Monday, December 22, 2014

Quintana Roo PRSix Review

I got a super(bike) Christmas present, and Santa came early!  Long story short, I was interested in getting the new QR PRsix and somehow the stars, moon, sun, and planets all aligned so that I could get my butt on one and early to boot as I was originally told that I would have to wait until the end of January 2015.

Quintana Roo PRsix, Dura-Ace model

I picked up my bike and did a fitting on Tuesday and was able to ride the next morning.  This post will cover the different rides that I had over the week and how I felt on the bike and how the bike performed.  Not a lot of technical specific talk about the bike.  Little disclaimer, these are my own opinions and no one asked me to write this.  I will not be going over the specs as there are plenty of other blogs and articles already out there for that.  If you want, you can start at the QR site -> here.

Getting the bike set up the night before the first ride:
I had to switch my water bottles over.  I was able to get the back cages on.  I was unable to get the cage on the down tube off of my other bike.  I will have to continue working on that.

Here's the current set up, Profile Design Aero HC will go in the front:


Notables before I discuss the rides:
The saddle is an ISM and I decided to give it another shot.  I hated it when I had it on my Dulce. I tried about 5 different positions and was never able to get comfortable for more than 20 or 30 minutes on it.  But I didn't have any issues during any of the rides this go-round.  I'm not sure what is different that is allowing me to enjoy the ISM saddle now, but I'll take it!

This bike is a size 50.  The 48, 50, and 52 come with 165mm cranks.  The bigger sizes come with 170mm. Just an FYI since this isn't explicitly mentioned on the specs on the website.  I had been doing some research on different crank lengths and really wanted to try 165mm as the Dulce and the CD 0.1 had 170mm. These are the main benefits of a shorter crank (for short people, ie. under 5'5").  A shorter crank is better for faster cadence.  So, no more mashing the pedals to keep up with everyone else and being able to save your legs for the run.  For those who like to get low, 165mm cranks are great because they allow us to get in a lower position without cutting off the space between the upper thigh and hip.  So, less nerve pinching and less getting kneed in the chest!

More technical reasoning:
"Propelling a bike forward involves turning pedals around in a circle. For maximum efficiency, and minimum impact on the body, the diameter of the circle should be in proportion to the length of your legs. The leg is strongest at pushing when it is closest to being straight. If the cranks are too long the circle is too big for your legs, your knee will be bent too much at top part of the stroke, and you won't be able to put as much power into the upper part of the stroke. This will prevent you from spinning the pedals as fast, and will also put more stress on your knees. If you have long legs you can make a bigger circle with your feet and still keep your legs in the high power zone, and you won't have your knees too bent. If your cranks are too short for you, you won't be able to apply as much torque with them as you could with longer cranks." Source here.

Ride #1 - Flat, open road, lots of turns:
15' easy warm up
3' @ 75% FTP, 1' @ 105% FTP X 15
5' easy cool down

Do I dare say 'easy peasy'?  I probably could have done another 15 sets if I didn't think I was going to crash from boredom first.  I was out at Davis Island so I did the same loop about 7 times, not including the warm up and cool down.  At first I was a little scared and wobbly because I was nervous about falling.  It's like when you get in a new car.  You know how to drive, but you're still nervous about anything and everything that could happen to hurt your new ride!

The bike was very smooth and after the warm up I felt settled in and comfortable.  Obviously I had to make a lot of turns and they felt easy.  Even though the handle bar can only turn so far before it hits the frame, I didn't encounter any issue when I was making u-turns.  I actually only noticed when I was off the bike and trying to steer it back into the house.

I didn't have any issues picking up speed and gears changed smoothly (as they do on the all the QRs).  The brakes are not as powerful as I thought they would be. But, I was warned they might feel a little weak until after a few uses.  This goes into a territory on brakes that I don't know.  So, you will just have to take someone else's word for it!

