Very Low mileage HED track disk. Ultimate hop up for your fixie. $500 OBO
Very Low mileage HED track disk. Ultimate hop up for your fixie. $500 OBO
The front wheel failed catastrophically on the Volagi when the nipples on the spokes started breaking. I took it in to be repaired once and had several spoke nipples replaced but first ride afterwards and some more nipples broke. I realized the wheel was toast. I have my fingers crossed that the back wheel does not go the same way. I scoured the web sales to find a suitable replacement and came up with an Easton EA 90 XD. I got this on sale for a stupid cheap price of only $127 including Tax and shipping. These wheels list for $439. Unfortunately they didn’t have any rear wheels.
Also the TRP HYRD rear brake has packed in again. This is my third replacement and the shop got it from has one out of business. I am seriously considering binning it and getting a mechanical brake to replace it. On full the brake doesn’t have enough power to stop the back wheel.
I finally decided to dump the Challenge tires. The back one is pretty worn out after 1600 miles and I have had 8 punctures on this tire. In my whole life I have never had so many punctures on one tire. I flatted on them today trying out the new wheel. I will never buy these again.
I haven’t ridden an aero bike for well over 2 years as I haven’t felt safe to ride on aero bars since my stroke. The Monday before this event I made the decision to ride my Felt Fixed bike with aero bars for the Esparto TT. I was hoping that the non-technical nature of the course would mean my balance wasn’t an issue. I doubt I will be pushing out great power as I have had so little seat time in the aero position but I was hoping it will be faster.
This race was won in 34 minutes last year and last place was 42m05s in the 45+ 1/2/3. My goal for this event, like all others this year, was to not come last so I was aiming to beat 42 minutes. This would be an average speed of >22.8MPH which is faster than I have achieved on my Merckx setup on my practice course. I am hoping the aero setup will be about 1MPH faster but this really is a stretch goal for me.
I have never raced this course but looking at the profile it looks quite rolling but not at all technical. Not too bad for a fixed gear. I decided to ride a 48 x 14 gear which works out to 24.1 MPH at 90RPM. I decided that due to my balance issues a slower pedaling cadence would be better. I was struggling a bit with my weight for this event but it’s not hilly nature shouldn’t have too much of an Impact.
I literally dusted off my Felt TK3 Track bike on the Monday before the event and went for a ride on my practice TT course (Del Valle). The bike was setup for 48×15 and I haven’t ridden it for over two and a half years. The good news was that I actually felt OK on the aero bars and that I went faster than I have done on my other fixed bike all year. The bad news was that I was only about 0.5mph faster rather than the 1mph I was hoping for and it aggravated an old IT band injury. This was with a regular helmet, front wheel and 48 x 15 so not a full race simulation. The other good news was that I averaged 23MPH which beat my 22.8MPH goal.
Due to work commitments I was unable to ride the bike again until Friday but I took the down time to get it converted to 48×14 and put in the HED 3 front wheel. The bike definitely felt a bit different with the HED 3 front wheel and I didn’t feel too safe in the crosswinds but the changes got me an improvement of nearly 1 MPH which was great. I changed my goal to be 24MPH which meant beating 40m. I am obviously not used to the position as my legs felt very fatigued for the rest of the day. This ride put me at the grand total of 45.8 miles of seat time on this bike which is not ideal.
I began to wonder if the Kask Helmet and visor was such a good choice on the warmup. Even at 9am in the morning it was already getting really hot and I didn’t feel too great. I normally like to do a few hard efforts on my warmup but today I decided to give it a miss. It is hard warming up on a gear like 48×14 as you have to be going pretty fast to get your legs spinning. I got the grand total of 6.5 miles as my warmup.
