As my triathlon season has come to a successful close, I wanted to revisit my bike upgrades over the past year. As like most of you, I’m starting to think ahead to 2013 and hope my reviews are helpful if you’re looking for any upgrades!
I train and race on two bikes and made changes to both. My road bike is a Scott from a few years ago and was mid-range on the cost basis. Here is the description from their site:
The CR1 offers the perfect balance of performance and comfort. Designed to save the rider from shock and vibration created by rough roads, the CR1 is the ideal choice for the enthusiast or racer who wants to enjoy long rides but doesn’t want to feel beat up at the end of the day. The shock damping is so effective that it has even helped racers in the pro peloton tame the dreaded cobbles of Paris-Roubaix.
I’ve really enjoyed the bike throughout the past few years and especially how much the shock damping has helped on those century rides! It already had SRAM Red on it, so component wise I was covered this past year. The biggest upgrade was on the wheelset side. Like many of you, I had been intrigued by the idea of using a powermeter. I had been patiently waiting for that Vector meter before it disappeared within Garmin to never be seen again. At that point I wanted to learn more, so I started researching my options. One of the leaders in this space is CycleOps and they have many different options. I had also ridden on their trainers at the gym and loved them. Around the beginning of the year I applied to be one of their sponsored athletes. I was excited learn more about them and their products and to align myself with their world class brand. They accepted me and I was able to get a discount on some of their products as well! I wanted to start off on the smaller budget side, so I went for these alloy training wheels with their new G3 powertap. Below is a pic from one of my first century rides with my PowerTap.
I’m honestly still learning how to use the data during training and racing, but the feedback after the fact has been awesome. I’ve also used it many times to base an entire tt around keeping watts at a certain level. The alloy wheelset is a great low cost entry point for your first powermeter and worth looking into!
- PowerTap G3 or Pro rear hub
- CycleOps front hub
- DT Swiss Competition spokes
- Includes skewers
Having trained for a few months with the training set, I was toying around with the idea of using them to race in as well. I quickly realized I couldn’t give up my Zipp 404’s. I ended up just getting the back CycleOps 65mm 3G wheel and racing with my old 404 on the front. I love the setup and raced it on my Kestrel 4000 speed machine at Vineman 70.3 and the IM 70.3 Championship in Las Vegas!
Here’s a sample of the data from my PowerTap married with Strava!
- 65mm deep section, hand-built carbon clincher and tubular versions
- PowerTap G3 rear hub
- CycleOps front hub
- DT Swiss Aerolite spokes
- 1,365/1,625 grams (tubular/clincher wheelsets)
- Perfect for training and racing in all conditions
Needless to say, I love my CycleOps and would highly recommend to anyone in the market! It’s definitely helped me better understand my training. That better understanding definitely gave me the confidence I needed on my bike!
The only other change on my bike was switching out my 55 big boy SRAM red for a SRAM Red compact. This was by far the #1 suggestion for ANY triathlete out there. It also helped me become a better cyclist, especially by bringing up my cadence. I compared times from Oceanside and Vineman from previous years and I destroyed my times with the compact crank! Anyone who’s looking to upgrade their tri bike should seriously consider a compact crank. In most cases you’re looking at under $500 new incl installation. Here’s a great article looking at benefits of a compact crank for tri bikes: http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/techctr/gearing.html
I feel that my race bike is fine tuned and ready for 2013 and the journey back to the IM 70.3 Championship in Las Vegas. I will be riding some challenging hilly courses including Oceanside, St. George and Vineman in 2013, so I’m glad I’ll be rocking my compact crank!