Austin Tri-Cyclist Blog

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

DZ Nuts - Product Review




Product Review: DZ Nuts Chamois

Dave Zabriskie’s (formerly of Team CSC) “DZnuts” chamois cream and apparel is a new product on the shelves at Austin Tri-Cyclist. As an athlete and an employee I thought I’d use the product so I could give an honest opinion when asked.
My initial feeling about the product was it was just another average chamois cream with a more outrageous label than the competitors. Inside the label the product is a plain, white, non-greasy cream without the overpowering, embarrassing odor that nobody wants seeping out of their cycling shorts.
The packaging provides application instructions to avoid any possible confusion regarding the product. Application is as simple as dropping your lycra to your ankles and lathering either perineal area or the chamois itself with “DZ Nuts”. Here’s the step where you can run into trouble… The product is thinner than most other brands. While just as, if not more affective than other brands, it’s more likely to be absorbed in the chamois. Getting into a rough situation is easily avoided by simply using more cream.
My overall thoughts of the product is it’s good, it works, and leaving it on your coffee table makes for great conversation. Besides the quality of its function, it’s not oily and washes out clean at the end of the day. The down-side of the product is due to having to use more, the price per serving is costlier. After usage on a road bike as well as a TT setup I’m confident in referring people to “protect their junk” the way the one and only Dave Zabriskie does with DZ Nuts.
-George

Bikes of my past

Here is a list I created after seeing Brandon's list: Excluding the first one listed these were over a 5 year period.

Gremlin's Tricycle (this one rocked when I was 4)
Trek 1000 (did an Ironman on this)
Guru Racelite (First step into carbon)
Litespeed Pavia (made me want to leave carbon)
Litespeed Sienna (Ti is fun ride..but overpriced)
Xlab Mach 2 (first Tri bike)
Cervelo Soloist Team (Awesome bike)
Motobecane Super Mirage (70s steel bike)
SR (another early 80s steel bike which broke my collarbone and head)
Cervelo P2C (first fast tri bike)
Cannondale Slice (second fast tri bike which I love)
Cervelo R3-SL (the holy grail of road bikes)

I had 2 MTBs which sucked since I suck at off road stuff

After making this list I have a feeling I may have a bike fetish...

-Adam

Care to make your list?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Comeback

Today was my first bike ride in 2 months and it felt good. Well good might be an exaggeration, my legs felt a wee bit tired and powerless. I rode with Ryan and Jason who as could be expected were much faster than I. I did the 20-25 miles on my Cannondale Slice which was a pleasant experience since it was its inaugural outdoor ride. The bike felt great. Rode smooth, stiff BB, and fast in the wind. I am looking forward to getting back in shape after "the incident". Next on the list is a run. This is the one I am not looking forward to. running out of shape = pain.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tri Bike Fitting

Today’s topic is going to be a closer look at proper tri bike fitting. Finally I am going to put that college degree to work. Getting a tri bike to fit properly is simple biomechanics….this isn’t rocket science. The goal is to be comfortable, aero, and powerful. This will be a quick overview on what we can achieve.

Comfortable: Being comfortable doesn’t mean being in a slow position. It means using your certain body structures to support the position desired. If you cannot hold the triathlon position then there is very little to justify getting a tri specific bike.

Arm Angle: Below is a picture of the how the weight of your upper body should be supported. By using your bone structure to support yourself you can let the muscles relax and therefore be comfortable. Body landmarks being used are the acromion process, center of the elbow, and then following the center line of the forearm. The angle should be around 85-95 degrees. If you are at a bigger angle (over 110 degrees) the muscles are forced in tension to support the upper body, this in turn causes discomfort.


Saddle Height: By measuring from the greater trochanter to the knee center to the lateral maleolus. The pedal stroke should follow the line from the pedal-bottom bracket-center of the saddle. This generally puts the pedal stroke at about 6:25-6:30. The angle one wants to achieve is somewhere between 143-155 degrees. Generally if you saddle is too high you will experience pain in the back of you knee due to an overstretch of the hamstrings.


Hip Angle: This is measured by drawing a line through the midline of the torso and another line from the center of the bottom bracket going though the greater trochanter. The hip angle will fall between 95-105 degrees. If this angle is too small as you will find with people that ride a road bike with aerobars there is a loss of power and the overstretching causes lower back pain.


So ends this first lesson in tri bike fitting. I will go deeper into this subject in future posts.

