Jan 30, 2015

Friday File: Getting Ready to let 'er rip & All aboard the Red (Cofidis) Train & Eddy Merckx and Faema

Rolin, Rollin, Rollin with the new Team Cofidis.

Translation: The Horse @be_Rollin mission will be to hold as long as possible before releasing the sequel to the red train.

Spring is in the air. Ok, it may only be January but here's further encouraging news coming from Team Cofidis.

That old saying rings so true, 'Spring brings renewal.' And many riders are optimistically honing their craft for the upcoming season. One rider I'll be following is Dominique Rollin aka The Horse. The Quebecois last raced with FDJ in 2013, without contract in 2014, returns on Nacer Bouhanni's led Team Cofidis red train. One of the fastest men on planet cycling is Nacer Bouhanni and it's refreshing the Team Cofidis has a new look. The French Professional Continental team signed the talented sprinter to boost up it's win account and earn wildcard invitations. In fact, it already received confirmation that it will race the Tour, July 4 to 26.

The new lead-out train: Cyril Lemoine, Jonas Ahlstrand, Adrien Petit, Geoffrey Soupe and Dominique Rollin. Here's a revealing outline of how their lead-out train will ride - from their Twitter feed:

For starters, @CyriLemoine will be responsible for imposing a big pace ahead of the pack
– “Sparrow” will be followed by @be_Rollin, who will increase the pace further and lead the sprinters.
– The Horse @be_Rollin… His mission will be to keep the pace as long as possible before releasing the rest of the red train.
– He will transfer it over to @JonasAhlstrand, team newcomer and first lead-out man
– Our bison @PetitAdrien62 will take over for the the final kilometre
– After Adri, our last lead-out man @SoupeG will launch @BouhanniNacer into orbit.
– Dropped to 200m, we hope @BouhanniNacer will sprint for the win.

Formidable but 'The Boxer' Bouhanni will encounter resistance from his competition: Greipel, Kittel and Cavendish. 

It's gonna to be fun to watch the upcoming sprint battles... the new red train is getting ready to let 'er rip. 

The EDDY70...

photos Eddy Merckx

Eddy Merckx Cycles launches a new Heritage collection starting with the upcoming EDDY70 bike. The great rider will turn 70 on June 17th and this steel bike will honor him with only 70 bikes produced. If you are wondering of the design and color is from Eddy's glory years with Faema (De Rosa made frames). That's where it stops...

EDDY70: Columbus XCr seamless steel tubes, carbon fibre Columbus front fork. TIG welded in the Eddy Merckx Cycles workshop in Belgium. Campagnolo Super Record group set, Bora Ultra 35 wheels and Cinelli saddle. Cost: $17,500. Let's hope the pricing of the new Heritage collection will be more down to earth.

"Everyone knows that I always obsessively focused on the equipment that I rode on. That is still the case now. And as a result, I wanted only the best and most modern components and materials for this bike. The aim was absolutely to make a high performance, contemporary racing bike and not a replica of my old racing bike."

- Eddy Merckx

The winning Faema days...

Martin Van Den Bossche taking care of the Boss, 
Tourmalet, 1969 TdF.

Jan 23, 2015

Friday File: Pure Evil Crash, Italian Icons: Campagnolo Cassette Tool & Francesco Moser

Crashes are pure evil in bike racing. Today's stage 4 of the Tour Down Under had a spectacularly evil one before the finish line. The terrifying scene all caught from the camera of Jeremy Roy of FDJ. Note: The IAM rider squeezing dangerously between the flying bike and the barrier with Roy following. 

"Hope everyone is ok. Don't ask me how I did it!"

- Jeremy Roy on Twitter.

Recent wrenching duties were going so satisfactory that I'd like continue with another installment of Italian icons...

Campagnolo UT-BB080 Cassette Tool
photo Cycling Art

Campagnolo is one of the iconic brands of cycling. Tullio Campagnolo, the founder, invented the big arm corkscrew and the quick release skewer.

I'm now able to easily remove my Campagnolo 11-25T cassette with the Italian made UT-BB080 cassette tool. Using a 12" adjustable wrench and my modify chain whip I'm now able to remove my  cassette to clean it. It also opens up new gearing options for this upcoming season of leg numbing adventures up pleasurable friends: Mt. Seymour, Whytecliff Park and, the not as steep, Burnaby mountain parkway. I'm planning to purchase either the Veloce 13-29T or Centaur 12-27T cassette (paired to my recently acquired 39/53) to finally have a less torturous hilly relationship. Ok, I'm not quite there but that's my goal for this new season. 

Iconic Wine Corkscrew...

Campagnolo Big Corkscrew.

The Campagnolo cassette tool is a solid little tool, same precision and craftsmanship as their bicycle products and looks like I'll be having a good long term friendship with. I suppose I'll use it only a few times during a season changing the obvious desired cassettes. I'm really happy to have it for periodic cassette maintenance. 

Lock ring removed opens up
to a very dirty cassette.
photo Cycling Art

This is the first time I've removed my 2011 Veloce cassette and noticed that it has individual sprockets with spacers. This is not like my one-piece 1980's Regina CX freewheel.The sprockets and spacers must be placed back in the same order. Mindful of this. After a thorough cleaning of each sprocket/spacer and the cassette body, the next step is to put it back on. I greased the cassette body using my old trusty Campy grease and placed the sprockets and spacers back in order remembering to line up the notches. Once my clean cassette is solidly on the last step is to grease the quick release skewer. One of the more important aspects of good maintenance is to have the correct tool(s). For me, it's now very easy and enjoyable using the Campy UT-BB080 cassette tool.

I now have a clean cassette body.
photo Cycling Art

Iconic Italian rider...

Francesco Moser.

Jan 22, 2015

Chain Whip Tune Up

photo Cycling Art

Yup, I'm back to performing my own minor wrenching and one tool that needs addressing is my new chain whip. I admit I recently purchased a Tacx chain whip albeit on the cheap side. That old saying goes, 'Buy cheap buy twice.' And add in a healthy dose of frustration...

I earlier bought a Tacx Cassette Remover tool and had to return it after it broke on my first attempt. It's a slender piece of steel with a flimsy cassette tool attached to one end. I re-ordered, this time, going for the Campagnolo UT-BB080 cassette tool and armed with my heavy duty 12" adjustable wrench, plus will power... I was ready.

The chain whip is also made of a slender piece of steel - far from hefty. An entry level KMC chain is built to not withstand the efforts of even the most season mechanic. I can understand why companies keep the cost down to meet the demands of the masses is a pre-condition, their business decision to downgrade one aspect of an otherwise decent product. On my first attempt the KMC chain broke off (see top image). So not to get too discourage, I decided to upgrade the chain whip with a spare Campagnolo Veloce chain. I made the wrapping component extra long just to make sure it won't snap in the middle of a battle between my precious knuckles and a sharp piece of steel. It worked, holding the cogs firmly whilst removing my 11-25T cassette - my patience and DIY skills payed off. And yes I'll keep my modify chain whip.

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