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Cycling, my new addiction...er...hobby (or, I finally am taking my doctor's advice) (1 Viewer)

Carlo_M

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Sounds good! Also if you haven't, check out https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/

They really have shown that wider tires aren't necessarily slower, and also put some wattage numbers behind the rolling resistance of tires they test (lower is better). That's why I'm surprised I observed the increased speed on the Bontrager/Conti combination, vs. the Black Inc/Mavic. The Mavic Yksion Pro UST has 11.7W rolling resistance vs. 8.3W for the Conti GP5000 TL. I would have thought that the superiority of the lighter BI tires, and the ceramic vs. steel bearings in the hub, would have been enough to at least offset, if not still be an improvement over the Bontys. Maybe the Bontys really are a steal for their price.

If my posts are inspiring you in a good way (that's my hope), I'm glad! I hear ya about the wind. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes in ride speed.

If you decide to get a power meter, that will really make you try harder, more so than my posts. I find myself looking at the wattage (usually in the 140-150) and I know former pro cyclists and strong club riders can sustain 200-300 watts...and I tell myself "get going you weakling!". :D

What's crazy is I think my high wattage mark so far is in the high 500s (remember I didn't have it on when I took on that incline last week). But I think I read pro cyclists on a tour stage can push well over 1500, with some even breaking 2000. I mean, can they power a city block? :rolling-smiley:
 

Carlo_M

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@Nelson Au

New purchase alert!!! No, not an aero bike...

c78f0573_dbde_4198_8720_6b95f32094e8_9f02c5ac6dfeba27c35797ddc083756323780fa4.jpeg


Supacaz Super Sticky Kush handlebar tape. Put it on myself. Didn't do an awesome job but for a first time, not bad at all. I learned a few things for the next time I have to install new tape.

I will say for all the praise I lavished on the TCR (Giant not cutting any corners with a full Ultegra level drivetrain, highest level carbon fiber, top-level engineering to provide both speed and comfort, the bike shop swapping awesome Black Inc wheels for me free of charge) the one thing I became a little disappointed in was the bar tape. It was a bit spongy feeling, but not very cushion-y, and if you allowed drops of sweat to fall on it, they'd stain it and be kind of visible in certain light/from certain angles.

This bar tape is thicker for more cushion, but doesn't feel spongy, and handles moisture much better. I chose the blue accents because since it's a black bike, I wanted something to stand out a little. ;)
 

Nelson Au

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Cool, wrapping the tape can take a little practice. Nice job! The tape on my bars are still the original, but the area along the top at the brake hoods are very worn out. :). I’ve recently started to wear gloves. Though for most of my riding years was bare hands. The reason I started to wear gloves was not for the cushion they provide, but just sun protection.
 

Carlo_M

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I think next time I'm going to try wrapping "towards the body" rather than away from. Most shops, and online cycling sites like GCN, seem to say go outward (away) but I noticed both the Cannondale and Giant wraps went towards the frame. Also some of the "pro team" mechanics I've seen YouTube videos on seem to also also wrap inward towards the bike. This might make the "figure 8" at the shifters a little more manageable.

In all honesty I'm not sure how long I'll keep bar tape; I'm certain to change it well before it's "life expectancy" is up. Because it's the one area where, for a relatively inexpensive price ($30-40 for highest quality tape), you can really change the aesthetic of your bike. I went conservative for this round, matching the body color and having very small amounts of blue ornaments visible, but don't be surprised if I go a little crazy in color for next time. I'm thinking of having an alternate color bike tape, maybe stay in the same product line but go with Coral:
Supacaz coral.jpg


Or Purple:
Supacaz Purple.jpg

Or maybe do what they call a "Fade" which changes halfway up (assuming near/at the shifters if you do it right):
Supacaz Purple Fade.jpg

Time will tell :)
 

Nelson Au

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It seems a matter of preference how you wrap. I think I’ve always gone from the center outward. That way the tape can be wrapped around to start it and the beginning piece has tape wrapped over to secure it, then at the outside end, the end cap secures that end.

Agreed you can have fun with the tape!
 

