This was the response from @Jonhinio when I asked the Twittersphere what was important on a Winter/Spring Cycling Training Camp!
Not surprisingly the other answers revolved around food, sun and scenery with @SJcyclist feeding back “I loved Mallorca, quiet roads, great weather, sympathetic drivers and stunning scenery”
It is often hard to fit winter miles in around life, work and of course the variable UK weather, so a winter or spring training camp allows you clock up some serious mileage before your racing season or sportive season starts and get some much needed vitamin D!
Whatever your cycling goals the extra hours in the saddle early season will certainly help and if you are aiming for a big sportive like the Etape du Tour you will have the chance to ride climbs of similar length, which we just don’t have in the UK.
And yes the food is vitally important! If you have only been riding occasionally over winter then expecting your body to ride 4-6 days in succession is a big ask, and certainly not wise on calorie deficit!
David Butcher, Owner of 7hundred in Windsor and organiser of Training Camps in the Costa Blanca, says
“Motivation is the biggest driver. When it’s dark and miserable in the UK it can be difficult to find the motivation to ride, that can affect endorphin levels creating a negative feedback loop. The allure of different roads and warmer climes, even if only for a short period, can help restore motivation and reinvigorate your training.”
Hundreds of options exist for organised training camps where everything is done for you, the real pro experience! Just book a flight and pack your bike (or even hire one there) and everything else is taken care of.
45 Degrees North in Morzine, in the French Alps offer a luxury chalet with a hot tub, delicious food from a professional chef, a Level 3 Performance Coach, complimentary sports massage, a bike mechanic, homemade energy bars, laundry facility and a full support vehicle to carry extra layers, tools, food and drinks (and riders who fancy starting part way up the climb or a lift home at the end of the day!).
I asked Chris Sellings at 45 Degrees North how a rider should choose a training camp.
“This depends entirely on you, your budget, what you want to get out of your training camp and absolutely the time of year. For example, if you are looking for an early training camp in the mountains, you can rule out the Alps, but could find several in Mallorca, Andalucia or even South East Asia. This depends on your race calendar and targeted events. Generally, athletes will attend a training camp early in the season (February to May for UK) to improve their base fitness before the season really kicks in. Athletes targeting races later in the season (August to September) can absolutely benefit from a training boost mid-season (June to August).Some people go for camps run by big name coaches and for others it’s about taking the opportunity to explore a new location. There are a plethora of training camps out there to meet every budget and time restraint. The key is to think about your race season and whether you want to attend a training camp to lay base fitness or to peak for an important race. This determines the time of year to aim for. Next think about the type of fitness you need for your race. There is little point heading to the mountains if you are targeting flat, fast crit races and vice versa. Then it comes down to your budget. If you can afford to attend a training camp run by a famous coach and staying in luxury accommodation, then get in fast and book. Otherwise seek out a good quality camp that offers great value for money and the more beautiful the rides on offer the better!”
Often riders are concerned about their ability to participate or concerned they might be the slowest and hold the group up. David from 7hundred advises “choose your camp carefully, if in doubt don’t be afraid to ask questions and be honest about your abilities when discussing pace. Why not encourage those you ride with to join you? It’s not a race! It’s also easier to ride in a group you know”.
Chris agrees “We all have to start somewhere and any self-respecting training camp will recognise this and cater for weaker riders. There are a variety of ways to do this. Weaker riders will generally ride together with an experienced guide. For longer more challenging rides such as sportive routes, they may be set off before the faster groups and even from a point further along the route. There will be a no drop policy in place so you don’t need to fear being left behind and becoming lost. Sometimes vehicle support will be offered. This means, if you become too tired you can climb into the vehicle and be driven home. This said, you should have a reasonable level of fitness before attending a training camp and be able to comfortably meet the minimum requirements set by the training camp. If you are not sure, seek guidance either from a club coach or the training camp operator prior to booking.”
Most training camps will offer a variety of riding groups, with the distance and speed of each ride varying accordingly. Helen from Twickenham Cycling Club, who make an annual pilgrimage to Majorca for Legro’s Training Camp, feels “setting expectation of the groups, advising people which group they should be in and having enough group leaders to ride with the slower riders and allowing those who up the pace unnecessarily to go off on their own” is key to a successful week.
