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Adjusting Campy EPS
I wonder if you could help with adjusting my Super Record EPS. The bike shop had re-zeroed it several times, but I continue to have trouble with the rear derailleur skipping both up and down in the larger cogs. The chain actually always runs quietly — it’s just occasional skipping. Any suggestions?
If it skips in both directions at the same adjustment, I’d start by checking the chain length and cog wear before doing anything else. Use a good chain gauge to ensure that the chain is within spec, and either use a Rohloff HG-check tool on the cogs, or try riding it on a new cogset. Then I’d check alignment of the derailleur hanger. If I’m understanding your symptoms correctly, it seems very weird if your chain and/or cogs are not overly worn and everything is in alignment. I ride a Campagnolo EPS-equipped bike several times a week and have never experienced that.
Have you tried, while riding, to hold the mode button down on the right lever until the LED on the EPS interface glows pink (about seven seconds)? And then, if on the last shift it skipped to a larger cog, you gave the upshift thumb button one quick push, and then you pushed the right mode button again so the pink LED switched off? And, vice versa, if it skipped to a smaller cog, you gave the downshift finger lever one quick push, and then you pushed the right mode button again so the pink LED switched off? This always works for me, and I do it as many times as needed until the chains run silently and shifts perfectly.
If, however, yours will shift too far toward larger cogs and also too far toward smaller cogs at the same adjustment, I would look very carefully at the teeth of the cogs and at the chain plates to see if any of either are bent. I’d also try a different wheel or at least a different cogset. If nothing is bent and it behaves the same on a different cogset, then I have no suggestions for you other than checking every detail of alignment on the frame — chainline, derailleur hanger alignment, and dropout alignment relative to the centerline.
Chain lube testing follow-up
I had noticed much improved longevity of chains lubed with ProLink ProGold; after using it for several years I learned that Lennard had also seen and written of a similar experience. After the first VeloLab chain lube test (where Prolink ProGold didn’t fare all that well for low resistance), it occurred to me that perhaps the means that the chains were lubed in the test is impacting the results. ProGold uses a lot of carrier. My theory is that when you drip it onto chain rollers that soon the carrier evaporates while the oil stays put. But in the chain test article they submerged the chain into the lube. Here it would seem like a larger amount of carrier would be a detriment — as you pull the chain out of the bath the carrier would have a greater chance of also taking away some of the same oil intended to stay put. Just a thought. So shouldn’t the lubes that are intended to be dripped on be tested the way that the manufacturer suggested?
And the other thing I noticed — the lubes were heated to 100 degrees. I don’t know of anyone who heats their chain lube prior to application (paraffin is the exception). So by doing so aren’t you also possibly giving an advantage to the wax and Teflon infused lubes — softening up those solid ingredients and allowing them to better penetrate. Here again, how about real world application methods versus lab science that isn’t reality? Just a thought.
I followed up with a bunch of my chains that had been lubricated over a long period of usage by dripping it on, not by submerging. As you can see, it didn’t improve things.
Below is a more general answer to your question.
Answer from Friction Facts:
When we originally developed the chain lube test protocol, the submersion in the lubricant and heating was performed to ensure equal penetration for all lubricant samples, since manually dripping the lubricant on the chain by hand seemed, at the time, to be very subjective from an experimental sense. It was understood that the submersion method was not the typical method to apply chain lube, yet it was performed to maintain experimental control across samples.
As more experimentation and formal testing is performed, the testing protocol is maturing. We’ve learned that lubricants penetrate very well with the typical drip method. Even higher viscosity oils penetrate easily to the inner pins as the chain spins. The penetration is due to the pumping action seen in each of the links during cycles of tension and no tension, and of course, articulation of the links in general works the lube.
In future chain lube tests, the drip method at room temperature will be used to simulate more closely the real-world application. Waxes and greases will still be submerged or worked in by hand as the drip method is not applicable.
