Your body is ready to race, but is your bike ready? We are joined by VeloNews’s tech team of Dan Cavallari and Kristen Legan to dig into the tech side of proper race preparation.
What should you do to your bike to make it race-ready? Where can you find the biggest gains for the least cash? What do you need to have in your race bag? The panel tackles these questions and many more.
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Trevor Connor 00:11
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Welcome back listeners to another episode of Fast Talk. I am Kaylee frets senior editor here at Bella news. And I’m sitting across the table as always, from Coach Trevor Connor. How are you Trevor?
Trevor Connor 00:39
I’m good, Kaley, how you doing?
I’m excellent. We have two extra special guests in the room today. We have velonews tech editor Dan Cavallari.
Hi, Dan. And Kristen, your your titles changed like nine times in the last two years. So I don’t actually know what you are. But Kristen works here too. And Kristen is also here to talk tech stuff. Hi, Kristen. Hey, Kaylee. Today’s subject. And again, as you’ve probably figured out fast doc does occasionally step back from physiology, and we let Trevor’s voice have a bit of a break. So today is one of those days, we’re going to be talking about, well, tech stuff. So the big question we’re trying to answer today is what do you need in your garage to be a bike racer. And there’s a whole lot of pieces to this puzzle, we’re going to be talking about the difference between a training bike and a race bike, even if that’s the same bike, gonna be talking about gear and clothing and things like that, where you can get the most bang for your buck. And then we’ll talk about race specific setup of your race bike, which well, that’s that’s a bit of a rabbit hole that we are happily going to go all the way down. So let’s make you fast. Dan, do we need two bikes? Do I need a training bike and a race bike? Let’s dive right into this? No,
No, you don’t. It’s always great to have two bikes. But given the way things are priced these days, for most of us, that’s just not realistic. And it’s entirely possible to make your training bike into your race bike. So the money is probably better spent on smart race upgrades. Anyway,
Trevor Connor 02:25
from a coaching standpoint, I don’t care how much you work at it, you can’t get the exact same setup. On a training bike, as you’re on to two separate bikes, there’s going to be differences right down to the fact that if you’re riding one a lot, the saddle is going to get worked in where the other one’s going to have a newer saddle and might give you some saddle sores. Last thing you want to be doing is training on one bike and then an important race hop onto a bike that your body’s not familiar with.
Yeah, I think the saddle is a major point there for just for reference. So Pros will often travel with their own saddle. So you’ll see pros cruising through the airport go into a race in Europe somewhere. And they have you know, they have a helmet step to their their pack, they have their shoes with them, and they have their saddle, like strap the outside of their backpack. And that’s that’s basically the exact same reason you’re talking about, you know, you can set up, you can set up handlebars, and hoods and stuff, you know, pretty close. But saddle becomes a very personal items after not too long. And so they often just bring that with them. And that’s a big reason why,
Trevor Connor 03:23
if you are going to do the two bike thing, I would just move saddle holsey posted saddle in between the two, I mean, hopefully you would have the same size see both, it’d be relatively easy, but just be really careful about the height. You if you have that pedal to saddle distance be even just three, four or five millimeters different between two bikes, you can start causing yourself knee problems, you can start causing injury be super careful.
Kristen Legan 03:48
And a lot of the pros they’re writing the exact same bike, every component is exactly the same where a lot of us if we have multiple bikes, it’s because we have an older bike that we’ve just never got rid of. And we’re using that as you know, our training bike or our racing bike still. So it’s even harder when you’re not using the like the exact same frame and every single component.
I want to dig into this a little bit more actually. So let’s I know that the first thing we said here was that you don’t need two bikes. But you know a lot of us do a lot of us have an old bike like you say you have an old race bike or just a bike that you that you’re not using for racing anymore, but you decided to hold on to how long do you think you need? Like if you’re going to use the old bike for say base miles all winter, when it’s all nasty outside? How long do you need to sort of make sure that you’re used to the new fancy, shiny bike for race? So like let’s say my, let’s say my first race of the season is the end of March. When do I need to get on that on that race bike. And I’m looking at Trevor because he’s he’s are the physiologist in the room.
Trevor Connor 04:48
So I don’t know if you want me to share this story, but I did make that mistake once I switch into my race bike two days before a race. And the short version of the story was my knee got so bad I ended up going off The road and crashing chasing down the field caught the field as I was getting ready for the final sprint a bumblebee flew into my booty and stung me like 20 times. One of the worst races in my life and yes, we
are we talking about?
Yeah, I know which moody are we talking about? I just remember
Trevor Connor 05:21
taking it off very quickly. But that was possibly one of the worst race experiences of my life. And I spent three weeks with a knee that was inflamed because of that mistake. So you do need to take that time to get used to the race bike, and I’m gonna say it’s probably two to three weeks before you try a race, try some something that stressful on your body.
And beyond physiology and your own body, you need to make sure your bike is set up correctly. And that takes some time that you know if there’s tweaks that you need to make when you get on your your race bike, you don’t want to be doing that the day before the race or even two days before the races, you want to make sure that happens two weeks in advance so that you know what your bike is going to feel like you know, you address these problems before they come up last minute. Best way to piss off a bike shop mechanic is to come in last minute say Hey, I got a race tomorrow. Can you rebuild my wheel? They’re not No,
it’s not like you’re not it’s not a great situation.
If you’re your own mechanic, you’re not going to be happy. You know, you should be preparing yourself mentally the night before not not rebuilding your wheel. The mechanics pissed off until they hand you the bill and then your pistol.
Yes, yeah, this is the the $200 24 hour turnaround surcharge, right.
If you have two bikes, that’s very much a great convenience. But we’re going to talk today about getting your training bike that you that you ride daily to train, obviously, making some smart changes and upgrades to make it your race day bike. And that usually starts by making sure that you have a reliable bike that can do both. So you want your your bike to be appropriate to the level of racing you’re doing. For most of us, that means a carbon bike, it means pretty aggressive ratio symmetry. But when you’re out training, do you want to be on your expensive carbon hoops? Well, no, you don’t not because you’re going to you’re going to destroy them more quickly. And I mean, yeah, carbon is definitely more durable than it’s been in years past. A lot of companies are saying that they’re they’re really expensive carbon race hoops are also great for every day, that may be true, but you’re gonna destroy them a lot quicker. So step one for your training bike is to have a good set of training wheels. My recommendation on this front is to have something that’s, you know, an aluminum set of wheels, doesn’t have to be deep profile or anything like that. Just something that’s pretty rugged. And probably clinchers because you’re gonna get a flat at some point. And you don’t want to be struggling with a tubular tire on your trading. Right?
You just call Uber.
Right. Well, you do. moneybags I saw that I saw at home a pickup truck. Yeah, yeah. On that same tack, you know, you you got your your durable race, or excuse me, your durable training wheels, you’re also probably going to want some durable training tires, there’s really no point on in training on race tires, because you’re probably going to shred through them pretty quickly.
What about the notion that I should be sort of I should know what my race car is gonna feel like?
Trevor Connor 08:18
Well, you know, that’s, that’s a few days before the race. That’s the week before the race. Yeah, definitely throw your your your race gear on and give it a go. And we can, we’re going to talk more about that in a minute. But for everyday training, no, you don’t need to be on your race tires, you don’t need to be on your race wheels, you’re just going to thrash that stuff more quickly than you want to. And that stuff’s pricey. And you have to remember as a tire gets older, it gets softer, that’s when it starts picking up junk off of the road. And that’s when you start getting flats. So when I see I see racers all the time, who race and ride on the same tires, and they’re the people who are constantly getting flats in the races. So you want to make sure on your what race wheels, you have fairly new tires to help prevent any sort of flats during the race.
Kristen Legan 09:04
It’s also nice with your your more durable training setup, it’s typically heavier. So when you’re training, you’re training on a heavier bike. So then when you swap things over to your race setup, it’s just feels lighter, faster. And so it’s a nice feeling to start a race feeling like that definitely
feels nicer male, maybe a placebo really, mostly, but it is it is kind of nice. Yeah. I mean, it’s like you know, it’s like swimmers refusing to shave for months on end before a major meat. Except less hairy. So better to be a cyclist.
