Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wheelsmith - Sapim - DT

Last week I built 5 different wheels. The requests I found a bit interesting. All five wheels were built with Mavic CXP 33 rims, all 32 hole, and all had the same brand of hubs, and same model. It’s as if the universe wanted me to pay attention to something.

On first inspection, each wheel looked the same, but they all were very different. The first wheel was a single front. The request was to use Sapim 14/17 double butted spokes, radial laced. The second build was a set with Wheelsmith 15/17 double butted, radial front and 14/16, 3 cross rear. The third build was a set with DT 14/15 double butted, radial front and 14/15, 3 cross rear. From this point it's only fair to compare the three based on the front wheels since I have three similar builds, all in the same week.

All three wheels went together very well, however, there were slight differences. The Wheelsmith wheel built the fastest and easiest followed by the Sapim and then the DT wheel.

I can tell you, from 20 years of building wheels, that a Wheelsmith wheel will always outlast and out build a DT wheel. Also, the Wheelsmith spoke is more attractive with accentuated butting and polished spokes. The DT butting is subtle and the spokes have a dull finish. I’m very picky and really like the look of the Wheelsmith spoke.

The Sapim spokes, for myself are an unknown factor. They have been around for some time, but have only caught on in the last 5 or so years. My Williams wheels are built with the bladed version and I’ve had no problems with those. However they don’t have the same finish as the Wheelsmith. Also, the Wheelsmith is an American made product. I’ve never been one to wave the stars and stripes, until our economy went down hill. Now it’s time to keep the products and goods at home.

If you’re in need of a new set of wheels and want something hand built. I’ll build them with any spoke you choose. I won’t tell you that you have to use spoke “A” because this is the spoke that costs me the least, therefore I can make the most. I will however, secretly hope that you choose Wheelsmith for both personal and performance reasons.

Finally, there are so many reasons to invest in a custom-built wheel set. Come by and visit us to talk about it. There are few things I get more excited about than custom wheels.

Friday, November 28, 2008

??? Bike Studio ???

A lot of people get it, yet a few don’t. I’m going to attempt to explain it to you.

A bike studio is different from a bike shop. A traditional bike shop is focused on products, while a bike studio is focused on one on one, uninterrupted service.

Do we sell products? Yes we do. However, the products we sell focus on the services that we perform for our clients. You'll notice that we have little inventory, and that works in the client’s favor.

I’ve been around the bike industry long enough to understand that a traditional shop ties up a lot of cash in products. Therefore the need to sell products that are on the floor becomes very important – so important in fact, that the products become the only option for servicing the needs of the client. I’ve never been comfortable with that model.

We strive to work, as a team, with our clients to solve their service and new bike needs. (We do carry some pretty amazing bikes.) If you need to see a larger selection than what we stock, we’re happy to find a traditional bike shop in the area that can meet your needs.

To sum up, what kind of clients do we serve? Is it the new rider, bike racer, or enthusiast? Yes, yes, and yes. From the starter rider to the national caliber bike racer, we help bike riders experience greater enjoyment, whether it’s the Loop, bike racing, or an Ironman. Most importantly, we’re there to make it fun.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ben Barns

Ben's pulse stabilized as he crested Boulder Mountain Pass, one of the most elevated outposts in this region of the southern Utah desert. The nearest human might be ten miles away. He quit pedaling his well tuned Schwinn road bicycle as it gathered momentum along the asphalt strip that, sixty-five miles distant, would return him to Hanksville. He'd get home before noon. That ought to prove to Dad he had the maturity to take a trip like this, fourteen or not.

-Dave Shields
opening paragraph of The Race

In 2004 I was at Sea Otter, Jonathan E. had just won the road race for his category, and I was looking at a flyer for a book called "The Race". From the add it looked like a fun story. It was billed as a novel of grit, tactics, and The Tour de France. I had every intention to pick up a copy before I hit the road for home. About a half hour later, Jamie E. and my wife showed up with a signed copy from the author. She said, "I thought this looked like something you would enjoy." My wife's cool!

The book sat on the coffee table at home for months. I was in the middle of reading Lord of the Rings, something that doesn't happen quickly. The end finally arrived and I grabbed The Race.

Dave Shields wrote a story about bike racing, yes - but really the book is about so much more. It's a story about the human spirit and overcoming self-doubt.

Dave Shields entertains, inspires, keeps you from putting the story down, and when it ends, like good chocolate, you want more. The story has that mix of perfect cadence literal artistry. Dave has that same effect, but on the pages of his novel.

From 2004 to date I've picked the race back up every year. It's the starting ritual to my new cycling season. It inspires me, not just as a bike racer, but as a human being. I've lent the book out to so many who aren't bike riders, and every single time it ends with rave reviews.

Ben Barns can teach you about life. Give Ben and Dave a chance. I'd be willing to bet you'll put The Race as one of your top 10 favorite stories of all time. I think this year, I'll be picking it up a little early.

Friday, November 21, 2008

This is Not a Race Bike.

I would never tell someone how much I loved something with out any knowledge of what I speak.