I made a complete mess of the start and couldn’t get my foot clipped in which lost me a few seconds but I soon got a reasonable pace going. The first section felt like it was slightly up hill and the wind was not very favorable so I was struggling to hold a good pace. I got caught just before the first right turn where the course became a little lumpy for a while. It was on this section I started to feel unwell and seriously contemplated packing. I decided just to keep on riding but couldn’t push any more. I got caught by another two riders that passed me like I was stopped on the Southbound leg and I was doing 27MPH+ on this section. By the time we hit the final right turn back into the wind I was pretty toast. Normally I lift the pace a little for the last KM but today I was running on empty. I crossed the line and didn’t manage to beat 40 minutes and also felt really ill. I have felt pretty bad after racing this year but this time if felt terrible for 30+ minutes after the event. I felt so bad I was petrified I was going to have another stroke. This was a real wake up call for me and I have decided to retire from racing. I did manage not to come last but this was my last race.
I will really miss racing but I don’t want to feel like I did at the end of todays race ever again. It wasn’t the kind of smashed you feel after a really hard effort but something much worse. I suppose I will sell my beloved TT bikes and aero wheels as I don’t think I will ever ride them again.
I don’t know how riding fixed impacted my time today and it is hard to say how much quicker I would have been riding my Trek. The course didn’t really have and serious hills and there was nothing that was too much trouble on the 48×14. My lack of seat time in the aero position definitely didn’t help matters. The course was quite bumpy in places and I came off the aero bars a few times on the down hill sections. My maximum speed was 30.2 MPH and my average speed a rather disappointing 23.6MPH.
I decided to ride this event in the Merckx Category on my Wabi Fixed Gear Bike. I have quite a thing for 70’s style time trialling and before my stroke my big goal was to beat the hour for 25 miles 70’s style (not going to happen now). My 4 previous attempts at this course on the Wabi were all less than 30 minutes but back then I was pushing out over 300W. My goals for this event were rather more humble and I just wanted not to finish last. I reckon I would have to beat my time from earlier in the year to not be last (geared bike with Hed 3 wheels and Kask aero helmet where I managed a 31m46s). Last year by coincidence the last place time was 31m46s. In order to beat this time I would need to see quite a fitness gain as this setup was probably around 30W more efficient.
My Best Times on Wabi:
|Date||Distance||Strava Time||Speed||Pulse||Race Time|
I think I am fitter now than I was 3 months ago and my FTP is slightly better but I am not feeling too great. I have been seeing some encouraging results on my Del Valle practice TT course despite the general feeling of malaise. I have been getting within a minute of my previous Wabi times on this course and my times are quite consistent.
My only changes to the Wabi was the addition of a new back tire (after the original Corsa let go in a big way) and a power pod power meter. I also decided to stick with the 48 x 15 gearing which really is a compromise but I don’t think I could push anything bigger on the mainly up hill way out.
The Red Kite people have always been quite liberal with the Merckx rules and some people have some pretty aero kit. I am riding a classic steel tubed bike with no gears and absolutely no aero stuff. I feel I am more than meeting the spirit of the regulation. This article “article here” claims that the difference beween a TT bike and a road bike is around 70W at 25MPH. I would say that for me on this 11.1 mile course it is about 2 minutes difference. The difference between the Wabi Fixed and something like a Venge is harder to guess. I would guess that it could be a minute. This test has some shocking differences and shows that an aero road bike can save around 30W. I think my geared bike with aero wheels and helmet was a good bit faster than the Wabi but I am hoping my fitness has improved.
What was quite significant from the aero testing was the “aero hoods” position which is the virtual aerobar position you see quite often with breakaway riders. With my current state of balance I cant consider doing this as I consider it too dangerous. It would probably get me quite a saving on those long drags on the way out if I could do it. According to this test it was worth 40W on the slowest bike which was huge. When my wife does this on training rides I can notice a big difference.
|Bike model||Aero watts at 45kph||Aero ranking|
|Trek Madone Race Shop Ltd||301.6||299.1||279.1||1st|
|Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS||301.6||300.1||286.1||2nd|
|Canyon Aeroad CF SLX||307.6||295.2||281.5||3rd|
|Giant Propel Advanced SL||343.0||332.6||298.0||5th|
I was in two minds about actually riding this event. Since my stroke my times up Patterson have been well over 10 minutes slower than they were in the good old days. I reckon I am at about 70% fitness but seem worse when things get really steep. In the past I used to think of improving my time but now all I think is, “can I actually get up the steep bits?”. I can’t get over how hard the climb feels now, especially with a headwind and heat. Back in 2014 I did 31m06s for the TT which was good enough for second place but now It would be a real struggle to beat the last place time of 48 minutes. Back then I was riding the climb regularly with the Cycletrons and always in the top few riders over the top of Patterson. My goal for the day was much more humble and to not come last (very tall order). If I could get within 130% of my last time I would be pleased so my stretch goal was beating 40 Minutes. Of course a strong variable on this climb is the headwind and I have encountered some monsters on here.
