I made the move to carbon wheels for MTB this year after riding them on the road and for cross the past couple seasons. I had aluminum rims last year and while they were light, stiffness and durability left something to be desired. I went through 2 rear rims during the season and could flex my front wheel to the point of rubbing my tire on the fork in hard corners at low psi.
It seems like carbon construction over the past decade or so has progressed to a point where it is now a superior building material. I decided to give them a shot and I doubt I will go back. My bet is that in the next 5-10 years carbon wheels will be as common place as carbon frames.
Here is a pretty cool video from Rolf Prima showing the durability of the new CXC:
Friday, April 26, 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013
After a fun pre season trip to North Carolina I am now officially back on the program with some changes for 2013. The biggest news is that I will be joining Brian on the Gear Grinder/ RACC team. I have to give big shout out to Jesse at Wheel and Sprocket, Brian, Rob Bolt, and Paul Weaver with Gear Grinder for making this happen and your support. I will also be riding SRAM drivetrain components and Rolf Prima wheels this year, it should make for the ultimate bike setups. Thanks guys, I hope I can make you proud this year!
|New Treads and I"m looking fresh|
North Carolina was an awesome trip and hopefully my skills improved a little as a result. Heather, Megan, Isaac, and I packed a SUV with way more stuff than it was designed to hold and pointed that hunk of steel southeast.
|4 bikes, spare wheels, and camping gear for a week|
The drive was about 13 hours to our campground in Pisgah National Forest. Isaac and I did some exploring each day and ended up riding a good amount of the trail in Pisgah and Dupont.
|Up on the big rock in Dupont. Some of Isaac's friends from IN joined us for a day|
I will say that a lot of the Pisgah trail was not built to the standards we are used to here in the Midwest. Think large eroded ditches running straight up a mountain for looong stretches. The hike a bike legs got a workout too but we were rewarded with some good descents highlighted by Black Mountain.
This week I began the first base phase of my training. I’ll be honest, it’s been a little rough getting going here but hopefully I will find my sea legs shortly. There is a little less than 1 month until the first mountain bike race so hopefully things come around quickly. I am working with Brian again this year as a coach. I made some pretty big gains in fitness last year on his program so I’m hoping this year we can get even more fit and efficient.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
|Too many nuts and beer|
The off season has officially ended here for me and I’m trying to round up motivation to start training again. February can seem like it drags on forever sometimes, I think it’s the hardest month of the year. Daylight is noticeably longer now which has helped me get out on the bike a few times. Last weekend I was up north and was even able to ride across a frozen lake on a ride.
Off the bike I’ve been strapping on the running shoes. It’s been 3-4 years since I’ve done any serious running now but I still seem to be able to clip along at 7min/mi pace even if it’s only 4 miles at a time instead of 20. Back when I was training for marathon’s it seemed like 7:00 pace was kind of the default for an easy day or long run when not much concentration was put into pace. Maybe that’s kind of what my body defaults to.
|Start of the 2005 Madison Shamrock Shuffle|
Coach Brian and I have done a little chatting and decided to delay the start of serious training until a bit later this year. Hopefully this will allow me to hold on a little later in the season and not feel so smashed by Cyclocross season. That means I’ll start doing some more bike specific stuff in March and then really crank it up come April. That’s about a month later than last year.
I’ve also been working hard on lining up a team and sponsors for this year and I should have a big announcement in a few weeks.
Friday, January 25, 2013
|Chequamegon lead pack|
I finally have a chance to rewind here and think about the year as a whole. The WORS series and a couple other races were a big part of my goals for the year. It’s rare that all of your pre season goals are achieved but that was really the case. I think before the year I had written down Top 5 in both the WORS series and Chequamegon as goals and they both ended up happening. I thought these both were really a stretch when I set them. The previous year I finished 10th in the WORS series… barely meeting the goal for that year. In hindsight had the Cat 1 race not counted for equal points (ie 200 for the W) as the pro race it never would’ve happened. Then in the last race of the year Chris P from the 212 crew apparently had a flat tire in the last race of the year to drop out of the 10th spot. That was close! I didn’t really know how I would manage a top 5 at the time considering any top 5 placing in an individual race would’ve been thrilling. Getting a 2nd and a few 3rds was pretty awesome. I was actually 1 more good race from getting 2nd in the overall but a made a couple mistakes in a few key races and skipped the last two races in order to race cross.
I think sometimes in the bike racing scene it’s easy to get caught up in “next weekend” and it’s hard to take in results and races. Looking back I never really had the chance to enjoy the races I did well at. As soon as I crossed the finish line all I could think about how I was going improve next week. It makes me a little sad sometimes to think that I miss out on appreciating a goal being met but at the same time I think it’s a trait of successful people to always be looking forward. It’s a tough balance to strike.
So taking a little look back I would say my top 3 moments from the past MTB season were:
1. Chequamegon Fat Tire- 5th Place. My favorite race of the year, rolling with some very big boys.
2. Mountain Bike Nationals – 15th place. Bitter sweet that I lost so much time the first couple descents but a good showing overall
3. Cam Rock- 2nd place. Pretty pumped to do well on the home course and not too far off the win!
There were many other great times had and the best part might be traveling and racing with friends and family.
I was lucky to have the support of The Bike Hub and Specialized. Rebecca and Dave really set up a top notch team. My Stumpjumper 29er seemed to fit me like a glove, well done Specialized. Unfortunately The Bike Hub won’t be supporting a team next year so you will see me out there in different colors next year. Stay tuned.
|Prize money list for the national championships|