Tag: Cycling (page 1 of 2)

Review- Profile Design 1/Fifty Wheelset

Faster. That’s the adjective that every endurance athlete is working towards. We want to go faster, so we train harder, eat smarter, and buy that fancy new gadget that promises a few seconds here and a couple minutes there. For a triathlete, that focus usually comes on the bike. It is simply the easiest place you can “buy speed.” So we look for the best way to spend our limited resources to get the biggest bang for our bucks. One of the most popular ways to get those precious few seconds back is with a set of aero wheels. And with these new wheels from Profile Design, we can save a few bucks, and still get that aero benefit we are looking for!

What are they?
The new 1/Fifty wheels from Profile Design are a lower cost option to their higher end TwentyFour series wheels. As the name suggests, they are 50mm deep carbon clinchers that put them right in that range of all around wheelsets. They are not super deep to only be used for time trials or triathlons, and they are not shallow to mainly be used for climbing or training. That 40-60mm range is really a Sweet spot for rim depth.

What’s the difference between these and the TwentyFour series?
Like I said before, these are the “budget alternative to the TwentyFour series.” Where a full set of 58/TwentyFours will set you back $1398, the 1/Fifty’s will only cost you $999. Look for them on sale and you can even snag them for $750! Obviously, my first question in seeing that price difference was “what am I giving up to save that $400?”

There is not a ton of information out there, but through some of my own digging, and then my observations actually being able to ride both sets of wheels I was able to find some minor differences. The first is that Profile Design says they are us using the same rim shape they used on the TwentyFour series which was validated using CFD. What they don’t say is that they validated this rim shape at the 50mm depth. That means this is still a fast shape, just maybe not perfectly optimized for the 50mm vs the 38, 58, and 78mm depth.

The only other major difference I found was that PD also went with round spokes on these versus bladed spokes on the TwentyFour series. This doesn’t seem like a hunger deal, but from wind tunnel test I have heard from the likes of Flo and others, bladed spokes make a big difference. I’m not sure what kind of hit aerodynamically that would be in this case, but I know it’s there.

The final difference is the culmination of a bunch of little things. Both sets come with brake pads, rim tape, skewers, etc. but the overall presentation in the packaging is lower with the 1/Fifty wheels. Obviously, they were thinking about cutting cost wherever the could. I also noticed slight differences in a few other accessories like the skewers. I couldn’t really tell if there was a performance difference between the two, so I reached out to customer service and here is what they said:

“You pay a little more for the twenty four series wheels and that is one of the items that are upgrade from the 1/fifty version. Both skewers sets will do the same job, the twenty four series are just a little bit lighter and slimmer design.”

So there you have it. In my mind it is really like the difference between opening up a brand new iPhone or other Apple device versus pretty much any other electronic. Those of you who have gotten a new iDevice know what I’m talking about. It’s that attention to every last detail and the whole experience that is extra nice. Once you get out and start using it, all of that fancy packaging is gone, so you don’t really care. But first impressions mean a lot.

How do you like them?
The 1/Fifty’s are not bad wheels. Obviously I like the TwentyFour s better, but I hope that would be the case for spending $500 extra. Profile Design touts their number one selling feature to be their best in class braking performance compared to other carbon wheels, and the 1/Fifty’s line right up with the others from Profile Design. I felt a slight drop in performance compared to aluminum wheels, but nothing I noticed too much. These wheels did great in any weather I threw at them.

As far as ride quality goes, I noticed an immediate improvement over my stock wheels, and I know it was worth the upgrade. I could hold my speed longer and I even felt a little smoother ride. I am aware that all of this is totally subjective, but I was pleased all around.

I did have one issue with these wheels. When I installed them, I went for a trainer ride to make sure everything was adjusted properly before heading out to the open road. I immediately head a popping noise coming from the rear wheel accompanied by a jump in the drivetrain. I narrowed down the possible culprits when I realized the rear derailed was not jumping, and the chain wasn’t skipping. It was like the whole drivetrain came loose for a second and then caught itself. That’s the only way I can describe it. My thought was that the hub was defective.

I sent in a request for warranty service and the great people at Profile Design took care of me. They sent me a prepaid shipping label to send the wheels back to them and they sent me a new set the day after they received my old ones. Since I had to ship them across the country both ways it took about 2 weeks to get my new wheels, but in the end it worked out. Obviously I would have wished the first set had been good to start with, but I’m happy with the great customer service and the end result is that I’ve got new wheels on my bike!

I found out after the fact that this was in fact a manufacturing defect. Trisports, where I bought my wheels, sent me an email warning me of the issue and gave me a contact directly at PD. Since I already had the issue resolved I didn’t need all of that. Talking to my editor for Trisports University she told me I was probably “the point of the spear” in finding the defect. It’s nice to be a help… but I’m also glad I didn’t crash on the wheels! As far as I can tell, the wheels on sale now are defect free! (As of writing, Trisports has them listed as out of stock but estimated to have them in by mid June)

Would you recommend them?
That’s a tough question. It really depends on your finances. If you can snag these for $750 like I saw around Christmas sales, go for it! These are a great buy at that price. If you are paying full price, my main question is if you can afford to squeeze out that extra $400. If yes, then the 58/TwentyFour or 58/78 TwentyFour wheels are within reach. If you are the type that is going to kick yourself knowing you are not on the fastest wheels around, you need to make the jump up. If you are the type of person who is all about the budget, go for the 1/Fifty’s!

