20 May 2014

20 May 2014

Saturday was the Oregon Team Time Trial Championships. Now I haven’t raced much so far this year, and had mostly been intending to take a year off from time trialling (mainly because what used to be a lovely fast flat 40km for the individual TT got chip sealed last year, which has pretty much blown my chance of getting under 50 minutes). I did a couple of the local evening time trials Eddy style on my road bike – nice to be able to easily ride out, race and ride home. And interesting to see how much difference the bike makes (two and a half to three minutes over 15 miles). However, my teammate Lee brought up the subject of the TTT the week before, and convinced me we should return to defend our title. Colby was up for joining us again, and we invited fellow Eugenian Billy to take the fourth spot.

The course was the same 23.8 miles of well surfaced country roads as last year, with one climb and a bunch of corners. Going out we were cruising at 34mph, and I was thinking it was going to be super fun and easy…. until we turned around and discovered the calm day wasn’t so much – it was a struggle to keep the speed over 30mph on the way back. But we were still over a minute faster than last year, and took the win by 40 seconds. So far I’ve managed to be on the winning team every time I’ve raced it, I think that is five wins now :-

In other racing news, the Oregon Gran Fondo is coming up fast, so I’ve been getting the bike setup for it. For road racing with neutral support, I still prefer to use tubular wheels – they are lighter and safer to ride flat if you have to. I generally use a set of Enve SES 6.7s for most road races and crits. But for a Fondo where you need to be self supported, I feel that tubeless clinchers is definitely the best way to go. My first set of tubeless wheels was NoTubes Alpha 340 rims, which as the name implies, are designed to be run tubeless – these set up easily and are what I used for the Fondo the last two years. Very light, but with the last 35 miles of racing on pretty fast, rolling roads, it would be nice to have something a little more aero. As I gradually convert all my road bikes to tubeless, last year I set up two other pairs of wheels. One was a set of Enve SES 6.7 clinchers – this is a relatively heavy wheelset, and somewhat tricky to get the tubeless tires to seal up. But nice to have a set of aero wheels that I am happy to ride to events without the worry of puncturing, plus great for ‘roubaix’ style road races. The second was a set of Kinlin rims, which set up tubeless very easily, with 28C Hutchinsons for gravel grinder events such as the Oregon Coast Gravel Epic.

But in considering a rim for the Fondo, I wanted something pretty light and decently aero, that would be easy to convert to tubeless. This ruled out Enve, which are hard to convert and their clincher rims are a little heavy. Then I realised that I didn’t need to look too far – in fact I could stay in town, as Rolf Prima have their Ares 4 carbon clincher which fits the bill. The rims are 420g, which is only about 40g more than the Alpha 340, but with a 42mm wide aero rim profile. My pair weigh 1362g, which is actually under the listed weight of 1375g. Just two wraps with NoTubes tape and the tubeless Schwalbe Ultremo tires sealed right up, and held air immediately. I’m happy to be able to ride locally built wheels, and it looks like I will be guesting for the Rolf team at the Fondo, so that works out nicely too :-

So here is my Fondo ride all ready to go – my V3 race bike, but with the clincher wheels, padded saddle and bike computer. Weighs in at 13.5lbs as shown, just add water bottles and go!



One Comment

  1. Congrats on keeping the title. As usual, you’re going beast-mode in both racing and building. Rolf’s look killer on the V3 – good luck in the Fondo!

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