Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hello guys,

Just want it to wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as this might be the last post for this year... Thanks a lot for the support to my parents, Simona, my team mates (Eli, Tudor and Oli), to my closest friends and to all the mates that know me, helped me and supported me this year.

I also wanna thank you to my sponsors and partners: Cannondale Bikes, Maros Sport, Ashima, Continental, Syntace, VDO, Sapim, Adidas Eyewear, Xpedo, Buff, Kool Stop and my new sponsors Joe's No Flats, Grip Grab, KMC Chains, Thule and Cratoni

Hope that the next year will bring you all peace, love and health. With all these you can realise whatever you want.

Take care guys, don't eat to much cakes and don't freeze on the bike.

Vlad

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Copenhagen Wheel



Smart, responsive and elegant, the Copenhagen Wheel is a new emblem for urban mobility. It transforms ordinary bicycles quickly into hybrid e-bikes that also function as mobile sensing units. The Copenhagen Wheel allows you to capture the energy dissipated while cycling and braking and save it for when you need a bit of a boost. It also maps pollution levels, traffic congestion, and road conditions in real-time.

SENSE and SUSTAINABILITY

Controlled through your smart phone, the Copenhagen Wheel becomes a natural extension of your everyday life. You can use your phone to unlock and lock your bike, change gears and select how much the motor assists you. As you cycle, the wheels sensing unit is also capturing your effort level and information about your surroundings, including road conditions, carbon monoxide, NOx, noise, ambient temperature and relative humidity. Access this data through your phone or the web and use it to plan healthier bike routes, to achieve your exercise goals or to meet up with friends on the go. You can also share your data with friends, or with your city - anonymously if you wish thereby contributing to a fine-grained database of environmental information from which we can all benefit.

ABOUT the PROJECT

The Copenhagen Wheel will be unveiled on December 15 at the COP15 United Nations Climate Conference. The project was conceived and developed by the SENSEable City Lab for the Kobenhavns Kommune. The prototype bikes were realized with the help of our technical partner Ducati Energia and funding from the Ministry for the Environment. Progical Solutions LLC provided technical support for the iphone control of the bikes.

The components of the project are an electric bicycle wheel that can be easily retrofitted into any regular bicycle and location and environmental sensors which are powered by the bike wheel and in turn provide data for a variety of applications.

The Copenhagen Wheel project demonstrates that small intelligent implementations can lead to major changes. This work will be displayed at the 2009 Cop 15 UN Climate Summit where the next version of the Kyoto Protocol will be signed.

PS got the info from here

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cluj Winter Race 2009

Cluj Winter Race celebrated the 4th anniversary. I've managed to organize it again, to race it, but not to win it. Well, this is one of the races where I am not disappointed, because I organize it. This year year was even harder for me because I was almost alone. My team mates Eli and Tudor helped me before the race a bit, and in the race morning more riders helped to mark the course, to put the banners and so on.


Also my dad helped me with the barbecue and also got some photographers on the course and cameraman's.

Another novelty was the think that this was the first race ever in Romanian history where a television came and transmitted a short live coverage ! So history was made on the 5th of December, for me and for the rest of 50 riders !

In the last 2 days, before the race I've slept 3 hours/night, and in the race day I didn't had an XC race... was more like a duathlon, running from 8am, until 11:30.

I was leading the race 5 laps out of 7. But in the last 2 laps I was so smoked out that I've lost 10 minutes on my team mates. The last lap was made only to finish the race.
Finished 6th, but with the smile on the face, because the race came out well, and we didn't have any major crashes. But my team mate Oli won and Eli was 2nd. Congrats guys !

I was happy that some friends of mine where there to see me and to encourage me. Next time I will organize the thing long before the race so they can whach me winning. I would like to say a big thank you to my girlfriend who was there and cheered up for me.

Bellow I also have a movie made by On-Board.ro. When I'll have more movies I'll post here.



Now I am trying to recover, because the lack of sleep seems that is still present. I will finish some projects for the school and continue the training for the 2010 season. I have to focus also on school to keep my scholarship, wich for me is important.

