Well, while we were with the Deadheads, Scott Sports released their new aero road bike, the Foil. I wrote about the 15 version in Issue 11, and I expect to ride this 15 in a couple weeks. My only complaint about the bike, and it’s the same issue with aero road bikes in general, is they’re not know for their ride quality. That Scott addressed comfort, in this category is interesting indeed. Cause all the expected gains in time, get lost, if you’re sitting up, trying to stretch out back pain.
Also see their behind-the-scenes video too.
A video posted by Byron (@bikehugger) on Jun 27, 2015 at 9:39pm PDT
As the first Dead 50 set ended, the sky turned dark with clouds gathering over the stadium.
Colors changed from blue to pink, a rainbow appeared, and another. Cheers from the crowd crescendoed as the sun set, the rainbows disappeared, and the music faded.
The old guys can still play. Mother Nature joined in with her own light show.
After the encore, Bill the Drummer, asked for a round of applause for the rainbows, and the crowd obliged.
Then filed out of the stadium.
We’ll get back to the bike on Monday.
A photo posted by Anthony Dickson (@adcycles) on Jun 26, 2015 at 11:38am PDT
From a friend and occasional Bike Hugger magazine contributor
The only rainbow stripes more important than the World Championship stripes….
Also see our take on Medium.
Years ago in downtown Seattle, my friend Marcus and I were just riding along when a group of cheering, costumed cyclists surrounded us. We upped our tempo to keep pace, wondered what was going on, and rode another few blocks. Singling up onto a path into Myrtle Edwards park, we crossed an AIDS ride finish line and into the arms of a cheering group. Adorned with free beer, schwag, and praise for riding two blocks for AIDS, we agreed that this was one of the best bike rides ever. It still is. I’m happy now to return some equality-karma by sharing this stories, and how Roy’s ride was like a group therapy session.
Talk about the music of our times…theres not a music device I've had in 20 years that didn't include at least one Police song. During the Grand Fondo Leavenworth playlist, Man in a Suitcase eventually shuffled in. That was a few songs after Hey Jude.
A photo posted by Andy Bokanev (@bokanev) on Jun 25, 2015 at 1:36pm PDT
A photo posted by Byron (@bikehugger) on Jun 24, 2013 at 9:50pm PDT
It was two years ago this week, that we launched Bike Hugger Magazine and focused on our take on the bike, and independent content. We celebrated our 24th issue last month, just got 25 out, and now we’re getting ready for big changes to the newsstand app (because of the free sample issue 00, the 24th issue was published a month ahead of our actual launch). We also relaunched our presence on Medium as a fresh-face to the mag.
We’ll have more to say about the newsstand changes, as a rev gets released.
Again, and as always, thanks so much for subscribing.
Gravel, All-Road, Bikepacker, Adventure Bikeâ¦.marketing terms for a somewhat nebulous and ill-defined target demographic into which bicycle brands have desperately been hurling new product development. Golly, I do like bike design but I hate the debate over what is the most appropriate name for the genre. Itâs just like that one song, âyou say tomato, I say f*** youâ.
As if one term can reign in all the conflicting ideas and give a hierarchy to the products, yet that is the goal of the nefarious science known as marketing. I donât really have the head for that kind of mysticism and etherealism; Iâm more interested in the corporeal, the carbon, and the titanium. What is the product, where did come from, where is it aimed?
With a stable of successful house brands including Surly and Salsa (and sort of successful brands like Civia), QBP have been quick to capitalize on recent trends such as fatbikes and now thatâ¦.you knowâ¦.gravel/adventure thingie. This month Salsa introduced the Cutthroatâ¦.named after some sort of fish (gotta name a bike something, I guess). They call it a mountainbike for dropbars, a race bike for the Tour of the Divide, equipped with 2.4â 29er tyres. Well, there have been dropbar mountainbikes in the past. Famously, the legend that is John Tomac raced a dropbar mtb on the NORBA circuit fresh off racing road with the pro European peloton about 25 years ago, but drawing a direct lineage between Tomacâs experiment and the Cutthroat is strained at best. Thatâs probably because the term âmountainbikeâ is hard pressed to encompass both a 2-3 hour NORBA-style mtb race and an adventure-style race that may a week or longer, basically unsupported.
