Monday, January 17, 2022

2022 Sports Paragon Ambassadorship - A Collaboration With Paragon Vest Malaysia

Happy New Year 2022 everyone!

Hi everyone! Happy new year! I would like to officially share the news that for this year (2022), I have been signed on as one of the Sports Paragon ambassador. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, maybe brand names such as Brooks Running, Zoot Sports and Prime may be more familiar to all of you. Yes, Sports Paragon is Paragon Vests Malaysia, sole distributors for many sports brands that some of you may had used and came across.

This year, I will be utilising Brooks Running shoes, the Zoot triathlon collections, and the Prime sports wear in my training and racing. I may from time to time, be able to share more campaigns and promotions so you my dearest readers and followers, will get a solid chance to save money while doing the sports you love. There are plentiful of sports brand and items at the Sports Paragon online store here.
The Brooks Launch8. Review here

Feel free to ask me anything of these brands. Being an user myself puts me in a very favorable position to provide actual user experiences; those of you that know my review style, will know I write based on my personal usage experience. I will continue my sharing in my social media spaces here in Instagram, Facebook Page, YouTube channel Twitter and Garmin as I engage all of you as the Key Opinion Leader (KOL), bringing technical and user reviews of these sports brand and sharing promotions and campaigns from Sports Paragon Malaysia!
The original Triathlon technical wear

To kick things off, I am sharing discount codes for online purchases for all brands under Sports Paragon, Brooks Running Zoot Sports and Prime. Sports should be affordable to everyone, and looking good is part of it! These discount codes are for your whole year 2022 purchases from Sports Paragon website, Zoot Malaysia and Brooks Running Malaysia. There are plenty of brands with different items. There will be something to suit all style, preferences and budget. Do check for item availability from time to time.
Find out more about them soon!

The specific Zoot and Brooks website carries newer models while Sports Paragon has everything, including some older models, which is why you see better discount in Sports Paragon official site.

Promo Code: SPEV02(SP)
Footwear: 55%
Apparels: 50%
Sandals: 40%
Accessories: 50%

Promo Code: EEVANOFF25 (Brooks)
25% OFF of all items ( exclude sale items )

Promo Code: ZOOTEEVAN20 (Zoot)
20% OFF Zoot website Non promo items
10% OFF Zoot website Promotion items
Together with Garmin Malaysia and Stryd Malaysia for 2022!

I will be using these hashtags a lot in my social media postings, so that will allow for easier references with like-minded individual that contribute to the community. 

#sportsparagon #Swim #Bike #Run #triathlon #zootsportsmy #brooksrunningmy #primesportsmy #sportsparagonmy #keepshowingup #runhappymy #AllWeatherRunner #keepshowingup #runhappymy #AllWeatherRunner #getfitwithsportsparagon #GarminMalaysia #BeatYesterdayMY #StrydMalaysia #RunningWithPowerMY
Bring On 2022!


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Continental UltraContact 6 SUV - UC6SUV - 2 Years In

With slightly more than 2 years in service and approximately driven for about 12k km with 2 occasions of tire rotation, balancing and alignment which happens once every 6-months. Here is a follow up of the Continental UC6SUV tire that has braved through the Covid19 lockdown and rarely used due to movement restrictions. My original post dated to August 2019 can be read here, and I will be drawing a few photos from that posting as a comparison.

Throwback August 2019
I decided to have a follow up post as the tire is technically into it's half-life (age wise) but still has a lot of tread. Rule of thumb for safety is to replace a tire once every 5-years or when the tread has worn down to the tire wear indicator. This is for both safety and compliance to the regulation (where you must have at least 1.6mm of tread on your tire). It is an offence that will get you summoned for RM300 for failure to do so. You can refer to the JPJ Malaysia site here, under Act 333 (K.105MV/C/U)

I have diligently sent my car for rotation, balancing and alignment every 6-months, or when I need to service my car. Apart from prolonging the tire life, a well aligned tire is essential for safety and handling. What help is that I have a friend that does this for a living (tire shop) and he will always ensure my cars are well aligned. I missed one session of alignment due to MCO, and this actually resulted in the car running for a year without proper alignment session.

This is the tire new as reference


This is the tire now, 12K km approx, flipped L-R. 

Immediately you can see that the left and right edges are worn off more than the middle. This is a front tire, which takes in more weight due to the engine location. So this is not unexpected. But this also strengthen the reason why tire rotation is important every 6 months or 10k km. While I am on more extreme side (every 5k km), the cost to replace the tires will be more expensive than the rotation and alignment, so the maths works out in favour of a scheduled (vs km) rotation.
closer look of the front left side

rear left is ok

Front right even wear on outer edge


Post 2 years ride impression:
The tire doesn't dissapoint in all Malaysian weather. Surely planted in the dry and a joy to drive in the wet. Aquaplanning is minimal and the grip around the corner when put through the paces is great. This is likely due to the fact that this is a UC6 meant for SUV with stiffer sidewall and limits the flexing. Having said that, the actual performance on the bend of this tire is limited only by how aggressive you are driving. As I am a careful driver, i rarely push through corners as you never know what will happen. On the straight, the tire felt secured to the ground, added with Subaru AWD system, the car goes where the steering points to with almost no delay - a testament on how responsive the tire UC6SUV is. One thing I enjoyed from day 1 until today? The braking performance remains the same as new. Impressive.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Manfaat Latihan Zon 2 Kadar Denyutan Jantung

