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Race The Training Thread

This bike is great for what I need in terms of training and the types of event I will enter. It wouldn't be good for a crit but I don't have that physiology anyway.
For a training bike and many other applications, it is great.
All the carbon road bikes I've ridden have cracked so I don't think I'd ever ride one again.
What are you doing to your bikes?!? (Or are your quads that massive? ;-)
The longevity and lightweightness of titanium is what appealed to me in the first place. It actually cracked (after being hit by a car) but Lynskey repaired it under their lifetime warranty.
In my book it doesn't count if you get into an accident. But glad to hear Lynskey took care of it.
The gravel bike is aluminum so it will die eventually at which time I'd like to go titanium, lightweight steel, or aluminium, in that order although money and what's on offer at that time usually takes preference!
Yeah, my minister of finance is not keen on carbon. Aluminum bikes can be really great. One of the best road bikes I have ever ridden was Cannondale's last aluminum top-end road bikes (a loaner from a former pro, Eric from Kyushu). Most of my mountain bikes have been aluminum. Steel and Ti are already niche, which means ¥¥¥¥¥¥. Two former team mates have beautiful steel road bikes (Independent Fabrication Crown Jewels, one older rim brake frame and a newer disc brake frame).

I have always ogled various Ti frames, too, they are gorgeous. I might pitch the idea to replace my mountain bike with a Ti frame if the current frame gives up the ghost. (That bike is having its service. The heavily salted roads did a number on the rear derailleur's clutch …)
PS, the Dogma is being ridden by high school student Gen as a present from Yamada san. Gen also has my TREK Speed Concept, and sponsored wheels from Gokiso, so he's arguably the luckiest boy in Niigata!
As it should be: at some point our job is to support the next generation. IMHO TTs would benefit if they forced people to ride them on regular road bikes. Getting a dedicated TT bike is an expense few people can afford.
 
For a training bike and many other applications, it is great.

What are you doing to your bikes?!? (Or are your quads that massive? ;-)

In my book it doesn't count if you get into an accident. But glad to hear Lynskey took care of it.

Yeah, my minister of finance is not keen on carbon. Aluminum bikes can be really great. One of the best road bikes I have ever ridden was Cannondale's last aluminum top-end road bikes (a loaner from a former pro, Eric from Kyushu). Most of my mountain bikes have been aluminum. Steel and Ti are already niche, which means ¥¥¥¥¥¥. Two former team mates have beautiful steel road bikes (Independent Fabrication Crown Jewels, one older rim brake frame and a newer disc brake frame).

I have always ogled various Ti frames, too, they are gorgeous. I might pitch the idea to replace my mountain bike with a Ti frame if the current frame gives up the ghost. (That bike is having its service. The heavily salted roads did a number on the rear derailleur's clutch …)

As it should be: at some point our job is to support the next generation. IMHO TTs would benefit if they forced people to ride them on regular road bikes. Getting a dedicated TT bike is an expense few people can afford.

Carbon frames will crack. I see it all the time.

Lynskey repaired the frame under the assumption that it was "due to normal training stress". I was lucky that they were having similar claims where the frame was cracking in an intricate clover design at the rear dropout.

We are supporting Gen as best we can. At last year's event we did a "Fly Gen to Hokkaido" campaign to raise funds for him to race the national high school championships.

Every little helps!

Andy
 
Carbon frames will crack. I see it all the time.
I mean, I have seen cracked carbon frames, too, but I thought it was rare and typically the result of someone crashing or improper maintenance. I cracked carbon handlebars by tightening the bolts too much. (Technically, it was completely in spec and I did use a torque wrench. Still, the proof is in the pudding, I mean crack.)

Regarding titanium frames, what makers are you keeping an eye on? Lynskey, Kinesis and Moot are three brands that pop to mind. Do you have any others you are eying for once your current frame nears retirement?
 
