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Wahoo ELEMNT at Pembrokeshire Bikes

Josh Reviews The Wahoo ELEMNT

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I have been keen to get my hands on the Wahoo ELEMNT ever since Ian from Wahoo came in earlier in the year. When working in a bike shop it is rare to be shown a product that genuinely blows you away on so many fronts, we get to see some incredible kit here at Pembrokeshire Bikes but the Wahoo GPS computers really impressed and I made the uncharacteristic decision to state my desire to stock them on the spot! (Anyone who knows me will appreciate that I tend to like time to consider decisions like that). After Ian had finished running through all the features on the ELEMNT he had in his hand, I was anticipating the price, expecting the ELEMNT to be around £400-£500, but when I asked the question I had genuine surprise in that it was actually £250! So at this early point in my review, so far so good!

I have had my very own ELEMNT for just over a week now and have had the chance to really check out what it is capable of and how it has affected my cycling. The ELEMNT comes very nicely packaged in a premium box that has been well designed and includes a transparent section to showcase the device – setting it up was easy with the three mount options provided (out-front, aerobar and stem) and getting the device settings right was a doddle with the companion app on my iPhone (also available on Android). When you set up your Wahoo account, it gives you the option to link up your Strava, RideWithGPS, TrainingPeaks, Today’sPlan, SportTracks, MMF and Apple Health App, and you can toggle for your rides to be synched automatically when you complete a ride (which can be a little embarrassing when like me you decide to take your bike half a mile to the shop to get some milk and then back, for it to be uploaded to Strava, the Kudo’s I got for that gave me a good laugh though!).

 

 

Wahoo ELEMNT at Pembrokeshire Bikes

Wahoo ELEMNT at Pembrokeshire Bikes

The Wahoo range comes with a 60 day free trial of Strava Premium (which is £5.99 a month or £44 a year) which is a great asset to the ELEMNT, as you can star segments which the device will give you warning about when you are approaching and then give you amazing insight into your attempt to beat your PB – a fantastic feature, especially when you are close to a PB and it encourages you with its orange lights and display to give a final push – I guess the only negative I found while out on the road doing the climb into Jeffreyston is that it shows you where you are on the profile of the climb, and when you are really giving it the beans early on, id rather not know! I saw half way up that I was on par with my PB, but armed with all this information and the extra bit I had in my legs I upped my wattage and ended up with a 7 second PB which was really rewarding.

The device gives you lots of data, which includes: Speed (Current, Average, Max), Cadence, HR, Power, Distance, Climb, Elevation, Gradient, Time, Time Elapsed, Temperature, as well as mapping and notifications from your phone, great to decide when your phone rings whether it is worth pulling over to answer it! When you are on a key segment on Strava, you get a visual and audio warning before hand, and then get live data on your current attempts time against your PB, how far behind/ahead you are of your PB, the elevation profile and where you are on it and an estimated finish time. All very handy and adds even more fun to your ride and KOM/PB attempts.

Wahoo ELEMNT at Pembrokeshire Bikes

The Bike I have my Wahoo ELEMNT set up on for the review

Another great feature is the live tracking. You can choose who sees this and how long they have access for, but for me this feature is ridiculously handy – I commute to and from work often and with this feature my wife can see how far from home I am without calling me, mostly just to make sure I am ok if I am running behind! I have set it up so that when I leave on a ride it automatically sends a text to my wife with a link that shows a map with where I am and the route I am on – it even includes speed, time and climb data, although I don’t think she is particularly interested in that albeit perhaps telling me off for a daring descent!

The ELEMNT connects to SRAM eTap and Di2 to show gearing and battery life which is handy for those of you that use electric shifting, and with a battery life itself of 18 hours, it doesn’t need to be charged every night.

Downloading routes is a doddle and the map is easy to follow – the monochrome display is very similar to that found on the Amazon Kindle, it is easy to see in direct sunlight, and lights up so it is easy to see in the dark too.

A final point is that the device updates relatively often via the link with your phone and with this on occasion come new features, the functionality has already improved an awful lot since the launch of the device, and it continues to do so.

Overview of a finished ride

So to summarise, the Wahoo ELEMNT which is the official GPS computer of Team Sky and GCN has been a real plus to my cycling experience, it was very easy to set up, very very easy to use and the incredible feature list is only matched by its seriously competitive price.

The ELEMNT Bolt is a smaller brother to the ELEMNT and Ill get around to a review of that shortly.

The ELEMNT is available until the end of this month (July) with £50 cashback too when you trade in any old cycling computer you may have lying around! Come in store for a demonstration or you can order yours here

More information can also be found on Wahoo’s Website

Myself and Ian from Wahoo during a ride recently while he was down showing us some new products

Markus Storck Visits PB!

