Through the Visor

For those who are PASSIONATE about their love of a particular sport, for those who take absolute pleasure in every moment it can bring be it; joy, misery, fear, elation, sadness and the satisfaction. Rejoice. Know that it is a good thing. To be so enthralled by whatever it is you love, that you’ll sacrifice almost everything else to be in that moment. Those of us who understand this allure share a bond, while those who do not are to the rest of us, a bit ‘foreign’. Perhaps even lacking a certain motivation for life.

For me specifically the TT represents unfettered freewill. It represents the pureness of racing; speed, adrenaline, risk, fear and excitement. In my opinion, it is the most visceral experience in the world. I love the TT, even though I have never gotten the chance to compete there nor probably ever will. My passion for the TT runs deep, ingrained amongst the racing fanaticism within my blood. The TT is both real and surreal at the same time. It is history, it is tradition, it is freedom and liberty defined.

The TT is the world’s toughest and greatest road race. Down-to-earth, honest, hard-working, ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things on motorbikes.

Incredible Italia…

It’s not often I reblog this type of post, but I am incredibly impressed by this riders feat. It’s lengthy, but well worth the read.

 

Bari to Sorrento & Pisa to Genoa 636km ~ 7,855m elevation TOTALS ~ 3,123km ~ 39,612m elevation Bari and Flats The boat ride from Dubrovnik to Bari was pretty uneventful. With bust air con and not much to do other than sit, lie or walk around, I soon became agitated. It’s a weird feeling to […]

via Incredible Italia — Powered by Me

Myth 4: Stiffer Frames Are Faster

“…On the flexible bike, pedaling faster didn’t seem as hard. We were out of breath, but our legs didn’t hurt. Once we got in sync with the frame, its response to our pedal strokes felt like a boat rising out of the water, going faster with only a little extra energy input. “You mean, it ‘planes’,”-

Off The Beaten Path

To celebrate 15 years of Bicycle Quarterly, we are examining 12 myths in cycling – things we (and most others) used to believe, but which we have found to be not true. Today, we’ll look at frame stiffness.

When we started Bicycle Quarterly, the thinking about frame stiffness fell into two camps. The majority of cyclists subscribed to the notion that frame flex wastes energy and that stiffer frames are faster. A few scientific types believed that the energy lost to frame flex was small, and thus frame stiffness probably does not matter. There were a few builders, like Bill Davidson, who extolled the ‘lively ride’ of lightweight tubes, but they were mostly ignored.

At Bicycle Quarterly, we mostly subscribed to the notion that it didn’t matter. And so we were happy riding relatively flexible frames… Sure, stiffer frames might offer marginally better performance, but seeing…

View original post 1,082 more words

Photo-Op! the R002 in all of its glory…

After reading and viewing a post by fellow WP writer and cycling connoisseur bgddyjim I was inspired to post my own ‘dressed’ rig… decked out in matte black, accented mostly by red anodized bits.

2017-12-11 17.04.11

From the top down… red carbon headset spacer, red alum stem cap, red anodized bar ends, red anodized seatpost bolts, red anodized seatpost clamp. Red anodized brake pad housings, red alum cable ends, red anodized hubs, red anodized skewers, red alum pully/jockey wheel and red alum presta valve caps! The one non-red parts are the gold alum chainring bolts… (I do have a set of red  :-D)  #ocd

2017-12-11 17.08.33
The poor photo quality doesn’t do the bike justice! Bad lighting… perspective and cameraman! lol… but in person, it is a looker if I do say so myself!

Here’s where I’ll add a quick review of the bike by another rider. Paul K.  is actually my neighbor and big mtb’er. We are very similar in height and bike fit, so he was willing to give the R002 a go.

“Today I test rode the R002 carbon bike and let me say it was a dream (besides the knocking sound coming somewhere by the bottom bracket). That said, it didn’t take anything away from the performance of the bike. The 28mm tires took the corners with confidence and speed, feeling planted at every turn.”

“The carbon frame and carbon wheelset along with some good rolling rubber helped the bike excel up any hill I threw at it. I had never used brakes on carbon wheels before, so they felt a bit sketchy initially but still performed quite well. Near the end of the ride I took it on a 2 minute sprint which the bike loved, I actually got a PB on that particular segment. The bike accelerated with ease, begging for more.”

