Category Archives: Cycling

Wheels Manufacturing BBKT and Cannondale System Six

Wheels Manufacturing BBKT and Cannondale System Six. Wheels MFG make many bottom brackets among other products, allowing cyclist to remove the BB30 / press ft bottom brackets to install a more traditional creak free system. Very nicely made components with fairly detailed instructions. However I am about to fit for the third time the “PF30A Outboard Angular Contact BB for 22/24mm Cranks (SRAM) – Black” simply because as detailed as the instructions are the company send out the component with lots of axles spacers and cup spacers. Now that might sound handy but seeing as this BBKT has been made specifically to fit a GXP to a System six frame you’d think that they would inform you of which ones to use.

But unfortunately WheelsMFG don’t, so the already flawed GXP system now adds in some new factors

Of course the Q-factor of the system should be correct for the chainset to be fitted. And the asymmetrical Cannondale design means the cups are different for both sides. So on the first attempt we fitted 1mm cup spacers on both sides and some axle spacers to take up the slack. This did not work to our liking as the axle was not as smooth as desired. We measured the donor bike at the bottom bracket and worked out that with a 2.5MM spacer on one side and a 1MM spacer on the other the Bottom bracket would be the correct length. It worked perfectly and no spacers on the axle were needed…. (Why did they send them in the first place). However after two rides on the bike and happy with the result we decided to measure the crank distance from frame, only to find out that it is 3MM out.

Fitting a Wheels Manufacturing PF30A bottom bracket to a Cannondale System Six

So simple maths, change the spacers from one side to the other and the job should be correct. I just don’t understand why the drive side cup did not have the extra 2.5MM designed into it and the off side an extra 1MM no spacers would be needed anywhere, remember this is designed for this bike….

Wheels Manufacturing BBKT and Cannondale System Six

So in conclusion, drive side 2.5MM and off drive side 1MM no other spacers are required. I hope this saves other people some time.

Link to Bottom Bracket

Filmed with a Fuji XT4 and Fujinon XF16-80

Space Chicken by On One

Space Chicken by On One is one of the two gravel bikes made by On One using Carbon fibre. It is a bit of a conundrum choosing which model to buy, and On One don’t seem to help much in their descriptions of the models. I chose the Space Chicken on a few points all about the geometry of the frame. Remembering that which ever of the two bikes you choose, they are identical apart from the frame geometry.

Watch a short video here below

Space Chicken, On One, two not so great names for a great bike…

So for me firstly, last year I had, and had had for four years, two bikes. A Planet X road bike with Ultegra group-set, and a Viner Super Prestige with Rival 11. So a road bike and a cross bike. I loved the Viner so much that it got ridden a lot more than the road bike and I can honestly say that the difference between the two bikes on my average road ride using the same tyres was 1KMH, so the road bike was faster, but for me not a huge difference, but I preferred to ride the cross bike.

Mudguards from liteline for the winter months

The problem I had with the cross bike was just one thing, its bottom bracket was way to high for riding on the road and apart from that it was my perfect bike. Late in the year I had a bad crash on the road bike and it got written off, I decided to sell the cross bike and get a gravel bike,

One Bike to rule them all…..

Back to which bike to choose, the Space chicken has a shorter chain-stay, a shorter wheelbase and a slightly steeper head tube angle, and this was my reason for choosing this model. As to me, that equates to a quicker more responsive bike on the road. For me my riding is 90% on road and 10% off road, so more important that it can ride well on the road. It still takes 40MM tyres and 48mm tyres with 650 wheels, where as the free ranger can go bigger again. My mountain biking days are over though and a 700c wheel with 40mm tyres is plenty.

Shorter chainstay, one reason I chose the Space Chicken over the Fee Ranger

As for 11 Speed, at the moment on winter tyres at 38mm road orientated I have an 11-36 cassette. In the summer I would use a 11- 32 on road, and an 11- 42 off road. I also have a 40 tooth chain-ring. On my Viner I had a 38 tooth chain-ring, but 38-11 front rear on the road did not work out well for me, the 40 makes the difference that I need and I can still pedal the bike at about 45KMH comfortably (downhill).

Absolute Black 40 tooth chainring, perfect for on and off road.