The Cutthroat can be thought of a premium, carbon development of their metal-tubed Fargo series of framesets and bikes. Along with a series of offroad-focused dropbars (Woodchipper and the more subtle Cowbell series), these bikes have geometry that puts the drop into the hands of the rider by having a reach and stack dimensions dramatically different from today norm for mountainbikes. Though flatbars (and riser bars are really just a variation of the flat bar) give better control on really technical terrain, dropbars offer multiple hand holds that allow a rider to subtly change body position, something that becomes very important as the hours in the saddle pile on.
Twenty-five years ago, before suspension forks were ready for mainstream market acceptance, mountainbikes (with flatbars, of course) already had somewhat long top tubes relative to road or touring bikes, but they often had 135 or even 150mm stems to get the long reach needed for technical climbs. In the years that followed, fork travel grew and bike makers such as Gary Fisher kicked out the front centers and shortened the chain stay dimension on their frame designs. Today, mtb stems are most often shorter than stems on dropbar equipped road, touring, or cyclocross bikes. This makes the contemporary mainstream mountainbike particularly unsuited to being retrofitted with a dropbar, because the extra reach of a dropbar canât be compensated for with a shorter stem. Also, the necessity of putting the drops of the bar high enough for technical riding requires a higher stack height from the frame, since threadless stems cannot easily replicate the height of yesteryearâs quill stems. Salsaâs Fargo and now Cutthroat designs remedy this by having shorter reach and taller stack dimensions. The stack is partially helped by having a suspension corrected 29er fork that is 483mm axle-to-crown
Oddly, if you just look at the numbers on Salsaâs geometry chart, you could reasonably conclude that Cutthroat was a touring bikeâ¦with 29er tyresâ¦.instead of a mountainbike with dropbarâ¦.again with the tomato song.
Whatever you call it, the strong point of the Cutthroat is its tuned carbon frame that also offers a multitude of attachment points for gear and hydration. The less compact front triangle leaves plenty of room for frame bags. In fact, Salsa/QBP plan to offer a line of bags to compliment the new bike. Though you could replace the âFirestarterâ carbon with a XC 29er fork, youâd be stepping away from the Cutthroatâs goal of lightweight and efficiency.
Where is the design going? Who is going to buy it? The Cutthroat is about bikepacking, riding over long trails with very little dawdling about on the way. The bike is meant to store a lot of gear in bags that keep the loads centralized on the frame, so as not to affect handling on singletrack. In this respect, the Cutthroat stands apart from traditional touring bikes, which rely on traditional panniers and racks to carry supplies. But while gigantic saddle bags and fitted frame bags keep the Cutthroat agile offroad, I would rather have traditional panniers for regular around-town needs, since the good panniers are quicker to strap on or off as well as being more convenient for loading things like groceries. The Cutthroat isnât going to rival a good cross-country machine on a typical race course either. In the end, Iâm just not sure how this bike is going to do on the market. I mean, itâs interestingâ¦.but really does have a narrow range to shine. Too bulky and overbuilt for road touring, not agile enough for hairy end of technical riding, and too expensive to have as half-hearted fling. Maybe bikepacking will grow as a demographic, but itâs hard to see it garnering as many fans as fat bikes. Fat bikes are chugging along on the idea that fat tyres are more fun for all situations not just Iditabike (frankly I have my doubts that they can sustain that kind of growth anywaysâ¦and Iâm not the only one in the industry to say that), but Salsa is specifically linking the Cutthroat to the Tour of the Divide. On the other hand, images of the Paris-Dakar Auto Rally have probably sold a lot of Range Rovers over the years, and probably a lot of those consumers donât even know where Dakar is.
Last week Cannondale popped in out of nowhere with a little video production featuring the Slate, a gravel bike using a version of their unique Lefty suspension fork. But while the eye is immediately drawn to the awkward asymmetry of the 30mm travel pogo-stick-with-disc-brake, Cannondale threw a curveball by equipping the Slate with 650B wheels/tyres. This is pretty hot to me, since Iâve sorta been hip to the 650B renaissance for a while now. Many readers already know that 650B (aka ISO 584mm) is a rim/tyre standard that shares the same origins as the far better known 700C (ISO 622). Before it was chosen at the Goldilocks/mid-sized wheel for mountainbikes about 6-8 years ago, 650B had only survived on city bikes and French randonneur bikes. This year there is hardly an mtb maker that doesnât have at least one model with 650B wheels (or 27.5â as the marketing people want you to think). Now with supporters like Pacenti, Compass Bicycle, and Grand Bois, there has been a recent resurgence in road tyres for the 650B standard, particularly large volume casings 32 to 42mm wide.
