Friday, May 20, 2011

72.2 Kilos

I'm about 4 kilos from where I want to be for the next Ironman distance race - in a month. I know weight is but a part of the whole concept of going fast. So I will attain that objective by actually training consistently.
I stupidly twisted a knee 3 weeks back on a training ride with my club by stretching during a feed stop, something that I NEVER do. Idiot. That has been hurting my training; less running, no breaststroke and no power exercise on the bike.

This week has been better, I started by spinning and then going for a 2 hour ride in the rain a mud. The last two day I graduated to doing tough exercises on the home trainer (I find it's a good way to be focused) and did quite well today (12 max intensity 15s sprints at 110 rpm plus - 1min rest).

This is my (provisional) planning for the year:

IM South Africa Done 11h47 - but was sick (ear infection)
Port Elizabeth, East Cape, South Africa
Sun Apr 10 2011

Midzomernacht 15K run [edit]
Gent , Oost Vlanders, Belgium
Sat Jun 18 2011

Limburg 226
Neerpelt, Limburg, Belgium
Sun Jun 26 2011

Triathlon Zeeland Olympic
Vlissingen, Zeeland, Holland
Sat Jul 02 2011

Summer triatlon Vilvoorde Oly
Vilvoorde, Vlaams Gewest, Belgium
Sun Jul 10 2011

HIM Antwerp
Antwerp, Vlaams Gewest, Belgium
Sun Jul 24 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Long time no write? Yeah, stuff happened...

I moved to Belgium in Feb 2010 to live with my great Vlaams girlfriend. Quited my French job, was not successful in finding a similar job here (mostly because the stuff I did in France looks oooold compared to what design firms do here), did some work from home, did a bit of factory work, went to South Korea and now I am thinking of going back to Uni for two years to become an engineer.

On the sport front, I got confused and shafted by the ASO so I only did 4 or 5 Olympic TRI last year... But this year, I've got 4 Ironman distance races planed, starting with Ironman South Africa later this month.

As for insurance companies, until one shows me otherwise, I now think they are all run by evil people, very evil people.

Longtemps sans écrire? Ben ouais, des choses se sont passées...

J'ai déménagé en Belgique en Février 2010 pour aller habiter avec ma fabuleuse flamande. Démissionné de mon job en France, puis je n'ai pas été shuper pour trouver un boulot similaire en Belgique (surtout du fait que le travail que j'ai fait en France fait très daté par rapport au marché belge), j'ai ensuite bossé à distance, fait un peu de travail en usine, voyage en Corée du Sud et maintenant je pense retourner à la Fac pour deux ans pour devenir ingénieur.

Sur le front sportif, j'ai été bordélique et baladé par l'ASO donc je n'ai fait que 4 ou 5 TRI olympiques l'année passée. Mais cette année j'ai 4 courses distance Ironman de prévues, qui démarre avec Ironman South Africa plus tard dans le mois.

Quand aux compagnies d'assurance, tant qu'une me démontre le contraire, je pense désormais qu'elles sont toutes dans le mains de personnes mauvaise et malignes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crankbrother Eggbeater last and final.

Where this explains that…
The problems I reported, plus some other manufacturing details that I did not yet talk about, seem to come from a retooling of Crankbrother for their new pedals. They probably shifted the old tooling to another plant during said retooling to keep the supply line full.

I wish I had had the time to X ray the cleats (might still do in the future) and so other tests, but I moved from France to Belgium, thus removing my ability to do so…

But if the products are anything like the pictures on their site, I think I’ll remain a client. Even the new premium cleats seem well made; I just hope that the shim is better than Shimano’s that uses high carbon steel and breaks too easily on tightening. As always, I’ll tear them down to pieces (I do that with everything that involves my life) as soon as I get my paws on them.

I was about to moan about a pedal that died with 60 000 or more Km’s – the ridge holding the “bushing” was worn down, making the pedal “jingle” – but it would be ridiculous.
So I just took the old bodies with the new pedals and some "good" cleats I have in stock and used those... And then my training bike's frame broke.

In the next post I’ll talk about my dead Crankbrother pump… I know, I bitch and moan…

Saturday, January 9, 2010

ohh crankbrothern where are thou II

The "droit de réponse" is sacred, thus here is, via the one and only James Huang of Cyclingnews, the Crankie's response. But to put my suffering in perspective, this is the bike I should have ridden this weekend, but cannot, because I don't trust the pedals and cleats.

"Hello Gildas,

Here’s the response to your blog posting (and letter) from Crank Brothers:

Wow, that is strong feedback. Thanks for forwarding it. He's clearly passionate about the products he uses, and I seriously hope we don't lose a great customer like him due to appearance of the product. We welcome this kind of feedback and take it to heart. Carl, cranbrothers' co-founder and Senior Mechanical Engineer reviewed the photos and Gildas' comments with me.

Those are not cracks in the cleats. Rather, they are "knit" lines in the forging, which is where the material flows together during the forging process. In one of Gildas' photos, the forging is very slightly incomplete (looks like a crack but is just where the material didn't completely meet), but even this cleat will never crack there. Furthermore, these "cracks" as he calls them, are in non-critical areas. Carl and I don't think our company has ever seen a cracked cleat, as the brass alloy is very tough, strong, and not notch-sensitive. We do not consider the cleats pictured to be a danger.

