Wednesday, October 16, 2019

T-12 Days to Ironman Toothache Solved

Triathletes are Drama people
Nik, our dear triathlete, and awesome moresome photographer posted the above in relation to how tapering triathletes will tend to behave. The IG Story came right on que as most, if not all, of us taking part in the Malaysia Ironman (in Langkawi) is currently doing; tapering is important to keep both the body warm and ready, while not overloading on training. Think of it as an exam - where last minute attempt will often not result in favorable outcome.
Joining the Drama Wagon
About 5 months ago, during one of my travel, i had some issues with my tooth, it acted up and I thought it was due to the constant flying and air-pressure changes. I read it may impact, but I never had this issue in the past 4-years of having the privilege to go around the world. The pain comes and go, the typical uncomfy feeling in the mouth that doesn't radiates longer than an hour. sensitive tooth, maybe. In my last visit to the dentist (government dental clinic), i did scaling and that was when the pain started to be worse, and lasting more than a few days. The doctor wrote me a letter and asked me to head to General Hospital KL (GHKL) Dental department as they are not equipped for surgery to remove an impacted wisdom tooth.
Yes, impacted wisdom tooth.
No one love going to see dentist.
Not even Mr. Bean. Remember?
That's about the right reaction
So, with the pain that was radiating from the lower left jaw, pulsating and both dull and sudden throbbing, the past two days (T-12 and T-11), i had serious concern. When the pain did not go off after a few hours, then a day, I starts to freak out. The images of operation, cutting the gum, stitching it up, 2-5 days of recovery, root canal, and worse - Did Not Start (DNS) on race day.

