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The Water Cooler, Scuttlebutt, Chit Chat Thread

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The Water Cooler, Scuttlebutt, Chit Chat Thread

Old 10-01-19, 02:54 PM
  #4076  
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For routine analysis the OES would totally do it for us. From time to time we have a need for the sensitivity of the MS, especially with projects involving injectable nanoparticle therapeutics where the digestion matrices warrant high dilutions and doses aren't all that high to begin with. As pissy and unstable as it can be, I enjoy it very much.
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Old 10-01-19, 03:15 PM
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On a separate note, Quarq/Sram is sending me another RMA for my faulty Ptap hub after they didn't fix it the first time. Claims that the RMA was only for bearing service, when it does say calibration a couple times nested in our two previous email chains.

I'm happy that they're willing to take it back to look at it without charging me any more at this time. Gave me a FedEx label and everything. Fingers crossed that it comes back functional this time.
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Old 10-01-19, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
For routine analysis the OES would totally do it for us. From time to time we have a need for the sensitivity of the MS, especially with projects involving injectable nanoparticle therapeutics where the digestion matrices warrant high dilutions and doses aren't all that high to begin with. As pissy and unstable as it can be, I enjoy it very much.
N+1 goes for instruments too - get both! Despite the initial capital cost adding a ICP-OES can actually save your lab money. It's also way better at common cations (Na,Ca,Mg,Al,Fe).
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Old 10-02-19, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Have you added anything to your bars recently?

Several years ago, I bought a cheap out-front mount for a Go-Pro camera. For whatever reason, it created interference between my SRM and PC8, and the power numbers were all wonky. Strangely enough, if I used a Garmin, the power numbers were fine.

Also, I'll second the comments from Chappy about Quarq. I went through three Quarqs in 18 months before giving up and buying an SRM. I kept sending it in, they fixed it, then it would break again. On the other hand, my wife has had two Quarqs that have had zero issues. The only difference is mine was a 130 bcd and hers was 110. Not sure how that factors in, but I've heard similar complaints from folks with 130s.
In the long run, I think we all run into issues. I'm still smarting over my latest interaction with SRM, but I guess their offer is fair.

One of my SRM (my first one, actually) has undergone a really checkered past. It was great for 18 months, then it died after I rode my bike in the rain (not even that much rain) and left the bike in my trunk overnight. Perhaps I should have taken my bike out of my trunk to let everything dry properly, but if a) orientation of the crank and b) location where the crank was stored have material effect on the sealing (or the lack thereof) of the electrical components, then the component probably wasn't well made in the first place.

They swapped out the circuit board, but the new circuit board has an issue with drifting slope (this is why it's good to check calibrate 2x/year), resulting in reading that was 3% higher. SRM, of course, wouldn't deign to acknowledge this... Then a few months later, it stopped working promptly in the middle of a ride, as the reed switch malfunctioned. Back to Colorado Springs it went; issue fixed, but they also adjusted the slope to within 1% of my own static calibration results.

Thankfully, it was relatively worry free for the next four years (although I didn't really ride much the last two years due to injury). Late 2018, the unit now had an issue with drifting offset, with reading going from ~500 to ~450 Hz in forty minutes of riding (on a slope of 25 Hz/Nm), only to return to ~500 after riding. SRM tells me I need a new battery, this despite the fact the battery was replaced merely two years ago, and I barely put in 300 hours of riding on it in those two years combined, due to injury. Thankfully, I had another unit I could use, and I just got around to sending the unit to Colorado Springs, where they replaced the battery.

First ride on the unit with newly-recharged battery, and the offset drift got so quirky (or is it Quarq-y) that it was downright comical. Drift of 50 Hz in an hour of indoor riding, followed by drift of a whopping 100 Hz in 40 minutes of outdoor riding, for a combined drift of 150 Hz (or 45 W at 95 rpm). Needless to say, I was less than pleased about this. Their offers were:
-a) brand new circuit board for my unit (which is based on Dura Ace 7950) for free;
-b) brand new circuit board for Dura Ace 9000, I'd have to buy new crank arms at market rate ($450); or
-c) a few hundred dollars off on a new SRM Origin, for a whopping $1k or so.

