Volume 1 / Issue 016
The newsletter for active cycling lifestyles
Volume 1, Issue 16 / ISSN 1945-1776
A Note from Kevin
This issue we will share a visit from our friend Paulo Pontes, from Sao Paulo Brazil. He flew up to Dallas and had his custom fitting consultation at the Cooper Fitness Center to get the data for his new Parlee Z1. I hope you will find the process interesting and we have even included some graphics from the actual project so you know what to expect.
The next Fitting Trip is scheduled for April 17th-18th in Dallas, at the Cooper Fitness Center cycling studio. The following trip is scheduled for May 1st-3rd back in Dallas, depending on demand. Let me know if you need help with fittings or planning your next dream bike. The best suggestion is to email me so we can make an appointment. The Cooper Fitness Center is at 12200 Preston Road in Dallas. It is at the back of the Cooper Aerobics Center complex. The cycling studio is the first thing you see when you enter the Fitness Center. They will provide locker facilities and I promise an awesome experience.
We are sponsoring the Champions Triathlon Weekend, April 25th and 26th, at Pace Bend Park in Austin. My friends at Red Licorice Events put on the race and I hope to see many friends there. I will bring the setup bike plus some examples of our work.
In our Q&A section we have a question on shifting while on the trainer and another on how to properly install a Wipperman chain link.
Don’t forget to visit our blog as new stuff is posted there almost daily. It is easy to subscribe to the blog so you can get updates sent to you.
Thanks again for letting me share with you a little about cycling. I respect your time and will strive to continue to make it worth it.
Our every other weekend trips to Dallas are getting back on schedule. If you want me to come to your city and do fittings for you and your colleagues, contact me and we can arrange it.
Dallas Fitting Trip, April 17th – 18th. Fittings will be held in the Cooper Fitness Center in the spin classroom.
Dallas Fitting Trip, May 1st – 3rd. Fittings will be held in the Cooper Fitness Center in the spin classroom.
This comes from John Whittington, written to the blog:
My story begins at the LBS. I had spent money/months developing a relationship and supporting my LBS. I pulled the trigger on a custom Parlee. Once I received the bike, I knew something was not right. After scheduling a number of appointments with the LBS to try and deal with the problem, and having them not show up. It’s a shop in NM, if anyone wants the name I will let them know who to avoid.
A phone call to Parlee led me to Kevin in TX. I drove down with my bike, and within a few minutes he had diagnosed the problem, and was on the phone with Parlee. The problem was one that Parlee had never seen with any of their bikes and were very interested in resolving.
Soon I had a brand new Parlee, with no issues and a perfect bike fit. My experience was so good and easy that it wasn’t long before Kevin was fitting me for a Tri-bike, a custom Guru. Again an excellent experience with Kevin.
Kevin has been very responsive to any questions along the way. I can’t recommend him highly enough. I’m sure it won’t be long before another bike is calling my name and I will visit San Antonio and Kevin.
This one comes from Carlo Domondon:
The decision to invest in a bicycle from KGS Bikes had come at the cost of many things: lower back pain, numb hands and a general nagging feeling of finicky, sub-optimal componentry (ever get the ghost shifting happen at the wrong moment? Doh!). Condensing all of this into a simple statement: the bike was just not the right fit, and the bike was not the right bike!
I’ve sought out Kevin in order to get the “be all and end all” solution provider – bike, fitting and technique consulting and so far I have not been disappointed. He’s done his research of the best-of-the-best components along with the finest road frames in the world that fit me and my style of riding.
Although Austin is not too far away from San Antonio, my time is extremely limited due to my day job (gotta pay the bills, right?). With Kevin running the legwork of creating the ultimate bicycle for my needs, my precious free time can be spent out on the road instead of messing around with replacing parts of the bike. No LBS is also necessary since a lot of the technical consulting Kevin offers empowers me to immediately perform all of the maintenance on my own bike. No waiting, no fuss just get out, enjoy and ride the darned thing. Isn’t that what it’s all about???
Thanks John and Carlo!
Feature Article – From Sao Paulo to San Antonio – A Fitting Experience
I am always intrigued when people are drawn to the pictures and stories published on the website. It is gratifying yet humbling because I want to work ten times harder to make sure my new friend is thrilled with his investment. I asked Paulo why he was interested in a KGS bicycle and he said, “I consider your work as the best out there! Every single Bike from your store is unique…it has soul, it has identity! I want something made for myself …I have this dream bike in my head and I think you can help me building this masterpiece!