Monday, December 8, 2008

BUY AMERICAN

Buy American

With everyone running around yelling economic crisis we thought it would be a good time to promote good ol' American made bikes. So here are some Cannondale bikes that not only are MADE IN THE USA but at a discounted price. Double sweet.

Synapse 5 (full carbon frame) - $1795 was $2200
Synapse 6 (full carbon frame) - $1295 was $1700
Six13 3 (half carbon frame) - $1495 was $1800
Six13 5 (half n half) - $1450 was $1700
Six13 6 (half n half) - $1095 was $1395
Slice 5 (full carbon tri bike) - $2395 was $3495

Others are also available, this is just a taste of the good stuff.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Sale

December Sale

Time to clean out the closet with all the 2008 inventory to get ready for the '09.

Zoot Shoes are only $90

2008 Wheels - 20%-30% OFF
Zipp, Reynolds, American Classic, Mavic, Shimano, Easton

ATC Club Gear - 20% OFF

Hats, Jerseys, Shirts and more

And of course ALL 2008 BIKES ON SALE - up to 30% OFF
Cervelo, Cannondale, Fuji, Argon 18

So if you need anything now is a great time to buy (just like the stock market)

Enjoy,
Adam

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rock n Roll Marathon - San Antonio


This past weekend was the San Antonio Marathon gone Rock n Roll. They had 33,000 people sign up for the race! I was amazed on the ocean of people filling Broadway at the start. Rita was running this as her first marathon and had high hopes of qualifying for Boston. The start was a brisk 40 degrees with calm winds so it was a good day to run a fast marathon. Rita set out to run a 3:30 which would be well under the 3:40 needed for Boston. I saw her at the 14 mile mark and she was on target and lookin happy. A little later I saw her at mile 21 and she was on pace...but not lookin happy. Missy and Grant were kind enough to come down from Austin to show some support and help pace her the last few miles. In the end Rita QUALIFIED for Boston in a time of 3 hours 32 minutes and 23 seconds! Both of us are looking forward to taking a trip to Boston this April. Also congrats to my friend Angie Balentine who also qualified for Boston and congrats to the thousands of finishers of the San Antonio Marathon!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wheels, Wheels, Wheels!

WHEELS!
I love new wheels! Wheels are the biggest upgrade you can make on a bike. A good set of them can turn an average bike into a fast work of art. Why do you think every time a bike is photographed they have a wicked fast set of race wheels on it. So with this post I want to go over some of the best wheels out there.












Everyone knows zipp wheels. They are by far the most popular race wheel out there. Why is that? Answer: THEY ARE FREAKIN' FAST. Zipp boldly states that you can drop over a minute in a 40k time trial just by using a set of 404s. I have raced on many different set of zipp race wheels and here is my take....Zipp tells the truth. My favorite race set is a pair of Zed 808 tubulars. Second favorite is a Disc and 808 front.





Pros: Freakin fast


Cons: Freakin Expensive $2000+ for a set.











This wheels don't seem to get the credit they deserve. I have ridden a pair of 420s and thought they were an excellent TT training/race wheel. I will say I dont think they are great (just good) for the pedal mashing type or crit racer. They changed the hubs for 2009 and made some improvements. The 6 paws in the hub release and catch at the same time opposed to other hubs that release one at a time. I think the Mag Wheels are the next on my list of wheels to get...can't argue with a 1255 gram clincher wheelset. Also for 2009 they are making a Disc and deep dish wheelset. The disc is a rebadged Zipp for less money....so that means it must be fast for less money. Sounds good to me.



My current wheelset is a Reynolds Attack. I have been using these as my training wheels and they have stood the test. In 2009 they are coming out with the Reynolds Strikes. These wheels are going to awesome.
1. Cheaper than most others

2. Carbon Clinchers

3. Cool Hubs and roll smooth (very very important...always feels a wheels hubs before you buy)





We have in stock a Reynolds Element which I think has the best graphics of any wheel.











I can't say I care too much for the TT line, mainly due to price, but the roadie line is awesome. If you want to make a solid upgrade on your bike get a pair of Kysrium SL's. Light, fast, and sturdy as hell. I dare someone to try and break those. The R-SYS makes every bike a light plush ride. If you get a Cervelo RS with Mavic R-SYS wheels you will have the most plush bike on the market not to mention it will be light. A Cervelo RS frame weighs 1000 grams and the R-SYS are 1360 grams. Thats a light combo.

So in short...


