Saturday, October 31, 2015

2015 Colnago CX Zero EVO



The 2015 Colnago CX Zero Disc is designed for the endurance rider. With its classic geometry, Disc brakes and Ultra spec this bike will push your boundary's and keep you going for longer.

The CX Zero EVO

The CX Zero EVO is the bike for endurance. A professional level racing frame, proven in the Spring Classics in Europe, the CX Zero Evo strikes a perfect balance between performance and comfort. The most versatile Colnago model, the CXZero Evo has been developed to meet the demands of cycling in the greatest range of conditions. “Classic” geometry for fit combines a taller head tube and slightly shorter top tube. This allows a more relaxed position of the shoulders and arms and a more open angle between the torso and thigh for more efficient pedaling during even the longest days in the saddle. The tube shapes of the rear triangle are designed to offer maximum vertical compliance while allowing clearance for up to 25mm tires.

The endurance geometry arises from the extent of the steering tube, which is considerably longer than the classical racing. The reason is essentially linked to two factors: the need to raise the position of bust and shoulders, then relax your arms slightly and shorten the top tube. The higher head tube, also promotes the driving of the bicycle in all situations by making the front end also more comfortable. The conical shape is characterized by the double diameter of 1-1/8 "at the top and 1-1/4" in the lower. The larger diameter also increased corresponds to the shape of the fork crown and seat stays, mix that improves the aspect of safety and better handling.

Shimano 11 speed drivetrain

To power this bike not only involves you but a good drivetrain system. This year Colnago have spec'd up the CX Zero with the new Shimano Ultegra 11 speed. With its light action and smooth indexing allows you to push that little bit further but supply you with the confidence and the reliability that Shimano offer with their products.

Shimano hydraulic brakes

The all new Shimano dropbar hydraulic brakes give the Colnago CX Zero the stopping power it needs down the hills. The dual piston caliper ensures even brake wear and a greater performance. Its STi shifting mechanism offers the 11 speed drivetrain an economical brake/gear lever but a smooth and elegant change gear.

DT Swiss Wheelset

The CX Zero Evo disc is rolling on a set of DT swiss R24DB wheels rapped in Continental Grand Sport Race 700x25C. These will supply you with the comfort, grip and speed to make those long distance endurance rides that little more enjoyable. 

Colnago/Deda Finishing kit

Colnago finish there bikes of with a combination of self branded parts and the Deda range, such as handlebars, stem and seatpost finished of with a Selle Italia saddle.

About the Colnago brand

Ernesto Colnago was born in Cambiago, a small rural village twenty kilometers east of Milano on February 9, 1932. Ernesto was just 13 years old, but to start work, he had to be at least 14. He changed the date on his working papers and so was hired as an assistant welder. It was 1954 when Colnago went out on his own in a tiny little workshop, his bicycles have been used by more than 100 professional team, 2,500 professional racers, who have won more than 7,500 wins worldwide. Champion riders of the caliber of Fiorenzo Magni, Gastone Nencini, Eddy Merckx, Giuseppe Saronni, Gianni Motta, Gibì Baronchelli, Michele Dancelli, Gianni Bugno, Oscar Freire, Johan Museeuw, Tony Rominger, Pavel Tonkov, Yaroslaw Popovych, Erik Zabel e Alessandro Petacchi, and many others, have ridden Colnago Bicycles to victory. As the great researcher and innovator he is, Colnago created the first frameset in carbon fiber in collaboration with Ferrari Engineering in 1986. The next year, the innovative straight-blade “Precisa” was created. In 1989, two years later, the dramatic Colnago “C35” emerged, an innovative monocoque carbon fiber frame in road racing & mountain bike versions. 1994 was a hallmark year when Colnago introduced the ground-breaking “C40” carbon fiber frameset for his 40th anniversary and still a reference point today. No other frame has won as much as the Colnago C40: 5X Paris-Roubaix and many World Championships. In 2000 another remarkable model emerged from Colnago’s atelier: the limited edition CF1, created in collaboration with Ferrari that quickly became a major success. Next was the CF2 dual-suspension mountain bike in 2002. After ten years of success in every segment, Ernesto Colnago launched the “C50” in 2003. It was the Fiftieth Anniversary of his company, a brand that has become synonymous with the best bicycles the world over, synonymous with the best products Made in Italy. This new carbon fiber composite frame quickly found success in both the competition and sales arena. And for 2004, for the official anniversary of Colnago, a special collectors item bicycle was created, the “50th Anniversary”. Ernesto Colnago continues to dream about and create bicycles appreciated by riders passionate about cycling all over the world. Don’t ask Colnago which of his bicycles is the best: his answer is always the same. “I’ve made a lot of bicycles, but the most beautiful is the one that is yet to come.” For more info on Colnago please feel free to view Bike Radar's article on them.

