated enough to move to standard housing under the bar tape, switching to I-Links afterwards with a barrel adjuster in-between. That's the best setup I've found so far (using SRAM Force still). Still searching for ways to incorporate more iLinks or the Power Cordz.
Vuma Quads: Great crankset. Probably just as maintenance free as Shimano, but lighter and actually spins well. I started thinking after 25,000 km that I should replace the ceramic bottom bracket so I found the only distributor in France and ordered one. Here's what they sent:
So I stayed with the old BB for another 8000 km. It's starting to make creepy sounds now. New BB on its way in the post, from Germany this time.
Vuma Quad Chainrings: I broke the 39T (while just riding along, honest. No really. 50 watts if that) so I had to source a new one quick. I found the distributor in France (see the Italian BB they sent above) and I was ready to go.
(One of these doesn't belong. Can you guess which?)
Only problem was that the bolts wouldn't thread into it. They only threaded from the opposite side, not the side they were suppose to thread from. I talked with customer service and tried to convince them I wasn't a noob who can't thread a bolt. Not sure if they were convinced. I did find a PDF of a Vuma CHRONO chainring from 2 years ago that actually did bolt from the opposite side, and was 39T, and looked just the same... oh well. I'm sending that to Indiana eventually.
SRAM Red rear derailleur:
Very nice, crisper shifting noticed right away. Outfitted with the XX-Light kit with some Alu bolts to make it lighter, but mostly it's the jockey wheels where the weight is lost. They seem to spin just as good as the stock ceramic Red jockey wheels and although the carbon fiber jockey wheels I once used are lighter, these are metal and last much longer. Plus, it's black. I also bought a dremel tool (well, Carrefour brand) just to get rid of the Lance Armstrong yellow bits. A few months later SRAM came out with the All-black groupset without the yellow. Ok. Where's the new
Tune Komm-vor Saddle:
to replace the Fizik (advertised as 159 grams):
I guess I'm not a saddle snob. Most of the time I don't like a saddle on the first ride, then I like it. I figured I was good candidate for these uber-light saddles you see on certain cyclist's bikes who like to keep them as light as possible ("WW" is the term I overheard at the boulangerie but I'm not sure what it stands for). Anyway, I got this Tune saddle which had a wider birth than most "W.W." saddles. I tried it and it really only notice discomfort when I ride 500km (300 miles) in 3 days. But then again, I think I would anyway. The back end has a little vinyl (?) cover which is also hard. It gets warn out simply by propping my bike up against the wall to clean it. I haven't crashed with it yet. I plan to soon at an unforeseeable date.
BTP Campagnolo Record Front Derailleur:
to replace the SRAM Force:
I'm pretty sure I've fallen off the deep-end when I'm sourcing my parts directly from Bernhard. Nice guy though. It arrived, although it looked slightly used. I really don't care about such vane things so I just installed it. It works great.
BTP Anti-Schleck vs Dog Fang:
to replace the Dog Fang (11 grams for this dirty dog):
My major problem with the Dog Fang was that Scott stocked it with a massive screw and bolt. Very overkill. Very noticeable as you could see the bolt end protruding through the back.
Thankfully Bernhard came up with a great solution, funny name, and priced it well. Get yourself one, tell him I sent you.
BTP Shifter Clamps for SRAM:
Stock Sram Force:
These arrived and I really couldn't grasp the physics involved. They are simply carbon "hoops" or "rings" with an Alu bolt stud. I find it hard to figure out how they stay in place on the bars. Apparently you should add some carbon grip lubricant to them.. but still, it isn't going to add staying-power (in my mind). Also, the Ergonova bends are coarse (to prevent slippage of bar tape, shifters) but I can't slide it over that area. Some said to place the clamps in boiling water. Tried it. Some said to file down the carbon a little (didn't try it). I gave up at this point. Maybe I'll experiment later.
MCFK Seatpost Clamp:
I was excited about this (I thought I actually ordered the heavier 5g version, but this WW one arrived) but on the first ride I noticed my seatpost slipped (Scott Sports told me 34.9 was the size I needed) so that is what I ordered. The fact that the seat post kept slipping caused me to reposition the post 2 times... at which point the alu (I think they say it's Ti) bolt threads stripped. I replaced with a SS bolt. Still slipped. I tried to make a shim using a piece of hard plastic which I think would have worked but then the barrel nuts (also appeared to be Alu) stripped before my torq wrench hit 4nm. Sigh... wrong size? SS bolts? It's a great carbon clamp design. Back to stock.
All for now! (disregard the Easton cranks which were temporary until the Vuma Quad rings got resolved):