Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday News And Views

Bar Yak Q-Pro cue sheet holders. Image by Joe Stiller.
Trans Iowa v14 : Updates

With a hair over a month to go till T.I.v14 (!!!) I have been pretty busy with things behind the scenes. Cues were formatted and sent to my secret checker who will be going around the course solo to see if the cues really make sense or if they are wrong in spots. Once any revisions necessary have been made, I will go have the cues printed and we will collate them into the batches they need to be in. Volunteer boxes will be set up for each checkpoint, and for this year, the start as well.

Numbers have been ordered and should be here in four days. I will be seeing about customizing these a bit and, of course, be writing everyone's name on their designated plate. Then I will need to print up waivers, a special T.I.v14 "Welcome" letter, and get that packed away.

Prizing is beginning to be shipped here. Bar Yak is sending three Q-Pro Cue Sheet Holders and my intention is to get those out to three lucky riders before T.I.v14 so they can be used for the event. Velo Press and Nick Legan have sent out five copies of "Gravel Cycling" to be raffled off at the Pre-Race Meat-Up. I also have been promised some goodies from Pedal of Littleton, and I have a plan to include WTB tires and some other baubles which will all go to the riders.

Communications will be sent out to riders about the first of the month and volunteers will hear from me shortly after that. Meeting notes will be drawn up and a schedule made to meet goals all through April. It's going to be a busy month!

Wireless Di2? You knew it would happen.....
Shimano Patent Hints At Wireless Di2:

The big cycling media companies have uncovered a patent application by Shimano which seems to indicate that the cycling component company is getting set to introduce a wireless Di2. Current Di2 electronic shifting requires that hard wires run from each component to "junction boxes" and then to a battery for power supply.

While not a lot of fine detail exists concerning just how the Di2 wireless set up might work, one can already guess at the implications of such components. Obviously some sort of protocol for the radio waves must exist. SRAM developed their own, independent wireless standard, but it is not clear at this time if Shimano will use a currently established network or develop their own.

Then there is the functionality. It is obvious from the patent application schematic that one could probably use this as they would a typical mechanical Shimano group, but other possibilities are endless. Remote triggers, assignable functions, and Shimano's own SyncroShift technologies will probably all figure in to the new designs. Obviously, flat bar applications will also be developed which will bring Shimano a leg up on SRAM as that would be second generation Di2 for off road while SRAM has yet to introduce any version of E-Tap for off road. Although I would bet Sea Otter will be where that finally happens this year.

Do you want to run a 42T rear cog with your drop bar shifters? Image couresy of Wolf Tooth
Wolf Tooth Introduces Road Link:

The obvious move by SRAM to eliminate front derailleurs continues on the road side, but what about really low gears? Well, you can thank Wolf Tooth for being a "johnny-on-the-spot" and for making this "Road Link" for the new Shimano Shadow style road rear derailleurs.

Now you can get one of those 11 speed cassettes with the "ridicu-low" rear cogs and then ditch your front derailleur, or be a mad scientist and run a double anyway with several sub-one-to-one gears. Wolf Tooth says the Road Link is,"Optimized for use with 11-36t, 11-40t, 11-42t 11-speed cassettes" and that with a 11-42 it will work, but not to "factory spec shifting quality".

Interestingly I have been running an 11-36T cassette on my Raleigh Tamland for two years with a standard Ultegra 11 speed rear derailleur and nothing else special at all. I also set up my Twin Six Standard Rando the same way. That gets me a one to one ratio gear in the low 36T coupled with my inner ring on the crank which is also a 36T.

I haven't tried that with the new Shadow rear road derailleurs, so maybe that wouldn't work and I would need a Road Link. Or maybe not..... Sometimes we bicycle mechanics pull off stunts that "should not be done" and get away with it where the average humanoid cannot. Hard to say.

Well, we are supposed to get 8" of heavy wet snow this weekend. Yay! The rest of you, go ride your bikes! Have a great weekend!

2 comments:

onoffrhodes.com said...

I've been running a 6800 rear derailleur with wolf tooth road link, 11-40 XT cassette and 6800 crank with 36-46 rings for a little over a year now. It is a fabulous combo for gravel rides out here in Oregon. When you're doing 6-7000' of climbing in a 60-70 mile ride and there are pitches exceeding 20% it is awesome.

Rainier Wolfcastle said...

Call me when they figure out wireless braking. Until then if I have 2 cables/lines I may as well have 3 or 4.