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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-13-14, 08:22 PM   #1
Null66
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Clydesdale going to do first 200k this April.

I'm going to ride the local 200k this April. I'm not concerned about the mileage but the 6800 feet of climb will be a serious challenge. Climbing is my Achilles heal. I will finish baring emergency even if I don't make the cutoff and DNF.

I'm 6' 265. I've been seriously lifting weights for a few years. I've been riding a while. My SO and I rode the Erie Canal on vacation last year. It was marvelous! We ride most Sundays, anything from 30 to 60 miles in hill country.

Last year I built up a Disc Trucker to address several problems I was having with my 2007 Fuji Tourer. All related to my size and strength. It's built for comfort not for speed. Well actually its built for reliability and strength. I've geared it really low 22/32/44 front 11-32 rear.

I started commuting once a week 50 miles rt mid summer. It was marvelous. But turns out I've got the gout, so I have to address this and get seriously geared up for the cold before I start again. I've ordered a fluid trainer and The Time Crunched Cyclist. They're due in tomorrow.

Any help/advice or stories would be appreciated.
Anyone else with plans this year?
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Old 01-13-14, 09:10 PM   #2
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depends how the climbing can make a HUGE difference on how the ride goes, if its front loaded on a big hill, then you should hit the hills and get used to climbing for 2-3 hours. If it's more roller type with nothing larger then 1500ft gain, then get used to climbing for 30-60mins at a time and learn to recover quicky on the decents leading to the next hill/kicker.
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Old 01-13-14, 10:39 PM   #3
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What 200k are you doing? The Morrisville 200k? You have 13:30hrs to finish the 200k in. I think that's just over a 9mph average. Pretty reasonable. You are riding in the Appalachians so I assume you will be doing a lot of short/steep climbs? I think Jisigone is pretty much spot on as far as training goes. Train for the event. For someone who is big and strong you have awfully low gearing. You should be able to climb a tree with 22/32 gearing.
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Old 01-14-14, 09:24 AM   #4
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I've done some long distances including a few double centuries. However I'll address the gout as I know that subject all too well.

1. Don't get dehydrated. Drink more that you think you need both off and on the bike but especially on the bike when hot.

2. Would you happen to be on any blood pressure medications? Something like Lasix or diuretics can lead to gout attacks. I found this out the hard way.

3. Drink less alcohol. I love my beer, but hate gout more.

4. Watch out for certain foods such as shellfish. You can find lists of what to avoid with a google search.
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Old 01-14-14, 09:32 AM   #5
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Do a shorter ride with at least that much climbing at some point before your ride... 6800 isn't impossible but that is a healthy amount of vertical! And that's also a long damn time in your saddle, I hope your butt is comfy on yours.
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Old 01-14-14, 10:01 AM   #6
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"Any help/advice or stories would be appreciated."

Lightweight wheelset and tires. I went out on a touring wheelset and wide/touring tires, after the first series of hills at a fast pace I was cooked. Likewise, be careful what pack you hook onto and leave as much biking stuff as you can in the car. The RUSA randonneurs out here are no pleasure cruise.
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Old 01-14-14, 10:14 AM   #7
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Climbing is only 55'/mile, which is moderately hilly when viewed that way. As a frame of reference, the 180K route of D2R2 has 15,900' of climbing, with 6,000 of that coming in the first 36.5 miles, and something like 70% of the route is not paved. I know I will never do that.

In any event, do what T-Horse suggests.
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Old 01-14-14, 10:41 AM   #8
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I'm going to ride the local 200k this April. I'm not concerned about the mileage but the 6800 feet of climb will be a serious challenge. Climbing is my Achilles heal. I will finish baring emergency even if I don't make the cutoff and DNF.

I'm 6' 265. I've been seriously lifting weights for a few years. I've been riding a while. My SO and I rode the Erie Canal on vacation last year. It was marvelous! We ride most Sundays, anything from 30 to 60 miles in hill country.

Last year I built up a Disc Trucker to address several problems I was having with my 2007 Fuji Tourer. All related to my size and strength. It's built for comfort not for speed. Well actually its built for reliability and strength. I've geared it really low 22/32/44 front 11-32 rear.

I started commuting once a week 50 miles rt mid summer. It was marvelous. But turns out I've got the gout, so I have to address this and get seriously geared up for the cold before I start again. I've ordered a fluid trainer and The Time Crunched Cyclist. They're due in tomorrow.