Gildas is mistaken to think that we've ever made any of our cleats out of an "al alloy" (aluminum alloy). They have always been brass. But to answer your question, he is correct that the earlier cleats were prettier. Actually, the prettier cleats were made by our first vendor, but the brass alloy was not as long wearing as the slightly rough-edged cleats that were made by a second vendor. The rough-edged cleats are actually better, but for sure, they aren't pretty, and it's something we should - in fact, we have - improved. Our first vendor currently makes pretty cleats out of the longer wearing brass, so I don't think we'll see the ugly any more.
The ragged edge on the cleat is from where the forging excess was cut (stamped) off. Yes, it's ugly, but it's not a functional problem. With some use, any part of it that contacts the pedal bars will polish over time.

Regarding Gildas' comment regarding the ugly weld on the pedal, we'd need to see a photo of it to evaluate his comment, but we take what he wrote seriously and we are hard at work improving our pedals as part of our ongoing development. The welding process has actually been improved since the egg beater c first came out on the market. I actually wonder if Gildas may have a different model of pedal, such as the investment cast egg beater sl, that he's mistakenly comparing against the new set of egg beater c...

It is true that we now include the smaller race cleat with all of our egg beater pedals. There is no difference in durability. It just lightens the overall system weight, which we have found to be very important to the eggbeater user. It is made of the same strong brass same as we use in our premium cleat which were formerly provided with the egg beater pedals, and still offer separately and include with candys, mallets, etc. The only difference is the shape and weight, and with the premium cleat, there is a washer for adjustability which is not available with the more minimalist race cleat.

James Huang
Technical Editor


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ohh Crankbrothern, where are thou?

Crankbrothers has long been one of my favorite brands... But it looked like they hired someone that went a bridge too far in cost cutting. Frankly, it's fucking dangerous.

The pedal has also got problems, dangerous problems, that will be the focus of a second post.

Here you allready start to see the problem...

Hair line crack on one cleat...

You must be fucking kidding crack on the other one... Better checks yours...

In ye old english, this kind of of finish is called "crap" or "shite"... The person who moulded this does not give a mangly donkey's turd about his work, or is so underpaid and/or underage to know what the fuck he is doing...

This is the original... The manufacturer probably kissed every single cleat coming off the line.
This is just the begining, I'm going to X ray them to see inside - and someone is going to lose their job, somewhere .

Below is my letter of complaint to Crank brothers:


Dear Madam, Sir,

I have been riding Eggbeaters "C" for about four years, oldest pair, on my training bike is over 50 000km old. Only needing a refit after a head on with a motorbike - that destroyed the motorbike, my bike, my helmet and broke my leg. Only the pedals survived.

These pedals are used for training, going to work (50km daily commute now), cyclocross and Ironman triathlon. They are by far the best pedals I have ever used. And I've worked for a bike shop, so I've tested a lot of pedals. I’ve even got your pump!

I have been pushing members of my team and friends to use Crank Brothers. But after opening the box of my latest pair – you have lost a customer.

- Cleats: too small, NOT in premium brass as stated on box, but of an AL alloy of some sort. Badly moulded, and one is FUCKING CRACKED. Yes I’m entitled to this kind of language, because if a cleat breaks, or unclips, when I’m going 100km/h plus downhill – it could, and in this case probably would, FUCKING KILL ME.

- Pedals: Who welded this shit? Looks like the bloody intern… Or seeing they are now made in China ( Taiwan or Korea before, where workers are protected – memory fuzzy) by some primary school kid? The soldering is also not finished and in the wrong place. In fact, it looks like a bloody good breaking point on the wings, the kind of thing that could KILL ME. Don’t get me started on the finish that looks like powder coating and I prefer not opening the darn things.

- Box: nice.

How did you go from making a sub 100euro pedal that I could snap chains with, yet open by magic in a head on accident, to this inferior SHIT? This is madness? NO, it’s the sound of me returning the box for a refund, a complaint to French and English consumer services and nice pictures going on my blog and to every rider, blog and publication I know. I don’t want people risking their life for a bit of corporate greed. I will forward this to you, of course.

Yours, pissed off, ordering SPX from Shimano.

Gildas Dubois

Monday, October 26, 2009

Koppenberg Kross 2009 Macho Men

Thanks again to Rebecca, she made these pictures possible, and took some of them.
Encore merçi à Rebecca, qui à rendu ces images possibles, et en a pris une partie.

Dramatic skies, a field, cobbles, rain, guys trying to make the biggest pile of beer glasses they can… Must be Koppenberg 2009.
Un ciel dramatique, un champ, la pluie, des mecs qui tente d’empiler le plus de verres de bière possible… Cela doit être Koppenberg 2009.

First grass climb, and grandma in red must be thinking « 34x16 ? ».
Première montée dans l’herbe, et la mamie en rouge dois penser « 34x16 ? »

The Belgian champion is really showing the colours.
Le champion belge montre de l’encre.

