canyon

First ride with Felt F65X

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. 

Web Felt3.jpg

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.

The setup with studded tires, front&back-lights and ass savers "mudguard"

The setup with studded tires, front&back-lights and ass savers "mudguard"

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. 

And there was light

And there was light

 

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.

Links:

http://www.feltbicycles.com/Finland/2014/Bikes/Cyclo-X/FX-Series/f65x.aspx

http://huntteri.fi/?lang=en&rtn=

 

Now I'm ready for bed and anxiously waiting for the next ride, and especially the Rapha Festive 500! Good Night!

 

Trainer Season Start

The trainer season has officially begun. I really can feel my lungs are not 100 % in shape (more likely 45%), not to talk about my legs, but so far so good. 2 easy workouts behind, and I'm starting to believe I can start training seriously in some weeks. Frustrating to be forced to take it really easy, but there are no shortcuts here.

Before riding indoors, you need to clean your bike, so that's what I did on Friday. The Park Tools CM5 Cyclone Chain Cleaner is a really neat gadget to clean your chain. Just add some degreaser and you're good to go. 

Park Tools Cyclone Chain Cleaner

Park Tools Cyclone Chain Cleaner

Clean Canyon

Clean Canyon

First sign of trainer season

First sign of trainer season

Bike attached to the Kurt Kinetic Road trainer

Bike attached to the Kurt Kinetic Road trainer

Ready to roll

Ready to roll

Let the workout begin

Let the workout begin

For you who are wondering about the trainer I use and how I motivate myself to ride indoors, stay tuned, I'll share some tips on that next week!

 

Enjoy what's left of the weekend!

 

 

Giro d'Espoo (link to live tracking)

So tomorrow is the day for my first cycling event in 2012, Giro d'Espoo. It will be held for the first time ever, and I hope it will be a good one. The weather seems to be perfect, some 23 degrees and calm winds. The start will be at 11 am, and the route will pass Kirkkonummi, Veikkola and Espoo. You can see the whole 111km route here. As it seems now, I'll be joining the group that will keep an average of 32km/h. The route is mainly flat and hilly, with just a few "climbs". Giro d'Espoo will also be tracked live online, via Traxmeet. I will be one of 10 riders wearing a gps device, so if you want you can follow me live during the race on http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20120527gde/.

Bike ready...

As it is only early season, and there are several races to come, one in just a couple of weeks, I have no greater goals set up for the race tomorrow. I just hope I'm in a shape good enough to enjoy riding in good mood along with almost 1500 other cyclists. 

Garmin ready...

So tune in to the live tracking tomorrow if you have time, and I'll be back with photos and stories from the race later next week. 

I'm ready...

Enjoy what's left of the weekend!

Spring in pictures

The Giro d'Italia is turning towards the end and my first cycling event this year, Giro d'Espoo is only one week away. The spring is once again turning into summer, and in a couple of weeks we are stepping into June, the first real summer-month, at least up here. Every season we try to find new routes to ride here in Turku, and we've found a couple of really nice routes that we've never ridden before. At some point I'll provide you with more detailed workout data on these pages, so you can have a closer look at the routes, but more about that later on. 

Naantali in early MayFishing here seemed to be popularOne new route we found took us to the inner archipelago (click to open in googlemaps)Here we also found a JupiterAnd a great steep but short hill!Bikes need to be taken care of as well, so we took the bikes to the countryside for a wash

A clean Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0And a great example of finnish design, Tunturi PopThe spring hasn't been that warm, hence we've mostly ridden shorter rides (40-90km), but before the Giro d'Espoo, I wanted to make at least one a bit longer ride (120km). So a sunny sunday I took my bike for yet another new route towards the archipelago.

The ferry to Velkua (click to open in Googlemaps)Sunbathing on the ferryTired of looking at my bike? I'm not......neither were the cows!Finnish archipelagoI'm also happy to see our cycling community grow. What used to be just 3 guys, has now turned into a mixed pack of around 10 riders, and even if it is nice to ride alone pushing yourself to the limits, group rides are a great way to enjoy cycling and friends. Today's busy schedules made it pretty hard to find someone to ride with, but this year with more riders, we've already enjoyed a few rides together.

