Austin Tri-Cyclist Blog

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The NEW ATC Commercial

Written and Performed by Emily and Taylor (co-owners of Austin Tri-Cyclist)

Your going swimming but need a wetsuit or you entered a race but don’t have a race bike, Your going for a run but can’t find your running shorts, or the day before a race your bike brakes. I know the best solution to all of these go to Austin Tri-Cyclist (ATC) We are the red building next to Vinny’s across the street from Palmer Event Center on Barton Springs Rd or order something at our website which is and we are the #1 triathlon store in the world. Speaking of triathlons I got to go ride my bike. Later.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cervelo P2

Cervelo P2 (2010) new
Written by: Dan Empfield
Date: Thu Apr 15 2010

I often see attributed to me the invention of the first "tri bike." But this company, Cervelo, is the first company to introduce what we, today, recognize as the modern tri bike. I might've developed a geometry used today, but Cervelo was the first to inject serious frame aerodynamics
into a bike that also featured geometry that fit and handled nicely.

Cervelo worked out all its basic problems about a decade ago, when it simplified cable routing in its P2K, and added a chain stay adjustment screw to that bike's rear-entry, horizontal dropouts. Then it wrapped a seat tube around the rear wheel, the first time in the modern era a tri or TT bike has done so. That design is widely copied today. Then came the move to carbon. Since then it's been pretty clear sailing.

In this forward march offering feature upon feature, the P2 was, in a way, a step backward. Cervelo "unwrapped" the rear wheel with this bike—straightening out the seat tube—but, it didn't keep Chrissie Wellington out of the Hawaiian Ironman winner's circle (even if it was on a P2 frame one size too small for her). The P2 was probably the world's second best tri bike when it was introduced and, for some folks, a better bike than the better bike.

What makes the P2 possibly better than the P3? Geometry. No, it's really not any different than the P3 fundamentally, it's just that the P2 has a longer head tube than the P3 in its taller sizes. Today, your best play is to buy the most frame you can underneath you, that is, rather than a smaller frame and a longer, taller stem with spacers underneath, fill up that space with frame material (which is stronger, lighter, more aerodynamic, than stems, spacers, and overtall headset top caps).

For this reason, the P2 is a better bike for you than the P3, if the latter will only fit you with spacers and an upturned stem.
The P2 has been a category beater for years. At $2500 for a complete bike, nothing came close. But this bike isn't priced at $2500 anymore. For 2010, the complete bike price sits at $2800. And why not? It was probably priced too low at $2500. But, other companies now have bikes selling at this price point. The Cannondale Slice 4, Scott Plasma 30, Specialized Transition Comp, and Trek Equinox TTX 9.0, all sell for right at this price. Felt's B12 is priced only slightly above.

Has the rest of the world caught up to the P2? Yes and no. Specwise, the P2 is pretty much an Ultegra bike, and that includes chain and cassette, the biggest variances from Ultegra being the FSA brake calipers and its Gossamer Pro crank and Mega Exo bottom bracket. What's nice about the crank is its bolt pattern: 110mm, with 50x34 chainrings. This is the better option for most triathletes living in most locations.

Cervelo puts a Visiontech aerobar on the P2, with Vision brake levers and pursuit bar. What's bad about Vision is the lack of modularity and length adjustability. What's good about Vision is, if the bar fits you—if the right sized bar (for you) is on the bike—this is a nice, comfortable, ergonomic aerobar.

The P2 comes with boring, but eminently rideable, Shimano R500 wheels, and a Fizik Arione Tri2 saddle. Getting a good tri-specific aftermarket saddle on this bike is a big plus and, as far as the wheels go, boring is good. Sexy is bad, if sexy means a broken spoke at an inopportune time, with no way to run down to the LBS and get a replacement spoke stuck back into your wheel.

The spec on the P2 is superior to that on the Plasma 30 and the Transition Comp, both of those bikes featuring a largely 105 kit with an unimpressive Profile T2+ front end.
Is SRAM Rival a match for Shimano Ultegra? I don't know, but I think SRAM's Force and Rival groups need a few million aggregated consumer miles on them before we'll get a good sense for how it is they line up against Shimano's Ultegra and 105. Two attaboys for SRAM: its pursuit brake levers and bar end shifters. Shimano is still not out with a plug in brake lever (other than Di2) and it's still selling a thumb shifter decades old as its bar end shifter.

That established, neither Trek nor Cannondale is using SRAM's brake levers, and, this is one of the prime reasons for choosing SRAM for timed race bikes.

Finally, it should not go unmentioned that the P2 uses 3T's Funda fork. That's a high end fork on a midrange bike.

So, yes, the world has caught up in this sense: As bike companies aggregate models in and around this $2800 price point, you find other very nice frames—the Slice, the Plasma I, the Transition, the Equinox TTX, an un-bayonetted Felt—built complete. The P2 threads the spec needle a little bit better most others in this price category.