At the end of the day, if you get these wheels (without a defective hub lol) you will be happy for a good product that is a definite upgrade from your stock training wheels.

(Disclaimer: yes, I purchased these wheels myself. I got them from Trisports.com over the Christmas season while they were on sale. You can check them out there and use the code SHARE15 FOR 15% off your entire order.)

A Single Sport Focus

The sport of triathlon is really made up on three different sports: swimming, cycling, and running. I know… shocker! When it comes to race day, being a single sport athlete won’t cut it. i remind myself that every race as I’m a behind the fast swimmers out of the water, or when the runners are pulling away from me on the first leg of a Duathlon. We’re triathletes, so we balance all three sports in training like we do on race day. But, there is something to be said for a single sport focus. Whether this be for a specific block of training or working on a weakness, it may be time to hone in on one sport for some time. Continue reading

Free 6 Week Triathlon Training Plan

Earlier this week I wrote about 3 ways to jumpstart your fitness for the new triathlon season. Well, here’s a 4th.

Today I’m releasing a FREE 6 Week training plan to get you ready for your first (or next) triathlon. The plan is primarily focused on those training for a Sprint Triathlon, but it will work just as well for the 6 weeks leading up to your next sprint before diving into some intermediate or long course racing.

In this plan I use all the same philosophies I use in my coaching and especially the 3 main workouts for time crunched triathletes. This is a great resource for you as you dive back into training or if you are just getting started. I hope you find this plan useful and that it helps you learn from my mistakes!

 

So get your FREE 6 Week Triathlon Training Plan!

What did you get for Christmas?

That’s right… the question you always get as you return to work after the Christmas Vacation. What did you get?

Well, my stocking was very much triathlon focused this year… probably because that’s what I put on my list 🙂 That, and my wife just gets me 🙂 So here’s what I got:

  • Honey Stinger Bars– still getting into the Honey Stinger World, and so far I really like these!
  • Skratch Labs Hydration– The best… period. Got some apples and cinnamon for those cold rides, and some individual servings of various flavors.
  • X-lab Torpedo Kompact– A new BTA system for my bike. I’m still trying to figure it all out since my bars are non-standard (read: old). I think I can make it work, and I like the computer mount on top
  • Trigger Point Massage Ball– Recovery is key!
  • Body Glide– no comment needed
  • TrainerRoad Subscription– I’m excited to get back on TR for the winter this year
  • A few other non-triathlon things… like socks… Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without new socks 🙂

So what did you get? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter! If you’re looking to spend the Christmas money you got… check out my Christmas Gift Guide and trisports.com! (I’ve got discount codes if you want them!)

Pre-Season Pedal Stroke Drills

Pre-Season is a fun time of year for training. It is the time that we all get to re-focus after a nice break from training. We are all planning our seasons, picking races, and getting back our fitness.

One important part of the pre-season is build form (also called: Speed skills, technique, etc.). Everyone know that technique is important in the pool. Most of us know foot strike is important for running. Only a small percent of us even give any thought to our pedal stroke.

Why?

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What’s a KiloJoule

Following on the heels of the post “What’s a Watt?” I wanted to jump off that and get a little more info out there on one of the things you can do with a power meter. A lot of people, (especially in the off season) focus on losing weight and getting a better body composition. To accurately count calories, you need an accurate count of calories burned. Any GPS will give you a number of calories burned for a given workout, but sometimes that is a bit of an arbitrary number. This is where a power meter comes into play!

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What’s a Watt?

Triathletes like to throw fancy terms around a lot. Watts, Normalized Power, TSS, Bonk, Threshold, HRV, FTP, Aero, Friction, to name a few. I think we all have a general idea of what these terms mean, but… what do they REALLY mean?

Today I thought I’d tackle the magical unit of measure known as a watt and a few of the important terms that surround it.

So, what is a watt?

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#OptOutside this Black Friday

It’s Black Friday… and by the time this gets posted (Usually my posts go up at 12:05 AM) you may have already been out shopping and back home. But maybe you are considering a little Black Friday shopping trip after the crowds clear out a little.

May I propose another option?

#OptOutside

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A Tour of the “Pain Cave”

It’s fall, and for many cyclists that means it’s trainer season. Cyclists and Triathletes have become fond of calling their trainer setup their “pain cave” for obvious reasons. On a trainer you are either doing some highly structured intervals which can be very painful, or you are doing some long slow miles… which is painful in and over itself. The rise of some great trainer apps have eased this a little (and some increased it… I’m looking at you sufferfest). But in all, the trainer has remained a cornerstone of off (or pre) season training.

I wanted to take today’s post and give you a tour of my “Pain Cave.” As you will see, it is not very high end, and just enough to keep me going for an hour or two here and there. But it is very effective for me!

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Review- Finish Line Super Bike Wash

You know you need to keep your bike clean, but you hate cleaning it. Or maybe you’re like me and you think cleaning your bike is borderline therapeutic, but you live in an apartment. Today I’m reviewing a product that can help us both out: Finish Line’s Super Bike Wash!

cleaning-your-bike-in-the-showerI’ve tried a few bike washing methods over the years of apartment life. Finding a hose is quite the task for most apartment dwellers unless your complex has a nice car wash area (that’s free). My first try at bike washing was the shower. I’ve shown pictures of that before. It got my bike clean, but my wife was not too happy and I spent more time cleaning the shower than I did cleaning my bike.

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