Friday, December 12, 2014

Mountain Bike Highlight — 2014 Raleigh Talus 2.0 Specs and Features

2014 Raleigh Talus 2.0 REVIEW

Featuring a redesigned fork and 1020 Hi-Tensile Steel frame, the 2014 Raleigh Talus 2.0 Mountain Bike a smooth riding bike that will stand the test of time. Quality Shimano components keep the Talus running reliably so you can spend more time on the bike. The Talus 2.0 is an entry level price with a performance package ready for a bike path near you.

Frame:1020 Hi-Tensile MTB frame
Fork:1020 Hi-Tensile Fork
Shifters:Shimano Tourney RD-TX35
Front Derailleur:Shimano TX-50
Rear Derailleur:Shimano Tourney RD-TX35
Brakes:Promax Alloy V-Brake
Brake Levers:Alloy V-Brake
Cranks:SR Suntour XCC 42/34/24t
Cassette:Shimano MF-TZ21 7spd (14-28t)
Bottom Bracket:Sealed Mechanical 2pc 68x122.5mm
Chain:KMC Z51
Hubs:32h QR
Spokes:14g Stainless Steel
Rims:Alloy 26 inch 32h
Tires:Excel Smooth Tread, 26x2.0
Headset:Ahead 1-1/8
Stem:Alloy Ahead 4-Bolt, 90/100mm
Handlebars:Steel 40mm Rise x 620mm, 25.4 inch
Grips:Small Diamond MTB Grip
Saddle:Raleigh Mountain Plush Saddle
Seat Post:Alloy Micro Adjust 28.6x350mm 

Ride-A-Bike Shop
116 NE. Court Square
Lincolnton, NC 28092
(704) 735-1746

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Santa Can't Do Everything - Here are more gift ideas for Cyclists!

Have You Checked Everyone Off Your List Yet?

Chris King/Hope Pro II Evo
Hub set for custom wheels 
($385 and up)

We offer custom wheels based on Chris King and Hope Hubs. Come talk with us to get your next wheelset started.

Black Ops Nylo Pro - $57
High Traction MTB Pedals

This pedal offers a lot of traction at a great price

Drop Stop Chainring - $92
Wolf Tooth Components

This 30t chain ring is ideal for 1x10 drivetrain conversions. Come talk to us about conversion details.

Lezyne Power Drive XL - $120
Head Light and Helmet Mount

This is the perfect light for off-road night riding. Join us every Tuesday night at Pee-Wee's Mountain Bike park for a night group ride.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas is Just Weeks Away - Pick Up These Great Items NOW

Christmas Gift List Ideas For The Cyclist In Your Life

Serfas USL-T60 Rechargeable Tail Light

If you want to be seen, this 60 Lumen Rechargeable Tail Light is what you need. Not Recommended for group rides.

Only $60

Lazer Helmets
w/ RollSys Retention System

High quality, comfortable, and a great value. Protect your head - it's the only one you have!

Lezyne Sport Floor Drive Pump
with flip chuck

This high quality pump makes quick work of high pressure road tires

Only $50



Ride-A-Bike Jerseys
Support Your Local Bike Shop!

Only $60 
Ride-A-Bike Shop
116 NE. Court Square
Lincolnton, NC 28092
(704) 735-1746

Pinkbike Awards: Trail / All-Mountain Bike of the Year Nominees

Santa Cruz Nomad Nominated For 

Pinkbike All-Mountain Bike of the Year

Santa Cruz drew from everything they'd learned over the past decade regarding geometry and suspension design in order to create the latest version of the Nomad, a bike with 165mm of travel that can tame the most technical trails on the planet while still possessing efficient pedaling and a light fighting weight, traits that help take the sting out of those long grueling climbs. To go along with its spot-on geometry, the Nomad's features read like a bike nerd's wish-list: a full carbon frame, complete with internal cable routing, a revised VPP suspension layout that tucks the lower link up into the frame and out of harm's way, space for a water bottle inside the front triangle, and on top of all that there's even a threaded bottom bracket shell. Santa Cruz absolutely nailed it with the Nomad, creating a bike that combines beauty and brawn into one outstanding ride

Ride-A-Bike Shop
116 NE. Court Square  -  Lincolnton, NC 28092  -  (704) 735-1746  -

Friday, November 21, 2014

2015 Raleigh Ziva 27.5 - A Mountain Bike Just For Her

The Ziva is our 27.5" race driven hard tail designed specifically for women. 