Any help/advice or stories would be appreciated.
Anyone else with plans this year?
Lots of plans! But first, the story:

A little under two years ago some health stuff got fixed, so I started seriously riding again. I also spent the summer looking for and finally buying a new road bike, because my old one had never fit right, so I wasn't really putting in serious training miles (as opposed to commuting/base miles) until fall of 2012. I weigh ~215# at 5'6", so similar proportions but smaller.

In May, 2013, I did my first century. In April, my first 200k, which was flat until around mile 90, then a series of steep climbs, then rollers to the finish. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2659273 is the route. The ride had both a 200k and 300k run together -- when the routes diverged at the ~110 mile point, I wished I was on the 300k and could keep going. I had been worried about the cutoffs -- I finished in 11:13, and that included a 30-minute ferry ride. I did a lot of leapfrogging of slightly-faster riders -- I was in and out of the controls pretty fast, and I took fewer non-control stops. I didn't try to ride with the groups -- I went my own speed.

I did two more 200ks over the summer. All of them were great fun, and I was riding probably a similar amount to you leading up to the rides -- not as much as people recommend, but it was plenty for me to get prepared. The last was a permanent with ~9000ft of climbing (with a low gear of 34x28 -- I walked probably 2 miles total over the course of it, and have since updated my gearing to a low of 34x36). I was racing the cutoffs on the hilly 200k pretty much the whole way, especially when I made a wrong turn and added 5 bonus miles near the end, just as the course was flattening out, but I made it. I wouldn't have guessed I could do that, a year before, but I even felt pretty good at the end, although I couldn't do any more serious climbing -- my legs were a little cooked, but they were still happy to spin away on gentle terrain, at ~12mph.

One thing I found that helped was to take it easy on short-steep climbs. If I was going under 4mph, grinding and grimacing, I was probably better off walking (at ~2.5mph), because it would save my legs to put on speed elsewhere. In training, I pushed up those hills, but on the actual brevets I took it easy. Have walkable shoes, and embrace the walk, if your legs are similar. Train in similar terrain to the ride, and if you're already doing 100k/62-milers in similar terrain, I expect you'll be fine.

I don't carry that much gear, *because* I'm slow -- if I have a serious bike mechanical problem, I'm not going to make the cutoffs even if I can fix it myself.

Other bits of advice: make sure you have a calorie-intake strategy. That's the biggest change for me between a 60-miler and a 200k -- on the 60-miler, I can put water in my bottles and stop for lunch somewhere and be A-OK; on a brevet I never want to stop long enough to sit down and eat, and I need to get more food down than that. I don't know anything about gout, so if that has specific dietary needs, carry what you need. Practice reading from cue sheets if you don't already use them. Put light-ish fast-ish tires on -- you don't want pinch flats, but you don't want to slog on slow tires, either.

This year, I'm aiming to do the whole SR series. We'll see how that goes, as the local 600K looks ridiculously hilly.
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Old 01-14-14, 01:01 PM   #9
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"Any help/advice or stories would be appreciated."

Lightweight wheelset and tires. I went out on a touring wheelset and wide/touring tires, after the first series of hills at a fast pace I was cooked. Likewise, be careful what pack you hook onto and leave as much biking stuff as you can in the car. The RUSA randonneurs out here are no pleasure cruise.
YES to this!!! I can really feel the difference from my supersix w/ 25c tires and then go to my CX bike with high roller slicks 35c tires. 70-80miles on the CX feels like 100 mile on my super6
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Old 01-14-14, 08:20 PM   #10
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Thanks Guys,
You've given me a bunch to think about and I'm sure as this sinks in I'll re think it over and over...

Jsigone :
From Elevation profile 2 big hills the big one about 3 miles and 260-ish feet at mile 16-19... So just as I usually get in my grove... A few hundred footers...


Homeyba:
Yep Morrisville. Stump pulling gears, as for me I see little reason to pedal over 30-ish except to occasionally play... But once got caught loaded on the end of a long hot day by a 26%... My SO was smarter and bailed off earlier... Also on my fuji if I put any serious torque on it I would tear the rear wheel free and it would jam into the chain stay. Tried all sorts of remedies, that and troubles braking are the main reasons I built up the Disc Trucker. I loved the Fuji, it just didn't love me... I'm very used to the sit-n-spin strategy.


