Latest news, product updates, technical how to's, bling builds and more from AVT Bike.

Archives for May, 2019

Campagnolo Disc Hubs: you've got options

If you want to run Campagnolo's disc brake system on your thru-axle frameset, but don't want to use one of their wheelsets, you've probably already found that your options are pretty limited.  Fortunately, there might be more than you realize!  

Because White Industries, Phil Wood, and Industry Nine all have very modular freehub designs, with any of these brands, getting a campagnolo freehub on your thru-axle hub is no problem.  Currently Onyx Racing Products and Chris King don't currently offer a thru-axle, centerlock disc hub that is compatible with a Campagnolo freehub, but both have plans to offer that configuration in the not-too-distant future.

So currently the list of thru-axle, centerlock hubs that are available with a Campagnolo freehub is as follows:

Industry Nine CL Classic Road Disc hub

Phil Wood Centerlock hub

White Industries CLD hub

And if you already have one of the hubs listed above, and you want to convert it to a Campagnolo driver, just get in touch, and we'll make sure you get the parts you need to convert your hub!

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Phil Wood Bottom Brackets for every era....

The current batch of bottom bracket standards can seem pretty out of control, but for better or worse, that's not a new phenomenon.  It seems that manufacturers—bike and component—have been coming up with great new ways to do the bottom bracket since it was invented.  That means that when you go to replace the bottom bracket in your older frame, instead of having to worry about whether your frame uses a PF30 or a BB30, you have to know whether it uses a French or Swiss, Chater Lea or Raleigh Super-Corsa, or maybe just a standard BSA. 

In addition to just making exceptionally durable, beautiful parts, Phil Wood produces bottom brackets for these older standards, which means that you can keep that classic bike going when its bottom bracket gives out.  It also means that there's probably a good option for whatever your next #retrorebuild happens to be! 

The Phil Wood Stainless Steel Outboard bottom bracket and Stainless Steel Square Taper bottom bracket with its interchangeable Cartridge Cups

Phil Wood offers both square taper and outboard bearing versions of their bottom brackets in a range of standards that will keep everything from classic road bikes to early Ritchey and Klein mountain bikes rolling, and all of them use Phil Wood's famously durable bearings, so you know they'll hold up.  

One of the things we love about Phil Wood's Square Taper bottom brackets is that the rings that thread it into the shell are completely separate and easily swap-able!
Stainless Steel Press-in 35mm Outboard Bearing bottom bracket

The current fitment list for Phil Wood bottom brackets is as follows:

Stainless Steel Outboard Bearing Bottom Bracket is available in:
  • British (BSA)
  • British (BSA) E-Type
  • French
  • Italian
  • Swiss
  • Chater Lea
  • Raleigh Super Corsa
  • 35mm Press-in
Interchangeable Cartridge Cups for Stainless Steel Square Taper Bottom Brackets are available in:
  • British (BSA)
  • British (BSA) E-Type
  • French
  • Italian
  • Swiss
  • Chater Lea
  • Raleigh Super Corsa

And remember: because Phil Wood's Square Taper bottom brackets all use the same interchangeable Cartridge cups, if you have an older bottom bracket that you want to move to a different frame, you can simple get a new set of cups, and be good to go!

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about fitment.  We work with these parts every day, and are happy to help you get the right ones!

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Springtime Exploration by bike

Here in Ashland, winter means we ride our bikes in the valley floor, and ski up in the mountains; but as spring begins to take hold, we follow the receding snow up and into the mountains as the roads and trails we love are once again uncovered.

Because the floors of the various valleys around here get hot as summer approaches, rides that tie in both valley and mountains tend to have a short ideal riding window, or need to be done with careful attention paid to when you’ll be in the low, hot areas, and when you’ll be up higher. Right now, the window is good for the red cinder roads to the East of the Cascade Siskiyou Monument, so a friend and I decided to spend the day exploring the roads that link the Iron Gate Reservoir and Copco Lake in California to the Cascade Siskiyou Monument to the North in Oregon.

Following the old road up to and over Siskiyou Summit, we descended down into Hilt, the first town on the California side of the border—noting along the way, and with quite a lot of dismay, that the landowners along the decommissioned section (that has long been a favorite cycling route) had really closed it this time. This probably means that the right-of-way will go away, and the roadway will get grandfathered in to those who live along it. One more piece of beautiful broken pavement gone, and I'd like to allocate some of the water that was blurring my vision as I careened down the interstate at 45 mph to be tears shed in its memory, if that's all right....