I was going to go with option a), until I was told that they no longer make those circuit boards. Hooray for built-in obsolescence. So now I have a $130 battery that I can no longer use and a PM that's reading out of line. Tack on another $125 for chainrings, and I'm looking at $700 for an essentially new PM... It may be a good deal to some, but it still leaves me smarting, as this basically came from left field. The part that really irked was the fact that the unit passed QC, and it promptly had the offset drift on the first ride...
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Old 10-03-19, 09:56 AM
  #4080  
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Our local CX race is dropping the A / B / C format and just going straight AG, so if you're new to CX and want to race Masters, its open. There is a 4/5 category, but with so many NICA racers that's going to be fast as well. I was really looking forward to doing now I'm on the fence. Its probably a 'C' race for me and something I'd do for fun, so its not that big a deal. Admittedly, I'm probably placing too much value in the chance of a podium.

I think promoters are starting to drop the ball on this. Personally I always thought the allure of CX is that its relatively safe and the races are parsed out competitively. In this format you can pencil in the podium right now; a few of those guys are ex pro mountain bikers.

I've heard the counter argument to this as, 'but you get to test yourself against the fastest people out there...' That's true, but testing yourself against a vastly superior racer isn't racing. I know in Fondos that's a selling point but that's not a race, just a group ride and a money grab for the pros doing it. Racing for some is measuring yourself against a group of riders of relatively equal ability where you have a chance.

Is this an honest gripe or am I just being to selfish?
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Old 10-03-19, 10:19 AM
  #4081  
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Seems like an honest gripe to me.
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Old 10-03-19, 10:39 AM
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The only way I'd be ok with that is if the results still showed the proper categories. Race with the faster peeps, but still be judged against the group I'm supposed to race against. Like, if I started the TdF and raced the whole thing, but then still got rewarded "1st place Oregonian with a day job" I'd be fine.
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Old 10-03-19, 11:20 AM
  #4083  
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Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
The only way I'd be ok with that is if the results still showed the proper categories. Race with the faster peeps, but still be judged against the group I'm supposed to race against. Like, if I started the TdF and raced the whole thing, but then still got rewarded "1st place Oregonian with a day job" I'd be fine.
What would that jersey look like?
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Old 10-03-19, 11:35 AM
  #4084  
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
Our local CX race is dropping the A / B / C format and just going straight AG, so if you're new to CX and want to race Masters, its open. There is a 4/5 category, but with so many NICA racers that's going to be fast as well. I was really looking forward to doing now I'm on the fence. Its probably a 'C' race for me and something I'd do for fun, so its not that big a deal. Admittedly, I'm probably placing too much value in the chance of a podium.

I think promoters are starting to drop the ball on this. Personally I always thought the allure of CX is that its relatively safe and the races are parsed out competitively. In this format you can pencil in the podium right now; a few of those guys are ex pro mountain bikers.

I've heard the counter argument to this as, 'but you get to test yourself against the fastest people out there...' That's true, but testing yourself against a vastly superior racer isn't racing. I know in Fondos that's a selling point but that's not a race, just a group ride and a money grab for the pros doing it. Racing for some is measuring yourself against a group of riders of relatively equal ability where you have a chance.

Is this an honest gripe or am I just being to selfish?
I tend to agree when a sport has frequent enough competition that you progress in skills through a ranking system: golf, bowling, cyclocross, etc..........frequent events, skills based classifications. You don't get a former pro golfer winning the 5th flight of a local tournament just because they just turned 35 years old and are in a new "age group". That's horse ****.

