Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers! If you don’t seem to be able to find what you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Forged Carbon – What is forged carbon and why is it better?
Technically this is a Bulk Mold Compression (or BMC) process. The BMC process was pioneered by Callaway and Lamborghini for use with golf club heads and car parts. Not sure what these two industries have in common other than producing super high-end products. This process is not to be confused with injection molded carbon.
Learn more about forged carbon.
K Shield Logo
After Kristin won her first Gold Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she started a new company called Kristin Armstrong Academy and the K Shield was the logo we developed. The three stars – well it may have been a bit prophetic because at the time she only had one Gold Medal, but we now like to say that each of the stars represents an Olympic Gold Medal: Beijing, London, and Rio!
2-Bolt vs Hinge Designs
After multiple prototypes, months of testing, and countless hours working with our engineering and manufacturing teams, we’ve finally honed in on a solution that we’re happy with. What originally started as a single bolt clamp with a hinge has now become what you see here — two bolts with no hinge.
Why the change? A couple reasons. First and foremost, it is our opinion that a two-bolt “clamshell” style clamp provides a more precise fit to the wide variety of handlebars in the market. While the hinge may be a simpler solution for ease of installation (i.e. a single bolt to install) it is definitely not better from a fitment standpoint. Not all 31.8mm bars are created equal; in fact, we found that they can vary quite dramatically in both diameter and roundness. As you can imagine, a hinge style clamp is a fixed diameter for approximately ¾ of the clamping surface. For any handlebar that is not perfect round or exactly 31.8mm diameter, this may create stress points or risers on the handlebar as well as the mount clamp especially when being used with carbon bars…not what we strive for in creating the perfect mount.
Secondly, in our testing the two-bolt design tested stronger. During installation when over-torqueing the single bolt version, it makes sense that the hinge was taking all the stress. Carbon is super strong in specific directions and in specific areas, but the hinge connection consistently turned out to be the weakest link. Now granted, we were taking the torque well beyond any reasonable specifications, but in striving for perfection we didn’t feel like it was robust enough.
The solution to both issues above was to eliminate the hinge and introduce a second bolt. This allows us to get rid of the potential weakness of the hinge and address over-torqued bolts (we will be providing special, shortened allen keys for install.) We also added a bit more material to the backside of the clamping area to accommodate for the additional bolt which results in a slightly thicker, stronger mount.
We are happy to report that we haven’t had any failures to date in our testing.
Clamping and Torque. What is the proper amount of torque to install the KX3 X1 Mount? Because you are clamping on a circumference, not very much torque is required to provide a tremendous amount of clamping. We recommend 1.0 – 1.5Nm.
In Idaho (and I’m sure in other rural parts of the world) we have a saying “doesn’t need to be farmer tight!” In other words, we’re talking about bicycles, not tractors. I recall the first time I decided I needed a torque wrench for installing bicycle components. I don’t even remember the brand of stem, but it was one of the first full carbon stems with a carbon end cap. What did I do? I violated my ‘doesn’t need to be farmer tight’ rule and reefed on the long handled 4mm allen wrench. Yup, stressed the carbon to the point where it cracked. We don’t expect everyone to go out and buy a torque wrench that can measure 1Nm, that’s why we’ve provided you with a short handled allen wrench to aid in installation. The short handle should limit your leverage and thus limit how much torque you place on the clamping bolts.
Why Titanium Hardware
Every bike geek knows that carbon + Ti is cool, right? Honestly though, we struggled with whether to use Ti hardware or go with the old standby, stainless steel. Ultimately, we decided on Ti. Clearly in the small sizes we’re talking about here the weight savings are marginal if measurable at all. The excellent corrosion resistance of Ti, along with it’s superior strength to weight made it the obvious choice for the KX3 mount. Plus the machining finish on the Ti heads is much nicer.
Carbon Bar Safe
Are the KX3 mounts carbon handlebar safe? 100%. What is more compatible with carbon than carbon? Really though, our mount is designed to not create pressure points or stress risers when clamped to a carbon bar, thus the clamshell style, 2-bolt clamping method. There’s a reason most all stems are designed with bolts on both top and bottom – more even clamping pressure on the bars.
You know, those little round interface guys that your Garmin, Wahoo, or Bryton computer attach to. While we offer the X1 Mount with a Garmin puck, we will soon be providing Wahoo and Bryton compatible pucks.