“After all was said and done and I was left hanging over the bars with exhaustion from pushing the R002.  It was a great ride on a well performing machine and I can’t wait to try it again- once the knocking sound is fixed.”

(mystery noise 101… Seatpost, check. Pedals, check. BB?
I have taken apart the external bearings cups, checked them and the threads and inspected the bikes BB as well, but the noise still emanates from below. I have a new BB-90 to install and hopefully that takes care of it…)

Team R-002 completes Two-Day Tyre Test

Test Day 1
The R-002 rolled out in windy but dry conditions on a new pair of Serfas Seca Sport tyres. Initial pressures for the 700x28mm set were placed at 82R/74F. What I immediately  noticed was how smooth they rolled, it was like gaining a bit of free speed. Now considering that the Ultra Sport 2s have become my personal Benchmark for performance, the Seca Sports were impressive right out of the gate.
20170920_133546-1
20170920_131828

Billed as a training/performance tire, the Hard/Medium Soft intermediate tread and carcass design utilizes multiple silica and rubber compounds for both durability and performance. The center of the tyre is rated at a hardness of 65h for longer wear and puncture resistance while the edges are at a medium-soft 58h, which gives it plenty of ‘stick’ when flicking it or railing through the corners.

Left @ Dunham II

On the first run, the Seca Sports encountered lumpy and bumpy roads from smooth new pavement to weathered worn tarmac, sidewalks and bumpy park paths. The tires handled every surface with ease, providing solid feedback and inspiring confidence at every turn. The main focal point of today’s run was to test low to moderate speed corner entry and exit, hard braking as well as lower speed trail braking.

Bump compliance was another main consideration as there was very minimal ‘slippage’ off of debris, small rocks and pavement irregularities. The Seca Sport tires soaked up obstacles just enough to keep bike and rider planted, while still maintaining a good amount traction and control. Which means that  in ‘loose’ sections, the Seca Sports negotiate less than perfect surfaces and transmit a real ‘feel’ back to a rider in order to respond accordingly.

The tires were predictable yet precise, edge grip and stability were both top notch. Though smooth rolling they are not vague either. Allowing a rider to feel the road surfaces and all of its subtleties. As you can see from the whitish lines on the post-ride photos, I pushed right to the edge of both front and rear without so much as a whimper from the Seca Sports.

2017-09-20 17.13.50

Having never ridden on Serfas tires prior, they were performing a bit better than expected. Initial feeling at lower to moderate speeds were not too different from my usual stalwarts, the Conti Ultra Sport 2s. Even tipping the scales at 35 grams less than the Conti 2s. So now looking ahead, day 2 will attempt to push the limits of higher speed cornering and find the limits of high-speed braking performance.

20170920_131930


Test Day 2 (official)
Once again weather was hot with dry roads, so right to it then. Pressures were set at 85 rear and 74 front. At about mile 5, I increased the pace and started to push on. Right from the get go stability at turn-in and under braking at higher speeds provided good feel at the onset and all through the range of  turning and braking.

2017-09-25 18.47.43
20170925_123908 (1)

I blasted down Quill Penn, then headed towards the curves of Ferguson Rd where the tyres just kept biting and biting. Then it was on to the Top of the World a fast and bumpy sweeping descent. (had the pleasure of stealing the KOM while I was at it!) I also managed to clip 42 mph with not so much as a hint of protest from the Seca Sports. Again, bump compliance was spot on, soaking up the uneven and torn up pavement. The Seca Sports are very stable and very confidence inspiring indeed.

ferguson left

Through cul-de-sac hairpins and Mtn Park Circuit, direction changes at speed were also very good. (through chicanes, hairpins and short esses). The tire profile, though not ‘sharp’ still lends itself to quick but precise steering and easy transitions from side-to-side as well.

mtn pk right

Even while trail braking into the hairpin corner feedback and ‘feel’ was very solid. If you may be wondering, without question, there is a direct correlation to tire and braking effectiveness, something worth considering when choosing tyres. The final few miles had me bombing Somerville Rd, touching 42 mph again. I wanted to go faster, but just did not have the leg power today.