Carlo_M

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Because of the Di2 being mounted at the bar endcap, I can't actually secure my bar tape via endcaps. I have to do one of those diagonal cuts (similar to how you cut the tape diagonally at the end to make it parallel with the front tire/top tube so that it looks clean when you use the electrical/bar tape to finish it. I also do that at the start, and then use the tension of the first wrap-around to hold the beginning in place and line it up to start just above the Di2 endcap.

The GCN video I ended up following rationalized wrapping outward because "as riders grip down on the drops, the tension tends to be outward so you want the bar tape to go that same direction". Made sense to me. Although as I mentioned, GCN also interviewed (in other videos) pro team mechanics and they all wrapped inward. And both of my bikes' stock bar was wrapped inwards and looking back on it I never had discomfort or problems with the tape direction when gripping hard on the drops.

I think I'll plan a "seasonal" upgrade on bar tape. This will be Fall. Come Winter and the New Year...we'll see.

WiC_Header4_Large.jpg

:rolling-smiley:

Also I just ordered one of these:
https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/duraace-r9150-di2/EW-WU111.html

Apparently I can just replace an inline JC200 junction box I have at the underside of my handlebars, update the firmware, and voila, I'll have Bluetooth from my Di2 system.

What good will that do me, you say? Glad you asked! ;)

It will enable the "D-Fly" functionality of my shifters, which are assigned to two buttons on the top of the hoods (yes there are two actual buttons there for Di2 groupsets). What this then does is pair to my Wahoo Elemnt Roam and will let me scroll through pages of info/maps without having to take my hands off the shifters and press the Roam's buttons manually, which 1) negatively impacts your riding speed/concentration, because 2) the buttons on the Roam are really hard to press down...think old school tech, not your smartphone tactile button light-pressure-press.

Also it will let the Roam give me a low-battery warning for the Di2 (which is only marginally useful as it lasts so long I rarely ever have to charge). Apparently Garmin units give you an actual battery life indicator vs. a warning. But that's fine because a warning I believe means you still have like an hour left of shifting. When it gets really low first your front derailleur won't shift, that means you have a half hour left on back shifting, once you run it out it just fixes on the gear you are on, so good advice to follow if you've run it out would be to choose a "reasonable" gear like middle of the rear cassette which should be easy enough to take on anything short of a mountain climb. But bottom line, if you're doing a long mountainous climb, or a century ride, and you haven't charged your Di2 in a while, you really should (it only takes 2 hours to max charge I think) prior to the ride.

Another thing is that the gear data is sent to the Roam, which apparently can display what gear you're in (vs. looking down at it) and also tracks when you use what gear during your ride, and how long you spend on what gears. That can help inform you if you want to consider chainring or cassette sizes.

And the final thing it does is pair with Android and iOS E-Tube apps by Shimano. Why is this important? Currently I only have a Windows PC in the bedroom, or I can dual-boot into it on my Mac. That's the only way to connect and update firmware and change deep-level settings on my Di2 (outside of derailleur microadjustment which you can do at the control box on the bar end). And believe me when I say the Windows program looks like it was programmed in the 90s or early 00s. Apparently the app is much more modern looking, and it's easier to reprogram your shifters and what they do, along with synchronous, and semi-synchronous shifter settings.

I believe they say the mobile app does have a battery life indicator so you can check the status with better gradation there if you don't own a Garmin unit.
 

Nelson Au

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Wow, I ended up in the weeds reading your post! I’m sure there will and are benefits to the electronic shifting, but one of the things that I had reservations about is the battery running out and not being able to shift. I guess from what you posted there is no option to manually shift after the power is gone?

I hate to sound old or like a Luddite because I love my tech gadgets! But like my car, I prefer the shift myself. I know the new double clutch transmissions on cars will make them shift faster then a human can, but it takes the fun out of it. :). But on a bike, I can see the shifting being done electronically might have advantages. I need to understand this area more.

About the tape, I see on my bike, the tape was wrapped from the outside inward. I did not wrap it, it’s how the bike came from the shop. You reminded me of something I did on an older bike that I always liked, which is a plastic clamp that holds the tape and cleanly finishes off the tape. I see the new ones now accommodate the cables.