Top Features of the Colnago CX Zero Disc Ultegra 2015

Full carbon fiber CX Zero frame and fork
DT Swiss Disc specific wheelset
Continental Grand Sport Race tyres
Shimano Hydraulic dropbar brakes
Shimano 11 speed Ultegra drivetrain
Colnago/Deda Drivetrain

Product Data

Road:Yes
Number of gears:22
Front Axle Type:9mm QR
Cable Routing:Internal
Model Year:2015
Frame:CX Zero Carbon Disc Specific Frame
Fork Material:Alloy/Carbon
Fork:CX Zero Carbon Disc Specific Fork
Steerer:Tapered 1 1/8 - 1 1/4
Bottle Cage Mounts:Double
Front Derailleur Mount:Braze On
Dropouts:Replaceable Rear Derailleur Hanger
Wheel Size:700c (622)
Wheelset:DT Swiss R24DB
Groupset Manufacturer:Shimano
Brake Levers/Gear Shifters:Shimano Ultegra
Front Derailleur:Shimano Ultegra
Rear Derailleur:Shimano Ultegra
Brake Type:Hydraulic Disc Brake
Brakes:Shimano BR-RS685
Brake Calipers:Shimano BR-RS785 + SM-RT99
Chainset type:Compact
Chainset:Shimano Ultegra
Chainring Size:50 Tooth, 34 Tooth
Chain:Shimano Ultegra
Bottom Bracket:Shimano Pressfit
Cassette:Shimano 105
Cassette Range:11-28 Tooth
Handlebars:Deda RHM02
Bar Tape/Grips:Black
Stem:Deda Zero One
Seat Post:Colnago CX Zero carbon
Saddle:Selle Italia X1
Tires:Continental Grand Sport Race 700x25C
Pedals:Supplied with basic flat pedals
Warranty:2 year frame warranty, 12 month parts warranty

2011 Pivot Mach 429

This was a project that did not materialise. The store sent me a frame that was damaged and I had to return it. Sadly, they did not have any stock of the small size frame and so, I have to let this one go. It would have been a beautiful bike. 
The Mach 429 has won awards and high praise from the MTBR, Outside magazine, Dirt Rag, MBA as well as countless European magazines.
The Mach 429 has that special “something” that few if any other bikes can match.  Sure, you’ve heard it all before from every manufacturer advertising that their 29er accelerates and handles like a 26” bike and theirs feels better then everyone else’s.  The difference with the Mach 429 is that IT DOES, and has countless reviews to back it up.  The combination of dw-link suspension and Pivot engineering results in a bike that makes the ground beneath you nearly disappear and delivers acceleration, stiffness, traction and precision that can’t be matched.  It’s light, nimble, and stable; inspiring confidence whether you are racing or just riding your favourite trail.  When you throw a leg over the Mach 429 you know immediately that you’re riding the most efficient and fastest 29er full suspension bike in the world.

Features:

  • Material: Mach 429 Alloy
  • Suspension: 8 bearing dw-link® and high-modulus carbon rocker
  • Fork Compatibiltity:100mm or 120mm
  • Shock: Fox RP23 Boost Valve shock
  • Rear Travel: 100mm
  • Head Tube: Tapered fork-compatible oversize head tube (with Cane Creek XX headset) for increased front endstiffness and control.
  • Bottom Bracket: BB92 bottom bracket
  • Front Derailleur: Direct mount
  • Technologies:

    • Dw-link® Suspension: One of the primary benefits of the dw-link® suspension design is position-sensitive anti-squat. Put simply, the dw-link® is the first and only suspension design that takes into account the rider’s weight and position on the bike (i.e. the rider’s centre of mass). When you stand up to sprint or shift your weight back to climb, your weight along with the force on the pedals is the dominant force on the suspension. This bob or “squat” caused by the rider’s mass shift is a good part of the reason why ProPedal, SPV, Brain, lockouts, and a host of various other “platform damping” solutions exist: to resist suspension bob and squat. With the dw-link®’s anti-squat design, the dual suspension links are positioned in such a way that your weight shifts do not result in unwanted suspension movement or “squat” under power. This allows for tuning of the rear shock with lighter valving, making the bike free to absorb bumps and follow the terrain better.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Mongoose Meteore 29er


Its the same old story. Many spare parts lying around, need to clear, find a frame, put them on, sell the bike, recoup some money and build again. That's the plan but it always ended up stopping short of the selling part. This time, my excuse is that this will be the bike I will bring over to my Thailand home. Lets see if it will materialise.


The frame is a Mongoose Meteore 29er. It came from a friend who wanted the parts but not the frame. It was rather cheap to inherit and that has always been my preferred mode of bike building; buy them cheap and and sell them for a reasonable profit. People need to understand that the physical aspects of the bike is not everything; the effort in putting it together and making sure everything works well is something money cannot buy. Its call experience and unless you have been there and done it, be nice to your bike builder.