This one is for my girlfriend, she likes sporty butts.
Celle-ci est pour ma copine, elle aime les culs sportifs.

Niels Albert got stuck in the starting lap, then was going FAST to catch up.
Niels Albert à été coincé lors du premier tour, puis a mis les gaz pour remonter.

Koppenberg, and it’s flat fields.
Koppenberg, et ses champs plats.

In the straightish descent, it seemed as if the riders were trying to play chicken with their brakes.
Dans la descente approximativement droite, il semble que certains jouaient à ne pas toucher leurs freins.

Perfect weather, looks easy.
Temps parfait, cela à l’air facile.

In contrast to Niels Albert, with this chap, I have time to take a picture…
Contrairement à Niels Albert, celui-là, j’ai le temps de photographier…

Do a few laps, and you will get this face too.
Fait quelques tours, et tu aura le même tronche.

Look, I will go there !
Regarde, je vais aller là!

When you can race at this level, in a bumpy field, and look over your shoulder to check the big screen, you are good.
Si tu peux courir a ce niveau, dans un champs de bosses, et regarder par dessus ton epaulet à l’écran géant, tu es bon.

Last lap, and Françis Mourey tries to put the hurt on.
Dernier tour, et Françis Mourey tente de faire mal.

The level of bike control makes it look real easy.
La qualité du pilotage donne une impression de facilité.

For my girlfriend, she cannot lie.
Pour ma copine elle ne peux mentir, (en fait c’est un jeux de pot sur un vieux morceau de hip hop…).

At this stage, outside the lead six, it looks like grim survival…
At ce moment, en dehors des six premiers, les autres lutte pour la survie.

He’s fighting on, but the public wants to know if it’s Albert or Nys.
Il s’acharne, mais tout le public tente de savoir si c’est Albert ou Nys.

Must be lonely as a racer, sometimes…
Cela doit être la solitude d’être un coureur, parfois…

If "28 days later" was filmed in Flanders, it would look like this.
Si “28 Jours plus tard” avait été filmé en Flandres, cela ressemblerait à cela.

A people jam in a field, must be Koppenberg.
Un bouchon humain dans un champ, cela doit être le Koppenberg.

Koppenberg Kross 2009 Ladiesss

My GF was kind enough to go with me, on bike, 40km of bike, pre order tickets, run in the mud and make me a nice sandwich. The photos are from both of us.
Ma chère fut gentille au point de venir avec moi, en vélo, 40km de vélo, pré commander les billets, courir dans boue, et me faire un bon casse dalle. Les photos sont de nous deux.

Czech Pavla Havlikova was rocketing up the cobbles like nobody’s business. She broke the back of the others here. And check out that frame, best key fob ever.
La tchèque avait une fusée aux fesses sur les paves. Elle a cassé les autres ici. Et regardez ce cadre, le meilleur porte clés de touts les temps.

WTF must have been the main thought crossing Helen Wyman seeing the Czech pint gobble up the Koppenberg cobbles like the fans where gobbling the pints.
WTF (Oh Putain Merde en français) devait être la pensée unique de la britannique Helen Wyman en voyant la puce tchèque galoper sur a montée du Koppenberg et le reste je ne peux pas traduire.

Eventual 3rd place finisher Sophie de Boer (don’t remember the Belgians she is Dutch) had a strong race. And yes, nice girls like mud.
3éme au final, Sophie de Boer (ne rappelez pas aux Belges qu’elle est Hollandaise) a fait une bonne course. Et oui, les jolies filles aiment la boue.

You can be reigning world champ, have the best training, dream equipment, yet still flat before the cobbles on the first lap… And have the class to run up the Koppenberg, twice.
Vous pouvez être championne du monde en titre, avoir le meilleur entrainement, un matos de rêve, et quand même crever avant les pavés dans le premier tour… Et avoir la classe de monter le Koppenberg en courant, deux fois.

Forgot what she did, but she is class and sexy. My girlfriend must have the same thoughts about some of the manly hunks in the next race.

J’ai oublié ce qu’elle à fait, mais elle est classe et sexy. Ma copine doit avoir les mêmes pensées à propos des beaux mecs de la course suivante.

You can have a bad start and yet still have fun in the mud.
Tu peux foirer ton départ et quand même t’amuser dans la boue.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Insurance hell

I have restarted my insurance claim tortureathlon. It’s really not a nice place to be in.
I have lost all faith and belief in that industry. More later.

J’ai repris le torturathlon de ma demande après des assurances. Ce n’est vraiment pas un endroit sympa.
J’ai perdu toute croyance et espoir envers cette industrie. Plus, plus tard.

Friday, April 24, 2009

105 Brakes

More weight porn for those who need it... I want to make paint matte to match the fork...

Plus de porno du poids pour ceux qui aiment... Je cherche comment rendre la peinture mat pour aller avec la fourche.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What a difference a gram makes...

Weighted an Ultegra and a 105 exo bottom bracket... Massive différence...Hehehe.

J'ai pesé un boitier de pédalier Ultegra et 105 exo... Énorme différence...Hehehe.