Training & Fitness, Uncategorized

The Plasma Gets a Prescriber

slowtwich

It is a head-scratcher why this bike has not been a better seller. A part of the problem was the spec, back in 2014 when Kienle won Kona. There was no electronic shift system for this bike. That has since changed. Here is a Di2 Plasma Premium on Nytro’s site for a tick under $7000 complete.

Scott’s well-regarded Plasma has been a visible presence in triathlon since its introduction. Hard-riding, Kona-winning Sebastian Kienle as well as Luke McKenzie, Flora Duffy and others ride Scott’s fine bikes.

But there has been another issue with this bike, which is the lack of a prescriber or solver. Trek, Felt, Quintana Roo, Cervelo, TriRig, Giant, you name it, most of the important brands have Pad X/Y solvers and by this I mean if you know the X and Y dimensions from the bottom bracket to the pads (either to the rear or center of the pad) there is a “prescription” given you by the brand. You’re a Trek Speed Concept, size L, low/far stem, 35mm pedestal, pads pulled back 20mm from neutral.

plasma_solver_printable
This has allowed Trek to sell its Speed Concept well in spite of a truly inept national dealer network (that is to say, a truly great dealer network that is truly inept at sizing and selling tri bikes). How useful is Trek’s solver? As of this writing there are about 8,500 posts on the Trek Speed Concept Owners thread which consists of, mostly, “Hey, Carl, I’m 625×495,” and Trek engineer Carl Matson answers with a prescription like that listed above. The customer goes to a Trek dealer, says, “I’ll take a Speed Concept, Project One,” gives the prescription and hands over the credit card, and the Trek store employee, having no flipping idea what the consumer just recited, charges the card and a month later another SC arrives. The dealer accepts a UPS shipment, takes the bike out of the box (probably with a blurry knowledge of how the transaction occurred) and the new SC owner rides off into the sunset.

Scott didn’t have such a prescribing tool. Now it does. Scott uses the rectangle (or parallellogram) motif, which I think is wise. It’s easy to see all sizes on one chart, and it’s easy to read. If your Pad X/Y (this chart uses pad-center, not pad-rear) is sitting on the bottom of a rectangle that means the bike in that size fitted to you will be slammed (you won’t be able to go any lower). If the pads sit 20mm above the bottom of the rectangle you pedestal the pads 20mm.

scott_plasma

Now, to be clear, you don’t have every bit of adjustability in these rectangles. You have 3 fore/aft options inside these rectangles: dead center, forward 15mm, and rearward 15mm, because fore/aft is actuated by moving the pad cradles forward or rearward (or center) and each cradle has holesets 15mm apart from each other.

Scott was wise to place this sizer on a page that can be printed out on a letter-sized piece of paper. Quintana Roo did the same thing. Now a fitter or retailer can print it out, laminate it, sit it next to the fit station and prescribe the bike after the fit is done just by reading off this laminated sheet. Click here to download a printable version.

What about mortal Plasmas, such as the Plasma 10 and 20, which are loosely based on the Premium but use standard stems and which might sell for down to $2,200? We use a different process to prescribe a precise complete bike solution based on a rider’s fit coordinates. For these bikes, just as with other mortal bikes like Cervelo’s P2 and P3, the process is just as granular, just as effective, but does not reply on the Pad X/Y solver.

By Dan Empfield   |   SLOWTWITCH.COM

Uncategorized

Beware of Unauthorized Reseller’s of LOOK products

LOOK_DEALER

What is “Gray Market”?
The gray market is where products are sold outside normal distribution channels by unauthorized resellers that have no official relationship with the manufacturer. This market often employs irregular but not illegal methods to sell products at prices lower than those offered through official channels.

Who is an Authorized LOOK Dealer?
LOOK products are sold through a network of Authorized Dealers selected by LOOK and its Authorized Distributors to deliver customer experiences consistent with the brand promise. An Authorized Dealer not only sells the products, but also provides the consumer with all of the technical support, warranty repairs, after-sales service, and everything that a consumer associates with what a manufacturer should do. Authorized LOOK dealers earn the right to sell the brand. A listing of current authorized resellers is found on http://www.lookcycle.com by clicking on the “locate” tab.