At Hotel Dory in Riccione, Italy, the 4 routes for the following day are posted up on the notice board in the bar with the distance, speed, profile and estimated time. Riders sign up for the one they would like to complete the following day and the hotel allocates the appropriate number of ride leaders to each group. The convenience of having the lists in the bar means that should you find yourself still in the bar at midnight with another glass of Italian red then you can quickly cross your name out on the 150km mountainous ride and swap to the 40km flat tourist ride!
Alternatively, how about a DIY training camp with your friends, you can then choose everything yourselves and decide your own schedules and rides, but you may miss out on the support, structure and local knowledge of an organised trip.
There are also plenty of cycling holidays to choose from the difference according to David from 7hundred being “A training camp is more focused, concentrating on building an aerobic base and while a cycling holiday may be guided and cover the same ground, it might not be as beneficial for those looking to improve. Cycling holidays are generally more relaxed and an excellent way to explore new terrain without the pressure to perform. Decide what your goals are for the year, if you intend to race or you’re targeting some big sportives then a training camp will be beneficial. If you’re simply looking for motivation to get back on the bike and rediscover your cycling mojo, or purely for enjoyment of being on the bike, a cycling holiday is the way forward.”
Just booking a training camp can be the incentive to get out and train in the winter, it gives you something to work towards and look forward to when you are slogging it out in the gloomy UK winter. It will reinvigorate your training, boost your fitness and up your motivation levels, what’s not to like!
Level 3 British Cycling Coach
All images ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc
25 September 2015
2015 BRITISH CYCLING NATIONAL TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY ONE RESULTS ROUND-UP
Results from day one of competition at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester where Laura Trott and Andy Tennant took the individual pursuit titles, Katy Marchant won gold in the women’s sprint, Matt Crampton took gold in the men’s keirin, Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott (pilot) took the para-cycling time trial BVI title and an inspirational Kadeena Cox won her first national para-cycling time trial title (C1-5).
Day 1 Afternoon Session
Women’s Sprint 200m Flying Lap
Defending Champion Jessica Varnish starts her Sprint Jersey with the second fastest 200m Flying Lap whilst Katy Marchant leads the way with a 11.030. Up-coming Victoria Williamson sets a 11.270 behind former Double World Champion Becky James at 11.294.
The top twelve riders qualify to the next heat.
Katy Marchant Unattached 11.030
Jessica Varnish Team V-Sprint Racing 11.149
Victoria Williamson VC Norwich 11.270
Rebecca James Abergavenny RC 11.294
Rachel James Abergavenny RC 11.585
Sophie Capewell Lichfield City CC 11.616
Anna Newton Unattached 11.877
Eleanor Richardson Edinburgh RC 11.961
Ellie Coster Team USN 12.036
Robyn Stewart Glasgow Sprint TCT 12.143
Lauren Quenby Swinnerton Cycles 12.186
Neah Evans Glasgow Sprint TCT 12.215
Neah Evans takes an impressive first heat against Katy Marchant.
Jessica Varnish takes heat two against Lauren Quenby
Victoria Williamson takes heat three against Robyn Stewart
Ellie Coster takes heat four against Becky James
Rachel James takes heat five against Eleanor Richardson
Anna Newton takes heat six against Sophie Capewell
Katy Marchant re-joins the event the harder way, through the repechage.
Eleanor Richardson also re-joins the event through the repechage heat two.
The biggest upset of the afternoon was defending Sprint Champion Jessica Varnish losing out to Katy Marchant in the quarter finals.
Men’s 4000m Pursuit Qualifying
Andrew Tennant (Team WIGGINS) qualifies quickest in the final heat of the 4000m IP setting a time of 4.23.908, beating Germain Burton 100% ME by almost a second. Team mate Jon Dibben qualifies third with Mathew Gibson fourth.
