All-Road Upgrades

Yesterday, I made a couple of changes to my all-road bike, the 2023 PVD M2-F2. I figure that both of them were worthy of comment as this is always a work in progress.

The all-road platform is fairly exciting for me to work with. The ‘answer’ to the puzzle is relatively undefined in the bike space and that gives me room to make choices that others may not see or appreciate.

Did my choices yield better results for a given set of conditions? Are my goals being met better or worse now? These are questions that we are always asking ourselves when working with our equipment. With an all-road, there is a lot less framing coming from the outside of our development program. More needs to be explored from the inside. I like that always but even more here specifically.

What was changed? Pedals and bar-ins.

I often talk with Ronen about bike setup. His perspective is typically different from mine but he is thinking about what he is doing. He’s been using flat pedals since his start. I was on SPD exclusively (once they were released) until just a few years ago. I made the change mostly to mix things up and get a more casual experience in my rides.

The pedals that I’ve been using most recently have been the Race Face Atlas. They are a very nice design with a large ball bearing cartridge inboard and a plain bearing outboard (although the older style had an outboard ball bearing cartridge). It’s a nice pedal.

So, Ronen has been putting work into his all-road platform and is fully on board with the low-Q designs that I often discuss and favor. He has been thinking on pedals and noting Tim Murcko’s use of the HT Components AE05(EVO+) pedal. Ronen runs some numbers and determines that this may be a better choice for pedal on the all-road bikes.

What makes the AE05(EVO+) pedal different from the Race Face Atlas is that they forgo the inboard bearing cartridge in favor of a plain bearing and also reshape the pedal to use more space on the inside of the pedal by the crank arm. The pedal body moves inboard along with the feel. This is a great thing for an all road bike using flat pedals.

Essentially, we shave 12mm from either side of the bike in both rock clearance and q-factor.

More, the additional support on the inside by the crank may help as it’s where feet tend to wander during rough sections. This may be a very good thing.

There is a new problem, though. This is not an efficient bearing arraignment if the rotation of the pedal on it’s spindle becomes important, as it will be with all-road. Pedaling efficiency defines the platform. It’s plainly obvious that a dynamic bearing arraignment is better for pedaling the bicycle. It’s slipperier. We can free spin the pedals (although not a proper test) and see how little friction is in the system. How much worse is this in real life? We will see, especially as the new seal drag dissipates over use.

I’m going to do my usual sharpened pin treatment but didn’t have enough set screws on hand to cut them. I took the measures and have a plan.

I’m going to test all this out in the next few weeks.

The bar-ins and inner grips are something that I introduced to my all-road bikes back in 2020. This was short lived as during the fits and starts of handlebar development, I had to back off what was covering the bar or creating any additional strain. I needed to be safe for a while and focus on spotting failures early. Hopefully, I’m past all of that and can do things right again.

The inner grips are simple, just some old low profile ODI Vans pattern grips. I’ve tried this part of the bike as a handhold without grips and it’s just not as good. Some kind of cushion and increased diameter is helpful.

I purchased 2 different bar-ins types to play with. Both cheap and dirty. The Dimension Stubs Bar Ends and Short Bar Ends.

I liked the look of the stubs but they were just a little too on the short side for this kind of placement. My hand was feeling too much at the edge.

So, taking the longer ‘shorts’, I cut the last inch off and installed them. The feel was much better for holding and it was much more solid and comfortable. If I close my eyes, these are right.

So there we are. Hopefully, good changes that show up on a ride. More on all of this later.