Finally a wheel that spins.

After my last visit to Fitwerx and the failed 'fix' of my rear wheel I decided that I need to find a new bicycle shop.  Luckily, Marblehead Cycle isn't too far away.   

The team over there couldn't believe how bad that wheel was spinning and took the time to bleed the lines three times in order to relieve the improperly setup brakes. 

Finally....a wheel that spins.

Took the wheel that Fitwerx had told me was ok over to Marblehead Cycle in Marblehead, MA. Chris and his team immediately identified the problem and took the time to bleed out the breaks three times until it was spinning free. I have a new bicycle shop. See the before here.


THIS IS LAUGHABLY BAD

Took the bike out for a spin this morning and was felt like I was pulling a sled the entire time. I couldn't tell if I had tired legs or if I was just mentally falling apart this morning.  I decided to go home and record a spin test on the Domane.  The results are absolutely laughable.  This setup is garbage.  Unless there is some unknown defect in my particular bike the only people I can blame are the guys who built it and serviced it.  

 

Behold....the wonders of a $3000 wheelset.  

Just recently took this to my local bike shop in Peabody, MA. I told them that I felt that the brakes were rubbing or that something else was off with the rear wheel. They assured me that it was set up properly. I have to disagree.


Domane 4.5 Disc Brake Rub

As I mentioned previously, my lone grievance with my new Domane is that the rear wheel doesn't spin all that well.  When I put the bike on a rack and give the pedals a turn the wheels spin woefully bad.  

I took the bike back to the guys over at Fitwerx last weekend and had them mount my new Enve 3.4 / DT Swiss 240 wheelset.  I did point out that the rear wheel wasn't spinning all that well.  After a bit of time in the shop, the guys over there said that the wheelwas fixed...but I just wasn't convinced.  

When I took the bike home, I tested its spin against the 4 other bikes in my house and by far the Domane performed the worst. Despite costing almost three times what the others bikes cost. 

So...I did a bit more research and found a fellow blogger/rider from Hong Kong who also has the Domane 4.5 Disc with Enve wheels.  I reached out to him this morning and was thrilled with his response. 

I also have a Domane 4.5 with Enve 3.4 wheels. The only difference with our wheels is that I have them laced to DT Swiss 240’s.

Question for you though. Right from the outset (stock wheelset) I have been frustrated with how poorly the rear wheel spins. I have other bikes with disc wheelsets and when I put all of them on the rack and do a quick test of how long the rear wheel will spin…….the Domane is woeful.

I was wondering if you have come across any of that? I have a bit of brake rub in the rear and intend to have that looked at.

If your rear wheel is spinning beautifully, I’d love to see a short video clip of it spinning so that I could share it with my local bike store.

I wasn't sure if he'd even respond let alone have the time to record his wheel. But low and behold he did.

Behold...what my rear wheel should spin like. 

 

 

The hubs are White Industries CLD, with Sapim CX Ray spokes. It's built by ProWheelBuilder. It has 1300 km and I believe the hubs are broken in. More about the wheelset here http://chup.info/c/2015/02/enve-ses-3-4-disc-clincher-custom-built-by-prowheelbuilder-2/

Trek Lexa SLX

Happy Mothers Day!    This past weekend was mother's day and I wanted to give my wife something special that we could both enjoy.  My solution....a bicycle.   

I took her over to the guys at Fit Werks in Peabody for a custom fitting.  After taking her measurements, setting her up on the fitting bicycle and then comparing it against frame geometries from several manufacturers we had a winner.  

Looks like we've both joined the flock of Trek riders.  The only part neither of us are in love with is the fuscia. But, it's only a splash so we'll live with it.  

Prove It

Every mile tells a story. Of hope, endurance, passion and desire. Stories of muscles wanting to quit. Minds refusing to head. Stories of bravery. Stories of triumph. Pain and pleasure. Proving your efforts. Proving your commitments. Proves you are crazy. Proves to others and yourself. That you are out here doing exactly what you love to do.

Hincapie Gran Fondo

As I slowly but surely bring myself back into the cycling fold I knew that I needed an event on my calendar to help push myself. That event has been booked.  South Carolina...I'll see you in October.  

Join George Hincapie and cycling stars of the past, present and future on a challenging ride through upstate South Carolina. View the leaves changing from one season to the next as George leads cyclists along the same roads he has ridden on training for races like the Tour de France and the Paris-Roubaix. After completing the ride, join family and friends for a fun festival at the picturesque Hotel Domestique. Complete with live music, cold beer, and rides for the kids, this festival is a great way to cap off the day.

To learn more about this event. Click here.

The new bike is in and here she is.

I got a call yesterday from the guys over at Fitwerx that my Domane had arrived and been assembled.  All in all, it took less than a week from fitting to arrival. Not too shabby. 

When I got home, I took my new ride out for a spin. From a comfort level, it wasn't a dramatic change from my AWOL....which is what I was hoping for.  From a weight perspective the changes were enormous.  As a benchmark I took the bike out and through my usual route. Getting out there was great fun. The Domane is very responsive and a breeze to climb in.  I wound up setting 13 new PR's in Strava. 

Riding home was a different story. Living along the New England coast is beautiful and it makes for some breathtaking rides.  But, what it also means is that you are at the mercy of the wind. Some days it's calm and some days it howls like you wouldn't believe.  Last night was one such occassion.  Coming home I found myself riding into a wall of wind. The wind was pushing me left and pushing me right...but for the most part it was simply pushing me back.  I think I was averaging less than 10mph on the ride home and I'm pretty sure I dipped as low at 6mph at some moments.  

Nonetheless. I'm thrilled with the new bike.  Except for one part...the saddle.  I left the original seat on the bike and it was pretty much numb city throughout the ride.  

