Fixing tubeless valve seal issues with DT Swiss CR 1600 Spline wheels

In the process of setting up my second CR 1600 Spline wheel set tubeless, I ran into the issue of the wheels not holding pressure again. The tubeless valves that DT Swiss provide with their wheels, or rather the gasket used, simply doesn’t seal well in those rims (the middle and right gaskets in the picture below).

For this wheel set I bought a set of Muc-Off Tubeless Presta Valves, which also came with three different types of gaskets. Being hopeful, I tried using the gasket that looked similar to the one supplied by DT Swiss and it was a failure, like last time. The tyres/wheels wouldn’t hold air well and my workshop smelled like Muc-Off sealant all day.

The solution was to switch to the biggest gasket supplied with the valves (pictured left). Even with the valve screw tightened down with less force, I got a proper seal immediately and the next morning the tyre pressure gauge showed the same 4.8 Bar I pumped the tyres up to.

Yesterday I took the bike out for a ride and everything worked perfectly with no pressure loss whatsoever.

Red Muc-Off Tubeless Presta valve with two types of rubber gaskets in front of it

Side note:
Apart from this issue with getting a good tubeless valve seal, the wheel set(s) have been incredible. Considering the amount of abuse I subject one of them to, it’s surprising that it still runs perfectly true. Really good value for money. Fitting most tyres (tubeless or tubed) is a breeze.

Black comedian and writer Amber Ruffin recounts encounters with police

I adore Amber Ruffin’s comedy and I look forward to her appearances on Late Night with Seth Meyers every time.

With the protests following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in the U.S. continuing and the Trump Regime doing everything they can to brutally crush them, Seth Meyers and his team have started bringing on more black voices during the recent shows. Amber Ruffin spoke of two of many encounters she had with police as a black person.

Monday, 01 June 2020

Tuesday, 02 June 2020

Wednesday, 03 June 2020

Thursday, 04 June 2020

"Donald the Reaper", an incredibly powerful drawing by Mark Dolk

The Dutch artist Mark Dolk posted this drawing on their Instagram page on 10 May 2020. A few days ago, as the COVID-19 death toll in the U.S.A. rose over 100,000 people and Donald Trump went golfing once again, the image went viral.

"Donald the Reaper" by Mark Dolk

There is a criminal in the White House. A traitor to the American people, aided and abetted by a corrupt Attorney General, encouraged and protected by a criminally depraved Republican Party who use Trump as a shield to pursue their worst impulses and to enrich themselves and their friends.

This man and his cronies are actively dismantling what remains of the democracy of the United States and they do not care how many U.S. citizens they kill to achieve the goal of turning the republic into an empire.

As the researcher and writer Sarah Kendzior said

This is a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as a government

Trump and the rest of his regime must be voted out and prosecuted. There is nothing they fear more than losing the election in November because if they do, there’s a faint chance they might face consequences for their actions, and they are doing everything in their power to prevent this from happening.

Der deutsche Verfassungsschutz sollte einer gründlichen Prüfung unterzogen werden

Das unser deutscher Verfassungsschutz zumindest inkompetent ist und häufig höchst bedenkliche Entscheidungen trifft, war schon bekannt, bevor die Ausmaße der Terrorserie des NSU ans Licht kamen. So viel ist, denke ich, unumstritten.

Mit den Äußerungen des ehemaligen Chefs des BfV, Hans-Georg Maaßen, am 07.09.2019 zu den Hetzjagden gegen ausländisch aussehende Menschen durch Rechtsradikale in Chemnitz, fragte ich mich zum ersten Mal wie weit – nicht ob – der Verfassungsschutz von Rechtsradikalen und Rechtsextremen unterwandert wurde.
Die offensichtliche ideologische Nähe von Maaßen und der NSDAP-Nachfolgepartei AfD machen dies nicht besser. Und überhaupt ist Herr Maaßen der Verfassung und dem Grundgesetz gegenüber eher feindlich eingestellt.

Jetzt bewirft sich der Berliner Verfassungsschutz mal wieder nicht mit Ruhm, indem das Klimaschutzbündnis „Ende Gelände“ als linksextrem eingestuft wird.