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It was a real privilege to have Markus Storck, the man behind in high performance cycling brand ‘Storck’ with us at the shop early in June. Markus and his wife stopped by as they made their way up to Aberystwyth to UK HQ with brand rep Mark and took the time to run through all the exciting things coming up for Storck Bikes and some extremely exciting news about a brand new bike currently under wraps!

After meeting the staff and giving us a talk on carbon design, Markus joined Josh, Mark and a couple of customers for a short but tough ride down to the coast and back to show off the incredible cycling terrain Pembrokeshire boasts! Mark, Markus and Dave took the absolutely phenomenal Fascenario 3 and Josh took the Aernario Platinum.

On their return we freshened up and continued to chat about the trajectory of the cycling industry and where Markus was pushing the brand – it was fantastic to have him with us – they say that you should never meet your heroes, but Markus was truly excellent – genuine, humble, kind and he lives and breathes cycling. It was a real honour and we consider it a massive privilege to be a Storck dealer.

Come and take a test ride! We have some beautiful examples of the range.

Josh Goes To Le Tour De France!

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This month I got the incredible opportunity to experience Le Tour De France in a way that very few do – sat in the front seat of the Mavic Neutral Service car! Ever since reading Lance Armstrong’s biography as a 13 year old I had longed to experience the Le Tour in person, but like many things in life it had gone on the back burner and was one of those things I would do ‘someday’.. So when I got the call from Paul at Mavic asking if I’d be interested in coming out to France to take up the front seat for Stage 8 of the Tour, I didn’t need to check my calendar (although I pretended I did)! All that was needed was my wonderful, pregnant wife’s blessing, which I did manage to wangle!

After a nightmarish journey to Geneva where I was meeting Paul which included trains, taxis, cancelled flights and 36 hours of travel, we settled into the hotel where Team BMC, UAE and the Mavic Service Team were staying which was really cool! After a decent breakfast we headed to the French town of Dole where the stage was starting and put on our wristbands which gave us access to the Stage Depart village where we got to meet the riders, see the bikes up close and enjoy complimentary refreshments. The atmosphere was fantastic and it was great to see how the locals sincerely welcome Le Tour and support it as it travels through their area – there were thousands gathered at the start line and the whole of the stage was lined with people shouting and cheering as the riders went through.

I met the Mavic Service Crew that I was going to be stationed with for the day and we headed to the rather spectacular Mavic branded Skoda Superb and waited for the stage to get underway.

As the Race Director got the day underway we headed out along with the many team cars and chased down the peloton – nothing could have prepared me for the way the team cars have to drive throughout the stage! Generally the Race Director’s car is directly behind the peloton, followed by the Mavic Service Car which we were in and then the team cars, however when a rider dropped off the pack to collect water bottles and nutrition for the rest of the team, his team car was allowed ahead of ours – this coupled with the number of teams and the at times very thin roads made for some very close calls and hair-raising moments! The cars all drive very close to one another, which for the most part was fine – I felt relaxed and trusted the exceptional driving our Mavic chap was showcasing, but after mid way through the stage on a descent when a team car slammed on in front of us and then the Commissionaire rear-ended us, I didn’t feel quite so relaxed about it all!

One thing that struck me on the day was how fast the pace of the peloton was – growing up watching the tour I had often thought that on a good day, perhaps I could keep up with the riders for a few miles – this idea was blown straight out the window, the pace is absolutely brutal – I am not sure if it is the lenses that are used and the perspectives etc but the live coverage really does not do the speed justice.

A highlight was watching the skill of a Team Lotto rider who I couldn’t identify at the time – we were heading down a steep mountain descent following the peloton with our tyres squealing as we meandered down trying to keep up at over 90kph – this chap fell back to his team car and with one hand on the bars and started receiving bottles off his team car, stuffing them down his back while cornering at this ridiculous speed – his skill and calmness was mind blowing.

It was an exciting stage and we saw some great work from Team Sky to pull the peloton up the final ascent to Station Des Rousses in the Jura Mountains. Frenchman Lilian Calmejane of Direct Energie soloed to victory.

After the stage we made the journey back down the mountains in the Service Car to Geneva where we met with the rest of the Mavic team for an evening meal and drinks which was a really good laugh and was a great opportunity to get to know some of the other guys better – some of whom had been pro riders in the past.

After a very good nights sleep in Geneva I took the flight back to Bristol and got reunited with my beautiful family who came to pick me up at Carmarthen train station to save me from that painful last leg of the journey into Pembrokeshire by train. It was an incredible weekend and one that I will remember for the rest of my life, Ill be sure to bore my future grandchildren with the stories when that time comes! Thanks again to Paul and all the crew at Mavic for the opportunity!

