Originally Posted by Trek Al
I bought a Trek Pilot 2.1 about three months ago and have 500 miles on it, before that I rode a Bianchi Boardwalk. Trying to get the the 100 miles per week level by adding a 20 mile round trip work commute this week. Still straining to get up these East Tennessee hills and approaching my 51st birthday. Considering changing the crankset from the stock 52/42/30 to one from a mountain bike like the 48/38/28, as I think the 44/32/22 would be a bit much for a road bike. Discussed it with my LBS and he was not sure if I would have to change the cassette so he was going to run it through his computer. Has anyone here made a similar change and found it to be helpful? I have century rides set up for Aug., Sept. and Oct. The first two are in much flatter West Tennessee but the last one is here with my local club in the hills. Thinking I should just get as many miles in as possible for conditioning and make the decision in a couple of months. Opinions?
Changing the rear cassette may be a little more expensive than just a cassette as the 11/32 will require a long cage rear derailler. If your trek has a short cage derailler , it may be necessary to change this aswell.
Just 2 teeth less on the crankset may just about make a large enough difference. but if you are already using that 30 too often, then a change to a 24 may be on the cards. On the tandem I use 48/36/24. I know the front derailler is only supposed to have a teeth change of 22, but 24 is just possible. It may be possible to get new rings to fit your crankset, so talk to your LBS about this.
The sensible thing to do would be to change to 11/32 rear cassette, but the new derailler may put it out of the ball park.
Distance riding is more about the mind than body fitness, well you have to have that aswell, but it is 40% fitness, 30 % preparation,(Carbo loading before the event to have enough energy and training) 20 % bike and 10% having the will to do it and continue doing it when it starts to hurt. That 10% will let you down if you are not carefull and is the biggest 10% you will come across.
Start now by taking in some difficult routes. whether this be hills, or flat bits taken at speed is immaterial, but this is to condition the body and the mind. Distance is not the problem, but pain is. Only a ten mile run initially, then get it up to 20. when you get to 20, go for longer distance at easier pace, then eventually a 50 miler will just be a slightly long ride on a Sunday morning. If you can do 50 in 4 hours then 100 is on the cards.50 in 4 hours is only 12.5mph, so for your first 100 aim for a 9 hour ride.
Thats the "expert" side of me talking, but to be honest- Just get out and do some miles, on easy routes. get up to 20 miles, then 30, then add a bit of speed, then take in a hill or two. take it steady, but one morning a week taken as your training ride, will work wonders. The other rides are a bonus to fitness training. I do a couple of centuries a year and a couple of 65 milers, and to me they are just long rides. The most awkward part of these rides is fitting them in around my normal riding that I enjoy.