Diese und viele weitere Vorfälle lassen mich daran zweifeln, ob der Verfassungsschutz tatsächlich noch den ursprünglichen Auftrag verfolgt, oder mittlerweile nur noch ein weiteres Werkzeug von rechten und neoliberalen Akteuren ist. Und diese Vorstellung gefällt mir überhaupt nicht.

Es ist, meiner Meinung nach, Zeit das Bundesamt und die Ableger in den Ländern einer sehr gründlichen Prüfung zu unterziehen. Alle Personalentscheidungen und Handlungen der letzten paar Jahrzehnte gehören genau unter die Lupe genommen und daraus müssen Konsequenzen gezogen werden.

Trying a Garbaruk chainring to reduce chain drop

Since going 1× on my gravel bike, I’ve had a couple of instances of dropping my chain on quick and bumpy descents. Pelting down a forest road at 50+ km/h, this was quite scary. It was also a bit surprising because the combination of equipment on the bike is supposed eliminate or heavily reduce the chances of dropping the chain:

The chain dropping only happened in the 9-tooth cog, which led me to think this might be caused by a lack of chain tension combined with the e*thirteen cassette. I got in touch with the e*thirteen support team and received a really great response, pointing out a number of scenarios and ideas for solving this issue: increasing the B screw tension, shortening the chain by a couple of links, or adding a chain guide.

Since I a) didn’t want to mess with the B screw too much so as not to degrade shifting performance, b) I sized the chain properly, and c) a chain guide is also out of the question because it would completely ruin – Ruin! I say! – the clean aesthetics of the bike, I looked for a different solution and I think I found it in a Garbaruk chainring.

Garbaruk builds these chainrings with 40% taller teeth and an overall longer tooth profile, as the two photos below show well, I think:

Race Face Cinch system 32-tooth chainring

Garbaruk 32-tooth chainring for Race Face Cinch

The overall fit of the chain on the chainring is also much tighter and the effect of this has been very positive.

Since mounting the Garbaruk chainring, I have yet to drop the chain, no matter the situation. I hope it’s going to stay that way and I’m curious how quickly the chainring is going to wear down.

First impressions: e*thirteen XCX Plus 11-speed & TRS Plus Gen 2 12-speed cassettes

The e*thirteen XCX Plus 9–39 11-speed cassette has been on my gravel bike for over a month now and I’ve ridden over 250 km with it so far. It replaced a Shimano XT CS-M8000 11–40 cassette that I’ve ridden for over a year and countless of kilometres. These are my first impressions of the cassette.

e\*thirteen XCX Plus 9-39 cassette and a Shimano RD-RX800 rear derailleur on a titanium bike

  • Shifting is crisper but a bit more fiddly to set up. I don’t know if it’s the higher number of shift gates or the tooth profile but it took me a while to get shifting right on the bike stand. The cassette would react more quickly to less than optimal indexing. Once tuned properly, I found that it shifts quicker, even under load, and the shift action feels more positive.
  • It’s louder. Not to the point where it annoys me but it took a bit of getting used to. I assume the lightweight construction with the large hollow space amplifies chain noise and shifting sounds.
  • The cassette feels solid and it has yet to show any signs of wear.
  • Chain wrap on the 9-tooth cog doesn’t seem to be an issue. I had read this in a couple of places and was worried that going with such a small cog for the highest gear could cause chain skipping but I’ve not had a problem. Mind you, I’m using a Ultegra RD-RX800 rear derailleur and a Shimano 105 11-speed chain (didn’t want to put on a fresh Ultegra chain, just yet) and I’ve properly adjusted the B-screw tension. Even going full-bore on a flat section, putting as much power as I can into it, hasn’t caused any problems (more on that further down).
  • With the chain on the smallest cog and depending on the chainring used up front (32-tooth and 36-tooth for my bicycles), the chain will be very close to the rear end of the chain stay. Depending on the bike, this may not fit at all. On my Litespeed T5G, I’ve noticed some chain slap going down fast and bumpy descents in the 9-tooth cog, even with a clutch rear derailleur. This is something I’ve never experienced with the 11-tooth cog on the XT cassette and it may be a deal breaker for some.
  • Lastly, and this is not something I’d ever see myself write: it’s noticeably lighter than the cassette it replaced. Sure, ~ 100 g might not sound like much to a less experienced cyclist such as myself but the back wheel seems just a bit more nimble, riding across bumpy gravel tracks.

