IFIXBYX Shop Visit

Thu, 04/05/2012 - 3:25pm by Andy Shen

My BB30 bearings abruptly gave up the ghost yesterday so I stopped by IFIXBYX for some TLC. Of course, trips to Mark's place are quickly derailed by all the eye candy in there. Here's some quick and dirty iPhone shots of today's visit.

There's been some speculation that the tightness of tubeless tire beads can actually lower the spoke tension in your wheels. Mine were 30kg too low so I took the opportunity to cinch them up a touch. This cool little tool from DT Swiss is new to me and oh so sweet. It holds the bladed spoke still way down by the nipple (instead of above the spoke wrench) so that it doesn't wind up at all when you turn the spoke wrench. (Holy crap it's $27-$36!)

When Mark initially installed my BB a reamer wasn't available, so he's taking the opportunity to do it now. This is a headtube facing/reaming tool with a BB30 reamer.


A BB reaming action shot!

The shell, all cleaned up. Hardly any material was removed, but it was enough to make a palpable difference when pressing in the bearings.

Here's the old bearings. Nope, I wasn't imaging that grinding sensation. I got almost two years out of these guys, even with the inner seals removed.

Mark's got the new SRAM Red on his bike and he loves it. In his opinion it's the best cabled system out there now.

Mark loves the feel of the brakes. They also open nice and wide for all the new wide rims coming out.

Rear derailleur.

The front derailleur that needs no trimming and never rubs. Mark tried to explain how the geometry of the linkage makes this happen but I just couldn't understand it for the life of me.

There's the subtle change in the cage's angle as it shifts. That's how it manages to avoid chain rub in all gears.

This ingenious chain catcher could be the death knell for K-Edge and other chain catchers. Here's why: when you install the K-Edge you have to lock in the front derailleur's and the chain catcher's height and angle, all by tightening one bolt. It's almost impossible to nail all four in one go. The SRAM front derailleur's mounting bolt is hollow and threaded, so you first install the front derailleur, then mount the chain catcher onto that bolt. Furthermore, the chain catcher has a set screw to lock in its angle so it's far more refined than the 'tighten and hope' approach you have to apply with other chain catchers.


The new cassette has silicon inserts between cogs to keep things quiet.

Instead of a pressed in back plate, the entire big cog is now one aluminum piece riveted to the body. 

The cassette's more extensively machined, with gaps between cogs.


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mix and match
By: Joe
Mon, 05/06/2013 - 4:50pm

The 2011 red black shifters and red black crank work well with the new front and rear derailleurs. No rub and impossible to drop the chain. How do I know? That's what I'm running.

Not Failure.
By: Sensei
Thu, 04/12/2012 - 10:10pm

Failure is not the right term. Manufacturing variance is more appropriate. Your assumption that BB30 (or ANY component for that matter) is simply Screw-n-Glue is naive. I don't mean to offend you with that statement, but whoever convinced you that was the case should have sold you a bridge instead. It's hard to compare BB30 frame precision with English (or Italian) threaded BB's because the dynamics are different. But to answer the question the way you want.... we run a tap thru all threaded BB's as well and experience roughly the same percentages. Sometimes the tap threads in with smoothly, sometimes we chase a little material out and sometimes we remove more material than you would think is appropriate. And again, it's not particular to any manufacturer. It's simply a part of the assembly process that many shops take for granted and don't take the time or care with. I'm not ragging on any other shop, that's just what do when we build a bike.

A 30% failure rate on bb
By: Sam Kevlar
Thu, 04/12/2012 - 4:35pm

A 30% failure rate on bb alignment for BB30-spec'd frames doesn't sound so good. Even if those #'s guesstimates.

That said, how far off is that % in terms of what you see on regular english or italian threaded bb's being way off or needing help (tapped, etc.)?

I ask because I'm looking at a BB30 frame and I was under the impression that it was almost a fail-safe method of frame construction. Just screw & glue (or weld) and go.

