Tag Archives: The Sufferfest

Talking indoor trainers

I don’t know any one person who hasn’t been affected by the pandemic that is happening at the moment. Countries are handling it differently, people are reacting and responding differently as well. In Singapore, our idea of a partial lockdown, the Circuit Breaker, has recently been extended for another 4 weeks along with additional measures, which is hard to keep track because of the ambiguity of some of the measures and there seems to be additions every other week. How has your riding/training been affected? Let us know in the comments section.

If you haven’t already set up your pain cave or at least started thinking about alternatives to your training/exercise regime, now is probably a good time.

Having alternatives in your workout bag empowers you to be adaptable. It does not necessarily mean you have to permanently add them to your routine. In any case, your routine has probably gone out of the window. It’s like having a 9 or 12-piece allen key set, instead of just carrying around the 4, 5, 6 mm.

Depending on the movement restrictions that have been imposed, and the situation going on at home (Work from home, kids on home-based learning etc), if you are now unable to ride outdoors as much you would want to, the next questions are: What turbo trainer should I be getting? And what sessions do I want to be doing? It’s like going through the same decision-making process when you were getting your first bike. You can’t really be sure if you are going to continue using the turbo trainer after the restrictions have been lifted because you might realize that you hate riding the turbo all together.

Wheel-on trainers are cheap these days. Not the smart ones of course. It’s straight forward, wears your rear tyre out, fast, unless you have a spare rear wheel with a trainer tyre. Will it get the job done? Yes, if you have a power meter on your bike and some inclination on how to efficiently plan your own training, because there will be some specific workouts that will be difficult to execute with a wheel-on trainer. Or if you just want to turn those legs over, burn some calories, nothing fancy, and want to save the coin for that beer afterwards. Chances are, you won’t be using it very often if you can go riding freely.

Direct-drives are gaining popularity due to the increasing range of products and it’s falling prices. Once viewed as only for serious/competitive cyclist, in recent years because of the affordability of the non-smart direct drive trainers, it’s become a choice for riders who are drawn to the social aspect for virtual riding platforms such as Zwift, Bkool, Sufferfest, TrainerRoad, FulGaz etc. Most offer a 14-day free trial (Some less), followed by a monthly or annual subscription if you wish to carry on.




You would at the least require a ANT+/Bluetooth speed/cadence sensor. You can still get on without a smart trainer, but it would be fair not to expect the full experience. If you already have the necessary hardware, you could consider signing up for a month to see if you enjoy it and determine for yourself how likely you are to stay on.

The new standard for virtual group rides/races removes the reputation indoor training/cycling has in the past as being mundane. Gone are the days of staring at block graphs with target numbers and a timer. Before you jump onto the virtual bandwagon, have a think on whether there is something in your training/workouts you had wanted to work on, or think you should work on. Sometimes the simplest of set ups, paired with an appropriate workout focus, can reap alot more benefit.

Photo by Velo Velo Singapore

Rollers are the not so popular sibling in indoor training, for various reasons if you speak with different people. There is a reason why there are much more roller-fail clips going around than there are of turbo trainers. When you add an additional element of staying upright, putting down the power or holding an effort isn’t as straightforward anymore. In fact, pedalling hard and putting down power is not straight forward at all. Saying they are not able to provide enough resistance for your workout is possible but a HIIT or a smash-fest is not the only way to skin a 45min session on the bike. If you’re stuck with what type of session you can do to benefit you the most, it’s probably worth speaking with a coach to help you look at the bigger picture.

Ultimately, it would be nice to see more people continuing to ride their bikes outside when the situation improves, and learning to ride their bikes properly and safely. You are much better cyclist and considerate road user if you can ride smoothly, in a straight line, keeping close to the side of the road (If sharing with cars), then needing to be in the middle of the lane, trying to mash the pedals and going in zig zag all over the place.

What is your indoor set up like? Let us know by leaving a comment.

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Welcome 2015

I was meaning to do a round-up of 2014, including an excellent training stint with CCC Shuzenji. It has just been a whirlwind of events, on and off the bike.

The CCC Shuzenji training camp takes you back to the basics, and it’s something worth re-visiting every now and again. Form and posture, numerous efforts on small gears. Times aren’t so much of a concern, but with competitiveness and pressure to perform, riders always use times as a benchmark for either improvement or performance. This edition of the training camp housed a great bunch of up and coming junior riders with heaps of potential. So I’ll be looking out for their names in the near future. For me, it was more like a good solid 2 week training block, form check and to see where I am physically on the Wingate test at the keirin school.







In the department of good news, after deciding to give the 2014 Asian Championships a miss, I’m up to compete at the 2015’s edition.
I’ve been making progress but at the same time putting a lot of pressure on myself to prove my worth. Well it’s kind of inevitable when you’re a noob, unless you have a coach/system/program (whatever you want to call it) looking out for you. So here I am, back in sunny Perth, to get them track legs ready. Thank you TCWA for the warm welcome back. A massive shout out to Rudy Project Singapore, for all the support and belief they have in me. BikeGearNow, Solitude of Strength, TRG, Restwise, Maxinutrition Asia, G8 Performance, MSTI, thank you for being part of this gruelling journey. Your support has helped keep me going.



