Yet another CCX owner

bikerjohn

Well-Known Member
Im approaching 1k miles on the CCX so thought I would provide an update.

I fractured my pelvis on a ride(handlebar hit a post) at the end of april so I was off the ebikes for 2 months.

The accident was kindof a freak one and I think several things added up at the same time. I have done similar thing a few times in the last few months and just laughed a the crashes.

I originally had shimano spd clipless mountain pedals on the CCX as I have been riding these pedals since the 90s. I think being clipped in made the accident worse this particular time. Looking back, my last 5 falls wouldnt have been so bad if I hadnt been clipped in. Im guessing my reaction times just arnt as good as they used to be so I went back to the stock pedals and 510 freerider shoes. I really like this combo but want a little more attachment(and a bigger platform) to the pedals so I will probably go with are some crankbrother stamp 1 composite pedals in large size. I have also been trying 1up composite pedals and some raceface chesters and the stamp 1 seems to work for me best (1 up is a very close second, chester is too small for my size 13 feet).

After a 100 miles or so on the conti contact cruiser tires, I am going to try something else. These high volume (28x2.2F/2.0R tires) are great. They measure exactly as specced and have alot of volume to allow lower pressures (30F/35R). They also measure exactly 2.2/2.0. The 2.2 is probably a little large for the 19mm CCX rim as the tire was a little pointy in the center. Overall, excellent tires but not as much traction as I would like on gravel. Bought some marathon plus MTB tires(29x2.1) and just love them on gravel. Also using these in a 27.5x2.25 on my Izip Moda and love them. They are a little smaller than advertised being around 1.8"/46mm in the 2.1 size but this actually works well on the CCX. I think running them at 40-45psi will be great.

Im starting to like the throttle these days. It was a great help when I first started riding again. Really nice when starting out when you have limited mobility.

After 2 months off the ebikes, the CCX seemed so powerful. Been riding ALOT in eco these days and it seems more than enough for alot of my riding although at the end of rides, I do crank up the assist level.
I am happy to know you are healing well and back riding! Having never embraced clip-less pedals mostly for because clipless shoes would require a shoe change after commuting to work. What HAS worked well for me are Power Grip pedals. https://mrpbike.com/collections/power-grips

I too am embracing the concept of a substantial tire inflated at lower pressures than maximum rating. The stock Schwalbe's seem to roll well enough and provide an increased measure of suspension comfort (and safety?) when inflated to 50-60 psi on my CCX.

After a recent front tire failure, I decided on the lower inflation. After encountering a tire bead failure with the front tire on a recent ride, I was lucky to be close to home with my speed at less than 25 mph at the time of the incident. The situation occurred 17 miles into my commute -nearly home. Earlier, I had topped-off the tire to 65-70 psi before the start of the commute that morning. After the loud BANG and sudden deflation, I was fortunate to immediately pull over onto grass and walked the bike home (about 1/4 mile to home). Schwalbe made good on the defect with an immediate free replacement!
https://www.bikejournal.com/blog.asp?rname=bikerjohn&cdate=6/25/2019
 

linklemming

Active Member
I am happy to know you are healing well and back riding! Having never embraced clip-less pedals mostly for because clipless shoes would require a shoe change after commuting to work. What HAS worked well for me are Power Grip pedals. https://mrpbike.com/collections/power-grips
Wow, they are still making power-grips. I tried a set back in the day(94?) when they first came out (I was using toe clips) and couldnt get used to them but my riding buddy loved them.

I always just had a set of shoes at work when I commuted.

Modern composite flat pedals with nice pins/screwheads(chester,stamp,1up) and good shoes like 510 freeriders have more than enough grip for me and are still pretty good with street shoes although you can easily tear up your legs with those screwheads. Im not missing the SPDs at all. Might be hard if I ever get any air but that is rare at my age although I will be practicing it soon. The stock CCX pedals are actually pretty good though using the freeriders.

LOVE the marathon plus MTBs 29x2.1, it was the first tire I wanted to use on the CCX but was scared off by the 2.1 size. Ironically the 27.5x2.25 size on my izip moda measure close to their quoted size (2.15). I would have never guessed they would have been as narrow as they are n the CCX, even with the narrowish rims (the previous tires matched their specs).