Andrew Tennant Team WIGGINS 4.23.908
Germain Burton 100% ME 4.24.751
Jon Dibben Team WIGGINS 4.25.754
Matthew Gibbson 100% ME 4.27.728
Oil Wood 100% ME 4.28.241
Mark Stewart 100% ME 4.29.022
Daniel Bigham Beeline Bicycles RT 4.33.382
Chris Latham 100% ME 4.33.819
Jake Kelly 100% ME 4.34.469
Angus Claxton Glasgow Cycle Team 4.35.042
Women’s 300m Pursuit Qualifying
Defending Women’s 3000m IP Champion Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l) qualifies quickest in the final heat for Gold play-off in a time of 3.31.327. Laura Trott set the bench mark in the previous heat taking three seconds off Archibald’s Team Mate Ciara Horne, whom had led at that point. Joanna Rowsell Shand will join them for the bronze medal playoff later this evening.
Katie Archibald Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.31.327
Laura Trott Matrix Fitness 3.32.505
Ciara Horne Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.35.579
Jo Rowsell Shand Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.35.941
Elinor Barker Matrix Fitness 3.37.892
Emily Kay Team USN 3.40.736
Dame Sarah Storey Pear Izumi Sports Tours Int’l 3.41.370
Manon Lloyd Team USN 3.43.227
Para Cycling Time Trials
The first podiums of the event were the Mixed Para Cycling C1-5 Standing Start Time Trial Category.
Collecting the Gold Medal and the new National Champion was Kadeena Cox, FC2, Unattached setting a factored time of 1.00.534. It wasn’t what she expected, telling the audience afterwards.
Silver went to Lauren Booth, YBFC4, Carnac-Planet X with a factored time of 1.07.602.
Bronze went to Rik Waddon, MC3, Para-T with a factored time of 1.10.193
C1-5 Finals Result
Gold: Kadeena Cox (Unattached) 40.591 (factored time 1.00.534)
Silver: Lauren Booth (Carnac-Planet X) 41.152 (factored time 1.07.602)
Bronze: Rik Waddon (Para T) 1.15.185 (factored time 1.10.193)
The second podium of the event before breaking for the evening session was the Mixed Para Cycling BVI Standing Start 1000m Time Trial Category.
World Champions Sophie Thornhill and her pilot Helen Scott, both Performance Cycle Coaching collected the Gold Medal to become the new National Champions. Setting a factored time of 1.00.265. Both girls had given it all they had to clinch the title, afterwards they lay on the floor giggling with joy!
Silver Medal went to World Champions Neil Fachie and his pilot Peter Mitchell, both Black Line, setting a factored time of 1.02.631.
Bronze Medal went to Laura Cluxton, Road And Road Cycles and her pilot Lyndsay Carson, Team Thompson Cycles with a factored time of 1.07.710
BVI Mixed 1000m Finals Result
Gold: Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott (pilot) (Performance Cycle Coaching) 1.08.709 (factored time 1.00.265)
Silver: Neil Fachie and Peter Mitchell (pilot) (Black Line) 1.02.631 (factored time 1.02.631)
Bronze: Laura Cluxton (Road and Road Cycles) and Lyndsey Carson (pilot, Team Thomson Cycles) 1.17.198 (factored time 1.07.710)
Day 1 Evening Session
3000m Women’s IP Finals
In a thrilling Gold play-off, Laura Trott, Matrix accelerated in the dying laps to reclaim the Women’s 3000m Pursuit Title from last years title holder Katie Archibald.
Ciara Horne, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Int’l rode into the Bronze Medal position against team-mate Joanna Rowsell Shand.
Gold: Laura Trott (Matrix Fitness) 3.32.759
Silver: Katie Archibald (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) 3.33.065
Bronze: Ciara Horne (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) 3.37.262
Joanna Rowsell Shand
Dame Sarah Story
4000m Men’s IP Finals
Timing his effort to perfection, Andrew Tennant, Team WIGGINS took the Men’s National 4000m Pursuit Title. Leading the race for Gold through most of the session, Germain Burton, 100% ME looked like he was going to pull the title out of the bag, but Tennant showed his experience, kept his nerve, and turned the gas up the closing laps to become the new National Champion.
