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Biking in Beijing

July 30th, 2015 Comments off

Sorry, no English translation.
MatevzH_kolo-4592Pred kratkim je bila objavljena lestvica najbolj kolesarskih mest na svetu. Na lestvico se je uvrstila tudi Ljubljana, po moje kar malo presenetljivo. Pa vendar. Kaj pa Peking, ki je bil včasih mesto koles, ki so bila glavno prevozno sredstvo?

Danes so kolesa še vedno tu. Za kolesarje so tudi namenjene posebne (dostikrat precej široke) kolesarske poti. V Pekingu je kolo še vedno predvsem prevozno sredstvo, zato je tudi tretirano tako. Ne pustijo te v peš cone (kot pri nas), še manj pa v parke, ki so namenjeni samo pešcem. Vseeno se sliši, kot da je Peking zabavno mesto za kolesarjenje?

Kot prvo… obvezna oprema. Čelada bi bila super, pa vendar jo po hitrem pregledu uporablja mogoče en na 100 kolesarjev. Pa še ta je tujec. Oz. Čez vikend jo ima na glavi nadebuden kolesar na specialki. Najpomembnejši na kolesu je zvonec, saj si brez tega neslišen. In rabiš ga pogosto. Dostikrat preprosto samo zato, da drugemu kolesarju ali pešcu sporočiš da si na cesti. Druga pomembna zadeva so luči. Seveda kolesarske poti niso osvetljene in tukaj je tudi poleti kmalu tema (že okoli 20h). Sicer se kitajski kolesarji (in motoristi) skoraj strogo držijo prakse, da luči ni treba uporabljati, pa vendar. Bolje je biti vsaj malo viden, mar ne. Zato sta obe luči kar obvezni, saj se vozniki ravnajo po principu močnejšega in jim je rahlo vseeno ali te vidijo ne. Itak je tvoja naloga da se jim umakneš. Dobro je imeti tudi dobre zavore, saj vozniki “don’t give a shit” in se moraš precejkrat hitro ustaviti. Pomembna je tudi maska proti onesnaženosti, saj je včasih zrak prav neznosno umazan in smrdi (meni osebno tak svinčen vonj). Obvezna oprema pa je tudi velika mera potrpežljivosti (ki pa jo sčasoma zmanjkuje) in zelo dobro obvladanje kolesa.

MatevzH_kolo-4572Še nekaj primerov “dobre” kitajske prakse:
– tudi če imajo kolesarji in pešci zeleno luč, avtomobili lahko na križišču zavijajo desno… in jasno je kdo ima prednost.
– če imaš na križišču zeleno luč to še ne pomeni, da je varno iti čez križišče (pozor predvsem pred avtomobili)
– parkiranje na kolesarski stezi ni nič posebnega in sankcioniranega
– če odpiraš vrata, ko imaš avto parkiran na ali ob kolesarski stezi, seveda ne pogledaš ali se kdo približuje
– ustavljanje (brez kakršnega koli signala) in zavijanje na kolesarsko stezo brez signala je običaj
– avto, ki se pelje po kolesarjem namenjeni poti seveda glasno sporoča svoj položaj s hupo… seveda ima on prednost
– ni nenavadno da avto, ki je bil parkiran na kolesarski stezi, spelje ravno ko ga začneš prehitevat in se ponovno ustavi čez par metrov…
– vožnja v nasprotno stran (kolesarjev, motorjev in avtomobilov) je običajna.
– ni mi še uspelo ugotoviti v katero smer se mora kdo umakniti ko ti kdo pripelje nasproti. Velja ponovno pravilo močnejšega (ne pa cestnoprometnih pravil). Se pa ponavadi nasproti vozeči kolesarji in motoristi (če se pelješ pravilno) peljejo po desni strani ceste…

Sicer pa so tudi kolesarji/motoristi/rikšarji cvetke:
– takoj ko gredo na cesto pozabijo na vsa cestnoprometna pravila…
– semaforji in prometni znaki imajo bolj indikativni značaj… who cares če je pa rdeča luč in polno prometa
– nihče ne uporablja luči ponoči… in ni važno v katero smer se pelje
– uporaba mobilnega telefona med kolesarjenjem (v katerokoli smer) je nekaj običajnega…
– na prehodih za pešče imajo seveda prednost močnejši in večji… torej kolesarji…
– čelade? kaj so to?

Neglede na vse… kolesarjenje je lahko prav zabavno, čeprav občasno kar naporno 🙂 In včasih najbolj učinkovit prevoz.