Kristen Legan 09:36
Don’t bring back those bad.
Yeah, Kristen. Do you have hairy legs? Kristen.
Kristen Legan 09:44
I used to fight with my coaches every single year on that like high school girls you and you’re not allowed to shave your legs that was
that’s kind of a is Yeah, it’s pretty bad.
Kristen Legan 09:54
Boy. But the change you feel when you first jump in the water on a taper meet is Incredible. So, as much as it sucked, it really did work mentally. Yes. So
basically the same concept behind running big fat, you know, Conti Gator skins the rest of the year and then throwing out a nice light tubular or a nice light, you know, cotton walled clincher or something like that.
The other recommendation I would make your training wheels and this might be a little polarizing is now with the proliferation of road tubeless. I say go to lists, it seals up small stuff, you’re going to spend less time on the side of the road. Definitely a polarizing opinion.
I’ve had some good luck with road tubeless I’d say it’s worth it. Garbage take Dan. That’s a garbage day garbage day. Yep. No, I actually, I struggle with row tubeless. I’ve had some good experiences as well. And I think if you’re going to run bigger tires, you can run like a 28 3032 kind of tire. If your bike will take a tire like that, then you can really consider it because then you can take them off road and you can go hit the grid and stuff like that for a 25 millimeter tire. No, is it worth the problem? Is you flat? Okay, let’s say you flat and it doesn’t seal which happens pretty frequently, actually. Because it’s a big hole. And then when you do then you have to like deal with this tire for glue and value take the valve out as opposed to just it takes me three and a half minutes to fix a road front. So
it would still take you three and a half minutes to fix what my
covered in goo. I’ll be covered in goop. Anyway, as he said polarizing Yes, uh, we’ll just agree to disagree. All right. Fair enough,
Trevor Connor 11:27
I’m going to take a bit of a different take on it. And what I always recommend to my athletes, training isn’t about speed, it really doesn’t matter how fast you go. And I agree with your, what you say that when you put those race wheels on, and they’re really light with a good tire, it feels amazing. So on your training wheels, I think you should pretty much put something close to a garden hose for a tire that you know is gonna resist anything. And then I’m actually a big fan of putting Mr. toughies in there.
It’s gonna slow you down, it doesn’t feel great, but especially on those cold days, the last thing you want to be doing is sitting there with exposed hands trying to change a flat and I’ve gotten through whole winters without a single flat when you have those thicker tires, the Mr. toughies in there and it’s heavy is going to be but you’re not going to flat. So Mr. Tuffy, just in case our listeners are not aware is essentially it’s like a Kevlar strip thing that you stick on the inside of a clincher tire as an extra extra puncture protection, basically the other way to do that, and I’ve actually my commuter bike is set up like this, you can cut the bead off an old smaller tire and stick that on the inside. And then you essentially just have a double thick tire. So it’s maybe not quite as good. It depends how worn out the old tire is. But I mean I’ve had I’ve had that system on my commuter bike for four years, and I’ve never flooded it riding around Boulder. But that’s the other way to do it. If you’re cheap, you don’t want to spend like $10 in Mr. toughies just take an old pair of tires, cut the cut the beat off, stick them inside a new tire,
I would just carry an extra two. Why go through all that trouble just scared extra to it doesn’t take that long.
It’s really cold. Sometimes I think you know, if you train in a cold place, or winter, you’re doing base miles, I can see how you would definitely definitely not want to
Trevor Connor 13:08
I live in Canada, I’m gonna do everything to make sure I don’t get a flat. It’s negative 20 out there.
Yes. Anyway, let’s return back to where we were before that little, little side chat. Back to training bikes. So Dan, you were kind of running through what your training bike should look like. And I think a lot of this is gonna make you know, it’s gonna make sense if you’ve been in sport for a while, but we still want to make it absolutely clear what what training bike should look like, particularly versus the race bike.
So beyond wheels and tires, your things like if it’s a big race coming up, you know, things like brake pads, drive, train, bar tape, you know, those things that get worn out while you’re training, you’re going to want to address those before you you hop into a race, but when you’re training, it’s fine if those things start to get a little worn down. But you don’t want to go down so far down the hole of neglect that you know, you’re you’re having shifting issues and you can’t stop on that descent. I mean, you want your bike your bike to be safe. So continually check your brake pads, keep your drive training clean, and that’s going to come up a lot. Keep your bike clean, whether you’re training or a race day, keep your bike clean. I’m horrible about this horrible. I’m really bad about keeping my bikes clean. But the fact of the matter is you’re going to be putting in a lot of miles. And the dirty or your bike is the more brake pads you’re going to go through the more chains you’re going to go through and consumables you know, your bar tape is gonna wear out faster, and that it actually costs you money. It’s Yes, it starts to add up. And if you spend a lot of time on bikes, that stuff adds up. So take care of your training bike, we talked about the term training bike, and we think oh, that’s my beater. It’s not your beater. This is not a beater bike. This is your race bike that you’re training on, Treat it as such. So be sure that you’re paying attention to those things. I mentioned bar tape, it’s fine if your bar tape is getting pretty tatty and loose on your training. rides, definitely change your bar tape for race. You don’t want to be distracted while you’re in a sprint. You don’t want your bar taper rotating while you’re on a long climb. I think that’s one that people overlook. It could be the day before the race and you look at your old nasty bar taping like, Oh, it’s fine. And then you get to the race and it just starts unraveling. Or it just moves a little bit and you get a little blister on your hand from it.
Yes, actually happened to you? It has.
Trevor Connor 15:26
It has indeed. Yeah, a lot of
bizarre things happen to me, I respect your bio, no BS in my race, respect yourself. Yeah, make sure your bike is clean. Yeah,
I’m often distracted by bar tape, even when it’s done properly. So
Trevor Connor 15:41
I’m kind of adamant about this one. One little tip I’ll throw in here, this is what I do. When it comes to those things that were down and you need to make sure they’re they’re new enough to be raised Calibri, race worthy things like you set your chain your tires, it really varies from person to person, but how many miles you’re putting in every month. But let’s say a new chain has about two and a half months in it before it reaches the point that it you can’t really race on it anymore, it’s just too stretched. What I tend to do is during the race season, I’ll actually just use the chain for a month and a half, I won’t take it all the way to where it’s dead, and then get a new chain. So during the race season, I’m actually on fairly new gear all the time. But when I take the chain off, I put it away. And when I get to the winter, where all I’m doing is training, I don’t care about being fast, I don’t care about my gear working perfectly, I pull that chain out, then I can get another couple months out of it actually extend the length of it
as an I should clarify here that Trevor rides his bike a lot. So that month and a half for a normal person is probably slightly longer.
But also on that note, be careful when you start using used chains on new cassettes and things like that. It can cause some shifting issues. So just be aware that if you’re throwing that old chain back on your training bike, and you’re suddenly getting shifting issues, you’re like, what the heck, you know, that’s probably the culprit, right?
So that’s, that’s a training bike, I think pretty well covered. Your training bike should be functional, clean, probably heavy aluminum wheels, just just you just don’t have to worry about that. Let’s move on let’s let’s talk about what a race bike looks like. And again, I think this is most people who have been doing this for a while are going to know this stuff. But let’s let’s still just lay it all out there. What is a race bike gonna look like?
Well, I’m gonna tell you what your most important piece of gear is for training or racing and that’s the the garage, beer fridge. Or if you’re in Boulder, your kale smoothie, smoothie fridges. The reason being is because you’re going to spend some time in the garage, getting your race day bike ready, even if it’s generally ready to go. The couple, I would say a good week before the race. Here’s another one you really want to check is check your bike over for cracks. We’re all riding carbon, give it a good once over, make sure there’s no cracks, no chips, things that you didn’t see before. You would hate for that to happen during a race you would hate to have a failure during the race or discover a crack and be thinking about it during the race. So give your bike once over make sure all your gear is good to go. So that’s a weekend, that’s maybe even more maybe weeks out and it should be honestly it should be a constant process. You should be doing that pretty regularly.
