Saturday, April 20, 2013

How to Service Chris King Front Hub?

(Photo: Tools needed to service Chris King Front Hub)

The front hub of my Chris King wheel set finally produced noise after 2 years of abuse. Muddy trails in tropical countries, stream crossing over muddy water, heavy rainfall in tropical and temperate climates, and snow crossing over alpine mountains. Chris King hubs were proven to be reliable and consistence in performance over 2 years of rough usage. Time has come to give them a little TLC. To do light servicing on Chris King front hub, all you need are: (i) Chris King RingDrive Lube, (ii) 2.5mm Allen Key, (iii) Allen Key to remove your brake rotot, and (iv) Pen knife.

(1) Remove the Front Rotor
You need to remove the front rotor in order to strip the hub axle and drive shell. Refer to left photo, remove the front rotor by using proper allen key designed to do the job.

(2) Remove the Drive Shell
Use 2.5mm allen key to losen the screw that secured the drive shell onto the axle. Older version of Chris King hub uses 5mm hex screw.

Once the 2.5mm hex screw is losen, losen the drive shell by turning it anti-clockwise.

Remove the drive shell from the axle.

(3) Remove the Axle
Once the drive shell is removed, pull the axle out from the other side of the hub.


(4) Clean the Drive Shell and Axle
Use a clean cloth to clean and remove any dirt and old grease from the drive shell and axle.

(5) Remove the Drive Ring
Use a pen knife to carefully remove the drive ring. Be careful not to damage the rubber sealant under the drive ring although the rubber sealant is made of tough material. Moves the pen knife along the ring as shown on the left photo, the ring will pop out by itself.

(6) Remove the Rubber Sealant
The rubber sealant is meant to prevent water and dirt from going into the bearings. The rubber sealant is made of tough materials so that it will not break easily. Carefully remove the rubber sealant to expose the bearings. The photo on the left indicates that the bearing is clean but dry. 

(7) Lubricate the Bearings
Ensure the bearings are clean before lubing. You should use lub that is recommended by bearings' manufacturer. In this case, Chris King RingDrive lub was recommended. You could get it from CRC for about SG$21.00 (1.2oz). Please do not use any other lub as it may shorten the lifespan of the hub. Apply generously as shown on the photo.

(8) Assemble and Repeat
Assemble the rubber sealant and drive ring back onto the RingDrive. It takes a bit of training to do that. Patience is key if you are doing it for the first time. Once you have assembled the rubber sealant and drive ring, repeat step 5 to 7 on the opposite side of the RingDrive. 

Assemble the axle and drive shell onto the hub before you assemble the brake rotor. This posting illustrated how easy it is to service Chris King front hub.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Singapore Mountain Bike Marketplace and Forum

What will you do if you were grounded for 3 months and your passion in mountain biking still burning in your body? I found peace in penning my thoughts in this blog and candidly create storyboard on facebook page (MTB kakis). Although one of my readers commented that my blog is only fit for tourists, it is never intended for mechanics seeking technical information or for riders who want to know how 10mm increased in travel will affect the traction and rolling speed of  mountain bike during technical descent.  Glad to know my thoughts in this blog has positively influenced some of my kakis to ride more, and motivate them to perform simple bike servicing tasks. Hope that those who read my blog and planning a riding trip to my adopted country New Zealand will find my one cent worth of comments useful.  

Today, I would like to discuss about the development of Singapore Mountain Bike online marketplace and forum. Togoparts, the market leader in online content and marketplace for bicycles has monopolised Singapore market for many years. However, Togoparts faces many challenges including one-man Facebook warriors and bloggers that are filling up the gaps that Togoparts chose to ignore due to economic reason. The number of Facebook and Blog marketplaces targeting at cycling communities have exponentially mushroomed over a short span of 3 to 4 years. Thanks to growing cycling community in Singapore. However, many of these Facebook warriors and bloggers started their 'businesses' out of passion and to make some pocket money to support their hobby. Regretfully, the lack of persistency inhibited their growth. For now, the brick and mortar distributors and local bikeshop still dominate the marketplace.

Following is a list of online marketplaces and forums in Singapore, which I think will benefit readers who are new to mountain biking community in Singapore:

Togoparts.com
Founded in 2001, togoparts.com leverages on knowledge sharing among the community to generate awareness of cycling issues and to promote camaraderie among cyclists spread throughout Asia and the world. Content includes bike articles, forum, marketplace, local bike shop listing, event listings, reviews, and photo sharings. The articles and reviews are generally neutral although their revenues stream seems to come from sponsors advertising fees, membership fees, google ads and marketplace advertisement placement fees. Personally, I have learned a lot from this portal. Highly recommended for someone who is new to mountain bike community in Singapore.

Singapore Mountain Bike Forum (SMBF)
Founded in 1999, SMBF is currently managed by brick and mortar local bike shop Chapter 2 Cycle (C2C). C2C anchored product includes Ibiz frames. They leverage on SMBF online forum to create biking interest groups and provide first level of customer services to consumers. The online forum also provides simple marketplace for members to buy and sell second-hand goods that are related to bikes.

SingaporeMTB.com
New kid on the block. This online portal target mainly mountain bike community; starting from XC to trail, all-mountain and downhill rides. They seems to be positioning themselves in the same space as Togoparts, except that they specialized in mountain bike (as the name implies) while Togoparts skewed more towards road bike that obviously has bigger market size and advertising dollars. SingaporeMTB.com fills the gap leftover by Togoparts, which I think is timely. However, it seems that SingaporeMTB.com carries their own line of product in comparison to Togoparts. In addition, SingaporeMTB.com seems to be a natural extension of Empire Racing, also a new setup that design, make and sell apparels that appeal to downhill bikers. Their challenge is to minimize conflict of interest and to entice advertisers that are willing to put their marketing dollars with them. As the business is run by mountain bikers who are passionate about the sports, I sincerely wish they succeed.

The Singapore Bicycle Flea Market
This Facebook marketplace was among the first few setup by one-man warrior. As of today, it has about 4,800 members. The marketplace has strict rules, including (1) must state price and post picture of the item they are selling; (2) Limit bumping to once every 24 hours to avoid cluttering, (3) Must indicate if the item is a fake/imitation/spin off/chiong item to avoid any misunderstanding and potential police case, (4) For bike shop, must post the advertisement under the bike shop's name. (5) Cannot link out to advetiser own personal or business websites. I have no idea how the business model work besides concluding that they run it out of passion.



Singapore Bicycle Flea Market
This Facebook marketplace was setup recently but has accumulated over 2,500 members as of today. The beauty of this Facebook marketplace is that it has no rules. So anyone can post their products for sale without guidelines. Similarly, I have no idea how this business model works besides assuming that the owner may have other brick and mortar business. This Facebook marketplace may be used as barometer to sense the market and analyze trends.





Monday, April 8, 2013

Mountain Bike Association (Singapore)

(Photo: One of MBASG recruitment posters)

The Mountain Bike Association (Singapore), or MBASG, was formed in July 2012 by a group of volunteers who felt very strongly about trail advocacy in Singapore. MBASG seeks to serve as a link between the National Parks Board (Nparks) and the mountain biking community, and to promote responsible conduct amongst mountain bikers in Singapore. The mission of MBASG is to Protect, Improve and Expand (PIE) mountain bike trails in Singapore. 

Official website: http://www.mbasg.org/


Sign up as provisional members: http://www.mbasg.org/sign-up.html