Hello semua. Harap semua sihat dan sentiasa Covid19 negatif. Sudah masuk 21 bulan kita di ambang pandemik ini dan dengan kemunculan variasi Omicron nampaknya kita semua perlu memperketatkan lagi tabiat dan disiplin berkenaan dengan SOP seperti yang disaran oleh KKM. Untuk rencana/artikel (haha, ada perbincangan dalam perbincangan jika saya perlu kekal guna "rencana" ataupun beralih kepada "artikel" untuk lebih mengikut peredaran dan perubahan bahasa, apa kata anda?) hari ini, saya akan cuba kongsi pendapat saya berkenaan dengan latihan Zon 2. Minggu lepas, saya telah memberi ulasan bagaimana boleh mencari dan memperbetulkan zon latihan untuk diri sendiri. Hari ini, saya nak mengulas mengenai manfaat dan kebaikan latihan Zon 2 Kadar Denyutan Jantung (Zone 2 Heart Rate).

Kenapa latih di dalam Zon 2?

Zon 2 diistilahkan sebagai kadar aerobik yang stabil di mana anda boleh berlari untuk jangka masa yang lama pada kadar kelajuan yang sama tanpa memerlukan penggunaan tenaga yang berlebihan. Larian yang lebih efisen atau menjimatkan tenaga bermakna anda mampu berlari lebih lama tanpa merasa letih. Sebab itulah Zon 2 dikenali sebagai latihan larian asas. Keupayaan untuk berbual sambil mengekalkan rentak kelajuan yang sama. Larian asas walaupun nampak senang, ia adalah satu latihan yang agak susah dari segi disiplin dan ego pelari. 
larian pada kadar senang atau easy. 

Berikut ialah beberapa faedah dari larian atau latihan di Zon 2 kadar denyutan jantung:
  • Latihan asas Zon 2 yang kerap akan membantu anda membina keupayaan aerobik dan daya tahan yang kuat. Ia juga akan meningkatkan keupayaan ambang laktat anda.
  • Sila ambil perhatian bahawa Zon 2 untuk berlari dan berbasikal mungkin berbeza kerana berlari merupakan satu aktiviti yang dipengaruhi oleh sistem kardio anda dan berbasikal dihadkan oleh ketahanan sistem otot anda. Inilah sebab mengapa VO2max berlari dan VO2max berbasikal berbeza.
  • Kapasiti aerobik yang mantap akan membantu beban jantung untuk turun dan pulih dengan kadar yang lebih cepat apabila latihan intensiti tinggi di lakukan (contoh di dalam sesi larian yang sama yang mempunyai kadar intensiti tinggi yang berselang dengan rehat yang mencukupi). Kadar aerobik yang mantap juga bermaksud anda boleh melakukan latihan intensiti tinggi dan waktu rehat yang pendek antara set atau mampu melakukan volum yang lebih tinggi (jarak, masa) pada rentak kelajuan yang sama.

Higher interval volume with shorter rest, at similar pace and at similar power profile

  • Latihan kadar denyutan jantung atau HR yang lebih rendah akan membantu meningkatkan kecekapan aerobik, membolehkan anda meningkatkan rentak dan kelajuan larian anda dengan kadar denyutan jantung yang lebih rendah. Dengan ini, anda mampu berlari yang lebih lama tanpa mengorbankan cara dan postur larian, mahupun membantu berbasikal lebih jauh dengan lebih efisen.
  • Ambang Laktat (Lactate Threshold LTHR) Zon 2 membenarkan penggunaan lemak sebagai punca tenaga utama. Larian yang lebih laju akan mengakibatkan penggunaan tinggi simpanan glikogen (gula) oleh badan - ini merupakan faktor pengehad kerana glikogen semakin berkurangan, menyebabkan anda menjadi perlahan kerana lebih banyak oksigen diperlukan untuk menukar lemak menjadi tenaga. Saya pernah rencanakan tentang ini pada tahun 2012: Burning Fat as Energy/Membakar Lemak sebagai tenaga
  • LTHR Zon 2 akan menggunakan otot Jenis 1 anda atau otot renggutan perlahan yang penting untuk atlet jarak jauh. Otot Jenis 1 menggunakan lemak sebagai sumber tenaga utama dan penting untuk terus melatih otot-otot ini menggunakan lemak sebagai sumber tenaga primer. Lemak membekalkan dua kali ganda tenaga berbanding dengan karbohidrat. Ia lebih tepu tenaga (9kcal berbanding 4kcal setiap gram). Lathian Zon 2 akan membantu anda mengurangkan kemungkinan untuk "bonk" pada KM32 maraton!
Isteri saya telah berlatih pada kadar denyutan jantung Zon 2 dan peningkatan ketara berlaku cuma berlari sebanyak 5 larian seminggu (Prinsip 80-20) di mana dia berkata mampu berlari dengan lebih mudah dan lebih terkawal dari segi kadar jantung. Dalam satu larian intensiti tinggi, dia telah mencatat keputusan masa untuk jarak 5km terbaik berbanding dalam beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini. Setelah mengamalkan latihan Zon 2, kelajuan larian telah berubah dari kelajuan 7:30min/km kepada 5:30min/km tanpa peningkatan melebihi Zon 3 (larian Tempo).

