2018 in cycling

It's (a bit past) the time of the year where you reflect on the previous year in some way or the other and do some sort of conclusions.

My goals for 2018 were:

  • Ride at least 4000 km;
  • Ride a local segment of ~5km in under 10:00.

The end results:

  • Rode a total of 5163.5 km.
  • Finished the segment in 8:53.

km ridden in 2018

Month # of activities km h
January 0 0 0
February 1 1 0
March 3 133 6
April 18 624 27
May 29 1368 58
June 24 899 35
July 16 485 19
August 25 823 33
September 19 529 21
October 13 263 10
November 1 38 2
December 0 0 0
Total 0 5163.5 211

May was by far the most active month, due to awesome weather and it coinciding with the Like Bike challenge.

Misc stats

Stat #
Elevation gain 36450 m
Longest single activity 83.5 km
Most km ridden in a day 106.8 km
No. of pinch flats 3
No. of soaking wet caught in the rain incidents 1
No. of insect -> eye incidents 0
No. of crashes 1
Money spent on upgrades/replacement parts/tools/etc. €490.91
Fun had Spades

On pinch flats

All the punctures I've had this year were due to a pinch on a sharp edge on random rocks (at moderately high speeds, so I guess I am lucky it was the rear wheel in all cases). This leads me to consider upgrading to wider tyres (25C) in the future.

New purchases/upgrades

Eyewear

The best bang for buck purchase was buying a pair of knock-off sunglasses with interchangeable lenses from AliExpress, due to these reasons:

  • No more insects flying into eyes;
  • Ability to see in direct sunlight;
  • No more tears in cold weather due to wind.

Bike Computer

I've bought the Garmin Edge 25 (previously had no bike computer, used a smartphone to collect GPS data). Of course, I've managed to buy it one week prior the Edge 130 being revealed :D.

Quite happy with the purchase. Altough I evidently don't own a powermeter or even a cadence/heart rate monitor, it was really interesting to see some progress based on speed/average speed on known segments.

I see two small issues with the Garmin Edge 25:

  • The proprietary charging/data transfer cable;
  • Sometimes it get's confused/has problem with the GPS signal by foliage.

Wheelset

I've upgraded the State Bicycle stock wheelset to Miche X-Press.

I am very happy with them as well, they are lighter than the stock wheels, and it can be felt while accelerating out of corners and they have a lower profile (28mm vs. 40mm), which is not as troublesome in crosswinds.

Other upgrades

Upgraded from SS 46/16 to FG 46/15 and I find the new ratio suits me well, any future upgrades would be up in the gear ratio.

Future upgrades

  • A decent front light (see instead of be seen).
  • Apparel for cycling in cold weather.
  • Maybe 25C tyres (due to constant pinch flats).
  • New pedals (the current ones are wearing out).
  • New saddle.
  • Knog Oi bell. Nothing wrong with the stock one, but the Oi bell takes less space and looks so much better. From customer reviews it seems it is very silent and suffers from a weak spring mechanism.

Maintenance hacks

The best maintenance hack I've learned this year is how to unscrew a stuck square taper bottom bracket cup by screwing in the BB removal tool into the spindle with an additional screw and some spacers and then using a proper spanner/adjustable wrench/vice on the BB tool to unscrew. No more stripped BB cup teeth! The method is demonstrated here.

Most memorable road cycling events

Goals for 2019

2018 was great and I had a lot of fun, though I got a bit distracted by Strava. In 2019 I wish to:

  • Ride more, measured not in km, but rather in time spent outside.
  • Find more interesting cycling routes.