Why a different wheel standard? Well, just about everyone on both sides of the market agrees that wider tyres are better for these gravel bikes, but how wide can you make the tyre before you have to compromise the geometry of the frame to fit it? Once you get bigger than 32mm you start to run into problems in the area behind the bottom bracket. With a typical road bike having chain stays 410-420mm, the tyre is competing for the same lateral space as the chainrings and the chain stay tubes themselves. As the outer diameter of the tyre approaches 38mm, clearance between the tyre and the seat tube becomes an issue. Eventually the frame designer must either lengthen the chain stays or abandon road cranks with their narrow chainline and chainrings bigger than typical mtb options. The Cutthroat does exactly that, having 445mm chain stays and using cranks typically seen on 29er mtb. Thatâs fine for carrying stuff for a multiday adventure into the wilderness, but thatâs a far cry from the spirited handling of a road bike. By using 650B x 42mm tyres, the Cannondale Slate achieves the desired air volume without encroaching on frame clearances. Even more, since the disc brakes donât require a specific rim diameter you can actually alternate wheels/tyres between 700Cx28 and 650Bx42 without changing the bottom bracket height, since the two combinations have the same outer diameter. Sure, Jan Heine would say that the 650Bx42 tyre is faster in ALL CONDITIONS, but I like the option of running regular road wheels. Going back to that Lefty-equipped Cannondale Slate, the 650B wheel also keeps the stack height at the front low and sporty for the road.
I find the idea of suspension for all-road intriguing. I have ridden extensively on a Rock Shox Paris-Roubaix SL fork, the very same design that won Paris-Roubaix three years in a row during the early 1990s, but the only thing I can say without reservation is that 25 year old suspension technology sucks compared to modern one-piece lower castings, 32mm plus stanchions, and dampers that actually work. If Cannondale wants to make a road/all-road/gravel suspension fork with up-to-date features and construction, I wanna test it out. If a 30-50mm travel suspension forks proved to be a hit, who knows how the designs could change and genre evolve?
Of course, Cannondaleâs offering has to be taken with a grain of salt. Cannondale has a long history of flashing product to the media long before its development is complete, and a less generous opinion is that they serve up a lot of vaporware (does anyone else remember the Cannondale/Magic Motorcycle showbike?). The Slate bikes in the video are clearly welded aluminum, which while still a viable production method and one that few companies do better than Cannondale, the ease at which it can be used to quickly create one-off designs doesnât really impress me that Cannondale is committed to this idea.
Lastly, thereâs Open Cycle, the new brand started by Gerard Vroomen, formerly of Cervelo. Initially with a focus on hardtail 29er mountainbikes, Open chose a gravel/all-road frameset as their second offering, but what a rather ambitious and unusual design it is. Besides all carbon construction and front/rear thru-axles, the Unbeaten Path (or âUPâ) plays the dual wheel size trick with 650B/700C, but instead of 42m tyres the UP can take a honking 55mm x 650B better known to mountainbikers as a 27.5” x 2.25” knobby (incidentally the UP can also take a 40mm x 700C tyre). Remember what I said about big tyres and short chain stays being busy behind the bottom bracket? Well, Open beats the problem by dropping the driveside chainstay down to snake below the point where the tyre tread gets closest to the chainrings, thereby allowing the chain stay to keep a meaty enough section to maintain drivetrain stiffness. And the UP can still fit a 50/34 compact road crank. Surely 3T had an easier time designing the Luteus II fork to fit an equally wide tyre up front, but it is still worth noting that the new fork surely has more tyre clearance than any other full-carbon fork at a 395mm axle-to-crown, which is something of an industry standard height for cyclocross fork. It is yet unclear whether the fork will be available through 3T distribution channels or whether it will remain an OEM exclusive to Open Cycle. Beyond fitting inches of rubber into rear triangles like clowns into circus cars, the UP has what looks to be a rather low stack height, putting emphasis on speed. This bike is more gazelle than pack mule. In fact, the prototypes donât even have eyelets for racks or fenders, which struck me as daring but stupid from a marketing perspective, as it would thoughtlessly limit the bike’s capabilities. I was relieved to find out that these were stage 1 of a 3 stage development progression, and that eyelets were planned for later after the rest of the design details had been tweaked.
