Friday, November 9, 2012

Cahaba Cycles Team Rider Casey Fannin Checking in After the Xterra World Championships. Another Xterra World Championship is in the Books and Taking another World Championship was very Sweet indeed. Here is the Xterra Tribe News report from Maui. Of course none of this would not be possible without the support of the South's Greatest Bike Shop, Cahaba Cycles. Casey Fannin (50-54 Division) Birmingham, Alabama - 3:09:00 Former Mr. XTERRA Casey Fannin finished 32 seconds ahead of Armand Surwilo from Poland to win his third XTERRA World Championship this year. He also won the ITU Cross Tri World Title in his hometown back in May. The victories are just part of the lure for Fannin, who got started in the sport back in 1999. “I already loved mountain biking and really liked the triathlon thing, so I ventured over to Ruston, Louisiana to try out the XTERRA American Tour, and it was love at first race. Now 14 years later I still love XTERRA and its brand of off-road mayhem.” Speaking of mayhem, that’s how his World Championship race started this year… “I was not too sure about my race at Worlds last Sunday. The swim was quite pushy for me and I was well off course. I really thought I had put myself out of the mix when I was coming out of the water. I thought nobody can swim that slow and make up the time needed for a win, but once I made it to transition there were plenty of bikes still hanging at the racks, so I felt like I might be in alright position, and others must have struggled with the swim also. Looking back, I would have to say that swim was the craziest thing this year. Big shore break, pushy current, just perfect XTERRA conditions. People were swimming into the flow of people going out and back in, it was nuts! Can't ask for more crazy, like I said, perfect XTERRA conditions!” In 2011, the first year World’s was held at Kapalua, Fannin was leading the race going into the run but got chased down by David Maclean and ultimately finished second. He made sure history wouldn’t repeat itself this year. “Last year my run was what lost the race for me, so this year I trained in the hills much more, and I feel it paid off. My run split was about 5 minutes faster this year and I feel it made the difference for the win. Not to mention I have the most loving, supportive, best fan in the world, and wife on the planet that boosted my spirits during the race, oh, and I prayed the whole race...that always helps, always!” Outside of the race, Fannin “just kept falling more in love with my wife,” he said. “Maui is always a great place to spend time with my wife. We really connect there, and we love to swim with the marine life, especially the Honu. We had great accommodations at and I caught some sweet waves at Little Macs, it was going off the day after the race. It was a fantastic vacation! Maui no- ka oi.” Just a awesome day, and on Awesome Cannondale Scapel was the perfect bike for the Maui Course. Thanks again for the best bike shop in the south, and the great support from the Malki's, and Cahaba Cycles. Thanks Guys, Casey

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Clement PDX Tubular Tire Review

After a couple seasons of pinch flatting clinchers and burping tubeless tires, I decided to go all in with tubular wheels and tires this Cyclocross sesaon. I'm running Clement PDX tubulars and so far I'm extremely impressed with the performance and reliability. It was my first time gluing tubulars and I used the Belgium tape from Cyclocross World and three coats of Mastik One glue on each surface. Some people argue that this is overkill, but my theory is that overkill never killed anyone. As you can see in the picture, it's not the prettiest glue job, but I "rode em like I stole em" during three races without a hint of rolling off the rim. I even felt the tire roll onto the sidewall on a fast grippy corner where I had to lock up the rear wheel to avoid running over a downed rider. None of my previous tubeless setups would have survived that scenario without burping. Besides increased reliability, the other benefit is the ability to run extremely low pressures without pinch flatting. So far, the sweet spot for my 80kilo is 36psi rear and 33psi front. The low pressure makes the tires feel extremely smooth on grass, and combined with the aggressive tread of the PDX, the grip is outstanding through mud and loose gravel. They do howl a little more than some other tires on pavement, but there is far more time to be lost in mud and loose gravel than made up on paved sections during a CX race, so I'll take the tradeoff. Four Momentum teammates are also using the same tires. The overall consensus is positive, but two of them did manage to puncture both front and rear tires during the first CX race this season. Three of the punctures are holding well with superglue and Stan's sealant, but the other had to be replaced. None of the others have had issues after 3-4 races, so it might have been something on the course. Thanks again to Cahaba Cycles.I'll post an update at the end of the season. Omar

