Friday, October 4, 2013
Kona Bike Setup
I spent a lot of time this year working on and writing about the engine that drives the bike. But I also spent some time trying to work on the overall efficiency. I worked on getting better equipment that would help make my overall ride more aero and also getting comfortable in a more aggressive and aero position for the ride. I definitely could not have been able to make a lot of these changes without help, and am very thankful for the support of Trisports.com, Quintana Roo, and the Timex Factory Team.
First things first, I'll be riding a 2013 Quintana Roo Illicito. I got the bike mid summer and spent a month or two constantly tweaking the position to be a bit more aggressive overall. I am on a smaller frame than the Cervelo P3 I rode at IMTX and the overall set up is lighter. Both good things. On the P3, I had some stability issues, any time I went to take a drink I moved all over the road. I limited my fluid replacement to when I was climbing because I slowed down enough to be able to take one hand off of the bars and drink while holding the bike steady....although this was the fastest set up I could be on for that bike, it isn't the best approach to an IM distance race. I didn't hit my fluid intake goals at Texas and I struggled pretty bad on the final few miles of the run. More on that later...
The Illicito came stocked with Di2 Ultegra gear. I don't really care if this added to the "aeroness" of the overall bike, I like having the comfort of knowing I can shift from the big ring to the small ring without throwing the chain. I also like knowing the rear derailer is going to respond correctly. Not a comfort shared on my previous bike. If you know anything about QR or the Illicito, you know all of the benefits of their frame and the design. I'll let their facts and figures do the talking: I've certainly been impressed so far. Even without aero gear on, the average speed to watt ratio has been much better with this set-up than I was hitting with my aero kit and wheels with my P3.
I put a new set of Look Keo 2 Max Carbon pedals (http://www.trisports.com/look-keo-2-max-pedals.html) on the Illicito as well and will be riding in Sidi T3 Carbon Tri shoes (http://www.trisports.com/sidi-t3-m.html). Basically a stiffer shoe plus lower spinning resistance plus good shoe and cleat placement equals more power transfer to the pedals. I want to make sure that every bit of work that I put out possible goes into the pedals. Again, very happy with this set up both based on results and feel.
Back to the hydration issue I had with my P3. It is generally pretty well accepted that the bottle between the aerobars is the most aero position to place it. But the bottle set-up matters as well. I am going with the Profile Design Aero HC system (http://www.trisports.com/profile-design-aero-hc-system.html) for between the bars. Some have reviewed this pretty harshly, mainly due to the straw sticking up in the air and in your face when you are in the aero position. Personally, I like this being it is a constant reminder that you need to be drinking. I find that I drink a lot more when I use this bottle than when I use a normal bottle.
One bottle is certainly not enough for an IM distance race so I needed a option to hold a few more. I went with the Speedfill R3 system (http://www.trisports.com/speedfil-r3-rear-hydration.html) and will have two Xlab Gorilla cages (http://www.trisports.com/gorilla-carbon-cage.html) to hold the bottles in place. The reason I went this route is for the variability of options. You can use the R3 system with the Adamo Race 2 saddle that I use (http://www.trisports.com/blreismadras.html). Also, you can switch from 1, 2, or 3 cages which is nice for the longer training rides. It may not be the most aero or lightest option of all of the rear hydration systems but it allows a great deal of flexibility and allows me to have the bottles in whatever position I want them in and I don't have to buy multiple systems for training, 70.3 races, and 140.6 races.