Kristen Legan 18:17
Every time you wash your bike
every time you wash your bike that’s step two, clean two
times a year clean your
bike I’m saying this for me clean your bike bike. Yeah clean your bike. If you’re not getting a new drive train before a race which you know if it’s a big race I would probably recommend it but if money is a constraint and you’re not getting a new drive train or if you drive train still pretty new, clean it get a good chain cleaner, get a good brush, clean out your gears, inspect them make sure you’re you know you’re not getting any sharp teeth on the on the chain rings be as detailed as you can be especially with your drive train. And that goes you know frame as well. You’re going to clean your frame and Kristen you use like a frame polish on your frame before races. Yeah, like
Kristen Legan 18:57
bike lesson. Yeah, I think I don’t know if it’s actually been studied. But I feel like there’s a little bit more aerodynamics when it’s a smoother, faster surface might be psychosomatic, but those little grains of dirt on there just slowing you down.
So it’s like it’s like a golf ball. Yeah, it’s creating turbulence, but dirt on my bike is just creating turbulence.
turbulence is good. So anyway, if you’re not getting this cleaner, bike cleaner bike, clean bike
Kristen Legan 19:23
well. And you know, another point about cleaning your bike and especially your drive train is that not only is it to make it function more smoothly, but you’re actually going to, you’re going to cause more resistance in the drive train when there’s a bunch of gunk in there. So when you’re, you know your little derailleur pulleys have all of that black grime on there, you’re using more energy putting out more watts to go to push your bike that much more so cleaning your bike actually makes you faster.
And ceramic speed. If you’re using stuff like that, or ceramic bearings, they actually have little bottles of their specially formulated glue that you’re supposed to use on your bearings. That’d be a good time to do it. Yeah, I
mean, if you’re going to go all the way down the rabbit hole there So we’ve done a whole lot of drive train testing here at velonews. We did the original lube test a couple years ago that has since sort of change actually changed the way that that proteins are preparing for things like time trials, they’re all using wax chains. Now that that came from a test that we did a couple years ago that proved that if you pay attention to stuff, if you pay attention to things like lubes, like a hard wax tends to work really, really well. Which again, you can find this stuff on bonus com pretty easily. If you pay attention, that kind of stuff. If you clean your pulleys, if you make sure that all your bearings are in good condition, you’re talking about actual water. And it’s it could be a real difference, it can be the same difference going from a regular helmet to an aero helmet, if you are particularly if you’re going from a really nasty drive train to a very, very smooth and silky drive train. So it’s definitely worth paying attention to in the lead up to a race.
Trevor Connor 20:48
Another thing I’ll quickly add is invest the five to $10 in a chain stretch checker, and check the stretch in your chain frequently. Because once a chain is stretched, not only is that going to hurt your performance, but then it starts grooving out your cassette, it starts driven out your chain rings and a new chain and it can be 40 to $60. cassettes and chain rings are a lot more expensive. So you don’t want to be destroying those.
Here’s another one that I’m often guilty of not doing the worst. I’m really a
Trevor Connor 21:21
terrible, man. Wait a minute.
No drivers the worst. All right, I’m cybersyn my worst designation, I take it off of Dan’s shoulders and put it back on Trevor, where it rightfully belongs.
Is it weird that I feel sad about anyway, one that I’m bad about if you’re using electronic shifting, di two or E tap, or can’t be please charge or batteries. And you should be doing that at least a week out. And here’s why you can have problems with batteries. And you don’t want to find out that problem the day before the race because then you’re rushing to a shop that probably doesn’t have a replacement in stock. And if you charge it a week before, you should have plenty of battery life by the time you get to your race day unless you’re riding huge miles that week. But I would say charge your batteries, five to seven days out. Make sure there’s no problems you have a fresh charge.
Kristen Legan 22:14
Raise your hand if you’ve been in the middle of a race and your di D battery goes dead.
Yeah, there’s an extremely low tech retired I don’t actually do it anymore. I have been I have been out on lunch rides when that happened and for no actually, here’s here’s a pro tip have an extra battery. That is actually if you look in the back of a pro mechanics truck they have well they have dozens of them. if not more, you should have an extra if your di two and extra di two battery charged up if you’re on E tap and extra battery charged up if you’re on camping Hello. Sorry. Can’t be battery battery. Yeah, if you’re on if you’re on di to have an extra day or two battery, if you’re on trametes app have an extra battery, just leave it in your bag, charge it up. these are these are lithium ion batteries. If you charge them and just leave them somewhere, they’re not going to run down by themselves, it would take a very, very long time for them to do so. So just stick it in a corner or corner of your race bag, have it with you. At least then if something weird happens the morning of the race or the night before the race, you know you have a backup those batteries are not that expensive. You’re already spending all this money on a race license in a race and gas to get there and always other things in the bike that you’re on buying extra batteries. It’s not that hard. And On a similar note, if you’re a Luddite and you’re still on cables, cables, cables, check your cables. See look for phrase and actually check your the way the cable moves through the cable housing and if it’s sluggish change about it’s a cheap, cheap fix. That’s gonna make a lot of difference.
Trevor Connor 23:41
Okay, I’m still in Shimano 600. Okay,
shenango Shimano, you’ll see Shimano like Canadian.
Trevor Connor 23:48
But who here remember Shimano 600
I remember she had a 600 a Shimano, I’m gonna I’m gonna call it Shimano forever. I’m really bad. At a five meter, Trevor. chemin Oh, no, I have a Shimano 600 front hub on my computer at my CAD three Canada CAD three commuter bike that spins better than most of the hubs that come in brand new abilities. And that thing is got 1520 years old now. Right? 20 years old, at least 20 years old. Yeah, that’s good stuff. Yeah, that stuff.
So we talked a lot about training wheels. Shall we talk about race day wheels? What’s the difference?
We talked to do that? We should Yeah.
Trevor Connor 24:34
Should we now do it, Dan. But so here’s the big question. clincher or tubular?
Yes, actually, here’s the thing about racing.
clinchers are fine. There’s nothing wrong with clinchers clinchers are faster. racers at elite levels use tubulars for a few reasons, the biggest of which is if you get a flat. When you’re going down a descent or something like that. It’s less likely while you’re going to stay in better control. Until you can either get to a place where you can change your wheel or until you get down whatever sketchy design you’re on. And you could actually ride a tubular, you can ride a tubular flat for as long as you want a while. I mean, you’re not going to want to but you can’t, you’re not Yeah, so so so Mark avnish actually crossed the line in third place at the tour of Dubai this year with a flat tire, which I know people don’t believe but I was standing there I saw it, I saw the flat tire like right after the finish line. So either it blew on the finish line, or right up to the finish line. Or he’s telling the truth, which is that it was pretty flat before he before he became cross line. And he finished third in a sprint. So you can ride a tubular and that’s really why the pros do it is because they’ll just keep riding, basically until they get to it until team car catches them, it keeps them closer to the bunch save a little bit of time. However, for amateurs, that’s not really a concern. We don’t have caravan behind our races, that makes a big difference. And also, actually tubular wheels tend to be slightly less expensive than clinchers tubular tires tend to be slightly more expensive. But really that’s it’s sort of a wash in that sense. Because the big investment with with tubulars is your time or your money in terms of getting them set up. You know, it’s worth very little for everyone in this room. Yeah, exactly. Well, $13 an hour.
Yeah, yeah. So yeah, getting your your tubulars glued up and glued up properly glued up straight, is either an investment of your time, or it’s it’s another thing that you’re going to have to do before race, get rid of the bike shop. Have them to glue up your tubulars make sure they’re ready to go. It depending on what level you’re at and how serious you are about racing are clinchers fine. Yeah, clinchers are fine. clinchers are faster.
dig into that for me a little bit, because I think that most people would not necessarily know that or have not heard that before.
