The foundations for successful riding
13 posts • Page 1 of 1
Some might remember i purchased the SuperSix 5 105 about 6 months ago with the helpful advice given from the forum. Well on Sunday i entered the Cairns 70.3 challenge, and i took on the bike leg.
It also happened to be the first time i'd ridden with a computer. Being that i spent every cent i had on the bike i'm still riding in sneakers and i've repaired my helmet twice now with glue
Anyways the plan was to -
Keep it above 30km/h on the flats, each time i checked i was sitting on around 33-34.
Keep it above 25km/h on the slight up hills, i did this without any issues and found myself a few times still nudging 30.
To just "make" it , up the really big hills, oh and there was a few !!
I'd never ridden in a pack before either, so that was a case of "learn quickly" when the first water bottle i tried to grab at the aid station went over my head and i came very close to the rider beside me
What i learned about myself on the ride is that my best ability would have to be the slight gradients, but that i suck big time on the steep climbs. I also managed to pick up a few spots here and there on the down hills, seems a few riders were a little un-easy on the run downs.
My aim was 3 hours dead, i wound up doing it in 3 hours 16, though i think i could have shaved a tad off given the confusion at the course end, i thought i had about 10km left when the transition suddenly appeared.
I'm keen to go back next year and hopefully not get my ass handed to me. I was chatting to the guy at the LBS and he was telling me about wheels adding 2-3km/h, aero helmets and so forth. My aim is 2 hours 30 for next year (i'll try my hand at any other team events that pop up in the mean time)
Where am i going with this.....oh yeah, is it worth going down the upgrade path on a standard SuperSix 105? Is there a limit to how quick you can actually cover a distance before you need to do certain upgrades? I know i'm no where near this level, but i can't help but think about adding up what 2-3 km/h average would have done to my over all time.
On a slightly more upsetting note, a crack was found near the BB, the LBS is unsure as to whether is is just paint, or more serious, but they said any crack especially in that area should be taken seriously and most likely the frame will be replaced. Looks like i'm on foot for a while
You ride a great bike, flash wheels can help, not convinced they ad 2-3km though, you can cut weight on groupset etc but really it is fiddling only. The biggest difference comes from upgrading the engine and there are no shortcuts for that. Work on your weaknesses, find steep, long hills and ride up em, lots.
All the best.
Certified Brand Snob
Thats a really good time considering you're riding in sneakers, on the droppers? and have been riding for 6months or so?
Things I would do to improve time - in order of time savings and budget.
Buy clip in shoes/cleats – on ebay pedals/cleats $50 shoes less than $100
Clip on aero bars – on ebay less than $100 this considerably reduces sail area (drag) although leg position needs to brought forward.
In my opinion aero wheels, helmet, etc is a diminishing return for the $$
I’d spend money on a time trial bike with professional fit before buying those things.
Have you shaved your legs? That’s cheap
In terms of bang for your buck, I would be leaving the sneakers for walking around after the race and buying a decent set of clip in pedals & shoes to match with nice stiff soles. The difference in pedalling efficiency will be very noticeable.
As for how much time is at stake for upgrading the engine, you covered 90km in 3:16 for an average speed of 27.6 km/h. That is pretty impressive in a pair of sneakers. Your goal though is 2:30 at an average of 36.0 km/h and that seems like a significant jump in speed. You are certainly not going to make up that sort of time just by upgrading the bike.
As for how much is in the bike, it depends upon relative performances. A supersix is not exactly a BSO. As you already ride a grat bike, any upgrades are going to be incremental improvement, not massive jumps. Think the difference between 1st and 4th, not 1st first and dropping off the pack. To get the massive jump you need, there is no substitute for time on the bike, like dacrodi rider says, "find steep, long hills and ride up em, lots."
Losing weight will also make a noticable difference, even if it is just a few kilos. Guess what - one of the best ways to do that is to "find steep, long hills and ride up em, lots." - wins all round.
I have a System6 temporary TT bike... exactly the same dimensions as a Super6, I have one as my road bike. Wheels won't make 2-3kms difference but they do help. Aero bars will make the biggest difference.
Frames make very little difference in aero drag ... but TT specific frames allow you to get into an aero position much easier. Position alone could make a big difference, think getting your head in line with your back and out of the wind. Then it is just hard training with a lot of the training in that position.
Here's mine before I got TT wheels...
I've been watching some youtube videos about getting into a more aero position. When i get a replacement bike i'm going to set it up level on the trainer and get a friend to take some pictures while i make some adjustments. I'm still running my bars on the top spacer too.
Helmet wise, well i need a new one, and i've been given the nod to get a good one. The LBS has cheapo's half price at $15, so i might pick up one of them for training and daily rides to replace my current one seeing as it's had it, and i'll look into an aero for those special occasions. Lazer Tardiz are on special for $170
Pedals (probably 105') and shoes are first on my list come tax return, and i'll be looking into some aero bars. I get some flex from my current handle bars, could a switch to carbon bars fix this? Can someone link me some online examples of good value aero bars and handle bars , i hear wiggle is good, not sure about postage of larger items though. I've found a set of profile T2 carbons on special online in WA, same as these http://www.trisports.com/prdet2coca.html not sure though they look a little short in length?
Oh, and "vbplease" by droppers do you mean riding in the drop bars? If so i only got down in them for the down hill runs a couple if times, its a position i need to spend some time in, and most probably make some adjusments on the trainer.
