Velocity Aileron Rims for Disc Brake Wheels

February 16, 2018 Posted by Lenore Koch

I haven’t used those rims. I do like the Aerohead and Aerohead OC rims.

However, for your use, also consider the A23 and A23 OC rims.

Disc? The A23 and A23 OC are also available in NMSW form.

I am a bit surprised that Velocity doesn’t weld their rims like most other manufacturers do.

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What pedals do you use?

February 16, 2018 Posted by Lenore Koch

I went with standard SPD for all of my riding (commuting, centuries, century commutes, etc.) There are quite a few different pedals available.

I recently snagged a used pair of XTR pedals. Replaced the bearings and repacked, and they seem nice.

My Wellgo pedals have also been good, although I don’t think I’ve disassembled them yet. I do like Shimano’s system to disassemble their pedals.

The lightest of the SPD pedals are XPEDO pedals with titanium spindles. I prefer either R-Force, or M-Force-8. Make sure you choose pedals with tapered axles (and bearings not bushings). I did, however, have a the spindle nuts on my R-Force pedals unscrew once, but it was an easy repair.

Oh, Wellgo now has a fairly skeletal model (W41), quite a bit cheaper than the XPEDO pedals.

I don’t worry about platform size. The standard pedals (and shoes) hold the feet secure enough.

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Shoe stiffness- how stiff?

February 15, 2018 Posted by Lenore Koch

I currently ride Shimano CT-41 touring shoes. While they have been supremely comfortable on and off the bike, that off the bike comfort is sacrificing a lot of pedaling efficiency and I’m looking to get something a bit stiffer.

There seems to be a spectrum of cycling shoe sole stiffness. How stiff are your shoes? There is an abundance of carbon soled shoes. Should I avoid shoes with them for 100+ miles rides and go with the reinforced plastic ones which are also very stiff but have a bit more give?

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Sebring 2018

February 14, 2018 Posted by Lenore Koch

Short Version: I raced at Sebring, didn’t do any good, didn’t expect to, but had fun and learned how it all works. And the guy in the velomobile did awesome.

Long Version:
I’ve heard about the race at Sebring for years, and it seems most of the people I ride with have been out there at one time or another, so I finally made it out there in 2018. I knew it was a fairly high-profile and competitive race, my results on less-competitive races have been indifferent, so I opted to fly out with my Bike Friday, and figured to optimize the fun at the expense of a little performance.

I flew into Orlando, got a rent car, and headed down. The host motel on the track at Sebring was already booked up when I signed up for the race, so I stayed at the Econolodge in Avon Park, about 20 minutes north of the track. And it was a bunch cheaper than the options farther south, too. I circled down through Sebring, found there was actually a bike shop there (Legacy Bicycles,2812 Kenilworth Blvd, Sebring), picked up some chain lube, and headed back to the motel and put the bike together. And discovered my speedometer was dead, even with a new battery. So back to the bike shop for a new speedometer,then went to the host motel to get checked in and pick up my stuff. I ran across Mike, a rider formerly from this area, picked up my packet, looked around a little bit, went out and drove the11-mile loop, and back to the motel. Got the speedometer hooked up, made a supply trip to Walmart, and I was set.

At the check-in, I got my timing chips. A disposable paper-type one that went on the seatpost or equivalent spot, plus an ankle-strap re-usable chip. I think just two separate systems, belt-and-suspender style. I appreciate that. On the previous race I did, they missed one of my laps (that got corrected, but still irked me, and likely cost me an age-group placement.) On the paper timing chips, all were white except the 24-hour-non-drafting class had yellow ones, so you’d know not to draft them. I also got my poker chip with my number on it, to be tossed in the bucket at the turn-around as proof of passage.

I got down dark and early for the race, and had plenty of time. I parked near a streetlight up by thebathroom, basically “pit row” for the first 11 hours of the race. At the appointed time, I circled down to the start point, and watched as the crowd gathered. There were two velomobiles there, and, being kind of a novelty to me, I thought that was pretty neat. Lots of people in time-trial rigs and Zipp wheels, and there I was on my Bike Friday,so I felt a bit out of place, but knew it would be like that, too. The 12-hour, the 24-hour, and the 100-mile all start at the same time.