Latihan larian asas Zon 2 bukanlah sesuatu yang baru, dan bukan saya yang cipta untuk tujuan penulisan rencana ini. Saya telah lama mengamalkan dan sentiasa menyaran latihan Zon 2 ini kerana ia telah terbukti membantu saya melengkapkan larian dan latihan triatlon saya. Kejayaan latihan kadar jantung Zon 2 ini bergantung kepada keutuhan dan memastikan Zon kadar jantung anda yang tepat. Harus diingatkan yang Zon 2 setiap orang berbeza, seperti kebolehan dan kemampuan setiap atlit dan pengamal latihan. 

Semoga rencana hari ini boleh membantu anda memahami matlamat latihan Zon 2. Jika terdapat sebarang soalan, sila tinggalkan ulasan di bawah. Saya akan cuba menjawab atau mengulas.

Terima kasih kerana membaca!

Monday, December 06, 2021

Latihan Berpandukan Zon 2 Kadar Jantung

Hai semua, atas cadangan dan nasihat seorang kawan, saya akan mencuba menulis rencana dalam Bahasa Malaysia dengan menggunakan rencana yang pernah saya tulis di laman saya yang tak seberapa ini. Jika ada kesilapan atau kekurangan, mohon beri pandangan dan kritikan supaya saya dapat memperbaiki untuk rencana masa hadapan!

Semoga semuanya baik dan anda semua sihat! Ini adalah penjemahan bahasa dari pautan Zone2 HR Training Benefit yang saya pernah kongsi di laman ini. Mungkin dengan rencana dalam Bahasa Malaysia, ia akan menolong kawan-kawan yang lebih fasih berbahasa untuk belajar mengenai "lactate threshold", atau  ambang laktat (LT). Perkongsian ini pernah saya tulis pada Januari 2013 dan 2019. Kira cerita lama sudah. 

Keputusan untuk mengembalikan fokus kepada latihan menggunakan ambang laktat dan juga pada tahap Zon 2 kadar jantung sangat dipengaruhi oleh aktiviti peribadi saya selepas Ironman Langkawi 2019, dan saya sendiri mengambil langkah besar dalam "berehat" di mana saya melihat kecergasan peribadi saya menurun dengan ketara dan memutuskan bahawa ini adalah peluang yang baik untuk membina semula latihan pangkal saya.

Saya telah berlatih sejak pandemik Covid19 iaitu dari Mac 2020 sehingga kini menggunakan prinsip 80-20, iaitu 80% dari latihan asas saya (berenang, berlari dan berbasikal) berada di Zon 2 kadar jantung. Selebih 20% itu adalah khusus untuk latihan yang lebih mencabar melepasi Zon 3. 

Sebagai rujukan, tiga rencana yang pernah saya tulis mengenai latihan denyutan jantung ialah:

1. Finding your Lactate Threshold - 2013
2. Training Zone based on Lactate Threshold - 2013
3. Training Zone using your Heart Rate - 2019
Carta yang saya guna pada tahun 2004, jauh sebelum GPS dan HRM mampu milik, dan menggunakan jam detik dan membaca denyutan jantung dengan menggunakan jari di pergelangan tangan. Kini, anda tidak perlu melakukan sebegini lagi kerana peranti lebih berpatutan dan tepat dari segi teknologi

