Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Felt F1C carbon bike review

Ok, I have a Felt in my stable. It's a 2003 model - all aluminium, bar the forks. It's light (around 7.8kg equipped with Mavic clinchers) and fast - well it feels fast to slow old me! In comparison with my 1990 Look KG76 it's a shade lighter and far, far stiffer. Around my test loop the Felt is quick but bouncy - it fairly leaps off the potholes. Whereas the Look tends to absorb the impacts better (feeling more like my old 1985 Colnago Mexico). If I am riding 100-200km I'd choose the Look. For a crit, the Felt.

So that's the background. Now here's a CN review of a bike I've seen and enjoyed looking at... the Felt F1C. It's carbon, all over. It's tempting, but in a more utilitarian way than the latest Looks or Orbeas. It's just a neat, fast, fairly traditional machine at a good price. I'd have one!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Trackie Chris Hoy rides L'Alpe D'Huez

And says that once is enough. Excellent interview by RCUK for both track newbies and regulars.. Chris Hoy covers his training and race preparation as well as the Etape up L'Alpe.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Drugs in sport - again

And again. Can't seem to escape this one. Now the authors of LA Confidentiel are at it again. Like a dog with a bone. LA replies (via CN):Armstrong, who, despite having retired from the sport, continues to find himself defending his reputation, said "I raced clean. I won clean. I am the most tested athlete in the history of sports. I have defended myself and won every court case to prove I was clean. Yet another French book with baseless, sensational and rejected allegations will not overcome the truth."

Meanwhile, I remember ex-Pro Jonathan Vaughters writing in (I think) ProCycling mag about 5 years ago, calculating LA's assault on L'Alpe D'Huez and expressing great surprise at the phenomenal power output required. More recently we have this exchange (reported again in Cyclingnews.com) between Jonathan and Frankie Andreu about rumoured drug abuse in Armstrong's team. It's all hearsay, all gossip, as Jonathan says several times to emphasise the point.

Fascinating, if a bit bleak and cheerless when you think about it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I want one

Power readings without fitting hassles? Without high cost as well? Hmmmm. Check out iBike Pro. I'm thinking about it. Looks really easy to install. Just screw it on like a bike computer, with a wheel sensor as well. Then weigh yourself and your bike. Add that data plus altitude if known, and do some flat road tests to calibrate the thing and... bingo!

From most expensive to cheapest, your power measurement options (as I understand them) are now:
  1. Power measured off the cranks (most expensive, and you are stuck with it on that bike unless you want to do some major component-swapping - but surely the most accurate way to do it)
  2. Or from the rear wheel with a hub-embedded accelerometer (slightly easier to swap from bike to bike)
  3. Or by measuring chain tension (using optical sensors), a bit fiddly but cheaper
  4. Or by calculating power from base data (speed, resistance, altitude, temperature and angle of climb)
Take your pick! The calculating (vs measuring) options are certainly cheaper but rely upon the accuracy of the inputs - and some of that relies upon you. The ibike Pro works like that, as does the HAC4, although the iBike seems to do it continuously whereas I understand the HAC4 only calculates power on climbs. Feel free to comment!

Crono des Nations

Some late season results... McGee 3 minutes off the pace in a 48km TT - not unexpected. And Kathy Watt just ahead of Jeannie Longo...amazing. None of them winners this time around but fascinating anyway. CN report here.

And the winner was Gerrans, again

I watched it live on Aussie TV and it was good, very good. It went all the way to the last sprint which McEwen won, of course, with Gerrans 3rd to clinch victory. (CN report here.) It was 90minutes worth watching. If only I was that fit!

Floyd Landis releases his case files

You want to read some interesting case notes? Well Floyd has put 'em out there on the web! It's nice to see such transparency. I certainly feel for the guy if he's innocent, and it's certainly been badly handled all round... but if he is just making a PR splash in the hope of twisting public opinion... well, anyway, let's presume he thinks openness is best. I suspect we'd like to see many riders, both past and present, open up on the truth, too.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The SunTour hots up

It's all coming to a close - and it's sooo close. There are probably 4 riders with a red-hot chance of winning overall and just 6 seconds to play with the bonus sprints will be hard-fought. Cyclingnews reviews yesterday's TT here.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Who record Pictures of Lily - not exactly bike racing is it?

It's 1967 folks and The Who are recording Pictures of Lily... well I like it anyway!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Cervelo's video site

I don't usually do plugs but I am impressed by Cervelo's video web sites. The bikes are nice, too, but I don't have one - I own an aluminium Felt, a 16-year old Look carbon and a Saronni/Colnago track bike instead. So I'm not biased towards Cervelo in any way, other than they seem to be nice people ;-)

From their newsletter - check that out too:

The Tour may be over, but the new videos keep on pouring in at cervelo.tv. There are three new videos from the Deutschland Tour in the Team CSC section (and we really recommend Stage 6 if you want to see some tenacious climbing efforts by Jens Voigt, who will bend but won’t break). There are also some more videos in the Cycling 101 section, including clips about where Team CSC’s mechanics, soigneurs and team directors spend their time.

Aside from the regular clips on cervelo.tv, there are loads of new videos in the Ventoux.tv section as well. Dave Zabriskie, Levi Leipheimer, Carlos Sastre and Fränk Schleck attempt to draw their first bikes, the final DZ music video is up, and there is a new Testing music clip. And last (and probably also least), there is a clip of Team CSC’s team building coach B.S. Christiansen getting in trouble.