Thursday, May 14, 2009


I'd like to officially welcome Spring to Chicago. The last few weeks have hinted at the joys of leaving winter behind, but now that everything is in full bloom and the mornings don't require head warmers I thing we can comfortably assume we're done with snow and ice in the near-term.

I pop a shot every once in a while walking through the Lurie Garden on my way to work from the commuter station - the changes these last few weeks have been dramatic.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fresh Kit

The new road team kit is here! We're rockin the white for staying cool in the warmer months and because it's PRO to match your race bike. Aaron has a few extra available if anyone is interested.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Spring Setup

I love riding this time of year. It's cool and dark in the mornings, my legs start feeling better, I'm inspired to be on the bike again, and there is just enough foul weather to make each ride feel like an adventure.

Every spring I find my bikes setup a little bit different from the year before. I put the SRB away last year after I raced it at the Jackson Park Chicago Cross Cup opener. I'm still rocking the single vertical bottle cage, but I swapped the not CX appropriate 700x26c slicks for something faster. I'm trying a 10mm longer stem and am thinking about raising my saddle just a hair. Anyone have experience raising a saddle after years of the exact same saddle to BB measurement?

Refreshingly, I've been with out a cyclometer on the bike all winter and spring. I don't have any sophisticated workouts, and have enjoyed relying on the 'sensations' from my legs. However, I do expect the cyclometer will be back soon...

I love the Chris King / EDGE wheels on the road. I get that they are totally overkill at this point in the season, but my DT wheels are wrapped in the free, steel beaded 26c tires and I really wanted to try out my CX race wheels on the road. During the cross season I spent some time on the road with these but it was cold, icy and they were shod in 32c knobbies. During the races I was dealing with all the typical drag inducing scenarios that rob any sense of speed. However, the wheels provide an advantage in the sand and mud and the whole wheel set (clinchers) are light at just over 1400g.

On the asphalt they are fast fast fast, and buttery smooth. The 38mm profile is quick but completely unbothered by gusty winds from any direction (I did have some trouble over the winter with these on windy, icy days). And the Chris King hubs are such a treat on the road. I've had two set of CK hubs on a few different mountain bikes and always enjoyed the performance, easy maintenance, and screaming windup buzz they make when you catch nice air. In a CX race you just appreciate that they are the most reliable hub you could build a set of wheels on - there is just not enough blood in the head to think about anything else. However, on the road you can really enjoy the smooth power delivery, and the sound the freehub makes at 30+ mph is awesome! You never hit that speed on a mountain bike in a setting where you can hear anything.

After a hard 5:30am effort last Friday my bike and I both had a proper layer of winter thaw. Equal parts rain, mud and street grime makes for a photogenic patina and a good excuse to pull out the camera.