Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cable routing

"Across the head tube" route setup

Apart from front brake (which run down direct to v-brake or disc brake caliper), rear brake, FD and RD require routing either via top tube, bottom tube or both (brake on top tube, while FD & RD on bottom tube).

"Across the head tube" route
FD which is on the left side, the cable runs across the head tube to the right side before tied to top (or bottom) tube. RD on the opposite, runs from right side across the head tube to the left then tied to top (bottom) tube. For rear brake, since I fit on left side, runs across the head tube to the right side of the bike.

"Same side" route
All cables run on same side of the bike, i.e. no cable cross the head tube.

Which is the best?
While there is no hard rules on how one should route the cable, I prefer "across the head tube" cable routing. I have 2 reasons of doing so: -
1. to reduce cable casing rub
Cable casing doesn't rubs on the head tube thus save the head tube's paintwork.

2. smoother cable movement
Cable routing has lesser degree bend in between 2 fixed position i.e. the lever's barrel adjuster and cable clamp on the top/bottom tube)

On my Spesh, FD & RD run on bottom tube. By default, casing stopper (I will lookup the actual term use for this little thing below my bottom tube) for FD on left, RD on the right. I overcome the situation by crossing the casing underneath the bottom tube (see photo below).

To all my muslim friends, Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tire tread & rotational direction

Continental Explorer. Actual model fitted on my Scott.

For simplicity, you just fit tire to your wheel according to the direction as indicated on the sidewall. It meant to make your life easier after all. For those of you that want a better explanation, continue reading.

For passenger cars, tires can be bidirectional, inside/outside or rotational direction.
Bidirectional - your can never go wrong mounting the tire to the wheel.
Inside/outside - "Outside" is meant to be on the outer part of the wheel, i.e. the part where you see the tyre most of the time.
Rotational direction - it has the arrow that shows the direction of the tire when the car move forward. If mounted on the right side of the car (front or rear), the arrow indicator pointed to the your right side, if it on top most of the tire. (see photo below)

My focus is elaborate on rotational direction since that's the only concern for MTB'r.

Tyre fitted on wheel for right side of the car

On tarmac, rotational direction wasn't a major factor if you are driving in hot & sunny day. Rotational directional comes to its purpose when it's raining or you hit patch of water. The tread on rotational directional tire will "channel" out the water in between the tire and the tarmac away as to gain contact to the road. Without this, the tire will hydroplane (or aquaplane) and car will lost contact with the road renders braking, steering, and accelerating useless and disastrous. As such, mounting rotational direction tire wrongly will increase the risk of hydroplaning since instead of "channel" out the water, it "scoop" the water in!

Back to MTB, directional tyre for MTB is always on the opposite side for front and rear. This is for the reason that rear tire is the driving wheel and it need all the traction required to maintain its contact to the terrain in order to move forward. On the other hand, front tire is always on rolling and doesn't need that much of tread until you need to apply brake. Front tire works the same way like the rear tire in term of traction but in different rotational direction. That's another reason why rear brake has less stopping power that the front.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why do I take up cycling?

1. 1 form of exercise
I tried running but my shin hurts badly after few hundreds meters. Been into gym but monthly commitment of RM180 seems too much. Furthermore, gym buddy insisted on me going to the outlet next to his office but so out of the way of my route. After giving a serious thought of it and series of harassment by Jazlany and Big Mac, I committed myself into cycling.

2. Socializing and networking
Cycling buddies come from many walk of life. Lawyer, accountant, technocrat, chemical engineer, dispatch rider, student, teacher, photographer, tuna booty shaker.. you name it, I'll try to find one :)

3. Commuting
Being green. Trying to reduce fossil fuels consumption on monthly basis. Cycle whenever, wherever possible to run errands or just simply commute to work.