Slipstreaming, or almost slipstreamingEnjoying the weatherRuissalo in Turku offers a really neat scenery for all outdoor activities (click to open in googlemaps)I hope you enjoyed the pictures, I'll be posting more, but for your sake I'll try to keep the posts short and interesting. 

 

Enjoy what's left of spring!

 


Early Spring in pictures

Before reaching the 2000km (1250miles) mark of this year we've experienced everything from snow, icy rain to sunshine. Sunday March the 11th was the day that brought us back on the roads, with a pleasant sunny weather and some +6 degrees celcius. Yet there was plenty of snow around, which made the little breeze quite chilly. 

Bike all set up for the outdoor season


Proper clothing is important in any weather condition


All smiles


Setting up the Garmin device for outdoor use


Plenty of snow, but the roads were almost all dryAlmost all the roads...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunbathing in +6 degrees (C)


It was a pretty dirty job..


A week later, icy rain and + 3 degrees was pretty nasty

April was quite cold here in Finland, but fortunately we had at least a couple of good sunny days to ride our bikes.

Taking the ferry to Attu in late april


Run out of energy bars, so I had to use these finnish Karelian pies instead. Unfortunately my stomach didn't like them during exercise, I felt really bad and had to fight against throwing up later during the ride. But they're really tasty in any other occasion!


First ride without arm warmers was ridden in late April


A fallen off chain.....and just seconds later back on the bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icy rides in March are already forgotten


Even the donkeys are out, enjoying the spring!

I hope you enjoyed the pics, I'll be back with more stuff again soon. The Giro d'Italia is about to start in just a couple of days and there are also other stuff on the agenda!

 

 

Ci Vediamo!

New year - refreshed motivation

Indoor training, rolling on a trainer is maybe one of the biggest downsides in cycling, which comes forced by the nature when living in Northern Europe. Even if this fall hasn't been snowy, it's still not safe to head out on those icy roads riding on 23mm wide tires with only lycra covering your body. Pushing your limits indoors with fans trying to keep your bodytemperature at even humane levels is far from pleasant. Cycling is about suffering, yes, but still it's hard to get yourself on that bike when you know it will be uncomfortable as heck.

But something came to change indoor cycling last fall. Trainerroad created an application that communicated with any ant+ device, and by connecting your computer, your ant+ cycling computer and all of its components you all of a sudden had a full trainer application on your TV. The guys at Trainerroad took the experience even further. As we know, cycling training today is all about the power your legs produce, and how long you can maintain certain efforts. Therefore Trainerroad even brought pretty accurate power calculation to users without ant+ power meters. I myself use the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and I am hugely greatful of this feature!

 

Getting started (click to open website)

Bike attached to the trainer, in front of a 46" Sony running Trainerroad appAs if this wouldn't be great enough, the guys at Trainerroad even brought you your own personal trainer. The site provides you with both full training plans, according to your own personal level (that increase during your progress) and single and free workouts. And "of course" you can compare your own efforts with other users'. The software (both mac and pc) can be runned simultaneously on top of video, so you can ride while watching a movie or a cycling video (and now even synced with sufferfest workouts!).

Crossing the Attu bridge this summer, now doing it from my livingroomSo you get the software, all pre set-workouts, training plans, power calculations, user profile (career). All this at a cost of $10/month. One can wonder if this is not only the greatest thing ever happened to indoor training, but also the greatest value for money in any category of training. 

Searching and previewing workouts is really easy

Workouts are immediately saved and uploaded when done

I strongly recommend this application for all cyclist, whether you are professional or just riding for fun. I'm more of the riding for fun- kind of cyclist, and now I'm training almost every day according to a professional plan, and yes, I'm really enjoying it! Beating the workout power averages is great, but beating your fellow cyclists out on the road is priceless! Hence $10/month for outpowering someone on the road is nothing.

 

Enjoy your indoor riding!

 

 

Check the video about Trainerroad!

