Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review! NOW Bars - Honeycomb with Chia and Raisin!

Solid food. Something I had given up on when it came to longer events, be it training rides in the East Tennessee sun or Ironman (sorry... 140.6 and 70.3 if we're going to be technical about it) races in... well anywhere I can afford to drive myself. (sorry, no flying for this guy if I can help it.) I felt like I had given it the good old college try, I just could never find what "I was looking for." A bar that didn't turn into a sticky pile of goo after twenty minutes, didn't have gluten (a no-no for me) and most importantly, didn't taste like it was made from chocolate, sawdust and road kill.

That was years ago. I've been pretty much "bar free" (well, these kind of bars anyways) since then.

Not the kind of bars we're talking about. But hey, Roadhouse is sweet, right? 
That is, I was. I'm not sure what really caught my attention when I saw the NOW bars (link here!) on the shelf at my LBS a couple of Sunday's ago. We'd just got back from a particularly brutal "recovery" ride, (Yeah right) and for some reason that bright yellow packaging and loud exclamation of "Gluten - Free" just seemed to speak to me. Alright... I'm game, what's one more energy bar on the long list of "no thanks."

Turns out, it's good. Actually, not just good... pretty freakin' awesome.

From the (gluten free) oats and Chia seeds (not pets) to the real raisins to the little nuggets of honey, this bar delivers on the taste front for this guy. Hell, this is one of the few "energy bars" I would go so far as to say I would eat when I had not been sitting on a saddle for two or three hours.

Made from Manuka Honey, Ambrosia, Nectar and the tears of rejoicing angels.*
*Not actual ingredients... other than the Honey.
Of course my suspicions that the bar was actually "good" (and not just "energy bar good") were later verified when I noticed my box of NOW bars rapidly depleting in number, despite the fact that I had only devoured a couple myself on rides. A little further investigation unveiled that my friends AND my girlfriend (can't trust anyone these days...) had been raiding my stash. It seems these things are not just good enough for triathlons and cycling, but also perfectly acceptable for hiking and marathon video game sessions. The problem now has become trying to find creative places to hide my stash.

Here's the stats on the bars in case you were looking to compare, or just so you know what you're getting into. 4/1 Carb/Protein ratio, and not an unbearable amount of fat besides.

As far as how good of a job they do "on the road" I've been enjoying some success with them. I'll be fueling with them (exclusively) for my 100 miler this weekend. That's a pretty big compliment from my perspective, because usually on rides of that length I have to vastly diversify my nutrition to keep my sanity (well... relative sanity) intact. The man who's face is on the package (Phil Keoghan - from Amazing Race fame.) did his pretty enviable 40 day ride across America fueling with the bars... and anything a person can stomach for 40 days has got to be pretty dang good.

The one thing I wanted to put to the test was the "Will not melt" advertisement. So what's the best way to test something like that you might be thinking. I'm sure some of the smarter and fancier guys out there would come up with some scientific test to find the answer, but me... I'm a simple man. So I threw one in my car for 8 hours in the 100+ degree heat with the windows up while I was at work.

Science at work.

The bar on the right has been baking on my dash for the day. The bar on the left has been sitting in my temperate (74 degrees) kitchen all day. I left the package around both so that you could see that the bar stays together totally. No melted gunk stuck to the wrapper. No more having to simple green my bar tape every time I have a snack on the bike!

The only gripe I've got is that finding these bars "around" is a bit tough. Other than my LBS (which had a very limited selection, and was nearly out of those) the only place close to me that sells them is a Smoothie King. If a big chain grocery store (looking at you Kroger / Publix) picked them up, it would be pretty awesome and convenient.  Fortunately, NOW has a store finder on their website that can help you locate somewhere to try them out, or of course you can just take my word for it that they are pretty sweet (see what I did there) and order them straight from the source.

Alright, first "nutrition" review down. Of course nutrition is a very personal thing so you need to do your own testing to see what works for you on your rides and races, but hopefully you'll give these bars a try, I think NOW has hit nail on the head with these guys.

As for me, I've got a 100mile ride this weekend... here's a nice picture of the fun I'll be having :)

You just have to love East Tennessee!

With any luck, I'll make it to the top. (and survive the descent)

Also, Saturday is the first day of the Tour! (In case you've been under a rock) Having no Prologue kind of stinks, but since Fabio is out anyways I guess they didn't want to waste their time :) It looks like it's going to be a battle in the mountains... will Sky dominate the podium again? Or will Contador and Schleck give us a nail biter? Is Cadel still in the conversation? We'll see...