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Off Road Triathlon 2012

It is Full Swing Away in the 2012 Off-Road Triathlon Season, and Cahaba Cycles Team Rider Casey Fannin is at the Mid-Season break getting ready for ORAMM on a short notice after some coaxing from other friends involved in the Mayhem.....The Xterra Season has been a hoot on the New Cannondale Scalpel 29er, and I am looking forward to racing the Xterra National Championship in September aboard the Cannondale. As of date I have had 4 Southeast Xterra Races starting in Miami and ending at Nashville last weekend, and must say I've been blessed to have a great season so ffar. Miami was fun , fast, and exciting, and I managed to take 2nd overall in the race. Next was the ITU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP here at Oak Mountain, and I won the 50-54 Age Group for another World Title at Off-Road Triathlon, known as Cross Triathlon in Europe....can't use the Xterra Name due to was a great day to race on home turf for the World Championship..World Stripes are in order for the Jersey. : ) At Xterra Tsali I managed a 3rd place overall, and at Lock 4 Xterra in Nashville I was 3rd overall, and this rounded out the Southeast Xterra Series with another Southeast Regional Championship for the 11th year....what a nice run of Championships. Only 1 road triathlon thus far at Buster Britton with a win for the 50-54 Age Group, very tuff on the TT Bike which I have been avoiding for some reason...MTB is so much more fun! Now for the Cannondale Scalpel 29er, it has been a super fun bike. At a scant 22lbs this duel sus. MTB acts, and feels like a hard tail, but has plenty of cush for the old bones. Quick and responsive, it goes when you mash the pedals, NO questions asked. The Lefty is stiff, plush, and yet very aggressive when you need it to make quick adjustments on the fly. Cornering and climbing are its very strengths, and I must say it's one of the best 29ers I've climbed aboard. A real keeper for sure. WEll, that's all for to get out and start riding for ORAMM action. Can't say I'll be ready for that long haul, but it should be a challenge for sure. Xterra National Championship is on the horizon, and it looks to be a fun, but tuff race...need to get as fit as possible for this climbing frenzy. Anyway, BIG, HUGE THANKS to Cahaba Cycles for keeping me aboard the best Bike Shop in the Southeast. Look forward to the rest of the riding season. Shoot me a email to Casey Fannin

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Adventures in 1x10

After 4 months and over 1000 offroad miles, I'm really pleased with the 1 x 10 drivetrain that I’m training on this year. My main goal was improved reliability over a standard mountain bike setup with front shifting. I'm riding a Niner EMD with the following setup: -Shimano M785 Crank w/Homebrew 32 middle Chainring and BBG outer bashgaurd -Sram XX 11-36 Cassette -Shimano HG-94 Chain -Sram X9 shifter mated to a short cage X7 derailleur -N-Gear jump stop chain guard. So far, the aluminum frame and crank have proven stiff enough to provide a drama free riding experience. The middle ring chainline and heavy duty Homebrew chainring continue to provide chainsuck free riding in the worst conditions, even when starved of chain lube. The short cage rear derailleur combined with the jump stop and bash guard continues to provide snappy and accurate shifting without any chain derailments, even when descending rough singletrack at over 30 mph. There is some audible chain rub between the inner plate surfaces of the chain and the chainring teeth when using the low and high extremes of the cassette, but it’s worth the added simplicity and reliability. So far, I haven't missed the extra gears, but I could see it being an issue on rides with fast pavement sections or extreme steep/long climbs. The chain made it about 3 months before stretching beyond 1/16th of an inch. This is about the same life that I get with chains on standard double ring drivetrains, so the wear rate is about the same. Thanks to Jonathan at Cahaba Cycles for helping me get everything sorted out.