Upgrades that I made immediately on purchase of the bike.

Wheels – Hunt 4 Season, saving 350 Grams, (Changing the wheels is something I have done on the 4 bikes I have bought from On One / Planet X, it is a simple improvement, if a little expensive.) I already had the wheels from the Viner.

Hunt Wheel, already almost four years old, great value and good weight.

Carbon seat-pin from Shannon, I picked up for 60 Euros new from CRC, not the prettiest but saves 150 grams over the original, plus the Charge saddle that I had already.

Not the best seat pin, but saved 150 grams

Absolute Black Chain-ring at 40teeth, I have been using these for the last 4 years, also saved 50 grams.
FSA carbon bars, I treated myself to these as it is my “only bike”, it supposedly adds comfort and saved me 50 grams.

Carbon bars, marginally lighter, extra comfort

So In total I took 600 grams off the weight of the bike which according to On One suggested 9.6KG means I have a 9KG bike.

Edit 27/2/2021, I since got hold of a Force Carbon crankest, unused for 90 euros and have now installed this, a whopping 183grams lighter than Rival 90Grams per crank. So the bike is now about 8.8KG.

Since I have now completed 2000KM on the bike in a little over 3 months over the winter, I also put on some Lifeline mudguards, which are excellent. They will be removed once spring arrives. The only issues I have had is having to adjust the headset every 500KM and the right hand Rival lever is, just like my last bike starting to slowly move back towards the bar. This is solved by adjusting the allen key reach adjuster and putting one drop of Loctite on it.

I am delighted with the Space Chicken from ON One, yes indeed On One is a stupid name for a bike as is Space chicken, the On One sticker on the down tube is so big I taped over part of it. I love the bike though, I have a Chris King bottom bracket to fit, and some 35mm Carbon rimmed wheels coming for the summer, I was lucky to get the bike for 1299GBP as normally they go for 1599GBP but as lots of you will already know, keep an eye on their website, they are often doing promos.


If you want a gravel bike for serious all time off road, maybe go for the Free Ranger, if you want a serious one bike to do it all, go like me for the Free Ranger. Both by On One…

Photos and film, FUJI XE3

Ultegra Component

Shimano Ultegra 8000 8020 Gear Lever Problems

With less than 1000KM on the bike Neil’s rear changer decided to stop working. Now normally this would be a warranty problem on such a new and barely used bike, however as Neil is a poor student he bought this “New” bike second-hand and therefore has no warranty with it.

Basically what has happened is there is a small spring broken in the lever that needs replacing. A brake lever can be broken down into just a few components, each component having a multitude of parts, the body, the lever, the hydraulic piston and the gear changer.

Ultegra Component

This is the gear changing component in one piece. It can be removed from the brake lever assembly in minutes.

The gear changer unit is small and on the 8020 can be removed from a lever in a matter of minutes, as long as the lever is off the bars.

Unfortunately you cannot buy this small unit, so the broken spring means you have to throw away a lever that costs 200 Euro minimum. Now that is ridiculous.

Two seasons ago Neil had a crash on his old bike with a 8000 lever and it broke, however the spring in that lever was intact so he decided to take it apart, learning in the process how to do it, recovering the spring. One lesson learnt here, a 8000 lever needs the actual lever removed from the body to be able to remove the gear changer component. So of course we removed the lever on the 8020 too, mistake. No need to remove the lever and over an hour spent getting it back together again.

Watch the first of three videos here

So now he stripped down the 8020 lever to get the gear component out, then took that apart and reassembled with the recovered spring, I make this sound easy, but almost certainly 8 hours worth of effort as there was no guide on how to do it. Still what else is there to do in a lock down…

Watch the second and longest video, brake down the component only if you want to do it….

It is possible to repair a 8000 series lever, however Shimano don’t want you too, in preference to spending 200 Euro for a new lever, absolutely outrageous stuff. At the least they should sell the gear mechanism and allow that to be fitted separately if the lever is off the bike a ten minute job.

Eureka, no thanks to Shimano fixed

I know, we live in a consumer world, brakes and gear changers being integrated into one was a great step forward in bicycle technology, but from an environmental point of view is it really OK to be throwing away such a serious piece of bike technology simply because the spring failed…