bolt

I have made the switch from Garmin to Wahoo.  I waited awhile to move to the Elemnt because I wanted all the bugs to be worked out and I was waiting for workouts to be released.  All I can say is Wow.  I love it.  Set up is super easy and straight forward using the mobile app.  Workouts go straight in from training peaks, routes are imported from ridewithgps and I can get messages or see who is calling during a ride so I know if I want to stop and answer or keep on going.  The Garmin has served me well for 7 years without any issues but this was a big step up from my previous Garmin 800.  I know most of this isn’t groundbreaking but it was big for me to get with the times.

A few of the pages I use on a weekly basis are the following.

General

This is my day to day page with my information for an easy ride or when I’m out with friends.  I have the time of day, speed, 3 second power, heart rate, cadence, miles ridden, gear selection, time riding, and my phone battery.

Race

This is my race page where I only have necessary information.  I have my 3 second power, heart rate, lap time so I know how much time is generally left in the race since I have been racing mostly timed critiriums, and gear selection since my brain is’t all there sometimes and it helps me prevent cross chaining.

Workout Summary

I use the workout summary screen just to take a quick peek on a few key metrics of what I have done if I wasn’t doing a structured workout.  This page I have 3 second power, speed, miles ridden, ride time, time of day, heart rate, average speed, training stress score, and average power.  This allows me to see whats happening now and what my averages for the ride are at the same time.

Workout

I use this page most of the time when doing structured workouts imported from Training Peaks.  This page gives me everything I need to know to complete my workout.  I have my target power with my 3 second average next to it to compare. Next is the time left in the interval with my interval average power to see how close I am to the target.  Then heart rate, my last interval power in case I didn’t see if I hit my previous target, time left in the workout (how much suffering is left), gear selection and a chart of what the overall workout looks like.

Conclusions

Live tracking works great for me as I train solo most of the time and it gives me piece of mind that my family knows where I am in case something happens or they can figure out how far from home I am but it does drain my phone battery pretty quickly.

The only feature missing from the unit is an  auto lap feature based on GPS location so I wouldn’t have to try to hit the lap button in races or separate laps on the computer to analyse lap by lap performance which I hope gets added with a firmware update in the future.

In my opinion the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is a great value and a great unit.  I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it to anyone.

For a more in depth review check out DC Rainmaker or Shane Miller as they go a lot more in depth than me.  They had influenced my purchase of the unit a lot especially since I was moving from the Garmin camp to Wahoo.

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I got started Crit racing this year. It was intimidating at first with high speed cornering, large tight packs and crashes.

The season started off very cold in early April with the Branchbrook series in Newark, NJ. The series got off to a rocky start with cancelled races due to high winds, ice and snow. When we did race the average temperature was 25-35 degrees. I would head over at 5 am to pick up my number each week as the Cat 5 race would start around 6, do a few warm up laps to not freeze then freeze anyway when waiting at the start line.

The whistle blew and we are off. The races started off at a very manageable pace as everyone was just trying to get warm but I alway was hanging towards the back because the pack felt so tight and I was super worried about getting hung up or touching wheels.  Yeah and I thought my fitness was good.  I made it a few laps with then would see them gradually drift away from me.  The repeated hard acclererations out of the corners wore me down and I just couldn’t keep up.  Eventually the field passed me and I was in a solo TT just trying to finish.

As the weeks went on I got more comfortable with the group and fitness improved and was able to finish with the pack and even put in an attack throughout the season.  It was a great learning experience about pack dynamics and staying calm and smooth.  This year I was able to advance to Cat 4 and now I’m looking forward to next year to keep on learning and training to get some results that I am happy with.

A couple takeaways are:

  • Get to the race early so you aren’t in a rush
  • Ask what side to pin your number on
  • Preride the course – with someone who has done it before if possible
  • Don’t run a 5k the day before a race – it ruins you
  • Float within the group and look for good wheels to follow
  • Trust your bike when cornering
  • Easy on the brakes or just sit up to slow you down
  • Have Fun – it will keep you loose – even if you are nervous at the start

Zwift Logo

After using Zwift for a few weeks I can say I am still impressed. For the first 2 weeks I used Zwift with a Heart Rate, Speed Sensor and Cyclops Fluid 2 Trainer. In this time the only frustration I would have are during sprints the software would detect wheel slippage and I would lose 2 seconds for everything to come back as it wouldn’t register power for that time.

ea386e94-62b9-49db-b9e3-e986bfd20b9eThe solution came when a year of saving up payed off.

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I got my Stages Power Meter!

Now the tire slippage doesn’t matter anymore.  Zwift is reading directly from the power meter.  I didn’t buy the Stages power meter for zwift.  This was planned for over a year.  I am very happy with it for the 2 weeks I have had the power meter indoors as well as outdoors.  This has definitely taken away my frustrations with Zwift.

So far in Zwift I have racked up a few achievements and new gear.  The Facebook group Zwift Riders is the place to be for discussions.  Zwift changes the dynamic of riding indoors for me so much that I even run it when I am doing a trainer video and over lay the video on the left side of the screen.

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Zwift … First look

Posted: January 30, 2015 in Reviews
Tags: ,

I received a great email today.  Welcome to Zwift beta!

As soon as I got home for work I installed the software and set up my bike sensors. This was painless.

Then I set up my avatar and started riding.  It was a rest day so I said to myself I’ll just tool around for a while.

Ha That didn’t happen.

No less than two minuets in I was going for a KOM!  I can see this as a great way of beating the winter blues on the trainer.  I will report back when I have more time in the saddle with Zwift.

So much for a rest day.

Just started training again.  I was inspired by looking at my 2012 Gran Fondo New York pictures.  I was a machine!
Hitting Cyclo 90 hard core again.  I am hoping for a great year.  I am already registered for an MS ride in May and a Gran Fondo in September!

Cinelli Bar Tape Update

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Reviews
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Cinelli Gel Bar Tape

An update to the post. After living with this tape for about 2000 miles. I still like it. It is holding up well. I think I will replace it in the spring just to make the bike look pristine again. Other than te white getting dirty it is still in great condition.

Quick review on the new bar tape I installed today.  My only comparision is to the original tape that was on my bike so I son’t have much to compare to.

I purchased the tape and had my LBS show me how to install it.  It worked out great.  The tape was very stretchy so it was easy to wrap.  The back of the tape has an adhesive strip and it also included a ribbon for each brake housing, finishing tape and end plugs.  The tape feels nice and cushy and I think it will absorb the road vibration with no problem.  Today I only tried it out on the trainer and it was very comfortable.  I’ll update after I get some long rides on the tape.

Cinelli Bar Tape

Yakima Sprocket Rocket

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Reviews
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After living with the Sprocket Rocket for about 6 months I can recommend it. It is super fast to mount on the load bars and quick to get your bike on. My only complaint is the skewer will spin if your bike isn’t in the rack unless you screw it all the way in which will make it take longer to put your bike in. It is just a pet peeve and don’t effect anything or you can’t tell the skewer is rattling when driving.

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