As always, thanks so much for checking out what goes on inside my head. I really appreciate it.

- Christopher Morelock

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Choices made (a race report of a different kind)

Here I am, straddling my Planet X Stealth in a church parking lot in Kingston TN, holding a fellow racers Cervelo P2, waiting for the first responders / police to arrive. There's a bit of blood, and a lot of road rash, none of which is mine. In the road, an older pickup truck with a trailer and lawnmower stopped with it's emergency flasher lights on. Other racers are trying to dodge this cluster***k and traffic is backed up beyond transition. It is here, less than a quarter mile from transition, that my race at the "Smokin' the Water" triathlon ends... so how did I get here?

Part 1: No rest for the wicked

I start the night before race day as usual... with restless sleep. I'm not sure what the problem has been... I'm not going to bed overly early (for me) and I am not really anxious about racing... I just can't get my mind to stop wandering. Eventually I turn on "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia" (quite the family) and fall into a non-refreshing sleep that I've come to expect. 3:30a.m. rolls around and I begin the real prep... breakfast, shower, other essentials and getting everything loaded into the car. The bike course for this race is one of the flattest in the area, I'm expecting a really good race. It is however an open water swim... which, if you're a regular reader, you will remember didn't turn out so well for me in Panama City. One bad day does not spell a pattern, but still, in the back of my mind there was that little question "do you still have it?" Well, we're going to find out.

I make the longish drive to Kingston (about an hour) and get a good spot in transition. I see Josh and his dad and we kill some time waiting to get our caps / chips. Josh has been swimming better than I have this year so it's my (loose) plan to stay on his heels for this swim. I run into Joe back in transition who has been having a rough season after being injured last year... he says he's feeling good (unfortunately I think he ended up pulling out :/ which is a bummer, he's a stud when he's healthy) and I take off onto the bike course to scout (hadn't seen it prior) the area. A little before halfway there are some pretty nasty train tracks that have to be crossed... I expected a mat to be put down over them, but I'm told that one never was. Very lucky there weren't a lot of crashes there... I had a hard time even bunny hopping them. The family arrives and I deposit my keys and tell my mom that my only real goal is to feel good coming out of the swim. I get my swimskin on and hop in the shockingly cold water. (I guess I'm just a wuss when it comes to OWS temps) I play around a bit and another racer tells me the ramp at the exit is very sharp concrete before the mat, that he had cut his foot just getting in. Great... Oh well, too late to worry about it now. I find Josh and hang a bit behind him and we shiver waiting for the start.

Just don't think of it as an icy, cold embrace waiting to drag you into the murky depths... crap...

Man I'm cold... let's do this!

Part 2: Waterworld and First Blood

You can see me... I'm the one in the green cap thrashing around heading toward that floating thing!
At the start I always expect some serious contact. Somehow I avoid almost all of it today. I stay on Josh's feet for the first minute or so, then lose him in a group. The rest of the swim (it's a rectangle out and back) is uneventful for me. I feel fine the entire time, hop some feet when I find them, and break out on my own when I need to adjust pace/sighting. I'm back to the inlet faster than I had hoped for and start dragging the bottom with my hand. I stand up and try to take a step forward and "OUCH" cut the front of my big toe wide open on a jagged part of the ramp. I fall (unceremoniously) back to a "hands and knees" position and crawl my way onto the mat. Sweet. I'm not totally sure what my swim time was (no splits sadly) but as I made my way up the run to transition, I could see that I was out of the water likely in the second "group" of guys. Josh was about 5-10" ahead of me, which was about what I was figuring, so I think it was a good swim for me. And hey, made it fine, so I didn't just forget how to OWS like I had feared :)

Toe bleeding, slippery mat and some seriously sweet tan lines. Just a day in the life

Part 3: And now we've crested the hill of good things...

It's swimskin off, sunglasses on, helmet on, grab the bike and out the gate. Wait... my helmet isn't secured... doh, must have not got it snapped. No... it's hooked, but one side isn't secure... what?
My chin strap actually ripped! I quickly re-rack my bike and take off my helmet, trying to figure out what the best course of action is. I obviously can't go out with an unsecure helmet. Frustration is quickly building... finally I get a safety pin from my mom and pin the straps together. (Probably not a great idea looking back) Of course this is after I've wasted 2-3 minutes standing in transition looking like an idiot. I'm obviously bummed out that I've blown my shot at an Overall finish, but I think I still have a chance at being on the AG podium with the bike course being as flat as it is. I get out of transition and onto the main highway, ready to burn rubber.