In our pursuit to educate ourselves about our products choices, I have chose to spend time riding a Lapierre. From a marketing standpoint Lapierre is pretty smart. They offer three different road bikes, even though they look as if they offer many more. In the line up you will find an R-Lite, S-Lite, and X-Lite. I'm currently riding an S-Lite.

I've spent so many of the last several years riding on "racing" bikes and not paid much attention to anything else out there. What I realized, is that I've really been missing out.

When the S-Lite arrived, it came as a whole bike, with a triple on it. These were certainly not the droids I was looking for. I quickly striped the build kit off the S-Lite and set it aside for another project. Next, I stripped the build kit off of my current road bike - Dura Ace 7800 with a few extra special items added for style and performance.

The Lapierre, upon initial inspection, looked flawless. However, being the anal avenger I am, I opened the Campy tool box and pulled out the needed tools to prep the frame as I would any frame I build.

Once the bike was built, I suited up and headed out for a test ride. Right away, I thought to myself, this is not a race bike. Like all new rigs I build, I like to test them out on our own roubaix - Madera county roads.

I did everything in my power to not miss bumps, potholes, and ruts in the road. While I felt every bump, the severity of the road surface was deadened, kind of like riding in a Cadillac. I started having these flashback to the double centuries I did in my younger years and wished I had a bike like this back then. I could have finished a little strong, not taking such a beating like a race bike will do to you.

The next day I took it to Sky Harbor, a ride with steep climbs and fast and windy downhills. In the saddle it climbs as good as any bike I've owned. Out of the saddle it has a nice stable balance while rocking it side to side. On the longest most technical downhill it dropped like a stone, making me feel stable and confident. The only negative I found about the S-Lite was it did not have a huge kick when I sprinted for the end in a large gear, but that's okay, this is a century bike, not a race bike, and that's what makes this bike so much fun. It's comfortable, stable, and well balanced, all things that I would want in a bike if I was going to spend 8+ hours in the saddle. Last time I did a double, I didn't see anyone sprinting for the line.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's a Thursday

Like Italian Leather Shoes

I have these old leather shoes in my closet that I got for my high school graduation.  That was a long time ago, but the shoes are still around.  They look pretty beat up, but they're comfortable, and I'm on my third set of soles.  I'm not one to hold onto things, but these have stayed the course.

About every other season I need to replace my saddle.  I'm the type who won't skimp on saddles; my comfort means far too much for me.  So, as you can imagine, I've shelled out a lot of money over the years.  I always thought it would be smart if I could "re-sole" my I can.

Prologo is a relatively new product to the bike industry, and the saddle in their lineup that I can't wait to own myself is called "Choice".  I've ridden a little on one, and it's pretty comfortable.  Comfort makes it cool, something else makes it awesome.

Imagine being able to "re-sole" your saddle.  Also, imagine being able to customize it in the process.  The way it's done is through the choice of three saddle base colors and five saddle cover colors.  If you do the math, that's 15 different combinations.  Also, you may choose the style.  One is called the C-WIN, a more traditional representation without any venting holes, a C-PRO with venting holes, and a C-GEL with venting holes and a gel padding to take the edge off the road vibration.  In a world where things are becoming so standard and choices are limited, it's nice to be able to express some individuality.

Next time you're at momentum, ask one of us about the Prologo Choice. It's pretty impressive.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Now is the time for change

Winter is almost here, of course you wouldn't know it by the temperatures we had today (high 70's in mid November?).  Other than cycle cross, cycling events go into hibernation during the long dark winter months, and those long winter months are the perfect time to revisit areas of concern such as product selection, bike fit, and of course training.  It's time to ask yourself what you would like to get out of your cycling next season, and what can you do that will help you achieve your desired outcome?

What would you like to do with cycling in 2009?  Maybe you want to ride the "Loop" in under 90 minutes, complete your first century, or even a double for that matter.  How about the Climb to Kaiser or ride the district time trial?  What if you've been competing in a multi-sport events for years, such as triathlons, and you would like to get your bike time faster?  Or maybe you just want to enjoy the ride.  We can help get you there.

Now is the time to look at products and services that can enhance both comfort and performance.  With a little help, you'll soon be on your way to achieving your goal.  Stop by or give Momentum Cycling Studio a call (559.449.0223).  Or if you wish, drop us an email at with your 2009 wish list; we would love the opportunity to play a hand in your success.  

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Knee pain, hotspots on the foot, knees not tracking straight up and down through your pedal stroke - there is a solution.  I didn't realize how easy the problem is to solve.  The word for the day is footbed.  I have never seen a "stock" footbed give the support needed.  

I used a footbed with support in my previous pair of shoes.  It took away the pain and made me more efficient.  Recently I bought myself a pair of moldable shoes, and the footbed itself was moldable.  Did I mold it?  Yes.  Was it comfortable and efficient?  No.

After the fact, I bought myself a pair of footbeds, a pair that fully supports my arch.  These footbeds took away my foot pain, helped my knees to track straight up and down, and relived some discomfort I was having with my knees.  I have learned that it is better to buy a 100.00 pair of shoes and spend 40.00 for a footbed than to pay 300.00 for a pair of shoes and use the stock footbeds.