Kit changes

2012 training progress
18th January 2012
Saddle testing – Fizik Antares VS
27th January 2012

I’m very lucky that I’m in a position to use some of the best kit that is available, but sometimes changing kit can be problematic, effecting the bike or my riding style. For this reason I only change major parts during the off-season. In anticipation of the forthcoming racing season I’ve made a few really big changes to the contact points on the bike, including pedals, handlebars and saddles.

I think it is important to mention that although I am a sponsored rider, I choose all my products. I would not use something that I was not happy to use myself or recommend to others. I am not forced to use any parts, or requested to use a particular model.

I have been using Crank Brothers Eggbeater and Candy pedals since they first came out, back in 2002. I think they are a great pedal and work well, but I’ve decided to try another system and I have been testing Look Quartz pedals for over a month. Initial impressions are very good. They give a great stable platform, they are easy to get in and out of and so far have proved great in all conditions, including mud. So long as they prove to be reliable I’m sure these will become my pedal of choice for the future.

On the road bike I had been using Time I-Clic pedals for the previous season, they have been a great pedal but I’ve now made the switch Look Keo 2 max. The main reason is that I am eagerly anticipating the release of Garmin Vector pedals with integrated power meter. The Vector pedals use Look Keo compatible cleats, so by changing now I can get used to them before the Vector is released in Match. It is very early into the test, but the Look Keo’s are great so far.

I’ve also been testing Fizik saddles, although again early into testing. Saddle choice is so important to me that unless I am absolutely 100% convinced that I will be comfortable on it for 24hrs I will be sticking with what I am used to. I’ll decide shortly before the Andalucia Bike race. I have the Fizik Tundra, Antares and Antares VS versions to try.

A few other changes will be the switch to a much wider handlebar thanks to USE. Their new Flattie handlebar is 710mm, 5 degrees back-sweep and only 160g! I might trim the bar down to 660/680mm, but that is still much wider than the bars I used last season which were 620mm.

I’ll be busy testing these over the next few weeks and hopefully making final decisions on what stays and goes before the major races start.