Monday, September 23, 2013

TIV9 equipment report

A number of people had posted about their bike setups before TransIowa. I wasn't able to due to time and other commitments. I also thought it would be more useful to discuss the equipment and how well it worked after the event.

My trusty, disc based Salsa La Cruz carried me to the finish with no issues. It's easily the most comfortable bike I own. I've had the fit dialed in by Adam Thompson at Rasmussen Bike Shop twice, pre and post aero bars, and I wouldn't change a thing. 
  • Shimano 105 brifters
  • Salsa Bell Lap bar
  • Profile T2+ aero bars
  • Specialized cork tape
  • Ultegra front mech
  • Dura-Ace rear mech
  • Stronglight Pulsion carbon crankset with 34/46 rings
  • 12-27 10 speed 105 cassette
  • Shimano 10 speed chain
  • BB7 road brakes
Everything worked as expected. The only issue I noted at the end was a slight softness in the rear brake due to wear. I used a Specialized Phenom saddle that I purchased a number of years ago. It was comfortable for the entire race and I noticed no numbness beyond what you would expect for riding for over 28 hours. Some people might scoff at the aero bars, but they gave me another hand position to use and allowed me to stretch out my back and legs by changing my hip position on the seat. They were also quite helpful riding into the headwinds I encountered from mid-afternoon until sunset on Saturday.

I used a Revelate Designs Tangle bag as my immediate food storage, a Revelate Designs Feedbag as miscellaneous storage, and a medium sized seatbag (similar to a Revelate Designs Pika) for storing clothes, tools, spare tubes, and any other food). Other than some issues getting into the feedbag due to the aero bars, everything worked as expected. I carried four waterbottles, two in the main triangle and two hose clamped to my fork. I have used a Profile aero cage holder in the past, but it wouldn't work in conjunction with the seatbag. The bottles all stayed in place, and, I generally had enough fluids to get me between refuel points. Would it have been hotter, I might have had to consider additional bottles in jersey pockets, or something else to carry more fluids.

My lighting system was made of a Schmidt disc dyno hub paired with B&M IQ Cyo-R LED headlight, a Planet Bike Superflash taillight and a generic, 175 lumen, AAA powered LED headlamp I bought at Lowes. All worked as expected. I ran the taillight in non-stop blink mode, and the head lamp as needed using AAA lithium batteries. I carried spare batteries for the headlamp, but didn't need to use them. I had some people tell me that I would notice the drag of the Schmidt as the race wore on. I've ridden with mine enough, and the drag is low enough that I never really noticed it. The light pattern was bright and right where I needed it to be. It was really nice not worrying about if my main light was going to run long enough. The weight of the hub was the same as the two battery packs that it replaced. I would not hesitate to run the same system again. I liked the headlamp, but a model with a adjustable brightness would have been nice to have.

I used a Garmin 800 with an external battery pack as my main bike computer. I had a Cateye Micro wireless computer mounted as a backup in case I had issues with my Garmin. I disabled all of the maps in the GPS, including the basemap, before the race started. I hit the power button on the external battery pack around hour 10 of the race, and then every few hours thereafter to make sure the gps stayed running. I would definitely use this set up again.

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