“New” Players at the Table

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Move aside gentlemen, there are new players at the table.

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Which AFL Club uses the following motto?

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Bike Security

You would have hard about the plethora of bike thefts around Adelaide recently. I’m sure you all take great care of your stallion when you don’t have it under lock and key, however in any event, it is probably worth your while to record relevant bike details in the unlikely event.

SAPOL have initiated the bicycle passport scheme. The passport works by asking bicycle owners to write down identifying features and take a photograph of the bicycle to make it easy to identify if stolen. They have created a template for you to record your bike details for future reference. The pdf can be downloaded from this SAPOL bicycle passport link.

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CycleOps Joule GPS Review

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No doubt you have heard of CycleOps. Their most recognisable cycling product you see in the shops and magazines would have to be their power meters and stationary trainers.

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Another product that I came across last year was the Cycleops Joule GPS.

The Joule GPS was provided to me for a trial period just before Christmas which was good timing as it allowed me to try over numerous weeks before I reluctantly returned it.

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Opening the package

I’ve never owned one of the higher end cycle computers before, so I was eager to give this one a go. Unfortunately I hadn’t remembered that I needed an ANT+ compatible speed/cadence sensor, so my trialing had to wait a few days before I was able to borrow a garmin sensor off a friend who was out of action for a while (thanks Swanny).

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The device in the box came with a heart rate chest strap, bar and extension mount, computer connection cable and a simple user guide. Detailed user guides are available on their website..

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The Device

For the level of features, it is a good size when compared to other devices., as can be seen from the below image from dcrainmaker. cycleops-joule-gps-in-depth-review-9-thumb

It has a modest appearance, but looks good on the bike. The device is light, but has a solid chassis so has a strong feel about it.

Features

The CycleOps computer has all the metrics that I could ever want when out on the road, including, heart rate, speed, distance, altitude, slope, temperature etc…35 metrics in all.

It is easy to within the screen and across the various dashboards. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Mapping

With the power agent software, you can download your ride to any one of over a number of mapping apps, including strava, map my ride and ride with gps. The syncing with these other apps is quite simple once you spend a bit of time setting it up, but once your ‘e there, its easy to navigate around and delve further into your stats.

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Initial setup

I initially mounted the Joule on the stem, but found it at times hard to read in the dappled early morning light and the sky reflection, however the package comes with an out front bar mount which allows it to be mounted several inches in front of the bars and closer to the eye line and easier to read. This should be something I would suggest they have a closer look at to improve.

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The Joule uses a 1/8th turn mount, which is different to the 1/4 Garmin, so be careful if you look to purchase a 3rd party mount.

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As with all devices, you need to spend a little time setting it up, but that was relatively painless.

Once placed on the bike, the pairing was intuitive and quite quick, and apart from a quick glance at the supplied guide, was quite simple.

Job done, it was time for the road.

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On the Road

A pleasure to ride with something more than the low end computer spitting out the bog standard metrics. When I’m riding slow, I want some metrics to show cause as to why I’m feeling like shite! And the Joule showed me just how shite I rode. It didn’t make me feel any better, or ride any better, but at least I knew exactly how shite I was riding. The only metric missing from this device was the shite metric.

The screen can be configured in pretty much any way you want. You can set it up for 2, 3 or 4 rows, but the more rows, the smaller the font size.

Scrolling between the dashboard pages whilst on the road is simple. The buttons are large enough for winter gloves and provide a nice positive press. Navigating within each dashboard page is quite simple with the up/down keys.

The screen is a good size allowing for prompt and logical visual pickup of your metrics.

As you know, I do my share of hill climbing, and i found the gradient metric quite fascinating. I’m always curious at the gradients I am riding up. It doesn’t make it any easier, just tweaks at the edges of my pleasure/pain.

It does however appear a little slow on some hills, I assume when trying to lock into a signal, but it generally caught up after 3 – 5 seconds, so it didn’t have any material impact.

I used the intervals function on a series of intervals up corkscrew and cherryville on crazy morning. It was easy to set the intervals and even easier to find out how quick my performance dropped off.

One feature I did find fascinating, but wasn’t sure how effective it is was the live gps mapping. It is a compass style display, that shows a “breadcrumb style” trail of where you have been, but doesn’t show any other terrain or typical map features such as roads or lakes.and landmarks. It did show me the direction home and the direction to my start point, which wasn’t overly useful for me, but riding interstate may help get you back to your start point.

Price

The RRP Joule GPS with heart rate has a RRP $359.95 and are available at your local bike shops.

The Joule GPS without the heart rate is $299.95.

In Summary

Whilst my Sigma has served me well, it is on it’s last legs and, so any device that includes all the features that the Joule has is a quantum leap for me.

The device has more information than I need, but it does have all the information I want, both out on the road and back at home in front of the computer.

I like the size and the way it sits on the bike. It doesn’t scream out at you, it looks modest and stylish, and it packs a punch. When you take it off the bike at the end of the ride for a coffee, it sits nicely in the back pocket.

The reflection is an issue, but by mounting it on the out front bar mount overcomes that problem.

Easy scrolling between metrics and intuitive layout make it a breeze to use. The simple system logic allow the metrics to be readjusted with minimal fuss back at home, allowing you to fine tune to display exactly what you want.

It is expensive, but commensurate with the others, so if you are in the market, have a look at it, compare it, it might surprise you.

Oh, and one last thing, the time in the top line is small and difficult to focus on when riding. I don’t think this can be repositioned on the screen. Perhaps CycleOps can look at improving this feature on a future update.

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Hell of the South – Post Mortem

If I recall correctly, 22 started in Rundle Street and 12 finished. Mind you, most of those who left early, left because of time constraints, so its hard call to say they breached rule #5.

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The riding group was jovial throughout the whole ride, even in the face of suffering and pain towards the end of the ride. The heart starter of course was Sunnyside and Mt Osmond North before we climbed up and over the bollards.

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The sweep around Mt George was just lovely, and gave the peloton time to catch breath and actually have a bit of a chat before the climb to Stirling, Ayers Hill Road and Mt Lofty. Throw the descent down Greenhill directly after and there actually hadn’t been much time to chat.

It didn’t get any better when we headed towards Skye, with Knox Rd steeper than I remember.

The swoop around to and the bottom 2/3 of the Norton climb gave us some more time for some jokes and chit chat before we turned into Ridgeland Road. A stop at the Sir Thomas Playford statue in the Norton Square whilst waiting for the only puncture of the day to catch up was a welcome rest, time for the bravado to come back out and the typical shit stirring to bubble back up to the surface before we took off to tackle the sting in the scorpions tail – Knotts Hill/ Pound Road.

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The glide up and over Marble Hill after Pound was an absolute delight, and the sweeping roads back down Montacute was the desert on what would have had to be a degustation of the Adelaide Hills.

In cycling parlance, degustation

is a term meaning a careful, appreciative sampling of various routes and focusing on the hill networks, the visual senses, high sweeping climbs and good company. Dégustation is more likely to involve sampling small portions of all of the hills signature hills in one sitting. Usually consisting of eight or more hills, it may be accompanied by a matching caffeine and muffin which complements each story.Capture3

An awesome ride with some new friends made, Weather could not have been more perfect. Well done to Keith from the SPACE riding group to organising this inaugural event. A finishing list will be pulled together and posted o a number of sites over the coming weeks. Lets hope you can make it next year.

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Toy of the Week

Say no more.

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Photo of the Week

Paris Roubaix 1985

Paris Roubaix 1985

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Till next week

Tight Spokes

iPib

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