Monday, May 14, 2007

PRO is PROGRAM GO!

Deep section carbon wheels deliver amazing performance and define the modern PRO style, however, some also come with an annoyance: a clicking sound that seems to present itself over rough surfaces. I have traced this noise to the valve and the resonating click, which comes from the valve snapping against the carbon valve hole. I tried numberous times to address this sound, both on my Reynolds Stratus tubulars and my Cosmic Carbone PROs, but it was the delicate touch of a PRO mechanic that provided the ultimate solution. At the 2005 Interbike show, I was treated to an up-close and personal view of Thor Hushovd's Look 585, fresh from his 2005 season. Among the PROness, I noticed one small, but amazingly simple PRO mechanic fix for my valve problem: electrical tape. A single piece of electrical tape is placed perpendicularly with the rim; it's pierced by the valve and adhered to either side of it.

From that moment on, this is how I roll.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

RF, What's your favorite deep section wheel for all around performance? That is, good combination of aerodynamics, strength, weight and price.

Radio Freddy said...

I have to give the nod to Mavic on the deep section wheel. Whether in clincher or tubular Mavic offers the MP3 program for everyone of their wheels. Last year I rode the Carbone PROs for the entire season as my everyday wheel and then I raced a few cross races on them. In January I sent them back to Mavic bacause of a flat spot on the front and rear caused by potholes and Mavic sent me a brand new set. No questions, no issue. That alone makes them the best choice. The Cosmics are not the cheapest but factor in a no-haggle 2 year replacement and they become the best deal out there. Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

Great solution for rims that you either can't or won't put a lock nut on. Speaking of lock nuts, what kind of tube is that?

Matt said...

Good solution Freddy! I'd suggest changing over to ugly gray duct tape though. My home repairs always involve that.

looks like tubular tires - not tubes, btw.

Eric Silva said...

I have the Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL, which I think is a good combination of aero, durability, price, and weight. Mavic is great for service, but these wheels are so durable, I wouldn't even worry about that.

They also look very pro with light blue Michelin tires, which is what I run.

The "tubes" pictured are likely tubular tires with extenders of this type.

Radio Freddy said...

Matt, Eric - You are both correct. The tires are a Vittoria EVO CG tubular and the valve has a PROblem Solvers extension on the tire. As for the gray duct tape, that is what I use to hold the tire to the rim.

josh said...

good tip.

my carbon tubbies dont have said problem (or im just to deaf to notice it) but if it ever creaps up, ill know where to start.

thanks

ps hup kitty finally arrived and it looks amazing.

Ari said...

manrayAnother annoying set of wheels are most zipps. The carbon fiber dust caps rattle like crazy. I had a customer come and say nobody could solve the problem. Man,ain't nothing impossible in our shop. I went down the alley to the hardware store and bought a couple of sexy,thin o-rings just a tad smaller than the axle assembly. Slide them on with a bit'o'grease and that was it. The o-rings keep them dust caps on tight and no noise. Support your local bike shop because no Nashbar operator is going to fix your bike.
Ari

Jason said...

I second the above fix. The O rings are easily found in the brass adapters that convert presta to shrader valves. Also there are extras that come with Mavic tubeless valves. Looks way better than the tape and works just as well.

Radio Freddy said...

Jason - thanks for the comments. I am a huge fan of ATA and always enjoy dropping by when in Cambridge. Keep it up!

Jason said...

Next time you come in, be sure to introduce yourself!

Eric Silva said...

Radio Freddy, must one use Teflon plumber's tape with the Problem Solvers extensions to make a seal or do they use another mechanism?

Radio Freddy said...

Eric - The Problem Solvers seem to work the best of all that I have tried. I always use Teflon tape, the last thing I want to do is peel off a freshly glued tubbie to readjust a leaky valve. Thanks for taking the time to read. - RF

Anonymous said...

http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=/photos/2007/tech/features/dauphine_libere_107/Valverde_Pinarello_Prince_Carbon_FP_presta_valve

even more pro and better looking because it is inconspicuous

Radio Freddy said...

The PROest. Nice find, I am headed to the hardware store for some tubing.

*~Flack~* said...

Ha! This bugged the crap out of me too, especially on rough, chip-sealed roads and when using carbon wheels in cyclocross. Then I think I figured out an even more PRO solution than the one here (which was what I used). Before you install the valve stem/extension, wrap some scotch tape (like what you'd use for x-mas presents) a time or two (or three, depending on how big the hole in the rim is) around the shaft, right where it'll protrude through the rim. Clears the problem right up!

Which makes me wonder what's MORE PRO...The electrical tape with it's PRO mechanic, just-fix-it-and-fix-it-quick style or my more subtle, so-PRO-you-don't-know-it's-there solution?

Til next time...keep up the good work!
-JCF