I mean, I have seen cracked carbon frames, too, but I thought it was rare and typically the result of someone crashing or improper maintenance. I cracked carbon handlebars by tightening the bolts too much. (Technically, it was completely in spec and I did use a torque wrench. Still, the proof is in the pudding, I mean crack.)

Regarding titanium frames, what makers are you keeping an eye on? Lynskey, Kinesis and Moot are three brands that pop to mind. Do you have any others you are eying for once your current frame nears retirement?

I cracked 2 carbon frames, in the seat stay and the chain stay but that was a few years ago and maybe the technology has moved on. Like you say, they will crack in a crash, which may be a good thing if you have insurance!?

I bought Lynskey as it is basically the original Litespeed. Handmade in Tennessee. Back in the day two Litespeed Vortexes were never the same. I don't imagine the Lynskey will ever need replacing but if it did I would certainly buy Lynskey again.

Andy
 
I only have a small pool of evidence, but I've only seen cracked carbon from either a crash or user error. I'm trying to remember if I have ever seen a failure from manufacturing. But in ~5 years of shop work & 12 years of racing, I can't think of any at the moment. I have personally had two cracked carbon bikes. I sold a 2019 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 that was destroyed in shipping, but comped from Bike Flights insurance. And I overtightened the seatpost bolt on a 2012 Giant TCR.

In one shop I worked at we were trying to sell a lot of Waterford/Gunnar steel bikes so I bought one and raced on it from USA Cycling Cat 4->2 (I guess something like JBCF E3 -> E1/JPT). While riding that bike I did have a set of Easton aluminum wheels crack.

I've been back on carbon bikes since ~2019, and I don't see a reason to go back to steel (or aluminum, etc.). Specifically if you're looking to get the best performance possible. But, even then, I think a carbon bike is just more fun to ride. That's just my personal opinion though. I do still own my Gunnar, but I left it in the US and opted to bring a carbon bike with me to Japan. I think one day I'll have it with me again, but as a commuter / rainy day bike.
 
I had planned to do my FTP test this week, but I ended up scheduling it earlier and did it this past Saturday. Finally cracked the 350 ceiling and hit 353 for 20 minutes, lifting my FTP to 335. 350+ is a number I've been chasing since December of 2022, I did a 20 minute effort on a local climb but found snow and ice at the top which slowed me down quite a bit. I still averaged 346 that day, so I knew 350 was a reality.

Overall really happy with the effort. First 10 minutes were at 360, so the next ~6-7 minutes were mostly hanging in there. Was able to bring the power up a tiny bit towards the end when I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday we had unexpectedly nice weather, so I went out to do my first century of the year. High of 18-20 degrees and mostly blue skies! Hands and face are a little sunburned, but it was so nice to get a taste of spring weather before winter comes back this week. Going to make getting back on the trainer difficult, but at least the outdoor rides feel so good after the indoor work.

IMG_0586.jpg
 
I only have a small pool of evidence, but I've only seen cracked carbon from either a crash or user error. I'm trying to remember if I have ever seen a failure from manufacturing. But in ~5 years of shop work & 12 years of racing, I can't think of any at the moment. I have personally had two cracked carbon bikes. I sold a 2019 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 that was destroyed in shipping, but comped from Bike Flights insurance. And I overtightened the seatpost bolt on a 2012 Giant TCR.

In one shop I worked at we were trying to sell a lot of Waterford/Gunnar steel bikes so I bought one and raced on it from USA Cycling Cat 4->2 (I guess something like JBCF E3 -> E1/JPT). While riding that bike I did have a set of Easton aluminum wheels crack.

I've been back on carbon bikes since ~2019, and I don't see a reason to go back to steel (or aluminum, etc.). Specifically if you're looking to get the best performance possible. But, even then, I think a carbon bike is just more fun to ride. That's just my personal opinion though. I do still own my Gunnar, but I left it in the US and opted to bring a carbon bike with me to Japan. I think one day I'll have it with me again, but as a commuter / rainy day bike.

For performance in road racing a carbon bike will always be best. For TT, a carbon bike, just because of the mould of the frame, is essential if you want to be competitive.

