Archive for February, 2010

The HammerSchmidt Crankset

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Or the Hammerschmidt front transmission as SRAM calls it.

Lets say that you have a fancy XTR crankset and front derailleur….that cool, and high tech.  What more could there be?


Well, if you do any amount of all mountain riding or freeriding, you may desire the following features that HammerSchmidt offers.

1. No chain suck…..let me say that again, no chain suck.  You also won’t drop your chain into your frame or outboard.

2. More ground clearance…Clarance.

3. Being able to shift under load.  So when you mean to be in the granny going up that steep climb, you’ll actually get there if you shift under load.

4. Being agle to shift while coasting.

5. The gear combos give you a 22/36 or 24/38

6. No cross chaining since the chainring works with all your gears.


There are a couple of considerations before you have me order you up one.

1. You need a hammerschmidt front shifter…your current sram one won’t work.

2. Your frame needs ISG mounts.  And if you have a cheaply made frame, I will have to chase, face, and possibly ‘mill to finish’ your frame.  I did this today, and it will cost the owner $115 in labor.  The crankset and BB is also pretty expensive itself.

3. And you don’t get a big ring….for all you Super D “racers”.

I give it a thumbs up.

The Larry Snow tire from Surly

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

We actually have a guest review of this product from Chris….

Thumbs up on the Larry!
Greatly reduced self-steer on the pavement– felt a little when leaned over in a turn ( I suspect this is due to the wide profile and can’t be completely eliminated, a-la a motorcycle), otherwise all gone. In fact, I rode hands-off for a minute or so, something I would never have attempted (or succeeded in) with the Endomorph on the front.
On the snow, better cornering traction. On loose, fresh groomed descent, I went around several turns as fast as I dared (I’m no great bike handler), and was never able to get the Larry to slide before losing the rear end. Gripped well on singletrack and firm groomed snow, generally neutral and un-noticeable– no bad traits, everything different from the Endo was better.
Un-scientific conclusion: Tell Andy, some guy named Tom, and the others to buy one for the front and put their front Endo in the rafters for their next rear tire. Sell it as standard on a new bike.
Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong…
Best, Chris

Winter Shoes and Heated Insoles

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

You should ride in the winter.  Its really fun.  Both on the trail (with a pugsley) and on the road (with studded tires).  Not in a blizzard, but on most days.  And bundling up for said ride is not too difficult, except maybe when it comes to foot ware.  Here is what usually happens when cyclists think about winter shoes….and I am no different in my journey.

Phase 1:  You just wear two layers of wool socks, or try ski socks with your normal Summer shoes.  This works for about 1/2 hour.  And it crushes your feet and your circulation. This is the Junior High solution.

Phase 2: You get “Winter” boots.  We sell these. Garene, Shimano, Sidi, etc.  Take your pic.  I personally own a set of Sidi “winter” boots.  I call them “winter” boots because they are NOT winter boots.  Yes, they are a little warmer than the standard shoes, but they are only good for about an hour or so.  I must say, these are nice for cool rides….so there is a place for these in your wardrobe.  This is the High School level solution.

Phase 3: Winter boots and heated insoles or shake an heat units.  You’ll get much more comfort….but they do wear out, the insoles stop working after a while….or like me, you just end up using them in your moccasins…..or if your not cool enough to be an indian, your slippers.  Congrts, grab your beer bong and a fist full of rubbers – your off to college.

Sidi Heated Insoles

Phase 4: Lake Winter Boots.  Specifically, the Lake MXZ 302 Winter Riding Boot.  And let me tell you dear friends, I don’t even sell these (since Dharma Wheels doesn’t have a Veltec account – nor do we want 100 pairs of shoes we may never sell) and they are worth it.  Almost every local person I sell a snow bike to gets these boots.  They keep your feet warm and dry on long rides, short rides, cold days, warmer cold days, etc.  I even work all day at the shop in these boots when I’m too busy to change to my work shoes.  These are the best winter shoes that I know.  Buy them…these are professional grade.

LakeWinter Shoes