A+++

Certain bikes just build up to be much more better looking than others. It is a combination of a lot of different things. Handlebar angle/seatpost length/combo of parts etc etc. When i look at one of those bike it just grabs my attention straight away.

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Yesterday nights ride

Was feeling a little lazy but forced myself out for a ride since it is going to be the last hard week before the Mont. Ended up being 80km or so and it was a pretty good ride. Weather’s getting pretty chilly though.

There was apparently an usher concert going on but i must have rode into sop at a good time because the roads were pretty quiet. Warmed up and proceeded to enjoy the pain that is Felix’s loop. To be honest I wasn’t expecting anything great because i remember last time to be pretty painful. Right off the bat, i nearly missed a left turn going 40km/h so i had to full brake hard. The carbon Reynolds surprised me with how well they stopped for sure. So, that lost me a bit of time and then when it came to the road part of the loop which included round abouts i was reminded that motorists are EFFING useless at noticing a bike entering from the other side. Another few seconds lost there but no big deal, would not have changed too much out of my overall time. Maybe like 3-5 seconds at max.

Near the end of the loop though i was feeling noticably better than the last time. That is to say i didn’t have a massive stitch and hence every pedal stroke wasn’t hurting me. However i was still in crap load of “normal” pain. So much so that i wanted to die and end it right there. Then i came off the bridge and got onto the last road and that road seemed to take FOREVER. I looked at my watch and saw that it was still 24minutes so i put my last effort in and finished it all up. Looking back, it would have being ultra weird if someone heard me riding down that final stretch as i screamed in pain with my teeth clenched. I might have even scared some rabbits off or something but at that moment i couldn’t give an eff if usher himself was there teaching people how to sing and how not to sing.

Since garmin was rolling nonstop due to my full ride i used my good ol stopwatch. Yes guys, before garmin and gps we used to use our stop watch 🙂 Of course, looking back i could have just used the elapsed lap time function on my garmin but whats the fun in that?

25:15 my watch recorded. That was a rough estimate and Strava later on confirmed a 25:24 which is a full 1:10 off my previous lap time. Ultra happy about that. Right now i am thinking i will never get past that time but i know one day i will. One day when i get stronger. This is pretty big deal for me because i am not the strongest flat rider around but i reckon this effort is still respectable for a solo effort…or maybe not. Maybe someone that knows what they are talking about can chime in. For most of the flat parts i would be averaging 38-40km/h. Basically only the climbs and numerous corners/blind turns/round abouts lowered my average. There also seemed to be quite a bit more wind yesterday but i might be mistaken.

Finally, my remote came

So i can finally use my adjustable seatposts. More weight on bike but i am fine with that 🙂 I also opted to wait 2 months for the black versions because i wanted black that badly.

Fail to think about things other than bikes

I tried yesterday, i tried hard. I noticed that all my posts lately have being about two wheeled objects and i said to myself, life is more than just that. I need my blog to reflect that. So i made a post that emphasised how asian i am and then i proceeded to make another post which was really about bikes but disguised (not very well) by something else. FAIL big time. So the natural progression from all that is of course another bike related post.

Santa cruz is going crazy atm. Definitely crazy. They just released 3 new bikes and they have another 1 on the burner. That is, on top of their already significant line-up. This is what i think about each of their new bikes.

First of all is the highball. Their 29er hardtail race machine. This bike’s purpose is pretty obvious. To cash in on the latest 29er craze and cater to the race crowd. Pretty simple here. I am pretty sure it will ride great, SC carbon has a good rep so far and a 1.1kg weight is awesome. I also like how they have kept the bottom bracket a standard threaded type so it makes carting over parts very very easy. It aint cheap though. $1850 usd. Like i said to trieu you have to be pretty dedicated to hardtails and racing to go for it (neither which is me).

Secondly the predictable alloy tallboy. This is definitely the money making cow, or is it? Tallboy was imo one of the best bikes released by SC to recent date and an alloy version is a no brainer. However, i have problems with it’s numbers. Apparently it is 3kg (think the carbon is 2.1 or 2.2 or something) and the price is a not so cheap $1850usd. The price isn’t that far off the carbon version so most people will just plock for the carbon. Since the carbon has being out for longer you will most likely find it at a cheaper price which further bridges the gap. I think this bike will not attract people looking for a cheap tallboy, because frankly, it isnt cheap at all. It will attract carbonphobes who want a very long lasting package in trustworthy alloy material. If i was buying a tallboy, i would undoubtedly find a good deal on the tallboy carbon and get that.