Untuk perkongsian hari ini, saya akan cuba memberi ringkasan rencana yang saya pernah tulis:
A. Finding Your Lactate Threshold 2013:
Gunakan keputusan larian 5km atau 10km terbaik anda:
  • Cari purata denyutan jantung (HR) anda - ini akan menjadi Kadar Jantung Ambang Laktat (Lactate Threshold HR - LTHR) anda
  • Cari kelajuan larian (pace dalam minit/kilometer) Purata anda - ini akan menjadi Kadar Ambang Laktat (LTpace) anda
  • LTpace amat berguna jika anda mencari rentak tempo, iaitu satu larian pada Zon 3. Senaman tempo (atau maks Zon 3) hendaklah menjadi senaman utama anda. Saya menulis secara meluas mengenai perkara ini pada tahun 2013 - Tempo Run (akan saya menulis kembali di dalam Bahasa Malaysia)
  • Ingat, LTHR dan LTpace hanya akan bertambah baik setelah anda menjadi lebih kuat dan lebih pantas, ini bermakna anda perlu terus bekerja lebih keras untuk mencapai tahap kualiti senaman yang lebih mencabar. 
  • LTHR dan LTpace berkait rapat dengan VO2Max atau Volume Oksigen maksimum anda iaitu jumlah oksigen yang boleh dibawa oleh darah anda (dalam mililiter) dan diproses untuk berat anda (dalam kg) dalam satu minit.
  • Orang yang sudah berada di tahap latihan yang tinggi boleh membawa dan memproses lebih banyak oksigen berbanding orang yang tidak terlatih - ini merupakan petunjuk tahap kecergasan mereka.
  • LT anda adalah petunjuk kemampuan VO2max yang boleh digunakan oleh badan anda dengan berkesan. Jadi jika anda mempunyai VO2max yang tinggi tetapi LT yang rendah bermakna anda tidak akan dapat memaksimakan potensi itu.
  • Dalam kebanyakan kes, LT adalah petunjuk yang lebih baik tentang keupayaan atlet untuk mengeluarkan asid laktik lebih cepat, lalu menggurangkan ia terkumpul oleh otot. Atlet (sangat) terlatih akan mencapai ambang laktat mereka pada 80-85% daripada VO2Max mereka. Faktor ini adalah di mana kebanyakan peranti mengira ramalan VO2max anda berdasarkan masa yang anda habiskan di zon HR 80-85% ini.
  • Zon Larian (Formula Joe Friel berdasarkan Triathlete Training Bible - satu buku yang amat teliti mengenai cara latihan seorang triathlet.)
    • Zon 1 (Pemulihan) Kurang daripada 85% LTHR
    • Zon 2 (Aerobik) 85% hingga 89% daripada LTHR
    • Zon 3 (Tempo) 90% hingga 94% daripada LTHR
    • Zon 4 (Sub Ambang) 95% hingga 99% daripada LTHR
    • Zon 5a ( Ambang Super) 100% hingga 102% daripada LTHR
    • Zon 5b (Kapasiti Aerobik) 103% hingga 106% daripada LTHR
    • Zon 5c (Anaerobik) Lebih daripada 106% LTHR
  • Berdasarkan zon di atas, keputusan untuk larian "Zon 1 dan Zon 2" menjadi lebih jelas dan kukuh - jika anda mahu membina sistem kardiovaskular anda dan membina asas yang kukuh (kecergasan atau base fitness), latihan Zon 2 amat sesuai.
              • Hubungan antara HR Maksimum (HRmax), HR Rehat (HRr) dan LTHR. Bagaimana setiap bacaan mempengaruhi zon latihan anda, dan mengapa mencari dan menentukan zon yang betul adalah penting.
              • Tidak semua orang mempunyai Zon 2 yang sama. Anda perlu tahu HRR, HRmax dan LTHR anda. Tiada jalan pintas untuk mendapatkan data ini - anda perlu membuat larian 5km atau 10km untuk menentukan zon dan bacaan (juga lihat Bahagian A dan B di atas)
              • Sekali lagi, 80% latihan pada "mudah" (sehingga Zon 3), dan 20% pada "keras" (Zon 3 dan ke atas). Dalam istilah yang lebih mudah, jika anda berlari 5 kali seminggu, 4 hari sepatutnya mudah, dan 1 hari adalah sukar.
              Zon HR saya berdasarkan HRR, HRmax dan LTHR saya. HRR banyak menindih zon HRmax dan LTHR. Menggunakan HRR adalah lebih baik jika anda seorang pelari yang mahir dan terlatih
              • Banyak perbualan dan perbincangan di internet (seperti Twitter, Facebook dan Instagram) dari pendapat ramai pelari yang kuat (dan berjaya) menggunakan HRR sebagai zon pilihan mereka.
              • Saya lebih suka menggunakan LTHR kerana sebagai triatlet, saya perlu mampu bertahan dengan asakan latihan yang lebih lama. Oleh sebab ini, latihan saya sangat bergantung pada keupayaan keseimbangan asid laktik saya untuk tidak "letih".
              • Jika anda melihat carta di atas, anda akan melihat sama ada saya akan menggunakan HRR, saya perlu berlari lebih keras dan memasuki Z3/Z4 saya di HRR Z2. Jika saya menggunakan HRmax, ia akan menjadi terlalu mudah kerana ia akan kekal di LTHR Z1 saya.
              • Jadi sebelum anda cuba mengikuti program latihan orang lain (atau kelajuan mereka), ketahuilah zon HR yang ingin anda gunakan. Ini penting kerana Zon denyutan jantung dan latihan anda adalah khusus dan unik kepada keupayaan semasa anda.
              Selamat mencuba. Kalau ada sebarang soalan atau kemusykilan, sila tinggalkan komen di bawah!

              Seterusnya : Kenapa berlatih di Zon 2 - Nantikan rencana ini minggu depan!

              Friday, December 03, 2021

              Pirelli DIABLO™ ROSSO SCOOTER - Review UPDATE!

              Update: December 2021
              The Tire has been serving me well in the past 10k km and I would say it is at it's midlife now. Grip is still solid and certain on the corners. Braking confidence is still there, solidly. What I've noticed changes is the wet-grip has somewhat deteriorated, not unexpected but taking corners would require a bit more confidence and common sense (of slowly down). Directional changes is still sharp - bearing in mind that this is a scooter, not a superbike, and it can get clumsy on tight roads and switching lanes between cars.
              With another perhaps, 2 years before a tire change, I will see how much more I could push this tire, before deciding if I will stick to the same model, or change to another tire for future easy town commuting no drama ride.
              Until then, keep safe!
              This review post has been written on March 21, 2019.

              Two years ago, I did a review on a pair of Pirelli Angel CiTy that was fixed to my 13 years old underbone motorbike. 2-years on, I have no complains of the rubber's performance in both wet and dry. Every corner and every braking I did on my daily commute is with full confidence that my wheels will stay on the road. As a conclusion to the "long term review" of this tire, it has clocked close to 4000km over the past 2-years. Low mileage considering I only use it for commuting - and still looked new. No compromise on the grip - wet or dry!  Also, my first bike, the Keeway TX200 came with Pirelli Angel Demon as standard. I know how the bike handles with the rubber, and two experiences tells me, Pirelli makes good tires for bikes too!
              Made the 110cc bike looked fast
              Fast forward 2-years later, I made a decision to purchase a second hand scooter - A Modenas Elegan 250i, which was a direct rebadge from Kymco X-Town 300i. The 250cc variant is only available in Malaysia. I will find time to do a review of this scooter. I had a hard time trying to find real user feedback of this scooter, as most were written by media and sound too good, driving the marketing pitch. Hands up if you agree real user review trumps any other social media influencers or media write up!
              Vrroom!

