Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pro Angela Naeth's ISM Saddle Review

Got this from TBB Pro athlete and ISM rider, Angela Naeth's blog.
ISM Saddle…THE BEST SEAT IN THE WORLDOctober 21st, 2009 by angelanaeth
When I was first introduced to the ISM Saddle, I was skeptic. This was at the first training camp for Team TBB. Along with a new coach, and a new training venue, I was a bit hesitant to try something new. And as intimate as one gets to their saddle, I didn’t want to change something so drastic.
But thank-god I did! As soon as Brett saw me ride, he suggested I try the saddle. He said at that point, we’re not sponsored by them this year and you’ll have to purchase one, but I think you’ll like it. He must have seen my wiggles while riding. I could never get that perfect position on my previous seat because of the chafing, sore spots and overall pain I would suffer while riding! Every ride left me raw!
So, off I went to the Bike Boutique and purchased my new saddle. White, to match the painted ‘Avia’ Cervelo. I never looked back.
I loved my new ISM saddle the first time I sat on it. After riding it for a few days and others purchasing their own…the team was hooked! Everyone was riding them and TEAM TBB was sponsored by this awesome company once again!
It’s a weird looking seat that is for sure. But it’s the best seat in the world! Looks can be decieving! I’m able to get down low and I haven’t had any chafing problems. I’m comfortable 100% of the time. No joke.
And now that I’m riding indoors a lot while in Canada, I have to give praise to ISM once again. Riding on a turbo is a bit different than riding outside. You’re stuck in position with continued pedaling (no easy downhills, uphills and change). Prior to having an ISM saddle, indoor riding was not fun! I’d get off the bike in pain and I would stay away from the shower because of it!
ISM Saddles… if you haven’t tried one, you’re missing out!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Heather Jackson's Longhorn 70.3 recap

October 27th, 2009

American Uber Biker and first year professional, Heather Jackson scores big against a star studded field at this weekends Longhorn 70.3 Ironman Event in Austin Texas.American Zeiger exited the warm waters of Decker Lake first in a speedy time of 23:47, followed closely by Canadian Tereza Macel. Despite a slower 32-minute swim, young pro Heather Jackson proved her bike skills will make her one to watch by posting a smoking new course record time of 2:16:33 on the bike, by far the fastest female bike split of the day. Zeiger continued her lead, finishing in 4:14:53, while Jackson ran her way to second place posting the second fastest run of the day @ 1:24:08 and finished in a total time of 4:17:14. Heather proudly raced using her Adamo Road saddle.
Also noteworthy was Brian Fleischmann's 2nd, Tereza Macel's 5th place, and Kirk Nelson's 7th. These three athletes use the Adamo Racing saddle.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

TT Bike Fit's Lisbeth Kenyon's Kona Ride

Here's an article posted by TT Bike Fit's, Todd Kenyon. His wife Lisbeth is a stud triathlete and this was her Kona 09 ride. Also note the bike in front of her. That's Fuel Belt's head honcho Vinu's ride. ISM BABY!!

