Race Ready 2016

I’ve been wanting to make several changes/improvements to my bike for the 2016 race season.  There’s nothing like waiting until the last minute to do it (the week of my first race).  Here are a few things I’ve done to make this year’s races even better.

Bike Fit

I’ve been having several comfort issues with my bike.  To the point, that I didn’t want to ride it more than about 30 minutes because the pain/discomfort was so awful.  I ordered a new saddle last month, and about two weeks after receiving it, I scheduled a bike fit.

I didn’t realize how much pressure and pain I was having due to not being fitted properly.  I met with Jon at Endurance House Delafield and he fixed me up in about an hour.  He made several adjustments, alleviating the stress in my shoulders and the pain and pressure I was having in the saddle.  He also moved my seat to ensure the right muscles were firing while I was riding.  I felt the burn immediately.  Underworked muscles sure do have a way of letting you know when they are activated.

Tires (and Tubes)

Because so much of our bike time has been on the trainer, my bike tires had worn considerably this winter.  This week, I put new tires on my bike.  This was the first time I ever changed a bike tire.  And it wouldn’t have been complete unless I pinched a tube.  I one-upped and successfully pinched both the front and rear inner tubes in the process.  So not only did I put on new tires, I have new tubes as well.

Cassette

Most of my races this year will be on hilly courses.  My bike setup included an 12-25 cassette.  I typically struggle with uphills, so I wanted to gain any advantage possible.  I ordered and installed a 11-28T cassette for my bike and am now looking forward to climbing hills (well, that’s a bit of a stretch, but here’s to hoping hills won’t be so dreadful).

New Tires Emily's QR

Power Meter

Over the last few months, I have been researching power meters, mainly based on the reviews from DC Rainmaker.  Because I use Speedplay pedals, my choices are a bit limited.  Earlier this year, Nick installed the Pioneer single-sided power system on his bike, but I wanted something a little different.  I finally narrowed my choice and made a decision on which power meter I would buy.  With Elkhart Lake Sprint (and the 2016 race season) fast approaching, I realized I better click the buy button, and stop analyzing my decision.  Tuesday night I purchased the PowerTap C1 chainring.  The company is located in Madison, Wisconsin, so I knew there was a possibility of receiving the power meter by Friday.  I came home for lunch Wednesday afternoon, and the power meter was at my doorstep!

Wednesday night, I installed my new power meter.  This required a little elbow grease, and some assistance from Nick.  After everything was put back together, I took my bike for a spin around the block.  Everything seems to be in great working condition.  I’m pumped for the 2016 race season!  And my bike is looking good!!

QR CD0.1 new wheels and power meter

Buying a Tri Bike

After speaking to the owner, Jason, at Endurance House Delafield and doing a little online research on Slowtwitch and other resources I realized getting fitted before you buy a bike is the way to go.   Nick and I scheduled our bike fittings.  Mine was a little over a week ago, and Nick had his this past weekend.

The fitting process took 1 1/2 – 2 hours per person.  The following is a basic breakdown of the fitting process.  Prior to getting on the bike, the fitter asked about past injuries or pain, riding experience, as well as racing goals.  He then had me warmup on the bike and video taped me riding.  Next I got off the bike and the fitter checked my flexibility.  He made adjustments to the bike along the way, then hooked up a power meter and added resistance to the pedals. Once he made final adjustments and ensured my comfort, he videotaped me again riding the bike.  He showed me the videos side by side to compare form in the before and after.  Once I was off the bike, he took final measurements and made recommendations on which bikes would best fit me based on my stack and reach.

After having a little over a week to ponder my bike options, I found myself still unable choose a bike.  After Nick’s bike fitting on Saturday, I asked the fitter a few more questions and finally decided on a bike, a 2015 Quintana Roo CD0.1 (pictured below).  The shop coincidently had my size in stock, so after they adjusted the bike to my measurements, I was able to take it home with me!

2015 Quintana Roo CD0.1

Nick took a little while to make a decision in the store, but ultimately chose to go with a 2014 model BMC TM02.

BMC TMO2