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for all my friends · December 2011

December 2011

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.


things that make you go, “wow!” – rotor 3d cranks (bsa bottom bracket allows you to run the 30mm aluminum spindle even in an english, 68mm english shell), easton ec90 tko track wheels (note the high flanges and negative decals), pro vibe track handlebars (with gold/white accents), and that 50t zen racing chainring.

things that make you go, “hmm…” – saddle angle and cateye wireless computer.  I’m on the fence with the computer, only because this looks like a ‘drome setup.  I’m not quite sure if knowing speed would help you while racing, but who knows.

full details on velospace.

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dead tires.

tire death, explained.  note that these tires were mounted on my caad10:

specialized mondo – death by front sidewall blowout this morning.  80tpi, some of the most rubbery compound I’ve ever ridden (not in a good way).  came stock on the specialized langster, figured I’d give it a try at 90psi on the front.  it lasted a bit longer than I expected, but had it’s fair share of glass shards and road debris.  highly unrecommended for the sheer fact that it kicked up loads of road grime up onto the top tube.  sand stuck to it like you wouldn’t believe.  stay away from cheap compound tires – too much rubber, not enough (puncture resistant) threads.

continental gatorskin hardshell – death by front sidewall blowout.  hard to believe that this tire only saw a couple days of riding before it blew out.  85psi on 23mm wide rims, heavy braking on a short descent (barely).  a sad, sad morning.

continental gp4000s – death by front sidewall blowout.  hands down, the most expensive tire to have seen such an unworthy death.  ran it at 85psi for half a morning before it blew out while braking.  prior to this, it was mounted on my mavic aksiums, and raced a handful of times (mount hamilton rr, pescadero rr, panoche rr, modesto rr, wente crit and rr, taleo crit, etc.).  the only difference being the width of the rims, 19mm vs 23mm on the current setup.  this tire deserved many more miles…

continental gatorskin – death by front sidewall blowout.  the first tire that started it all.  ran this thing for about 4 months straight, never had a problem at 80psi.  by far the worst blowout out of all the tires listed above.  the gash was 5cm long, and ran across the sidewall near the bead.  it sounded like a gunshot when it blew out.

continental gatorskin – death by puncture, and lack of usable rubber compound.  this was the rear tire paired with the gatorskin above.  ran it for 4 months, and the last day I was going to have it on the bike before swapping it out, it punctured 3 times around half paradise.  by far the worst morning I ever had on a bike.

now I’m running 100psi in the back, and 95 up front.  after a morning of fast descents and heavy braking at times, neither tire shows any signs of damage.  the rear has on a continental race – it was the front tire I had on the phil/velocity wheelset on the cannondale track.  it’s a lightweight clincher, but lacks the puncture resistance and high mileage rubber compound that the gatorskins have.  it punctured 2 days ago from a huge staple, but I only realized it the morning after when the tire was dead flat.  at least it didn’t happen while out riding.

continental, please hear my prayers.

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superb sprint.

I like the new color schemes for the superb sprint framesets!  the matte black one is cool in it’s on way (because murdered out objects have their own special place in my heart), but I bet it’d look really stellar with rainbow sparkle decals, or neon ones.  there’s a matte black on black low hanging up at freewheel, and I was thinking the same thing!

tipped from pc, originally on superb.

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saturday’s ride.

you’re kidding, right.  not one minute after leaving my house, a front flat.  I came down one block on broadway and heard a loud pop – the looping hiss faded, and before I knew it, I was riding on rim.  I rode back up to the house to pull another tube, and as I inspected the tire for any debris, I found a fairly big chunk of glass sticking out of the tire.  fair enough…time to swap on a new tube.  I remounted the tire with the new tube and pumped it up.  but something didn’t look quite right.  a bubble the size of a quarter was protruding from the sidewall of the specialized mondo tire, the one I started running at 90psi after all the continental blowouts a couple weeks back.  time to swap on that fresh new folding bead gatorskin I bought at the shop 2 days ago.  and here I was saving it for later, oh well.

taking connor’s advice, I pumped up the tire to 95psi, only a tad more than what I was putting in before.  I’m inclined to think that because there’s heavy load upon braking, weight shifts from the front to the back, thus creating more tire deflection up on the tire.  granted, I don’t think anyone has had really explored varying pressure on 23mm wide rims, since they’ve only gotten popular in the last year or so.  fingers crossed with a 5% difference in pressure.

so finally, I left the house (for real this time).  the sun was starting to come up as I rode across the empty bridge.  farther up ahead, I spotted a group of 4 guys, all wearing sparkling new black and green kits.  I caught up to them in sausalito, and what do you know, it was joseph, naveen, gabe, and jason wearing their new brite sport kits – new season, new team.  they were heading out to tam for some climbing, I figured I’d tag along since it’s been groundhog day for months now (with paradise and half paradise).  naveen was in for a 3×20 minute, joseph was doing a 2×45 minute session.  we rode up to 4 corners via mill valley and jason split off.  gabe and I tagged along for the ride.  joseph and I continued up towards east peak – we stopped at his 45 minute session, looping back towards a parking lot to wait for gabe and naveen.  cue photo above.