E2BE3278-D530-4341-8E7E-88B7AC523C06.jpeg
D5F22523-1A8E-4463-81EB-F3964C5722AD.jpeg

https://www.arundelbike.com/product/bar-tape-clips/
 

Carlo_M

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Nelson: I felt totally the same when I first heard of Di2. I was super-skeptical. My first cars, 1989 Toyota pickup, 2000 Nissan Altima, were both stick-shifts. It wasn't until 2012 that I got my first automatic transmission because I finally had the career and income I wanted and was going to spoil myself with a fairly nice car (Acura TL). Auto was the only option.

I was so skeptical that the first bike I bought, Trek FX, was a stick-shift. And it was perfectly fine. In fact the new R7000 105 groupset shifts very well, some say on par with older generations Ultegra or even Dura-Ace mechanical versions. I've never had a problem with it, outside of needing to adjust cable tension every so often due to natural cable stretch. I figured that Di2 was another way bike companies could charge you hundreds of dollars more.

But that 4th of July sale where I bought my Cannondale had that Di2 model at just a couple of hundred more than standard Ultegra models, and the frame was superior to those other builds. So I said "what the heck" and took the plunge.

I can't describe it other than you have to try it to understand. So while I said the 105 groupset was very good, it's still prone to mis-shifts due to user error. Since it's a fitness bike it has mountain bike style shifters. Sometimes I don't press the shifter all the way in and it doesn't shift. Sometimes I want to dump 2-3 gears at once and have to push it in all the way and am mostly successful, but sometimes not, and again, it's user error and feel. If a robot were programmed to push in the shifters the correct amount every time, it would reliably shift up and down 1, 2 even 3 gears with 100% accuracy. I'm am no robot, and when going at fast speeds and needing to slow down suddenly (like when I'm sprinting between stoplights on my evening routes for interval training and a light suddenly decides to turn red as I approach at 25+mph) sometimes I don't dump enough gears and I either have to lift the rear wheel while stopped and shift down right there, or start once the light turns green at a much higher gear than is optimal (resulting that slow, awkward lurching).

Same thing when I was testing out mechanical shifters on drop down bars. Recall the last drop down I rode was in the late 80s, when stem shifters were a thing. The concept of pushing in on what I thought of as "the brakes" to shift took some getting used to, and then on the right side, pushing in "even further" to dump more gears quickly was even more foreign. I got used to it, but like the MTB shifters on my Trek, still was an imperfect process. Also shifting up to the large chainring on MTB style shifters takes a bit of thumb-strength. Not that I struggle with it. I just find it annoying that it's tactile-wise much harder to shift into the large from chainring than it is to change to any other gear.

With the Di2, it's like mouse-clicks. And it responds instantaneously, as fast as you can click. Sprinting at 25mph, and that light decides to turn red and you spot the glow of headlights approaching from the cross-street (which eliminates any thought you had of trying to make the light)? Click+click+click+click in a half-second span with your right hand middle finger (if you ride in the same hand position as I do on the hoods) and you're down 4 gears. As a bonus, your index finger is also simultaneously hitting the brake. So you're slowing down and safely dumping gears so that once the light turns green, you can smoothly take off. One more thing I didn't think about: downshifting while braking on a mechanical shifter requires you to push in on the brake/gear lever to dump gears while also squeezing it to brake. I've never had to do it since I don't own a mechanical drop bar bike, but that seems to be a complicated thing to try and do. With Di2, not so much. Press brake like normal, click with one finger, which doesn't move the brake lever at all.

This is not akin to a car's automatic transmission. This is equivalent to a car's paddle shifters vs. stick shift + clutch. You still control all your gears, and when you go up and down. It's just, instead of depressing the clutch, and releasing it while pressing the gas and avoiding stalling or lurching...the paddle shifters just "make the gear change happen". Same thing with Di2. No more cable stretch, requiring tension adjustment. Once you dial it in, short of crashing on it, it's "set it and forget it". No more guessing if you pressed the shifter enough for one shift, or multiple shifts. Each click equals one gear, however fast you can click. Oh and if you do crash on it, it has a Crash Recovery mode which I fortunately have never had to use (knock on wood).

