These are some smokin end of the year deals.
Friday, December 18, 2009
These are some smokin end of the year deals.
Monday, November 30, 2009
4. Without Limits - Another great Pre movie
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Rothe Training is offering a great 4 week deal for the off season folks.
You get lactate threshold testing and 4 weeks of coaching for $200. For the triathlete knowing your lactate threshold is paramount. This is the magic number that keeps right on the cusp of the red zone to push the bike yet still be able to run. Coach Rothe can fill you in on all the details.
Check out ROTHE TRAINING HERE for more details.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Austin Pro Brandon Marsh came in 9th overall in 8:42. (far right) and some of us had sushi tonight at Silhouette (monday night is happy hour sushi)
I can't help but notice that the times are getting faster of the years. If you won an Ironman 10 years ago it might be tough to even get a Kona spot nowadays. So I wonder why.
Several reason are obvious:
1. More people are getting into the sport so the pool is deeper
2. Payouts are better...slightly
3. Equipment or nutrition has improved
4. Popularity of the sport is booming
If you have a reason leave it in the comment box please.
Here are some past results of the overall male and the 10th place male.
8:37:58 (Austinite Jamie Cleveland and owner of Hill Country Running in 2000)
8:07:59 (overall fast year)
10th Place time:
8:35:39 (overall fast year)
As you can see the times are definately dropping. We even had a 23 year old win Florida this year AND it was his first Ironman. So everyone better get out there and train more.
Anyways on a completely different note did you hear about the new pro rules. To be a pro you have to pay $750 a year, but get free entry into M-dot races. The $750 goes toward drug testing which is non existant in todays races. Read more about the rule change HERE
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
*NEW FOR 2009 - AWARD FOR FASTEST BIKE SPLIT AND FAST COMBINED RUN SPLIT!*
TriSoler Racing and Soler's Sports presents the 4th annual HelofaDu Duathlon on December 12, 2009. There will be 6 overall awards and 30 age group awards over $2,500 in prizes!
Location: Soler's Tri Sports at 14405 Old Bandera Road, Helotes, TX 78023
Start time: 9a.m.
Fees: $45 individual/ $75 two person relay
Age groups include:
19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and up
Relay awards to Overall Relay, Male Relay, Female Relay, Co-ed Relay
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
My beautiful wife of 3 months will be running the Boston Marathon, which is great. I was going to Boston to watch with my friend who also has his wife running Boston. It was going to be a nice vacation. To my surprise Clint turned on me and with little training decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon in hopes of qualifying for Boston. 3 hours, 9 minutes, and 40 seconds later he crossed the line. I waited for the phone call....
I was told I would be spectating at Boston alone unless I manned up (he used more persuasive wording) and qualified too. So the Dallas Whiterock is in 7 weeks. Thats 7 weeks to go from casual 4 mile runs to 3:10 Marathon shape.
wish me luck
Monday, October 19, 2009
The ability to shift gears from from both the basebar and the aerobars has been a major highlight.
Our mechanics were able to incorporate the battery and a lot of the wiring within the aero bottle by
cutting out the bottom of it. So at this point is not so much a bottle, but a battery fairing gizmo.
Easton Crankset with Sram 54t ring and Mavic Ti Pedals
Notice the wire entering the bottle
FD wire exiting bottle
Casing removed to show hardware
Top shot of modified battery mount and wiring
If you are in town for the Longhorn 70.3 be sure to stop by and check it out. You will be impressed
by the perfect shifting of Di2.
-The team at Austin Tri-Cyclist
Monday, October 12, 2009
From Triathlete magazine:
1. Chrissie Wellington (GBR) 8:54:02
2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 9:13:59
3, Virginia Berasategui (ESP) 9:15:28
1. Craig Alexander (AUS) 8:20:21
2. Chris Lieto (USA) 8:22:56
3. Andreas Raelert (GER) 8:24L32
Friday, October 9, 2009
Austin Tri-Cyclist is proud to support the athletes of the Longhorn 70.3 on October 25, 2009. So for the week of the race the store that has the largest selection of triathlon gear in the state of Texas is offering some great deals. Here is your chance to upgrade your current rig.
30% OFF 2009 Zoot Shoes
20% OFF 2009 Easton Wheels
20% OFF 2009 American Classic Wheels
25% OFF Mavic Computers
- Clothing and wetsuits will be marked down also! We carry Zoot, Sugoi, Descente, 2XU, Rocket Science Sports, TYR, and De Soto.
- Need nutrition? We have a large selection of gels, drinks, and recovery products.
- Looking for that triathlon eye-candy....come by and check out our Cervelo P4 with Electronic Dura Ace. Experience first hand why reviews rave about Cervelo and Di2.
- Also ask about our Demo Bike Sale. Cervelo - Argon 18 - Cannondale
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Argon 18 E-114
Kestrel 4000 SL
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Watching TV can definitely rot your brain. Clint and I were watching the Ironman and thought, “Geez, I wonder if I could do that” So we decided to go ahead and sign up. We had never done a triathlon before, didn’t own a bike, and swimming was limited to playing sharks and minnows. We did have some running ability since we ran cross country and track in high school (we were both 18 at the time).
