Tag Archives: Boyd Bikes

Ride for Mike plans: Up and down

September has gotten off with a bang! A lot of great things are happening for the Ride for Mike. More attention has been brought to the ride than ever before and it is exciting to be able to know that one of my goals — keeping the memory of Mike alive — is definitely being fulfilled. I just keep praying that it will translate into more support for the scholarship. At the same time, I am very thankful for the support I’ve been shown by so many wonderful people.

An update on the scholarship: we have now reached $11,380.00 as of this morning when I type this. Only about $2,600.00 more to go! The opportunity to give will continue through the ride, but if we could break the $14,000.00 barrier before I leave… Well, that would just be a huge shot in the arm. Please consider helping at RideForMike.com.

Another UP is the fact that I have my new wheel from Boyd Johnson. I’ve been looking forward to getting it back so I can use it on the ride. Here is a photo of what my wheel looked like following May’s accident.

Crushed Boyd wheel

Carbon wheel / (concrete block + 25 mph) = above

Now we are back in business with a new wheel. This wheel is a new design. The braking surface is improved over my original c50. We did have a bear of a time getting the Specialized Pro tire over the new rim, but now it is on and tight as a drum. Can’t wait to get out and test it. I appreciate Boyd’s support. Give him a visit at BoydBikes.com.

New Boyd 50

These things look better round

So, what is there to be down about? I hesitate to even mention it because I don’t know how things are going to work out. Could be this is nothing, but it is the first curve ball to be thrown at me for the ride since my accident. It involves my transportation on the ride.

I have learned it is good (though not necessary) to have an extra bike. Many times I have found that my training has been disrupted because of an issue with my bike. It was good to have a number two to hop on when discovering a last second flat or when bike number one is in the shop. Of course, bike number two bit the dust back in May.

Having a second bike became more important to me as I planned the 2010 Ride for Mike. Since my only support on the ride would be the beautiful redhead and any delay on the road could cost me major time and distance, I wanted to minimize any chance for mechanical delays. My plan was to take two bikes. If one had a problem, I would do a quick bike change and get back on the road. It could be the difference between one minute and hours depending on the mechanical issue.

Better yet, I ordered the frame from Boyd. Thankfully, all the parts from the “Devil Bike” can be moved over to the new frame. This isn’t just any old frame. It is the Boyd Bikes B930 with a custom Low Cadence paint job.

Here is the problem. This is the last order of Boyd Bikes frames. Boyd is going to wheels only. One of the reasons why is because of the hassles he has had with his frame supplier. You can see where this is going… Boyd tells me that the frame goes to paint September 5th. It will be in paint for one week. It then will take one week to ship. If you count that up, in a best case scenario the bike will arrive at the last minute. Boyd is even concerned that it won’t arrive before I leave.

What should I do? There are some options… 1) Take my chances and plan on having the bike for the ride. 2) Take my chances using one bike and plan on only wheel problems on the road. I would then get the Low Cadence bike when I returned. 3) Go ahead and not use the custom frame and get another one to build up before the ride. Can you think of some other options? What do you think I should do?

Really, when I first learned of this delay, I was pretty bummed. As the day continues, I realize this isn’t a major setback. I mean, people make solo rides across the United States on one bike! My only concern is that I really don’t want to deal with bike issues on a day when I’m supposed to cover 120+ miles.

Besides, I admit it… having a custom Low Cadence bike for the trip would be pretty cool!

Less critical of the crit

Billy White told me it would happen. It has taken awhile, but what he predicted has come true. I’m actually starting to warm up to criterium racing.

It is a good thing too. Criterium racing is the primary way American cyclist compete against each other. When the summer months arrive, all across the country you will find racers going round and round on short courses. That time has come!

2010 Giant TCR Advanced with SRAM Red

My crit weapon of choice: 2010 Giant TCR Advanced with SRAM Red & Boyd wheels

The big daddy to kick off criteriums here in the Southeast is the Athens Twilight. No, it has nothing to do with vampires. The sucking going on will be competitors trying to gain an advantage – or merely survive – by riding the wheel of the racer in front of them.

