Fool’s Gold Aftermath & Parts Reviews

Yesterday, I spent a solid 3 hours cleaning and overhauling the One9. It made me appreciate well-made bike parts, because otherwise I would have been making purchases instead of just cleaning/re-greasing.

The freehub was filled with a mud/oil sludge, as were the bottom bracket bearings (the same SRAM Blackbox ceramic bearings that have traveled t0 bottom bracket hell and back several times and just keep on going).

Seriously- that thing is the Jens Voigt of bottom brackets.

The steertube had channeled gritty mud/water down into the top headset bearing, but the seal seems to be tighter than… well, let’s just say it’s tight. I just rinsed it out & it looked/felt fine. Same for the hub bearings. BTW- the Hope hubs may not be the lightest or have the most pawls (eyeroll), but I don’t think you can beat them in durability or ease of care. They’re also really easy to swap back & fourth between the quick release for my SS and the 20mm Maxle Lite for the Jet.

My opinion is still a little mixed on the Formula brakes. They are sexy, lightweight, and feel awesome- a little more modulation than the Elixir CRs, but I had to bleed them again yesterday since the pistons had fully extended during the race and allowed air into the system. Judging by the microscopic coating of pad left on my front brake, if that hadn’t happened, my front brake would have been more usable during the race than it was (at least, until that pad had also worn through and fallen out like the rear). As far as I can tell, that doesn’t happen with Elixirs, and, IMHO, that’s a reliability issue with the Formulas if you’re going to race in the absolute worst conditions like the ones at Fool’s Gold. If you’re racing/riding in “normal” conditions, you may never have a problem. So, if SRAM ever answers my “Hey, could you please sponsor me?” email, I might be selling a very pretty set of Formulas!

The final bit of overhaul I did yesterday was a pedal re-build. I can’t begin to describe how much I love Crank Brothers pedals without you rolling your eyes at me sounding like a paid shill, but seriously- they never, ever clog. No matter what other parts get fouled by mud, the pedals will always clip/unclip. Always. I’ve had them in every possible breed of mud, too- including the Dirt, Sweat, and Gears mud (it lives on in infamy) and the Kansas City cobb (at CX Nationals).
The rebuild kits are cheap, and the process is easy. They feel good as new now.

This morning I’m going to have a go at replacing my fork seals. I’m worried I might have killed the uppers on my fork- it looks like the seals were fouled with the same gritty mud that tried to get into the headset, which resulted in some gouges and “polishing.” Hopefully when I replace the seals, it’ll still hold air.

Here’s a nice little gallery of grit damage- including the obligatory “Post-Fool’s Gold brake pads” shot…

5 thoughts on “Fool’s Gold Aftermath & Parts Reviews

  1. I finally found the problem with my Elixir CR brakes. I was in the garage and noticed a small drop of fluid on the cable and wiped it off without thinking much about it. After pumping the brakes a few times, I saw a microscopic drop of fluid in the same location. It turns out there is an extremely small hole/defect in the line that allows fluid to escape over time. This explains the loss of pressure. I still want to replace them because I think they are heavy. I’ll likely go with the XX when I convert to 2×10.

    That upper on your fork looks worrisome.

    Are you using the candy C?

  2. Nope, I use the Candy SLs and Eggbeater 2ti. If you’re going to ride hard, it’s probably best to not go with the lowest pricepoint level of any product.

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