|What you're describing isn't an uncommon issue, although it does sound like your problem went from a relatively minor annoyance to a good sized headache rather quickly. The splines on the XD driver body are only deep enough to engage the 42 tooth cog, and a lot of torque is passed through the cassette and onto them. This can cause a very slight amount of deformation or burring of the aluminum splines, which then don't want to let go of that large cog when you back off the lock ring, thereby holding the entire cassette on the freehub body as the other ten cogs are all attached to the 42 tooth. All it needs a bit of a gentle knock from the backside, so flip the wheel so the cassette is facing down and put a rag underneath the axle's end cap before using a punch (a T25 screwdriver works just fine as well) to very gently tap the backside of the cassette free from the splines. It takes only lightest of strikes, so don't go smashing it hard or using anything pointy.|
Saying that your ''lock ring splines have now sheared off'' has me a bit confused, though. Are you referring to the lock ring's threads being damaged by you turning it but it not clearing the freehub body's threads due to the stuck cassette? Or the actual splines themselves on the freehub? Either way, it sounds like you'll have to replace something, but at least you have a quick trick to keep it from happening again. - Mike Levy
It's not uncommon for SRAM's X-Dome cassette to need a little love tap to get it off of the freehub body.
|The X1600 and 445D wheels are both built for those who ride on the tougher side of the cross-country performance realm, but both would be damaged like the rim in your pic after taking a hot lap on a rocky, enduro-style descent. Broken parts are the price we pay for progression. You're probably improving and along with that, the speed and amplitude of your riding has increased. It doesn't take much to start trashing your components, because the energy of an impact grows larger exponentially with the increase of velocity. Bend back the ding with a crescent wrench, get the tension of the afflicted spokes as close as you can to its neighbors and ride the wheel into the ground. Consider the ding as a wakeup call. Buy wider, all-mountain specific wheels next time and as you upgrade other components like tires, handlebars, and suspension items, buy up to the next level of strength and durability. Your bike will should evolve along with your skillset. - RC|
|There's currently a bumper crop of knee pads on the market, a growth that's been fueled by the increasing number of riders looking for a little additional security on trail rides as well as in the bike park. I've been able to try a wide range of knee guard styles over the last couple of seasons, but a there are a few standouts that meet your do-it-all criteria. Troy Lee Designs' T-Bone II would be one of my picks for knee guards that can be used for both all-mountain and DH duties without making too many compromises. They're comfortable enough to wear while pedaling, but have enough padding to help protect your knees from bigger impacts. Lately I've been testing 7iDP's Convert pads (look for a review in the near future), and they've proven to be up to the task after a few crashes that left me battered and bruised, but with knees that were unscathed. The Convert pads use a modular design that allows riders to choose their desired level of protection by swapping out different thicknesses of foam, so in theory you could remove padding for trail rides and add more for DH days. I've mainly been using them with the middle amount of protection by using the thinner foam layer combined with a hard plastic shell, a configuration that has turned out to be a good option for all styles of riding. Race Face's Ambush Knee pads make the grade as well, although they are a little bulkier and thus warmer for sustained pedaling, but luckily their open back design makes it easy to remove them for long uphill approaches. - Mike Kazimer|
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