Athens Twilight is now in its 30th year. The race has consistently brought over 30,000 spectators to watch the racers compete under the city lights. It is an atmosphere the fans and riders enjoy.

However, there is another criterium series kicking off. The 2010 St. Francis Sports Medicine Summer Race Series kicks off tonight at the BMW Performance Center in Greer, SC. The series returns to the track after a year away with racing at the old Greenville Braves Stadium. The performance test track was a favorite venue and you can expect fast racing — depending on the winds.

Check out the event page over at POACycling.com to learn more about the race. Especially if you are a cyclist just beginning to race, consider cutting your teeth out at BMW. Rather than really sharp turns, the Summer Series crits feature more sweeping turns that allow you to get more comfortable with the speeds often associated with crits.

What exactly was it I didn’t like about this style of racing? Part of it was simply that I’ve always thought that road racing was the purest form of bicycle racing. Varying terrain, distance, and team strategy over the course seemed more like the types of racing you see in the Tour de France.

However, more than that, I was scared. Crits typically are under a mile in length and involve at least four turns. Depending on the course, these turns can be rather abrupt. So, you have 40 guys going 25 mph into a 90 degree turn and it can be a recipe for disaster! My first ever race was a crit and I went down alone in one of these turns and dislocated my finger.

The crit is also hard. In road racing, you can more easily sit in and cover the distance waiting for the final move of the day. In criterium racing, you have to know how to handle your bike but you also have to know how to accelerate. Pedal… set yourself up for the turn… hold your line… hold your line… ACCELERATE! Pedal… Pedal… Pedal… set yourself up for the turn… hold your line… hold your line… ACCELERATE! Over and over you go.

However, I have come to enjoy the race as I have come to understand it better. Admittedly, it is also more fun as my bike handling skills have improved and my training has helped me learn to manage the acceleration. One of the things that makes it enjoyable is that there is continual action. There is very little of just sitting in and getting pulled along. You must be fully engaged for the entire distance.

Chasing down the leaders at the BMW Peformance Center

Chasing down the leaders at the BMW Performance Center

Tonight I should have double the fun. My coach has me doubling up racing the Category 4 race as well as the Masters 35+. I’ll finish the first race and then line up immediately for the second race. I’m glad he has confidence! Hopefully it will be contagious.

Come on and give a crit a try. You might find you like it… after awhile.

Boyd Bikes c50’s – First impression

Boyd Bikes have been mentioned here on Low Cadence before. My initial interest with the bike brand was simply because Boyd Johnson, the founder of the business, was a local rider who has been helpful to me as a novice racer. Its always nice when the sentimental interest is backed up by a solid product.

While I have not yet ridden a Boyd frame, I have had the opportunity to try some of his wheels. Yesterday presented my chance to get rolling on some of the 50mm carbon clinchers he offers. I still haven’t been disappointed.

My only complaint with this wheel set was the fact that they weren’t mine! Nicole Johnson took them off her bike. That meant I ended up with Team Kenda green tags and hubs on the wheels. I overcame this slight issue by imagining the green was black. Yeah… that’s better!

Seriously though, I wasn’t riding the wheels to see how they looked on the bike. I must admit that they do look pretty sweet and with black hubs and tags they would be perfect. The point of this test was to see what I thought of the handling and ride quality. Ultimately, I would be deciding whether to put my own set on the bike.

I had talked with Boyd about the 38mm wheels. He suggested that I consider the 50’s instead. His reasons were that the 50’s made for the best all-around wheel set. They were not too heavy on the climbs, were not so deep that they became troublesome in the crosswinds, and they were deep enough to give some aerodynamic advantage.

So, that found me heading toward Paris Mountain on a beautiful Greenville day. Why the mountain? My training called for repeats. Maybe not the best test for the wheels, but it is what I had to do. Plus, it would give me an opportunity to test the wheels climbing and descending.