That clinchers are faster. Yes. So what was it at Worlds this year? Tony Martin one on clinchers?
Correct. Tt starting a couple years ago?
Yeah, he’s done it several times. And that’s because entire testing, it’s it’s almost always the fact that clinchers are faster.
So clinchers are terms of rolling resistance, right? Yes. Yeah, that’s correct. Yeah. Okay,
so clinchers are faster. What does that mean? Well, first of all, let’s let’s qualify this, you have to have a certain kind of clincher, the fastest clinchers out there have cotton sidewalls. And that’s important, because that makes a very supple tire, a soft tire that when you get it to the correct pressure, you get a better contact patch. It’s going to absorb road anomalies better, which means you’re going to go over them faster. tubulars there’s more material. They’re thicker. They don’t what’s called history, Sis, I
believe is that if I’m saying that correctly, basically, they don’t deform as readily as countries do. Yeah. And the sidewalls of a tubular kind of a different shape, because the tubular is self contained right versus the clincher, which has sidewalls determined by the shape of the rim. That’s part that’s a big part of it is essentially you’re just talking about folding over sidewalls. And so the shape of those sidewalls makes a big difference, right?
And in keeping with you know, the idea of not all countries are created equally, you know, you want a cotton sidewall. You also want to latex inner tube, which is again, thinner. It’ll deform a little bit better than a butyl. To
decrease rolling resistance, correct? Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that’s it, like, like we were saying before, clinchers really have not taken off in pro racing. A big reason for that is, as we said before, you can’t ride them flat. And those guys do ride them flat pretty frequently. For an amateur, I mean, honestly. So you get a flat in the middle of a cat three road race, right? There’s probably maybe a wheel truck like a neutral wheel truck, or you or a wheels and wheels out wheel truck that’s like way behind the field somewhere and then you hop off your bike, you have to dig through, find your wheel, this takes a while, you probably have to replace it yourself, or there’s an amateur mechanic there that is maybe not amazing at what he’s doing. Or she’s doing. And then you have to chase with the without the benefit of a very, very long line of cars to draft through. So really, if you’re an amateur and you get a flat your days kinda pretty much done. Yeah,
Trevor Connor 28:58
I’m actually really glad you brought that up. Because that’s a really important thing to be aware of Be careful about hearing what the top pros do and trying to imitate that because they have that car behind them. And I can tell you personally, I actually have two different race setups. The first thing I asked when I’m going to erase is, do we have a team car behind us or not, we have a team car. I am going to set up my bike to be as fast as possible, but it’s going to be a little more fragile because if I get a flat if I have an issue, I’m probably going to get back into the race. If I’m in a race where we don’t have a team car where there’s just the the neutral vehicle. I’m much more apt to set up my bike a little heavier, not quite as fast but more bombproof because I know if I haven’t mechanical, that’s it for the day. Right?
Yeah, I mean, I think for most amateurs, if you get a flat and something like a road race creates a different story because you can you can take a lot, but if you get a flattened read, raise your day is honestly probably over because even if you get back to the field, you’d probably just take chased at full gas for 15 minutes and you’re probably not Not going to be doing so well, by the end of the race. So So that’s something to consider because you don’t necessarily need to worry about the same thing. So the pro worries about which is Can I ride a flat, tubular? If a clincher is faster and you already have clincher wheels. Why Why bother with with a tubular setup for a lot of amateurs because there’s there’s no real, the benefit is not really there. If I share a quick horror story, those are just the dangers of tubular wheels. So I did a centurion last fall, which is one of those. It’s It’s a race, but it’s a mass start. So
Trevor Connor 30:33
we had 3000 people starting to have the grandpa race in it. It’s kind of like a grandfather a little bit different. And I had my tubulars because I want to try them out. Because I was heading down to reading in a week. So I was right at the front first or second wheel, I got a flat. So I had to pull over to the side. And this is an event where they had one vehicle with spare wheels at the back of 3000 people. And as all the people racing pass by you started getting the recreational riders and every single one of them started asking, Are you doing Do you need a hand? Can I help you out? And after 1000 people ask you that question, you start going a little bad.
Because you can’t fix your own. That is the problem. Yeah, yeah. If you just if you if you’ve been on clinchers you probably wouldn’t know fix it before the before the wheeled truck actually even got there. I would have done something. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that’s that’s definitely something to consider. Again, there’s there are fewer reasons to ride tubulars as an amateur, but there are still good reasons to ride them. And still, there’s a reason why people have been racing tubulars for for a century.
Kristen Legan 31:40
And there’s products out there to help like seal up few flat tubular so like pitstop when I’m racing, if I’m racing tubulars I’ll usually just put that in a pocket, unless it’s really like something because you can usually fix it before the wheel car gets there.
Yep. But the broader point here is that for a race bike, you want to you want to be riding different tires in your training bike, your training bike is gonna big heavy tires, maybe if your driver you got Mr. tepees in there, if you’re me, you have just a whole nother set of tires in there for race day, you definitely do not want to do that rolling resistance is very, very important. Like I said, you can gain quite a lot out of a switch into it a nice cotton sidewall race tire putting a latex tube in there. Those are the things to keep an eye out for is, you know, a tire that tests well in terms of rolling resistance. And there are a whole bunch of tests out there, including ones that we’ve done. Google Search abilities, calm and tire testing, you definitely find them and then stick a latex to been speaking about the difference between the pros, and you. Let’s talk brakes, brakes,
and the world just caught fire. Thanks, Kristen.
we’re obviously if you read velonews You know, we’re advocates of disc brakes. We think they work better. They work more consistently. We’re fans for amateurs, we for amateurs, yep. Sorry. To qualify, we’re not telling the pros what they should or shouldn’t do. That’s their deal. But if you happen to be using disc brakes, I’m going to give you the same advice, I’m going to give people who are using rim brakes, which is check your pads, you know, we tend to think because disc brake pads last longer, and they’re more durable that you don’t need to check them not true, you’re gonna be putting on a lot of miles, I’m sure you’re doing a lot of climbing, which means you’re probably doing a lot of descending and you’re probably going to be writing a lot of different conditions. And brake disc brake pads can get contaminated just like any other. So check them, rim brakes are a lot easier to tell when they’re when they’re worn. You look at them, and you say oh, they’re, they’re low, I’m going to change them. And that’s something you should be doing before race anyway a few days before and give yourself a few days to ride them and break them in. new brake pads can they won’t offer this the same amount of stopping power as they will when they’re worn in. And that goes for rim and disc
Kristen Legan 33:41
in a really big point to say here is that if you are switching from your aluminum rims to your carbon rims, change your brake yet, even if you’re using the same type of pad, which probably shouldn’t be between the two you should never be but the brake pads can kind of take up some of that aluminum in the pads themselves. And so then when you switch, switch your wheels over to carbon, that aluminum can kind of dig into that carbon and it really damaged your wheels. So make sure you’re always switching between those between the different wheels. If you’re not careful. You can kill a pair of carbon wheels and one or two stock quick.
Trevor Connor 34:12
Yeah. And it also means that if you are an erase on carbon wheels, and you flat and you get neutral wheels that are aluminum, it was pretty hard to say but throw those brake pads? Absolutely. Absolutely. And most bike wheels carbon wheels are coming with their own brake pads these days to try to replace them with the same pads if
you can, there. The carbon wheels are meant to be used with brake pads that are specially formulated at different compound to be used with carbon
do with the heat.
Yeah, I mean, and I’ve done you know, I’ve used envy pads on magic wheels and things like that. And it’s generally fine, though, you know, envy does for example, make a special compound first for their wheels. So you can void your warranty though you can be sure you know what pads you’re supposed to be using for each wheel and the same thing with dyspraxia. inspect them, make sure that they’re not worn and make sure they’re not contaminated. Make sure you get a good braking feel from them and do this several days before the race.
Trevor Connor 35:09
Let’s take a quick break.