Shimano won't post expected battery life (as it's highly variable, I shift like a child with OCD, others will shift much less often). But the various cycling sites, riders blogs, pro shop workers, all say that you'll get over well over 1000 miles between charges (I read 1500-2000 miles) and others say you only have to charge once every couple of months, and these are guys who ride often. And it elegantly runs out of power. First warning you by stopping your front derailleur shifting and giving you plenty of time to get home with rear derailleur shifting. If you've fully run it out in a century-ride, that was the equivalent of not checking your car's gas gauge prior to a long road trip. If I'm ever going to tackle something huge like a 100 mile ride, or plan on riding somewhere very remote, I'm going to do all the pre-ride things like checking and tightening all the crucial bolts, checking tires for wear, and fully charging my Di2 (or at least checking it's status).

After riding since July 5 on a Di2 system, I can't imagine going back. If you ride a lot (I'm at about 75-100+ miles a week depending on when I can get out to Ventura on a weekend), you literally reap the benefits hundreds of times on every single ride. IMHO remembering to charge your Di2 every month or two is a small price to pay. And since it's an Li-Ion battery which takes less than 2 hours to fully charge, it probably is similar to Apple's iPhone batteries where in a pinch you can probably charge it for 15-30 minutes and get more than enough juice to do your 100 mile ride.

If it wasn't so expensive to retrofit, and if I rode it more, I'd consider spending the money to Di2 my Trek. I used to think the salesman was using hyperbole to try and move more expensive bikes. Now I'm of the opinion that anyone riding more than a "commuter" style over "casual distances" should seriously consider Di2.
 
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Carlo_M

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I guess from what you posted there is no option to manually shift after the power is gone?

To address this question specifically, no there isn't. As I mentioned, the system gives you many opportunities to confirm power prior to running out. From just holding down the button and understanding what the flashing LED responses mean (I think there's a different one for 50% and 25% power left). At 25% you still have approximately over 200 hours of shifting left, but you really should plug it in at that point.

The reason there's no manual shift is because the whole "shifting by wire tension" is gone in Di2, replaced by a single wire that transmit signals, i.e. to shift, and data, i.e. gear information. And SRAM's eTap AXS goes one further by being fully wireless, so the signal to shift is sent over the air! Rather than a central system battery for SRAM, the batteries are in the derailleurs from what I understand, and they can be removed and charged like digital camera batteries.

But looking at the prospect of running out of juice more seriously, I am rarely on my highest gears (largest front chainring, smallest 2-3 rear cogs) so if the system ran out of juice on me, I'd likely be in the 4th or 5th cog in the back which on relatively flat terrain is more than manageable to get home, and I can even go up any inclines short of a 5% for long climbs, or 7-8% on short climbs. I'd have to have terrible luck and run out while on a 7% downhill where I'm actually on the highest possible gear...
 

Nelson Au

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I didn’t mean to dismiss the system as I’m sure it’s a great system. Agreed that one needs to try it out. And I would like to give it a try some time. You’re obviously fully taking advantage of it. I think I have actually been under braking and I did shift down a gear or two at the same time on my bike. Oh yeah, you’re very right that the electronic shifters is like the paddle shifters in cars and it’s not an automatic. I didn’t mean to mischaracterize.

I am curious and I’ll do a little more reading, as I’d imagine the detainers have a motor inside that makes it move to make the shift. Also I recall reading something you posted earlier that stuck in my head. If I read it right, it sounded like theres a CPU that drives the shifters and that depending on which chain ring you’re in in front, it can decide which rear to find for the best gear ratio? Or it was visa vera and depending on the rear cog, the system picks which front chain ring. That part surprised me. I tend to stick with the smaller from ring unless I’m going downhill or have a good tailwind and I’ll use the larger front ring.

I was wondering if these systems would allow you to carry an extra battery like is done with cellphones where you can plug that battery into the phone to give it a charge from the external battery. But from what you’ve said, it sounds like the battery life is pretty long.

I hope you keep enjoying the system and the bike, it sounds like a great set-up and I’ll be curious about your new Bluetooth addition. The more I learn from you the more I’ll understand what is happening in the bike world. :)
 

Carlo_M

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I don't fully know the engineer, but yes I believe both the front and rear derailleurs have a motor inside (you can hear the motorized sound as it shifts). Not sure where "the brains" live, it must be the junction box. On my Cannondale the junction box is a rectangular block that is attached underneath the stem. On my Giant it's in the bar-end and completely inside the handlebar, so no aero penalty whatsoever.