Turns out I had a very good chance to get a feel for the wheels on the CVS side of Altamont Road. There is some climbing, but also some rollers that allow you to get up some speed. Of course, on the backside it is just plain old grunt and grind. I would get the whole picture.

First, there is one thing all the Boyd wheels share: the hubs. I love these things. It is the consistent thread between all the wheels and regardless of which set you are on, you are going to love these hubs. They are as smooth as corn-silk powder on a baby’s bottom.

Second, you have to take a look at the carbon rims. I go with the clinchers because I just don’t see the advantage for a rider at my level getting into the tubular stuff. It might make them a tad heavier, but the aerodynamic properties are the same. Those properties were evident as I rode my test.

The word that comes to mind is “slice.” The wheels really seemed to slice through the wind. Once the mass got spinning, it was as though it was going to run off on you. The feeling was that I was getting more speed with less power. Indeed, I beat my normal time to the top on the CVS side.

Descending was a pleasure. The wheels are stiff and you have a solid feel. Even at descending speeds going into bends, I did not feel any push from the wind cutting across the rims and spokes.

The only thing I did not like was the fact that I must have gotten Nicole’s brake pads on the wrong calipers. The wheels were screeching so badly when I started to stop at the bottom that I was glad I didn’t know the guy getting ready to start his climb. I’m assuming that this issue will go away once the pads contour themselves to the carbon surface.

As for climbing, the weight of the wheel did not set me back so much from my current wheel set of choice (Mavic Ksyrium SLs). While not the optimum wheels for climbing, they do seem to fit that part of their description of being a solid all-around wheel set.

Would I buy a set? Let me take them out again today when I have the opportunity to take in some flatter and faster sections of road, and I’ll let you know. Only, if I do get a set, they won’t be green.

Boyd’s Bow and Aero

One of the neat things about riding the Tuesday Night World Championships is you never know what Boyd Johnson is going to have in the back of his car. This Tuesday it was a sample of one of his first Bow and Aero TT frames with the new paint scheme. I got a chance to hold it and inspect the lines up close. Nice.

Boyd Bow and Aero TT frame

Click to enlarge

The frame I was holding was a bit smaller than I would ride, but the colors would go great with my POA Cycling kit! It was light, but solid feeling. Some carbon bikes now days almost feel like you are holding paper. I’m certain once this frame gets built up, it will give a feeling of confidence.

The lines are unique – especially the front portion of the frame. You can definitely see the “Bow” in the rear and the “Areo” on the front. By the way, it is all perfectly UCI legal. There are no added on nose pieces here.

I haven’t seen one of these built up yet. However, Boyd did tweet a picture of one he is building up for his Globalbike team. I’m still partial to the red, black, and white frame. Can’t wait to see that one completed and up close. You can see pictures of the cable and component placement at BoydBikes.com.

Globalbike Bow and Aero

Click to enlarge

Actually, I have never ridden a time trial bike before. I’ve never ridden an official time trial either. Only once have I gone out to a course designated as a TT course and attempted a run. I did it with the Merckx style. For my non-cycling friends, that is a method named after famous cyclist Eddy Merckx. It is when you time trial using a traditional bicycle setup. People say you are “Merckxing it”.

I do hope to try a TT or so this year. A friend who is not currently able to ride his TT bike is going to let me borrow it. I guess I need to start practicing on it soon. The Greenville Spinners time trial events are coming up soon as well as the SC TT Championships.

Who knows, maybe someday I’ll have my own Bow and Aero.

POA had me movin and Boyd had me rollin

This first weekend of racing with the POA Cycling Team has me looking forward to the next opportunity to roll on the tarmac with my teammates. Having a team has many advantages. You have support that a lone rider would never have. With great sponsors there are opportunities to get equipment and services you would not normally afford.

