Author: Charles Miske

Indoor Training TMI – February 25th Edition

I’ve been on the trainer a lot this past season. I got on right around the end of the Utah League NICA High School Mountain Bike Racing season. I did a few outside rides here along the Wasatch Front, weather permitting. I’ve also been to St. George a few times, and out to Moab once. That’s a whole ‘nuther story. For sure.


One thing I think makes a big difference is a two-bolt seat-post. Yep. Two bolts. Why?

There’s a big difference IMHO between sitting on a trainer in the garage, and riding outside. For one thing, you have a tendency to not balance your weight on your feet with your butt up off the saddle, even a few millimeters, enough to get that precious groin blood flowing again. For another, you’re not increasing and decreasing your inclination (going up and down rolling hills) which also moves you around on your saddle some.

With a two-bolt seatpost and a properly-sized allen wrench handy, you can adjust your seat angle on-the-fly. 

Yep. While sitting on your trainer you can reach down between your legs, or around behind your butt, insert the wrench, and wiggle it a little bit in and out to get the right angle for your poor suffering groin and butt.

Tightening a screw brings that part of the saddle down, and loosening it allows it to upward. It works in conjunction with the opposite screw.

As an example, to bring the nose of the saddle down, loosen the rear bolt, and  tighten the front bolt. Does that make sense?

I’ve discovered for myself that I have to pause pedaling to work on the front bolt, but can do the rear bolt while riding. 

I’ve noticed slight differences in angles with various cycling bibs I wear for indoor training. I’ve also notice a slight difference in the fore-aft positioning of the saddle. And of course, I’ve noticed a big difference when I use a slightly higher front tire stabilizer slot.

Maybe I’m just really picky?

If you’re spending 6+ hours a week on an indoor trainer, (in my case a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine with the Inride power meter sender) you’ll be much happier with a well-adjusted seat.

Stay tuned for some information about the saddle I chose for my indoor trainer too.

Below: screenshots from my Kurt Kinetic Fit App, receiving data from my Kurt Inride sender on my Kurt Road Machine trainer, my Wahoo Blue SC (speed cadence) sender on my bike, and my Suunto Smart heart rate sender. What a mashup! Yes, it works great. I’ll let you in on how I got them all to play nicey-nicey here in the next few weeks if you can be patient.

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Training With A Weighted Backpack On Stairs

Training With A Weighted Backpack On Stairs

If you’re needing to improve your fitness for hiking, training with a weighted backpack on stairs is an excellent choice. In this video, created for one of my Mountaineering Fitness Programs, I demonstrate a simple routine of stair walking while wearing a lightly weighted backpack. Some things to consider before you attempt adding this into your own fitness routine are listed here.

Video: Training with a Weighted Backpack on Stairs

First of all, before you put on a backpack loaded with any weight, be sure you are able to walk the stairs without one. This almost goes without saying, but you’d be surprised at how some people want to run before they can walk.

Next, make sure the backpack you’ve selected works well with the motions of walking both up and down stairs. You don’t want the bag flopping around on your back, especially if the weight in the bag is an appreciable percentage of your weight. 10% or more is plenty of weight to start “The Tail Wagging the Dog” as they say.

If your stairs are outside, like these are, be sure that they are safe for use for training. This includes water, oil, or other slippery surfaces or coatings. Be careful of critters like mice, squirrels, unicorns and the like.

For most people, about 20 steps is a good number of stair treads for training. If the stairs are too short there are too many stops to turn around and it bogs down training quite a bit. More than 20 is fine, but if you want a more HITT-like session of weighted backpack training, 20 makes for a good sprint up, and great rest returning to the bottom slowly.

If You’re New to Weighted Backpack Stair Training

Start slow, without very much weight. See what you are able to recover from depending on your fitness goals. You might progress to sprinting up the stairs with 20% of your bodyweight in that pack. You might just walk up and down with your lunch in your pack. Each of us is in a different place.

Be sure to check out the other articles in the Weighted Backpack Training series.

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Under Armour Eyewear – Capture Sunglasses

These sweet sunglasses from UA have become my go-to eyewear for nearly all conditions in the outdoors. Here is a link to a video I put up on YouTube

  Box Opening UnderArmour Capture Shiny Black Blue Storm Polarized Sunglasses

Showing off my UA Capture Sunglasses – see that blue reflection?