As far as hauling the bike down, under threshold braking, (just a micro moment before lockup) the Seca Sports braking-traction [not to be confused with breaking traction! 😀] yielded good ‘assist’ in slowing and stopping the bike from higher speeds, this is undoubtedly due to the grippy compound. Now whether or not that means a quick life-span, remains to be seen…

Conclusions
After a total of 3 days, two of which were very hard riding stints and one easy tour I racked up a total of 80 miles. No, it isn’t a long-term test by any means, but, it was enough in most all riding aspects, flat, uphill, downhill, slow semi-technical corners and fast sweeping turns on a variety of surfaces to draw a solid evaluation. In my many years of riding experience both on motorcycles and bicycles, I can safely say after a modest yet thorough analysis, the Seca Sport Tyres bridge the gap between very good training tires and all-out racing rubber.

Road Bike Suspension…

Another (road bike) convert in the evolution of Suspension!

Wilier have introduced a new version of the Cento, called the 10DNR.  Three years in the making, with extensive testing and development has produced a rear suspended road machine that is more suited for long-er rides over rough roads.

But the (sad) reality is that most roads are becoming rougher and rougher as our infrastructure crumbles. North American roads will not be improving anytime soon, thanks to one of the most corrupted and criminal governments in the world. The same goes for most Euro nations as well, with the odd exception here and there. (namely Switzerland and Germany) but they too will eventually suffer from the unavoidable destruction from the emanate global warfare.

So, the evolution of suspension bikes will be a reality for almost all brands. Not that this (bad roads, etc) is/will be the main reason for the advance, but it will make for some excellent handling and comfortable road bikes. Obviously, the move is a marketing one first and foremost, but also a performance one as well.

Wilier describes the  dampening mechanism as “Actiflex Suspension System” which pairs a small rocker arm with a “technopolymer” insert to offer up to 3mm of rear wheel travel. According to Wilier, the Actiflex system controls both compression and rebound of the 3mm travel, in order to keep the suspension consistent. The bikes are due to arrive in the states in September of 2017… Whoo hoo!

2018-Wilier-Cento10-NDR

So, to my knowledge at this point, this makes three road bikes now with some type of rear dampening system. The other two being the K8S from Pinarello and the Calfee Manta. There is also a road bike with front ‘suspension’, the Specialized Roubaix

 

Blunt Force Trauma

Maybe it’s familiar and maybe not. That sickening deep and loud thud which occurs in an instant. An unmistakable sensation of a blunt force impacting you, sending the signals of immediate pain to the brain and the body’s nerve endings in mere nanoseconds.

2017-05-29 19.11.38
Day one after the accident

20170528_154213

The pain that leaves you writhing on the ground, wondering what the hell just happened. Pain that renders you feeble, helpless in that very moment.

2017-05-30 19.13.37-2Right hip/thigh – day two

2017-05-30 19.05.52Left arm – day two

20170530_190454Left side of abdomen – day two

So, these images are the result of a 4000lb or so SUV punting a 160 lb rider on a 15lb bicycle… I was lucky, because the hit came from the left side. Not head on. I never did see the vehicle turn in to me, but I sure felt it. The women driver claims she never spotted me until my body was flying through the air. Nice. 😦

She pulled right into the bike lane, right in to me. Thankfully, nothing was broken, no head injury, nothing super serious. Just a lot of soft tissue damage, pulled muscles and ligaments. These things are bound to happen, given the lack of driver awareness and education of pedestrians and cyclists. A 3 foot or 4 foot law is useless, bike lanes are useless, because in the end if drivers are not aware an d/or not severely punished for these types of incidents, then nothing will really change.

Hopefully I’ll be good to go in a few weeks and put this behind me. I’m getting too old for this nonsense! 😛

On a side note, after I regained my senses about 20 minutes later, I pedaled onward and finished my ride. (probably not the smartest thing to I did)

A small reward was nabbing 7th overall on a double hairpin segment. First time down and only 3 seconds off the KOM. Fastest time in 2017 sop far… The hydraulic discs on the rent-a-bike were an amazing piece of engineering and equipment. Had I known the terrain better, were able to pick my lines a bit more precise, I’m confident I could have challenged for the top spot. When I get back to Colorado Springs…it’s on me list lads and lasses!