Saturday, March 15, 2014

New bike for a new season!

While I was training in California, a few special deliveries arrived for me in Toronto. Among them was my new SRM and Rotor 3D+ cranks, QXL rings and ... my new Quintana Roo Tri bike! It was like Christmas in February :) And I was SO excited. However, I did not trust myself to get the bike set up perfectly. so I turned to my support network: The Bike Zone to do the mechanical work and Scott Judges, at Fitt1st, to do the fit.

I dropped my bike off at The Bike Zone (located at 734 Dundas St East) for them to assemble it. I couldn't believe how many bikes and accessories they have there. If you are looking for anything cycling related - you are going to be able to find it there. They have everything from road, mountain, tri and commuter bikes...and tons of gear and other accessories. And super quick service! My bike was all assembled and ready for pick up by the following day.

The next thing to do was pay Scott Judges a visit at his bike fitting studio. I knew I could count on him to get me as aero as possible on my new bike, without compromising my comfort. A new bike geometry on the Quintana Roo meant I couldn't just simply set up the bike identically to my old bike, so this was necessary. Being on the QR meant I was graduating from 650c to 700c wheels! Now, I am not against 650c wheels at all, but I was definitely at a disadvantage if I ever had a flat tire or an issue with my wheels - especially during a race. Not to mention the fact that they don't even make trainer tires for 650c wheels. So I am happy to say that I've graduated to 700c wheels :) However, with this change meant that it would be hard for me to get in the same aggressive position as I was in before. Hard, but not impossible! Scott was able to change up my stem, adjust the headset and get me into the same position as before.

I have ridden my QR now about a half a dozen times. On the computrainer to start - given the freezing cold temperatures and snowstorms I didn't have much of a choice! But, now, since being in Arizona I have been able to ride it on the roads as well. A few things that differentiate it from other bikes that I have been on are:

1) A more comfy ride. Scott at Fitt1st says that the fact that the front fork is a bit more curved - so the fork offset is greater - helps to give the bike better shock absorption and stability. I hate riding on poorly paved roads so this was very exciting news! And cycling in Tucson (anyone ever ridden on Tanque Verde?) has really put this statement to the test. The verdict - it's true - the ride is definitely smoother! This will definitely help me when I race on courses like that in St. George and Steelhead, which can have some very bumpy roads.

2) SHIFT Technology. This is what Quintano Roo bikes are known for. They have an 18mm shift in their downtube that direct air away from the drivetrain to minimize drag. Have you ever gone from riding the bullhorns to riding the aerobars and feel like you were instantly propelled forward?! Well, as soon as I get aero on my QR - that's exactly what I feel. And take a look at the bike from front on - you can barely see it!

3) Di2 Electronic Shifting! The Quintana Roo is able to support electronic shifting, which has been just amazing. Being able to shift easily from the bullhorns while climbing a steep grade, is probably the highlight. Not to mention the precision and speed at which the bike can shift. What a nice change!

4) It just looks FAST! Black and grey with an orange stripe! Nothing is more intimidating in the transition area than a bike that looks SUPER quick. Who says winning in triathlon doesn't have a mental component to it? :)

I am also happy to report that my first set of 2 minute Supra-Maximal Sustained Power intervals were a good 30W higher than last year. Co-incidence? Better bike fitness? Or better bike? Hmmm...

**Special thank you to Joe and Chris at Enduro Sport for helping me with some last minute adjustments on the bike before I left for the US. Their expertise is top notch. And to Peter Karmaszin for naming the bike Carlos!

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