Cervelo P3 Test Ride

I've posted a few times on my modifications to my set up of the Cervelo P3 (most recently on my home brew eTap wiring). The recent mods over the last few months include:

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My Websites

 

Support for Joomla version 3 ceased in August this year, and I'd been working on ensuring the three Joomla sites I maintain were upgraded to version 4 in advance of that. What I realised in doing that was the enormous amount of cruft I'd accumulated over the years, especially with the North Bucks Road Club website. One of the issues is always that of finding a sympathetic template, particularly where user access on mobile devices is concerned.

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SRAM eTap wiring (being the second part of remodelling the Cervelo P3C)

In which I test (and implement) some alternative wiring possibilities for SRAM eTap gear shifters

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My Venerable Hed H3 Trispoke Wheels

Hed H3 wheels are  probably Team Grumpy’s go-to wheel - they are pretty close to being indestructable (but not invulnerable) - they aren’t likely to go out of true as there aren’t any spokes to break or lose tension. 

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My Current Power Meters

In which I review the power meters I've been using over the last few years. All of these seem to be accurate and consistent in their data. This is a brief review of the four systems I currently use - and to cut to the chase, of these four power meters, which would I recommend as a power meter on a new bike build?

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Brooks B17

A supremely comfortable saddle for touring use. Possibly my oldest bike component that is still in use (even if only occasionally).

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The eTap Blipbox and the Cervelo P5

In which I grab the soldering iron and splice together wires and plugs to place the 'brains' of the eTap system deep in the bowels of my TT frame!

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Pedals - Speedplay X R.I.P.

For the last 6 years or so, my favoured pedals have been Speedplay X series pedals. I’ve enjoyed using these pedals because they are light (though the cleats are heavy, as they contain the clipping mechanism), have a remarkable amount of float and they offer dual sided entry.

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SRAM eTap Aero – Part 4

This is a longer term follow up to the previous postings on my experiences with the SRAM Red eTap Aero derailleur system. I was an early adopter, buying the eTap aero kit in early 2016. A bit of a glitch occurred in November 2016 when the BlipBox malfunctioned, and this was resolved later that winter.

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As maintenance-free as possible…

A few months ago, I reviewed the Shand Stoater bike that I’d bought as a problem-free commuter bike / tourer / winter bike - it’s equipped with a Rohloff hub gear and a Gates carbondrive belt rather than derailleur gears and a chain. Since then, I’ve used the bike a couple of times a week as a commuter (the rest of the rides to work are on a tandem), and out twice a weekend for club runs and the like. In that time, the only mechanical problem I’ve had has been a repeated puncture caused by a tiny black thorn in the rear tyre - so small and black my ageing eyes couldn’t spot it. Other than that, it’s been great fun to ride - and even dealing with a rear wheel puncture has been a lot less messy than with a chain.

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A New Bike for 2019 - Shand Stoater

One of the things about commuting and touring that can be a bit irritating is keeping the transmission running sweetly in the face of sometimes wet and horrible weather. In the past I’ve had rusted and worn chains, clogged derailleurs and so forth. A few years back we bought a new tandem from Thorn, a Raven  Twin, which was equipped with a Rohloff 14-speed hub. This has been really great, especially with a set of high quality KMC chains, which do resist rust quite well (recent SRAM chains rusted badly, though I can’t recall the model). I’ve particularly welcomed the ability to change gear when stationary, which seems to me to be important when riding a heavily loaded tandem.

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Remodelling a Cervelo P3

This autumn/winter, I planned to refurbish my 2010 Cervelo P3. Over the last year or two, I’d gone from 9 speed to 11 speed Dura-Ace, so that I could swap wheels with my main time trial bike, a Cervelo P5, which is presently equipped with SRAM eTap kit and concealed Magura RT8 hydraulic brakes.

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Astwood ’20’ 15/9/18

I realise I haven’t blogged too often about time trialling (and cycling in general) this year. That reflects considerable personal and work-related things getting in the way of (a) training, (b) racing, (c) cycle touring and (d) blogging.

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Norlond '10' F15/10 5/5/18

So now I've started, I'll continue!

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Astwood '10' 2/5/18

The 2018 season has been pretty awful so far. I had not completed a single one of the NBRC events (which began in early March). Roughly speaking, these fell out as follows:

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A visit to the F. T. Bidlake Memorial