Something that I can build with you guys and that I can take care to my kids as an heritage…do you understand that due to exchange rate in Brazil this Bike will cost more than a nice car down here! This experience is once in a lifetime….”
No pressure, right! Actually, I take all projects just as seriously as this one. The first thing we have to do is to arrange to meet so we can derive some bicycle dimensions. We originally spoke about Paulo flying to San Antonio but I found out from my good friend Clayton Arhelger, the General Manager of the Cooper Fitness Center, that Dr. Cooper was famous in Brazil. He developed a fitness program for the Brazilian World Cup soccer team at one time and apparently did such a great job that he is still remembered there. Since Dallas is much easier to get to than San Antonio, we agree that Paulo will fly to Dallas.
I drove to Dallas and got everything set up at the Cooper Fitness Center and the next morning headed out to DFW Airport to pick up Paulo. Since my Parlee Z1 was on the back of the car, I didn’t want anyone to “borrow it and forget to bring it back,” so I took the bike into the airport with me. Some people thought it was a little odd but Paulo spotted the bike when he came to baggage claim and we had a good laugh. Since he is getting a Z1 as well, it was fun to show him what he could expect when he got his bike.
As we drove back to the Cooper Fitness Center I got a chance to get to know Paulo more. He is young and fit, and passionate about cycling. He is a lucky man, too, as his wife still lets him keep bicycles in the living room! I was reminded how safe we are in America, as Paulo could not keep a bike on an auto rack without fear of theft and will not ride alone in Brazil because of muggers and thieves. The axiom, Safety in Numbers, has real meaning in other parts of the world!
I helped Paulo get settled into the Cooper Fitness Center and found him a locker that happened to be right next to George W Bush’s locker. Without any reference to Mr. Bush’s popularity in America or Brazil, Paulo knew he was at a special place where excellence is the game. I was thankful for my Cooper relationship as I always am each time I go there to consult.
The next two hours involved the details of our fitting consultation. Paulo and I went from cleat placement, to ankle technique when pedaling. We then optimized his saddle height and found his balance point at about 200 watts. Paulo trains with power and was able to see differences in his power output by this stage of the fitting process.
Once we got the saddle located, we focused on Paulo’s handlebar placement. The goal is to be balanced on the saddle with one’s back in a comfortable position and then bring the handlebars to the point where all three positions, tops, hoods and drops, are comfortable without reaching. A side benefit is, one can put forearms onto the handlebars a la triathlon positioning, to use that position if needed. Once we finished locating the handlebars, we did some further testing at speed.
The final test to determine proper positioning is to see if anything moves at high power output. With a good setup, nothing happens. Predictably, nothing happened here with Paulo, except lots of power being generated! We were finished.
The setup bike now had Paulo’s exact position and my next job was to document it. A few measurements here and there and the data was captured. This is all we needed to design Paulo’s dream bike, a Parlee Z1.
I took him back to DFW airport and we discussed the day. Paulo had a whirlwind trip to Dallas and could honestly say that he had not experienced anything like this in his life. We now have his bike in production and the next trip Paulo will take to America will be to take delivery of his new dream bike. Thanks, Paulo, for giving me the opportunity to make a new friend and to help you enjoy our wonderful sport while halfway around the world.
Until next time,
Q & A with Kevin
I have a problem. I just washed my bike and was so glad you recommended a Connex chain link so I could take my Campy 10 speed chain off without tools to clean it. I was so proud of myself that I got the chain off and cleaned it with the rest of the bike. It looks like new. Now to my problem. I have a compact crankset with a 50/34 setup and an 11-23 cassette in the back. Now that my bike is clean, the chain skips in the highest gear (11 tooth cog), and it doesn’t matter what chainring I use. Do you have a clue what I did wrong? I thought the bike would work better when clean and now it is worse!
Thanks for the excellent question. I am glad you mentioned you have a Connex connector on a Campy chain, rather than a SRAM connector. The Wipperman Connex connector is designed to be put on in one direction only. You have it on backwards.