Between Hilt and Hornbrook, the only the only connectors are small, rough, and steep, and since we were going to be covering a fair bit of ground, we wanted to take the more efficient route, so we hopped on the interstate. It wasn’t long though before those few miles were over, and we were back on small roads.

My favorite barn in Hornbrook with some of the CORP train's cars behind it

In Hornbrook, we got to see the CORP train sitting with its cars loaded with plywood while mechanics’ backs peeked out from the open doors of one of its locomotive’s engine compartment. I like Hornbrook, but like many of the towns that grew up around the railroad and logging, it seems to be struggling to find its way forward. Last year parts of it got burned in the Klamathon fire, but overall, it’s looking pretty good, I think as we pass through on our way out to the Klamath River, which we’ll follow up to the reservoir.

In another example of the ups and downs of an area with limited economic activity, the Fish Hook Restaurant is closed now. Three years ago, when I last did this ride, I was surprised to find it open and went in to have a piece of pie and hear about how many eagles there were in the area and how the water tasted like soap or hairspray…I can’t quite remember which, but it didn’t sound very tasty. I slowly steer off memory lane and back onto the road as it tilts upward leading to the first summit with a view of the reservoir.

Climbing into the rocky hills around Irongate Reservoir

Iron Gate Reservoir is beautiful this time of year. The grass is green, the water is high, and the Klamath River flowing out of it is cold and gleeful. Later in the summer it will probably be full of toxic algae that gets started in the water that's warmed by its time in the reservoir, but right now it’s beautiful as we roll along beside it.

Cruising along the water
Irongate Reservoir

Around the North side of the reservoir we turn off the main road and climb up onto the higher ground to the North of the lakes, where we meander through a maze of red cinder roads that skirt the Monument. Once our bikes are well-coated with red dirt, we emerge onto the pavement that we’ll take back to Ashland. Whenever I ride in this area, I inevitably find myself thinking that I’m either farther along than I am, or that I have farther to go than I really do because the pines just stretch out in all directions, and the road is undulating, but not enough to really tell you where you are. The climbs aren’t terribly steep, but they seem to go on for ages…so it’s a welcome sight when we finally we make it to the sign that tells us that Tub Springs is only 1/2 mile away, and I’m happy for that because the water at Tub Springs is tasty, and I could really go for a swig of tasty water right about now!

After we stop and talk to a woman who’s filling up jugs with spring water, we set off for the final leg of our ride.

Just a bit more climbing a few more miles, and we’re at the top of the Greensprings Summit. From here it’s all downhill for long enough to give you a neck-cramp! The views on the descent down into the Rogue Valley are lovely, and this time of year the grass is green and the Vetch is spreading out like giant purple paint-splashes across the landscape. It’s times like these that I really love my Chromapops! But it’s not all super-saturated colors and polarized skies: the wind is blowing up the valley and into our faces as we tick off the last miles of the ride so that when we finally pull into town, I’m ready to clean up, make some late lunch, and enjoy the day’s memories from the comfort of my couch.

Rides like these are one of the reasons I love this area, but when I think about it, I’ve found similar ones everywhere I’ve lived. In most places it seems that the trick is looking for the small roads, and spending time poring over maps at home. I’ve found that if I look at maps enough, I just can’t stay home: I have to go out and explore to see what all those twisty lines actually look like on the ground. Getting to see what the unexplored (by me) places on the map really look like is probably one of my favorite things about riding a bike, and every time I get to do some exploring, I end up with even more ideas for other places I want to check out!  So keep an eye out for those little roads because they might just end up being your next favorite ride!

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Chris King Has The Right Tools For The Job

Chris King Threadfit 24 with grease injector and installation tools

When you get a Chris King bottom bracket, you are buying a product that's designed and built to last a long time, and part of the design is serviceability.  In keeping with the precision of the parts themselves, Chris King has made tools that are built to the same exacting standards as the products they're made to service.  From grease injectors that allow you to flush the old grease out and replace it with new, to installation tools for all variations of threaded bottom brackets, these tools make it easy to ensure that your bottom bracket will last as long as it can.

No matter which Chris King bottom bracket you have, there's a tool that's built to the same tolerances to remove and install it.

We love Chris King's grease injector tools because they make servicing a bearing incredibly quick and easy.  The process is as simple as removing your cranks, pulling the plastic spacers out of the bottom bracket, pressing the grease tool in until it bottoms out, pressing your grease gun onto the zerk fitting, and pushing grease into the bottom bracket while rotating it to spread the grease evenly through the bearing. Once you see clean grease coming out, you know you're good to go, and you can reinstall the plastic spacers in the bottom bracket, reinstall your cranks, and go ride!

