Out of the Box: Shimano XTR M9000 Pedals

By: Brandon 10/22/2014

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Not more than a few weeks ago a shiny new pair of Shimano's new M9000 XTR pedals dropped. Fortunately, not a moment too soon as I am sporting yet another pair of Egg Beaters with wings flopping around and a spring losing tension.

A few years ago I ran XTR pedals, M980 series to be specific. The engagement of those pedals was much more secure than that of my Egg Beaters, but I had some issues with durability. The first pair stopped spinning like they should within a few weeks of getting them mid-CX season, so I dropped them and was back on my Egg Beaters.

Back to the M9000. Shimano bettered their mud clearance of the M9000 pedals, which was a weak point of the M980 series, as evidenced by so many sponsored pros riding either modified versions or previous generations. I'm happy to test the claims of added mud clearance, which I've enjoyed plenty of from my Egg Beaters.

A bit of a letdown (though fully expected), the weight of these new XTR pedals. My set came in at 304g, which is 6g below the claimed weight, but also 29g heavier than my previous Egg Beater 2's, which retail for approximately 1/2 of these new XTR pedals.

Weight aside, engagement of these new pedals is very positive, one of my favorite aspects of my previous foray into Shimano pedals. Compared to the light engagement and release of the Egg Beaters, the Shimano certainly give you audible and tactile feedback to clipping in and out.

One thing I did notice, the float on my right foot is slightly more free than the left foot. A minor cleat adjustment and the difference in float was taken care of. I'll admit a minute of concern, but it showed to be unfounded.

Otherwise, there's very little to report, which is expected with $200 pedals. They work just as they should, the engagement is crisp and positive, and since this is Embrocation, it's nice that they match. Shimano's fit and finish is what it always in.

A few rides in, I'm happy to be testing these pedals and initial impressions are very positive.

photos and words by Brandon Elliott


Bespoke Builds - Mosaic RT-1 with Campagnolo Super Record

By: Brandon 10/20/2014

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Like many other custom bikes, this one has a story. Unlike some other custom bikes, this one has some very elite stablemates at home. Todd, also known as #reptodd is the Shop Manager at Above Category. To say he knew what he was looking for when ordering this frame is an understatement:

I first met Kevin from Mosaic Cycles 3 years ago randomly on a ride in San Diego while he was there on a road trip from Colorado. He was riding his then-new Mosaic RT1 with Campagnolo Super Record EPS. I immediately fell in love with how simple and clean his bike was and how beautiful the welds and finish quality were. I put it in the back of my mind that I needed to own one someday.

Fast forward a few years and my path with Mosaic would cross again working at AC and seeing them come and go with very satisfied clients. One day, a client wanted us to check out his bike for a mystery noise so I took it for a quick spin. I was blown away by how quick and lively it felt, yet how comfortable it was. The next day I ordered one.

Three weeks later it arrived and felt even better than the bike I had tried as it was built with my exact fit and for my weight and riding style. In July I joined Aaron from Mosaic and 4 other riders on a team for the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race in Boulder. It was a very cool experience riding with a group of guys all riding bikes that Aaron had built himself.

This is my first Ti bike and I truly could not be happier with my choice; the 3-year wait (Todd is referring to the time from first sight of a Mosaic to delivery, turnaround time typically hovers around 4-6 weeks from order to delivery - BE) was worth it. Kevin is still riding that same frame I first saw him on too.

Enve 1.0 Fork

2010 Campagnolo Super Record Group-172.5, 36/52, 11x27

Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra Two Carbon Clincher Wheelset

Continental Grand Prix 4000SII Tires w/Continental Race Light Tubes

Time iClick Carbon Pedals

Syntace P6 Seat Post

Tune Wurger Skyline Carbon Seat Post Collar

Chris King Headset

King Ti Cages

Ceramicspeed Bottom Bracket

Ceramicspeed Rear Derailleur Pulleys

fi’zi:k 00 Chameleon Bar

fi’zi:k Cyrano R1 Stem w/BarFly fi’zi:k Garmin Mount

fi’zi:k Antares R1 Carbon Braided Saddle

fi’zi:k Superlight Tacky Bar Tape


We'd love to thank Above Category for sharing this incredible build with us. Head over to their site for more information on this particular build as well as the other incredible builds that they produce.

photos and words by Above Category


Don't Just Glue, Glue the Right Way.

By: Brandon 10/19/2014

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Here at Embro HQ we've been gluing tubular tires for a bit. In fact, our previous gluing article is one of our most popular in our catalog. Of course, you can't get too much good info, so we thought sharing this video done by our friends at Butter would be a good move.

Watch this video. Take notes. Watch it again. Reflect. Read your notes. Watch again. Then let is soak in. Retain this, use it.

These guys get it, they want to make sure you get it.

Tubular tires are serious business. The added volume of a cyclocross tubular, the lower pressure, and the fit the tires have with the rim all contribute to the added stress your gluing job faces during a race. DO NOT BE 'THAT' guy and role a tire. It's the not-pro thing to do, but it's also dangerous.


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