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Bike Riding And Repair


Since I bought my new triathlon bike (2006 Jamis Comet), I have been wanting to get a proper fitting. I went to one of the local bike shops, and had the owner guy fit me. I was told by a triathlete friend that he was good, and that he fitted her (she had been referred to him by someone else).
I am not sure what I think yet.
He mounted my bike on a Cycleops fluid trainer (same one I have at home), and had me spin. After watching me for a bit and have me both down on the aerobars, and on the uprights, he said I was too far forward with my weight over the front wheel. So he swapped out the stem for a shorter one. It also raised the bars a little. He angled the bars up, and moved my saddle all the way back. Then he had me spin again. Then he had me get off the bike again, and he lowered my saddle a little. Then he had me spin again. Then he seemed to be satisfied.
Then I took the bike out for a short ride around the block. It was a little different, but not some huge, sky opens, and light shines down, life altering experience.
I kind of expected him to measure things, take some angles, measure power output, or something. He just sort of eyeballed everything.
I guess I will see how the bike does on some longer rides. I am hoping to get out this weekend. Probably on Saturday if the weather permits.
I am not sure how my experience compares to what I would have gotten at another shop.

I have been planning to get it done since I bought my new Jamis tri-bike. So last night after my aikido class, I stopped at the bike shop which is just around the corner. A triathlete friend of mine recommended the guy that does the fittings there.
When I asked if he was the only one who did fittings, I was told another guy did fittings too. I said that I wanted the one guy since he was the one who was recommended. First they singed me up for this Thursday, but it turned out the guy couldn’t do it them. So we looked at Saturday, and again he couldn’t do it then. But he was available for next Monday night. I will have to miss my aikido class though. Oh well.
Due to the time of the appointment, I will have to head there immediately after work. So When I head to work in the morning, I will have to bring my tri-bike on the back of the car. But I don’t want to leave my bike sitting out in the parking lot on the back of my car. So I plan to bring it into the office. Then after work, I will re-mount it on the bike rack, and head downtown. I need to remember to take my bike shorts, shoes, etc.
I think the fitting is supposed to take a couple hours. Hopefully they don’t just say that the bike is pretty good as is, that’ll be $60, thanks. I rode my recent century ride on this bike and it did pretty well. So we’ll see.

I bought a Cycleops Fluid 2 trainer to replace my Cycleops Wind trainer. The Wind Trainer was free (someone had put it out to the curb), but worked well, other than being loud. But since I am going to be doing a lot more spinning, I decided to invest in a better (and quieter) trainer.
I read alot of reviews, and the Cycleops Fluid 2 trainer sounded like what I wanted, so I ordered it. At close to $250, it wasn’t cheap. So hopefully it would be worth it.
It came quickly, and I was excited to put it together. The directions were reasonable. Not sure if I used them much as it was pretty straight forward to put together. I replaced the skewer on my Trek 1000 with the one that came with the trainer. It is designed to fit into the trainer clamps better. I can still ride the bike with it if I want to though.
I like how fast I can set up the bike on it, and how quickly I can remove it. The clamp system is much nicer than on my older Cycleops Wind Trainer. All I have to do position the bike, flip one lever to clamp the bike in place. Then flip another lever to clamp the roller part to the tire. No adjusting like on the older trainer.
After getting the trainer all set up, I was ready to try it. I wasn’t scheduled to spin that night, but I wanted to play with my new toy. I ended up spinning for 45 minutes I think. I was amazed at how quiet it was. With my Wind Trainer, I needed to crank up the TV volume to be able to hear it. With the Fluid 2 trainer, I can leave to volume pretty much where it normally is. The fan I use to keep me cool is often as loud as the trainer.
Another difference is in the resistance. It seems like the Fluid Trainer has more resistance. So far I think most of my spinning has been with the small ring. I haven’t tried it with the Spinervals DVDs yet. I can only imagine the resistance when I try to do big ring/12. I might have the roller clamped to the tire tighter than it was on the wind trainer. I think I followed the directions properlly when I set that up. I may revisit that, and verify that it is set up properly.
So far it is a real workout to get the bike up to about 16-17mph on the fluid trainer. With the wind trainer, I routinely got the bike up into the low 20s, and could keep it there for a while. And on the road, I can average faster speeds. I averaged over 18 mph for the century ride I did a couple weeks ago. So I am guessing the resistance is a little stiffer than real life, but then I may have the roller clamped to the tire too tightly.
Overall, I really like this thing! I am sure I will get alot of use out of it! I used it last night for about 45 minutes, and may use it tonight for an hour or so.