after regrouping, we descended down to stinson.  I haven’t really descended recently (maybe 5+ months?) so initially, going fast seemed a bit spooky.  I was unsure how the front end was going to handle on the wet pavement, with 5psi more, and a fresh new tire.  I’m glad to report that all the descents for the day went swimmingly, no blowouts, no squirrelly movements, and no loss of traction at any points.  only bummer part being my cassette – so while joseph and naveen were patiently climbing in 27t cogs, I was stuck in a 25t.  I rode up the road, farther ahead, as naveen split off to the ranger station to wait for gabe.  joseph tailed farther behind me, on his last climbing session of the day.  wish I had a 27t…sorry I couldn’t wait up more, joe!

we flew back down towards the ranger station, topped off the bottles, and started the descent back down into sausalito.  there were tons of people out, I wasn’t used to seeing so many cyclists, pedestrians, and runners.  we had a close call with a girl riding a mountain bike, swerving all over the place…is it tourist season already?  I split after the bridge as the others headed up towards the presidio.  glad I ran into you guys today, definitely fun to mix up the riding a bit!

oh yea, and as a side note, my powertap battery died (or got loose, or something).  what a pain.

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meredith miller (california-giant cycling) at boulder cup, colorado earlier this season.

originally on podium insight.


madone 5200.

inspiration for the next build?  ever since I saw this setup from chris a couple months back, I’ve thought about replacing the brifter langster with similar setup.  maybe it’s time for some change…

maybe I’ll end up with a dirt jumper.  or a single speed 29er.  a not serious, seriously fun city bike.

originally on flickr.

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I feel like I’ve got nothing to lose and all to gain, so I’m just going for it now.   There’s only two days to go and so only a few opportunities.  Tomorrow’s there’s not too much to do, but we’ll maybe look at the bonus sprints.  It’s not over yet.  I’ll keep fighting.  Thirteen seconds is such a crazy small margin that it’d be crazy to sit up and give to him.

chris froome after stage 19 of the vuelta a españa, 2011 – cycling news.  photo from steephill.  can’t wait to see what the sky boys dish out this season!  minus cavendish, of course.  we all know he’s bound to take some wins under his belt.  maybe this year, heinrich haussler will have more opportunities to shine.

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freewheel hayes.

getting the brake pad holder screws out proved to be quite the task.  it appears as if dustin over-torqued them upon installation a couple months back, which made them strip when I tried taking them out myself yesterday night.  luckily, he was able to extract the bolt and replace the pads with a bit of drilling and sawing.  new brake pads in the rear!

take note.  freewheel hayes has 9 low track frames in stock.  if you can’t bear to wait 6 months for your frame, you may want to consider giving the shop a call to see if they have your size.  they’re absolutely flawless in person!

taking a lazy day off today.  back to marin in the morning!

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one more shot of french national cyclocross champion, caroline mani (sram-felt), but this time, racing the boulder cup.  note the dual color bar wrap with red hoods and finishing tape.  so much matching.  pro.

originally on podium insight.


headed out to pushbike this afternoon to see what sarah had for sale.  and also because tim wanted to see the s-works.  he ended up leaving with a castelli jersey and a shirt (I think).  I picked up 2 cycling caps since the ones I’ve been wearing daily have started to fray at the plastic visor’s edges.

all of the caps I own in 1 shot.  from top to bottom, left to right:

first row: capo wool cycling cap for those extra cold days.  this might be stashed away for next autumn though, since the weather is already getting warmer.  the capo micro fleece beanie is great because it’s super thin and protects against the wind quite well, but since I wear glasses, the cap doesn’t quite hug as it’s suppose to.  can’t wear the glasses over the beanie either, since it wraps over the whole ear.  I’m keeping it for when I get lasik eye surgery (only half joking).

second row: hammer nutrition pace cycling cap – this one is really great because it’s thinner than cotton, has the sturdy elastic band that pace caps are known for, and breathes really well on warmer days.  unfortunately, it’s starting to fray as well.  in the middle is my new acquisition, the black pace cap with the world championship stripes down the middle.  with a helmet draped over it, you can’t see the stripes at all, until you’re viewing it from the back.  accents are always a nice touch, and I’ve always liked pace’s fit on my head.  on the far right, a house of commons, cotton pace cycling cap.  sadly, I have yet to wear this one – it’s still starchy!

third row:  black with a red stripe pace cycling cap – this is the second one I’ve owned.  not much to say, other than it’s one of my favorites – not even sure why.  in the middle is my second acquisition for today: a swrve cotton cap, black on black.  the bill is wide and shallow, I expect this to be a really stellar cap for the season.  on the far right, a rapha cap.  honestly, I wouldn’t have bought it if I knew it was going to be so weirdly shaped.  I got it on sale from competitive cyclist (before they were bought out), and wore it a handful of times before just retiring it.  the bill is narrow and kind of long.  it’s the equivalent of a baseball cap bill that’s been wrapped around a baseball to make the bill more concave.  ugh.

fourth row:  urban velo cycling cap by pace – the print is fading, but there’s a cityscape of san francisco on the underside of the bill.  I’ve had this one for a couple years, haven’t worn it recently though.  in the middle is a chrome printed cap by chuey.  chuey’s caps are handmade here in san francisco, and fit perfectly underneath a catlike.  on the far right, one of the few super relax items I have.  it’s made in portland, oregon by little package.  I haven’t worn it since that crash I had last year on the backside of tam, the last day I wore the super relax kit.

bottom:  the other chuey cap I have.  slightly thicker cotton sheets, a bit warmer than the chrome one.

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