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Cycling, my new addiction...er...hobby (or, I finally am taking my doctor's advice)

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Carlo Medina, Jul 16, 2019.

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  1. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Carlo for the rundown of the Omron. I’ll be reading up on it. On initial look, it looks pretty cool.

    One of my coworkers mentioned Strava. I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of posting my stats if I understand the way it works. But I get the social media aspects of it.

    Interesting about the cycling computer you’re looking at. I’m just using a regular cyclometer that records speed, distance, etc. but it doesn’t share anything.
     
  2. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Yeah I’m not sure about sharing either. But the computer with GPS would be useful so that I save my phone batteries and also the maps on the Garmin and Wahoo are tailored for bikes, including elevation changes. Helps you prepare for (or avoid :laugh:) steep and/or long climbs.
     
  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I just did a random search for the Garmin you mentioned. Way more features and functions then I imagined.



    I was perfectly happy with the Apple Watch as I can see the route I rode, my speed, distance, and heart rate. Plus the calculations it makes for caloric burn. So I was very curious about these new bike computers.

    I found I wondered if the elevation that the watch records is accurate. I’ve gone up a raised section of my ride that is the levee along the Bay edge. Maybe 11 feet high. I wondered if the watch was accumulating height as I noticed the number gets higher along the ride. I guess that makes sense so you know how high you rode. Maybe the Garmin does that.

    At any rate, that Garmin sounds like a cool tool. I think I’ll stick with my watch for now. I’ll be interested if you get the computer, how the heart rate monitor compares with the Apple Watch.
     
  4. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Will let you know. Might purchase next month, gotta let the finances recharge.

    Honestly, even if functionality is just on par with the watch (and I'd hope it would be better since it's specifically designed for cyclists vs. the watch which does a million more things) I think I'd still like the computer simply because I don't have to "break stride" so to speak, to check on my route or vitals. That will all be mounted in front of me, so I can keep my hands on the handlebars, head down, and eyes only go momentarily off the road to look down at the Garmin (or Wahoo) vs. taking my left hand off of the bars, sitting upright, turning my wrist to see the watch, and by doing all of that, slowing down my stride. And all of that motion with the watch keeps my attention off of the road (and potential hazards) for much longer than a quick glance at a bar-mounted computer.

    At least that's the hope. We'll see if it does what it claims to do in a month or so.
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Ok. The first step is admission/acknowledgement.

    I admit: I may have a problem...

    Teaser pics:
    IMG_2350.
    IMG_2360.
     
  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Looks like a really nice bike, I’m really curious what it is.
     
  7. Message #47 of 96 Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
    Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Giant TCR Advanced SL1. I take ownership next week. As you may be able to tell from the pictures it has an integrated seatpost, so I have to be professionally fit by the Giant shop and then the seatpost is cut to my height. It does come with shims/spacers that allow for 20mm of adjustment.

    Was riding by the Giant store in Santa Monica and made the cardinal mistake of going in. This was the last of the 2019 models anywhere in their dealerships for sale. It was part of a “team purchase” and was never picked up by a team member who, as luck would have it, rides a small. Even the Giant site says it’s sold out everywhere. I scored a great deal on it off of MSRP, and he offered to swap out the standard wheels with some Black Inc Black Thirty wheels which are super light, well reviewed and cost $800 more than the stock carbon wheels. For no additional charge.

    And yes it’s a brand new bike, because the seatpost has never been cut and no one could ride that bike as is. :laugh:

    I got my Cannondale to a hair over 18lbs. When I compared this, it felt significantly lighter. If I had to guess I’d say it was under 16lbs. I’ll have the shop weight it after I get fit, the seatpost cut, and my pedals installed. The irony would be that, in my youth, I used to bowl, and I used a 16lbs ball. So now my new bike may weigh less than my old bowling ball.

