Archive | June, 2013

Stan’s / Hutchinson Road Tubeless – Update 1

27 Jun

I’ve been running my Stan’s Alpha 400 with Hutchinson ATOM tires now for 3 months on the road bike for the daily commute, training rides, dirt/gravel, and a few crits. I was having pretty good luck with them until earlier this month when I got my first flat on the rear at mile 1,025. 1000+ miles out of a tire before a flat is pretty great for me. Downtown Philadelphia isn’t too too bad for glass/debris but as my commute goes farther and farther into SW philly the glass is everywhere. Because of this I started to track how many miles I get on certain tires and when I flat.

As I was riding home that afternoon, I felt a spray on my leg which I thought was odd. Sure enough it was Stan’s sealant spraying all over me. I got off and realized there was a large shard of glass in the tread. Unfortunately I couldn’t remove the piece of glass in a timely manner with my hands and had to get my multitool to get it out. By this point there wasn’t much psi in the tire left. I tried to put more air in the tire and spin the wheel to help seal the hole but to no avail. I then pumped it back up putting the hole at the bottom hoping the Stan’s would collect there and again no dice. I wasn’t too pissed about the flat as it was nice out and running tubeless commuting is a fun experiment for me, that was until I had to put the tube in. Shit…! Tubeless tires fit on the tight side for a reason, to keep air in, especially when burping could be an issue (ie deforming the tire enough that the bead pulls away from the rim letting air escape). Because of this, pulling tires can be a bit of a pain with the added height of the Stans tape. It took me a few goes just to get the one side off. Putting the tire back on isn’t any easier and if it was cold out it could be a real issue.

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Then a week later (mile 1185) I had my 2nd flat, but this time on the front. Right on the cusp between the sidewall and tread received a small gash. I did the same thing as last time, but again, it didn’t seal and I was forced to throw a tube in. After talking with a buddy he suggested putting air in, putting the hole towards the bottom, then putting your finger over the hole in order to help the Stan’s seal everything up. ill have to give that a go sometime.

I bought these wheels used and the tires came with it. I do plan on picking up a more training tubeless tire next go around as I don’t mind the added weight for commuting/training. I know the Hutchinson ATOM is their race tire so giving the 25c INTENSIVE training tire a go or trying something from the new Bontrager TLR tubeless series.

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Guy’s Neshaminy Classic MTB – 2013

24 Jun

After some dim-sum Friday night I hitched a ride out to the suburbs to, ‘live the life’ for the a day. There was a slew of bike work to get done and shots of vodka?>! mixed in. Saturday morning we got to try out Ryan’s new Kuat hitch rack (which was really sweet) on the way to pre-ride the Neshaminy mountain bike course. We ran into Jeff out there and had to piece the course back together a few time after some randos decided to mess with the course. Next up was beer sampling at Neshaminy Brewing then straight to a big BBQ back in the city on Lemon Hill. After a couple brews and food, I rode home and patched a slice in my rear tire, hoping it would still have air in the morning.

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Sunday morning was Guy’s Neshaminy Classic MTB race.  I felt pretty good about the terrain in the race, even the Mexican Bowtie or whatever its called.  Game plan was to have a bit of fun but mainly NOT to crash and get hurt.  My cat2 field had 14 racers with a lot of the fast guys catting up earlier in the season.

I got to the front line with hope of being in the first couple into the single track as there was no where to pass on the long 2 mile prologue.  The announcer counts down and were off… well um, some of us were.  Within 10 feet of the line someone goes into Mat on my left and then into me.  Mat crashes hard with the guy takes out ¼ of his spokes and forces me to take both feet off tweaking my ankle.  I do a quick once over on the bike and everything seems good but now I’m way behind the pack.  Me and gravel starts are not friends I guess… Anyways I jump hard trying to get back in the mix.  I’m able to pass 2 guys right before the single track starts but in a group of 4 or so cruising through the woods.  When we pop back out from the prologue on the long cyclocross grass section I put in a big effort and pass 4 or 5 people.  I looked down to see a heart rate well over 200bmp and hoped I could recover in the single track.  Unfortunately I couldn’t and bew up a bit, forcing me to slow it down and try to get the HR out of the 190s.  From here things are a blur but I remember being really hot and mentally drained.  The legs came back to me on the 2nd full lap and I was able to charge a few climbs still.  I faired better the 2nd time on the rocky section only having to put a foot down once… my technical skills have a long way to go.  Right before the prologue I made one final pass on someone who I was pretty sure in my age bracket before meeting the back of a couple of the other categories.  I cruised into the finish without needed to sprint it out.

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We stuck around for the cat1 race and handed out bottles as their race would most likely be over 2 hours.  A lot of people pulled out from the race and everyone minus a few looked to be suffering from the heat in and out of the woods.

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Results

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Glad to be apart of the Bikesport team! Now I just need to up my drinking ability to really fit in… Luckily SlyFox provided us some cold beverages for a wicked hot day.

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Jen won her Cat2 womens field.

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I somehow got 3rd and my first MTB podium.

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Long but productive day in the saddle for Mark. he seriously crushed souls.

After the race a lot of people were saying how tough the race was. Being my 2nd I didn’t have much to compare it to so it made me feel better knowing I wasn’t the only one in the pain cave. We checked the results and got ready for some podium pics.

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Steve crushed it and got 2nd in his cat1 field.

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Mark killed his cat1 race and got 1st.

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It was really fun seeing everyone do well and put in some work.  We packed up the tent and headed to On The Border for more chips and salsa than anyone should eat.  Another great weekend with a bunch of great people.

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Weekend

18 Jun

On the commute home Thursday night we had some wicked stroms that passed through. I took a bunch of random shots through the widelife preserve on the commute home.

