Back in the Saddle Again

November 27, 2013

“I’m back in the saddle again
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the lowly gypsum weed
Back in the saddle again”

Back in the Saddle Again” was the signature song of Gene Autry , was co-written by Autry and  Ray Whitley and fist released in 1939.

As October and November roll around each year, my enthusiasm to get out on the bike starts to wain. Each year I try to use this time to recover from a long summer and seriously ease up on the riding.  This year I agreed to race the Two Man Time Trial at the Tour de Gruene which was on Sunday November 9th so my recovery period began a bit late.  I kept up the training through the event and we did quite well thank you.  3rd by 0.1 mph in the 90-100 Merckx division.

Since the race ended I’ve spent minimal time on the bike, only leading the store rides on the weekends and a few spins around town on the fixed gear.  As the weather continued to deteriorate through late November, there was just no reason to ride.  Each day I would arrive early at work, look at the bike and the trainer and say not yet

Well, something odd happened on Tuesday – the sun came out.  For those of you outside of central Texas, its been quite miserable here for the last week.  The temperature barely got out of the 30’s and the much needed rain seemed not to want to stop.  Sometime in the late afternoon, I looked at my bike and riding seemed like a good idea.

This morning I put the trainer tire on the bike, put the bike on the trainer and hopped on.  I donned the kit and the new Scott shoes I mentioned in an earlier post, grabbed the iPod and a towel and started the 2014 season.  After 45 minutes (20 minute warm up and 20 minutes of tempo intervals) the first ride was in the books.  Physically I felt pretty good.  The legs were a bit tired and the Shoes felt ok – though a little cleat adjustment is in order.

With apologies to Mssrs Autry and Whitely, is good to be “Back in the Saddle Again”


Jamis Bike Demo December 8, 2013

November 22, 2013

Join us on Sunday December 8th at Walnut Creek park for Jamis Demo Days.  Ride their award-winning 29er and 650B mountain bikes from 10am- to 4pm

Jamis Demo Flyer

Jamis Demo Flyer


Campus Bike

August 9, 2013

Things are about to get very interesting in our house in the next week. I’m sure it’s the same all around central Texas. Summer vacation is coming to an end and the kids are getting ready to head back to school. In our home that means Westlake High School and Texas A&M University.

The Racer will be a freshman at TAMU this fall and will be leaving home in 10 days or so. I’m not sure who is looking forward to it more – he or us. Either way its the start of a great adventure. Most of the supplies have been purchased, the paperwork has been completed, and the tuition is almost due. The final decision was what bike to take to campus.

Lots of things are part of the equation when deciding what bike to take. What is the terrain? How far do you have to ride to class? Is there indoor storage? Am I looking to make a statement or just transportation?

After answering all these questions, the Racer decided on the Jamis Beatnik. No need for gears in College Station – a single speed works perfectly. Swap out the stock flat bars and brakes with a more traditional road set up, add a Kuat Bottle Lock and, presto, the perfect campus bike.

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Just a brief note, the Cousin will be sporting the same bike at UT this fall.


Jamis Xenith Elite – Review

February 1, 2011

2011 Xenith Elite

A lot of people have been asking how I like the new Xenith.  As of yesterday, I have about 350 miles on the bike over varying conditions and terrain.  The verdict?  I’m impressed.

Fit

The bikes sizes up just a little different from I was used to.  The top tube is 0.5 cm shorter, the head tube angle is 0.3 degrees shallower and the seat tube angle is 0.5 degrees steeper.  I initially set the bike up with the same measurements as the Addict and took it on its maiden voyage, but it just didn’t feel right.  A few days later Dave Wenger of Durata Training hooked me up to the Retul and we checked the numbers.  We ended up raising the saddle a full centimeter, reducing the setback and increasing the drop by 2.5 centimeters.  It took a few hours to get used to the new position but its seems to be working out well.

Time for a shameless plug:  If you’re in Texas and are looking for bike fitting expertise, there is nobody better than Dave

Comfort

Jamis claims that the two types of carbon in the lay up create strength and stiffness yet still eliminate road vibration.  I noticed this right away.   The frame does an excellent job at smoothing out the road even over some of the chip seal pavement that we have here in Austin.  It may have something to do with the different tires ( Rubino Pro’s verses Conti 4000’s) but the Xenith is much more comfortable that my last bike.

Stiffness

I was very concerned that the extra comfort was going to compromise the Xenith’s  stiffness and performance.  The BB30 bottom bracket shell, the asymmetrical chainstays  and the tapered head tube create a bike that is both responsive and quick.  Though I haven’t raced the bike yet, I have had a chance to push the limits on some training rides and the performance has been better than I expected.

Components

What can I say about the performance of the SRAM Red drivetrain and the Easton EA 90 SL wheels.  The components are smooth, responsive and light and the wheels are exceptional.

Weight

If there is a downside to the Xenith Elite its the weight.  The bike weighs in at a full 1/2 pound heavier than the Addict which uses an older heavier SRAM Force group and the same wheels.  Those who know me have heard me say on countless occasions that weight isn’t everything – performance, durability and comfort need to be factored into the equation.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the Jamis Xenith Elite.  My first races of the year are coming up and I’m looking forward to a good season