Now I am the image of another Winter Race, which is making me really happy. CLICK HERE to see it.

As the park where the race was hold, was dirty, in the spring I am planning to make an clean-up action, so the people enjoy the green space and the bikers to ride easier.

I also wanna thank you to my sponsors and partners: Cannondale Bikes, Maros Sport, Ashima, Continental, Syntace, VDO, Sapim, Adidas Eyewear, Xpedo, Buff, Kool Stop and my new sponsors Joe's No Flats, Grip Grab, KMC Chains, Thule and Cratoni

The photo gallery can be found HERE.

Thank you once again for helping me organize the race, for racing, and even for watching.

Take care you guys !

Cheers,
Vlad

*articles in the Romanian On line press ->Clon.ro
*Other photos on Picasa: click HERE and HERE

Monday, November 30, 2009

New helmets - Cratoni


CRATONI Helmets GmbH is one of the most innovative and biggest safety-helmet manufacturers in the World.

HISTORY

In 1985 the company was established as a noble forge for bicycles.

Since 1990, CRATONI concentrates on the manufacturing and distribution of bicycle
helmets and was the first company in the world to develop the revolutionary HEAD-RING-SYSTEM back in the year 1991, for one helmet size to fit all heads! lt is a little known fact that CRATONI originated the helmet retention craze which set a new standard in helmet performance.

The know-how of many internationally successful pro-athletes flows into our product
development. In close cooperation with professional athletes CRATONI creates top class safety helmets regarding design, fit and safety. This close cooperation with active sportsmen makes revolutionary innovations possible.

The CRATONI headquarter in Rudersberg-Steinenberg, a town close to Baden-Württemberg’s capital Stuttgart in south Germany, from where all the actions are coordinated.

Determined to supply the market with quality products, CRATONI reached exclusive
distribution agreements with partners in more than 70 countries worldwide.

MISSION

CRATONI helmets is your professional partner for 100 % HEAD PROTECTION in the field of sports.

As a specialist with years of experience, they are aware of our responsibility.

Their deeply rooted enthusiasm for sport forms the basis for a philosophy which focuses on passion, adventure and having fun on the way. As a leading cycling helmet manufacturer, our mission is to assist outdoor sport enthusiasts to achieve their goals.

We look for new challenges every day in order to raise our sport to a new level together with professional athletes, experts and motivated sportspeople.


MY POINT OF VIEW

From the next season I will use the Achillon, one of the best helmets available on the market, a really nice helmet for road and off road use, wish a awesome finish and colors. The Achillon has Carbon Wings reinforcements, dual compound visor, a awesome venting system and the evolution size adjustment.

I'll also use the helmet for the CLUJ WINTER RACE. Soon I will come back with a review, but on the first sight the helmets are great.

Features of Achillon

  • Weight: 260 g
  • EVOLUTION FIT Size Adjustment System
  • 28 Air Vents
  • SOFT SHOCK
  • Inmold
  • CARBOWING Carbon Reinforcement
  • IMPACT CARCASS
  • Removable dual compound visor
  • Reflectors
  • Sparepads included
  • REARLIGHT compatible

Most of the information founded on this post is from the CRATONI web site.

The photos are made by me. The rest of the gallery can be seen HERE

See you at Cluj Winter Race
Vlad

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thule - my new partner

Rooted in Sweden. Dedicated to the world.

In 1942, Thule was founded by the Thulin family, when Erik Thulin, a true lover of the outdoors, put the Thule name on a Pike Trap that he designed and began to sell to the fisherman of Scandinavia. It wasn’t long before they added belt buckles and other things to his manufacture. Business boomed, gaining profitably year after year — a not so unusual thing for the typical Swedish entrepreneurial company of that era, but there was something special about Thule.