How do I know if my LOOK product is “Gray Market”?
If the deal seemed too good to be true, it probably was. Gray market products may be less expensive than those bought through official distribution channels but are sometimes inferior. The products may be second-hand products or contain second-hand components that are represented as new or authentic. The products may come in retail packaging with Manufacturing Codes, Serial Numbers or Bar Code Stickers removed or the product may not come with packaging at all. With the use of the Internet to sell goods, some gray market items are not designed for a particular market, so they may not function properly and cannot be supported by an authorized reseller. Warranty, product updates, and/or support is NOT available for gray market products. Because the gray market seller cannot and does not provide such services, it is able to undercut the sales price of authorized dealers, but the buyer may end up with inferior service and/or no manufacturer support.

Who are some known sellers of “Gray Market” LOOK products?
The following Online websites are identified as selling gray market LOOK products.

Note about Amazon.com
While Amazon.com is not an authorized online reseller of LOOK products, some organizations who sell through Amazon.com are authorized and some are not. When making your purchase decision it is important to confirm that the merchant is an authorized dealer and that the product comes with a full manufacturer warranty. If you are unsure as to whether the seller is an authorized dealer, we encourage you to contact the seller directly to confirm.

Shop all LOOK products (Nytro is a Authorized Online Dealer)

Training & Fitness, Uncategorized

Go Hard, Go Easy… Know the difference!

Triathlon Training

A common problem that I continue to see in training is athlete going hard when they’re supposed to go easy and that just translates into the inability to go hard when it really counts.

When training, always adding more distance, more intensity, and increased speed is not always better. What is better is finding balance. If you are working with a coach, you will usually have your key workouts followed by easy recovery workouts. If you are self-coached athlete, you can use the simple rule of training one hard key workout day following by one easy day.

All of your key workouts should be approached like a race day, meaning you should be focused, prepared, rested, and ready to perform. These training days are important for improving your performance. These are the workouts that you want to push yourself and go hard!

The easy day workouts are just as important. Taking it easy and getting ready for the next key workout is essential. These are the days where discipline is required to not go hard. For example: you go to the pool for a one mile recovery swim. However, you recognize an age-group competitor that jumps into the lane next to you. When you star swimming all your recovery plans are thrown out the the window because you start swimming faster and faster to beat him.

If you are training hard all the time, your body experiences a snow ball effect of fatigue with no time for recovery. The body had a difficult time even trying to go hard anymore.

Tip: Use you heart rate to measure you effort during your workouts.

Felipe Loureiro is a Multiport Coach and Founder of Breakaway Training www.breakawaytraining.com

Uncategorized

The Titan of Hydration Systems

XLAB TORPEDO SYSTEMIt is that season…Ironman training is in full swing, the race calendar is set and you are going over every last detail to make sure your next 70.3 performance is a PR. And of course the topic every triathlete and cyclist is talking about this time of year is hydration. The weather is at its warmest, your mileage is being cranked up and you are looking for the most efficient hydration delivery product on the market. Your timing is perfect my friend, because XLAB, one of the leaders in aero hydration systems, has just launched their new Torpedo System and it is available at Nytro Multisport.

The new Torpedo System is the result of four years of research, testing and development. A team of designers worked passionately with Ironman World Champions and aerospace engineers to ensure that the new product is the lightest on the market and delivers the optimum amount of aerodynamics. In fact, this hydration giant is 100 grams lighter than its competitors and holds a true 26 ounces (768 milliliters) of fluid. To top it off, the sleek design does not impact the aerodynamic capabilities of the bike in any way. Now that’s my idea of the perfect Big Gulp!