              Nice modern curves of a scooter

              The X-LED light is to show it's the Kymco X-Town
              The Scooter has two different sized tires/rim. 
              Recommended Pressure is 28psi and 32psi
              The front tire is a 120/80-14, and the back is 150/70-13. This meant the front tire is 96mm in height, and the rear is 105mm in height. A larger wheel provides better control over potholes or uneven road, and smaller wheels has lower rolling resistance (or inertia). The new bike came with Kenda K711 (and front is known as K711F) rubber. 
              K711 150/70-13 M/C 64S (M/C is Motorcycle) (approximately RM180 in Czech or average USD75 elsewhere)
              With rating of 64S - which meant it has a max load of 280kg (each) and speed rating of 180km/h. Technically more than sufficient to manage the scooter weight+rider+passenger+load. Kenda tires are good from my own experience, and they make great mountain bike tires. However, I do not know of their reputation with scooter tires.
              Kenda 711 Front has a middle line running through, while the rear is more sports aggressive looking
              As I bought the scooter pre-loved, it has 4000km on the dial. I rode it home from Jenjarom, via SKVE and NKVE - a decent 40km. Tested the tire at legal speed (90kmh and 110kmh) with occasional sprint (80-110km/h) to see where the power and torque comes in (22hp at 7000rpm and 21.7Nm at 6500rpm). One thing I noticed was that cornering took a little bit of confidence, and straight line (along SKVE one section with 10km straight) was not as assured/stable. I am sure some of you that rides two-wheeler will be able to relate to what I just shared. The next day, i headed out to get the tire changed. 
              Front tire after 4000km - pitting spotted.

              Rear tire after 4000km, looked worn on the middle - likely running on too high pressure 
              In Come The Pirelli Diablo™ Rosso

              While researching on internet for Malaysian scooter community, i came across many discussion on tire of choice for the Modenas Elegan 250i, particularly when the owner/rider were talking about cornering and straight line capability. Comfort and braking distance were part of discussion as well (since the Elegan 250i doesn't have ABS). 
              Great workshop for tire change!
              Three brand and model came up; Pirelli Diablo Rosso, Pirelli Angel Scooter and Bridgestone Hoop BO2 (lower profile at 70, none at 80). Pricing wise, Bridgestone being the most expensive at more than RM150 compared to Rosso, and close to 200 more than Angel. However, the Rosso sizing makes it a perfect fit (no compromise on speedometer reading as it's exact sizing). 
              Front tire rating at 212kg and rear at 280kg. TL = Tubeless. Both tires is about a year old based on manufacturer's date (WWYY)
              Based on feedback from a friend that used to ride TX200, and not riding a NMAX 155, scooter wheel balancing is essential to ensure even wear and stability. Since this will be changed, the shop offered free balancing and installation. No complains there as balancing will run up to RM50 (total) for me separately. 
              Rosso front tire - make sure you install it the other rotation around for water dispersion!
              The tires cost slightly less than RM500 (for both, can't remember exact pricing but I know the rear was more expensive due to wider width). Once everything was done, i got a reminder from the mechanic to "please do not ride too fast today as the tire still has a wax layer on it". Adding to that, it was raining. Talk about testing the wet performance immediately! Why not???
              Wet Performance
              3-rain rides over the past 600km since I took ownership of the bike. Confidence from KM 2 of the ride was very evident. I still rode carefully along DUKE highway (journey of 25km) with heavy rain pouring down all the way. Was cautious as I never rode a scooter, so my ability to take corner on this Elegan 250i was not as great as the Motard (TX200) and the underbone (Modenas Kriss). Then it rained heavily about 3 days ago, and yesterday (those God-sent rain were a great respite from the 38degC heat!)
              Drizzle starting!
              The Rosso lives up to the claim, and the other bikers' feedback, of the tire performance in wet. One of my Twitter correspondence mentioned that the Rosso is "superbike grade". He wasn't far as Rosso is placed as "Sport" range
              Angel is placed as "urban" vs Rosso as "Sport"
              Dry Handling
              A tire that has been performing well in the wet will obviously provide as good, if not better performance on the dry road. As the Elegan 250i is bigger than other scooter, it also weigh close to 200kg - it was very stable at all speed, including manouvering in traffic and on highway. Having a responsive tire helps in changing of direction. When I rode the Kenda K711, changes in direction on highway was slower - or there is a lag with steering response. At speed of 110kmh, everything else is slow (speed is relative), I remember having to change direction to avoid a pothole (on a highway!), and that milisecond split was critical. However, on the Rosso, changes of direction was way more responsive - almost that milisecond counts when avoiding potholes. I hope I am making sense here. 
              correct installation of the front tire is important. As shown in the photo above, the tread/rotation is reverse vs the rear. Make sure your tire mechanic/technician knows what they are doing and do not let them convince you (to put it per rotation on sidewall)
              Cornering
              Due to the construction and feature of Rosso, cornering on the scooter was safe and sure. Infact, it was fun, and the only thing between the lower part of the scooter frame and the road is the size of your balls. Leaning in on the scooter, and with the Rosso on was significantly different when I compared it against the Kenda. On the former, i felt the tire was losing grip as I exit the highway interchange at 80kmh (to a toll plaza), where else the Rosso allows me to take the same corner confidently. Perhaps, it is also the confidence one has that the (newer) tire will do what it does.
              The Rosso from back - looked aggressive and changes how the bike look instantly
              Tire Pressure
              The recommended pressure is 28front and 32 rear for one rider. The tire shop recommended to me both to be running at 32psi for the Rosso. After tweaking it for a week, running it at 32-34, and 32-33, the sweet spot for me was 32-33 where the comfort and handling were optimised for my weight (72kg), and with a passenger (max 55kg). Any lesser the scooter has a drag, and any higher, the ride became too harsh and bumpy. Bare in mind that tire will also heat up due to rolling resistance, and it will increase the pressure by up to . 
              Tire rotation, and marking on the sidewall
              The Rosso was introduced in January 2017, and it replaces the older scooter tires with more improvement (H-rated to S-rated) and compound


