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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. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Mid-ride check in. Gained 0.3mph from Ventura to Carpinteria. Doesn’t sound like much, I know...until you factor in that I was facing a much stiffer headwind than my last ride. I would conservatively estimate that it cost me 1mph. There were times I felt I was pedaling uphill on a flat.

    As I noted earlier, still a comfy ride (for a race bike) and I can now say that definitively after spending 48 minutes straight on an unbroken ride. Here’s a few pics of the Wahoo and accompanying Strava data. Stupid me forgot to pair the power meter before I left my car so I’ll try to remember to do so before heading back after lunch.

    5A0263EE-C10D-4F92-A036-EE508CEAC758.

    9FCA8440-CD15-40C4-82C0-5AE6F9E799AD.

    34C75B8F-7CA6-4FDC-97D7-67083C86368C.
     
  2. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Cool Carlo! I couldn’t ride yesterday so I did a short sprint today. Your ride crushed mine! I only did a 12 mile ride and that was my plan for the day.

    That’s pretty amazing what the new bike computers can do. Of course the Apple Watch is more generalized while the cyclometer is specifically geared for cycling. I’m trying to understand what your cyclometer is doing. I may have read your earlier post wrong, but I thought it would help determine the actual power output you were exerting on the ride? So far from what I’m seeing, the Apple Watch is giving me similar data I see on your computer. I would be very curious if you did get a heart rate meter and see how it compares to the Apple Watch. On my old school cyclometer, I actually measured the circumference of the tire at full air pressure and with me on the bike so I could enter Into the cyclometer to accurately measure the distance and speed. The results from the Apple Watch using GPS is often similar, within a few 10ths of a mile of the distance. I’m not putting your Wahoo down, im trying to figure out the functions.

    Your speed increase you saw on the speed measurement on the road is interesting, you are faster! No doubt a combination of your increased fitness, the new bike, and maybe your excitement of the new bike! I can see all those contributing to the higher speed. I was faster today too, probably because I planned a shorter ride so I could exert more effort sooner and longer k owing I wasn’t going as far. I was passed by a kid on a road bike. I wasn’t interested in chasing him but I did keep up with him a bit until he saw me closing in. :)
     
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  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    So I thought I had paired the power meter to my Wahoo...technically I had...but I failed to calibrate it at the beginning of the ride. So it didn't register on the ride up from Solimar to Carpinteria. After lunch, I paired and calibrated it for the ride back.

    So my normal summary of weather conditions which may impact the ride: By the time I finished a leisurely lunch and did a short low-speed ride around Carpinteria to get my legs warm again, the sun had come out and the marine layer had burned off. I won't say there was no wind (there's always wind) but it must have been sub-3mph. In fact, on my ride back I was making such good time, I actually took time at various points to look at trees I was passing to see if any of the leaves were being visibly affected by wind. They were not. I didn't feel like I had much of a tailwind because I was still hitting what I felt was the appropriate amount of air resistance for the speeds I was going. Again, if there was a tailwind, it was light, and nowhere near equal to the wind resistance I felt in the morning when the marine layer was still heavy. With it being warmer and sunny, the PSI in my tires may have gone up a tick, which often results in less rolling resistance (aka faster speed for same effort).

    Also worth noting, as I've been comparing this ride to my last one on the Cannondale SuperSix Evo. The Evo has Continental GP 5000 TL tires, whereas this one has Mavic UST Pro. Both are tubeless setups, and both are run at about 80 psi. According to Bicyclerollingresistance.com they are both fairly close in rolling resistance, with a very slight edge going to the Continentals.

    Here is a collage of my last Carpinteria to Ventura return ride (slightly different start/end points due to variable parking locations).
    July 28 ride.
    Note the 17.5mph average. That day the marine layer hadn't fully burned off, and I did face a bit of a headwind on the return ride--nowhere near what I felt early this morning, but measurably more than what I felt on the ride back this afternoon. So maybe tack 1mph on it if you're feeling generous.

    Without further ado...
    Wahoo speed and power.
    19.7mph. So even if you add 1mph to my ride 3 weeks ago and bump it up to 18.5...I still gained 1.2mph. And keep in mind, I had a bachelor party for my buddy last weekend, which was 3.5 days of drinking, eating and debauchery. Today was not me "in prime form". To put in in real world terms: I rode 3/4 of a mile further today in 2 minutes and 48 seconds less time. Also, check out that 36mph max. The TCR is so grippy and confidence inspiring, I was flying down the 101 on-ramp.