The downward spiral begins. Me confused as to why my helmet isn't secured...

Part 4: The Dangerous Race

Right outside of transition you are dumped on a main artery of the highways in Kingston. I understand that last year at this race one lane was closed to traffic. That was not the case this year. I immediately notice... this road is BUSY. I know it'll clear out once we're out of town but on a two lane highway, it's a bit nerve wracking. I get in my shoes and start making the first climb out of the city when I'm passed by a pickup truck hauling a lawnmower and trailer. I feel the wind hit me as he blows by me and I think to myself "that was close."

About 2 car lengths in front of me are two other riders. The guy in front is going slower than the guy behind him, and so the fellow behind him moves to pass. I can see the danger from behind but can't get a yell out before the truck that just passed me moves to pass them. The truck itself makes it, but the trailer (being wider) smashes into the rider making a pass. He's thrown into the other rider and I'm forced to lock down my brakes and swerve into a church parking lot. (Thank you emergency braking practice) The truck stops (in the middle of the road) and I start trying to see if everyone is "ok." The guy that took the hit is pretty road rashed up and has a couple of bleeding spots (hit his chainring I think) but is obviously more angry (oh adrenaline) than anything it seems. The other guy seems fine but is bummed his race is over. He thinks his chain is broken.  After I see that nobody is in immediate danger I ask the driver to move his truck out of the road (as other racers are still coming, now in a steady stream... and traffic is backing up) to which he tells me he isn't moving until the police arrive. Ok... thanks. We get rider #2 up and I see that his chain is just off the chainring. I pull it back on he decides to go on and finish his race. I decide to wait with the other rider since I'm not totally comfortable leaving two upset parties in close proximity and since I'm a bit worried he is hurt but just has a ton of adrenaline running. The driver has called 911 and so we get a police car and first responder (fire dept) pretty quick. Finally the truck moves out of the road and traffic starts moving again. The police get a statement from driver / rider and I offer to give what I saw if they need it. They seemingly do not. At this point there are people well more qualified for this than me, so I figure I should go back to transition and let the RD / spectators know that everyone is going to be ok. I spend the rest of the race spectating and cheering on the others hanging out with one of my buddies from the LBS who was watching his wife compete.  Josh finished 3rd overall, and in a testament to his character, he had seen and asked my mom if I was alright while he was still on the run. Hell, I usually can't form sentences when I'm running :)

In the end, other than some scrapes and bruises, everyone turned out to be fine. I don't believe (although I'm not 100% sure) the driver even received a citation... despite passing over a double yellow line around a blind turn. (Seems like in TN we don't really believe in sharing the road.) I turned my chip in with a(nother) DNF for the year. I could have continued on after the police arrived, but I think that would have been fairly silly overall. Putting a really fast biker behind the latter half of he pack of racers is not a terribly good (safe) idea in my opinion (especially considering passing people didn't turn out too well earlier)... and I can (and did) run when I get home.

So, currently I'm 50/50 in finishing triathlons this year. It's a bit of a bitter taste since this course was pretty generously favoring to me, but I still believe I made the right choices. Stopping and helping (even if the best help I offered was really just holding a bike and putting a chain back on the rings) was the right thing to do. And hey... I had a good swim and regained my confidence for open water (just not salt water...) so the race was a success in that regard.  Hopefully Race Day Events will look into fixing some of the safety issues before we return to Kingston later in the year for the Storm the Fort Olympic. (a longer version of the course)

Also, this seemed like an ironic race report after last weeks post... so let me say it again...


As always, thanks so much for taking the time to check out the blog.

- Christopher Morelock

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Be careful out there (And how to be "more" careful...carefuler...whatever)

If you keep up with the forums, you've probably seen a thread floating around about the incident with an age grouper crashing into Meredith Kessler at Eagleman last weekend. (Who came out with a concussion but nothing broken I believe) While I am not going to point fingers (unfortunately, sh*t happens sometimes, being an age grouper has nothing to do with it) I will acknowledge that triathletes in general do have a pretty bad reputation when it comes to handling and even safety, so I thought it would be a good time to go over some of the basics on what we can all do to be safer on the bike. Most of this is pretty elementary stuff, but sometimes those are the things we need to practice and / or remember to take some time to improve.

