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Racer Tech Thread

Old 10-10-14, 06:06 PM
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I purchased a new bike for my first season racing cross. The reach feels a little short, especially when riding on the tops or out of the saddle. If this were a road bike, I would swap out the 100mm stem for a 120mm stem. But I'm concerned that might make really tight turns slower or more difficult. Thoughts? Do you run your cross bikes with a little less reach than your road bikes, or are they about the same?
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Old 10-10-14, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Issaquatch
I purchased a new bike for my first season racing cross. The reach feels a little short, especially when riding on the tops or out of the saddle. If this were a road bike, I would swap out the 100mm stem for a 120mm stem. But I'm concerned that might make really tight turns slower or more difficult. Thoughts? Do you run your cross bikes with a little less reach than your road bikes, or are they about the same?
there's no definitive answer, but as a general rule-of-thumb go for 2cm less reach and 2cm more stack than your road position. you may never use the drops.

the cross position is more upright for a variety of reasons. sure, you might prefer the 120 stem vs the 100, but you won't know until you have more experience. if we know nothing else about you and you want a starting point, raise stack and reduce reach.

FWIW, i run the same size cross frame & road frame (crux & tarmac). the crux has 17mm more stack and 11mm less reach than the comparably-sized tarmac. i run a 130 stem on the crux vs a 140 on the tarmac, and my crux has a few mm of spacers under the stem (stem is slammed on both but the crux has a cone spacer whereas on the tarmac i removed the cone spacer and just use a flat dust cap).

effectively it's about +23mm stack and -21 reach.

let us know how it goes for you. PNW should be a hotbed for CX. get a good mud tread!
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Old 10-11-14, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by tetonrider

effectively it's about +23mm stack and -21 reach.
all sounds like a big change until you realize you're levering your torso back at the shoulder, from the hip, 1.25 inches. Crack your elbows and you're back to the same place.
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Old 10-11-14, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf
all sounds like a big change until you realize you're levering your torso back at the shoulder, from the hip, 1.25 inches. Crack your elbows and you're back to the same place.
yep, and it is why cockpit stuff mostly comes down to preference (in any discipline). unless something is really wrong (elbows locked), there's a wide range of what is "just fine."

cross and mountain fits tend to put the rider in a bit more upright position for handling/reacting to rougher terrain--more stack/less reach should generally mean more relaxed upper body. getting lower/more aero isn't as necessary as often, but to your point one can just bend zee elbows to save a few grams of drag.
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Old 10-11-14, 09:26 PM
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Thanks. I did a longer ride yesterday and the reach was short enough that anything out of the saddle felt awkward. I'll split the difference between the current stack / reach and the setup on my road bike and will see how it goes. My first race is next Saturday. It should be wet, muddy and fun.
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Old 10-16-14, 04:54 AM
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Spoke question.

I'm having a Powertap hub built into a carbon wheel I bought used. The original wheel has bladed spokes. The guy who's doing the work said I needed to use round or oval spokes for durability. Is there a meaningful difference in terms of drag with rear wheel spokes, or is this one of those "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" questions?
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Old 10-16-14, 05:26 AM
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There's a whole lot of factors. Drag, weight, cost, strength, being affected by side winds, etc. I personally like Sapim CX-Ray spokes. They are very light, strong, aero, and the wheel isn't overly affected by side winds. They are also not cheap. It's really up to you what you want to spend.
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Old 10-20-14, 03:26 PM
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wrt chainrings: any reason (other than some negligible weight different) to go with dura ace over ultegra? still on 10 speed.
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Old 10-22-14, 08:52 AM
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wrt spokes, I am not sure what the builder is getting at wrt durability. a Sapim Laser (round) and CX-Ray (blade) are the same spoke, with the CX-Ray being flattened from a Laser. When you're talking about tension loads like you are with a spoke, the area of the spoke, which is the same for both, is your main concern.
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Old 10-22-14, 09:58 AM
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Re: spokes, that was a misunderstanding on my part. I spoke with a couple of days ago, and he told me that bladed spokes require that the holes in the hub flange be slotted for them to fit through, and the holes on the PT hub are round. I've got Sapim Race spokes on the way.
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Old 10-22-14, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by revchuck
Re: spokes, that was a misunderstanding on my part. I spoke with a couple of days ago, and he told me that bladed spokes require that the holes in the hub flange be slotted for them to fit through, and the holes on the PT hub are round. I've got Sapim Race spokes on the way.
Sapim CX-Ray spokes work fine with PT hubs. I've used them before. And they aren't so wide as to need a slotted flange.
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Old 10-27-14, 08:40 AM
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So I think I'm going to build up an older SystemSix to race next year, and to give me something to do over the winter. Plan now is to modify for internal electronic. I ride campy mechanical otherwise.

Original thought is to use 6870 so I can use my 11 speed wheels, however I really prefer campy ergonomics so not sure if its worth considering EPS v2. Have any of you set up, maintained, or raced EPS and what were your experiences?

