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Thursday, December 3, 2009

These things I know....pearls, Part 1

There are numerous things I have learned by trial and much error over the years. As they pop into my head I will try to compile some of them and post them here. Tell me your little tidbits or pearls of wisdom.

- bike fitting: when considering saddle tilt, remember that a saddle is meant to flex and give some to relieve pressure as your legs pedal in a reciprocal fashion. just because a saddle is set level when it's built does not mean it remains level when you sit on it (and it then flexes). you need to consider the weighted tilt of the saddle.

- training: stay away from moderate duration and moderate intensity. If you're going to go long, GO REALLY LONG (and easy on the intensity). If you're going to ride very hard, then RIDE VERY HARD (and short on the duration). Beware of the 2 hour group ride.

- fitting: since the rider is 80% of the drag on the bike, don't sweat too much not having the "most" aerodynamic frame. what is "most" aero anyway is up for debate at times -- was the aero bike in question tested by itself or with a rider on it?; were the yaw angles where it tested well, typical angles you would see in real life anyway?; can you ride in the aggressive position that the bike is built to optimize?

- weight: when agonizing over a new light piece of equipment, remember to consider the weight savings as a function of the bike AND rider's total weight. For example buying a brakeset that is 100g lighter sounds great, but if you weigh 81 kg and your bike weighs 7.5 kg then that's not a 3.3% reduction in weight, but rather only a 0.3% reduction. Would you spend $200 on insulation for your house if it only saved you 45 cents a month on your bill?

- training: stretching is always a contentious issue. Some people

- equipment: clincher tires actually test with lower rolling resistance than tubulars, but only when expensive latex tubes are used. If you're using butyl tubes, the tubulars will roll better.

- want to make the most improvement of efficiency on your bike? 1. get a proper fit, 2. work on your pedal stroke, 3. upgrade your wheels to something more aerodynamic and/or with a lower rim weight


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