By the 1960s, the family whose work in metal for years began to concentrate its business on car-related products, and before long the first roof rack was born. Ever since, Thule has been in a growth mode. We’ve added new products like rooftop boxes to the offering and opened new markets such as the UK; Japan and North America. The rest is indeed history, and Thule is today the most respected brand globally in the industry.

The Thulin family sold Thule to the publicly listed company Eldon in 1979, and it continued to grow both organically and through acquisitions (trailers and rooftop box manufacturing). By 1999 the private equity firm EQT acquired the company and developed it further with increased focus on growth and profitability. UK-based private equity firm Candover took over the company in 2004 to initiate a stronger growth through acquisitions. Eleven new companies joined Thule in the years between 2004 and 2007 strengthening the position as world leader in sports and utility transportation. In 2007 Thule changed hands one last time, and was acquired by Nordic Capital.

You will notice that the word Sweden is still as important a component of the logo today as it has been for the past several decades. Though always a nod to the company’s origin, today it stands for the inherent values of a Scandinavian-based company — namely solid quality, timeless design, continuous innovation, empowered and cherished co-workers, and an undying respect for nature and the environment.

Thule is supporting my, thanks to the Romanian importer AutoNet. I'll use the roofrack and the Thule ProRide 591 bike carrier. It looks really good and I really like it.

I'll use it a.s.a.p. and I will tell you all my opinion, but because in the last two year my and my team mates used the Thule products on our cars, we were really happpy with them so this one can't offer me another opinion, right?



Almost all the information, including the photos are from the Thule web site. There are their property !


Thanks,

Vlad

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Buff - the original multifunctional headwear


As a lot of you know that Buff is supporting me since this year, I didn't had the opportunity to make them a short presentation.

Buff S.A. is a company established in Igualada, a small city 60km from Barcelona. Its headquarters and production plant occupy facilities of around 8,000m2. Design, production, printing, publicity campaigns and packaging are all carried out on the same site. To achieve this we employ over 50 staff.

In 1992, Original Buff, S.A. (previously Caviro S.L.) created the first multi-functional, seamless, tubular headgear in the Buff® brand. In 1995, it began to export to diverse European destinations. Currently, 80% of sales are in exports to over 45 countries through exclusive distributors.


What is Buff?

Buff® is the brand of an innovative, useful, comfortable, fun, multi-functional garment that will keep off the sun, wind or cold.. The brand’s success consists of having created a product that didn’t exist before 1992, which meets a significant need among sportspeople and outdoor activity practitioners who are seeking functionality, quality and design.

Our best known piece is the original, multi-functional, seamless, tubular headgear that, because of its high quality, means you can perform any activity in total freedom and comfort.

Original because it was and continues to be the first worldwide brand to create the first seamless, multi-purpose, tubular headgear.

Functional because it can be worn in loads of different ways: as a scarf, cap, headscarf, facemask, balaclava, headband, wristband... and as many other ways as you can think up. A versatile article that can be worn more than twelve different ways, used to practice any sport including cycling, skiing, playing tennis, running, going by motorbike, even as a daily clothing accessory.

Seamless, which gives it elasticity, allowing you to adapt it to many uses while avoiding rubbing or skin irritation.

Our customers’ satisfaction encourages us to keep improving, innovating daily.

Buff® products currently represent an accessory line that is available in hundreds of colours and designs. You can also personalise it and create your own Buff® headgear. Even though it started as a single range, Buff® continues to incorporate new fabrics by the best manufacturers, like Windstopper®, Coolmax® and Polartec®. Currently our catalogue includes a wide product range under a single concept, products such as: Polar Buff®, Baby Buff®, Buff® Innova, Reflective Buff® and Visor Buff® Evo_2.

And like a little story...

Joan Rojas is a textile manufacturer who, faced with the crisis in the sector, chose to reinvent his business. He seems to have achieved his objective.