The construction crew did not stop there when they set out to create this world-class system. Every detail was carefully planned with the rider’s comfort and convenience in mind. There is nothing more annoying than having to leave your arrow position to reach for a bottle when you are digging deep for a personal best. The Torpedo System puts all this agitation to rest. The bite valve keeps liquid at the top of the straw for faster drinking…a definite plus when you need fluids fast. Also, this replenishment hero can be adjusted for your perfect fit and its dual straw feature ensures that your electrolytes are never out of reach. Furthermore, the design allows for clear viewing of your computer so you don’t need to leave your position to look at your monitor. What does all this add up to? Less time on the clock when you cross the finish line.

xlab airflow CFD tested design

The XLAB Torpedo System comes clad in carbon fiber! Both the mini mount and bottle cage are made from the finest CF on the market. And of course color coordinated aero designed spacers and a color coordinated bite valve ensure that your will ride in style. Finally this titan weighs in at a mere 170 grams. That’s what I call a lightweight fighter with a big punch. Ride with this new system and you will definitely be wearing a new victory belt at the end of your next race. And all the replenishing you did along the way will ensure that your stay in the victory beer garden will be a little less dehydrating.

Available at Nytro.com

Gear, Uncategorized

The Triathlon Deal Of The Decade

Nytro Tri Package

You need it all…wetsuit, tri-bike, helmet, shoes, etc. etc. etc. You’ve gone on-line and pointed and clicked and added items one by one to your cart and when the prices totaled up, your credit card ran and hid behind your electrolyte replacement bottle and refused to move, asking for asylum in the land of fruit punch-flavored sodium and potassium fluid. Yes you realized that perhaps you were suffering from some post-long ride blood sugar disturbances, but your plastic friend had a good point. You’ve taken up this sport where everything from Sport Beans to airline tickets to gel-cushioned bike seats have been charged on your loyal friend. Now he is taking a stand against register abuse. Not only is the magnetic strip being worn-away, but your credit limit is approaching it’s ceiling and you are about to become a triathlon widower.

You sit back and take in all that is happening. You are in need of some new gear, but your four lettered friend has a valid point. There has to be a way to score the essentials you need without causing further friction in your relationship. Just when you thought all hope was gone, you remember an amazing deal some of your training partners were talking about. You rush to your Mac in an ecstatic rage. Your fingers can’t type http://www.nytro.com fast enough. You scroll quickly through the great blogs about the latest running shoes and bikes available at the shop until you find the link for the “Tri Package.” Your heart races as if you are on the starting line for your first Ironman. Your fingers fumble as you click impatiently on the string of letters and numbers that will bring you to Mecca. Yes you have now landed on the ultimate page for not only the triathlon deal of the decade, but the number one selling tri package on the planet, http://www.nytro.com/triathlon-packages/buy/tri-starter-package/. Tears roll down your eyes as you see the great products you get for an all-inclusive price.

Tri Package
Nytro Tri Package

You rattle off the list of items, “Cannondale Slice 5 105 Tri Bike, Men’s or Women’s Blue Seventy Tri Fusion Wetsuit, Shimano R540 Pedals/Cleats, Shimano TR31 Tri Shoes, a Bell Lumen Helmet, Nytro Transition Bag, Men’s 2XU Top and Short or Women’s Zoot Top and Short, Nytro Water Bottle, Nytro Hybrid Race Belt, Nytro Bottle Cage, Nytro In-Store Bike Fit.” And between gasps of air as you remain in a state of hyperventilation, you manage to eek out, “A free month of on-line training by Break Away Training.” All for $2,199.98. That is over $1,500 worth of savings off the MSRP. This was enough to make your credit limit sigh a breath of relief and your credit card decide to leave its temporary asylum and run back to the bastion of your money clip. A sweet reunion that everyone can live with.

All the items will help carry you to your best season yet of triathlon competition. You are confident knowing the Cannondale Slice 5 105 is a tri bike that bikeradar.com says, is “Aero-efficient, light and climb-friendly with long-haul comfort.” Not to mention, your training will be tailored by one of the top on-line coaching platforms in the industry with breakaway-training.com. Yes my friend, you have hit the triathlon jackpot. And with all the money you will have saved by investing in this exclusive package that only Nytro.com offers, you may need to take your good fortune, FDIC insured credit card and new tri digs to Vegas for a spin with Lady Luck. Best wishes and remember…what happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas!

Gear, Reviews, Uncategorized

A Megastar Is Born!

