The End of the Collegiate Racing Season

Another collegiate season has come and gone.  I didn’t have the best results, and I worry about the future of the team, as there didn’t seem to be too many of us and a lot of us are reaching the end of our terms here at school.  But as always it was fun.  The collegiate environment is much more laid back than the uscf world.  I feel like I came out of the season with pretty respectable fitness.  And I plan on putting this to the test in some upcoming local races (prospect park, central park, rockleigh).  First one of those is actually tomorrow.  A 110 person field, a little crazy, but we’ll see how it goes.

I’ve also been debating a few things on the equipment front.  Namely wheels, computers and power meters.  The computers/power meters thing sort of goes hand in hand, as in order to get a power meter (and have it be of any use), I’d also need to get a computer.  Choices are the garmin edge 500 and the powertap little yellow computer.  The little yellow computer is more expensive and seems less versatile, so I think I’m leaning towards the garmin.  As far as power meters go I’d love to get the metrigear vector, but alas it’s not to be had yet (and probably not for the rest of this calendar year).  And it would be nice to use one sooner rather than later.  So given no vector power meter, the powertap seems the best choice as dictated by the expense.  I can get a powertap hub for about a third of the cost of one of the fancypants crank units (granted I also think my cranks are dead sexy, so why would I want to give them up?).

And on the other hand we have racing wheels.  I’m looking for a set of fast racing wheels.  A pair of deep carbon rims can be worth on the order of 20 watts over 32 spoke traditional rims.  This is a huge deal.  The weight isn’t as big an issue, but it never hurts to not have to lug as much weight up some of these hills.  Hopefully I’ll have a little less of me to lug up hills as the summer goes on.  I feel like I’ve spent far too much money on cycling related paraphernalia recently, so I may be stalling in any case.

On race wheels: So I’m sure I want clinchers.  Why you ask.  Clincher tires actually roll faster than tubular tires, and we’re not talking a little, we’re talking on the same order of watts between 32 spoke wheels and deep section carbon wheels.  Second, they’re easy to use, I can change a flat myself in under five minutes with a clincher, whereas with a tubular, I’m more or less up a river without a paddle.  And finally, the tires are less expensive.  I periodically find conti gp4k’s for around $40, whereas conti competition’s are about $70.  $30 difference per tire adds up quickly, especially as with tubulars I’m more likely to replace a tire and with clinchers I can generally just throw a new tube in there.

The candidates:
Reynolds Strike – 66mm – 1700g – $1100. Great online reviews. Taken a step back after hearing some bad word of mouth, re broken spokes.
Mavic Carbone SL – 52mm – 1770g – $900ish. Good wheelset, a little heavy. Aluminum braking surface is a plus.
Edge 65 clinchers – 65mm – too expensive, but if cost were not an issue these would be my choice
hed 6 clinchers – 60mm –
noname – 58mm – 1470g – $650. Yes not having a brand stand behind the wheels worries me. But They’re actually the same thing as one of the major brands. I don’t know which, but as I’d be willing to ride any of them, why should I care.
Neuvation c50 – 50mm – 1600g – $860 – I suppose I should consider these as they’re not terribly heavy and my team is sponsored by them

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The Giro is Airing on Universal Sports

Which is awesome, because I get Universal Sports and don’t get Versus (and as much as I like McLaren’s, I’d rather not spend the entire month of May there).  Anyways, May 8 ITT start in the Netherlands, followed by two more stages there, before returning to Italy, wrapping up in Verona on the 30th.  I really haven’t been keeping super up to date on knowing exactly who is going to be competing in this one, but it’s always a race.

Oh Power Meters (and HTC incredible)

Ok, I think it would be fantastic to have a power meter, but I’m not willing to drop nigh on 4k for an SRM, nor am I thrilled by the idea of more wheels floating around and a powertap hub (which would still set me back $900 for the wheel and $550 or so for a fancy computer).  The idea of the metrigear vector is appealing, but of course it’s delayed indefinitely.  But when it does eventually roll around it’s going to be quite clever.  So far what it has going for it is that it weighs almost nothing and it doesn’t add terribly much complexity to the bicycle.  Of course it’s still going to require buying one of those fancypants expensive ant computer (a la garmin edge).  See what little info there is to see about the vector at metrigear’s site.

Speaking of things that are indefinitely delayed the HTC incredible is in the category.  People keep claiming it’s going to be released imminently, but this of course is pure speculation.  There’s no guarantee that it will ever be released.   That said, I’m due for an upgrade phone from verizon and there’s currently nothing too appealing.

Update:  The HTC incredible is now sort of scheduled for an April 29th release.  We’ll see if that in fact happens.

Another Week of Racing

So this is delayed (coming on Wednesday after the weekend).  Not the best weekend of racing.  I put up a reasonable time trial, but I think more on the strength of being a disciplined and technically proficient rider than on having a huge engine.  Anyways still need more miles.  The crit was actually going reasonably, I mean I came around the final turn in maybe 7th wheel, I feel like I was about to be engulfed by all the people behind me sprinting, but who knows.  Anyways someone in front of me sprinted from left to right, and I got caught in the pile-up.  Not fun.  A little bit of roadburn and a sore knee to show for it.  So I suppose that’s not too bad.  Perhaps I should not have lined up for the road race the next day, I was a feeling a little off from the roll out.  I was able to bluff for the first few laps, but eventually my weakness became apparent and I got popped off the back.  Rode the rest of the race with a fellow from Brown.

This weekend I’m looking at doing some local racing.  It’ll be nice to be home earlier in the days.  And, knee allowing, I will also get in some solid training miles.

More Racing

Another race weekend down.  And what a tough one.  I figure most people on the team were outside for pretty nearly 12 hours (some even more) on Saturday.  Which wouldn’t really be so extraordinary if it weren’t for the weather on Saturday being so foul, cold, driving rain, and winds of up to 50 mph.  Seriously.  I raced.  Twice.  Anyways the racing on the first day was again more an exercise in following wheels than anything else.  I need to log some miles so that this racing bit is more fun.  Anyways, it was an experience.  Though enough people either dropped out of the 3 field or got shelled before I did that I got a 10th place finish.  The second day, someone decided to give me a leadout and never one to turn down charity I of course accepted, and rolled in for a third place.

Grant's Tomb B field

The start of a new season

This weekend was the start of a new season.  Or perhaps two, those being the cycling season and spring.  It was 50+ degrees both days during the weekend, and I even picked up the years first sunburn (or perhaps a suntoast?).  There were the traditional triad of Rutgers races, a short tt, a crit and a circuit race.  I put up a reasonable time in the tt, nothing to be proud of, but nothign to be ashamed of either.  I suffered during the crit, but finished with the main bunch (more or less), and the circuit race went much the same way as the crit.  Hopefully this week I’ll get in some quality miles and next week will go slightly better.  But I think today is a day off, with perhaps some core exercises and an outside possibility of trying to annoy the neighbors on the rollers.  I plan on sometime gettting a yoga mat or floor mat like what they have at the gym to see if I can prevent the entire building from shaking.  But for the time being I will continue to be annoying.

Can we get this man a donut, or twenty

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