If you're curious to see the greasing process, here's a video that shows the process pretty clearly.

No matter which Chris King bottom bracket you have, there's a grease fitting that will work with it.

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Stelbel Build Part 1; Frame Design & Geometry

Since we added Stelbel frames to our site a few months back we've been working on a staff frame order to document and showcase the process when you order one of these frames. 

Step 1. Decide which model to go for.

As we described in a previous post, Stelbel offers what we consider to be a perfect mix of custom geometry combined with a range of specific frame models each with their own ride characteristics and intended use. 

My plan for this frame is for it to be a true all-year-round road bike ideally suited to the riding here in Southern Oregon. That means full length fenders for winter road miles, and clearance for a wider, gripper tire in the summer without fenders. Not a gravel bike per-se, more a versatile road machine that can handle the many miles of gravel / fire roads here without compromising on a roadie position. A roadie's gravel bike if you like...

So that means a disc build which narrows down the options to 3; SB/03, Rodano and Antenore. Of the 3 it was a pretty easy decision, I ruled out the SB/03 as it's a little racy, so that left the Rodano & Antenore. Similar in riding style, but what sealed the deal for me is the stainless construction and raw back end on the Antenore Disc.

Step 2. Frame Geometry.

Stelbel can work with a variety of different ways to size up your frame and get the ideal geometry, but normally the best place to start is with a full bike fit (by Retul or similar). I ride a custom steel frame most of the time and had been fitted on this last summer by Bike Effect in Santa Monica so with my position pretty dialed I used this a starting point.

Taking precise measurements from the Palmer frame, these were sent over to Stelbel with some explanatory notes. In particular regarding the seat angle on my Palmer frame which is pretty steep, combined with a 25mm set back post. I left it to Stelbel to figure out what to do with this; either reduce the seat angle and go with a zero set back post, or stick with something similar. Turns out they are used to building frames with steeper seat angles and are not fans of the zero set back post, so they recommended a 25mm set back combined with a 75 degree seat angle.

Chainstay length is TBC, based on whatever they need to accommodate a fender and 28c tire, i'm expecting it to be a little longer than normal which is fine for this type of bike in order to give the fender / tire clearance it needs.

Lastly, I decided to reduce stem length from 130mm to 120mm to provide a bit more stability in handling, with keeping the rider position as close as possible to my current ride.

Within a day or so, Andrea at Stelbel crunched the numbers and sent me back this frame design to check over:

Step 3. Frame Design & Features.

For the last step in the process I had some specific asks for Stelbel to make this a true year round frame rather than a pure road disc frame. I went with the Columbus Futura Gravel fork, which is a little longer axle to crown than what's normally spec'd on this frame. It provides the all important fender mounts and extra clearance to run at least 28c tires with fenders in the winter, then wider gravel tires in the summer without fenders.

I also asked for a pump peg on the inside of the headtube to run a Silca Impero frame pump. Fender mounts will be of the bottle cage bolt variety at the foot of the seat-stay so as to not stand out too much without fenders attached. Having used eTap for the past few years I decided to stick with this groupset option, especially as it builds such a clean frame without cable guides.

Step 4.  Final Review.

Once I had checked and double checked Antonio's design it was time to sign-off the design and let Stelbel get to work. Now the really hard tasks start... waiting until the fall for the frame to be finished and deciding on the paint color!

Click Here To Read More.

A new frame, fork, or drivetrain is only a part-swap away.

With the whirlwind of new standards, both from the frame and fork side of things and from the drivetrain side, it can seem like no part can be of use for very long, but that's not the case with the likes of Chris King, White Industries, and the other brands we carry.  Each brand varies with the options, but pretty much all of our brands allow you to easily swap axles, and drivers (or driveshells as Chris King calls them) to accommodate different dropout and cassette standards.

Chris King ISO 100x9mm Quick-Release hub with the 100x12mm and 100x15mm thru-axles that could replace the stock axle.

For example, if you have a White Industries CLD hub with an HG driver and a thru-axle style axle, but you want to convert it to a campy or XD/XDR driver (White Industries uses the same driver for both), or maybe a quick-release style axle, all you have to do is get the appropriate axle and driver, remove the old ones (an easy task), and install the new ones.  It's really as simple as that!  The same rules that apply to any hub, like not being able to convert a non-boost hub to boost, still apply, but within the standard confines, your options are pretty extensive.

