Happiness is a Garage Full of Bikes

September 18, 2014 Leave a comment

And the time to ride them!!!

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Why Vuelta wheels may just be the best deal in Cycling

September 13, 2014 3 comments

I have definitely come around to the truism that wheels make the bike. Of all the components I have upgraded to over the years wheels have had the arguably most impact. I have since purchased some Eastons, a set of Souls, and a Flo Disk, all of which made a drastic improvement to the various bikes I had them mounted to. And with the sad fact that very few bikes come with any kind of decent wheelset (even top dollar pro level bikes) eventually you will have to upgrade and get sucked into the bewildering world of wheels.

Recently I found myself at that point. I had my office training bike that I was finding I was spending a lot of time on.  And the Cervelo and the Tarmac were left vying for wheels as well. With only 2 sets between the 3 I needed another set. But also I found my mountain bike probably could use a better set and I had this new cyclocross bike which needed some wheels too.

And you can spend thousands but as of today I can’t make that level of commitment on the wheel front. Also budget is important to me, need the best for the least.

Being budget and performance minded I was looking for both and found the Vuelta set of offered by Bike Nashbar (as well as others). Its a bit hard to find pure reviews but the ones that mean the most, namely the people who buy the wheels, most seem happy. I include myself on that list with over a year on the Pro Trails and many months on the Corsa HD and the Corsa SLRs.

Note I haven’t dug into hubs and lacing patterns. Just not my style to worry too much about that. I would say these aren’t the best hubs in the world, but on the SLRs in particular they pass the “Spin and watch” test. The SLRs seem to spin forever, and the other two aren’t that far behind.

Note, while the costs here are from my order history and they say not currently available both the Corsa HD and SLRs are available but maybe in a newer year or design, and at around the same low price. Pro Trails don’t seem to be offered but there are a number of other Vuelta 26’ and 29 mountain bike wheels sets up on www.nashbar.com.

 

Vuelta Pro Trail 26”  image

It started off with my Mountain bike. I now realize I went a bit too low when I purchased but it was the first bike I had bought in over 20 years so it probably was best not to go too deep yet. The wheels that came with it were extremely cheap and heavy, Alex Rim etc.  Did I mention they were heavy!

Having joined a few group rides and done quite a few trail rides by myself it was apparent I needed a better set of wheels. It could be very exhausting. Not sure what the weight was but they were heavy and frankly didn’t look at that great. Also I had driven them in the winter and they were not handling it too well!

It was also very hard to figure out what I needed, a lot of different standards (thru axle etc.) and I needed 8 speed. Getting simple wheels for what was an entry level bike ensured it would fit.

The Pro Trail felt so much better right out of the gate. I neglected to take out of the box shots of any of these wheels so they are dirty, these especially. We have been on technical trails and nice flowing fire roads and no problems at all.

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While these wheels felt lighter, I am sure they are still on the heavy side of the house, however they have performed extremely well and again have given my Mountain Bike a bit of snap and not as tiring.

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Cost for these wheels were $110 plus shipping! That’s my kind of upgrade

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Vuelta Corsa HD image

Next up was my Cyclocross bike. It didn’t have any wheels at all and the few sets I had around were mostly the casts offs from other bikes. I also wanted something that could take a lot of beating. These are said to be cyclocross ready, or at least designed for the rigors of cyclocross. Also it kept the cost of building up my Redline down.

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They are heave at over 2500Gs but they need to both take a pounding and hold up my still 195 pound frame (they are rated up to 300!). These are tough wheels. I have been on quite a few outings on fire roads and a few mountain bike trails and these wheels haven’t been what has slowed me down.

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I paired these with some pretty wicked Vittoria Cross XG Pro tires and looking forward to some cyclocross races that are coming up.

Best of all, despite looking good and doing what they are supposed to these are cheap. For a cyclocross bike or a commuter seems like the perfect choice. Cost for these were $172 –20%  plus shipping.