Categories: 2015-2017 China, Asia, China, Mtb / cycling Tags:

Laghi di Fusine with bicycle

June 12th, 2015 Comments off

Categories: Mtb / cycling, sport, video Tags:

IRONMAN Austria – bike course

June 15th, 2014 Comments off

IRONMAN Austria is one of the fastest ironman courses on the ironman circuit. Bike route is also extremly fast due to two factors. It is undulating and relatively straight – only two or three sharper corners where one needs to brake hard. Bike course is perfectly marked (congratulations to austrians to keep these markings on the road) and it isn’t difficult to follow also in off time. In 2014 there was only one corner, where I had problems and made a wrong turn (you will not have that problem during the race) – Schieffling am See. Beware, that you have to turn right before Billa store.

Despite its popularity and speed, bike course is not the easiest. At least the profile is quite hilly, though at the same time, there are no extremly difficult uphills. The lowest point is at the Worthersee (450m above sea level), the highest is at around 700m above sea level at the top of Rupertiberg. There are two major climbs. First towards Faaker See, at around km 32 (km 122 in the second lap), which is not particularly long, but can get steep (only around 1.5km long). The second is Rupertiberg on km 66 (km 156 in the second lap). This one is longer and also partly quite steep. However, if you are accustomed to difficult alpine climbs both climbs will seem easy. There are also some minor climbs on the route, but are not so difficult, however they do slow you down (unless you are a pro).

Bike Course is in my opinion (and also according to my garmin) slightly shorter of 90km, but it climbs in total around 1700m of altitude (850m per lap). The descent are relatively fast and easy and mostly doable on aerobars. There are though a few corners where one needs to be careful. The road has mostly good surface, the worst in the Klagenfurt, where road along the stadium is realy bad.

Tables to help with swimming, cycling and running tempo

April 10th, 2014 Comments off

Tables to help with swimming, cycling and running tempo enable us to determine how fast we need to get to moving to reach certain goals.

Swimming – tempo, minutes per 100m. Measured in several distances, from 100m to 3800m (ironman)
Cycling – average speed, kilometres per hour. Measured in several distances, from 1km to 180km (ironman)
Running – tempo, minutes per 1000m. Measured in several distances, from 1km to 42km (marathon)

For each distance, appropriate tempo (speed)  and time are defined. All distances are in metric!

 

DOWNLOAD PACE TABLES IN PDF:

SWIMMING
CYCLING
RUNNING

 

Some interesting web pace calculators
Cool Running
McMillan Running
Runners World
Run Works

Categories: Mtb / cycling, Swim, misc, sport, Run Tags:

Fuji Norcom Straight 2.1 – review

April 9th, 2014 Comments off

 

In 2013 Fuji started with a new line of triathlon bikes to replace a very successful D6. A line of bikes called Norcom Straight was presented, and that was greeted with a mixed comments – from very good to quite critical. Later another line was presented, Aloha, but i’ll focus on Norcom Straight. It is offered in 5 different frame sizes and two basic versions, which differ especially in the quality of carbon. Version 1.* has carbon C10 , while version 2.* is C5. Key differences is in weight and rigidity of the material.

I have a model Norcom Straight 2.1, therefore i’ll focus my description on this bike. Others may differ, also due to the fact that different price ranges of the equipment are used. 2.1 is the “high end” version with the C5 carbon.

Design – frame – handling

With its focus on fit, Fuji set off on the quest for maximum adjustability, so thateveryone would be able to find their perfect position. Fuji claims “We’ve created a bike that fits to the rider, rather than forcing the rider to fit to the bike.”. It also claims that the Norcom boasts an 18 per cent improvement in aerodynamics over the D6. Model 2.1 is blue and it really looks great. The cable routing is quite clean and done inside the frame. As expected, bike works great on straights, is solid uphill, there is also no twisting or something similar. Fuji also said it made this bike stiffer comparing to predecessor, they have introduced BB86 bottom brackets to improve the BB stiffness. Cornering and responsiveness of the bike is also good enough, though it cannot match dedicated road bikes on twisting roads. The only problem i had was with the strong side wind, where it was really uncomfortable (and shaky) to ride on aerobars. But i guess that could be a problem with most tri bikes. The stem can be slammed within the pocket for an ultra-aggressive position or mounted on stacked, custom-designed spacers that fit directly within the pocket for a more upright position. On the latter, even longer rides on aerobars were comfortable, and the bike is certainly well suited for ironman. The weight is OK (i’m not a weight weenie), with ultegra gear weighs 8.74kg.

Equipment

With Norcom Straight 2.1 equipment is Shimano Ultegra, with 11 gears. The extra equipment is mostly from Oval (aerobars, saddle, chainset), brakes are TRP. What i miss is better suited frame for extra storage of drinks. For example, frame holds only one bottle (there are no other holes). There are also holes in a seat post, but, as they are planned for electronic shifting battery, not really usable and distanced to close, to hold or to be able to fix a bottle holder (even if you don’t use electric).

