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Archive for November, 2010

Now that the cross season is winding down, what are most of you guys doing to keep fit with snow right around the corner?

We all know about weight training and indoor trainers/spin classes, wbut what else is out there? Is running even an option? What about rowing machines? I hear those are intense, but pretty expensive

It would be nice to have something like a Surly Pugsley, and just be able to float on top of the snow and still pedal.

surly puglsey

Big Wheels :o

As much fun as this would be, being on the bike year round can possibly be a deal breaker, and potentially lower your interest for riding midway through your next season.

Who has time to start a new off season hobby though? Cycling is expensive enough, what is it like trying to pick up a second sport that helps with the cardio aspect during the winter? I’m tempted to get a pair of skis, and while I’m hoping it isn’t that expensive, I still know it is going to cost more than a pair of running shoes.

Hiking! Even Chris Carmichael believes that this one is a winner. In his book, Time Crunched Cyclist, he states:

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

But, you say, you’re a cyclist, and you’ve made the choice to focus on the sport you love. That’s great, but more well-rounded fitness gives you more options for activities and adventures and won’t take anything away from your abilities on the bike. I live at the foot of Pikes Peak, and I know cyclists who have lived here for a decade yet have not experienced the sense of accomplishment and wonder that comes from hiking to the summit. It’s not a particularly difficult climb; in fact, it is conquered every year by thousands of out-of-shape tourists. But it’s a nearly impossible challenge for highly specialized cyclists because the 13-mile trail is too hard on their feet and hips, and they struggle under the weight of packs if they choose to turn the adventure into a 2-day camping trip. I’m all for maximizing sport-specific performance, but unless you’re making a living as a cyclist, I also believe that the benefits of nonspecific fitness are worth pursuing.

Okay readers, tell me what you are going to do this off-season, and for what duration/intensity?

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This review consists of a double review from two WV Cycling contributors, with their opinions and statements placed distinctly throughout the post.

Product Review: O2 Rainwear 3Flow Jacket

Product Description from O2 Rainwear:

“O2 Rainwear’s 3Flow™ Performance Series is designed for the serious cyclist who won’t be detoured by the elements, yet is versatile and affordable enough to attract anyone who rides a bike. This higher-end gear is Waterproof, Breathable, and Windproof. Jacket includes pit zips, a back pocket for storage, a drop-tail for road spray protection, a built-in hood around the collar, and is seam sealed. Constructed with 3Flow™ Performance Fabric.

Rain Shield, Inc. is a Minnesota-based company founded in 1997. Rain Shield’s objective is creating O2 branded rainwear from microporous film. O2 Rainwear™ is making waterproof and breathable rainwear much more affordable than it ever has been in the past. Rain Shield is continually pursuing new uses of the innovative Microporous Film.

O2 Rainwear Microporous Film is a very inexpensive, yet high-performance laminate that has the best combination of water holdout and breathability of any fabric on the market today. Our Microporous Film is thin and lightweight, making O2 Rainwear™ easy to pack and for people to bring with the them. But the greatest aspect of Rain Shield, Inc.’s O2 Rainwear™ is its affordability – allowing people to experience this outstanding comfort and protection at the same price as non-breathable, rubber, plastic, and PVC-coated garments. No Wet, No Sweat! We have a continuously expanding line of the O2 branded rain jackets, rain suits, and bibs. We can also decorate our garments with waterproof embroidery and special packaging for ASI and promotional applications. Please check out our Product Catalog to see what the best product is for such activities.

The use of polypropylene was a key factor because it is very inexpensive compared to materials used for brand-named waterproof and breathable membranes, such as Teflon and polyurethane.

By 1987, the process for making the polypropylene membrane was perfected as it achieved the same levels of water hold-out and breathability found in more expensive garments.”

