A little more than a year ago I made a major shift in my road bike configuration. I switched from standard tires with tubes to tubeless.
I did this based on recommendations from my friends Steve, Larry, and a few others.
I also upgraded my gravel bike to tubeless at the beginning of the year.
This weekend, however, I switched the road bike back to regular tires with tubes.
Winters here in the Chicago area can be pretty brutal … so riding outside from mid-December through mid-March is often not an option.
The only real option, other than going to a gym, is to use an indoor trainer.
There are many trainers available … from dumb, resistance based, trainers to sophisticated smart trainers, to rollers.
I used to use a Kinetic Road Machine resistance trainer … it was OK, but not great. It had a ‘power meter’, that was supposed to report power to trainer apps … but I had no confidence in it (it has no idea how hard you were pedaling, just how fast your wheel was turning).
A few years ago I decided to upgrade to rollers … but could not get the hang of them. There was no resistance … it was like riding on ice.
I decided to get a Wahoo Kickr smart trainer. Wahoo pretty much defined the consumer bike trainer market.
Team Novo Nordisk posed an interesting question on their website …
WOULD YOU GIVE BACK YOUR DIABETES DIAGNOSIS?
There are two sides to the question for me …
I’m probably one of the few people who can honestly claim that they fell off a bike trainer.
Keep in mind that, when riding on a bike trainer, the bike is locked in place on the trainer and it can’t move.
Nonetheless, I managed to fall off my trainer. Well, more like catapulted off.
This happened quite a while ago … I was using the Zwift training software with my Kinetic Road Machine dumb trainer (not dumb as in bad, just not a smart trainer).
A number of years ago I purchased a Road iD bracelet so, if I crashed during a ride, anyone who tried to help me would know who to contact if I wasn’t able to tell them.
I’ve worn that bracelet for most, if not all, my rides. It’s gotten kind of beat up over the years.
At this point the metal plate with the emergency contact information is pretty scuffed up and almost illegible.
While browsing the Road iD web site, I noticed they have a lifetime guarantee.
Yesterday I sent their customer service department a note indicating that the plate is scuffed and illegible … and they responded, within about an hour, indicating that they would provide a replacement.
They confirmed the information for the bracelet and shipping address … and said it would be sent out that day.
Today I got the shipping confirmation of the replacement.
That’s good customer service.
As you might have guessed, I like keeping track of my fitness. On my bike, I use the Garmin Edge 1030, on the trainer I use Zwift.
I also like to keep track of my steps. Being a programmer, my job is mostly sedentary, so being aware of how much I’m walking and moving in general.
To this end, I wear a Garmin Vivoactive 3 smart watch.
One of the things I’ve struggled with since I started seriously cycling was eyewear.
I normally wear glasses … but, occasionally, wear contact lenses.
The problem is, with contact lenses, I’m far sighted … but can’t read anything up close (specifically maps, cue sheets, and my bike computer to a certain extent). I also find it hard to drive with contacts in (The dash board & GPS display are just out of the clearly visible range). If I wore reader glasses (+1.5), I was able to see stuff close up.
Some time ago I posted about my general dissatisfaction with the 4iiii Viiva heart rate monitor.
In a nutshell, in addition to being a ANT+ and Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) heart rate monitor, it also acts as a bridge between ANT+ devices that don’t offer BTLE functionality. In my original review of the Viiva, I complained because few software offerings provided support for it and the data is sent to apps wasn’t accurate.
Well, I need to revise my opinion of the Viiva … it has gained adoption and now appears to be quite useful.
Those who use training programs (such as Zwift) with Apple TV have already learned that the Apple TV only supports 3 total BTLE devices connected. One of those devices slots is already taken by the remote control. That leaves only 2 more slots.
If you’re using a training program, you’ll need at least 3 devices connected (possibly more) …
Review of the Garmin Varia RTL-510 Radar
Being into technology, I’ve accumulated a fair bit of bike tech also. As such, I’m going to try doing thumbnail reviews of some of the bike tech that I current, or used to, use.
These aren’t going to be super technical reviews. For that kind of thing I suggest you head over to DCRainmaker‘s blog or GPLama‘s YouTube channel.
These are going to be my impressions of the product … what I like, what I don’t like, what could be better, and some things that should be left just the way they are.
All the items I’m going to review have been purchased outright by me and I don’t get any compensation for the reviews (unless I provide an Amazon link, in which case I get a small commission).
A few years ago I decided I could try bike commuting to work. The office I work in has a bike rack and (lucky for my co-workers) a locker room with showers.
I figured I could leave earlier than I normally would, ride the 20 miles to the office, lock my bike up, shower, and start work about an hour after I normally would. I would leave a change of clothes, toiletries, and fresh cycling kit for the ride home.
OK, first and foremost, this isn’t going to be an in-depth, expert, evaluation of road cycling on Maui … it’s just my impressions and opinions. If you want something more, I suggest you take a look at Tom Meloy’s very nice writeup from a few years ago.
On a recent vacation to Maui, I decided to rent a bike and try some cycling. I did, and here’s what I found…