Already race proven by our Raleigh sponsored riders Caroline Mani and Courtney McFadden, the Ziva is as ready as you are, whether your hitting the local MTB races, or are just ready to clear that elusive technical section on your favorite trail.

Trail-ready and gritty enough for everyday exploration, Raleigh's Ziva Expert opens up new shredding possibilities when the rubber hits dirt. A lightweight aluminum frame mates to a RockShox Recon Gold fork up front to create a responsive ride that's whippy and fun. Speaking of whippiness, the 27.5-inch wheels wrapped in Kenda rubber just beg for more whoops, whips, and roosts.

Of course, you'll need to get up to speed to have all that fun, so a SRAM X7 drivetrain gives you all the right gears and the smooth shifting to get you going fast. With all that speed, you'll need some reliable brakes, so Tektro Gemini hydraulic brakes are on the case. You'll shred this rig for years to come thanks to tough and reliable Raleigh components, a comfy women's-specific saddle, and grips and brake levers made specifically for feminine hands.

  • Lightweight women's specific alloy frame with XC geometry
  • 2x10 drivetrain with Sram Type 2 rear derailleur to keep chain noise down
  • Women's specific saddle, grips, and brake levers
  • Rockshox Recon Gold TK 100mm fork with lockout
  • Tektro Gemini hydraulic disc brakes with 2-finger women's specific levers 
Ride-A-Bike Shop
116 NE. Court Square
Lincolnton, NC 28092
(704) 735-1746

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Rainy Cyclocross Season Is Coming Quick - Master the Mud

4 Tips On How To Master the Mud

Ride partners will appreciate it if you ride with fenders when it's muddy. Besides keeping the spray out of their eyes, fenders will keep it out of your peepers and off your clothes, too. Best, they'll keep the muck off the bike, somewhat reducing cleaning time and limiting the wear and tear on the finish. We can show you some fenders suited to the mud.

Don't Muddle The Puddle
When riding in muddy conditions be careful at puddles. It may seem fun to blast through, but it's never a good idea because you can't be sure what's at the bottom. If there's a hole there, you'll end up doing a sweet Superman imitation and sail over the bars when your front wheel gets stopped cold. This will entertain your ride partners immensely but it can be quite painful and could wreck the fork and frame if you're really unlucky.

Our recommendation? Slow way down and try to skirt the edges of puddles so you know you're passing over solid ground.

Wheelie Across
If you're coming into a muddy section that's only a yard or so across, but still looks like it could cause a loss of control, try this technique (this requires being able to lift the front wheel; if you don't know how, learn before trying this move): as you approach the bog, lift the front wheel and hold it up, until it's over dry ground. If you do this correctly, the front wheel will miss the mud altogether and the rear wheel will cruise through the muck. Because your front wheel is airborne as you cross the goo, there's no chance of getting the front end stuck and getting launched.

Ride It Out
Another important mud maneuver is hanging on a little longer when things seem out of control. Often, if you can just ride out the initial unsteadiness you feel, the bike will regain control on its own. It helps to stay off the brakes and remain relaxed.

Dodge The Danger
Keep in mind that no one is forcing you to ride through the mud. If it looks risky, the best bet may be to get off and walk around the muddy section. There's nothing wrong with that and you'll have the last laugh should one of your buds bury their front wheel and auger in! 
Ride-A-Bike Shop
116 NE. Court Square
Lincolnton, NC 28092
(704) 735-1746

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Do You Want To Build Your Own Custom Groupset? Here's How.