Iâm really interested in Vroomenâs design philosophies. I saw a steady evolution in geometry during the time he was at Cervelo, in particular how the first Cervelo road bikes all had 73deg head angles and 43mm rake forks regardless of frame size. As some of you readers would know this means that the smallest frames end up with wicked toe overlap, something I personally dislike. More recently, the smaller Cervelo road bikes have slacker head angles balanced out with longer rake forks, so that the trail dimension is kept relatively constant throughout the size range. However, I have my doubts that the market is sophisticated enough to appreciate the possibilities that 650B/700C dual capability gives. The other thing is that I don’t understand Vroomen’s marketing/distribution strategy. It seems like he’s going direct sales and using pre-sales of the UP to help with development costs. More power to him if it works out, but Open Cycle will never have the sales numbers to really shape the market segment. Pity that, because I think I like what he’s got cooking.
Ed note: While Mark wasn’t as interested in it as me, another bike in this new category is the Trek 920
Zipp introduces their new Firecrest track wheelsets in the â404â (58mm deep) and â808â (82mm) rim versions. Another touted feature is the new â303â track hubs.
So I guess SRAM feels like they can still eke out some cash from the Red Hook Crit crowd. Maybe Iâm just a Debbie Downer, but the brakeless/fixie criterium racing seems like the tail end of the fixie boom/fad of the ’00s.In a way it somewhat parallels the BMX boom of the early to mid-80s when BMX racing carried on in pockets of this nation while trickriding/freestyle disappeared until the X-Games era. That’s not exactly analogous because BMX racing wouldn’t have existed/survived without the progression of junior/juvenile age-groups, whereas the Red Hook Criterium series is the logical evolution of underground, unsanctioned alley cat races into corporate-funded âunsanctionedâ live entertainment. Well, maybe âbrakeless track bike criteriumâ racing will show sustainable growth or maybe itâll just live on as search words for cycling crash video clips on Youtube, only time will tell. Regardless I can’t see these Firecrest track wheels as being the first choice for track cyclingâs elite, because the whole Firecrest design philosophy was optimized for road cycling, not track.
The whole point of the Firecrest wheels was to develop a rim shape that produced low drag numbers at a relatively wide range of apparent wind angles (yaw). A wheel being driven forward experiences an apparent wind vector that is influenced by the speed of the bike and the direction/angle of the wind due to the environment. Basically that means that the resulting vector is almost always a few degrees to either side of dead ahead. Ideally the form of the rim should be narrow to reduce cross-sectional drag (basically the force required to punch a hole in the wind equal to area of the bikes cross section) and also promote smooth, non-turbulent airflow around the surface opposite of the side the wind comes from. The wide, bulbous shape of recent aero wheel designs such as Hedâs current Stinger wheels and Zippâs FIrecrest series are designed around those goals with maximum sectional widths of 26-28mm, whereas wheels before about 2005 invariably had long teardrop shapes no wider than 20mm (to keep cross sectional area to a minimum) with sharp trailing edges. The newer aero wheels (as well as aero frames and other components) give lower drag numbers over a wider range of real world riding condtionsâ¦.on the road.
Racing on a velodrome isnât the same as a road race, time trial, or triathlon on the road, especially indoor velodromes. At the World Championship or Olympic level, indoor 250m tracks are a pre-requisite, so there never is a breeze to give any angle to the apparent wind. In such a case, reduction of cross-sectional area remains a higher priority. Thatâs why you donât see those big bulbous rims at the top levels, because those shapes are slower in those windless conditions. In fact, the fastest non-disc aero wheels seem to be designs such as the Mavic Io and Corima 4-spoke that date from the early to mid-â90s. The Hed 3 was originally designed in the late â80s and is still used competitively today. Ironically, all those hours people have spent in wind tunnels to devise more sophisticated aero wheels has led away from those older shapes that still do best on the track. And though Iâm just barely touching on the topic of disc wheels and track racing, rear discs are used almost without exception at the top levels, and front discs in many non-mass start events. A fine example is Bradley Wiggins set the latest hour record with front and rear discs.