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I played hooky Friday and decided to check out the new Philly Paine’s Skatepark by the art museum.  I havnt touched the bumex in quite a while… but it felt good to ride again and hang out with buds.

 

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Saturday was a ride out to Ambler with Steve and Mat.  I watched them eat doughnuts and I pounded a PB&J.    On the way home right by the apartment  I ran into the lady and turned around to ride with her a bit.  Then we cruised into West philly for a snack!

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A impromptu BBQ hang-n-bang with some teammates

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Sunday morning a few of us planned to do a ride out to Blue Bell,PA.  We had a pretty good turnout and a great ride.

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Giants!

12 Jun

The last few days have been wet, with Monday being a fricking Monsoon! I picked up a pair of of Giro Privateer’s after my hand me down Sidi’s (thanks Doug!) had rubber bands holding the one sole on. I don’t know why but I only realized a year ago that unclipping for big puddles was a good idea.

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This morning I saw a lady riding this wild machine down the trail. She towered above everyone by a solid foot or so, I was in awe.

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Granogue 11k & Air Force Cycling Classic

10 Jun

Saturday bright and early we left the city to do the 11k trail run at Granogue. We wanted to do the 6hr mtb race but had to be down in DC later that day. I started out running with the lady and Jenn (who was doing the iron monkey) and quickly realized they didn’t appreciate my ‘lots of talking’ style of running so I went on ahead to annoy some other random people. Over all the run was a really good time. It was quite wet out there from the downpour we had all day Friday but kept me interested with the constant change of elevation. Both the lady and Andrew pick up 3rd place in their age groups to flash around in the car ride down to DC. It was weird being at a bike race and not racing bikes… but we wished everyone else who had just gotten their for the endurance MTB race good luck as we headed south.

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We got to DC in the afternoon and wanted to get out tourism on. We walked around for an hour or so then decided we needed to get in on their amazing bike share. We had a blast! Those bikes are tanks and even with a 3-speed internal rear wheel, some of the hills by Georgetown burned the legs. We then racked the bikes and food/beer at Pizzeria Paradiso Ate, drank a few, grabbed a sixer at 7-11, and relaxed in the hotel.

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Then next morning was the  Air Force Association Cycling Classic There is a 2-day pro race and a Grand-fondo type of charity ride Sunday morning.  I have never done a grand-fondo/charity ride like this before but since our company sponsors the event and its for a great cause I was sold.  Being the title sponsor meant we got to start on the front line in front of 2,000+ people.  Good news.  We go to the start line a bit late and squeezed in.  I noticed 30+ of us as the first few rows and 1 random over weight guy, decked out with a sweet TT bike,  aero helmet, arm/knee warmers?/aero gloves, and everything else you could think of to be a real tri-dork.  Of course he was lined up RIGHT next to me.  I knew what was going to happen before the whistle blew but I let it take its course. 

The start like any road event has people looking down unable to clip in.  ‘Tri-Guy’ was no exception.  Our companies 2nd in command was riding in the front with a motorbike leading us all out.  I then noticed ‘Tri-Guy’ go hard and wide to the left all the way to the curb (like they do in pro races so people cant get on they’re wheel) and take off.  Of course the motorbike wasn’t expecting a random guy to crush souls so early and ‘Tri-Guy’ ends up passing the motorbike within the first 500meters.  He proceeded to miss the first left turn and take us the wrong way, forcing us through some wild construction before looping back and jumping back in the ride.

We eventually got out of the swarm of people and to the ‘lead’ pack with some a couple TT guys off the front.  Once in the pack I realized I didn’t want to be there.  I don’t think Ive ever been SO sketched out on a bike in my life. Seriously.  Within 20minutes there were 3 crashes, one right next to me when I guy ran over a cone swerving right into me (lucky not not to go down), and the last one at speed (25+mph) when someone touched wheels or something and took it hard.  I was already weary before then and after that Andrew and I backed off and did our own thing.  I never realized that these events were actual races for some people.  Its all well and good minus the fact you have other people out for the first time trying to have a fun ride while guys are telling them to keep their line and over-taking them at 10+mph… After that we had a good time bullshitting, ringing our bells, and heckling the racers while at the same time keeping a solid pace of 21.4mph for 56miles (6laps of the course.)  We took a quick shower then headed back down to the course to watch the Mens Pro race.  2 weekends in a row of pro racing??!?  Amazing!

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VIP tent action with free food and a great view of the finish

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+ motorbike rides!

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rainday

7 Jun

Was able to work a squeeze in 60+ miles yesterday after a busy 10hr work day. Legs felt good and did a bunch of hills ive never done before. it was a good day.

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Parx Casino Cycling Classic 2013

4 Jun

This weekend was busy. Friday started off Philly Beer Week so met up with a few people at various locations to get in the mix.

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Same cask beer/scotch pairings….

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Saturday morning was the Amateur Philly TT. I went down to show some support to my teammates and heckle a bit. I learned that 75% of people have TT bikes and a disk rear/

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After the race the lady and I tooled around to get some miles in.  We saw a slew of pro teams that came in for the big philly race the next day. 

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Sunday morning I woke up later than I wanted after some sort of dance party the night before but still made it for the majority of the women’s race.  The race changed a bit with a slight change in the course and a new head sponsor but like usual its one of the best days in philly and it didn’t disappoint. 

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Myles was all over the hand-up scene.

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 Bike + shoe change.  Team mates should really ride the same pedals…

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We watched the final km on various phones each lagging enough that all the phones showed a different part of the race.  Unfortunately the videographers motorbike was looking to crush the strava segment and went way too fast so you couldn’t even see the peloton climbing to the finish… A bit of a let down but o well. 

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After the race we cruised north for some food and more beer for beer week.

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