Ask Josh Anything #19

Ask Josh Anything #19

Drivetrains, aero tweaks, and wheels have emerged as the sweet spot for where listeners can achieve marginal gains on their current bike setups, and this episode will really scratch that itch. We do a deep dive into the why, how, and what of Silca's new diamond-polished chains, how properly-lubed chains affect cog and chainring wear and tear, and whether you really need to replace that quick link after each chain connect/disconnect cycle. We also get to the best ways to locate your hydration on long rides and the question of whether — wheelwise — deeper is always better.

Got a question you’d like to ask? Text or leave a voicemail at the Marginal Gains Hotline: +1-317-343-4506 or just leave a comment in this post!

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9 comments


  • Jason

    Hey Guys

    I am looking for an ideal race morning pump that is reasonably-sized, accurate and works with a Hiro Chuck/crack pipe for easy (one man job) disc wheel inflation.

    I would love to travel with my Super Pista Digital Pump, but it’s just too large.

    I have experimented with the Fumpa & mini Fumpa compressor and while I love the convenience, it is too noisy and can only inflate 2 tires to about 90 PSI before needing a charge.

    Are there other mini compressors on the market worth trying?

    I would love to try the Viaggo, but, can’t seem to find it in stock

    Appreciate all you do, thanks!


  • Pieter

    My bartape is almost worn out after riding the long term challenge: all municipalities in The Netherlands, so its time to replace it. My hands cannot be everywhere so a lot is exposed to the (riding) wind. I like some damping so there is some height, bad for the aero I guess but maybe good for adding some texture helping the aero? Dimples on top? Lines in the drops? What texture on a tape would minimalize the drag? And are you aware of a brand to look for?


  • Erik

    Thanks for a great podcast!

    I have a “rule of 105%” question. I live in Sweden where wider tires is popular. I see a lot of people going from allready ballon shaped 25mm on narrow rims

    to 28mm that often grows to even more of a ballon shape. Often 2-3 mm wider on each side than the rim.

    This is among elite race riders. We often race in flat terrain where cross winds is more common than hills. Roads are often okay, but far from smooth.

    Race average speeds is often 42-45km/h. If you have to choose between going “ballon shape” on narrow rim to get better rolling, or going down in tire size to achieve “Rule of 105” what would you guys suggest?

    And also do you measure the rim at the widest point or where the rim ends? (braking surface)?

    Thanks again!


  • Pierre

    Hi Josh, Here is a question for Ask Josh Anything #20 (hopefully) : you probably followed the launch of the Vittoria road tubeless inserts. Seems very promising (though I’ll be curious to see how installation goes with them) but since you are the expert on tire pressure (and now lubes !) and I guess working with the teams you have first hand experience with those inserts, at least in their prototype version… here are a couple of questions : does the change in air volume (since the insert uses some space) requires a change in tire pressure ? To go one step further, would the change in air volume would require to go one size up for tire (let’s say from 25 to 28) in order to get the same ride feel ? Anything else we should know about the use of road tubeless inserts ? Good to see something new in the road tubeless world and probably making the use of the super fast Corsa Speed 2.0 a little “safer” in term of risk-benefit ratio since it seems changing a flat on the road becomes more or less impossible but finishing with a puncture becomes an option (though a costly one since the tire is going to be ruined). Will be super interested in hearing all you have to say on that topic (and what Fatty and Hottie have to say too as this is your great team work/effort that make such interesting and entertaining podcasts !). Best regards, Pierre


  • Nathan

    Hi team,

    Long time follower/listener, first time questioner. Love the podcast so much, as an engineer I really enjoy the scientific, experimental and analytical detail.

    My question is regarding sensitivity of chain/drivetrain wear to drivetrain configuration. I’m wondering what impact there is to drivetrain wear when comparing 2x vs 1x drivetrains? How is drivetrain wear impacted by the removal of front chainring shifting and the addition of a narrow-wide chainring?

    I’ve been running 1x drivetrains on multiple bikes for over 10 years now, and although I haven’t got any quantitative data to back it up, it’s always seemed like my 1x drivetrains have either a longer life and/or that the drivetrain is less sensitive to higher levels of wear. I have on more than one occasion dropped a chain checker on a 1x drivetrain and found it to be well beyond the recommended 0.5/0.75/1.0% stretch without having noticed any perceivable degradation in shifting quality, drivetrain noise or efficiency.

    Thanks,

    Nathan


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