Friday Freeman Fave: The Rudy Project Boost 01 – Aero Every Day

By Alison Freeman (link to About Us)

When I first stepped into the world of triathlon on my entry-level road bike, I was somewhat taken aback by all the fancy, tri-specific equipment – time trial bikes and disc wheels and, in particular, those long-tailed aero helmets. I thought that normal bikes and normal wheels and normal helmets were for normal people like me, and all that fancy gear was for the fancy people winning the races.

Fast forward almost a decade, and my concept of “normal” has changed considerably. I still consider myself a normal person (as in, not one of the fancy people winning races) but I am now surrounded by lots and lots of fancy, tri-specific equipment. My one hold out has been my helmet – I just haven’t been able to get past the idea that I need to be really, really fast not too look like a massive poser in an aero helmet. My mind may have been changed, however, by the Rudy Project Boost 01 helmet.

WHAT IS IT?

The Boost 01 is Rudy Project’s first ever road aero helmet. Which begs the question, what exactly is a road aero helmet? Like a road helmet, the Boost 01 has a standard profile – no tail – and provides ventilation through 10 strategically placed vents. Like an aero helmet, the Boost 01 has a smooth, mostly solid surface and was crafted in a wind tunnel in order to achieve superior drag reduction. So: the Boost 01 is an aero helmet shaped like a road helmet, a.k.a. a road helmet with aerodynamic properties, a.k.a. an aero helmet that you can wear every day.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

To better understand the wearability and aero properties of the Boost 01, but not having access to or the budget for a wind tunnel, I conducted highly scientific field testing based solely on observation. Observation which is definitely not subject to perception bias, as evidenced by the fact that I definitely thought the Boost 01 was a little heavier than my WindMax when it is, in fact, almost 30 grams lighter.

So while we can acknowledge that my high school physics teacher would not have signed off on my experiment, I still did my best to be as scientific as possible. I rode a rectangular, rolling route on a gorgeous, 65 degree day with a slight breeze that (because: Boulder) was always either a crosswind or a headwind. I tested three different setups: Boost 01 with Optical Shield, Boost 01 with Sintryx sunglasses, and Boost 01 with Stratofly SX sunglasses, and made sure to experience both climbs and descents with each setup.

I started out my ride wearing the Boost 01 with Optical Shield. The shield itself can be popped in and removed easily, but feels snug once it’s in place, and has a hinge so you can flip it up and down (that’s so you can get the helmet on and off while the visor is installed, which I quickly discovered). Having sun protection without wearing glasses was a new experience for me, and I did initially have to resist the urge to push the visor up the bridge of my nose. I also fidgeted a bit with the fit of the helmet to get the proper shield position, but that may be the result of my head being slightly miniature.

I spent a lot of time throughout my ride popping back and forth from my basebars to my aerobars to get a sense of the aerodynamic benefit that I would (or wouldn’t) get from riding aero. With the Optical Shield, I noticed a distinct and sizable difference in wind noise each and every time I dropped into aero. (Holy cow it’s working!) I also noticed the center hinge on the shield disrupting my view each time I popped into aero, and couldn’t decide if this was a big deal or not.

After about 7 miles I swapped the Optical Shield out for the large profile Sintryx sunglasses, and I immediately noticed a smaller visual field relative to the shield – and decided that the minor annoyance of the hinge from the shield was a small price to pay for that wide angle view. I again popped back and forth from basebars to aerobars, this time noticing an occasional but not consistent difference in wind noise between the two positions. At higher speeds there was a lessening of wind noise – and in my mind, drag – in aero, but at lower speeds there seemed to be no difference.

For the final leg of my ride I swapped out the Sintryx for a pair of small profile Stratofly SX sunglasses. At this point I was really jonesing to put that Optical Shield back on, to return to the wide angle view and get the pressure of the sunglasses off my nose, but I stuck with the Stratoflys to complete my testing. I was a little tired of the back and forth between aero and basebars, and when I found no discernible difference between the two I decided to stay in my comfy position and just ride home.