Yes, there are a lot of recent trends for road bikes that have no traction in track racing. Iâm specifically talking about WIDE tyres, a subject that Bike Hugger has often discussed these past few years. Yet I still see people rolling around on cyclocross bikes with 23mm tyres for city use for some reason. For some people like Compass Bicycleâs Jan Heine, wider tyres for performance riding has become their raison dâetre, but all the ProTour teams have moved to 25mm tyres for even the smoothest roads when once they would have been on 21mm tyres nailed at 125psi. The idea is that a tyre with a larger volume combined with a supple casing can have the same or less rolling resistance as a narrow tyre, and the larger tyre can do this at lower air pressure. The lower air pressure means the riderâs mass bounces less, and with less bounce there is also less energy lost from driving the bike forward. The kicker is that these wider tyres also work better with those new, wider aero wheels. Cool, right? Why of course it is, but itâs all mainly useless for track racing. Those guys will stick to 19-21mm tyres at 160psi plus because the best track are deadly smooth and they will be using narrow wheels. I think I heard that Wiggins used 200psi plus for the hour record and that is certainly plausible.
But what if you arenât Bradley Wiggins or Gregory Bauge? What if you donât race on indoor velodromes? Because most of us donât. Then the Zipp Firecrest track wheels could be optimal for you. On a slightly bumpy outdoor track like Marymoorâs 400M oval, a windy day can totally change your tactics. It would certainly be desirable to have a front wheel that performs well at various yaw angles. Having a non-disc rear wheel is nice in the sense that it might reduce rotational inertia and perhaps be more versatile, but a disc might still be better choice in race conditions. Admittedly, this is all fine margins we’re talking here, and of course the difference between narrow and wide aero wheels isn’t going to put packfodder onto the top step of the podium. And these Firecrest rims are quite fast even in indoor conditions after all. It’s just at the top level the riders wouldn’t give any advantage away.
As for the Zipp track hubsâ¦.meh. Youâre buying the wheels for the rims and you canât buy the rims a la carte. Zipp has a patchy history of road hub designs (Iâm being polite here), but their track hubs have been competent though never remarkable. The concept of a âwheel systemâ is a little weak in this circumstance, as the rim and spokes are clearly off the shelf items while the hub design isn’t breaking new ground. Zipp uses a conventional high-flange design with a bolt-in axle, so you tighten it with a 6mm allen key. The allen key method is convenient because the necessary tool is small, but youâll never get as much force as if it used 15mm tracknuts. I never liked that the 6mm bolt-in axles personally. But I guess a lot of mass produced track bikes have built-in chain tensioners, so maybe the extra security of 15mm tracknuts threaded onto 10mm axles is superfluous. I do find it odd that Zipp chose to use 28 spokes front and rear on rims that they would only use 24 spokes if they had disc brake rotors.
After all the 27.5+ excitement this week, there’s another wheel size getting some buzz, and it’s 650b. Mark V texted me from the shop last night (where he’s building up, custom “allroad” bikes)
Cannondale is going 650b x 42 for their Lefty suspension gravel bike…as in Jan Heine tyres w suspension fork and disc brakes. Rad
This marks the first performance bike from a mainstream maker that explores 650B/27.5 tyre standard without knobs
Well that’s interesting, huh? As Jan wrote
The thought of a modern carbon bike that can fly over pavement like a racing bike, but handle rough gravel like a mountain bike, and everything in between, is truly exciting.
and I can’t wait to talk to him more about it. If there’s one thing the industry needs is to de-niche their lines, and bring back the all-around great, road bike. Call it made for adventure, gravel, all road, or whatever.
Is it just me or is all the excitement in the dirt these days? Compared to say, thin aero road bikes with cowled brakes.— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) June 20, 2015
Scott is now within the ranks of manufacturers that have joined the Plus movement – Muffin Top Tires, as grumpy Nathan Wright calls them. For 2016 the company will offer five Plus models: Scale Plus: Scale 710 Plus, Scale 720 plus, Genius 700 Tuned Plus, Genius 710 Plus, and Genius 720 Plus. All models will be equipped with 2.8-inch Schwalbe tires. Scott worked with Schwalbe and determined the 2.8 size provided a good balance of increased traction (+21-percent contact patch) with minimal added rolling resistance (+1-percent). The 2.8 size is slightly narrower than other brands that have been touting 3.0 tires. Scott then tweaked the frame geometry, with slacker head angles and shorter chainstays to take advantage of the increased traction.
The 2016 Scott Plus bikes, roll on Syncros rims with a 40mm internal width, while the Genius range include: Boost hub spacing (110mm front, 148mm rear), 2016 FOX suspension with a new TwinLoc lever and standard crankarm Q-factor. The Genius 700 Plus has 140mm of front and 130mm of rear travel and features Plus tuned suspension.