Thanks Edwin Ng for the photo. Making me look good.
Emotionally, there is too much to bear after not being able to race since 2015 (my last race was 2014). Financially, these races and preparation are not cheap! I am not concerned of the training effort I put in, because I've been training as a lifestyle. I am prepared for races, just have to "brush" it up.
My plight for help was answered when a fellow Old Putera left a message on my posting
The Doc (friend from same Alumni), explained to me the risk of what I may go through. I was clear of what I will have to go through, be it before IM, or after IM. His last message was to "come see me". I made an appointment with him, as he is also teaching in the faculty (of dentistry), and I am never more glad. You see, I am supposed to see a dentist (a friend's wife) the day before, but she is out on vacation. I made appointment for Thursday (tomorrow, as this post is written on Wednesday). So, you can see how much i wanted to get this fix, soonest.
Part of Nizz's message after I pass her a brand new Garmin FR945. Operative word - RUSH OFF to dentist, which i never got to see yesterday (Tuesday)
And now, I have an appointment with a Specialist, and he is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at this University.
Arriving early at the Faculty of Medicine (Dentistry) of UITM was great for me. I've never knew of this place, as I will almost just stop at Sg Buluh Hospital. Arriving early also gave me the opportunity to relax. Yes, no one likes to go see Dentist. I am yet to know anyone that see dentist because it's "annual check up".
First One here, apart from the staffs of course!
Doc walked in right before 0830, the time we set the appointment. I then went to register myself as a patient (RM20 for specialist), and went to pay for X-Ray (RM30). Yes, it is unbelievable that the KKM (Dental) i used to go has never taken any X-ray of my condition, and refereed me to GHKL (Dental) directly - all these based on visual inspection of the tooth.
Love the colorful lead vest
The X-Ray confirmed that my left lower wisdom tooth (T38) is growing out side way (has been all these while). What I wasn't expecting was that the pain I am experiencing wasn't because of the T38, but T37 - the tooth right next to it. As the tooth was growing out at an angle, it limits my cleaning ability, particularly to floss between T37 and T38. The food residue has caused decay from the bottom at bone level (below the gum).
Red line is gum. Green is the decay. 
Based on the top pic, I was given two options:
1. Remove the wisdom tooth (cut gum, break tooth, work around jaw bone), then try to save T37 by filling it. However, there is no guarantee the filling will work (the prognosis will be poor), as there is no way to fill the hole under the gum/bone.
2. Remove T37. Leave T38 untouched. Live with the gap left by T37.
Doc explained to me in great details, making sure I am informed and know what I get myself into. The best summary he gave?
If i go with Option 2, i not only get to save T38, I get to recover within the next 2-days, and can continue to train.
That was the magic word. Now Let me share this photo again
Triathletes are Drama people
I agreed to the procedure immediately, more conscious of the his timing - and he told me it can be done in 30mins. I have freed up my morning, and I do not want to delay this more - if I can end the pain today, I do it. 
But of course, ONE photo before the procedure!
The game plan is to break the tooth into a few pieces and pull it out. It is not a normal extraction as it will involve breaking of tooth with hardware that whiz at 4000rpm. Then, it will involve carefully calculated steady hand movement to yank the pieces out, remove the roots completely, leaving the socket empty - and void. I swear the tongue will feel the void. 
Sparing the details of the minor operation, below were what I've learn in the process today:
1. I received no less than 4-injections to numb the left side of my face (and mouth) which is still numb after 1300hours
2. I may had been injected more as the process of pulling the tooth out was in progress (by then, the needle poking was dull in comparison to the force applied to yank it out - with forceps),
3. Why i have more bones in my jaw (torus, as dentist call it), which is due to the training (athleticism) I put myself in, 
4. I can graft these bones for any jaw surgery, if needed (wow),
5. I learn how much anesthesia should be given based on body weight (because Doc quizzed the other dentist in training while operating on me), 
6. I learn that Doc has impeccable bedside manners, i have lost count of apologies he said every time he believe he is hurting me (thank goodness I wasn't a sickening senior back in school). 
A photo after, being able to smile tells you I am happy the problem has been solved! A gauze was in my mouth
I made a joke before the operation, telling him about my resting heartrate - and promise him I let him know how my HR spiked during the operation. Here it is, the spikes happened during the time I was less than comfortable (I won't say "in pain", as he help me managed the pain really well). I started at 49bpm at 0826hours and ended with 45bpm at 0920, 10mins after the operation. The high was at 84bpm when I had my X-Ray taken, and it seems that the actual puling out only peak at 79bpm - when the last part was removed, including the root. See, Triathletes love their data - even when in pain.
Triathletes and Data
Thank you again Doctor OP sir. I can now rest assured that my tapering plan will go on as planned. See you soon, and the next time, hopefully we are swimming, biking or running!

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Garmin Training Status Explained

I been getting a few queries about “Training Status” on the Garmin device, and why after the weekend KLSCM (Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon), their “Training Status” went into “Unproductive”. The conversation triggered as I showed my “Unproductive” status after sharing my 42km run results. It raised a lot of questions. Many asked how can one be unproductive (as a negative verb) when you just, well, ran a freaking 42km? I realized this can be discontenting for some, while for me, having understand how this work, not too worried and fully understand the message that is being sent by the device, to me.
Should you be worried?
Training status is a feature by Garmin that analyses your historical training load and habit and put them into an easy-to-understand bigger picture. If you do not use your device when you go for your exercise, or loan your device to another person, this will screw up your overall reading. This is because many of the user settings are set based on your ability; your Maximum Heart Rate, Lactate Threshold, Resting Heartrate, sleep, VO2Max, and even your sleeping time. These metrics has significant impact to how the “Training Status” are derived.

What Training Status does is to help provide a guidance and help your training plan in future – should you consider putting more intensity, train longer, and if you are working hard enough to see changes. Your effectiveness of your current training is being considered (in the form of the past 7-days training load) and your fitness level changes.
Training Status vs VO2Max vs Training Load - All related!
If you look at the logic, if you reduce your training, your fitness level will decrease. But if your previous training load is too high (meaning you need rest), a break or slow down or “recovery” may actually result in increase of fitness level – hence sometimes you get a surprised “new VO2max detected” after a day or two or rest, followed by a hard workout such as interval and speed work.