Gold: Andrew Tennant (Team Wiggins) 4.23.583
Silver: Germain Burton (100% ME) 4.27.209
Bronze: Jonathan Dibben (Team Wiggins) 4.24.906
Men’s Keirin Finals
Matt Crampton, Unattached, takes the 2015 Keirin title.
Matt had sat in the middle of the pack on the approach to the final lap and went around the outside to clinch the title from Oliva and Thomas Rotherham. Jason Kenny took fourth, Matt Rotherham fifth and Jon Mitchell sixth.
The Keirin had got off to a good start for Matt Crampton winning the first heat of the day. He then went on to win the semis too.
A huge crash in the second heat of the first round, saw four riders flying through the air bringing their Championship dreams to an end. Luckily they all got up from the track.
Gold: Matt Crampton (Unattached)
Silver: Lewis Oliva (Team USN)
Bronze: Thomas Rotherham (Sportcity Velo)
Women’s Sprint Finals
Katy Marchant claims her first National Sprint Title. Winning the European Title earlier on this year has build on that success, beating former double World Champion Becky James, Abergavenny RC in both rounds.
Victoria Williamson, VC Norwich beat Eleanor Richardson for the Bronze Medal in two straight sets.
Former National Sprint Champion Jess Varnish, Team V-Sprint Racing won the minor finals for fifth followed by Rachel James, sixth, Sophie Capewell, seventh and Neah Evans, eighth.
Gold: Katy Marchant (Unattached)
Silver: Becky James (Abergavenny RC)
Bronze: Victoria Williamson (VC Norwich)
All images ©www.cyclingshorts.cc | www.chrismaher.co.uk
Giant Sheffield Women’s Elite ½ Cat Race
Gabriella Shaw (Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International) sprinted to victory in the third Giant Sheffield Women’s Elite, 1st and 2nd Cat circuit race.
The race built into a dramatic bunch sprint in the final few laps with former winner Tanya Griffiths trying to break free in a repeat of last years race.
The front of the race had been hotly contested through-out the sixty-minute circuit race, with Corley Cycles Drops RT driving the race along in the early stages.
Amy Gornall (Corley Cycles Drops RT) had escaped the pack, only to-be neutralized whilst the emergency services accessed part of the circuit.
The race re-started after the circuit had been cleared with Corley Cycles once again setting the pace.
Team Jadan’s Henrietta Colbourne rode aggressively on the front of the race, but was unable to forge ahead with counter moves from Charlotte Broughton (Corley Cycles), Rebecca Womersly (Corley Cycles) , Amy Gornall and Annasley Park (Team Giordana-Triton).
Annasley Park began the first move of the race initially, quickly marshaled by Rebecca Carter (Team WNT) and Hannah Walker (Team WNT).
After the re-start, Rebecca Womersly took-up the pace, before Annasley once-more found herself driving the race along.
The lead group whittled down to a manageable fifteen riders, as the girls looked amongst themselves to see who would try and break-free next.
With good representation from Corley Cycles Drops RT and Les Filles Racing Team whom had both fired riders off the front through-out, any move though soon got counteracted. The pace remained high as the final few laps grew close.
Womersley, then Gornall, then Womersley once more led the race. The bell lap was looming.
Gornall was joined by Tamara Davenne (Oxford University CC), then they were brought back together for the final lap and inevitable bunch sprint.