A few minutes of pre-ride announcements, and we were off. They had a pace car at the front, and we all headed back up towards the race track to start with three laps around it for 11 miles. One thing I was worried about was finding the exit from the track. That turned out not to be an issue. The fast people were fast all right, but not everyone was fast, and we were all strung out, and after three laps, I was still within sight of people ahead of me (riding 19 mph or so), and they had people there waving you off at the right spot anyway. So then it was off to the 45-mile out andback.

By the way, the race track is reasonably smooth, but not perfect. There are some joints in it, and most of them wouldn’t be a problem on a bike, but there is the potential to catch a bad spot wrong, so be aware. We started in the dark, they don’t require lights, and it’s daylight when you finish the 3 laps. But lights would still be handy to see that pavement surface, and are recommended.

Heading out for the out-and-back, we went right by the pit area, I didn’t need to stop,but could have if needed, and some people did. I got out to the road, and oops, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember if I was supposed to follow green or orange arrows. Just then, two guys came up behind me, and solved my problem for me! So pay attention!

I had in my mind that it was 45 miles to the turn-around, but that’s 45 miles after you do the three laps, so at 56 miles or so. There are some stores in the first 20 miles or so, then no supplies until the turn-around.

Anyway,we all go cranking out there fast and furious. The morning was foggy, and that fog gradually lifted. The route isn’t really hilly, but has some minor ups and downs. With the fog, I couldn’t tell if I was going up or down, except at times, I’d be going 20 mph and other times, 14 mph, so I deduced there were slight hills involved. A lot of the scenery was orange groves. The out-and-back was marked with orange arrows on the pavement, but other riders were usually visible, too.

A few miles out, a recumbent pulled up behind me and followed along for a while,then pulled up beside me. The rider had a Schlitter bike and jersey. I asked his name, and he turned out to be a Facebook friend that I hadn’t met in real life,so that was kind of neat. After a while,he headed on to join a group ahead of us.

At about the 43 mile mark, I met the yellow velomobile headed back in, so he was at about the 69 mile mark by then. And I was averaging around 18 mph. A couple of miles after that, I met 4 recumbents and one upright rider on a time-trial rig (I think that was the Cruzbike contingent doing the 100 mile race, maybe). Another mile or so, and I met a group of 4 time-trial bikes and one recumbent. After that, a steady stream of riders, some solo, some in groups. The second velomobile was maybe 20 riders back. I finally reached the turn-around, tossed my poker chip in the bucket. They had food and drink there (PBJ, bananas, Heed, Gatorade, Water), and I ate a PBJ and a banana or two and started back. I then got to meet the slower riders. The last one was when I was at mile 68, so they were at mile 44 at the time. Quite a spread!

There had been zero wind at the ride start, and I hadn’t ever noticed any tailwind while coming out, but we definitely had a headwind on the way back in. So instead of cruising at 18 mph, I wound up grinding along at 13 or 14 mph in a number of places. And the fog was gone and the sun was up, too,with blue sky and scattered fluffy white clouds. Nice shirt-sleeve temperatures all day,coolish at the start, warmish at the finish. The route back in didn’t go by any of the stores, but they did have a rest stop set up at Mile 81 or so, and I stopped there for Gatorade and another banana, then on back in. I was mostly riding solo on the way in. I had one guy catch me, with full disc wheel/time trial setup. It doesn’t amaze me to get passed, but it amazes me how some of these guys ever wind up behind me in the first place. But this guy said hello as he went by, and mentioned that he had started late, thus his late progress. Mystery solved!

Finally,I got back to the track. You head up by pit row there, go past the timing pad, then out past pit row again to start the next loop. And it was time to start the 11-mile loops. I made a good stop at my car for food, then took on off. Made one loop, stopped again, and after that, stopped every other loop.

I did not realize they would have cars running on the track during the afternoon Saturday while we were doing the race. But a couple of miles away, riding into the wind, you’d get a brief letup in the wind and in that second, you could hear the cars over on the racetrack. There are walls around the track itself, so all I could see were the tops of them, and couldn’t even tell what kind they were.