Along the same way, logically, if you train everyday and have the training load (in past 7-days) to be high, and you are happy with your progress – only to see your fitness slip into unproductive (like in my case), you know you may be bordering on “overtraining” if you are not too careful.

So, if you been training consistently for weeks, and your fitness level has been good. You make small day-to-day improvement in terms of load (optimal), the device will identify this as “productive”. Similarly, if you keep putting in hard training (intervals, hill work, speed work) day after day, the device will detect this as overreaching and you may have to cut back down on the intensity, or even take days off from training to recover.

In the device, these are the typical indicator to help you understand. These definitions is available in your Garmin Connect and also on Garmin website.

Peaking – You are in ideal race condition! Your recently reduced training load is allowing your body to recover and fully compensate for earlier training. Be sure to think ahead, since this peak state can only be maintained for a short time.

Productive – Keep up the good work! Your training load is moving your fitness in the right direction. Be sure to plan recovery periods into your training to maintain your fitness level.

Maintaining – Your current training load is enough to maintain your fitness level. To see improvement, try adding more variety to your workouts or increasing your training volume.

Recovery – Your lighter training load is allowing your body to recover, which is essential during extended periods of hard training. You can return to a higher training load when you feel ready.

Unproductive – Your training load is at a good level, but your fitness is decreasing. Your body may be struggling to recover, so pay close attention to your overall health, including stress, nutrition and rest.

Detraining – You’ve been training much less than usual for a week or more, and it’s affecting your fitness. Try increasing your training load to see improvement.

Overreaching – Your training load is very high and has become counterproductive. Your body needs a rest. Give yourself time to recover by adding lighter training to your schedule.

No Status – You typically need a week or two of training history, including recent activities with VO2 max results from running or cycling, before we can determine your training status.

So you been “unproductive”
The mystery of this can easily be explained this way. If you been running and exercising and you get this beep on your device that says “Performance Condition +5” or “Performance Condition -10”. On Garmin Connect, Performance Condition is defined and classified as this:

“As you run, performance condition analyzes your pace, heart rate, and heart rate variability to make a real-time assessment of your ability to perform compared to your average fitness level. During the first 6 to 20 minutes of an activity, your watch displays your performance condition score. Performance condition can also be an indicator of fatigue level, especially at the end of a long training run.”
Performance Condition indicator
Now it starts to make sense… despite having a good “fitness base”, the 42km run that I did returned a performance condition that denotes me having only a “fair” condition, which is below my baseline. Hence, the decline and the fatigue indicator.
The KLSCM 42km, my Performance Condition has been at average -3, which is "Fair", which resulted in "Unproductive"
When my Vo2Max went from 55 to 56 about 3 weeks ago, my Performance Condition during a 5km BRICK run was on the +4 and at baseline. The device algorithm checked this as Productive and hence the increase.
Compared to this 5km BRICK Run, which I completed in 22mins, It's on "Good" level, which help me to record new VO2Max
I will not touch into the Training Load for this article – as I am assuming the concern here is because despite a good Training Load, the status is on the decline. If your Training Load is already sub-optimal, it is expected your Training Status will be on the lower end as well.

Your Training Status ties in very closely to the Performance Condition at the time you are doing the exercise. If your heart rate (hence why finding your HRMax and LTHR is important) is higher at a particular pace (hence why it is important for you to put in the correct lactate pace in your User Setting) for your Garmin calculated VO2Max then you will have a negative Performance Condition. 

Likewise, If your heart rate is lower at a particular pace for your Garmin to calculated VO2Max then you will have a positive Performance Condition. Make sense – as you are now more efficient (lower HR threshold) and running at a higher speed (pace), a good indication you are improving.

To maintain a Productive status you must be working out above your Training Load while keeping positive Performance Conditions during workouts that calculate your VO2Max.

