Archive for the WIENS WORLD Category

Technology

Posted in WIENS WORLD on July 10, 2011 by ergonusa

July 9, 2011 – Gunnison, CO – As you may have noticed over the course of the past eleven months, I am a prolific blogger and all of this social media – twitter and Facebook – well, I just cannot get enough. I’m constantly blogging, updating my status on Facebook and tweeting every little thing. Okay, so I exaggerate. It doesn’t come easily for me nor does it feel natural, but that’s just part of being 46 years-old and not wired, in many ways, for this world of crazy technology. (I didn’t remember if I was 46 or 47 but I asked Susan yesterday and she confirmed for me that I am indeed 46. I guess I could have just done the math…)

But I am wired for riding my bike and I am okay with some technology. People often ask me what my favorite innovations in mountain biking are and lately, I always have the same reply: my iPod shuffle (anyone remember mixed tapes?) and tubeless tires. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Ergon grips, my Canyon carbon fiber bike, my SRAM XX two-by–ten drivetrain and triggers, my DT Swiss carbon wheels, the stopping power of my Magura brakes and all of the other top-shelf accessories that our industry has developed and produced over the 25 plus years that mountain bikes have been around. But there’s nothing quite like dropping into a cool canyon in evening light on a tasty trail with your favorite tunes cranking out the soundtrack of your ride and insane traction provided by fat, tubeless tires with scant air pressure.

This morning I had an awesome ride on our local trails at Hartman Rocks: just my sweet Canyon Topeak Ergon Team Edition bike hovering on Continental X-King 2.4 Tubeless tires, my shuffle and me. I had to unplug a couple of times as I came across friends on the trail but, in most cases, they were also plugged in and silenced theirs too, or at least removed an ear bud (I actually like this pair of super cheeser headphones the twins brought home from a garage sale last summer. Big old foamies over the ears!), to say hey to me, as well. I like meeting people I know riding solo listening to tunes. There’s this unspoken understanding that while polite pleasantries will be exchanged, you both just want to get back to pedaling in your solo world with your tunes.

As many who mainly ride alone will tell you, it’s always a bit of a let-down when you realize your shuffle is out of charge or you can’t find it (those things are so dang small) or one of the kids borrowed you ear buds, but of course, just being out there usually trumps everything and it’s actually kind of nice to enjoy the silence now and again. However, as much as I love my shuffle, it doesn’t make me a better rider. My tubeless tires do.

Back in the day, most of us used to run 45-50 psi in our tires all the time: racing, training, everything. Otherwise, it was just too easy to flat. John Tomac would run less but he was so smooth he could usually get away with it. Now, on my fun bike or my training bike, aka, my everyday bike, I have my Conti 2.4 Tubeless tires with a scoop of Stan’s pumped clear up to 25 psi. If I put the pump to them every couple of weeks, I’ll find that, at times, I’m out there with 15-20 psi. Granted, the sidewalls are beefy and the tires aren’t designed to be svelte but that’s still crazy low pressure.

When I’m not racing, which is almost always (especially now), I want traction and reliability. We have some sharp-assed rocks around here and I don’t have the time to be monkeying around with my tires at home nor do I have time for getting flats or cut sidewalls out on the trail. I have never gotten a flat on any of the Conti tubeless ready tires. That’s nearly four years and many, many demanding off-road miles.

Along with reliability, which is great, this tire setup gives me, arguably, the most important thing in mountain biking: traction. Go ahead, reduce our sport to it’s most essential four or five elements and you’ll rarely leave traction off of the list. Braking, shifting, pedaling, reading the terrain, climbing, descending; what is the common element in all of these? Traction. I do some mountain bike clinics up at Crested Butte Mountain Resort and I always spend a little bit of time examining the tires of the riders I’m helping. Generally, they’re not tubeless and they’re pumped up hard as rocks. Imagine having less experience, fewer skills and less traction. I know it sounds like one of those too good to be true ads but it’s true: become a better climber, descender, mountain biker immediately, simply by running appropriate and compatible tubeless tires and wheels with lower pressure.

I even raced this heavier tubeless ready tire setup at Leadville in 2009. In 2007, 2008 and 2010, I ran what we have always called ghetto tubeless: regular lightweight tires on sealed rims with Stan’s latex. Ghetto tubeless is great for racing as your entire wheelset is so light and fast but the stress of preparing them and then racing on them has probably taken years off my life. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent pre-Leadville in the garage messing around with ghetto tubeless, trying to get tires to seal, trying to get sidewalls to seal, trying to get tires to not lose 15lbs (or go completely flat) overnight. It’s unnerving to line up for a big race on a tire that was flat that morning when you woke up. In every race where I have run lightweight tires tubeless, I have had to hold my mouth just right when I descended so I didn’t flat, and, even with that, two out of three years of riding ghetto, I crossed the line in Leadville on a low rear tire.

