Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Equipment - Ring Around The Rosie... Crankarms, Take 3

Take 3 on the Cannondale with crank arms.

Meaning I'm back on 170mm crankarms again.

"Oh Lord", you think, "Won't you buy me, a Mer... Um... Will you just make up your mind?"

This all relates to some thoughts I had on pedal speed and trying to get my heart rate up a bit higher.

I have two compelling reasons to move back to the 170s. First, last year, I rode better in flat races on them - Harlem, East Hartford, races not like Bethel or Hartford. Okay, I was a bit more fit, but I think I'm relatively fit now. With four flat East Hartfords, a few track days left, as well as one or two other flat races, I figure now is the time to move back to 170s.

Second, my track bike has 170s, and I really, really, really need to work on my pedal stroke on that bike. Pedaling 175s on Monday and Tuesday and then trying to spin 170s on Wednesday doesn't cut it. By putting the same size cranks on my road bike, I'll have a more consistent pedal stroke experience.

A centimeter (5mm x 2) pedal circle difference in diameter may not seem like much, but try, say, raising your seat a centimeter. Even just half that distance.

Yeah. Suddenly it seems like a lot.

Anyway, last night I skipped the group ride to do some bike maintenance work, namely making that 170 crank switch. I almost stripped my beloved Cannondale SI 175s when I tried to use the wrong part of the tool to remove the arms, but luckily I was too weak and I couldn't ruin my cranks properly. Instead, after switching to my demonic yellow glasses (they don't fall down my face as soon as I peer down like my temporary full time Oakley glasses - my regular pair are too scratched to use), I realized that I'd been trying to remove the crank with the piece that the remover uses as a base.


Basically I was trying to strip the threads of the crank arm.

Once I figured that out and turned the remover instead of the piece it should push on, the arms popped off like magic. If only square taper cranks came off that quickly.

I went back upstairs in the middle of my crank work to see if I could pick up a track disk wheel for $150 off eBay (not! - price went up about $100 in the last 15 seconds so the seller must be happy), then went back down to finish the install of the 170s. That went quickly although I spent a few minutes trying to clean the frame around the BB shell (I rarely clean that area properly).

Then I tried out a new... okay, I'll post about it elsewhere after I test it. But basically I'm using renewable resources to hold on my SRM wires and such. I hope that this works because electrical tape eventually moves and zip ties seem so aggressive. And my bike was a mess so I really needed to clean it up.

Bike looked pretty good when I finished, at least slightly presentable. Joe Parkin would be embarrassed I think, and normally I would be, but I was tired and hot and really wanted to go to sleep.

Before I went to bed I weighed myself to see if I've lost any weight. It seems that I'm about 1 pound lighter than a couple weeks ago. So, no, I haven't, not really. I'll count it as "losing weight" when I'm five pounds lighter. I figure that's beyond the scale's margin of error (well, after the 10 pounds it already subtracts).

For the record I saw 169 pounds. That means I'm 179.

I figured I'd ride this morning, spin on the rollers, but I was too tired when I woke up. Knowing I have the race tonight, I decided that I'd spin during the warm-up. I ate some food in the morning instead, drank coffee, and thought about how I'd schedule everything so I could get to the race just a touch earlier than normal.

I think I'll just drive faster.

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