It was Lis' bike split that put her out of reach of the other competitors in her age group (which is typical for her - at IM FL she went sub 5hrs WITHOUT drafting), and out of reach of all but 7 other amateurs (all under 35). This while forcing herself to be conservative and save something for the run. I count six AG women with faster bike splits, which for Lis is "mediocre". But it was obviously still quite good and combined with a decent swim and run, it was good enough for a 10min margin in the AG. Her run was better than it looked as there were several bathroom stops and every aid station was walked. So her running pace averaged well under 8min/mile net in blazing heat. While the crosswinds coming back from Hawi were not very bad this year, the riders endured a wicked and strengthening cross-headwind heading back to town from Kawaihae to the airport - about 25-30 miles. It was essential to be aero, comfortable, and relaxed to make the most of these conditions.
Lis has been riding Kestrels since 1993, and airfoils for about the past six years. This year she was lucky enough to get an Airfoil SL Special Edition. This is a pricey bike (although the Ultegra-equipped SL gets you the same frame for half as much), but it is race ready right out of the box. You get custom matching Zipp 404 clinchers and a Zipp Vuka integrated bar setup. So she has been riding this bike bone-stock all season to smoking bike splits. The Airfoil has been around in various iterations of its unique seat-tube-less design for a while. Recent wind tunnel tests (by Kestrel) show it to be comparable to the P3c. The one question I always had was its lateral stiffness. For 2009, Kestrel massively beefed up the lower portion of the down tube and the bottom bracket cluster. I finally had the opportunity to ride one when I built up a 59cm for a friend. I didn't ride it very many miles, but I was able to switch back and forth between my P3c and the Airfoil several times - and I had each set up identically fit-wise. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Airfoil felt at least as laterally stiff as my P3 - maybe even stiffer, which really surprised me. Training-bud Vinu also switched to an Airfoil this year from a P3c, with some reservations at first. He no longer misses the P3.Although Lis' bike is mostly stock, we did add a few goodies.

She ran a Speedfil unit for hydration, and was lucky enough to receive a prototype silver "Speed Sok" from Mr. Speedfil himself, David Dietterle. I will have a separate writeup on the Speedfil, but in general we have been very happy with them. They are a good alternative to an aerobar bottle, holding more fluid (40 oz) while centering the weight over the BB instead of out on your bars. They also don't splash sticky stuff all over you. They are certainly more aero than a round bottle, they are easy to fill and easy to drink out of, and the Sok is a neoprene insulator which helps keep the fluid cool. The reflective silver Sok seems to work even better, and it will be available soon. Most athletes configure their Speedfil drinking tubes to stick straight up, like the straw of an aerobar bottle. Lis and I prefer to keeps our tubes between the bars, out of the wind most of the time. We can easily flip it up for a drink. The tube sleeve has a bendable wire which holds the tube in the last position and keeps it from flapping in the wind. And seeing as the MIT boys found a short section of vertical straw could cause as much drag as your front aero wheel saves, we'll keep our tubes hidden.
For rear hydration she used an ISM Quick Draw. Unfortunately some of these have had durability issues so they are in redesign right now. Durability aside, they work very well and appear to hide the bottles better since the cages are angled and the bottles overlap each other in a "V". On the top tube she has a Fuel Belt aero fuel box. Is it really more aero? Not sure. But I am certain it is more aero than no box at all, and the new Trek Speed Concept TT bike uses a similar shape to blend the top tube into the stem complex. The Fuel box has enough room for a tube, CO2, a pill flask, tire irons, and a couple gels.
Her bike has the stock full SRAM Red grupo which works impeccably. Pedals are Keywin CRM Ti which are very light yet have large platforms. I set her up with -3mm axles (narrows her stance by 6mm vs regular pedals) which fit her close-to-the-frame pedaling style better than standard width. Up top she used a Rudy Project Syton open aero helmet. Maybe not the most aero helmet out there, but she felt it was far cooler than her Giro Advantage II, and maybe the best compromise for Kona's heat. Shoes were Specialized tri shoes, which I have also used for a few years now. These work very well for folks with wider forefeet, and they have a small amount of varus wedging built in which works well for most riders. Tires were Vittoria Open Corsa CX 20mm inflated to about 120 psi. It is tough to beat the ride quality of these tires with 320 tpi. Neither of us use power meters or HRMs. We do believe in the value of PM's, but have had had other priorities for the ~$4k it would cost to equip both of us with them!

We both use ISM Adamo race saddles, and have for over two years. We have them on our indoor trainer bikes too. Once you switch, there is no going back, at least for aero position. I have been amazed at how many folks have taken to these saddles on our team, even old-school types. If they are set up properly, they are tough to beat for all-day aero comfort.

