First ride for ages

It’s been awhile since I had the old boy out the garage for a ride.

But today was the day for it. I got changed, checked all the batteries, and set off. Just a short run out to Ripley. My backside was aching quite quickly. Guess I’m going to have to get used to sitting in a saddle again. I felt every pedal stroke. It seemed like an effort, more so than I remember. I guess my fitness really has dropped off. For some odd reason, my fingers would not recognise the fact I’m using a wahoo elemnt computer, and kept trying to use the button presses for a Garmin. I’ve not used a Garmin for years. Weird how muscle memory works.

And my old friend thigh pain hit again as I was climbing the small hill into Ripley. Well, I say thigh, it’s more hip than anything else. I’ve lowered the saddle from where I had it, so let’s see if that makes any difference. I hope so, because it’s a crippling pain.

You’ll notice the new See.sense Ace lights. I’m still waiting for a half decent Android app for these lights. It’s been a long long time in the process. Truth be told, I’m not overly impressed with them. But I guess that’s another story for a post I’ve been meaning to write for awhile.

On the way home, I was unfortunately reminded some people’s driving leaves a lot to be desired, with people pulling out of side streets, left hooks and close passes. But alas, I’m not surprised.

Still chasing a rattle

So, this rattle that I’ve been chasing, while slightly better with a different wheel, is still there under certain conditions.

However, I have an idea it could be the Wahoo mount I’ve been using. So, I’ve swapped it for the Garmin mount while I try and work out what it is. I have cranked down in the Puck bolts, but will first see what happens with the garmin mount.

  • Tried numerous times remove and clean headset
  • Replaced carbon expander bung
  • Replaced front wheel
  • Checked skewers
  • Replaced wheel bearings
  • Checked for visible cracks and damage

So, after a ride with just the garmin mounted, no noise. Nothing, not a damn rattle anywhere. I’ll give it a couple more rides to make sure, but it maybe cured.

So what is it about the mount I have for the Wahoo? Well, it could be a couple of things.

The Elemnt is a bigger unit, and heavy. So it could be moving, and hitting the handlebar clamp bolts as it sits very close to them. Which, I suppose could be the reason I went all out for a headset issue. Or it could of been the actual Puck on the mount being loose. I’ve really tightened them down. So if it does it after I refit, I’m likely to go down the route of it hitting the stem bolts.

The solution to that would obviously be a longer mount, like the k-edge. But I’m not really wanting to spend £50 on a mount.

Back to Garmin

I’ve been using a wahoo elemnt for a while now, and the Garmin 520 has Sat all forlorn on the shelf.

Today however saw it dusted off, and remounted after the elemnt mount broke. It’s a bit of a bad design. You can never have it just tight enough on the bar not to slip. Which meant I tightened it, only to pull the brass press fit screw thread out.

But going back to the garmin, made me realise that there is actually stuff I’d missed that the elemnt hasn’t got. And the opposite too. I missed some of the features of the Elemnt.

So, in no particular order here is what I miss when using the 520

  • Screen and font size. The elemnt screen is huge compared to the garmin, and easier to glance at to get the information quickly
  • Button location. The buttons on the garmin are awkward, and located oddly
  • Maps. Maps are a hell of alot easier and clearer on the elemnt.

That’s just what comes from the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more.

Things I miss when using the Elemnt

  • Recovery advisor, Vo2 and auto FTP. A small and insignificant feature set, but one I like to have.
  • Varia light control. I’ve got a full set of Varia lights which obviously don’t work with the Elemnt. Yet. With See.Sense working on their Ace light set, it might get supported.
  • Beeps and other bongs. The Elemnt is mute when compared to the 520, with a much smaller speaker.
  • Not having to correct speed spikes after autopause. Seriously wahoo, that’s annoying

Again, just off the top of my head.

But weighing up the pros and cons of each unit, it’s clear to me that the elemnt is the first computer I reach for when getting ready.

First ride with Wahoo Elemnt

So, I’ve changed over from a Garmin 520 to a Wahoo Elemnt. And despite the missing vowel, it’s a worthy Garmin competitor.

