14 December 2006

Weight weenies – Part 2

Part 2A: Pedal

I have been using clipless for more than a year now. It’s the Crank Brothers Mallet C, which uses the large pedalling platform with combination of eggbeater style clipless.The weight of the pedals (right and left) are 540gms.

My old Crank Brothers Mallet C

The Mallet large platform sometimes made me not clipping, due to my low level of confidence to unclip at the right moments. But, a few reasons generated the idea of using smaller and lighter clipless pedals.

[1] After testing and feeling the Eggbeater on my usual rider-friends bike, I must say that I felt like floating on the bike. The feeling of using Mallet that I felt Iike attached to the pedal only, not the bike.I like the “floating on the bike” feeling.

[2] If you clip longer and the pedalling at the same time, the chances to cycle forward without putting your feet down in larger. Hence, I will get superior advantages in the guys that put their feet down for extra security i.e. more riding and fun time.

On the other side, if I don’t unclip on time I will definitely fall down. I take chances of riding more and the fun of moving forward, and also the fun and laugh of falling down.

[3] The large platform of Mallet sometimes caught my knee when pushing the bike on un-ride-able trails. The end plates were made from stainless steel… hard!! About 6 months ago, it caught my right knee and it took one whole week to recover. 2 weeks ago, it it caught my right knee again, and I still feel the pain now. Now I’m really disturb about it.

[4] It is sometimes very difficult to clip in using Mallet especially when you need to clip in. Frequently on the bash or even during Bukit Kiara trail riding, this can slow me down and will make the riders at the back to brake and slow down. Imagine, if that happen during racing, you will definitely be overtaken.

The changes is not about being weight weenies. But it is time to move on. Clip longer, pedal more and ride more.

After searching in the Internet for some technical data and model availability, Crank Brothers Candy SL was my choice. At 295 gms, it is 245 gms or 45% lighter. It is made from stainless steel rather than cromoly (on Mallet C and Candy C), hence it should have better durability. The small platform on Candy is made from combination of resin and hard plastic. I chose the black coloured platform.

When I went to the LBS, the only carried the light blue colour, and I insisted on the black one (because I saw the black colour in the Crank Brothers’ website, and it suited the black Truvativ Stylo crank better). The LBS then contacted the other branches, and yes.. they have the black colour Candy SL.
[My new Crank Brothers Candy SL]

Part 2B: Handlebar

I also took this upgrade stage to change my flat handlebar to riser bar. I read from various magazine on how riser bar could positively effect the handling especially during technical descending. I also tried some of my rider-friends hardtails which have riser bars. In my humble opinion, I like the feeling.

I ride Bukit Kiara every week, and I personally considered that Bukit Kiara trails’ descends are mostly technical and some are quite steep. The flat handlebar won’t measure in during the descent, but I like the feeling of flat handlebar on climbing especially the Twin Peaks and Boulder climbs.

My old flat handlebar (...still shining)

Hence, I chose the lowest rise available for riser bar in the market. Again, after googling in the Internet, I found a 13 mm (0.47 inch) rise with 12 degrees sweep from Syntace. Made from carbon fibre with titanium reinforce clamp area. The published weight is 171 gms. These are the other carbon fibre riser bars:

Raceface Dues XC: 195 gms, 1 inch rise, 5 degrees sweep
Raceface Next XC: 184 gms, 1 inch rise, 5 degrees sweep
Syntace Versus: 171 gms, 0.47 inch rise, 12 degrees sweep
Answer Protaper: 165 gms, 1 inch rise, 8 degrees sweep
Easton EC70: 155 gms, 1 inch rise, 10 degrees sweep
Easton EC90 CNT: 135 gms, 1 inch rise, 10 degrees sweep

Compare to my existing Raceface Next XC carbon flat bar of 135 gms, that is 36 gms difference. After the 245 gms weight saving from the Crank Brothers Candy SL pedal, adding 36 gms will make the nett weight saving of 209 gms. That is nearly half a pound.

Perfect! Then, I looked at the price... 130 Euro (about RM 520) ! Wow.. that’s expensive.
No go.
The aluminium riser bars are too heavy – mostly they are at 240 gms and above.

At the LBS, when I was admiring the new Candy SL and its presentation box, then I saw the same Syntace riser bar in the cabinet. The LBS price was RM 220 nett. That price is cheaper than the one in the Internet. Bling, bling...

Since I bought the Crank Brothers Candy SL, I might ask for a discount.

LBS: "RM 200"
Me : "Some more lah.. I bough pedal now, last time I build and bought the whole bike here"
LBS: "No.. cannot lah. Cost price already."
Me : "OK lah.. next time"

LBS silent moment...

LBS : "RM 180 lah"

My pause moment...

Me: "OK"

[My new carbon riser bar]