1.) Practice your transitions.

Coming out of T1 and getting up to speed BEFORE worrying about my shoes
This is one I'm a bit guilty of. I definitely don't spend enough time working on my t1. I got it "pretty" fast and then just kind of wing it. I did realize that I'm not good at doing the Flying mount, so I have kept from embarrassing myself with that in a race so far. The biggest mistakes I see others make are pretty easy fixes if they would take a step back.

- Don't worry about your shoes until you are up to speed. Too many people think they have to get in their shoes immediately. I am almost always a quarter of a mile into the ride before I'm totally in my shoes. You want to get up to race speed before you even look at your first shoe. Then slip in, strap down (don't swerve) and get back up to speed again before looking at the other shoe. You can pedal plenty hard without your feet IN the shoes.

- You don't HAVE to mount your bike at the bike mount line. No, you can't mount before, but you can mount after. Big congestion and people swerving everywhere trying to mount? Big hill you aren't sure you can get up to speed on? Just run up it.

- If you don't normally have a bottle on the rear of your bike, but add one for a race, REMEMBER your leg clearance is a bit different when you swing your leg over. I Judo kicked the crap out of a bottle at Rev3 in 2010... it stayed put (it had my flat kit in it and was rubber banded down fortunately) but I was very embarrassed.

2.) Practice descending, turning and braking.

Fabian makes it look easy, but I promise he's had plenty of practice.
Most everyone has seen this video. (Also, this video of his TT handling prowess) If not, take a few minutes and watch it. Cancellara flats and has the road to himself to catch the peloton. It's one of the finest bits of descending skill I can think of. While certainly not even Spartacus is infallible (the Olympics come to mind) there is certainly a great deal of skill in the way he comes down that mountain. Of course most of us are unlikely to ever log the kind of miles in a saddle (and at those speeds) that a pro peloton rider does, so we need to take a bit more active approach at some of this stuff. Some things that come to mind that we could all benefit from at least "refreshing" on occasion.

- Descending fast(er). The only way to get faster is to get more confident. The best ways to do that are to descend more (in general) and to descend a particular place often... that way you learn where you can bomb down and where you need to slow. Some of the guys I do our weekend shop ride with are particularly good at going downhill... much better than I am, so I try to get one of them to go fast(er) than I usually go, but still not as fast as they are capable, and then I try to follow their line all the way through. It's helpful for your mind (or at least for mine) to wrap around the fact that "this is possible" by following somebody. Of course you need to trust them :)

- Turning. This one is a bit more important for TT'ing where there's a turnaround and you need to shave as little speed as possible on it, but many Tri's also involve either turnarounds or pretty sharp corners. Learning to hit the apex and "straighten" the turn is worth working on when you get a chance. Riding (slow) between cones (or whatever obstacle) can also do some real work for your ability to handle a turn.

- Braking skills. These cause a lot of wrecks in my experience. Somebody gets spooked and grips too hard on the front brake and does an endo. Yes, there is a proper way to stop hard, and it's worth practicing so that you are ready if it is necessary. On a straightaway (empty parking lot is pretty good) get up *some* speed, get into your drops, brace yourself (elbows bent) and grip on the front brake enough to stop you. Feel your body weight moving? As you practice doing the above with harder force on the front brake, you'll need to "push" your body weight back (pushing into the drops) so that your body weight stays over the saddle.  It's worth mentioning that locking your rear wheel won't actually stop you from speed... but it will blow your tire or make you skid. The rear brake (in dry conditions) is for shaving speed, not stopping. You can only "lock" your front wheel in rainy conditions, and in those scenario's, you brake harder with the rear than normal (since recovering from a rear skid is fairly likely, but you aren't recovering a front lockout)

- Riding a line. Learn to do it, whether you need a set of rollers (cheap ones <$100 all day) or just riding a painted road line (not in the rain!) learn to do it, especially if you are ever going to do a group ride. Nobody wants to ride behind the guy that keeps swerving left and right.

3.) Be a defensive rider.