For me, it's not a case of going back from carbon as I am on a titanium bike now. No real interest in going back to competeitive road racing either. The benefit/problem of titanium is its durability, depending on which way you look at it!

I've seen several bikes fail as I'm always in the shop here. However, if the failure is dramatic or due to the spread of a crack due to an earlier bump, is debatable I guess.

Andy
 
I've seen several bikes fail as I'm always in the shop here. However, if the failure is dramatic or due to the spread of a crack due to an earlier bump, is debatable I guess.

Andy

I guess it could also be down to the manufacturer. I was thinking about it more and I do remember while I was racing in college (2011-2014) it wasn't uncommon to see unpainted chinese knock-off frames. I saw someone crash and snap a seatpost in a crit riding one of those once. I haven't had an issue with Giant, Trek, Canyon, Santa Cruz or Cervelo. That's including road, gravel & MTBs. I did always hear rumors about Giant & Trek having "thin" carbon, but that was around 2011.

I also do see the appeal of metal frames. And I have ridden one extensively like I mentioned. I just think carbon is an excellent material and if you treat it properly, i.e. not thrashing your bike, you shouldn't realistically have any problems. But yes, I'd be more worried about my carbon bike falling off the roof rack compared to my steel one. But with both, I treat them very well. Don't want to ride around on a bike with chips or scratches in the paint :(

And of course it's all just down to personal preference. There's a funny tribalism in cycling with frame manufacturers and materials. Recently that Outside Opinion piece by Bike Snob NYC's author has been making the rounds... It was an attempt at writing an article about why "no one" should buy a carbon bike. But really it was just an article about why he doesn't need a carbon bike. And it kind of overlooked the point that no one needs a bike... we buy them because we enjoy them, regardless of the material.

But, it was an excellent piece of clickbait copywriting to get people to visit Outside.
 
I guess it could also be down to the manufacturer. I was thinking about it more and I do remember while I was racing in college (2011-2014) it wasn't uncommon to see unpainted chinese knock-off frames. I saw someone crash and snap a seatpost in a crit riding one of those once. I haven't had an issue with Giant, Trek, Canyon, Santa Cruz or Cervelo. That's including road, gravel & MTBs. I did always hear rumors about Giant & Trek having "thin" carbon, but that was around 2011.

I also do see the appeal of metal frames. And I have ridden one extensively like I mentioned. I just think carbon is an excellent material and if you treat it properly, i.e. not thrashing your bike, you shouldn't realistically have any problems. But yes, I'd be more worried about my carbon bike falling off the roof rack compared to my steel one. But with both, I treat them very well. Don't want to ride around on a bike with chips or scratches in the paint :(

And of course it's all just down to personal preference. There's a funny tribalism in cycling with frame manufacturers and materials. Recently that Outside Opinion piece by Bike Snob NYC's author has been making the rounds... It was an attempt at writing an article about why "no one" should buy a carbon bike. But really it was just an article about why he doesn't need a carbon bike. And it kind of overlooked the point that no one needs a bike... we buy them because we enjoy them, regardless of the material.

But, it was an excellent piece of clickbait copywriting to get people to visit Outside.

Yes, the two frames I cracked were of that calibre! "There all made in the same factory anyway" was the mantra at that time! The first was replaced under the 1 year warranty. The 2nd also failed in a year but the warranty was from the time of original purchase. I had two little boys at the time which is one of the reasons I went with titanium. Just wanted something that I wouldn't need to keep spending on. I rode the J PRO tour on the titanium, here is an old picture racing that bike and one of the boy who is now almost as big as me!

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So yeah, cheap frames are best avoided but I did see "Ban" in that original video crack the chainstay of a SCOTT at almost the same point of road in that video. He did a little dig on the front and the broken bike sent him flying into the middle of the road. Yard sale style. Luckily no cars around. He think he heard some stranges before the crash which might mean it was an existing crack that exploded under force. So maybe the lesson learnt is always pay attention to strange noises if and when they appear.