Fast talk is sponsored by Quark, maker of the next generation D zero power meter platform. D zero is packed with 10 years of technical innovations. It also offers a choice of Bluetooth Low Energy, or ant plus data transmission and browser compatibility. Get the power meter chassis or the D zero power meter spider. For power ready, OEM bikes find out email@example.com forward slash D zero. Moving on, let’s let’s talk gear and clothing. I think we got a pretty good idea of what a training bike and what a race bike should should look like here. There’s a lot more that goes into heading off to a bike race. What’s in your bag? What’s a good bag shoes? How am I glasses, stuff like that? Kristen, I know that you’ve done some homework on this front. You look like she just she just made a face. It’s like, I definitely didn’t do my homework actually.
Well, race gear,
but she just knows stuff. She didn’t have to do her homework.
Kristen Legan 36:10
No, I mean, I think the biggest overall thing with your your race gear and your clothing is just having it organized. And having a system for cross racing, I have this checklist that I go through every single week. And before I go to the races, and it has, you know, like how many baselayers I’m gonna bring, you know, I have a cold weather and a warm weather race list. And so I just make sure that I’m getting every single piece that I need so that I don’t miss bringing my race kit or you know, like a pair of shoes or something. So just having things organized. And then having the same system for all of the different races, whether you’re going to drive to the race, whether you’re just going to roll over, because it’s close to home, that kind of thing. It’s it’s just nice to know your system.
So what’s in your race bag, talk us through your race bag, all the way through.
Kristen Legan 36:54
So I guess you have to start with the basics right? You’re like the essentials. So you have to have all of your gear in terms of your bike. That’s an obvious one.
Don’t forget your bike. Don’t
forget your bike
Kristen Legan 37:05
You heard know about your your shoes, your helmet, sunglasses, your race kit, and this anything that you absolutely need, you know, an inhaler, if you have asthma, any kind of medicine, that kind of thing. So starting with with those basics, and then expanding from that for cold weather. Do you have really thick gloves? Do you have your thinner gloves for cold weather stuff, I like to bring extra clothing so that after I’m done warming up and I’ve been sweating a whole bunch, I swap over into the dry clothes so that when I’m standing on the start line, I’m not freezing. For hot races, it’s kind of thinking about how to protect yourself from the sun. So bringing an umbrella to to warm up under if you’re going to warm up on a trainer or, and then to sell your water, your food, that kind of stuff.
So make a list. I mean, if you’re the type of person that forgets their shoes, when they go to a bike race, you should probably have a checklist. Dan is over here sticking his hands straight up in the air. That’s me, that’s me forgets things sometimes. Yes, no, I think that’s actually it is an important point. If whether you’re forgetful or not, it’s good to have a list,
Kristen Legan 38:11
especially for big races when you’re might be really nervous. And you might be not thinking exactly clear. So it’s nice to just have something that you go through every single time and and have you pack the same way.
Trevor Connor 38:22
Here’s Mike we can emphasize this enough, have a race bag. And by the way, keep about 200 pins in that race bag
at all times.
Trevor Connor 38:30
But the other thing to do is have that list type it up print it out that list should just always be in the back. Why don’t we
make a list I will tell you what, underneath the this episode of the podcast if you go to bonus comm and find this podcast, we will have a list of things that you should have in your race bag that will do that for you. And I’m going to give you a real simple one that I give all my athletes and I’ll spell it out so I’m not cursing on a podcast,
Trevor Connor 38:56
but it’s s h JT list shoes helmet jersey tights. Sure. You have four things and your bike so we can call Be sure less
we have we have advanced beeping technology Yes.
Trevor Connor 39:18
You will be able to at least start the race with those things.
So as the type of person who takes his race day bag and throws it at his closet and whatever falls in is what he takes. I will say there is one thing that I will not do without an actually it’s two things. Number one is a big towel because I don’t know how many races I’ve been to where I’ve had to get changed at my my truck. And you’re standing on
Kristen Legan 39:43
I thought you liked those skirts that you put on.
That’s number two. stole my thunder and stole my thunder.
This skirt fan
changing skirt is is polarizing in the office. I have one I love it. It’s it’s basically a piece of fabric. It’s a towel essentially but it’s got The one I have is from pack Timo and it’s got Velcro Velcro is around your way. So I’m not like, you know, pulling off my Shammi and all of a sudden the towel falls off and the world is lucky enough to see my shining booty. It’s it’s indispensable cuz I, you know races at our level at my level, the worst level possible is where I’m at too low. It’s very low. Yep. You’re you’re getting changed in parking lots you’ll get in your I don’t feel bad about it. I feel proud. Because I still get to drink beer.
I do prefer the skirt to maybe Fred’s method of just getting naked in the parking lot.
So yeah, nobody wants it in a parking lot.
Trevor Connor 40:34
That’s not a good look for anybody, you race long enough, all sorts of humility goes out the window
for you, but not for the passing traffic. You know, it’s, it’s not for you. It’s,
it’s for the passers by I have, I have one more pro tip. And this is what I used to do for mountain bike racing way back in the day, and then just kept doing it throughout throughout my road racing career is really not the right word. But you know, time I spent roadracing is that I would make on the floor. So if you’re in a hotel or whatever, or leaving your even before you leave your house, while you’re packing, you make on the floor, a little person out of all the floor. So you’re like, see you like you know, your like helmet. And then I don’t know if it’s cold, like a little like neck thing. And then you put the jersey down and the base layer down and the shorts down, lay down, socks down, shoes down, you make a little person on the floor, and you’re like, I got everything, I got the whole person. And then if you get there, and you’re like, Oh, I forgot my shoes, then you wouldn’t it never gonna happen because your little person would have that would have had a need to YouTube what I noticed of you just making we’re gonna make this into a video. Maybe in addition to the checklist underneath this podcast, we will have a video of me making my making your floor Bible race day floor person. I think, hey, Kaylee, just a great idea.
I am guilty of doing that as well.
Trevor Connor 41:52
Kaylee then sits on the bed and talks. So we’ll put that list up there. But do we want to go around quickly? And just have all of us say things that need to be in the list? That might not be obvious? Oh,
yeah, we can do that. And then we’ll also be like I said, we are actually going to do this. So you know, wherever you’re listening to this podcast, which is probably on your phone, you’re going to have to go find the actual page that we put up on velonews.com for this podcast. If you search velonews podcast, what do you need in your garage? You will find it. Let’s go around circle, what do you need to include? Let’s start with you, Trevor, you came up with it.
Trevor Connor 42:30
So I will tell you, one thing that I found really helped is you have that dedicated race bag. And that dedicated race bag should never be empty. There are some things you should put in it that you never take out until you accidentally forget it from your list. And then it’s just in the race bag if that makes sense. So for example, in my race bag, I always have pins because you’re going to go to races and the race organizers are going to run out of pins for your for your number so always have pins in there. Always have a pair of socks in there because that’s one of the things that people will forget. If you have a lot of kits keep a just keep a set of tights and a jersey in the bag at all times and I’m getting weird looks okay that’s three things man you’re stealing our Thunder I’m just one though we can all do we can all do multiple
sorry I didn’t like it was just one. Keep going. Keep going. We’ll think of other things that are I’m running out of things I’m scared over here.
Trevor Connor 43:30
Well, so I’ll leave it there. Those are some things there are a lot of other things but my key point is have some stuff that you always keep in the bag so if you’re you suddenly find yourself rushing before a race to pack up really quickly. And you forget your socks well you have set of socks that are always in the back. So just last thing I’ll add to that is always have a tool in the bag. Oh no.
Kill me over here. Trevor
Lassen this tool What do you when you bring down you can be second of the slide.
I can be second Chris will be the two things that I will say to his nutrition. I always leave some some gels and some burrito or Yeah, well that is that’s post ride. I don’t want to have a burrito burrito. And
let’s dance do things bring a burrito in your bag at
all times because I carry that with me everywhere I go. No, no, some nutritions and gels or blocks or something, make sure they’re not expired, but some nutrition just in cases I tend to forget that stuff. And also building on what Trevor said about a tool. I actually keep a bug out bag of tools, multiple tools, a torque wrench, especially its carbon everything. allen keys, even a co2 inflator. I have that bag always ready to go and I keep it either in my bag or in my car.
