Wednesday, September 18, 2013

ReVIEW-Speed Skewers (and Amigo)

Hello Viewers and all,

The best way to dive back in to "normal" content... with a review of course!

Today I'm going to be talking about the View-Speed S3 Skewers. (and the Amigo multi-tool) View-Speed is Neal's (Nealhe on the forums) project, and it's "small" guys like him that really can come up with some great and innovating things you'd likely never see from the "big" companies.. Anyways, let's cut the foreplay and get down to business.

So, what's the big deal about the skewers? Well, let's get the technical stuff out of the way first.
- Made from Titanium
- 44ish grams (lighter than most NON weight weenie skewers)
- 5mm hex key installation
- ~$73.00 / pair

Ok, now the main reason you would be interested in these skewers (I assume) is because, like me, you are an aero nerd looking to shave as many precious seconds off your bike split as is possible. Comparing the S3's to a normal quick release skewer will quickly give you an idea of just how minimal they are.
Get out of here Fatty McFaterson!
What kind of time savings are we talking about here? View-Speeds estimate is around a minute for an Ironman bike split at 20mph average pace. This is the part where a lot of people are going to say to the screen "yeah whatever, that's not enough to worry about." Well... it's fine to be wrong if you want to be, but the fact is, you MUST have skewers on your bike. If using X instead of Y skewers can make me faster...why would I not choose them?
On the front of my Planet X. Sort of makes my 19mm Aerowing look like a fat tire!
Well, in honor of playing fair, there are reasons you might not choose them. The primary one is because of the way the S3's are installed. The bolt on system is not a big deal to install, however, it does add a step (and precious time) in the event that you have a flat and have to remove the wheel. I've timed myself a few times, and I don't think I can get the skewer off and back on in less than a minute... so IF you were in a 140.6 race, and IF you had a flat... then it would cost you some time to be using the S3's as opposed to quick-release skewers. That might be an issue for some... but speaking solely for myself, if I flat in anything under a 70.3 then the time it takes me to replace a tube is race-ending anyways. If I flat in a 140.6, adding a couple of seconds to the time I spend replacing it is "probably" not make/break... and is a risk I'm willing to take. I would also run them in a 70.3, although I think there could be some grey area there where I wouldn't blame someone for running QR skewers. I also obviously would not ever run these skewers in a road race/crit, where quickly changing out wheels is very important, but that's not who these are marketed towards.

I guess I'm saying I'm willing to gamble being a minute faster in a 112 mile ride against spending ~30 more seconds on the side of the road if I flat.

As far as "how they work" I can say I've had no complaints. I've been using them for a little over a month with absolutely no problem. I've used both the blue Loctite tape (included) and just regular blue Loctite in my installations and I've had no problem with any slipping or movement in my rear dropouts or any sign that the skewer might be loosening at all.

I went with the S3's over the S4's just because the S4's don't work with every fork out there (and I have quite a few different forks to move around) and also because the S3's are black. If you upgrade to the S4's you get a little bit lighter and a little bit less frontal area. (The cap has a little less bulge)
I don't think you can lose either way, just make sure your fork works with the S4 in advance.

The other item I got from View-Speed is the Amigo Multi Tool.
Included in the Amigo kit
This is a fairly handle little tool if you are looking to simplify your flat kit. It's basically a melding of a tire lever, a multi-head wrench and a spanner (for the S4 skewers) in either aluminum or titanium. (gotta save those grams)
Reviewing something like a multi-tool is tough. It is what it is. The tire lever acceptable (although being made out of aluminum I do have a nagging fear it *might* be easier to rip a tube with it as opposed to a plastic one if you were in a hurry. That's possibly an irrational fear though.) and will certainly get the job done on the side of the road. The S4 spanner I have not used (as I don't have S4's) but I assume they do the job, and the Wrench / replaceable heads is an excellent idea. The included "sheath" even lets you pick a couple of different heads so you'll be ready for multiple situations. The only gripe I come up with is that the included set of heads is fairly "low end." I think they would probably be fine, but I am a bit of a stickler for tools, so I will stick with my DeWalt bits personally.
Not a bad little compact setup to have when you're on the side of the road
I really like the View-Speed products (and projects) and Neal seems like a good dude (which shouldn't be the basis of whether or not the product is good or not, but it's always nice when the person running things isn't a tool.) so the Skewers and the Amigo both get the thumbs up from this guy.
On a completely unrelated note, the Aluminum P3 is in my possession and waiting for me to get all the necessary parts to build it up. I'm still a little undecided about whether I'll keep the Red/White Cervelo paint or if I'll be taking it to flat black. I was thinking if it stayed Red/White that the disc wheel would look cool with a decal of the TN state flag... although I am still on the fence... any thoughts from you guys would be appreciated!
New Disc Wheel cover?
Until next time, thanks for reading! I appreciate it.

Cheers,
Christopher Morelock

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