So what mods were made to prep for this suffer'fest?
First I dropped off my saddle with Eric from Chainline Cycles to have him reupholster it. The liner was starting to fray and I was worried the foam was going to start going. Eric has done a few of his saddles that I have seen and they come out pretty nice. He, like me, found a model of saddle that is super compatible with his particular grundle and is never looking back so he just relines them over and over. He uses this synthetic material that they upholster boats with. Waterproof, durable and you can heat shrink it a bit for a nice snug fit. And its available in all kinds of colors. He asked me what I wanted and I said he could pick...mistake? I'm gonna try and swing by this afternoon to see if it's done.
Next was some general maintenance, namely a full bottom bracket rebuild. I did a lazy one a while back but this time I went to town. Pulled everything out, thorough cleaning and regrease and then snugged everything back up. Happy to report its spinning like new again. Haven't been able to hop on it yet to see if the creak is gone but I'm 90% sure it will be.
Parts swaps were next. Re-geared back to 32-19. For now I'm happy that I'm strong enough for the 18 in just about all scenarios but I definitely prefer to be at a higher cadence than I can manage with the 18 currently. For now the 19 is still my magic gear. 18 is probably a better choice for the 100 with the fast first 10-15 miles and I would imagine most other SS'ers will be racing that. I think I would lose much more time walking more of the back half of the course with the 18 than I'll lose spinning out early with the 19. I also threw the Thud Buster back on.
Hopefully it will Bust some of the Thuds
The only reason I stopped using this post was because of the annoying rattling and clicking sounds it would make. I was constantly worried my entire drivetrain was about to fall off when riding it. But I do really like the action on it and it's great in the chattery stuff. Just enough give to take the sting off but not make you feel all bouncy. I have some things I'm going to try to alleviate some of the sounds coming from it hopefully they work and I won't spend the whole race looking between my legs trying to figure out what is about to fall off my bike.
Also went with the double bottle config. Groundbreaking, I know. But I've been thinking about nutrition for this year and I'm trying to figure out ways to do this without a camel back. The 100 has offered the ability to drop care packages for yourself that will be trucked to certain rest stops. I have never taken advantage of them in years past but I'm thinking that might be the way to go to try and keep some weight off my shoulders. Just seems a bit risky...it will also probably depend on the weather that day. I'll continue to ponder for the next few weeks.
Finished things off with an upgrade. In an effort to increase the comfort a bit and take away some of that sting that I have come to love so much I got myself a nice carbon bar upgrade.
Easton's EC70 is a nice wide flat bar that was almost the exact same width and sweep as my old bars. I've read all kinds of reviews that they are great at absorbing vibration, I'm hoping it's true. They are nice and light too (not that I care that much) but I'm sure I more than gained the weight back with the Thud Buster. I'm more concerned with smoothing out the trail a bit anyway.
I'll get some pics of the saddle up as soon as I get it back, hopefully in a pink leopard print colorway.