Zipp = The standard in FAST, but pricey


American Classic = New hubs, New graphics, the new hot wheelset


Reynolds = The best in full carbon clinchers


Mavic = Best in training wheels or race wheels if you are a roadie


So if you want to improve your speed just try a nice wheelset and I guarantee you will never go back. Remember: one can always buy a little speed.


-Adam

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cervelo Cycling Jersey!



Check this sweet new cycling jerseys out! We just got in the long awaited Cervelo/ATC gear. Word is Gerard Vroomen and Phil White will be sporting one in no time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Christmas came early



Hurray! The new Cervelo line is arriving. Unfortunately the one I am really waiting for (the P4) won't come in til late january/early febuary. As is every year I am skeptical of the new color schemes, but as usual they look much better in person. The P1, formally known as the p2-sl, I think is the best paint upgrade from last year. Also we have in the new P2, RS, and an S3.




The S3 is more than new paint. The chainstays and cable routing are completely different from the past year. This is the next bike I want to ride. The shape of the chainstays make the bike stronger and gives it better power transfer than the regular shape. I hope to test that out soon! Unfortunately for me I have to wait another 6 weeks before the docs say I can get back in the bike. What a bummer. So many new toys coming in and I am sitting on the sidelines. Maybe my next post will be on the new kickass Craft winter apparel we just got in...

Monday, October 27, 2008

I am Broke






I know that when you read the following story you are going to think that this guy is an idiot...but this is how it went down. I was talking to a friend about the tale and he made a comment on how when someone is hurt and they focus on one thing and dont want help from "strangers" because they are hurt and lack trust. I normally would think could be true but thats exactly what happened to me. Whats kinda of funny is I had a cell phone in my pocket the whole time and never considered using it for help. I had one mission on my mind and that was to get home. Home=Safe
The Story
So I was biking home in a not so safe area of austin late at night, around midnight. Then all I remember is being really confused and resting against a wall. My arm hurts like hell and there is a lot of blood on my face. I get up and grab my bike, which is broken. I have no recolection of what happened and my bike is broken. I walk with the bike a ways just kinda walking down some train tracks towards home. I am not sure how far the walk was (anywhere from 2-4 miles) because I kept passing out, going into shock, then waking up and trucking along. Determined to make it home. I eventually ditch the bike, it wasnt rolling very well and I couldnt use one arm, and continue to walk home. I finally reach home at around 5:30am. I wash my face off (still dripping blood) and lay down on my bed. I wake up in a pool of sweat at around 8:00am and look in the mirror. Not a pretty sight looking back at me. I grab a phone and call a friend to take me to the ER. I get to the ER and am saved. On a dside not the people at Seaton Hospital and Brakenridge ER are very nice people. I had surgery on friday to fix my broken clavicle. They put a metal plate and screws in my clavicle and lined her up nicely. Called an open reduction and internal fixation. I probably have a few cracks in my facial bones too, but oh well. I got some stitches in my head. Anyways thats the short of it. What a night...wish I had medical insurance. :)
LESSON LEARNED. Sorry it had to be the hard way.
Special thanks to Rita, Mom, and Dad for taking care of me, the idiot son.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kona: Race Day

videoHere is a video of the swim start. Total chaotic fun.

Grant and I got up around 4am to have breakfast and prepare for race day. Even from a spectator's view one can just feel the excitement in the air as all the athletes get ready for the cannon to fire. I have raced an ironman before, but Kona has a different feel. Perhaps its the international athletes, the celebrity status pros, or the rythmic beating of drums in the background that make this race so different. It was an amazing sight.

Grant was all smiles before the race.






Norman Stadler. This was about mile 6 on the run. He was doing well and in the lead....in the end it didnt work out for him. Next year Norman!









Here is Faris rocking the speedo.



Chrissie was all smiles after totally dominating. She got a flat and still was first off the bike. I see a lot wins in her future.













Grant was not all smiles during the run. He had an overall fun time at the race, but hit some problems at the run. I will let you read his blog of the race to get the nitty gritty. You are my hero Grant for sticking to it.





The finish was a much better feeling than the run. Congrats Grant!

Kona: Pre-Race




I handed out some of the Austin Tri-Cyclist limited edition cervelo shirts out at bike check in. Here is Fletch, a Cervelo rep, sporting one. Cervelo had a good day with 415 bikes in the Triathlete Magazine bike count. I ran out of shirts in about 45 minutes. Apparently a lot of people dig Cervelo and free shirts.