Also, a couple notes on plus sizes from Twitter
Nathan Wright is grumpy about 27.5+ and explained earlier this year in a post that they're, "Muffin Tops" http://t.co/u0OxSEeKQU— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) June 18, 2015
Road product managers must be saying to their teams "Why should MTB get all the new wheel sizes?!!"— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) June 18, 2015
To get in shape for GFL, I worked with Gord on a solid plan and Quarq equipped my rain bike for the base miles. What resonated, is what Gord said in chat:
“Biggest goal is frequency. Back to basics man. No need to smash v02 max.”
For me, consistency is key. Because I’ve been riding for so many decades, the memory is there. Just have to engage the muscles, get them going, and then the speed will come. Smash the Vo2max later, as Cross season gets closer, and with more workouts from Gord.
I’ll leave the in-depth reviews of power meters to DC Rainmaker, but having used them all at one time or another, what I liked most about the Quarq is the consistent and steady readings. I pedal, glance down at a head unit, and see an accurate number that looks right. That’s all I need.
A funny anecdote is before Gord and I worked together, he asked me if I was a pussy and I replied, “If you mean like the time I brushed shoulders with you on a roller at the front of the group heading back to Monterey? Certainly not!” But what I am is a busy person with not much time to “train,” like I once did. As I shared in the magazine article, I also felt that racing was getting in the way of riding. So I focused on having some really great rides, re-centering on those moments, and then getting back into the drama of racing when it felt right.
It felt right last night at Tuesday Worlds, where I just showed up and it was a very fast points race. In a sea of white/red and red/green, I got in the mix for a lap or two, and enjoyed the feeling of speed. After so much base, and grinding out climbs, opening up the legs felt good.
Don’t think anyone wants to hear the specifics of my training, so the summary is
Hard stuff during the week, in target power zones, then long rides on the weekend at tempo.
Crosssports blogs about all of this too, sharing workouts and the flow of the season. As CrossVegas gets closer, there’s more speed work, and intensity, and really not taking the sport (and myself) so seriously. If you put the focused time in, the fitness will come, and always try to have fun with it. Pin a number on, show up at the line, and let that roulette table of a race spin as it does.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Riken (Elsa is the non-Red version) is a solid power meter, capable of helping any athlete train. I saw consistent accuracy, and day to day use is spot-on with any other top power meter on the market.
“Solid and consistent,” just like Gord said and, “Back to basics man.” It’s also nice not to have to worry about whether my left and right legs are both doing equal work.
Finally, earlier this year, Quarq announced a 19% price drop, including the Elsa.
Impressive bike handling from Adam Myerson at the
He lands on his feet after drifting for a bit. Also notice how a pro doesn’t panic in a crash, like you’ll see in the amateur ranks. No yelling either. Adam just grabs his bike and continues or gets out of the way.
For roadies, when it feels like there’s no chain, it means you’re so fit and on form that you float on the road and in the peloton. For downhillers, that’s something entirely different and one of the greatest feats we’ve seen on a bike. Watch Aaron Gwin’s run recapped and the entire video from RedBull.
Earlier this year, tweeted
Will you please release a dropbar mtb for gravel and quit f'ing around with the repurposed, ill-defined road bikes on dirt category. Thanks.— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) February 17, 2015
Finally, Salsa released their Cutthroat. If these catch on, maybe this will actually happen too
If gravel revivalists evangelize forest service road races into a thing will launch a Dirt McGirt line with @pfaltzgraphic dropbar MTB FTW.— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) March 21, 2014
If dropbbar MTB is new to you, no problem, the reason we want them, and Salsa sees the demand, is versatility in varying dirt road conditions AND hand positions. So you want this bike for all the reasons the MTB was invented with multiple hand positions. My hands go numb in about 12 minutes on a flat bar. At every gravel ride I’ve done so far, participants are talking about dropbar MTB and there’s always a handful of hardtails blowing by us roadies on the washboard descents.
The Trek 920 I’ve been riding and writing about is a touring bike with 29r rims and tires, so a dropbar MTB from Trek et al is just an iteration away from even more choices in the adventure category.
Read more about Salsa’s Cutthroat on their blog and this truth about riding your bike all day
“Comfort is speed,” said Mailen, “especially when you are talking about riding 100 to 150 miles, or more, per day, day after day, the entire length of the country. A body receiving less punishment is one that can put more energy towards moving forward rather than reacting to impacts.”
