31 January, 2012

A Brief Ass-essment

So, I got some new road wheels for the winter training season.  This was mainly because the CX bike didn't fit right.  So it is gone, and I don't have a ride for Barry-Roubaix, but that is another story.

So I have spent a good amount of time trying to find a seat that doesn't bruise my sit bones, and yet doesn't make my naughty places all numb and tingly.  I bet you are glad this post doesn't have any pictures.

I got a fit at Two Wheel Tango, by master fitter Jess.  Although she solved whatever knee issue I had, I still can't can't get my seating dialed.

I will do a brief run through of the saddles I tried.

First: Scor Something-or-Other
This was the stock saddle.  It has bee some time since I was on it, so I don't remember the exact issue.  I know at one point I ended p with some saddle sores, so it makes sense there was some chafing involved.  I forgot this saddle at TWT, and have not yet gone back to retrieve it, so I have not retried it.  I probably should give this one another try.

Second, Fourth: Fizik Arione
This seems like the number one saddle people mention when discussing road saddles.  I love, love, love my Tundra saddle on the singlespeed.  It would only make sense that the Arione would be the easy fix.  However, this saddle is a bit more rounded than the Tundra, and that taint no laughing matter.  So after som time, things go numb.  I have taken this saddle back off, and put back on a couple of times, and I still can't get used to it.  It has since been sold.

Third:  Specialized Toupe Expert 143
I figured if the Arione placed pressure on the wrong places, a saddle with a cut-out and a sill name would be ideal.  The online consensus is if you don't like the Arione, then ride a Toupe.  Jess suggested a 143 saddle, from the Specialized Butt-o-meter.  I rode this saddle from some time.  I could not get it adjusted to be comfortable.  Although the numbness was gone, the comfort wasn't there.

Fifth: Tioga Spyder Twin Tail
This saddle has a flatter profile than the Arione, so I figured I would give it a shot.  It was cheaper too.  I put is on there and rode it.  The numbness wasn't an issue, and the comfort wasn't bad.  However, I was quite sore after the ride.  This just wasn't in the sit bone flesh, but my hips themselves hurt.  I just couldn't get adjusted to it.

Sixth: Selle Italia Flight
Selle Italia often worried me.  They have something like 47 different models, and I couldn't possibly try them all.  They are all pretty narrow saddles.  However, I found the SLR at a decent price, and figured it would be worth a shot.  I ordered this saddle before heading out of town on business, and it should be waiting at home for me.  I will give it a shot next weekend.

Honorable Mention: Charge Knife
I bought this one at the same time as the Twin Rail.  I have not put it on yet.  After ordering, I read some reviews that the stitching on the saddle can chew up your bibs.  This is the most affordable saddle on the list, but I don't wand a saddle to ruin my Bibs that cost more than the seat itself.  I still have it, and may give it a shot.  I am also considering putting it on the Superfly 100 to check it out.  I figured the time on the MTB might be a bit easier on the shorts.  Perhaps I am concerned about nothing.

So, I haven't solved the saddle dilemma yet.  I would like to get it sorted out soon, so I can begin my training for 2012.  Plus I still need to figure out what I am riding at the end of March...

05 January, 2012

Where Does the Time Go?

Looking at this pitiful semblance of a "blog" I realize that I have surely chased away the one reader I may have ever had.  Sorry Mom!

I had high hopes of potsing a long, play-by-play of my Iceman race.  But that was ~2 months ago, 3 holidays, and a bowl game have come to pass since that time.  So I will just post some random memories that I can still recollect from that day.

-The Expo was bigger then ever, but I did not come across any items that I "had" to have.
-In the hot tub the night before the race, there was another racer talking about the new trail added to the race, and he proclaimed the sub-2 hour Iceman was no longer possible.
-For the second year in a row, my low tire pressure light came on during my drive to Kalkaska.
-As I was sitting in the truck preparing to face the cold, the first heat came racing by.  That meant I had ~21 minutes to get to the start.
-I arrived at the line just as heat 8 (mine) entered the chute.
-Saw my friend Trev-Rev at the start.  We were going to work together to break (the now impossible) 2-hour mark.
-Hammering down the road, I was amazed at the veering mass of cyclists weaving around like minnow frightened by the deafening hum of 150+ knobby tires.
-As we hit the first dirt, before passing the school on our left, Trev hit the front, and didn't look back.  I jumped on his tail and we parted ways with heat 8.
Trev in orange, on my back wheel, before dropping the hammer!
-A few miles in and a geared rider was hanging behind Trev and I, exclaiming that our pace would surely get us three finished in under 2 hours!
-Shortly thereafter, Trev and I were alone.
-Here is where familiarity with the course came into play.  Trev knew when to make a move to hit the singletrack ahead of the slower riders.  I did not.
-I am amazed at how many "faster" riders I am coming up an, and how much they are slowing me down.
-Trev has become an orange dot ahead of my.  I work to close the gaps when I can.
-Working hard.  Not dying.  I wonder when the embrocation is going to kick in, my legs are kind of cold.-
Pedaling hard, trying to keep Trev in sight.  We hit Anita's climb, we both run up (I lay on my handlebars and use it as a makeshift walker).  Trevor is gone...
-Thank goodness I recon'd the finish, I wasn't fooled by the weaving in-and-out of the park.
-I catch up to somebody, but I wasn't going to finishe behind them (her!).  I stand and hammer.
-Through the finish chute, I fins a table.  Sit, catch my breath, and realized I had a bit in the tank.  Definitely not near death like last year.
-Look for my wife, can't find her in the mass of humanity, so I head back to camp.  Shortly thereafter, she comes back, somewhat surprised to find me.
-Time for GT pie!

-Oh yeah, 1 hour 56 minutes and change!

So this Iceman left some questions, not answered them.  I get 1:56, what if I started 5+ waves earlier.  Less traffic, faster time?  I broke 2 hours with one gear, how fast with gears?  What will I do in 2012?

Sorry this post wasn't worth the 2+ month wait.  I will try to be more diligent in 2012.