Having put 2018 behind, it’s time to start talking about what 2019 has to offer. As some of you might know, one of my goals in cycling has been to do a stage race in Europe. And it’s more close than ever now!
It's not many days until Christmas, and same goes for the Rapha Festive 500 challenge. As mentioned earlier I'll be tracking live with Endomondo. To ensure my kilometers will be tracked I will use two phones tracking, one to Endomondo and the other to Strava. So if my Garmin Edge 500 for some reason fails I'll have a backup.
I've been closely monitoring the weather as well. It seems I will be riding in some heavy winds, with temperatures slightly above zero and rain mixed with snow and ice. Not the conditions you'd like to have, but then again, with perfect weather conditions this wouldn't be a challenge right? I have added a small weather widget to the left hand side of the page. That will tell you what the weather condition is at the moment here in Turku.
I will also be doing some video from my rides. Hopefully I'll receive my helmet mount for the GoPro Hero 3 before Christmas, I was lucky to be able to borrow the camera from a friend (thanks Antti!), since mine was stolen in Italy.
I hope you all are ready for the holidays, looking at Twitter and Facebook, it seems many of you are enjoying your last day at work today before heading for Christmas.
It's always exciting to try out new things, especially when it comes to bikes. Well this time besides a new bike, it was also first time ever riding with a SRAM groupset. The reason behind buying the Felt F65X was the fact that I needed more kilometers during off season to be able to progress. A part of that was to participate in the Rapha Festive 500 challenge, that would push me to ride 500 kilometers between Christmas eve and New year's eve. I also realized I couldn't do that with my current "off season" bike, the Haro Mary SS, 29" mtb. So I had to make a choice, and that choice was the new 2014 Felt F65X. For this project, I was really lucky to get support from Huntteri a company importing Felt Bicycles in Finland. Without them this wouldn't have been possible.
The F65X comes with SRAM Apex shifters and front derailleur and Rival rear derailleur. The frame is aluminium and the fork is carbon, and the bike has Avid BB5 disc brakes. The weight with pedals is roughly 10 kg, so not the lightest out there, but for me riding in quite harsh conditions, it feels better to have an aluminium bike.
The bike would be put to the test immediately, it was +5 degrees, really windy and it was raining. I would also ride in the evening, in pitch dark.
It really was dark, and it really was raining. But fortunately I was well prepared with lights, waterproof clothing and thermal layers, so that was no problem. It took me a few kilometers to gain trust in the bike, tried to listen for any strange sounds, tried the brakes, did a couple of all out sprints and brakes and went through the gears. No strange sounds and everything was working perfect. I also had to make a stop to change to lighter gloves, apparently I had prepared really well.
Because I've been to a bike fit with my Canyon, I had exact measures on everything, so it was easy to set up the bike to match my road bike, and really, the bike felt comfortable from the first meters and I didn't have to make any changes on the position. The F65X is not as aggressive and stiff as my Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0, but then again you can't compare them because the one is a full carbon bike.
After riding 40 km on the Felt I would say it is a really great cyclocross bike for any beginner or active cyclist. It will probably not be of interest to one competing in CX, but definitely for one that is seeking more kilometers during off season, this is the bike to have. It is comfortable, easy to ride with, and the SRAM groupset seemed to work well. Even for one who never used the "SRAM system" (I'm used to Shimano Ultegra groupset), it felt pretty comfortable and straight forward. After one ride with SRAM, I still would prefer Shimano, but on my second bike that I'm not competing with, it works 100 % fine! The disc brakes, for one who has never set them up, took a while to master to get them straight, but once you have them set up properly, they really do work great. I actually don't know, maybe I would even be ready to see disc brakes on road bikes.. Maybe.
After only one ride it is hard to write a thorough review ( I will do that once I have more kilometers on it), but the first impression is really good.
Now I'm ready for bed and anxiously waiting for the next ride, and especially the Rapha Festive 500! Good Night!
I need to share this with you. Took a short 40 km Sunday ride with my bike and for the first time I used the Ass Saver. It was not raining (at least not much), but the roads were completely wet. As you know, with road bikes that means wet ass and wet back. But not anymore!
So what's an Ass Saver? Ass Savers were invented by five Swedes, actually from Gothenburg, the wettest city in Sweden they say. We've seen the product even in the pro tour peloton, not bad!
Just some weeks ago I decided to try this out as well. It's only 8€:s and if I buy three I get free shipping. So I bought three and gave two to my cycling friends to try them out.
I opened the envelope and found two black ass savers and one blue ass saver, just as ordered. My first thought? Wow, are these really going to keep you dry? A small piece of recycled plastics? Prove me wrong I thought.
Upp till bevis, as a swede would say. So I took the plastic ass saver, clipped it neatly onto my saddle (needed to cut it a bit shorter from the "saddle side", and it was easy, there were instructions to do this, just follow the marks.), and took the bike out to soaky roads.
During the ride I every now and then needed to get out of the saddle and look back whether the ass saver was still in place, and it was, firmly there. My ass felt dry, my back felt dry, the roads were really wet. I even steered into some puddles to really test this little piece of plastics.
