Damon’s do-it-yourself carbon-fiber bicycle frame

Damon Rinard built a carbon-fiber bicycle frame in his garage! And we have just updated his pages describing how he did it, including sources for materials and tools. He points out that it’s actually much easier to build a carbon fiber frame than a steel frame.

Damon Rinard's do-it-yourself carbon-fiber bicycle frame

Damon Rinard’s do-it-yourself carbon-fiber bicycle frame

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Check spoke tension by ear when building a wheel

Check the level of spoke tension by ear — unless you are tone deaf, a musical pitch reference (pitch pipe, tuning fork, smartphone app etc.) is all you need to tell whether you have brought spokes up to the appropriate level of tension when building a wheel. It’s faster than using a tensiometer!

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Spocalc revised

The page for Damon Rinard’s spoke calculator has been revised, with an updated list of online spoke calculators, several comments and links, and better formatting. Now also includes links to spoke-calculator apps for iOS and Android smartphones!

screen shot from Spocalc

Screen shot from Spocalc

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SunTour Perfect, Pro-Compe and New Winner freewheels

freewheel14-38New page on SunTour Perfect, Pro-Compe and New Winner freewheels. These are no longer made, but there are a lot of them around and they offer many options including the ability to work with older frames that have smaller overlocknut distance than current frames. We have information on choosing, maintaining and customizing these freewheels.

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Cyclecomputer and GPS accuracy

New page about the history of distance and speed measurement on bicycles, and the limitations of accuracy in measurement. Did you know that GPS readings wander, so you can rack up some distance even if you are standing still?

Raw GPS readings don't quite follow the road.

Raw GPS readings don’t quite follow the road.

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Cyclecomputer database

Our pages of cyclecomputer instructions have now been brought completely up to date, with links to user manuals for almost every make and model, including GPS. These pages are a unique resource.

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Additions to the Gear Calculator

New crank lengths have been added to the Gear Calculator and Internal Gear Calculator, so they can calculate gain ratios for children’s bicycles with cranks down to 100 mm (less than 4 inches).

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More hubs in cable-pull cribsheet

Added information on four hubs to the internal-gear hub cable pull cribsheet:

Shimano Alfine 11-speed
SRAM G9
Sturmey-Archer S3X
Sturmey-Archer ASC

Thanks to Jeff Meredith and Michael Wilson for the measurements!

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Measuring tricks

Testing a cotterless crank with a wrench

Testing a cotterless crank with a wrench

We have a new article on how to perform the precise measurements needed to determine whether bicycle parts fit each other, without expensive and fragile tools. There are a number of clever tricks — for example, you can test the width of the square taper of a cotterless¬† crank with an ordinary open-end wrench!

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Reorganization of headset tables

headset

top headset

Our tables of headset sizes have been reorganized to make it easier to determine which headset can be made to fit which frame and fork. Fork crown race seats can be milled down and head tube race seats can be enlarged. The tables now are in order of head tube race seat size, as the frame is the more difficult and expensive to replace, followed by fork crown race seat size. The tables are used in the article on headsets  and several other articles.

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