Review:

(Reviewer 1)

The rain jacket held up to my expectations. I previously wore a rain jacket that seemed to allow water to seep into the jacket and into the back of my shorts. When I wore this jacket during our rainy ride, I was very satisfied. My backside was kept dry and the jacket seemed to have good moisture-wicking properties. It didn’t seem to ‘stick’ to my skin, when I began to get warmer on the inclines. I felt comfortable in this jacket because the fit was not restraining in any sense on or off the bike. Really, it was like a second layer of skin that kept me dry!

(Reviewer 2)

What most impressed me about this jacket other than it being manufactured in America (Minneapolis, Minnesota?), was that every stitch, seam, and hem is sealed with a thin plastic layer that has been either chemically or sonically bonded with the rest of the interior of the jacket. This prevents all of the stitches to allow water intrusion. The jacket comes clean very easily, and has not needed a true laundry washing after seventeen rain-rides. The zip-up vents in the armpits are a bit small, but suffice when needed. My only complaint is how binding the neck portion of the collar is when completely zipped while the hood is concealed. This was not comfortable, and I was tempted to cut out the hood. I also really appreciated the mesh kangaroo pocket in the back. Even with a zipper, things stayed dry from the outside, while did not absorb ample  amounts of sweat either. The jacket can also be rolled up moderately tight, and stuck into its own pocket, or rubber banded small enough to fit into one of your rear jersey pockets. Very convenient.

Summary:

O2 Rainwear has created a quality product in America that is competitively priced, while performing better than other jackets in the same price range. The fit is accurate for its size, and works well on a man or woman. Rain has nowhere to enter on this jacket, while sweat does seem to escape better than other products in the same price range, or higher.

Even without my bias for American made products, I give this product 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Photos:

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Collar is not comfortable to zip to the very top when hood is concealed/bunched up.

Clothing, Minnesota, Waterproofing, United States, Raincoat, Waterproof fabric, Polytetrafluoroethylene, Polyvinyl chloride, minneapolis, fixed gear, rain coat, rain jacket, waterproof cycling clothes, waterproof bike jacket, bike jacket, zip up jersey, hooded jersey, kangaroo pocket, bike jersey, waterproof bike jersey, waterproof cycling jersey, waterproof cycling jacket, waterproof cycling raincoat,

Covers the rear well

 

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Reflective piping all over the jacket, along with reflective logos.

 

Clothing, Minnesota, Waterproofing, United States, Raincoat, Waterproof fabric, Polytetrafluoroethylene, Polyvinyl chloride, minneapolis, fixed gear, rain coat, rain jacket, waterproof cycling clothes, waterproof bike jacket, bike jacket, zip up jersey, hooded jersey, kangaroo pocket, bike jersey, waterproof bike jersey, waterproof cycling jersey, waterproof cycling jacket, waterproof cycling raincoat,

On the bike, still covers the rear.

 

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Typical riding position, still great coverage.

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Went over to Elkins, and hung out with the Millers, and Joey/Mandi of Joey’s Bike Shop this past Sunday.  I attended their semi-regular Shingletree Shuffle group ride, and may I tell you, it was possibly one of the best ‘cold rides’ I have ever done with a bunch of other people. I’m starting to believe that Elkins, and its surrounding area has some of the best riding territory, bar none.

By the way, here’s some footage; sorry for the shake, I was holding the camera in my hand:

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This Saturday was the Appalachian Cyclocross Series Race #6 sponsored by Michael Miller DDS in Buckhannon. The race was set on a balmy saturday morning, with the temperatures hovering just above freezing the entire time. For this being a very ‘southern’ race, as it is considered for WV Cyclocross, there was still a pretty fair turnout, and a lot of fun was had. I ran around the race course, shot some video, and got some post race interviews too.

I saw a lot of people from Trek of Pittsburgh, Steel City Endurance, Western Maryland Wheelmen, Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling, Iron City Bikes, WVU Cycling, Pro Graphics, Mountain Mama, and even a few Ohio guys.

The course was moderately short, even in terms of a cross course, but it was rough. The grassy fields were mowed the day before, but were sorta lumpy. It took the energy out of people pretty quickly. There were three noteable barriers that you will see in the videos: Typical 12″ cross barriers, a very small stream path that had to either be jumped or hucked over, and a chicane laden vertical switchback that was very entertaining for the spectators to be around.

