A couple of races into the back half of the season and things are going well. True, I’ve only minor placings to show for a solid winter, but I’ve ridden strongly and attacked again and again. Brains have been lacking, legs haven’t.
Danger lurks ahead, though. Right about now complacency sets in: I’m strong now, so I’ll stay strong all year. A race a week and a couple of twiddles in the week will somehow see me improve.
They won’t. Someone once said something about either depositing into or withdrawing from the Bank of Fitness, which is a line that I really should make a cracking double entendre from. Right now, my balance is holding steady, but there’s been a few cracks round the edges. If I’m not careful I’ll be skint before I know it.
Time trial pace is good. Stamina’s OK too, but not really where it needs to be for the 100 miles of the Round the Mountain, my target race in two month’s time.
You can’t do everything, so for me there’s going to be a break from racing for a week or three and a block of long rides interspersed with VO2 max and recovery intervals. Consistency’s the key now, and if I can build on my early season momentum rather than chucking it in the bin I’ll be on the start line at the end of October anticipating, not dreading. Onwards!
Cables aren’t the most exciting thing to review, but there’s no getting away from the fact that poor cables, badly fitted, can pretty much ruin everything. Since Gore stopped making their ride-on sealed cable kits there hasn’t really been a go-to gold standard, although for me – and I suspect for 99% of us – the price of the Gore cables stopped me from ever using them. A few of Jagwire’s really high-end offerings are starting to creep that way in terms of price, so these are definitely a mid-table offering at 30$ for a gear kit and the same again for the brakes. This is the first time for a few years I’ve put my head outside the OEM tent and tried something else. So, how do they stack up?
They come nicely packaged, with an accessory bag containing assorted crimps, ferrules, doughnuts and boots that slip over the outer cable to prevent frame rub.
More importantly, the inner cable is the right diameter, which can be something of an issue with certain models of Shimano shifter. I’ve taken to cleaning out the channels in the shifter at every cable change to keep things running smoothly – a heavy dose of degreaser, then I heat a small pin in a blowtorch and chase out the channel. You’d be amazed at how much grease, dirt and shite gets trapped in there and what a difference this makes.
As with any cables, installation is 90% of it. A sharp cut is a must for the outers ( I juggle an angle grinder in bare feet, just for kicks) but this done, the Teflon liners mean they run buttery smooth. They’re probably not the lightest option out there but as a go-to, year-round cable set they’re a good option.
Reasonably priced cable set that’s a pleasure to install and better than higher-priced OEM offerings.