Tomorrow starts my search for a new saddle. Until then, enjoy this look at my new Domane. 

AND THE WINNER IS....

I have never been a Trek fan. I've never had anything against their bicycles or performance. I merely recoiled at the idea that I would have the same bike that so many have. Well.....today I joined the flock, and you know what, I'm ok with that.  I mean...if this bike is good enough for Fabian Cancellara then it's good enough for me. (he actually rides a far more advanced version, the Domane 6...but you get my point).

I'm looking foward to the arrival of my new ride. I'll let you know what I think once she comes in.  

My First Bike Fitting

Yesterday I pedaled on out to Peabody to check out one of the most heralded Bicycle shops in the US. Fitwerx is a bike shop whose foundation is built upon their professional bike fittings.  I walked in there with my eyes on the Mourenx 69.  After a brief discussion with the tech and shop owner it was clear that this shop wasn't your typical shop.  They had no interest in selling me a bicycle until I had been properly fitted for one. So...I decided to get one of their basic fittings.

What the bike fitting system looks like. 

The fitting itself cost $150 and that amount rolls into the purchase of a bicycle purchase (if you decide to get one from them).  During the fitting we took measurements, talked about my riding preferences, future goals for the new bike, and a few other questions that helped them determine what 'stance' would suit me best.  Once on the bike, we went through a range of small adjustments and I watched myself on the monitor as Geoff the technician started mapping angles and distances.  In the end he had his numbers.

The next step was to sit back and watch him match my numbers against various frame geometry. In the end....the Mourenx 69 was not the right fit for me.  

 

THE NEW BIKE CANDIDATES

As much as I love my Awol, I also am aware of it's limitations. It has dual Axiom panniers and a Yepp Maxi infant seat on the back. Needless to say, it is not light.  As I set my sights on a few Gran Fondos and possibly a short Triathalon or two this seasons, coupled with my new found discovery of my ill fitting SL01...I have embarked on a search for a new bicycle. 

My criteria is simple.

  1. Comfort is king. I will gladly sacrifice comfort over a few ounces. I have found that when I'm more comfortable I'll ride longer and harder. So, a more upright position is desirable. 
  2. Can't be built for a princess. I weigh in around 215lbs these days and I have an innate skill of hitting every pothole or bump in the road. I'll need a frame that can handle that....as well as not get all squirrely if I decide to veer onto a patch of gravel and kick up a bit of dust. 
  3. Can't cost me a gazillion dollars.  I'm not going to win any events that I enter, so I needn't purchase a bike built for those that aspire to win.  That being said, I don't want to ride a jalopy. 

After doing a bit of searching an eliminating a few manufacturers solely on personal preferences I've narrowed my list down to three bikes.  The Specialized Roubaix Comp Disc, The BMC Gran Fondo, (GF01 and GF02) the Eddie Merckx Mourenx69.  I hope to ride each of these within the next couple of weeks and make my decision. As well as buy a comparable bike for my wife. 

If there are any readers/dealers out there who'd like to share the pros/cons of these bikes, I'd love to hear from you. 




The return of spring

After record setting snowfall this past Winter it feels as though Spring has finally arrived. This past Sunday the conditions couldn't have been any better. Mid 60's sunny and not terribly windy. Needless to say, I took advantage of the weather and packed up my Awol and went out for about a 30 mile ride.  I rumbled through mud, gravel, and paved roads...and the Awol never skipped a beat. Along the way I also stopped into Marblehead Cycle (what is now my local bike shop) and test rode a 56cm Specialized Roubaix. Unfortunately, that bike was too small and they didn't have a 58 in stock so my search continues. 

What it looks like on Marblehead Harbor this time of year. Credits:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/coledkennedy/


MISSING POSTS FROM JANUARY 2010 - DECEMBER 2014

I apologize. During my efforts to resurrect this blog, posts from January 2010–2013 have vanished.  I was able to save all of the imagery so for those that remember the previous years I can track down imagery if you're looking for something in particular.  

How I managed to screw this up I'm not sure. But I did.

Back in February of 2010 I was on the hunt for a new frame. My journey brought me to Competitive Cyclist and their FIT CALCULATOR.  It's a great tool and I really enjoyed going through the process. After taking several measurements I landed on this.  I needed a 56-59cm frame....depending on what 'type' of riding I was looking to do.  The bike I landed on was the BMC SL01.  It's gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. 

Fast forward 5 years and a lousy 350miles of riding later and I've recently discovered how uncomfortable I am riding this bike.  Somehow I managed to order myself a frame that was considerably smaller than what I should have.  

51.5-53.7CM is waaaay off! 

Strada Handbuilt Wheels Brand Design

Back in May of 2010, I was contacted by the owner of an UK based burgeoning cycling company—STRADA. Armed with only a name, and a belief that high end hand built wheels should be affordable, he went in search of branding help. 

Thankfully, for the both of us, he came across my cycling blog and soon discovered that I was more than just a bicycle fanatic. We discussed his vision for STRADA, as well as his cycling influences. When it became clear to me that we both shared a love for the classic cycling branding of years gone by…I knew it was a project I needed to work on.  And the brand STRADA was born. 

 

 

Undoubtedly in an effort to freshen up their website, which they had outgrown, they made a sad misstep and altered the logo I had designed.  New logo below. Bogus

   

 

 

2010 Garmin Cycling Kit

I don't know what's happening. Is there some sort of 'craptastic' design movement I'm not aware of? By all measures, the Radioshack jersey which I feel fell seriously short of the mark looks magnificent in comparision to team Garmin. Ok...maybe that's a bit too far. The Radioshack kit isn't more magnificent than anything. I will say that I do really like the shorts on this kit. However, the rest makes me want to tear my eyes out.