An avid biker from way back, Rojas began riding trail bike in the early 70s. Nowadays, every Sunday he and his friends cover kilometres on those lonesome Catalan highways. It all began back in 1991 when biking around northern Spain. “I was wearing some military briefs around my neck to protect me from the wind and the cold and I got the idea to improve them

because they were itchy and looked pretty ugly”, he remembers. Rojas began working on drawings and carrying out tests in the family’s textile factory until he found a way of manufacturing a seamless, tubular garment out of micro-fibre. “At first I just gave them to my kids and to my friends”, Rojas explained. He also promoted them among ski instructors and in shops. In 1992 he launched the first collection. Three years later, he began to market them abroad, mainly in France, Switzerland and Germany.

As a novelty for Buff, I had the chance to test the new bike and running equipment. I admit that here too they are making a really nice job and they are producing the same high end quality products as the original Buff.

I recommend all of you at least a Buff, you don't know when you'll need it and must of all you can use it an a lot of ways. I am prepared with a Buff for any weather and for any other situations.

Keep it up guys,

Vlad



PS: 95% of the information founded in this post is from the Buff web site

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

When and how to maintain your chain


Maintenance depends very much on the conditions you ride in, obviously wet and muddy conditions prompt a more intensive schedule than dry and asphalt conditions.

Indicators to watch out for:

- reduction of shifting function;
- chain-Suck (chain sticking to your front chain wheel);
- squeaking noises from the drive-train;
- in a tunnel or passing an object reflecting sound, you can hear your chain rattle (it's too dry).

At all events, for road use: inspect your chain at least once every month or every 250 kilometres (150 miles) for off road use: at least once every 100 kilometres (60 miles).



Cleaning
- Clean your chain after each trip, especially after riding in the wet.
- Always use a piece of dry cloth to clean the chain and it's component parts.
- If neccesary, use an old toothbrush to clean between the plates.
- Do not forget the sprockets, front changer and derailleur pulleys.
- To remove mud or sand, use a bristle brush, if necessary with light soapy warm water.
- Never use acidic or alkali based detergents (such as rust cleaners), these agents can damage the
chain and may cause breakage.
- NEVER EVER use a so-called'chain washing machine' in combination with solvent. This is the one
and only sure way to instantly ruin your chain.
- Avoid the use of solvents, not only are these bad for the environment, they remove lubricant from the
chain's bearing.



Lubrication

- lubricate the chain every time you clean it, scrub it, or wash it with any solvent (the usage of solvent is
not recommended!);
- before lubricating, make sure the chain is dry;
- use a lubricant which initially penetrates the chain's bearing, and then turns'sticky' or'dry'. In this way
you can reach the chain parts which are most sensitive to wear;
- make sure you are using the appropriate lubricant - you can test it by spraying some on your hand-first
it feels like water (penetration), after some time it should become sticky or This'simple' chain is
probably the dry (durable lubrication);
- in order to avoid a build-up of excess grease, try to apply it on the critical places only, like the rollers.
Applying grease there helps to reduce chain wear and noise;
- apply just a little grease on the rest of the chain to prevent rust;
- remove excess grease from the outside of the chain;
- in the case of derailleur bikes: do not forget to pay some attention to the derailleur pulleys, chainrings
and cassette sprockets. Use the same principle as above for maintaining and lubricating them
- after lubricating, use a dry cloth to remove excess grease from the chain's outside, this prevents
attracting excessive amounts of dirt and dust.

Before re-connecting your chain, do not forget to clean the chain's ends inner bearings of chain ends, to make sure no dirt remains there. After cleaning, and before applying the connecting link, apply some grease inside and on the connector's pins.

"A chain is a chain, they're not so different"

We hope, after reading this brochure, you have become aware of many different applications, treatments and qualities in a seemingly simple product called chain.

This'simple' chain is probably the most important part of your drive train, when it functions well, you are not aware of it's existence, but when there is something wrong, you will either be annoyed with it's noise, or even worse: standing next to your bike with a broken chain.

On these pages we would like to give you some tips for maintenance and usage, most of which we follow ourselves. We hope that by using this information you will be able to prolong the chain's life and improve it's performance.

Liberty mechanic Faustino: "Good maintenance provides the conditions to win."