    Here are some of the other Wahoo screens, including those showing information from the Giant Power Pro power meter:
    Wahoo and Giant Power Pro. Wahoo cadence. Wahoo elevation. Wahoo max power.

    Here's my elevation and speed/elevation charts:
    Carp to Solimar elevation. Carp to Solimar speed vs elevation.

    What I'm proud of is, after the climb at the beginning, note how around mile 4 I basically hovered at 20mph the rest of the way. I made the mistake of starting the Wahoo while still in the city proper, so I was riding slowly and obeying stop signs. I think if you chopped off the first 1/4 or 1/2 mile...I might have broken the magical (in my head. at least) 20mph average.
     
  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey Carlo, thanks for posting all that information. You’re really making fast improvements not just from the bike, but all that riding.

    What I’m curious about with that Wahoo is how it measures power. Is it measuring how much force you’re exerting to move the bike? Is that derived by sensors, or calculations based on your speed and distance? I looked briefly at the Wahoo site and I wasn’t sure what I was reading. But I then thought your bikes have electronics on board perhaps because of the electronic shifters?

    It’s interesting that your new bike sounds like it’s more matched to you and you’re more efficiently transmitting the effort you put in to the wheels.
     
  5. Message #65 of 95 Aug 27, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
    Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    It's a relatively new phenomenon (at least to the masses, Pro riders have had access to it for quite some time) called power meters. I've seen them costing between $700 to well over $1000. That's part of why I found Giant to be such a good bargain, because the Giant Power Pro power meter was installed, active, and included in the price. Very few have this at this time, though my guess is that Giant is going to force other brands to follow suit or fall far behind.

    For example, Cannondale just started putting their own power meter on the 2020 SuperSix, but you have to pay to activate it. 490 euros for the power meter, another 50 Euros for Left/Right balance...all of which my Giant Power Pro does out of the box. And keep in mind that Cannondale only puts this on $6700 and up (women's model) and $7200 and up (men's model). I clicked on a ton of 2020 models on their site and those were the cheapest I could find. So for the "cheapest" men's model at $7200, add another $600 for the activation fee.

    Funny, I hadn't really done the research, but now that I have I'm starting to get a little miffed at Cannondale's markup (keep in mind I own a 2018 SuperSix which, on clearance, I thought was a fantastic bargain). If you don't want to read my rant you can stop here. ;)

    Rant ahead, you have been warned:

    Here is my Giant TCR Advanced SL1 (2019)
    Here is the closest match Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi Mod Disc Ultegra (2020)

    Right off the bat there is a $2000 difference MSRP, plus another $600 to activate the power meter. I didn't bother to use the 2019 Cannondale models because there was no power meter option. Here's how they stack up:
    • They both claim to be their company's highest quality carbon fiber
      • Keep in mind Giant also makes CF frames for Trek, Colnago and others because they own the Taiwan carbon fiber frame manufacturing plant
      • Cannondale also makes their frames in Taiwan, so the cost should be similar--note I couldn't find out if Cannondale own the plant that makes their frames or if they outsource like Trek and Colnago
    • They both use the same Ultegra Di2 transmission
      • except that Cannondale uses a Shimano 105 rear cassette. This makes no sense to me. Why use a cassette from a step down (albeit a still good) product line? There is a $10-$15 difference in consumer price for this component. And this is a nearly eight thousand dollar bike!
    • They both use a lot of proprietary parts outside of the transmission. I will say Cannondale's SiSL2 crank is industry respected for stiffness-to-weight, but even this part is reserved for the $11,500 build! This build uses the middle-of-the-line Hollowgram crank
    • Cannondale does get the nod for superior interior cable routing, since my bike was 2019, it's really the 2020 model year where manufacturers are trying to hide all traces of cable. Both bikes have internal cable routing, but my TCR cable's are visible coming out at the top of the bike near the handlebars, whereas the Cannondale's is completely hidden through the stem and handlebars until they get to the component.
    • Everything else is a proprietary wash
      • both have carbon wheels that measure and weigh about the same, the Giant's is a little lighter but the Cannondale is a little deeper which appeals to some and accounts for the extra weight
      • both have carbon handlebars and stem, though I will say the Cannondale's aero shape is more appealing and of course there's that cable routing through the bar and stem
    So for $2600 more you get fully hidden cables and a more aero-bar. Also, my friend who's in the industry let me know that Giant has a new integrated bar/stem which will completely hide the cables coming out in 2020 and should retail for $600...so if I were to buy that I'd still have $2000 in my pocket...if I paid MSRP.