              The Pirelli Diablo™ Rosso Scooter Tires, per the website:
              THE NEXT LEVEL FOR HIGH-PERFORMANCE AND SPORT SCOOTERS 
               


              1. Motorcycle performance on a scooter tyre
              2. Improved handling, absolute grip and performance in the wet combining all the latest technologies, materials, processes, and know-how achieved by PIRELLI in the racing activities
              3. Dedicated to riders with a sporty riding style, both in the urban environment and/or on winding roads or mountain passes
              4. High Silica Dual-Compound in rear tyre for higher mileage and excellent grip in all conditions
              DIABLO ROSSO™ SCOOTER provides the following benefits and technical 
              characteristics:
              • Sport handling: this tyre provides maximum agility in directional changes, 

              great stability in a straight line, and precision when holding a riding ‘line’, 
              whilst providing a high level of safety and predictability. This is due to the 
              combined characteristics of the profiles and the structures derived from the 
              new DIABLO ROSSO™
              • The best grip: thanks to the materials and the experience gained in other 
              areas, the new DIABLO ROSSO™ SCOOTER provides high level performance in 
              all conditions and at a wide range of operating temperatures.
              • Consistent performance: just having high performance is not enough; you 
              need to be able to have that performance for the entire lifespan of the tyre. 
              DIABLO ROSSO™ SCOOTER has a dual blend solution on the rear and a high 
              percentage of silica content that provides excellent grip in all conditions and 
              after significant mileage. The sport profiles and the “flash” tread pattern 
              ensure even wear and excellent water displacement.
              DIABLO ROSSO™ SCOOTER will be available from January 2017 in ten sizes
              six for the front (14, 15 and 16 inches) and four for the rear (13, 14 and 
              15 inches). The complete range of sizes is below

              Thursday, November 25, 2021

              Brooks Launch 8 : Unboxing and Review


              My first Brooks was a Cascadia 5. It was my absolute go to shoe for trails and it never failed me for many adventure races. I then got myself a Ghost 3, and then a Ghost 5, of which both of them lasted me close to a 1000km ride before I retire them for good. Infact, the Ghost 5 insole, is still in service in one of my casual loafers - it is that comfortable as a liner. My last Brooks was the Pure-series - the PureGrit and PureDrift. Both of these were back in 2012. I've not owned any Brooks after that due to collaboration with another shoe brand. This lasted until 2016, and for the past 5-years, I have been using whichever shoes I have from the collaboration, buying a handful, and wearing them to literal death. My last pair had holes on the sole and what saved me was the insole of the shoe against my barefoot.

              So, when Brooks Malaysia offered me a pair of their latest - and by mean of that, I get to choose which pair I wanted, I was excited of this potential collaboration. Thanks to Sports Paragon, which had their official opening at Tropicana Garden Mall in Kota Damansara, i feasted my eyes to what has changed in the space of Brooks running shoes since 2012. Ghost is now at version 14. Adrenaline and Glycerin now looked more contemporary. Launch was re-introduced and a new line of super-light racers known as Hyperion (Tempo and Elite 2) is giving some faster kicks a run for their money.

              Max Cushioning Glycerin 19 in all black for those that want basic

              Glycerin 19 Go-To-Support (GTS) - for those that needed extra support

              Hyperion Tempo - Fast, but not as Fast as Elite 2

              As my training eats up mileage fast - averaging about 200km/month, which meant if the rules of thumb to change a pair of trainer between 300-500miles or in metric - 480km to 800km, I would need a new pair every 3-4 months. And this is consistent as I've clocked in the past 12 months, to date, close to 2,600km - equivalent to 3 pairs of shoes (of which the three pairs I have been using in the past 18months is way beyond their time to be replaced). 

              Without a collaboration (or sponsorship as the old terms refers), It would had been an expensive affair just to keep training. So, I am very grateful for Paragon Vest, the distributor of Brooks to offer me a pair. Thank you for this!


              So, the next question was - which one I will go with. Obviously you all know I've taken the Launch 8 based on the title of this blog entry. How did I arrived at that? Brooks has a decision tree to help along! Initially, I was contemplating between getting the more cushioned mileage eater - Adrenaline GTS 21. Latest of the latest. I was considering the Hyperion Tempo as well, because I believe I am at the stage I can do justice to a pair of fast shoe being the driver, and not just the passenger. Then I was thinking that the Adrenaline, being heavier and more cushioned, will not help with my strides which has shorter ground contact time - more cushioned equals to more landing time. The Hyperion became very attractive, but I am not sure how much mileage I can put in them and I hate to be wonder if I need a change in 2-months time. If only I could have the privilege to have both mileage (for easy days) and speed (for fast days).