Elite/1/2 Women Results
1 Gabriella Shaw Pearl Izumi Sports Tours Intl 58.13
2 Henrietta Colborne Team Jadan “”
3 Charlotte Broughton Corley Cycles – Drops RT “”
4 Elizabeth-Jane Harris Army Cycling Union “”
5 Annasley Park Team Giordana- Triton “”
6 Jennifer George Les Filles Racing Team “”
7 Rebecca Womersley Corley Cycles – Drops RT “”
8 Elizabeth Stedman University of Sheffield CC 00.03
9 Delia Beddis Les Filles Racing Team “”
10 Tamara Davenne Oxford University Cycling Club “”
11 Laura Greenhalgh Les Filles Racing Team “”
12 Melissa Lowther Matrix Fitness “”
13 Amy Gornall Corley Cycles – Drops RT 00.07
14 Tanya Griffiths Velosure Starley Primal 00.08
15 Nicole Oh Les Filles Racing Team
16 Rebecca Carter Team WNT
17 Lucy Shaw Matrix Fitness Development
18 Sophie Lankford Team WNT
19 Hetty Niblett Team Velosport
20 Sian Botteley Velosure Starley Primal
21 Ellie Russell Sportcity Velo
22 Hannah Walker Team WNT
23 Charmaine Porter Army Cycling Union
24 Clover Murray Corley Cycles – Drops RT
25 Rebecca Rimmington
26 Jenny Holl Stirling Bike Club
27 Julia Van Campen Sheffrec CC
28 Melissa Brand IKON – Mazda
29 Laura Cheesman Velosure Starley Primal
30 Nicola Moore Squadra RT
31 Tracy Best Zappis Racing Team
32 Samantha Verrill Speedflex Race Team
33 Nikki Metcalfe Team WattCycle
34 Fiona Hunter Johnston Onit Cycles WRT
35 Karen Poole Team WattCycle
36 Sophie Black Elitevelo Kalas Sportswear CRT
Yesss Electrical – BikeBoxAlan Elite 1/2 Men’s Race
1 Christopher Lawless Team Wiggins
2 Graham Briggs JLT Condor
3 Jake Hales Spirit Bikes Racing Team
4 Connor Swift Polypipe Cycling Team
5 Adam Kenway SportGrub KUOTA Cycling Team
6 Tom Mazzone Polypipe Cycling Team
7 Simon Wilson Polypipe Cycling Team
8 Oliver Peckover Sherwood Pines Cycles SRAM RT
9 Alastair Hepworth Team Envelopemaster/Bikeboxalan
10 Richard Hepworth SportGrub KUOTA Cycling Team
11 Jacob Hennessy Spirit Bikes Racing Team
12 Samuel Williams One Pro Cycling
13 Kieran Simcox Bike Box Alan/Envelopemaster
14 Elliot Jones Paramount CRT
15 Alex Minting Neon-Velo Cycling Team
16 Ryan Davis SportGrub KUOTA Cycling Team
17 Edward Clemens Spirit Bikes Racing Team
18 Max Williamson Bike Box Alan/Whiston Velo
19 Buauna Ball Zappis Racing Team
20 Robert Scott VCUK PH-MAS Junior Cycling Team
21 Michael Thompson Team Wiggins
22 Matthew Nowell Kuota – Spinergy – GSG
23 Thomas Traviss-Pollard Polypipe Cycling Team
24 James Hill Team Envelopemaster/Bikeboxalan
25 Joseph Clark Team Envelopemaster/Bikeboxalan
26 Adam Turner Andy Moore Autocentres Racing
27 Calum Lawson Broom Wagon Racing Team
28 Ashley Marshall Achieve Northside Skinnergate
29 David Clarke Giordana-Mitsubishi Electric RT
30 Jake Beach Knottingley Velo
31 Liam Davies Broom Wagon Racing Team
32 Cameron Jeffers Bill Nickson Cycles RT
33 Jacob Trotter Team Envelopemaster/Bikeboxalan
34 David Bates Giordana-Mitsubishi Electric RT
35 Luc Hall Team Wiggins
36 Alexander Colman Arrow Cycles
37 Andy Bishop Andy Moore Autocentres Racing
38 Matthew Hindmarsh Dinnington Racing Club
39 William Lewis High Peak Cycles RT
40 Liam Gilpin NFTO Race Club
Continental Tyres Women’s ¾ Cat Race
A gutsy solo break by Rebecca Hoare (Army Cycling Union) in the Continental Tyres Women’s 3/4th Cat race provided the winning move in the 2015 Tickhill Grand Prix.
Setting off three quarters of the way through the race, Becky gained a significant distance to secure first place finishing twelve seconds ahead of the main group.
The race ran at a high pace from the off in the fifty-minute session. The peloton had splintered early on, with twelve girls going clear.
Driving the group along earlier in the race, Team Jadan’s Monica Dew couldn’t edge away.
Rebecca then managed to gained five seconds midway through the race with Clifton CC’s Anna Docherty joining her.