Drilling the charge port is not a major concern as I'll have to modify the frame either way, but if you had reliability problems or inconsistencies with performance then this would defeat the whole purpose of going electronic.
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Old 10-27-14, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Issaquatch
I purchased a new bike for my first season racing cross. The reach feels a little short, especially when riding on the tops or out of the saddle. If this were a road bike, I would swap out the 100mm stem for a 120mm stem. But I'm concerned that might make really tight turns slower or more difficult. Thoughts? Do you run your cross bikes with a little less reach than your road bikes, or are they about the same?
Ride some trails and some cross races before going and changing things around. If your cross and road bikes had the same fit, at least one of those fits would be wrong. My own cross bike has ~22mm more stack than my road bike, and ~11mm less reach. Count the handlebar reach as well (which you should), and it actually has 17mm less reach. That feels good to me, and it's extremely typical. It feels different when out of the saddle or sprinting, sure, but you get used to that.
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Old 10-28-14, 09:03 AM
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Anyone have experience with the Sanremo suits? We had or kit fittings today for next season and I got to try on the Castelli Sanremo 3.0. OMG that thing is amazing, at least wearing it for 30 seconds. At $220 bucks its not cheap and I'm thinking about just getting two of those and calling it a day. The basic kit is $80 less and more durable, but thicker, which plays in during the summer when most days are 100+

I doubt its 24 watts faster than the team kit (like they claim) but just by the fit it seems like it will save a few watts.
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Old 10-28-14, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by furiousferret
Anyone have experience with the Sanremo suits? We had or kit fittings today for next season and I got to try on the Castelli Sanremo 3.0. OMG that thing is amazing, at least wearing it for 30 seconds. At $220 bucks its not cheap and I'm thinking about just getting two of those and calling it a day. The basic kit is $80 less and more durable, but thicker, which plays in during the summer when most days are 100+

I doubt its 24 watts faster than the team kit (like they claim) but just by the fit it seems like it will save a few watts.
We use Castelli for our kits and I will admit the feel is amazing! The price...not so much! Even at a pretty hefty discount the price for durability is rough in my opinion. I bought the Sanremo, used it only for races and absolutely loved it. Is it that much faster than the Aero Road kit..I don't know, but I felt fast. After maybe 15-20 races in it, it has held up pretty well, even after a few tumbles. Although the pinning of numbers over and over again is putting some excessive wear on the back. I do feel like the bibs of the road kits wear out pretty fast. The back portion is already pretty stretched out of some of mine. But other than that great kits
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Old 10-28-14, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by furiousferret
Anyone have experience with the Sanremo suits? We had or kit fittings today for next season and I got to try on the Castelli Sanremo 3.0. OMG that thing is amazing, at least wearing it for 30 seconds. At $220 bucks its not cheap and I'm thinking about just getting two of those and calling it a day. The basic kit is $80 less and more durable, but thicker, which plays in during the summer when most days are 100+

I doubt its 24 watts faster than the team kit (like they claim) but just by the fit it seems like it will save a few watts.
It's crazy-thin. Which no doubt contributes to speed and cooling (which, when I lived in the South, was AWESOME), but really hurts durability. Mine lasted about a season, I literally tore a big hole in it trying to pull it on over sweaty skin in May. So that's the heads up on how well it wears. In every other respect, it's pretty great. Though I will point out that it's so thin that putting used gel wrappers in the pockets can actually end up with them poking you uncomfortably in the lower back as you ride along, if you aren't careful about it. Basically, it is a 100% race garment. If you can barely afford/justify enough kits to train in, let alone race, it might not be for you. If you've got $220 burning a hole in your pocket, it feels pretty awesome to show up in one of these things on race day.
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Old 10-28-14, 04:31 PM
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Thanks guys, based off that it looks like I'm only going to go with one, and either an Aero Race or Team Kit. I hate using things just for racing, and my intention is using it in some of our hammerfests (I have a skinsuit already) and long road races when I need pockets, so at least once a week. I'll risk buying one and see how it goes
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Old 10-28-14, 04:57 PM
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We changed to Castelli for 2015 and I tried one on. A bunch of my teammates are ordering them but I decided against it because it makes my butt look big.
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Old 10-28-14, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
We changed to Castelli for 2015 and I tried one on. A bunch of my teammates are ordering them but I decided against it because it makes my butt look big.
My fat ass makes my butt look big...
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Old 10-28-14, 07:23 PM
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Okay so a crankarms tech question. As we all know I am a big dumb ole Crit rider. I have ridden on 172.5, recently been on 170mm. I am wondering based on my size (let's say 200 pounds) and power levels if going to a 175mm might allow me to leverage my weight and power to develop a better sprint/etc and spin the 54t front ring a little better.
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Old 10-28-14, 07:51 PM
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My firsts thoughts are that:
- Crank length should be mostly dictated by leg length not weight or force development.
- Generally you increase lever length to decrease the amount of force needed to create torque (e.g. a breaker bar). If you have massive force...
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Old 10-28-14, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Enthalpic
My firsts thoughts are that:
- Crank length should be mostly dictated by leg length not weight or force development.
- Generally you increase lever length to decrease the amount of force needed to create torque (e.g. a breaker bar). If you have massive force...
Understood but if you apply massive force to a breaker bar would it not create even more torque?
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Old 10-28-14, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rkwaki
Okay so a crankarms tech question. As we all know I am a big dumb ole Crit rider. I have ridden on 172.5, recently been on 170mm. I am wondering based on my size (let's say 200 pounds) and power levels if going to a 175mm might allow me to leverage my weight and power to develop a better sprint/etc and spin the 54t front ring a little better.
My advice is just race! (and maybe train first)

I'm on 172.5's, too lazy to try anything else.
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Old 10-28-14, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm
My advice is just race! (and maybe train first)

I'm on 172.5's, too lazy to try anything else.
We could run under the assumption that the big fella is in pretty good shape
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Old 10-28-14, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rkwaki
We could run under the assumption that the big fella is in pretty good shape
so what's 2.5mm?

honestly you're talking 1.4% more leverage for a 4.4% longer pedal stroke. It ain't going to matter, is my educated guess.
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