So first thing first. We needed to do a triathlon to see what is like. Luckily a race called the “My First Triathlon” was coming up. A grueling race of 200m swim, 6 mile bike, 2 mile run was coming up. This will be our Ironman tune-up. What did I learn from this race….several things.
1. I can’t swim very well. I can swim it just takes some time.
2. I need to get a bike (I borrowed an old beat up POS)
3. Triathlons are really fun
So we had a little less than a year to train for the California Ironman. For swimming I joined a local gym and would swim laps for 30 minutes 3-4 times a week. For the bike I went and bought a cool Trek 1000, and there wasn’t an ounce of carbon fiber on that enitre bike. Just 25 lbs of cool aluminum.
Training consisted of 50-100 miles a week of biking, 30 miles a week of running, and 3 miles a week of swimming. My long workouts consisted of an 80 mile bike ride, a 14 mile run, and 1.5 mile swim. Perhaps not the best Ironman leadup.
2 weeks out from the race
I decided it was time to taper. How did I taper you might ask…road trip was the answer. Clint was already in California so another friend of mine volunteered to drive out to San Diego with me. On our way out we would hit up the Grand Canyon, lots of camping, hiking, and an overall good time. So for the 2 weeks leading up to the Ironman I did absolutely no swimming or biking, but I did go on the occasional run through the Arizona desert.
We left for Cali taking a nice round about route going through Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. On the way out to the race we hit a border station in amd I guess to young guys driving around we must have looked a little suspicious. So naturally they pulled us out of the car and had the dogs take a gander through our car. It didn’t bother at all, but my friend was getting nervous. APPARENTLY in the glove box he had some pharaphanelia left. Luckily nothing to get the dogs suspicious, but we decided its best to ditch such things for the remainder of the trip. PHEW. The next stop was to head to the Grand Canyon to do some hiking and camping. The Grand Canyon is definitely grand. We hiked down and back up which was my Ironman training for the day. After some camping we headed to the Hoover Dam and drove through Vegas. Great views and good times. The taper continues.
Finally we made it to San Diego a few days before the big day and enjoyed the expo. If you havent been to an Ironman Expo or similiarly large event it’s a pretty cool scene. During the expo and packet pickup we got a booklet of all the Ionman races and course profiles. We flipped through it and saw one with a killer bike course. Lots of climbing, more than the others….I said to clint “this one sucks” we then realize that its Ironman California. We chuckled at that one.
The swim was a 2 loop course in 64 degree California water. All 2400 of us lined up in the water and treaded water for 10 minutes. Then BOOM! the cannon goes off. My good friend Clint looks over to me and says something along the lines of “good luck, here we go” just as he swings his arm to make his first swim stroke he smacks me across the face messing up my goggles. He looks back and says “sorry” then takes off swimming. He contest that it was purely accidental, but I have my doubts. So there I am putting on my goggles as 2400 people try to swim around me. I get them on and take off….take off is a strong word. It was take 5 strokes then stop fror the crowd, take 5 more, stop, 5 more, stop, you get the idea. After about a mile I finally stop getting punched and kicked and can settle into a nice rhythm. A good hour and 18 minutes go by and I am done! Hurray. I climb out of the water and I must have looked like death because 3 volunteers asked me if I was okay. I was, just a little cold and wet. Perfectly normal for swimming in california waters.
The bike. What can I say but I was definitely not prepared for the bike. 112 miles is really long. I mean its really really long whe your longest ride was an 80 mile ride. Over the years I must have blocked out a lot of the bike memeories. I do recall on the bike course I was cresting one of the climbs and a marine was standing on the top yelling “ Dead guy at the bottom, slow down”. “Uh what?” was my reaction as I pedaled on down. Sure enough there was an ambulance with a sheet pulled over someone. That incident kept me alert for the rest of the ride. Apparently he lost control and went head first into the gaurdrail. Terrible accident. As I was ending the ride I saw the end of the bike in sight. I actually felt like I was tearing up because I was SO HAPPY the bike was over. All I had left was to run a marathon. Thank God. A good 6 and a half hours in the saddle.
When I started the marathon I was over joyed. I took off running feeling revived and full of life. Mile 1 was in 7:15, mile 2: 7:30, mile 3: 8:30, mile 4: 9:30. Suddnely I felt not so full of life. I pressed on though. They had great buffet stations every mile so I focused on trotting along to the next station where I would stop and get something to eat. The run was nice and flat which was an immense change of scenery. The entire second half of the marathon I saw people sitting on the street crubs cheering me on and thinking, I really want to sit down. I have never wanted to sit down that much in my entire life. The curb was calling to me. But sit down I did not. I kept on trucking along at my awful pace thinking about that great tasting potato soup at each mile. Let me digress on the potato soup. It was amazing. I still have dreams about its warm goodness touching my lips. Just one time in your life go and deplete yourself of all the salt in your body, getting really tired, a little bit cold, and drink some warm potato soup. ….I cant stop thinking about it. Okay so I keep trucking along and am coming down to the final miles and am thinking this is a great experience. I came into the final finish after 4 hours and 40 minutes of running and even though it was late and it took just under 14 hoursto complete the whole kit and kaboodle I felt proud of what I accomplished, though next time I will train properly. I crossed the finish line, was handed a medal, shirt, and a foil thingy, I think my picture was taken too. Its all a blur. I quickly looked around and found what I had been searching for – a curb. I sat. I smiled and was happy to say I am an Ironman.
