Stage winner Viking Tour 2014
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Preparation Viking Tour Norway

May 19th, 2014To the top

A small update

Preparation Viking Tour NorwayWith two more months before the race, I'm doing training laps of 160 km. Thanks to the tuned M5 CHR these are covered with an average of 40 km/h, while manoeuvring through everyday traffic.

In my case, to reach 40 km/h (no wind) only a heart rate of 114 is needed. For comparison: I can maintain a rate of 154 for a full hour and my heart rate in rest is around 32.

The bike is now equipped with the lowest available seat support of 30 mm, HED-3 rear wheel, Shimano 16 spoke RS 31 front wheel, Continental 4000 S II tyres, Vredestein latex tubes, Lightning Carbon cranks (53-34) of 185 mm, SRAM X-0 10-speed shifters, M5 Topbag of 17 ltr. on a carbon carrier. Very aerodynamic solution, because it blends fully with head/helmet and part of the upper body.
 

Foam mold for M5 CHR Tail Bag gradually taking shape

May 18th, 2014To the top
Foam mold for M5 CHR Tail Bag gradually taking shapeSometimes there's a setback... First the mould of the first version of the carbon carrier warped in the oven in March. Last April for the first time in thirty years of working with resins a mould failed to separate from its parent form, despite eight hotwax impregnations I did before. Apart from a lot of annoyance this meant a significant delay in the realization of the CHR's Tail Bag.

The project is now back on the right track and in a week the first mould parts can be taken from the plug. The luggage fairing (40 cm wide, 50 long and 30 high, volume around 25 litres) fits beautifully to the rider and has a lid on top. Some Velcro is sufficient to keep the Tail Bag attached to the carrier. Rear light (LED) can be integrated. Weight of carbon / kevlar Tail Bag will be around 600 grams. The supporting carbon carrier of about 100 grams is already available.
Foam mold for M5 CHR Tail Bag gradually taking shapeFoam mold for M5 CHR Tail Bag gradually taking shapeFoam mold for M5 CHR Tail Bag gradually taking shape
 

New: Aero version of Lightning Carbon Cranks (modified by M5)

April 30th, 2014To the top
New: Aero version of Lightning Carbon Cranks (modified by M5)Leading up to the Viking Tour in Norway at the end of July I need to fine-tune the material to be able to participate more or less in the front of the race, being somewhat older than the average contester... A number of modifications are already taken care of, like the much lighter and, more important, well fitting M5 carbon bicycle shoes. Then there's the altered seat, which now has a more flat radius at the top, resulting in a smaller frontal area and a better aerodynamical position on the bike.

Weight reduction from the combination Lightning/M5 cranks, bottom bracket bearings, Speedplay X-1 pedals and the M5 carbon shoes is one full kilogram (lightweight set 1020 gram, standard set at least 2020 gram)

The last project which is currently worked on and of which one template is now finished, is the earlier announced luggage/streamline fairing of 35 to 40 litre in volume. It's expected to provide 2 to 3 km gain at 40 km/h. This may sound as little, but to increase speed by 2 km/h requires 16% more power. And that's 7 to 8 more heartbeats per minute extra for most people!
New: Aero version of Lightning Carbon Cranks (modified by M5)
 

First longer test ride with full carbon/kevlar bike shoes

April 13th, 2014To the top
First longer test ride with full carbon/kevlar bike shoesA nice test: cycling with on my left foot the pretty lightweight Nike bicycle shoe of 390 gram and on my right foot my new carbon "sock" of 147 gram. Apart from the perfect fit and the lower weight there's something else I notice: the reduced distance between my foot to the pedal, due to the lower structure. This will be corrected when the lining of my left shoe is ready too.

Initially I presumed that I made a much too lightweight basic structure, thinking "strengthening can always be done later". Now I'm sure: below 100 gram at shoe size 47 is also possible and that's rather spectacular. A fully rigid and fitting shoe with the weight of a bar of chocolate.

Up till now I've been busy experimenting with a number of locking systems. Milled and lathed little knobs from aluminium and POM (a black kind of nylon). There seems to be a good looking result now, is lightweight and also functions well, because one demand was and is that you can close the shoe with two fingers. Another advantage is that you need minimal force to close the shoe because of the optimal fit.

At the next set of shoes even more attention will go to the ventilation. This will also contribute to keeping the shoes below 100 gram, because more mesh material and less carbon/kevlar will be applied.
First longer test ride with full carbon/kevlar bike shoes
 

These shoes are made for cycling

March 11th, 2014To the top

At last these fit and only 145 grammes in size 47

These shoes are made for cyclingIdeas are often swiftly made, actually implementing them is from a different order

One of the last winter-stop projects was making cycling shoes that are both light and comfortable. I was confronted for a long time with cold and numb feet as the result of pinching. There's a selection of custom made footwear, but these are not available nearby and, although justified, not low priced. There is also a range of so-called "moldable" shoes, but the deformable part is limited solely to the unnecessarily thick sole portion and offers little solace, especially for broad feet. In my case the width difference with a standard bicycle shoe was up to 25 mm! Not surprising that your feet get numb or cold...

So make it a do it yourself project?

It is important to get molds from your feet under pressure and in a position/angle that matches your riding position. In my case I used a high quality gypsum used for casting . After sanding with grain 800 I made epoxy/glass molds in which the product parts were produced with wet laminate. Prepreg was a possibility too, but then an autoclave would be most suitable: heat, pressure and vacuum. A product can't be produced more perfect. However, the shoes will now weigh around 145-155 grams, which is only a third of a standard size 47 shoe. But the biggest advantage: once you slide your feet in them, there's the immediate and ultimate recognition "For your feet only" !

During the forthcoming period much time will be invested in modifications, improvements and innovations for clasp types, vents, protective heels etc. But this is a good start.

To be continued !
These shoes are made for cyclingThese shoes are made for cycling
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