That's about it - I must be forgetting something...­ oh yeah her FIT! We set Lis' current bike up exactly like her prior Airfoil (which she rode last year in Kona). Her old one was a 52cm with 650c wheels, and her new one a 54cm with 700c, but the contact points are identical. Lis takes to a very aggressive aero position quite naturally, so the low stack-long reach Airfoil is perfect for her. She is about 5' 8", but uses an aggressive-for-her-size 14cm of drop. We did shorten the stock stem by 1cm - the Airfoil is very reachy and the 54's reach required a 90mm stem to work for her. Needless to say she uses about a 79 degree effective seat angle to facilitate power production with this fairly hefty drop. Certainly Lis' high power-to-weight ratio is key to her great bike splits, but the fit and equipment have to be there too, and her current setup fits the bill quite well. Look for my thoughts on the new Kestrel 4000 here soon - I promise.

(full disclosure - Lis is a Kestrel team rider and TTBikeFit is an authorized dealer. We also sell Speedfils, Keywins, and ISM products. But in each case the egg came before the chicken - we tested all these products in race conditions, some for years, before agreeing to sell them!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kona 2009 Trip

Those who know me hear me say "livin the dream" often. Well it's true, I DO live the dream. After Eurobike and Interbike, it was time for a trip to the promiseland, Kona, HI. It's hot, windy, and muggy there, but I'm not complaining Kona is beautiful and it's the mecca for those in the sport of triathlon. We had over 20 professional athletes racing the event on our saddles and went in support of them and to show off our 2010 goods. Special thanks to Steve Harad of Kestrel Bicycles and Brad and Mac of Quintana Roo for allowing us some real estate at the expo. Both killer bike companies and pioneers in the sport. Check them out.

It was a ton of fun meeting with our pros over the week and talking with amateurs. We passed out 150 limited edition Kona 2009 tees and my back is still sore from hauling all those tees around the island. At the Triathlete Magazine bike count (a staple in the sport), ISM had 119 saddles counted. That's 54% more than 2008 and 7% of the entire field. HUGE deal for an aftermarket seat company. Thanks to all our dealers and customers!!
It was an incredibly hot day for racing and ISM is proud of all competitors, but we want to give special props to our top ten finishers Tereza Macel for 4th, Sam McGlone for 5th, Jo Lawn for 7th, and Andy Potts for 9th. Way to go!!
Steve and I took a ton of pics. It's time to sort them all out and then post more on the blog and the site. So stay tuned. Here are a few I took on my dated Blackberry. It's time for an upgrade. Oh yeah, I flew to Kauai after the event and eloped with my special lady. Sorry gals, I'm off the market. LOL!
So next it's Longhorn 70.3 and then 70.3 World's in Clearwater. Stay tuned!!

Pro Eric Limkemann Checks In

Augusta 70.3/Los Angeles Triathlon Race Reports

Last weekend I was down south at the inaugural Augusta 70.3 race. I added this race at the last minute after qualifying for World Championships at Lake Stevens last month. I was excited not only to be racing the distance again, but also to compete against a very strong field looking to secure the last few spots for Worlds in November. I drove down Friday with Ashley and spent the night in Blairsville with Jim and Claudia at their amazing lake house. It would have been much easier to stay all weekend, but we packed up and drove the rest of the way Saturday and I got ready to race.

Sunday morning, I was happy to hear that it would be a non-wetsuit swim since I’ve been swimming fast, but unfortunately we would be swimming downstream with a very strong current. I lead for about half of the swim then tucked in behind Brian Fleishman for the rest. We came out of the water in under 20 minutes thanks to the current and I came out of transition in the lead and feeling great! My first few miles on the bike felt a bit sluggish and it went downhill from there. I struggled through the bike with a woeful 2:24 bike split and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pull off a strong run that I’ve been working on for so long. Luckily, my legs came around and I was able to run a respectable 1:17 split to finish in 17th place with a 4:04. This is my fastest time to date, but the swim current may have helped a bit! The bike split needs to come down a lot over the next month or so if I’m going to be competitive in Clearwater!