    Which I didn't. To get a Cannondale clearance you have to do what I did, buy one model year past when the current model year is about to end. So I bought a 2018 model Cannondale, when the 2019s were giving way to the 2020s.

    Whereas I got a 15% discount on a current 2019 TCR (granted the 2020s are probably coming out in September) and got some Black Inc wheels which are $800 more and performance-wise are superior to either Giant's or Cannondale's offerings for free.

    Last minute addendum/correction

    Putting this at the end because I didn't want to revise the entire passage above. I found one random Cannondale with a power2max meter under $4K (not counting power meter activation). Not sure why this is the only one, or if it was a website mistake, but I'll just assume good intent and correctness:

    Supersix Evo Ultegra Race

    I do believe this is a 2019 model, and it isn't really in the same league as the above two bikes for the following reasons:
    • It's not the "highest grade carbon" for the manufacturer. All manufacturers have a huge price gap between their "very good" CF and their "best" CF. Trek, for example, if you look at their Emonda SL7 vs. SLR7 (SLR being their best CF) it's a $2200 difference.
    • It's the mechanical Ultegra, and not e-shifting. It's approximately a $1000 difference between mechanical and Di2 in the same class.
    • Rim brakes vs. disc brakes...just no need for rim anymore. 2017 rim still dominated. 2018-19 it was about a 50/50 split, 2020 onward will be primarily disc brakes. The small bit of added grams (remember my bike's weight?) is not worth the trade-off in dramatically better stopping power, especially in inclement weather.
    • Alloy handlebars (another reason I'm fairly convinced it's a 2019 model is the exposed cables near the handlebar)
    • Inferior (not bad, just not as good) stock wheels compared to the stock ones above, and nowhere near the Black Inc.
    So in comparison with what I paid for the TCR, if you include the power meter activation, I'd have saved $700 but stepped down to a lower carbon fiber quality frame, way worse wheels, no electronic shifting, gone back to rim brakes, and alloy handlebars. Any one of those upgrades would have eclipsed the $700 savings by itself (twice over just for the frame upgrade or wheel upgrade alone).

    Final note: I know this looks like I'm dogging Cannondale. I'm not. Many of the other manufacturers have similarly spec'd bikes at/around the price. I guess this just goes to show that Giant, being owners of the carbon fiber frame plant, really do pass the savings on to the consumer. So I'd like to think of the rant above more as "wow look what a great performance-for-value ratio Giant gives you".

    The only one that gives a better deal is probably Canyon, but they're internet only and good luck if you need to service it. Now that I have a good relationship with two bike shops, and am pretty handy now at home servicing my bikes, I would not hesitate to buy a Canyon in the future. But if I were starting out, and didn't have a relationship with a bike shop (or a buddy who loved working on friends' bikes and was good at it), I wouldn't start with a Canyon.
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Also, to bring it somewhat back to the original topic of the thread: weekly measurement yesterday showed I am 1.5 lbs lighter than previous week, but more importantly, lost another almost 1/2" off of waistline (it has been maybe 2 weeks since the waistline measurement).

    Another 1" off and I'll be under the .90 ratio (widest waist measurement divided by widest hip measurement) which officially takes me out of overweight and into normal according to the waist-hip ratio. But seeing as to how my body looks, I'm actually now going to try and go past that and aim for at least 1.5" more reduction, if not 2".
     
  7. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Carlo, I had absolutely no idea that road bikes can now be equipped with the strain gauges to measure the torque the rider is applying to the bike. I was really head down and riding my bike as I had not really been interested in looking around yet for another bike. I wasn’t aware of the new tech and mechanical updates on road bikes. So I tried to do some reading up and I see there’s a variety of power meter sensors, from hub mounted to bottom bracket to the crank and pedals. And there’s pros and cons for each. So you said your Giant came already equipped with the gauges built in? So that was why you bought the Wahoo? The bike manufacturers don’t try to sell you their own Wahoo type thing or have it built as part of the bike build?

    No wonder I was so lost in your last posts.