Okay, I got the X-Lab Flat Wing installed. I got the X-Nut situation resolved, and got it installed. It holds my CO2 cartridges, and Micro-Flate okay. It looks kind of wierd having the one CO2 cartridge pointing down. I bought a couple Specialized bottle cages at the local bike shop. So I was ready to install the cages and X-Straps.
One of the first things I noticed was the X-Straps seem kind of lightweight. I have read a review where they mentioned having them wear out after a few months. I can see why. The next thing I noticed was the metal eyelet where the screw goes through. It is kind of thick. As per the directions, I inserted the screw through the bottle cage bracket, then through the eyelet of the X-Strap. Then I went screw this into the top hole which goes through the side plate of the Flat Wing. I found the screw seemed to be a little short to go through all this stuff. It didn’t leave much threads to actually screw in to the spacer part.
I did manage to mount both X-straps using the bottom screws. I placed one X-strap on each side.
Okay, now I went to attach my spare inner tube. The strap has two ends. One end has a plastic piece through which the other end seems to be supposed to go through. I routed the end of the one side though the plastic part, and attempted to attach the velcro to itself. But the strap seemed too long to hold just my spare tube. The part I pull through has the velcro hooks. The rest of the strap has the velcro loops. But the part with the hooks pulls so far through when trying to hold just a tube, that now there is only the velcro loops trying to stick to the velcro loops. It is like the strap was designed to hold anything as small of diameter as just a spare tube. It’s like it wants something about the diameter of a pop can.
I sent an email to X-Lab to ask about these things.
Added 6/12
I hear back yesterday from Xlab. They have very good customer service. I wish all companies were so good. They said the screws are usually long enough, but if they weren’t they were a standard size. I could take them into a local bike shop to get longer ones, or they were will to send me some. As for the length of the straps, they said they were designed to be able to hold a tubular tire. But I could wrap the strap around a couple tubes, or wrap it around the single tube more than once. I did the wrap it around more than once thing, and this worked. I still think the design could be a little better for the straps.

My XLab Flatwing system came via UPS. I was excited to install it. The Flatwing itself installed pretty easily. Just a couple brackets, and 4 screws, and I had it attached to the rails of my bike saddle. There were two positions that it could be mounted. I first mounted it the one way which had it a little lower than I wanted. So I mounted it using the other set of holes, and it raise it up a little bit. I need to pick up a couple bottle cages. I have a few of them lying around the house, but I would like the cages to at least match each other. :)
The XLAB X-Nut is a different thing altogether. I can’t figure out how to install it. The instructions say “For the FLAT WING, push the threaded potion of the internal socket head bolt through the open end, and place the star washer over the bolt threads. Insert and tighten bolt into the internally threaded section on the back of the Flat Wing. Use an accurate torque wrench set to 30 in.lbs to tighten.” Well those instructions SEEM clear, but the little allen head (internal socket head bolt) was loose in the package with the X-Nut. It wasn’t inside the X-Nut. The pictures I have seen show the threads of the allen screw pretruding from the X-Nut. But I can’t figure out how to get the screw inside of the X-Nut. I think it might have supposed to have been in there in the first place. There is a little threaded part where the inflator is supposed be attached. I am guessing the screw should have be inserted into the XNut before the threaded inflator part was installed. And I don’t want to try to remove it in case I damage it. I am going to try to call XLAB later today.
I haven’t installed the XStraps yet. They are attached by the screws that attach the bottle cages to the Flatwing. So when I get the cages, I will install those. I have read that people have had problems with the straps fraying quickly. They do seem kind of flimsy. I will try them. If they don’t work well, I can probably make my own sturdier versions of them.

I called XLab and talked to a guy there. He was very helpful. I was right in that the screw was supposed to be inside the XNut. He said it must have vibrated it’s way out. He was all prepared to ship me a new one. But he said I might be able to work the screw back in through one of the holes where the CO2 cartridge attach. I had tried a little bit last night and couldn’t get the screw in. I tried it again today while I was on the phone with him, and sure enough, I got the screw to go into place using a paper clip to push it around.
So tonight I will install the XNUT.
I stopped at the local sporting good store. They only had a couple bottle cages, but they looked to be heavier duty mountain bike bottle cages. I will stop by the local bike shop on my way home. I need another spare tube anyway.

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