So Springtime has finally arrived in the northeast and I'm slowly getting the bike up to snuff to be able to ride outside again. The Lunar Phoenix has been good to me so far and was built up with some of the older stuff that the BEAST left behind. So some of the parts are needing to be replaced/upgraded/etc.
Yesterday was a solid "bike day" in the fact that I finally got 2 new tires delivered to me in the mail and the new chain that I had ordered finally came in as well. That along with the fact that I picked up a new helmet recently (to replace the one the moron stole at Musselman) and also ordered a new 12/25 cassette as well, means that my drivetrain and bike will be pretty speedy in the next few weeks once all the options get installed on the bike (I might not put the chain on until the cassette arrives because I'm kind of anal about abnormal wear. I like everything to be on the same page.
So with the cassette that I ordered today, I went with a Shimano Ultegra CS-6700 12/25 cassette. I’m a big fan of the Ultegra components because they don’t cost an arm and a leg like the Dura Ace stuff does, but they hold up a lot better than the 105 garbage that Shimano produces. Currently installed on the LP is a really old Ultegra 11/23 which is what I have ridden on every single Ironman that I have ever completed. Some of the pure cyclists out there might be laughing at me, but I was a newbie in the bike thing about 6 years ago and that was the stock cassette that came with my bike, so I just kept on using it. I knew nothing about changing out cassettes. Hell, I didn’t even own a chain whip or lock key to get the cassette off.
I’ve never really felt like I needed more gears during a race, I’ve always been able to grind up pretty much any hill that I’ve been on. But with the addition of power this year and the amazing watt-o-meter, I’m thinking that it might be solid to be able to save the legs and spin a little bit more to regulate power up a hill. Still maintain the same watts, just be able to spin at an easier and higher cadence, therefore saving some leg speed for the run. Freshness has never really been a problem with racing, but 2 extra teeth on my back cog might not be all too bad to lean on, especially when fatigue is something that creeps up in the longer distances. Truth is, it’s worth a try and I’ll see how it works and if I don’t like it, I can always revert back to the 11/23 again. No worries. (Since I know have upgraded to a chain whip and lock tool as of last year)
But that’s been the bike upgrades and spring cleaning that I’ve done this year so far. Yesterday was a good bike day and I’ll be pretty stoked when the cassette comes in to get that laced up and ready to roll (pun intended). It’s also the end of a 3 week build for me and next week is a much needed rest week. I’ve been breaking down my body pretty well this year and I genuinely look forward to the recuperation periods (more or less….I NEED them) Sunday is the Spring Forward 15K and that will be a big test to blast the rust and cobwebs out of the legs and see how long I can hold sub 6 pace. I’ll report more on that next week I’m sure. But until then friends, get the bikes tuned up, because
the snow seems to be gone and the rubber needs to hit the road. Get out there and JFT friends, cheers!