    This is really a mind blowing thing to learn. It changed my thinking some. I usually ride and do what my body feels good doing and if I want to push harder, I will. So it made me wonder if going with a Power Meter can up my training and really help me improve. I was so happy with the Apple Watch as it made me able to record more statistic so I was really happy with that. Does one need to have that Wahoo Head unit if the bike has the sensors? I guess there is nothing to record the readings with unless there is a computer on-board to save it for download later.

    Then the other aspect you made me think about was your comments that the TCR SL1 was such a comfortable bike and that you were going faster. My bike is not exactly a slouch, and it’s pretty light. But it is from 2010 and now you have me wondering if a new frame geometry and fit would help me ride even better. I was fitted to my bike and so I have no complaints. But now I’m wondering.

    I really have no knowledge of Giant as a bike maker. I know of Cannondale and Trek and Specialized of course and my grail bike, Bianchi. I know of the other bike makers like, Pinarello and Cervello, Raleigh. And I remember at the time I was getting into cycling, a couple of co-workers had Kestral bikes and those seemed like that unattainable high end bike. I don’t think I’ve seen one lately. I might start looking around.
     
  8. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Giant has its own app which is needed to initially pair and calibrate the power meter, as well as do firmware updates. It was free on the iOS app store, I'll assume there's an Android version as well. I have seen that it has screens with the various power readings, etc. but I've never used them to track because when I ride, I put my phone away in my saddle bag. I think if you're planning to use that in the same manner as the Wahoo, you'll need to have the app on and active, which also means you should probably buy a handlebar mount to have your phone out. I didn't want to expose my phone to the elements and drain battery life (between the app and GPS to track your ride, it would probably eat through phone battery life in a lengthy ride). So credit to Giant to actually 1) providing the power meter already activated and ready to go, and 2) providing the app free if you want to use it.

    With regards to the different types of meters...well you might now be more up to date than I am. I too knew there were several options available, but I hadn't read up on the pros and cons. Because in all honesty I hadn't planned on buying one. It just so happened the TCR came with it, so I decided heck if I paid good money for this bike, I'm going to use the features.

    The Wahoo was a purchase for several reasons:
    • As I mentioned it allows me to safely stow my phone (or not even bring it, if I want, as my Apple Watch is cellular enabled so in an emergency I can make calls from it) and conserve battery life. If I drive out somewhere remote to do a long and challenging bike route, and burn through my phone battery using the Giant app + GPS... well if I have heat exhaustion or some other emergency...it's going to suck if my battery is drained.
    • The Wahoo easily integrates with Strava, RidewithGPS, Komoot, and a number of other cycling route planner, training, ride-sharing services (I'm using the free Strava version). So now I can share the details of my rides with anyone (I can set myself to public, private, or followers only). If you become a "social cyclist" you can set yourself to public (kind of like Bluetooth Discoverable setting ;)) and other riders in the area will see you, and you them.
    • The Wahoo (and Garmin Edge, and Lezyne) are built to literally only do that one thing, cycling and GPS, so they're a bit better at it than a phone app, and their battery life is optimized for it. Wahoo claims 15h between charges. Also, I understand I can pair it somehow with the Di2 to see what gear I'm in, etc., but I haven't figured out how to do it yet.
    • It's smaller, but at the same time the screen is more legible for the cycling-specific info you're wanting (you can set how much, or how little, info you want to see). It's also "more aero" when mounted on your bar than a phone due to its size and shape.
    • If you just want to track your ride but don't want to see it, you can ride with it in a jersey or shorts pocket. That's what one of the guys does at the shop. He doesn't want to know speed, cadence etc. while he's riding, he just wants to ride the hills with his buddies (he's an avid mountain biker). But he keeps the Wahoo on to track his vitals and ride route to share and examine later.
    You can also use those various apps to plan rides/routes to do directions on your Wahoo Roam or Garmin. Garmin obviously has better POI features since they have a long history of navigation, but the Wahoo is better at bike vitals (and more stable, despite the Garmin having superior GPS and POI (points of interest) features, forums are filled with buggy software complaints). If Garmin ever gets their act together I may someday consider one of their units, but until then I'll use the Wahoo for cycling, and if I need POI information I can whip my phone out. I thought I'd want more POI features initially which is why I was on board for the Garmin Edge 830. But the bugginess steered me away. Having owned the Wahoo for a week, I realize when I'm riding and training (not for a race, just for health) I actually have near zero interest in POIs and am fully dialed in to having a good workout ride, even when I'm not going 100% effort the whole time.