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Vuelta Corsa SLR image

Last but certainly not least are the Vuelta Corsa SLRs that now adorn my Specialized Tarmac. These wheels are insanely light. They are said to be under 1500 grams for the set. They just feel awesome. They are also very tight and do give more feedback. I have been really enjoying these wheels and again I like the way they look. I slapped on some Michelin Pro3s and have been going at it in town sprints during group rides and Strava segment hunting all summer.

Price is what really makes these a screaming deal. Sit up no Nashbar’s site and a 20% day with free shipping will appear and bang. I have never had a problem getting stuff from Nashbar. Mine were $311 then I applied a 20% discount so ended up under $300. I can’t think of any wheel like this that I have seen under $500, and they easily match the Easton EA90 Aeros which cost me $700.

I compare these to Zipp 101s (many wouldn’t I know but if you want to save money you have to)

The 101s are around $1000. They weigh a bit more (seems to be around 1500g but depends a bit on how they are built up) but they are still alloy. The SLRs are $300, less weight, same snappy feel. That’s $700 in your pocket. It gives the engine (ie me) all the advantage it needs. I have been able to keep up on long, hard group rides with fast folks. I don’t think spending the money on another set of wheels would make any difference. Again, opinions vary but this is mine.

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These wheels really make the bike snappy and I have used them extensively since I bought them. The rear did get out of true but that was after I hit a nasty pothole and it was only out but a bit. I was able to retrue them with in the frame.

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I was getting a bit bogged down in my TT times and since I liked these wheels so much I slapped them on the Cervelo and ended up doing my best time of the summer at over 40kph. I’ll admit a little bit that the ProTrails and the Corsa HD have their drawbacks and really price is there pure advantage although both have improved overall the bikes I have attached them to. The Corsa SLRs are completely different. They feel better than any of the other wheels I have so far.

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January 2016 update.

I am trying to go back to some of my posts and give an update. For these three sets of wheels I wanted to report that the Corsa HDs and the Protrails have been awesome and have not had a single issue. I used the Corsa HDs in three cyclocross events last year, no issues. Same with the protrails no issues and continue to use and enjoy them.

The SLRs have been tricky to keep true. They have needed to be straightened twice now and I just noticed they are out again. Part of that may be my own weight, I am a bit over the safe weight these are rated at. But when they are true, I still love em.

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Fenix 2 Multisport mode report – it works!!

July 14, 2014 1 comment

image So for my birthday after some thought and a 50/50 deal with my family I was a proud owner of a new Fenix 2 watch from Garmin. I friend had just received one and enjoyed it for running and hiking and I liked being able to add swimming to my triathlon tracking and still have run and bike as well. Last year I paired up my Garmin Edge 500 for the bike with a forerunner 110 for the run. The Fenix 2 theoretically could replace both those and add swimming.

I did a bit of due diligence by heading over to DC Rainmaker and his blog entries on the Fenix 2 certainly added to my want for this watch. I knew some of the limitations (each segment of a tri is a different activity, can’t use ANT+ and Bluetooth at same time, can’t use JHR with water etc.) but those were fine.  And I loved that I could use it for everything.

Thus a few days before I turned 47 I had a new Fenix 2 watch. And one day before I did the Sydenham Olympic Tri. Awesome!

It came with about 80% charged, so since I am impatient just hooked it up to the computer and got going. Entered all the user stuff. Quickly hooked up to Garmin connect, upgraded to Firmware 3.3 and ready to go.

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As I unboxed it and started to dig into the multisport feature was a bit concerned on the apparent complexity of such a task for a mere watch. Naturally went out to the web and oh oh. Nothing but entry after entry about how Multisport doesn’t work, never works, will never work. That would really suck after being so excited to get it.

Well used it this morning and have to say…it at least met my expectations and exceeded them in a few areas as well. I was very pleased with it.

