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Back 10.13.2017

Jan Frodeno Kona Bike Profile

Two time defending Kona champ Jan Frodeno plans to race on the new 858 NSW Carbon Clincher in Saturday’s Ironman® World Championship. He’s meticulous when it comes to new technology, wanting to ride the latest innovations, but also verifying their benefits for himself. We sat down for a quick conversation on how he analyzed the 858 NSW.

All photos © BrakeThrough Media

You were one of the first to ride the new Zipp 858 NSW. What has that experience been like?
To be honest, when something comes out it’s always, ‘the next biggest thing, the next biggest this, the next biggest that.’ You really wonder what kind of impression it can make. I got to ride them first at Ironman® Austria. I was really surprised how coming out of corners you could hold your line that much better, how they actually worked in crosswinds. Again, it’s something that’s promised.

You’ve won the last two years here. How important is it for you to be able to add innovations to your bike? Every year you want to be progressing forward to stay where you are. Two years ago, you won on the new 808 NSW, and Saturday you will ride the 858 NSW.
Whatever comes out, I test. I don’t believe in anything that’s said. All of these things need to be tested in a wind tunnel and verified. The feel has got to be good, too. That takes a fair bit of time. Of course, when you know that stuff is reliable when it comes out, it’s just something that takes a huge worry off my mind. I just know I can focus on my training. I know if I do the work I have got the optimum gear to perform at my best.

How do you see Saturday’s race playing out?
I see the bike leg being a lot more aggressive this year. It’s certainly something I’ve tried to prepare for. The thing the 858 brings is of course stability in side winds. And this is the place for side winds. It’s what everybody fears, and with me being a bit of a bigger guy I actually kind of enjoy the gusty side winds and being able to sail down Hawi, again knowing that I have the best material.

Staying in your aero position, out on the extensions, also is very important for speed and efficiency. Do you have any personal guidelines for when you leave the extensions and use the base bar?

I’ve got a personal speed limit (which Jan keeps secret!) where I know if I go under that on a climb that I’ll get out of the aero position. But other than that, there are not too many places that I get out of the aero position.

What Jan Rides

Wheels: Zipp® 858 NSW Carbon Clinchers

Shifters: SRAM® RED® eTap® Clics™ on extensions, eTap® Blips on base bar

Front derailleur: SRAM® RED® eTap®

Rear derailleur: SRAM® RED® eTap®

Cassette: SRAM RED XG-1190, 11-26

Chainrings: SRAM AERO, 55/42

Power: Quarq

Frame: Canyon SpeedMax CF SLX