Monday, January 24, 2011

Feels like summer...and the time is right for biking in the streets

What a gorgeous winter we are having in socal.  The rain has been gone for about a month, and we are getting lots of sunshine and warm days.  Not to brag, (because I know first-hand the perils of East coast winters), but this is epic for cyclists.  Lots of rides going on in all areas of California.  This truly is the mecca of the cycling world.

Here are some I have attended over the past couple months:
Velo Allegro -Long Beach, CA
Midnight Ridazz -LA
Food Park- Irvine

Velo Allegro is a road racing team out of Long Beach, and Food Park is a mash up of clubs and independent riders.  Both of these rides are for road bikes, and everyone is wearing full kits.
Midnight Ridazz is the polar opposite, comprised of many fixed gears and few roadies, most of the riding is casual with plenty(if not too many and too long) stops along the way.  Midnight Ridazz also occasionally has rides involving beach cruisers, mountain bikes, ten speeds, fixies, road bikes, and BMX. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Porsche 918 Spyder & RSR

918 Spyder, photo credit:
Technology displayed in the 911 GT3 R hybrid racing car attracted much attention during competition racing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, during the American Le Mans Series races in Road Atlanta/USA and the ILMC run in China's Zhuhai. 

Flywheel Accumulator, 918 RSR photo credit:   

With its highly-efficient flywheel accumulator, the 918 RSR proves massive power gains of 200HP to the front wheels alone.  The 6.2 liter V8's peak output is 563HP at 10,300/rpm.  The electric motors on the two front wheels each contribute 75 kW (x2 a total of 150 kW), so the peak drive power is a whopping 767HP.

This is an exciting time for the auto industry, as new hybrid technology is literally going to save us from a performance drought due to fuel prices.  It all starts with racing.  Put through the paces and punished severely, the track is the ultimate proving ground for automotive innovation.  In a few years time, we will most likely see this sort of flywheel accumulator on the everyday driver type of car, as the technology becomes more affordable and mass produced.
918 RSR, photo credit:

The best thing is that it is energy that the car has already produced: Kinetic.  And just like in F1, where they use K.E.R.S. (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems), which currently is limited to 60kw or 80HP.  When the 918 has a full charge ready, the power can be delivered for up to 8 seconds.  Where the F1 regulation holds the capacity to around 6.67 seconds per lap, resulting in lap benefits of 0.1seconds to 0.4 seconds.  

918 RSR, photo credit:

So basically, Porsche is bringing K.E.R.S. to consumers...which is awesome to say the least.  Just a matter of time until it is in a 911, and soon other manufacturers will create their own for use on smaller displacement engines to deliver staggering performance numbers. 
So with an extra 200HP on tap, think of the applications with which this could be used.  Literally, the power equivalent of a turbo on moderately high boost levels, or a large nitrous shot.  Imagine a 1.6 liter, 4-cylinder delivering nearly 300HP without a turbocharger or nitrous, and getting 60+mpg...We're just about there.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

FSA Gossamer BB30 crankset recall

BB30 crankset:

BB30 Crank set...more mass=more stiffness=more efficient power transfer.
Probably the biggest innovation in road bike technology for 2010, with little room to improve upon  modern road bicycles, Gossamer had created a new reason to buy a new bike.  I personally was looking at the Fuji ACR series, and the Scattante CFR at a local bike shop.  The sales guy pitched me the importance of the BB30, and I was sold.  Just didn't have the money for a new bike.  Other tech points were things like the asymetrical chain stays, carbon seat stays and forks.  All about efficient power delivery.  As it turns out, now many of Full Speed Ahead's Gossamer BB30 cranksets are under recall.  The reason being that if by chance you or your mechanic had over torqued the fixing bolt for the crankset upon installation, there is a possibility of cracking the bolt, or even the non-drive crank. 

 Bicycle Models Effected by Recall
2010 Sempre Ultegra
2010CAAD9 5,CAAD9 5 Feminine
2010 SixCarbon 5
2010 Slice 4, Slice 4Nytro, Slice 5
2010 SynapseCarbon 4,Carbon 4 Feminine,Carbon 5
2011CAAD10 5 105,CAAD10 5 105 Feminine
2011 Slice 5, Slice 5Womens
2011 SuperSix 5 105, SuperSix 5 105Womens
2011 SynapseCarbon4Rival,Carbon4RivalWomens,Carbon5
2011CAAD8 5 105
2011CAADX 105Cyclocross
2011 F75
2011 F75X
2010 ACR 1.0
2010 ACR 2.0
2010 ACR 3.0
2010 Fuji ACR 3.0:

Quintana Roo
2010 CD.0.1
2010 C3
2011 - 2010 RX 1.0
2010 CFR Comp

2010 Scattante CFR Comp:

Only certain crank arms are effected by the recall, with serial numbers beginning with 10B, 10C, and 10D.  For more info, visit

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Real Racing 2 (ipod app)

image taken from
Real Racing 2 by Firemint is a nice little racing app with crisp graphics, and addicting game play.  Graphics are amazing for an iphone game.  There's an impressive array of vehicles to choose and modify, Examples: Chevrolet, Ford, Maclaren, Lotus, Volvo, Volkswagen, name just a few...Similar game play and layout of the Gran Turismo series.  Leveling up is determined by difficulty settings, and track knowledge.  Once in the rhythms of a familiar track, it is quite satisfying to leave the rest of the pack seconds behind.  Several control customizations available, my favorite is steering with accelerometer and gas/brake on right/left.  No manual transmission option, but it's still an entertaining time killer for $9.99 at the app store.  Find out more:
image taken from

image taken from

Monday, January 10, 2011

Veryon Slayer?

It seems that the guys at AMS tuning out of West Chicago, Illinois, have devised the means to outperform the world heavyweight champ.  The AMS GT-R has been recorded pulling away from the Bugatti Veyron in the 1/4 mile drag race.  The performance numbers are staggering for a twin-turbo V6, nearly identical specs as the Veyron's W16 quad-turbo monster.  The AMS "Alpha 9" is a $21,999.00 aftermarket kit for the Nissan GT-R.  That being said, the grand total for the package including the GT-R price is between $100,000 and $120,000 (depending on the year of GT-R, 80-90k).  SO...for the price of a Porsche 911 Turbo, you could have transformed the GT-R into a world beater. 
The GT-R was originally created to go head to head with the Porsche Turbo and early claims were that it was faster around the Nurburgring.  Also it costs 30-40k less, and therefore, the better performance value.  Now it is doing it again, only this time going against the Veyron, a millon dollar+ car, and top speed holder (SS model).
That's the one drawback, it seems.  All the money savings does become evident when it comes to outright top speed.  Of course a W16 quad-turbo will have a higher top end than a V6 twin-turbo any day of the the week.  The AMS Alpha 9 will pull 141MPH in the 1/4 mile with 9 second times, and blasts through the standing mile at 205MPH. 
As far as a usable performance variable, we all know that much higher than 200MPH is nearly unobtainable in the real world, yet the GT-R remains composed enough to drive everyday, much like the Veryon.
Yes, the Veyron SS is faster and lighter still, but will set you back a cool 2 million.  For that money you could have a whole fleet of awesome tuners which are still faster than 99.999% of the cars on the road.

AMS Performance