Monday, November 19, 2012

Mavic Crossmax SLR 29er wheelset

Just sprung for a set of Mavic Crossmax SLR 29er wheels, weighing in a 1620 grams their a big improvement over the stock S-XC Giant wheelset. The Giant wheelset is pretty durable just had to true them twice since new but they weigh in around 2100 or 2200 grams, heavy, very heavy. Converting the Mavics to tubeless with the supplied kit was painless... well designed system plus the hubs are a 4 pawl design.
Used Slime sealant for the tubless application
Hubs have a 4 pawl design
  Stayed with the Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29 x 2.10 tubeless which I find has excellent rolling resistance but in the wet the compound seems very slippery, in the dry the grip is excellent. First ride impression was how stiff the Mavics are but being tubless the lower pressures will offset some of the ride stiffness. There's virtually no side flex in the wheel... impressive. Climbing is an eye opener, with the heavier wheelset on steep climb you have a tendency to punch at the pedals but with the Mavics they seem to just spin up steep climbs almost like a roadbike. It's really amazing how shaving over a pound of rotating weight makes everything feel, plus their a damn pretty set of wheels.
Unique looking like most Mavic's

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mountain Bike downtube protector

Holes drilled at angles to allow Ties to insert easier
Fabricated a simple but durable strong downtube protector by using some PVC tubing. I Had to cut and heat the tubing to almost flatten it then drilled some 1/4 in holes at angles for the zip ties to slide through, I also applied some double sided trim tape to the inside of the PVC for a little extra bond.
Ties inserted with trim tape
The Shape of the Giant XTC downtube made things easier due to it's strait design whereas some downtubes have portions that run level with the ground for 6 to 8 inches making them more likely to get whacked by a high sharp boulder, this would also require you to heat and bend the PVC to get the correct arc for the frame. Final step is to secure it with 11 inch ties. Simple, neat and durable. 
Ties secured in three slots

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Selling 2011 Trance X 4

Selling my 2011 Giant Trance X 4, Size medium. New Kenda small block 8 tires, xtra tubes, I'll throw in almost new Kenda Nevegal tires. Deore components, Shimano Alivio rapid fire shifters, RockShox Tora TK w/ Tapered Steerer, 120mm Travel. Bike is in great condition never raced, used very little, it's the same frame as the $3,850 Trance X1. Asking $825.00, contact me on my profile page email address

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Selle SMP Saddles

I know saddles are a personal thing understanding the differences in everyones physical structure but here's a video on my preference of saddles.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mismatch for the modern world?

Is our Biology a mismatch for the modern world? Statistically Depression is on the rise but why? Well there's no single conclusive reason but as a society becoming more and more sedentary, consuming industrialized food highly altered from its natural form there seems to be a parallel in its effect on society. The more the modernization of society, the higher the Depression rate climbs. While it might appear somewhat perplexing, it's actually quite simple: humans were not well designed for the modern industrialized world. Science is realizing there's true concern for our processed eating habits in the way we consume food chemicals, pesticides, hormones and how behavior and moods are affected by it. That coupled with lack of movement or exercise and you have a perfect storm for where we're at. We evolved in natural habitats where we ate real food and were very active, unfortunately technology in a short time has altered that dramatically. While I'm certainly not against technology as I use its numerous benefits, there has to be a responsible balance which our society has not mastered yet. Thankfully the organic food industry is gaining momentum both price wise and supply wise and the fitness industry continues to grow, although slowly. Our awareness and education is our best ally. No matter how hard we try we can't get away from who we are and how we evolved.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Performance Adaptations

If you spend any time talking to evolutionary scientists, they'll
tell you that an organism's structure evolves to cope with the
stresses to which it is subjected. This idea has led to the theory
of adaptation -- that an organism's structural design is regulated by
its functional demand. Remarkably, structural changes also occur in the short term in response to exercise training: bones increase their density, muscle fibers increase their metabolic efficiency, and cardiac muscles grow stronger. If the quantity or structure incorporated into our system is matched to what is needed, it's logical the amount of change that takes place to match the increased need. And that's exactly what happens when we train.

Following a training stress, your body adapts and physiologically
overcompensates so that the same stress, when encountered again,
does not cause the same degree of physiological disruption. In
short, your body adapts to be able to handle the stress. Following
the adaptation, your body can do more work. The aim of training,
therefore, is to introduce training stimuli in such a fashion that
higher and higher levels of adaptation are achieved. If you
repeatedly threaten the body's survival, you will cause adaptations
to be made to counteract the threat. A classic example of this is
the long run of marathoners. Repeatedly running for long periods
of time (longer than two hours), presents a threat to the muscles'
survival by depleting their storage of preferred fuel (glycogen,
the stored form of carbohydrates). If you run out of fuel, the
muscles say, "Hey, this person is running for so long that I don't
have any more fuel. I won't be able to survive. If this activity
is going to be a regular habit, I need to make more fuel." So,
guess what happens? When you consume carbohydrates following
your long run, you respond to the empty tank by synthesizing and
storing more glycogen than usual in your skeletal muscles, thus
increasing your storage of fuel (and therefore your endurance)
for future efforts. Imagine if you kept driving your car until
the gas tank was empty and your car responded to that threat by
making its tank bigger so it could hold more gasoline. Pretty
efficient adaptation.