White Industries CLD hub, thru-type axle with Micro Spline-compatible freehub, and quick release style axle.

For Chris King, you have two styles of freehubs based on hub models: Classic and R45.  The latter is smaller, lighter, and has fewer points of engagement, and uses a different driveshell and axle.  If you have a Chris King ISO rear hub with a 135x10mm quick-release style axle, and you want to change the axle to a 142x12mm Thru-axle, all you need to do is get that new axle, and swap it out.  By the same token, if you want to change the driveshell on that hub from an HG to an XD, all you need to do is get that new driveshell

Chris King ISO hub with some of the axle/driveshell options: XD Driveshell, Stainless Steel HG Driveshell, Black Alloy Driveshell, and Black Thru-type Axle with Black Alloy Driveshell.
Chris King R45 driveshell on the left, Classic driveshell (in stainless steel) on the right.

If you have an R45 hub, it's a bit more complicated because the most driveshells use their own specific axle, so they have to be swapped out together.  But you still have lots of options.  We recommend getting in touch with us before you order in order to ensure that you get the parts you'll need for your hub.

Chris King R45 hub with XDR driveshell and 130x12mm thru-type axle ready for a swap.

With Industry Nine hubs, each hub type has its own driver, axle, and endcap design (some encaps cover more than one hub type, but not all), and within each type, you can get all relevant driver types and axle standards (so no XDR or Campagnolo on Hydra hubs, for instance).  Essentially, you can get any option you want, and it's easy to change things later if you want to!  We don't currently list all of the small part options online, so if you're looking for a part, just contact us, and we'll get you what you need!

One of the many endcap/driver combinations that's available with Industry Nine hubs

Phil Wood is a lot like White Industries in that as long as the hubshell is the correct width, you get to choose whether you want a steel or alloy axle, thru or QR-type axle, and XD (no XDR available yet), HG-11, or Campagnolo freehub because for the most part they're interchangeable.  There are a few limitations within this (such as there being no Pro axle available for Touring hubs), but overall the system is very modular.  Get in touch with us for details on what the options are with any given hub. 

Phil Wood Classic hubs with HG freehub (red), and Campagnolo freehub (blue)

With Onyx Racing Products hubs, there are axle and freehub options for just about every standard, but there are variations in axle and freehub, so you just need to make sure you get the one that will work with your hub.   If you would like to change your axle or driver type on your Onyx hub, just get in touch, and we'll help you figure out what your options are!

Onyx has a very wide variety of axles and drivers.

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Bling Builds: Kellan's Steel Land Shark Road Shark

Kellans' Landshark Road Shark with its new Phil Wood 1' Threadless Headset

Long before John Slawta of Landshark Bicycles got into making frames from carbon fiber, he was known for his beautiful steel frames.  Though many well-known racers have used his frames, probably the most well-known is Andy Hampsten, who won the 1988 Giro d'Italia on one.  This one, built with Columbus MAX tubing–is a perfect example of the beautiful workmanship that John has been known for in his long and prolific career as a framebuilder.  AVT staffer Kellan bought this Landshark Road Shark frame used a few years ago, and has added to the build as he found parts that would complement it well.    

Kellan's Landshark

But John isn't just known for his ability to take tubes and create a bike from them, because one of the aspects of every Landshark that jumps out first is the paint.  John, who had planned and studied to be an artist, paints each frame himself, and the results tend to be elaborate, which means that this relatively subdued scheme might make this frame even more noteworthy!  Still, while it may be relatively low-key, the skull and crossbones motif shows that the bike is very much a Landshark.

Low profile until you get close, Phil Wood polished 1" Threadless Headset, Landshark

AVT staffer Kellan bought this Road Shark frame used a few years ago, and has added to the build as he found parts that would complement it well.  He's echoed the frame's black and white paint with his choice of Sram Force drivetrain, and the rest of the parts work well to keep up the contrasting black and white or black and silver look.  Some of the component highlights include black Phil Wood Pro Road hubs built on Astral Radiant rims, with matching black Phil Wood Skewers, and the latest addition, a polished silver Phil Wood 1" Threadless Headset.

And like many good projects, this one isn't quite finished.  Kellan plans to put a Wound Up fork on the bike as a final touch.  But that will have to wait for another post.  For now, we hope you enjoy the photos!  

Phil Wood Pro Road Hubs, Skewers, and Polished 1" Threadless Headset, and Columbus MAX tubing
Astral Radiant rims on Phil Wood Pro Road hubs: one of the options available on AVT Works custom wheels

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