All in all I’m happy with the cassette so far. It’s done exactly what I had hoped it would when converting my bike from a 2× 11 to a 1×11 system. With a 32-tooth chainring up front, the 9–39 spread in the back gives me an ample gear range, an easy 0.82 gear ratio in the lowest gear, a reasonably fast 3.55 gear ratio in the highest gear, and fairly tight and even gear spacing, particularly in the higher gears.

In fact, I’ve been so happy with this piece of kit that I bought an e*thirteen cassette for my city/commuter/road bike that has, up until recently, sported a full SRAM NX Eagle group with a 11–50 cassette and a 32-tooth chainring. I replaced the NX Eagle cassette with the 2nd generation TRS Plus 12-speed 9–46 cassette and the front chainring with a 36-tooth (soon 38-tooth).

Based on my initial experiences with the 9–39 on my gravel bike, what drew me to the 9–46 12-speed was a) the lower weight, b) the greater range of 511% on the e*thirteen compared to 455% on the NX Eagle, while at the same time offering c) a much tighter and, in my eyes, more sensible gear spacing in the higher gears. The first six gears on the TRS Plus cassette are 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 where on the NX Eagle the jumps are 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 22. My first road ride with the new cassette was a 45 km trip mostly on the road up a local mountain and then down again and I very quickly appreciated the choices made by e*thirteen.
Finally, chain wrap on the 9-tooth cog is perfectly fine with a SRAM Eagle rear derailleur and a GX Eagle chain. I tried a couple of times to produce any kind of skipping, riding at 80 rpm, on a slight incline, pushing 42 km/h (yes, I was very much winded after) and I experienced no issues whatsoever.

I’m looking forward to many more kilometres with these cassettes and I’ll write a long term review at a later point.

Apple doesn't care about audio quality my butt, Neil Young

By internet time this story is ages old, I know, but I was reminded again that Apple cares about audio quality and why Neil Young is so.very.wrong. 😉
He made a few waves in the tech sphere in late January by stating something to the effect of the Apple’s MacBook Pro having a shit DAC (Digital Analogue Converter) and Apple generally caring more about consumerism than creating high quality audio equipment for professionals.

Jim Dalrymple thoroughly debunked any of the claims made by Young on The Loop weeks ago but I wanted to offer a different example:
The Apple Lightning/USB-C to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter

Many people make fun of these little dongles and I get it. Apple removed the headphone jack from its iPhone and iPads and replaced it with an easy-to-lose USD 9.— dongle and they called it courage. My feelings about the dongle went from a solid meh (#donglelyfe) to loving these little things, seriously loving them. The reason is simple: they have amazing sound quality.

In more technical terms (source 1, source 2):

  • The output source impedance measures > 1Ω.
  • Frequency response is close to perfectly flat.
  • Harmonic distortion is almost nonexistent across various resistances (Ω).
  • Dynamic range is on par with previous iPhone headphone jacks, which had great audio quality

In less technical terms it means that these little dongles can drive extremely sensitive earphones with no to absolutely minimal changes to the frequency response (their sound signature) on the one hand and can also power full-size headphones on the other hand. To get this kind of flexibility and sound quality, you’d typically have to buy and lug around a dedicated portable DAC.

My earphones of choice are the Campfire Audio Andromeda, great sounding earphones that are very hard to drive properly. Sources with an output resistance of larger than 1Ω will quickly and negatively impact the sound signature, starting with reducing the bass response dramatically.

Using Apple’s dongles, they sound brilliant, same as they do on my MacBook Pro. I even use the USB-C dongle to listen to music on the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 that I use for work a lot. Its 3.5 mm audio jack is … not good, to be polite. With a USB-A to USB-C adapter and the USB-C audio dongle (again #donglelyfe), I get perfect audio quality listening to losslessly compressed music.

So no, Mr. Young, Apple does care about audio quality even on a consumer level. And what I use for proof are these tiny, easy-to-lose, beautifully sounding, flexible dongles.

I would kill for a Psion 5mx style keyboard case for my iPhone

No no no, hear me out…

It’s crazy how many things I can get done on this little super computer that is my smartphone but sometimes when writing longer texts, particularly email responses, or blog post, or telling someone on the internet how they’re so wrong about something (kidding), having a physical keyboard is a blessing.

