Archive for March, 2012

The case of the noisy Soul s4.0

March 26, 2012 1 comment

So early this year I bought some Soul s4.0s. I was intrigued by the price point and with the Cervelo joining the club I couldn’t keep swapping the Easton EA90s back and forth. I tried to use the wheels that came with the Tarmac, the ones with the Mavic CXP22 rims and some sort of hub, but really that wasn’t going to work, they really sucked. So I took the plunge on the Souls and they arrived within 2 weeks (cool!). Say what you may about the perils of ordering from Taiwan/Singapore etc. these arrived faster into Canada then my Veloce crank from Ribble in the UK.

My last wheel review was I think a little premature. I just installed them on my bike and took a few pictures.  So I wanted to put in a lot of mileage on the Souls before I passed judgement and I am still in the midst of that.  The rims were pretty much ready to go and I had a left over Ultegra cassette that came with the P2 but I didn’t need at the time of purchase. So I spun that on and away I wnent.

1st I tried them with my Cervelo P2. I had changed the crank as well so when it ended up being really noisy, I wondered if it was the crank. I transferred the Souls to the Tarmac and still it was noisy. Something was wrong.

It seemed easy to blame the wheels. Cruddy Chinese knock-offs! But nobody else had this specific complaint. Still they were awfully loud. Any time I went over even a small crack the rear wheel shuddered and dinged. I thought that many there was something loose inside the rim, or that simply the aluminum construction was somehow just that loud.

I took the time to investigate and find out, I know something was wrong but what?? As with anything you have never done before it’s hard to know what’s wrong. I noticed that the cassette was a little bit loose, but I wondered maybe they are supposed to float like that to aid with power transfer (hey, you never know!)


Is this supposed to be this loose??

To the internet Batman!!  Lo and behold a lot of folks had this problem on other wheels and it was the cassette.  I thought I had tightened it but with all the warnings about proper torque levels I guess I just hadn’t done it hard enough. I applied more power and it certainly could spin some more.


Push this level a bit more!!

Slapped the wheel back on the Tarmac and bingo…quiet as expected! Case closed!

Categories: Uncategorized

Getting rid of the compact Crank on my 2012 Cervelo P2 (Campagnolo Veloce Crank Installation)

March 16, 2012 2 comments


Alright. So let’s get one thing straight. A compact crank may work for you, or even that guy in the back corner. And if there are even mild hills in your region by all means consider compact. But I’m not a fan and hills are few and far between in my neck of the woods. So when I bought my 2012 Cervelo P2 the compact crank had to go.

But what to replace it with?

I was having some success with eBay and at first was looking at some Rotor cranks and found one I loved and was winning right up to the last second almost at around $300, would have been a steal. But I haven’t mastered how to win when it gets competitive at the end and I lost out with 10 seconds to spare.

Anyways I decided to look for a new replacement. First off I don’t mind using any crank, I don’t need something that aligns with my gruppo per say and there are tons and tons of people who use “mis-matched” cranks with their derailleurs to much success and for me brand type itself wasn’t fixed.

There are four choices in my mind and I wanted to have a something that added some class to the frame and was reasonable in price (was looking at max $400). I looked at Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo and FSA (since I had a megaexo BB that would be easiest). I also spent a lot of time on Jensen USA, Ribble, Chain Reaction Cycles and Nashbar sites.

Since ascetics is important Shimano was out Smile Beside from some of the low end stuff I don’t find the look works for me. I don’t know what it is but the crank arm seems to launch itself out of the chain ring and that doesn’t seem as integrated to my eye.


Central arm just not my style


I don’t mind the SRAM or FSA look. For a while SRAM Force or Rival was a possibility. For FSA there are a lot of options and the pricing is competitive.

But it was soon evident that I wanted to see if I could fit a Campagnolo crank (so maybe brand was important after all?). I have always liked Campagnolo and as somebody who has a Ducati in the garage and with an 80s Campy bike I wondered what the options were now some 20 years on since I bought some Campagnolo parts!

There are a lot of options, Veloce, Chorus, Record, Athena etc. I saw a Ribble TT bike that was equipped with a Veloce gruppo and the crank had a lot of good reviews. And it looked nice. I don’t find Campagnolo much on North American online stores, but there are lots on the UK sites and I have had fun with Ribble’s bike and gruppo builders in the past.  I was pleased to find that the crank and the needed Power Torque Bottom Bracket was just over $200 with shipping. I took the plunge, wiped out the VISA and bought it! It took about 20 days to deliver here in Canada but the snow was still high in the back yard so wasn’t that freaked out, but it seemed a bit long and I was getting impatient just as it showed up. Still at this price you have to be happy overall.



Crank in the box after delivery from Ribble


Installation Process


Step 1 – Remove old crank

I was a bit concerned about doing this. I have not worked on modern cranks before and I lot has changed over the years. I did find some general installation instructions online and with my iPad was able to have those handy.


Finger smears show up great in iPad shots!

The first step is to remove the two retaining bolts on the left hand crank with a 5mm hex bolt. Remove the pedals first (I always seem to forget that).


You can then loosen up the central bolt again with a 5mm hex bolt.


