Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!


Cross Fork Brake Chatter Redux

I had written here and about my own experiences with brake chatter on the front wheel of my Scattante commuter and how using a solution recommended by Nippleworks had worked out for me. Lennard Zinn (of Zinn and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance fame) has a post up today over at Velonews that lays the whole problem and its various solutions out very neatly. Nippleworks noted that Zinn's diagram looked much like their own- I'm sure Mr. Zinn saw their diagram because I emailed him about it a month ago when his Tech column mentioned that he was planning on writing about fork chatter.

It is interesting that both manufacturers he spoke with (Van Dessel and Ridley) cited increased stiffness in their cross forks (via a 1.5 inch steerer diameter instead of a 1.125) as the primary way they were working to solve the problem. 

The best solution, in my mind, would be for the UCI to go ahead and (gasp) allow disk brakes in cross competition. My interest as a person who uses a cross bike for commuting and not for racing, is that I'd love to see a higher-end cross bike spec'ed with modern brakes (or at least the studs that allow their use) that are not dependent on what's going on at the rim to do their job. 

Finally, the material I wrote before includes two significant mistaken assumptions.  First, I talked about using Kool-Stop Salmon pads, but I have since heard that while they are a great product, they are a very grippy pad, which would make the problem worse. Second, I supposed that using a lower-profile cantilever brake might help. However, shorter brake arms would mean increased mechanical advantage as the fork flexes backward, pushing the pads ever harder against the rim.  I'll keep my wide-profile Tektro, I guess.