So here is a quick summary on tires I have used Probably 60% gravel and 40% paved these days

WTB resolute 700cx42 - great tire, nice in gravel and rolled well on pavement. Didnt ride long enough to judge pavement wear. Just needed too much psi and it wasnt comfortable at 55+psi

Conti Racekings (2.2F/2.0R)- Best gravel tire BY FAR, not too bad on paved surfaces, just a little noisy. Rear tire wear was bad, doubt I could get 1k miles on it. Might try the front with another rear tire later on. Final psi was 30F/35R.

Conti Contact Cruiser (55mmF/50mmR) - Great street tire, lots of volume. While offroad/gravel traction was ok, it always felt on the edge in gravel. I just want better traction in gravel. Final psi was 30F/35R but probably could have been 5psi lower. If I was only riding paved, this would be the tire of choice (50mm F/R).

Marathon Plus MTB(29x2.1) - Does suprisingly well on gravel. Not sure what it is (i.e. profile or knobs) but it just works for me on gravel. Also using a 27.5x2.25 set on my izip E3 Moda. Rolls well on pavement and is quiet. Extra puncture protection is a nice feature. Not at all a 2.1 tire when mounted on a CCX rim (more like a 1.8)
 
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linklemming

Active Member
Hey @linklemming, I'm glad to hear you are back on the bike... but why so many crashes? :eek:
Good question..no idea

Back in my hardcore MTB days I bragged about how many helmets I broke, if I didnt break at least 1/year I wasnt trying hard enough. Luckily I never broke anything on my body but I do have alot of scars (which Im proud of). Had a bad crash in 2006 (seperated shoulder) and tamed down my riding ALOT. Dont think I had a single crash from 2006-2019.

Had 3 crashes in 2019 on my ebikes.

1.) Going thru a WIDE section between two posts at 10mph, looked over my shoulder to see if I needed to merge with anyone on another trail (wasnt really necessary) and tagged a post with my handlebar. Road Rash and a hurt wrist. As I went down I extended my arms and arrested my fall. A stupid crash but taught me I need to pay more attention.

2.) Going really slowly on a offroad section and was turning around while watching someones dog and the front wheel just washed out. Gravel Rash and a hurt wrist(again). As I went down I extended my arms and arrested my fall. A stupid crash but taught me I need to pay more attention. I probably wouldnt have crashed with platform/flat pedals.

3.) Going thru a gap between two posts at probably no more than 5mph. Had about 1 horizontal fist clearance on each side so it shouldnt have been an issue. I was surprised/pissed when I realized I had hit my bars. This is when I fractured/broke my pelvis/hip. A VERY stupid crash but taught me I need to pay more attention.

I think I just get comfortable going fast and dont realize the dangers even at low speeds. Kindof like downhill skiing, it seems so safe till you hit a tree and realize its actually very dangerous....basically 1 mistake away from an accident.
 
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linklemming

Active Member
As I reach 1800 miles on my CCX I figured I would give an update.

I purchased a shimano CN42 chain checker tool awhile back as measuring the chain with a ruler has always worked for me(although a hassle to remember what the actual numbers should be) but I wanted a simple accurate go/nogo gauge. I have tried many of the parktools but the CN42 seems to be the one of the best, most accurate and simplest.

I hear all this talk about hub drives having less chain wear than mid drives but it doesnt seem to really be the case for me (at least not drastically). Forget the exact number on my Bull Evo 3 Brose Motor hardtail MTB but I believe it was about 2500miles when i finally replaced the chain with no gear skipping on the original cassette and chainrings.. So I was lazy with the CCX and didnt check chain wear until just recently and it was way overdue. Typically with the CN42, if you can just insert both ends on your chain, its time to replace. The CCX had a good extra 1mm gap. Unfortunately there was enough wear to require a new cassette as the old cassette would skip when loaded up in the highest two gears.

As a comparison, I have an iZIP Moda E3 ridden on the exact same roads and maintained the same way and at 1600miles had the CN42 tool tell me it was just time to replace. No gear skipping with the old cassette and chainring.

Perhaps the stock CCX KMC K99BR chain isnt a good as the KMC 10e chain I have on the Moda.