    It was the test ride that sold it. There is something about the TCRs geometry, weight and stiffness that makes me feel stronger and faster than other bikes (at least the ones I own and have test ridden). It was so easy to pedal, and the Giant Santa Monica store has a bunch of streets just east of it that are all inclines. On my test ride (similar TCR build but with an adjustable seat post) I was able to go up those inclines with noticeably less effort. The handling was tremendous, whenever I had to make sharp turns or swerves (damned potholes) even at speed, I felt 100% in full control of the bike. It is quick and nimble. It can probably be beaten out in a straightaway race by an aero bike, but how often do I engage in straightaway races? For where I ride, with many twists, turns, slight-to-moderate inclines, and potholes to dodge, the TCR is going to be a beast. If I ever compete in Time Trials or Gran Fondos, maybe then I'll spring for an aero bike.

    What’s cool is that they will do a full pro fit (90 minutes on a trainer, riding in various positions and tempos, adjusting, and then riding again) to micro adjust the bike to my riding style. Normally a $100-$185 service depending on where you get it done, but it’s included in the bike (this is different and more personal than a frame sizing and seat height adjustment).

    (Edited to flesh out a bit more on the experience, and to correct some typos)
     
  8. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Wow, that’s a nice bike. To quote from T2.

    I’m learning a lot about the newest bikes out there as I’ve just been head down and riding my bike. Are you going to keep all the bikes? That certainly sounded like a very good deal to not jump on.

    I did notice the seat tube is one that is cut to fit the rider. I could see you are really bitten by the cycling bug. But I didn’t think you’d buy another bike. :)

    Looks like a great bike, I hope you get a lot of good miles from it!
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Me neither. This bike just felt so different than just about every other bike I’ve ridden. It felt, not to sound too cheesy, like it was an extension of me.

    Later I did some research on Giant. Not only are they the largest bike maker in the world, but they actually make frames for a lot of other companies like Colnago and Trek.

    But here’s a theory I have as to why I may have felt so good on the bike. They’re a Taiwanese company and have a huge presence in Asia. I think maybe they spec with Asian bodies in consideration. Whereas a lot of Italian and euro companies may make their bikes primarily for the prototypical shape of riders that compete in various Tours and Gran Fondos and simply scale down for smaller people.

    Again, just a guess on my part with no evidence to back it up. But the comfort of the TCR while both seated and standing, the handling and power transfer, were all unlike anything I’d experienced.

    I’ll know more in a week when I’ve been measured and fitted for it, and I’ve done some long rides.

    I’m considering selling the Cannondale but not sure yet.
     
  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey Carlo- feeling like an extension of you makes a lot of sense! Having the feeling of being one with the bike is something that I think I feel when I ride. So if it doesn’t, I would think it makes for a bad riding experience. I used to have a sore neck and I never figured it out till I stopped riding an older bike I had for a few months.

    A couple of years ago, I fixed up an old mountain bike I fitted with road tires and used an old set of clipless peddles so I can ride on wet days and not let my road bike get wet and ground up with sand and road debris. I could never get comfortable on it and only rode it a few times after I modified it. Maybe if I could try different handle bars and get the seat post to stop slipping it could work.

    When I got my current Specialized, I tried a couple of models and went with the Tarmac because it felt right. And I got fitted too. I envy that you were able to try so many different brands, I should have done that. But it worked out for me so far.

    I’ve never considered your theory on Asian bodies. I’m Asian, and maybe because Specialized are built in Taiwan too, that’s why I’m good with mine. They are based near San Jose, so really close to where I live. They design and spec the bikes here in the US, so I’m not sure how they size and design the frame geometry.

    Well, that’s really cool you’ve found a bike that you feel so good with. I think that makes a lot of sense to go with it. You may not ride your Cannondale anymore. :)
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I will say I'm blessed to live in an area that has a huge Trek, Giant, Cannondale and Specialized presence. And one of only two places in the world you can test ride Canyons (their HQ in Germany...and Carlsbad of all places).

    I never got to ride a Tarmac though, because they didn't have any of my size in stock. Would have loved to try one, although to be honest with current pricing (and Wheel World wasn't having a sale on Specialized) it would have been about 2K more for the electronic shifting options from what I paid for the TCR.

    What I may do in the future, if I hang on to the Cannondale, is this: ride a Tarmac Disc (both regular Specialized and S-Works). If it speaks to me like the TCR did, I could conceivably buy a frame+fork+bars and move the entire Ultegra Di2 transmission, hydraulic disc brakes, and carbon wheels over.