4. Personal achievement
I keep monitoring my progress. If there is anyone I am trying to better than, it is just myself. Yeah, I do mentioned about me trying to match cycling buddy whose performance is like a moving target for me, forget about that :D

I highly recommend newbie to read these articles by Sheldon Brown on basic cycling techniques: -

Standing while Cycling
- standing is hazardous to your knee

Braking and Turning - why you need to use front brake

Gear Shifting - cadence vs grinding/pushing

p.s: only #1 was the original motivation factor for me taking up cycling, others are by-products of my obsession.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Misleading perception

Last Friday, we did the route just like the one we did during Ramadhan. A ride that suppose to roll by 9:00pm apparently leaving RV nearly 10:00pm. While waiting for others, I keep myself occupied by changing brake pad and some minor tuning on RD (rear derailer). RD occasionally refused to up shift (changing to smaller cog on rear) when the shifter tell it to do so. While the situation was not disastrous, it hamper smooth shifter that any cyclist highly expect from their gearing department. I will get into the detail on how I try to solve that issue on future entry. This entry is about something else..

While I was struggling myself tuning/fixing my Spesh, I heard 2 irritating quotes from fellow season cyclists, a conversation that in a normal circumstances I will say my piece.

Quote #1
Take up road cycling. You will get slimmer. MTB is not good since we have many break and sometime we eat nasik lemak by the river side.

My piece
Dude, people can get slimmer without exercising. The key is diet. A correct diet. Over generalizing the issue is shallow.

Road cycling, MTB cycling, running (like Haza) or any other form of exercise has to be done correctly and objectively. There is no short cut to get slimmer. Those build-up fat isn't there in a month, so stop expecting result in a month!

Quote #2

You can't eat egg if you are on diet!

My piece
Not entire correct. Egg is a source of protein apart from meat and others. Egg is cheap, easily available and easy to prepare. I ate a lot of eggs during my first 6 months of my diet program. But remember to totally get rid of the yolk.

As my diet coach told me, there's no such thing as bad food. The key is moderation. You can eat pasta, but ensure the healthy ingredients and calories intake. Doesn't mean high fiber bread is good for your health that you should finish the whole loaf in 1 sit.

If you need to reach my diet coach, drop me a line. His charge is quite reasonable ;)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Langkap to Pasir Salak

Yours truly
Photo of me doing 40km trip to Pasir Salak on Spesh. More photos once I reach civilisation with Internet access.

Finally, the keyboard version
I woke up early however muscle pain on my thigh a bit hesitate to cooperate with the plan. The plan was to do tarmac to Kompleks Sejarah Pasir Salak, 40km away from Langkap and return. After ding-dong with the decision, I drag my feet to proceed with the plan.

I left at about 10:30am, the weather looks promising with no sign of rain. Cranking at about 27km/h and trying to keep it up since the route almost flat. Saw a few stopover to serve my appetite however decided that it wasn't a good idea to have lemang, neither coconut water during this somewhat long journey.

Almost flat tarmac

Signage to my destination

By 12:30pm, I reached Kompleks Sejarah Pasir Salak. My plan to visit this historical place was hampered by the security guard who refused to let me safely park my Spesh beside the guard post. I believed that he was just carrying out his duty as per instruction and directed me to the information counter to ask for permission to park within the vicinity. Unprepared with proper lock, I decided to shelf the original idea instead I snapped a few photos below.

Solar clock

Terowong Sejarah

Observation tower: A view over Sungai Perak

Sungai Perak: A view from a bridge

Next plan... Langkap to Lumut, 90km. End December.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cycle to work

I always looking forward for an assignment where I will "have" to spend a day at HQ. A trip about 18km in 40 minutes (moderate pace), I beat my travelling time by car, anytime. I opt for a route via Chow Kit since traffic is a bit low comparatively to Jalan Mahameru.

After preparing Shogun the night before, I left about 7:20am this morning and reached HQ slightly before 8:00am. Thanks to my luck on each traffic light junctions, it was green all the way. Secured my Shogun near the cafe and had mihun goreng breakfast while waiting my body temperature settling down. 8:15am, headed to Surau to wash myself and put on my office attire. By 8:25am, I clocked into the office.

I have a good start this morning :)

Note on photo above: Couldn't get proper place to dry up jersey, towel and helmet thus all cramping under visitor table. Merempat, nak buat cemana :)