Not how this usually ends up working out.
- "Share the Road" is a noble idea. It's something to strive for between cyclist and motorist. It is not realistic however. A couple of tons of sheet metal/motor/plastic will always trump a 16lb piece of carbon and a couple hundred pounds of meat. (That's you) When I was learning to drive my dad was insistent that I always keep an eye on things around me, (oh man when I looked at the radio one time I thought he was going to literally clock me.) even if I wasn't doing anything "wrong." His theory was, if you have a green light and a semi truck has a red light, and it looks like he might not be stopping, then you stop... because the biggest vehicle ALWAYS has the right of way, because he has a lot less to worry about. Same with a bicycle. Sure, that car was supposed to yield to you, but just because they should have doesn't mean they will... and you are a LOT more likely to wind up injured than they are. I see it a lot around here (TN is full of angry drivers AND angry cyclists) guys will get cut off by a driver and then the yelling and the "tough talk" starts. Sure, you might be the baddest man (or woman) on two legs, but that guy has a 3500 diesel Ram. He wins. Pick your battles... martyrs never get to celebrate their own name.

- When you're riding with others (and as a general rule) expect that if somebody "can" do something stupid, there's a good chance they will. Are you grinding up a hill right on somebody's wheel? What do you think the chance is that they are going to stand up (which generally shifts a bike backwards about 1/2 to a full foot) in a second? If you're right in their space, you guys are crossing wheels. If you're in a cat 5 crit, what do you think the chance is the guy beside you can hold his line? If he can't, what do you think the chance is he can hold it upright if you bump shoulders? These are things you should always at least "recognize" as potential problems. It's one of the reasons you don't stare at the wheel of the guy in front of you in a paceline. What if he's zoning out and totally misses that Dog/Car/pothole/gravel? More eyes are always better (and you should be able to keep from crossing wheels with him by your peripheral vision, right?)

- Don't be a dummy. This kind of links into the one above, but don't be "that guy." If you aren't sure if you're "that guy" then you probably are... stop it.

- Always assume you look like this on a bike

Poor Kevin Bacon... everything was downhill after "The River Wild"
No no... not that you look like Kevin Bacon... that you are invisible. Even making eye contact with another person/driver/rider, assume they don't see you.

And of course

4.) Nothing new on race day!

Hey who's that idiot wearing a swimskin in a freezing OWS??? Oh... it's me. I even have a white dunces cap on...

If you aren't SURE that outside of something beyond your control going wrong that you can pull off that sweet move, Race Day is not the day to try it out.

Alright... I'm done preaching.
Give me three Hail Mary's and change the internal routing on a Trek TTT bike as penance.

Seriously though, take care of yourselves, hopefully this little reminder will help all of us be a bit safer on our next ride, be it racing, training, or just enjoying the afternoon.

Next week I'll have a race report on the Smokin' the Water tri (Saturday) and I'll touch on the TT series I've been participating in on Wednesday nights. Also, not spoiling anything, but some exciting stuff in the works!

Thanks so much for reading, oh anonymous reader out there.

- Christopher Morelock

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review! The Tririg Omega

(Link here for the Omega X review)

I admit, I'm a bit behind the times on this one. The Omega has been out for some time now, and the only excuse I have is Apathy. That's unfortunate, because this brake is excellent.

First, let me say that I still like my Simkins Egg brake a lot. It's like an old friend, I'm used to it, comfortable with it's quirkiness, and that has led to some of my timidness in trying the Omega. I've had MANY center pull brakes (everything from Delta's and AX's to Zipp's to self made Cobb Hacks) and they all had a couple of things in common
- they were hard to adjust and center
- they were a pain when it came to switching between tires/wheels at times
- none of them stopped very well.

Simkins Egg brake was where I found myself. Good stopping power, only *some* annoyance installing and adjusting it, and tested well. I have ran it for two years on my Planet X (front only) and since I have had my Zipp 2001.

Finally, after a long time of lusting over the Tririg, I pulled the trigger on two (front and back) and this past week I finally got around to installing them and riding.

Lining up with the rear wheel was really simple, and it's fairly flush too.

You can see the way the Nokon cables run really tight to the frame. Go go expensive cable housing!

The installation on these things is the first thing that struck me as ingenious. Straight from the box I could tell this thing was well thought out and as practical (the bolts used are, for the most part, exactly what you can buy at home depot.) as a brake designed to one of the most unpractical demographics in history (triathletes) can be. The brake easily breaks apart so that you can install the right length screw for your fork / rear (I did have to go to Home Depot to buy a shorter bolt for the rear) and goes back together equally well. Not much room to mess it up, fairly idiot proof.

Picture stolen :) But this is what comes in your package.

