SRAM Eagle 1×12 Drivetrains: Good News, Bad News

Upon learning of the new system SRAM announced recently it was nearly impossible to avoid daydreaming about the possibility of running a 36t chainring  (I run a 32t today) while actually improving the climbing gear ratio.  That’s just incredible. Never mind that probably the most important advancement for me, assuming true, is the improvement in durability (see 1×11 Drivetrain Competition) .

If this new system is in fact more durable and the frequency of replacing chains and cassettes is reduced enough the total cost of ownership would go down (even though the initial cost is STEEP)!

All (most) of this is really good news.

And now for the bad news.  I just heard back on my inquiry to Quarq and was informed their XX1 power meters are incompatible with the new Eagle system and at this time they “have no announcement about a replacement”. So if you are an XX1 user today with a Quarq power meter, at least for now, it seems you must choose between riding with power and the new 1×12 SRAM system.

Garmin Edge 520 v 510

Having had so many issues with my Edge 510 (and all the warranty replacements) the second I heard about the Garmin Edge 520 I placed my pre-order hoping to have better luck with a newer unit.  Thanks to some shipping snafus it did arrive the day before my Leadville 100 MTB race but I didn’t know it until after the race was over.  May have been a good thing as one could never know how any new gear would perform without a proper test and as it turned out while the 510 did fail me in one regard, I suspect the 520 would have suffered at least the same failure.  More on that a little later.

In this review I will contrast where the 510 is better, where the 520 better and where it makes no difference, i.e. they both need improvement. Continue reading Garmin Edge 520 v 510

Leadville Plan of Attack

More wisdom from Mr. Wiens in a post preceding the 2012 Leadville 100 MTB race that is still very relevant.  Just happened to stumble across that post as I was on the website researching some new grips.

At T-9 weeks and 5 days I’m starting to think through some of these planning details, especially some of the gear I’ll want since I’m going to the Camp of Champions in July and will want to have the right gear on hand for that.  And the family, aka my crew, has started asking where they should setup (Twin Lakes or Pipeline basically), what they’ll need, etc. Twin lakes seems like the obvious choice by the way as on all longer my prep rides this year I’ve ended up stopping to refill/refuel/eat etc at 40 miles.

Here’s an interesting planning tidbit from Dave: Continue reading Leadville Plan of Attack

Bike fit

Last Monday (5/18) I had my first session for a bike fit service, another recommendation from Dave Wiens. This article includes his commentary about bike fit as well as bike choice. If you are at the point of purchasing a bike or just considering whether your current bike is up to the task it’s a good read.

Following the initial saddle change the goal of this session was two fold: get the saddle positioned correctly and measure my feet for new shoes. Continue reading Bike fit

Addressing Contact Points: New Seat

I can’t remember where but Dave Wiens, the most prolific Leadville 100 MTB winner of all time, emphasized that when you ride an endurance mountain biking event like this you need to make sure your 5 contact points with the bike are going to make for as comfortable and efficient experience as possible.

Today I went by the bike shop to hopefully improve the contact point with the most surface area: the seat.   Continue reading Addressing Contact Points: New Seat