So when this video popped up in my youtube recommendations, I thought, yeah no, not something like this because that’s stupid and unusable unless you have very thin fingers.

I’ve found this little old ThinkOutside foldable bluetooth keyboard for Pocket PCs over a year ago for € 30.— and take it with me as a redundancy if my laptop or iPad doesn’t work on a trip. They keys assignments are obviously made for Pocket PCs/Windows CE and the keys are not big but it’s still a huge productivity boost if you really need to write a lot.

iPhone 7 Plus on the ThinkOutside Bluetooth Keyboard

The Psion 5mx was maybe my favourite PDAs back in the day. The keyboard was big enough for some semblance of multi-finger typing and it was a pleasure to type on. If someone where to make a keyboard case for smartphones with a versatile insert system for different smartphones (read: future proofing) and a wired connection (think: adapters for USB-C, Lightning, Micro-USB), I’d be all …

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY gif

I could live with a bluetooth connection too and in that case, add a big battery into the bottom to give it some heft and long battery life.

Alternatively, just make the Palm Foldable Keyboard again (at some point Targus had the rights to it), lest I might seriously consider making an adapter for it.

Fujifilm just announced my next camera, the X100V (ARGH!)

Yesterday Fujifilm announced a few new things at their “X Summit” in London. The most consequential one for me was the announcement of the X100V. It’s the fifth generation of the X100 series and it’s going to be my next camera.

I’ve been in love with the concept of the X100 series since shortly after I started shooting with Fujifilm APS-C cameras but it always had too many crucial drawbacks for me to consider actually buying one.

The lens

The first lens I bought for my X-E1 way back when, was the XF23mmF1.4 R. I purchased it because after inspecting the photos I had taken with the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM kit lens, I saw that most of my shots were in the 22–24 mm range and I wanted something with a wider aperture to play around with. The 23/1.4 is still the lens I shoot with the most. I absolutely love it.

The lens in the X100 series, while decent, simply didn’t have the same versatility. Corner sharpness wasn’t very good at f/2 and shooting at close focus distances wide open resulted in very soft pictures. Coming from the XF23mmF1.4 R, that’s simply not something I would be able to accept.

(As a side note, the same drawbacks of the X100 lens also apply to the XF23mmF2 R WR lens, albeit not in the severity as found in the X100 series lenses up until now. It’s the reason why I sold the lens again after having used it for a few months.)

Weather sealing

I can’t begin to say how much I appreciate this on my Fujifilm cameras. I have it on the X-Pro2, on the X-T3, and I had it on the X-T1. I take a camera with me almost everywhere I go in any weather. Be it for a trip downtown or going hiking with my dogs. The cameras and weather sealed lenses have handled everything I’ve thrown at them so far and I had hoped Fujifilm would’ve added this to the X100F already, but no.

Now, the new X100V is properly weather sealed once you put a protective filter on the lens and that gives you an extremely compact package that you can take anywhere.

Flippy screen

Maybe you like it maybe you don’t, I like having it and dislike not having it on the X-Pro2. To get this in a camera as small as the X100V is just a nice bonus that only increases the camera’s usefulness.


After the announcement, I read the excellent preview written by Jonas Rask and immediately knew that it would be very hard to pass up on the X100V.

Then the first review by Chris and Jordan of DPReview TV was published and that completely sealed the deal. It’s worth a watch.


An observation regarding Fujifilm’s product policy

Chris Nichols and Jordan Drake mentioned something interesting in the video. Fujifilm has put almost all features found in the very recently released X-Pro3 into the X100V. More than you’d typically expect for what is essentially a compact large-sensor camera. Even the video features are solid for the most part.
This really made me happy because it shows that Fujifilm is essentially following Apple’s (and particularly Steve Jobs’s playbook) for positioning and releasing products:
Instead of artificially separating their product lines to prevent cannibalisation, by limiting the feature sets compared to the flagship products, they let their products cannibalise themselves instead of letting products by other manufacturers do so. This creates true choice for customers and—to me—is a sign of respect for the customers by the company.

DPReview TV compares the Fujfilm XF35mmF2 R WR and XC35mmF2

Fujifilm continues to give me reasons to like them.