I took these out just a couple days after I shot the box opening video linked above, and fell in love with them rather quickly. I have usually used a couple of other brands for when I’m outside in my contacts, but haven’t used anything except these now since I opened that box. They’re really that good. I’ll share more with you in the coming weeks.

If you want to read more about them, here is a link to check them out on Amazon below.

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Diamondback Recoil Upgrade – Air Shock

Last year, 2016, my son started mountain bike racing. Previously he’d done road racing with the FFKR jr. devo team up in Salt Lake City. He’d attended a couple of their training camps and got interested in cyclocross (CX) and even took state points leader in his age group in the 2015 fall racing season.

Dallin at the awards banquet for 2015 UTCX

For 2016 he decided to race Mountain Bike at the Lone Peak High School registered with the Utah High School Cycling League and NICA. I decided to become a NICA certified coach, and passed the requirements for the Ride Leader position. This has been upgraded to Level Two Coach for 2017. More on that later though.

The team was sponsored by Fezarri and we decided to get him a Wasatch Peak hardtail at the team discount. I found a really good deal on a Diamondback Recoil full suspension bike and ordered it. It
was heavy, somewhat clunky, but it would get the job done.

Diamondback Recoil 27.5

Now, I’d been a roadie for a good 40 years. Seriously. No kidding. In my wild teen years in California I’d hooked up with a friend who introduced me to sweet light brazed lug double butted tube construction. I was hooked. Over the years I ended up as a bicycle commuter, hitting 150 mile weeks regularly. So now this big knobby tire thing. Argh!

Pretty soon after getting it, even on the light duty trails we ran with the beginner team I was in charge of, it became apparent that at my weight the rear spring, a coil-over design similar to a dirt bike but without the hydraulics, wasn’t working out as nicely as I’d hoped.

Spring Coil – stock on Diamondback Recoil

I dug around on Amazon and found an air shock replacement from Asia that was way less than the “American” counterparts that you usually think of when imagining the perfect rear air suspension on a mountain bike. I won’t name names. Like less than $80. The ratings for the DNM Rear Air Shock were good, so I measured my spring shock to verify the fit and ordered it.

The inner diameter and width of the supplied bushings was slightly off, so I pressed them out (tough, but doable with a clamp and threaded hex head bolt) and used the Diamondback bushings, which fit perfectly in the shocks.

The hardest part was holding the rear triangle up in place while holding the end of the shock in place, while threading the bolt through while keeping the bushing centered. Alone. Fortunately I had a good Bikehand Pro Mechanic Bike Stand to hold the bike in place at waist level while working on it.

The DNM shock included a fairly readable manual to let you know what pressures to load the main and rebound cylinders with, and I messed around with it for about a half hour to get the bike to settle in at the right pressure.

Total time for this was about 3 hours, while answering the phone, checking email, verifying a thing or two on Youtube, etc. You could probably do it in an hour or less without the messing about.

NEXT: Derailleur replacement. Drat.

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Training Program Adjustment Phase Explained – Hikercize

One thing a lot of canned training programs skip or gloss over is the “Adjustment Phase” which is one short cycle, 3 to 6 weeks, during which you adjust from Non-Training Life to Training Life.

Check out the video for more, and how we address this issue in Hikercize at

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Did you buy too many toys for your bike habit?

Went to the bike shop for a patch kit...

Saxx Underwear Vibe Review

I tested a pair of the Saxx Vibe at the St. George City Half Marathon, and received a pair of the Kinetic and Subzero to try. From the Saxx website: “Developed by an athlete and avid outdoorsman, SAXX Underwear was founded with a mission to revolutionize the core staple of every wardrobe.” I really enjoyed the Vibe, even with the comfort fit it was the perfect underwear for beneath my tights in the 35F day for the Half Marathon. Here are closeup views of the mesh support panels and the boxes for the Kinetic and Subzero. I’ll be testing them soon, so stay in the loop.

I love the comfort fit that also provides just the right amount of support. The fabric of the Vibe is smooth and non-binding. It fit well beneath my Brooks tights and Asics short tights that I normally wear in daily training. The gondola print is of course a plus. You have to love wearing undies with gondolas on them.