The short loop was marked with green arrows, and was more or less a triangle. First leg, tailwind. Second leg, mixed wind. Third leg, headwind. At the vertex by pit row, you cross the other riders plus road traffic, and they had a policeman there directing traffic and letting bikes through without delay. Minimal traffic on the first two legs, heavier traffic on the third leg,but the traffic itself never was an issue for me.

At 5:30, when you came in, instead of the timing station, they directed you over a bridge and onto the race track, crossing a different timing mat on the way in. Then it’s loops around the racetrack at 3.7 miles each. I got in three of these laps in the last part of my time. The timing station shows race time as you go by. I saw I had 11:39 on one lap, then 11:50 on the next lap, and that meant I didn’t have time for a 4th, so that was it.

I exited the race track, and rode back to my car. Looking around, I couldn’t see any way to walk back over there. There’s a pedestrian bridge across the track,but it was all gated and locked. The bridge I rode over had a “no pedestrian” sign. So I loaded my bike in the car and drove back across. If you’re a 12-hour rider, you want to make sure you visit your pit before you go over to the track, and then just ride out your time. If you’re a 24-hour rider,figure you or your crew will need to drive your stuff over, then carry it 100 yards or so to the pit area for the track. And “pit” here refers to the cycling pits, unrelated to the auto racing pit area.

The 12-hour race ended at 6:30, there was supposed to be an awards ceremony at 7:30, then a separate one for the 24-hour racers when they finish in the morning. Our ceremony started a few minutes late. At the ceremony, they called out age-group winners for each age group/type/gender, but not the “overall”winner. They posted results before the ceremony, though, so you could go look how you did beforehand. I had 183 miles total for 2nd place out of 3 in my age group. Andc ounting later, it looks like I was #16 out of 28 for men on upright bikes. They also announced 100-mile winners at the same time. For the12-hour, they had separate categories for the upright and recumbent, and I’m not sure if they did for the 100-mile race. The age groups were by 5-year intervals, so probably 80% of the people there were in the top three in their age group and category. Prize was a pendant, with photos of the finishers receiving them.

While I was waiting around for the awards, I noticed the yellow velomobile make a brief pit stop and take back off. I went over and talked to the crew person. He said that rider had just finished 315 miles in the first 12 hours. So quite the riding going on there.

Word around the awards ceremony was “no records set this year, too windy!”, although I think the velomobile was one exception there.

Alli n all, good event, worth considering if you have opportunity.

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Fleche planning

February 13, 2018 Posted by Lenore Koch

Originally Posted by Machka
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Want to? Yes.

Gonna? No, I’ve given up flying. Just can’t face the ethics of it.

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2018 Indian Pacific Wheel Race cancelled

February 8, 2018 Posted by Lenore Koch

Sadly, the 2018 Indian Pacific Wheel Race has been cancelled. As explained in the press release below, the Coroner’s Inquiry into Mike Hall’s death is on-going and the organisers thought it better not to race while it was on.

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You think this brevet training plan would work for SR ?

February 8, 2018 Posted by Lenore Koch

I’ve got friends that pretty much work it that way, but they also go to the gym or do spin classes during the week, too, so that’s not all the exercise they get.

One reason I try to ride during the week, is not just for muscular fitness, but also to help keep my weight down. If you don’t have problems with weight, you can probably get by with less workout otherwise.

As your schedule permits, try to ride back-to-back rides on weekends, IE, ride both Saturday and Sunday. Partly for the workout, partly to see how it works.
Several times, we’ve had a 600k scheduled on Labor Day or Memorial Day weekends, and then rode a 200k or 300k on the Monday, so 3 days of riding, and that gives you a good idea.

Also check climbing differences. If you ride around at an easy pace on flat 200ks, then go try a 1200k that goes over the Great Divide 8 times, you may have trouble. If you live somewhere that’s about as rugged as your proposed 1200k, you’ll be a little more prepared for it. And, if you ride at conversational pace with slower friends, you won’t get near the workout on a 200k as if you ride solo as fast as possible, or try to hang with faster friends.

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gatorskins 28mm

February 6, 2018 Posted by Lenore Koch

There are two gators…

Gatorskins Gator Hardshells.

The hardshells are supposed to be slightly beefier, although I can’t tell a lot of difference between the two. I’ve had the occasional flat with both.