The Basics of MultiSport mode

So 1st off I didn’t really change any of the multisport defaults. The default setting is Open Swim, Bike, Run and I think Transitions ON. If its OFF turn it ON. At least I did. That was it really. Didn’t have much time to do anything else.

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Just so the rest of this entry makes some sense it worked as expected at each stage so in general this was the correct way to do it. You have to HIT the BACK/LAP button after the swim, after the first transition as you start the bike, after the bike, after the second transition as you start the run then hit START/STOP as you cross the line. That is all I did.

After you hit START/STOP to end all it shows you is your time. Which in this case was 2:50:27 or about 1.5 minutes slower than my best but considering the weather and leg cramps (more on that later) I was pleased. 2nd best bike leg too!

The Swim

It’s a bit bulky but overall not that much bigger than my Timex Ironman, although quite a bit bigger than my forerunner 110. Still I didn’t have any problems putting my wetsuit over it. Into the water and got the watch ready. Hit Start/Stop, select Mutlisport then wait for the gun for the swim leg to start.

Bang. We were off. Hit the Start button. The watch vibrates to tell you it has done something and I assumed it started as I had to get into it. I looked at it a few times and I don’t remember exactly what is was showing but I think it was pace and overall time.

This is how it looked once I uploaded it to Garmin Connect. Note this was the one that I had the most issues with.

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Since I haven’t used the swim feature before I didn’t know what to look for but obviously the buoys didn’t move that much so a wee bit off. Also it was 1.5km, not 2.3 but I may try to look at some other folks settings as I say a number of Garmin equipped swimmers. Hopefully they published their legs. Also 54m elevation gain?? But its close enough for now but concerning.

Possibly I need to look at some of the GPS and accelerator settings?

Tranistion One

As I exited the swim I hit BACK/LAP and the watch vibrated. The vibration is quite pronounced and I came to appreciat this as you are in a rush and you don’t want to worry about trying to figure out if you hit the button or not.

A Transition is an activity like any other so it shows up as well. We had to run from the swimming exit to the transition area. The best this this is for is to simply know how long your transition was. The Tri just added this to your swim time so this was interesting.

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The Bike

Next up was the one event that I really pay attention to and the night before I had made sure I could pair my cadence sensor and my PowerCAL HR/Power strap. As I exited the transition area I hit BACK/LAP again. Again the welcome vibration. For this leg I also had an Edge 200 on my bike. I was using the 200 as I didn’t want to have any ANT+ conflicts. As I exited the watch beep or vibrated or something as I looked down on it. It said POWER METER DETECTED CALIBRATE YES/NO.I didn’t really know what to do so I hit some button and it went again. Need to figure that out.

Anyways soon we were out on the course. One thing I noticed was that the watch was a bit hard to see on the bike. It was at the wrong angle and when I did look at it the writing was too small to quickly make out what it was saying. I may always use the Edge 200 just to be grounded during the bike leg and just delete that activity afterwards.

The bike leg at Sydenham is two loops of a lumpy course so hard to get into any rhythm and today the weather was brutal, as Connect was all too willing to let me know.

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Rain, sometimes hard, and an uneven crosswind that was a bit of a tail wind out and a brutal head wind on the way back.  I only really looked at my Edge 200 and for reference at the end of the ride here is what it said. It has always been reliable so I took this as the reference measurement and would see how the Fenix 2 matched a bit later.

Later took these shots after having saved the activity.

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Time was 1:11:02, 33.58 average speed, 39.76 kms, 1785(!) calories.

Compare this to the Fenix 2 data. 1:11 time, 33.6 average speed, 39.72 kms, 745 calories. So about as perfect as you can get. Great stuff.

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Heart Rate, Cadence, Power all looked about what I would expect so I would consider this a success.

I have always noticed that the Edge 200 was always very giving of calories, but basically considering the Fenix 2 had HR, Power and Cadence more around what it would really be. So something to consider when you so 1700 calories on your Edge 200, it is probably inflating by over 100%!

