Your basket is empty.

Open Monday to Sat 9:30am till 6pm. Wheel build queue is curently 2-3 weeks.

20 Oct

BORG rim brake hub maintanence

Posted by Malcolm Borg

These BORG rim brake hubs are simple to service. Take apart for the following reasons

1) to replace bearing

2) to replace freehub body 

3) to add grease to freehub mechanism.

Bearing require changing when they are not longer smooth. When the bearings spin with noise they are worn. They will spin freely at this point but there will extra drag with rider load on the wheel. Bearing life should be long. 

Insert 2x 5mm allen keys into end caps. Normal right hand thread and undo. One end cap will undo.

Insert a 10mm allen key into the axle and with the other 5mm allen key remove the other end cap.



The freehub bearings should be removed with a blind or collet style puller and refitted. 

Freehub pawls and springs are a spare part and can be replaced.

To remove axle knock it out with a rubber mallet from the drive side. The nds bearing will push out of the shell.


 Use a bearing puller to remove drive side shell bearing and a bearing press to fit new NTN 6902 bearings. 

The freehub bearings are NTN 6802. 

Pictured here are shell bearing with contacting seals and a freehub with non contacting seals.

The hubs are made with the tight tollerances that NTN bearings provide. Therefore use of other brands of bearings while possible may affect bearing life and hub performance. 



24 Sep

Tyre sizing and rims

Posted by Malcolm Borg

The question gets asked alot as to why my road wheels are not wider than 19mm well it quite simple -ETRTO.

ETRTO is a standard organisation that lays down specification for tyres and rims. Standards for bead hook design are mandated and for tyres. My rims conform and all the major tyre manufacturers conform to these standards too.

Wider rims are often hookless as well. Hooked rims are recommended for all road and gravel width tyres. Often the rims used for road and gravel are the same and non of the major tyre manufacturers say its fine to use there road tyres with hookless rims. Some say explicitly you should not. Hookless rim are really an mtb creation for tyres inflated to 30 psi or under. While some claim pressures are fine much higher for road tyres remember to hookless carbon rim (its mostly carbon) exists solely because some rim manufacturers find it too expensive to make there bead hooks properly. Some never made them properly in the first place (ENVE bead hooks don't conform to ETRTO standards). I don't offer hookless rims. If your using one no IRC road tyre should be used with them. The gravel tyres I sell should be fine used tubeless and with pressures under 40 psi. 

There are many rim and wheel manufacturers now touting 23mm, 24mm and 25mm internal width rims and some say tyres from 25mm wide are fine. They do this because wider is better innit and it more aero. 

The problem is tyre manufacturers say different. At the extremes when say mounting narrower 25mm or 28mm tyre to a 23mm internal width rim one risk is tyre blow off. This is risk is higher with hookless rims than hooked rims. However this is the extreme for example the 28mm tyre pictured below mounted to 23mm internal width rim/28mm external width. This may not actually blow off but it shows another problem. Tyre shape.

Tyre manufacturers like IRC want there tyres to have a shape range. The top of the tyre should form a circular arc so when riding your on the centre of the tread and when corning you move progressively over the shoulders the more you lean into the bend. 

With a stretched tyre the shape is flattened at the top and this does affect how the tyre handles. You maybe more aero but slower in the bends. This especially true off road with off camber and undulating terrain. 

The side walls are also more exposed with stretched tyres to damage. Gravel and potholes on the road or all those roots, stones and holes off road are more likely to slice a side wall. Nothing slower that a blowout tyre. Tubeless tyre pinch flats are also more likely with over stretched tyres.

This is why i am not following the wider is better trend. It works to a point.

Suggested tyres rims for rim sections. These stretch the older ETRTO guidance a but new guidance was issued in 2020 which confirms my chart. You can actually go wider than i suggest safely but higher pressures would be needed to avoid tyre squirm in bends. This also affects tyre performance so the max width seem to be practical  maximiums. The minimum width really are minimums and with some tyres there may be pinch flat issues. With the wider rims the min tyre width is barely recommended as these are off road tyres and pinch flats are more likely at the bottom end of the tyre range.

Rim  internal width mm       tyre width mm

15mm                                     23mm to 32mm

17mm                                     23mm to 36mm

19mm                                     25mm to 42mm 

20mm                                     28mm to 45mm

21mm                                     32mm to 50mm 

23mm                                     36mm to 60mm

25mm                                      40mm to 65mm





11 Aug

Aluminium freehubs and notching

Posted by Malcolm Borg

Most of my wheels have aluminum alloy freehubs bodies. Some people worry about cassette sprocket notchng. This concern is misplaced. Notching occurs for very specific and avoidable reasons. 

First riders are not strong enough to cause notching. Regardless of how strong you think you are you can't notch a freehub that has a properly installed lockring.

The pic is of one of my freehub. Notching should not get any worse than this. Its barely notched.

First notching can only occur if the cassette lockring does not provide enough preload to the cassette. Thay preload stops the sprocket slipping and notxhing the freehub.

Grease freehub splines lubricates them. Dont do it. It is likely to make notching more of a problem. 

Recommended lockring torque is 40 to 50 Nm.