    Regarding the TCR's comfort...let me offer a new anecdote. Because I was feeling more confident in tinkering with my bikes, and knowing that if I screwed it up I still had a perfectly working TCR, I decided to try and mimic Willie's fit measurements on my Cannondale.
    • I flipped the stem and slightly lowered the angle on the handlebars. This moved the handlebar height about 2.5 cm lower to bring it to within 1cm of Willie's drawing.
    • I moved the saddle forward as much as the bike would allow (several cm), which again brought it to about 1cm or less of the drawing
    • I changed saddle height to match the measurement (to Helen's Cycles credit they were within 1cm of it)
    Then I went on my normal evening ride. The Cannondale was a new experience. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the TCR, but just those 2-3 cm lowering of the bar, 2-3 cm reduction of reach, 1 cm adjust of saddle up, made a huge comfort difference in terms of my ride position which then had a positive impact on speed and comfort. That's when I became a little miffed that after purchasing a multi-thousand dollar bike from Helen's, that a true fit wasn't included. It makes all the difference in the world. I can understand for a mass-market bike under $1K, heck maybe even under $1500, it may not be worth the time and effort for a bike shop to do that. But for MSRP 2.5K bikes and up...you better throw in a fit.

    I was so happy with the minor changes resulting in a major ride improvement in the Cannondale that I started worrying about if I'd just wasted money on the TCR.

    So as soon as I got home, I jumped on the TCR.

    I needn't have worried. While the gap had closed...the TCR is still faster, lighter, better power transfer, and yes, still more comfortable. The smile crept back on my face. The fit adjustment only brought the Cannondale closer, but it's still quite a bit behind the TCR. I'd say without the fit, the Cannondale was 60% of the ride quality (factoring in speed, comfort, and just overall ride fun) of the Giant. Now it's closer to 75%. I still will ride the TCR the vast majority of the time, but the Cannondale will be a viable option on days I don't want to take the TCR out. Or just for a change of pace and look. The blue/yellow is a stark contrast to the all-black.

    It's funny, Giant is universally acknowledged as the largest bike manufacturer in the world, but I think maybe they have a stronger presence in Asia than other parts of the world. But after riding their TCR, Revolt (gravel) and Propel (aero), they are every bit as good as the boutique brands, and cost less due to their owning the manufacturing plant. As the Cannondale price comparison showed (and again, you could do it vs. Trek, Specialized, etc. and come up with similar results) I literally got an equivalent--and I would argue with the Black Inc wheels superior--bike and had 2K+ in savings to show for it. Their top of the line revolt is $3750 MSRP and it specs out to other builders' $5000 models. The savings gap obviously narrows the lower MSRP you go (just like home theater), but it's still there.

    As I mentioned, Canyon's internet-direct only model is the only better deal out there, and unless you live near, or are willing to travel to, Carlsbad or Germany...you'll have to buy it without test riding it, and if it needs repair you will need to be good at doing it yourself, or have an established relationship with a bike shop, or be willing to pay full price for repairs because shops won't cut you a deal on Canyon repairs since they're disrupting the marketplace with their direct-to-customer model.
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Some additional benefits of the Garmin/Wahoo, over the iPhone/Android:
    • Although expensive (Roam is $380, Edge 830 is $399) it's still cheaper than a good smart phone
    • Much lighter. Like stupidly light. DC Rainmaker's in depth review weighed it at 95g. iPhone X is 174g plus my case which probably adds 10g to it, so half the weight.
    • More rugged. I wouldn't ever throw my Wahoo on the ground intentionally but if it dropped I'd be much less worried about anything happening to it than if I dropped my iPhone, it has that industrial rubberized/plastic feel to it that on a phone would be considered "cheap" but on an outdoor device is reassuring. Also if it starts raining, or you get mud splashed on it, yes I know new smart phones have water resistance, but again I'd be much less worried about the Wahoo.
    • If I pair with a chest heart rate monitor, most people say a chest HRM is better than a wrist one, and also I no longer have to lift my wrist to look at my watch to see my heart rate, it will be on the Wahoo along with all my other data
    • You can create and download "interval" training to your Wahoo/Garmin. So if you just enjoy riding, these will suit just fine out-of-the-box, but if you want to do serious style training like intervals/HIIT etc. your Wahoo/Garmin can do that
    • It can also be programmed (or maybe it just warns you) for inclines, at least that's what the LBS told me. Not sure if I have to do it via Strava or RidewithGPS or some other map app that has inclines data, but Willie mentioned it can warn you ahead of time if you have a steep/long incline coming up on a route so you can properly pace yourself before it.
    I'll let you know if I have success enabling the inclines and intervals features. I'm slowly learning the device right now and likely using only 10% of its features. Or less. Check out DC Rainmaker's review for someone who knows it a whole lot better than I do.
     