The stance of the bike is rather compact and it actually is. For a 29er, it doesn't really feel big like the Cannondale Tango.



The parts of the cockpit were transferred from the Marin Palisades Trail. That bike is undergoing some rejuvenation. The brake levers are Shimano Deore, shifters are Shimano Alivio 3 x 9, stem and handlebar are from Merida. 



The Suntour XCR fork was a clearance item from Chain Reaction Cycles. Its an air fork, so its actually quite light for a suspension fork. Not really plush but it works well.


At long last, the Sugino-Colnago crank is put to good use. I think it has finally found its home on the Mongoose. This is a terrific crank but its not for the weak. With a 48T chain ring, you better make sure you have strong legs to move the bike that is not on the lightweight side. A Shimano Deore front derailleur takes care of the front shifting.


Shimano Alivio 9 speed rear derailleurs do the job. Nothing flashy, you shift, it moves; that is all that matters.


The wheelset came from a Giant Momentum (http://www.momentum-biking.com/us). The rear hub was replaced by a Chosen 'loud hub' and it lives up to its name! You don't need a bell, a few backward turns of the crank and the whole world will know you're coming. More importantly, they are really smooth.


My favourite seat. Nothing more to say.


I don't really like cables that stretches from source to component. The long cable housing does not provide the 'crispiness' compared to bare cables. Tuning it is quite frustrating at times because besides the cable stretching, the cable housing is also stretching.


How it looks from the rider position.


Overall, it is a nice bike. Its not something I will hop on if I want an easy ride but I will take it on the trail anytime.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

2010 circa Vitus Taillefer

Building a bike is not rocket science. With a fair amount of experience and proper tools, it doesn't take much to build a bike from scratch. The challenge is finding the 'right' one to build. Over the years, I have build, break-up and re-build many bikes. The time has come for me to be more discerning about building bikes that says something about its origin, evoke and convey an emotion and rides beautifully because after all, bikes are meant to be ridden. This is the challenge and in today's environment where bikes are a dime a dozen, finding that special frame is like striking the lottery. 

Vitus Bikes have a long heritage in road cycling and have racked up quite a few Pro Tour stage wins over the years with riding greats such as Irish road cycling star Sean Kelly who claimed stage victories in the Tour de France onboard a Vitus bike. Vitus pioneered the bonding process that is now widely used in the manufacture of carbon frames and this process has been developed and refined and is still utilized in all high end Vitus Carbon Fibre road bikes. In recent years Vitus has had close collaboration with French DH super star Christian Taillefer in designing their range of MTBs. Through sound design concepts through to the use of high grade aerospace alloy and carbon fibre you can be sure that each and every Vitus bike has been designed to provide the perfect balance between performance, function and style. 

Amidst all the advertisements in the classified ads, this frame stood out. It is a hardtail frame by MTB legend Christian Taillefer. I did some googling and discovered that he was once a downhill legend in France. Well, he must have been really good for Vitus to engage him in designing a frame. And what a frame came from that collaboration! See for yourself in the following pictures:



The seat tube is the first thing that caught my eye. Rather than a straight tube like most others, this one is made up of 2 parts. Why? This arrangement creates a steeper angle for the seat tube and at the same time, actually shortens the chainstay so that the wheel is more directly underneath the rider. Makes sense but only saddle time will tell.




Look at the reinforcement on the head tube. This frame is definitely designed to take on a lot of punishment and with Christian's background in downhill racing, this is not surprising. 




The frame takes a standard 68mm bottom bracket. 




One variant.




Another variant. 




Cable holders are placed in unexpected places on the frame.




Have you ever seen a rear hanger arrangement like this before?




Vitus did the right thing!




This is just the beginning. The process is going to be an exciting one when part by part, they make the bike whole. This one is going to be really special. Stay tuned.


Features: • Standard 1 1/8” headset • Replaceable mech hanger • Seatpost – 30.9mm • Seatclamp – 35.8mm • BB Width – 68mm • Brake Type - Disc and V-Brake Tabs • Headtube length – 125mm • Toptube length c/c (40cm frame) – 55cm • Weight (40cm Frame) – 2.44Kg




Finally, after months of sitting in the room, the bike was taken out for its first ride. One word, awesome! While the central idea for the bike was for DH purposes, it was a breeze to ride on the road. The long top tube provided space to stretch out and hunkered down. With a short stem, the riding position suited my style of riding. This is one bike you can ride around the whole day and not feel tired. 



I might replace the 1 x 10 Shimano Zee drivetrain for a 2 x 10 Deore drivetrain. That will give me a higher gear ratio for road riding and with the smaller chain ring, I can hit the trails without any problems.

The only complain is regarding the brakes. For some strange reasons, there is a 'wavy' sensation on the brake levers. The rotors are probably bent. Simple fix.



Never for sale....