That one year I raced with the bomber setup, I never fretted about my tires, not before or during the race; and that’s how I enjoy riding now, often times plugged in with Maiden, 16 Horsepower, Petty or Reznor providing the soundtrack and fat, robust tires pumped up soft floating over and through whatever variations the trails present. I wouldn’t mind trying a bike with a pair of those wagon wheels one day, though, but tubeless, of course.

Advertisements

PRO BIKE: DAVE WIENS

Posted in RACING, TOPEAK-ERGON, WIENS WORLD with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2010 by ergonusa

Click the image for a full recap of the bike used by Dave Wiens at the 2010 Leadville 100.

THE ROAD TO LEADVILLE: THE FINAL PUSH AND THE RACE

Posted in WIENS WORLD on August 15, 2010 by ergonusa

Leadville this morning, a marked contrast to yesterday, the course obscured in the distant clouds.

Sunday August 15, 2010 – Okay, where were we? Even though the race is in the books, I’ll go over the final two days of my preparation before I describe the race. Every day has some significance in the process, especially as you get close to race day.

After the endurance ride on Wednesday, I did an easy MTB ride (less than an hour) on my race bike on the dead flat Contour Trail above Western State College. Then on Friday, instead of my typical routine from the past 7 years, which has been riding the first 15 miles of the course, I cut off the St. Kevins climb and rode the pavement around the non-course side of Turquoise Lake, intersecting the course as it turns onto the Hagerman Pass Road.

On the pavement around the lake, I did 3 reps of PHOS (10 second all out sprints, one every three minutes) to hopefully open things up a bit. Once on the course, I did the Sugarloaf climb and the Powerline descent and then exited the course and made my way back to the Exploder. The ride was just shy of an hour and a half. I rode shorter, harder and climbed less than usual and also did it in the morning before the prerace meeting instead of after, which is how I had always done it. This opened up my afternoon a bunch and I had a chill evening and was in bed by 930pm, which has never happened before. I slept more and better than I ever have, but the alarm still went off at 330am, egad!

Coffee and breakfast, head for the race, a good warm-up and I’m on the start line next to Levi. Also in attendance were JHK, Todd Wells, Jeremiah Bishop, Jay Henry, Matt Schriver, Alex Grant, MTB legends Ned and Tinker, Defending ladies champ Rebecca Rusch, my big brother Brian, a bunch of other fast racers and around 1,500 other riders from 48 states and 20+ foreign countries. Tons of spectators, too and 630am temps of around 37.

I was more relaxed this year, still keen to give it my best shot but, realistic about my ability to ride with the leaders up the first climb and beyond. On the first climb, I couldn’t hang, but I got with some guys, including Ned and Tinker, and eventually we clawed our way back onto the lead group as they hit the dirt again after rounding Turquoise Lake. Some accordioning over Sugerloaf, a crash among the leaders, no carnage on the Powerline descent and we had a nice group of at least 10 riders for a pleasant but fast cruise all the way to Twin Lakes. Both JHK and Levi spent time at the front pushing on the pedals and keeping us on focused and in single file.

Levi, patiently waiting for Ken to present him with the coveted and dangerous Ore Cart Trophy

The Twin Lakes feed zone always breaks things up as guys grab their bags in different places and in different ways. I was pretty fast but still got gapped and it was a gap I wanted no part in closing. At the bottom of Columbine, I was alone in 6th with Levi, JHK, Wells, Bishop and Shriver up the road. I just got into my groove and rode my own pace, the way I always approach Columbine. First, Shriver came back to me and was gone. I could still get an occasional glimpse of Wells and Bishop, now dropped by the duo at the front, Levi and JHK.

Once Columbine opens up and gets steep near tree line, you can see way up ahead. Wells and Bishop were pleasantly close and I could see the leaders, which was in stark contrast to last year when Lance put around ten minutes on me on this climb. Levi and JHK bettered me up Columbine by 3 or 4 minutes with Wells and Bishop between us. I kept riding my pace, now my marching orders for the rest of the race, as it was for most everyone, topped out Columbine and headed back toward Leadville.