How to minimize chain wear
There are different treatments, which affect the chain's life in different ways. In general you may expect a much better performance if you use one of our Long Life or Hi-performance (X and X-SL) products.
Frequently people ask us: "how many kilometres can I expect out of a chain?"? Well, our road test results (over 350 different riders) produced a wide range of chain life which varied from 1000 km (heavy duty MTB) to 17.000 km (Road Racing). This certainly does not mean that the MTB rider was not satisfied with this result, in fact his com-ment was: "compared to my previous chain it lasted 200 km longer"
That is why it is very difficult to answer this question, because chain wear depends on the:
- usage (performance, shifting frequency, chain line);
- circumstances (terrain, wet, dry, mud, water, salt);
- rider's condition;
- degree of maintenance.


Prevent unnecessary chain wear

We can give you the following tips, in order to obtain the maximum mileage from your drive-train, irrespective of the type of chain:
- follow our maintenance tips;

- when shifting, try to keep the chain in as straight a line as possible between chain wheel and cassette
(e.g. do not use the extreme positions like the smallest chainring and the smallest sprocket, or the
largest chainring and the largest sprocket);
- when shifting, try to anticipate a situation (e.g. when going uphill, up shift early in order to prevent
excess force on the chain when having to change gear);
- before stopping, shift to smaller chainring, this avoids having to shift from stand-still.

Some people use 2 or 3 chains and change them every week (or every 500-700 km). According to them this reduces wear, particularly of more expensive cassette and chainrings. It makes sense.


To check the chain's elongation

The easiest way to check if your chain has worn down is when you feel the chain has lost its smooth running and agile shifting function.
A rough way of checking:
- put the chain on the outer chainring, and lift up the chain from the middle of the ring;
- if you can lift it more than half a link, the chain or chainring are probably worn.
If this is the case, chainrings and cassette sprockets may well also be affected!
KMC has developed a special digital chain wear indicator, the'Digital Chain Checker'. This tool allows you to exactly measure the chain's elongation, changing the chain on time (not too early and not too late) prevents excess wear on other drive-train parts, so you can prevent unnecessary high repair costs.
There are also other effective mechanical tools on the market which can help you determine whether your chain needs to be changed or not.
In general KMC recommends checks at the following intervals:
- road use and riding in the dry: every 500 kilometres?(300 miles);
- off road use or more demanding environments: every 150 kilometres (100 miles).

Note: The chain life varies; it depends on the product you use, the circumstances you ride under and the maintenance you adopt.

    • The easiest way to check
    • The digital way to check
    • Avoid extreme shifting positions!
    • Correct chain length
      Mount on smallest sprocket and smallest ring: the chain should to run as close as possible to-. But just free of the derailleur pulley



Connecting Link Instructions

MissingLink

  1. Fit chain with the correct length, clean bearing and lubricate
  2. Do not forget to lubricate the pin
  3. Insert both halves of the MissingLink into the chain ends
  4. Press both halves of the MissingLink connector together
  5. Lock in place by pulling the chain apart
  6. Opening: press both plates together while sliding the chain ends towards each other

Snap-On

  1. Fit chain with the correct length, clean and lubricate bearing and pin
  2. Insert pin plates into both chain ends
  3. Fit other plate over right pin
  4. Bend both ends of the chain slightly towards you and click in the other end
  5. Check connectors for correct assembly. Opening: bend chain slightly and pull off the plate

Spring-Clip

  1. Fit chain with the correct length, clean and lubricate bearing and pin
  2. Insert pin plate into both chain ends, then fit other plate over both pins
  3. Place spring over both pins (note: the closed side of the spring must be in the forward pedaling direction of the chain!)
  4. Use pliers to assemble spring




The material is from KMC web site. Thanks for that.

Cheers,
Vlad

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

KMC Chain - new sponsor

From the next season I'll start to ride with KMC chains, because it's one of my new sponsors.

KMC was established in 1977, and now is producing 150,000,000 meters of chain per year and the sales has reached over 130 countries in the world with its strong marketing network in more than 10 languages.

