Ironman NZ 2017 Analysis

Those who completed IMNZ 2017 will (un)happily tell you the conditions were tough. Now we can quantify exactly how tough.

It was, in fact, the slowest day ever at Taupo (of the 17 full distance events). If you’re not fond of numbers, that is the executive summary and you should read no further (but you’ll be missing out).

Tauranga Half 2017 Analysis

As always, we’ll compare both overall averages and those of repeat racers (recidivists).
Also, we captured a good collection of side on bike photos which were posted on Facebook.

Thanks to Wendy from SMC Events for supplying race results for 2004, 2003, 2001 and 2000 – always good to improve the depth of the results history.

Tour de France 2016 Analysis – Week 1

Cavendish pips Greipel, Stage 3, 2016

With le Tour having finished I think it is opportune to dig into a few things I noticed. This won’t be a stage by stage blow by blow, rather – analysis of segments where equipment (potentially) made a critical difference.

As a general comment, it was nice this year not to see continual massive pileups in the first week (the loss of Contador was a blow) – the drama has come from hard racing and close finishes. It’s the close finishes that I’m most interested in analysing…

Tauranga Half 2016 Results Analysis

This analysis of the Tauranga Half will be fairly brief – I didn’t post it last year, I’d run the numbers but didn’t get time to write them up. So I’m just trying to do better than that this time (a low bar to clear).
As always, we’ll compare both overall averages and those of repeat racers (recidivists).
Also, we captured a good collection of side on bike photos which were posted on Facebook.

Taupo Half 2014 Results Analysis

A quick summary of my first look through the results for the Half today. Will flesh out later but I know that some of you won’t be able to sleep until you know how the day compared to previous years.

Marginal Gains Monday – Transmission

Actually on Monday this week, how novel.

An often neglected area on the bike is the transmission – Pedals, Bottom Bracket, Chain and Rear Derailleur – the parts that transmit the massive watts you’re pumping into the pedals to the rear wheel and thus to the road.

There are gains to be had here too and not necessarily expensive ones either.

Marginal Gains – Tyre Selection Part Two

The long awaited (since last week) sequel to the not so gripping (as I didn’t cover traction as an aspect of tyre performance) first instalment of tyre selection factors. This week I’ll focus on Rolling Resistance and the combine the factors discussed into an overall view.

Unfortunately I hit a snag with some rolling resistance testing last night which delayed completion of the article (some people sleep at night – I hop on the rollers to test tyres).

Marginal Gains – Tyre Selection Part One

As Monday was a public holiday my wife suggested that this weeks article should be called ‘Tiny Tweaks Tuesday’ but we’ll stick with ‘Marginal Gains’ for the sake of consistency. However, this weeks topic is not really marginal – Tyre selection is one of your biggest opportunities to gain (or throw away) performance.

The three key characteristics for race tyres are:

  • Rolling Resistance
  • Aerodynamics
  • Weight
  • Durability

For this week I’ll cover Aerodynamics, Weight and Durability. Part Two will cover Rolling resistance and the overall picture.

Marginal Gains Monday – Frame Aerodynamics

Like the muscle currently beating within your ribcage your bike frame is at the core of the performance of the collection of parts that make up your ride (or whip or whatever you like to call your bike). The right frame is key to position, handling, comfort and aerodynamic efficiency. Like your heart you need a good one in order to perform well in Cycling/Triathlon.

A common oversimplification is that “it’s the rider, not the bike” – this is unquestionably true… however, when we’re looking for peak performance there are significant marginal gains to be had in paying attention to the frame. Of course, bike company advertising would have you believe that every new model is 15% more aero (and 10% lighter, 12% stiffer and 8% more comfortable than the last) and the lack of real world evidence for those claims has led to some riders becoming a little jaded about the benefits of aero equipment. So I’m going to frame the data in ways that relate to the type of riding that you, my treasured readers, engage in.

Marginal Gains Monday – Overview

So I jumped the gun a bit last time charging straight into discussing a specific topic. Obviously I had aerodynamics on the brain thanks to the recent wind tunnel session. This time I’ll step back a bit and outline what I intend to discuss over the next few weeks.

There are a lot of claims made about the efficacy of various bits of equipment – to the point that athletes stop believing in the science of speed as the marketing claims rarely eventuate in the real world. My aim is to give a realistic view of the significance of various elements.