I noticed that the rear CCX tekro brake would kindof stick and require more pressure to release and finally work. Also noticed the motor cutout seemed to last forever after releasing the brake. Just examined the rear pads and they only have about 1mm left so we will see if new pads fixes this. I noticed the pads were not really centered so I centered them and then discovered the levers would bottom out before fully engaging the brake. I temporarily adjusted the engagement point on the levers but am probably just going to not ride it till I get new pads installed in a few days.

I noticed the little metal axle capture plate/piece used to keep the rear axle from coming off the bike if the nuts come loose wasnt allowing the rear axle to be perfectly in the dropout (probably cause of uneven pad wear as it was a PITA to get the rear brake not to rub) so I just drilled out the smaller hole a tad to allow more clearance and can now get much less rear pad rubbing which I could never seem to completely eliminate before.
 

bikerjohn

Well-Known Member
Good question..no idea

Back in my hardcore MTB days I bragged about how many helmets I broke, if I didnt break at least 1/year I wasnt trying hard enough. Luckily I never broke anything on my body but I do have alot of scars (which Im proud of). Had a bad crash in 2006 (seperated shoulder) and tamed down my riding ALOT. Dont think I had a single crash from 2006-2019.

Had 3 crashes in 2019 on my ebikes.

1.) Going thru a WIDE section between two posts at 10mph, looked over my shoulder to see if I needed to merge with anyone on another trail (wasnt really necessary) and tagged a post with my handlebar. Road Rash and a hurt wrist. As I went down I extended my arms and arrested my fall. A stupid crash but taught me I need to pay more attention.

2.) Going really slowly on a offroad section and was turning around while watching someones dog and the front wheel just washed out. Gravel Rash and a hurt wrist(again). As I went down I extended my arms and arrested my fall. A stupid crash but taught me I need to pay more attention. I probably wouldnt have crashed with platform/flat pedals.

3.) Going thru a gap between two posts at probably no more than 5mph. Had about 1 horizontal fist clearance on each side so it shouldnt have been an issue. I was surprised/pissed when I realized I had hit my bars. This is when I fractured/broke my pelvis/hip. A VERY stupid crash but taught me I need to pay more attention.

I think I just get comfortable going fast and dont realize the dangers even at low speeds. Kindof like downhill skiing, it seems so safe till you hit a tree and realize its actually very dangerous....basically 1 mistake away from an accident.
Wow, 3 crashes and it is only October! You may be getting to a point in the aging process to ease up a bit. Not to slow down necessarily, but to save on the costs of damaging bike and body. There is a crapload of danger in slow-speed maneuvering.🏥 🚴‍♂️
 

Ebiker01

Active Member
Good question..no idea

Back in my hardcore MTB days I bragged about how many helmets I broke, if I didnt break at least 1/year I wasnt trying hard enough. Luckily I never broke anything on my body but I do have alot of scars (which Im proud of). Had a bad crash in 2006 (seperated shoulder) and tamed down my riding ALOT. Dont think I had a single crash from 2006-2019.

Had 3 crashes in 2019 on my ebikes.

1.) Going thru a WIDE section between two posts at 10mph, looked over my shoulder to see if I needed to merge with anyone on another trail (wasnt really necessary) and tagged a post with my handlebar. Road Rash and a hurt wrist. As I went down I extended my arms and arrested my fall. A stupid crash but taught me I need to pay more attention.

2.) Going really slowly on a offroad section and was turning around while watching someones dog and the front wheel just washed out. Gravel Rash and a hurt wrist(again). As I went down I extended my arms and arrested my fall. A stupid crash but taught me I need to pay more attention. I probably wouldnt have crashed with platform/flat pedals.

3.) Going thru a gap between two posts at probably no more than 5mph. Had about 1 horizontal fist clearance on each side so it shouldnt have been an issue. I was surprised/pissed when I realized I had hit my bars. This is when I fractured/broke my pelvis/hip. A VERY stupid crash but taught me I need to pay more attention.

I think I just get comfortable going fast and dont realize the dangers even at low speeds. Kindof like downhill skiing, it seems so safe till you hit a tree and realize its actually very dangerous....basically 1 mistake away from an accident.

Is best to assume that your assumptions can be incorrect while simultaneously paying extra attention to anything and everything when out on a bike ride.