Regardless of if the CPU is in the junction box, that is where you press the button to either 1) check battery life, 2) do microadjustment of the derailleurs, and 3) switch between normal/synchronous/semi-synchronous shifting.

Here's a pretty cool explanation of synchronous shifting (along with the 1990s style screen of the Shimano PC software): https://di2center.com/2019/04/05/how-to-customise-synchronized-shift-settings/

The battery is long and tubular, and goes in the seat tube, so extra batteries...I guess it's possible but you've got to be ready to remove your seatpost to get to it. SRAMs solution, with the batteries on the derailleurs, is probably a more elegant solution for this, since you can remove them without getting into the bike.
 

Carlo_M

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So first tech fail...and I'm going to blame it on the iPhone Shimano E-Tube app. I can't get it to pair over Bluetooth to the EW-WU111. I think it may be because I'm running a beta iOS version and the Shimano app hasn't been updated in a few months. I know the beta versions have broken a couple of other apps I use (MetaRemove being one).

I know the EW-WU111 is working though because I was able to connect to it through the Wahoo Elemnt Roam, but could only add the gears page (which was cool). I think I need the E-Tube app to be able to program the D-Fly so that pressing the top buttons on my shifters cycle the pages of my Wahoo...but I'm now starting to second-guess that. I may monkey around with it a little more before going to bed.

So I will say this: I was very tempted to jump on a big sale on a Trek Madone. An aero bike would be a great addition to the stable, and I was prepared to trade in the Trek FX S6 (for a big loss, but at least it would have gotten me some value back and I wouldn't have had to hassle with a private sale). However I started reading up on Trek's proprietary bottom bracket, the BB90. Apparently it can be prone to creaking and wearing out the carbon fiber over time. It's design is such that the bearings sit and contact directly on the frame. It seemed a good idea at the time it was invented by Trek in 2007...but you need exacting tolerances for the bearings to perfectly fit into the frame, and CF manufacturing apparently can vary ever so slightly so that it can cause creaking, or even if they're fine to begin with, can be distorted or worn after much use and pressure (especially if you're putting serious strain on it if you're a racer or a climber). While I'm neither, I want all of my bikes to be without known flaws up front. All bikes have, or reveal, flaws as you own them but this one is something that after doing research, I now know well enough ahead of time to make me re-think it.

The nail in the coffin was this rumor that Trek might be ready to abandon their standard and move to a threaded bottom bracket (like a lot of the industry), the T47...and the new Domane has just that bracket. So I think I'll not be buying a BB90 bracket aero bike from them.

But now I got my hackles up to want an aero bike. Not because it's faster than my TCR. Sure, in a wind-tunnel test aero bikes may perform marginally better (saving 8 watts at 40km/h!), but at the speeds I ride the difference will be negligible. And the TCR Advanced SL1 is actually used by Giant's Pro Sponsored Team so obviously it can hold it's own against aero bikes on the pro-level. And it's not for comfort either, as aero bikes are known to transmit more road vibration to the rider. The Madone was respected for being one of the most comfortable aero bikes which is why it was on my short list (along with a 35% off sale).

No, I want an aero bike because aero bikes look striking to my eyes. My TCR is a well engineered machine, and anyone who knows anything about bikes will look at it and go "damn, that's one awesome piece of engineering". But aero bikes are eye-catching to the "average" person who knows little-to-nothing about cycling. The wide/narrow aero tubes. The larger side-profile that allows for a more prominent display of graphics or paint scheme. The aero purchase will be for aesthetics as much as performance, because my TCR will keep pace with it on the flats (unless I suddenly become pro-level) and will have an easier time climbing due to being both stiffer and lighter.

But just like I expect to be enjoying my TCR for 5 or more years, I want to enjoy my aero bike for that long as well. And everything I'm learning about the BB90 is making me nervous. I wondered how pro teams could use it to much success and then I remembered: they get a new bike every year. They don't care if it creaks (and Trek likely makes sure their bikes' tolerances are dead perfect) and they race it for a season and toss it for the new model year. Well I'm not in that position. I'm going to need my aero to get me to 2025, not to next year's Tour de France.

