1 12 2008

Folks, thanks for visiting this site but it’s now come time for me to completely move over to my new domain   Please update your bookmarks.  This is where I’ll be posting all content from now on.




Electronic Dura Ace

28 11 2008

I’m sure you’re read all the reviews about the new Electronic Dura-Ace.  I’m not going to repeat those reviews, but I was lucky enough the other week to get to take it for a test-drive.  Let me tell you I was damn impressed.  I had all the usual questions like “how long does the battery last”, “what happens when the battery dies”, “how do you adjust it”, “how much more does it weigh”, “what happens when it rains”, etc.  I’m sure they have had all these questions a hundred times before and had a logical and satisfactory answer for each.  The true test was how it actually worked.  Amazing is all I can say!  The ergonomics of it were much improved over the old Dura-Ace, the shifting was spot on and quick, only 30g heavier than the traditional Dura-Ace and it was very modular from a maintenance point of view (and all cables were connectorized for easy replacement).

A couple cool features that they don’t advertise much.  First, the front derailleur automatically trims slightly while the rear derailleur is shifted so that you’ll never get any chain rub.  Second, there are some quick easy adjustments you can make if you put another rear wheel on and you need to fine tune the rear derailleur to that cassette.

From their answers regarding battery power, it seems that they’ve thought this through.  They claim that the battery will last approx 1000hr of heavy use, but more than likely 3000km of regular use.  You’ll be able to notice that the battery is running low by a slower response of the front derailleur.  There is also an LED indicator showing approx 500kms left of battery life.  If by chance the batter does get very low on power, the front derailleur functionality is the first thing that it drops.   People seem to be worried about the battery dying all at once leaving them in their 53×11.  This isn’t any more likely than it is now on your traditional cabled system.

Everyone I spoke with who tried the new groupset was extremely impressed with how it rode.  My only concern is the price – ~$4000.  Mind you, this is the typical outrageous Aussie price they were quoting, but it will be expensive nonetheless.  I don’t imagine that busting a shifter/brake or a rear derailleur will be a cheap replacement exercise either.  Most bike shop mechanics aren’t really going to know what to do to do if it is malfunctioning because of electrical problems.  The obvious fix will be to replace. That could get ugly.

I would also suggest to Shimano to have a second release come out in about a year or two.  Doesn’t have to be major overhaul. This would be more of a marketing strategy for them.  Cyclists are not early adoptors of new techology (those would be the triathaletes).  Cyclists are always cautious and skeptical about first releases.  SRAM Force is a good example.  Releasing RED a year later was very intentional from a product management perspective.

I hope this works out for Shimano and that SRAM and Campy follow suit.  It’s time for some real innovation in this space instead of just throwing more carbon into the mix.

Sorry – not much of a Cycling Tip in there, but I just had to talk about it!

26 11 2008

Folks, just a quick reminder that I’ve transferred all content to  This is the site that I’ll regularly update, put widgets on and continue to evolve.  I’ll keep updating this  site for the next while, but if you haven’t already please updates your bookmarks.

Thanks for reading…

Dealing With Road Rash

26 11 2008

Stinging showers,  rolling over in bed and nasty pussing aching hip sticking to the sheets and wakes you up in agony.   I’ve been quite fortunate throughout my cycling career not to have had too many crashes. Therefore I’m happy to say that I’m no expert on dealing with road rash.  I am familiar with the pain of it and have my own way of dealing with it that may or may not be medically sound.  It does work though and here it is.

The first thing to do is take two to four 200mg ibuprofen with food 45 minutes prior to cleaning you wound. The maximum dose is 800mg every six hours and no more than 2400mg in 24 hours.  It’s especially helpful right before bedtime so you can get some sleep.  (I got this information on ibuprofen dosages through various internet searches.  Once again, I’m not a doctor so you may want to confirm with your GP what your personal tolerance is.)

Clean the wound with mild antibacterial soap and a washcloth and plenty of water.  Only scrub hard enough to get the gravel out to prevent it from tattooing your wound. Abrasive scrubbing is unnecessary because you risk damaging tissue and delaying the healing process.  After the wound is clean, gently pat your road rash damp-dry.

In terms of covering the wound up, I use this second skin product called Opsite.   It’s breathable, quite resistant to showering, and heals wounds in about 1 week.    You just need to place it over the wound without putting any ointment on it and let the wound heal inside.  It will get disgustingly moist and smelly underneath, but it “retains wound contact with the natural wound exudate which contains vital nutrients for growing cells, and white blood cells to prevent infection“.   It’s like like miracle skin.  You never get a scab with this, so you can be out riding the same day, if you aren’t too sore.

Check your wounds daily for increasing redness, swelling, pain, pus or foul smelling drainage. These are all signs of infection and you should seek medical attention. If it’s been 5 years since your last tetanus shot, go to the ER. There’s no glory in dying of lockjaw.

There is also good article from a qualified emergency medicine physician here on how he likes to handle road rash.  In the experience of qualified road rash victums that I’ve tried myself, the Opsite method above is the best for superficial wounds where just the top layers of skin are taken off as in most road crashes.