SRM 7900 Wireless Power Meter for Felicia

Thank you to the good folks over at SRM for their great support of my Epic Adventures.  Shaun you rock– thank you!!   After five years of riding a Power Tap I am finally free to ride any wheel I want.  My days of building race wheels with a Power Tap are over!  What’s more is I can finally use my Zipp ZEDTech 2’s that have been sitting collecting dust in my garage.

The SRM Dura-Ace 7900 wireless power meter was a breeze to install.  It literally took all of 10 minutes to install the SRM onto my 2010 Felt F2 with Di2.  I have a spare magnet and handlebar clamp for my TT bike.  I haven’t decided whether I will take two bikes to the Furnace Creek 508 this year because I don’t know if I want to have my crew members swap the crank out …but I just might.  It will take less than 5 minutes because the head unit mount for the handlebar and the magnet on the bottom bracket will already be installed. Just the crank has to be removed and installed on the other bike.

Tomorrow will be my first training ride with the SRM.  It will be a long ride (century plus) on a hot day (100F) with lots of climbing (15,000 feet).  I’ll blog about it tomorrow.

2010 Felt F2 with Di2 and SRM 7900 wireless power meter with Power Control 7

New Shoes for Felicia – Dura-Ace 7850-C24-CL

Front wheel with rim strip

Rear wheel with rim strip

I just received a new set of Shimano Dura-Ace wheels WH-7850-C24-CL Carbon Clincher wheels. Features from the Shimano website:

  • Pro-Tour performance with the convenience of clinchers
  • Patent pending Shimano carbon-alloy composite construction
  • Aerodynamic 24mm profile rims
  • New titanium freehub body w/quick engagement
  • New wider flange hubs and offset rear rim for increased rigidity and power transmission
  • Shimano quality proven angular contact bearings with oversize 7075 alloy axles
  • Weight: 1386g (pair)


I will be evaluating them over a few rides.  These wheels are part of the make-over for Felicia my 2010 Felt F2 with Di2.

Dawson Saddle in the Freezing Rain

My ride today was cut short because of really bad weather.  But I accomplished my first goal which was to climb to Dawson Saddle from Duarte.  The climb is an 8,000 foot gain in 35 miles.  The good news is all my times were better and my power numbers had improved from two weeks ago.  The bad news is I had intended on more climbing today.

When I arrived at Encanto Park in Duarte it was overcast but the temperature was in the high 60’s.  I looked off to the mountains and saw clouds but didn’t think too much of them. However, the higher I climbed in elevation the weather got worse and worse.  At lower elevations it was a light drizzle and chilly.  By the time I crested Dawson Saddle, 7901 elevation, it was pouring freezing  rain and the temperature was in the 30’s.  My hands were so cold it took me nine minutes just to put on knee warmers and a vest!

I was miserable I was shivering and I struggled to keep the bike steady while descending at below 20 mph on Angeles Crest Hwy. I was going much slower on Hwy 39 (10 mph).  Visibility was less than 20 feet — no exaggeration.  The Caltrans trucks would dart to the other side of the road when they realized a cyclist – me – was coming towards them.  I’m sure they thought I was crazy being up there.  The crews I passed had full-on winter gear and they were huddled around the big Cat units enjoying the heat being displaced by  their massive engines.

“Get down from elevation it WILL get warmer ”  I kept repeating those words over and over and over as a means of motivation to keep me moving.  I hadn’t been this cold since the San Diego 300km Brevet where half the field DNF’d because of rain and freezing temperatures.  I was wearing a base layer, two jerseys, a vest with wind stopper, arm warmers, knee warmers, booties over my shoes, gloves and I was still freezing.  I was soaked to the bone and had lost dexterity of my fingers.  I couldn’t open wrappers of my bars or gels and resigned myself to eat hardy once I got down off the mountain.  I tried to pull my bottle out of the cage and couldn’t squeeze my fingers together.  The only thing I was capable of doing was maintaining steady pressure on the brakes.