Lots of racers were using dedicated cyclocross bicycles, and I even saw a classic 1976 Raliegh road bike out there along some of the mtn bikes and whatnot. Everyone seemed to have fun, and JR really put on a good race.

Now, here’s the videos:

Watters Smith Cyclocross Race – Pre Race

Watters Smith Cyclocross Race – Race Footage 01

Watters Smith Cyclocross Race – Race Footage 02 / Post Race Interviews 01

Watters Smith Cyclocross Race – Post Race Interviews 02

Watters Smith Cyclocross Race – Post Race Interviews 03 w/Gunnar

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boeshield t9 bike lube review

What Boeshield says about their products:

“Boeshield T-9 is Space Age Technology for Bicycle Chains

  • Solvent Base flushes out old lubricants.
  • Penetrates deeply to thoroughly coat inner pins and rollers.
  • Dries to a clean Paraffin Wax film so it will not pick up dirt.
  • Lubricates and protects for 150 to 200 miles per application.

Completely Waterproof
Once dry, Boeshield T-9® will not wash off in rain, puddles, and mud. Water washing will remove sand, dust, and grime, but not the lubricant.

Guarantee
We feel we have the best product of its type on the market. If you can find a better penetrating lubricant and protectant, let us know, and we’ll refund your purchase price.

One Step Application: Clean, Lubricates, Protects
Spray on and wipe off. Boeshield T-9® will dissolve itself and flush out any other lubricant. For best results soak thoroughly and allow 2 or more hours for complete penetration. Then wipe off all external residue.

No Dirt Pickup
After wiping, Boeshield T-9® will dry quickly, leaving no sticky film to gather dirt and mud.”

boeshield t9 lube review

I received a sample of Boeshield’s product back in May ’10 to review for the site. I was enthusiastic to try out a ‘clean’ lubricant for my stable of bikes As of posting this review (31 Oct ’10), it has been six months, and my sample just ran out.

That means, this 4oz drip-bottle of lube was able to be used 72 times, according to Garmin Connect‘s recordings; which is more than likely closer to 80 uses. Yes, I used the Boeshield after either every single ride, or every other ride depending on which bike it was being applied to. Boeshield’s site states that it can effectively last up to 200 miles, but I am a cautious person who enjoys a clean drivetrain. This means that a single bottle of Boeshield can last around 14,000 miles (10% human error margin removed) of riding. That is longer than most bike chains will last. See what I mean? This stuff is a pretty good value.

Once applied to the chain, it is suggested to wipe off the excess an hour or two later. The lube is also pretty good at removing and displacing dirt and crud from the insides of the rollers and side plates. After a ride, you will see it coat your chainrings and cassette with a light layer of paraffin. This is a bit annoying looking, and takes a little time to remove without solvents, but it really is there to protect the bike. If the paraffin coats the teeth of your drivetrain, just imagine the beneficial properties that are in play on the chain!

I also enjoy putting a drop of the pivot points of my derailleurs, pedals, and brakes. I have not seen increased performance from these items with Boeshield application, but it has become quite ritualistic, and is very easy to apply and clean.

The 953 miles I have put on my carbon road bike (with brand new chain at start of application) has developed very little chain stretch and is still under 1/12th of an inch of wear. This alone has made me believe the worth of the product.

Also, coming in a drip bottle, it can be applied in a very clean and sparing manner. This leads to the bottle lasting a bit longer than a spray, and it prevents any excess spraying or dripping from landing on your rims, or possibly even your disc rotors.

The 4oz drip bottle retails for about $10. Last week, I went to my LBS and purchased a new bottle of boeshield, just because I have enjoyed its protective and lubricating properties enough to pay for it. As the price of bike chains, and drivetrains increase, you should really take as much effort as possible to protect them. Boeshield is just another step in protecting your investments.

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