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Japan Track Cup rundown

I need to be more prompt in penning down these race experiences, even though its still rather fresh in my mind, like it was just last week. Those psych sessions with John from way back certainly did me some good.

International teams didn’t stay at Cytel. We were put up at a cottage-like hotel, Olive no Ki, 30 mins by bus away from the track. Better facilities and amenities, but I would have preferred convenience over comfort.  Of course, Cytel would be meant for local teams and technical officials.

There were reasonable expectations going in. In a country where the keirin is professionally raced, you can only expect a huge depth of really strong riders. I started out conservatively with regards to gearing. Bad decision. After the first lap, I knew I was in trouble as I was already running out of leg speed. So I kinda threw that one away. Shucks. Then I rode big but it was clear I still didn’t have enough horsepower to ride side-by-side with the big guns yet. Leading up to this, bulk of the work has been focused on strength gains. My 200m time was nothing to cheer about either. There is still quite a long way to go.


Apart from that, it is the familiarity I have with my bike at high speeds. At 60km/h and above, the slightest twitch gets magnified. I followed for as long as I could, but it felt like I was fighting the bike as soon as everyone throttled. I kept losing momentum in my legs as I fought to stay in.


The coaches at CCC Shuzenji could see improvement. The standard of the race was simply too high. In spite of that, I still took plenty of lessons back home. I’ve gained some first-hand knowledge on what is physically required to race at that level and that is something I can work on on the road. One thing’s for sure, motorpacing sessions are vital for me. So if anyone knows of anyone who does it, give me shout. I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks to Noda-san and CCC Shuzenji for the support. It definitely made a difference knowing that I was looked after. I envy teams that go to races with an army of support staff. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a race with even just a coach/manager. Big shout-out to MSTI for the entry and race kit, as well as the continuous and unwavering support of Maximuscle, Rudy Project, The Sufferfest, Compressport, G8 Performance and Solitude of Strength.


Photos by MakotoAYANO



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Heading in the right direction. Wait, is my compass working properly

It’s a wrap at the Continental Cycling Center Shuzenji. I did say that my time there passed slower than I expected, but that was only during the first week. As we moved into the second week, the days seemed to be on autopilot. We moved on to our aero bars and before I know it, we were told to prepare for our time trials. We did have a day off in the middle to take in the sights at Hakone, which us and the Hong Kong riders and Hiro (Female Pro Keirin rider!!) had badly needed at that time. The Kazhaks only arrived at the end of the first week. The training was systematic, the coaching was brilliant, and we were well fed. I might have to start learning Japanese if I plan to go back. The hotel, named Cytel (think cyclist hotel), had a few other guests attending a road race over the weekend, one of whom happened to be the famous pedal-strike.com (twitter). There was also a group of Pro Keirin riders and the Japan National futsal team came the second week we were there.

Photos courtesy of Izu Velodrome








I came out of CCC Shuzenji with familiarity on the track. That might sound like a no-brainer but I can assure you it is not. I was an absolutely wrecked on the bike on my first days. The structured program, everything from warmup to working sets to cool down between sets, to cool down at the end was a routine which I really missed having and needed as there isn’t a track at home. Routine breeds familiarity which will help gain confidence and I needed that. I have to be honest, I wasn’t satisfied with my time trial results, especially the flying 200. I was mentally and most certainly physically prepared, but excitement got the better of me as I didn’t keep enough of my weight on the rear wheel and the wheel skipped on me, twice, when I came out of turn 2 going into the back straight. Process just went straight out the backdoor. Great.



The 2-week training camp would be put to the test as we decided to head up to Kuala Lumpar for the 2nd Southeast Asian Grand Prix at the Cheras Velodrome. A little last minute, but we managed to get in on it. So it was a 3am arrival in Singapore for me, and off again at 6:30am as we drove our way up. As we had already missed the first day of the race (racing started on the 8th, we only flew into Singapore on the 9th), I wasn’t able to get in on the sprint qualification, another go at the flying 200. In the Keirin, it was a learning experience. With that familiarity on the track and on the bike, I was able to be in the mix, but I missed out on making the second round due to a lack of experience

Photo courtesy of Josiah Ng

Things are certainly moving forward. Our coaches at CCC Shuzenji constantly remind us to take back what we have learn and continue to practice when we head back. There are limitations here at home in terms of the things which I need to work on, but there are also aspects which I can make sure I put in the 10,000-hour rule. Their school of thought is tried, tested and proven and I will take it with me where ever I go. Thank you Yajima-San, Kato-San, Hagihara-San, Nado-San, Koba-San and Fujii-San (I really hope I haven’t missed out anyone!!) for believing that age is not a determining factor. Though they don’t say much, I can sense their belief, attentiveness, eye-for-detail and eagerness to help us improve. I hope that they in turn have been able to take something back as well.


Big shoutout to Maxinutrition, The Sufferfest (their kit was rockin it big time at the Izu Velodrome), Rudy Project Singapore, Compressport Singapore, G8 Performance, Athlete Lab and Wilier Triestina. Their unwavering support is what helps me to focus on putting in the hard yards. Thank you!



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