There is a short amount of time between the criterium and the afternoon Trihydro Time Trial. Most racers will have about an hour prior to their TT start which is 15 minues away. I took 15 minutes to drive my wife and baby back to the hotel, and then 15 to drive to the TT start, leaving 30 minutes to ready my bike.
I would have to install the wheels and swap the crank. Potentially I could have installed my standard Red crankset and raced without power, but the Quarq’s magnet is glued to the frame and there wasn’t enough clearance between the crank spider and the magnet. I could have broken the glued magnet off, but it didn’t cross my mind the day of the race.
My bikes have BB30 cranks. So far I’ve been very happy with them and they’ve been easy to swap. Simply loosen the 10mm allen bolt and knock the spindle out of the frame which a solid whack. To replace, insert the spindle through the bearings, replace the opposite crank arm and tighten the allen. All told it takes about 5 minutes… usually.
My new Red Quarq fits much more snugly than my 2011 Red and Force cranks. My Force crank was the loosest, and would slip in quite easily. The Red crank would need a solid whack to remove, and some patient wiggling to pass the next bearing. The power meter is very tight. I’d had to grease it liberally and still had to whack the snot out of it to get it passed the bearings.
The afternoon of the TT, when I whacked the non-drive crankarm/spindle assembly to pass it through the drive side bearing, it bound tightly enough to push the bearing out of the frame. The bearings are pressed into the frame with a large, expensive bearing press tool that I don’t own, and didn’t have access to on the side of the road in Wyoming.
I received some help from a Good Samaritan with a Quarq t-shirt and a large toolbox. A fellow racer stopped by to kindly inform me they were calling my name at the start, but I was well away from being ready.
Of course, being in such a rush only increased my mistakes. I was already late for my start and was just trying to get on the road. I eventually replaced the crank on my road bike, but accidentally left both bearing covers on the same side. After removing the crank again, I was able to get my road bike to the start, where there was no longer an official. I checked in at the finish and was told I could start if I liked.
I rode without much regard to proper pacing or my power meter. I hadn’t had any warm up and I was by far the last rider on the course. The moto official following the last rider to start turned around and asked if I was the last rider on course. There weren’t any marshals left at the turn around, so the moto official parked his bike in the road to signal the turn around.
According to my Garmin, my time was 23:40, putting me about mid pack despite my poor equipment and no warm up. My offical time was not adjusted for my late start and was about 40 minutes and last place. I think I would have had a shot at doing well in the TT if circumstances were better. Overall I’m not too disappointed since I was able to at least finish the stage race, and I had already put all my energy into winning the criterium.
Today I got my bearings re-pressed and sanded the inside of the bearings down a little bit. After liberally greasing the crank, it installed much more easily and hopefully I won’t have any further trouble. I also have the TT bike built for my promised photo shoot and profile which will be posted in the next few days.