Saxx Vibe (gondola print) and Saxx tights in the wrappers from the ORShow in Salt Lake City
Saxx Vibe (gondola print) and Saxx tights in the wrappers from the ORShow in Salt Lake City

In a later video I’ll be opening the boxes below, the Kinetic sports performance underwear and the Subzero, outside harsh environment underwear and reviewing them as well. By the way, don’t expect me to model these for you…

Saxx Kinetic and Subzero Athletic Underwear arrived for testing
Saxx Kinetic and Subzero Athletic Underwear arrived for testing

In an upcoming review I’ll be sharing info on the tights. They’re a thin tight, and it’s a bit cold out to wear them here in Utah, being around 10-20 degrees most days I train outside right now. I’ve worn them in my garage cardio room and I’ll report on that later.

In the meantime, please believe me when I tell you these truly are the best underwear I’ve ever worn for outdoor running. Read more about the Vibe at Amazon HERE

Heat Molding Salomon Spikecross Winter Running Shoes

Disclaimer: this is something you are probably not supposed to do. It will void any warranty you might believe you have. Be very very cautious and if you mess up, I did warn you.

My Salomon Spikecross winter running shoes have been a staple in my winter running on Colorado Fourteeners for several years now. Over the years they’ve become tighter and tighter due to my aging feet becoming longer and wider with all the miles I’ve put on. Instead of throwing them away, here’s an experiment to heat mold them.

Heat Molding the Salomon Spikecross Video Tutorial

Salomon Spikecross Winter Trail Running Shoes with spikes, 2012
Salomon Spikecross Winter Trail Running Shoes with spikes, 2012

My wife molds her Edea Ice skates frequently. I’ve molded intuition liners, LaSportiva Spantik Liners (hidden feature), and Sole insoles. This is the first time I’ve tried to mold running shoes, but the construction of the toe of the Spikecross is very similar to the Spantik liner, so I assumed it would be acceptable to attempt to heat mold them.

Currently, it seems to have worked, so I’ll give them a shot on a trail run in the mountains here in Utah and get back to you in another video coming soon.

From Video Description:

I’ve been wearing the Salomon Spikecross winter running shoes with carbide spikes for several years, but sadly my feet have grown longer and wider with age and miles. I didn’t want to throw them away, so here I’m showing you an experiment, hopefully successful, to heat mold them, similar to how you heat mold Edea figure skates, La Sportiva and Scarpa climbing boots, etc. The Salomon Spikecross is based on the Speedcross family and also includes the Snowcross.

Be warned though, that this might not work for all running shoes, and could cause permanent harm to them or you. Please use common sense and make an intelligent decision.

More info:

Heat Molded Salomon Spikecross winter trail running shoes with Icebug insoles
Heat Molded Salomon Spikecross winter trail running shoes with Icebug insoles

Feetures Max Cushion Elite No-Show Tab Running Sock Pre-Review

View Feetures Ultra Thin Elite on Amazon HERE

I normally prefer a slightly taller sock, more like the traditional cycling height ankle, but when I saw the max cushion elite at the OR Show in January 2016 I decided to give them a try. I’m so glad I did. They fit into my running shoes just like my old dead worn out pair of the slightly thick socks I normally wear and provided all the cushioning and support I need.

I liked them so much I wore them at the St. George City Half Marathon just a week after the OR Show. You know it’s a bad idea to try anything new the week before a race, right? I was really confident it would work out okay, so I did the race in my Feetures Max Cushion Elite socks and I did great. No problems at all.

Feetures Max Cushion Elite No-Show Tab Running Sock Preview


If you normally like a very thin tabbed running sock, the link at the top of the page gives you some information. If you prefer the thicker sock you’ll have to wait a little. It’s worth the wait though.

Feetures Max Cushion Elite at the finish of the St. George City Half Marathon
Feetures Max Cushion Elite at the finish of the St. George City Half Marathon

My Backstory on Feetures

My wife was at a Utah Run, a running store in American Fork, and decided to try on a pair of shoes. She was wearing Birkies, so had no socks on, and dug a pair out of their  sock bin. She decided she liked the socks so well that she bought a pair. She liked those so well that the kids decided to buy her a few pair of Feetures Ultra Thin Elite for Christmas. I mentioned this to the folks at Feetures at the OR Show and they were thrilled. I told them I prefer a much thicker sock though, and they told me I’d love this. They were correct.