I also got my name mentioned in the local newpaper as the youngest competitor. I won $20 from my cross country coach who said I wouldnt make it out of the swim. I didnt die as I think both of my parents feared. Boy, when you are 18 you do all kinds of crazy stuff.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Thanks everyone for all the congratulations. It is great to hear it everytime. Here is a photo of everyone in actual clothes and not spandex for once! The first month was fun and easy! Cant wait for the rest.
in photo: Adam and Rita Stroobant, Marty Yudisky, Brad and Leah Wimberly, Don, Missy, Taylor, and Emily Ruthven, Corey May, Patrick Darragh, Patrick Healey, Liz Leathe, James Supak, Shawn and Jenny Ullman, Amy and Brandon Marsh, Jason Lewiss, B Jane, Josh and Brittany Lee, George and Olga Schmitz, Hunter Dobson.
Monday, August 24, 2009
How much faster you ask....try about 25 minutes over an ironman or over 5 minutes in an olympic distance race. Of course there are the variables....
In the case of triathlon there is the addition of the run afterwards. So if you save 5 minutes of not biking hard in a 40K I would specualate that your 10K run time will also improve. By how much....your guess is as good as mine.
Read the full study HERE and enjoy.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Calling all skeptics... electronic shifting is the real deal
"A solution to a problem that doesn't exist..."
"A marketing gimmick..."
Those are lines offered time and again by armchair critics of Shimano's new Dura-Ace Di2 electronic drivetrain yet few of those pundits have spent much - if any - time on the stuff. After our initial sampling last summer in Japan and now two solid months of near-continuous use on a proper test group, we can confidently say that shifting-by-wire doesn't just work; it's flat-out awesome.
Shifting performance that's second to none
Di2's most obvious benefit is its remarkably smooth and precise shifting action, even as compared to the most ideally adjusted and tuned mechanical setup from Shimano or any other component manufacturer - yes, even Campagnolo. It hits its target each time, every time, and absolutely, positively nails each gear without fail in virtually any condition. If there's such a thing as a tireless 'shift robot', this is it.
Tap the rear upshift button and you're rewarded with that telltale 'ka-chunk' of a perfectly executed change. Go a step in the other direction and the transition is so seamless as to be virtually imperceptible save for the feeling in your legs of an easier ratio. In fact, it's almost too smooth.
Shift action is especially astounding up front, particularly when used in combination with Shimano's ultra-stiff Dura Ace chainrings. The Di2 front derailleur faithfully moves the chain onto the big ring - or down to the inner cog - even when mashing the pedals in a low-cadence grind with an uncanny silkiness we've experienced with no other system. Think about how well one-tooth shifts work out back, translate that up front and you've pretty much got the idea.
Even better, however, is that Di2's performance is unflappably repeatable and doesn't degrade over time. Commands issued by the levers are always received and translated exactly as intended at the other end with no 'telephone effect' that can plague cable-actuated systems as a result of cable wear, housing compression, or system contamination. Barring things such as a bent hanger, what you get on day one is seemingly what you get for every day afterwards.
Is it possible to confuse the system? Yes, but only if you're really trying to. The only way we could get Di2 to miss a step was by doing things we'd never consider doing anyway and even then it sorted itself out impressively quickly.
Weight-wise, there's only a modest penalty to be paid. In comparison to the 7900 mechanical analogue, Di2 only adds about 50g by our measurements - right in line with Shimano's claims.
Why it works the way it does
The key, of course, is the small stepper motor in the front and rear derailleurs that precisely controls their movements but it's not necessarily a matter of how fast they move - in fact, the front derailleur actually moves slower on average than its mechanical equivalent. Instead, Di2's advantage lies in the fact that it does things automatically that would be impractical on mechanical systems.
For example, Di2's rear derailleur pulleys actually overshoot the centerline of each cog slightly to help nudge the chain into place - but only momentarily. After a very brief pause, it then centers itself for quieter running. In theory, you could do this with a mechanical system, too, and in fact most already do for downshifts anyway. But Di2 does it in both directions, which just isn't possible with conventional ratchet internals.
On the other hand, the front derailleur applies just the right amount of pressure so that the chain moves only at its prescribed gate instead of possibly overriding the designated timing by just muscling it over. Again, you could do this with a mechanical system, too, but it'd required you to precisely apply the appropriate amount of force at the lever and then hold it there until the shift is completed - not exactly ideal in the heat of competition. With Di2, you just hit the button and it does the thinking for you, reliably hitting the next available gate.
It's the same story in the other direction as well. Instead of a strong return spring abruptly jerking the chain down at an inopportune position, Di2 smoothly coaxes the chain down to the inner ring at the prescribed release point. Admittedly, Campagnolo's Ergopower system is capable of this as well unlike mechanical systems from SRAM or Shimano but again, with Di2 it's only a matter of hitting a button - no extra thought required.
