What a great way to finish the week. A beautiful morning, out early, no traffic bombing along on my fantastic new bike heading to complete all my weekly targets. Swim 20k (done Fri with 22k), bike 400m (done today with 402miles), run 50 miles (done today with 52 miles), gym 4hrs (done Fri with 4.3hrs) and total hours of 40 (done today with 42 hours).
It’s been a while since updating this blog because I’ve been so busy. I’ve been doing a lot of coaching work with keys races for many of my athletes together with some new athletes coming on the team. I’m in my Kona build which means around about 40 hours training a week and on top of that I’m in the process of moving all my training into a new database. Moving the data is the easy bit building the database is taking time especially as I can pulled in realising all the cool stuff I can do.
Todays ride was so much fun I felt I had to write about it. I received the frame a few weeks ago and had gathered together parts to build it up. I did the majority of the build myself but some parts together with the final tuning up I left to Brian at The Bicycle Chain. Jo and I are very lucky to have such a great bike shop within a couple of minutes of home and Brian did a fantastic job on the build.
As soon as I got on the bike it felt awesome. It could be partly just having a new bike but it’s possibly the nicest ride I’ve experienced. Out of the saddle it feels rock solid and as stiff as you’d like. I did my standard fast TT route and there’s a particular corner that I know I can take without the brakes but normally I only just exit inside the centre white line… on this baby I had feet to spare.
This bike addresses several of the issues I had with the P3C. The main one being bottle cages. The P3 has only one – this meant I tried out endless solutions – rear mounted bottles (never liked them and having used them for a while still don’t), big bottles between the aero bars – don’t like them. The straw annoys. Speedfill – still annoying strawer but pretty good and may use it. Here I have two bottle mounts to can just go all traditional with the addition of a bottle between the aero bars for gels.
The seat mounts to the post very neatly making for easy adjustment though one of the grub screws has fallen out which ain’t ideal. Seems OK with three. A big bonus is a saddle bag fits behind the seat which I never managed with the P3.
The frame is cool looking – always helps. Also it allows for a pretty agressive ride which is just what I want.
All the internal cable routing is super easy. This gives me the option of re-cabling for bar end shifters (more on this later).
The adjustability of the seat means I can easily shift it to a more road position when needs be (more on this later too).
I’m a believer now in the BB30 bottom bracket. The cranks on this felt absolutely rock solid. £200 SRAM crankset compared very favourably with the top end Record crankset on the others. I’m wondering whether I can get a 55 chainring for it so I look like a real animal !
Not a huge thing really but the rear brake is pretty poor – very soft and very difficult to adjust. In fact, I could get it to work very well at all but Brian did ! Also – I couldn’t run my front training wheel as it rubbed against the brake. Not had time to check but may just need a non winter tyre on. These are only small niggles but if you have to live with the bike and maintain it yourself they can add up. I think it’s just part of the deal with top end TT bikes though I don’t feel the tolerances need to be so tight.
This gave me a chance to give a go at my ideal set up. I had planned to do a full background on how I got to this but I have to get a train to my sisters so I’ll keep it brief and do another post next week on it. As this is the bike that I will be using solely for the next 5-6 months I wanted something I could race on and train on. This means drop handlebars with a nice “clip on” system. I’ve gone for Oval bars that have flat tops. I’ve mounted aero bars using their “Under only” face plate. Then I’ve fashioned my own elbow pads direct on the bars. This felt really good today. It does mean I have my shifting on the levers but it didn’t feel too bad and I will probably race like that at Kona. I’ve bought some Dia Compe friction bar end shifters and the plan is to try re-cabling the rear mech for Busselton. The current set up means I can easily completely remove the aero bars and ride this bike like a road bike.
This bike felt superb down on the drops, on the hoods, on the tops and on the aero bars. The latter will still take some tweaking to get it right (I’ll cover this in the next post). For a first 95km ride I can’t really ask for more.
Thanks Quintana Roo for a great machine.