Demo Day

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On Saturday June 3rd, we hosted our first multiple brand ‘Demo Day’ since Josh took over the shop at the end of 2015. Rep’s from Cervelo, Storck and Mavic came down with fleets of demo bikes, wheels and kit for anyone to try and get a real experience of what the brands were about.

Paul From Mavic Rocking up at Pembrokeshire Bikes

Paul From Mavic Rocking up at Pembrokeshire Bikes

Some of the highlights were the Cervelo P5X which Alex from Cervelo brought down, which was amazing to see in the flesh – you can expect to see that machine back in the shop very soon! Storck’s Fascenario 3 was present and very popular with those who road it – it just got a seriously cracking review here (Road.cc), and the Mavic wheels got some seriously good feedback – thanks to Paul from Mavic for setting up all those wheel sets on customers bikes for them to try! Our new coffee machine got a serious workout and the cakes from Liz’s Coffee shop were seriously on point!

Thanks to everyone who turned up, we were really happy with the turnout and atmosphere, we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!

Don’t forget that we keep a small stock of demo bikes and wheels and you are welcome to try them at any time! If you want to see what Mavic’s wheels are all about, click here and choose the Mavic Cosmic SL C and then choose Pembrokeshire Bikes as your nearest shop – you can then borrow the wheels for a couple of days if you want!

There are still some offers on some Storck, Cervelo and Mavic products in store and the staff are more then happy to help and answer any questions you might have!

Matt Brown Triathlon

Steyning Triathlon Race Report

By | Matt Brown, News | No Comments

Steyning Triathlon (Raw Energy Pursuits) – 30th April 2017

800m swim, 36km cycle, 8.2km run

Race day and I’m awake 20 minutes before my alarm goes off. After a great few months of training I’m excited to compete in the first triathlon of the season and to get an idea of what condition my body is in. I’ve got 2 hours before my wave starts so food is number one on my agenda – a bowl of muesli, a banana and coffee. The morning is overcast with 12 mph winds, but thankfully it’s warm.
This was my first time entering Steyning triathlon but I knew the course well from competing in local time trials. Having registered and read through the start list, I knew it was going to be a tough race with formidable competition from some of the top age-groupers in the country. A caffeine drink and energy gel later and I’m warming up on poolside focussing on my race.

The swim is usually where I have an advantage over some of my competitors, having come from a strong swimming background. However, a shorter than usual 800m in the pool doesn’t give me much of a lead. I paced myself fairly conservatively, trying to save as much energy as possible by long smooth strokes, cruising the swim in 11 minutes 01 seconds.

Transition 1 went smoothly and I was quick to get out on the bike, with some roaring support from Brighton Tri Club and my number 1 fan and girlfriend.
The bike leg was perhaps my strongest ever in a triathlon, which is no surprise as it’s something I’ve been working on throughout the winter. A rolling, non-technical course on main roads – my perfect course. The first 6 km included a 335 ft elevation gain so my average power was higher than usual at 318 watts however, this settled down as the race progressed. There were two areas of the course which double backed on the same road, offering a great opportunity to time check against my top competitors. At the 20 km point I spotted two of my top competitors 45 seconds ahead, which I managed to maintain until the 30 km point, by which time I was gaining on them. After the final roundabout, the course brought us back into Steyning, so I increased my cadence and tried to prepare my legs for what I knew was going to be a tough run. I finished the bike course in a time of 53 minutes 48 seconds, managing to hold 304 watts average as well as an average speed of 39 km/hour.

Coming into transition 2 I had even more support from the club and changed into my running shoes without any problems.

Matt Brown Triathlon

Matt Brown Triathlon

Jumping off the bike my legs felt strong. My main focus during the first km was to get into a controlled rhythm rather than trying to push the pace. The first two kms were undulating, with a slight downhill to the Bramber roundabout. Immediately off the roundabout we hit a long gruelling hill and I began to catch one of my main competitors. Running along the Steyning High Street I passed him feeling strong, holding 3 minutes 37 km pace. Then going into km 4, disaster struck! My feet were wet from the swim and began to rub against my insoles. Throughout kms 5 and 6 my feet were getting progressively worse and by km 7 I could see blood on the side of one of my shoes. Unable to acknowledge supporters and fellow team mates I had to put my head down and just focus on completing the race. It was absolute agony and by the last 0.2 km I was barely more than jogging pace. I finished the run in a time of 31:52, with a slightly disappointing average pace of 3 minutes 56 per km. Crossing the finishing line and my shoes were off within seconds!

My overall position was 4th with a time of 1:38:13, just over 2 minutes behind the winner with a time of 1:35:53. This also gave me 3rd position in my age group. Overall it was a great event and I highly recommend it for next season. I’m really happy with my result and even more so with the progress I’ve made since last season. I cannot wait until my next race in three weeks, which is the Swashbuckler Triathlon in the New Forest. Plenty of time to get myself a new pair of shoes!