A word on shift speed, too: modern drivetrains rely more than ever on their highly engineered systems of gates, ramps and pins to help move the chain from gear to gear and Di2 is no exception, especially given that it shares its crankset and cassette components with Dura-Ace 7900. As a result, 'shift speed' is strictly speaking more a matter of how quickly the chain encounters one of those gates when a shift is initiated than how fast the derailleur moves, making Di2 no quicker than anything else.
But from a user standpoint, Di2 is still effectively faster since once your job is completely done once you hit the button - at least for single shifts. There's no holding the lever for that split second while the shift is completed or ever-so-slightly nudging the chain over with a hair more force. With Di2, it's tap, shift, tap, shift - and that's it. It's a subtle distinction and one that riders who haven't tried Di2 for themselves will invariably debate but it's real and noticeable.
Multiple shifts, however, require multiple button pushes. As fast, precise and smooth as Di2 is, it still can't beat some of its mechanical competitors that can execute several shifts with a single lever sweep. And yes, Campagnolo fans, Ergopower definitely wins here.
With no mechanical guts to occupy a bunch of room in the lever bodies, Shimano engineers had fewer restrictions in crafting their shape. As a result, the Di2 levers are slimmer in width and smaller in girth than 7900 and have more gently rounded corners that feel more natural in your hands. In fact, they're a much closer approximation of the previous Dura-Ace 7800 generation but thankfully without the sharp dip in the top surface.
Shift button placement closely approximates the mechanical analogue for a reasonably easy-learning curve for current Shimano users, at least when on the hoods. Here, the buttons' fore-aft offset is a familiar layout and their differentiated height and texture are easy enough to tell apart. When in the drops however, Shimano users accustomed to reaching up for the inboard paddle and to the very tip of the main lever to shift in the opposite direction will be caught out a bit.
Instead of the familiar top-bottom layout, you again have the same fore-aft button offset - the main lever is stationary and you can push on its tip as much as you'd like but it's not going anywhere. In this situation the buttons' height and texture differences aren't as easy to discern and your fingers have smaller targets to hit from this angle. We got used to it after a few rides but still would have preferred a more natural transition.
In either case, we still want more tactile feedback from the buttons to indicate when a shift has been properly initiated. The exceptionally short button throw is barely a couple of millimeters but the return springs are rather stiff and it's still possible to move the button without actually hitting the contact points in the switch - the clicks are just too light and inaudible. In contrast, the time trial shifters have far more feedback.
Moreover, good luck telling the buttons apart in winter when wearing full-fingered gloves and the inboard button's paddle is surprisingly flexy. Even without a stronger click, stiffening up this small piece would notably improve the feel.
One key ergonomic advantage with Di2, however, is the option for mounting satellite buttons up on the bar tops. On extended climbs, there's no need to shift hand positions out to the hoods when you need a slightly taller or easier gear.
But I don't want to be stranded with a dead battery!
No discussion about Di2 would be complete without addressing the battery life and we're pleased to report that unless you're an exceptionally neglectful rider in terms of maintenance, it's simply not an issue. On average, Shimano says a full charge will last about 1,600km (1,000 miles) but that's heavily dependent on shift frequency - not to mention the number of front versus rear shifts - and other factors such as temperature.
In practice, we've managed roughly 50 percent better than that on our Colorado testing grounds (where the climbs are long but sharp elevation changes relatively infrequent) and even Garmin team mechanics have admitted to only charging their riders' Di2 batteries once during the entire 2,448km-long (1,521 miles) 2009 Giro d'Italia. Not exactly a short-timer.
A blinking LED lets you know when the battery does eventually start to run out of juice. If you choose to ignore the warning for another few rides, front shifts will give out first but you can still muster about 60 more rear shifts before you're totally stuck in your last gear (mind you, we did this part of the test on a repair stand, not out on the road).
High mileage riders will likely only have to charge their Di2 batteries once a month or so and assuming the claimed 500-charge lifespan is valid, most riders will be dead and gone before their battery does the same. Our impression is that Shimano could have comfortably halved the capacity but opted for prudence instead. Total charge time from a completely dead battery is barely over an hour, too.
And what about weather resistance? Each connection is so tight that you need to use the included tool for both installation and removal so as not to damage the wire. Our first test ride in pouring tropical rain turned out to be a good long-term indicator: even when intentionally blasting the bits with a pressure washer, everything still worked just fine.
Installation for the first-timer will invariably require at least a scan through the included - and very detailed - manual. But aside from some adjustment nuances, the process is mostly familiar and doesn't take much longer than usual.
Wire routing is an obvious difference and there is definitely some creativity required for a clean-looking finished product. Shimano thankfully includes some nifty adhesive cable guides to ease the job and if you're lucky enough to have a mostly black or white frame, they're barely noticeable. Unfortunately there's still a zip-tie required for the down tube-mounted battery holder though.
One quirk about the front derailleur that shouldn't go unmentioned: there's no sensor like on your motorised garage door as to when something's in its way. When installing the derailleur or making adjustments, watch your fingers. Don't worry; the Di2 front derailleur won't cut them off or anything like that but the motor does exert a lot of force so be aware.
What if I crash on it?
The rear derailleur has a built-in 'breakaway' feature whereby the body will essentially separate itself from the motorised internals if you happen to dump the bike on that side. It's not a guarantee against damage but it's a nice insurance policy to have just in case nonetheless (and no, we didn't test it aside from a simulation on the repair stand - it works).
