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Equipment, return to sender

by Carl Brewer last modified 2009-10-11 22:44

Unfit for purpose!

I wrote in my last blog that, amongst other things, it's not about the equipment.

Except sometimes it is ...

It is when the equipment is a limitation.

If you don't trust your equipment, especially in a sprint situation which demands 100% commitment, you cannot perform at your best, and then it is about the gear.  When your equipment is a significant limitation, change your equipment.

I have an FFWD 5 spoke front track wheel.  It is being returned to the local distributor for a refund. I don't trust it.  The first one I got about a month ago, Pete and I glued on a Tufo S3 lite tyre, I took it to DISC and jumped on after some quick photos for Ride magazine.  It immediately launched into a resonating tank-slapper as I got onto the bank.  I took it off, put on the old Bonty front and got back to training and coaching for the day.  Later, Nathan Larkin and I pulled it apart and found that the bearing/axle fit was fractionally loose, and there's no way to adjust it.  Ok, send it back to FRF (local distributor), they send me another one.  This one's still got a little bit of play, but it's better than the last one.  Glue it up, wind it up at Blackburn at round one of the aSSS for my flying 200, I'm 100% committed to this effort and am going absolutely as fast as I can in almost perfect conditions.

At full speed, it does the same thing the last one did, almost putting me over the fence.  I was very lucky not to crash.

We had a look at it afterwards and the bearing/axle interface has play, enough to allow a resonance it seems.  What a seriously brain-damaged design this is.  A ~$3,000 retail wheel which has no way to alter bearing tightness.  The Mavic iO has adjustable bearings, which means manufacturing tolerances (and wear!) can be adjusted out.  Not so this design. It's a POS.  Don't buy one unless and until they redesign the hub such that you can adjust the bearings.

Not that you probably need one anyway, I don't need it, I need something I can trust, which isn't this wheel. If you're thinking about it, think again.


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