This is a chance for members of Team CSD to have a say.
James’ 3rd Spinneys Dubai 92 Build-Up Ride Report.
The third build up ride saw the venue move to the Al Qudra cycle path. The car park was already busy when I arrived at just after 5, and was soon completely full. The Revolution team was out in force with over 20 members taking part. We had a warm-up ride to the first roundabout and back, and then the anticipation of the start. It was great to see the start area packed with riders; over 500 people according to Premier Timing.
At just after 6am, MC Stewart got proceedings under way, with the participants being started in waves according to the speed that they wanted to ride at. The Revolution squad decided to go with the 38-40km/h group, and immediately had a large group of riders join us.
As always seems to be the way, the car park area was completely still, but a couple of k’s down the path, and we were riding into a strong head wind. The Revolution team got onto the front and with the expert guidance of Des Myburgh, we decided to stay on the front and set the pace. This involved regular rider changes on the front (except for Des!) to keep the pace high. The end of the stick couldn’t come soon enough, with only a brief respite before turning back into the wind and heading up towards the solar farm and the turn around point.
Again Des was immense up this section, staying on the front while the other side of the peleton completed a whole rotation and joined Des back on the front again! Finally we reached the turn around, and this was completed without incident.
Now we were hoping for a wind assisted return to the finish. However, back towards the stick it was not quite this straight forward – the wind changed slightly leaving us riding into a side wind. However we battled through, and were soon onto the stick where the wind was more favourable, and the speed increased accordingly.
This was one of the best team rides I have been involved with, everyone worked together, calling out hazards, swapping sides for some shelter from the wind, and got a great result. The team finished only 2 minutes behind the fastest time with an average speed of 39km/h, occupied position 20 onwards, had the top 3 fastest ladies, and everyone I spoke to thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s to the next one!
What is the real difference between carbon fibre vs aluminium vs steel vs titanium…
What are the pros and cons of each material?
Most high-end bikes are made from this material and for good reason:
- Lightest, strongest, stiffest material
- Best shock absorption
- Infinitely mouldable to any design
- Flexible where it needs to be
- Won’t rust or corrode like steel
- Not all carbon is created equal
- Can crack/fracture
- Strength and stiffness depend on design
Many entry level bikes are made from aluminium because it can be made stiff and light enough for a great ride.
- Great for climbing and sprinting
- Won’t rust or corrode
- Less expensive than carbon fibre
- Harsh on rough roads
- Can fatigue over time (Leads to overbuilding which adds to weight)
- Not easily repaired
- Weak joints
Steel will last a life time. It is also the easiest to repair, making it a great bike for touring.
- Flexes enough for a soft ride
- Most durable of all the materials
- Lively feel
- Easy to work with and repair
- Prone to rust/corrosion
- Flexes too much for racing
Titanium is a metal that takes aspects from aluminium and steel. It has better shock absorption that aluminium but is not quite as light.
- Its density is between that of steel and aluminum which makes it stiff but shock absorbing
- Lively feel
- Shock absorbing
- Does not corrode
- Difficult to make aero shapes due to welding considerations
- Difficult to repair
- Stiffness is traded for reduced weight
In summary: Each material has different qualities that you should keep in mind when you go to purchase your next ride.
Just about every serious cyclist has been asked at some point, why do cyclist shave their legs? This question comes up all the time, from hanging around the water cooler at the office to a first date. The idea of a guy shaving their legs just seems to perplex people plus it is an easy conversation starter that generally leads to a fun discussion. Yet many bike riders don’t actually know the reason shaving your legs is a cycling thing.
- Road Rash – This is far and away the biggest reason why serious racers shave their legs. If racing crashes happen, cleaning grit out of road rash without any hair tangled in there is unpleasant enough. Anyone that has scrubbed grit out of a hairy leg wound will become a devout leg shaver. However, most enthusiastic riders go years between major crashes so this really isn’t a justifiable reason why a lot of people shave their legs.
- Massage – Getting a deep tissue massage with hairy legs sucks. It pulls on your hair and the oily hairy legs are a mess after. Professional riders get massages multiple times a week and most amateur racers, if they can afford it, have massages a few times a month. Massage helps with recovery and avoids injury. However, like road rash most enthusiast cyclists do not get massages frequent enough to justify shaving their grizzly sticks.
- Aesthetics – Looking “Pro” – Honestly this is why I think most recreational cyclist shave their legs. They see guys on TV at the Tour and the racers at their local crit, everyone looks fast and everyone has shaved legs for the two reason above. For a cyclist that doesn’t race having shaved legs shows a level of commitment to the sport, gives a level of credibility with other riders, and makes you look a little more pro.
- Aerodynamics – The first three reasons are definitely the most common ones. Aerodynamics is a bit of a stretch and some aerodynamically optimal level of stubble likely exists that is the most aerodynamic, because a textured surface is generally more aerodynamic than a smooth one. But if you have legs like Chewbacca then trimming that forest will definitely lower your drag coefficient.
- You hear someone had a crash and your first question is “How’s the bike?”
- Your wife tells you the only way she’ll let you ride across the country is over her dead body and you tell her, “If that’s the case, you’ll be my first speed bump!”
- You have stopped even trying to explain to your other half why you need more than one bike…you just go buy another one and figure it will all work out in the divorce settlement.
- You see nothing wrong with discussing the connection between hydration and urine color.
- You find your Shimano touring shoes to be more comfortable and stylish than your new trainers.
- You have more money invested in your bike clothes than in the rest of your combined wardrobe.
- “Four cheeseburgers and four large French Fries” is for you.
- You see a fit, tanned, Lycra-clad young thing ride by, and the first thing you check out is his or her bicycle.
- You use wax on your chain, AND on your legs (boys).
- Your first course when you eat out is a large banana split.
- Your bike has more miles on its computer then your car’s odometer.
- You wear your bike shorts swimming.
- Your bikes are worth more than your car.
- You buy a people-carrier and immediately remove the rear seats to allow your bike(s) to fit.
- When you move to a new area the first thing you look for is a bike shop.
- You have more bike jerseys than low-cut tops.
- You take your bike along when you shop for a car – just to make sure the bike will fit inside.
- You view crashes as an opportunity to upgrade components.
- You clean your bike(s) more often then your house.
- You put your bike in your car and the value of the total package increases by a factor of 3 (or better).
- You regard inter-gender discussion of your genital pain/size/shape/utility as normal.
- Your New Years resolution is to put more miles on your bike than your car, and you do it.
- You can tell your other half, with a straight face that it’s too hot to mow the lawn and then bike off for a century.
- Your kids bring a rear derailleur to “Show & Tell”.
- Your car sits outside your garage because your garage is full of bikes and cycling gear.
- A measurement of 44-36-40 doesn’t refer to the latest Playboy centrefold, but that new gear ratio you were considering.
- You wear your heart monitor to bed to make sure you stay within your target zone during any extracurricular activities.
- There is no time like the present, for postponing what you ought to be doing, and go bicycling instead…
- You no longer require a hankie to blow your nose.
- You smile at your evening date, and she politely points out that you seem to have bugs in your teeth.
- You can’t seem to get to work by 8:30 AM, even for important meetings, but you don’t have any problems at all meeting your mates at 6:30 AM for a hundred-miler.
- Your surgeon tells you you need a heart valve replacement and you ask if you have a choice between Presta and Schrader.
- You’re too tired for hanky-panky on a Friday night but pump out a five-hour century on Saturday.