I have my MTB up for sale locally so i might come across some funds sooner and get myself a few bits and bobs
Oh well, just hanging out for the replacement frame now, hope it doesnt take too long !!!
Hey, I did the Cairns 70.3 too, and I hate to tell you, there were no big hills. Just a few little inclines. You need to go up the Gillies and then see if you think Wangetti has real hills. None of the climbs were more than a few hundred meters long.
Aero wheels save 3 mins in a full IM, whether you are a fast or a slow rider. A sperm helmet, also 3 mins for an IM.
That's a total of 3 mins for both in a 70.3, IF the sperm hat is used effectively.
I wasted more than that in T2 looking for the run belt that was around my waist, hiding under my t-shirt.
I also lost about 200 places on the run, after a good swim and a very good bike time, for me.
So, not much in the bike, lots in the biker, and more so, the runner.
Impressive pool swim times count for bugger all in the middle of an 1100 strong swim pack too.
I rode my plain Jane drop-bar roadie, and blew past tons of TT/Tri bikes, especially on the inclines. A lot of average riders seemed to lack power on any kind of hill on the TT bikes. Either that or they were trying to hard to keep their heart rate down, which is not really possible on a climb.
What I saw on Sunday was weight<aero<power<reliability. The flash rigs parked by the roadside with mechanical failure did not post great times.
You have officially become your parents.
There may be some sort of correlation there.
To the OP. I have done two 70.3 races, both times I rode around the 3 hour mark on a road bike with clip on aero bars, standard road helmet and clip in shoes. Nice ride in sneakers!
Bang for buck wise the bike is not holding you back, there are other things you can do.
From my experience shoes I actually didn't find madea massive difference to me, not sure why, there was an improvement, just not huge.
Aero bars like http://www.wiggle.co.uk/profile-t2-plus-aerobars/ are a good reasonably cheap investment for speed and comfort. That said, if you can't ride comfortably for long times in the drops then you need to do some work on that. Being in the drops is way better than the hoods, with aero bars a bit better again.
A sperm helmet is meant to help with things, but until you can hold a good position it is a bit of a waster of time.
I have never tried aftermarket wheels so can't comment there.
After that it is possibly new bike time!
I finally bought a TT bike a couple of weeks ago and I reckon over the roady with clip ons it is 1 - 1.5km quicker with comparable wheels.
imagine how fast you'd go if you had a chain on your bike!
Toolish, that's an obvious conclusion, but it was calf and knee pain that held me back, not fried legs.
I get what you mean though. I have a crap run at the best of times, so my plan was to enjoy the bike, giving it my best shot, and let the run suck it.
I did OK, 06:40, in my first Tri. Not a sheep station time, but then, I never expected one.
My point was, that not everyone is necessarily going to benefit much from a Tri bike.
You have officially become your parents.
I've been looking at my times, and it seems a bit odd, that on the roads on the way back, with a slight tail wind, my speed was about 12km/h off compared to the run up. I don't ride flat out and then slow the 2nd half, i sit on a pace that i can manage for the distance and throw in some sprints when i don't think i'll get caught out. The guy from the LBS said that the crack in the BB wouldn't have done me any favours when it went, and could have been responsible for my sudden drop in speed on the gps. I just don't understand because my speed has never dropped down that low before in training unless it was deliberate, same gear, same road, same effort, and everyone was just going past me like i was standing still.
105 pedals ordered, but honestly i've got so used to riding in my sneakers, that i'll probably be slower for quite a while until i get used to them.
Pretty certain on a bar and clip on combo, just waiting for my old mtb to sell locally before taking the plunge.
KenHo, maybe the hills just seemed like they were big after 50km and being out for the first time Oh, and did you find any lollies at the aid station apparently they were there but i couldn't find them, spent the whole ride thinking about what type of lollies might be at the next station Dissapointed i went for 3 sausage sizzles a coke and a ice cream at Yorkes instead, don't think i'd ever been that hungry. Note to self, take food on bike next time !!
I didn't eat much on the bike. I do rides of that length, but of greater intensity all the time on just a couple of bananas and some water, with just a light breakfast. Usually I'm trying to lose weight, so I go out on empty legs. Very occasionally I'll bonk on a hill climb.
I was well glycogen loaded, so I knew I could smash the 90 flat km with no food. I just had one Mars Bar and water, so I was not looking for lollies. The hill climbs around the Tweed where I ride are typically kilometers long, where most of those were a few hundred meters. It's all relative. I've been on a bunch ride with some real axes, where they rode up and down the hills picking up stragglers, of which I was one, barely breaking a sweat.
More of the return was in the hills, so your average time would really come down, compared to the ride up. Maybe you were just tiring too. A 70.3 is not an IM, but the legs are still more than most people could contemplate doing, and the whole race is still a big day out. Ask around your work place, who could ride 90 km. Not many I'll bet.
Also, do you train in bunches a lot, or do you practice pushing your own air ? My work schedule is too disorganized to favor bunch rides, so I ride alone, have only been on two bunch rides ever, and one of those was the week before Cairns, as a social thing, where I sat out the front for 20 km cos sitting in the pack was too easy.
Pushing your own air is a lot harder and you need to be conditioned to it, by riding solo and keeping the hammer down when it gets tough.
You have officially become your parents.
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