Transition Two

As I dismounted hit stop on the Edge 200 and BACK/LAP on the Fenix 2. Again the nice buzzing. This transition was quite a bit quicker. Cycling stuff stowed, shoes on, grabbed a gel and off I went. No real drama except my socks were very wet and overall I was a bit miserable!

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Put the activity in satellite to give you a sense of the transition area. Basically you entered from the road in the south, to the racks on the field then out on the track.

 

The Run

Exiting the transition area hit BACK/LAP one last time. Again vibration..all good. This was the final leg and where the watch did best at least during the run. I was able to keep a firm grasp on my pace and it was easy enough to scan when I felt like it.

My run, for me at least, started really strong. After 6kms I felt that I was liable to beat my personal best for this Tri which would be awesome considering the weather. I have not been doing a lot of running and have been averaging about 6:20 or more per kilometer. The first few kms I was averaging about 5:30, wow!

Naturally I then paid for this, two nasty bouts of leg cramps brought everything crashing down. This is quite evident in the timing. After that I slowed down and lost a lot of time.

 

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Also NOTE that the transition is the first split. Hmmm don’t like that. Will have to dig into that a bit.

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Wasn’t sure if the heart rate monitor was going to transfer to the run leg but it did automatically.

 

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Finally a bit exhausted and sore due to the cramping crossed the line. Hit START/STOP. The watch stopped at 2 hours, 50 minutes and 27 secs.

Here is the official SportStats timing. Within a few seconds so nice! Ended up 12th but in a fairly small field (32). All the Somersault events I have been doing are waaay down in attendance. May need to look for other Tris next year?

 12       2:50:32.3   156 DAVIS, Doug

 

Other Tidbits

Wondered about a few other things on the watch.

Looked at the recovery mode. Don’t understand this too much yet but it now says 62 hours. Which is a problem as I have a group ride tomorrow. But interesting.

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The V02 calculation came in at 42. Again need to understand that a bit more.

Conclusion

The biggest conclusion is that it worked! So while I am sure some people are having problems with it in general worked for me. Transitions seem to be included a bit in the run and the swimming I need to understand a bit more.

And after using this now in anger, really pleased and looking forward to a long and fruitful life together! May try it as my main watch and if something just pops up like a ride, run, hike or anything really I will have the right device close by.

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2008 Redline Conquest Pro Frame build up

July 1, 2014 1 comment

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So just as I was finishing up the restoration of my brother’s old fiori into a Cyclocross bike naturally a buddy of mine noticed and said “hey, I have an good Cyclocross frame I don’t use anymore, did you want it?”

Did I! A bit of negotiation ensued and $100 later I had a 2008 Redline Conquest Pro frame with a Carbon fork ready to be turned into a sweet true Cyclocross bike. Although I would have been fine to continue with the Fiori the prospect of a finer bike beckoned and you have to take advantage of serendipity when it arrives.

As well as a frame and fork it came with a carbon seat post, which was incomplete so had to ditch, seat collar and a few of the various bits and pieces to route cabling.

I am used to gatheting parts on the cheap now and after a couple of weeks of parts selection and build up ended up with this.

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I won’t go into the usual deep details of why I bought this or that for it but I knew from past experience that the drivetrain would be Campagnola Veloce. I have found this to be the most cost effective way to get good shifters and overall performance. So once more Ribble provided me with a full set there.

The crank I settled on a was SRAM Apex compact crank 50/34 which was also on sale at Ribble. Probably a few years back in production but does the business. I know this isn’t the usual Cyclocross crank but those are around 46/38 which seemed a bit too specialized for the general riding I was also hoping to do with this bike. 

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The brakes were the most interesting part to source as I had not used cross brakes in the past. With Discs coming on strong as well may be the last time too but in the end I found a nice pair of TRP Euro-X on ebay for under $100.