My personal take on this Training Status is to use it as a guidance, and to provide insight into our own training regime – we tend to fall into three categories; training too hard (in desperation to improve) or thinking we are training hard (in denial that the fitness is on decline) or training insufficiently (or wrongly) because of other factors. For this “Unproductive” status to show on my device since September 24 – it closely relates to the detraining status in the run up of KLSCM, and the 42km itself being take much easier (ave HR Z2/3) vs a very slow pace (Z1/2 threshold pace) which resulted in the “unproductive”.
Ruled By Device #FeelMyPain
Am I worried? Not really. I believe it will go up back again within the next 2 weeks. Even if it doesn’t show “Peaking” before my Ironman Langkawi on October 26, 2019 – I will still be racing at my own personal peak condition. Use these as guidance, not absolute indicator, very much like how Maximum HR calculation of 220-age is too generic for someone that is active and train at least 7 times a week!

Hope today’s article help you to understand how to continue to maximise your Garmin device!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Nike Flex Run 2017 vs 2018

With Skechers Malaysia no longer collaborating with me and a few of my team mates in Team 2ndSkin, as they moved into a different market segment in Malaysia, I found myself having to start looking again for shoes that will suit me. I be lying to say it be easy - because over the years, I've been so used to Skechers that I can tell you what model I am wearing even with my eyes closed. If you read my Review sections, you will see the numbers of Skechers I've worn, and loved. All good things come to an end, and I found myself looking at options.
Cheap options if I may say so myself.
A Ringgit Saved, is a Ringgit earned.
When Royal Sporting House (RSH) had a warehouse clearance sales at the end of May 2019, i went to take a look and was lucky to have chance upon two pairs of Nike Flex Run, one a 2017 model, and the other a 2018 model. They were sold for RM90 (Original when launched, RM490!) and RM110 (also RM490 when launched) each, with the 2018 being more expensive (because newer). I found both to be my size, and the price point was hard to say no to. Those of you that were there for that RSH sales, will remember how they put in another 50% off if you buy a third pair - and that was what I did as we got another pair for wifey (Saucony) and paid RM80 for a RM160 on-sale Litefoam series.
Nike - What Is There To Hate
Nike Pegasus 36. Image from Nike Malaysia
My last pair of Nike was courtesy of Nike Malaysia. They were the Pegasus+, which had the integrated hole to put in the Nike+ footpod. This was in 2008. That was 11 years ago, which made the Pegasus I had to be series 25, or Pegasus 25+. For those of you not in the know of the series, Pegasus is now at series 36. I was given a Nike Triax 10+ back in 2007 as well, and a pair of Adidas Supernova 7 (in 2007). I have written extensively of these shoes, and has put them all in a write up comparing it here. These shoes back in 2008 cost about RM350 onwards (RRP, not after discount). A bargain if you compare the pricing of running shoes now. Pegasus 36 full price is RM495.00 on Nike official store. Even the cheapest Skechers running shoe (GoRunRide5) is going for RM300 discounted. Who will buy Skechers at that kind of pricepoint when they now go "Britney Spears" with BTS? I won't.
The Nike Flex Run
With that kind of shoe pricing, you can now understand my excitement of getting a pair (or in this case, two), at total of RM200. Now, Nike Flex Run is a version of running shoe made for beginner runner. It's not even close cousin of the Nike Free (now called Nike Free RN, maybe leaving the "u" made them a gram lighter?). Flex Run as a model only came up in 2014, and they were super ugly.
Nike Flex Run 2014. Image from
3-years later, the Flex Run had a full refresh, and with complete material change and design, made to look more "Free" like. It has now looked like a kissing cousin of the Nike Free. Sexier. 
Nike Flex Run 2017
This pair has clocked close to 380km since I wore it in June, 2019. It was my main pair until Asic Relay 2019 run soaked this pair up with so much sweat it now been washed twice to rid of the un-dried smell (thank you Haze for blocking the sun!)
Super Striking Orange