Back Alley, Leadville, Colorado

The Gap between the leaders and I grew to 9 minutes pretty fast and soon after our second trip through the Twin Lakes feed zone I saw Bishop alone and coming back to me and I also got a glimpse of Wells, well up the trail and a quick shot of JHK and Levi even farther away, nearing the top of the singletrack. From this point on, Jeremiah and I were partners and worked together all the way to the finish. We were both ragged from the early pace but were well-matched and it was cool to ride with JB for a few hours out there. We crossed the line, he gave me 4th place, probably because I’m so old, 3 and a half minutes behind Wells; 8 and a half behind JHK; and a whopping  17+ behind Levi.

I’ll take it! I wouldn’t change my preparation at all and I think I was as fit as ever. I certainly don’t feel like I’m going to be 46 next month. I was worked from the start but that’s the way this race has gone: fast, hard starts that are going to punish pretty much everyone, and then you hang on as best you can. Huge congrats to everyone who took the challenge (and had good fortune in the lottery!) and set out for 100 miles in the Colorado high-country!

TOPEAK-ERGON STORMS THE LEADVILLE 100

Posted in EVENTS, RACING, TOPEAK-ERGON, WIENS WORLD with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by ergonusa

Team Topeak-Ergon riders, Dave Wiens and Yuki Saito both set personal best finishes at the 2010 Leadville 100.  Dave took 4th (6 hrs 33 min) place behind the record finishing time set by Levi Leipheimer (6 hr 16 min)….and Yuki Saito had his best Leadville 100 finish ever with 11th overall.


Yuki adds another ‘buckle’ to his collection after an 11th place overall finish.  Photo credit to Leslie Handy

Cyclingnews.com pictures.

Official AP release here.

Full report and images to come!

THE ROAD TO LEADVILLE: Final Touches?

Posted in WIENS WORLD on August 11, 2010 by ergonusa

Wednesday August 11, 2010 – This is where it gets funky and I’m sure I’m not alone here. Every day closer to the event, the more I wonder if what I’m doing is the best thing to be ready on Saturday. If only I had a coach, he or she could tell me exactly what I need to do and, even though they don’t really know either, I’d feel much better about it. Just the right amount of riding to prime the system but not too much so you’re tired. Now how are we supposed to figure that one out?

Earlier this summer, my plan was to ride less this week, including today’s ride, which is the last sort of ”training” ride before the race. Then, I also planned to ride very little on Friday and not on the course like I’ve always done (The only preriding of the Leadville course I have ever done consists of riding St. Kevins through the Powerline descent from the parking lot by the railroad tracks the day before the race at a very easy pace. It takes 2.5 hours.) Tomorrow (Thursday), I will either not ride or just spin very easy around Gunnison. That won’t change; I always rest two day out. And, I’m considering doing the usual preride on Friday, now.

The Upper Tomichi Valley at the beginning of the ride.

Today (Wednesday), historically has been a longer endurance ride on my race bike: 4-5 hour and 5,000 to 6,000 vertical feet of climbing. I couldn’t get away from it so I headed for my usual parking place these past few years at Highway 50 and the Whitepine road, right at the bottom of Monarch Pass. I rode the flat 5 miles to the base of Old Monarch Pass. Old Monarch climbs about 2,500 feet, is never steep and is smooth dirt and decomposed granite road base, a great, fast surface that Snoop Dogg could drive the Gin and Juice car up, no problem. I spun easy and it took me around and hour to climb it. I saw one car. From the summit, I picked up the Crest Trail, crossing Monarch Pass proper and continued south to the top of Marshall Pass, a total distance of 25 miles from the Exploder if the signs are accurate. Turned around and came back the same way. Just kept is steady and light on the pedals; had to push a few spots. The Crest is so buffed in some places and pretty hammered by rains in others. Overall, it’s just so killer to be up there.

Susan's working late, Cooper's in Denver and the twins ate fast and went back out to play. Blackened Sockeye Salmon, tates, garden fresh salad and a wrecked kitchen. Better get cracking!

Here’s the data, Data: Just shy of 4.5 hours; 50 miles; 5,500 vertical; no HR monitor. Too much? Perhaps. If the race was going to start mellow, the way it had every year until last year, I’d rest more going in. But with multiple pro bike racers lining up for the first time ever, I can’t imagine the race starting any other way than balls to the wall. I will try initially, but truly don’t see myself being able to hang with the front guys. The good news is that there should be some strong chase groups. It would be nice to be with the leaders at Twin Lakes but that’s going to be a very tall order. The 2010 Leadville 100, Lance or not (and he could still show up…), is going to be a very interesting bike race!