I’d like to say a massive thanks to my sponsors for some amazing new kit and nutrition, and especially to my coach – the hard work is paying off!

Train Hard – Race Fast!

By | Matt Brown | No Comments

Train hard – race fast!

It’s widely known that in order to be able to put maximum effort into a race, you need to train hard! You need to be able to push through not just the physical barriers, but the mental barriers as well.
Training ‘hard’ can mean different things to different athletes. For example, riding for 6 or 7 hours until bonking, or spewing on the roadside after a short interval session. Hard training gets the body and mind used to entering those ‘dark places’ where you want to curl up on the side of the road and give up.

Pushing yourself into this state during training will ultimately increase your pain threshold and allow you to race even harder. I always remind myself that if I can push to extreme limits in training, then I can take comfort in knowing that I can do it during a race. As a result I get even more enjoyment out of races
now, rather than hanging off the handlebars wishing that I tried harder during training.
Hard sessions during my typical training week include some high intensity turbo intervals, as well as some low cadence hill reps. I like to mix up my turbo interval sessions by varying the intensity and duration, for example 8 x 30 seconds at 200% of my FTP or 6 x 3 minutes at 115% of my FTP. My hill rep session is done on a local climb that featured in the 2014 Tour of Britain, called Ditchling Beacon. The average gradient is 9%, with a few hair pins reaching 16%. I usually complete 6-8 reps which takes just over 6 minutes, holding 100% of my FTP.
Limiting my hard sessions to 2 or 3 per week is vital for efficient recovery. Having a structured training plan and varying my sessions between long, short, hard and easy has been proven to be a much more effective method than going out and blasting every set. My coach is constantly assessing my fitness progression and fatigue levels in order to make sure that I’m not overtraining, and more importantly that I will be in peak form for my target races.

Overall, incorporating ‘hard’ sessions into a well structured training plan is the key to being able to race fast, and will help me achieve more during the 2017 racing season.

Trek’s Taken The Domane To The Next Level

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TREK DOMANE

The Domane with front and rear IsoSpeed has it all: Blistering speed, smooth race comfort, and superior balance for precision handling and all-day domination.

When the Trek Domane SLR tagged along with our Trek rep to visit our shop earlier this year, you could forgive us for being a little dubious of the new ‘incredible’ and game changing features that it showcased as that is something that we hear a lot. But in the case of this bike, riding is believing.

The staff in the shop took it in turns to ride the bike around Narberth to get a feel for it, we played with the slider setting which dictates the perceived stiffness of the frame (up increases stiffness, down reduces). At full height, the frame felt very responsive and in no way felt lethargic, it  claims to be as stiff as the Trek Emonda at that level. When we put the slider down to the bottom (around 30% more compliant then the previous Domane) we decided to put it to the test and took it off road and onto a gravel path nearby the shop, it was at this moment that the bike won us over. Wow! It took the harsh terrain in its stride and the feeling of powering along at speed on a road bike in what would usually definitely be out of a road bikes comfort zone was nothing short of exhilarating.

It is the bike in Trek’s arsenal and has been used on the cobbles by Trek’s Factory Racing Team. As a young, speed orientated rider, the Domane had never appealed to me, comfort wasn’t the priority, but this bike changed that.

We keep the Domane in stock and it is available for a no obligation test ride – Pop in or give us a call/message. Got a question? Get in touch, our friendly staff are happy to help.

Call us on 01834 862755 – Email info@pembrokeshirebikes.co.uk – Chat to us via our website chat

We keep the Domane in stock and it is available for a no obligation test ride – Pop in or give us a call/message. Got a question? Get in touch, our friendly staff are happy to help.

Call us on 01834 862755 – Email info@pembrokeshirebikes.co.uk – Chat to us via our website chat

See The Bike
Trek Domane Pembrokeshire Bikes
Front IsoSpeed, located at the top of the head set, is captured in a rocker cup similar to rear IsoSpeed. This allows the steerer tube to flex, providing additional compliance at the front of the bike. The rocker cup of the upper steerer has zero lateral movement, allowing the bike to steer and handle with precision.
Trek also added adjustability to the rear of the Domane SLR. By loosening a bolt that doubles as the lower water bottle cage bolt, you can then move a slider up and down on the seat tube. Moving it up stiffens the ride by effectively shortening the section of tube that is flexing and Trek claims nearly matches the stiffness of the Emonda. Moving it down softens the ride up to 30% more then the previous Domane.
The Shimano RS805 hydraulic disc Flat Mount brakes provide ample performance and alway feel ready to go.
Great clearance means you can put some fast 25mm tyres on or if comfort is more up your street, some 32mm tyres.
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