Hopefully i saved your wrist from another fall.
 

Chris Hammond

Well-Known Member
As I reach 1800 miles on my CCX I figured I would give an update.

I purchased a shimano CN42 chain checker tool awhile back as measuring the chain with a ruler has always worked for me(although a hassle to remember what the actual numbers should be) but I wanted a simple accurate go/nogo gauge. I have tried many of the parktools but the CN42 seems to be the one of the best, most accurate and simplest.

I hear all this talk about hub drives having less chain wear than mid drives but it doesnt seem to really be the case for me (at least not drastically). Forget the exact number on my Bull Evo 3 Brose Motor hardtail MTB but I believe it was about 2500miles when i finally replaced the chain with no gear skipping on the original cassette and chainrings.. So I was lazy with the CCX and didnt check chain wear until just recently and it was way overdue. Typically with the CN42, if you can just insert both ends on your chain, its time to replace. The CCX had a good extra 1mm gap. Unfortunately there was enough wear to require a new cassette as the old cassette would skip when loaded up in the highest two gears.

As a comparison, I have an iZIP Moda E3 ridden on the exact same roads and maintained the same way and at 1600miles had the CN42 tool tell me it was just time to replace. No gear skipping with the old cassette and chainring.

Perhaps the stock CCX KMC K99BR chain isnt a good as the KMC 10e chain I have on the Moda.

I noticed that the rear CCX tekro brake would kindof stick and require more pressure to release and finally work. Also noticed the motor cutout seemed to last forever after releasing the brake. Just examined the rear pads and they only have about 1mm left so we will see if new pads fixes this. I noticed the pads were not really centered so I centered them and then discovered the levers would bottom out before fully engaging the brake. I temporarily adjusted the engagement point on the levers but am probably just going to not ride it till I get new pads installed in a few days.

I noticed the little metal axle capture plate/piece used to keep the rear axle from coming off the bike if the nuts come loose wasnt allowing the rear axle to be perfectly in the dropout (probably cause of uneven pad wear as it was a PITA to get the rear brake not to rub) so I just drilled out the smaller hole a tad to allow more clearance and can now get much less rear pad rubbing which I could never seem to completely eliminate before.
Interesting on your chain wear. I didn't need to replace the chain on my CCS until about 5000 miles. Cassette and chainring were good and still original. Im at ~7800 miles on the bike now, and zero issues with the new chain, I expect it to last at least 5000 miles as well. It would be interesting to know what your chain maintenance schedule is like and what your riding conditions are (ie, rain, snow, mud, etc.) FWIW, i clean my chain with wiping down about weekly and lubricate at least that often. I live in Utah so rain rides aren't common and I don't ride in the snow, my commute is too long for that and I'm on the roads with cars, so not safe. I just replaced my brake pads, again, pad life for me has been about 3800 miles per set.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I didn't need to replace the chain on my CCS until about 5000 miles. Cassette and chainring were good and still original. Im at ~7800 miles on the bike now, and zero issues with the new chain, I expect it to last at least 5000 miles as well.
It seems also a function of riders shifting and when a dérailleur, alignment and maintenance. Thoughts on that idea?
 

Ebiker01

Active Member
It seems also a function of riders shifting and when a dérailleur, alignment and maintenance. Thoughts on that idea?
Using a high rpm >80, and not grinding can keep a drivetrain for 10-15.000miles.

As an ex road bike racer this is usual for the very experienced riders- We know how to shift , pedal smooth and keep it flowing. The chain can go as high as 20k miles if you know what you doing. Of course cleaning and lubing is done regularly besides doing the above.

Once you start grinding on the pedals , [usually people do it on the big ring , on glatd as well as on the hills, at 60-70rpm(too low cadence)either in the middle of the cassette cogs or with the smallest 2] , the drivetrain gets disintegrated in less then 1.5-3k miles.

Is good for the economy to wear a drivetrain fast 😉 , it keeps the parts getting sold and provides jobs...Shimano, etc...
 

linklemming

Active Member
Im a long time cyclist guys(roadie/racing in college in mid 80s. Recreational MTB and road from 92 till present). I also keep my bikes in tip/top shape and tuned. I have a huge set of park tools and know how to service/adjust every part on my bike including building my own wheels. I have been building my own MTBs from a raw frameset since 1994.