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Wheels I also wanted something Cross specific but cheap as possible and I selected the Vuelta Corsa HDs from Bike Nashbar. $105 as I paid attention to the various coupons and savings. They seemed decent and since I have received them they have done the business no problem on some pretty crummy roads. Look for a blog entry on the trio of Vuelta wheel sets I recently received.

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Tires I went back and forth on a few but settled on these Vittoria Cross XG Pro 700×34 which as you can see from the brake picture above still leaves lots of room for mud etc. So far they have been stellar.

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Rest of the bike I used a bit of left over bits, bought some compact handlebars on sale and re-used some of my Mountain bike pedals.

With the parts assembled the bike came together fairly quickly and started putting some kilometers on it and we were entered into the local Paris-Roubaix race as reported here. As stated there the chain has been a problem but its now sorted more or less with a bit of a Frankenstein Shimano/SRAM hybrid. Since then has been trouble free. This bike tends to now be my stormy weather bike and it gets dirty so have to be a bit careful about keeping it clean. My “other” Cyclocross bike will now become my dedicated winter trainer.

Overall the Redline is another welcomed addition to the stable!

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The impact of the long winter

May 14, 2014 1 comment

So up here in Eastern Ontario the winter was hard. It was hard all round too but in these parts where we are used to long winters it was long. There weren’t those occasional days when you could get out and still get a good ride in. I needed a bit of sun and around –5 to be comfortable and for weeks we didn’t get that. I did get a few rides in when I travelled, including some nice mountain biking in Vegas. But everything fitness related suffered.

In the end when the nicer weather did come around I found myself +10 pounds, slightly out of shape and discouraged. Even stopped updating this blog etc. But eventually hibernation began to fade and the riding begins. Unfortunately the race schedule did not get moved out and right off the bat had a few events to get into.

1st off was the Good Friday OBC 15k Time Trial. In the past I have done well here but frankly I had less than 400k on my legs since Jan 1st and little formal training or hard rides. So I was a bit concerned about how I would do.

In the end it was pretty bad. I have not done a 15TT under 38kph since I restarted these a few years back but this one felt bad. I could tell that I haven’t been doing any real training. Still when I started waaay 5 or so years ago I would not have been able to do 35.5 kph but that was little consolation. Still I was mid pack and the average of all the riders was 34.21 kph. So I was still better than average despite being in bad shape.

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I will be doing another one tomorrow so will have to see what has improved in the last month.

The other event was the annual Almonte Paris-Roubaix cyclocross race. This race was 85 kilometers on roads, both paved and gravel and the occasional single track trail.  For this one I had my new cyclocross bike. After going thru all the effort to create a cyclocross bike out of my old Fiori naturally as soon as I was finished I was basically offered a sweet frame and carbon fork for $100. I parted it up and the result was pretty nice IMHO. It was a 2008 Redline Conquest Pro and I was able to test it out a bit before the race but for whatever reason the chain kept snapping.

 

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However I thought I had it sorted by the time the race rolled around and after the usual pre race instructions off we went. I was definitely in the second bunch of folks but on the whole was keeping up. After about 50kms I began to falter a bit but was still able to keep things going then on a hard section of rollers disaster…snap went the chain again. Grrrr.

I was able to remove a couple of links and after about 20 minutes got going again but I was worried it wouldn’t hold but it did until the end although I could feel it start to give again. I had been hoping to get in under 3 hours but my inability to really push due to the chain and yes my lack of fitness did me in. 3:45 officially but while riding 3:25. But I loved this ride otherwise and will do it again. 

 

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It’s a real test of your equipment as the state of my bike afterwards can contest to!

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Hoping this doesn’t mean I have to write this season off. Probably not but also not a good start!!

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Some thoughts on UCI approved wheels

April 14, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s time for another general entry. Which you guys like and gets lots of traffic (even though I am sure your peruse my race reports too :-)).