For the past 30 years, KMC Group has set up a total of 11 plants and 16 sales companies in the world, located in Taiwan , China , Holland , USA , Indonesia , Thailand , and Vietnam , to meet the great demand in the global market. The total footage of the plants is 573,304m 2 , with nearly 4500 employees. Automatic production and state-of-the-art manufacturing technical production chain provide customers with the fastest and the most convenient services. All the plants passed ISO9002 and ISO9001 and the Shenzhen Factory also obtained its TSI6949 accreditation in 2004 for better professionalism to meet the high quality demand of the auto mo bile industry. Since 2003, all the plants have started to adopt the Toyota Production System, which represents higher standards and regulations to enhance quality control. It is our creed “to provide the optimal service at the mo st appropriate time” and meet all demands from customers.

Right now KMC is producing the lightest and the strongest chains on the planet ! KMC is sponsoring a lot of talented and famous riders, so I must confess that I very honored to be in the same group with them. I'll use the X9SL and the X10SL for training and racing.

With this I would like to thank to the guys from KMC for trusting me and for suporting me.

I'll keep you updated and I will come back with a review soon, so stay tuned.

Cheers,
Vlad

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mountainbike Action ... from Canada

Yesterday my team mate Eli, told me that a friend saw me in the Mountainbike Action Magazine from Canada on an Ad.

I got the photo and in a few weeks I'll get the magazine. To be honest I am pretty stoked.

Take a look too:


I'll come back with more news soon.

Cheers,
Vlad

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ardealul Trophy a.k.a. Regional Champs.


Yesterday took part one of the last mountainbike races of the year (excepting the Winter Race at least). To be honest, after seeing the start of the last week, with snow, rain, low temperatures, windy conditions, I was sceptical that the race will not be canceled. But it didn't rained in the last days so Saturday, me, my team mate Eli and some other friends were on the course, cleaning and marking it. The course was modified from the last years but this helped to improve the technicity and to make it a little bit more fun for the riders and more enjoyable for the public.

Before the start I've helped with Tudor, my team mate Eli to finish marking the course but I must admit that I had time to make a good warm up. The start was really fast and from the first lap I had more than 30 second lead with Luci Logigan, the national XC Champion from the rest of riders. He is preparing for the National CX Championships so he was runnign a CX bike. He was fast on uphills and really strong but I had my advantages on downhills. After the second lap I've took my chances and push the limit. I had almost 1 minute in front of Luci but in the last lap because I was a bit tired and I've pushed the limit on a descend I've lost some seconds, thing that let Luci to catch me, finishing 10sec behing him, so I was 2nd overall. But I was 1st at U23 and Elite for the XC challenge so for me is good to win 3rd time in a row this race.
The bike was really good, riding the Scalpel makes me feel really fast. Some of the friends told me that I made a wrong choice using the Continental Race King tires, but I told them that if someone can ride this track with a Cyclocross bike I cand ride it too wit my Race Kings. Again no flats with my Joe's No flats sealant so I can say that I am happy. The only problem was that my tip toes freezed a bit in the last lap, also my fingertips. But the conditions were the same for everyone so this isn't a excuse.

The result motivates me for the Winter Race and for the upcoming season. I really wanna have a better season because it will be my first season on Elite Cat.

I would like to thanks again to my sponsors. Without them I couldn't be where I am now : Cannondale Bikes, Maros Sport, Ashima, Continental, Syntace, VDO, Sapim, Adidas Eyewear, Xpedo, Buff, Sram, Kool Stop and DT Swiss and my new sponsors Joe's No Flats, Grip Grab and KMC Chains. Also I must thank to: my parents, Simona and to everyone who supports me. I would like to thank to Attila Czirjak, Petra Penciulescu and Westend.ro for the photos.

More photos can be seen HERE.

Yesterday I was guest for a Sports Live show, called Eurpa Sport on Tele Europa Nova so soon I'll post the whole show. I'm glad to see that televisions are using their space not only for football.