In duathlon, tri.......you can't really race enough to claim the skills part. There's skill to it, but not like cyclocross or road racing, etc..... AG's make somewhat sense due to the limitations by age. But......like you said, you can often pencil in the winners the week before the event.

I'm racing Sunday again in 4/5, but the series doesn't have Masters down to 35 years old like road racing. I think it begins at 40 or 45 y/o. Which is fine. Otherwise I'd have either tried that, or doubled down on the same day for two races.

I'd appreciate the A/B/C format as there seems to be a few eternal 4's in the group. Also, there was a really young college kids wiping the floor with people too. I've read the rules of an A/B/C online I saw and it seemed to make sense.

But, I'm having fun. So whatever.

I didn't even bother this year trying to do anything with tires and stuff, just riding as-is. These other guys are often carrying a car load full of crap. 90% now on tubeless. Most in my group was also on tires a LOT bigger than 32's it seemed.

I bought 32's because I ride that bike gravel a lot and ride road to get to the gravel. So needed something multi-purpose.

I'm not into "cross life" enough yet to justify blowing money trying out a bunch of tires and stuff.

Speaking of fondos, I usually pick something like AOMM. Something that's a "you deserve a finisher patch" just for finishing. I checked the entry numbers and results for 2018 when I did it. I came up with a DNF rate of right at 30%. A bit different than your Dunder Mifflen Fun Run for the Cure Rabies kind of fondos.
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Old 10-03-19, 11:43 AM
  #4085  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
What would that jersey look like?
Gray jersey to match the hair. The gray jersey would be sponsored by The Vanguard Group because our category would be one of the only groups in the peloton with retirement accounts. Instead of a stuffed lion and a check, we'd get a paper mache thermostat and a New Balance shoe voucher.
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Old 10-03-19, 01:01 PM
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@furiousferret I do not think you are being selfish. You are evaluating the new value proposition from the promoter to see if it makes sense to you. I am sure other racers are doing the same thing. I think the argument that you get to test yourself against the pros is pretty weak sauce. We have all seen that movie and know the ending.
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Old 10-03-19, 02:57 PM
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Old 10-03-19, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
On a separate note, Quarq/Sram is sending me another RMA for my faulty Ptap hub after they didn't fix it the first time.
I wonder if this has anything to do with it being a Ptap and service being lost in the purchase. I've had quarqs for 6 years and currently own 5 of them and have never had anything but great service in the few cases I needed it. I just sent back my 6 year old specialized specific quarq because the offset went crazy. I paid to ship it out and they tested it. They found the internals were perfect, but the shell had cracked and they couldn't fix it. They offered me a non warranty replacement (meaning not free) for $500. Retail on a new one is $779. When they went to install it, they found my cranks were an older version and the new s-works cranks are different, so it wouldn't fit. Specialized has been out of stock on cranks for months and no dealer can get them so I thought I was out of luck. They then offered me one of their new dzero dub power meters with cranks and a bb that should (because specialized can be a proprietary pain) fit for $500. Retail on that is $1k. It should be here Monday.

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Old 10-03-19, 04:38 PM
  #4089  
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Well that gives me some hope. I know they just acquired PT so hopefully they support the product somehow or otherwise make it right for me.
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Old 10-04-19, 11:55 AM
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Moved in before the first snow. So it begins. Looks like my mountain riding season is just about over though.


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Old 10-04-19, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
...

I've heard the counter argument to this as, 'but you get to test yourself against the fastest people out there...' That's true, but testing yourself against a vastly superior racer isn't racing. I know in Fondos that's a selling point but that's not a race, just a group ride and a money grab for the pros doing it. Racing for some is measuring yourself against a group of riders of relatively equal ability where you have a chance.

...
Also, pitting yourself against people that are much faster is different on a fondo course, vs. a short, closed CX course where many people are likely to get lapped. It can be demoralizing to get lapped and it impacts the fast guy's race as well (although this is often just a part of CX).