I started the video expecting to see Chris Nichols report on significant differences in optical performance between the € 199,— XC35mmF2 and the € 399,— XF35mmF2 just because capitalism. Sometimes it’s nice to be wrong and particularly in this case.

Fujifilm is taking the guts of this lens and making it available in an even more affordable package. That is such a great move because it gives a customer the option to decide if they want to spend money on weather sealing and a full metal build without having to compromise on optical quality or autofocus speed.

I have the XF35mmF2 R WR. After failing to take to it in the beginning, I warmed to it when I realised how fast this lens was and how nicely it renders high contrast scenes. It’s become my go-to lens for taking pictures when out for walks or hiking with the dog, because I can rely on it focusing quickly on moving subjects and capturing what I see. Then there’s the focal length that, while a bit tighter than I typically like, lends itself well for the types of outdoor portraits that I like to shoot. It really is Fujifilm’s Nifty Fifty and such good value for money. I’ve shot some of my favourite photos of my furry friends and some great portraits of friends and family with it.

A small red-haired dog in a winter coat and a red harness standing in a snowy landscape bracing against the cold wind

A Tibetan Terrier with a stick in its mouth running down a path

A big Leonberger dog yawning widely

The art of David Lanham

I absolutely love David Lanham’s art; he has such a distinctive and captivating style. I’ve gotten to know his work through wallpapers and icons made for macOS for The Iconfactory years ago (hey, remember CandyBar?) and I’ve been following him ever since.

No matter if you like cute or strange animals, otherworldly sceneries, or sometimes downright grotesque imagery, I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

These are two of his recent sketches that I couldn’t take my eyes off of.

David Lanham - Stream Lurker

David Lanham - sketch 2020.01.08

Lanham also recently published another one of his wallpaper packs that contain lots of amazing paintings and exclusive art that you won’t find anywhere else, all in wallpaper sizes. It’s a steal for the price he’s asking.

Die deutsche Autoindustrie hat es verdient zu sterben

Diese Meldung sah ich heute in meinem Twitter-Stream:

Umstellung auf Elektromobilität: VDA verlangt Milliardenhilfen für Autohersteller und Zulieferer.

Ich empfinde das als Frechheit und es macht mich traurig. Ich bin Opelanerkind. Teile meiner Familie arbeiten oder arbeiteten in der Automobilindustrie. Trotzdem sage ich, die deutsche Autoindustrie verdient es zu sterben, statt Milliardenhilfen zu erhalten.

Diese Industrie entwickelt seit so vielen Jahren völlig am Markt, an den Realitäten des Klimawandels und den Veränderungen bei Transport und Mobilität vorbei, betrügt, drückt sich vor den Konsequenzen des eigenen kriminellen Handelns, lässt sich an allen Ecken und Enden vom Staat subventionieren und übertreibt die eigene Wichtigkeit für den langfristigen wirtschaftlichen Wohlstand dieses Landes.
Und jetzt traut sie es sich nach weiterer Unterstützung zu fragen, obwohl die Fehlentscheidungen und die Jahrzehnte an Missmanagement der Altherrenriege dazu führte, dass die Kacke nun am dampfen ist und dieser gewaltige Haufen Scheiße sich nicht mehr hinter einem Berg an SUVs verstecken lässt.

Es reicht.

Diese Firmen, VW, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche, undwiesiealleheißen, sollen entweder radikale Änderungen durchführen und ernsthafte, realistische und innovative Produkte anbieten, oder sie verdienen es durch andere Firmen ersetzt zu werden und zu Grunde zu gehen.

Ich habe keine Lust, dass meine Steuergelder dafür verschwendet werden Firmen am Leben zu erhalten, deren einziges Ziel es ist Shareholder Value zu generieren und den eigenen Top-Managern Millionengehälter zu zahlen.

Diese Firmen sind für mich als Betriebswirtschaftler der Inbegriff von Versagen: der Ruf nach Subventionen und offenen wie indirekten Drohungen, das Land würde wirtschaftlichen Schaden nehmen, zeugt nicht nur von fehlendem Geschäftssinn und Ideenlosigkeit, sondern auch von purer Feigheit und dem Eingeständnis, dass sie zur Teilnahme an einem tatsächlichen Wettbewerb im Kapitalismus weder fähig noch willens sind.