So welcome to my sorta mini guide to UCI Approved Wheels.

This year I am taking the plunge into a few UCI rules races and the ones I have looked at have this warning.

“As per UCI/CCA Rule 1.3.018, new wheel regulations will be enforced. Only traditional wheels or approved non-traditional wheels are permitted. Consult the list of approved non-traditional wheels at www.uci.ch/english/about/wheels.htm. “

Some of these races are very local and even within the Ottawa area a bit obscure so I was wondering if the same is true of everywhere else must be thousands of these races with thousands of riders every week having to go through these rules. After a fairly exhaustive search I couldn’t find much evidence of folks who were thrown out of a race due to non-compliance but you never know.

So either folks are very compliant or nobody actually checks the wheels. Still I don’t want to travel to a race then get thrown out because of an obscure wheel rule. This rule also seems to be the one that is highlighted the most. As far as I can tell none of my existing wheels are either UCI compliant or are something I would want to race on.

As always, as being new to this, I found two big problems.

1- The rules as written are pretty crappy, especially in trying to define if the wheel you have already is compliant under the “traditional” rule.

2- The approved list doesn’t date the wheels  (can I use a Fulcrum racing 7 from 2008? 2014?) which makes it hard to really understand if you bought the right one. And few online stores actually say “UCI approved:””

Anyways let’s start with the traditional rule.

The rules for “traditional wheels” do seem to be fairly straight forward:

  1. can not have rims higher than 2.5 cm (25mm)
  2. can not have fewer than 16 spokes
  3. can not have spoke thicknesses of over 2.4 mm (bit of an odd one)

The big issue is that a lot of traditional wheels are really really bad so in essence the main reason for this (make sure folks have safe wheels) seems flawed as you can use a clapped out 1957 Mavic wheel I guess and be compliant.

Traditional Wheels that may fit the bill

So based on this if you were looking for a good UCI traditional wheel set really not that many will fit that bill. I do find it’s hard these days to source wheel sets under 25mm that aren’t really heavy and probably not up to the task.

A few cheaper Traditional wheels for example may be:

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Jenson USA has the Mavic Aksium S25 (24mm rims) wheel set for $329.00.

 

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I love my soul s4’s so the lighter soul s2’s are possible options. A pair will run you about $600. 23mm rim and claimed 1.3kg for the set.

I found some Vuelta Corsa SLRs over at bike nashbar which seem like they may do the trick. Nice and light at 1500g and lots of good reviews. 22mm Rim (check),  24 spokes (check), spoke width 2.0-1.6 mm (check). Right now at $350 for the set, but you know that if you wait there will be a sale. I pulled the trigger at around $225 and will blog about it later but just saying, you don’t have to spend a lot on a traditional wheel that may work.

UCI certified wheels

But folks like the bigger rims and for over 25mm UCI rules kick in.

In order to be UCI approved wheel manufacturers have to ship wheels to the testing lab in Belgium and hope they pass. Most do as the UCI rules are very close to other in place standards like CEN and ISO (yawn….when can I bike?)

Anyhow. That means that many wheels that would be UCI approved simply aren’t because they maker didn’t want to go thru the process. But that leaves a lot of wheels left.

So let’s say you do want an UCI certified wheel. The list is long enough with lots of the big names on it, albeit often with a limited number of actual wheels. And most naturally are the top end.

American Classic, Campagnolo, DT Swiss, FSA, Fulcrum, HED, Mavic, Reynolds, Shimano, Trek and Zipp have plenty of models on offer. Easton was one that stuck out as they only have a couple.

For a cheap UCI certified wheel one of the better ones seems to be the Fulcrum Racing 7 (you can find them around $250 pretty much anywhere on the web). Probably more of a training wheel and not light (at about 2000g) but if you get caught out and need a cheap wheel set fast these will do.

Once you get into the $500+ a lot more options. At $1000 the world is your oyster.

