Saturday, January 31, 2009
Great Lakes Sports Expo show notes.
Well, the 2009 Great Lakes Multi Sport and Running Expo was a blast. We spent about 5 hours there today, and I must say it was the best Expo I've been to, hands down. There was a great turn out, great vendors, great hands on events.
Some of the bikes they had were awesome, like the Specialized S Works TT:
The Scott Plasma TT was HOT, sporting SRAM Red componenets:
I talked with a sales rep from Zipp, we talked about wheel durability and what would be a realistic wheelset for myself. I told him I was weighing in at about two bills, he said he was 260, and he hammered on his rims. He said he rode Flashpoint FP80s all the time, training and racing alike, and he had no problems with them. He said the only time he swapped them out for the CSC aluminum rims was when he hit serious hills. He also gave us an up close and personal with the Scott Plasma TT bike, WOW was that thing a work of art.
And, possibly the best part of going to the Expo was the great deals on products. I wish I had more spare cash, I could've thrown around a lot more than I did today! I mean, a Profile Design wetsuit (normally $249) for $99. Zipp, SRAM, Flashpoint and other mid to upper end wheelsets on sale and most included tires, tubes (if you bought clinchers) and a cassette! The clothing deal was perhaps the best of all, as you see here:
I got the one piece tri suit and the tri shorts for $30(yes, you heard right-2 for $30!). I paid about $100 last summer for a two piece set; the socks I got for $5, normally $10. I also got a pair of 2XU calf tights, for $40, reg price was $50.
The level of participation events was also excellent! There was a bike corral, where you could park your ride (or dump your coat and bag), there was a TT challenge where you raced against a bunch of other riders, with results shown on a large screen display, a endless lap pool (which, unfortunately, was out of service, as the heater was broken. One girl tried to swim in it, with a wetsuit, and she lasted all of 90 seconds). It was cool, there was a video from below and from the front, showing your stroke. There was a runner gait analysis vendor, but they were backed up 2+ hours, so I did not get a chance to get my new shoes. Oh well, Fleet Feet here I come. They had rollers, with some bike shop guru riding a Cervelo SL fully loaded with SRAM Red grouppo and Zipp wheels; he was hammering it, the sound of the shifters from the Red was AWESOME as he jammed through the gears! That would be a dream bike, wish I'd shot a pic of it. I told my wife, one day, I'd love to build up a Cervelo with Red, but I'd have to sell all my bikes (and probably my Harley) before I could afford it.
The freebies at the show were simply great; we took home a load of free stuff, including:
4-water bottles, 4-packs of Biofreeze (this stuff is amazing for some muscles and my aching back!), 4-Clif bars, 2-packs powder Clif Shot recovery drink mix, 4-Clif Builder bars, 2-Power Bar Gel Blasts and a free towel. Plus, our friends had extra tickets for the Expo, so we got in for free. What a deal.
The VO2 test was a bit disappointing; they had nice equipment, seemed like they knew what they were doing to run the test. But the results were a bit baffling, and they did not explain the meaning behind much of the print out we received. Plus, my printout was missing half of the raw data that my buddy got on his, so they was no way we could compare #s.
Also, they only got my HR up to 163, running at 6+ mph at 10 deg elevation. The mask was a bit odd, and it felt as if you were not getting enough O2 towards the end of the test (they told you this would happen). I thought they would have ramped up the warm-up period a bit longer, but they just give you a minute or two, then start increasing elevation every 30 seconds. They increased the speed at the very end, trying to simulate LT, I guess. I felt as if I could have hammered more. They also had problems with the HR monitor when my buddy did the test immediately after I was done. He said it felt as if something was amiss as well. Oh well, what are you going to do for $30?
All in all, a well run, well organized Expo. I would pay to go to this one, and I will return next year for it, for the good deals alone. But next time, I'm bringing my bike and racing in the group TT event! Everyone participating in that looked like they were having a blast!
Oh, and I got my Mavic Aksiums on Friday too! Less than 7 days from time of time of order to drop at my door. Not bad, coming from the UK!
Now, I'm waiting on the Conti GP4000 tires, and I need to figure out what to do about the cassette. Hmm, should I get a new one, take one off my Bontys, which will see little service, ah yes, decisions decisions!