Mixing Groupsets: What Works Together and What Doesn’t   

by Matt Wikstrom - October 20, 2014 

With three major groupset manufacturers, transmissions of anywhere from seven- to 11-speed, and an excess of aftermarket cranksets and wheels on the market, consumers will inevitably suffer from a clash of component compatibilities, particularly when upgrading. In this post CTech Editor Matt Wikstrom takes a look at the known incompatibilities between groupsets from different brands (and within the same brand) along with some emerging compatibilities.

Once upon a time, cyclists were free to mix and match transmission components but that all changed when Shimano introduced indexed gear shifting in 1984. The new system provided very accurate shifting, but it depended upon precise compatibility of the shifter with the derailleurs and drivetrain.

Indexed shifting works because the rear derailleur travels a precise distance in response to a pre-set amount of cable pull within the shift lever. Cable tension is critical for accuracy, but the geometry of the derailleur and the cog spacing must match the indexed cable pull, otherwise the derailleur will not align with each cog.

Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM all manufacture indexed shifting systems according their own specifications rather than sharing a common standard. For example, SRAM levers employ 1:1 actuation (1mm of cable pull moves the rear derailleur 1mm) while Shimano and Campagnolo use higher ratios (1.4 to 1.9:1).

As a consequence, there is little interchangeability between brands (though Shimano and SRAM share the same specifications for the chain and cassette).

The evolution of the transmission from six-speed to 11-speed created further incompatibilities. The introduction of eight-speed systems depended on an increase in rear hub width from 126mm to 130mm to accommodate the extra cog. After that, the width and spacing of the cogs was reduced to allow more cogs to be added. Chains were narrowed too, slimming down to 5.50-5.90mm where once they were 7.80mm.
Forwards or Backwards Compatibility?

As a rule, mixing and matching different transmissions from one brand will not work due to changes in cog spacing. Brands will likely not support mixing components either. There are some exceptions though such as Shimano’s earlier groups and its Di2 E-Tube system.

So where do the compatibilities lie? For the purposes of this article, I’m going to limit myself to 10- and 11-speed transmissions. Where possible, I’ve tested the compatibilities for myself, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with the performance of a given mix of components until you carry out the experiment for yourself.

Chains and Cassettes

According to Leonard Zinn’s testing, all 11-speed transmissions are compatible. A comparison of a Campagnolo 11-speed cassette with a Shimano equivalent demonstrates that the cog spacing is well matched. However, there is a measurable difference in the width of each company’s 11-speed chain (Shimano’s chain is 5.62mm wide, Campy’s is 5.50mm).

In practice, the measurable differences account for little and a Shimano 11-speed cassette works well with a Campagnolo groupset, and vice versa. Neither combination is perfect though. The imperfections express themselves in the form of a little extra chain noise and/or occasional lazy upshifts for some, but not all, of the rear cogs. Overall, the compatibility is more than adequate in most circumstances, though not all users (or fussy mechanics) will be satisfied.

For 10-speed users, there is also reasonable compatibility between Shimano/SRAM and Campagnolo. While the chains are almost identical in width (Shimano’s chain is 5.88mm versus Campy’s 5.90mm), Campagnolo employs variable spacing* that leads to some extra chain noise and lazy upshifts that is more obvious than that seen for 11-speed transmissions. Regardless, the compatibility is more than adequate in an emergency, but the mix is unlikely to satisfy all users.

Updated by the Author: "The variable spacing applies to the cogs in Campag's 10-speed cassettes. So when a Shimano freehub/cassette is installed with a Campag transmission, the derailleur does not shift precisely to the next Shimano cog, making for a little extra noise or lazy upshifts. The chain is not the issue, it's the difference in the placement of each cog (and the indexing of each shift) between Shimano and Campagnolo that creates the incompatibility."