    The main reason I may end up not selling my Cannondale is exactly that. I paid $3K on 4th of July clearance for it. The Di2 transmission alone is $2k. I'm not sure I could sell it for that price (used market is rough from what I've read). So it may make more sense to move transmission over at some point in the future to a new frame, and then sell the old SuperSix frame for parts.

    And to be fair to my 2 other bikes:

    The FX S6 fitness was purchased because I was just getting into cycling and wasn't sure I could handle being bent low while riding. It's still a great change-of-pace bike, I'm contemplating putting fatter tires on it with better gravel grip (I think I can go up to 35mm tire width) at the expense of top speed, and turning it into a fast mountain-bike-lite. It doesn't have hydraulic suspension so I wouldn't take it off huge jumps or anything like that, but there are tons of trails in SoCal that I wouldn't want to subject a road/racing bike to that would be unlocked by this setup.

    The Cannondale is still a great ride. For what I paid for it, it was a steal, not just for parts, but I still contend that for 3K one couldn't have done better in terms of value (body fit obviously is another story, and highly personal). Until the 2019 models it was the darling of the "weight weenies" who were concerned with getting a light, fast, stiff frame. I very much enjoy my saddle time on it.

    The thing I realized is, as you ride more, everything changes: your fitness, riding style, what you want in a bike, etc. By huge amounts at first, especially if you are just picking up cycling or are coming back from a 25+ year absence like me.

    When I first tried the FX S6, it blew the lower models out of the water, and when I tried the road bikes I was clumsy and clunky in riding because I was so out of practice. I would have told you at the time it was a 10/10 ride.

    Rode it for a while, got more fit: endurance and power went up, and I wanted to go faster. Body flexibility increased as well, so suddenly being lower wasn't uncomfortable. Enter the SuperSix. Test rode several road bikes, loved that one for its feel, and got a tremendous value in the process. At that time I would have told you the SuperSix was a 10 and the FX was maybe a 7.

    Now the TCR. Again fitness, strength and flex had gone up, although the jump wasn't as big as the first month+ of riding, but now I know better what I want in a bike when taking on 25-50 mile rides. I'm not afraid to tackle steep inclines anymore (whereas I tended to avoid them if I could find a flatter route when I was less fit). Ask me now, I'd say the TCR is a 10, SuperSix is an 8.5.

    Ironically though, I wouldn't downgrade the FX in scoring. Now I realize the FX is a different bike, like a fast-but-less-durable mountain bike. So it's not fair to score it with the road bikes. Once I get the fat gravel tires on it and start riding the Santa Monica hills and trails, that bike is gonna be able to go where the TCR and SuperSix can't.

    Funny thing is the Helen's Cycles manager who sold me my first bike has always joked that I should buy a mountain bike and join his group up in the hills. I went from being a "never" in week 1 of cycling, to "hmm, starting to sound enticing..." today. While a full suspension MTB is a ways off, I find myself looking forward to trail riding on the FX, in addition to hitting the Ventura-to-Santa Barbara stretch on the TCR to see if I can set new PRs in terms of speed.
     
  12. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    That’s an interesting post Carlo. You do seem to be doing very well in your cycling efforts and the gains to your fitness has come along nicely and quickly. Maybe because I’m a little older then you but I feel like I’m not able to maintain that level. Though I feel strongly its a mental thing, as I think the human body is capable of a lot. Maybe I’ve hit a wall physically and I never thought about changing bikes as my fitness is better then when I got the bike. Though it comes and goes depending on how much I ride or life gets in the way and I ride less.

    I was never that brand loyal to Specialized. Though I tend to be a brand loyal person if I like the products. My dream was to someday have a Bianchi road bike.

    Your story about trading the components in the Cannondale to another frame makes sense given the deal you got on the bike would make selling it difficult to get a return.

    Since a Bianchi could be expensive. I pondered buying a frame and slowly gathering components. Then building it up. But your story made me think about how important it is to test ride a bike and see how it feels. I’ll ponder that a bit more.
     