Stay dry,
Vlad


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Monday, October 12, 2009

Neuzer Bike Party - worst race ever !


You know how it's gonna be the day when you wake up. And last Saturday, when I woke up, I knew that I won't have my best day. Was 5:30A.M. I took my first breakfast and I've prepared for the race from Targu Mures - Neuzer bike party.

The car trip wasn't that fast so my second breakfast was on the way there.

We arrived pretty late ... 20 minutes before the start, so the warm-up was almost 0.


Despite all this I had a good start and managed to keep in good position for 35 km from the 50 km. After that I started to feel some stomach ache. In the last 5 km I saw that I have no water and I realized that I won't have my best race. I've finised 3rd on my age category and I guess 6th or 7th overall.

Like this wasn't enough, when we were at the award ceremony, my team mate called me, some one broke into our car (so watch out when you buy a Dacia Logan !) and took my photo case where I had an external flash, a lens for my camera, my mp3 and an amount of money. They also took my team mate laptop bag, where he had his laptop, his video camera, a compact photo camera and a mic. Total damage: aprox. 1500 euros. F**k. They didn't touch his bike, or our equipemtn or anything else. Just these two bag. I was lucky a bit that I had my camera and another lens to take some photos...

After that you can imagine what happened: cops came and told us that we were stupid that we left the thing into the car (but the goods were not visible from outside). I started to be angry... Finally some other cops came and took some photos, fingerprints, statements and so one.

Personally I am really pissed off because I worked for that goods and some stupid idiot came and took them in 1 minute. So, I've learned a few things: buy an alarm system for your car, always take your goods with you (because I don't think that they will steal your underwear), talk to the cops and explain them that they should watch out and most important thing: if someone will came and tell me that has a laptop for 150euros even if his value is 1000euros, call the cops!

I don't think that something will happen but I do think like my team mate Eli that all the thief are stupid and they will all end up in the jail. Now I have to get money to buy a new lens and a new flash. By the way, Eli posted on his web site an article. You can see there what was stolen, and the particularities, maybe someone will find them somehow: HERE IS THE ARTICLE. The article is in Romanian.

Some more photos from this race can be seen HERE

I would like to thanks again to my sponsors. Without them I couldn't be where I am now : Cannondale Bikes, Maros Sport, Ashima, Continental, Syntace, VDO, Sapim, Adidas Eyewear, Xpedo, 661, Buff, Sram, Kool Stop and DT Swiss and my new sponsor Joe's No Flats. Also I must thank to: my parents, Simona and to everyone who supports me.

Speechless for the things that can happen,
Vlad

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PS Maybe now everyone will understand why Madonna was booed in Bucharest !

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Simon says...

Cannondale debuts groundbreaking Simon suspension concept

Cannondale's new Project Simon electronically controlled oil damper has been in development for a full five years – and yet it still isn't available to the public. In fact, it's still just barely out of the proof-of-concept phase and Cannondale won't even offer up a projected release date or target price.

But if it's everything it's cracked up to be, it'll be more than well worth the wait and is far from just some rehash of Cannondale's ill-fated ELO system.

The twin-tube Simon damper is extraordinarily simple from a mechanical standpoint, consisting of a single solid piston pushing oil back and forth through just one – yes, just one – orifice-style damper.

A retractable pin adjusts the size of that port, however, and that pin is controlled by an ultra-fast acting Cannondale-exclusive linear stepper motor that can reportedly go from full-open to full-closed in just six milliseconds.

Simon says...

So what, you ask? The variable-size port and two-way oil flow means that that one circuit can produce a wide range of damping rates for both compression and rebound without the need for multiple shim stacks, valves, and ports.

Add in the array of position and force sensors scattered at various points in the special Lefty chassis and some sophisticated software and what you get is a suspension fork that adjusts itself every two milliseconds based on current conditions and rider programming at any point in the travel range.

For example, want a highly linear feel? Simon leaves the valve mostly open for lots of oil flow.