If something slightly more severe occurs, entire components may not always have to be replaced as there are thankfully at least a few small parts available such as pulley cages, brake lever blades, and the like. Otherwise, though, that brings us to our next concern...
Pricing and compatibility
There's no sugarcoating the issue here; Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 components are horrifically expensive. The rear derailleur alone retails for US$900 - nearly the cost of an entire SRAM Rival group - the front derailleur is only slightly cheaper at US$750, and a pair of shifters fetches US$930. And that's not even including the required wiring harnesses (US$450), the battery (US$100), or its proprietary charger (US$120). Add it up and it's a choice between a fancy Di2 transmission or a decent used car.
Shimano naturally intends Di2 to be filled out with the remaining Dura-Ace 7900 bits and admittedly it seems to work best that way given the brake calipers' modified cable pull ratio and the crankset's ultra-stiff outer chainring. If you're so inclined, other cranksets with standard spacing will work, too, as will other brake calipers though the feel at the lever - and the stopping performance - won't be quite as good.
But no, Di2 won't work with anything out back other than a 10-speed cassette with Shimano spacing (thus including SRAM) and no, we didn't try hacking into the system's 'brain' to make it work with other standards though we'd imagine someone more tech-savvy could probably pull it off.
Wave of the future
Do current cable-actuated systems work, and work well? Yes, absolutely, and better than ever in most cases. But there's also no denying that once you've used Di2, even the best conventional drivetrains suddenly seem a tad clunky in comparison.
Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 is not perfect. There are some ergonomic quirks, it's still not the best option for multiple shifts and it's incredibly expensive. But the level of refinement is also unlike anything else out there and we would offer up the argument that truly innovative developments usually don't come about by playing it safe and maintaining the status quo. It's not a game changer just yet but it just might be once the technology invariably trickles down and prices drop.
Even more interesting, however, is what this could potentially mean for Shimano's off-road line as the benefits of weather resistance and consistent shift performance would apply even more in that arena.
"It absolutely makes sense for other disciplines. We've already got guys who have been racing with it in cyclo-cross and have done well with it," said Shimano US press officer Devin Walton. "It makes a lot of sense for mountain bikes but there are a lot more obstacles on a trail. These parts are a lot more expensive to replace and repair and that's definitely a concern plus the level of potential contamination steps it up a notch. It makes hypothetical sense but to make the jump into real world execution is a whole other issue."
Fair enough, but we're still willing to bet that the next generation of XTR will come with an electronic variant as well. In the meantime, the road version is here already and it's more than well worth a try - as long as you've got the money to do so. Whereas we've been somewhat underwhelmed by Dura-Ace 7900, Di2 has blown us away.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Now that I think about it, its the guys that mostly give me a look and ask if I am nervous. Once I get married do I join a secret society that married men belong to? Its seems they know something and arent telling me when they ask if I am nervous......
Well I cant wait for Saturday and then its off to Napa Valley for the honeymoon. I will be sure to post some pics....from the wedding, not the honeymoon....this site is rated G. :)
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
So enough about getting faster.
Also on Mondays after the fun and blog worthy Rothe Ride you can head over to a cool downtown spot for Sushi Happy Hour! Silhouette Restaurant & Bar is located at 718 Congress Ave. They have sushi happy hour all day mondays AND if you drink enough sake you can partake in Karoake upstairs. The food there is great and the prices are resonable enough.
See you next monday!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
We started at 1:10 and it was hot. They said there would be a bottle hand-up, but not until mile 33 so I had three bottles with me. We rolled out very slow and Ryan and I sat on the front and soft-peddled. A few miles in I joked to Ryan that I should take off like I was attacking just for fun. When it came my turn to pull I put in some effort and apparently it strung the group out, so I went off the front. Ryan came out and joined me and they started to chase us so we eventually decided to sit up. The second half was reportedly very windy and we did not see staying off for 45 or 50 miles. We rotated through for the majority of the first half with a couple of faster sections but nothing too bad. Apparently the group was doing a decent job of keeping the pace up though as the group was splitting. At about 25 in a kid went off the front and stayed out there for a while. I bridged the gap and joined him and two dudes followed me. We worked together as a group rotating through for a few minutes but never got in a rythm. They chased us down relatively quickly. At this point our lead group was down to 10 of us. I was pretty much out of water by the time we got to the mile 33 aid station. Took one small bottle of gatorade and a small bottle of water. Drank most of the water then dumped some on my head. That leaves me with a 20 oz bottle of gatorade for 21 miles. Not good. At this point it had to have been 100 degrees and the jersey was open and flapping. We worked together as a group into the crosswind, with the majority of the people just sitting on wheels and Ryan and I and a few other guys taking turns. We were in an echelon across the entire road (no center stripe). The dude in the wheel truck behind us kept honking at us then finally drove up beside us and started screaming at us and calling out numbers and what-not. For the record I was