Thursday, November 19, 2009

Training - Back To The Future: 175 Cranks, Again

I've been jonesing to swap my cranks back to the 175s, the crank length I've come to prefer at the Bethel Spring Series. I did a 20 minute test the other night, but I felt a bit flat. With longer cranks I can usually get through that "flat" feeling, rolling a lower cadence instead of trying to stay on top of a smaller gear.

So, after my ride two nights ago, I decided that I would swap the cranks. I figure that I could give my 20 min test another try with the longer cranks and see what happens.


Unlike last time, I remembered how to remove the Cannondale SI cranks. The remover works ingeniously, a headless bolt that screws into the bottom bracket spindle. You then screw in an "outer blocking screw", essentially trapping the headless bolt.

Then you unscrew the headless bolt. With nowhere to go, it pushes the crankarm right off the spindle.

Because of the design of the axle spindle, you need much less force to remove the crankarm than, say, a standard square taper spindle crankset.

Now, after less than 10 minutes of work (which included removing and reinstalling my pedals, as well as swapping out the SRM spider), my bike has the 175s on it once again.

Although I've extolled the virtues of longer cranks, and then shorter cranks, and then longer cranks again, I've realized that crankarm length is like bike fit: sometimes you need some change. For 2010 I'll be using the 175s until mid-late April.

Which means I'll be on the 175s for the next half year. I'll do my trip to Florida, then my trip to CA, and maybe a third training camp trip on them. The cranks should stay on for Bethel. As soon as the Series finishes, I'll be putting the 170s back on, in preparation for the track races in New Hampshire.

Last night, fatigued as I was, I did a ride. I had to cut it short at 1:30, my motivation to ride dwindling as my sleepiness grew.

But I noticed that I could maintain 200 watts at just 120-130 bpm. I need to analyze the numbers a bit closer, but usually 200 watts means a lot of effort for me. After a day or two of rest, I'll get back on the bike and do a 20 minute test.

I'm curious as to what I'll find.

In the meantime, I'm still dieting. My weight loss tapered dramatically, but I'm still down about 17 pounds from when I started five and a half weeks ago. It seems that I'm down about two pounds a week, which, if things go well, will put me down twelve more pounds at the end of the year.

That would put me at about 152 pounds, under my most optimistic ultimate goal of 155 pounds, and well below my "expected" (hoped for) weight of 162 pounds.

With my semi-joking 70 kg (154 lbs) weight in mind, and the "wait, there's more!" weight of 68 kg (148 lbs), if I can hit the lower 150s by the end of the year, it's only a few more pounds to get to that magical 68 kg weight.

Combine that weight with whatever I can dish out in my next 20 minute test on 175s...


But, before I get too excited, I have to actually lose weight to get below the mid 160s. And ride the bike. And all that stuff.


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