Unfortunately, our ability to adapt to a training stimulus doesn't
keep occurring indefinitely. There will come a point, which is
specific to each person or athlete, when more training, at best, does not lead to better results and, at worst, causes injury. The main difference between Olympic athletes and the rest of us is that Olympic athletes continue to make physiological adaptations with more and more training, though the increases become micro adaptations at some point.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Running and Weight Loss

Despite all of the media attention given to what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat, exercise, not diet, has the strongest effect on weight loss.  Indeed, research has shown that exercising more than 250 minutes per week is needed for significant weight loss and for maintenance of weight after weight loss.  According to the National Walkers’ and Runners’ Health Studies, people who run over 40 miles per week have 18% smaller bra cups, 10% lower body mass index, 8% lower waist circumferences, 7% lower hip circumferences, and 4% lower chest circumferences compared to those who run less than 10 miles per week.  Underscoring the importance of running for the rest of your life, research has also shown that you gain more weight by stopping running than the weight you lose by starting running.  

If you want to lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life, running has to become a part of who you are rather than something you do.  Find a way to internalize your running, and you’ll never have to worry about fitting it in.  If you’re pressed for time, run for just 15 minutes.  Just run.  The time people spend reading books on how to lose weight could be spent running to lose the weight.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Be Brave Be Strong

I just finished reading "Be brave be strong" A journey Across the Great Divide by Jill Homer. Jill is an Ultra endurance athlete who takes on the challenge of doing the "Tour Divide" a 2740 mile Mountain bike race from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide. It's hard to imagine pushing oneself to one's mental and physical limit every day for 24 strait days. Through injuries, mechanical breakdowns, epic struggle and triumph I'm truly in awe of how she taps into her personal strengths to complete such an event. This is a book about the incredible ability of humans to persevere both physically and emotionally,  and a lesson that our limits are much greater than most of us allow ourselves to believe. Jill's personal journey provides the ultimate inspiration,  a book that truly keeps your attention right to the end.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wildcat epic 2

On Friday I went over to New Paltz NY to ride the Wildcat epic 50 mile race on Sat morn. Had some reservations on Fri as the weather was at times a monsoon so I knew the course or at least the technical part of the course was going to be a mess. On Fri at the registration site I heard some of the course had been changed due to the saturated conditions and I'm assuming safety concerns. On Sat morn the weather seemed to be in our favor until we hit the single track in what I heard was an area called "Williams Lake" that's when a torrential downpour occured that lasted for 15 or so minutes and made the riding as slick as it gets and turning so much of the trails into a hike-a-bike. At times the water was up to my ankles, but still in some oddly sureal way an absolute blast. Of course this was really out of my element because of my road bike backround and in my opinion hike-a-bike is not racing. Anyway, at one fork a few of us made or what appeared to be a wrong turn as some of the trails were a little confusing to follow. I certainly understand marking a 50 mile route is difficult but it seemed like a number of racers strayed off course. All in all I estimated we lost around 30 to 40 minutes backtracking which honestly deflated me as I was on a decent pace up to that point. Comming back to the 25 mile mark I decided to bag it for the day knowing I lost all that time. All in all still had fun.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wildcat Epic?

Contemplating doing the Route 66 series Winsted Woods Connecticut race before the August Wildcat epic in New Paltz NY. The Wildcat epic comes packaged in a variety of ways.... Sat is a 25 or 50 mile race or you can do 50 on Sat and 50 on Sunday or 100 on Sunday.... think I've got that right. Leaning toward the 50 on Sat. In the meantime a few repairs on the Giant XTC for a bent chain ring tooth and warped rotor, oh and that insanely squealing rear brake.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sun up to Sundown 12 Hour Race

I feel fortunate to have so many good mountain bike race venues so close in Connecticut. I've never done a 12 hour race before but when one appears so close to home the temptation gets the best of me. Not that I'm doing the entire 12 alone, I plan to have a teammate to split the chores but still after the beating I'll take it's only a short hop home. At this point I actually haven't solidified at teamate yet but a few seasoned riding friends are interested. This type of race creates an internal tug of war "do I really want to do this to myself or not" and takes a certain amount of self convincing. I'm talking about the 1st annual Sun up to Sundown race in Plymouth Connecticut put on by Newington Bicycle. A race of this length is a whole different animal from every perspective from the bike you ride to nutrition, energy expenditure, planning etc. Still contemplating using the XTC hard tail 29er or the 26 full suspension Trance, at this point I'm leaning toward the hard tail 29er but really don't have an idea of the course yet but do know there is a 22% climb somewhere along the way. From a training perspective part of my training package is doing a lot of long steady hill climbs at threshold, one area I'm fond of is Front of the mountain rd in Gaylordsville CT. Fairly steady state and holds 10 to 13.5% grade for a while. If part of your training includes hills this dirt road is the ticket.