  13. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I definitely don't want to oversell my fitness gains. I'm doing well in comparison to where I was, but I'd still get smoked on a peloton with strong riders. I will agree on part of it being a mental thing. I probably avoided inclines more than I should have because I was worried at getting up to 90%+ of my "recommended" max heart rate (which is 175). But a friend told me to not overly worry about what my HRM says and that my body will tell me when I'm pushing too hard. So I decided to take more hills head on and sure enough he was right. Yes I'd climb and be tired at the summit, and when I check maybe my rate went to 168. But at no time did I feel dangerously short of breath or any other sign like feeling feint. Just good old fashioned tired after exertion, like when I was young and used to play multiple sets of tennis.

    Another cycling acquaintance who has owned a ton of bikes over the years mentions how he's truly only loved two of his bikes: the first and foremost is his Bianchi Oltre. The second? His TCR. He's ridden Specialized, Trek, Colnago, Cervelo, Pinarello, etc. but those are the two that he's kept the longest and continues to ride (versus having re-sold a lot of his older rides). I think he said he's down to 4 now but those are the two that get the most saddle time by far.

    Definitely do test rides. The Madones are well reviewed and well respected, but my ride on one didn't do much for me. That's not to say it was a bad bike, it wasn't, it definitely was a fast bike. But it didn't "sing" to me like the TCR does.

    That said, I will buy an aero bike in the future. There are three I want to try, if I can find places that will have them in stock for trial (which will be few and far between). Here are the makes and models, but I'll be in the market for the disc versions. Since a good number of pros still use traditional rim brakes (for weight savings), more are switching to disc every year. Some of the following reviews of pro rider versions of these bikes will be for the rim brake versions:

    The Pinarello Dogma F12 Disc (video is rim brake):


    The Factor One Disc (video is rim brake):


    Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc:


    The Pinarello Dogma F12 interests me because, well, it's reputation is stellar due to winning the Tour de France multiple times in the last decade. And it's got an interesting asymmetrical geometry.

    The Factor One interests me because of the novel "split down tube". So the main down tube has an "aero" split right down the middle, and has an external steerer fork.

    The Giant Propel is their first entry into aero, gets very good reviews, and has by far the lowest price point of the three I've listed (and I am being introduced to a dealer who may be able to give a discount).

    If money were no object it would be down to the F12 and the One. Actually if money were truly no object I'd get both ;). But no matter which I get, I'll likely get just the frame/fork/stem/handlebars and move my SuperSix Di2 drivetrain and Bontrager Pro 3 carbon wheels over to it, so rather than spending around $10K for the full bike, i'll spend closer to $6K for the Pinarello or Factor, or under $3K for the Giant.
     
  14. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    An aero bike? You’re really getting into this!
     
  15. Message #55 of 96 Aug 19, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
    Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Haha, yeah but not for a bit. I actually want to get stronger on climbs and inclines first, and thus the TCR. It's an excellent climbing bike as well as a great all-rounder.

    Aero frames are relatively new to the scene...or at least it's the one that fairly new so that every 2-3 years some major advancements happen, versus true racing and endurance bikes, which see very little improvement year-over-year. So the plan is to get stronger for the next 12-18 months, and see where aero frames are at that time (or score a brilliant deal on outgoing 2019-20 aero frames).

    The only way I'll reward myself earlier than that is if I can average 18 mph for the 25 miles route from Ventura to Santa Barbara. That's double the length I've been doing from Ventura to Carpinteria and there are more inclines on the part between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara.

    Hopefully in 48 hours I'll have my new ride...
     
  16. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Carlo, I don’t think I can maintain that speed for that distance!

    Enjoy the new bike when you get it. I’ll be curious to hear more about it.
     
  17. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    This will just be a post about my experience today taking ownership of the bike. I won't be able to ride it until at least tomorrow, maybe the following day. I bought my pedals from a UK company due to a discount (normally $180, down to $110 + $13 for expedited "4-6 day arrival to US residences"). Monday it cleared customs via TrakPak and was "transferred to shipping partner" which was Fedex. 48 hours later and Fedex's tracking number still says "label has been created". Tomorrow is 6 working days but with Fedex still not showing any info, I am doubtful I'll be riding...unless I pull my pedals off my SuperSix and install them on the TCR.