I then went to hang out with super cool wetsuit guru, Glynn Turquand, from Xterra. Here is a photo of the new Xterra speedsuit....coming soon. Lindsey Corbin is the model in the photo (she got 5th on saturday). I will also mention that Xterra speedsuits were on the top of their game.

For the second year in a row, the XTERRA WETSUITS – Velocity Speedsuit posted the fastest swim time of the day at the Ironman World Championships. In 2007, Mark Van Akkeren posted the fastest swim split with a time of 49:50. This year, Noa Sakamoto posted the fastest swim split with a time of 47:01 wearing a new version of the XTERRA WETSUITS- Velocity Speedsuit. John Flanagan, (also wearing a XTERRA WETSUITS- Velocity Speedsuit) was only 1 second behind Noa posting a time of 47:02. The XTERRA WETSUITS- Velocity Speedsuit was victorious by more than one minute and 30 seconds faster than the next swimmer Andy Potts.


I just thought this was a funny sign. There is no way that guy is going to outrun that wave.....I hope he is wearing an Xterra Speedsuit.


Kona: First Couple of Days

So for the past week I have been on a "business trip" to Kona to watch the Ironman World Championships. Needless to say the race was AWESOME.









The first thing I did was unpack the bike and go for a ride. The main roads in Hawaii are smooth as glass. I took some back roads up in the hills and saw the numerous coffee farms. I bet there is a coffee house every 800m in Kona. The roads are steep when you are going inland. Nothing like riding 10-15% grades for a couple of miles to make your heart jump out of your throat.

A nice short ride I did one afternoon: http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/hi/kona/931345118895




ARGON 18 E-114





Next on my list was to check out the bikes!!! FUN! FUN! FUN! First was the Argon 18 E-114.
I went into this one not sure what to expect. I have heard it was heavy and havent seen a lot them on the roads. Anyways the guys at Argon 18 set me up and off I went down the Queen K.



Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this bike. I would definately look into getting one. It rode smooth as silk, accelerated quickly, and handled great. What more can you want in a bike?
I have heard that the weight of the bike is a bit on the heavy side. I didnt feel it. I think the bike has a stiffer rear end than most other companies ( I include cervelo) and this extra stiffness makes up for that. I think that if you are the gear masher type then this is the bike for you!
Fuji D-6

Next on my list was the new Fuji D-6. I was able to sneak in a ride before Matt Reed so technically I rode a D-6 before he did. HA! The Fuji had a lot of similiar ride qualities as the Cervelo P3. Since its a new bike I won't go into aerodynamics, but keep on ride quality. It was nimble and quick. I wasnt able to get my fit perfect since i had to ride a 56cm opposed to a preferred 54cm. Overall though I think Fuji is on to something and am interested to hear from the public once these are on the sales floor in Febuary. The "hidden" rear brake was interesting enough and the cable routing for the hidden front was well thought out. I heard another company commenting on how they were going to mimic Fuji's front brake cable routing on future bikes. I will go into this on a different post so check it out there.






Cervelo P4



This bike was the one everyone wanted to test ride. I kept this one for last. I will admit that secretly I went into this ride very skeptical of just how good and different it would be from a P3. I felt it was probably going to be a glorified P3. I was WRONG. The P4 is way better than the P3. Within about 30 seconds I could tell this bike was the SH!T. Its hard to pinpoint what it is that makes this bike so much better. It felt more lively, accelerated quicker, and overall just felt faster! I told Phil White that whatever number he had in mind for the first production run is going to be too small. Once people are ablt to get on one they are going to understand why Cervelo is the number 1 bike at Kona.

More details to come...




























Thursday, October 2, 2008

Longhorn 70.3


There has been a lot of buzz about the Longhorn 70.3. Tim Deboom, Bjorn Andersen, Simon Lessing, and others will be toeing the line for a no doubt brutal course. Bjorn is supposed to come by and do our saturday ride, so if you are in town for the race come by and say hi.

It will be interesting to see if it is wetsuit legal or not, I doubt it will be. We have had a fair number of people coming looking for swim skins hoping to knock off a few minutes from the swim time. The bike course this year is "easier" than previous years but still going to be a beotch. The new Giro Advantage is now out, so thats another couple of minutes. The comes the hot, no shade run...this where the race will likely be won. Speed laces...20 seconds. So far in my virtual racing I have shaved off 6 minutes 20 seconds and won the race.