Andy
 
Just over 1300km for the year and 624km so far this month, and tomorrow I will add at least another 100km, maybe 150 on Arakawa if I get out early enough and have the legs for it. On another positive note, I was able to get a 700x25mm GP5000 TL on my Mavic CXR 60C non-drive wheel (rear for me) and with a bit of sealant it is holding air steadily at 80psi. Over the OEM tire, I should net 6-8 watts with the much better rolling resistance, and will soon swap out the other tire as well. Just so it would fit, I had to install the TL tire on another wheel to let it stretch a bit for a while, and even though I did that I still broke a heavy duty tire lever.
IMG_8981.JPG
Don't mind the label being off center. On the other side, the drive side that is visible most of the time it is centered lol.
 
Just over 1300km for the year and 624km so far this month, and tomorrow I will add at least another 100km, maybe 150 on Arakawa if I get out early enough and have the legs for it. On another positive note, I was able to get a 700x25mm GP5000 TL on my Mavic CXR 60C non-drive wheel (rear for me) and with a bit of sealant it is holding air steadily at 80psi. Over the OEM tire, I should net 6-8 watts with the much better rolling resistance, and will soon swap out the other tire as well. Just so it would fit, I had to install the TL tire on another wheel to let it stretch a bit for a while, and even though I did that I still broke a heavy duty tire lever.
View attachment 40146
Don't mind the label being off center. On the other side, the drive side that is visible most of the time it is centered lol.
Is there a reason you went with the TL instead of the S TR? The S TRs may be easier to fit to your wheels.

I raced on 700x28 S TRs last year. I really like continental's tires. I use the 4 Season Grand Prixs as my off-season training tire. I want to try the GP 5000 AS TR, but they are harder to find in Japan. Or at least they were last time I looked. After visiting the US in September I came back with a bunch of tires in my carry on.
 
Is there a reason you went with the TL instead of the S TR? The S TRs may be easier to fit to your wheels.

I raced on 700x28 S TRs last year. I really like continental's tires. I use the 4 Season Grand Prixs as my off-season training tire. I want to try the GP 5000 AS TR, but they are harder to find in Japan. Or at least they were last time I looked. After visiting the US in September I came back with a bunch of tires in my carry on.
I like Continental tires too. The 28 TRs are plush and the 4 Seasons are absolutely great all around tires that fly under the radar. I have seen them on the Cycli site at times. Y's road in Jimbocho has the AS TRs I believe, as well as the TT. IIRC they are something like 17,000 each though. At that price buying them from the US is a really good idea haha.

1 of the main reasons was I found a cheap pair in my LBS hanging behind the other tires so I snagged them up because even the TRs fit on my previous wheels very easily and I figured it would only be slightly more difficult to get the TLs on. They sat in the closet for a but when by chance, another pair became available online for even cheaper so I got them too. When I finally bought my Mavic CXR wheels I was hoping to be able to turn them into tubeless despite there being nothing online about it being possible, so I gave it a go with a Schwalbe One TLE. It fit, but since there was no sealant in it the air of course eventually seeped out. It is a decently fast tire, but me having too much free time on my hands and finally wearing my tubed GP5000s down enough to justify a tire swap I did it. As you know the TL doesn't require sealant but without it the air was seeping out, most likely at the bead. I put some in, gave it a spin, and pumped it up to 100psi to seat the tire and left the nozzle on to see if it was going to hold. It dropped to 80psi in about 10 minutes and stayed at about 80psi for an hour. I'll check it before the ride today, and top it off to 90psi because I expect it will drop a little by the time I finish my ride.

Sorry for the long answer lol. The short is that I got a good deal and it doesn't hurt that the rolling resistance is listed as being about 1w faster than the TRs, as if that really means anything at my fitness level lol.