  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks again Carlo for the information.

    I might consider looking at a Giant now. You mentioned the other brands as boutique. I never thought of that before but that makes sense! Just to be sure I understand what you are saying, the Giant you have now, came with the meters already installed on the bike. I think that’s the case with that model. And you said it was already activated. I’ll re-read what you wrote about that. You just needed to add the head unit, in this case the Wahoo.

    This gave me another thought. I wonder if I could simply add the sensors to my bike and add the Wahoo. That’s just an alternative. There a new bike too.

    I wondered also if you took your Cannondale back to the shop if they could get it to a closer fit to the Giant, or is it already as far as it can go?

    Enjoy the new bike and the toys! I’ll be interested in hearing about the progress you’re making. The weight loss is great too!
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    If you don't mind using your phone, you can always just use the Giant app paired with the sensors and power meter.

    Also if you want just speed and cadence, you can simply add speed and cadence sensors yourself with either a Wahoo or Garmin. I think they're cross-compatible (i.e. you can buy a Wahoo unit and Garmin sensors, or vice versa, but not sure why one would do that). My Giant also came with Ridesense sensor and magnet. I don't think it comes with every Giant (it isn't on some models' webpages I looked at, and my specific model's page lists it as "Extras"). But apparently Ridesense uses Ant+ and Bluetooth so that can be paired with a bike computer or a phone with the app.

    But again those will only give you speed and cadence, and none of the other stuff that a power meter would give you.

    You could always buy a power meter separately but again, good ones I've seen go for $700-$1000+ and that doesn't include the computer (although maybe they'd have a free phone app, I don't know).

    Re: my Cannondale I'm sure Willie could get it spot on to my fit. He could re-arrange the steerer spacers, or remove them and cut the steerer tube shorter to get the handlebar at exactly the right height. I'm sure there'd be a labor charge since cutting the steerer tube is not a trivial thing. He could also order a shorter stem (which I'd have to pay for, I'm pretty sure) to shorten the reach to the exact amount of my fit. The question is: how much more do I want to spend on the Cannondale given the TCR is my daily driver and is still a more comfortable and faster ride vs. saving my money for a new frame to eventually move the Cannondale transmission over to?

    Oh, one more cool thing about the Wahoo vs. phone/watch. Since it's mounted on the stem and always on while riding, I can look down and see how fast I'm going at that exact moment, vs. the watch just tells me the overall ride speed. When doing my normal ride around the westside my average speed is always low because I'm frequently at stoplights. So I come back from rides and my watch says I "averaged 14.5 mph". But now I can see that in between stoplights, I can get my bike up to 25 mph on the flats putting about 90% effort. On slight inclines I dip to about 16 mph and on slight declines I can approach 30 mph. When I do sprints between lights, I exert over 500 watts. And another cool thing about the Wahoo: it's set to stop tracking your ride when you stop (i.e. at lights/stop signs) and resumes tracking when you start again. So your overall "average" speed isn't as greatly affected when waiting for a light as it is when your Apple watch tracks it. It's still affected by your deceleration to, and acceleration from, a complete stop, but at least the Wahoo stops factoring in the 30-60 seconds you're waiting for the light to turn green. If you stop at a Blue Bottle, you don't have to worry about stopping your watch's cycling tracker app. The Wahoo will stop and wait for you and start up again after you've finished your New Orleans cold brew.

    If you love your bike there's no need to spring for one just for the tech. You can do any of the above I listed.

    However if your bike is sufficiently old, why not check out your local bike shop and see what's up. I don't think anything in 1-5 years will tempt me to upgrade from the TCR in the racing/road bike class. I'd have to change classes like Aero or Gravel.

    But in 7-10 years I can easily see the industry making sufficient strides in frame design that will get me to consider moving on from the TCR.
     
