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And wallah




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The season is gathering pace with the Tour of Flanders last weekend seeing Katushas Alexander Kristoff power to a superb win over Niki Terpstra who is continuing on from last years strong season with some excellent results early this season, Fortunately Flanders was held in rather in rather benign conditions. so we didn’t see to many dramas on the cobbled climbs.

The ride was not without controversy however, with the Shimano Neutral support cars knocking over two bike riders, Jesse Sergent and Sebastien Chavanel. Unbelievable.

images Shimano neutral service car knocks Trek's Jesse Sergent and FDJ

Ah yes, I see, just drumming up business.





Alexander Kristoff climbing the  Patersberg
Alexander Kristoff climbing the Patersberg

Look at that chain action.

Peter Sagan, Patersberg
Peter Sagan, Patersberg

Look at that hair action

Kristoff and Terpstra

Making it look rather easy

Niki Terpstra, Alexander Kristoff and  Greg Van Avermaet
Niki Terpstra, Alexander Kristoff and Greg Van Avermaet

Good to see Niki still trying to uphold tradition with the cycling cap rather than the baseball cap of Alexander and Greg. Niki has been wearing the cycling cap on the podium for quite a few years now.

And over at the Gent-Wevelgem the previous week


Luca Paolini
Luca Paolini
Niki Terpstra, Luca Paolini and Geraint Thomas
Niki Terpstra, Luca Paolini and Geraint Thomas



OK – that age old question.

Does the hub hang from the top spokes, or press on the lower spokes?

Now because all spokes are in tension, one can almost safely say that the hub hangs from the top spokes because to press on the lower spokes, the spokes would be in compression. But would that then mean that the the hub also hangs from the spokes below it? Or is it somewhere between? Or is it supported on the lower spokes because it is separated from the ground because of the spokes below it?



Needless to say it requires an engineering Finite Element Analysis to conclusively prove that the hub stands on the lower spokes, and that it does not hang from the upper spokes.

This FEA writeup can be read in more detail here at Ians Bicycle Wheel Analysis.

The same site also reviews the merits of different spoking on the stiffness of the wheel, and concludes that the spoking is unlikely to make a discernible difference to the vertical stiffness of the wheel.

I started looking at the reasons for the different spoking patterns, and got totally lost. Sheldon Brown has an excellent wheel building site that goes into quite a bit of detail on how to build wheels, but also discusses the various spoking patterns, including  Semi Tangent, Radial and half radial. Conventional “semi-tangent” spoke patterns are indicated as “cross 3”, “cross 4”, etc. I had read that most wheels are built cross 3, but looking around at various websites, they are all over the place. So I don’t know.

I do know that with a bit of time, I’m going to have to have a read of Sheldons post as it does look quite interesting.

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A local Australian manufacturer of wheels is Irwin Wheels Oceania, who are an Australian owned wheel building business. The people behind the brand have had years of racing and riding experience. They hand build their wheels which are made to within 0.3mm lateral tolerance, 0.4mm radial tolerance and 0.5mm dishing tolerance.



Their rims use a Ceramic Carbon Fibre Reinforced Braking Surface to keep braking wall temperatures below 130 degrees C helping with the stopping power under maximum load.

They appear reasonably priced, starting at $1,385.00


I’ve not tried their wheels so I can’t offer any advice, but you can chase them up here. Irwin Wheels Oceania.

One of the reasons for my interest in wheels this week is because my old rear wheels died on me last weekend, rendering the old faithful EMC useless. They had been on their last legs (can wheels ever be on their last legs?) for quite some time, and running over road detritus down outer harbour way euthanised the rear wheel.

Fortunately I was able to nab a pair of ultegra wheels from the Adelaide Bicycles Buy and Sell facebook site over the Easter weekend. The rain on Monday unfortunately stopped me from taking them out for a test ride, but they are significantly netter than the old wheels so I ‘m feeling good about getting a little more life out of old faithful.


The geezer I bought them from has just moved over to Adelaide from Mt Beauty in Victoria. Turns out he came over to Adelaide for the TdU, loved the Adelaide Hills so much that he decided to move over.



A big weekend because I went out and bought myself a trainer last weekend as well.  I had been keeping an eye on the Kinetic rock ‘n’ roll trainers for a while now, and the guys at Mega Bike in Rundle Street have upgraded their Kinetic trainers with a newer version, and have been selling the old trainers. The below picture is the Mega Bike Spin class showing the old Kinetic trainers, one of which is now sitting in my little workshop.


I don’t know how I did it, but somehow the purchase of the trainer was my darling wife’s idea, as was her suggestion that I hold off on my new bike purchase till next year and get a better bike then.   Hmmmm. I think I can live with that.


National Road Series

This weekend sees the 2015 National Road Series head to Adelaide as the Jayco Adelaide Tour

The four stages of this Subaru National Road Series event for elite women and men will be held from April 9 to 12.

Stage 1 Tanunda to Campbelltown
Stage 2 McLaren Vale Road Race
Stage 3 Serafino Wines Road Race
Stage 4 Campbelltown Kermesse


Current rankings in the series are:



Cafe of the week – Hey Jupiter


Just down the way from the Belgium Beer Cafe in Ebenezer Place is a lovely little quirky cafe called Hey Jupiter.


Renown for making some of the finest sandwiches in Adelaide, the pork belly sandwich is right up there with the best. They even write the amount of pork belly sold on the white tiled wall.


Sandwiches aside they have a mean little eclectic menu, and most importantly make a terrific cup of coffee.

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The cafe is owned by Jacqui and Christof who moved from Melbourne to Adelaide in order to set up their dream business. The cafe has reeks of eclecticism with their antique mirrors, hanging plants and wooden furniture. By all accounts Christoph is a cycling mad aficionado, well he would be being Belgian (I think a Walloon, but could be Flemish – sorry – not sure).

They have a great spirits and wine list, and make an amazing bloody mary.

A great place to sit and watch the world pass by, go ahead, give them a go.



till next time

tight spokes


2 thoughts on “Cobblers

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