After the race, we drove back to Blairsville and had a great time recovering and relaxing on the lake. My down time didn’t last too long though as I packed up the bike and headed out to LA first thing Friday morning…

I arrived in Los Angeles Friday morning and met up with my host for the weekend, Roger Nurnberger. Still a bit fatigued from the previous weekend, I went for a quick swim and bike on the beach to loosen up and get used to the California surf. I was in bed nice and early thanks to the three hour time change. Saturday was a great day of race prep and relaxation capped off a picture perfect pre-race meal and early bed.

Race day came and I was treated to yet another non-wetsuit swim. This week, instead of a current, I was treated to man-eating waves! Given my poor showings in rough water, I was a bit nervous, but managed to have a good swim and come out of the water in the lead pack! (Slowtwitch had a picture of me citing me as first out of the water, but my split time doesn’t have it that way… I definitely wasn’t first to the timing mat at the entrance to transition!). I jumped on the bike with about a pound of sand in my suit and took off on the bike. I felt better this time on the bike, but still had a less than stellar split time to put me 14th and exhausted heading into the run.

Fortunately, my running has been consistent lately and I was able to hold 5:42 miles which are my goal for the half marathon down in Clearwater. I have no top end speed coming off the bike, I was passed my Simon Thompson and another racer to end up 16th. Definitely not the result I was looking for, but I know what I need to do between now and November.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my racing over the last two weeks. Thank you to Jim, Claudia, Roger, and Diane for sharing their wonderful homes with me. Also thank you to Brendon of Utopian Coffee for coming out and supporting me in LA. As always, thank you to my sponsors who make it possible for me to race: Newton Running, Kiwami Triathlon, BlueSeventy Wetsuits, ISM Saddles, HED Wheels, Veritas Bikes, and Great Clips Salons. I’m back to training in preparation for 70.3 world championships and getting very well acquainted with my bike trainer. The website will be updated shortly. Until next time, enjoy the warm weather while it lasts!

Eric Limkemann

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hillary Biscay's Challenge Barcelona RR

Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking part in the newest iron-distance race in the Challenge Series: Challenge Barcelona. I’ve now experienced all three of the iron-distance Challenge races in three different countries, and am looking forward to adding Challenge Copenhagen to the list next August. These events are consistently top-notch, and thus in spite of Challenge Barcelona’s falling just one week before the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, this reputation and the $50,000 EURO professional prize purse (nearly 1.5x that of a standard ironman ) brought a strong pro field. There were about 70 in total, with 4x ironman champions, including myself, on the pro women’s start list. I knew I had my work cut out for me, but three weeks after Ironman Wisconsin, I was feeling ready for it!
The race actually took place in a little town on the coast, called Calella, which is actually about 50 kilometers away from Barcelona. I was able to arrive 10 days ahead of the event in order to have time to recover from jetlag, and by race day, the locals seemed to have adopted me as one of their own. Their support and encouragement were just incredible.
Challenge Barcelona began with a beautiful, one-loop, 3.8-kilometer ocean swim. In order to ensure fairness on the three-loop, relatively flat bike course, the 1900 participants were divided into hours of wave starts. The pro women even had our own start, two minutes after the pro men! But although it was a nice and friendly swim start, it was not without event for me. As I was walking down to the start area, about 15 minutes before my start, ostensibly, to do a warm-up swim, I felt a hole in the zipper in the back of my wetsuit. Luckily, Felix, the owner of Challenge and a dear friend, was on hand, and I asked him to re-zip my suit for me. “Umm, the zipper is totally broken . . .” he concluded. This was a slight issue, as I didn’t exactly have a spare wetsuit on hand. Freaking out wasn’t going to help, however, and one thing I have learned over the years is that Felix can pretty much make anything happen. He went into problem-solving mode, and I took a few deep breaths and trusted that we would have a remedy within 13 minutes.
Sure enough, just as the pro men were lining up, Felix was pinning my wetsuit closed with a line of safety pins. The swim began with a beach start so, for the first time since I had learned to know better, I started the race dry with no warm-up. However, I also know that a good day at ironman means dealing with just two minor catastrophes, and I can say that my little wetsuit drama was one of just about two such issues that day. Luck was on my side!
I had a sluggish start and thus had the company of many of the other women, except one who had shot off the front of the group. But soon after the first buoy, I was on my own in the deep, clear, blue-green water. I swam alone nearly the entire swim, making my way at first through individual pro male stragglers, and then later, a couple different big groups of them. I felt strong throughout the swim, and was a little disappointed as I popped my head up on the way in to shore and saw a blue cap—another woman—running up the beach. Nevertheless, she wasn’t far ahead and I knew we had over eight hours still remaining in the race.
I started the ride in second, about 40 seconds down, and although I wanted to get to the front straightaway, I kept myself in check with Coach’s instructions, which were to keep things in control for the first 60 kilometers. So I found a pace that was uncomfortable, but not on the rivet; at this rate, I was able to take over the lead of the race at about 10 kilometers. However, at the first turnaround, Katja Konschak, who had lead out of the swim, came back around me. We exchanged positions a couple more times over the next kilometers, at which point I realized that she was going to make me fight to stay in front of her; I didn’t need to be in “fight” mode til 60 kilometers, so I let her set the pace.
Conveniently enough, right about at the 60-kilometer mark, the Belgian freight train—a.k.a. Sofie Goos-- came past. I knew her arrival was imminent; I had a taste of her cycling prowess at the ITU long distance race I’d done in her hometown in July, which she had won, before also going on to beat a stellar field at the Antwerp 70.3 in August. This time I planned to go with her on the bike until my legs fell off. So when she came flying past, I went around Katja and pedaled for dear life. It was excruciating, and it took all of my strength to match this pace; I knew if I lost focus for a second, she would be out of sight. In the first few kilometers, I wondered just how long I would be able to maintain this pace; it didn’t feel like I’d be capable of it for very long! But I just told myself that every kilometer further would at the very least help to build my advantage over the other girls in the field, as after just a few kilometers, I looked back, and Katja had already disappeared.
However, after maybe 10 kilometers, I was able to settle in—to ride this pace and feel somewhat in control. There were a few surges that literally had me seeing nothing but spots, and then I would feel in control again. This was a very important lesson for me, as I have never been very good about letting someone else set the pace on the bike; my body wants to ride my steady uncomfortable pace all day, which is never exactly the same as anyone else’s. But I found that I can get more out of myself when I force myself to focus and push through those changes of pace that my body wants to resist.
My second minor catastrophe of the day came at the end of the first bike loop, at about 70 kilometers, when I missed my special needs bag with my second bottle of calories for the ride. My first was nearly gone, and I knew we wouldn’t be back to the special needs area until we had only 40 kilometers, or just over an hour, to go. Nevertheless, this was iron-distance race #39, and missing bike special needs was certainly not a first-time event for me. On the handful of occasions that this has occurred previously, I’ve been fine with the “just eat whatever they are serving” aid-station substitution plan. This has always worked out alright. However, my foolproof back-up plan was not as effective as usual, as one of the few telltale signs of this being a first-year race was some aid station issues. I only managed to grab 1.5 bananas and a bit of sports drink over the next 70 kilometers.
At the turnaround on the second loop, while I was attempting to convince a volunteer to give me some calories, the string broke. That is, Sofie took off like a bat out of hell and I frantically tried to catch back up, while trying to figure out what the heck to do with the banana I had just managed to get ahold of—I knew I couldn’t afford to lose it, but I certainly had no time for chewing at that point! So I went back into spot-seeing effort mode, while smushing my precious banana between my hand and aerobar. Eventually it became clear that I wasn’t going to get within 15 meters of Sofie again, so I went ahead and got some calories down—and managed to keep the media motorbikes next to Sofie in sight for most of the rest of the ride. I even got my special drink bottle before the last 40-kilometer loop of the bike, so I believe I was able to start the run well-fueled.
My bike ride was a big personal breakthrough. To come off of the bike just two minutes behind a cyclist like Sofie and to be able to ride a 4:57 bike split for the 180 kilometers definitely exceeded my previous best iron-distance bike rides.
I began the run in second place, just two minutes down. But that is where the fun ended. Well, to be more precise, it ended at about 6 kilometers, just after the turnaround on the first run lap, when I faced the headwind for the first time. I had begun the run feeling like the old run legs were, in fact, intact, but the 6 kilometer mark began about 36 kilometers of feeling as if I were running up and down on the spot. And judging by my 3:34 marathon split, I nearly was. Naturally I attempted numerous rounds of convincing myself that it was “just the headwind,” “just a short low point,” and various such theories, but ultimately what I dealt with was in fact 36 kilometers of real struggle. I just kept trying to turn my legs over as fast as they would go, and when they didn’t seem to want to listen to me, I focused on pumping my arms as fast as I could, to see if they’d make my legs go. At about 26 kilometers, I was passed for second place, and for the final lap and a half, I clung desperately to that final podium spot. My sense of entitlement has returned! And it got me across that finish line, very happily, in third place, with a time of 9:32. This was my seventh iron-distance finish in 2009, and I am looking forward to another ironman or two in November. Thanks so much to the Challenge Barcelona organization for having me to this fantastic event, and to all of my sponsors for their support: K-Swiss, PowerBar, Zipp, ORCA, ISM, and FuelBelt.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Team Bayliss checks in with ISM