  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Also I did not mean negative when I called those other brands boutique. I just meant that in that they sell low-volumes (due to their cost) and also don't manufacture their own carbon fiber (due to the low volume; it costs a lot to create and staff a carbon fiber manufacturing facility).

    In the same way that Apple not making their own OLED/LED screens does not diminish their devices, I find that boutique bike brands also have their own strengths (and compromises). The design is theirs: take Trek and Colnago for example. Nothing in the Giant line looks like a Madone. Nothing in the Giant line has the style of joins that Colnago has: they largely eschew the beautifully svelte--imho--join aesthetic that the TCR does so well, especially where the seat tube, top tube and seat stay all converge.

    It's just that they are priced higher due to 1) the low volume, and 2) Giant has to make their own money for manufacturing their frames. If I could get a Pinarello Dogma F12 spec'd out the same as my TCR (including the awesome Black Inc wheels) I would do it in a heartbeat. But MSRP-wise we'd be talking double the price, and nearly triple when you consider the deal I got through the Giant bike shop with the wheels vs. how difficult it is to obtain any discount on a boutique brand bike unless you are friendly with a shop owner or clearancing a previous year (or two) ago model

    In case you're wondering, here's the join I'm talking about. Both bikes are high quality carbon fiber, but whereas Giant chooses to use modern sleek lines, Colnago tries to echo steel bikes of years past:

    Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 7.59.14 AM. IMG_2360.

    To each, their own! I see lots of Colnago bikes when I ride, so clearly their aesthetic works for a significant percentage of cyclists.
     
  13. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Carlo. I prefer the newer designs too when the tubes are all integrated smoothly into one form. That orange frame you showed is obviously a visual reminder of the steel frames and lugs days. When the early Kestrel bikes came out, those were really cool for the smooth frames. My Specialized frame is a smooth one as well.

    I’m going to keep riding my bike for now as I think about the idea of upgrading. I’ll learn more about them too.
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Sounds good! Bikes now are so expensive you definitely should not jump into a purchase decision like I did. While I'd love to not have purchased the Cannondale...I'm not sure I would have found the TCR without that experience. The Cannondale was kind of a necessary middle step for me to find what I liked, and where I wanted improvement. When I first got the SuperSix it blew me away on so many levels. It did a lot of things right.

    Since you've been riding longer than I have, you likely have a much more acute sense of what you want your ride to feel like. It's a great time to be in the market for a new bike. 2020 is the year where just about every mid-tier and higher bike is coming with hydraulic disc brakes. Most bikes have hidden cable management, whether it's mostly-hidden or completely hidden. Manufacturers are starting to make traditional racing bikes more aero (without going full aero). You're going to have plenty of great options!
     
  15. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    It’s like HT gear! My plasma blew the power supply last year and I was resigned to upgrade to 4K OLED, but I’m so glad I was able to get the plasma repaired. I wanted to keep it going as it was still producing a great image. So by the time I’m ready for OLED, it should be even better!

    You’re current experience reminds me of when I started and I rode a lot. I took breaks after a while and rode less because life happens. The last few years I’ve been riding more regularly again.
     
  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Yeah there are too many parallels between cycling and home theater for my liking. It says too much about my personality that I don't want to admit...:wacko:

    From May - August I basically went from DVD (Trek) to HD (Cannondale) to 4K HDR (Giant). An aero would be like adding Dolby Vision. Sure there are certain titles you'll see improvement (just like certain types of rides where you'll see the benefit) but most of the time the gain will be imperceptible. I have that exact situation at home, my Samsung does HDR; my Sony adds DV. If I bothered to put them side by side could I tell a difference? Probably, but that may also be because my Sony is a model year or two newer as well. But when I'm watching a 4K disc on the Samsung, I'm not thinking "man I should stop watching on this set and move to the Sony".

    Gravel and mountain bikes are a whole different beast. Like HD in 3D. Sure you lose pixel density/clarity (top speed), but you gain a whole new 3D viewing experience (offroading/trails/jumps).

    Which is why there's a possibility I may wait 2 years for my aero frame, but buy a mountain bike in between. There are tons of hills and trails on the west side of L.A. that I'm told are fun rides.
     