    First off, major props to Willie (sales manager and the one who did my fit), Elon (shop co-owner), and Larry (shop mechanic) for the A+ service and treatment they gave me. Giant Santa Monica has a "raving fan" in me.

    Willie took about 90 minutes to do my fit, making adjustments and tweaks, then observing me, then tweaking some more, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. He was very free with his advice, not just on bike fit, but on observations he made on how I could improve my core strength, my cycling form, health, nutrition, endurance and exercise. He seemed genuinely interested in not just giving me the best fit possible, but in wanting me to be the best version of the rider I want to become. This wasn't just a simple seat height adjustment. He made adjustments to the seat's position, both in angle, and forward/back position. He is ordering a new stem for me which is 10mm shorter than the stock stem, and when it arrives they'll swap it out. It will put the handlebars at the proper "reach" distance for my form. Also, he lowered the stem/handlebars--so it's now a slightly "slammed" stem, though nowhere near what pro cyclists have theirs at. By the time he'd finished adjusting the trainer bike for all my measurements (which he then transferred over to the TCR along with Elon and Larry's help), the trainer felt 100X better than my SuperSix. Since I'm in their system now, I'm thinking of having them adjust the SuperSix as well, including slamming the stem.

    Obviously he entered all my measurements into their customer database, but in case you want to know what it looks like, he even took the time to draw it out for me, in case I want to adjust anything at home, or if I buy from another dealer in the future they can use it (he actually said that, rather than trying to monopolize my business):
    My measurements.

    Right now I have the wheels off, and will be applying some 3M VViVid Paint Protection Film to the underside of the down tube, and the backside of the seat tube. Basically the main areas where road debris is kicked up onto the bike. Hey, I know it will eventually get damaged, but I figure why not cover the areas you know are going to get abused? If by the time I finish applying the film the pedals haven't come...I'll be awfully tempted to pull them off of my SuperSix and go for a ride. And now, without further ado:

    Pre-cutting of the saddle:
    Pre-cut of saddle.

    Post-cutting of the saddle, but before Willie applied any of the other measurements.
    Cut saddle.

    Here's the bike's weight in pounds and ounces, with everything but the pedals on it:
    15lbs 8oz.

    And for those who prefer the metric system:
    7_03 kgs.

    Shimano claims the pedals that I ordered weigh 314g total, so the bike's riding weight (minus water bottle+cage+lights) will be 7.34kg or 16lbs, 3oz. My SuperSix, which I thought was a featherweight...is about 2lbs heavier (1lbs, 14oz technically). As an FYI, the UCI weight limit for competitive races (like the Tour de France) is 6.8kg--meaning all bikes must at weigh that much or more. So I'm within half a kilogram of their limit.

    And here it currently is, wheels dropped, upside down, Di2 charging, waiting for my lazy butt to finish watching the Dodgers and start applying the 3M film. Note the hilarious flashlight flare as I tried to make it more visible for this post.
    upside down.
     
  18. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    First ride last night. 18 miles. My normal route, except I deviated on a few roads in order to tackle inclines I normally avoid. One clear thought emerged:

    It is a weapon.

    I used to think this was a hyperbolic statement made by former pro cyclists who now work on various Youtube channels such as GCN and Cycling Weekly. Reserved only for the very top tier of competitive riders. No longer. I now understand what they mean.

    What is it better at, than my SuperSix? To quote Cumberbatch's Khan...everything.

    The speed increase over the SuperSix I expected. Mostly due to better transfer of pedal power and effort to the road. To what degree this increase was due to any (or all) of these factors, I can't say:
    • lighter, stiffer frame
    • better quality carbon fiber
    • more aerodynamically shaped tubes (though it is not an aero bike)
    • lighter climbing Black Inc wheelset
    • CeramicSpeed bearings in the Black Inc hubs
    • frame design (geometry is significantly different)
    • custom fitting and adjustment (of seat, handlebar, stem, pedal and seat angles, etc.) by Giant Santa Monica
    But I cannot argue with the net result, which was faster speed for the same power, and easier climbing on inclines.

    What I was not prepared for was how comfortable the ride ended up being. I expected it to be a bit stiff, given the fact that it is classed as a race bike, not an endurance bike, and that the seatpost is integrated (one piece along with the frame). This is among the most comfortable road bikes I've ridden, and that includes endurance models that "sacrifice top speed for comfort". The TCR has proven to me that you can have both comfort and speed.