So that’s about it. Will use my Corsa SLRs and see if I get kicked out of any races. Will be interesting.

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New 2014 Cervelo P2 (aka P3 lite) announced

January 16, 2014 2 comments

Despite the excitement of the P5 and the P3 I would wager that the P2 is still a huge seller for Cervélo and while its still an awesome bike in its 2013 and earlier guise, it hasn’t been updated in over 7 years and its at a price point that Cervélo needs to have a competitive position in.  So with that in mind now there is a now a brand spanking new P2 (or is there?).

Essentially this is the P3 frame but with a lower spec. Not sure why this just wouldn’t be a subset of the P3 (P3 105 would be what it’s called) but I think the fact that the P2 was such an iconic bike (it won Ironman Kona twice) and it has a certain known price point there was value in keeping the P2 name. But don’t think that the P2 frame and the P3 frame are different, the only difference is the graphics (although the fork is different too but I am sure they are both great forks and can’t see how that would impact price). Despite being a P3 the new P2 is the same price as the old P2 at $2800 MSRP making it the cheapest P3 out there (confused yet?).

Cervélo has all the details here: http://www.cervelo.com/en/bikes/p-series/p2.html

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This is the P3 frame but with a lower spec (in this case 105 as opposed to the P3’s Ultegra). That also means a lot more options when you want to upgrade (in case you get an Ultegra Di2 kit for your birthday) and all the nooks and crannies for all your storage and hydration that came with the new P3. This is great news and makes this a worthy bike to have at this price point.

Speaking of price the P3 has Ulitegra DI2($5800), Dura Ace ($5400) and Ultegra ($3950) price points. The P3 P2 105 is $2800.

Here are the changes from the pre 2014 P2

Derailleurs are now 105 instead of Ultegra. I have 105 on two of my road bikes and its a great group. Don’t expect too much of a drop in performance there. The bottom bracket is now BBright which means a lot less options for upgrading. And its still a compact crank although now the BBright version of the FSA Gossamer Pro crank. I haven’t yet really found a reason not to keep old English tread and hope we don’t just have frames with BB this or that in the future. I have one bike with the more popular BB30 and a crank upgrade there was a pain just to find a good list of BB30 cranks. BBright must be worst.

The tri bars now have a bit of an upwards bend but still mostly the same stuff. They are Profile Design’s while in 2012 the bars were 3T Auro’s but not sure which one would really be better.

Considering that a P3 Ultegra is a whooping $1000 more than the P2 basically not sure it doesn’t make sense to buy a P2 and then get the upgrades than you want. For your grand you get upgraded derailleurs, bars and brake levels, better chain and cassette and wheels, but same brake and crank.

The fork is different but not sure that would be a price difference? And the seat on the P3 is one of those funky ISM’s while the P2 has the awesome and mighty Fizik Arione Tri2. The wheels (3T Accelero Pro on the P3) are certainly a better spec and online I found them at around $650-700 so that makes up a good bulk of the upgrade. If you already have a nice wheelset then P2 is the way to go. The P2 comes with a Shimano R501 wheel set which I found as cheap as $150 (yikes..pretty low low spec on a 3k bike).

Overall, I don’t see much reason to upgrade from my current P2 but if you are new into tri bikes this is a good serious entry level bike from the top name in the business.

For comparison the MSRP of the Specialized Shiv Elite is $3200 and the Trek Speed Concept 7.0 is $3100, both have similar spec to the P2 but a bit pricier so nod has to go to Cervélo is based on price (again P2 msrp is $2800).

So the only mystery is why isn’t this the P3 105. When you look at it from a marketing and cost perspective it makes a certain degree of sense. It streamlines the product production and they get to keep the P2 moniker. And if you like a P3 but can’t afford the almost $4000 lowest spec build, save a grand and get a P3 disguised as a P2 and tweak it where needed over time.

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