Last weekend, I loaded up the family and drove over to some of the newest trails in the Birmingham area at Red Mountain park. It was a great opportunity to spend some quality time hiking with my wife and daughter, and scout new cycling trails. Most of the trail open to cycling is wide, flat, and gravel, but their is at least one relatively long (~1/2 mile) and smooth singletrack climb open to bikes. The more technical trails are mostly closed to cycling. Overall, the park has a lot of potential as a cyclocross training area within riding distance from home. This was also the first time I really pushed the limits of the Bob baby stroller. The big wheels and suspension system made quick work of the rough stuff. I was skeptical that I could push the stroller through the rocky descent in the picture, but I was able to make it without any issues.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Adventures in Cyclocross Tubeless

This cyclocross sesason, I decided to go tubeless. I've suffered enough pinch flats over the years to know that tubes were out of the question, and I was not willing to make the investment in tubulars, especially after seeing some of the horrific results of failed glue. After a half season of racing and a couple mishaps, I think I finally have the tubeless thing figured out.

In order to get the Race Lite wheels on my Chronus working in a reliable tubeless setup, I purchased a NoTubes Cyclocross tubeless conversion kit, extra roll of yellow tape, and NoTubes Raven tires. The tires might not have been necessary, but I figured I’d use them since they are actually designed to work tubeless. I initially set everything up using all items in the conversion kit and went for a test ride at 40 psi front and rear. The test ride revealed that 40 psi was not enough to keep 200 pounds of man and machine from bottoming out. In the end, I settled on 43 psi front and 47 rear. A relatively low speed parking lot figure eight test resulted in some slight burping in the rear. One of the key’s to prevent burps is to use tape to build up the rim center channel thickness to a point where the tire can still hook the rim bead, and isn’t too tight to mount. It turned out that the yellow tape supplied in the NoTubes kit wasn’t enough, so I added thickness with a layer of electrical tape on top of the roll of yellow tape that I had already used on the wheels.

Everything worked fine for the first few races, and then I did a race with some very fast and rough off camber corners and managed to burp both front and rear tires. I examined the setup again and decided that the electrical tape was insufficient, so I removed it and bought a second role of NoTubes yellow tape. I used the entire roll, half on the front, and half on the rear. In the end, it resulted in an entire roll of yellow tape being used on each rim beneath the rim strip.

I don’t think any tubeless setup is completely burp proof, but one thing CX racing taught me this year is that the ultimate burp test involves locking the rear wheel while skidding around a rough off-camber corner. After numerous tests and one race, I’m pretty confident in the setup. Now, back to the motor…


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Xterra World Championships 2011 and Other Season Tidbits

Well, another Xterra World Championship is in the books....this being my 9th vist to the race in Maui, it was still another great time. My race went well, as I did take another 2nd Place at the World Championship, but I must say I am a little dissapointed in not coming away with the win. I guess being a competitive type A has its drawbacks! I did however get on the Podium and that is always the best place to finish with the best Off-Road Triathletes on the Planet. Not bad for this Bama Boy. OK, enough whining!
With the end of the triathlon season close at hand, I mean it's pretty much over for 2011, I can say I had a another great season. The end was successful with a GrandMaster win at the Santa Rosa Island Tri a few weeks ago, and a 3rd in my age group at Agusta 70.3 series, and a slot to the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas next September. I will look forward to going to another World Champiomship next year, only at a different race me a lot to work on for next year. I think for 2012 I am going to try and get into Leadville 100 also just for a little training in August, might be fun! I do look forward to the Xterra season 2012.....I plan on doing a few more Xterra Championships next year and trying to win a 11th Southeast Regional title....but for now we'll just race some local fun events and try to stay in shape for the Holiday season. I think I might even have to go out and try a Cross Race Event.
2012 is just around the corner and it will be a fun year for the Cahaba Cycles Triathlon community.....with Triathlon 101 coming back in May 2012, and a host of great cycling events, 2012 promises to be a super fun year of cycling, triathlon, and MTB racing for all the Cahaba Cycles family.
Thanks to all the Cahaba Cycles family for giving me the chance to race and play with the Best Bike Shop in the Southeast, hands down! Now let's go ride some sweet single track!