Join Us at ‘Stoked Spoke’

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Every year in Seattle, Swift Industries organizes the ‘Stoked Spoke’ series of presentations about cyclotouring trips. On January 18, I’ll talk about our ride across the Paso de Cortés in Mexico.

Hear the story behind the ride, discover the inspiration that had us pack up the bikes and head to Mexico, and finally, find out what it would take to ride this amazing route yourself. (Hint: It’s not as hard as it sounds.)

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I’ll show previously unpublished photos from the ride, and I’ll bring the Firefly that took me over the amazing variety of terrain on this route. I’ll see whether Hahn can attend and bring his bike, the Ex-Bontrager.

It’ll be fun to meet many readers and customers in person. Most of all, the ‘Stoked Spoke’ events are a great opportunity to meet cyclists who like venturing off the beaten path. If you are in Seattle (or had planned to visit soon), make sure you’ll attend this fun event!

When: January 18, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Rhino Room, 1535 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Cost: $5

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Compass Cycles, that turns our research into high-performance components for real-world riders.
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4 Responses to Join Us at ‘Stoked Spoke’

  1. Rider X says:

    As a long time road disc user (since 2006) I wanted to add the following points/amendments to the discussion…

    Disc brake pad wear in muddy conditions depends on a lot of factors and may not always occur depending on setup. Wear can occur even when you are not braking because that gets flicked up by the front wheel can land on the rotor and when combined with the tight tolerance between the rotor and brake pad can cause perpetual rubbing and wear even when not braking. That said, depending on your setup this problem can be reduced or alleviated: (1) different brands have different rotor/pad distances and so some brands can show lower wear rates; (2) some brakes allow you to set this distance so you can set the lever to grab a bit later if you are running on wet dirt/gravel roads in order to reduce pad wear (3) pad compound (e.g., organic, sintered metal, or some mixture therein) also plays a big role in pad longevity, organic (which is often spec’d on bikes) wears much quicker than sintered pads, it is often chosen because they offer a much quieter experience and have better initial bite.

    In terms of pad longevity of rim vs disc brakes I have personally found I got better longevity out of disc brake pads (I am located just North of the border to yourself). However, most of my riding often was in very wet conditions with long braking periods down excessively steep inclines (i.e., 15 degree slope). Here disc brakes clean and dried the rotors much faster than rim brakes, which reduced the wear during the extended braking periods which could be why I get better pad longevity.

    Another advantage of disc brakes is that the wheel sets last indefinitely as the braking surface (the rotor) can be replaced. As a result I one set of disc wheels lasted me many many years, where with rim brakes I was often had to rebuild a wheelset every year.

    I also wanted to point out is that I think many of your disc brake issues can be alieviated though further tweaking the setup (just as you do for centre pull breaks – e.g., straddle cable). For example, mechanical disc brakes can get a noticeable power boost by using “compressionless” break cable housing (at the cost of modulation).

    Finally, fork compliance is an interesting topic. It is very true that disc brakes require stiffer forks, some manufactures have even made asymmetrical fork blades to stiffen up braking. My take has been to simply run wider supple tires to gain back compliance. I personally don’t mind stiffer blades as it gives more precise steering input, especially when front loading. Even in cyclocross I found this to be advantageous in trying to navigate difficult lines. To each their own!

    • I personally don’t mind stiffer blades as it gives more precise steering input

      The idea that stiffer forks give you more precise steering doesn’t seem to hold in practice. The side loads on the fork are very small, otherwise, you couldn’t balance the bike and would fall over. When you do a track-stand, you do put sideloads on the front of the bike, and you’ll find that the front wheel flexes much more than the fork. Yet most modern wheels have few spokes and aren’t very stiff laterally – because it’s a non-issue when you are riding.

      Steering response is determined by front-end geometry more than anything else.

      • Frank says:

        Perhaps it is the longitudinal rather than the lateral flex of the fork blades that – by altering the geometry – causes a feeling of imprecise steering?

  2. john says:

    I would love to see or hear your talk online.

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