102 CYCLING TIPS: GUARANTEED YOU’LL BE A BETTER RIDER
SUMMER TRAVEL SPECIAL
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BIKE TESTS TRAVEL SPECIAL
38 SPECIALIZED TARMAC PRO 42 THE ULTIMATE 30 DAY TRAINING RIDE
The Latest & Greatest Out of Morgan Hill What Role Can Canada and Mexico Play in Your
56 GIANT TCR ADVANCED SL Life?
When All Day Comfort and All-Out Performance 80 HAVE BIKE WILL TRAVEL
Meet Testing the Latest Break-Apart Bikes from Dean
94 FONDRIEST TF1 and Ritchey
If a World Champ Had His Own Bike
FEATURES 76 TOTALLY TUBULAR
34 BOB ROLL Visiting the Home of FMB Tubular Tires
As You Might Expect, Bobke Has His Own Type of 116 ROAD TEST: FULCRUM RACING ZERO
Tips High-End Aluminum Hoops
50 RACING FOR A CURE
Team Type 1 Is Aiming For a Bigger Win Than Just
the Tour de France
60 102 TIPS EVERY ROADIE SHOULD KNOW
The Countdown to Becoming a Better Rider
86 ADS OF THE ’80s
Taking a Look Back on a Different Decade
100 WOMEN HELPING WOMEN
Jenny Skorez Lends a Helping Hand
When You Only Have a Few Minutes
106 PILGRIMAGE TO PARIS-ROUBAIX
Riding the Cobbles for the First Time
“IT WAS ALL OR NOTHING, AND IN THE END, IT WAS JUST ME AT THE FINISH.
TO TAKE A DOUBLE AT FLANDERS IS A DREAM.” READ MORE ABOUT HOW STIJN DEVOLDER
WENT DOUBLE OR NOTHING TO WIN ANOTHER TOUR OF FLANDERS
ON THE TARMAC SL2 AT I-AM-SPECIALIZED.COM
Pat Carrigan, John Ker
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RBA from the editor email@example.com By Brad Roe
20 TIPS NOT TO FOLLOW
9) Don’t decide that you alone are responsible to tell all
oncoming traffic to slow down by flapping your arms like a bird
and looking angry. I’m struggling with this one, but will keep you
posted. It has something to do with age.
10) Never attack the faster riders at the beginning of your
local climb and then give them the Lance-to-Ulrich look. You can’t
pull that off.
11) Don’t tell your wife you are quitting your great job and
moving your family to Spain to ride more, be a better dad and
work on your next novel.
12) Also, don’t tell your wife you think $11,000 will pay for an
entire year living in Spain, and then ask her to please see if her
parents are interested in helping make that happen.
his is our first annual 102-Cycling Tips issue. In honor of 13) Never ask Lance in an interview when he plans to lose
that, I decided to do the exact opposite and tell you 20 those final 15 pounds. Not good at all.
things not to do in 2009 in order to save you grief at home
and abroad. 14) Don’t buy a tandem for your spouse unless you plan on rid-
ing it solo for the training benefits. It’s just going to be you and
1) When you get on an elevator with your bike, in your Lycra, the bike in two weeks, so accept it now. It’s not a bad look, riding
do not greet others with a firm handshake and demand they call solo on a tandem, as long as you aren’t wearing mountain bike
you, “Admiral.” shorts and listening to country music.
2) Under no circumstances should you wear mountain bike 15) While stopping for a break at your local Gas and Sip, don’t
shorts while riding a road bike. Better not to ride at all. Go fishing let your Lycra armor compel you to ask the employees technical
instead—and bring good sandwiches. questions about the business like, “When are you guys gonna
pipe in bio-diesel from Berkeley.” Just drink your Diet Rite and go
3) When you are at a stoplight and trying to pull off the Pro- on your way.
track-stand-I-can-balance-longer-than-you thing, do not grab onto
the mirror of a pickup truck. Chances are it’s a redneck—and you 16) Don’t ever tell your wife you are thinking of becoming a
are doomed. car-less family unless you plan to back it up. If you make that
choice, great, but don’t mention it to her right after you tell her
4) Never sing while riding and listening to country music. First about the plans to move to Spain.
of all, you shouldn’t listen to music while riding, and certainly not
country music. They say it melts your brain. 17) Don’t tell any of your riding partners that you stretch or do
yoga or Pilates and expect them to respect you for it. You are bet-
5) When entering a bike shop, don’t shout out, “Who’s in ter off telling them you’ve started a worm farm in the backyard
charge, here?” or throw the employees your keys and tell them to for extra money so you can buy tickets to go see Cher in Las
park your car carefully. Vegas.
6) According to Zap, knee warmers are not to be worn as leg 18) Don’t try to break into a fixie-gang without doing your
warmers, but I’m not sure I agree with him. I do, however, agree research in all things hip and urban. It could be dangerous and
to disagree. isn’t recommended for anyone over 23.
7) Do not use embrocations on your legs (especially not the 19) Don’t tell your wife you are planning on racing a full sched-
strong stuff), then proceed to eat an apple or run your hands ule in 2010 right after you tell her you want to move to Spain, bor-
through your hair. It’s a bad way to start the day. row money from her parents, and put you and the kids on her
health insurance policy.
8) Don’t put recovery drink powder in your morning milk think-
ing it will help you drive to work better. Just drink the milk and 20) Don’t forget to laugh at how great and silly this whole cycling
save the powder for when you are actually riding. thing is once in a while. Chances are it will make you faster…
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.
The BB30. Nearly a decade after we invented it, the BB30 is now recognized
as the industry standard. And standard on the Team Liquigas SuperSix Hi-MOD.