in the right hand gutter the majority of the time. We finally made the right turn for the home stretch, directly into a head wind. At this point I decided I needed to zip my jersey back up. So I sat up with no hands on the bars and tried to zip it up. Huge gust of wind. I really almost fell and took out Ryan with me. As well as some of the guys behind me. Dummy move and the jersey stayed open the rest of the way. The remainder of the ride back in was a death march. I ran out of water with about 10 miles to go as did most eveybody else. The last ten miles were rough but no one really pushed the pace. And very few people worked. there was a lot of sitting up and looking at each other. And dried salty people with white lips. At about 45 miles in I took a turn pulling. I leaned in and pushed a little bit and realized I was going off the front. Then I remembered that Ryan had said we should attack about 10 miles out. So I kept going. Eventually Ryan bridged. I actually believed that we might have a chance. So Ryan gets out to me and as he rides up he gets on my wheel for a bit then I turn and see if he will pull through, he says, "dude I just sprinted all the way from the back give me a sec." We take a few turns and he fell back. I was not far off the front and when I came to the first big hill I immediately decided it would be a sprint finish and I sat up. Fast forward to about 51 miles. I have been near or on the front for a while and figured it was times to drift back. I did not want to be surprised by someone sprinting for the line. Just as I moved back from the second spot to about the fifth spot I could see the cones in the road up ahead, marking 200 M to the finish line - the course was a little short. The pace picked up a bit and the first one to go was the dude on a Colnago. Then an AT&T / Brain and Spine rider made his move to get on Colnago Guy's wheel and I went with him as he was strong. I sat on his wheel as he went past the guy in front and he started putting in his sprint. I sat and sat and sat and pushed as hard as I could and made the move about 25 meters out. Both of my legs were cramping and there was no standing by either of us. I guess I timed it perfectly and I went by him and won by literally a half a second. I was actually a little shocked. Cool. Rough day.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The legend known as C-May had his first taste of victory this weekend. He took the win at the Copperas Cove road race, cat 5 division. Now that he has the trophy he will proceed to the Cat 4 divison where he hopes for more success. Congrats Corey.
ATC Racing also donated water bottles for the 4/5 35+ division to help with the 100+ degree heat that everyone had to deal with. Thanks Patrick for getting this all together.
Our latest member to the team is Lola AKA "The Destroyer".
Monday, June 15, 2009
Here is Team Stouffer with some new cool bikes.
Little Blue went with some Carbon Reynolds Attacks, Dura Ace 7900 Derailleurs, Ultegra SL Cranks, and of course perfectly matching speedplay pedals.
Big Red went with Mavic Kysrium SLs, DA 7900 Derailleurs, FSA Carbon SLK Cranks, but no pedals....
Good luck with the rest of the season!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Written by: Dan Empfield
Date: Tue Jun 09 2009
The $2500 to $3000 category is a tactical price range. Depending on the bike company, you'll find a brand's entry level bike, or a model in the middle of its range. This means you're either buying a higher end frame with entry level components, or a moderately positioned frame with higher end parts. For example, you have QR's Caliente, which is basically the same frame as the Seduza but with a better parts group, and Cannondale's Slice, which is a higher end frame with lesser parts. Both are all-carbon bikes. Which do you buy? We'll help make sense of it for you.
This bike, nominally outfitted with Shimano Ultegra, lists for $2700. There are not many bikes in this price range that can boast a Kona win, but this one can. Of course, the Kona winner aboard the P2 rides another bike today. In fact, her current bike can also be had in this price category (outfitted with downspec components), and is reviewed below. This should tell you how hot this category is.
A decade ago, this was a component-driven category. It was all about how cheap your "Ultegra" or "Dura Ace" bike was. Today, it's all about the frame, and Cervelo has a hot one in the P2. The geometry is arguably adaptable to a larger audience even than Cervelo's popular P3. The geometry isn't different per se, just that the head tube in the P2's larger sizes is extended up a bit higher, so, rather than put spacer-spacer-spacer above your headset top cap, you can let main tube material take up that space (if in fact you need that extra height).
About the geometric profile: Is it right for you? It's moderately in the "long and low" category, that is, it'll fit you if you're of average proportion (not overly long-legged relative to your torso); and/or if you ride moderately steep to very steep; and/or if you're a taller rider who doesn't ride excessively low in front. The shorter you are, the less any of these qualifiers matter.
All this is to say that the P2 fits the fat of the bell curve of riders. This assumes, though, that you have a fitter who believes that most of today's pros and top age groupers are in a proper position, and that you are capable of riding in that position. If you fitter believes your saddle should be positioned back in the neighborhood of a road bike's saddle, and that your aerobars should be up in height close to or equal with your saddle, well, forget everything I've written above—you either can't ride a P2 as successfully, or you need a new fitter (unless you're quite unathletic, my guess trends more toward needing the new fitter).
The next step up from this bike, in Cervelo's range, is the same motif with better parts. The upgrade costs $700, and what do you get for that upgrade? Dura Ace front and rear derailleur instead of Ultegra, a more highly regarded tri saddle (Fizik Arione Tri 2 in place of Selle San Marco Island Tri), and an FSA SLK Light Mega Exo Carbon crank/BB versus the Gossamer MegaExo Compact crank.
