Sport / 7 September, 2016

“Tech & Style“ at Eurobike

As a cyclist Eurobike feels like Santa Claus is allowing me to take a peak inside the holy halls of Christmas. Super exciting, yet totally overwhelming and there is not a snowballs chance in hell I can get to see everything I want in such a short period of time. At least that is what I imagine Santa Claus‘ ‚workshop‘ to look like. Let’s not argue if Santa is existing or not. Kids might be reading this as well.

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Sport / 29 Juli, 2016

Project “Dream Bike“ II – The Touring Bike

Remember our TT-Bike bike built earlier in the season. ( http://talktotill.com/project-dream-bike/)  The goal was to build a super efficient racing machine based on the SRAM 1x. A groupset I had never ridden before. Since building the bike I raced races like 70.3 Aix en Provence and Ironman Lanzarote on that bike and fell in love with the 1x so much that we now decided to rebuild the touring bike with a 1x as well.

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Sport / 6 März, 2016

SRAM Force 1x – ‚Project Dream Bike I‘

SRAM Force 1x ( say ‚one by‘) – heard of it yet? Simple: Put one instead of 2 chain rings on your bike and you are good to go. NOT!

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Sport / 29 Februar, 2016

Project „Dream Bike“ – The Build

Riding an awesome bike is one thing, building it to your specs with a little help from friends – Specialized, Zipp and SRAM – that’s just friggin‘ awesome.

Here is the bike built video of a super cool Specialized Shiv featuring some true innovation like the SRAM 1x and more cool stuff!

What’ya think about the awesome sound track made of sounds created by the tools used to build this bike! Recorded and mixed by ‚AllesAndrs‘

Shot entirely on GoPro for TalkToTill

Also check out our first report from the built with a lot of cool pics here.

Sport / 15 Januar, 2016

Project „Dream Bike I“ – Completed

It is a wrap baby!!! Project ‚Dream Bike‘ is pretty much done. Only some minor finishing touches like putting the Garmin on and getting the race set up ready.

As promised I kicked the year of with a cool project. My own little project ‚Dream Bike‘ and with a little help from friends we got it done just in time before hitting the road and traveling to Stellenbosch / South Africa.

Riding a cool bike is always fun but getting to be a part of building up your own to your specs – that just rocks. (And yes. There is no doubt that this bike is above my cycling abilities but let’s face it. We all love nice toys for our sport).

The bike built work bench

Setting up the work space for the big built day.

When thinking about the project I had to decide what I wanted to build the bike with. The approach for a dream bike can be motivated by many different factors. Do I wanna go for innovation, sentiment, pure performance, coolness factor and so on.

I decided I wanted a good combination of the above. After riding the Specialized SHIV frame last year there was no doubt that’s the frame I wanna build on. I loved the handling of the bike in the flat, the fast and turning descents and the heavy cross winds at Ironman Lanzarote. Another thing I love about this bike is the aerodynamics while still maintaining a frame set up that one can handle without being a bike mechanic. Easy access to the breaks for switching break pads for example and the Fuel Cell for all my gear and nutrition in the race making sure I can keep the bike as ‚clean‘ as possible.

Cable Work on the Specialized Frame

Getting the ‚wiring‘ done on the Shiv.

But as well all know – you can’t ride on a frame alone. So I looked around for a gear group and of course the first thought was ‚electronic‘. I had ridden the Shimano DI2 in 2014 and was intrigued to see what SRAM was up to with their eTap that is just about to hit the market but besides the interesting features and innovations of it, the SRAM 1x for road got more and more of my attention and after taking a closer look I knew I wanted to try it out.

I loved the switch to one chain ring on my MTB years back so I am thinking it is definitely worth a try on the TT-Bike. It is a neat little gadget with a lot of thought through details. So much more than just switching to one chain ring. (Before going all crazy here on what the changes are – we shot a little video for you that I will publish in the coming days. It’ll explain all the innovations and ideas of the SRAM 1x Force built on my bike)

Just to give you a general idea: Special teeth on the chain ring, chain suck reduction, cage lock for the derailleur to make switching chains and wheels easy.

Building the Specialized Shiv

Clear roles. One knows his bikes – the other not so much -)

The next thing to focus on was the wheels. There is a lot of great wheels out there and I wanted to combination of coolness, sentiment and performance in the wheels which quickly brought me to Zipp. Zipp is still for wheels what google is for search engines and the Firecrest 808 is the set up I rode in my first ever Ironman. So between performance and sentiment this was a no brainer.