When I rode the event in 2014 I did 20m36s for the Patterson TT segment with an average wattage of 329W and an average heart rate of 175 bpm. When I did a practice attempt, on the Wednesday before the event, my time for the same segment was 31m25s with an average wattage of 241W and a heart rate of 161bpm. Back then my max heart rate was approx. 185bpm and now it is about 175bpm. I have to admit the wind was pretty unfavorable on my practice attempt but I cant remember what it was like for the race. It is normally a nasty headwind up the climb in July.
Back in 2014 I put some clip on aero bars on my Tarmac and I am sure these helped a lot on the bottom couple of miles of the climb. I decided to risk my bad balance issues and try to fit them for this event but unfortunately was unable to find them. My race tactic was to try to have something in reserve for the three steep sections and not go too mad on the Midway Climb (My midway times are also down about 30%.). I knew if I hit the steep bits already close to max that I would suffer really badly and lose more time.
My chosen steed for the race was my Storck with a 34×28 bottom gear and I decided to not go with the Kask helmet as heat on this climb can be vicious. I don’t own a skinsuit anymore but our team jerseys are pretty aero. I had had a stomach bug all week before the event so I didn’t feel brilliant but not too bad. When I was warming up I saw lots of skinsuits, deep dish wheels, aero bars and aero helmets.
The race itself went pretty much to plan. I think I did a pretty good job of pacing myself on the bit up to the main climb and never really went too deep. I think the wind was kinder than it has been for the past few weeks but it was pretty warm. I got caught by two riders and they went past me as if I was stood still. Despite pacing myself well, I still completely blew up in the last 200 yards and it was horrible. My time up Midway was 2m31s (285W) compared to 2m01s (388W) back in 2014. My time up Patterson was25m35s (243W) compared to 20m36 (329W) in 2014.
My goal was to beat 40 minutes and not come last and I achieved both those. My time was 6m50s off my last time on this race which is around 15% down but better than I hoped. The winners time was excellent and even back to my 2014 fitness I would not have been close to that.
My wife has some Campag Neutron wheels on her Colnago and they can be an absolute nightmare to fit tires on. I broke two tire levers trying to get some Michelin Pro Race 3 tires on and completely failed with some Kenda Countach tires. In the end I tried with some Continental GP4000S and it was a real struggle but they went on. I was hoping that after a few hundred miles they would become easier to fit.
Unfortunately this week my wife flatted and was completely unable to remove the tire. In the end some big burly bloke managed to get the tire off but it took two of them to get it back on and in the progress they nipped the tube. I googled the issue and it is pretty common for these rims and looked for a tire that people found worked. I found the Schwalbe Ultremo ZX got favorable comments. Unfortunately the Schwalbe Ultremos are not made anymore and the only ones I can find cheap online are in ghastly colors or 650c. I ordered some for a little more than I wanted to pay but at least they were in Black.
Fortunately I had an Ultremo ZX left over from my recumbent days in the garage so I tried it out. I suppose I should have done this before ordering. It really was pretty easy to fit (at least no more difficult than other rims) but it is Orange which doesn’t go with the bike at all. I hope these ordered Ultremo’s work as well.
On Sunday I had the misfortune of a flat some 25 miles from home on the Wabi Single speed. I ran over something that made the tire go bang in a big way. I checked the tire and didn’t see any glass so I put in the spare tube and pumped it up only to see the tube come out of a big hole and explode.
I noticed a huge hole in the tire so it was toast. I had a tire boot with me but used both my C02 and my only spare tube. I tried for 40 minutes to ring my wife for a ride home but unfortunately her phone was off. Eventually a nice cyclist in a pickup truck stopped and offered to run me home. Bearing in mind this was at least a 40 mile round trip this was a very generous offer. He wouldn’t accept any gas money either. Good people like him restore my faith in humanity.