JerrySTL : Dehydrated, that's how I figured it was gout. It doesn't present normally. I have a lot of breaks and scar tissue. It concentrates in the scar tissue. Nowhere near as bad as most people get it....


Thanks for mentioning BP meds. I was starting to think I was off my rocker... I switched BP meds 3 times, this last one has the side benefit of increasing uric acid excretion. The others did a bunch of bad things, but your comment does explain why I got dehydrated so easily... The only foods I allow now that are high in purines are Oatmeal, spinach, and mushrooms... And tons of diet cherry juice... I'm on that long term med now, been for 2 weeks... Hoping... I saw something about ph and electrolytes on the OSMO web site... Something about using sodium bicarbonate and citrate instead of sodium chloride. As well as supplementing with tums on a ride...


TrojanHorse : Saddle time I can do! I'm just real slow.


FrenchFit : UGH! I will swap out my 38 marathon and marathon plus before this ride for sure now... Wheel set is heavy, but best one I ever owned. Incredibly smooth! I kept breaking spokes on a 40sp, so I'm running PW disc Tandem hubs, 48sp with Velocity Chukkers. They have stayed dead true even with some DUMB moves of mine... Got some pretty serious air one day when I went off road to try and pass traffic and this hole that came out of nowhere... But I figure since I'm used to that Marathon Plus on the back, everything sort of knobbies will be easier...

I do intend to strip down to lights, tools, spares, water, food, and clothes. Maybe I need to strip down a bit more... Damn, I do need to get more comfortable with less redundancy...
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Old 01-14-14, 08:59 PM   #11
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I'm surprised you need 48 spoke wheels. I'm 6'3, 230-250lbs, I race, ride 8-10k miles a year and have no problems with 28sp wheels on my tandem let alone my single. If I were you I'd find a good wheel builder and have a set of 32sp "event" wheels made up. You're gearing is so low that I assume you like to spin? Usually guys like us tend to be mashers to some extent. If you are spinning you should be easier on your equipment than I am as a masher. It's kind of funny, when I read that you run 22/32 gearing I was thinking if I tried that gear I'd be going so slow I'd fall over. Irregardless of that, you need to run the gearing that will work best for you. I know that you're in the land where the guys building the roads didn't know what a gentle grade was. They just said we need to go there and cut the road straight up the hill. As far as training goes, I would suggest that you do some speed work. You don't need to become Johnny-Racer but you do want to be faster. Maybe concentrate on climbing speed as that is where you'll save the most time. I think climbing intervals would be very helpful for you since you won't be doing any long sustained climbs. You're basically doing a bunch of short steep climbs. You need to be able to get up them efficiently without blowing up. The Morrisville 200k is a pretty ride, I think you'll have a grand time.
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Old 01-14-14, 10:59 PM   #12
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I'm surprised you need 48 spoke wheels. I'm 6'3, 230-250lbs, I race, ride 8-10k miles a year and have no problems with 28sp wheels on my tandem let alone my single.
+1. 32 should be plenty. You really aren't gaining anything worthwhile by going under that but do make sure they're well built BY HAND and take care of them and enjoy!
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Old 01-15-14, 01:43 AM   #13
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If you can, train on your route. When I did a century with a large hill, me and my riding partner would drive to that section and ride it so we got comfortable with it. I never got good at the climb, but I learned what gears worked, how to pace myself, and where I could push myself.
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Old 01-15-14, 09:07 AM   #14
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If you can, train on your route. When I did a century with a large hill, me and my riding partner would drive to that section and ride it so we got comfortable with it. I never got good at the climb, but I learned what gears worked, how to pace myself, and where I could push myself.
The other advantage to training on your route is that you'll be faster navigating. Slowing down to read the cue sheet, even if you don't make any wrong turns, does add up. Plus, you'll know where to let 'er rip on twisty downhills.
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Old 01-15-14, 12:49 PM   #15
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The hillier routes around here are about like that. But they're just a bunch of hills, not anything huge, so it slows you down, but doesn't kill you. You mostly don't spend more than 5 minutes at a time climbing.
You can look up RUSA results by event. Check last year's results. If they're all riding it in 8 hours, figure you're likely to be riding it by yourself. If they're riding it in 12 hours, you're liable to have company.

