Dash saddle – long term review

I reviewed this last year, but I’m updating review after using it for a year, including a couple of 100 mile TT’s. It’s only when you’ve done a few hundred mile TT’s that you can really give a proper review to long-distance TT products.

Essentially, I’m very happy with product. In Nat 100, I hardly got out of aero tuck, but there was little pineal discomfort, until perhaps last 10 miles. The cut out in front of saddle avoids numbing pain in that area you would prefer to avoid. It is very comfortable, very aero, and lightweight. Also it avoids the chaffing I used to get on the Adamo (because Adamo is too wide at the front).

The only drawback is that it is expensive (and not so readily available); it’s difficult to choose which model to get – but overall it has been a good investment. I will be selling an Adamo on ebay soon.

Initial review

Dash saddles are an expensive alternative to Adamo saddles. It is a good option for those looking for the anatomic shape of a Adamo, but want something which is lighter and more aerodynamic.

Earlier this year I wrote an enthusiastic review of Adamo saddles – Essentially the shape of Adamo – with the cut out insert – makes cycling much more comfortable – especially when you are in a flat time trial position. The Adamo really made a big difference to time trial comfort. A 100 mile or even 50 mile TT used to be tortuous for squashing of the crotch area. The Adamo relieved this discomfort making long hours in the saddle much more palatable. However, as enthusiastic as I was about Adamo, I was dissappointed when putting it on the scales and seeing it go to over 275 grams. It’s also a bit of a block, creating an aero drag. For many timetrialists and triathletes this weight and shape is not such a big deal, but for a hilly time trial specialist, you don’t want to be wasting 200 grams on a saddle. Also, I didn’t like the rear lip, which is used to hang up a bike in triathlons.

adamo-lip-back

not how I would design a TT saddle

Another drawback of the Adamo that I noticed after a season of riding – was that you got superficial chaffing on the inside of the thighs, perhaps because the front of the saddle is quite wide. This isn’t really a problem when riding, but after there was a persistent irritation for quite a long time. I could live with it, but still quite annoying. However, the amazing thing about spending a year on an Adamo was not a single saddle sore all year!

To overcome ‘lip’ of the Adamo TT, I decided to buy an Adamo Podium because it looked a bit more aero. However, when I went into UBYK in Oxford, they suggested having a look at the Dash saddles – twice as expensive, but more than half the weight, and they did look a thing of beauty. Sleek, aero and slim.

Dash stage .9

Dash stage .9

I don’t like spending money on new equipment, but this did look like an expense that could be justified. Lighter and more aero and looks beautiful – the only doubt was could it replicate the comfort of the Adamo? Continue Reading →

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Kings of the Road – Review

Kings of the Road – A journey into the heart of British Cycling – Robert Dineen

Kings of the Road – is a look at some of the characters which helped to form British Cycling in the post-war period, but who have largely remained relatively unknown to the wider public – and even to hardcore cyclists themselves.

The author has chosen to interview quite a motley collection of characters,  I don’t know whether it was a conscious choice or not – but the cyclists involved, invariably seem best be described as ‘outsiders’ – people who did things in their own way and didn’t necessarily get on with the authorities as best they might.

Some of these relatively unknown riders, will be quite well known to the timetrialling community – Beryl Burton and Alf Engers are the Queen and King of British time trialling in the golden age of the sport. Their names stand out in the list of past winners because they are the kind of rider and character who really left their mark on the sport, giving a glamour rarely associated with timetrailling.

Crowd come to see Alf Engers finish

Crowd come to see Alf Engers finish

Certainly they deserve their own chapter; it was particularly interesting to read the interview with the mercurial Alf Engers – who even now after all these years – has a certain mystique – the rebel without a cause who drilled holes in his handlebars and more importantly bestrode the Blue Ribbon event – the 25 mile TT championships like a timetrialling colossus. He also reduced the 25 mile TT record to unheard of levels. (49.24 in pre tribar days)

Another rider who had only briefly flitted across my radar was Colin Sturgees. The super-talented youngster who used to beat Chris Boardman in the individual pursuit. One went on to Olympic gold and British cycling ubiquity, Sturgees path took another, more tortuous and winding road; illustrating the fine line between success and failure – especially in such an ephemeral sport as cycling. Continue Reading →

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National 100 mile TT 2015

Today was national 100 mile time trial championship, held in Raglan, Wales. The course was mostly on the A40 dual carriageway, but with a bit of quieter back-roads to help relieve the monotony of the A40. It was fairly flat 2,990ft /900m of climbing over 100 miles. Overall, quite a good championship course. With mostly good weather, it produced some quite quick times.

drinks-for-100-mile-time-trial

drinks-for-100-mile-time-trial

The women’s winner was newly crowned BTTC champion Hayley Simmonds (Team Velosport). The men’s winner was Charles Taylor (South Pennine CC) 3.32 – just 15 seconds ahead of BBAR champion Adam Topham (High Wycombe). I was 7th in 3.39.50

Training

After finishing 3rd last year, I’ve trained quite hard for the national 100 this year and training has gone well. Last week, was quite busy with 3 big races. After flopping (relatively) at BDCA 50, it’s been a quiet week of tapering.

