Friday, October 27, 2006

Cross @ Liberty Park, Snow & Eye Candy

Getting back into the groove, knowing a I lost a little fitness, I still have the burn in my gut to race, and feel great on the bike. The bean trade took me to SLC for an install and some market research. A quick visit w/ Jonathan Geran @ Reynolds, I saw first hand their world class operations. Jonathan's cubical was easy to spot with his beautiful Ti IF hardtail perched atop the temporary wall structure. He showed me around their plant, and saw first hand how they produce some of most desired bike products in the world - not too mention the life-saving HANS device used in auto racing to keep drivers heads from getting ripped off during frontal impacts. He said the some of the drag racers have full back HANS devices, 0 - 300 mph in a quarter mile? My thin frame would need a full body device!

After installing some coffee equipment, and testing it out, I was juiced up for a good work out. I found a sweet park - Liberty Park right in SLC for a 'cross work out. Keeping with the race car theme, the outer buttery smooth concrete ring was about 3/8 of a mile, and resembled that of the Indy Speedway. Along side was a woodchip running path, that meandered in and out of the large trees abound, along with a single track. In the middle of the park was a pond, some great features like rolling hilles, steep hills, off camber stuff, twisting and turning paths and lots of trees. Put together, I had to 2 min interval sections on either end of the park with recoevery taking place on the concrete path. People in the park must have thought I was nuts running up and down, charging around the trees, and down the woodchip paths and single tracks. It was a blast.

Afterwards some coffee training and more coffee beverage consumption.

Traveling this week was not easy here in the high country, with foul weather in the form of snow. From what I hear, Lily Lakes up on Kebler is in great shape, and the central and frontrange mountain sound like they were hit with even more snow. I had our new Pilot classic bindings mounted up today.

Back to Reynolds and Carbon MTB wheels. Besides Reynolds (who is the only one to offer both clincher and tubular carbon rims), other carbon wheel choices for mtb are Tufo, Quasar for tubulars, while Bontrager and Cane Creek (which is actually a carbon over alu rim) for clinchers. The later two are actually slightly heavier than a conventional alu rim, so I will not address those options. In the world of tubulars, only Tufo to date offers a true tubular tire, the CX-1. But, if you can afford it, and want the best, check out Dugast. While they do not offer a tread yet, they can lay up your favorite pattern on either their MTB Cotton or MTB Cotton SP (special protection - for extra puncture resistance).

$120 dollars will get you a beautiful set of these handmade A. Dugast tires. But why? Why would you want to run a system like this? For Euro-style World Cup racing, or lighter / smaller riders why not! I mean you get a very supple, low-rolling resistant tire that even if you do in the off chance flat, can ride back around to tech support and swap out. Not too mention the rolling advantages of the light weight carbon wheels, that provide a great ride quality, precise steering and suck up a lot of the features on the trail. Girls, World Cup-wanna bees, listen up, this is your new wheels set and tire system. Hold on to your traditonal wheels for training and forays into the backcountry, but load up your wheel bags with a set of these for the next time you do battle on an XC course.

Or, choose the Reynolds Carbon Clinchers, and set them up ala Stans Tubeless, for an albeit slightly heavier, but more durable set up for those heavy duty courses, or if you can't quite the bullet on tubulars. Disc brakes, carbon and tire technologies and aligned the stars and planets for these to be the ultimate in XC set ups. Are Ferrari's practical? Hell no. But try to keep up with one in you Jetta or Subi - Good luck! On your left!

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