I bought a new bike about a month ago – a full carbon Moda Interval!!!
My previous bike was a Scott Expert, aluminium frame, Shimano Sora group set. Bought it 10 years ago and the frame was cracked where it joins the seat post. It had travelled with me to Dubai and holidayed with me in Spain but I think it is gently giving up the ghost and needs a rest. (In fact the bike club in Dubai was one of the best things I did there.) It was fine for regular bike rides but I thought that if I am to enter a 1/2 Ironman distance event I want to be as comfortable as possible and, importantly, do it as fast as possible.
I’d been thinking about a new bike for some time. I’d also looked at the Ribble Sportive Bianco which is highly customisable and the Kuota Kharma. Both seem pretty good but I settled for the Moda Interval.
It’s noticeably lighter and stiffer, and pedalling up the hills in the Peak District – you can’t get away from them – is so much less of a trauma! (I was going to say ‘easier’ but it’s never easy.) It’s also so responsive. Whenever I’d read the word ‘responsive’ in bike reviews I’d never really understood what it meant, but now I know. I change gear or get out of the saddle and put my foot down and it races off. It would leave me behind if I wasn’t attached to it!
The Interval has a SRAM group set, a mixture of Apex and Rival, which is interesting in as much that there is only one lever to push to change both up AND down gear – it’s just a matter of how far you push it. One tap and it disengages the gear to higher, or down the cogs, and push further / harder takes you lower, or up the cogs. You know what I mean. It took me a couple of rides to stop trying to find the Sora thumb button to change down a gear but I like it. It reminds me of mountain bike gears in as much that one push of the gear lever can change you several gears in one step.
They’re also handbuilt in the UK. Not only that but in Derby, close to where I live in Derbyshire (excellent!) and where I work in Derby. Well, I never!
I was hoping it would give me wings and an extra 1-2 mph faster on average and it appears to have done just that.
The thing is I rarely do the same ride twice and given the hills around here a 15mph ride for me is good. For example on a 2 hour ride I might climb 500m and a 4 hour, 90km ride I did last weekend I climbed 1,200m. I think that’s quite a lot and considerably more than the event I’m looking at entering in September (I still have to take the leap and enter it!).
So, one route I have done a few times is the ride to work and back, and I did it again this week, 40kms each way. And guess what …? I beat my time to work by 10 minutes, and my time back by 15 minutes! Yeah!!! Woooo hooooo! This is about 2.5-3.5 mph faster than before. I was really quite chuffed, did an endo on arrival back home and gave myself a pat on the back.
The only thing I need to do now is improve my fitness!
By Robin Eyre
I sometimes cycle to work – a 40km trip – and back. It’s a nice ride. However I still find it difficult to keep my sugar levels high on the return journey.
The morning ride is generally fine. Have a bowl of cereal about an hour before I set off and 1/2 the amount of usual insulin, i.e. maybe 2 units. Arrive at work and, to date, I’m below 10 (180).
Going back home I set off with a reasonably good level (I like to be between 11-13 (198-234) before any strenuous exercise) yet always find myself low (very low) after about 20km – there’s a petrol station where I can refuel. How low? About 2-4 (36-72). So I stock up on a flapjack and chocy etc. I figured this might be because I didn’t have a meal before setting off.
So this week I had a big sandwich before leaving work and half the amount of insulin I’d normally take with that amount of food … and lo and behold I still came crashing down to 3.6 (65) by the 20km mark. I was 11.3 (203) before the sandwich. This was disappointing as I felt fine. If I’d not stopped I feel I could have been in trouble so there’s a lesson here …!
So I had a Maxi Fuel gel and half a flap jack and set off again hoping it would last me the other 20km back home. Errm, sort of. Checked 1/2 an hour later: 7 (126) so had a Power Gel – ooohhhhh, they’re good, strawberry and banana. Suppose it was going in the right direction though.
Still trying to plan my strategy for this week’s event: Ashbourne Duathlon. I think my plan will be:
Sounds like a plan 🙂
I biked to and from work again on Wednesday. It was pretty chilly at 6:30am and it took my toes at least an hour to thaw after I reached the office. Did it in 1hr 35 mins which beat my previous attempt by 10 mins. However I went a slightly different way to Cromford (down the Via Gelia – an odd name) rather than down through Wensley, Darley Dale and Matlock which took 3 mins off. Also didn’t stop to ask directions once I was in Derby.
James, a colleague, also biked in and showed me a better route out of Derby. I’d got lost before and added 5 miles on to the trip!
Tested myself before I set off back home and was pretty high (19 / 342) but just over half way I thought I’d stop and test again and lucky I did as I was 2.5 (45) so I stopped for 15 mins, had something to eat and set off again. I was very surprised I went so low so quickly.