My 2017 Kona Race Bike
Back at the end of 2016 I set my race goals for 2017, the lofty ones being Winning Ironman Canada in Whistler and winning my age group at the Ironman World Championships. I knew these would both be particularly challenging as we were expecting the birth of our first child in May, right around the time I was planning to start my build for Ironman Canada. Looking back now, I really had no idea HOW challenging this would be, not only for myself, but also for my biggest supporter, my wife Jenna. I was wise in realizing I wouldn’t have as much time to train, so I put a big focus on getting the most out of each training session this year. I also put a big focus on optimizing my equipment. I made a lot of changes this year to my equipment in an effort to be more efficient, as in, go faster for the same power output. Looking at my race data, it was worth the investment. I won Ironman Canada with the fastest bike split of the day, though I wasn’t able to pull it off in Kona I was definitely on the right track coming into T2 as the first amateur off the bike with a 4+ minute lead to the next competitor in my Age Group. In both races I set new PR’s for my bike splits, in Whistler I rode 4:47:13 which was 2:34 faster than the year before. In Kona I rode 4:41:01 which was 8:29 faster than when I raced there in 2014. Interestingly I did so in both races on less watts. That’s actually been the disappointing part this season, in both Ironman’s I didn’t hit the average watts that I’m used to in an Ironman, however, I’m riding faster than ever before so I can’t complain too much!
So here’s a look at the bike setup for Kona. If you have any questions at all, feel free to send me a message on social media or send me an email. If you couldn’t already tell, one of my favorite parts of this sport is the equipment!!
My 2017 Kona Race Bike was a Felt IA1 and is among the fastest superbikes on the market. It’s not surprise it has 4 x Ironman World Championship and 3 x Ironman 70.3 World Championship titles since it’s introduction in 2014.
I have been racing on Vision’s new Metron SL clinchers this year and absolutely love them. They felt very stable in the famous Kona winds and gave me the ability to stay focused on keeping aero and putting power to the pedals. I ran a 55 in the front and an 81 in the rear for this race.
I chose to run a 55/42 combo for my front chainrings and was glad I did, I took advantage of my 55×11 gear ratio on various occasions through the race. I also love the fact that my Vision Metron crank saves me some extra watts being more aero and is as stiff as they come.
I have been running a CeramicSpeed OSPW system this year as wheel as a CeramicSpeed UFO chain for all of my races. They are both designed to reduce drivetrain friction and you can feel the difference.
A little DIY customization on my front end. I created a gel flask holder to hold my race day nutrition which sits between my aerobars so that I don’t have to reach too far when racing. I also opted to use hockey tape instead of traditional grip tape for my extensions. It worked out great in Kona and on the trainer where you sweat a lot. I’m going to try this on my base bars as well next and see how I like it.