“Ask MBA” peeve of the
month: Riders who “borrow” a tube
on a ride and forget to return it—we
hate being short a tube when we flat.
IN IT THE LONG HAUL
Q: Going to do my first 50-mile
race coming up and really don’t
know how to train for it. Could
you please help with some training
advice or even a schedule?
—Dale, who is building endur-
A: Without knowing your current
fitness level, current number of hours
on the bike a week, or specific goals for
the race, it’s impossible to give you a
clear-cut schedule. We ride a lot (proba-
bly an average of five days a week), and
these rides are two or three hours long
and vary from 10 to 25 miles. In other
words, we have a good base of miles
and figure you do too. Get a calendar
out and mark the race date. Now, back
up about 90 days and identify the days
you will be able to ride.
The first month we would ride normally, but would try to race once a
week. Mid-week races are perfect for
this. If you don’t have races in your
area, try to push yourself outside of
your comfort zone once a week. Riding
with friends is a good way to do this.
After these hard days, see how you
feel on the bike the next day. It is okay
to feel beat, because that means you
pushed yourself. You just don’t want to
feel like that before the event.
At the end of the first month, try a
30- to 40-mile ride, just so you know
what it is going to feel like. Focus on
eating and drinking, and pay attention to your position on the bike. Does
anything go numb or get sore? You will
need to address these areas.
After your shakedown run, go back
to shorter rides and ramp up the intensity once or twice a week. As you get
a week away from the race date, taper
down the intensity and your miles. You
want to show up for your race well-rested and ready.
Remember, rest days are just as
important as training days. You’ve got
to feel good on the bike, or your training will be counterproductive.
If you are looking for a more specific
training plan, we’ve had good luck
with TrainingPeaks.com. They have
tons of different training plans already
designed by industry-leading coaches
that you can purchase for around $100.
Or, if you want to take it a step further,
you can have one of those coaches set
up a specific plan for you.
Q: Ride a 2010 Stumpjumper FSR
and would like more braking power
than the Avid Elixir CRSL brakes
currently provide. I have heard
good things about the Shimano
XT BR-M785 brakes. Would the
Shimano brakes provide a noticeable increase in braking power?
Is there any way to increase the
power of my Avid brakes? I already
run an 8-inch rotor up front.
—Ronald, who just wants to stop
STILL USING TUBES
A: Do it. The Shimano XTs are
some of our favorite brakes (behind
Q: Read “Finding the Right Tire Pressure for Your Mountain Bike.”
Would that guide work well for those of us that still use tubes?
—Steve, who still uses tubes
A: You can go by our tubeless chart and add 5 psi to everything. That will be
just about perfect. Just remember, tire pressure is a personal thing. Finding the
right pressure is an art, not a science. For everyone else who may have not seen
the chart, here it is again. Feel free to cut it out and put it on your workbench.
Shimano’s XTRs), and you will
definitely notice a power increase over
the Elixir CRSLs that you are currently
using. While we know it is a bit of an
investment, you won’t be disappointed.
Given that you are already running
an 8-inch rotor up front, it sounds as
though you’ve reached the limit of
what you are going to
get out of your Elixirs;
however, if you’d like
to keep your bike spec
in the same family,
Avid’s new Trail-series
brakes are also a great
option, thanks to their
ton design, and they are
still very light. While
they were formerly
only available in an X0
build, the same technol-
ogy has since trickled
down to Elixir 9 and 7
models, and the prices
are easier to swallow.