In a previous post I told you a bit about my long history with my steed. It is a long one but not so many bikes. In over 20 years I have only ridden five bikes. Two of those were ridden very little. So just a few minutes ago I adjusted the seat, handle bar height and the aero pads on my new Trek Madone 5.9. It is actually a 2005 model but it is new.
The bike comes with Shimano 10 speed Dura Ace components but it comes with a few components that are not great for triathlon. Here is a list of the changes I had to make.
Crank set. First I got rid of the standard compact crank set and put a regular crank set with 52-39 chain rings. I really wanted a 38 small chain ring. We will see how it all goes. It gets really hilly around here.
Seat Post. This one was a tricky decision. The seat post that the Trek bike comes with is a light carbon seat post but it has no ability to be shifted forward and leaves the seat very far back which is standard for road bikes. But I need some flexibility here since I may move my seat forward. So I took my wife’s bike seat post that we got for her bike. (Just to clarify, she is selling her bike so I am not taking it from her and giving here a crappy one). Her seat post is a Look post with a huge range to move the seat forward. It is a really nice one. It was expensive too if I recall correct.
Bars. The Trek comes with a great set of road bars but I like to have bull horn bars and we definately need aero bars. Before I tell you my process of deciding what to choose, I have to tell you that I only ride one bike everywhere I go. I am not a fan of having a road bike and a tri bike. That may be fine for the short distance triathletes but for long distance I think that the more you ride your racing bike the better off you will be. That means that my bike has to not only be fast but also be comfortable and the position should be able to be ridden in any terrain. I never ride the drops of a regular road bars so I really have no problem getting rid of them and installing bull horns. Profile design has some very nice bull horn type bars and they also have the most types of aero bars. For my handle bars I chose the Profile Airwing OS. Profile also has a great selection of aero bars. I like the ones that have flip-up arm rests. I really like that because when I climb I like to hold the bars close to the stem. The flip-up arm rests lets me do that. Many times I see triathletes climbing by holding the arm rests. That has to hurt your hands eventually. So I got the Profile Carbon Stryke with the optional flip-up arm rests.
Brake levers. The Trek bike comes with Dura Ace STI brake levers. That means that your braking and shifting is done right on the brake levers. That is a problem for triathletes that want to be in the aero position. The more you do not have to move your hands from the aero position the faster you will go. So I had to just get plain brake levers and move my shifting to my aero bar ends. Well guess what. Profile makes a good set of light yet very comfortable brake levers. I did my research on this one. There are other lighter and more aerodynamic levers out there. But those real light and very aerodynamic brake levers are uncomfortable on your hands and they do not look durable. I went with the Profile Quick Stop 2 brake levers.
Shifters. This was an easy decision I bought a pair of 10 speed bar end shifters and got them installed on the end of the Profile aero bars.
Now I got some fancy light red water bottle cage holders, a new frame pump and I am ready to take my steed on its maiden voyage. On Tuesday I will take the bike and get a 3D bike fit so I will let you know how that goes.
Training is really going well. Today I had by far my best run in a long time. I normally run on my own so that I can stay in my HR range but my good buddy Mike was over for New Years so we went running. Mike was one of my first mentors so to speak. When I did my first Ironman in 1990 Mike had already done one and gone a 9:30. In 1990 when I did my first Ironman in Hawaii in 11 hours Mike was so far ahead I though he was a pro when I spotted him. He went to finish in 52nd place overall in the worst conditions I have seen in Kona. He is a monster on the bike. Anyways we ran for 80 minutes and I thought for sure I would not be able to stay aerobic. But to my surprise I did and we basically ran like we always did. I was very excited. We were running a good pace for a pair of old guys and I was holding my heart rate at 129. Wow! I was thinking. My max heart rate was 140 on this really steep hill. I finally have something to be excited about.