What the heck is "modulus", also known as Young's Modulus or the Modulus of Elasticity? We see it with carbon fiber: "this road bike made by The Coolest Road Bike Company Today is laterally stiff and vertically compliant thanks to the high modulus carbon used in the frame."
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I'm a numbers guy. I like to know my heart rate, the air temperature (to the nearest tenth of a degree, thanks), how fast I'm riding (+/- 0.1 mph), what my maximum speed was (again, +/- 0.1 mph), how far I went and, thanks to the ubiquity of GPS devices, where I went (with elevation, please).
However, when I want to know this information has changed over time.
I've been running computers on my bikes for... well... longer than I care to mention here. Let's just say that my first computer was a CatEye Solar. Man, that thing was huge! I also had the Solar II, which was even larger. Since then, I've had too many computers to list.
Until now. As the batteries have died, instead of replacing them, I've just removed the computers from my bikes.
I strap my watch to the bars so I know the time (I often have a narrow riding window, so not knowing the time is not a luxury), but otherwise, the only thing on my bars is my light.
At first, I missed knowing all of this information. It was similar to when I had to return the Edge 705 to Garmin, I really missed having that device on my bars. (Actually, there are times that I still do... but I digress.) Now, I just log my ride with my phone using a program that ties into the built-in GPS. I keep the phone's screen off, and it's stashed in my jersey pocket. I don't look at it during the ride at all. However, when I get back from the ride, I have all the numbers I want. It's my record of the ride.
I wrote about the three ways to use a GPS: routing, logging, and the displaying of information. Of these, the only I am using now is logging. What is the effect of all this? I am free to just ride. I still get my numbers fix, but I don't let it interrupt my ride.
Going from a state of high complexity and lots of information at my fingertips to no information and increased simplicity is the right kind of progression.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Carbon fiber is, by itself, not stiff. It's basically a cloth. However, when combined with epoxy resin, the result is both very strong, and very light. Of course, as cyclists, we all know that carbon is light and stiff. No surprise there.
Let's talk about this plastic--this epoxy resin--that engulfs the carbon fibers. Imagine one such plastic that got soft and malleable at relatively low temperatures. What you have is custom, heat-moldable carbon.
The Bont cycling shoes I just received use one such material. 160 degrees in the oven makes the shoe hot (but not too hot to touch), and just soft enough to mold as it cools. These shoes are light, stiff, and moldable. In fact, they can be molded as often as needed.
It turns out, that's a good thing. So far, I haven't gotten the molding right. They seem fine until I get on the bike and start riding, at which point, they start to hurt. Hopefully, I can get them right and get in some long time with them in the coming months.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
I'm losing my patience.
After years of riding indoors, like all cyclists everywhere (that's a sweeping generalization I don't intend to backup with fact, by the way) I'm ready for the winter months to be over. Actually, the last few days have been gorgeous. The threat of rain has never turned into anything but a threat. Sure, it's been windy, but even wind, the greatest of all my nemesi, er nemesises... nemesisisi... Whatever.
Even wind would be welcome after being indoors. So, I swap out wheels, get my gear together, and bring my bike to work in the hopes that I can get in a lunch-time ride. Heck, I even got into Outlook and scheduled the time with myself. But, for two days in a row, the force of evil at work have conspired against me and I've had to work through lunch. Today will be no different.
The problem is, once I've made up my mind to get in a real-live-outside-moving-around-getting-somewhere ride in, it's difficult to bear going back indoors. In addition, I can no longer just roll out of bed in the morning and find my roller-setup ready and waiting. Suddenly, I have to prep again for riding indoors. And doing that--making the time and making the changes necessary to get on the rollers again--means I'm no longer ready to dash outside at a moments' notice.
At this point, I've suffered through the long cold darkness of the winter and I don't want to waste all the fitness I've tried to keep by being too lazy to switch configurations, but I'm tired of needing a backup plan to get on my bike.
I need shorter work days, and more free lunch-times (there's no such thing as free lunch--even under this administration). This morning, I made the change and got back on the rollers. If the rain/snow doesn't come tonight, I might even try riding outdoors tomorrow again.