Building the Specialized Shiv Bike

Team work and focus for the bottom brackets.

As for the cockpit there were a few options I was looking at. In the past I had ridden the Haero Carbon which was focused on performance only and always left me with a little sacrifice in terms of adjustability. I also looked at the Syntace C6 that I first saw when announcing the 24hour cycling world record with Christoph Strasser who was riding it on the way to the record and it with no doubt looks like a great cockpit but in the end I opted for the perfect combination for performance, adjustability and sentiment again. The Zipp Vuka is not only a neat top performing cockpit but also the one my brother was racing on his TT-Bike when he inspired me to start triathlon myself (on an old aluminum road frame with Ultegra 105, Mavic Aksium aluminum wheels and clip on bars). The first ride on my new Vuka setup felt real nice and I am excited to see what we can do with it during the coming bike fit.

Setting Up the Zipp Vuka Cockpit on the Specialized Shiv

Team work again for the final touches.

After setting up the frame, wheels and cockpit it is time for the details. The basic idea is to make the pretty bride even a little prettier. Some X-Lab cages for the race set up, Quarq Power Meter,  Specialized Turbo Cotton tires with latex tubes and my ISM Adamo saddle and this little beauty will be ready to fly. A detailed first ride report will follow 😉

So what’ya think about the setup?

P.s. enjoy some more pics from the built below oh and hey: Stay tuned for the making off video. We had a super cool DJ with us who is building a soundtrack for the video made out of the sounds of a bike and bike built. Cool stuff!

The SRAM work space for the Specialized bike built

A look into the work space from the outside. Men at work 😉

Measuring the drop for the Specialized Shiv.

Size does matter overall. At least when it comes to fitting the bike.

The work bench for the bike built.

The is an order in the chaos.

SRAM Force 1

One of the key elements for the bike. The SRAM Force 1.

GoPro watching the Specialized bike built.

Building under the close watch of the GoPro. There will be a making off video.

The ready built Specialized Shiv with SRAM and Zipp.

Got a little excited there about the awesome couch.

The ready built Specialized Shiv.

The men and the bike! Mechanic, presenter and Shiv. Happy Days.

Travel / 19 Oktober, 2015

Ride Across Germany

It’s  a cold October morning and I feel like I finally recovered from a long commentating season on the road when the ‚adventure‘ gene kicks in. A 7 day cycling road trip from Copenhagen, Denmark to Basel, Switzerland across the Eastern route of my home country Germany. A beautiful but these days rather secluded area with spectacular views and beautiful, quiet roads for long days in the saddle. Clothes are packed, the bike is ready, the tent folded up and off I go. Follow the road trip below!

Day 7

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Course Reviews / 11 Juli, 2015

Challenge Roth – Bike Course Review

„Race the Legend“ is the motto of Challenge Roth 2015 and a legend it is. So we took the Shiv out and gave the 2 loop bike course a close look. It’s said to be a fast course in a beautiful rural setting. 95km later here is what we saw.

Once you exit the Main-Donau-Kanal it is a quick transition to grab your bike and out onto the bike course. You have a gentle climb to start with and it is suggested to take your nutrition in as quickly as you can as you are making a 90 degree left hand turn towards Rothsee after just a couple of hundred meters and from there you are picking up the pace for the next kilometer and a half.

DANGER: around the 2km mark is the first time you need to pay serious attention. In a fairly fast, slightly downhill turn you are hitting 3 cracks across the road as you are riding past the the impressive floodgate of the Main-Donau-Kanal.

The first 13 kilometers are very lightly but gradually uphill. So don’t get too excited and if you are riding with a power meter monitor it closely. You don’t wanna push too hard that early in the race.

At kilometer 13.5 you hit the first climb which is about 700 meters long. Let the others go here. You will see a lot of athletes pushing too hard here already and they will pay for it later as there is more fun awaiting on the mostly rolling bike course.

Only 3 kilometers after finishing the first climb you are hitting the next one at km 17.5 which is more or less the same length as the one before…

…but the fun doesn’t start until you get into the town of Greding. After entering the town in a nice little downhill section you make a right hand turn and roughly 150 meters later another one straight into a steep, steep climb. Shift down before that turn and prepare to climb a little for the next 700 meters but be aware: It doesn’t stop there. It evens out a little but yet you keep riding uphill for a total of almost 4km with only a very short flat bit in between.

