Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Developments--White Tires, PowerTap, and Saddle Auditions

Data Averse Cyclist Folds and Get a Powertap.

I have long groused about data junkies and their SRM's and Powertaps. There is nothing that I hate more than when some hopped up racer starts bragging about his power output. It is even more irritating when the braggart has never had better than a mid pack result.

I have resisted using any power measuring devices until this past summer when a TT bike I borrowed had a SRM. Initially I thought, "nice toy". Later I grudgingly acknowledged the utility of this toy after having used it for a few days.

Anyway, I folded. While I was complaining about people and thier power files, I was offer a post-accident PowerTap wheel and set up for short money (less than I care to publish lest my readers get upset). I ate crow on the spot and bought the whole setup. I am excited and a little intimidated by the prospect of having all of this information at my finger tips.

As you can see, my dashboard is a little cluttered with computing items. For a data adverse person, I am a loaded up. I have the Polar still on there because I can't get the Powertap heart rate monitor to work yet. Suggestions?

So far it is just a toy. I have no idea what the data means yet. But I have ordered another harness and wiring system for my PowerCranks bike so that I can cross reference the power data and heart rates from the two different bikes. See, I am becoming a geek already. Soon enough I will be posting my power files up here on the blog.

White Challenge Criterium Tubular Tires!!

I have been looking for white tubular tires ever since I got my Zipp 404's. I become convinced that they didn't exist. I have long been partial to Vredestein Fortezza Tricomp clinchers because they handle well and they come in white. I will have to lay in some Bleachy White to keep all of my whiteness clean.
Currently, I am stretching them one at a time in expectation of mounting them on Edge 1-38 rims laced to DT 240 Hubs.

Review to follow.

If you must have a set, Cambridge can order them.

Saddle Shuffle

I busted my white Fizik Arione saddle when remounting during a cyclocross race I am taking the opportunity to audition some other saddles for my main race bike instead of just ordering another of the same.

I have been trying out a Specialized Toupe 143mm. It doesn't work for me. Thankfully, I was able to borrow this saddle from Drew instead of buying it.

Drew also loaned me this hot looking Selle Italia. Apparently, 3 others have auditioned and rejected this very saddle. Aside from the possiblity that the saddle has been tainted by all this use, after I sanitize it, I hope that it works out.

If this one doesn't work, I will drop the experiment and order another Arione. What I would really like is a white Regal saddle that weighs less than my front fork. Perhaps a carbon fiber shell, Ti rails, some synthetic leather...


Dave said...

if the HR pickup in your powertap computer unit is still working (it's not uncommon for the HR pickup to flake out), the Polar HRM strap will work with it (both coded and non-coded versions).

Anonymous said...

I would highly recommend you supplement your powertap with the "Training and Racing with a Power Meter" book by Hunter Allen. It i excellent and will help you make sense of the data. That book should be the manual sold with all power meters IMO.

RMM said...

As long as Hunter Allen does not advise that I discuss my power data at every opportunity, I will check out the book.
Thanks for the suggestion.

zack said...

Who knew unemployment paid so well?

I had the same problem with the heart rate monitor. Ultimately I dumped the setup and traded the wheel for a set of Zipp 303s.

The one thing I don't like about the powertap is you get loaded with a lot of information, but the info isnt as helpful without being laid over a map of your ride. You see spikes and dips, but it's difficult to figure out where those are occuring during your ride without doing a lot of backwards work and making a plot of where you were at what mile and what the terrain was like. I ultimately got a Garmin which does a much nicer job of organizing your data(plus much better heart rate measurement) for you to view.

Also, there is nothing worse than heading out for a ride, seeing your power numbers are way down even if you feel fine, and then being dejected and just wanting to turn around.

Yash Katsumi said...

Don't forget to use Clear tubular glue and not Mastik since it will ruin your White Pro Color scheme.

RMM said...


I am glad that you thought of that. I should have consulted you from the getgo.

Though I wonder if the reddish Masik will get lost on the black basetape, thereby negating the color difference.

I am really am partial to Mastik. As it has a higher coefficient of adhesion than any other glue on the market.

Gary said...

not using the 68s for road?
you really did spend a lot of time in the South End, didn't you?

RMM said...

I am hoping to get a set of Edge 1-68 or 1-38's for road, as they are much lighter (haven't decided which).

I don't think that pro gear selection and attention to detail is a function of my having spend the working portion of my formative years as a cyclist working as a waiter in the South End.

Yash Katsumi said...

I like to use Mastik glue for cross.

This is the first season I will just use glue and no tape.

Glue+Tape or just Glue??