The only thing I don't like about the Continentals is that on my commuter bike that sits outside all the time they crack sooner than the Schwalbe tires. I move the tires from my recumbent to my commuter just to squeeze a bit more life out of them. However, the Conti 5000 on the rear is cracking so much now that it makes me worry, and it doesn't even have a flat contact patch yet. The tubed one I just removed from my 'bent has over 6000km, and it still looks great. So either cleaning it after every ride helps, not being exposed to the elements, or Continental changed something.
 
When I finally bought my Mavic CXR wheels I was hoping to be able to turn them into tubeless despite there being nothing online about it being possible, so I gave it a go with a Schwalbe One TLE. It fit, but since there was no sealant in it the air of course eventually seeped out. It is a decently fast tire, but me having too much free time on my hands and finally wearing my tubed GP5000s down enough to justify a tire swap I did it. As you know the TL doesn't require sealant but without it the air was seeping out, most likely at the bead. I put some in, gave it a spin, and pumped it up to 100psi to seat the tire and left the nozzle on to see if it was going to hold. It dropped to 80psi in about 10 minutes and stayed at about 80psi for an hour. I'll check it before the ride today, and top it off to 90psi because I expect it will drop a little by the time I finish my ride.
Gotcha. I guess I'd just be careful and keep an eye on them. The TLs don't need sealant because they have the inner liner that holds air. But that of course won't stop air escaping from the rim itself, specifically around the nipples. Maybe check the tape? I'd think if the tire is losing that much air, there's a leak somewhere.

I'm not a huge tire nut. So I tend to stick with what I've always used. Gatorskins for deep winter / gravel, 4 Seasons for shoulder seasons, 5000 for races (used to be the 4000). I don't think I would ever go with something as light as the TT. Sometimes if I'm lazy the tires stay on the wheels for longer. I think the 4 Seasons are perfect for racing and I have raced on Gatorskins... but that probably wasn't the best idea. I do think that we tend to ride tires for longer than they should be ridden.

This is a tangent but I got 4x 4 seasons for 19,200. I've been surprised to find that cycling seems like a more expensive hobby here in Japan compared to back in the US. And the selection is much smaller than what I'm used to.
 
Gotcha. I guess I'd just be careful and keep an eye on them. The TLs don't need sealant because they have the inner liner that holds air. But that of course won't stop air escaping from the rim itself, specifically around the nipples. Maybe check the tape? I'd think if the tire is losing that much air, there's a leak somewhere.

I'm not a huge tire nut. So I tend to stick with what I've always used. Gatorskins for deep winter / gravel, 4 Seasons for shoulder seasons, 5000 for races (used to be the 4000). I don't think I would ever go with something as light as the TT. Sometimes if I'm lazy the tires stay on the wheels for longer. I think the 4 Seasons are perfect for racing and I have raced on Gatorskins... but that probably wasn't the best idea. I do think that we tend to ride tires for longer than they should be ridden.

This is a tangent but I got 4x 4 seasons for 19,200. I've been surprised to find that cycling seems like a more expensive hobby here in Japan compared to back in the US. And the selection is much smaller than what I'm used to.
Tires have basically doubled in price since the start of the pandemic. I might have to start buying domestic tires exclusively...haha.

Bikes are also ~50% more. The exact bike I bought for 300,000 in 2020 is over 500,000 now. 500,000 for mechanical 105!

The selection depends entirely on the store. The Y's Road flagship store alone has more selection than any bike shop I've seen in my life.
My local stores offer such a lackluster selection that I almost all of my cycling money on Wiggle (RIP).

On another note, I currently weigh too much to ride my Zipps... Though I think this is in part because I've been lifting weighs fiveish times a week since New Year's. But mostly because of holiday weight...

Now that the weather is becoming more reasonably, I'll finally be able to start riding again. I've been running at the climate-controlled gym instead of riding indoors in my freezing basement.

I think my FTP is like 2.4 right now, lol.
 