I wont be able to go watch because I am flying out to Kona that morning...oh well. The Kona blog is coming up...so stay tuned.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Burnet Tri and Rocket Skins



This sunday a group of us went out to the Burnet Triathlon. We did alright...results. George Schmitz took the overall win, Don Ruthven won the 46-49 (5th overall), I took the 25-29 win (7th overall), and Paul Pederson took 40-45 (9th overall). All in all we had 5 out of the top 10 people wearing the Austin Tri-Cyclist Jersey. Don and I wore the Rocket Science Rocket Skins for the swim. Let me tell you that those things are AWESOME. I know they dont claim to have bouyancy, but I sure as hell felt bouyant. I will admit I was a bit skeptical of the claimed 10 second gain per 100m, but after using one I am a skeptic no more. If you want to swim faster go get a swim skin.
On to the bike. I felt weak on the bike, but managed to keep it together. The course was an out and back with the first and therfor last 3 miles full of hills. I really need to work on brick workouts. I felt it took forever to get my biking legs to get going.
The run went okay. I felt I was in no mans land and just sort of cruised along. Again I need to start doing bricks. All in all it was a fun race. George and I stayed with our friend Grant at his lake house which was a blast. Thanks Grant.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Reynolds Clincher Wheels

Carbon Clincher Wheels!

Clinchers seem to be becoming all the rave instead of tubulars. A clincher with latex tubes and a nice tire has equal to lower rolling resistance than that of a tubular. Not to mention you can change them quicker (for most) and cheaper (for all). Check out rolling resistances here.

So I got out my Cervelo R3-SL and put on a set of Reynolds Attacks with latex tubes as my new set of training wheels. Before this I had a set of American Classic 420s. So far I have put about 500 miles on the wheels and they ROCK! They are lighter, stiffer, and look awesome on the bike. I had to true the wheels once at about 100 miles. The spokes they use are very thin and "stretch" out. Since that initial true the wheels have kept up. Granted I weigh in at 140lbs (Reynolds claims they do not have a weight limit...which I kinda doubt). The wheels are full carbon so that means the braking surface is carbon (they come with carbon brake pads). The brakes work well, but emergency braking is not as good as aluminum braking surfaces. Nothing like the insecure feeling of smelling burning brake pads on a descent.

FYI - Another guy at the shop got the Reynolds Assaults, he weighs in at 175 lbs and hasn't had any issues. I know my 140 lbs doesnt stress wheels too much.

Pros:
Light as hell (1400 grams)
Stiff
Acceleration is amazing

Cons:
Carbon rim requires special carbon brake pads
Thin spokes

Friday, September 12, 2008

Zoot Shoes

Zoot Shoes.
Here is what we thought. Overall the shoes seem to be really comfy. The neutral shoe they make is a bit more like a light weight trainer with its low profile (reminds me of a Asics DS trainer). This shoe would be the better long distance race shoe. The light weight of the shoe is noticeable in quick turnover. The stability shoe offers more comfort and is great for the moderate pronator. I wouldn’t say it’s the best for the flat footed folk out there, hopefully next season they can create a shoe with a straighter last. The racer is a perfect 10k-half marathon shoe. It has enough cushioning for longer races, but its not the lightest and most flexible if you are looking for a fast 5k shoe. The built in elastic laces work great in keeping your foot in place and we didn’t notice in heel slippage. In short if you like a running shoe with a less is more feeling, low profile, and quick turnover feel then I would try these out. If you like the cushy (asics nimbus, adidas supernova cushion) then these would be a noticeable change. Due to the low profile feel, these are not a high milage kinda shoe.

-Adam

Reason for the blog

I am in a unique position since I work for a bike/triathlon shop in Austin. This allows me to see and test the latest gear. So I am going to start product testing and give my honest feedback. Feel free to send me ideas of products that can be tested. We are a Cervelo, Cannondale, Fuji, and Argon 18 dealer. We have Zipp wheels, various bars, and other high end equipment on hand. Of course there will be the latest happenings in Austin racing also. On that note there is a race coming up called the hi-fi tri in galveston. This is going to be the Austin Tri-Cyclist employee showdown. 500m swim, 19 mile bike, 5k run. I am sure that I will be owned in the swim, but will make up some ground on the bike and run. Don Ruthven has been doing 3 workouts a day in preperation....George Schmitz is young and always in good shape. Missy Ruthven is an ex-pro triathlete in good form. Grant Glauser will hopefully be tired from racing in Kona, but him tired is still crazy fast. So the competition will be strong.

-Adam