— Jason Smith
Founder, Friction Facts
Some time back, you answered some questions about lawyer tabs. I just happened to read them. Now, while I’ve also wondered “why not just create a long-throw QR” a very significant possible reason just occurred to me.
If you used a long throw QR — wouldn’t you essentially be designing back in the very type of potential failure that the lawyer tabs are designed to prevent? Lawyer tabs are there to prevent you from losing a wheel because you either forgot to close your QR, or didn’t close it tightly enough. So if you design a QR that opens way big, and left it open through human error, you’d have the same situation as the old-style QR, and no lawyer tabs, right?
On the other hand, since I think the lawyer tabs are overdesign and overregulation, maybe I should keep my mouth shut, lest somebody in Washington get fancy ideas, again.
Yes, that could happen, if the rider didn’t close the skewer. But even in that case, the skewer springs might not push the cam and nut symmetrically so that one still hung up on a lawyer tab. Just having those tabs sticking out probably still greatly increases the chances of one snagging something. And if the rider didn’t tighten the skewer enough, or closed it poorly so that the lever opened a bit while riding, the lawyer tabs would help.
More on hub quick release skewer life
I once broke a skewer. It was a cheaper, no-name skewer made of carbon steel. It was no more than two years old. Admittedly, I would tighten it pretty good, but I’m no brute. It broke at the cam end where the carbon steel rod attaches. The skewer rod was necked down at the point of failure with marks of stretching and stress. It looked exactly like test samples from a yield test. It unfortunately broke as I was putting the wheel back on after fixing a flat out on the road, stranding me. I now use high quality skewers with titanium or stainless rods.
Definitely change them before they wear to the point that your wheel comes off your wheel fork mount on the top of your car, while traveling down the highway at 65 mph.
Although, in retrospect (nobody was hurt), the entertainment value of a bicycle wheel bouncing across 3 lanes of traffic, a grassy media, and another three lanes of traffic, before rolling down the hill, into the creek, is pretty high!
The tell tale is when the lever doesn’t go over the cam top and eases up. I saw in the shop an American Classic QR actually gradually “open” when closed “theoretically” all the way.
It can and does happen, although not that often. The cam can wear flat!
Regarding skewer wear — I had an old titanium rear skewer lose the ability to firmly hold the wheel in the dropouts under strong efforts, mainly on hills. No matter how hard I — or SRAM neutral support — tightened it, a really hard effort could yank the wheel out of position so that it rubbed the frame. The SRAM guy and I both guessed (and it’s just a guess) that the threading on the non-cam side was slightly worn or stripped so that the nut was popping across one or two threads, thus loosening the skewer — fortunately a lot less dangerous on the rear wheel.
Unfortunately I first encountered this on stage 1 of a stage race. And the neutral support mechanic figured I hadn’t closed the QR properly, so he reset my wheel, gave me a shove, and then the car passed me before I caught the pack … and then it happened again. And again. Game over.
And from Campagnolo:
I inquired to our engineering people; they say that there is no way to understand if a QR is wearing out (because there is no real wearing on a Campagnolo internal cam QR). From our test there isn’t a real life cycle with the QR; of course you have to inspect to see if there is sign of crack, corrosion, or damage such as bending from some hard impact (as you should with your whole bike before you ride it) and not use it if there is something wrong, but even after the most heavy test we have never had cases when a QR breaks itself by fatigue.
We cannot comment on the quality of other manufacturers quick releases.
— Daniel Large
North America Technical Service
Campagnolo North America Inc.
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Another year of ’cross is gone, and with our new-to-the-newstands Issue 24, we bring you the 2014 Reader and Editors’ Choice Awards. We didn’t want to keep all the good stuff just for our subscribers though, so we’re listing almost all of the awards—voted on by you in the Readers’ Choice and argued over at CXM HQ for the Editors’ Choice—here.
SITTARD, Netherlands (VN) — If Amstel was the tone-setting round in the Ardennes week fight, then Wednesday’s La Flèche Wallonne is like round six: fitness and moves are known, but things could still go either way.