Overall I really like the Boost 01. Based on the fact that cyclists in the opposite direction were waving in response to my wave (and sometimes waving first!), I concluded that I did not look like a giant bozo wearing the helmet. I also appreciated how forgiving the aero profile was – I didn’t notice any crosswind issues while riding or when turning my head to check for traffic, and didn’t feel that I had to hold a specific head position in aero to attain the aero benefits (yes, I did try several head positions!).

What I actually appreciate the most is the fact that I can get that race day pop in speed by saving the Optical Shield for racing only, and wearing my smaller profile sunglasses for every day training rides. So unlike my race wheels, the Boost 01 is an investment in free speed that you can use more than a handful of days each year.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

The Boost 01 is available direct from Rudy Project in a variety of colors, and both with and without the Optical Shield. I highly recommend springing for the shield for race day speed as well as the uber cool vibe.

Alison Freeman: What Do Body Glide and Anti-Fog Gel Have in Common?

By Alison Freeman

BODY GLIDE: “The original anti chafing, anti blister balm.”

A few weeks ago I was heading out for an 8-mile run, so I threw on my jog bra that provides a consistent chafe and a running skort that had recently yielded some inner thigh rub. Sound like a totally illogical clothing choice? Normally, I’d say yes – except that I had recently received some new Body Glide. So I threw that on, crossed my fingers, pondered what I was willing to risk to effectively test a product, and laced up.

Thankfully, my run went well! Of course, the ultimate test occurs when you hop in the shower afterwards, and I was rewarded with no surprise stinging anywhere. Yay! I did notice a small zone of slight redness in the normal jog bra chafe region, but far less than the defined strip of raw skin that I usually experience. And the glide worked so well on my inner thighs that they were even a little slick post-shower.

Beyond that, I really like the fact that the product is packaged and applied similar to deodorant. Having mostly used gel-like anti-chafe products previously, I found that I prefer the less-mess solution of the balm. I don’t have to worry about wiping off excess gel from my fingers after application, and my skin feels less greasy – and therefore less likely to make my clothing look greasy.

And for all you chicas out there, they do offer a pink version of the product. Yes, it is more expensive (don’t get me started) but is formulated to be more moisturizing than the blue version. Based on some use a while back, I do believe it worked a little better on the jog bra chafe region, so I think there’s a good reason to go pink in this instance.

Body Glide is available direct from www.bodyglide.com – free shipping! – and can also be found at most local triathlon and running shops as well as sporting goods stores such as Dick’s and Big 5. Save yourself some pain and pick up some product before your next long run or ride (they actually have a cycle-specific product on their website!).

SVEN CAN SEE ANTI-FOG SPRAY GEL: “Spray, Wipe n’ Go!”

If you thought going for an 8-mile run in chafe-prone clothing was risky, you’re going to love to hear about how I tested the anti-fog spray. I did truly mean to test it at the pool, because it’s less risky and also because my goggles fog like crazy. But – possibly because I’m always running late to master’s swim – I forgot to either bring or use the darn spray Every. Single. Time.

So, that’s how I happened to test the anti-fog spray at Boulder 70.3 because, you know: Nothing New on Race Day. Somehow Nothing New was superseded by My Goggles Fog Like Crazy as well as by I Have a Looming Article Deadline. Thankfully I remember to bring the spray, and the wipe, and the instructions race morning (instructions because apparently the tagline isn’t instruction enough?). So I sprayed down the goggles after I put on my wetsuit, wondering a little bit about why the goggles looked streaky and whether the stuff was going to get in my eye and cause some issues, and then never thought about it again.

Never thinking about the product again is, in fact, a ringing endorsement. Here’s why: had the goggles fogged up, I would clearly have thought about the spray in a WTF kind of way. Had the spray caused eye irritation, there would have been a lot more F’s than WT’s. Never thinking about the product means it worked perfectly. Woohoo! Now I just have to remember to bring it to the pool.

Sven Can See Anti-Fog Spray is available direct from www.svencansee.com – free shipping! – as well as from Amazon. You will never have to spit in your goggles again!

FitVine Wine – We Gave it a Try

The 303 Staff recently had the opportunity to sample a new wine designed for athletes…  FitVine Wine’s motto is, “We crush grapes, you crush life.”