Ride #2 - Indoor trainer:
15' easy warm up
(1' @ 130% FTP X 1' @ 60% FTP) X 5
(30" @ 150% FTP X 30" @ 50% FTP) X 5
(1' @ 135% FTP X 1' @ 50% FTP) X 5
10' easy cool down

I did this ride on my indoor trainer, the Kinetic Rock n' Roller.  I normally hate getting on the trainer because I am uncomfortable almost the entire time, I get distracted very easily, and the pain/burning in my legs would start almost instantly after any warm up. That didn't happen today.  It took a little bit to wake my legs up (it was 6 AM after all), but I didn't have any issues hitting the power numbers I was prescribed.  It was definitely hard, but it wasn't painful like it was on the other bike.  I would get this numbing pain in my thigh and down to my knee when I pushed past anything easy.  This isn't to say there is anything wrong with the CD 0.1, but that bike was a little bigger and therefore I don't think I was ever in a good position.

So, Ride #2 on the trainer was a success.

Ride #3 - Long ride, hills:
I was supposed to do a 3.5 hour steady ride @ 70% FTP with 2 - 20 minutes sets at 80 - 85%, 1 at 90 minutes in and 1 at 3 hours in.  Buuuuutttttt, when you ride in San Antonio or anywhere with a lot of up and down hills, trying to go steady is really hard.  I don't want to say impossible because I'm sure someone out there could do it.  Anyway, I ended up with an average power of 80% FTP and NP at 85% FTP.  I blame it on the bike!  I got to use every single one of the gears.  Up, down, up, down, click, click, click...  It was a lot of fun and the gears shifted so smoothly.  It took me a few down hills to get comfortable taking them at full speed.  I was able to stay in my saddle for most of the uphills.  A handful of times I had to stand.  No issues with the saddle either.  I was able to get off the bike and run 8 miles pretty comfortably.  I didn't start breaking down until the last 1.5 miles and it was just from overall fatigue.

Overall verdict:
I want to ride every day.  I may be biased as QR is all I've ever had for a tri specific bike.  But, I really do enjoy this ride.  It's comfortable, shifts smoothly, feels sturdy under me, and picks up speed quickly.  I haven't had a chance to test it in heavy cross-winds.  Braking could be a little better.  I love that I can take it apart and put it back together by myself with 2 Allen wrenches (4mm and 5mm).  I'm actually looking forward to my TT ride on Wednesday!        
Any suggestions on a name?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bike 'Til You Barf, Swim Like a Fish...For Once

Yesterday I had an hour bike trainer session and a 6 mile run.  The bike trainer session had a main set of (1' RPE 9, 1' RPE 5) X 10, then a 2nd main set of (1' RPE 10, 1' RPE 5) X 5.  I felt great during my 20 minute warmup - 10' easy, 10' RPE 7.  I even felt ok for the first 3 or 4 sets of the 1st main set.  But, after the 4th one, this was me:


Every time the one minute hard was done, when I sat up, I really thought I was going to fall over or throw up.  Thankfully I held it together.  I had to cut the last two sets of the main set a little short - by like 10 seconds.  I just couldn't hang on.  When I got done, I put on my running shoes and headed out the door with Daniel.  It was an easy run and I tried to keep my HR in check, but it was still handing around mid 170's with a 8:30 - 9:00 min/mi pace.  Meh...  My spirits were boosted with today's TT swim though.  MS 1 - 400 all out, MS 2 - 200 all out.

I did take a 20 minute nap before hand, had 1 non-caffeine gu gel and a scoop of this:

The flavor is good and I like that there is no crazy tingly feeling.  I like the effects that I get from it.  I do not like the smell.  Straight out of the container, it smells funny.  I can't put my finger on what it is.  Thankfully it doesn't smell after it's mixed with water.

So, swim times:
400m - 6:05
200m - 2:54

I'm pretty excited with these times.  1:30 is my current fast pace for 100m.  So, I came very close to this on the 400 and beat it on the 200.

