Ill talk about my new purchases first. C02 pump .Think I have already mentioned this but here are some piccies, can't review as I haven't needed it yet. Carbon specific brake pads for........Bontrager xxx race lites. Another ebay special. I had a few problems initially with the rear hub as the bearings were screwed but took them to Shepherds cycles in Heywood who sorted them out and even went to the velodrome to source a special tool to replace the bearings no extra charge. Even got a refund from the seller who had described the item as 'mint' Just need the weather to try them out on Jamis! New topeak humongous saddle bag which has enough room for my bits and pieces and loadsa space left over for a rain mack which Ill need to purchase. I bought a balaclava from Harphurhey market, took me ages to find a stall that sold 'em. Considering the area, I thought every stall would sell it. The SLR saddle has arrived too. I have ordered some tri club cycling kit which could appear anytime next year. Was thinking of some sealskinz waterproof socks and gloves but have heard some negative reviews on them so some market cheapos are in order. I need a new pair of shoes too as the ones I have are way too big, size 44 and I need 42. I went to Evans to try on some Specialized s works but at £200 I cant justify the price even though the missus has just bought some £200 Uggs. I really like the Adidas ones the velodrome use but I cant find any where locally that sell and Adidas cycling shoes so I can try them out. I like lightweight stuff and would consider Sidi's but they are quite hefty things. Nice pair in Merlin, discounted, I might try on. I've trawled the net for general reviews but haven't found anything conclusive.
Back to the nitty gritty. I cycled to work everyday last week bar one again due to horrendous wind. Did the tri club spinning on Monday last week and yesterday. Good fun but I had to change bikes twice as the first one's seat collapsed and the 2nd one seat adjuster disappeared. Swam on Thursday which was a great session as the coach had worked out our 'speed levels' and we had to do sets to our own personalised times. I adjusted my stroke slightly and found I was going a good 5 secs quicker per 100m. Usually hate doing lots of sets of 100m as my legs and lungs give up but I found it incredibly easier. I think the running is helping.
On Saturday I tried out Jamis with the new carbon wheels, just to Pete's house and back. Also with the new Selle Italia Slr saddle. The problem with trying lots of new things at once is you dont know where the improvements are coming from like the well cushioned ride I was experiencing. I could feel a 'spring effect' over minor bumps taking the sting away. Steep hill number 1 came up, recently have been going up it at 12-14 mph if that on Vanquish and hit a max on Jamis of 16 mph. This time with new wheels I held 17mph and max'd 18mph from start to finish. Now I guess I could have been wind assisted but wasn't sure so hill number 2 is in the totally opposite direct and steeper. On vanquish I struggle to hit 10mph at the top and12 with Jamis. With new wheels on Jamis I held 13.5mph and hit over 14mph on the steepest bit at the top. This is a very quick snaphot and will have to ride against Pete to get a more accurate feel for the new found speed but first impressions are encouraging. Only problem is the brake blocks nearly wore half way on the first ride, which has stabilised a little now and braking power is terrible.
Sunday and Monday rides to follow......