Is the upgrade worth it? Maybe. The derailleurs alone don't account for the cost difference. About those cranks, yes, the SLK Lights are very nice, but, they're 130mm bolt pattern. On a pair of recent polls just held on Slowtwitch, about half the respondents said they're running Compact cranks, and half of those got them aftermarket. If you are our think you should be a Compact crank rider (and if you ride or race in any sort of hills you probably should be) then the cheaper version of the P2 may in fact be better equipped for you. The Ultegra version has 50/34 chainrings spec'd original equipment, the Dura Ace kit features a 53/39 chainring set.
That leaves the saddle. Me, I don't think tri bikes should be spec'd with saddles. Rather, they should be spec'd sans pedals and saddle. But, the P2 is spec'd with a saddle (as all tri bikes currently are), and the DA upgrade may be worth it if you really want and really need the particular saddle that's part of that kit. But what if you prefer, say, a John Cobb saddle? Then the difference in saddles in the kits isn't going to be worth much, is it?
So, I'd probably opt for the cheaper of the P2 versions were I in your shoes. The stars would really have to line up a certain way for the DA version to be worth the money.
Quintana Roo Caliente
Above you read about a bike that features the same frame sold with different kits. QR's Seduza and Caliente is the same sorta deal, the difference being the way they're marketed. The P2, the Slice, the Transition, these are all bikes that carry the same name because the frame is identical or, at least, pops out of the same mold. QR's Seduza and Caliente (and Lucero) likewise pop out of the same mold, but they carry different model names.
QR, like Kuota and some other companies, feature frames that are not all geometrically of the same theme. Whereas Felts and Cervelos are pretty much going to fit exactly the same way up and down the entire run of models, QR's entry level Tequilo is a very "long and low" bike; its highest-end CD01 is moderately long and low; and these three in the middle are in the geometric midrange. Refer to our stack and reach table for a closer analysis of this.
For example—and this is where things start to get confusing, just hang with me—the Caliente in size Medium does not fit like any size of Tequilo nor like any size CD01. But it does fit almost precisely like a Giant Trinity or Trinity Alliance... in Giant's size Small (elsewhere on Slowtwitch we exhort you to beware of T-shirt bike sizing schemes). Meanwhile the Caliente in size Small does fit rather like a Kuota Kalibur in size Small, except the Caliente's Small is a slight bit smaller yet.
One very nice element of QR's size run (all the way through its bike line) is its decision to make a well conceived 650c bike for the smaller folks. An example is the Caliente in size XS and, along with the Kuota K Factor, Kestrel Airfoil Pro, and the smallest sizes made by Cervelo and Felt, folks 5'6" and shorter have very nice options available to them.
One more thing, and we'll write more about this elsewhere: Kuota and QR have come out with a new post that steepens up their Kalibur, Seduza, Caliente and Luzero models respectively. Bravo. Just make sure if you go in and buy these bikes you're looking at 09 reworked frames (in the case of QR), and that whatever of these bikes you buy is outfitted with its new and improved 09 post.
The Caliente sells for $2700 complete, just like the P2, what about this bike's spec, relative to Cervelo's Ultegra kit written about above? One of the Caliente's derailleurs (front) is Ultegra, the rear is Dura Ace. The crank is a very nice, very expensive Ultegra SL, and this is a great spec... except it's not compact. So, if you need compact, this is an issue. The cassette and chain are 105, that's a downspec from Cervelo, but, these are consumables. All the bikes written about so far spec Vision clip-ons.
Remember, the Seduza, at $2000, does spec a Compact crank, so, just as the Cervelo P2 in the lower price point is probably a more compelling buy, the QR (same frame, different parts) is also probably a more compelling buy (the difference is, like the P2, $700).
Cannondale Slice HI-MOD 5
If you were to attend a F.I.S.T. Workshop, where we teach retailers all about tri bike fit, you'd here in what high regard we hold this line of bikes. I would reckon that we steer a lot of retailers toward Cannondale (whether they can get the line is another matter).
It's not that we think Cannondale is appropriate instead of Cervelo, Felt, QR, Kestrel, Ridley, and the like. It's that Cannondale might be a good option in place of one of these brands. Why? Because it doesn't fit precisely like these brands, and it tends to fit a different morphology of rider. Specifically, if you're a bit longer of leg, relative to your overall height; and/or if you ride a slight bit slacker (say, 77° of seat angle instead of 79°); then this might be your best bet.
How often does this happen? We've had workshops where only 10 or 20 percent of our attendees fit best on a Cannondale (or perhaps a Scott Plasma), and we've had workshops were 40 to 50 percent fit best on a Slice. You can see why two brands such as those mentioned above, paired with Cannondale, might represent a more comprehensive lineup than three bike lines that all fit the same way.
The Slice is the bike ridden by Ivan Basso, Franco Pellizotti, and the rest of the Liquigas pro cycling team. It's ridden by 2-time Kona champ Chrissie Wellington and 70.3 World Champ Mirinda Carfrae. It's been slow to garner a lot of support among triathletes at the cash register but, like an eventual Oscar contender getting great word-of-mouth at art houses, it's picking up steam.
In truth, this is one of the calmest tri bikes I've ever ridden. And that's because it's got a lot of "trail." It wants to go in a straight line, but not so much so that it's hard to steer while in the aero position. But this 62mm of trail makes it a slight bit of a luggard while out of the saddle, so, just ride it in the aero position. Heck, that's where you're supposed to be anyway.