              Hence the Launch 8 came in very nicely right in the middle with balance of mileage and speed.

              "Brooks Launch 8 is touted as a lightweight speed trainer, with lighter cushioning that does not sacrifice softness and durability"

              Unboxing

              Such a long introduction to get to this isn't it? Thank you for staying put and continue to read. The Launch 8 is known as a lightweight speed trainer, with lighter cushioning that provide softness and durability. I tried them on and i felt taller but at the same time, grounded. Decided on size US11 in D-width. I always thought I needed an E. Perhaps the sizing is more generous that some of the other brands I have been using in the past 5 years. For the record, i needed a US12 for Adidas Supernova as it runs tight at the toebox, and for Nike, it was a mix of 11 and 12, depending on the model and what is on sale (for less than RM100). It is nice to be a size 11 again. 


              Official weight as per Brooks for a US9 male sizing is 249grams and my pair of US11 runs into just 17grams heavier at 266grams. Even at this weight, it is already the lightest shoes I had put on my feet in the past 3 years. 
              Light!

              Brooks continue with the BioMoGo foams which will break down faster in anaerobic condition in landfill. While the DNA in the Launch8 essential meant there is presence of the cushioning gel in the midsole. This DNA gel is adaptive to the force applied. A higher force will make it firmer. This meant the cushioning is able to adapt to be firmer for a heavier user, and yet become more responsive when the pace picks up. 

              DNA in Launch8

              There are three other version of DNA available in other models. Namely the DNA AMP, DNA Loft and DNA Flash. I do not have any experiences in any of them, but would love to try them particularly the AMP and Flash where there are nitrogen injected into the foam that offers snappy fast response. The Loft offers the plushest ride with performance included. So, Launch8 has the most basic of the DNA.
              Blown rubber (softer) on forefoot area.

              Carbon black runner on heel to mid area 

              It is good to note that Launch8, despite the fast-labelled shoe comes with full outsole that covers from the front to the back. The heel is from harder carbon black material, while the front is from blown rubber which gives more cushioning despite the thinner stack. Personally, it has no bearing for me as most of my shoes has always been "minimalist". Which having said that, the Launch8 is a 10mm drop shoes with a 26-16 (Heel-Toe) and it makes me feel tall wearing it. 
              Model name on the foam

              Good to note as well, that the liner is made from the same EVA foam and it adds extra plushness to the overall ride. You may observe that the heel cup is turned upwards, which then aid in securing/locking the heel in position and it is already a promising feature that the heel will be secured. Heel slip is when you run and the back portion sort of slides up and down, causing unnecessary friction point and blisters.

              Continuing on, the tongue is not gusseted or in layman term, secured at all sides. It is a floater. Some see this as minus point, some is ok with it. Pros of a gusseted tongue is that it doesn't move and it prevent any possible grit or small stones from entering the shoe from the top of your feet (the heel/ankle area not withstanding). 

              Launch V8. A different way to denote the model iteration


              The laces are flat, and it doesn't come with an spare lace of a different color. Black on Black, flat laces is basic. It works. And I am not sure if I want to swap them for some colorful laces, to play along with the rest of the shoe in what Brooks called the "Victory" collection. Good to note is that the Heel Lock lace hole is reinforced and in a better position than many shoes i have noticed.
              new upper air mesh claims better ventilation. Take note of the Heel Lock hole directly below the first/top hole.

              The upper mesh is a new air mesh that Brooks claim to offer better ventilation as the internal is also missing any other material that they mention as "booties" or a smoother inner. This basically allow for the skin to be closer to the air mesh, for cooler ride. 

              A look inside the shoe with liner removed. This is against sunlight as I was drying my shoe after a rainy run. 

              Take note of the shoe mesh in the photo above. It shows pretty good aeration and breathable mesh. Also note the far end where the toe is with reinforced liner that basically help to keep shape and provide a longer wear-tear profile. Those areas are the high-wear area (ever had a shoe with torn toe section due to abrasion?) Also noticed the not gusseted tongue from the inner view.

              As I run sockless, this is pretty good feature for me. However, most of my shoes I've worn in the past 10 years has been on sockless anyway. This feature is least of my priority. Would be more interested to know how fast it will dry off with lighter mesh.

              A very well designed heel collar

              One of the nice feature and well designed is the heel collar (closest to the Achilles). It allow an easy slip of your feet into the shoe. If you swap the laces with a quick lace or elastic lace, you may not even need to loosen the elastic to slide your feet in - almost a perfect fit all the time with minimal adjustment. While I am no podium winner in triathlon races, this is very much appreciated in the Bike-Run transition where you don't need to worry too much about wet feet trying to get into the running shoe, and having to re-secure when you are already tired. it saves seconds, if not minutes.
              The Launch8 was super pliable and promises to move with your feet

              The last feature i tested before going for the run was how flexible and pliable the show is. It took very little effort to press the shoe in the position i showed above. I have ran in flexible shoes, and I've ran in flexible shoes. This remind me of the Brooks PureDrift and the Skechers GoBionic.
              Promotional material next to Launch8 in the Flagship store