Flèche is the second of these three hilly classics, sandwiched between Amstel Gold and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Like Amstel, it’s a classic that puts a premium on explosive finishing ability, though the Belgian race is thought of as a little less nervous than its narrow-roaded Dutch predecessor.
The main attraction, as always, will be the final trip up the Mur de Huy, one of cycling’s legendary ramps that, however short, makes up for lack of distance with its desperate location: The top is the finish.
The Mur, and this race is very much about the “wall of Huy,” is as leg-breaking as it is mythic. In total, it’s just 1.2 kilometers long at an average gradient of 9.2 percent. This sounds manageable, but there are several sections at 15 percent, and one of 26 percent. La Flèche Wallonne, or “The Walloone Arrow,” has left its previous start towns of Charleroi and Binche, starting this year in Bastogne and covering 199 kilometers.
Belgians have won this race 38 times (most recently Philippe Gilbert, in 2011) and only one American has ever won (Lance Armstrong, 1996). Katusha’s Daniel Moreno won last year, and may find himself the captain of the squad depending on Joaquim Rodriguez’s status after a crash forced him out of Amstel Gold. “Purito” is slated to start the race he won in 2012, but his crash was a setback.
And now that the formalities are out of the way, it’s time for brass tax. Who’s going to win? Good question. In the same cloth as Amstel Gold, Flèche is a puncheur’s dream, of sorts, though Gilbert (BMC Racing) drew a line in the sand on Sunday, with his absolutely dominant attack up the Cauberg and solo ride to the Amstel line.
Gilbert’s attack wasn’t surprising in the least — this is how he won races in 2011 and a world championship on the road race up the very same climb in 2012 — but what was unsettling, if you’re another rider, at least, are two things: One, no one could stay with the flying Belgian and two, his BMC team rode a brilliant tactical race. It used big engines to marshal the break, slipped Greg Van Avermaet into a late Thomas Voeckler move, and even used new hire Samuel Sánchez as a decoy attack down low on the Cauberg.
Fresh off two wins in a row now, in Brabantse Pijl and Sunday’s Amstel, Gilbert is an absolute favorite heading into Huy. If he wins again, the Belgian hype machine will roll heavy and hard toward another Ardennes week sweep, which Gilbert pulled off in 2011.
There is a peloton full of others who can upset the Ardennes balance, though. If the aforementioned Rodríguez isn’t game, Moreno, the defending champ, makes a remarkable backup man. Garmin-Sharp’s Daniel Martin, who pulled out of Amstel citing knee pain, expects to be rested and fresh, and will be joined by teammate Ryder Hesjedal, a strong GC man who races well in the Ardennes.
Belgian team Lotto-Belisol has Amstel runner-up Jelle Vanendert in the wings, and Sunday’s third-place finisher Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) is likely sitting around thinking why not him. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was the name on everyone’s lips before Amstel, but his dreams sailed away with Gilbert’s wheel.
Again, that’s the fulcrum of these races: they don’t outright go to pure climbers, and they certainly don’t fall to true sprinters. In short, the Ardennes favor bike racers though the steep finish up the Mur is menacing to any rider carrying extra kilos, that’s for sure. But, as Gilbert shrewdly said after Amstel, “I trained so much to lose some weight. I was lighter than ever to start the season. We know the weight is the rider’s enemy. And I was able to defeat that enemy.” And everyone else, too.
Astana will also be looking to make a show. Star Vincenzo Nibali loves to attack and cause a ruckus, and he’s joined on the roster by Jakob Fuglsang, who showed fine form Sunday in the Voeckler move, and with Van Avermaet after the big group flamed out.
The Wallonne Arrow is important enough to draw out the best, and will continue the build toward Liège. Like any race started by a newspaper to draw attention, it does that very well, and if Gilbert can win, the pitch of the region’s expectation will be deafening come Sunday’s 100th Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
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SITTARD, Netherlands (VN) — Belgian Johan Bruyneel’s long fight with anti-doping authorities inched closer to an ending on Tuesday when he was handed a 10-year-ban from the sport by the American Arbitration Association.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency investigated the Belgian for his ties to what it called the United States Postal Service team’s doping “conspiracy” that helped Lance Armstrong win seven straight Tours de France. Those results were later stripped.
