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Finally some new wheels

Posted: June 13, 2015 in Cycling | Add Comment

After pulling some spoke eyelets out of my 2009 Bontrager Race X Lites, I've been in the market for some replacements.  This hasn't been as straightforward as one might think. 

At first I decided to go with some readily available wheels, like the Dura Ace C24.  The problem is, those are a little pricey unless you get them from the UK, and if you do they can get hung up in customs, which means delays and possible duty fees.  So that was a no go.

I decided to see what I could get in the custom market, so after figuring out exactly which wheels fit the bill, I sent out some emails.  I probably sent at least 8 emails out, and only got three replies, and those replies weren't even very prompt.  Some people didn't seem at all interested in selling me a pair of wheels.

Fortunately, my first choice (Rob at PSIMET) got back to me a short while after my initial email.  After a short discussion, I settled on these very fetching hoops.

PSIMET wheels

PSIMET wheels

Needless to say I'm itching to get out on them, which will probably be tomorrow afternoon.  It'll be nice to get off of the Vista SL noodles that rub the brakes whenever I put any decent power down.  These are right around 1400g too, which is over 300g lighter than the Eastons, and even a bit lighter than the Bonties. Can't beat that!

On the road again

Posted: May 26, 2015 in Cycling | Add Comment

This past Saturday was my first time riding since May 4th, when I suffered what I think was a mechanical failure related to the front derailleur (or its cabling) that resulted in my dropping the chain during a big ring sprint, slamming my hip down onto the stem, going over the bars, and skidding along the pavement at 20+ mph.

My injury list:

  • Road rash on my left calf, left knee, left thigh, left side under the arm, left forearm and elbow, and left shoulder,
  • A huge bruise on my left hip,
  • A cracked helmet.

Fortutaly, there was no damage to the bike other than some saddle scuffing.  I have since replaced the front derailleur.

Saturday's ride was only 10 miles, but boy did it feel good to be back on the bike.  So good in fact that I did another 10 miles ride when Jess got home, then a 27 mile ride on Sunday, and 21+ on Monday.  But after what pretty much amounts to a month off, I did lose a good bit of fitness, and I still can't put full power down until this hip swelling has subsided.

In other news, I finally have a new set of wheels coming from Rob at Psimet.  I'm really looking forward to getting on a decent set of wheels again, especiially after being on my noodly Eastons for the better part of this year. The new wheels aren't quite as aero as I would have liked, but they promise to be very light and responsive.  Plus, they're black on black on black, which will be a nice change from the unappealing white spoke/silver rim look of the Bontys. Plus I'll finally be rid of that ghastly paired spoke set up.  Huzzah!

Another pair of Bontrager wheels go belly-up

Posted: April 15, 2015 in Cycling | Add Comment

I've been having a lot of problems keeping my rear wheel (a 2009 Bontrager Race X Lite) true, and this week I found out why.  Turns out I'd pulled an eyelet out, so every time I'd tighten up that spoke, it would just pull the eyelet out a little more.  Thus, I'm in the market for a new wheelset.

Right now, I'm demoing a pair of Rolf Prima Vigors.  So far they're a really nice, light pair of wheels, they accelerate and climb well, and they don't seem to suffer much in cross-winds.  But at just over $1k, I think they're a bit steep for what you get.  But they sure do look good on the bike!

Also, I'm not crazy about the paired spoke setup.

On my short list are Dura-Ace C24s, Soul 2.0 or 3,.0s, or the Flit Cone-a.  As long as I'm sub-1500g, and have around a 30mm depth, I'll be good.  I'd also prefer black rims and spokes, but the red spoke nipples are optional.  I have to give the Rolfs back this weekend, so hopefully I'll make a decision by then.

Getting the Emonda ready for the new season

Posted: March 21, 2015 in Cycling | Add Comment

It's that time of year again.  When the snow (eventually) stops falling and the weather warms up, and the wheels come out.  I've been itching to get the Emonda on the road since the first snowflake fell pretty much, and what better way to do it with some new stuff?

After having my ass on Selle Italia for the better part of three decades, I've decided to try a switch.  After test-sitting several different saddles (which involves the totally unscientific method of setting it on a bench then sitting on it while trying to imitate the riding position), I ended up with a Fizik Ardea VS, shown here on the Scattante.

Fizik Ardea VS

It's actually a pretty comfy saddle, and I got no numbness even after numerous stints of between 30 minutes and an hour on the super-boring indoor trainer.  Last weekend I moved the saddle to the Emonda when the weather threw a teaser at is before temps plunged below freezing again.

Also new is a switch to black bar tape.  Again with a change, I ditched my long-time favorite Deda tape for some Lizard Skins 3.2mm thick DSP tape.  That should give my ginourmous hands plenty of cushion and avoid me switching to a pricey carbon bar.  Like the saddle, I went with black tape after deciding the white didn't look right on this bike.

Lizard Skins DSP tape, 3.2mm

Lizard Skins DSP tape, 3.2mm

You may also notice an out-front style Garmin mount.  YES I have finally swapped my old, ride-forgetting, satellite-dropping 305 for a fancy new 510.  I've done one ride on it, and I really like it so far.  Plus it pairs up with my phone and uploads directly to Garmin Connect and Strava, saving me from having to plug it into the PC.

Anyway, the finished product is almost there.  The next things are a switch from 23mm wide to 25mm wide front tires (by now pretty much everyone who rides has seen the article where 25s offer less rolling resitance and a smoother ride) which are in the mail as I write this.  I also will probably get rid of the red cable housings, which look unbalanced with the internal routing of the Emonda.  It's more like a red rat's nest in front of the bike.

Emonds SL

So I'm shooting for another good year, and hopefully the time spent slogging on the trainer will give me a head start.

It's that time again

Posted: November 04, 2014 in Cycling | Add Comment

It's that time of year when it get dark before you're even home from work, and it's three degrees when you wake up.  NOT ideal cycling weather, which is why it sucks that I got my new bike when I did.

I've been relegated to the indoor trainer for the past week or so, but I have my fingers crossed for something in the 60s this weekend (the forecast calls for 50 even) so I can maybe get out on the mountain bike.  For me, mountain biking is less temperature dependent because you don't go as fast, so no sweat freezing to your body on a 40mph downhill.

Speaking of mountain bikes, I've had to scavange my 9700 to get my Jamis riding properly.  The rear hub on the Jamis is shot, and I've never liked the Race Face Evolve XC crank.  For some reason, the chain line sucks, and it likes to eat bottom brackets.  Now I have the 9-sp SLX group on the Jamin, along with the Topo wheels.  Those wheels aren't fantastic but at least they have decent hubs and they track straight.

They've put some decent new trails in that are around 10 min from my house.  This county sucks at everything else, but at least they do a good job when it comes to riding.

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We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture.

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