Because the P2 is spec'd with a low-profile Visiontech aerobar, don't let its slightly taller head tubes fool you into thinking this is a relaxed geometry. This is still a long and low bike ready for an aggressive position. If you don't intend to ride your tri bike reasonably forward, and, with a pretty flat back, the P2 may still work for you, but, perhaps a change of aerobar.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Q&A with Pros Brandon and Amy Marsh

Q&A with Triathlon Pros Brandon and Amy Marsh

Amy has recently won IM Wisconsin and IM China and has her eyes set on Kona. Brandon has a plethora of top 10 IM finishes and is getting closer to that elusive #1 placing. Both are available for coaching and advise in the Austin area and beyond.
Brandon and Amy Marsh are two top level triathlon pros that reside in Austin, TX.
You can find out more about them by visiting their blogs.


What’s next for Team Marsh?

A: Some training, some racing and some coaching. Same old, same old. My next race is New Orleans on April 18th. I need to redeem myself from last year after having a flat on the bike and spending way too long changing it! I'm not telling you how long it took though...let's just say I was able to beat one other person and that was it!

B: We are also going to another TBB training camp in Switzerland.

A: Will be my first time racing as a pro in Kona this year. The last time I raced Kona I was as an age grouper in 2005. After that race, I told everyone that I would never do an Ironman again! took me 4 years to want to try another one.

B: I keep finishing in not yet. It's just another race right...except for that whole World Championship title.

Favorite Triathlon distance?

A: I like them all. And I thought I would never say this but... Ironman is becoming one of my favorite distances.
B: Any of them. I hate it when people think that triathlon is ONLY Ironman. Or that you have not done a FULL triathlon if you have not done an IM.

What Pros do you look up to?

A&B: Matty Reed, he's about 6'5"….The pros who wake up and get their job done...some for different aspects of being a pro. The first that come to mind are Craig Alexander, Andy Potts, and Simon Whitfield as they appear to approach triathlon truly as their profession. And, I really think that they enjoy the racing and training...Simon said he was going to be running around in a Speedo for as long as he could.

Which do you enjoy most Swim, Bike, Run?

A: I like the variety of all 3 disciplines. I came from a swimming background. I spent the first couple of years racing triathlon loving the swim and hating the run. Now a days it's almost the opposite!

B: Even though the bike has kind of been my "weakness", especially according to coach, I like to ride my bike. I like bikes, just about everything about them. Road, mountain, commuter. They are cool. More people should ride their bikes...more.

ATC: Times are tough when a sub 4:40 IM bike split is piss.

Most memorable tri?

A: 2009 Ironman Wisconsin. My first Ironman win and I got to celebrate it with my college buddies who were all there watching.
-My first triathlon Danskin in 2002. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I borrowed my brother’s mountain which was way too big for me. As soon as I finished I went home to find out when the next race was. I was hooked.

B: I have forgotten about more tris than most people have raced. I remember my 1st real one that I wore bike shorts at and chafed like crazy. I remember getting passed by my arch rival at the Temple Triathlon while vomiting on the bike. I remember beating Hunter Kemper at Junior Worlds in 1992. I remember winning my first race overall in 1993 at the TX State championship. Winning CapTex in 2005 was great. I almost lost my wedding ring after 3 months of being married in Ishigaki, Japan...maybe I should have let it go because Courtney Atkinson lost his there and went on to win it like 5 times!!

2010 Goals?

A: Have fun, be consistent, stay healthy and most importantly beat Brandon.

Just how brutal was IM CHINA?

A: One of the toughest races I've ever completed! The wind was nothing that I have ever experienced in a race and the run was HOT. Everyone was suffering out there so just to finish was an accomplishment.

B: Everyone says you suffer during an IM. You just suffer a little more at IM China. 27% DNF rate.

ATC: and I saw Amy was less than a minute behind you. You guys should not do the same races anymore.

ATC: Brandon, Are you scared of being beaten by Amy?

B: I think we all are.

Amy, how bad do you want to beat Brandon?

A: BAD...I want to beat him all the time. I race him in everything that we do...getting ready to go somewhere, eating, etc...Oh, and especially bowling.

Tell me about your new team TBB?

A & B: TBB is an International Triathlon Team coached by Brett Sutton. The team consists of about 24 athletes from around the world. TeamTBB provides the opportunity for us to train and travel with the support of various sponsors. Beyond that, the team is trying to develop a social project so that we are more than "just" athletes.

What is a typical training week?

A: Pretty simple really. Try to do the same thing week in and week out which consists of a long ride, long bike and also some intervals thrown in there. No real secret training like our friend Josh Lee likes to do!

B: People are always looking for secrets. There are none. Be consistent. Finish workouts stronger than you start. It is o.k. to go slow...better than going too fast. I probably swim, bike, and run 6 days each per week. My training now that I am doing it more full time is probably 50-75% higher volume than I did in the past. For the past 3-4 years, I probably averaged 15 hours a week every some higher, some lower, but that is a true average.

Food Diet Tips?

A: Try to eat real foods and limit any processed foods. Also, dark chocolate every night is the key to success.

B: Do NOT listen to what most diet "experts" tell you and just eat real food. Limit your carbs. Ice cream before races...and after too.

ATC: So dark chocolate ice cream is the secret…..

Jackmott…fact or fiction?

A&B: Who's Jackmott?