Not all torque wrench tell the truth. A good mechanic has feel. The tool and feel tell you if your getting tight enough. 

Due to manufacturing tollerances there  an be a range of preload applied to the cassette hence feel is important. So the correct torque  an be aplllied but the correct preload not. Don't be a torque wrench slave. Lubricating lockring threads does reduce the variation in preload applied but also increases it and could result in stripped threads. 

Most lockring tigheneing effort is used to over come friction so dirty or damaged threads mean notching is more likely.

If you get a freehub that notches, file the burrs and thick about what could have caused it. Its not the freehubs fault you just need to be a better mechanic.

One of my alloy freehubs is pictured after a few thousand km. No notching because i avoid the errors above. 


25 Jul

New IRC Formula Pro TL tyres

Posted by Bold Apps

IRC have new Formula Pro tyres due in August. 

Formula Pro Light TL, Formula Pro RBCC TL, Formula Pro X Guard TL tyres have recieved a overhaul for 2020. Initially available in 25mm and 28mm 700csizes with 30mm width being avilable later in the year.

IRC's proprietary technology that blends RB ceramic particles, a hard porous carbon material made from rice bran, into the tread rubber. The RB ceramic particles, which are extremely small (200-300㎛) and are hard, exert a micro-spike effect, and at the same time, have a high gripping power even on wet roads due to the porosity with an excellent water absorption effect. With this update, the rolling resistance is maintained, while the grip, abrasion resistance, and weather resistance are greatly improved. It has evolved into a compound that maintains a high grip on all road conditions, both dry and wet.


Due to the hard porous structure, it exerts a micro-level spike effect on the tread surface. Due to the abrasion of the tread rubber, new RBC particles appear on the face, and the traces that have fallen off also function as minute edges. In addition to the water absorption effect due to the porous body, the small holes that have fallen off temporarily hold water on the road surface like a foam rubber and cut the water film. Useful for improving grip on wet roads.

So the Formula Pro tyres will retain there reputation for unparalleled grip even on wet greasy winter roads.

IRC Formula pro tyres are cobbletastic. The tread extends to the sidewalls improving puncture and cut resistance. Perfect for rough roads.

The Formula Pro X Guard TL tyre gets the 40x40 TPI beadto bead puncture protection belt. This improves puncture protection by 40% over the RBCC tyre model. The X Guard belt is the difference between the two tyres. The X Guard belt being less flexible increases rolling resistance a bit and decreases comfort and grip a bit.


Technology that reduces rolling resistance of tubeless tires. The NR-TEX IAS, the tire's air retention layer = inner air seal is composed of a supple and highly repulsive natural rubber base (NR) compound to pursue faster and more supple performance. You'll like the comfort of these tyres.

180TPI casing. Well that says it all. Comfy.

Pinch flats are possible with tubeless tyres. Without bead protection a bead puncture can happen. While these can be plugged the repair is temporary. The old IRC Formula Pro RBCC tyre victim of these. The Formula Pro X Guard was not due to the bead to bead protection. So the new Formula Pro series get bead protection so all the tyres are now potholetastic or cobbletastic. 


25 Jul

Carbon spokes are coming of age.

Posted by Bold Apps

 Carbon spokes are pointless some say. Unreliable, expensive and dangerous. Well that may have been true in the past but there is a new product from Taiwan that's is changing that past.

Carbon spokes do offer advantages. They are light and dont fatigue like a steel spoke does. If a fatigue test was done they would last 10 times longer. Part of the issue in the past has been fixing the spoke to the hub. This new spoke has alumium ends and substainal ones at each end. One end is the thread and the other is a straight pull head. The wheel is then assembled and tensioned with internal nipples whilst holding the thread end with a spoke key to stop twist. This mean the spoke is not at risk of damage when building. So this is a wheel that repairable. A damaged spoke can be replaced easily.

These spokes are 1.2mm wide and 3.2mm thick. They are very stiff. They dont bend much at all.  This means they should not be interlaced. 

37 spokes weigh 106g with nipples.

The rim is 26mm wide, 19mm internal width and 50mm deep. Its 443g too. Its filament wound with a thicker spike niplle bed but thinner in between. 

The hubs are quite well made. They use 6803 and 6903 bearings. They are 3mpg for the pair and can only be used with these carbon spokes. I would however prefer my own hub based on the BORG2:1 hub as bearings will last alot longer and I get to use the hubs internals on a carbon spoke compatible hub. This means I will better able to ensure spare supply.

Wheelset wight is just over 1300g. 

The wheels built up easily. And took high loads when I stress test it. Any wheel that can take 600N of side load without going out of true even by a little bit is going to last 

IRC formula pro light tyres have been fitted with Maxalmi tubeless sealant. The wheels are in my Camapagnolo ex promotion bike. the first pedal stroke was a revelation.  Spokes that dont change length when the wheel is loaded make that wheel feel responsive. These are responsive. The braking is excellent too and a step up on  previous rims I have used or still use. 

More testing needed and more test wheels will be built. Plus I have money to spend on a new hub. 






1 2 3 17 Next »

Net Orders Checkout

Item Price Qty Total
Subtotal £0.00

Shipping Address

Shipping Methods