New Cycling Gear and other Updates

blog_updateI just want to do a short write-up on whats new with me and some of the new gear that I have updated and/or added. I don’t want to do a separate blog for each item, that would just take too long to do. I don’t fancy myself sitting here days on end writing when I can be out cycling instead.

First of all, I continue to lose weight 🙂 That is my primary goal. I had hit a plateau a while back and started up the food journal to kick-start the process. Well, I’m glad to say that it worked and lost another 5-6 pounds. I’m in the 230’s now for the first time in about two years. It feels great, I’m faster on the bike and my clothes feel a lot looser. I may have to get some new clothes soon. I know I still have a long ways to go, but I am chipping away at my goal.

I’m back to doing 100+ miles per week. So far I’ve done three consecutive weeks and looking to do another. I started this about two months ago, but i have been not consistent on the goal. It has been one thing after another that stood in the way, either bad weather, family obligations or mechanical issues. Lately, everything seems to be aligning up nicely and I’m taking advantage of it.

On my trip to Austin last month, I picked up some new cycling shoes at Bicycle Sport Shop. As I have said before, I don’t like road shoes. I want shoes that I can walk normally in when I get off the bike, so mountain bike shoes are my preference. I spotted some Specialized Sport Mountain Bike shoes on sale and picked them up. Goodbye shoe laces, you are no longer needed nor wanted. I also picked up the cleats for the Crank Brothers type of cranks and had them install them on my new shoes for me. After some measurements she proceeded to put the cleats on for me while I browsed the huge shop. Lighter, stiffer, comfortable, no shoe laces and on sale, bingo! A month later and I’m still enjoying the new shoes.

iBike Newton

iBike Newton

Last month was an expensive one. Besides my trip to Austin, when the rooms were at a premium price due to graduation week, I also purchased a power meter from Velocomp. The product? iBike Newton. Actually, I got it off Amazon with free shipping. So far it has been pretty good. It has a small learning curve with using the buttons (it’s no smartphone so no swiping), but it’s easy to pick up. I can go all week-long without having to charge the battery on the unit which is a blessing. The big plus for me is the ability to read the LCD display in bright daylight (something I could not do with my iPhone). The unit is also easy to calibrate, you can pair it up to any ANT+ compatible unit to receive the power (Garmin or iPhone app with ANT+ dongle), it has built-in Interval training or create your own. The Newton is a fantastic power meter at an affordable price.

Cygolite TridentX 1100

Cygolite TridentX 1100

I do a lot of night riding and my old Cygolite Mity Might 350 looked pale compared to the other new lights out there. After researching lights of different manufactures, I settled on Cygolite TridentX 1100. Super bright light, decent battery life, good spread of the light, custom configurable blinky option all make to a good buy. Now, when I ride with a group, my light drowns out everyone else’s. Ah, I’m no longer at the bottom of the totem pole.

Salsa Skewers

Salsa Skewers

I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of black. I want some color on my bike and for that reason I picked up some red Salsa skewers. They come in many different colors, but since my bike has some red highlights I figured red would be a good choice to try. I got a pair from on-line some where that took almost two weeks to arrive! I was not happy with the delivery time, but I really like the skewers. I’ve got some nice comments about them.

Beam+

Beam+

My last addition is a new handlebar extender called Beam+. This is one of those products that has its roots with Kickstarter. It’s a simple rolled up aluminum sheet that mounts to the front of the stem where the bolts are at. They come in a variety of colors to choose from. In continuation of adding color to my bike I again went with red. They have not come in yet but I plan on moving my Newton over to it and putting the bike light higher. I’m hoping the light from the headlight will shine on the Newton so I can read it at night (it has no backlight).

Serfas AP-01

Serfas AP-01

Ok, I remembered one other item I got a CO2 cartridge inflater called the AP-01 from Serfas. I actually picked it at Tsunami Cycles, a small, friendly bike shop while I was in Austin last month. I replaced my mini floor pump that I hauled around with this. Unfortunately I had to use it recently and it worked just fine. I like the push button trigger to slowly fill up you tire without worry of sudden over inflation and possibly rupturing the tube. You can use either threaded or non-threaded CO2 cartridges with this inflater.

Well that’s about it for now. I’m still shooting for 100 miles per week and I’m still losing weight. I got new gear for color, new lights that is a big plus for our night rides, new shoes that are comfortable. I replaced some older gear with the new stuff that are still good for backup situations. Last month was expensive with not only the new gear, but my mini vacation to Austin was well worth the trip.

Keep those wheels spinning.