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Archive for August, 2011

Time for a wetsuit

August 15, 2011 1 comment

As I lined up for the Brockville Olympic triathlon this weekend I noticed something. I probably noticed it in the past but today it was really stark. I was a single white body in a wave of wetsuit clad athletes.  I haven’t warmed up the idea of a wetsuit, but after trying one out at the Reading Tri last year and getting a much better time then I have before I was thinking that next year I would pick one up. As I passed the 1k mark on the swim I began to think that maybe this is the year to invest. Was getting a few cramps as the swim ended and being a bit more refreshed while getting a better time…well I’m sure many people have made this calculation.

Is it fair, is it cheating? It is a pure assist device but then so is a tri bike I guess (although not having a Tri bike hasn’t held me back). In the end who cares, clearly everyone has one, so time to man up and agree I need one too.

If the stars align I will be doing the sprint tri in Ottawa on the long weekend. Having a wet suit so I can nail the bike leg sounds good to me. I will report on my purchase if it occurs!

Categories: Uncategorized

EA90 Aero Wheels

August 5, 2011 4 comments

EA90logo

The wheels that came with my Specialized Tarmac are Mavic CXP 22s. These fall into the category of “need to ship with an ok wheel set but we expect the customer to buy something new” wheels.

Like frames, wheels are really about materials. Aluminum versus carbon. Carbon is more expensive, but is lighter and often have that look. But aluminum wheels don’t seem to get the bad rap that aluminum frames do so there are more available for the serious biker. Still either way I didn’t get as hung up on carbon wheels as I did on carbon frame.

I wanted an excellent wheelset at a good price. Naturally 1st stop as always was the internet. American Classic wheels were on the list for a while, then some of the Neuvation carbon wheels piqued my interest, then I learned more about Easton wheels.  After looking at some of the options I settled in on the EA90 Aeros. I wanted something that performed well, looked great with my frame and added some aero capabilities. These seems to fit the bill.

There was a good review on Bikeradar, they rate the wheels at 4.5 stars and a few other reviews sealed the deal. It was also a wheelset that was easy to price online as it was popular enough, and my LBS was willing to match much of the online pricing. I was willing to go a bit higher to support them. In the end came out to about $700 for the set. Also my dealer recommended Michelin Pro3 Race tires which so far have also been amazing. The deal was done but I had to wait 2 weeks.

Finally they came. And I like how they look.

This is the bike with the Mavics:

P8101567 (Medium)

This is the bike with the Eastons:

P8051700 (Medium)

Yep, I agree, have to get better at taking pictures, but I would also agree that the new wheels at least look the part.

P8051701 (Medium)

Front Wheel

P8051699 (Medium)

Rear Wheel

The wheels are a bit different, the rear being deeper at 33mm versus the front 28mm. Since more stress goes on the back I guess that works. According to Easton the wheelset comes out to 1,545 grams. My Mavic CXP 22’s not 100% sure, but a number of sites have they rated at around 2,100 grams. So a savings of about a pound (nice!).

The proof as they say is in the pudding, and these wheels did not disappoint. It’s hard to really say what is different. They are certainly lighter and that makes a difference. They spin better and they just seem more spirited.  I had decided to use my old wheels when I am doing more pure training, but I abandoned that as I found the old wheels just didn’t feel “right” and sluggish.  I consider it money well spent!!

Categories: bicycling, Fit Kit Tags: , ,

What happens when you meet your goal by a mile

August 5, 2011 Leave a comment

So I am sitting here in the middle of the summer and thinking ahead to next year’s SF tri. Snicker if you want but to me this is my Tour De France. It’s the one race I want to do well and this year I progressed well above my multi-year plan to be very competitive, maybe even win it? But it’s now another 10 months off. After the race I was worried about being unmotivated until 6 months before next year’s race. And that is what happened.

I thought that I would get motivated by having my first Olympic Tri, but I know that this one will just be to get a sense of how I can do in the longer distance then I will factor that into next years plans. I am still running (and running a lot more than I have in the past), swimming and biking. But it’s not as intense as it was leading up to the SF Tri. And I am certainly not thinking holistically, food intake is up, beer intake is up, weight is up….yep it’s summer.

What should I do? I think in my younger days I would have found the motivation within, but then all I had to worry about was school, a bit of work and how to keep my girlfriend. Today it’s a big job in a hyper competitive space, a family with four kids and a million little things.

Greg Lemond won the 1986 Tour de France. Do you remember anything else he did in 1986 (He did get shot in 1987 after in that hunting accident!)?Moments are sometimes like that. They define you and no matter what else you do you always have that. For that matter, Neil Armstrong is probably one of the most famous people of the 20th Century, name one other thing he did other than 1st man on the moon. In a thousand years he will still be the 1st man to step on a body not the Earth.  How do you get motivated every day when you know you have that.

It’s a bit like that (well kinda like 1% like that) and we tend to rest on our laurels. I don’t need to do well at the Brockville Tri since I did so well at the Smiths Falls Tri. And I don’t need to train as hard as I surpassed my main goal.

Lesson learned…set a higher goal!!

Categories: Uncategorized