One deal I have not taken advantage of are the wheels. This season I stuck with my Ksyriums. My upgrade budget got cleaned out when I got the SRAM Red group. So, I was excited with Boyd Johnson offered to let me use a set of his alloy wheels for the first weekend of the Greenville Spring Training Series.

I’ve mentioned Boyd before, but primarily to talk about his venture of starting his own line of bikes. You can see his offerings at his web site: BoydBikes.com. However, I’ve been keeping an eye on the wheels he has been turning out as well.

Boyd has his hubs specifically machined for the wheels and couples them together with top of the line spokes and rims to create a solid set of wheels. Granted, I have not tried his carbon wheel sets, but I have to say I was impressed with these.

The first things I fell in love with were the hubs. Not only are they pleasant to look at, but they are as smooth as silk. Did I mention that you aren’t hauling a lot of weight around? The front hub weighs in at around 67 grams and the rear 255 grams.

The Sapim CX Ray spokes are slightly less wide than my SLs. This is to give a balance between aerodynamics and stability in crosswinds. The rims I was rolling on weigh in at 455 grams. The setup makes for a great combination.

Granted, carbon they are not, but I’m not sure I’ll ever own a set of carbon wheels. I need a wheel set that can do double duty — light enough to be fast when I need it and tough enough for those nasty roads we get sometimes. These wheels fit the need.

Saturday’s race was at Donaldson Center. We switched the wheels right before I headed out to race. Frankly, I was a little concerned since there are some pretty rough sections — including the notorious train tracks. However, after the first pass over the tracks I was set at ease.

Over the roughest sections there was nary a rattle. The wheels took the shock well and I held control. Before long I wasn’t thinking of the wheels at all.

Sunday was a different situation. I was on a smooth test track. However, the speeds would be much higher and there was a stronger crosswind to deal with. Once again the wheels showed they had what it took to keep me upright and headed like an arrow.

It was the one thing that did come to mind during the race. The wheels performed great in the crosswind. Coming out of the corner from a headwind to a crosswind there was no push. I was very pleased and was glad to bring Boyd’s wheels across the line with a top 5 finish.

Boyd asked me what I thought. I told him that to me the greatest compliment I could give is that I didn’t think of them! Normally, you only think of your wheels when they’re doing something you don’t like. With Boyd Bike wheels I felt comfortable and confident in less than a single race.

Pick up a Boyd Bike wheel and spin it in your hands. The craftsmanship shows — and it won’t make your arm tired either. Put it on your bike and you’ll be rolling with confidence. At $500 for a set of clinchers it is well worth the price. Plus, Boyd has several color options you can go with for a custom look.

Am I biased? You bet. I want Boyd to succeed. However, I know that if I don’t tell the truth here at Low Cadence, it will come back to haunt me.  Go try your own Boyd wheel set. Tell me they aren’t as good as wheels twice the price.

Taking a look at some home grown stuff

Okay, so most of this stuff wasn’t made here in the Upstate, but the following goodness was designed and assembled by local racer and coach, Boyd Johnson. Not much need to talk here. Just take a look.

Road frame from Boyd Bikes

Road frame from Boyd Bikes

This is one of my favorite frames I’ve happened upon at Sunshine Cycle Shop. Sorry that the photos are not that great. An iPhone is a nice thing to have, but it doesn’t always take the best shots in lower light.

Around 600 grams here.

Around 600 grams here.

This one comes in around 800 grams

This one comes in around 800 grams

The wheels are very nice. Boyd has collected some solid components for building these things. As you can see below, there is some nice finishing work as well. Wish you could see it in person.

The logo is etched and painted

The logo is etched and painted

Good job, Boyd. I’m sure things will only progress to be better and better. Looking forward to seeing some of the stuff out on the roads this season.

Fuzzy pic of Boyd Johnson with one of his first frames

Fuzzy pic of Boyd Johnson with one of his first frames

Everyone try to stay warm out there! Matt Tebbetts posted on Facebook that his Gatorade froze in his bottles on Sunday. Hmmmm, Gatorade slushies.