Here is what I do to keep things straight. I have the open part of the chain on the lower side of the chainring and derailleur, so the two ends hang down. I put the connector on the rear link (the one leading from the derailleur) so the pin enters from the inside, and is pointing at me. I then put the link on the front chain link in facing away from me. This orientation assures that the link is curving the right direction. I have a picture shown on the right that should help you.
I think my bike has a split personality when it comes to shifting. I have no trouble at all shifting the front gears. It goes better from the big chainring to the small than the other way around. Here is the problem. When I am riding on my trainer, I can’t hardly shift from the small chainring to the big. It just grinds and grinds and finally will shift. I go back out on the road, the problem disappears. The noise is so bad that I think I am tearing up my bike. Help!
I bet you are not alone with this problem and it really isn’t a problem, per se. Let me explain. When the bike is on the trainer, it is like being on a hill all the time. You have resistance on the rear wheel which is similar to how your bike would react if you were on a hill. I bet you don’t upshift from the small ring to the big ring when climbing, so this is not a practical problem when on the road.
Technically what is happening is, you are not removing the chain tension when you shift and the chain is flexible enough to just grind against the chainring instead of engage the lifting pins and move over. The new chains and gears are so persnickety that they have to be perfectly adjusted to work correctly. If you try speeding up a bit right before you shift and then partially coast for just a second at the same time you move the lever, it should shift fine.
What I mean by partially coast, is to keep the pedals moving but just “float” them, so while they are still moving, no tension is applied to the chain. You will hear the freehub start to click as you are really coasting, in a way. It is the best way to shift regardless, and back in the old days we learned how to do it or suffer the consequences. Modern equipment shifts so well that we forget sometimes to incorporate good technique. Practice backing off just a little, but just enough to allow the shifting to happen smoothly. You will be surprised!
As a side note, Shimano is introducing electric shifting this year and I am told that shifting will become even more automatic. Lennard Zinn has stated that he can shift from the small ring to the big ring while standing, climbing a hill! More on that when we get a chance to try the new system in person.
Cooper Complete – We have arranged for 10% off anything you buy from Cooper Complete if you put “KGS” in the coupon link and then “recalculate”.
Cooper Clinic - The world renowned Cooper Clinic is starting to create medical exams and services aimed at professional adults who ride bicycles.
Cooper Fitness Center – The Cooper Fitness Center has a special strength training introductory program for cyclists.
These links are to our frame builders and other providers that make KGS Bikes the premiere fitting studio and cycling boutique in the world:
Co-Motion Cycles – We’ve long enjoyed a reputation for building tandems that simply handle better.
Guru Bikes – Our approach is based on combining the best of both worlds: cutting edge technology delivered by hand and with an old school attention-to-detail.
Lew Racing – Lew Racing has achieved a following among racing cyclists because of the wheel’s tremendously high strength, low weight and the meticulous attention to engineered performance inherent in its design.
Parlee Cycles – Simply put, PARLEE frames are the best built and best riding carbon fiber frames available today, at any price. They are functional works of art.
Rocket 7 – Since 1999, Rocket7 has been handcrafting cycling shoes in the USA with the finest materials available.
Sem Custom Paint – Dave Sem is the best extreme detail painter in the world.
Serotta – Only Serottas have the extensive engineering of our proprietary Colorado Concept tubing design. It’s the foundation behind the unique ride of each and every Serotta.
Source Endurance – They are teaming with us to provide physiological testing, data analysis, training consultation and long-term coaching. They have two state-of-the art labs, one in Austin and one in San Marcus. We are proud to recommend them and invite you to check them out.
Storck Bicycles – Numerous innovations in frame and component design that are standard in the industry today were developed, patented, and introduced by Storck Bicycle.
Tacx – Home of the Fortius Virtual Reality trainer. This is the trainer component of our “Ultimate Spin Bike”. Tacx also makes many other fine products. KGS Bikes is an Authorized Tacx Testing Center.
Topolino Technology – Our wheels embody this ethic: A fundamental redesign of wheel construction to take advantage of extraordinary materials with amazing properties, yielding a wheelset that performs like no other.
Zinn Cycles – For more than a quarter of a century, Zinn Cycles have been working to make cycling more enjoyable for customers, and that commitment remains at the heart of everything they do.
About KGS Bikes and Kevin
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