Silence, Simplicity, Suffering
My1x adventurer Anja Kallenbach discovers the essence of the TT
SRAM ambassador Anja Kallenbach is always in search of a fresh cycling challenge. This summer she climbed the famed Mount Ventoux three times in one day. This fall she’s been pushing her limits with a Force 1 equipped time trial bike. Here’s Anja’s latest My1x dispatch…
As a climber, I’m not strong in the time trial (and I normally hate riding in flat areas!). But my boyfriend is one of the strongest time trialists in our area. I’ve had a time trial bike for five years now and have come to enjoy time trials, even when I am not the fastest. What is really great is the French tradition of time-trial races for two, and I take part in about 10 races normally at the end of the season with my boyfriend in the mixed category or with another friend in the female category.
My partners are both stronger than I am, so I’m always at the limit… or beyond. I was looking forward to trying simpler shifting on the timetrial bike since there is no time – or oxygen – for much thinking. With a 2x setup, I almost never used the little chainring, so I never missed anything.
In one two-person time trial, a 17km event with my friend Aurore in Scentrier, France, the fast and secure shifting helped me overcome my nerves. I did not have to stop pedaling while shifting and was able to hold my cadence around 90 to power up the little hill. Late in the race, there is no oxygen left to think, I see nothing any more apart Aurore’s back wheel and try to fight the pain in legs and lungs…. We won!
In racing or training, the 1x shifting is fast, precise, simple… and silent. A click and then the gear is changed. On rough roads you can go on with the same speed because the chain is secure. The quiet drivetrain also allows me to hear more of the motivating sounds of my Zipp wheels! I don´t have strong muscles, so I need to keep a fast cadence. For the time trial bike I use an 11-25 cassette and a 48 chainring in front. I find myself finding the right cadence a lot more easily with the 1x because I shift more often since it is so easy and fast.
I understand that people could be skeptical of 1x. I felt the same way. But I fell in love with it on our first ride. In the TT, my 1x drivetrain gives me nothing to think about… except my race.
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