The last and best imo is the Blur TRc or Blur trail carbon. It is basically cashing in on the 5″ travel, low and slack and fast category of bikes that i love. Looking at the geo numbers they basically just looked over the spitfire/yeti asr5 and copied the numbers straight across. The yeti has a slightly longer TT but santa’s sizing has always being a little “inbetween”. Still the trump card of the Blur TRc is the vpp suspension system. Even though the spitfire is a similar virtual pivot suspension system, the execution is flawed. The sc with their vpp2 should have it all sorted out. So on paper it is similar to the Yeti but with a multi pivot suspension system. Still, like my previous post, you can’t judge bikes just by numbers and stats on paper. Riding it might reveal a completely different story. I have to be honest though and say that if the spitfire/yeti asr5 type of bikes was available in dw-link or vpp2 format, i would have a very hard time choosing. I do believe that the yeti asr5 kicks its ass in the aesthetics department though. Should be a great bike either way i reckon.

Imagine

Our hobby is pretty inaccessible in the grand scheme of things. Imagine, if our hobby was as accessible as girls shopping for their clothes? I walked into the basement of supre on the weekend and it was freaking insane. $2.50 price tags everywhere, clothes hanging on the floor etc etc

Imagine now that the supre wasn’t supre. Imagine if it was a bike shop. Crankset, brakesets, handlebars lying around everywhere. Massively discounted to $30. That would be pretty awesome would it not? Damn girls, getting all the fun!

Those deal sites

You know the ones that send you constant spam and so forth? I am not a fan of them at all. However, from time to time, they have deals so good that make you go hmmmmm whats the catch?

$2 drinks from chatime reduced from $5? Yes pls! I reckon it is part of their aggressive expansion *if you haven’t noticed all the chatime franchises popping up*.

Is the race pace training working?

I reckon it is definitely helping a little. I am able to ignore the lactate better and generally hold a higher limit. Even at race pace i felt like i had some reserve. This i think is mostly due to MTBing on a trail like Appin. There are plenty of corners and technical places that would make your heart rate drop so in a way it was easier cardio wise than an all out effort at Felix’s loop.

The course itself has gone pretty bad from the recent rain/wind over the weekend. Sand is at all the wrong places and rocks are bigger than ever. Not exactly the best time to be doing a hot lap. Speaking of that, i managed to forget starting my garmin so that was a bummer. Still, it’s good to be back on the mtb. I had particular fun riding with Timmy and Clifton through the rougher parts at similar pace. It’s just nice to go through sections at a similar speed and enjoy the flow!

I concur

Right after reading a little more into particular parts of fits on roadies and forming a opinion of who it benefits most cyclingtipsblog have posted a pretty decent article (as always) pretty much confirming what i have gathered myself. Here are his conclusions. I like the fact that he admits to being vain. I think there is room to be a little vain as long as you ride your bike to back it up.

1. Beginners who aren’t familiar with how a bike should fit and feel. An expert consultation will also give you a good reference point of how comfortable a bike should fit going forward.

2. People who can’t get comfortable on their current setup or have nagging injuries. A good bike fitting specialist will know how to translate your discomforts into a better setup. Nothing will turn-off someone from cycling quicker than an uncomfortable ride.

3. Competitive cyclists who are looking for marginal gains. There’s no doubt that more power can result from tweaking your bike position, however I don’t necessarily feel this is the low hanging fruit that should be considered right away if you’re not winning races.

BMU night ride + Morning kurnell tt + saddle offset

One good thing about riding roadies is you can pretty much ride it one day after a massive weekend of rain. The boys were all suffering withdraw symptoms so we took the good weather (for the most part) and hit up SOP again. Brad turned up with his  yeti 29er and surpringsly he did pretty decent for a mtb with a slow ass nevegal up front. I am recommending him to get a cheap roadie because there is no substitute for roadies on roads. The pace was decent with a few sprints here and there and it was mighty enjoyable until we were visited by rain clouds. We waited under shelter a little and decided to make a run for it once it slowed down a little. I however, had to ride home and on the way home the skies blessed me with a little more water. A constant stream of water aimed straight at your ass is not a good feeling.