This pair is light (221gram for men US8) and the fabric was thin. Reminds me of the quickdrying Skechers GoBionic series. Drop is 7mm, and does not qualify as a minimalist trainer. Although it gives the close to the ground feel, it is more because the sole were thin. Because there were humps at the bottom due to how the sole were laid out, you will feel strange for a first few run - and you get used to it. The aggressive lugs of the 2017 provides it with great flexibility, and you almost felt "free" in it. It bounces pretty well, providing a bit of energy return.
How the Flex was run
As this was the 2017 unit, I was fearing it may not last long due to the storage time potentially deteriorating the glue of the sole to the upper. For RM90, i had some hope it won't. Happy to report, it's holding up nicely until now. Two photos down will show you when this shoe was made - 17th Feb 2017, and this batch received and order for production (PO Date) at 14th December 2016.
Disappointing finish
The insole is removable, and i was disappointing to see how Nike finished the shoe. It is as if no thoughts were given to at the very least, make them nicer. This also meant, you will not be able to run this without insole, or risk hotspot/blister. You be surprised that insole adds up stack height of shoes, and removing insole in this Flex 2017 may give you a 4mm drop, close to ground feel.
The upper however, pretty impressive finishing
The Flex 2017 is a lightweight trainer, and what they lack in structure, they have these latex/silicon band that help to keep shape when the runner uses them. The toebox borders on E (wide), but more likely a D (narrow). I've learnt to size up shoe and knows what to look for. For this, I took a EUR46 when i usually wear a 45. Many times, some shoes are very pretty and nice, but it is at risk of you not being able to run in them. Many fashion "running" shoes nowadays. 
I went a full size up due to the toebox. Left date number is PO date, right date number is manufacturing date. US system -MM/DD/YY
The tongue is just nice padded, and it does bites into the top of your foot if you do not adjust it correctly before tying the shoelace. The arch support is neutral (read: none). There are many ventilation holes which helps to provide both light savings and also breath-ability. My fear is getting one of these snagged in some sharp corner or stones, and the it may tear it. But that's like some far-out possibilities. Interestingly, online review did mention that the top was easily damaged after a few months.
Support comes in form of some thread doubling as shoelace holes
This shoe completely lacks any reflective materials. There are none on this shoe. So if yo run a lot in early morning or late evening, you may want to remind yourself to bring along some lights so others can see you. A bit disappointing as small things like these should be standard!
How it was laced. And no reflective tags anywhere
Problem after second run
The shoe, due to the narrow toebox, placed a very uneasy, and turned to be painful hotspot right under the big toe's bone. It was so bad that both feet swelled after a 15km run. I was super disappointed and I found out through interactions online, that it's "normal". I do not except the "normalcy" because a shoe like these are made to be used for running. 
see the swelling
Trying to identify the problem of the shoe, and understanding where the pain radiated helped me to pinpoint the exact issue. It was the end of the shoe tongue, that adds thickness to the first shoelace hole where my middle finger pointed to. This has caused the shoe toe-box to be closer/tighter, and disallow natural movement. The extra thickness acted as a persistent pressure point everytime you bend the feet to run. Understanding the issues, I re-laced the shoe and skipped the first hole completely on both shoes.
Yes, I experimented with one side fully laced, and the other skipping one hole
Happy to report, that solved all the pressure point on this Flex Run 2017. So, if you have similar problem with any of your tight ended shoes, do give this a try!
inner side profile
Nike Flex Run 2018
The Nike Flex Run 2018, or renamed as Flex RN 2018 was built similarly to the 2017 version in terms of structure. I can't understand the missing "u" though. Jokingly, maybe that helped Nike saved a gram of ink. 
Tongue retained the same honeycomb structure
This shoe priced at RM490 brand new when launched, and weight 255grams, with 6mm drop. Unlike the Flex2017, this 2018 update was classified as "Recreational" vs the 2017 "Competition". Unlikely the 40+grams extra pushed it to the next level. However, the Flex2018 does looked bulkier vs the 2017.
Outer side profile of Flex RN 2018