Drivetrain One cannot argue much against Shimano Ultegra group. It’s light, the shifts are crisp and quick (though shifting levers on aerobars is so so), it basically has great features. It is a true workhorse for those who don’t want to pay premium, but still want durability, low weight and more. Front has 53/39 teeth, while cassette on the back 11-28. This enables even tri bike to have a very low gear for going uphill. Of course, it doesn’t do wonders and sometimes (for example Ironman 70.3 in Austria) i had wished I had some more “teeth” in the back or less in the front.

Brakes are aerodynamic, hidden behind the fork. They look great, but they are not so great when it comes to setting them properly as they are more difficult to set up as ordinary brakes. They are OK in action, but not really good. I trust them much less than normal road bike brakes.

Steering Handlebar is Oval 750 (aluminium) with aluminium bars… (S-bend). In principle is highly customizable and Oval and Fuji have gone a long way. However, problems start when using it. First of all, from the front, due to its thickness, it doesn’t look very aero. But i will not argue that. Problem is in it core construction. The aerobars (or basically elbow pads) would come loose and shift while riding. Really annoying when you, after 90km, end up in different position that you started. And when this pads start rubbing the handlebar. I tried overtighting (far above what Fuji and Oval suggest), but it still comes loose after so many kilometers or hours. The handlebar is adjustable, but it is not sturdy enough to be usable – this is probably the worst point of this bike. I don’t have any complaints with braking levers.

Saddle was the first thing I changed. Its a very personal thing, and I just didn’t like the feel of original saddle (Oval R500T Triathlon). No way that my soft spot liked it. I replaced it with Specialized Sitero Expert, which is perfect for me. On the other hand, seat post is excellent and customizable.

Wheels are carbon wheels, with aluminium braking pads. Adjustability is a bit difficult, but ok. Clincher. Height is 45 mm, and that is already an entrance to the aero teritory. 20 spokes in front, 24 in the back, both wheels weigh 1757 grams, so they are not the lightest on the market.

Testing of the bike and impressions Bicycle looks great, though i would prefer less visible and standing out Fuji and Oval fonts. The equipment is Ultegra and very reliable. However, after months of riding the bike I always hade some noise from the transmission and even servicing the bike wasn’t able to fully get rid of it. I would prefer to have an electronic shifting, however that would markedly raise the price. All in all, bike is aerodynamic, adjustable and great for fast and long straights. What I didn’t like? Handlebars are just awful. You can adjust them, but they move in time. I’m not sure about the quality of TRP brakes. They are in very aerodynamic positions, but they also don’t give confidence for braking. Cornering could be better, but hey, this bike is made for straights. And very good value for money.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Value: 4.5 out 5

More info on the bike… http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/norcom-straight-21#bk_desc_tab

Specs:

SIZES S (49cm), M (51cm), M/L (53cm), L (55cm), XL (57cm)
COLOR(S) Blue
MAIN FRAME C5 high-modulus aero carbon tubing, integrated seat clamp, integrated head tube, water bottle mount
REAR TRIANGLE C5 high-modulus carbon aero stays w/ chainstays-mounted brake, vertical dropout w/ adjustment for wheel position
FORK FC-440 carbon aero monocoque w/ 1 1/8″ carbon steerer, integrated airfoil brakes
CRANKSET Oval 720 hollow forged alloy, 53/39T
BOTTOM BRACKET Press-fit BB86 sealed bearing
PEDALS N/A
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Ultegra, braze-on mount
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Ultegra, 11-speed
SHIFTERS Shimano SL-BSR1 Bar End TT shifters, 22-speed
CASSETTE Shimano Ultegra, 11-28T, 11-speed
CHAIN KMC X11L, 11-speed
WHEELSET Oval 945 carbon/alloy clincher, 45mm rim – 700c
TIRES Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick, 60 tpi, 700c x 23mm
BRAKE SET TRP aero TTV
BRAKE LEVERS Oval 701 forged alloy
HEADSET FSA press-fit top/integrated bottom bearing, 1 1/8″
HANDLEBAR Oval 750 alloy base bar w/ 750 S bend alloy extensions
STEM Oval 760 aero, 31.8mm, 8 degrees
TAPE/GRIP Oval 300 suede-padded tape
SADDLE Oval R500T Triathlon w/ CrMo hollow rails
SEAT POST Oval aero carbon multi-position
WEIGHT, LB./KG. 19.23 lbs / 8.74 kg
Categories: Mtb / cycling, review, sport, Equipment test Tags: