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Here's to the doubting Thomases...(3 posts)

Here's to the doubting Thomases...lonefrontranger
Jan 2, 2002 10:47 PM
To all you 10-speed naysayers, I think this stuff works pretty hunky-dory in mud, snow and ice.

Took the Colnago for a 3-hour ride yesterday, and it never stopped snowing the entire trip, even when the sun (sort of) came out. Temps were in the mid-twenties, meaning that perfect combo of just-warm-enough-to-melt combined with just-cold-enough-to-freeze-all-over-the-bike. I found plenty of mud and slushy stuff, even rode through a few acres of construction site just to see what the drivetrain could or would tolerate.

Exposed cables and rear triangle had quite a bit of ice built up, about 3mm on the rear stays, and the drivetrain (and me, and the bike) was all well coated in clay goop. Everything shifted as smooth at the end as at the beginning of the ride. My MTB doesn't fare this well in mud. As much as I love my Klein, I have to admit their brilliant chainstay design becomes a chainsuck factory when the going gets thick.

Top-routed cables help a lot, but I think the main secret is that I use all those special "sludge-stoppers", wipers, seals and gummie bits on my cables and housings - I believe these come stock with XTR or Gore-Tex cable sets, and most people in dry climates (Colorado ferinstance) pitch them because they are a PITA to install. I put a word in at the LBS to save some before I built up the bike, because for some odd reason Campagnolo doesn't include them with their cable sets.

I have used these on every 'cross bike build I've done, since my MTB mentor installed them for me on my old Redline a few years back (slow day in the shop). At the very next icy 'cross race I was the only one left at the end of the day who had functional shifting (well, OK - as functional as it ever got with the Trashbin Surprise grouppo).

Final observation: Time pedals ROCK! The thing I like best about these is that they offer an enormous platform, almost like my old DS SPuD-traps. This makes it easy and safe to go into something that's icy, off-camber and hairy without being committed to clip-in. I also can't believe how well they function in, well - a construction site, 'nuf said.
re: Here's to the doubting Thomases...mackgoo
Jan 3, 2002 3:45 AM
Would you elaborate on the cable stuff you talk about?
Quality BP has them - there's even a pic in the catalog:lonefrontranger
Jan 3, 2002 12:55 PM
Jagwire Part# BR4191 or Shimano Part# CA1067, but we always just called them "Sludge Stoppers" and dug 'em out of the parts bin in the back. I thought for sure Gore kits used them, but apparently not. The Shimano ones suck (read: don't work), you apparently have to buy them separately, and they only come 3 to a bag. The Jagwire ones rock, there are 5 or 6 in a cable kit, or you can buy a bag of 10, and apparently these are what my bro at shop sends me out of the spare stash. Here I thought I'd memorized the QBP catalog, learn something new every day. These only work on shifter housings, BTW.

They are basically little silicon rubber seals of varying length and configuration depending on where and how they sit on the cable. Their goal is to stop grime and water before it is pulled or drips down into the housings and freezes or otherwise cruddifies. You could probably make something functional out of an art gum eraser if it really came down to it.

If Windoze 2K would recognize my stupid Web cam, I'd shoot and upload a pic for you (grr!).

Many, many shifting issues have nothing to do with shifting mechanisms and everything to do with cruddy cables. Cheap Shimano rear mech return springs notwithstanding. Thereby hangs yet another tale.

One time a guy brought us an old Klein road bike that was airshifting badly, cursing his old POS Sh*m*n* rear mech, the usual, JRA, blah, blah... Anyway, we discovered that the frame had split in half longitudinally from the shifter bosses right through the BB shell and all the way up to the seatpin. He was airshifting because the entire rear end was held together by 6mm of Easton thinwall and a cheap, stretchy Ti skewer.