I am almost always at 90+cadence, I also understand how to shift and pedal smoothly. I never mash the pedals as its bad for my knees. I have always preferred spinning at high cadence, especially since reading every cycling book I could find in college.

Im in Colorado, hardly ever ride in the rain (intentionally). Conditions should be similar to Utah. Probably about 60-70% gravel riding

Chain maintenance is getting a rag moist with wd40 and wiping off the chain . Then apply chain lube 1 drop/link at a time (mostly use standard tri-flow) from the inside of the chain to minimize adding dirt and wipe off any excess. I do this about every 3 ebike rides (100 miles) and never hear squeaking from the chain. Been doing this same procedure as long as I can remember. I dont think spending anymore time on my chain is worth the effort as its a wear item. I have tried every method over the years. That being said, all the chains on all 6 of my bikes have a gritty feel to them. Im ok with that. Im not here to argue how awesome boeshield is or isnt.

Im also using a 42t front chainring instead of the stock 52t as 28mph equates to 90rpm cadence in top gear (roughly). Using a 42t is not something a 'pedal masher' would do to a stock CCX, in fact many 'pedal mashers' questioned this decision for my CCX. Its all documented here on EBR 'Ebiker01', just search on posts by me.

Ironically, 1500miles is about the limit I have always gotten on my acoustic MTBs although they see alot more offroad use. Heck, my Bulls eMTB got about 2500miles and I considered that really good considering I use it about 90% offroad. Perhaps its the KMC11e chain.

Im not complaining about chainwear here, simply providing my observations in that my brose mid-drive iZip Moda ridden the exact same roads and maintained the exact same way doesnt really have any more chain wear than my hub drive CCX. Perhaps its just the higher quality chain(KMC10e) on the Moda (about 2-3 times the cost)...who knows.

Never figured my chainwear observation would be blamed on my bad habits/incompetence/derailler adjustment, go figure. Learn something new everyday.
 
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youth

Active Member
Got my CCX December.
I'm a masher & got an estimated 1200 miles for the OEM chain & estimated 4400 miles on the replacement chain (KMC x9.93) which finally had to be replaced this month.

My brakes don't wear evenly either. They seem to lose their self centering as the pads wear. I thought they needed bleeding when the lever couldn't be adjust from bottoming anymore, but new pads fixed it.
 

Ebiker01

Active Member
From what i’ve seen Shimano makes very strong, long lasting chains. Kmc’s are nice b/c they are light but not durable.
 

Chris Hammond

Well-Known Member
Im a long time cyclist guys(roadie/racing in college in mid 80s. Recreational MTB and road from 92 till present). I also keep my bikes in tip/top shape and tuned. I have a huge set of park tools and know how to service/adjust every part on my bike including building my own wheels. I have been building my own MTBs from a raw frameset since 1994.

I am almost always at 90+cadence, I also understand how to shift and pedal smoothly. I never mash the pedals as its bad for my knees. I have always preferred spinning at high cadence, especially since reading every cycling book I could find in college.

Im in Colorado, hardly ever ride in the rain (intentionally). Conditions should be similar to Utah. Probably about 60-70% gravel riding

Chain maintenance is getting a rag moist with wd40 and wiping off the chain . Then apply chain lube 1 drop/link at a time (mostly use standard tri-flow) from the inside of the chain to minimize adding dirt and wipe off any excess. I do this about every 3 ebike rides (100 miles) and never hear squeaking from the chain. Been doing this same procedure as long as I can remember. I dont think spending anymore time on my chain is worth the effort as its a wear item. I have tried every method over the years. That being said, all the chains on all 6 of my bikes have a gritty feel to them. Im ok with that. Im not here to argue how awesome boeshield is or isnt.

Im also using a 42t front chainring instead of the stock 52t as 28mph equates to 90rpm cadence in top gear (roughly). Using a 42t is not something a 'pedal masher' would do to a stock CCX, in fact many 'pedal mashers' questioned this decision for my CCX. Its all documented here on EBR 'Ebiker01', just search on posts by me.