THE ROAD TO LEADVILLE: “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Posted in WIENS WORLD on August 10, 2010 by ergonusa

A typical August day in the Signal Peak area looking toward Hartman Rocks in the distance.

Tuesday August 10, 2010 – As you likely have heard, Lance won’t be racing at Leadville this year. It’s a bummer as he has been so central to the race since first starting talking about late in 2006. One thing is certain, however, the race doesn’t get any easier with him at home watching on television. Murder’s row, I tell you.

Other than that news, things around here are accelerating as they always do the week before the race. Today was a good day on the bike and with the bike. I’m getting my race bike dialed in thanks to the Crean family. It really is a family effort as Dan does the work on my bike; Cathy has to deal with having my come around, pulling her husband away or texting him at odd hours leaning on him for various bike related requests; and Avery, not even a year old and cute as they come, has to put up with me holding her while her dad wrenches on my bike while her mom is at work. I even got to hold her with a full diaper today.  Brought back sweet memories!

This is where we ate dinner tonight. Not. I was trying to convey a pot of beans at the end of the rainbow or something.

As for training, I did a little over an hour and a half on the MTB behind Western State College after lunch. The climbs there are longer but punchy. I did a couple of good hikes, too. There is some fun trailriding up there. I got about 2,000 vertical and went hard at times. Then, back to Dan’s for tinkering with the bike for about 45 minutes then it was out to Hartman’s for more of the same; shorter and punchier climbing out there and mostly trailriding. I did throw a set of 20-40’s in to start, going up Kill Hill, which was kind of fun. I had never done them there before. It’s steep.

After I recovered from that I rode Rattlesnake to Joshos, then the Powerline road to Skull Pass. Up out of the Quarry the steep way and then back the way I had gotten out there via Joshos and Rattlesnake, then back down the front side. I just happened to meet up with Susan and Eddy pedaling back into town, then went by Dan’s, a little tweak here, another one there and my bike is ready for tomorrow. The Hartmans ride was about 2 hours and I got another 2,000 vertical. The riding was the same, pretty hard at times. I’d call it a JR hard at times with a set of 20-40’s thrown in. Intervalish but in an unrefined way. No HR monitor; I’m done with that thing. The battery will die before I ever use it again. Just don’t need it anymore.  Total ride of 3.5 hours and 4,000+ vertical, Data.

Tomorrow will be a mountain bike at an endurance pace up in the Monarch Pass area. I’ll likely climb Old Monarch Pass and then ride the Crest Trail to Marshall Pass and back the same way. Good altitude and some decent climbing. No hard efforts, though, just steady for 3-4 hours. Then Thursday is an easy day, Friday I’m not sure about yet and Saturday is the race. I can’t wait for the alarm to go off at 330am the morning of the race. I know Susan is fired up for that, too!



A pretty evening on Tomichi Avenue in Gunnison.

ROAD TO LEADVILLE: THE RACE BIKE

Posted in WIENS WORLD on August 10, 2010 by ergonusa

Frame: Rotwild R.R2, size Large, Team Edition

Fork: Magura Durin SL, 80mm, Team Edition

Stem: Thomson Elite X4, 31.8

Cables/Housing: Jagwire Ripcord, Team Edition

Handlebars: TruVativ Noir World Cup Riser

Grips: Ergon GX2 Carbon, Limited Edition White

Front brake: Magura Marta SL, Team Edition

Rear brake: Magura Marta SL, Team Edition

Front Derailleur: SRAM XX

Rear derailleur: SRAM XX

Shifter: SRAM XX

Brake levers: Magura Marta SL, Team Edition (carbon levers)

Cassette: SRAM XX, 11-36-tooth

Chain: SRAM PC-1090

Crankset: SRAM XX 39-26, 175mm

Bottom bracket: Truvativ GXP Press Fit

Pedals: Shimano XTR

Wheelset: DT Swiss XRC 1250 Carbon, set up tubeless with Stan’s NoTubes

Front tire: Continental X-King 2.2 ProTection

Rear tire: Continental X-King 2.2 ProTection

Saddle: Terry RSR Team Edition

Seat post: Schmolke TLO

Bottle cages: Topeak Shuttle Cage Carbon

Accessories: Topeak Aero Wedge Seat Pack, Topeak Race Rocket mini pump