Wear wise this tire was doing pretty good with 1332 miles on it before the catastrophic damage. Unfortunately Vittoria don’t do the Corsa CX anymore like this. I loved this tire because it looked just like a tubular and had a sublime ride. In my humble opinion this is the best looking clincher tire created. I ordered up the newer version of the tire which in my mind does not look half as good and has a wacky tread . It was but pretty expensive at around $70 list but I managed to get $10 off that price. Just five minutes after ordering saw the same tires on ProBikeKit for way cheaper ($79 for a pair). DOH ! Incidentally this is the second CX rear tire that I have had fail in the same way. They may be gorgeous but they are a bit fragile.
I must say that I have no complaints with Velocomp’s customer service and I would go as far as to say I am really impressed. They bent over backwards trying to help me with my problems and despite me losing my receipt they sent me a brand new unit. The good news is that the new unit seems to work good. The numbers I see when riding stack up well with my power tap and stages meters and I get a warm fuzzy feeling for the data.
When I first added it I had a really hard time getting my Garmin to recognize it and I think I might rerun the calibration run as it started before I was actually ready. I did my time trial course today and the power numbers looked really good compared to my Powertap. I still cant figure out how it works but it does.
I am still not very impressed by the calibration routine and it is quite complicated and not easy to figure out just where in the process you are. My plan was to ride out to a local quiet road to do the calibration but on this calibration it started as I was riding out of the drive. In the past I have forced a recalibration by updating the parameters in the software but I have been unable to figure out how to do a recalibration with this new unit. Despite this less than ideal calibration the numbers look pretty good.
I never really expected to get great absolute numbers out of this solution but I was hoping for a good comparative tool. If for example I did a practice effort on my local TT course on different days I would like to be able to compare the numbers. With the new Powerpod it looks like I can do this. As a bonus the numbers actually look pretty close to my other power solutions. The two runs below were done 3 months apart but the weather was very similar.
Tesla – Mines TT:
If I could get them to redesign it I would make a couple of changes.
I have only done about 30 miles with the new Powerpod but so far things are looking good.
It is two months till the Cull Canyon TT and I want to do as well as possible in it. I am planning to ride the Merckx Category on my Wabi Single Speed Fixed bike. Even when I was fit I couldn’t challenge for the top spot in this category with the fixed gear bike. The climbing nature of the course is not ideal for fixed. It is a real drag on the way out and it is very easy to spin out on the way back. I love the challenge of riding fixed no matter what the disadvantages are. If it was a stonking tail wind out it would really help the fixed but it never is. My best time on fixed on the way out is 16m32s (20.5MPH) which is within 1 minute of my best time on the TT bike. It is an uphill slog to the turn and my average pedal revs are around 80RPM. The return is mostly down hill with a few tight corners and my best is 12m02s (27.0MPH) which is around 1 minute slower than the TT bike again. This represents 108RPM which is pretty fast. I am really surprised the TT bike isn’t much faster on the return leg (must have been a favorable wind when I did it on the fixed)
Since my stroke, my FTP is around 100W down on my best so I can’t expect to beat my P.R. but I would really like to beat 30 Minutes. My 20 minute power was around 346W prior to the stoke an is around 226W now. I do seem to be getting a bit faster and can keep up on the team rides for quite a bit longer but whether I can improve more over the next two months is not certain. Also I am showing very poor improvement on my times on Strava on my local hills which is concerning. For example I did an effort of Del Valle climb on my Lemond back in January and repeated today with almost exactly the same pulse and did exactly the same time. I rode the TT back in March on my Road bike with aero wheels and helmet and only managed 31m46s. This means in reality I would probably do about 32-33 minutes on the fixed. I am not able to put in the training like I used to and can’t push myself as hard but what I lose in speed I can make up for (to a certain extent) in Experience. I have ridden this TT course about 30 times and experience has to count for something.