  17. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I was thinking about what you said in an earlier post Carlo. I have been riding for a long time and on my current bike for almost 10 years now! That is hard to believe. I’ve also realized that I’ve been so old school too not keeping up with the latest tech. :)

    So with all this time on one bike, I may know what my ride feels like. But I’m also open to new riding experiences if it encourages me to ride more or makes riding more fun. Right now it is a little same old, same old. It’s works and it works fine. The addition of the Apple Watch has been great as each incremental Apple Watch exercise app upgrade made using the watch to track my work outs better and more fun. I guess I don’t ride as hard as you do as I can lift my arm to occasionally see what my heart rate is. But at this point, I don’t as I usually am at the same heart rate unless I do something unusual. One thing I did was ask Siri what my heart rate is and it didn’t tell me, but the screen showed it. On my next ride, I’ll have to remember to ask Siri to tell me what my heart rate is.

    I remember when I first got the Tarmac, it was my first carbon bike after riding steel bikes for years. I definitely could feel the stiffness and feel the immediate power I applied to the pedals. I also could feel every pebble on the road. So it was transmitting more feel. Not in a harsh way, and I’ve also had a fear early on that the carbon fork and carbon seat post could break. Imagine how bad that would be. But my colleague at work whose a club rider at the time said I’d put far less abuse on the bike then the professional racers do, so I’ll unlikely experience any breaking parts. :)

    A new bike with the power meters I can see might encourage me to ride harder. For now I’m using my time as a measure as well as what the Apple Watch records for active calories.

    Well, I’m going for a morning ride now, which is not my norm. But my schedule is different this weekend, so I can try a morning ride and see how it’s goes. Should be less wind.
     
  18. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Carbon has come a long way since the horror stories of the earliest frames in the 90s. Sure any material can fail, but cf bikes are made very well now.

    The thing about stiffness and compliance...I used to think they were either/or prospects. In fact there are distinct categories that the industry uses to separate them: endurance and race bikes. The implication is you can either have a very fast bike or a very comfortable bike. The amazing thing with the TCR is that it’s both. I’m sure you can find a faster bike, and I’m sure you can find a more comfortable bike. But I’m not sure you’ll find one that’s got as high a mix of both qualities as this one. I’ve test ridden maybe two dozen makes/models and for the most part it’s true that the fastest bikes are often the stiffest in ride, and the most compliant ones gives up top end speed.

    The TCR has been one of the very fastest, if not the fastest, bike I’ve ridden (keep in mind I’ve not ridden anything over $9K MSRP so this doesn’t include top-of-the-line models of Pinarello, Cervelo, Bianchi, etc.). But it’s probably top 5 in comfort. And the four that were more comfortable were considerably heavier, less aero, and felt sluggish in comparison. I just had the shop reconvert the carbon wheels I bought for the Cannondale from quick release back to thru axle because I don’t envision myself riding the SuperSix much anymore. I’d rather swap wheel sets on the TCR between the Black Inc and the Bontrager Aeolus Pro to see which carbon sets are faster. The Black Inc are lighter and thinner, which help for climbing, whereas the Bontragers are 5mm deeper for slightly more aerodynamic properties, but are also a bit more susceptible to crosswind effects. Also the Black Inc have Mavic Yksion Pro tubeless tires while the Bontrager has Continental Grand Prix 5000 tubeless. So there’s quite a bit of difference there which should allow me to contrast/compare the relative benefits of each wheel set.

    If you’re ever in SoCal hit me up and we’ll go test riding! I’ll intro you to the guys at Giant Santa Monica...they’re just great people. And who knows...maybe you’ll end up with a new pair of wheels!
     
  19. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    So...I felt faster on my Bontragers. Strava even told me I set a new PR on a certain stretch of my usual ride. From everything the inter webs says about Black Inc, from being lighter to having CeramicSpeed bearings... that shouldn’t be the case. The only other difference was the Mavic Yksion tires on the BIs vs Conti 5K on the Bontragers. I know Contis are nearly universally loved but I wasn’t prepared for that. They were both at about 80psi. Another difference is that the Contis are 28mm and the Mavics are 25mm. So guess what I did? Yup. Ordered another pair of 28mm Contis. Should take a couple of weeks to arrive and then I’ll do a true A/B with them.
     
  20. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    My ride yesterday morning was a pretty good one, I was actually faster because the wind wasn’t as strong yet. Though my active caloric numbers was lower then the rides where there is wind. My heart rate was the same.

    I think your posts are making me try harder.

    My Continentals Grand Prix ties are 4000’s and are 23mm. I think I matched the size of the original tires.

    If I’m ever in SoCal. I’ll let you know. :)
     

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