Yeah, bike prices have become so high it is discouraging to look at new bikes. For the past 15+ years, you could get a hardtail with a mix of XT and SLX components for about 1,000–1,500 €. My entry-level fully was essentially a full XT build, save for the cranks. It also came with a mid-range fork (Reba RL). Nowadays you have to spend more and you get a Deore groupset, not even SLX. The forks are more often than not entry-level air sprung shocks.

Ditto for road bikes. An 8k road bike was high-end. The road bike I bought and sold used on this forum cost 3k new, I think: carbon frame, Ultegra/105 mix. The only points where the manufacturer cheaper out were the wheels and the cockpit. But I bought 3T aluminum handlebars for 12k ¥, a new saddle and would have considered new wheels.

I wonder whether the trend will reverse to some degree due to how badly the bike industry is doing these days.
 
Wow, four 4-Season tires for that price is a bargain. I saw a GP 4000 700x23mm at Cycle Paradise for ¥4000 and considered buying it for the slightly better aero properties and it wouldn't be that bad of a tire since Arakawa is so smooth, but after feeling how good the 700x25mm TL felt I just couldn't do it.

Speaking of bike prices... man, those things went nuts. Unbelievable prices even for used bikes with 105 group sets. Now that things are getting back in order it would seem that prices would come back down, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Just the other day I saw a brand new Honda CBR400 on the showroom floor for half the price of a kitted out Cervelo TT bike.

We have 3 days or so of crap weather Baribari, hope you can get back out on the bike to work off that holiday food soon.
 
I've scanned thru the odd news article that the bike industry was having hard times in 2023. (and hopefully a recovery coming)

Naw, it couldn't be prices...
 
I bought my 4 Seasons directly from Canyon. The Canyon JP website has, from what I can tell, reasonable prices. I also bought my Aeroad there in 2023 and found it well priced compared to cost of bikes in the US. I've seen the stories about as a whole the bike industry isn't doing well. I think that's mostly the massive corporations that gambled and lost on pandemic gains. Plenty of businesses won out and are going strong.

I know I haven't lived in Japan long... but I think there's something off about the pricing of things specifically in the Japanese market. A lot of this may have to do with availability / diversity of products in the country.

I have a general sense that the Japanese domestic market is "behind" when it comes to trends within the industry. A huge example of this is if you look at nutrition, I know it's a niche within a niche... but I'm really surprised at what's available in stores & online. Not to mention what I have seen people eating / using on group rides. An acquintance of mine here is very involved with the Japan branch of a global training software company and he's mentioned to me that it's sometimes difficult to get teams (high school through national level) to get onboard with current science.

If you want things that are "current", I think there's an extra premium to get it here. Or sometimes it's simply not available. Especially with a company like Wiggle no longer shipping to Japan. That will further limit competition within the country.

Wow, four 4-Season tires for that price is a bargain. I saw a GP 4000 700x23mm at Cycle Paradise for ¥4000 and considered buying it for the slightly better aero properties and it wouldn't be that bad of a tire since Arakawa is so smooth, but after feeling how good the 700x25mm TL felt I just couldn't do it.
A shop I worked at back home recently sent out their newsletter and it included a buy one get one free coupon for continental tires 700x28. I asked about it and they said that no one is buying tires narrower than 30/32 currently. So they're sitting on a stock of 28s. I guess this is a good example of a few things. Pricing in Japan being weird. And narrower =/= aeroer. This is largely tied to your rim profile. The internal / external widths of your rims will determine the correct tire size you should use for both comfort & aero benefit.
 
Despite currently having a reputation for being cheap, Japan used to be one of the most expensive places to live in the world, and consumer goods prices remain extremely high (where else in the world do people buy $800 rice cookers? have you seen what Japanese TVs cost?).

It's just the cost of living on an island... everything has to be shipped here, and importers always take their cut.

I remember being annoyed that I had to pay (I think) $200-ish premium for my Felt FR over the American MSRP ($2500). The AR was almost $800 over the American MSRP. That was when the yen was 107 to the dollar, though..

When I first lived in Japan decades ago, everything felt outrageously expensive to me...
 
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