What types of flats are you getting? How frequent? Every flat should have a diagnosis.

  • Pinch flats (snake bites). Underinflation, and running over sharp debris. Also, a slow leak from some other cause can show up as a pinch flat.
  • Goatheads and thorns.
  • Radial Tire wires… those little things are invisible and wicked!!!
  • Glass
  • Something else?

It is quite possible that different environments and problems will favor different solutions.

I like the gator hardshells, but I’m still exploring.

There is a class of TOUGH tires:

  • Schwalbe Marathon Plus
  • Michelin Protek Max and Protek Cross Max
  • Panaracer Tourguard.

They tend to HEAVY and thick. Part of the design is to absorb debris, so for simple thorns or goatheads, the thorns may not reach all the way through to the tube. I still think they are, however, vulnerable to glass.

There are also tire liners. I’ve stayed away from them as I tend to avoid flats, but they may help. I’ve seen the Panaracer “Flataway” tire liners recommended as being tougher than other lines.

Tubeless tires are becoming more popular, and in theory a sealant should be able to seal many things causing flats.

One can also use sealants in tubes. Slime (green goo) will last more or less forever, but doesn’t make a good permanent seal. Other latex sealants will apparently make a permanent seal, but require periodically adding more.

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Infinity saddle?

February 1, 2018 Posted by Lenore Koch

Anybody using this saddle? Thought I would see some recent threads, but my search found one old (4 yo) thread and not much else. I’ve have a friend that bought one last summer and he swears by it. Did see a RAM participant that used it and liked it. Other than that, I have nothing but reviews and company feedback to go on. And we all know how bias they can be. Any authentic info would be appreciated.

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Bonking at the end of brevets: solid foods and other nutrition strategies

January 30, 2018 Posted by Lenore Koch

OP here. Thank you all for the robust discussion.

Some have asked some questions. My answers are: under 4000 ft elevation gain; I’m 6 ft 1 in, 192 lbs; I didn’t track fluid intake or calories, but thinking about it more, I was averaging 200 calories for the first 2/3 of the ride, and averaged under 200 calories an hour in the last third. Two days before the ride, I ate more of everything, pizza, etc. Breakfast that morning, I did not eat much, just a croissant and two small pastries and coffee. As far as how I feel right after the ride, I feel tired and nauseous. Next day or two is fine, just little sore.

I don’t think I want to track my fluid and caloric volume intake very closely, even though it is one way to do this. Partly because it’s too much effort and makes a brevet less fun, and partly because I’m looking for a “keep it simple, stupid, approach” that will work. Something like “eat enough before a ride; at the start don’t join a group and start nibbling; eat savory foods and whatever you like, continuously; ride at your pace, eat meals when you feel it, take a dump when you need it.” etc.

So it sounds like (in summary):

- Avoid too much heavy proteins/fats (meat, dairy) the 1-2 days before a ride or eating too much of anything the night before a ride.
- Try a ramen noddles meal before a meal, or something else with salt and calories
- I need more calories
- Start eating/nibbling at the start
- Consider more variety of foods that will keep my appetite strong and avoid nausea
- Avoid riding too fast at the start of the ride, avoid joining a group of riders in the beginning or err on the side of joining the slowpoke group
- I may consider avoiding riding in groups later on in the ride as well, if I don’t have the discipline to listen to my body and ride at my own pace
- Stopping every 5-6 hours to eat some real food, take a short break to allow fluids and food to digest a little and equilibrate, is worth trying.
- Don’t limit myself to energy bars during the ride. My new steel bike has a front rack and wire basket, so I’m going to buy some delicious stuff from trader joes to snack on, and whenever I see something portable that strikes my fancy on the ride I”ll buy it and toss it in my basket/bag to nibble on.
- Consider not drinking the sugar-laden endurance powder mix and limiting other sweet stuff like energy bars. Try more savory stuff, or whatever sounds tasty during the ride.
- Think about electrolyte supplement, and salty things.
- Consider fresh and dried fruits
- I’ll accept that part of proper nutrition is stopping more often to take a dump. Bringing toilet paper and handwipes isn’t just for hands.
- I need to train my body to take in those calories on a long ride
- Consider training the body to take in less calories on a long ride, as well.

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