Ironically, 1500miles is about the limit I have always gotten on my acoustic MTBs although they see alot more offroad use. Heck, my Bulls eMTB got about 2500miles and I considered that really good considering I use it about 90% offroad. Perhaps its the KMC11e chain.

Im not complaining about chainwear here, simply providing my observations in that my brose mid-drive iZip Moda ridden the exact same roads and maintained the exact same way doesnt really have any more chain wear than my hub drive CCX. Perhaps its just the higher quality chain(KMC10e) on the Moda (about 2-3 times the cost)...who knows.

Never figured my chainwear observation would be blamed on my bad habits/incompetence/derailler adjustment, go figure. Learn something new everyday.
Link, sorry if my response seemed at all snarky. I was merely inquiring about possible variables that may have led to our difference in observed lifespan. I'm guessing that your high % of gravel riding creates enough dust to shorten chainlife.
I am actually very curious about your experience with the 42T chainring though. I like to spin higher cadences as well. I don't have a cadence meter on my CCS, but when I am on the spin bike at the gym I'm around 100 rpm most of the time.
I too am not a big fan of the overly high gearing with the 52T ring. I spend most of my time commuting on my CCS and cruising speed is typically 26-32 mph depending on slope and wind. This puts me in 7th or 8th gear most of the time. The only time I use 9th is for speeds above 33mph and even then the cadence is slow until >35mph. I don't think I'd want to drop to a 42T, but I'd be interested to hear your experience about high speed performance.
My current plan is to change to a 50T ring and upgrade to 10spd cassette/derailleur when they are both worn enough to justify. Chain drops are very rare for me, but I figure a clutched derailleur makes sense when I'm replacing parts anyway.
Thanks for any input.
 

linklemming

Active Member
Link, sorry if my response seemed at all snarky. I was merely inquiring about possible variables that may have led to our difference in observed lifespan. I'm guessing that your high % of gravel riding creates enough dust to shorten chainlife.
I am actually very curious about your experience with the 42T chainring though. I like to spin higher cadences as well. I don't have a cadence meter on my CCS, but when I am on the spin bike at the gym I'm around 100 rpm most of the time.
I too am not a big fan of the overly high gearing with the 52T ring. I spend most of my time commuting on my CCS and cruising speed is typically 26-32 mph depending on slope and wind. This puts me in 7th or 8th gear most of the time. The only time I use 9th is for speeds above 33mph and even then the cadence is slow until >35mph. I don't think I'd want to drop to a 42T, but I'd be interested to hear your experience about high speed performance.
My current plan is to change to a 50T ring and upgrade to 10spd cassette/derailleur when they are both worn enough to justify. Chain drops are very rare for me, but I figure a clutched derailleur makes sense when I'm replacing parts anyway.
Thanks for any input.
No need to apologize Chris, your not the one I was addressing...thanks for thinking about it though.

I used a Surly Stainless Steel 42t front chainring. Decent price and durable.

Well it tops out about 28mph roughly which Im ok with. If Im going faster than that I really shouldnt be distracted by pedaling.

Due to the chain wear, the only cassette cog that was skipping was the 11t, sure I could have made something work from all my spare parts but I just got a new cassette for $25. Thought about going to an 11-36 cassette but then I would just ride the CCX even more offroad.

Forgot to mention, Im now running a Marathon Plus MTB 29x2.25 on the front and 29x2.1 on the rear. I had an 29x2.1 on the front but every ride had about 3-5 times I would think...wow, I almost went down there. The front tire was just too sketchy in the looser stuff. While the 2.25 isnt much bigger (2.1" actual) than the 2.1 (1.85" actual), the additional width plus lower front pressures make the front stick much better. Im also thinking about going to a 90mm stem to put some more weight on the front. Looks like the 2.25 will fit in the back as well, eventually I will go 2.25 in the rear.

Replaced the rear pads today, reminds me how much trouble it is to get the rear CCX disc brake to not rub. As 'youth' mentioned above, its not self centering. After spending an hour trying to get the rear to not rub (disc is pretty true), I can see that the rear caliber isnt 100% square to the disc. Its a real trial and error thing and eventually you just give up as its going to always rub somewhere. No problems like this on the front which used the same levers/calibers/rotors. Im going to call around and see if I can find an LBS which has the park DT-5.2 disc brake facing tool.
 
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