Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Experiments

If takes a pretty good amount of will to prevent myself from experimenting too much. Not really relevant to anything in particular.

Of course it's going to rain on the day I try mountain bike racing for the first time. I have never gone into a road race with the goal of not being last. That is decidedly my goal this weekend. On the non-technical parts I should be able to go pretty fast, I just imagine that the real mountain bike guys are going to be so butter when it gets tough. I've spent more time in the dirt than on the road recently (except riding the mtb TO the dirt) so I've had some work on staying upright which has helped a lot. Made it down a wicked long, tight, curved stair section last night that I wouldn't have tried two weeks ago. The fast and flowing sections are getting faster and more flowing. But I'm still far from good, let's be honest.

It's been strongly recommended that I go tubeless before Sunday. If someplace has a Stans kit in stock I might try it. Seems like a big benefit but also a PITA. Changed out the rear shifter cable and went full housing tonight. The cables don't last too long before you're shifting up 3, down 4 and back up 2 to go up 1. It sails up and down those cogs now. I'll probably trash it by Sunday.

If you're still reading by now I apologize. This was easily the most boring post ever.

8 comments:

Jim said...

Oh, fuck dude.

Never, ever, ever change up anything big right before a race. Never. Don't do it. For real. That's like opening your shirt and screaming to the bicycling gods, "I dare you to strike me down." The bicycling gods tend to answer prayers like that.

I've thought about going tubeless, and may yet, they're wonderful systems. But I ride with people who rock them and man, they do some funny things, like "burping," where they spew out air and Stan's sealant and everything, and then maybe you have trouble getting them inflated enough to catch the bead again. If you're worried about flats, maybe pump some Stans inside the tubes and run with a little higher air pressure - that'll stop small leaks. But a whole new setup? Tubeless is a great way to go, but it has its quirks and if you aren't used to it...

Plus you never, ever, ever change up some major system right before a race. It's totally asking for trouble. Did I mention that?

Chuck Wagon said...

But Jim it's so fun to add a little mystery into one's racing, isn't it??

Seriously, I am usually the preacher of preachers when it comes to doing no more than washing one's bike (if even that) immediately before a race.

Tune in next week to find out how stupid our hero turns out to be...

These fully housed derailleur cables, though, I've got high hopes for them.

Old 97 said...

I say change as much as possible before a race, especially nutrition. Try eating new foods and focus on high fiber. It's guaranteed to make you go faster.

Good luck out there.

Gus.

Jim said...

You've been warned. But as long as you insist on doing things the hardest and riskiest way possible, might as well go ghetto tubulous. No need to drop $100 on a Stan's system that will probably let you down due to your own ignance, when you can achieve similar bad results for $15. FWIW, you don't need to use a UST tubeless tire with this or a Stan's system. Sure, it helps. But as long as you have an air compressor handy, you can probably get a tubeless tire to catch a bead.

Just remember to pack a 15 gallon tank of compressed air with you during the race.

[shakes head]

Stephen said...

I am notorious for making changes the night before a race. It usually works out, but not always. The worst was when I threw an Adamo saddle on my TT bike last fall the night before a race, tried it out on the trainer, and then did the race the following day. If you had seen me after the race, you would have known that it was a stupid decision. I was fine the first half of the race, but was in excruciating pain the second half. I couldn't walk right for at least a week afterward. I will say that the saddle was super comfortable, but my sit-region wasn't use to it. I do love living on the edge. I've done MTB races tubeless and ended up flatting anyways. They are nice, but aren't without their own problems as Jim explains.

You should chug a whey protein milk shake right before the race. I've never done this before a race, but I did it right before a hard trainer session this past winter....it wasn't fun at all.

Good luck with the race! I can't wait until I can get out and do another mtb race!

cclarke said...

Second the don't switch right before a race comment. Tubeless is great but often needs dialing in to prevent burping. On a rocky course like Greenbrier, you'd be crazy to switch without a few weeks to get it set right.

Joe said...

Ah, coming over from the dark side! Watch out your going to get hooked!

For tires you could:
1. Run tubes with enough pressure to not pinch flat on the rocks, but have no control of your bicycle as you ricochet of every pebble on the trail
2. Run tubes with a reasonable pressure and pinch flat in the rock gardens
3. Run tubeless, hope you get the setup dialed in, and neither flat or uncontrollably ping off of every trail feature

Just my 2 cents

-Joe D

Chuck Wagon said...

I pinch flatted tonight. An omen???