From here on you continue on a nicely rolling course and then enter a beautiful downhill section which leads you partially through the woods where you can find some shade on a hot day out there. DANGER: be aware of the turns in this downhill sections. There is hay stacks put up in the turns for a good reason. Control yourself and enjoy the downhill as a bit of recovery rather than pushing too hard and risking everything in those turns.

At KM 62 you hit another 2 little climbs which seem fairly easy after riding the ones before and then at KM 69 the fun begins. You have a short and fun climb as a little preview of what to expect from Solarer Hill. This climb is just before entering the town of Hilpoltstein and every spectator that is not at Solarer Hill is putting up shop there to scream and shout you up this hill. If you think this is awesome then you will love Solarer Hill 1km later.

SOLARER HILL: Climb the legend within the legend. If you have not ridden Solarer Hill on race day yet forget everything you think you know about Solarer Hill. This climb will make you forget all your suffering out there and will exceed all your expectations. Don’t even dream about ‚hammering‘ this hill up. There is no passing other athletes anyways as spectators are at least as nuts (in the best way) as they are at Alp d’Huez. Enjoy and don’t push.

From there is is nice and rolling and you will pass some of our highlights on the ‚Challenge Roth Top10 Must do Things‘ list on the last klicks before heading into loop 2 to enjoy the fun all over again.

As you finish loop 2 at the Biermeile – one of the many, many hotspots along the course – you are not heading left in Eckersmühlen as before but go on straight for another 3.5km into T2.

The course has about 700 meters of climbing per loop and your top speeds will range somewhere between 60-75km/h depending on how hard you push the pace!

Time to run! Enjoy race day and be awesome!

DATE TIME!

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Complete Garmin Profile: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/828948581

RIDER: Till Schenk, 174kg, 182cm tall.

BIKE: Specialized Shiv Pro, Ceramic Speed upgrade, Roval wheels.

POWER METER: Power2Max

BIKE COMPUTER: Garmin 920

Course Reviews / 4 Juli, 2015

Ironman Frankfurt – Bike Course Review

The Ironman European Championships in Frankfurt are showing one of the strongest fields in it’s history. Ironman World Champion Sebastian Kienle, Ironman World Champion Frederik van Lierde, Olympic Gold Medalist Jan Frodeno on the mens side alone.

But also for all the age groupers Ironman Frankfurt will most likely be the highlight of the year. With temperatures expected to be a scorching 40 Celsius the bike course can make the difference between blowing up or bringing it to the finish line.

We went out, checked the course, shot you a quick video and are ready to give you some hinters.

Below you will also find some ideas on what the loop looks like, total ascent, top speeds and so on.

 

„The bike course starts with an easy and perfect 13Km warm up from Langener Waldsee, where the swim takes place, to the ‚Alte Brücke‘ in Frankfurt. From there you start into one of 2 loops to finish the remaining 167Km. For another roughly 11Km it is pretty straight forward and all you have to do is get your legs spinning, the nutrition in and set yourself up for the first climb which you hit at roughly Km24. Take it easy here. It is only the first out of 3 on each loop.

About 7km later around the 31Km mark you hit some cobblestone roads – make sure to tighten those bottles and everything you have attached to your bike. It is about 800 meters of Paris-Roubaix feeling.

Only 3km later you hit climb number 2. Again there is still a long way to go. So take it easy and let the people around you pass you if you feel they are pushing too hard.

From there on it is a long way of rolling hills, long easy to ride decents and solid riding. Be aware of the road conditions and slightly more narrow turns in the many small villages you are passing.

With roughly 6Km to go on each lap you are hitting climb number 3. Heartbreak Hill. From the bottom it doesn’t look like much but trust us – it hurts. Not only on the last but on the first lap already. Once you made it to the top it is an easy, slightly downhill ride back to loop number 2 or transition.

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Full Garmin Connect Link: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/822832838

Bike used: Specialized Shiv Pro with Ceramic Speed upgrade, Rotor Rings (54/42) and a Garmin Edge 1000.

Rider: 183 tall and roughly 74KG in weight.

This was a group ride – so the data does not exactly present what it would look like for a single rider in terms of power and speed.