New Shop Prospects and Tutorials

Hey everyone!  I have been on a nice hiatus while transitioning to a new shop in the area.  I am really excited about the opportunities happening and will be back to regular posts next month.  In the meantime, I have been developing material for tutorials on some of the newest technology in the industry.  It is a passion of mine to figure out solutions for products with little to no information on troubleshooting.  Many times in the shop I will be working with a new bike that has limited instruction from manufacturers and does not necessarily provide methods for effectively carrying out a build (aka the Venge ViAS).  Our shop spent a great deal of time figuring out the best setup for the front rim brake setup and how to eliminate (or at least reduce) the drag the cable would experience when actuated due to the complexity of the cable routing through the steerer tube out to the caliper arm.  Things like this, when solved, will help a great number of people avoid frustration and useless wasted time.  The beauty of it is that hopefully my efforts (both right and wrong) will lead to the most effective solution for the product.  Consequently, I have had many readers comment and provide additional information that further refines the solution.  Collaboration is the best way to make all of our lives easier in the shop.  I always welcome suggestions and other methods as I seek to find whatever is the best.

Compiling all of the information has really helped to use my blog both as a reference for myself and a place for people to detail problems they’ve had.  Even when I cannot provide the exact solution, pointing someone in the right direction (either a dealer or manufacturer) usually resolves it.  Real life problem solving in unknown situations is every bit as important as a torque specification or cable routing diagram.  This doesn’t just apply to high end products.  I find sometime even a cantilever brake can be as frustrating for someone as a wiring issue on an electric bike.

Some of the articles forthcoming will cover:

  • Proper cantilever brake setup (saw that one coming?)
  • Hub motor wheel lacing for electric bikes
  • Disc brake (break) squealing and bleeding difficult disc brake calipers
  • Situations where you need three hands for a project and only have two
  • Setting up tubeless tires on rims that just don’t want to seal during inflation
  • Carbon frame inspection for cracks and damage
  • Proper road shifter placement and why they should be where they are
  • Dropper post setup with internal routing
  • Modding components to accept unacceptable setups (like running an 11-32 cassette with a Di2 rear derailleur)
  • Bottom bracket solutions for BB30, PF30, and BB86/90 (creak creak creak, pop)
  • Updating Di2 firmware yourself (quite easy) and apps for power meter firmware and diagnosing these issues.  This may expand into more than one article.

I hope you’ll read the articles and gain some insight.  Any tips you may have that have been successful are encouraged and welcome.  Also, the articles will detail some of the failures I came across with methods before I was satisfied with the solution.  Thanks for reading! Oh yea, and here is my new cat Ernie.  He didn’t come with a manual unfortunately, haha.  He might be broken 🙂


One gear at a time,



Neat Road Brake Caliper Installation Tip

I thought I would present a little tech trick in our shop (and probably others) that keeps a road brake caliper from rotating on its anchor bolt when bumped slightly or installing wheels.  One of our guys told everyone about it last year and since then, we have had great success with it.

It is quite simple and makes great sense. Usually there is a small serrated washer or smooth alloy washer placed on the anchor bolt between the caliper and the frame for both correct positioning and the use of a ‘softer’ metal to grip the caliper to the anchor nut from the frame.  See below.

Washer is placed over the anchor bolt hereBefore you place this washer onto the anchor bolt, apply a small amount of grip assembly paste to the surface at the base of the anchor bolt, as shown below.Applying the grip assembly paste with an acid brush

A little more than necessary, for visual purposes.

Then, install the alloy washer and apply a little more grip assembly paste to the side of the washer facing the frame or fork, shown below.

Installing the alloy washer Rear brake with grip assembly paste applied

That will give the brake much more staying power without any ill side effects.  The paste also helps protect carbon frame surface mounting points.  No more will that little bump while moving or transporting your bike knock the caliper out of alignment, which will help performance longevity after tuning and avoid uneven brake pad wear.  Hope this helps your shop or your own bikes as well as it has ours.


One article I am currently working on deserves a little preview while assembling all of the material.  It’s based on reducing weight on your bike for the least and most practical cost.  For instance, we carry Specialized tubes in our shop of both the regular and lightweight turbo pre-talc’d styles.  I knew that the rubber quality is slightly higher in the turbo tubes and that they weighed somewhere below the regular ones.  So I weighed them to see exactly what the weight savings was.  A regular tube weighs out at about 100g.  The lightweight tube costs about two dollars more, yet comes in at only about 70g.  So, for four dollars, you can save 60g on your bike.  This alone doesn’t do much (though the ride quality will improve slightly), but a few tricks like this will add up to a considerable savings.  I know of a lot of much more expensive proportions of dollars/weight savings that might make sense when you have exhausted some of these more ‘stealth’ weight saving options.  More tips like this to come in the article.