Good stuff, Dan. I’m thinking of mine.
Kristen Legan 44:51
Um, well, I have two things to I guess that are different than we’ve talked about, especially for stage racing. Or if you’re going to do multiplayer that racing on a Saturday and you have another crit the next day. Or something like that bringing stuff for recovery. So whether that’s you know, you’re wearing compression socks or your recovery drink or, or just having food ready after the race so that you’re not finishing and then having to wait around for a while, and then going and trying to find food and water. But then also, I’m pretty particular with sunglasses and the tint of the lenses for where you’re racing and what the weather’s like if it’s going to be a really shady race, that kind of thing. So I bring multiple pairs of glasses just so that I can see the course and then decide what’s going to be the best for that day.
All right, I have two more things that need to be in every race bag and you just leave them in there. The first is sunscreen, just a little bottle sunscreen. And that’s because I am white as snow transparent somewhat transparent as a I’m exceptionally Northern European put it that way. Very Vermont, quite Vermont yet not helped by growing up in Burlington, Vermont. And the second is a little taste of like baby wipes. And there’s there’s a million different versions of this you can get sports specific versions. I honestly don’t know why you would do that when you could just go to the grocery store and buy baby wipes for like $2 have some baby wipes or like wet wipe things. Just as a way to clean off before you get home. Take the Shami off, clean the undercarriage prevent the growth of mushrooms before
you get to
the shower. I went deep, man. I went deep clean yourself off make yourself slightly stinky, at least to be a little bit more comfortable on the drive home from your race
Kristen Legan 46:32
like that of another one. Oh, a good playlist. So if you’re going to warm up on a trainer and you have music, you need to have a good playlist because trying to listen to like some slow music is not gonna work. It’s the
what’s the first song on Kristin Wiggins. Warm up playlist getting Gangnam Style.
Kristen Legan 46:53
Fat Boy slim right here right now. Oh,
it’s a good one. Yeah. I always remember there was a Michael Jordan like IMAX movie a long time ago, that opened with that song. So whenever I hear that song I just pictured Michael Jordan like running into it. Basketball makes me really excited.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard that song.
Let’s play it. That was life changing.
Kristen Legan 47:40
I’m not sure if that’s really the name of the song. But
Trevor Connor 47:43
don’t a day before two days before the race try to figure out what the weather is going to be and whether you should have arm warmers or not. You should have big enough a race bag that just grab your knee warmers, your leg warmers, your arm warmers, your vest your jacket, toss it all in and then when you get to the race decide what you need.
Yeah, yeah, that’s definitely an important point. There’s no reason not to bring stuff particularly if you’re driving to a race just like have a plenty of tools have spare cleats have spare brake pads have spare tubes of spare tires. I mean all this stuff anything that could go wrong as you’re like warming up cruising around the parking lot. You want to be able to fix really quickly. So anything you’d fit in a car, obviously if you’re flying to a race slightly different story, but a good fit guy might as well bring there’s no real reason not to. But
I just had an idea. Go ahead.
So once a once in a week or Sally and I talk Yeah. Sorry, I
interrupted you. Are you saying something important?
Trevor Connor 48:41
I’m never saying something. Okay.
I just said I was just asking out of courtesy. I didn’t really expect you to keep going. The one thing I just it just popped in my head that you might want to consider not your bag but throw in your trunk of your car as a trainer. Sometimes it’s not always feasible to pre ride the course. If there’s another race going on you get there late whatever. You’re still gonna want to spin warm up so bringing small trainer that you can pop your bike on real quick and spin
Kristen Legan 49:10
we really love the feedback Omnium trainer because it’s really lightweight, easy to set up and you can just leave it in your car.
Good warm up trainer feedback Omnium MX Pro tip,
Trevor Connor 49:20
I can tell you every time I drive to races with teammates, they always show up with this tiny little backpack. They look at how much stuff I toss in the car and they make fun of me for having so much stuff people make fun of you.
Never I don’t see why.
Trevor Connor 49:33
But then the two hours before the race. They’re all coming up to me. Oh, Trevor, I forgot this. Can I borrow it? Trevor? You might I use that. And it’s one thing if you’re on a plane, but if you’re driving to a race, you got the room, put it in.
Okay. We’ve now covered. Do you need two bikes? The answer is now training bike versus race bike back into the same bike. We’ve covered the ways that you can change that bike to turn it from a training bike into a race. We’ve covered gear and clothing, we’ve covered the race bag. The last thing we want to talk about today is race specific setup. And that Well, basically what we want to talk about the ways you can set up your bike for various different types of races. So what is your bike look like in a road race? What does your bike look like in a crit? What is your bike look like in a time trial, these are going to be subtle changes, because it’s all racing, maybe not between the time trial and the rest, but they will be generally subtle changes, but important changes nonetheless. So first and foremost, let’s talk about something that’s that’s very, very important terms of race setup. We already talked about this a little bit in the training bike to race bike swap, tires. Tires are vital in the way that the tires that you select and the way that you set them up is vital. So road race, crit time trial. How does that setup change between those three events was three common events for our, our listeners.
Trevor Connor 50:57
So basically, the rule of thumb here is, the more technical erases, the lower the tire pressure you want to run so crits will so road race, if it’s a flat, pretty straight road race, you can be a little more gutsy with your tire pressure and run as high as 110, even up to 120. But I don’t ever really see a reason to go up to 120. Ever. If you’re in a crit, or you’ve got a real technical dissent, you should be running closer to I would say 90 to 105. And if it is raining, then you start looking at tire pressures below 90. Would you guys agree?
I haven’t run tire pressure over 100. In
Trevor Connor 51:38
a long, you know on temporary
Kristen Legan 51:39
pressures. What size tires are we talking about?
Trevor Connor 51:42
Oh, good point.
So, so well. So pretty much the entire pro peloton is on 25. At this point, they very, very rarely run anything smaller than that. And that is because it it, science has proven hashtag science has proven that it’s sort of the optimal balance between aerodynamics and rolling resistance. And so the only time that you see anything smaller is occasionally on the front wheel of a time childlike. So teams will sometimes run like 23 or 24 on the Front Wheel of Time drove like and then a fatter tire on the back where aerodynamics doesn’t matter. So much
Kristen Legan 52:13
forget who it was. But there has been a recent study that has shown that the aerodynamics of the wider tire actually doesn’t make a difference.
It all depends on the rims on the Yeah, yeah. So I think the big the big thing was, it it very much depends on what room you pair it with. But generally rims these days seem to be designed for a 25 aerodynamically, you will see 26 is in 28 things like the cobbled classics. So for sure if you’re going to be in a rough 30s at rebel, even 30. If you’re gonna if you’re gonna be in a situation where even if you have like a patch of gravel, or if you’re going to be on some really narrow, gnarly roads, you might want to go bump up the tire size. I think in general, we can talk about when we talk about race tires these days. 28 to 25. Yeah, so 24 to 26 will say and in that range, then yeah, there’s very little reason to run over 100 psi, honestly, you can definitely run higher if you’re on a thinner tire if you’re on a 23 or for some reason on a 21 not to even sell 20 ones anymore, they should they do, they should not sell to anyone anymore stop will qualify the numbers I was giving you were based on a 23 right, that’s probably a decent rule of thumb thumb to say for 25, about about 110 psi lower from what I just recommend 90 to 190 200 is pretty fair, depending on your weight. And again, a lot of it depends on the way if you have to have to you have to match it up to terrain. So if you’re going to like if Yeah, if you’re gonna have a dirt section, then you need to make sure you’re not going to pinch flat. But you also want it low enough that you can maintain grip and a little bit of comfort. But in general, yeah. 25 no tire. I mean, if I was racing personally, because I’m a pretty light guy away, you know, a little under one 150 but 6666 and a half kilos. I you know, I’m running 85 on the front tire of a race setup with a 25. So what about a technical rainy race? What’s
Trevor Connor 54:01
the lowest pressure you want to run on a 2570?
