Monday, 20 July 2009

Dura Ace 7800 & 7900 and Cervelo


This is a post for the self confessed geeks out there. I watched some hi-lights of Stage 13 when Haussler took an amazing win. The next day Hayden Roulston was away in the break. What struck me was that Haussler was using 7900 and Roulston was on 7800. I fired some Tweets around and to be honest we couldn't agree, so I thought I'd drop the guys at Cervelo a quick mail.

Hi Geert

This is a question aimed mainly at your team mechanics.

Yesterday Heinrich was using 7900 Dura Ace shifters. Today Hayden was using 7800 shifters at least. What front deraileur are the team using and why are the bikes set up differently.

Many thanks


Ps - answer when you get a chance.

Dear Rich,

Answer on your question from Damon Rinard (Race Engineer Cervélo TestTeam):

"Like most TestTeam riders, Hayden uses Dura-Ace 7800 STI, FD (Front
Derailleur) and RD (Rear Derailleur). Heinrich prefers 7900.
Vroomen and White design engineers measured the force required to move the lever and found it higher for 7900, especially the FD, so we prefer 7800. Also the Rotor crank is the same chain ring spacing as 7800 and most 10s cranks, while 7900 has new wider spacing (approx. 1 mm)

Best regards,


So what we can surmise from this is that because of the cranks and due to the lighter action many of the Cervelo Test Teams guys prefer the 7800 version of Dura Ace. Let's not forget that Haussler used to ride for Gerolsteiner, who were one of the developement Teams who worked with Shimano on DA 7900. It probably shouldn't work with the chainrings but having great mechanics on a team they can make things work even when shouldn't.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Rouleur to Puncheur

The French manage to capture words that describe so much better in their language than English, and for me none so more than in the world of cycling. Rouleur, a roller, someone that can push a large gear over flat or rolling terrain. These powers translate well to anyone who would want to spend evenings & weekends racing critriums. Although these riders can turn their hand to any terrain it is another branch of riders that maybe more inspirational to us normal folk.

The Puncheur, as a rider is one that for both UK road racing & sportive riders should aspire to. Puncheurs' typically are as strong as Rouleurs', but have the added weapon of being able to transfer that power to short steep gradients and on their day can keep up with the Grimpeur.

If you currently not a Puncheur, you can increase the likelihood of being so through specific training. This would be tailored around hitting the turbo to do sessions to increase Vo2 Max. This will build upon the base fitness that has been established over years of riding. It will allow you to go deeper & harder on the short steep climbs, without hitting your max heart rate.

As the cobbles are my main passion, this will be my training focus to get ready for Flanders. It may seem crazy to be thinking about the first week in April now; but I am determined to turn up fit & ready to break my own records. I'm going to enjoy the rest of the summer, hope you do to.

Thursday, 9 July 2009


Although the Yellow jersey is percieved as being the most sort after and iconic, it is the least interesting to look at. That title of the most pretty, alluring or iconic jersey for me has to go to the Polka Dot. The Yellow jersey is often copied, and except for the Dauphine, no other climbing jersey has the iconic status that the Tours jersey has.

For me as a 6ft plus 95kg rider, wearing one would look as silly and out of place as me in a tutu! But I am looking forward to when that competition begins in earnest later in the week as it will provide a welcome relief to the almost forgone conclusion that a Astana rider will win. Of course the question of everyone's lips will be which one.

The Polka jersey used to be highly coverted and currently seems to have been passed in popularity by the Green jeresy. I think this is a shame and I hope that the tables are not turned but levelled out a little. Hopefully a true climber and not a chancer will come to rule and dominate for years to come.