The adjustment was the second thing that I quickly came to love. Once the brake is centered there is a set screw in each arm that allows for individual adjustment! That's huge!  I was really able to dial in the brake to what I felt like was the absolute optimum setup. Other aero brakes (especially center pulls) could be pretty tricky, especially if you were running a wheel that isn't 100% true (in my case my HED3) No problem with the Omega.

In the background... Softride, Zipp, work bench... tons of junk. Foreground... a clean front end!

Ok, ok... it slices, it dices... but does it stop?

When you go out of the garage at my house there is a fairly long hill that spills out into a 4 way stop. It's not super steep, but there have been times (mainly the first time I rode on my Zipp bike before I changed the front brake from the stock setup) when it was a harrowing (read: nearly life ending) experience. It's a good test as to whether the brakes would stop me or not. So, not without a little bit of anxiety (I mean... it is a center pull brake at it's core) I start down the descent. I test the brakes early, and speed is shaved. As I get towards the bottom I apply force to the front brake (Have I mentioned this thing comes with Salmon Pads! That's awesome, I refuse to use any other pads for my aluminum wheels.) and... low and behold... I stop.

Another picture of the front profile. This thing lines up great with my fork! Plus a shoutout to my Airborne Guardian.

Not dramatically. Not in any special way. Very unforgettably and unceremoniously. Which is exactly what I want my brake to do! Allow me to put it out of my mind.

So what are the negatives?

Well, at $175/each, they most certainly aren't cheap IF you just want to stop. A pair of race quality brakes are easily attainable for under $50 if that's your thing... but if you are considering this brake... it likely isn't. A quick check on the interweb has this for comparison.

Omega - $175
Simkins - $220
Hooker (ebay bin price) - $500 (set)
Weinmann Delta's (ebay bin) - $349 (set)
Campy Delta (ebay bin) - $300 (rear only)
Zipp 2001 Brake + Carbon Cover (ebay bin)  - $400 (rear only - wuuut... anyone want to buy one :D )
Random Side Pulls (Oval, TRP, Campy) - anywhere from $80 - $120

Dura Ace 7900 Calipers will set you back around $100 each. (I consider DA brakes the standard by which all brakes stopping power should be compared.)

Of the above listed brakes, only the Hooker is faster than the Omega. (source: Dr. Coggan's mini-wind tunnel brake test - on the Omega White Paper)

Of the above listed brakes, Only the Dura Ace and Simkins are on par with stopping power. The hooker I used to have also stopped fairly well (for how old it is especially) but has it's own limitations (the pads being a big one) All delta brakes I've owned I would consider downright dangerous.

Still the king of the mountain, but at what cost?

Other minor gripes include the fact that the set screws on each arm are 2m hex. This is a moderately obscure size for anything... making digging for the right wrench a pita.

Using a full on center pull setup also requires you to buy a hanger (like used on cross/mtn bikes) that fits as a spacer under your stem. Unfortunately, due to both the extreme angle of my stem and the fact that I don't use spacers under it, is an impossibility for me. On the plus side, my nokons and the exit from under my bars make the front brake cable pretty much invisible anyways. Overall, this one is a non-issue for most people, and the part needed only costs a couple of dollars if you want it.

So IF you want/need a new brake for your TT/Tri bike, there isn't a lot of reason to pass on the Omega. This thing gets the thumbs up from me.

I'm excited to ride my Time Trial tonight using them, hopefully my neck will forgive me for not riding my position since Augusta last year. Otherwise I'm going to look pretty funny tomorrow morning. :)

Oh, here's a picture of my crank cover, used to disguise my ancient Dura Ace 7400 crank. (I am using the old crank because of how narrow the Q-factor is. It's actually so narrow I had to shave a path into the crankarm to allow the front derailleur to move onto the big chainring without hitting.)

Yes... DA7400 crank... Record Carbon front derailleur... 7800 pedals.  Custom cover.

And, as I slowly work my way towards IMLou, I've also been messing with new hydration setups since the trip to the wind tunnel told me that my torpedo bottle mount sucked with my Praying Landis position. I haven't tested this guy out enough to be certain (more to come) but I'm fairly confident it's going to end up pretty nice. All you get is a teaser, although it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what's going on.

Front Profile with the bottle setup I'm testing.

As always, thank you all for spending a few moments sifting through my thoughts. Again, love the brake, go get one! DO IT.

-Christopher Morelock