Sunday, May 6, 2012

Raven TT #2

Between last weeks race and this weeks race I was able to pick up a new seat post (cheap Performance Brand) and swap out cranks, going from 172.5mm to 170mm cranks to make the final needed changes to my TT set up.

My old seat post was a reversed Ritchey, but didn't quite have enough room to get the saddle level which made the front of the saddle raise up a few degrees, which was uncomfortable on longer rides/races. The new saddle...though originally did the same thing...lets me have full range of motion regardless of which way it's placed in the seat post (I had to file down a nub on each side to do this).

This gives my bike an effective seat tube angle of 78 degrees. The stock STA on my Fuji is 76 degrees and using the reversed seat post gives me 2cm of extra forward saddle placement...thus giving me an approximate 2 degrees extra of STA.

As for the cranks...most people tend to go longer with their cranks on TT it's a bit counter-intuitive going to shorter cranks. The reasoning for shorter cranks is this:

  1. I have short femurs and shorter cranks work better for me
  2. Shorter cranks reduce the amount of flex in the knee, thus keeping your power stroke better (more bend = less power).
  3. Shorter cranks allow me to raise my saddle just a little which helps with hip angle

When I made the changes to the bike and took it for it's initial spin around the finally, just felt "Right". This was a good sign. I then took it out for 2.5 hours on Wednesday to make sure saddle height, fore/aft positioning, etc. were correct and did a trip up Pumpkin Ridge to see how it felt under power for an extended period of time. As it turns out with my saddle a little low I set my fastest time (on my TT bike) up Pumpkin Ridge by about 1.5 minutes.

So...The Raven TT #2 was it's first real test under full, race conditions.

The conditions were a bit trickier than last week with more wind that seemed to be a head wind on the way out with a cross wind on the way back. Most people were turning in times similar to last week, so it couldn't have made too much of a difference overall.

The end result was I ran a 28:14 which was a PR by 28 seconds on this course and 36 seconds faster than last week. The bike also felt really good, especially on the flats where I was able to push a bigger gear and was more comfortable.

Looking at the results again, it appears they changed...I moved up into 1st place by 2 seconds for my first win of the season.

It should be interesting to see if I'm any faster at the PIR TT that takes place on Memorial Day this year.

Overall...I still took 2nd in the Masters 40+ class and had the 9th (?) fastest time on the day (though one was a tandem and an other was by the same guy racing two classes). But I feel good about the effort because my fit feels pretty dialed in, I think I could have gone a good 10 seconds faster and I set a PR on the course by a large margin.

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