A tumble by a lapped rider disrupted the chase slightly, but once cleared the chase was back on.
The group then reformed as they began making their way through the back markers.
It was at this slowing down point that Becky set about her winning move. Quickly gaining ten seconds, there was no reaction from the pack for several laps.
A strong performance again from Monica; she began closing the gap, this time with Johnson Wheelers CC’s Sarah Bradford.
Becky had been pegged at around fifteen seconds, but time was beginning to run out for anyone that had ambitions for the top place on the podium.
In the final push for the line, the remaining chasing girls could only sprint for second place.
3/4 Women Results
1 Becky Hoare Army Cycling Union 43.09
2 Sophie Williams Cardiff JIF 00.12
3 Anna Docherty Clifton CC “”
4 Monica Dew Team Jadan “”
5 Sarah Bradford Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club “”
6 Hayley Edwards Team Velosport “”
7 Sophie Enever Tyneside Vagabonds CC “”
8 Elizabeth Denby Paul Milnes – Bradford Olympic RC “”
9 Samantha Wilson Army Cycling Union “”
10 Elizabeth Catlow VC Lincoln 00.16
11 Jessica Woodworth Bourne Whls CC “”
12 Lindsay Atkinson-Wright Albarosa Cycling Club at 1 Lap
13 Gemma Penman Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club “”
14 Vanessa Holmes Arrow Cycles “”
15 Hannah Saville www.cxmagazine.com
16 Elizabeth Burrows Featherstone RC
17 Savannah Morgan Liverpool Century RC
18 Ann Walsham Maxx RT (Max Road Team)
19 Sophie Holmes Team Terminator
20 Lusia Steele Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club
21 Isabel Darvill VC Lincoln
22 Anna Weaver Team WattCycle
23 Rebecca Smith University of Sheffield CC
24 Jess Millar Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club
25 Melissa Greaves The Racing Chance Foundation
26 Lily Greenhalgh East Bradford CC
27 Jordan OMara Bolsover & District Cycling Club
28 Gemma Scougal WCS Race Team
29 Nicola Fox Manchester Whlrs Club
30 Emily Watson-Thoday University of Sheffield CC
31 Emma Grayson Wolverhampton Whls
32 Lindsey Styler The Racing Chance Foundation
33 Linsey Lyon The Racing Chance Foundation
34 Sarah Gregson Sportcity Velo
35 Heather Wesson Team WattCycle
36 Hazel Wright Team WattCycle
37 Nicola Doody
38 Dawn Russell
39 Vikki OBrien Manchester Wheelers Club
40 Coralie Glaunes Les Filles Racing Team
41 Zoe Forbes Giant Sheffield Poppycock Racing
42 Helen Goldthorpe Otley CC
43 Pamela Challen Team WattCycle
44 Olivia Tomlinson Team Jadan
45 Catherine Ferguson Manchester Wheelers Club
Cannondale Super X
What an amazing bike for a brilliant price point in 2015 specification.
I must start this review with a confession, ever since I rode my first Aluminium F600 Cannondale MTB I fell in love with the brand. The quality and design innovation they brought to the marketplace was second to none.
Cannondale brand might not carry the same romantic history of Italian brands such as Colnago, Pinarello or Bianchi but neither do they carry the over inflated prices. But in their own way they carry an engineering design beauty that exhibits itself in form and function at the cutting edge of modern materials.
From the innovative head shock to the beautifully finished and smoothed welds their frames just shout loud and proud the attention to detail.
As some of you who follow my reviews and articles online will know I built my first CX bike a couple of years ago from spares and a few second hand parts and had a great time getting back to basics. Taking part in an Adventure X event in the Lake District proved the the CX bug had bitten and that it was time for an upgrade. The Monster event proved that cantilevers just don’t cut it in comparison to discs.
I had three simple aims for my new CX bike:-
- Value for money, best bang for my bucks.
- Full carbon frame
- Hydraulic discs
The final criteria left my choices rather limited to say the least, I did include the potential of a brake calliper upgrade but was trying to avoid it.