Well, sort of...
By: Sensei
Thu, 04/12/2012 - 4:15pm

The spacers aren't actually rubber. The cassette is milled out of a single block of steel. The rubber "spacers" are more like rubberbands that sit on top of the steel in between the cogs. But yes, it not only make sense but it really works.

We do now ream all new BB30 and most existing frames if they give symptoms of improper fit. We haven't always done it as the tooling hasn't been available for that long. An alignment guage to see if the shell is straight? Not sure what you mean by that. But the outer faces don't have to be square. That isn't a critical element. As long as it's not obviously waaaaay off it's not relevant.

I can't say that any one manufacturer is better or worse than another. Quite the opposite really. If I have 10 CAAD10 frames 3 will be perfect, 4 will be very close but can be improved and the other 3 are off enough that they NEED reaming. We're talking about such a precise fit that typical manufacturer variances account for the issue. No one is really at fault here, it's just a part of the assembly process.

rubber cassette
By: Bruce Banner
Tue, 04/10/2012 - 2:55pm

rubber cassette spacers--that's actually a very good idea. wonder if it works as intended?

When to ream BB30
By: Sofiane Seattube
Tue, 04/10/2012 - 2:43pm


do you ream all bb30 shells to clean them up or only when there's a specific issue? Do you use an alignment gauge to see if the shell is straight? Are some manufacturers better at nailing bb30 than others?

By: Esteban Butyl
Sat, 04/07/2012 - 11:16pm

Tristan, pro at trolling, fred at biking!

no, sram just pays more to
By: Lennert Butyl
Sat, 04/07/2012 - 11:13pm

no, sram just pays more to push their product, from the pro level freebies + money all the way to the club level with team discounts. we used to get great deal on 7900, then sram stepped in to say get red get red get red and all right said fred.

leave it to sram...
By: Diego Axle
Sat, 04/07/2012 - 11:02pm

to include a part that every pro tour team seems to use, regardless of gruppo. BAM!

leave it to sram to come up
By: Lennert Butyl
Sat, 04/07/2012 - 5:50pm

leave it to sram to come up with a part that addresses the suckiness of sram parts in general (re: built-in chain catcher).

Nice article. More
By: Kornbluh
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 10:52pm

Nice article.

More importantly: Purdy, did you go to the other sandwich place yet? It's worth a visit.

New SRAM RED compatibility
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 9:18pm

great article that goes through all variations of compatibility and ratings of how well each works. I agree, go all assed or go home, but nice to know you could use some old stuff in a pinch


mission to understand
By: Tristan Threadlock
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 9:05pm

mission to understand compatibility issues... take me to your leader

Keepin' it clean is easy.
By: Sensei
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 8:52pm

This pic was taken right after I cleaned/detailed the bike. It's minty fresh

I don't ride it in the rain. Or very often at all these days, if you want the truth. That's why I'm fat. Owning your own bike shop in spring kind of puts a dent in your milage.

If you spend 2 minutes after every ride wiping down your frame and chain then it will never really get crusty. You don't need harsh solvents or degreasers. 409 or Simple Green are all that's necessary. Use PLedge on a clean frame and it will help keep it from getting dirty in the first place.

Whose bike? I use baby wipes,
By: Andy Shen
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 8:48pm

Whose bike? I use baby wipes, Mark uses "not riding the bike".

How do you keep your bike so
By: Rayan Cage
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 8:43pm

How do you keep your bike so clean?

OMG "Tristan"...
By: Sensei
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 8:19pm

Are you for real? Is it your mission in life to prove me wrong in the most irrelavant way possible? I stand behind everything I've ever said on this website. You are welcome to have your own opinion, of course. But you seem to have lost track of the simple fact that a Pro, using Prototype or early release components sometimes use equipment for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with function. Propaganda, Photo ops, personal commitments, team sponsorships as well as rider preferences all play a role in exactly what pieces go on the bikes they ride. Chill the fuck out and top trying to sound like you know better than me. Use your real name or shut the fuck up, Coward!

