Prototype cranks on Doddy’s Charge…

Over the last few months my ‘fun’ bike riding has been a little lacking due to my duff wrist, so I’ve been getting the miles in on the Charge. It’s a great platform for testing as I use the bike for commuting as well as riding- so it sees a fair few miles every week…

I’ve been a fan of SRAM for some time now- particularly because of the long cable-pull it offers, which keeps the gears working brilliantly in any amount of UK muck, but since the new Shimano XTR and Shadow technology has been around, I’ve been back on the big S for transmission duties (including the chains, which I've broken a lot of in the past- but the lastest is faring well and shifts better than ever).

However, it’s not all singing and dancing duties as the mega light action has taken some getting used to- and British grit does interfere with shifting still- unless everything’s perfectly set-up. Keeping cables clean and lubed does stop this happening, but that’s pretty hard with our climate- so I jumped at the chance to try the new Goodridge sealed gear cable system.

Using a heavy duty outer, there are lovely aluminium ferrules to finish each section of outer. Protruding from these are thin tubes that insert in to translucent blue piping that covers the exposed inner cable- this makes for no open areas that allow gloop and water to invade. So far, things are looking good. I’ll be sure to jet wash as much as possible and avoid maintenance to see how they hold up, but in the April showers, they’re doing rather well…

I’ve also fitted a new Crank Brothers Cobalt headset, which is THE nicest headset I’ve ever seen. The stack height is so low compared to the Sunline headset I normally run that I’ve had to put in a large spacer, and a small one until I chop some more off the steerer tube..!

Back to Shimano now, and I want to say how impressed I am with the latest XT brakes- to say they’re powerful is a joke, although they’re off the bike at the moment after I ripped a hose out. So I'm going to fit some white Goodridge hoses to them to complete the white look! In the meantime I’ve put my old Formula Oro GM editions on, which are simply gorgeous. In fact, they may well stay…

Finally the bit that you started reading the blog for- the prototype Race Face Next LP Carbon cranks that I’m lucky enough to be running.

When I visited the Race Face factory in Vancouver last year I saw the very early prototypes of these- unlike many Carbon cranks, these are 100% Carbon. There’s no aluminium spine or ‘skeleton’ inside these puppies. Which does, if I admit, scare me a little seeing as I’m the wrong side of 14.5stone and don’t exactly ride smoothly…

Instead of running a Raceface BB, I’m spinning on one of the new Hope Ceramic BB’s, which is so low in friction that you can feel it when pedalling. Again, time will tell on how long it stays good for, but I have plenty of faith in Hope.

Doddy
Author: Doddy
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