Thursday, July 28, 2011

Litespeed C1R in 3D Series: Field Notes with Bryce Walsh

One Man, One Bike

Ultracyclist Bryce Walsh recently went from training and racing with two bikes—an Independent Fabrication XS and a Cervelo P3C—based on the terrain and type of race to exclusively using a new Litespeed Archon C1R. The transition has made him quite content so far. “Litespeed has been so good for this season,” Bryce says. “The Litespeed gives me aerodynamics, but I don’t feel like I’m bouncing around and getting beat up as bad. I’m getting the best of both worlds.”

While training and endurance racing on the Race Across AMerica (RAAM) circuit, Bryce racked up more than 70,000 miles on his IF—more miles than many people ever put on their cars. Before he began, he knew his neck muscles would log all of those miles, as well.

The IF allowed him to not only get the perfect fit, but to also gain a more upright riding position that would place less stress on his neck. “I figured if I’m going to spend that much time on a bike training and racing,” Bryce says, “it better be a healthy bike.”

Ultimately, Bryce said he was trying to avoid the dreaded “Shermer’s Neck.” The condition occurs when a cyclist’s neck muscles give out anywhere from 300 to 1,000 miles into a race, and he or she must use a crude device to hold it up. The painful ailment is named for Michael Shermer, an Ultra Cycling Hall of Famer who succumbed to the agony during the first Race Across AMerica in 1982.

Michael co-created the race—first called The Great American Bike Race—and unwittingly had the medical condition named after him when his neck gave out 500 miles from the finish. “I’ve seen guys use everything from PVC piping to duct tape to hold their necks up,” says Bryce. (For our viewing pleasure or viewing pain, rather, Bryce provided this picture of racer Alberto Blanco in this year’s RAAM with a case of Shermer’s Neck

Bryce bought his Cervelo P3C specifically for the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in which he was attempting to set the 1000K Outdoor Unpaced Track Record with the UltraMarathon Cycling Association (UMAC). He set the record at 33:01:03:99 in August 2008. “I bought the bike so I could be as aerodynamic as possible,” he says. He then ended up using the bike for additional 24-hour races that were flat, but he says he was definitely less comfortable than when he was on the IF.

The Litespeed Archon C1R, however, offers the right combo of comfort and aerodynamics thanks to the bike’s unique AeroLogic technology. AeroLogic is Litespeed’s incorporation of aerodynamic elements into frame design without the penalty of excess weight. We’ll talk more about the C1R’s AeroLogic aspects in an upcoming installment of Bryce’s C1R in 3D Field Notes with a bonus interview from Litespeed’s Brad DeVaney.

We’ll also discuss with Bryce what components he has on his Litespeed Archon C1R and why and catch up with him on a training ride in Wisconsin, where he’s been working on his climbing in preparation for Race Across Oregon, which takes place in late July. “This summer I’ll really be putting the Litespeed to the test,” Bryce says. Bryce also recently qualified for the Paris-Brest-Paris, in August. Congratulations, Bryce!

Check back often for Bryce’s C1R in 3D Field Notes. We’ll be posting videos from his Oregon and P-B-P race, as well as his training adventures. Plus, we’ll include more info on bike design, comfort, performance, nutrition and more. Pedal on! Learn more at

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