One lesson to learn: Overall speed on a brevet is partly riding speed and partly getting in and out of controls quickly. Have 4 controls and spend an extra 15 minutes at each, and there's an extra hour.
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Old 01-15-14, 05:09 PM   #16
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Jsigone :
From Elevation profile 2 big hills the big one about 3 miles and 260-ish feet at mile 16-19... So just as I usually get in my grove... A few hundred footers...
that's only 1.6% average grade for the biggest hill route should be cake walk if you get use to the mileage.
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Old 01-15-14, 08:34 PM   #17
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OMG! THIS IS MARVELOUS!
1.6% I won't even notice that as a grade. I guess I gotta learn to read the trimble graph and the elevation profile. That leaves navigation. A turn every 2 miles there a bouts... This is incredibly awesome. I will still maintain the attitude that if I miss a control I'll ensure to call and let them know I'm ok on my own (like all the other days)...

I was breaking spokes on a 40 spoke wheel, even after hand rebuild. All drive side of course. Funny that bike I couldn't torque up. I can and do get out of the saddle at times on my DT. Couldn't even pedal hard on the Fuji without the rear wheel sliding into the chain stay. Someday maybe I'll have to carry the gear for both of us. But then maybe not, she's quite serious about pulling her her own. But you should see her smile when her bike is unloaded. Lastly, disc brakes: I'm told that they put a hell of a load on spokes... I'll go with overkill and work harder...

I was 285, and running default pack about 30 lbs plus 10+ lbs of water. Figure gross vehicle weight of about 370... I'm down 20 with 15 to go. Tandem riders have a longer wheelbase and with the tradition of the stoker being the lighter of the partners, that would balance the weight better on both wheels. In addition I got some good air, while loaded. I thought "this is going to hurt", not will I land it. And 'what will I break, will the wheels fold up or frame". As I said I do do dumb things once in a while.

Gearing, well. If I had to do it again, I'd go with the to the set that's, 26/36/48. Once I wear out these... But another "someday" is to do the Blue Ridge.
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Old 01-15-14, 10:50 PM   #18
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My tandem (below), with my 205lb stoker in a 3000 mile long roadrace with 32spoke Zipp 404 on the rear and a HED trispoke in the front. That's a 430lb load there, not counting our clothes. Notice it's got a disk on there too. I don't want to discount your experience but you should know that it can be done. Not everyone is careful when they build wheels, maybe your mechanic wasn't so careful with your rebuild? Regarding weight, I'd be shedding as much possible. People say it doesn't matter but the farther you go the more it matters. If you're going to carry 40+lbs of stuff and water you are just giving yourself a handicap. The last time I started a 1200k my bike weighed 28lbs fully loaded, with water! There is a balance between your comfort level and weight which is different for everyone. Every time I do a brevet I go through the stuff that I brought and if I didn't use it I didn't take it on the next ride. Over the years, it's got to where I really don't carry much. Mostly just clothes, food and water. That's it. btw, I bunny hop my bikes too, not the tandem so much though.


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Old 01-18-14, 03:04 PM   #19
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My tandem (below), with my 205lb stoker in a 3000 mile long roadrace with 32spoke Zipp 404 on the rear and a HED trispoke in the front. That's a 430lb load there, not counting our clothes. Notice it's got a disk on there too.
First, that is an beautiful rig!
Is the disc a 180mm?

If stoker is 205, then you'd be about 225... I won't do the math but should more weight on the rear wheel, even when you account for my pack being directly over the rear wheel!

I think I should be ok, refitting my old bike. It's nice and light, but has a beefy old 36 hole mavic on the rear. I'll have it and the front retensioned and should be good to go. I love the DT, but a lighter bike would be nice on occasion.

Would love to hear what you think about your Allez?
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Old 01-18-14, 03:52 PM   #20
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Good advice above, really covers it all. I'll just emphasize what I think are most critical.

Before the ride, it's about getting in the miles. Outdoor miles are best, but do what you can.

Equipping for the ride, expect the temp to be 10F colder than forecast, with rain. Equip appropriately. Also carry sunscreen and lip balm for the unyielding sun. Expect headwind all day, and mentally prepare for that. Expect to be alone. Don't take any tools or gear you have not used, and preferably be proficient with every bit. Then be mentally prepared for a gorgeous trouble-free day, carrying all that useless crap for 200k and umpteen thousand k of climbing.