So now I'm back to considering either the Pinarello Dogma F12 or the Factor One. The F12 is...a dream bike. Bugatti. Ferrari. Choose your car equivalent. But it's also expensive AF. I'd be buying frame-only and moving the entire Di2 drivetrain and wheels over to the aero bike. Factor comes in at $2K cheaper for the frame, and includes the matching integrated carbon fiber handlebar (likely $300+) which the F12 frame doesn't, and also includes CeramicSpeed bottom bracket bearings which retail for another $250+. So that means I'll be saving closer to $3K and I'll say this, just about no one else will be riding a Factor in most groups I join. Pinarello is respected both by competitive cyclists and by collectors, so they're actually fairly common around WLA. Maybe not the F12 level (though I did see an F10 the other day which was the previous model equivalent in 2018) but definitely their more affordable lines. There is something to be said about being "the only guy on the block" with that model. :D

Also, check out how dead sexy it is in red: https://factorbikes.com/one/

And speaking of exotic car comparisons, check out this tidbit on Factor's history:
In 2007 Factor Bikes was born in an unassuming industrial unit in Norfolk, England. Originally an offshoot of bf1systems, a leading engineering firm dedicated to working at the highest levels of design with some of the fastest, most prestigious brands in the world including Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Maserati and many F1, Moto GP, and WRC teams.

I am off to bed now, and will be dreaming of this...
CN.jpg CN_D1.jpg
Screenshot-2019-08-23-16.34.17.png
 

Carlo_M

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Update: it's clearly the Shimano iPhone app (or the fact I'm on beta iOS 13.1) that's broken. I just got D-Fly to work on my Di2 wireless unit, so now I can change pages on the fly on my Wahoo Roam, as well as display all gear information on there. It's the app that's failing to connect via BT (in fact it kind of just has a gear icon spinning endlessly after launch, which is likely a sign that the app doesn't like the beta iOS. But it's fine for now, as I have full functionality of what I expected from the Di2 through my Roam. If I didn't own the Roam I'd be pissed because I'd be relying on it working with my phone for that info, so at some point Shimano better get their iOS act together (it does get a one star rating in the app store).
 

Carlo_M

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@Nelson Au any interest in this for November 2020?

http://perimeterbicycling.com/el-tour-de-tucson/

I'm starting to train now for it. One of my close friends who got his PhD from UofA says this is a huge event, and he even said if I do it, he'll come out for support. It's a bit too close to the 2019 Tour, so I'm giving myself a year plus to get into shape. It's held in late November so weather in Tucson should be very cycling friendly. You can choose 25, 50 and 100 mile options. I will at minimum choose 50, but really I'm going to aim for the 100.

Want to join (at any of the distances)?
 

Nelson Au

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Hey Carlo, sorry I’ve been really busy with life issues so I haven’t been as active on the thread. I haven’t been able to ride the last couple of weeks.

Thanks for the info on the Tucson ride. That sounds like quite an event. Can’t say I’ll be joining yet. That’s a long way off. It’s certainly a worthy goal you made! I’m sure you can meet that century goal! A friend mentioned years ago there was a similar event in my area. Not sure it’s still going on. I’m not as committed to cycling as I used to be. So who knows, maybe in a few months after things settle down and I can ride more regularly I’ll be more inclined to try one of these events.

I hope you resolved you technical issues on your bike.
 

Carlo_M

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Hey Nelson--hope everything goes well for you with those issues! No worries at all, whenever you have time to pop in and say hello please do so. Until Apple and/or Shimano get their Bluetooth LE ducks in a row, I don't think I'll have much luck, but with D-Fly now working I essentially have 100% functionality between the Di2 and the Wahoo Bolt. The only thing I can't do is upgrade firmware via a phone app, but that's okay, I can do that hard-wired to a computer+Shimano's Windows program.

Best of luck to you, and yes Nov. 2020 is quite a ways away, so if you do get an urge to start training for it (and again there are 25, 50 and 100 mile options, so no pressure to do the century mark) perhaps we'll be riding together in a little over a year!
 