I live and time trial in the London North District, where the flagship course over many years has been the F1, which uses the A1 dual carriageway (formerly the Great North Road). The Great North Road has been significant in the history of English time trialling over the years. Nowadays, events on the A1 in this area are restricted to the stretch of road between the Black Cat roundabout and the Baldock interchange, where the A1 becomes the A1(M) and beyond which bicycles aren't permitted. When I first moved down here, things were different, with time trials reaching thr Alconbury interchange - over the years, I've ridden a variety of course permutations - the majority of which are based on a start point near Tempsford (and usually using the Stuart Memorial Hall in Tempsford.I'd been aware of the F. T. Bidlake memorial near Sandy for some time, but until today hadn't actually visited. There's a brief biography of Frederick Thomas Bidlake (1867-1933) at wikipedia - put briefly, his role in English time trialling was significant.In the 1890s, cycle racing on roads was threatened following an incident between a couple of racing cyclists (Bidlake and a friend, pluse their pacers) and a lady with a horse which, startled by the cyclists, reared causing the cyclists to wind up in the ditch. Despite the fact that most damage was caused to the cyclists, complaints to the polices about cyclists' behaviour led to concerns that cycle riding on roads might be banned - at the time there was some pressure to amend to Highways Act. To forestall this, the National Cyclists Union banned racing on the road and insisted competitive cycling should only take place on tracks (known as 'paths' in those days).Not everyone agreed with the NCU's decision, and a rival organisation was set up - the Road Racing Council - and Bidlake organised a road race on 5th October 1895 which essentially used the time trial formula used to this day. Though it's not true to say Bidlake invented time trialling, he was one of those who codified the sport.Bidlake worked in a number of sports, including the Scheider Trophy for seaplanes in which he was timekeeper. Ultimately, Bidlake died three weeks after a fall on Barnet Hill due to collision with a car. The memorial was erected in 1934 after a public subscription. It's quite a modest affair, with a box hedge enclosing a triangular plot near the A1 at Sandy. Here's a Google Maps link that shows where it is.[caption id="attachment_4097" align="alignnone" width="1000"] The Bidlake memorial garden - in a rather inaccessible location[/caption]There's a stone pedestal that looks to have had something cut off - from the Wikipedia page, I think it formerly supported a sundial - with a legend "He measured time".[caption id="attachment_4096" align="aligncenter" width="563"] The pedestal that formerly held a sundial[/caption]Above a bench, there's a plaque inscribed

THIS GARDEN IS DEDICATED TOFREDERICK THOMAS BIDLAKEA GREAT CYCLISTA MAN OF SINGULAR CHARM & CHARACTERAN UNTIRING WORKER FOR CYCLISTS1867-1933

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Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up '25' 11/3/18

Team Grumpy assemble for two regular events each season - aside from the Duo Normand in September, the team generally opens the season with a ride at the Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up '25' in early March. 2018 was no exception. This year (as last year), the event was shifted to the fast R25/3H instead of the more rolling course usually used, owing to roadworks.

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Astwood '10' 3/3/18

It's been a while since I updated this blog. After the 2017 season finished, I began my usual winter training programme - after a short break I started a build up towards the New Year's Day '10'. Unfortunately a series of events significantly more important than training impacted on me, and my training suffered, and I did not ride the New Year's Day '10' for the first time in many years.I'd been looking forward to the opening event of the North Bucks Road Club time trial series. This was a Saturday morning event to which we'd hoped to attract newcomers. Unfortunately we have had a modest snowfall, and the event got cancelled. So, not much of a blog entry. Perhaps there will be a bit more action next weekend!In the meantime I discovered that the left hand Speedplay pedal on my main time trial bike (which hasn't been ridden since the Duo Normand) has pretty much seized up. I've tried injecting copious grease but that doesn't seem to have sorted the situation, which is sufficiently serious that I have taken the extraordinary steps of resorting to eBay to buy a set of replacement bearings. Hopefully they will arrive in time to overhaul the pedals before next weekend's time trial (which is the first open event of 2018 for me -  a 25 mile 2-up).

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Stoke Hammond '10' 31/5/17

After a couple of weeks without racing (and indeed a week off the bike), I turned out for the club '10' on a sunny evening at the end of May. I've been getting a little concerned about the downturn in my form lately, which is partly why I took a bit of a break from training, so I was keen to see how this evening's '10' would go.I was quite a late starter in the field, and it was clearly quite a nice evening for a '10'. The starting stretch was OK, I avoided overcooking it at the start. Sadly, once I turned left up the DC drag, things went a bit pear-shaped. I clipped the edge of a large pothole (the whole course suffers from too many road defects), which bounced out my bottle, and caused me to run into the grassy verge. I was rather exasperated, at this and decided to get off to retrieve the bottle and check the bike was OK. I noticed that the impact had loosened the ratchet on my left shoe! So, by the time I'd got sorted, given the bike a quick once-over, and tightened up my shoe, I'd lost about a minute and 20 seconds. Despite that, and the fact I was having to get going on an uphill stretch, I decided to complete the course.After my altercation with the pothole, I was acutely aware of the remaining numerous potholes, which I managed to avoid. Also, there were no traffic related holdups! I finished with 24:40, not too shabby given the disastrous ride!

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Lea Valley '25' E2/25 8/4/17

Just a brief report here, drafted a month late. This event was run on a lovely spring afternoon, very warm and dry. A bit breezy, but no too bad. I'd travelled over with James, and we were about an warming up with plenty of time. Sadly, while James pulled off a 49:51 (I think he was 23rd, on a day when the third fastest '25' was recorded), all I could manage was 56:35, probably about a minute slower than I'd have expected. I have no idea why my form dipped so much (but I have some worries on that score). On the day, I just couldn't get comfy on the bike, and couldn't keep a steady effort. And getting slowed up at the turn wasn't a great morale-booster either. Oh well, onwards and upwards. I hope! 

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