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So it has taken recent Tour de France coverage to get me posting again. Unfortunately I am not nearly informed enough to report on the Tour so I will instead inform you how I have been upgrading my LeMond Poprad during this cyclocross off season.

New used Xero Lite XR-200 wheels on the bike.

I’ve been riding these wheels for a while now my fork shutter has been majorly reduced as well as a more overall secure feeling to the bike while in a full sprint down a gravel road.

While the wheels may have saved a little weight and made the LeMond easier to control my new Fizik Tundra 2 saddle has been a real improvement comfort. While it is a “mountain bike saddle” it is perfect if you’re constantly all over the seat like someone racing cross.

New Fizik Tundra 2 saddle in white of course!

The saddle again.

After purchasing the saddle I had so much white on the bike I just couldn’t stop, so I purchased a pair of IRD Crossfire tires from Tree Fort Bikes.

White saddle, white bar tape and white tires.

My first package ended up getting lost by the U.S. Postal Service so Tree Fort sent me another set for no charge (GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE!). The tires work very well on gravel, haven’t had a chance to get them muddy yet.

Rear wheel with IRD Crossfire tire in white.

Tread of the IRD Crossfire works well on gravel.

Lastly I needed to add some performance to the equation, thus cutting weight. I did that will a FSA Carbon Pro Team Issue crankset weighing in at 562g according to Weight Weenies which should have cut off considerable weight from my old aluminum crankset.

FSA Carbon Pro Team Issue 172.5mm crankset running 48t-38t gearing.

I hope to have some more training updates and interesting news for my readers soon. I’ll leave you with some bike art I saw the other day.

Functional bike art?

More bike art.

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Okay, so my first cyclocross season was hindered by my busy schedule. I was able to race two races in the WCA Crank Daddy’s Cyclocross Series, the first at the Cross of the Domes and the second, one of the last of the season, at Silver Lake.

My first race was a new experience for me, as it was my first cyclocrossrace ever. I really struggled through that race but I finished, which made me happy. The second race however I went in with a new mindset. Starting near the back of the pack I figured I could keep a little more in the reserves versus trying to stay with the pack the first lap.

Tricky hairpin... at least for me

After letting the pack go I could see who my real competition was and it turns out there was only two people I passed the whole race, placing 25 out of 27. I felt 100 times better than I did in my first race and I could actually feel riding everyday to class and around town benefiting me. Anyone got cheap and easy training plans?

But past that I am quite disappointed I wasn’t able to ride more races or train at least but all that changes this coming year. Cassie and I received a dual trainer (elliptical and stationary bicycle in one) from my parents for Christmas. Read More


Its official QR (Quick Response) codes have made it on to bicycles. QR codes were created by the auto giant, Toyota, to track vehicles being manufactured while going down the assembly line. When it comes to QR codes on bicycles Team mechanic Daimeon Shanks for Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com uses them to track the specifics of each team members’ bicycles.

QR Code Scanning Photo

Shanks using a QR code system to track the team's equipment - Photo by: Matt Pacocha/BikeRadar

According to a bikeradar.com story, Shanks uses QR codes to store rider’s measurements to set up a bike as well as exact service details. Those service details include time between services and dates of key component changes. While Shanks has adopted the QR code to bicycles in a similar method that it was original intend for QR codes are being used in another area of cycling too.

Bikeshepherd.org has created a “Neighborhood Watch Program run by you” using QR codes. The guys over at bikeshepherd.org have employed QR codes on bicycles to make sure the rest of the cycling community knows who owns your bike, you! On their website you can enter the serial number of your bike into a database along with your contact information and a QR code is produced that you can print and stick on your bike (with printable stickers).  If your bike ever is stolen anyone can scan the QR code on it and find out who the true owner is. Besides the QR codes bikeshepherd.org also does a social media blast with Stolen Bike Alerts when your bike is reported stolen.

QR Code

QR Code from bikeshepherd.org - Scan it, it works!

Have you been worried about having your bike stolen and want an added insurance to get your bike back? Want to be sure to your bike service is being documented and done on time? QR codes can be use to ensure your bike is taken care of and safe. How else have QR codes been used in the cycling community?


There are many resources I’ve found while building my cyclocross bike this pre-season and many of them can still be used to find cheap (but still quality) replacement parts. These resources include Ebay, Bonktown.com, Chainlove.com, Craigslist.org, and many more.

Lets start with Ebay because it’s where I saved the most money this pre-season while building up my cyclocross bike. Having a college student’s budget I started with the cheapest parts to replace and worked up from there. The first thing I looked at were chain rings to replace the 53-39t stock chain rings that came with my LeMond Poprad. Creating a “watchlist” of chain rings that were 46t and 38t (that fit a 130mm crankset) allowed me to compare prices and shipping rates (shipping rates do have an impact on the price of the overall purchase). I ended up separately purchasing a 46t Origin 8 chain ring for $23.99 with shipping and 38t Origin 8 chain ring for $10.89 with shipping on Ebay. That makes a total of $34.88 and local bike shop had quoted me $80 for the two.

Other Ebay Deals: Retail Cost My Cost Image
Crankbrother’s Eggbeater Pedals & Cleats $90.00 $27.00 (Ebay)  Eggbeater Pedal
Seat $89.99 $80.00 (Ebay Buy it Now)  SLR Saddle
7800 Dura Ace Rear Derailleur $230.00 $48.00 (Ebay)  Shimano Dura Ace 7800 RD
Tekro CR720 Brakes $70.00 $39.97 (Ebay)  Tekro CR720 Brakes

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