I'd politely let the promoters know the change may make you skip the races. But, lean towards racing anyway. You'll have fun, get faster, and the more racers there are, the more likely the promoter will split out more categories in the future.
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Old 10-05-19, 04:08 PM
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Been riding more since I retired and I am getting some of my endurance back, so today a friend invited me on a 4 hour mountain bike ride with a group of riders I don't know. There was climbing, rocks, roots, dropoffs, hike a bike, crazy descents and it got hot. These people ( 2 women and 8 men ) were faster than me everywhere. To make myself less of a problem, I went ahead when they stopped for a break before a tough section. Late in the ride on a long climb I was able to hang with a few of them but it was not easy.
Sometimes it's fun getting hammered by people when they are friendly.
It was a blast and I look forward to riding with them again if they will have me.
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Old 10-05-19, 08:09 PM
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I just went to register for a 5-day gravel stage race that I’ve been eyeing. Entry fee: $1200 base fee with the option of adding VIP camping and other stuff for even more money. I didn’t register out of principal. I’m not about to drop a small mortgage payment for 4 nights in a tent and 350 miles of gravel racing.
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Old 10-06-19, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
I just went to register for a 5-day gravel stage race that Iíve been eyeing. Entry fee: $1200 base fee with the option of adding VIP camping and other stuff for even more money. I didnít register out of principal. Iím not about to drop a small mortgage payment for 4 nights in a tent and 350 miles of gravel racing.
This is where I think racing is trending. https://www.hauteroute.org/events

Promoters are looking to increase the scale of events and cyclists want more value. Hence, the promoter increases the scope and services available for the event, reduces that number of events promoted and increases the base price with a lot of adders to sell to the more hairy chested participants. Events such as these are supposed to appeal to the millennials and their zest for "experiential" things to do that are grand in scope to share with friends via social media.

A buddy of mine was doing the Alcatraz triathlon and the entry fee was $700 to dive into the cold water in SF bay.
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Old 10-06-19, 01:05 PM
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Old 10-07-19, 06:27 AM
  #4096  
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Try more than $700 for people doing a full IM. Believe it or not, per hour of "competition time", something like Haute Route is actually a lot cheaper than an IM.

An IM is about 25% more expensive "per hour" at the longest possible time for cutoffs than Haute is.

Ironman? Max cutoff cost per hour is $53.

"Per hour" a $30 30min crit is a bargain for a one time experience.......but is $60/hr. If you do Haute Asheville, it's $900 for 3 days. Assume 7hrs per day. That's $42/hr.

Still, crits and 5k's and cross and local triathlons are bargains for out-the-door cost for an experience. Just have to consider for the really expensive events your "cost per enjoyment" over time I suppose.
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Old 10-07-19, 08:29 AM
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Oh, and I saw that the registration fees increase to $1600 on May 1st (1.5 months before the event). That $4.57/mile. At an average speed of 15 mph, that's $68.57 per hour.

Maybe I should take up racing cars.
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Old 10-07-19, 09:00 AM
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That gravel race sounds like it could be a fun event if you had a decent group going. What I'm not sure about is does the registration fee include the lodging or are you expected to either pay the $350 for them to provide it or bring your own at no additional charge?

Oh, and car racing is so much more expensive than this - that $1200 wouldn't even cover one day at the track.
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Old 10-07-19, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
That gravel race sounds like it could be a fun event if you had a decent group going. What I'm not sure about is does the registration fee include the lodging or are you expected to either pay the $350 for them to provide it or bring your own at no additional charge?

Oh, and car racing is so much more expensive than this - that $1200 wouldn't even cover one day at the track.
That price includes some form of camping spot. You can pay an additional $200 for improved campsites...
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Old 10-07-19, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
That price includes some form of camping spot. You can pay an additional $200 for improved campsites...
So a little square of ground in the woods is free. Access to toilets and showers costs you $200, at least that's what improved campsites meant when I was growing up. Maybe it means something different nowadays.
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