I took the same EUR46 size, and the front was a bit tight. While both 2017 and 2018 retained the same heel cup (they are super flexible and smooth), the front is noticably missing the latex line in the 2017. A slight update and the shoe material has none visible ventilation holes. It is also made in "flyknit" which was what Nike is known for recently in saving weight on running shoes.
Flyknit. Close mesh. 
The sole of the 2018 has been refreshed fully. It now carries a closed honeycomb pattern that were more similar to some of the Nike Free range.
Still gives you the "lug" feel
The closed pattern were less prone for small pebbles to get lodged in between - which really doesn't really effect the performance of the 2017 shoes.Maybe visual wise, as you will remove anything stuck in between the (2017) sole. The 2018 doesn't have that "space", and the flexibility did not change as shown in the photo below.
able to bend it 90degrees
Upon removing the insole, happy to report that the finishing is much better. I may try to run it without insole to see how it feel, though I doubt the material will be OK for longer run without socks (if no insole).
Much better
The 2018 also came with the thread that is used to secure the laces. I believe these help to provide good support once laced up. While some part felt restrictive on first feel, it may actually be because I did not pay attention to the 2017 when i first laced it up. You know what they say about new shoe, you get excited and all you want to do is to go out and run. 
Inner side profile. Noticed the higher arch cutting of the sole - it's still for neutral runner (read: no arch support)
The heel cup is worth a mention for both 2017 and 2018. I like them soft and actually hugs your heel. Because it's elastic, it sits in every curve of your heel, and help in preventing any chaffing and blister usually associated with "harder" heel cup.
The soft heelcup that molds around your heel as it's elastic
Learning from the Flex Run 2017, I decided to just skip the first shoelace hole, and lace up from the second onwards. With 48 days to Ironman Langkawi, I can't afford any injury due to new gear. And it is also a good time to test/try and see which one will be suitable for the upcoming SCKLM and the Ironman run league. Be reminded not to try new gear on your race day! This rules still holds true (eventhough I used to be a sucker to my own advice years ago, as I put myself and the gear to try for the sponsors).
Skipped the hole...
Can you see how my feet trying to break free from the toebox? It is that narrow, likely to be smaller than a D. But un-lacing the first hole help a lot! Please do note that the 2018 version comes with round laces vs 2017 flat laces, this may had added some weight too. Pros and Cons of flat vs round? not much if you know how to properly secure your laces, and never worry about it coming off ever even in the harshest of run. How? Here is how to tie your laces correctly.
As disappointing as the 2017 version, this doesn't come with a sliver of reflective material. So, if you are running on traffic area in early morning or at night, kit up with a flashing LED light and stay visible.
Front end similar with Flex Run 2017
Road Feel
Both shoes offer great traction and provide sufficient cushioning for average runner (like me). For speedwork it perform as you require it to be, never slips and secure feel. Longest I've ran with the 2017 is just 25km at tempo paced, and fastest so far is at my LTPace of 4:30 for 10km. The shoe lacks ventilation, and it soaks up in our hot and humid weather. I've had three incidences where the shoe (2017 and 2018) soaked up after a 21km and 10km run. I run without socks, and this only happened like a week ago - likely to be the hotter and humid weather. 
Flex Run 2017, and me
If you found a 2017 version, do consider to buy them if the price is right (remember, i paid RM90), as I felt it to be a better version of the Flex Run or RN. The 2018 version is more padded, and felt more cushioned, which is not what I prefer. But if you prefer slightly more padded shoe, 2018 is a good start - or go check the newer 2019 up, and make a visual comparison of it vs this 2017 and 2018, never know it it became a much better choice, as long as you are willing to part with your money for a newer model.
Just consider the newer Pegasus series, because that is what makes Nike, Nike. There is a reason why it's at their 36th iteration. My experience with Pegasus 25+ makes me wonder if 36 is "the shoe to have". Maybe I've just see if Nike Malaysia willing to give me a pair for review!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Training Zone Using Your Heart Rate Data