Check out http://www.trainerroad.com/ for more updates and information about the great app!

 

Over and Out!

Wrapping up 2011

So yet another year of cycling is left behind, definitely a good one. I reached a pleasant amount of goals set up for the year, most certainly due to the new bike bought in early spring when the snow still covered the ground. It was also an interesting year in pro-cycling, bringing new talents to the top elite.

2011, having bought the Kurt Kinetic trainer in 2010, was the first of my cycling years to begin with an indoor cycling period, and this enhanced the early season cycling a lot. Another big reason to a good start was the new bike that was several kgs lighter than my previous one. The Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0 was my first full carbon bike weighing at around 7,2kgs. I also bought a new cycling computer the Garmin Edge 500, and I have been more than pleased with it.

Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0 (Ultegra/Dura Ace)The first ride, we rode among snow and ice on April 5th. It was +4 degrees, but the sun already did it's job warming us up.

First ride of the year, all smilesAlmost a month later we saw something we never hope to see, a rider passing away during Giro. Wouter Weylandt passed away on the third stage of Giro chasing the front. He died wearing number 108, and this number will never be used again in the Giro, to the memory of Wouter Weylandt.

Team Leopard-Trek remembered Wouter on their website The Giro was then won by Alberto Contador, and he made it look really easy.

Alberto in pinkFinland had one of its best summers in years, and this ofcourse brought us many good rides in good conditions. Temperatures of around 25-30 degrees celcius and hardly any rain at all. This also helped me in achieving one of my goals, riding 300km. I couldn't have asked for a better day to do that, than the 14th of July. Almost no winds, pure sunshine and a perfect temperature. Having bought an HD camera, I was able to record many of the sections from along the ride.

300.54 km began at 6 am. The route was taken counter-clockwise

 

In July, the Tour de France was won by Cadel Evans, after many twist and turns. My own season highlight was approaching fast, Tour de Helsinki in early September. In august though, I got an influenza that lasted for 3 weeks and this took the best training time away and I had to participate without having trained for many weeks and still having a flu. Thus it went pretty okay. With no big hopes I was able to make a time almost 15 minutes better than last year. 

I also had time to chat with Kjell Carlström, who was beaten in the final sprint and took the second place overall.

Due to the warmest fall in a long time, I was still able to ride in November, and the last outdoor ride was ridden in total darkness 7th November.

wearing almost everything I had in the closet

Even though I wasn't able to reach my goal of 7000km this year, the season 2011 was a great one in many ways. Many new routes introduced and a great weather among with a new bike, new gear (cameras, hydration packs, bibs etc.) made the year a pleasant one. And hopefully the season 2012 will be even a better one with faster averages, more kilometres, better training and even more rides with friends. I hope you all have a good 2012 and still have time to check this blog every now and then. 

 

Happy ridings!

Turning the lights on

Took the coldest ride this year just yesterday. 90km in +7 degrees and some rainshowers made the ride feel really cold, and at some point it felt like the legs were dispatched from my body. Also the darkness falls pretty quickly, already at 7pm it is dark, just a few months ago the sun didn't set before 11pm. But still, I guess this wins sitting on a trainer inside. So keeping in mind one needs to sit and suffer inside the whole long finnish winter, maybe the cold weather isn't that bad after all...

 

click to open GarminConnect

dirty job

 

The forecast tells me the temperatures will drop below 0 degrees celcius this weekend (during nighttime). Let's hope it won't snow!

And just to rub it in my face, the weather for Ancona, or probably anywhere in Italy...

 

Have a good one!

Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0

During the winter I played with the idea about buying a new bike, and a couple of weeks ago i finally made the decision to buy the new Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0. It's a full carbon bike with Ultegra components and Dura Ace rims. It actually comes with Mavic Ksyrium Equipe rims, but i decided i wanted a set of ligher ones. I haven't been able to ride the bike yet, but fitting the bike on the trainer gave some great first feelings. The framesize (52) fits a lot better than the Bianchi 55 that i had. The Canyon is also almost 3kg lighter than the Bianchi, weighing about 7kg.