Some of the things I've been messing with the past few months.
North Shore Billet Daemon Pedals
We may not be in the double bash era anymore, but North Shore Billet has quietly been making solid stuff here in BC for a long, long time. Their new Daemon pedal is CNCed in Whistler, and ticks a lot of the boxes for modern flats.
The Daemons have 2mm of concavity per side. We've seen a trend towards flat (and sometimes even convex) pedal shapes, and while there are merits to the different designs, most of our favourite pedals are concave. At 103mm wide the NSBs are fairly narrow to limit rock strikes (I'm a huge fan), but they're moderately long at 112mm so there's a good amount of platform to stand on. There are no weird bearing bulges, and they run on tried and true sealed bearings and bushings with some additional sealing.
I've only had them on a bike for a few short rides but so far I'm a fan. My poorly calibrated foot-grip-ometer puts them somewhere between a Nukeproof Horizon and a Chromag Dagga in terms of grip, but I haven't done any back to backs yet. I think we'll have to do another flat pedal group test sooner than later. It might just be in my head, but I think that the Daemons are easier to reposition the back of your foot with—possibly because of the narrowly spaced pins at the back. I'm sure a scientician can explain it to me in the comments.
So far the only two complaints from me are that they're pricy at $210 USD, and they're a little heavy at 438g. That said, the weight is in line with Vaults, T-Macs, Horizons, Wah Wah IIs, eThirteens, etc.Details
• Dimensions: 112mm x 103mm
• 2mm of true pedal body concave per side (14.75mm thick at the axle)
• 5mm long custom stainless steel pins with M4 thread (20 per pedal)
• Double sealed axle (VG style shaft seal with X-ring)
• Two stainless steel, sealed Enduro cartridge bearings (outboard) and an IGUS bushing inboard
• Nitrox coated axle for better surface hardness and corrosion resistance
• Weight: 438g pair
• Price: $210 USD
• More info at northshorebillet.com
Ogle Component Design Lockrings 2.0
Joshua Ogle is a fascinating character in the pantheon of OG bike manufacturing. If you haven't read James Huang's incredible profile on Josh
over on our sister site CylingTips, it's worth settling in to go down a rabbit hole. Basically, after some demons, soul searching, and a detour into fine watchmaking, Josh is back in the world of bikes creating some very cool tech.
These days he's doing wild chainrings, ultra expensive derailleur cages, and now some beautiful titanium disc brake rotor lockrings. Josh is often self deprecating about his work (of course nobody needs
a $1K derailleur cage), but these lockrings do have the benefit of clearing almost every hub/fork/endcap/axle combination. No need to mix and match internal/external splines for King or Enve.
While they are a couple of grams lighter than stock alloy lockrings, that's not the point—they're just a really nicely executed thing, and I love that about them.Details
• Grade 5 titanium brake lockrings
• Comes standard in 100 spline (Shimano, Campy, & some SRAM), but 144 spline (some SRAM) is also available
• Weight: 15g per set
• Made in USA
• Price: $127 USD (inc. USA shipping)
• Limited number available via Paypal
• If they're sold out, follow Josh at @oglecomponentdesign
for his next run
Project4AGZE Apple AirTag Bike Mount
Marshall Farthing is just a guy who likes Toyota MR2s
, shoots photos, and likes bikes. When the Apple AirTag came out he designed a 3D printed AirTag holder
that fits onto bottle cage mounts, and its popularity exploded. Since then he's printed and sold thousands of them, updating the design a few times. He's even got a version for Samsung Galaxy SmartTags
While this kind of AirTag mount is easily removable, it's great for peace of mind when I have to leave my bike for any length of time. I'm using Torx bolts but you could use security bolts to make it a little tougher for would-be thieves. I've ended up putting these on all of my bikes. And yes, before you ask, it seems like Apple's anti-stalking tech still allows for a good amount of time before alerting anyone to its presence. I've seen lots of discussion on this out there, but we did a little test sending an AirTag along with a videographer when Tom went to Cumberland a few months back
, and they never got notified. YMMV, an AirTag obviously doesn't replace the need for a big-ass chain lock.Details
• 3D printed
• Available in Black, Red, Blue, or Grey
• Holds one Apple AirTag (not included)
• Flush mount option available for cages with offset.
• Price: $10 USD
• More info here
Björn Cycles (Moscow) Palka Handlebar
Turns out there are two different Björn Cycles. This one is based in Moscow, Russia where Artem, the founder, makes high end carbon products by hand in his workshop. They CNC their own carbon molds, as well as do their own manufacturing, testing, and finishing in house. A graduate of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Artem is focused on lightweight components for everything from road and XC to enduro bikes. Björn is also the third brand to work with the American company Carbon (after Specialized and Fizik) to make 3D printed saddles. The Björn Setka saddle is currently the lightest 3D printed saddle at 135g (143mm width).
I chose a 31.8 clamp/780mm wide/20mm rise version of their Palka handlebars to try on my weird hardtail project. Fit and finish is excellent, and the bar came in at an impressive 168g. That's not quite Schmolke TLO territory, but there's no weight or usage restriction and it doesn't make me nervous to ride them.
I've only just mounted it up in the last few days, but initial impressions are that it's a bit more compliant than the SQ Lab bar it replaced (311 FL-X Carbon 12° low). That makes sense, the SQ-Lab is ~203g and 40mm shorter with less rise. Does it cross the threshold from compliant to sketchy? Not sure yet. Björn says they're molded under 50 bars of pressure to eliminate porosity and improve reliability under "the most extreme riding" but to be honest I haven't been able to find anyone else listing their molding pressures. Maybe next year I'll go down the EasyComposites rabbit hole
and learn more about carbon molding.
I'm also curious to see how I feel about the Palka bars after a few more rides once I get use to their 5° up/7° back shape—I've been on 12° bars for a while so I compensated for less sweep with a shorter stem and my hands are in the same position, just at a different angle. I'll follow up if I don't get along with that, but sweep is pretty subjective and dependent on geometry, fit, etc... Anyway, I think they're going to be really nice on the Slim Donut. Details
• No usage or rider weight limits
• Weight: 110g (5mm rise, 700mm long) to 185g (20mm rise, 800mm long)
• Available in 31.8mm and 35mm diameters (31.8mm only for the 5mm flat version)
• Geometry of 20mm rise bar is 7° backsweep and 5° upsweep
• Geometry of 5mm flat bar is 8.5° backsweep
• Specific layups for each size, so you can't cut them down
• 2-year warranty, as well as 50% off crash replacement
• Price: $220 USD
• More info at bjorncycles.com