After hunting high and low I was more then pleased to discover the great package that Cannondale had put together with the Super X and the Rival 22 hydraulic disc group set. I must also thank Richard Pascoe of Bikechain Ricci for sourcing and supplying the Super X.
Initial impressions out of the box was that everything was well put together and the bike was pretty light, but with room for improvement. The Maddux wheelset looked function but perhaps not the lightest. The standard tires, Schwable Rapid Robs, looked good for off road but I was not sure about the rolling resistance for Tarmac or hard pack. The stem appeared to be a little short too (I must confess to liking to ride a short wheelbase frame with a long stem). Richard and I had had a bit of discussion over frame sizing when sourcing the bike and we decided that the 54cm might be longer on the top tube then I would like, so we plumped for the 52cm frame.
I was blown away by the bikes ability to soak up the bumps with minimal jarring or twitchiness on the rough stuff. The ride was very much point and go with no brown pant moments or wondering if the bike was going to take you where you wanted. The standard tires indeed rolled well with none of the expected MTB tractor type road noise or high friction. However as predicted the handlebar stem was too short and my knees where catching on the ends of the bars. This was quickly sorted with a 130mm stem.
Ten months on.
I am coming to the end of a months riding in France using the Super X everyday and I have to say it has never disappointed, the grin just gets wider and wider. I have even switched out the CX tires and put on some 23mm continental Ultra Sports to do some longer road rides, and while the tyre clearance might look odd, the Super X has just done what it always does and performed perfectly. It is silky smooth on or off road, it tracks its line perfectly, it has never been twitchy on any surface I throw it at, it has been as smooth as a hot knife through butter.
What really took my breath away was riding some off-road forest trails on 23mm tires at 100psi and not feeling I was being thrown around, the Super X just put the power down allowing me to confidently cover the ground at high speed.
In fact I have come to the conclusion that a second set of wheels with road tyres would not go amiss and the Super X would be the most versatile bike I have ever ridden.
Rival 22 FSA 46/36 BB30 chainset
What a top flight group set, yes I know SRAM had a nightmare with production seals on their hydraulic brakes but they are sorted now and boy are they good! The hydraulic brakes have super stoping power but more importantly excellent modulation and the potential for one finger braking. The hood design is comfortable and easy on your hands after hours in the saddle, great ergonomics.
I confess to being a little unsure about the double tap shift to begin with, but it has really grown on me. In fact it is perhaps the most positive gearshift I have ever used, smoother than Shimano and more positive than Campagnolo, and I very quickly got used to the double tap system.
The FSA Chainset has been faultless, it might not have the kudos of others but it does exactly what is says on the tin, and does it very well. The 36/46 chain rings give you just what you need and I never felt under geared on the road, my only concern is if 36 is small enough for the Adventure X events, only time will tell!
Maddux 2.0 Disc Wheelset
This is perhaps the area for biggest potential improvement, and to be fair to Cannondale something had to give to meet the price point. In 10 months of use the wheelset has never let me down even when I took a massive high speed front wheel hit on some rocks. They have stayed true and put up with a lot of abuse and I am no lightweight! Perhaps I was too quick to judge and was being a little snobby.
However with the search for a second wheelset for road use just beginning, it is proving hard to find good light weight 700c disc wheelsets (more on this in another article).
From the Prologic saddle to the Maddux wheels the Super X 2015 is one hell of a bike. It’s such a shame the base full carbon model will come with Shimano 105 and not Rival 22.
For my money I would aim for a Rival version, sell your road bike and get a second set of wheels and watch your Grin grow and grow. The Super X just keeps screaming, ride me, ride me!… and you know what I do.
Don’t forget to support your local independent bike shop!
CyclingShorts.cc Rating: 90% It gets our Star Buy stamp of approval.
11:30 U12 (Mixed) 15mins
11:55 U14 Boys 30mins
12:35 U16/U14 Girls 25mins
13:20 U16 Boys 40mins
14:10 Cats. 3/4 Women 50mins
15:10 Cats. 3/4 Men 50mins
16:25 E/1/2 Women 1hr
17:35 E/1/2 Men 1hr
For more information visit: www.tickhillgp.com