Rub Shoulders With the Pros for FREE @ Optum

Join OptumHealth Performance for a fun, free event where you will be able to meet the 2012 men’s and women’s Optum Pro Cycling Team this Sunday Jan. 29th from 11am – 3pm. You’ll enjoy free access to talk to the riders and coaches of the team, including the 2011 Nature Valley Grand Prix champion Jesse Anthony and 2012 Olympic hopeful Janel Holcomb. At the sponsor expo, you’ll get to check out the Pro’s gear and learn what it takes to fuel these riders.

Come early as the first 50 attendees get a free Optum t-shirt that you can have autographed by the team.

If this wasn’t cool enough already, you will also have the opportunity to ride one of the team bikes on a CompuTrainer to see how your cycling power measures up against a pro rider.

Bring your bike for a rare opportunity to join the entire team for a spin class with the pros. OptumHealth Performance can accomodate up to 40 riders on trainers so be sure to RSVP your spot.

Afterwords, join the “coach chat” Q&A session with the team directors, former Olympians Rachel Heal, Jonas Carney and Eric Wohlberg to learn what goes into planning for the race season.

See you this Sunday!



The 2011 Felt B10

We were so giddy when we first saw this bike. All new for Felt this year, they took the B12 frame and equipped it with Shimano Di2. This get’s you the awesomeness of Shimano Di2 shifting with a $5299 price tag.  This is a full $3,000+ less than any tri/tt bike sold with Di2 last year.  Felt is committed to bringing electronic shifting to the people, as this is only a few hundred more than buying the gruppo alone.   Yes, it’s still expensive, but within reach for a lot more people.    We have a 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 cm in stock and ready to ride!

And if you were still wondering how good Di2 is, you will be blown away when you demo one of these bikes. The shifting is so quick and precise you can shift your front dérailleur while standing and pedaling.  Seriously.  And the biggest benefit to having Di2 on a Tri bike is the 2 sets of shift buttons… shift in both basebar and aerobars without moving your hands. So cool.  Here at the shop Kevin, Hannah and Brett are all riding Di2 bikes, with more to follow soon…

The all new 2011 Felt B10 Di2.   Combine that paint job with the TTR3 wheelset…. wow.  good lookin’.

I like this.   Ultra Hybrid Carbon, “Performance”.  It’s the name of the game.

Here’s a head of shot of the bar end shifters as well as the basebar shifters.    The benefit of being able to shift when climbing or cornering in the basebar is huge.

This is the battery pack  hidden below the rear chain-stay.   ~1000 miles per charge, and each battery can be charged ~300 before the charge will diminish.   (that’s 30,000 miles)   And even then, replacement batteries are only $99.    And you weight weenies out there don’t need to worry.  With the lighter wires instead of shift cable the weights between mechanical DA and electronic is nearly a wash.

Here is the battery charge indicator, right at the tip of your fingers so you can check the battery charge at any time with ease.

Stock with Dura Ace 7900 dérailleurs and the Vision TriMax Pro TT crankset.     It’s not as good as the Dura Ace 7900, but we’ve tested it and it will still knock your socks off.  (we recommend riding without socks)

This is where the real magic happens… the front dérailleur.    So precise you will never think twice about shifting to your big ring ever again.

Fun with Power

This past weekend I did a 40K time trial (bike race), and for the first time I used a Powertap wheel for the race, allowing me to see and analyze my power during and after the race.     As it often happens, I went out too hard and suffered on the last half of the race, but what I did leave with was some great data for training and racing in the future.   Here’s the stats from the race:
My weight: 195lbs
My bike weight: 19.5 lbs
Race distance: 40K
Average watts: 362
Elevation gain: 0 ft (out and back course)
Average speed: 27.7
Finish time: 53:40

Now, here’s what I can do with all this data using the website
The first thing I need to do is convert my average speed and weight (of me and my bike) into metric units since that’s the units used for the calculator.
So my bike weight + my weight in kilograms = 97.3… so I’ll throw that in the calculator.  And my average speed was 27.7 = 12.4 m/s, so I’ll type that in…

The calculator starts out with all default values that you can then change as needed.

I can leave Air Density at sea level (the default value) and the coefficient of rolling resistance at asphalt road (default value).    My average cadence was 90 and crank length is 180mm.     The default value for ‘Effective Frontal Area’ is .5 meters squared, which calculates to 339.5 average watts; meaning that if my actual effective frontal area was exactly .5, I would have had to average 339.5 achieve 27.7 mph (12.4m/s).   But I actually know that in order to achieve 27.7 mph average I had to average 362 watts, so clearly my frontal area is more than .5.     So I just start filling in higher values into ‘Effective Frontal Area’ until the calculated average watts equals 362.     The value ended up being .539 meters squared.

This is the calculator with all my info for the time trial.

So now that I know my ‘Effective Frontal Area’ I can figure out what average wattage I need to produce to achieve any time.   So I was curious what sort of wattage I would need to do to win the time trial all out.   The overall winner of the time trial did a 50:40, averaging 29.3 mph or 13.1 meters/second.  I simply type in 13.1 meters/second into the calculator with my other existing info…

Averaging 13.1 m/s with my drag requires a massive 421 watts.

And find out that I need to average 421 watts over the 40K course to average 13.1 (29.3 mph) and finish with the same time as the winner (50:40).   I’ve got some work to do…

The great thing about this is that I basically figured out my drag numbers without going to the wind tunnel.    This means that I can figure the required wattage for any time I want to achieve.

A picture from the end of the TT. My frontal area is .539 meters squared.

So let’s say for instance that I want to see what’s it’s going to take for me to break the course record at the TNT time trial.    The TNT record is 22:57 (28.7 mph or 12.83 m/s).  So typing that into the calculator (assuming I don’t change my position at all… which I won’t), shows that it will require me to average 398.1 watts to get that time.  Hmmm….

My TNT prognostications

Knowing this also really allows me to dial in my training as well.  If I have a wattage goal, I can train my power intervals with much more specificity.  Training at or above my functional threshold is the best way to improve my functional threshold.  So now I know that training with intervals at ~360-400 watts is going to give me the best bang for my training buck.

For the record, I train with a Powertap Elite + powermeter and a Joule 2.0 head.  Check out Kevin and my review of the Joule here