Attempting to mix 10- and 11-speed cassettes will cause significant problems due to differences in cog spacing and/or the width of the cassette. For Shimano/SRAM, 11-speed cassettes are too wide to fit properly onto 10-speed freehubs, and 11-speed chains are a little narrower (5.62mm versus 5.88mm). In contrast, Campy’s 10- and 11-speed cassettes will fit onto the same freehub body, but the 11-speed chain is significantly narrower than the 10-speed chain (5.5mm versus 5.9mm).

Owners of 10-speed chainsets fitted with power meters will be pleased to hear that there is no strict need to replace the chainrings if they upgrade to an 11-speed transmission, at least if they’re using Shimano or SRAM.

I’ve seen many people use Shimano or SRAM chainsets with Campagnolo chain and cassette and vice versa. FSA recommends strictly matching its chainrings to the transmission, as does Campagnolo, though anecdotal evidence suggests there is little to worry about. Indeed, I couldn’t detect any issues after swapping 10- and 11-speed Campy cranksets between their respective groupsets, though the 11-speed crankset offered slightly better shifting onto the big chainring.

Hubs and wheels

As mentioned above, Shimano/SRAM users will need an 11-speed freehub body fitted to their hubs/wheels in order to upgrade to an 11-speed transmission. Owners of Mavic wheels needn’t worry though; their 10-speed freehub bodies are already 11-speed compatible.

Many manufacturers offer conversion kits for their wheels/hubs, although there are instances where there are none (e.g. Zipp wheels with silver hubs). In such instances, owners may be able to install a Campagnolo freehub to use an 11-speed cassette if they can’t afford to replace the hub or wheel.

A more subtle incompatibility exists between different brands of hubs, since they can differ in the positioning of the freehub body on the rear axle. Such differences arise due to variations in the spacing of the right-hand hub flange and/or the spacing of the right-hand axle locknut. As a consequence, the rear derailleur limit screws have to be reset when swapping wheels to ensure crisp shifting onto the smallest and largest cogs.

If you own more than one set of wheels with different brands of hubs, then it is worth fine-tuning the axle and/or cassette spacing for perfect interchangeability.
Shifters and Derailleurs

As the brains behind the operation, each brand’s shifters must be matched with their own derailleurs, especially the rear derailleur, in order for the indexed system to function properly. As noted above, there is little or no backwards or forwards compatibility for Shimano, Campagnolo, or SRAM. It is possible to cheat with the front derailleur since there is more tolerance for variation in shifting but as the least expensive component in a groupset, there is little to be gained by leaving it out when upgrading your transmission.


Shimano recently overhauled the cable pull and leverage of its brake levers so they are no longer compatible with earlier calipers (e.g. mixing Dura Ace 7900 levers with 7800 calipers results in less braking power). The re-design introduced more leverage to the calipers such that SRAM or Campagnolo levers pair poorly with the new caliper design (due to too much leverage).

The issue gets a little murkier with aftermarket brakes where there is very little information on their performance with different levers. At present, it appears Campagnolo and SRAM road brake levers enjoy greater compatibility with one another’s brake calipers and aftermarket brands than Shimano’s latest design.
Summary and Final Thoughts

With all the potential for incompatibility, it’s perhaps surprising that instances of compatibility do exist. Indeed, the divide between the brands has narrowed with the introduction of 11-speed transmissions, probably because there is a lot less room for variation.

In absolute terms, 11-speed Shimano/SRAM and Campagnolo chains and cassettes aren’t interchangeable, but I’m sure there are plenty of riders that will be satisfied with the performance offered by a mix. Similarly, 10- and 11-speed cranksets are practically interchangeable amongst brands, although brake calipers and lever/shifters may not be.

Would there be any benefit to a common standard for all groupsets? Absolutely. Consumers would find it easier to replace any part at short notice, retailers would be able to offer more options to their customers, and service centres would be able to attend to all repairs and servicing in a timely manner.

However, such convenience would come with the risk that product development would be slowed down or hindered by an out-dated standard. On balance, I’m happy to accept the exclusivity of groupset design because it guarantees unique and distinctive products. 
Ride-A-Bike Shop
116 NE. Court Square
Lincolnton, NC 28092
(704) 735-1746