First Puncture on Tubular Tyres

As I mentioned when I first fit them, one of the perceived drawbacks of tubular tyres is that if you get a puncture you can’t “just pop a new tube in and carry on”. I put that in quotes because I have personally never found it particularly easy to change the tube on clincher wheels, and about 10% of the inner tubes I’ve ever bought have air-retention issues from the factory (predominantly at the base of the valve stem).

Today I had the opportunity to test whether the experience of changing a tubular tyre in the event of a puncture is actually harder, similar or easier to changing a clincher. It’s easier. (more…)

MTB Pacing Analysis

Just for fun, let’s look at my pacing segments on the mountain bike:

Down Up Delta Total
Time Power Time Power Time Power Time Power
4.00 332 4.15 282 0.15 -50 8.15 306
4.10 304 4.14 298 0.04 -6 8.24 301
4.04 314 4.09 308 0.05 -6 8.13 311
4.05 334

The power numbers are estimates from Strava because I don’t have a power meter on the MTB. (more…)

Better performance, worse time

It’s Wednesday, so last night was time trial night as usual. Here are my down and up splits in the format we’ve seen before:

Down Up Delta Total
Time Power Time Power Time Power Time Power
3.45 176 3.40 249 -0.05 +73 7.25 212
3.56 168 3.46 244 -0.10 +78 7.42 205
3.34 220 3.39 245 0.05 +25 7.13 233
3.35 219

Compared to previously these splits are much better paced, as you would hope given I now knew what I should be doing. I clearly took it too easy on the first two laps, dropping around 30 seconds that I didn’t need to drop. (more…)

Profile Design Fast Forward Seat Post

This seat post is described by its manufacturer, Profile Design, as follows:

The Fast Forward Aluminum is a triathlon and time trial specific seatpost that, when used with a standard road geometry frame, allows the rider to obtain a position commonly found with steeper seat-tube angled triathlon and time trial bikes.

This is pretty-much exactly what it does. I fitted the saddle from my mountain bike to it, installed it ensuring the saddle-to-bottom-bracket distance was the same as usual, and this is the result (in front is my normal saddle/seatpost in its normal position):

Saddle position comparison (more…)


Cerys improved her 10 mile PB from 37.42 to 36.00 last night; an improvement of more than 6% (and 10% on her immediately preceding effort). Also impressive was how she did it: she thought my pacing plan made sense and tried to execute it. Here is her ride last night as a comparison table:

Down Up Delta Total
Time Power Time Power Time Power Time Power
4.25 243 4.25 278 0.00 +35 8.50 260
4.28 228 4.31 268 0.03 +40 8.59 249
4.33 215 4.33 259 0.00 +44 9.06 237
4.23 241

Very very consistent within each lap. Looking at the overall times her first and last laps were similarly speedy and the middle two are a little bit slower. The next thing for her to work on is her breathing because this performance was adversely affected by a stitch; an indicator of shallow breathing.

Wax On

So I’m trying candle wax as a bike chain lubricant. It’s not as random as it sounds: paraffin wax has been used by cyclists for many decades and usually outperforms everything else when tested, and I’m fairly sure the candle wax I have is mostly paraffin. Waxing the chain requires you remove it from the bike, which I had to do anyway to fit the new front mech, so I took the opportunity to give it a go. (more…)