During the ride, three things
1. Keep fueled
2. Keep hydrated
3. Keep the wheels turning

Okay, a few more:
4. When you're riding, focus on the next control
5. Approaching the control, plan in your mind exactly what you're going to do (brevet card, fill water bottles, hygene, clothing change, etc)
6. Execute the control as efficiently and quickly as possible (see 3)
7. Socialize before the ride, after the ride, or on the bike; not in the control (see 3)
8. If possible, eat on the bike, not in the control (see 3)
9. Don't kill yourself on the hills. Spin.
9.1. Whoever said to walk the steep bits rather than hurt yourself - I strongly concur.
10. Expect to be discouraged at some time during the ride. Don't let it stop you. (see 3)
10.1. Low blood sugar will have this effect. If you suspect low blood sugar, eat something NOW. Have some emergency GU or such.
11. If you think about having a drink at the top of this hill or just around this curve, have a drink NOW
12. Navigation
12.1. Study the route beforehand. Know the distance between controls, and be capable of carrying enough food and water.
12.2. Don't rely on other people's navigation skills or even GPS.
12.3. Carry a bit extra food and water for bonus miles.
13. Have something to eat/drink in your car at the finish. Style points for chocolate milk and cookies.

Your attitude about finishing despite DNF is spot on. Do. Not. Quit.

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Old 01-18-14, 03:54 PM   #21
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+1 on the train on the route advice. If you can do it, it will be a huge confidence booster.
It worked wonders for me both times I trained for successful completions of The Devil Mountain Double.

Listen to Homey, he is one of 2 or 3 key riders that mentored me and made me a successful endurance cyclist.

"Whether you think you can, or you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford

Success comes from hard work and preparation, you are on the right track. I wish you success.
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Old 01-18-14, 04:11 PM   #22
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First, that is an beautiful rig!
Is the disc a 180mm?
Thanks, besides being beautiful it's also an incredibly awesome ride. To be honest, I don't remember if it's 180mm. I'll have to check.

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If stoker is 205, then you'd be about 225...
Yeah I was around 225 during that race. I fluctuate between 215 and 240 depending on donut intake.


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Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
I think I should be ok, refitting my old bike. It's nice and light, but has a beefy old 36 hole mavic on the rear. I'll have it and the front retensioned and should be good to go. I love the DT, but a lighter bike would be nice on occasion.

Would love to hear what you think about your Allez?
Is your old ride the Fuji? There is something goofy going on with the Fuji if you can torque the wheel over all the time. I do that on occasion but only when I don't have the skewer tightened enough. As long as the bike is in good running order you should be fine.

The Allez is a great bike. It's just a little small for me to use as an everyday bike. I have it set up as a TT bike with aerobars and cowhorns.
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Old 01-21-14, 07:46 AM   #23
Null66
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QUOTE=downtube42;16422054]Good advice above, really covers it all. I'll just emphasize what I think are most critical.
[/QUOTE]

Nice list. I read this over and over...

My SO intends on coming.

She out climbs me by far and is in generally better shape. Her attitude is marvelous. We got caught in a gully washer while doing the Erie Canal in Solvay. Water was 4 inches deep in the road at places. She just kept on, even though it had gotten dark, sort of lost, GPS didn't like the rain...
Her
Achilles heal has been eating enough and soon enough. I think we can break through this.

I've offered to get her a trainer so she can so intervals during the week to help prepare. She's willing to consider.



[QUOTE=Homeyba;16422093

Is your old ride the Fuji? There is something goofy going on with the Fuji if you can torque the wheel over all the time. I do that on occasion but only when I don't have the skewer tightened enough. As long as the bike is in good running order you should be fine.
.[/QUOTE]

It's a Fuji 2007 tourer. I tried a number of skewers, even 105's and last but best some ratchet type DT's. Took it to probably 6 bike shops. It had the old school horizontal drops, tighter was better. When it slipped it would take metal shavings off the drop out.


One weird question, why are tandem pedals in phase between the stoker and captain? Would out of phase by 90 degrees smooth things out?
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Old 01-21-14, 07:54 AM   #24
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I think I can shave about a kilo off my bike for the ride. The Marathon Plus 38 i have on the rear is listed as 990 grams and the double kickstand is like 550... The +'s have serious rolling resistance as well so that might be an bigger improvement than the weight.

So event tires it is.
Likely move my 38 marathon from the front to rear and perhaps get a 32 or 35 for front...

I used to love Gatorskins, but I think they top out at 28's...
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Old 01-21-14, 10:49 AM   #25
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They have 32c gatorskins (365gr) and weight a third as much as the marathons plus = about 1.37 pounds PER wheel. You should be able to really feel that difference.
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