Hoka One OneYou won’t find it in your Facebook invites or as one of the latest tweets in your feed but Hoka One One is inviting “you to come run with us.”  If I were you I’d take this new kid on the block up on their offer because pretty soon they will be in so much demand that these type of invites will be few and far between as their time will be spent tending to the hundreds of thousands of orders they have to fulfill and the new spring lines to launch.  Yep you heard it here first…a new megastar has been born so grab your backstage pass and run, don’t walk, to Nytro Multisport to grab your pair of these new running shoes that are taking the endurance community by storm.

Hoka One One was founded by two trail running enthusiasts.  They set out to design a shoe that was beneficial for runners of all abilities.  So in 2010, when most of the major shoe companies were designing models that followed the minimalist profile standard, Hoka went in an entirely different direction.  The shoe company from “down under” took notes from the leaders in the tennis, mountain biking, skiing and golf industry and decided to go big.  Yep, just as Callaway had revolutionized the golf industry with its line of Big Bertha drivers, Hoka designed a running shoe that was 15% lighter than average running shoes but yet 2.5 times larger in the midsole than it’s mainstream competitors.  The results have been monumental.  Consumer demand for the product has been extraordinary and industry leaders are so impressed that they are buying the shoe for their daily training.  Multisport industry legend Dan Empfield stated,

“For a quarter century I’ve been limping along in my running, wanting and waiting for a particular shoe.  I knew the features; knew what I wanted; but nobody would make it.  Finally a company made that shoe, and Hoka One One is that company.”

So what makes the Hoka so special?  The designers have created a shoe that encourages natural running mechanics while blending the benefits of a light “minimalist” feel with the traction and cushion of a “makimalist” shoe.  Thus the athlete feels as if they are floating while running as compared to pounding the ground in traditional running shoes.  Hoka refers to this sensation as “levitation.”  The unique design of the shoe allows the athlete’s body to be relaxed while running because the low ramp angle of the heel and the extra cushioning allows for an astonishing 80% shock dissipation to occur.  I guess you could say that Hoka truly has the Midas touch!  This shock absorption is a God-send because it allows for two to three times more vertical travel than conventional running shoes can provide.  If you are a trail running enthusiast, the shoe can be manna from heaven!  Your ability to navigate uneven terrain with greater efficiency and comfort is increased exponentially.  Plus, that larger outsole surface allows for greater grip and stability so those slippery slopes along the river path aren’t nearly as treacherous as they used to be. According to triathlon superstar Scott Tinley, “Certainly the shock-absorption aspect of running shoe design has been overlooked in the pop-driven, barefoot boom. But in all the shoes I’ve run in since my first pair of Indian moccasins in 1970 (true story), I’ve yet to run in a UCS (ultra cushioned shoe) that retains the control and weight of Hoka.”  Move over Jeep 4×4…you have met your match!

So there you have it…the latest in running shoe technology that is in a league of its own.  The Hoka One One has set the standard high and is running away from the rest of the field and leaving its large footprint firmly embedded in that mud that is settled along the creek path for all the competition to look at and you are invited to come along for the ride of your life!

Available at Nytro.com

Gear, Reviews, Uncategorized

It’s All About The Shoes

NytroshoeblogYour feet carry you thousands of miles during your training. You demand a lot from them…they have to navigate the uneven half-lit terrain during your 5:30 AM interval workout on the trail near the lagoon. They faithfully pulled you to a half-marathon PR last summer. And of course how can you forget their dedicated performance at Ironman Arizona a few years back when they weathered the tough 140.6 that the desert dished out and brought you through they finish so you could hear Mike Reilly shout, “You are an Ironman.” With all the camaraderie and loyalty your running buddies have provided you, don’t you think it is only fitting they get the perfect fit? Here are the top three shoe brands the Tri world has to offer your fearless fliers. So time to read up, grab a pair of socks and take one of these new kicks for a spin. After all, fall Ironman season is just around a corner, and you my friend have some distance to put in.