Racing

Firstly, it was nice to do a 100 mile TT which doesn’t start at silly o’clock for a change. It was 9.10am when I set off. The first 6 miles were on a quiet backroad. A nice place to cycle – though a bit bumpy, and I nearly lost handlebar mounted water bottle. Then it was onto 24 mile laps of the A40. This included about 3 miles of quite backroads, the rest on the A40. I enjoyed the backroads the most – a change to get away from the traffic, and also a more sporting feel, some ups and downs and fast turns. More fun than just blasting along a straight road. Because of the laps, there were quite a few riders on the course, so frequent overtaking. Up to 60 miles, it was all going to plan. After 70 miles, the power started to fade  – it wasn’t as good a ride as ECCA 100, where I could lift the tempo in last 20 miles. Continue Reading →

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Next time you’re stuck in a traffic jam

Next time you’re stuck in a traffic jam.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 14.14.08

It’s no surprise people choose their cars. It’s safer than cycling or walking (though less than coach or train). But, importantly – it’s much cheaper than the train or bus.

Congestion on the UK roads have been estimated to cost up to £20 billion a year – and that’s before costs of pollution, costs of accidents e.t.c. But, congestion will continue to get worse. The recent temporary decline in car use, is almost certain to be reversed as we see rising population, falling petrol prices, economic recovery and a fall in the relative cost of motoring.

Continue Reading →

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Training in Yorkshire Dales

Last week was quite interesting 3 races – (ECCA 100, BTTC 29 miles, and BDCA 50) First two races were good, third quite a bit of tiredness.  I’m taking it a bit easier this week.  Hopefully, it’s a bit of tapering for national 100.

burnsall-3

Burnsall

This means just a few steady rides from Menston to Buckden and back. The B-road from Bolton Abbey, Grassington to Buckden is a great cycling road. Not too busy, and very scenic. There are plenty of climbs around this part of the world – if you take a detour off this road. But, if there’s one thing I know about tapering is that it’s probably best to avoid taking your time trial bike up Park Rash at full pelt. Continue Reading →

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Betting on the prologue and yellow

It’s always a funny week – the week before the Tour de France. There’s no cycle races on TV, just a week of speculation, talk and bog-standard questions and answers with the riders.

Tour de France stage 2

I’m not a betting man, but if I was. I think the Tour Prologue would be a good bet.

I’d put a few quid on:

Tom Dumoulin (7/2) – Dumoulin has tremendous power and one of the best time trial positions I’ve seen.  This is the best odds I’ve seen.

Alex Dowsett (33/1) – An outside bet for the prologue. Unfortunately, I don’t think he will make it, though I would still rate his chances at better than 33/1. The prologue is actually a short time trial – close to the 10 mile TT – where Alex holds Comp record at 17.20 – a time even Bradley Wiggins couldn’t beat on a windy day on the V718.

Geraint Thomas (50/1) Again, deep down, I can’t see Thomas at the top of podium come the end of the race. You can guarantee Thomas will be there or there-abouts. The strength of Thomas is that he is an excellent all-rounder – but just not quite the out and out short distance time trial specialist.

Bookies for prologue at Cycling Weekly

Continue Reading →

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British National road champs 2015

After a hard couple of days racing, it was nice to be able to put the feet up and watch other people suffering for a change. This year’s road race was held on the roads of the Lincoln Grand Prix – featuring the infamous cobbled climb of Michaelgate. Just two minutes long, the climb may not seem too much on itself, but ridden nine times with many miles in the legs, the cobbled climb is guaranteed to break up a race and create an intriguing race.

Continue Reading →

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BDCA 50 – 2015

The BDCA 50 is an event on the A50; it was a full field with punters from all other the country looking for quick times on the super-fast course. It’s a big race for the BBAR contenders. After the British time trial championship on Thurs, anything else was always going to be a bit of a let down. I likened racing at Cadwell Park on closed roads to a non-league side turning up to Old Trafford. I don’t know what comparison I can make to racing on the A50/11 – but, it was about as far as you can get from the twisting, undulating closed roads of a motor racing circuit. Before, the start Matt Bottrill was joking ‘ – time to start racing in a straight line again!’ The A50 is certainly one long stretch of straight-road – technical corners don’t come into it; if you like getting you’re head down and smashing up a dual carriageway, for artificially fast times the A50 is as good as it gets. Continue Reading →

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British Time Trial Championship 2015

The British Time Trial Championship 2015 was held at Cadwell Park motor racing circuit. It had an impressive entry list with around 180 riders entering the Men’s, Women’s and Under – 23 championship. Former World Hour record holder – Alex Dowsett (Movistar) underlined his world class form to take a fourth national title. In the women’s event Hayley Simmonds (Team Velosport) won, and Scott Davies (100% ME) retained his under-23 title.

Alex-dowsett

Alex Dowsett

The race started on the Cadwell motor racing circuit before heading out to some local Lincolnshire lanes, which were closed to traffic. The men did 28.7 miles with women and under-23 men doing 2 laps of the big circuit for around 21 miles.

The growth in British Cycling

I did my first British time trial championship in 2005. It was held near Penistone on open roads to traffic, with a typical local school for HQ. I’m not sure how  many people entered in 2005, but it wasn’t that many and only a handful of women and under 23’s. Fast forward nine years, and you can see in a microcosm how British Cycling has changed. There is much more interest from across the board and a real strength in depth. Cadwell Park and the closed roads made a very impressive setting for the Championship.

matt-bottril

Matt Bottril on motor racing circuit

Compared to 2005, it was a bit like moving from Sunday league football in the local park, to suddenly finding yourself in the Premier League playing at Old Trafford. Sunday league football and the the village HQ retain a certain charm for domestic time triallist like myself, but it is really good for the opportunity to race on a bigger circuit, with banks of spectators and wonderful curves of a motor racing circuit. I enjoyed it a lot.

Continue Reading →

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