Sunday, May 23, 2010

These boots are made for running

The tires of my bike got recently replaced.

From Vittoria Open Corsa EVO CX to Continental GP4000S. Continental is a popular tire brand for motorcycles. The Vittoria on the other hand is a pillar in cycling, you go see the spring classics Vittoria tires abound, go see a professional tour, yep you'll see them. Go to a local crit, and yep you'll see them!

The Vittoria is very very supple. From what I read the casing is designed for tubulars. Suppleness of the casing affects better ride quality as the tire will be able to stretch some when it hits holes and/or bumps. The tread compound on these specific tires were on the soft side, 2500Km and my rear tire's center tread is already flat, the sides are still good. (Yes I do mostly flat runs, minimal crazy descents) Had just 1 flat with these babies, and I didn't even notice the flat till I was at home (rode on flat tires, grinding my rim arrrgh). The tire is rated at 115-145psi. I use 120-130 most of the time.

I am new with the Conti's but I've heard many good things about them. The thing I noticed after unboxing them is the suppleness. Not as supple as the Vittorias. The tread seems to be also slightly thicker (ie more rubber). What it lacks in suppleness, is offset my its relatively low pressure requirements, 90-120psi!

Both were easy to work with. I removed the tires with minimal effort without tire levers but with the suppleness of the Vittoria, it is the clear winner.

I've ridden around < 200km on the the Conti's and it does not feel different from the Vittoria. Easy to get up to speed, good grip while cornering. Nice on the butt, since I now use 100-110psi (@70kg!). Not yet tested on wet roads.

I originally put the Conti's on my other wheel (Shimano WH-RS10, came with the bike) and later moved them to the Mavics. I love the feeling of the Mavics/Contis more but I can't feel any difference from my Mavic/Vittoria combo. There is definite difference with Shimano/Contis and Mavic/Contis, I feel it when accelerating.

BTW the Continentals are just about the same price as the Vittoria, ~70-80USD a piece!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Been training a bit harder

Doing not just the usual flat river runs.

Last weekend (4/24) I was supposed to meetup with some people to do a tour of Miura Hantou. I missed the rendezvous due to some issues. I tried to catch up but made a wrong turn and decided not to turn back. The ride from Setagaya to Yokohama to Yokosuka to Kurihama, was relatively flat with some small undulations and tunnels. I missed a turn off point while following Route 134. At Route 134 there were some small short hills (100m/1 or 2km in length), with a slope max of 5%. You do know I'm not a climber :-)

I got from the east part of Miura Hantou to the west part via Route 134. The rest of the way was relatively flat.

Very minimal traffic since I started riding, but around midday along R134 the cars were lining up to turn to Kamakura. After that junction it was again very minimal traffic. High 20's in the speedometer all the way to Enoshima. From Enoshima, hopped on a train back to my apartment. 110km of riding. 5 hours on the saddle and yep numb nuts.

4/25 I joined the Aoyama-san's morning ride at the Imperial Palace. Short hard pace, is all I can say. No pain from the Miura run, but the morning ride made my body ache come Monday.

4/29 was the usual river run. Mostly flat. The tailwind up river was dang fantastic! The headwinds and crosswinds down river was a punishment with a capital "P". A gust shakes my steering. I was really really windy.

4/30 rest day. Did some personal things. Went shopping :-) Got some cycling caps, new lights from Knog, a new pump from Lezyne, and a new saddle from Specialized. I like the pump because it has a flexible tube which makes pumping tires easier (at least for me). The new saddle is a Romin SL with the cutout! I've been meaning to get one of these for sometime already. People swear by the cutouts to relieve numb nuts.

5/01 tried to do an LSD route mentioned in one of the books I have. Messed up, and had to turn around. :-( did 88kms.
Also recalibrated the iBike Pro. Need to do some serious coast downs though to be more accurate (or not).

At home I checked my route, and I was on the correct track :-( Was looking for a road that was still further down the road. I missed another road, to get to the road I wanted to be on. Get all that? :-) I was running along Route 20 and should have took Route 16 for a couple of kms then turned off to another road, then could have gotten to Route 413. Route 20 is a cool road. It's uphill but the gradient is not punishing. It's almost a constant 2% from the Tamagawa to the Route 20/Route 16 junction. I should do this route more often. And start exploring the toges in the area.

The saddle seems to be living to the hype. No numb nuts for today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Some articles

Still waiting for the fixie.

Updating the courses in my Garmin for the upcoming Golden Week holidays. I'll try to log as many miles as possible.

BTW, here are some good reads.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Delay :-(

The Masi frame that I want won't be available until 5月 (May).
So have to wait!

Another bike

Yup made the parts order last night at BMX RIO
Bike should be finished in 1 - 2 weeks time. It has no derailleurs but I should get 4 gear ratios out of it. 2 freewheel, 2 fixed. And I might add fenders! :-)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Getting to know your bike

Some just ride their bikes, others get to know their bikes as they ride.
I had a realization about my bike today. Some subtle charateristics that I failed to notice until now.

My bike is an aluminum frame from GIOS with a 105 groupo. The frame is what you might call a compact with a slopping top tube. I bought almost a year ago, it has now logged ~2000kms. I named her Margareth.

When I first put my legs over it I noticed it was very very twitchy at slow speeds. If I don't hold her steady at slow speeds she'll wander left/right and everywhere! She was very light. I put power to the pedal and she'll fly! The first morning ride that I did, I crashed into a metal road barrier. Bruised the biked, and bruised myself. She's taken a bit of beating.

Margareth really hates to go slow :-) but when I negotiate tight u-turns or a tight maneuver on the river banks I have to slow down. That's when the twitchiness scares me :-) Over gravel the twitchiness are more severe and more unpredictable. There's an unpaved section that I take at 20+kph just so that bike's centripetal force helps me keep up.

She loves the paved straight ways, if only I had more power (a lot lighter) :-) She'll love anything paved, may it be uphill, downhill or flat.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fixed gear for one sole purpose

I'm following some websites on twitter showcasing other people's fixie builds.

I used it to get inspiration. As if I needed it. The more I browse through the site the more I say to myself WTF. I like some of the bikes. I predominantly like the simple ones, without flashy color schemes best.

Building a bike is like building a car. You put your personality to it, but most of the times people get swayed in putting what is the "in thing" rather than putting what they really like. Well different strokes for different folks.

I plan on upgrading my road bike, and Margareth will be a fixie. It will be a simple build, just change the rear wheel and remove all the unnecessary stuff (now where do I put my extra hardware). Most other hardware will be as-is. Simple build. Built to be ridden.