Zoot, formerly known as a “race day brand,” has brought its A game to the table and is now taking the Tri and running world by storm by providing everyday trainers that give the athlete’s foot stability, cushion and flexibility while encouraging a natural running form without a zero drop or extreme sole. Shying away from riding the waning trend of the “minimalist revolution,” this true-to-form line has continued to bring endurance athletes one of the most reliable and comfortable trainers in the industry so that when toe meets starting line, the question isn’t “How fast am I going to race?” but instead, “How much faster am I going to race?” According to new GM of Zoot, Erik Vervloet, “Zoot has never been a brand to chase fake technology or trend. Instead holding themselves to the standards that Ali’i drive demands. For thirty years Zoot has done one thing…innovative solutions for the most demanding endurance athletes. While our bread and butter has always been race day, we are very excited to bring running shoes for the other six days that end in ‘y.’ Whether you are going long and slow or tempo and track, Zoot makes the perfect shoe for you. Light, fast, comfortable and cushioned. What else could you want?” This company gets kudos from me for paying attention to detail when it comes shoe fit and comfort. Who wants to feel 500 stitches barricading their way into your foot when you force on a racer after you get off a hundred mile plus bike through the sweltering lava fields of Kona? Barefit technology allows the athlete to say goodbye to annoying foot chafing and instead allows total freedom from bothersome and bulking stitching. Move over Princess and the Pea…there is a new comfort revolution taking place! And with models ranging from $110-$150 as compared to $150-$175 for most trainers in their category, you racing budget gets a little breathing room.

Newton, known as the shoe that “supports a natural running motion,” might intrigue those of you who are attracted to a minimal drop shoe. This type of shoe is designed to encourage and support your body in it’s natural running form. The biomechanical sensor plate in the shoe means less padding is required and allows for an interaction between the foot and ground. When the foot makes contact with the ground, it sends a signal to the brain which signals back to the muscles to perform. Bottom line…less stuff means a more innate running pattern will take place. A great feature of this line is that every shoe accommodates orthodics. Another cool feature of the brand that is named after the man who laid the foundation for classical mechanics, is that all the outsoles and laces are built with recycled materials. Now that is something Sir Isaac himself would be proud of. Gold stars for going green Newton! Buying a pair of Newton’s will cost a little more. With models ranging from $149-$175, you might want to ride your bike to work instead of driving to save your pennies. But if you are a mechanical stickler, then it is worth the extra pedal power!

Hoka One One is the new kid on the block. And with a name like that you think a lot of bullying might be in store for the newbie. Well, sticks and stones might break bones, but the oversized running shoe from down under will be laughing all the way to the bank. The brand combats the minimalist approach, and in fact has chosen to run in the opposite direction by constructing a shoe that is “oversized.” The Hoka One One is the Humvee bad-to-the-bone version of running shoes. Super-size me baby! That is exactly what the designers did when they created a trainer that has 2.5 times more midsole than other leading running shoes. What does this equate to? How about a 30% softer mid-sole than other shoes. With all this super-sizing going on you are probably thinking that although the Hokas offer stellar off-road capabilities and make you feel like a warrior of the road with that extra cushioning, they must weigh what the mighty military four-wheel drives do. You my friend are mistaken. How the geniuses were able to create a shoe that is this size but yet remains 15% lighter than it’s rivals is beyond me. All I know is according to multisport icon Paul Huddle, “I haven’t been able to run back-to-back days or gone past 1-hour in about 5-years.  Since putting these on, I’ve done both.  I got to run 1:50 a couple of weeks ago with my wife and am actually considering an attempt on Boston qualifying.  When running has been the backbone of your endurance life and then taken away, it feels like such a gift to have been granted a few extra ‘real’ runs.” Scott Tinley, World Ironman Champion even says, “Generally, I think the Hoka is a great addition to any athlete’s closet and for those of OBR (old beat-up runner) who want to eek out a few more miles before the GFLS (Great Finish Line in the Sky), they are heaven-sent.” The goal of the shoe is to create a softer running “ride,” allow for more traction and a better running posture with the build of the shoe. So if you want to add one of the mightiest members of the industry to your training fleet, I say run, don’t walk, to Nytro and pick up a Hoka One One. With all the extra miles you will be able to run in these, who knows, your new nickname might be “commander.”

So there is the skinny on all the good stuff that these stellar companies have going on. After all your feet do for you shouldn’t it be all about the shoes? Happy training!

Shop Hoka, Newton and Zoot shoes at Nytro.com