Calvin's Corner

Calvin's Corner blog posts.

  • Measuring Effective Rim Diameter

    Wheel building begins with having the right components at hand. Basically, these are the hub, the rim, and of course spokes of the right length. Unfortunately, that last part, "spokes of the right length," is not always so simple to come up with. A big part of determining the correct spoke length is using the correct "Effective Rim Diameter" (ERD), a concept that is reviewed in this article.

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  • Wheel Tension Balance Web App

    Wheel truing can be great fun. It provides us chance to focus on something that should be simple, something that bends to our will, so to speak. Get a cup of good coffee, sit yourself in front of a truing stand, and meditate on making a perfect wheel.

    There are of course many tools that can help you make better wheels. Truing stands, spoke wrenches, dishing tools, and a TM-1 Spoke Tension Meter will make things go right. With the TM-1, you can know the tightness of the spokes overall (average spoke tension) as well as know the relative spoke tension (how tight each spoke is relative to the other spokes in the wheel).

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  • Road Race Support for Team 3M

    The topic of this Calvin's Corner will be the technical support for the 3M Cycling Team. The 3M Corporation is based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. It is, after all, "Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing." The team is here to race the North Star Gran Prix. This is a stage race for road bikes, and as always it is the preparation that make all smooth and nice for the team.

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  • The Slow-Time is the Right Time for Shop Inspection

    In the bicycle retail business, the slower off-season is the perfect time to do things you've put off during the crazy, busy summer, including a detailed shop inspection. Use this downtime as an opportunity to go through your tools, materials, and equipment to determine what is worn out and needs to be replaced or replenished. When the warmer weather hits, the customers roll in, and the work starts stacking up, you will be ready to crank out the service. Now is also the time to look at new tools that will help you service bikes with new or updated technology.

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  • Thermodynamics: What can it do for you?

    We live in a world of hot and cold, so we might as well put them to use. When you get out of your comfort zone, say, for example, into deep space, you might truly get to experience extreme temperature ranges. Cold so cold that gases become liquids, and hots so hot that metals run like water, or so it is said.

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  • 2013 MTB World Championships

    This article will feature the 2013 Mountain Bike World Championships held in Pietermaritzburg, Republic of South Africa. I will attempt to post current information as it happens, that is, once I am on the ground in Pietermartinzburg on Sunday, August 25th.

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  • The Work Horses of Park Tool

    The new Park Tool factory is big. So big it feels like it takes forever to walk from one end to the other. Just the factory is 200 x 300 feet. You have to walk down aisles of production, packaging, welding, then shipping before you get where you want to go. So with a huge new building, what better excuse is needed to grab a bike? We have a fleet here of 9 rides for your factory cruising pleasure. Each steed is a bit different in what they offer. This article will review of The Wheels of the Park Tool Factory.

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  • 2013 Cyclocross National Champions

    "This year's USA National Cyclocross Championship promises to be epic!!"—Anonymous Elite Racer.

    That might be one way of putting it, because what we are going to be talking about here is a bike race with people wearing spandex, in Madison, Wisconsin, in the middle of January!

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  • Free Bikes 4 Kids, a Minnesota program

    Free Bikes 4 Kids is a non-profit organization based in the Twin Cites area of Minnesota.

    The concept of Free Bikes For Kids is to provide a bike (and a helmet) to a kid who would otherwise not get a bike. Bikes are donated at drop off locations, and what a collection of bikes they are! What are often called "department store" or "big box" bikes, serious BMX bikes, hybrids of well recognized brand names, the occasional Campagnolo® Record® group with requisite Reynolds® 531 frame; all have been seen.

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  • Basic Use of Tools

    A sound working knowledge of tool use is the basis of being a mechanic. Developing good working habits will result in better, more consistent repairs, and in longer lasting tools. This article provides a short review of the proper use of some basic tools.

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