Monthly Archives: May 2013

Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit (unpacking & fitting)

Just received my Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit, so here is a step by step fitting with photographs. This is the second version of the kit, which uses the original orange watch strap.

Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit Unboxing
The kit comes with a set of instructions which are easy to follow, and two bags of parts. One bag is for the bike bracket and fastenings, the other has the quick release bracket and the pins for securing the strap.

Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit Bike Fittings  Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit bracket fitted to bike  Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit bracket fitted to bike 2

The kit comes with two bike brackets so you can fit one to a training bike and one to a racing bike if you so wish. The rubber part fits under there plastic bracket so it sits nicely on your bike. There are 2 sizes of bands that are used to fit the bracket. I fitted mine to the stem. You will likely try the small band and think it is far too small, so then try the larger band, and realise how far they actually stretch. You will then remove the larger band and stretch the smaller band to fit and secure the band in place. Well I did anyway. In the picture above I’ve actually fitted the bracket wrongly. The small slots at the top and bottom of the bracket should actually be fitted so they are at the sides.

Garmin 310xt Strap Removed Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit Bracket Fitted

The standard strap was removed using the small tool provided to push back the spring loaded pins. The same pins were removed from the strap and reused to fit the plastic bracket from the kit. This part was pretty simple to do.

Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit New Pins Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit Strap fitted

The new pins in the kit aren’t spring loaded like the original pins, instead there is a hex headed threaded pin and a very small bolt that screws into the pin. Fitting the original straps to the new bracket was rather fiddly. Firstly it was difficult to get the pin lined up with the holes on the bracket but with plenty of wiggling around they finally slide into place. Be sure to insert the pin from the correct side of the bracket so that the hex head slots into the hex head sized hole on the bracket. Next fit the tiny bolt onto the other side and tighten. Using the pin remove tool to tighten, I didn’t feel the tool tightened the bolt enough so used a small pozi screwdriver to give it an extra nip.

Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit Watch Completed 2 Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit Watch Completed

Showing the extra height that the bracket makes the watch sit on your arm. Only a few mm really so doesn’t make it that much more bulkier.

Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit Fitted to bike Garmin 310xt Quick Release Kit Fitted to bike 2

The watch fitted to the stem on the bike (with the bracket now they correct way around)


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The Castelli Collection

castelli_collection

I did also have Castelli overshoes, but as I use SPDs rather than SPD-SL shoes, the Castelli overshoes were not suitable so had to be returned 🙁

Profile Design T3+ Aerobars

DECIDING

The original plan after a year of using my Felt Z95 road bike, was to upgrade to a Felt TT bike. I have however decided against this for various reasons.

  • I’ve read TT bikes are mainly for long straight roads, where braking isn’t needed too often.
  • Road bikes are better for longer rides for the comfort factor.
  • Road bikes are better for hilly areas.
  • With the state of the potholed roads around here, riding a TT bike in aero position would be pretty unstable.
  • Finally, I figure it would look better being faster on my road bike against a cyclist on an expensive TT bike, compared to me being the slower one on the expensive TT bike.

So I made the decision to have the best of both worlds. A road bike for comfort, but with clip-on aerobars for when the road surface allows.

I chose the Profile Design T3+ Aerobars after reading a positive recommendation on DCRainmaker website, however, after some testing with tubing, went for the T3+ version over the T2+ version. The Profile Design T3+ Aerobars seemed to let the hands sit in a more natural position than the T2+.

 

UNBOXING UNWRAPPING

I expected the bars to arrived boxed all separated, however they arrived completely assembled (fastened to a piece of tubing) in a plastic bag.

IMG-20130501-00446 IMG-20130501-00447 IMG-20130501-00448

 

FITTING

Fitting was straightforward. It is a simple case of removing 4 bolts (2 per bar), and re-tightening them to the specific torque around the handlebar. Luckily I didn’t need to remove any bar tape to get the bars in the position I wanted. After that, the small pads had to be fitted on to the aluminium bases which too a matter of seconds to secure.

IMG-20130502-00450 IMG-20130502-00449

 

SET-UP

This is where the pain started. The Profile Design T3+ Aerobars have a lot of available adjustment, so setting them up to fit just right can take some time.

I wanted the bars turned in slightly for a more natural position which was a simple case of loosening a bolt, rotate the bar, then tighten the bolt. This however also rotates the angle of the arm rest. “Just loosen the bolt and rotate it back” I can hear you say? Well if only it was that easy. The bolt to rotate it back is hidden under the aluminium arm rest, so that needs to be removed (or at the least 1 bolt removed and 1 slackened so it can be rotated out of the way)  to access the bolt, which can become quite a pain for minor adjustments.

I did read a forum post where somebody made a small cut into the arm rest so they could access the bolt which out the need to remove it completely.

After a quick test ride, some small adjustments need to be made but the position isn’t too bad.

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

So out I went, avoiding using the Profile Design T3+ bars until I got to a quiet road. On the way to the road I notice that the bars make a bit of a humming noise, sort of like the noise that aero disc wheels make. Also there are some holes on the underside which whistle when caught in the wind.

First time in the aero position, I did have a moments wobble, but then after that moving from aero to hoods wasn’t a problem. Checking behind for vehicles coming caused me to swerve slightly in to the road, but that was becoming less the more I used them.
I did notice while in the aero position that you use the gears less often to save moving back and forth, instead just stick to the gear you are in and spin more or grind it out until you really need to change the gear.
Finally I noticed that when in the aero position, the pedal stroke seems totally different to when riding normally which in turn makes it seems far easier to get the power down.


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