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Whoo! It's been cold out there! Yep, very cold weather but it's supposed to warm up a bit this week. The shot to the right here is one of those Fat-Tire bikes. Another gimmick like the 29'r but this gimmick actually does perform far better than its predecessors in the right conditions. Originally made for snow and mud applications, the technology is also useful in sand, extreme rock, and ice. I ran into this one at La Dolce Velo on the Alameda near downtown SJ. Not sure why these would be popular in California, but I guess if you have money to burn, they' be fun to ride around on. Not me! The tires cost over $175 each!
Seemed like a lot of folks out on the road Saturday. I did a road ride on Saturday with the MVV club from Los Altos. Wasn't too cold leaving the Bicycle Outfitters around 8:30, but it sure got cooler throughout the day as we headed north into the Hillsborough area. The good news was at least the sun shined bright and the wind only hit us hard in one direction all day. Actually did a little scouting on this one but mostly a pretty common route. (Strava
Nobody wanted to brave the cold on Sunday so ended up doing road again. That ride was pretty short lived... As I was winding my way down Old Santa Cruz Highway from Summit Road with my fingers feeling like they were about to freeze, I hit some black ice on the right-hander at Melody Lane and just before Mt Charlie Road. The bike flew completely sideways and the rear tire blew off the rim as it made contact with dry pavement. Of course, the tube was toast so there I was with frozen fingers trying to replace the tube and get going again. I was in the shade, which made it even colder so I walked north a bit on OSC Hwy to get into the sun. That was much better since it was 50 in the sun and about 42 in the shade.
Well, so much for a longer ride that day. It was way cold and I didn't have any more tubes. I had planned to do a long one but given the tube situation and the cold weather, I bailed on that idea and did a shorter and more of a climbing route to stay warm. Turned out to be a good plan and I made some points with my wif-unit by getting back early. (Strava
Speaking of road hazzard issues, on Thursday, I was riding into San Jose on Lafayette Street heading north close to Central Expressway when my rear tire instantly blew out. Luckily I was going straight and didn't go down. Have no idea what happened, but it nearly cut the rear tire in half. The shot here on the left shows the damage. I was late for a meet-up so I just kept riding the couple of miles to my destination. Luckily, the tire never came off the rim. Why does this always happen with new or relatively new tires? I hate that!
So, with the cold weather finally upon us, what changes? Well, clothing for sure. I've been wearing leg and arm warmers as well as booties since Sunday. The biggest bang for your buck is warm hands and feet, but also a warm head is key. Another important factor is to wear a light base top layer and at least a wind or winter vest. When it's this cold, you can get cool quick by simply unzipping. You don't typically have to shed unless you're doing a long climb in the sun.
As for products, I use Pearl Izumi winter gear similar to those shown here, When it's really cold these will keep your extremities warm. You can also wear lighter shoe and glove liners under them and peel them off if they get too warm.
Here's some of the stuff I can get for you at matched prices:
For gloves, it's more important to spend a bit extra to get the right feel and fit along with climate protection. Another consideration is Smartphone use. The Thermal Conductive gloves allow you to control your phone without taking the gloves off, sometimes a very nice benefit. Of course, I'll match any price you can find out there and shipping is free. I can get pretty much anything out there. These are just products I have used and know they work. Most are available in men's or women's versions.
The other thing I change in the cooler months is to lower tire pressure by about 10-psi. This provides a little better traction for turns and climbing, but also takes some of the harshness out of the terrain, which makes the ride a bit more comfortable. Comfort is key when you're already uncomfortable due to the cold.
If anybody is looking for or considering a "dropper" seatpost, I ordered the wrong size for a customer last week and now have a brand-new 2013 KS LEV dropper seatpost
laying around taking up space. It's a 30.9 seat tube fit and the long version, which is 435mm fully extended with 150mm of travel (drop). Won't work for most unless your inseam is well over 76cm. However, if you have a very short seat tube or an exceptionally long seatpost now, it could very well work out. The KS LEV is one of the more popular out there and retails for roughly $450. If you're interested let me know and I'll give you a great deal. I installed it, but it was never used.
Several customers have asked me about off-road tire selection recently. I posted a short piece on MTB tires
with some recommendations and characteristics to look for in off-road tires. Hope it's helpful.
I'm placing orders again Wednesday. Please let me know if you need anything not currently available via Parts Express
The Winter Solstice Cycling Challenge
) is coming soon. I'll be going long or short and hard both Saturday and Sunday. Weather is looking warmer for both Saturday and Sunday with low 60's in the forcast--nice!