A three-person panel found that “the evidence establishes conclusively that Mr. Bruyneel was at the apex of a conspiracy to commit widespread doping on the USPS and Discovery Channel teams spanning many years and many riders. Similarly, Dr. [Pedro] Celaya and Mr. [Jose “Pepe”] Martí were part of, or at least allowed themselves to be used as instruments of, that conspiracy.”
The Panel imposed a 10-year ban for Bruyneel, and 8-year bans for Celaya and Martí. The panel found that Bruyneel trafficked in performance-enhancing drugs and “was engaged in the allocation of team-related resources… causing a variety of prohibited doping substances and methods to be used expressly for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage for the teams and cyclists he managed in cycling events.” Bruyneel also “profited considerably from the successes of the teams and riders he managed during the relevant period,” according to a release from USADA. The full report from the AAA will be available soon.
Bruyneel responded on his personal website, taking aim at USADA’s jurisdiction over him but also admitting there were “elements” of his career he wished were different.
“I do not dispute that there are certain elements of my career that I wish had been different. Nor do I dispute that doping was a fact of life in the peloton for a considerable period of time. However, a very small minority of us has been used as scapegoats for an entire generation,” he wrote. “There is clearly something wrong with a system that allows only six individuals to be punished as retribution for the sins of an era.”
All told, USADA has now had a hand in stern punishments of six men from the USPS cycling dynasty and its later iterations, though several others received six-month bans. Armstrong was banned for life after his decision to not contest charges against him in 2012, Italian Dr. Michele Ferrari and Spaniard Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral each received lifetime suspensions in addition to the news today on Bruyneel and the others.
According to the report, Bruyneel encouraged athletes to use doping products including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, and cortisone. Armstrong’s longtime director on multiple teams (Postal, Discovery Channel, Astana, RadioShack) attacked USADA as self-serving.
“Did the US Postal team really operate ‘the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping program that sport has ever seen?’ This headline-grabber has helped create a staggering industry of books and movies, but reveals only USADA’s talent for self-aggrandizement,” he wrote. “The reality is very different. In due course, I will take the time to give a full account of events within my knowledge. In the meantime I would ask you to treat USADA’s partial and self-serving narrative of events with considerable circumspection.
Bruyneel contests that the American anti-doping body has no authority over him, though it’s become somewhat common for national anti-doping agencies to suspend athletes outside its borders.
“I am a Belgian national and I reside in the United Kingdom. I have never been a member of USA Cycling, nor any other national governing body of sport based in the United States. I have never signed any document or agreement granting USADA or the AAA any authority over my livelihood or me,” he wrote. “None of the anti-doping rule violations alleged by USADA are said to have occurred on US soil. It simply cannot be correct or acceptable that USADA — a US organization — is freely able to determine the livelihood of any individual that it chooses to prosecute, without boundary and without oversight.”
The panel noted that, in accordance with the Code and the International Cycling Union Anti-Doping Rules, USADA had authority to bring these cases because USADA discovered the violations.
The cases of Bruyneel, Celaya and Martí were heard by a panel of arbitrators in London last December at a four-day hearing. The three men were represented by seven lawyers collectively, and testimony was received by 17 witnesses in total, who were each subject to cross examinations. Bruyneel and Martí both refused to testify, while Dr. Celaya did, though the body found he was not a “credible” witness. Bruyneel is weighing his options at this point.
“I am currently debating what my next step should be. I could still challenge the decision of the AAA in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, although that would again require me to put my faith in arbitration,” he wrote. “I will shortly decide whether to keep up the fight or carry on and try to expose the hypocrisy of what USADA has put me and others through.”
As of now, Bruyneel’s sanction will end June 11, 2022 and Celaya and Martí’s sanctions will end on June 11, 2020.
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