I wouldn’t say my 502 7580 Yeah, again, dependent on your weight.
Yeah, but I’ve got I mean, I’ve got 1015 pounds on Kaylee. So if for me, I’m I’d be hesitant to go down 70 to 75 that’s way too, too little for me. So I’d be in the I would probably wouldn’t go below 80. That’d be my stopping point. Yeah, with
the 25. We’re getting bigger, you know. So last I wrote the Perry revised sportif a couple years ago on 28. And we are running 6055 front 60 rear, but that’s very rare, which is totally insane.
Trevor Connor 54:38
So on the flip side, because I’ve seen this way too many times. If you are running to bueller’s, it says on the side of your tubular that it can handle up to 160 psi. Please don’t. Please don’t you’ll kill everyone around you.
It’s a really good way to crash in the first corner record of a criterium. It’s 160 psi and there’s no that’s a maximum That that is what you can blow them up to before they explode. That’s not what that’s not a recommended pressure. Again, all this stuff is is, it’s hard to pin down in terms of here’s the number that you should use, because it all is very much dependent on how much you weigh and where you’re riding. But I think we can provide a little bit of guidance here, like we said, 25 mil tire, 90 to 100 psi and sort of a normal road raise, drop it down a little bit, if you’re going to be on dirt. If you’re gonna run a bigger tire drop down, if you’re gonna run a narrower tire, don’t get a 25. So let’s move on from tires to wheels. And I think we need to make an assumption here, which is probably not a valid assumption. But let’s just assume that you have a plethora of wheel choices. Let’s say that you have shala wheels and mid depth wheels and deep wheels and a disc wheel and aluminum wheels and carbon wheels, all sorts of wheels. Let’s say you have a it’s let’s say, basically so you, you’ll develop news tech room at your disposal, like we do. What do you pick for? Let’s just start with a traditional road race, hilly road race, what are you picking for hilly road race? And I know my answer here, which may be different from some of the other answers around the table actually, am I gonna try to win this race? You are trying to win this race. Okay. That is the goal of racing, not just survive should be the same. You don’t have to think outside the box on
this one with a motor and
Trevor Connor 56:28
something I’ll throw you here. You might you might disagree with this. But my understanding when you’re talking about a deep dish wheel versus a shallower rim, deep dish wheels are more aerodynamic. Once you’re up to speed, they have better inertia. But they don’t accelerate as well. Where a wheel with a much narrower rim isn’t as aerodynamic but yet it can accelerate really rapidly. So that’s something to consider if you’re in a crit, where you’re constantly slowing up slowing down, speeding up, you don’t necessarily want a big deep dish rim in my in my opinion, if you want a deep dish pizza is where you are
Kristen Legan 57:05
- Yeah, that’s really that’s actually really true. And we’ve actually been doing a bunch of testing on wheel inertia, moment of inertia or rotational inertia. So in our Buyer’s Guide, we have some wheel tests coming out. And that talked about this a little bit. And you can kind of compare the deeper rims do have a higher inertia.
So to preempt Tom Anhalt tweeting at us, because he’s going to I already know this. And I Tom, I, Tom, we know you’re listening. News. So there is a little bit of, there’s a bit of debate on this. And as to the importance of inertia. And guys, like Tom will point at data that suggests that aerodynamics almost always is more important than inertia, because of the speeds that we travel at, in a bike race. I struggle with this one a little bit. To be perfectly honest, I do think that one of the things that keeps wheels shallow, particularly for climbing is is tradition and feel, to what wheels would light rims feel different. And different is not necessarily faster, but we have associated it with faster. So I think that basically like rims are sort of easier to flip back and forth when you’re out of the saddle. And so a bike can sort of feel more sprightly, whether you’re actually accelerating faster by any appreciable amount is, is again, somewhat up for debate. So my choice for a road race is almost always going to be a deeper wheel, rather than a shallower one, even if there’s quite a bit of climbing and you don’t want to go crazy, like I don’t you start running into issues across winds, you definitely start running into issues with just wait period, a big zip eight away, or some of that is just a heavy wheel. It’s just not Yes, it’s more dynamic. It’s also just heavy, relative to something like a three or three or 404, or an mp3 four, or four or five, or any number of sort of other options out there. And that sort of mid depth range. Regardless, I would generally pick for road race, something in a 50 to 60 millimeter depth, which is probably a little bit heavier than what many would choose for a hilly road race, a little bit deeper than what many would choose. But again, I tend to think that aerodynamics Trumps inertia, most of the time, it has to get pretty damn steep before that changes.
You know, if you’d asked me this question, three months ago, I would have said something lower depth like a maverick cirium carbon, which is a great wheel, but I think since then I’ve spent a ton of time writing zip four fours in the four or five fours in all sorts of conditions. Because I have to I have to test this stuff. So I end up writing this stuff a lot. And what I found is that if I stopped looking at my wheels, they feel the same going up going down. You know it’s Yeah, the the big wheels, definitely add some weight. Maybe they’re not as quick off the line. But that’s not the way I race anyway. So for me, I want something that’s going to be aerodynamic, it’s going to shed crosswind as much as possible. And, you know, I can climb on him, I can descend on him. And for me descending is more important, because that’s my weakness, I’m not a super aggressive descender. So I want something that’s going to feel stable, that’s going to feel it’s gonna have a good contact, it’s going to be wide enough that my tire gets a good contact patch. So, you know, the 404 depth is about what I’m comfortable with right now. Which isn’t to say that I couldn’t ride those serums and be totally fine. But I think just the way things are going with wheel technology and the way wheels are starting to shed winds at different angles,
those taller profiles aren’t as jumpy as they used to be, they’re a lot more versatile than they used to be. Because, yeah, they’re lighter, and they’re less affected by crosswind for sure that even a couple years ago, right?
Kristen Legan 1:00:56
I have to definitely agree with you guys on that 30 to 50 mil range. The aerodynamics play such a large role in racing, and especially, you know, on the women’s side of racing our peloton seem tend to be smaller. So you’re, you’re out in the wind a bit more. And so really focusing on the aerodynamics is huge for us.
Trevor Connor 1:01:16
Well, so one other question to throw in there is, do you think the same rules apply for something like crit, where you are constantly going around corners constantly accelerating
Kristen Legan 1:01:25
for career 18, I think going with wheels that maybe are less expensive and a little bit more durable, because you’re likely to be in some crashes or getting knocked around a little bit.
So if you’re somebody who can’t afford to replace carbon rims on a regular basis, a really solid set of lightweight aluminum rims could be a great option for you. And there are some aluminum rims in this sort of 30 millimeter depth range that are actually quite aerodynamic these days, zip is making some head makes. Can’t be he’s got some good, yeah, but YOLO actually has some excellent wheels these days. That’s one that we haven’t mentioned yet. But the brake track on the bohras is actually among the best brake tracks in the planet in terms of carbon wheels. But anyway, for crits Yeah, I’m very much with Kristen here in that you’re going to crash, you’re probably going to break some wheels, unless you don’t care about the cost of that we’ll just go with something aluminum. I mean, it’s not, it’s not going to lose you a crit. Most likely you spend a lot of time in a field, there’s a lot of acceleration. It’s not a time trial. And if you’re the kind of guy that needs to win a crit alone, then maybe go with a deeper we’ll set but if you’re a sprinter, or just just trying to coach like I’m an all rounder type rider, I think aluminum will set a modern aluminum milset can be really, really, really good for a fraction of the cost
Kristen Legan 1:02:47
well, and like what Trevor was saying is having a maybe a shallower set of wheels that you feel like you can get up to speed and get around corners a little bit easier. Whereas deeper rims sometimes feel like they they take a little bit extra to kind of get on top of the speed with those. So some shower wheels can kind of sometimes help with that,
Trevor Connor 1:03:06
which is really good point and a crit. It’s all about your ability to corner you need to be on a wheel that you feel comfortable really leaning over and taking a corner fast. And you can have the fastest carbon wheels in the world. But if you’re not comfortable cornering with them, you’re gonna be out the back and regret. What about time Charles?
