September 18, 2021

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Specialized FAQ: Handlebar aerodynamics, frozen seatposts, wide tires, and far more

6 min read

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Have a question for Lennard? You should e mail him at [email protected] to be bundled in Complex FAQ.

Pricey Lennard,
Longtime reader, initial-time questioner. I know narrower handlebars are all the rage on road bikes for their improved aerodynamics and I wanted to check with a quick issue. If I have been deciding upon involving 2 bars, a person with an aero profile in a 40cm width and a regular round profile bar in a 38cm width, which just one would present the most effective optimization of rider and bar for a additional aerodynamic package deal?
— Eric

Expensive Eric,
I never have any data to back again this up, and for that reason could be completely wrong, but I would assume bringing the arms in extra, as a result having them be less out in the wind by them selves and blocking extra air on the upper body, can make a lot more distinction than a flatter higher area of the handlebar.
― Lennard

Pricey Lennard,
I have uncovered plenty of older info about tire width vs rolling resistance, nonetheless, I have not identified just about anything present-day or addresses what I am searching for: I am lastly wondering of transferring from my road race bicycle to a gravel bicycle for the versatility to enhance my mt bike. I want to be able to trip generations, nevertheless retain the gentle nimble, street really feel, and many others.

I have tubeless 28 mm on my current bicycle. How will a 36 – 40 mm tubeless tire come to feel? Will it truly feel a great deal extra sluggish? I do notice the bike body will also make a variance.
— Thom

Expensive Thom,
I think you will be shocked at how un-sluggish larger tires with sleek tread can really feel. It of course depends on the particular tire, the tread pattern, and the tension. I have three sets of wheels for my gravel/road bicycle one particular of them has 28mm street tires with a file tread, and one more has 42mm (Obstacle Strada Bianca) tubeless tubulars slicks (the other established has 33mm cyclocross tires). On pavement, I run the 28mm tires at 70psi and the 42mm tires at 45-50psi. They the two roll quickly on pavement and come to feel equally difficult. And they need to truly feel likewise tough, because of to acquiring comparable hoop stress at these pressures.

On pavement, I am a lot more thorough on corners with the fatter tires. They grip and corner wonderful, but intellectually I know that the leverage pushing on the tubular glue joint involving the taller tire and the rim is so a lot greater than on a 23mm or 25mm tubular that I commonly really do not rail corners. In any case, they surely do not feel sluggish relative to the 28mm tires. However, if I use a knobby tire, it does come to feel far more sluggish on pavement.
― Lennard

Challenge’s Strada Bianca tires are a plush handle. Photo: Ben Delaney

Pricey Lennard,
I am considering finding a custom made frame. I also want to run a more compact tire in the front (23mm) and a more substantial rear tire (28mm) – for aero reasons. My concern is: Does this tire sizing difference affect steering in any (significant) way? Does it change path and wheel flop? History: The second photo of three bikes that manage differently exactly where the rear is lifted — which decreases (successful) path — received me considering about this.

I considered a bit about it myself and the summary I came to is: if the rear tire is larger than the entrance tire the (virtual) head tube angle improves and so path and wheel flop decrease. But the influence is comparatively smaller for the tire dimensions distinction I am taking into consideration (28mm vs 32mm): I calculated ~.25° variance in (virtual) head tube angle assuming tire top changes 4.5mm (dependent on rolling resistance data).
— Nic

Dear Nic,
Your summary is proper. It does steepen head angle and minimize rake and that’s why increases oversteer and decreases stability at pace. Will it be ample to recognize the dealing with big difference? I question it.
― Lennard

Expensive Lennard,
I crashed yesterday & snapped off a carbon publish in a titanium frame. Saw a VeloNews posting you did on getting them out, but this a person is broken off a few mm above the seat tube. Have been attempting to minimize grooves in with hacksaw blade, but it is really sluggish, and the blade does not seriously bite. Your article mentioned applying a quill stem & handlebars for leverage. I have a different bicycle with a tailor made long quill stem so might try out that. Noticed some thing on the web about pouring in concentrated sodium hydroxide solution from the bottom. No strategy if that would eat the Ti. Do you have any ideas?
— Tony

Pricey Tony,
I never know no matter whether it is vital to use sodium hydroxide. Ammonia or Coca-Cola poured into the seat tube (frame upside down) from the bottom bracket will break down corrosion adhering the carbon article to the aluminum sleeve (usually current in Ti frames to sizing the ID of the seat tube to the OD of the seatpost) within of the titanium seat tube. Definitely, seal off the best of your damaged-off seatpost so the ammonia or Coca-Cola doesn’t escape. Add adequate volume so it’s deep plenty of that its amount is higher than the base of the seatpost and continues to function overnight.

Ammonia or Coca-Cola will not injury the titanium or aluminum. I’m certain sodium hydroxide also won’t hurt titanium I do not know regardless of whether it would assault the aluminum sleeve.
― Lennard

Pricey Lennard,
It appears that every single yr I’m hunting for a alternative for lessen gears on my bikes. I’m 68 and not the fittest rider out there, but I give it my most effective.

I have an Ibis Hakka MX with a PraxisWorks crank and a 38 tooth one front chainring. I want to decreased my gears a bit (yet again!) and modifying out all of the rear components (I’m maxed out on derailleur range) would get pricey. Praxis doesn’t make a smaller sized chainring than 38 in this style, would you know of an alternate merchandise?

It’s a mechanical SRAM Rival derailleur. I’m not positive of the manufacturer of cassette, but it is an 11 speed 11-46. There may well be a derailleur extender on it to accommodate the number of tooth. You’d assume that would be plenty of gears!

Every single when in a whilst (not typically), I hit a spot in which I’m at my limit, I have normally dropped to just a couple miles an hour, and it is normally a quite brief section exactly where the ramp is steeper than the other terrain. Would adore to be ready to get more than those sections. The truth of the matter is, additional fitness would possibly be more simple!
— Don

SRAM Rival mechanical rear derailleur. Photo: VeloNews.com

Expensive Don,
You really should be capable to put on a SRAM X01 or GX or NX derailleur for 1X11. Then you could operate something like a SunRace MX8 11-Pace 11-50t cassette, Shimano CS-LG600-11 11-Pace, 11-50t cassette, or Shimano Deore CS-M5100-11 11-Speed, 11-51t cassette.
You will need a for a longer period chain.
― Lennard

Dear Lennard,
I just go through your report on Campy 11 spd rear derailleur compatibility [with a 34-tooth cog]. I presently use a Campy Chorus Medium rear with a Shimano 11-34 cassette with no difficulty at all. I recognized very last 12 months when I was setting up a 11-32 cassette on my wife’s bicycle with a Potenza RD medium cage and as I modified the B screw, I seen there was what I imagined was ample room for a much larger cassette. As we are acquiring prepared for this year’s Triple Bypass, I made a decision to attempt an 11-34 cassette, and it worked without the need of a dropout extension.

My spouse experienced a Shimano wheel, so it was seamless. I have a Campy Shamal wheel and essential to change the freehub with a Shimano-compatible just one.
— Mike


Lennard Zinn, our longtime technical author, joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a custom body builder (www.zinncycles.com) and purveyor of non-tailor made substantial bikes (bikeclydesdale.com), a former U.S. countrywide team rider, co-writer of The Haywire Heart,” and creator of many bicycle publications such as Zinn and the Art of Street Bike Servicing,”DVD, as nicely as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikesand Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Routine maintenance Strategies and Ability Constructing for Cyclists.” He retains a bachelor’s in physics from Colorado University.

Comply with @lennardzinn on Twitter.

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