Saturday, September 24, 2011

High Baron ZR with U-Bar (Tweener)!

This bike was very popular at Recumbent Cycle Con last Sunday. People liked the sensation of having close to even weight distribution between the wheels, and the lower seat height than most other dual 700c wheeled bikes. The U-bar was more popular than the tiller as it made it easier to sit upright in the seat at stops and get on and off the bike.

We actually have 3 of these in stock now, 2 with a U bar and one with a tiller. We also have low Barons with both bars built up and ready to go. We have a Cougar too!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

JV, Why Do I Struggle in the Mountains?

Here is a table of what happens to a human's ability to produce power as altitude goes up, due to lower partial pressure of oxygen:

Use the Bassett non-acclimatized column if you have not been training at altitude for over 2 weeks. A rough rule is to subtract 10% of your power at sea level for every 5000' you go up. Also note that the gains from acclimatization are not huge. We used this on RAAM to keep from going into the red through the Rockies. Over Wolf Creek Pass (10,800') my power was down a bit over 20%, but it felt like my perceived exertion was just the same as it had been for the last 2 days. I was breathing pretty hard too, as some of you may have seen in the video.

Note the implication here: if you drop 5000', you will gain power, assuming you are not a non-responder, according to the percentage gain for a non acclimatized person, but from your acclimatized level, due to extra red blood cells! This means you may be at 105% for a while. This effect will fade in a few months.

Aerodynamic drag goes down with altitude, so you may descend faster. Many records are set at 6000' to 7000' elevation because of this.

On acclimatization to altitude:
The take away from this is that unless you can spend a bare minimum of 2 weeks training at altitude, you are better off showing up just before the event and doing it. Roughly a third of the population are non-responders, meaning no amount of training at altitude will lead to any physiological adaptation. My brother is a non-responder, but I have never had a chance to find out if I am.

Also make sure you take care of yourself just like on all your other rides:
  • Nutrition (~250cal/hour?), hydration (bottle/hour?), and electrolyte intake.
  • Could you lighten your bike and gear and still be prepared for the event?
  • Get some lower rolling resistance tires that will still be durable enough for the event? Here is the data:
  • Keep your cadence up in the zone where you are most efficient. Don't let it drop 30 revolutions just because you are climbing. Get more gears if you need them.
  • Biggest predictor of climbing performance is power to weight ratio. Shed pounds or get better at producing aerobic power, whichever is easiest.
Hope this helps!

Friday, September 09, 2011

CA2.0 Stock

For those of you still eying my favorite bike: We've got one CA2.0 left in stock. Its a Large 700c Sport Spec, $3199. We could sell it as a frame kit too, or as one of the CA2.0 ZR spec bikes as well if needed.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The new High Baron built up.

So its occurred to me, after I had Matt built it, that a shorter rider, who is after 700c wheels, might want to sit fully upright in the seat. For that reason I expect this model will get the U-bar treatment on subsequent builds for stock.

The red looks really nice in the sun!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Calabassas Tunnel of Trees

This is a short piece of my commute home. This is just after I leave the San Fernando Valley. Its a great place for testing headlights, as you go over 45mph a few times, and the tunnel of trees makes the hot spot of the light very defined all the way around. Note the signs getting a bit bright, thats from my headlight. There really are no challenging turns on this one. The compression right before the sunset can be tricky if you are not ready for it though.

Oh, this is a GoPro HD camera with a RageCams 2.8mm lens set at 720p and 60fps. I thought this camera was toast after I crashed and ground the lens to nothing on the asphalt. This lens is supposed to just about eliminate the fish-eye.

Thanks to Willie for the prototype light, and the RageCams tip!

Calabassas Tunnel of Trees from Bent Up Cycles on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

BWR 2011 - Let's bring it home. Part 8

After getting about four hours of sleep, Roland, Hiroshi and I woke up at midnight and hit the road at about 1am. They had oatmeal, I had a sticky pecan roll for breakfast. A group of four riders had left before us, but we were pretty sure we would catch them, given the terrain.

The first 50 miles were just like the last, only it was dark! Traffic was non-existent, and we just rolled along nicely, enjoying the crisp air. At a certain point, Roland left me. I started getting bored and tired and had to make up silly games to keep me occupied. Here are a few:

1. Catch the rider! I could see a couple riders up ahead. Soon, I was passing Chris and Luis. I would get a half mile ahead of them, stop for something, let them pass and get ahead of me, and start the game over! I think they thought I was nuts, but it kept me entertained...

2. Morning services. I sang the entire morning Shacharet service, out loud...or as much of it as I could remember!

3. Walmart songs. As we approached Wasilla, we were supposed to go to a Walmart at mile 70. Well, the Walmart didn't emerge until mile 74. Did I mention Wasilla is just mile after mile of traffic lights, strip malls and traffic (it was morning rush hour at 7am)? That damn Walmart because the brunt of many imaginative and derogatory songs.

4. Remember the 80's. Any 80's song was fair game, as long as I was singing it at the top of my lungs.

With these tools in hand, the traffic faded away and I quickly arrived at Walmart, five minutes before the MacDonald's opened. A group of us waited, had breakfast and tried to get warmed up.

The last 41 miles took us via the scenic route into Anchorage. Glenn highway was pretty when we didn't have to negotiate the 8" of clean pavement between the gravel and the rumble strip. Roland and I were riding together, and pushed through the last couple of climbs over the Eagle River area. The last 5 miles or so were all downhill, and we cruised into the finish line at 11:34am. We have 26 minutes to spare! Hiroshi followed us about five minutes later, claiming the Lantern Rouge for himself. A wonderful ride!