Let's talk about parts. This $3000 bike is spec'd with Profile Design T2+ aerobars. I hate those extensions. But, I love Profile's Cobra extensions. The Cobras do come on the Slice 3 (this is the "Slice 5" we're reviewing). The "3" sells for $3600. This is one area where the extra dough may be worth it.
However, the higher-priced 3 is built with a standard outboard bottom bracket bearing arrangement, and the cheaper 5 is built with a BB30 crank and BB. The oversized BB is a Cannondale theme I've appreciated for years now. I rather prefer larger bearings and axle at their traditional English width rather than traditional English diameter bearings placed outboard of the frame. You get BB30 on the cheaper Cannondale Slice. You also get the nice Fizik Arione Tri 2 on the cheaper Slice as well as the more expensive. The wheelsets are a bit different on the 3 versus the 5, as are the tires, but nothing worth an extra $600.
But let's talk about fit again for a second. Remember, the Slice is a taller frame, and "narrower," than a Felt, a Cervelo, and other brands. It's going to fit people Cervelos don't fit, and Cervelos and Felts fit a lot of people. If you then take an aerobar that has as its geometric hallmark an armrest that sits high above the pursuit bar, you're potentially painting yourself into a corner. All that is to say: The Slice may be your perfect bike, but not necessarily with its spec'd bar.
So, if you end up changing the aerobar to, say, a Visiontech, or just a lower elevation Profile Design (like a Volna or a CX 3), then the difference in spec between the Slice 3's aerobar extension and a Slice 5's extension is meaningless.
So, again, if the more expensive spec of the Slice 3 perfectly matches your needs, fine. Otherwise, probably best to stick with the good frame in its cheapest iteration—just as with the Cervelo and QR bikes written about above—and get yourself a Slice 5.
Monday, June 8, 2009
-The Race to the Altar is this Saturday at Helotes, TX. A fun 3.5 mile run with one nice big hill. Check out www.rogersoler.com for more info.
-2009 STATE TIME TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS August 8th http://www.txbra.org/db/events/2009StateTimeTrial.pdf
-Just bought a house! Way cool, but turns out to be a bit time consuming (no blog time...or training time)
-The wedding plans are coming along with less than 60 days til the BIG day.
-For those of you looking for a fun summer triathlon I would HIGHLY recommend the Marble Falls Triathlon. www.marblefallstri.com
Monday, May 18, 2009
Stop by ATC this weekend to take part in our Captex Sale!
We are just a short walk from the bike drop-off across the street from the Palmer Event Center
923 Barton Springs
Rocket Science Sports 2008 wetsuit clearance at ATC this Thursday (5-14-09) thru Friday before CapTX. All suits $100 no matter the style.
Full Carbon 2008 Kestrel Talons only $1895
Carbon Race Wheels 15% Off
Various Women's Clothing 40% Off
Zoot Running Shoes 20%
2008 Zoots - 40% Off
All Gels - $1.00 limited to 6
Drink Mixes 15% Off
Monday, May 11, 2009
ATC Racing and the Joe Martin Stage Race
A few of us are going to have a try at the world of road racing. So we packed our bags and bikes and headed to the great north. Fayetteville, AK. The Joe Martin Stage race consist in our division (CAT 5) a 2.5 mile uphill TT, a 46 mile hilly road race, and a 30 min. crit.
Stage 1 the uphill TT:
Patrick Darragh is an animal on the bike when it comes to a TT. He proved this by coming in first and putting a minute into the second place guy. I came in third (I felt like I held back way too much). Corey, who isnt a climbing specialist came in 12th. So ATC Racing takes 1-3-12.
Stage 2 the road race:
The first 10 or so miles was in pouring rain! What a bummer. The spray from the other bikes was a large nuisance. Right around mile 11 we came to the first large climb of the race. Patrick was at the front of the pack and I was sitting in around 8th. I saw a gap start to open after the 4th rider and no one could close it. So I decided to put the hurt to the people in the back and charged to the front and opened a 70 meter gap on the group. No one went with me so Patrick sprinted up to catch me so we could work together. Once Patrick and I were at the top together it was all over for the rest of the field and we went full on TT mode. In the end I won the road race and patrick was second by 8 seconds. Corey came in ahead of the main field in 5th. Patrick and I averaged over 23 MPH for the hilly 46 mile course.
Stage 3 the crit.
The crit was scary. It was raining, it was fast, and there were a lot of turns. Patrick and I decided we would hold back and ride safe since our GC standings were safe. Corey decided to hammer it from the gun and quickly broke the field in half. In the end we were 8-9-10 in the crit.
Overall Standings in the GC for ATC Racing:
Pl Bib Name Team Time Behind
1 604 DARRAGH, Patrick USA Atc Racing 2:39:20 00:00
2 622 STROOBANDT, Adam USA Atc Racing 2:40:03 @ 00:43
5 614 MAY, Corey USA Atc Racing 2:55:55 @ 16:35
It was a lot of fun and we are hoping to do much more in the future. Hopefully we will be CAT 4s before too long.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Patrick Darragh led the ATC squad with a blistering time of 16:50. ouch. thats a 28.5 MPH average. Nice job patrick on your first time out to the TT.