Professing to offer wines lower in calories and with hangover-avoiding properties, FitVine is quickly rising to the top of “healthy wine” web searches.

 

Apparently, it’s all in the processing: “Our proprietary process delivers high-quality wine rich in antioxidants, lower carbs & sulfites, and with zero residual sugar… To create wines that are both clean and rich in flavor and mouthfeel, we put our wines thorough malolactic fermentation and perform dry fermentation with no residual sugar levels. In doing this, our wines tend to have 1/3 less calories and carbohydrates than typical wines… Furthermore our fermentation process is extended 10-15 days in order to enhance the wine’s antioxidants and optimize its pH levels.”

 

And what about the sulfite-induced hangovers that can come from even moderate amounts of “regular” wines? “Our wines contain about 1/3 the sulfites of typical wines… without all the additives, sugars, and impurities that can wreak havoc on our bodies.”

And how do they taste? At our winter staff retreat six 303 staffers sampled the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Chardonnay.

 

The Chardonnay, aged in stainless steel instead of oak, was clean and crisp, but not as full bodied as the white wine drinkers in our crowd prefer – especially at a $16 price point. A few comments were “not very smooth,” “rough around the edges,” and “tastes more like a Sauvignon Blanc than a Chard…” However, knowing the purity with which the wine was processed, and better quality of ingredients being ingested left our group split on final assessment: half said they would buy the wine, being drawn by the health claims, and the other half said no, they would rather not have a glass of wine than have one that didn’t taste great.

 

Thoughts were similar on the Cabernet Sauvignon. One red wine drinker in our group thought the red was harder to like than the white. “The white is easier to get around in terms of taste compromises. The red just tastes average – like a less-than-$10 bottle of wine.” While the FitVine site describes the wine as having “rich purpose soft tannins,” our tasters found the tannin quite cottony and very drying.

 

It should be noted, however, both bottles of wine were finished (even though other wine was available throughout the evening).

 

Though our reviews were mediocre, the reasonable price point and health upside of these wines certainly warrant a try, and many reviewers recommend using the wines for sangria, mulled wine, or other similar recipes.

Coeur Sports unveils slick new Zele cycling kit

coeur2
Michelle Bandur models the new Coeur Sports Zela kit with bib shorts and speed-bending dimpled fabric…

By 303 Ambassador Michelle Bandur

I have to admit something. I’ve made judgments about bib cycling shorts strictly based on appearance. I mean, c’mon, they look funny, especially without the bike jersey. They look like a wrestler’s one-piece, tight uniform that should be worn only on a mat in a gym, not on a bike on the road. And the only cyclists I’ve seen wearing bibs are those sleek, super fast guys.

So when 303 Triathlon asked me to review Coeur’s Zele Women’s Performance Zip Cycling Bib Shorts, I was intrigued and willing to throw my previous notions into the wind and take them for a ride.

First, let me describe the tag attached to the bibs. “In your hands now is a new kind of cutting edge women’s performance garment. Zele pieces are made of speed-bending dimpled fabric to make you go faster without extra effort. And yes, it is beautiful as well.” After putting on the Coeur Kit, I have admit, I felt fast! I thought, “Now I’m one of those sleek, super fast cycling guys!”

Sure the kit looks good, but what about the new performance fabric? It lived up to the description. It’s soft, comfortable and not restrictive. Now I understand why some cyclists like bib shorts. There is no waistband to cut into your gut and force your fat over the band. The bib shorts hold in everything. It’s one less thing to worry about on your ride.

The comfort of the fabric continued on the ride. No bunching or chafing with it, instead the fabric moved with my muscles, allowing me to focus on my performance and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

I wondered about stopping for a bathroom break and the inconvenience of removing the bibs. Coeur came up with a savvy solution. A zipper runs the full length of the shorts on the side. It’s easy to get in and out of when nature calls. However, if you don’t make sure the zipper is secure at the bottom, it will unzip as you ride. Luckily, I caught it before I exposed anything.

I left my judgments about bib cycling shorts out on the road and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Zele, by the way, in French means, “excessive zeal and ardor.” Fitting for this fabric.

Read more about this product