Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Bike -- Report

Okay, so you can buy speed.  I've been going to the Brooklyn Tri Club bike workouts for the last couple of weeks, in an attempt to get used to the new ride. I did a brick last week, and today was a 10 mile(ish) time trial simulation.  I used to be very pleased with myself when I could hold 20 mph on my road bike without drafting.  Today I did three laps of Prospect Park (3.35miles/lap) in 27.18.  I think that works out to 22.3 mph.  Look out Max, I'm coming for you, at least on the bike leg. . .


  1. That is rolling right along. Phenomenal! (Any good flat olympic courses in your future? We could bet a beer on the first of us to go sub-1:05 -- around 22.7 mph or so -- for the bike leg. That's been my bugaboo for at least three seasons now.)

    Have you gone deep dish yet on the wheels? Or aero on the helmet? Back when I was looking into this, studies I read suggested the aero helmet is the cheapest way to cut drag and wheels are not far behind. I've followed the decline in price in carbon wheels pretty closely if you are interested in yet one more thing to make friends envious in the transition area.

    And, Ted, one more thing: are you serious about Timberman? I need a good race at about that time and I've been wanting to sign up before it closes out.

  2. The wheels are nothing special. Medium profile, regular spokes, no disk. I still need to invest some money in a computer and a hydration setup before I start upgrading, I think.

    I'm up in the air about Timberman until my achilles chooses a direction. If it starts to heal, I'm in. It would be awesome to have company, and that might tip me over the edge. My Brooklyn tri-friends all say it is a great race. I have a free place to stay nearby, too.

  3. I'll give a skeptic's view of hydration setups (recognizing that you didn't ask!): I now believe I can't roll more than 10 miles without sitting up and coasting for a short bit anyway. A single bottle that can be replaced at water stops (they hand out cage-compatible bottles anyway) works perfectly on that theory. Grab the bottle at an aid station, ride aggressively to the next one, and repeat. If it's a hot day I go with two bottles at the aid station: one in the cage and one to drink/pour over my head and discard immediately. If you want to carry a second bottle, it is pretty easy to get 500+ calories of some sort of powder in there to meet nearly all nutrition needs.

  4. Actually, I've never had trouble drinking on the bike before. I still haven't tried on the Tri bike, though. The gurus of tri here in Brooklyn advocate drinking every 10 minutes, though, and that's a lot of sitting up. I'm happier drinking larger quantities less often, so maybe your system would work. Still need a cadence monitor and a GPS for the bike. I lust after a power meter, but that's just not going to happen.

  5. Slight amendment: I'm not saying I don't drink while riding. With minimal practice it's plenty easy in the aero position. (I've gone to the torpedo bottle setups that Profile Design sells for $14 on Amazon.) But I am saying I find drinking from a bottle more elegant than drinking from a hose connected to a frame-mounted reservoir or from one of those Profile Design aero bottles. The primary drawback to my approach is that I can't carry 44 oz of water in an aerodynamic reservoir, so I depend on a new bottle at every aid station. If the race had stations spaced much further than 10 miles I'd have to change tactics.

    I found an uber-cheap power meter a few years back. I use it and find it intriguing, but I just can't keep up with all the data! And, of course, once you have two bikes or more (which you do) you have to switch the wheel if you want consistent tracking. Wheel switching presents funky chain wear issues.

  6. For a cheaper power option ($90-ish), the PowerCal is enticing:

    According to the review, the instantaneous output is not reliable but the average is pretty close. So for measuring improvements over time it is useful, but don't count on it to pace your effort on race-day.

    This is probably a naive question, but aside from looking like a Fred, is a camelbak out of the question for a triathlon? The low-profile packs are pretty slim, hold enough water, and have a hose. Fill it with ice, and it will help keep you cool for a moderate (half-IM?) distance to boot.

    1. Good thinking. A lot of people use it. Many of them are likely named Fred. Would cause zero aerodynamic penalty. Would add 10 seconds in transition putting it on. Might be vaguely annoying to have 4 lbs on your back, but only vaguely.

  7. Actually it looks like Camelbak has already thought of that with the Racebak:


  8. I already look like a Fred, and narrowly avoided being named Frederick (thanks Mom and Dad). I sweat like a pig, and need to reserve all available service area for evaporation. :-)

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  10. This looks like an interesting approach: http://travlete.com/2011/12/05/review-x-lab-torpedo-mount-and-carbon-cage/

  11. That is what I use. Here's the affordable version: http://www.amazon.com/Profile-Design-Mount-Waterbottle-Cage/dp/B003TNTDP8/ref=pd_sim_sg_2.

    Big thumbs up. You can grab, drink, and replace without ever leaving the aero position. You can toss the bottle at the water station and grab a new cage-friendly gatorade bottle to replace it. I also use the seat-tube holder for a rich caloric mixture. Between the two there's not much more that I need except on the really hot days.

  12. Where do you mount your computer?