After a while you can just use your finger to back the central out.


Then the crank arm just pops off (at least it did for me)


The left hand crank keeps the whole crank on so you can simply pop over to the other side and slide the right hand crank and chain rings off.


Just for chuckles I did see if the new crank could fit but it was too wide to slide in.

Step 2- remove bottom bracket

This was one area where I had to pause and go buy a tool. I had my old bottom bracket tool from my mid 80s bikes and it seems like maybe it could work. But I could never really get any leverage.


Close…but just could not get any leverage to loosen.

So I had to pick up the appropriate tool which I got at Mountain Equipment co-op in Ottawa. So a day or so later I was able to get back at it.


Ahh..that’s better..but is this the right way to turn?

One problem I always seem to have is what way to turn these things. With carbon frames I want to absolutely make sure I get it right. And nicely the FSA bottom bracket has a nice graphic to show you that to tighten is counter-clockwise


So..reversed the tool and turned the BB clockwise


Turn the right side BB clockwise to loosen. It didn’t take too much leverage on my side to get it moving.  Then you can finish it off by hand.


Going over to the other side to loosen you turn it counter-clockwise. It was a lot tighter and I reluctantly used a hammer to get it started, mild taps only!


Then again loosen by hand and the whole BB pops out.


And finally don’t lose any of the parts so put it into a bag somewhere!


Step 3- Install the Campagnolo Veloce Crank

In the end taking off the old crank was pretty easy. I hope putting the new one on would be the same. According to Campagnolo “no special tools” are needed to install the Power Torque BB and the Veloce crank so I dived right in.

The crank came with some surprisingly brief instructions (in about 25 languages) but they were concise and made sense to me.


The veloce crank, PT BB and single page of instructions to install it all

Starting with the left hand side and started to thread it in.


Then was able to use the same tool as the FSA BB to get it tightened.


Then I moved over to the right hand side. Now the Power Torque BB has this clip that seemed very important and it was hard to work out exactly how to install it. The pictures gave some idea but still wasn’t 100% sure. I decided I would cross that bridge when I got there.


Again threaded it on by hand


Then tightened it up.


I thought that maybe I should put in the clip first, like below…But then the crank didn’t want to sit in properly. So I took it off and that was the right decision.


Don’t do this!!!

Then I hit another problem. The front derailleur was too low (having been set up for the smaller FSA crank) and it wouldn’t get over it.


So had to raise it which was very easy. I eyeballed it and hoped it would shift fine afterwards (which is did!)


Raising up the front derailleur

Finally was able to slide the crank right in. Now had to insert the clip. I have not seen something like this before but it seems to provide a better snap into the crank and keeps it secure.

Snap it in to the top, it seems to go in pretty easy


Then it can be a struggle but snap it into the bottom. If the crank isn’t in properly it will not snap in, but does also act as a extra fitting insurance.


The crank on the left hand side is now protruding out


There is a big warning to make sure you oil up the spindles so I did that.


Then slid on the right hand crank. The central bolt is just silver and I looked for a cover but there wasn’t one, so this is one thing that seems odd for campy when they try hard to get everything right, but that wasn’t the worst of it.

They say there comes a time in any installation of a Campagnolo part that you say “WTF”. This was the moment for me. The bolt uses a 12 mm hex bolt. Go look at your tool box. Do you have a 12mm hex bolt? I don’t. I left the house and went to a number of hardware and car parts stores and NOBODY had a 12mm hex bolt. So I did something a bit different. I simply inserted a 10mm hex bolt and tried different other sizes until I had a tight fit.


Then I tightened it and it worked fine, but not what I would like to have done but I wasn’t going to be stymied by a missing hex bolt.

After that I was all done. I tested it out on the stand and it seemed to shift well. I then put it on my turbo trainer to test it again, and again it seemed to shift well both on the front and in the back.


Finally it was time to try it out on the roads and thanks to some nice weather was able to get in about 20km yesterday and it seems to work flawlessly. Will take a bit more time to be sure, but I am very pleased with the result. Below are a couple of shots out on the road.




Categories: bicycling, Mechanical

General Update

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Noticed that I haven’t updated my blog in a while and I know a lot of folks do just trail off after a year or two. I don’t plan to do that.  Mostly I have been busy with both a heavy schedule with the kids as Hockey come to its crescendo for the year as well as ramping up my riding as the weather turns nicer. 

I have a lot of blog entries that I am working on including the following

1- I bought some Soul s4.0 wheels and will do a review of that soon

2- I upgraded the compact crank on my Cervelo P2 to a regular Campagnolo veloce crank and I took lots of pictures

3- I now have an Edge 200 and will compare that to my Edge 500

How are things going on my weight? For almost a year now I have been stuck at around 194-196. This happened once before when I was stuck at 200-202 for quite some time. However at this time of the year I usually can drop 5-10 pounds simply because I am so much more active and I feel about 10% better than I did this time last year. So I am looking forward to getting into the 180s soon.

Bike has been getting dirty! Doing more commuting now.


In the last two days I did a good steady 2 hour bike and a 7km run with lots more to come!

So while it has been quiet here, it has not been quiet!!

Categories: Uncategorized