Cranky's Corner

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Tag: garmin

New Kit Day!

Everyone loves new kit, but ever wonder what it would feel like to be a pro and get new kit all logo’d out? Well I sorta do thanks to Competitive Cyclist and their sale on 2015 items. Take a gander what I splurged on…

Dressed like a pro in some Cannonade-Garmin kit!

Dressed like a pro in some Cannonade-Garmin kit!

Now normally I wouldn’t buy a pro team kit for fear of looking like a Fred, but when it’s 50+% off and I ride the equipment in question I just can’t pass it up especially when it’s specific pieces I have always wanted to get but would never pay full price for.

From left to right we have the Fawesome 2 vest, Gabba 2 short sleeve jersey, Aero Race 5.0 jersey and in the center there is the Volo bibs and a pair of matching Castelli socks.

The Gabba 2 jersey has been on my radar for a while, it’s a staple of the pro peloton even for non sponsored teams and it quite the piece of it. It’s essentially a soft shell jersey so it’s great on those cool questionable days without the need for a vest and can be paired with a pair of arm warmers. It also has a drop tail to keep spray off your back side should the weather take a turn for the worst.

The Fawesome 2 vest is made of the same material as the Gabba but it’s obviously in a vest form. This is a huge improvement from my current nylon style vest which despite a bunch of venting still doesn’t breath as well as I’d like it to.

The Aero Race jersey is new for me. I was planning on purchasing the Team 2.0 jersey (it’s they same cut but different material) but my size was sold out so I went for the Aero Race. Fit is as you’d expect but this thing is lightweight! It’s going to get a lot of use during the summer that is for sure.

The Volo bibs are also new for me. I have several pairs of Free Aero Race bibs in different kits and they are alway comfortable with the Progetto X2 chamois. I have read reviews to stay away with from bibs with the KISS chamois which is what the Volo has but I figured since they were on sale and the Aero Race bibs weren’t available in the team colors I’d try them out. So far I am pleased with them. Fit is like the other bibs and the chamois is comfortable at least on the hour trainer ride I did. More testing still needs to be done but I think they will be fine for longer rides.

Overall I’m very impressed with these pieces of kit. I’ve always been a fan of Castello kit and have several others in my closet. These items are just the icing on the cake now!

It has been a weird winter + updates!

What a strange winter it has been with unseasonably high temps for the past couple of months. Yesterday was the first snow/sleet/freezing rain we have seen and it is just about all gone now and is forecast to be 60 degrees F tomorrow on Dec 31st. This warm weather means I have been able to still ride outside on occasion. Not as much as I’d like because it’s usually almost dark by the time I get home but I have been able to get my new Cannondale CAAD10 out for about 120 miles or so over the past month. When I bought it I figured it would be mounted in the trainer by now and I’d have the CX tires on the TriCross for the mid winter jaunts. But instead the TriCross is still in the trainer, speaking of which…

I’ve had a trainer of some sort for the past 15 years. 2 years ago I upgraded the cheap magnetic trainer to a nice Kurt Kinetic Road Machine fluid trainer. Boy what a difference that made in feel! Last year I took winter training to a whole new level with Trainer Road. It really helped me improve my fitness over the winter and come spring I wasn’t gasping for air at the tops of climbs as had been the case in previous years. Then early this year Zwift came along and I was in heaven between structured training via Trainer Road and fun rides on Zwift – all will still being indoors. So coming into this winter knowing I would be spending a good amount of time on the trainer again (and looking forward to it) I decided to up the ante and purchase a Wahoo KICKR. What a game changer that machine is. There is no slacking on Trainer Road, which is good, plus you can really work on your cadence w/o having to worry about shifting gears and finding that perfect combination. Then with Zwift the climbs become real! Resistance increases as the grade goes up and you’ve got to react with gear changes and even standing like you would in real life. The KICKR is certainly an investment but I’m on it at least 5-6 days a week and has been really beneficial to my training. Plus with two bikes now I’m likely to leave one mounted in the trainer year round for rainy day training sessions.

Now some of my astute readers I’m sure will be quick to point out that Zwift has its own workout mode now, so why am I still using Trainer Road? Honestly, while they are some good workouts on Zwift, I just don’t think Zwift’s workout mode is that mature yet (it is still “beta”). I think for the casual rider who has never done structured workouts before it’s a good step but Trainer Road offers so much more with their plans and metrics. Yes you can get some of that with Strava but not completely. I still use Trainer Road and Zwift at the same time like last year, as it provides a nice distraction instead of just staring at numbers and charts on the screen. Recently I’ve also been catching up in the Trainer Road podcasts while riding so that’s another distraction as well. Although last night I listened to one while doing my FTP test and I really don’t remember any of it… the podcast that is, I certainly remember the test… ouch! (but hey FTP increased by 8%!) I just started my second phase of Sweet Spot training and then will probably get into the Sustained Power build phase and then either the Climbing or Century specialty phases. I don’t race and the biggest thing I have planned so far is an 87 miler with almost 6000′ of elevation so I’m undecided at this point which may suit me better keeping in mind I will be doing other centuries (metric & imperial) over the season.

On to other things… I know earlier in the year after purchasing my Garmin Edge 1000 I mentioned I would do a more complete complete comparison of it against the Magellan Cyclo 505, but honestly I don’t want to waste my time. Software updates to the Magellan have been non existent and there really is no comparison at this point. Garmin continues to update and improve the Edge 1000 with frequent software releases. The biggest complaint about the Garmin is its navigation but in my testing when using the open source maps it has been adequate. Is it as good as routing as the Magellan, probably not, but it has never failed to get me where I’m going either. As for all the other features the Garmin wins hands down.

Well since this will likely be my last post of the year, I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year! And hopefully old man winter stays indoors for us Northeastern’ers and I can continue to ride outdoors on the weekends!

 

Garmin 1000 or Magellan Cyclo 505?

For about a year now I have been using a Magellan Cyclo 505 and my cycling computer/GPS navigation device. It’s been a good device throughout that time but it hasn’t been without its problems.

When it was first released in the US & AU in April of 2014 (the UK already had it for a year prior) it came with software version 4.0. It worked right out of the box, paired with my Bluetooth sensors perfectly and worked as expected. Bluetooth was important to me as I already had those sensors from when I was using my iPhone. If I had gone with a Garmin I would have needed to replace those senors with ANT+ versions. Unfortunately my good fortune wasn’t experienced by everyone and there were many reports of users suffering from what was dubbed the “distance doubling bug”. What would happen is when some people paused their ride (either manually or automatically) and then resumed their ride the Cyclo would double the distance they had traveled. In some cases the error would correct itself later in the ride, other times it wouldn’t and sometimes it would propagate itself to the Magellan Cyclo website where rides are uploaded to. Thankfully services like Strava disregard many of these false stats and re-calc the rides themselves. Support tickets were created and users were assured a fix was in the works.

Fast forward to October 2014 and 4.1 was released which was to take care of the distance doubling bug. For some uses it did just that, but for others, like me, it actually introduced the bug into their rides. Of course I updated right before a 100k charity ride which got recorded as 469575.82 miles instead of the usual ~60 miles. After some testing and compiling of data from users on the CycloGPS.com forum we figured out the bug only seemed to affect certain BTLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) sensors and did not seem to affect ANT+ sensors at all. I logged a ticket and was told a fix would be out in about “2 weeks” which seems to be their standard line, which equates to about 6 months. To band-aid the problem some users just stopped using sensors, others took the magnet off their wheel and just used GPS speed or others, like me, went out and purchased ANT+ speed & cadence sensors. So what once was a selling point for me mattered no more.

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