Thursday, March 10, 2011

It is a Trek Speed Concept - Haha

So there we have it. Like many I've been dreaming of a Speed Concept for sometime, don't get me wrong I loved my TTX SSL 9.9 (Black Beauty) and she was pimped up to the gills with Tula aerobars, Xlab Carbon Wing bottle mount, carbon/ti pedals, San Marco saddle and she was fast as they come but I coveted a Speed Concept just too much. I decided to go with the personalised paint job via Trek's Project One programme, I intend this to be my bike for many years to come (but we shall see). I rode it yesterday, an 84k ride that I use as part of my Ironman build up, I've done this ride many times before and yesterday was the fastest every a minute, without trying (although there's always going to be a bit of a boost on a new bike - placebo effect). All in all I couldn't be happier.

I'm loving the aerobox at the back. Tidies things up a lot with tools and spares nicely hidden away in there. Not to mention the sneaky way Trek have used the box to increase the aero advantage but within the UCI rules. Nice one Trek. Cervelo also did it on the P4 with their aero bottle of course (it's just a pity that the P4 is so ugly - haha)

With Trek's Project One you can opt to have your bike personalised with a name, I went for my pseudonym TriTwins which seemed appropriate, none contentious and no biggie if I sell the bike at some point in the future.

I'd committed to myself that if I was going to spend this sort of money on the ultimate bike then there would be no compromises. Therefore, I went with the electronic gear set with Shimano's Dura-ace Di2. Every time I change gear I chuckle to myself, it's just so mad to have electric gears on a bike. I have to say though that they save a slit second every shift and NEVER miss a gear or skip/scrape between gears. This has got to save time on the course, maybe only a minute over an Ironman but if you're trying to qualify then that makes a significant difference.

Not only that but don't you just hate hearing gears scraping and missing? There are few people that I ride with who's gears are always perfectly true. This is usually due to cable outers and inners getting too old and sticking slightly, usually people blame the bike shop who set the gears up but chances are the cables and outers need changing. I used to change mine 2 or 3 times a year but now I NEVER have to - there aren't any, just wires to send the signal from the bar buttons to the motor on the derailleurs.

More on the no compromise front, I bought the horribly expensive SRM power meter, I've been told by triathletes that I greatly respect that I'm missing a piece of the puzzle by not using a power meter.

I think I've done pretty well without one (and beat the power meter boys on the bike in Ironman last year). However, that's doesn't mean I don't believe in their preachings and contrary to popular opinion I'm not looking to go faster (my Ironman time is already around 5hrs and below) but I am looking to maximise efficiency.

I ride based on heart rate and cadence (I NEVER EVER look at speed). If you've trained enough, tapered and not sick on the day, then if you follow your predetermined heart rate and cadence the speed will look after itself. HOWEVER, this is not as scientific as it might be as there are always peaks and troughs in your effort. My plan is to use the power meter to reduce the magnitude of the peaks and troughs, effectively flatten out the effort with as consistent a power transfer as possible. My hope is that this will leave me less dehydrated and tired and in better shape to deal with the marathon - we shall see.

Looking from the cockpit the SRM head unit and the Di2 buttons, both on the aerobars and the brake levers - a real luxury if you're climbing and out of the aero position. Very Cool.

One note regarding Black Beauty, I had intended to sell her (or keep her as a back up bike if no one wanted her). However, when I turned up to collect the Speed Concept aka Gladys the shop had a shock for me. I'd asked them to try to identify a clicking noise around the bottom bracket. I'd replaced the BB set with a new Dura-ace one, replace the bearings in the pedals but it was still there and even getting worse - I wondered whether it was the chain, the chain rings or maybe the cassette. As it turned out it was MUCH MUCH worse. The chain stays were barely hanging on to the frame near the bottom bracket. I can only guess that where the metal joins the carbon the metal corroded and caused a weak point. There probably wasn't more than a few months left in the old girl so I was really lucky - had I not changed to Gladys then Black Beauty might have collapsed on me during IMChina.

Anyway, the upside (I hope) is that Trek will honour their lifetime guarantee and replace the frame with a new TTX SSL 9.9 or maybe even a Speed Concept. Either way, it's gonna be a great back up bike or else someone is gonna be a very proud owner of an amazing "second hand" bike. I'll keep you posted.


Cheong said...

Wow and congrats on the new bike!

Check out this piece of news in the Star 10 Mar 2011 with regards to having to ride on "special bicycle lanes" and the propose banning by the authorities on elec bikes because they can travel above 40Km/h.

Shhh.....Don't tell them that "regular road and tri bikes" can easily do that kind of speed. Also, where are these "special lanes" in KL/Sgor?

heckler said...

nice bike Simon. Show us the pix with those aero wheels.

Rueban B said...

Nice machine. I look forward to hearing about your ripping power numbers, when you get the SRM going.
I'll be back in 7 weeks and then we'll ride.


Matty O said...

I am just in awe of the thing. To be honest the electronic shifters on BOTH the handle bars and the aerobars is pure genius.

Love this thing.

Kona bound baby!

Simon said...

C, thansk. I checked out the article and although I agree we go a lot faster than 40kph at times but the point was that kids could legally ride them without helmets so some sort of control needs to be put in place.

H, Will do butneed to get used to it first.

R, Looking forward to seeing you here. As for the numbers - hopefully should have that working tomorrow morning

M, Nothing worse than a flash git on an expensive bike going slow haha so yes hopefully Kona bound but it's never a given.

yipwt said...

Nice bike...and the point job is cool are already fast on the previous bike, so this time it's gonna be faster...

Simon said...

Hey Yip, thanks, let's hope so.

pacemaker chan said...

Very nice, beatifully done for the name and paint job. May i know what model of this speed concept? Are you going to sell the Black Beaty as i'm finding affordable bike. Thanks Simon

Simon said...

Hey Chan, The model is a 9.9 with Di2's and a Project One paint Job.

Unfortunately Black Beauty is dead. When I took her in to have the new bike measured against her the shop found that the frame was broken. It should be replaced via the lifetime guarantee assuming they play ball.

They may replace it with a TTX or if they have none left then a Speed Concept. Either way I'll likely then sell it or keep it as a back up bike.

Keep your eyes on the blog as no doubt I'll be sharing the outcome with everyone.

pacemaker chan said...

Thanks Simon, if you intend to sell it dont forget about me :) I really like all the accesories you did on your Speed Concept and Black Beauty.