So how did I feel when I got back home? Dry. That's partly because I use Castelli Nanoflex arm and legwarmers and a Castelli Fawesome gilet. But my bibs are not water resistant in any way. Was my ass dry? Yes.
The proof, the ass saver really does collect a big amount of that wet sand. So how about the back?
Just a few signs of what passed the ass saver. And really, my bibs were totally dry! Another cool thing for Specialized saddle users as me. When it's raining or the roads are wet, some saddles have that small section that will make it easier for you to sit in the saddle, but when its soaky that little hole will soak you from below. Ass saver not only saves your ass and back, but also those parts you really want to keep dry!
So do I recommend this to cyclists? Yes, to each and everyone. Save that 8 € from somewhere else. This is the most well spent 8 € in my life, especially being used to expensive cycling stuff. The Ass Savers are revolutionary in many ways, they actually deliver more than what they promise (to keep your ass dry)!
So no longer wet behinds, get your Ass Saver from http://ass-savers.com/
Tack så mycket Ass Savers, ni räddade min höstsäsong!
Enjoy your rides!
It was the first time ever for me to ride the Vuelta Vantaa, a 100 km race last Sunday. Due to the short distance I was expecting a bit higher average speeds than usual.
Once again, it was an early wakeup and we managed to start in time. The morning was somewhat chilly and rainy. On the road just hours before start we found the temperature to be + 13.
We were among the first to arrive and get our numbers. The weather was getting better as well, perfect. Sebu arrived almost at the same time, and our team of three for today was there. We got our bikes together and soon were ready to start.
During the 100 km race I would have two 7 dl bottles of high5 electrolyte drink and one Maxim energy bar together with 3 small energy gels. It was a bit windy, and the first section would be headwinds.
And so we were rolling. 4 kilometers into the race there was a gap between the main group and us, and we ended up missing the main group after all. The group we rode in was pretty unstable. Apparently many riders with almost no experience made the ride pretty nervous and dangerous as well. Fortunately both Sebu and I managed to stay out of trouble.
The 100 km route consisted of two 50 km laps. The roads were in pretty good shape, which is not usual here in Finland. A 50 km lap is really not that long, so quickly we found ourselves having already 80 km behind us. I felt confident and went to the front to keep up the pace for some kilometers. Then just 10 km before finish, Sebu took the lead. Together with him we kept the pace high and hence kept ourselves out of trouble. We finished nr 2 and 3 from our group.
A big thank goes to the Kaupin Kanuunat duo from Tampere. Especially the guy who was responsible for the pace keeping during the race. Our time was 2 hours 46 minutes, an average of 36,2 km/h.
Klaus had fallen to a slower group and also had a puncture at the end. But still did a good job!
Getting home was once again great, this time due to the fact that the Tour de France would have its final in the evening. And what a stage that was!!
I also received something new this week, I'll write more about that next week! 'Til then, have a good one!!
So we live in Techy times, and cycling is really not being left outside of the technological advances. Just last week the new Recon Jet technical cycling sunglasses, or wearable computer as the Recon Instruments folks call it, were launched. So what is the Recon Jet and what is the price? What is the technology they rely on?
Recon Jet looks somewhat like a mixture of a pair of Oakley sunglasses and a pair of Google glasses. At the moment they're priced at $499. And the total weight is around 60 grams, so really not much. So here's how they look:
The Recon Jet works together with any ANT+ device, such as your Garmin device. Which again can be displayed on the lens. Sounds like straight from any Batman or James Bond.
How does it work? Check out the video on Vimeo:
George Hincapie is also involved, at least marketing-wise as he has been testing the product before launch. It seems to have convinced him
Want to win a pair of Recon Jet glasses? Read how to win here
The Technical Specifications:
ONBOARD SENSOR FRAMEWORK
• 3D accelerometer
• 3D gyroscope
• 3D magnetometer
• Altimeter & barometer application
Ambient temperature sensor
Optical touch sensor for UI control
Works in all weather conditions, and with gloves on
1 GHz Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9
• 1GB DDR2 SDRAM
• 8GB flash
Wide screen 16:9 WQVGA display
Virtual image appears as 30" HD display at 7'
Power-saving sleep mode
High contrast and brightness for readability in high ambient lighting
Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart)
• Apple MFi Bluetooth support
• MEMS GPS/INS Kalman filtering fusion algorithm
• Support for connectivity of up to 8 ANT+ peripherals
• Device charging/power
• Data transfer
EMBEDDED AUDIO & VIDEO
• HD camera
• Integrated speaker and microphone
Read more about the Recon Jet and Recon Instruments:
As we get closer to the new outdoor season, it's time to go trough the old clothing and update the cycling wardrobe. Time to open up the wallet once again, but saving on clothing will cost you on the road. Freezing, numb toes together with sweaty yet cold torso will make you regret you sorted the price list view from low to high and didn't bother to scroll down. Today I received the first pre-season shipment..
And to once again show you something else than food:
Just a couple of days and it's weekend again!