Want a more progressive or abrupt bottom out? Simon gradually closes off the valve towards the end of the travel or leaves it mostly open until the very end of the stroke.

What about a stable pedaling platform? Simon can keep the valve mostly shut at the top of the stroke but then open it up nearly instantly based on information delivered by the on-board accelerometer. Reestablishing the platform after the impact can then be based on elapsed time (like the original Specialized Brain) or subsequent measured bump force (like the new Brain).

And that's just the beginning. The on-board computer offers about 10,000 total possible 'maps', starting with five main modes: cross country, all mountain, downhill, lockout, and travel management (yes, the Simon damper can set top-out and bottom-out points), and each map 'family' is fully customizable via the intuitive on-screen interface.

Even initial setup is remarkably user-friendly with guided prompts that ask riders for their desired overall feel and weight. The computer then comes back with a recommended pressure setting for the air spring and even compares actual sag with the target value.

Simon says... it's simple

The simple physical design and sophisticated surrounding software also yields other advantages. With just one moving part, the stepper motor is estimated to last up to 30 million cycles before a replacement is needed and the software can be easily updated whenever improvements are made without actually having to do anything with the damper itself – with Simon, there are no shim stacks to swap and no needle valves to screw in and out.

Moreover, the simple internal design should eventually be fairly easily transferable to a rear shock, too, with similar benefits and capabilities.

Currently, downsides are limited to battery life, system weight, and cost. According to Cannondale design engineer Stanley Song, run time with the current Li-ion pack can be up to eight hours but as few as two, depending on trail roughness and rider weight.

The high-capacity battery also adds a fair bit of mass though the 130mm-travel Lefty fork still weighs in at just 1,800g (4.0lb) – well in keeping with its competition. Cost is still to be determined but given the amount of development time invested, it's safe to say that Simon won't come cheap.

Will Simon change the face of bicycle suspension design as Shimano may be doing on the transmission side with its Dura-Ace Di2 system? Battery life will definitely need to improve and Cannondale admits there are still bugs to work out but our (extremely) brief test session at least suggests the possibility is there. If nothing else, we're dying to find out.




Article got from CyclingNews.com they have all the rights on it.



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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Maros MTB Marathon

After a hard week, helping a bit to organize the race it was time to fight. I was a bit tired but I was confident.

I knew the course really good and I want it to make a good impression. I raced the short distance, but with this I didn't had my best start. I didn't push too hard on the first climb because I knew that the second will kill me. And so it was. On the second and the hardest climb of the race (medium climb 17%, max. 22%) when I had 1 km to go my batteries got almost empty and I've decided not to push and to let some riders pass me as I will get back on the descend and on the last part.

I've made a small mistake and I didn't filled the bottle with water so i got a bit dehydrated on the last kilometers of the race. Finally I finished 3rd with 17 minutes better than last year, which for me is better and I think that I have a lot of things to improve. The bike went super smooth and really well so the result is only because of me, the only one to blame is me. Is a bit frustrating after having such a good week end the last victory. But this is racing, sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. A lot of riders had 1 or 2 flats but I didn't had any problems with my Joe's No Flats Sealant.

I would like to congratulate all the participants and the winners, the organizers, my parents, Simona, and everyone that waited me at the finish area. I would like to apologize for not having my best results, but I can assure you that this results won't affect my motivation for training in the future and I am looking forward to see some improvements for the last races.

I would like to thanks again to my sponsors. Without them I couldn't be where I am now : Cannondale Bikes, Maros Sport, Ashima, Continental, Syntace, VDO, Sapim, Adidas Eyewear, Xpedo, 661, Buff, Sram, Kool Stop and DT Swiss and my new sponsor Joe's No Flats. Also I must thank to: my parents, Simona, Raluca, Aghiutza but also at the guys from Westend.ro for the photos, and to everyone who supports me.

For more photos, please CLICK HERE I will upload more photos when I'll have them.

The start of the race:



Cheers,
Vlad

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