Carlo_M

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My obligatory semi-regular update, and well-wishes to you @Nelson Au !

Sometimes I forget that I live in a touristy area. From my weekend ride to Venice, CA. Was testing out the new tubeless tire setup on my S3. Thought the white matched the bridge well.
591483915.175344public.jpg

I will say this: had a pretty decent breeze coming in from the ocean (maybe around 10mph with gusts up to 15mph+). Because it rarely hit me exactly head-on, when it hit from the side, the bike definitely got pushed around. Not surprising given how wide the tubes are (because they're aerodynamic when you look at the bike head-on) and how wide those ENVE wheels are (54mm and 63mm deep, front and back respectively).
 

Nelson Au

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Hey Carlo-

Wow, you bought another bike! Hope that is working out for you. Looks pretty cool.

I’ve not been on the bike in weeks, still taking care of business at home.
 

Carlo_M

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Hi @Nelson Au - hope all is going well, or improving, with the things you're taking care of. Cycling can wait, it'll be there and just as sweet when you're ready to come back to it.

Oh yeah I forgot I hadn't updated this thread with the new bike. Another half-off sale off of a 2018 model. It's a Cervelo S3 SRAM Red eTap HRD. It's an aero frame, as opposed to the TCR which is a racing frame. Whereas the TCR is super light and has narrow but circular tube shapes, the S3 weighs more (about 1.5 lbs more) and from the side looks much thicker, but when you look at it head on, it looks much thinner. The tubes are Kammtail shaped which is to say they resemble an airplane wing when looking at it from the front, but taper in a squarish manner in the side not facing the wind (for strength).

They came with awesome ENVE SES 5.6 wheels which are 54mm and 63mm deep in the front/rear respectively. Also, the SRAM drivetrain is, get this, wireless. No cables going from the shifters to the derailleurs. There are batteries attached to each one, which are removable and rechargeable (vs the Shimano Ultegra Di2 on my TCR which has the elongated battery in the seat tube and charge via the connector junction on the handlebar end).

The price I paid for the S3 essentially is the cost of the wheels and the SRAM drivetrain. The frame, handlebars, fork, seat and stem were essentially.

The difference between the two is this:
  • The TCR is lighter and a little stiffer, power transfer feels a little more immediate. I can get up to speed faster. For climbing inclines it's a better bike, the steeper the climb, the bigger the benefit.
  • The S3 is more aero and so when you get up to speed, I can maybe squeeze out another 0.5 to 1.5 mph faster on it, depending on the amount of headwind I'm riding into.
  • The TCR is more comfortable (despite being a stiffer frame). There is more compliance built in to the carbon fiber layout and geometry. Plus the frame can accommodate 28mm tires, whereas the S3 can only accommodate 25mm. Wider tires run at lower pressures results in more comfort when running over cobbles and bumpy terrain.
For a car analogy, I'd say the S3 is the really fast sports car that values speed over cushion, while the TCR is the really fast sports sedan that can go almost as fast as the other car, but also gives you a more comfortable ride.

If I'm on a long, unbroken stretch of road, that is well paved I'm on the S3. If I'm on less than awesome roads, or have a lot of inclines, I'm choosing the TCR.

Right now I'm loving both bikes and basically alternating between the two every day. Tonight is S3 night.

EDIT: This isn't my S3, but it's the same frame, from head-on.
s3-red-r8000-3.jpg
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
18,116
Hey Carlo, thanks a lot for the well wishes. Basically, there is only 24 hours in a day and in recent weeks, there’s been 25 hours of things I need to do a day, so some things had to give. And work has been really busy and when I get home, there’s no time for myself. I might be getting out of the woods soon.

That said, congrats on your new bike. That’s crazy! A bike for every riding condition and type! That’s great too! I was reading over the iPhone 11 thread and saw your comments about upgrading on tech, but you were holding off on the iPhone this year. :) But you’re not holding back here. I’m kind of tempted on the iPhone 11 Pro.

Glad to hear you’re enjoying the new bikes. I hope to get back on mine pretty soon. I still trying to make time for other fun stuff like HT stuff and watching a movie to wind down. For sure though, I need to move as I need to get back in shape.
 

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