WORD. Issue 25 of our magazine that dropped yesterday has 3 stories about the Grand Fondo Leavenworth, the hardest ride I’ve done in a couple decades of the bike:
Out there for 8 hours on dirt and gravel, when any number of things can go terribly wrong, flying into and shuddering through washboarded switchbacks, I was certainly thinking in the aftermath, “This is why suspension was invented,” AND “Could’ve used a MTB on that section, at least.”
And in case you missed it, the front end of the D-Plus is borrowed from mountain bikes…
Oh and there’s this
A photo posted by Carytown Bicycle Co. (@carytownbikes) on May 14, 2014 at 5:29am PDT
The joy of the fans, riding in new gear, and getting outside. Whether it’s winning a race or just finishing a big ride, Issue 25 celebrates success.
And mentioned on Medium for $15.99 a year or $3.99 an issue.
The free cover story for Issue 25 is about Remi McManus and his 40/40 Vision.
“I was inspired to embark on this project by many things and people, but the real driving force was to challenge myself and others. I also wanted to get back to the root of what made cycling and sports in general special to me in the first place, the friends made, the journey experienced, the stories told, and the memories.”
The rest of the stories include
- Save Mode in the Swakane Canyon – by Byron
- I Can’t Climb, But I’m Not Going to Let it Stop Me – By Jim Merithew
- Said the English Major – By Byron
- Davidson D-Plus Gravel Config – By Mark V
- 18 days, 2,785 miles – by Mick Walsh
- Gran Fondo Leavenworth Playlist – by Byron
- Maglia Rosa – By StraightEIGHT Films
- When Summer Starts – By Zanne Blair
- Not The Only Straight Guy On The AIDS Ride – By Roy Wallack
- 40/40 Vision – By Nathan Wright
- 200K – By Bike Hugger
Of course, I immediately challenged Pronto here in Seattle to, as they say, "step your game up."June 9, 2015
In all the years covering the bike, never expected to see the naked bike ride in an Apple developer keynote…we’re following along because of the News app being discussed now. Besides our web view, our magazine runs on the iOS Newsstand app. What does the Apple News format means for our content? Waiting for 29th Street Publishing to debrief us. They’re our partner in mobile apps.
Cyndi, Pam, and Steve at Duthie
Well that was fun! Spent the afternoon riding bikes at Duthie during the Evergreen MTB Festival, including this BMC fourstroke FS01 29. Less concern this time about wheel sizes and more the energy of the place, families, little kids, and women, and all them riding. It was a wheel size for everyone and there’s such a great vibe going on with dirt, including last weekend at the Grand Fondo Leavenworth.
Today we joined a select group of publications in the beta launch of Medium’s custom domains:
“What does that mean?,” you ask?
No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative. It gets the people going! – Chazz, Blades of Glory
Medium does get the people going…as Anne-Marie Slaughter from New America wrote: “We are on Medium because its format, mission, and success resonate.” Agreed! And for us it’s where we’ll share more of the nature, joy, fun, and challenges of life on two wheels. It pairs very nicely with what we’re doing with our magazine too, to build a larger subscriber base, and as a response to Facebook’s web takeover.
And I appreciate your support of the independent web, the magazine, and what Bike Hugger does. Of course, here on the blog will keep right on blogging. On Medium and with a new domain, we’re just focused on the magazine and for the next of couple years, at least.
24 covers so far
The current magazine issue is 24 Change and 25 Celebration drops next week.
A photo posted by Byron (@bikehugger) on Apr 15, 2015 at 3:32pm PDT
A sucker for waxed canvas, like our tool roll, in burgundy. SF Bag’s musette has been around a shoulder on rides ever since it arrived for review a few weeks ago. What do I like the most about it? Just a simple musette to toss an iPad, wallet, battery, cord, and snack in for the commute or ride into town for a meeting. The Vitesse is made to order and costs $69.00
- Waxed canvas - brown, burgundy, blue
- Naturally-tanned grizzly leather tab closure with black screw stud
- Nylon ajustable strap
- Two internal pockets
- Dimensions: 15.5” x 10.5” x 2~.5”
- Weight: Standard-11.1oz. With flap-13.5 oz.
Mine was made with a flap. Find more photos of the Vitesse on our Instagram.