As social media evolves, and "blogging" become old school, I need to progress with time, to engage and re-engage the audience. So, over the past 20hours, coupled with everyday's working obligations (yes, i do work), here is a 10minutes read on trying to make sense of Heart Rate Training Zone using Maximum HR, Reserve HR, and Lactate HR.
10mins read, if you are interested :) Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Continental UltraContact 6 SUV - UC6SUV

Introducing the Continental Ultra Contact 6 SUV or UC6 SUV
This was a year decision in waiting and making. Today I am changing the Bridgestone Dueller HL400 stock tires (6 years, only 23k km, 40% tread left. Pitting on the tire shoulder, time to go) to Continental UC6 SUV (manufacture week 24 and 25 of 2019). 

Significant tread differences
The tread pattern differences is significant and obviously the Continental has an advantage of being more recently launched and researched, which include all the bells and whistles of tire technology by Continental. 
40% tread life left. Pitting on the outer tire shoulder as you can see in this pic. 
This UC6 SUV is not the same as the UC6 as the SUV was built with harder sidewalk for better stability. My experience with the stock tires was “too soft” and you can feel the car floating while taking corners and even on the straight at cruising speed. 
Deeper Grooves. Larger channel for water dispersion. The "dot" in the middle actually helps with water dispersion, though I would question the effectiveness past 30% life span. Conti call them "Aqua channel", and the aggressive grooves, Aqua-Drainage". 
I was looking for the 225/55/R18 size which is not a size you find easily. So choices like Pirelli Scorpion Verde, none from Goodyear, and the Bridgestone (Japan) is hard to find (which, why would I want to get back the stock tire, right?). The other option was Yokohama RV02, not too great of wear and review.
The rib between the grooves (what Continental call "double tie bar") on the lower left will provide rigidity to this version (SUV) for better stability. 
Decided this over Michelin Primacy4 as reading feedback from doesn’t sound too convincing (not even close to as the Primacy4 is not meant for SUV (Car and Van). Was hoping for Michelin Pilot Sports 4 SUV, or PS4 SUV to be available in market, despite it being launched earlier this year, no luck even after calling Michelin Malaysia.
Will be interesting to see how noisy this big blocks will be. The bumps in the middle of the second channel is "Noise breaker 2.0", which reduces noise.
With this Forester XT capable to churn 245hp and 350Nm torque, it be fun to see how this tire hold up on the road, wet and dry. Wait for both short and long term review, if i have the time.
34psi as always. 
Tire Run-in Review
Much is not expected as the tires are new. So, it's all quiet when compared to the worned rubber. However, one thing i noticed immediately, improvement of the braking. It is significantly different that I had to re-learn my car braking capability. The car now stops faster vs the older rubber. Good sign of safety there!
Notice that the "outside" of the tire has the "box" like pattern. Perhaps mimicking "smaller" boxes to reduce noises.
As it has it, the sky opened up and it poured on my way back from the workshop. I know a few spot where the road often pond (with water) and no better way than to try to test for aquaplanning at 70km/h. Yes, Malaysian road is dangerous that even highway ponds! The reference is of course the Bridgestone, which will cause the body to dive when i hit a pond of water (since 40% wear rate about 1.5 years ago). Since then, I never hit a pond of water at anything faster than 60km/h. Bear in mind that my car is all wheel drive (AWD) and the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is always on. With this new UC6 SUV, it cuts through the water. Just like that. No drama. No diving. No feedback at the steering (of losing traction). Maybe still new ;-)
Consistent with the other side, installer can't get this wrong.
Taking corners at 70km/h (think the Butterfly interchange at Jalan Damansara down to Jalan Duta) is also less roll - evidence that the side wall is harder than the Dueller. Will be interesting to see how it holds up on the way up to Genting. 
The space in the tire well doesn't auger well with many fast cars lover ;-)
 Stay tuned for more reviews, soon.
Get your tires need completed at Perniagaan Tayar Sing Yu Huat, Jalan Ipoh. It's near Sentosa Hospital. Ask for Loon. He is my friend, 3rd Generation Tire Specialist in the family.
More Info of the tire at Continental Malaysia Website. Currently they are running a promotion where you can get a gift with every 4 units of tires 15inches and above. Details at their FB page here
Mine will be on the way.

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