    The other thing that caught me by surprise is how agile, quick and nimble it is. It is so responsive to my commands. At first I took a few minutes to acclimate because it felt twitchy at first. But when I realized it simply obeyed every input I gave it, and that ultimately I was still in control. Once I came to that conclusion, I grew more confident and took full advantage of it. During the one long descent on my normal route, not only was I going faster (probably pushing past 30mph) not only was I going faster, but on my SuperSix, the handling became a little less sure at higher speeds. The TCR went the opposite direction. It was surefooted and nimble at normal riding speeds, and it flat-out hugs the ground as high speeds. It was reminiscent of the very few times in my life I've had the pleasure of riding in an exotic sports car. A Ferrari feels great at 60mph, but at 120mph is where it truly separates itself from Audis and BMWs.

    I'll have more to say after more rides, but last night made me a believer in the work and craftsmanship that Giant has put into the TCR, and the first-class care and service Giant Santa Monica gave to me as not just a customer, but as a fellow cyclist that they want to see improve and find pure happiness and bliss in my riding.
     
  19. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey Carlo, sounds like you made a great choice adding that bike to your collection. When I read this post yesterday, I was a little surprised that the bike made that much difference in your ability to go faster and climb better. I wasn’t as surprised by how you felt it handles better then your Cannondale.

    I had a chance to drive a new modern day BMW 4 series that was a loaner. I own a 2001 BMW 330ci that is my daily driver. The difference you described is like my car experience in that the new cars are so disconnected with the road and when I got back in my older car, it was direct and felt so much more nimble.

    I’ll be curious how you get on with the new bike. Makes me wonder about upgrading from my bike to a newer one.
     
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  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    So here is a very unscientific MPH increase calculation. Remember in an earlier post I mentioned the digital car speed sign I regularly pass on one of my rides? I had mentioned that on my Trek I could make it flash 21 and on my Cannondale 25? Those numbers were at the same effort, which was me going all-out at the time, trying to make it flash as high a number as I could.

    Since that time, every time I pass it on the Cannondale, I ride by at what I would consider 85% effort. Not all out, but not slouching either. Hard enough so talking would be uncomfortable, but not feeling out of breath. At that effort, it routinely flashed 22.

    Yesterday and today at what felt like the same 85% effort, it bounced between 23-24 when I approached it with the TCR. Again, admittedly very unscientific.

    Got about five more ride-hours in since I last posted. My initial observations about handling and comfort all hold true. I'm riding the same paths as always, but the ride continues to feel significantly smoother, and when I get up to speed on descents the TCR feels like it's hugging the road.

    I just took a step towards become more scientific...I just bought this:
    Wahoo.

    Charging it now. According to what I've read, it should be able to sync to the Giant Power Pro (which I'm also charging for the first time) power meter on my TCR. I should be able to get speed, cadence and power (watts) measurement out of it. I should also be able to pair it to my iPhone as well. The only sucky thing is that Apple, with a history of not playing nice with others (with regards to sharing out their own data), won't allow the heart rate monitor on my Apple Watch to pair with the Wahoo.

    I think I'm going to order a chest strap HRM and pair it with the Wahoo. I believe I can send the Wahoo heart rate data over to my Health app (Apple is more okay with ingesting data than sharing it). So while it sucks to have to buy one more thing to do something that my watch already does...on the plus side it will start to get rid of my watch tanline since I get most of my "sunning" done on the bike.

    Assuming I recover well tomorrow morning from today's ride, I plan on going out to Ventura again in the morning and doing the Carpinteria ride. I'll be able to see how I do, speed and time-wise. And I'm not going to lie...for the first time I can say that I look forward to tackling that stupid 3000' 7% grade incline onto, and off of, the 101 freeway on this machine. I know, the fact that I'm primed to tackle it will make a comparison unscientific, since I won't be putting the same effort as before.

    But as cyclists say about incremental gains (from new bikes, lighter hardware, carbon wheels, aero parts, etc.). If it makes you think you're faster, and you end up going faster...then it's worth it.
     

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