Looks like the small ring,
By: Tristan Threadlock
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 7:54pm

Looks like the small ring, maybe he's a cat ?

I prefer 'Ginger Balls'.
By: Andy Shen
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 7:49pm

I prefer 'Ginger Balls'. (Ginger balls, ginger balls, ginger all the way)

"Go ALL ASSED or go home" I
By: mikeweb
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 7:44pm

"Go ALL ASSED or go home"

I love it!! A new 'Sensei-ism'

Yes, I looked at Andy's rusty balls, but then had to look away. Too painful...

Not exactly
By: Sensei
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 7:37pm

It just means that he probably didn't ride in his small ring and small cogs like a cat. ? does.

Does that make Boonen's
By: Tristan Threadlock
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 7:19pm

Does that make Boonen's victories all that more impressive, since he was only half-assing it, in your opinion?

Missed opportunity
By: Sensei
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 7:14pm

How come nobody wants to talk about Andy's rusty balls?

You folks disappoint me.

New & Old
By: Sensei
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 7:05pm

The new shifters don't have Trim capabilities. If you try to use the new shifter withthe old FD then you won't be able to trim. If you use the old shifter that does have trim with the new FD that doesn't require it then you simply have a feature that you'll never use.

However, that is only one of the new features of the new shifters. The body is longer so you can truely get three fingers under them for better grip, easier lever position adjustments and a really sweet cable routing feature that is hard to describe. But its awesome!

Bottom line, although mix-n-matching pieces may function, you will be missing the point of the group as a whole and the phenominal improvement that it offers. Yeah, yeah, full groups are expensive. But going into it half-assed will only yield half-assed results. Go ALL-ASSED or go home!

Confused on why you MUST have
By: Tristan Threadlock
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 6:48pm

Confused on why you MUST have shifters and FD, seems like you can have new shifters and old FD or no in your opinion?

Different issue
By: Sensei
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 6:33pm

The problem Boonen has is with the Specialized Crank. The new Red crank uses a 4 arm/5 bolt design like Campy used to with four spider arms and the fifth bolt goes directly into the back of the crankarm. If you simply rotate over one hole then the shift pins and ramps are in the wrong place. So Sram is redesgning the chainrings for just sucha a person/useage. I don't know why he's not using hte front der. Doesn't make much sense to me.

By: Tristan Threadlock
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 6:26pm


The one exception to the complete Red switchover, though, is the front derailleur since SRAM has yet to finalize new Red rings for Boonen's team-issue Specialized carbon cranks. According to Raby, that development period is nearing completion so we expect to see the trick Yaw-equipped front derailleur on Boonen's bike soon enough.

Flexy flyer
By: Sensei
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 6:12pm

Yeah, that Vitus is my girlfriends bke now

Compatible? Well, sort of. Ideally, you need FD, Shifters and Crankset. You MUST have shifters and FD. I'm using a Rotor/Quarq and it works just fine by me. New FD and OLD shfters may work, although I haven't tried it. New Shifters and OLD FD probably won't work well at all, but haven't tried that either.

But in reality, get the whole group. Each piece on this gruppo has been completely re-designed so trying to mix-n-match old and new would be silly. As an entire system the new Sram Red is several steps ahead of every other cable actuated system out there. I'm no Sram apologist, I'm a Campy guy at heart. But there's no denying this stuff just flat out shifts better and is lighter.

Gee, that looks nothing like
By: Mauro Dropout
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 5:33pm

Gee, that looks nothing like the Vitus I remember Purdy riding.

By: nyvc
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 5:31pm

Is the FD compat with 2011 SRAM RED Black Edition?

Thanks Andy
By: Impressed
Thu, 04/05/2012 - 5:11pm

It looks like Shimano could learn a few things from the new SRAM Red.

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