Looks like the 2013 Winter Solstice Cycling Challenge will be December 21 this year. Locked and loaded and 49 riders signed up
as of today. Many of my customers have done this ride. It's certainly not for everyone, but if you're in good enough shape for a century-plus in December, you'll likely enjoy this one. Fully supported with SAG stops, team cars, spares, and a hot chili feast at the finish. On its 8th year, this ride has become a Bay Area classic. Get more details or register for the the event here
Here's the NCNCA schedule
. Good luck to all you racing or participating in the coming weekend's events.
Race Results: NCNCA
, Blog Coverage
Just a reminder that MyTeamCar.net is an authorized Wahoo Fitness dealer. Those of you looking for the latest in indoor trainer technology, the Wahoo KICKR
Oh, and if you don't want the iPhone on your handlebar or stem, Wahoo offers a cool little computer called the "RFLKT
" (Reflect), much smaller than the Garmin or iBike and displays all the pertinent info wireless from your iPhone.
Wahoo Fitness, located in Atlanta, GA., connects iOS devices and smartphones to your favorite fitness activities-running, biking, and gym going. Wahoo Fitness’ award winning products also include its Wahoo Run/Gym Pack, which adds heart rate training to your iPhone, and its Wahoo Bike Case, which simultaneously protects your phone and connects it to the sensors on your bike. For more information on Wahoo Fitness, please visit www.wahoofitness.com
. The KICKR currently supports the iPhone4S and iPhone 5 using Bluetooth 4.0 or ANT+ protocols. Though, I'm told there are other options for the iPhone4.
I'll match or beat any reputable offer you can find out there. In addition, I'll stock parts and accessories to provide the industry's best local support for Wahoo products. And, no, you won't find the KICKR on Amazon or eBay.
Some of you have asked about my new monthly services. I've finally posted some details about these new service on my site. These services are intended for the serious "working" cyclist that needs their bike(s) ready for action, all the time.
Using this new service means you won't have to worry about the readiness or mechanical condition of your bike(s). I will keep everything in top working order; rotate tires, perform basic tuning and adjustments, and keep you abreast of the status of all preventative and remedial maintenance that may be required.
The main purpose of the service is to make sure that your bikes are always in good working order and all preventative maintenance occurs--regularly--before expensive remedial maintenance is necessary and you can't ride or fail to finish an important event.
Of course, the fee will only cover service and does not include items like tubes, tires, chains, brake pads, bar tape, etc. No, I don't just replace items at my whim, I replace stuff, if required, based on your service intervals and expected riding activity in between.
The way that I work this service now is with Strava. My current monthly customers log all their activity on Strava and I follow them to see what they are doing on the bike, etc. This allows me to better judge preventative maintenance needs and make sure the bike is always ready when you are.
There's a lot more to this new service than I've highlighted above. Please click here
for pricing and details. More to come soon! If this type of service sounds interesting and seems like a good fit for you, please let me know and we'll get a service plan and schedule together for you.
Check out the new FC50T-2
. A very versatile aero tubular configuration at a weight low enough to be quite effective even in more hilly events. If you can't afford a complete quiver of wheels, a 50mm set like the FC50T-2 is a great choice. The FC50T-2 provides an extremely lite wheelset (1380kg) with outstanding aerodynamic benefits. And, of course, they're tubular rims, which means comfort and maximum handling confidence.
I'm also in the process of building a couple of test wheels for some planned new products in 2014. I didn't get much interest in the new carbon/alloy rims that are now available. However, I intend to build a front 38mm wheel to evaluate. So look for that wheel on some of the local group rides in 2014. The second test wheel will be a new full carbon clincher rear utilizing Basalt braking surfaces. I'll likely build this test wheel in a 38mm configuration also and test the two together.
A reminder that I stock many items you all use everyday and every week. If you need tires, tubes, sealant, liners, bar tape, cleats, brake pads, etc., please let me know. I will deliver to you at home, workplace, or wherever you are while I'm out and about on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I also attend most of the road race events around here and can deliver product and accessories to you there.
Again, don't forget about my Spot Tune-up Service
. This is a cheap and convenient way to keep your bike rolling smoothly and efficiently. I find you and dial-in brake and shift cables and take care of any minor issues that can be resolved onsite. Only $30 and extremely convenient.REMEMBER: I have many items on-hand
and I can deliver very quickly. I tend to carry tubes, tires, chains, cassettes, bar tape, bearings, brake pads, and other common consumable items in my vehicles. So that kind of stuff is always available extremely quickly. Just let me know what you need and I'll get it to you ASAP.
PLEASE NOTE: MyTeamCar.net customers enjoy competitive pricing from all my suppliers. The list prices are not necessarily what you'll pay. If you know that the price is higher than your local dealer or favorite online retailer, just shoot me the link or let me know. I will match any reputable price out there.
I can usually get just about anything. If you need things quickly, just mention the specifics. I can get most things in my hands overnight, next-day, or two-day, it just costs more for shipping. And, yes, you will receive tracking info as soon as I receive it. Okay, shut-up and ride!