Best Times on Merckx Style Fixed:
|8/24/14||11.1||0:28:36||23.6||169||Wabi SE (48 x15)||Race (28:41)|
|8/10/14||11.1||0:29:10||22.8||154||Wabi SE (48 x15)|
|3/22/15||11.1||0:29:12||22.8||165||Wabi SE (48 x15)||Race (29:18)|
The above times compare to 26m49s on my Trek TTX TT bike.
I have a test TT course that I use to gauge my fitness and my best time on the Wabi is 17m14s. My post stroke effort is 19m07s. Just for comparison, on my Trek TTX TT bike I have done 15m45s which incidentally is still the Strava KOM. I hope to improve by a minute over the next two months.
My MASI CX bike has been my commute bike for many years now. I originally ran the bike without a computer so I have no idea what the total mileage is. I have done 6500+ miles since I started recording mileage on Strava on it. I estimate the bike has done more than 10000 miles. The Masi has not been without problems and has had a fair few repairs in this time. I ride the bike regardless of the weather.
The forks developed a crack behind the brake bosses and I had to replace them. I was gutted in having to replace the forks as the paint job was one of the things that drew me to this bike. Masi doesn’t have a good frame warranty like other brands. The cost of a new pair of forks was almost enough for me to scrap the bike but I liked it too much.
I have had several freewheels and several chains before finally settling on the Excess components single which was much better than the Shimano junk. The original chainset failed and had to be replaced and I have gone through two bottom brackets.
I recently swapped out the bottom bracket after the Token model died a horrible death. It was a fairly high end item with Carbon and Titanium but it didn’t take kindly to the river crossings I encountered this winter. The bearings were absolutely destroyed in less than 1000 miles. (The same river crossings that also ruined the bearings in my Deore XT SPD pedals)
I originally ran Crank Bros pedals but found the cleats were a little fragile. I changed to SPD 12 months ago on all my off road bikes. I prefer the feel of the Shimano solution and it seems a little more robust. Unfortunately all the wet commutes this winter have put the bearings in a really bad way. You expect better from Deore XT pedals.
I fitted a new seatpost and saddle as the original fitment were not very good. I love the look of the classic Flite saddle but it is not very comfy at all
The bike originally came fitted with some monster Panarcer Firecross 45c tires (see original picture) but these proved very unreliable. I changed to some Schwalbe Marathon Racers which felt a good bit quicker but proved to be equally unreliable. I eventually updated these to some continental speed which were great tires but I was worried they were a little fragile. I finally changed to a set of Continental Contact tires back in December 2013 and have covered over 6000 miles on them with zero punctures or problems. These tires are as hard as nails, very heavy and feel very sluggish. I eventually got bored with them and decided to get a budget pair of Ritchey Speedmax Cross Comp Clinchers (700x40c) at a mere $35 per pair to try them out. At this price they seem a very low risk purchase. My commute involves a few miles of gravel trail but nothing too technical so these should work well. The only downside is that they really look like cheap tires.
My first riding impressions of the Speedmax tires are very good. The tires roll quite fast and are pretty much silent. They feel much faster than the contacts. Unless you ride them back to back with some 23c road tires you don’t really notice the drag. They are supposed to be 40C but I think they look nearer to 33C. A guy on the train has 40C on his Salsa Vaya and they look huge compared to the Speedmax. When swapping between these tires and my single speed with the Vittoria CX’s they difference is massive. They really do drag compare to a narrower fast 320 tpi road tite.
Reliability therefore hasn’t been so good but I really like how the bike rides and it is ideal for my pretty flat commute. I run a 42×18 gear which is just about perfect especially now I am running an Excess Freewheel rather than the crappy Shimano models. The bike can run fixed or single free but I never run it fixed as I prefer being able to freewheel negotiating the various obstacles I encounter. 42 x 18 gives a pretty good cruising speed of around 17-18 MPH which is perfect for my commute. Unfortunately the frame is pretty scratched up due to the Wallmart specials that get rammed next to it on the train but it still looks pretty nice.
If the frame fails I would consider getting another Masi although they don’t make the CXSS model anymore. I quite like the Speciale Sprint but you cant put big tires on it. I would quite like a Raleigh RXS but the eccentric BB puts me off a bit.