I only know everything Yes,
I only have one thing to say about dangerous. Yet rear disc wheel. That seems pretty obvious front wheels, there’s a bunch of debate, you’ll probably notice that a lot of the pro teams are using try spoke and similar wheels these days. A big reason for that is because those wheels are very, very efficient aerodynamically at very low angles. So that means that sort of more headwind versus more crosswind. Those wheels are less efficient with more crosswind and one of the one of the factors that determines the yaw angle, the effective angle is how fast you’re going. So part of the reason why those try spokes work so well for the pros is because they are flying. If you’re not flying, those dry spokes may not be as good for you, it means that a even a light crosswind will create a higher Ganga, which means that that front wheel will be less efficient, which means you’re better off going with something. Just a big, deep spoked wheel. That’s really the only thing I had to add with. With TT wheels is it’s one of those places where Yes, if you’re really good time trials, you can take a cue from the pros, if you’re not a really good time trials, maybe not or if you live in a very windy place, maybe not
Kristen Legan 1:04:36
also touching on the disc wheel thing there some disc covers, so it’s actually you’re using a regular like 50 mil rear wheel and they kind of cover the wheel with this little cover that makes it look like a disc. And there’s been some recent Well, there’s been some engineers recently talking about how some of those covers can actually be faster than a lot of the disk wheels. So it saves you money because I think they cover cost like 50 to $100 versus you know, multi thousand dollar rear disc wheel if time trials aren’t your your thing but you still want to have some equipment to make you go faster. That’s a certainly a an easier way to go.
That’s a Yeah, that’s a good one for for people doing stage races and stuff like that if you’re just gonna do it, you can be like riding your road bike, or whatever. Flip a lot. Why Yeah, why go buy a disc wheel when you can just buy little covers and get 95% of the way there or 105% away? They’re like if they are in fact faster, which which brings up a good point. And then if you’re depending what kind of racer you are, and how serious you are, yeah, $2,000
rear wheel may not be the wisest investment.
I’m talking about bike racer, though and wise, wise is not.
during times, like I said, I think you know, if you’re gonna, if it comes down to do I buy a $2,000 disc wheel? Or do I buy a really good 1500 dollar wheels?
years worth of coaching for 30 years or so yet?
get faster? Yeah, I mean, you know, think real hard about that about what you’re really gaining from that rear wheel. Most of us that are listening to this podcast are probably not performing at that. That Tony Martin level, unless you’re Tony Martin, are you out there? Tony?
I hear Tony Wilson’s Yeah, he better Yeah, okay, definitely.
Trevor Connor 1:06:18
Here’s where I make every sponsor for velonews. Drop the magazine, but there is a bit of a disc as a disc as a disc, meaning a disc makes a big difference in the time trial. But the difference between the bottom of the line disk in the $3,000 disk, we’ll especially at our levels, isn’t that much.
Go cheap. Yeah. Do it agree.
Kristen Legan 1:06:42
But do it like I think that’s the biggest thing, right? Like, we sit here talking about discs, but they make they make a really, really big difference. And it sucks to show up to a race and get beaten by somebody who you know, you’re faster than but just because they have the equipment. And again, we don’t want people to be spending money to spend money but looking at things and cost per time saved a disk is actually a pretty important piece of that.
If you want a little bit more on where your dollars should be spent if you’re trying to go fast. We did. We did a whole episode on that. with Dan and Kristen way back last fall. To Fast Talk Episode Five, what would you do with $2,000 you can look that one up on SoundCloud, iTunes, our website you can find all over the place.
Trevor Connor 1:07:26
So Two other quick gear things to add to time trialing partially because I haven’t been enough of a retrogress today. There is actually some research showing that Shoe Covers make it slower. And it’s harder. The reason you see tons of pros were in Shoe Covers is because they’re not in their sponsor shoes and they don’t want anybody to see that. So don’t obsess the shoe cover. Other really big recommendation is if you are going to a time trial where they are checking your bike to make sure it is UCI legal. Go the day before if the officials are going to be there to have your bike checked or when you arrive at the race hopefully an hour and a half or more before the race go and get it checked. Because you don’t want to be those people one of those people who shows up five minutes before your start time. Has your bike checked and discovers that your saddles too far forward or your handlebars aren’t in the right place and you miss your start because you’re trying to adjust your bike
Kristen Legan 1:08:23
well in on that go to the start house early because even if you do go an hour ahead of time to get your bike check they can still find something wrong the second time this happened to you and us pro challenge went super early Breckenridge Time Trial got everything checked out was great white and warmed up got to the start house. Something’s wrong, right like they’re measuring devices aren’t the most stable and
somewhat imperfect. Yes.
Kristen Legan 1:08:48
So yes, if you’re doing UCI races, just be prepared to bring some tools with you have your mechanic with you or a friend or relative come down to the start house with you so that if you need to change your bar position or your saddle position in some way, they can help you because you’re already like shaking because you’re nervous for the race and then trying to like work on it with your tools is not not an easy thing.
All right, well that is about it for today. I think we’ve taken enough of everybody’s your time. I hope that was helpful. We are going to go around the room real quick here with a couple more sort of miscellaneous tips from each of the four of us. Starting with Dan
fraidy is going to say that charge your Garmin and make sure that it is set up correctly. Double check your settings you know you may have lost weight you may have gained weight your FTP might have changed whatever your settings are. Take a look. Make sure your garment is set the way it needs to be set and is charged and ready to go for your race day. Double check start times. Make sure you know when you need to be at the race and when you need to be at the starting line. Know what your race morning is going to look like.
Kristen Legan 1:10:00
Get to know your equipment. Don’t be swapping around the whole time during the season. It’s nice when you really know a good set of wheels and you know exactly how it’s going to react during race. So whether it’s a really expensive whether you have a really expensive setup, or it’s just what you can afford, just get to know it, use it and feel confident on it.
Trevor Connor 1:10:22
if you are like me, and you don’t like training with gloves, have race gloves because especially if you’re in a crit if you crash it’s a really unpleasant experience taking the palm off your hand. You want those gloves or other thing is bring lots of water bottles have one to warm up with have one to cool down with and enough for the race and hopefully even have somebody in the fields on if you race. It’s long enough.
Kristen Legan 1:10:47
I actually travel with like a big water jug like those soccer when you were little and you played soccer and you had to like jug drain water. Do
you ever had that? But you have a tray of sliced up oranges.
Kristen Legan 1:10:58
That’s what I keep people about. I always say talk about sliced up oranges. And people don’t get that really.
I get that.
Kristen Legan 1:11:04
I think it must be our generation.
Yeah, our generation of youth sucker orange slices. There was a lot of there were a lot of orange slices.
I will finish this off with my final tip, which is just bike racing. If you forgot your special tires, it’s gonna be okay. That’s my final tip. And I’m gonna get all of this is fun to think about and it’s fun to optimize. But at the end of the day, people have won bike races on worse bikes than yours. And with worse gear than yours, and with worse clothing than yours and with the wrong tires and just go out there and it’s amateur bike racing. Have some fun. That is it. That was another episode of fast dock. As always, we’d love your feedback. Email us at webinars at competitive group comm subscribe to Fast Talk on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play. And be sure to leave us a rating and a comment while you’re there. We really really liked that it helps us reach more people. And we just like to comments you can also tweet at me at Kaylee frets or at velonews at felonies. While you’re floating around in the podcast universe Be sure to check out our sister podcast the velonews podcast which also includes myself with takes hot and garbage alike on the week’s racing become a fan of Fast Talk on firstname.lastname@example.org slash felonies and on email@example.com slash velonews. bastok is produced by velonews which is owned by competitor group. The thoughts and opinions expressed on Fast Talk are those of the individual and are not always correct, but most of the time for Trevor Connor, Dan, Kevin Laurie and Kristen leagan. I am Kaylee Fritz. Thank you for listening