I managed to TT Felix’s loop by myself around 7pm and found it to be pretty interesting. The course has a lot of external factors that you need to consider and it might temper with times a little so keep that in mind. Around 7pm there were no shortage of walkers along with their dogs on the cycle path. Some with leashes, some without. Care needs to be taken for sure. Add to that blind corners and lights and it definitely will make the times pretty varied. The loop for me was pretty painful as it should be and i kept telling myself that the pain was my friend but at certain points of the loop i just wanted it to be over. I managed to even work up a stitch and every breath became painful. Still, i pushed myself to finish the course and thanked god once i reached “poseur junction”. The time on strava was pretty much what i expected. It’s not crash hot but it will do. Hopefully i will be able to go back in the near future and better it.

http://app.strava.com/rides/361179#5725757

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Got back home around 12 and managed 5 hrs of sleep before i woke up for a ride with cliffy again. This time we hit the brighton cycle path and rode to Kurnell and back. My only aim was to TT the Kurnell section and TT it we did. We didn’t suck each others wheels as we just took off at our own pace but straight away i was giving it my all once again (which seems to be a reoccurring theme now days). 170-180 for the rest of the section and it was plenty of pain. One thing i realised today was this. There are moments during a section of that intensity that i think i need to slow down.

My body tells me to bump the gears down and take it easy but i’ve noticed today that i can push past that threshold and keep the tempo going. My body is telling me to slow down but i can still apply similarish power to the pedals. For the last 1-2km’s that was what got me through to the end of the caltex. Checking on strava later on at home tells me i managed a 37.8km/h average which i am pretty happy about. Riding on the flats isn’t easy for me and riding with clifton shows this even more. I have to exert so much more effort to get a similar result on the flats that all i can rely on is my fittness/endurance.

http://app.strava.com/rides/362387#

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This was my second ride of the Kurnell TT section. For the first run i managed an average of 35.6km/h and a finishing time of 11:14 instead of todays 10:35 run. So basically today’s run netted me an improvement of 30-40 seconds or so. Why is this? I was pushing hard for both runs but i guess there are a wide variety of factors. For starters, the wind might be slower today? Maybe i am slightly more rested or stronger? Maybe it was the two slices of super supreme pizza also known as breakfast of all champion cyclists? Maybe it was my repositioned saddle offset? I don’t know which one it was or a combo of those but i am going to talk about the repositioned saddle offset.

I have always ridden my bikes with a pretty in-line saddle offset. I have always thought my short legs = less saddle offset but in keeping with my own recommendations i decided to try things just for the sake of it. I did a little reading on the interweb and found some points and connected some of my own findings on the trainer and deduced that a further back offset was worthwhile to try. I noticed a long time back on the trainer that in a given gear/resistance it was always easier to pedal and hence produce more power the lower my upper body was. The worst power producing position was on the tops, followed by the hoods and then finally the drops. Reading articles explained why this was so. It further explained that the further your saddle is back the more lower your torso will be which is good for producing more power not to mention aero advantages. However it is all a compromise and some riders can only take so much aggressiveness in a position before they deem it too uncomfy. So basically it is all a compromise and i guess it is up to me as a rider to work out what i can compromise.

I took note of the original saddle position and moved the saddle back on its rails by 2cm or so. I also lowered the seatpost to cancel out the further offset and my findings from my two rides subsequently is pretty positive. The position is ok to me so far. It is damn aggressive (it was aggressive already before) but i am not feeling weird aches/pains from my short rides so far. It is prolly a good idea for me to do short rides to ease into this new riding position so that when i do go on a 100km+ ride i wont die. First thing i noticed with further saddle offset is a more smoother pedaling stroke. Especially at higher RPM’s of cadence it was easier to keep the cranks turning. That is the most obvious change i have realised. It also feels like i am producing a little more power but that’s pretty well tested because i am lower on the bike now and i can use additional muscles to “pull” myself through a typical cadence. So far so good but time will tell!

Long post already so no more from me for today. Cya and i recommend you all to ride before the skies dump us again. Man, if you had the patience to read this far you are pretty damn awesome in my books. If i saw someone write this much on their blog id just skip it completely lol

Unacceptable indeed

Tell you what else is unacceptable. When the noodle to meat ratio isnt good. That is also unacceptable.