Initially, I thought the LED’s where a little gimmick, but they are actually bloody useful. I’ve currently got mine set to display heart rate zone but have also used them for average speed, and found them useful for a quick reference point.

Screen wise, it’s a lot more readable in all conditions than the garmin, with better field presentation. Speaking of fields, setting up screens on the elemnt is stupidly easy. You just select the fields in the app, and drag and drop to were you want them on screen. Nothing could be easier. Non of this many button pressing garmin malarkey.

I’d replaced the maps on the garmin with open street maps from garmin.openstreetmap.nl which where miles better than the tosh you got preloaded. You can’t replace maps on the elemnt, however they are more than good enough to use as is.

All in all, a great bike GPS unit, and one that’s earned a place on my bike. Just a shame it dos’nt support my garmin lights. Yet.

New Camera

So I recently got a VIRB camera. I had wanted for a helmet camera, but there are a few things up with that. One, is that this is a very heavy camera, and quite large. Mounting it to the side of the helmet makes it very noticeable in the lean due to the weight, I tried mounting it on top of the helmet, but finding an area on the helmet that stops the shake is hard. I have a Kask Mojito helmet, which has no flat areas at all. It does work, it is just quite wobbly.

Example image from VIRB
Example image from VIRB

The other issue I have, is that the camera over exposes quite a lot. When compared to the GoPro Hero I have mounted to the handlebars, its very noticable. I can live with that, just about. A Lot of it could be dealt with in Post Process, but there is not really a massive need. I only plan to use helmet cam when something happens, it will pretty much be throw away footage. It seems to be mostly when leaving shaded areas, and the GoPro can have issues with this too, it just seems to deal with it quicker. VIRB does overexpose consistently through the frame however.

Example image from GoPro Hero
Example image from GoPro Hero

In other ways, this is a good camera. I think I’ll be keeping it around, and find away to helmet mount it at some point.

I also got hold of a repair stand. This is a massive help when working on the bike, as having it elevated, and off the ground saves my back and makes drive chain adjustments so easy. No more tipping the bike over and working on it upside down. Probably one of the better purchases I’ve made recently..

Despite what Simon at VeloHeads says (I have no reason to doubt him, and he has been repairing bikes for god knows how long, as he likes to point out) however, I don’t like clamping the carbon seatpost, so I have to swap it out for an old aluminium one when I have it in the stand.

A little Windy

It was a really windy couple of days here. Gusts up to 45mph, which to be honest, felt sustained rather than gusts.

I decided, as the wind had died down a little the next day, I’d head out for a quick ride. I wanted to get out the house, and check out the new new features on the Garmin 510, that have been released with Firmware 3.40. Namely the Segment support.

Associated Ride: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/3965218
Associated Ride: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/3965218

On the cycle path toward Ripley, I was having to avoid some rather large sticks, and parts of tree that threatened to enter the spokes and throw me if I went anywhere near. The I rounded the corner and saw the casualty of the wind.

A rather large conifer had fallen right over the path, blocking it all. the only way round was to pick the bike up and walk round it cyclocross style.

At times I was having to lean at quite an angle to deal with the wind. It was pretty much a headwind all the way to Ripley, and quite a struggle to keep a half decent pace going.

On the way back, the effect of the wind was dramatic, as it was pretty much a tailwind for parts, effort was’nt really needed to move forward at  a pace that saw me get some good times according to the new feature on my Garmin.

My best previous time was set on the 23rd of December at a time of 10:41. Today it was some 23 seconds quicker, at 10:18. Even having to get off the bike, and carry it round the downed tree I was so much quicker, mostly due to the tailwind I had.

Heading back up Bilton Lane however, was a whole different story. The wind only ever comes one way, and thats down. With a side wind when you pass a gap in the houses. It was impossible to keep any speed up, or a central line as I passed the houses. It was virtually impossible. It was pretty much my worst time ever on the Lane. The wind was just vicious. It was at this time, I decided enough was enough and gave up, and headed home.

But on the bright side, the new features on the 510 worked very well, and the segment support is excellent.