For Immediate Release

Britain’s Ironcouple Check-in from Ironman Hawaii

Britain’s Ironcouple, and top ten favourites for this weekend’s Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, Stephen and Bella Bayliss checked in today with the following comment from Bella;

"Today Stephen and I left Team TBB's pre Hawaii training camp in Jeju, South Korea for Kona, Hawaii. We have had a great 4 weeks training and tapering here. The weather here in Jeju is perfect for our preparations for Hawaii.
We are both fit and strong and looking forward to race.

Speaking personally she comments; “It is amazing how quickly time goes! Already it is almost time for the Ironman World Championships again. I am still excited by my 7th place finish there last year.Since Hawaii 2008 I have had 5 Ironman wins so I feel good and strong going into Hawaii. I will play my game smart like I did last year. I will aim at top 10 again. If I do that I will be very, very happy. If I am near the top 10, of course I will be pushing for top 5. Right now I am concentrating on each session at a time to make it possible to have a very strong race. After Hawaii I am not finished, I will go on to race my favorite race, Ironman Florida, where I will race for the 8th year in a row! Having won 5 of them.

Stephen Bayliss comments " The world Ironman championships is my long term goal. I am working everyday to get to the very top there. It may well take a few more years hard work. After finishing in 18th place last year I am really looking to improve on this position, my aim for this year is to be in the top 10, if I do this I will be very satisfied. “

Stephen and Bella race this Saturday, October 10th, 2009 in Kona, Hawaii, USA for full coverage and race results visit

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Heather Jackson podiums on ISM!!

2009 USA National Track Cycling Championships – October 2nd, 2009

First year Professional Triathlete Heather Jackson (Oceanside, Calif.) defeats 2008 pursuit national champion Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Pa./Team Alliance Environmental).

In the women’s 3,000-meter individual pursuit, former world champion Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./American Track Foundation) took her ninth national title catching training partner Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./ATF-Empower Coaching) after the same number of laps as Phinney caught his competitor, seven and a half. Also going head-to-head with Bausch in the qualifier, Hammer posted a Home Depot Center Velodrome record with a time of 3:31.831 with her second lap time even faster than Phinney’s.

In the race for the bronze medal, Heather Jackson (Oceanside, Calif.) defeated 2008 pursuit national champion Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Pa./Team Alliance Environmental).

Women’s Pursuit
1. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./American Track Foundation)
2. Dotsie Bausch (Irvine, Calif./ATF-Empower Coaching)
3. Heather Jackson (Oceanside, Calf.)
4. *Kimberly Geist (Emmaus, Pa./Team Alliance Environmental)

Sean "Wattie" Watkins