Orange Mud's HydraQuiver Pack

There's this company called Orange Mud that I discovered last year around this same time from an article on gift ideas for athletes.  They have this super functional towel that I requested as a Christmas present.  Check it out here.  So, I was perusing their site about a month ago and discovered that they have this hydration back pack called the HydraQuiver.  You can get details here.

I have a CamelBack pack and another water holder that is similar but from a different company.  Both work fine, but they are more for hiking or long site-seeing days.  I know they have ones specifically for running, but they have the bladder that is annoying to refill and clean.  The HydraQuiver uses a regular 24oz bottle.  I tried it out yesterday on my  6 mile run and it surpassed every expectation.  It's supposed to sit up high on your back which eliminated bouncing.  The material on the straps is soft and I didn't experience any chafing around my arms or neck.  I was wearing a tri tank top.  It felt super light and I wouldn't have even noticed I was wearing it if it wasn't for the sloshing of the water.  But, after about .5 mile I was able to ignore it.  Plus I wasn't listening to any music so the sound was right by my ears.  The water bottle is so easy to get in and out of the pack.  I was really amazed at this.  Especially putting the water bottle back.  I thought I would have a really hard time get it in the hole (giggle), but the opening is wide (giggle again), so it just slipped right in.  The pocket looks like it's small on the back, like it would just be half of the back.  But, you can stick your whole hand in and reach to the other side.  So, really the whole thing is a pocket.  And, there is a whole to stick your headset cord through.  There are also two small pockets on the shoulder straps for easy access nutrition like gels.  I have an 11 mile run on Saturday.  If my opinion changes or I have something to add I will update this post.  Otherwise, I think this has just become my new preferred long run hydration carrying choice.

After three weeks and half a dozen long runs ranging from 8 to 13 miles there are still no issues.  In fact, I've discovered something else great about it.  I used to get a slight pinched nerve on the right side of my neck by my shoulder.  Whenever I wear the HydraQuiver I don't have this issue.  I know this is a personal issue, but it's been really nice to not have my neck and shoulder hurt after 5 or 6 miles.  


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I'm Alive!

My swim yesterday was tough, but I lived.  I took a pre-work that made me feel like I had gone skiing (not literally).  I took a half scoop of Dyno.  You can get some info from or click here.  There is 400mg of caffeine.  This is why I only took half a scoop.  I got lemonade and it tasted like tart lemonade.  I got a slight tingle, but manageable.  Definitely don't take more than a quarter or half scoop if you don't take caffeine often.  I drink coffee and Monsters 3 or 4 times a week and a half scoop of this was enough.  

Sometimes I feel like taking a pre-workout is like cheating.  But, only sometimes.  Some days I'm just too tired to get in a good workout without some kind of boost.  Anyway, here are my swim splits from yesterday's main set of 100 X 10 - fast on 30'' rest (this was done in a 25m pool):

  1. 1:30.63
  2. 1:29.19
  3. 1:30.69
  4. 1:31.75
  5. 1:33
  6. 1:32.69
  7. 1:33.19
  8. 1:31.88
  9. 1:31.32
  10. 1:31

So, my Fast pace is 1:30.  I didn't exactly make it, but I'm ok with what I was able to pull off.  It could have been way worse if I wasn't swimming for the last 4 weeks.  That is my one piece of advice for today - don't quit swimming after your A race.  It takes way too long to get used to swimming again.  Especially if you weren't a competitive swimmer.

Then you'll be more like this when you get in the pool:

Instead of this:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I mentioned in an earlier post about applying for the Moxie team.  Well, it's official!  Yay!  I don't have anything extra to report on that at the moment.  It's going to be a great year, though.

My training is back in (full) swing this week.  My coach thinks he's funny by giving me two TT swims and two FTP bike tests.  First TT test is today.  MS - 100 X 10 - Fast on 30'' rest.  

This is going to be me after about 3 of them.  If I'm feeling good, I'll get to 5.  LOL

Wish me luck!

#FindyourMoxie and #RockTheW