Alright enough about my tales of woe.  Let’s look at the positive outcome of this ride. Below is the power chart from two weeks ago 5/13/10.  You should be able to notice that my  power (yellow squiggly line) trails off significantly later in the climb.  When just looking at time it took me 3:38 to climb from Duarte to Dawson saddle.  Today that same climb in terrible weather took me 3:20 which includes 11 minutes off the bike for a flat.   As I mentioned before I didn’t have dexterity so changing a flat was a long painstaking process.  Most of that 11 minutes was spent trying to warm up my hands.  I stuffed them down my shorts — yeah I know TMI but you gotta do what you gotta do right?

Another absolute measurement like time is average speed.   Two weeks ago my averages speed was 9.7 mph today it was 10.7 mph. I think I will set a goal of 3 hours flat from Duarte to Dawson Saddle.  Doing some rough calculations I would have to increase my average speed for the climb to 11.7 mph to complete the climb in three hours.

Power Chart from May 13, 2010

Data from May 13, 2010

Now let’s look at today’s data.  My power doesn’t trail off as bad on the latter stages of the climb.  Don’t forget this is A THREE HOUR CLIMB.  Let’s put it in perspective — what most people call a training ride of 30-35 miles I’m doing that whole distance going up a mountain.  Also look at my Normalized Power it increased from 191 watts  to 220 watts (3.27 w/kg). It is the end of May and my goal event is in October.  I still have about three solid months to get my mileage and climbing up to race quality.

I was teased by one of my blog readers because I have been climbing with a 53/39 standard crankset and an 11-23 cassette.  Well the truth is, it is difficult for me to climb in those gears too 😉  But here’s the thing, when I started riding with the road-racer type guys most of them have close ratio cassettes.  It was very hard to keep up with them on climbs because they would be hammering in an 11-23 cassette.  Or when on the flats and slight downhills they had that 11T cog and I was in a 12T cog just barely hanging on at 36 mph.  So I switched to an 11-23 and I have been racing on one all year.

Today’s improvement in data was due in part to riding a different gear set up.  Two weeks ago I rode my Cervelo R3 SL – Rebecca, which is my dedicated climbing bike.  She is equipped with a Compact 50/34 crankset.  Today I rode Felicia which has a standard 53/39 crankset.  I felt myself working harder and at times noticed my cadence dropping significantly.  I remained focused on increasing my cadence which in-turn  produced higher power and consequently faster times up the mountain.  You can see in the difference of the lap times that today was faster in just about every lap.

Tomorrow I will be climbing Palomar Mountain.  I haven’t been out there in a long time.  I don’t have data to go from since my hard drive crashed with about three years of power data on it.  Oh well I guess I will just have to set the bar tomorrow.

Meet Felicia

My relationship with Felt Bicycles has gone to the next level.  The benefits of our new partnership are mutual.  Felt Bicycles recognized the value of supporting an influential member of the local recreational and racing scene race.  Additionally, they realized that being associated with a recognizable name in the Ultra cycling community would provide them with yet another potential market– the Ultra cyclist.  Their support helped facilitate the purchase of my new bike.

I will be riding the Felt F2 with Di2 for the remaining races I have on the calendar.  I am very pleased to be working with Felt Bicycles.  The ride quality of their bikes, in particular the  F2 with its Ultra High Modulus  carbon fiber, are truly fantastic.  The bike comes equipped with electronic shifting which is simply amazing.

Below are some pictures I took with my Blackberry which aren’t the highest quality but you get the idea that this is one sweet looking bike.  And then just for kicks, I put on some lightweight tubular wheels and the weight dropped from just under 17 lbs (with a Power Tap training wheelset) to 15lbs.  Very nice!!!

If you haven’t considered a Felt bicycle then you owe it to yourself to take one for a ride.  You will be amazed at the incredible ride quality and will be truly surprised by the bottom bracket stiffness.  I have ridden MANY different bikes and currently own a wide variety of bikes and I can honestly say this is one of the very best riding bikes I have ever ridden.

Zipp Zed Tech 2 Ceramic Bearings super light weight and aero!