Training, Reviews & Prep

Hello and welcome to this weeks blog, wow its fresh out there but no snow so all is good.  Hope you’ve all been well and keeping the legs spinning.

Over the last few weeks I’ve covered some good miles, I have to admit there not on the road though.  I’m happy to admit I’ve been putting my rollers through a huge amount of use which hasn’t been as bad as I thought. 

Anyway let me get on with this weeks blog, I’m sure you want to see whats been going on.  Well I’ve been looking at Pinarello getting accused of steel a frame design.  I also have the review of the Zoku from Sublime Bikes and a look at how to build up to the summer riding.

I know a lot of you follow my social media pages and there’s been some great bits recently on some of these social media sites.  One post I took more notice of, was the one where Aerodynamics Pioneer Victor Major accused Pinarello of copying his patented design on the new Dogma F10.

The design in question is a recess on the down tube where the bottle attaches, it’s a different design that I cant see add’s any specific advantages but its enough for Victor Major to start a fight with the Italian company.

Apparently Mr Major’s tried to resolve this on a number of occasions via lawyers and direct, however as you would expect Pinarello feel they don’t have to respond.  This seems to be a common outcome from most larger companies when they know they don’t own the rights.

So my question is what happens if another brand designs a frame similar to another brand, lets be honest they all look the same anyway.  So would there be a law suit or would you be able to argue that there’s been a case like this where nothings been done about it.  When you look at the pictures it looks OK and opens the possibilities up to further frame changes.  The thing is, who’s going to spend millions testing it and then let a larger brand come in and take it with no consequences. 

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the outcome is and then see, I expect we won’t hear any more about it.  It’s a shame really rather than support any new ideas that come to surface some of the bigger brands seem to think they can muscle their way around.  Then again is this the real story or is there something more to it, I always say theres always two sides to everything we read from the press.  If I hear any more I’ll keep you all posted.

When it comes to bike’s I’m a nightmare for constantly looking at new bikes, I mean who isn’t.  So you’ve just bought a new bike I guarantee within a few months you’ll be looking at upgrading parts or even looking at some newer frames.

N+1 seems to have a whole new meaning with some of you, I never expected to have more than one bike and I now have a couple to choose from.  How does this happen, not that I’m complaining.  Which brings me onto the recent review I’ve just finished of the Zoku from Sublime Bikes, this is ready for you to have a look at in the review section and I think you’ll enjoy it.

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One thing I have been maintaining is the miles in this unpredictable weather, not on the roads but on my trusty rollers.  Now I know a few of you may say “why haven’t I been on the road”  well I don’t fancy sliding my bike down the road and getting untold colds just to get out on the road.  So I’ve been keeping warm and pushing myself to become fitter than I was last year.

One thing I have noticed is there are some pretty ridicules rollers out there, in fact theres also some really expensive turbo’s also.  If you just want to keep yourself fit through the winter weather you don’t need to spend a fortune in order to do so.  One question I get asked quite frequently is what do I watch or do when I’m on my indoor trainer.  Well I’m no zwift rider and I don’t think I ever will be.  Depending on what session I”m doing I’ll either push for a 30 or 40 min pyramid session or I’ll do an hr steady pace.

If I’m doing the pyramid I’ll be watching a video on YouTube, giving me a guide line and something to follow.  If I’m doing the longer steady ride I’ll watch a film or the TV, this allows me to watch something and take my mind of what could be a boring ride.  I’ll train every other day during the winter months to build up my fitness and I’ll not include this on my Strava account, if I’m completely honest I’ve not been adding my rides to Strava after finding quite a few inconsistencies with the data on Strava.  This is a completely different topic and one that I’m looking into currently, however I’ll do about 10 – 20 miles per session and this will allow me to bounce into the longer distances as soon as the weather warms up slightly or becomes drier.  Once this day comes I’ll be on the road and the rollers will be put back into storage until the end of the year.

There is another plus side to riding on the rollers in these weather conditions, can you think of it.  If your one of these who don’t really look after your bike and throw it into a bike shop on the odd time it plays up you wont know the answer.  What I mean by this is there’s no concern of stone chips, or worse still water in the bearings.  This could be from either the bad weather or from washing all the crap off from the recent ride. 

So with the idea of better weather soon to be joining us a good bike service should be on all our lists.  Once you get used to stripping your trusty bike down there’s something quite relaxing about putting it all back together and knowing on the next ride you know its smooth after the work you did.  Unfortunately there is a bad bit about this, which most keen cyclists will understand, yep its that annoying squeek or click you hear, then spend the remaining part of the ride trying to find out whats causing it.

From all the years of cycling I would strongly recommend learning more about your bike, this not only gives you a peace of mind about understanding the bike but the ability of fixing any problems you may encounter one day. 

Here’s a few tips to check the bike out before you get started, these should be a great starting point.  Anywhere that has a set of bearings should be checked and this is easy, you don’t need to strip them down to check either.  (Although if your more mechanical then have a look).  By moving the different areas carefully listen for any grinding or notching sounds, you will also be feeling to see how smooth the bearings are when you move them.  If you detect any sounds or a grinding feeling then unfortunately a bearing change may be required.  This is caused by water getting into the bearings. 

Check the chain for any stiff links or if its stretched, you can get  tool for this or use a simple check.  This can be done by putting the chain on the big ring and in a gear that leaves the chain looking straight.  Then look at the big ring and where the 3pm position is pull the chain link away from the ring, if it exposes the whole tooth on the ring then its likely to need replacing. Tyres should be checked and the bearings in the wheels.  This can be done by spinning the wheels and feeling the frame where there held, should you feel a grinding feeling then again replacements may be required.  The bearings will be pretty bad if you feel this, the wheels are one area that gets over looked in a service.  I’d recommend a wheel service if you’ve never done one as they can make a huge difference.

Check around all the cables, these are a bit tricky as there’s no way of really testing them.  If your having trouble changing gear and you’ve adjusted them a lot the cable may need replacing.  If your brakes are hard to pull or stick again a cable change may be needed. 

These are just a few pointers to try and help you out, if your not sure then get it into your local bike shop.  Then you’ll know its ready for the miles you hope to cover for 2017,  maybe a coat of polish to give the paint a little protection and you’ll look like the pro’s out there.

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Well thats it for another week, I hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks edition.  Please keep the emails and messages coming in, thanks again for subscribing to the website and my social media pages.  Its great to see how many of you are subscribed to the website now, I hope you all enjoy the reviews now and coming shortly.  Here’s the link to the Zoku from Sublime Review of the Zoku

Till the next time stay safe and have a good week remember Smile 🙂   

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