              First Feel 
              The lacing was good and it secured my feet very nicely. I have normal arch and a mid-to-heel over pronation. Feeling the foam under my feet, i can feel the plushness vs one of the shoe I was using even when new. It was a very new (rekindled) experience. Something I knew I've missed over the 3-years of wearing "shoes on clearance". 
              Laced. Ready.
              (that small little footpod is Stryd a power meter for running, doesn't come with Launch8)

              The Medium width (D) felt great on my feet. My toes can splay out comfortably without having the  small toes pressing out the side. We all know how some sneakers looked great until you wear them as the outline of your toes presses out the mesh material, which also denotes potential friction points for longer runs.
              feet stayed within the shoe. My toes were splayed open in this shot

              Another view from the side on the shoe integrity with my feet in

              ...and First Run
              I took the Launch8 for an easy paced run with 6 sets of stride repeat. The Launch8 felt lively. There were bounce in the steps that were more than my usual shoes, including one with more modern material/foam that promises to boost your steps. The run allowed me to benchmark a similar run using another shoe and to compare very crudely if the bounce/feel is real. This is the first impression. Comparing Run 319(old shoe) vs Run 334 (Launch8)
              from data point, can you see the differences?
              Both runs are in the same direction, same loop. Elevation gain per loop is similar. Only differences is that the Run 334 were in the evening where I spend the earlier part of day at hospital and was tired (but very eager to test the shoe), and the Run 319 was my usual lunch time hustle. 
              The run with Launch8 showed:
              1. Faster average pace at 4:19 vs 4:52. This differences is significant despite delta of 8bpm.
              2. Lower energy/power for the 30s strides which was below my Critical Power (CP) of 311W, vs the Run 319, which was above my CP. Some evidence of power/watt savings on Launch8.
              3. Pace during the 30s strides are much faster vs the CP, which meant some evidence of free speed on Launch8.
              Makes you go fast
              Testing to date
              *caveat - I have no experience running in more technologically advanced shoe (read: Carbon plated, breakthrough foams) and these finding/response below is based on my runs comparing against 4 pairs of trainers with basic features and EVA foams.😊

              To date (Nov 25th), I've logged in 11 runs (a run a day), covering about 116km. Runs consist of 1 interval repeat, 3 easy with strides, 6 easy and 1 full marathon on Launch8. I've covered a minimum of 5km to a maximum of FM, ranging from 25minutes to 4:50. Two of the runs were in rain, completely drenched, 3 of the runs were before 10am, 1 after 5pm, and the remaining 7 is at lunch. I dare to claim that I've tested the Launch8 pretty extensively across all environmental elements, different required pace and power, wide range of distance and extended duration. 

              Pros
              • light and flexible. The fact that it is lighter than my other trainers gave it impression it is responsive.
              • You feel grounded, yet you know the shoe will provide adequate cushioning with the DNA midsole.
              • Fit is nice. Just need to find the sweet spot with the lacing pressure
              • No blisters despite running sockless, including during the FM
              • No heel slips despite all drenched in rain and sweat
              Cons
              • Not wet weather grip friendly. Two experiences in rain showed a lot of slips even on tar/asphalt road. It impacted power transfer slightly due to split second grip-slips.
              Not-Really-A-Con-But-It-Is-Just-Me
              • Dries fairly slowly at the heel collar part, front air mesh dries fast. A challenge for me to get them to dry before my next day run after a wet (rain) run. 
              • ONLY during my FM run, as I run sockless, road sand and small stones gets in fairly easily around the heel collar. While i did not get any blisters from the shoe running sockless, i get abrasion chaffing due to sand in shoe. Note to self - socks if running beyond 3-hours on Launch8.
              Run Happy during the FM in conjunction with KLSCM 2021

              Outsole wear after 116km or 70miles is not significant. While the softer blown rubber front showed some sign of wear, the heel with carbon black showed almost none. The series of photos below will show you how my wear pattern on a pair of 1.5K km shoes vs Launch8. 

              First my left foot. It has a higher tendency to strike Heel first before it lands midfoot. I think i got lazier left foot.
              Can you see why I need new shoes?

              Little to no wear on the forefoot

              almost no wear to the heel

              Toe off slightly more wear

              Next my right foot. It has more midfoot and forefoot wear vs the heel. I think because it is the more dominant/stronger leg.
              Right foot better wear pattern

              consistently little to no wear on the forefoot

              a bit more wear on the outer forefoot

              No wear at the heel

              The Launch8 looked promising that it will have a lifespan of no less than 1,000km or about 5-months of wear for me. The significantly thicker outsole before the foams may provide the mileage assurance. As seen in the orange shoe above, I have completely wear off the whole outsole, and ate into the foam. I will update here as the mileage continue to rakes in. For now, this will be the only pair I will put through the paces.


              #RunHappy

              This pair of Brooks Launch8 is courtesy of Brooks Malaysia and Sports Paragon. Retail price of this is MYR490, which put it very nicely in the mid-range of daily trainers that is lightweight and offer performance enhancement vs regular heavier trainers. Be reminded that there is no carbon plate in this pair, and user should not compare this against performance shoes specifically designed for speed. Suffice to say, Launch8 sits nicely between your daily easy trainer and your go-to speed shoe on rotation. If you only have one choice and contemplate between cushion and performance, this could be a good start!