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Asthma And New Bike Brakes

Monday, October 15, 2012

Part 1: Visit to the Pulmanologist

Lately, I have been experiencing some tightness in my chest. Ocassionally, I would run out of breath while running or riding a bike.

This doesn't happen to me! My legs give out. But I never run out of breath. I went to see my doctor. He ordered a EKG stress test. The result of the EKG was that my ticker is in great shape.

My doctor then referred my to a Pulmanologist. This took 6 weeks to get into see this lung doctor. I almost canceled my appointment. My lung capacity is really good. I went to see this lung doctor last Thursday. He ordered a lung capacity test. This test determined that I have 150% of normal lung capacity. I have tested at 180% of normal lung capacity in the past. I got a really big boiler room. It is a gift. I rely on my cardio-vascular fitness to ski, bike and run hard! But I have been sucking wind lately.

After an hour long examination, the lung doctor told me I have Asthma that is triggered by allergies. ASTHMA! No way! Unfortunately, his diagnosis made sense. Rats! The lung doctor has ordered additional tests. I have an inhaler and nebulizer to treat the symptoms in the meantime.

I still can't get my brain around this one!

Part 2: Shimano XT Brakes For My Specialized Camber

About a month ago, I got really frustrated with poor drivetrain on my 2012 Specialized Camber Comp. I bought a complete Shimano XT group, sans brakes, for my Camber. The results were dramatic. The bike performed perfectly.

The original Tektro hydraulic brakes were adequate. But I decided to take that last step and get the excellent Shimano XT brakes. I completed installing the new XT brakes today. Little Cam is now an astonishing good performing bike.

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I opted for the silver version of the XT brakes. Shimano XT brakes also come in black. I thought the flashier silver XT brakes suited Little Cam better.


The front brake has a 180mm IceTech rotor. The IceTech rotor is a sandwich of stainless steel and aluminum. These rotors dissipate heat very quickly. The cooling fins on the caliper also dissipate a lot of heat. Hot brakes don't work very well.


The back brake has 160mm IceTech rotor. The XT brakes also release completely and don't add any drag.


The big advantage of these XT brakes is that a single finger on the brake lever is all that is all that is usually required. You get to keep four fingers on the hand grip which gives you more control.


If you need to hit the brakes hard, there is room on the levers for two fingers. Shimano XT brakes are so powerful, you don't need to use all your fingers.

Part 3: First Ride with New Brakes

The brakes have made a huge difference in controllabilty. Little Cam is really fast with the new brakes. I took Little Cam to Beaver Ranch for a short trail ride. We covered 8 miles in 30 minutes.

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 30 minutes
Average Speed: 16.1 mph
Fastest Speed: 28.5 mph

I used my nebulizer before the ride and took my inhaler. Little Cam flies now! I think 16.1 mph on rough dirt trails with lots of hills is pretty good for a old guy that can't breath well.

Thanks for reading my blog.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY4JEANNE 10/24/2012 7:42AM

    Bruce,

I let asthma consume me and all the progress I did 4 years ago! It was the worst mistake of my life. I have asthma that is triggered by allergies.. This time of year is the worst. That was when I ran into all my problems was doing a 5k this time of year.

Keep going to your doctor, get on the right meds and I am sure you and souped up bike will be breaking all of your own personal records!
:) Jeanne

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CBAILEYC 10/23/2012 12:17PM

    That is pretty awesome for "a old guy that can't breath well." Somehow, the image of SpeedyDog that we have does not jive with 'old guy' at all LOL
Hope the asthma thing gets handled well and properly, and that it doesn't slow you down in the least!
C~

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MPLANE37 10/18/2012 11:52AM

    I want your bike. Any chance that can happen?

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LINDAKAY228 10/16/2012 11:17AM

    Glad that you found out what the problem is, even if it's hard to understand. It is pretty common to have asthma it seems. Hope it helps you.

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LMB-ESQ 10/15/2012 4:28PM

    Asthma! No kidding? Well, I guess it happens to the best of us. A bunch of my daughter's swim team buddies had asthma, and they all carried inhalers. Those kids were about as extreme in the athletic department as they come. So I guess nobody is immune. I would say a half hour on rough trails at 16.1 is great for an old asthmatic dude!

Glad you know all the technology about your bike! All I need for a good workout is a swimsuit, a pair of goggles, and a body of water!

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SHARONSUE58 10/15/2012 3:22PM

  I assume the doctor is checking to see what allergies you have. Allergies can affect you in alot of different ways. I recently went to a practitioner who uses a biofeedback machine. This machine is awsome. It can tell you alot! Such as I had some lung issues and she thought it was due to allergies(wasn't aware of), she found I was low in amino acids which might be attriibutable to my heart stress, and more. The machine treated me and felt better immediately. I haven't been working on my landscaping and that probably helped and I am drinking an energy drink with amino acids.

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 10/15/2012 2:35PM

    I have had asthma since college and it's a good thing that you found out what the problem is. I usually use my inhaler 15 minutes before any exercise and it makes a HUGE difference when I do. Good luck!

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KA_JUN 10/15/2012 2:19PM

    Hi Bruce, glad to hear you got a diagnosis. I found out, similar to you, that I have "exercise induced" asthma, typically occurring only when it's really cold. As G.I. Joe notes, "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle." Little Cam looks fit and trim, ride on!

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FIREFLUTTERFLY 10/15/2012 12:24PM

    oh man, I'm sorry about the asthma. I've dealt with it for 20 years and it sucks. But hey if it's only triggered by allergies then you should be able to keep the asthma under control pretty easy.

good luck

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NATPLUMMER 10/15/2012 10:30AM

    Sorry about the asthma...at least you can treat it easily.
Excellent ride!! Go, Little Cam!!

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BILL60 10/15/2012 9:46AM

    Hang tough my friend.

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TWEETYKC00 10/15/2012 5:05AM

    Now with your inhaler in hand you can get Little Cam out and going. Just be careful until you can learn to adjust yourself to the asthma. I know it can be hard to handle sometimes, but you can do this!

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DOUGDC 10/15/2012 2:32AM

    Well, old guy who can't breathe well, I'm impressed by both Little Cam and by you. Great going. Once you're on your meds I don't think the asthma thing is going to slow you down, either. Take care of yourself as well as you're taking care of Little Cam and you'll both do well!

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