Sunday, March 29, 2009

NZ in brief...

It ended up being a tough day/night on the bike. 16 hours in and my body was desperate for sleep, so much so it was waaaay to dangerous on that course for me to continue. So I decided to pull the pin. I was awarded 3rd Solo Male in the end, and I think I might need to plan a longer training block than three weeks before I attempt another 24 solo.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Not much to report....

With just over a week to go until racing in NZ I don't have very much to report. I have begun my taper and have only been on the bike once this week. The family is a little sick so I am not getting much sleep either, which isn't ideal. On the plus side I took the SRAM equipped 120 out on Wednesday night, and it was fantastic. The 20mm front axle will live up to expectations. BTW, if you look over in my Garage you will see I have some 08 SLR's for sale (I might even have some 09 ones also, if you ask nicely). I have also listed my almost brand new Ultegra group set. Grab them before I off load on ebay to someone outside of my Blog.
Worth a look is Jim Hsu's Travel Blog. I have been riding with Jim for years now and this trip had him on a big high, a truly once in a lifetime ride. Good on ya Jim.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Well, it's all official, I am now riding SRAM components on my bikes. I have been thinking about it for a while now and since the Kona team has been linked in with Shimano since forever I was not sure if it would actually happen.

I have been riding on the new Rock Shox SID's since the Scott last year and have been loving them. I decided with the longer travel Kona 120, to go the ever reliable Reba's with 20mm through axle. Mavic make a SLR to suit so I have not gained any weight, but the advantages are huge. The beauty of the RockShox system is it is a true quick release. I reckon I can remove the front wheel quicker than with standard quick release.

I opted to go with XO trigger. Teamed up with a Matchmaker, I still only have one band around the bars, even on the side holding the remote lock out leaver, how good is that...Also looking forward to abusing the new Avid Elixir CR brakes, they really look the business.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Product Review - Mavic Cycling Shoes (Chasm & Zxellum)

I have now been wearing these shoes enough to pass on my comment. Firstly a bit of a back ground on me, enduro racing and mtb shoes. In my first 24 hour solo race, I killed the nail on my big toe on my right foot. This was caused by a combination of things but mainly due to shoes that became to tight under the conditions (very hot and riding for a stupidly long period). I had numbness in my toe for 4 month, and ever since I have had a second pair of shoes in the pits just in case my first pair get uncomfortable. Since starting to ride in the Mavic Chasm mtb shoes I have noticed what a difference a great fitting shoe makes. Don't get me wrong, I have always used good quality shoes, but these just seem to give a superior fit both on the solo of your foot and across the top of the foot. I'll start with the sole. It is made of a full piece of carbon fibre, this gives them a great amount of stiffness. The grip on the sole is supplied by rubber (not plastic like most shoes). This makes the very forgiving when walking in them. It also provides better grip on rocky terrain. The upper portion of the shoe is made of a very soft synthetic material. They have a cool looking leather finish with plenty of breathable mesh sections.

I have found the top to be so comfortable that I am wearing a half size smaller shoe to give me a good snug fit and better power transfer. The harness system (very similar to my old Adidas Adistar shoes) is excellent. The top strap has ratchet adjustment for ease of use on the fly and the bottom two steps are fool proof velco. Another handy addition is the supplied brass plates that sit between the cleat and the solo. There is two different thicknesses to suit all pedals and give a perfect connection. They also act as protection against wear on you sole from rubbing on the outside of the pedal (especially good for egg better uses). Bottom line is these shoe a great. They have everything you would want in a race shoe or even an all day trail shoe. I even think I will stop taking a second set of shoes to races they are that good. I forgot to mention they are light, very light.

I would also like to touch on the Zxellium Road shoes also. These are not for the person who doesn't want to be noticed (I believe the yellow version is only a limited edition, there are also some more subtle models available in the Mavic like up). I have never used a product that has drawn as much attention as these shoes. I have found them to be as comfortable as the mtb shoes. The are stiff, light and seem to have a great power transfer. All day rides on the road bike now give me no foot discomfort whatsoever.

o as far as I am concerned they are a fantastic shoe. Also worth a mention for both models is the handy inclusion of lines on the sole to make setting cleat up a cinch. I don't think they are in many shops yet, but if you go to your favorite bike shop they should be able to order a set in for you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

News exclusive...

More details soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shut up and ride...

This long weekend I needed to just get out and ride. I have never been a fan of riding on tired legs, so a long weekend gives the opportunity to have a day off between rides.
Saturday morning I decided to get out nice and early with Clackers. We got two climbs in in the Dandenongs before rolling down for the hell ride. It was a good test for the body, I was able to keep the intensity high and even got to roll turns up the front for a while.

Today was a perfect day for a long mtb hit out. Lucky the pink boys had plans that included myself. Starting from richmond we (there was 12 of us in total) rode the entire mullum loop (about 80k's). Chuck in the 20 odd k's from home and back, gave me a very long in the saddle. The best bit was the fact that my body was good to take on the challenge. Two more weeks of training and I think I will be ready to take on the NZ boys on their turf.