Saturday, August 29, 2009

Winters Road Race

Took a little video of the start of the Cat 1/2 group leaving Winters. Sadly, it was mostly ShimaNO group ...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ten Speed Drive

John Freisen, GM and Owner of Ten Speed Drive Racing, wrote to let us know that he spent his own money to equip his Cat 1 racing team's bikes with Campagnolo. For now, they're still riding eponymous 10-speed, but that extra cog remains a dream for the future ("Eleven Speed Drive," anyone?).

Says John, "It has been an expensive adventure to put these guys on Campy parts, wheels and pedals. It has also been alot of fun."

Campy-equipped teams in the US as a little rare, so we applaud John for his devotion to the boys from Vicenza.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Shimano in Vicenza!

ShimaNO has established a foothold in Campagnolo's hometown, according to industry reports. ShimaNO's European sales office has teamed with Dainese, an Italian maker of protective gear for cycling and other sports (more info on the company is here). Dainese is headquartered in Vicenza, the home of Campagnolo and the site of most (but not all) of Campagnolo's manufacturing facilities.

The Return of Synt

You won't find them on Zipp's web site (at least not yet), but that company is releasing a new cork-based brake pad that is, in their words, "...machined from a unique composite material [that] combines the stopping performance and durability of a synthetic polymer with the heat resistance and smooth feel of cork."

These new pads remind us of one of Campagnolo's offerings from the not-too-distant past: the "synt" brake pad. Those pads, made of a top-secret formula that at least looked like cork, didn't stay in the company's lineup too long. You can occasionally find a pair at the bottom of a parts bin. More on Synt is here.

As for Zipp's new pads, if they're like the company's other pads, they'll be available in a shape to fit Campagnolo's brakes. Zipp's web site:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Khamsin Wheels Video Report

Our first look at the Khamsin wheels (and a few other bits):

To see the video in HiDef on YouTube, click here

Monday, August 17, 2009

Khamsin Countdown: T Minus One

Our new Khamsins have been mounted on the Campy Only Sachs for two days now, but they still haven't touched the pavement. We hope to correct that tomorrow ... watch for photos and video.

Richard Sachs Sighting

Bet you didn't know that there's a special kind of tape that goes with your retro Campy-equipped bicycle. Here's a video of Richard Sachs, who explains it all:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Khamsin Wheels: Cheap, Yes, But How Good?

We'll be answering that question in the coming weeks and months. We installed a set of new Khamsin wheels tonight on the Campy Only Sachs--no time to ride them, but rest assured they'll see some miles soon.

Khamsin's are Campagnolo's least-expensive wheelset, sitting at the bottom of lineup that includes (from most to least expensive) Shamal, Eurus, Zonda, Scirocco, Vento, and ... Khamsin. They're based on Campagnolo's "G3" spoking pattern, which arranges the spokes in groups of three--two spokes on one side pulling against one on the other. For the front wheel, there are eight of these pairs, alternating between the sides with two spokes. On the rear, all of the two-spoke pairs are on the drive side and all the single spokes are on the non-drive.

A very smart rocket scientist friend of mine (no kidding ... he works for NASA) once told me that the G3 pattern is bunk. He said there is no engineering reason for the pattern, and that it shouldn't be any stronger or better than a "G2" pattern with one spoke on each side.

That may be true, but the Scirocco wheels we've had for some five or more years, also based on the G3 pattern, have been tried and true (no pun intended) through thousands of miles of riding.

So, let's see how the Khamsins hold up. Check back and see.

Some stats below. The total weight of a Khamsin wheelset is 1,895 grams. That's about 140 grams more than Ventos (about 5 ounces) and a whopping 400 grams (more than 14 ounces) heavier than the top-of-the-line Shamals. But really, how many of us need Shamals for daily riding ... or any riding? And keep in mind that a pair of Khamsins will set you back about $400 (less on eBay and other places), while a pair of Shamals is on the far side of $900. That's right--with the money you save, you can almost buy the new Apple tablet computer when it comes out!

Khamsin front wheel: 855 grams (all weights per
Khamsin rear wheel: 1040 grams

Vento front: 810 grams
Vento rear: 945 grams

Scirocco front: 770 grams
Scirocco rear: 955 grams

Eurus front: 660 grams
Eurus rear: 890 grams

Shamal Ultra front (clincher): 605 grams
Shamal Ultra rear: 790 grams

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Stuff We're Using

Campagnolo doesn't make everything, so we use a variety of gear and equipment from other places. We thought we'd tell you about some of them.

Knog "N.E.R.D." Bike Computer--You probably know Knog for their strap-on mini-lights. The NERD is a new product. We bought one of these for our Richard Sachs for a few reasons: it's red, like the bike; it has BIG numbers in the speed display; and it's super-easy to install. The NERD is a wireless computer, with the sending unit and display wrapped in one-piece silicon housings that wrap around the fork/bars to hold the parts on. Kinda cool-looking (if a little big). In a brief test ride, the unit worked great. The speed display is cool and unique--the numbers scroll up or down as your speed changes, which is fun to watch. Our one concern (before yesterday) was that the unit is so easy to put on and off that it might be prone to being stolen. We would learn the other downside to the easy-on/off feature ...

Our big road test started yesterday morning on the Mt Tam Double Century ... and ended shortly after the ride started. On a bumpy downhill, the sending unit got shaken enough to eject from the fork and go bouncing into the underbrush. We searched in vain, and ended up doing the DC without a computer (a new experience for us).

We've contacted the online retailer who sold us the NERD--we'll let you know if we get it back on the bike and post updated test results.

More info at

Mt Tam Double Century

We took our Campy-equipped Richard Sachs out for a ride yesterday: the 200-mile Mt. Tam(alpais) Double Century in Marin and Sonoma counties in northern California. The ride is advertised at 15,000 feet of climbing; our Avocet watch counted up a little more than 16,000.

Needless to say, our Campy components (including a brand-new Chorus Ultra Torque crankset) worked flawlessly. The crankset, in particular, feels much stiffer and shifts much more smoothly than the alloy Record crankset it replaced.