The good fight. cannondale.com
RBA zap’s column
letters By Zapata Espinoza
t’s that time of year. Spring is in the air. The flower fields are I do enthusiastically eschew all forms of electronic gizmos on my
starting to burst with color. With longer daylight hours, the bike. That has less to do with being “anti-tech” as it is simply that
speed demons are coming back out to play on Tuesday and I want my cycling experience to be as pure as possible. Felice
Thursday nights for the Rose Bowl training rides. Oh, and what’s Gimondi accomplished quite a bit as a bike racer without ever
that funny noise I hear? A small chirping sound? No, it’s not the once using a heart rate monitor or GPS.
swallows returning to Capistrano. It’s a new sound. A different
sound. A sound that could very well change the face of cycling as At the end of each day, after remembering and punching in
we currently know it. countless codes and passwords to access information to get by in
life, when I get on my bike I’m looking for uncluttered handlebars
I’m talking of course about the sound of the electronic shifts and an uncluttered mind, so that I can have an uncluttered ride.
made by Shimano’s revolutionary Di2 electronic drivetrain. I don’t want to download ride coordinates or heart rate rhythms.
“Chirp.” While there aren’t that many of the battery-operated The only thing that I want to recharge after each ride is myself—
groups in action, they are out there in a big way in the minds of a short glass of red with some sliced Bel Gioioso Parmesan and
the most product-affected bike geeks. People ask me if I’ve ridden “Seinfeld” re-runs will do just fine. No batteries needed.
it (yes), what it rides like (shrug), and when it will be available (by
the time you’re reading this). After a few rides with electronic Dura-Ace, I came to the con-
clusion that, yeah, it’s cool, but it’s not going to do anything to
Now, in case the shrug wasn’t enough of an indication of my enhance my ride. Robb was, of course, immediately angling to be
opinion of the drivetrain components, let me just say this about the first on the block to own the futuristic system. I couldn’t fig-
the new parts, “Yeah whatever.” I know Wayne Stetina was a big ure out why. Spending $4000-plus for bike parts that won’t make
player in the development of Di2, and I make no apology for the you faster, stronger, or more comfortable? For anyone who was
abundant respect I have for him, but to me, it’s no different than if actually in search of those three attributes, I would happily advise
my favorite eatery offered a new recipe for haggis; it just wouldn’t them to instead invest in a new set of lightweight wheels, along
move my needle at all. The technology is simply amazing. So amaz- with the one Shimano product that easily does offer those three
ing, in fact, that neither I (nor any other pedal scribe) will ever be attributes—their SH-R300 shoes with the Thermo-form, easy-bake,
able to speak about mechanical shifting being so quick that it vacuum fit. Awesome stuff, and you’d still have enough money left
feels automatic, because it can’t be since that is what Di2—and over to fly to Italy and enjoy the ride.
only Di2—actually serves up. “Chirp!”
Yeah, I know Campagnolo has already race tested their elec-
Okay, so this wouldn’t be the first time that I was accused of tronic gruppo and the Sramsters mumbled something about “next
being a Mexican Luddite. But really, I am no closer to being a year” when I brought it up with them on our Solvang ride. And
long-lost relative of Ned Ludd than I am Kozo Shimano. So maybe then it will be done...birds of a feather.
Win free stuff at Zap’s blog on www.roadbikeaction.com
THE TREK MADONE.
NOW AVAILABLE IN MILLIONS
Customize yours at trekbikes.com/projectone
RBA bike culture
SEA OTTER CLASSIC OUTTAKES
As a frame engineer at Trek, you can bet that Ray Waxham
has one of the most impressive stables of one-off bikes. This
flat-barred, belt-driven, single-speed Madone with a patented
rear dropout of Ray’s own design will actually be a production
model for 2010.
Inspired by the rigors of Paris-Roubaix, Zipp introduced a re- The Laguna Seca race track in Monterey, California, is the
designed 303 wheel that offers up a host of new features to perfect venue to hold an event like the Sea Otter. Besides the
make your wheel-buying choice even more difficult. Key road races, the nearly two-decade-old Sea Otter plays host to
upgrades for the $2285 hoops include a wider tire bed every type of dirt event imaginable. After more years of rain
(22.3mm to 27.5mm) for improved lateral stiffness, reduced than anyone could imagine, this year’s event was held under
radial stiffness for more comfort, and an angled brake track ideal conditions. www.seaotter.com
for better modulation. Already a race winner, the upgrades
are found with the tubular 303 only. www.zipp.com
The days at Sea Otter can be long, and there are few things
better than a steaming cup-o-Joe from a bike-friendly coffee
Following two consecutive runner-up finishes in the crit and maker to help get you through the day. Mark Ritz held various
road race to the Colavita/Sutter Home squad, Joanne jobs in the industry before casting off the yoke of sales meet-
Kiesanowski and her Team Tibco squad exacted revenge by ings to start his own boutique coffee house. www.kinetic-kof-
taking the 50-mile circuit race. www.teamtibco.com fee.com
As usual, there was no shortage of flashy bikes over at the
Vision has been in the aero business since 1995, and thanks
to their acquisition by FSA, they’re now going big in the
wheel market by releasing a line of high-performance, pur-
pose-built wheels for every type of rider. The TriMax line
includes everything from this 88mm deep carbon Ultimate to
the 33mm deep aluminum TriMax Pro. The wheels use Sapim
spokes and are assembled in Italy. www.theloopisclosed.com
As usual, SRAM used the Sea Otter to introduce some new Italian component maker 3T was one of many vendors show-
parts, and this year it was the re-introduction of their mid- ing off their wares to the assembled masses. Nearing the
level Force group. For 2010 the Force parts enjoy a sultry gray 50th anniversary of the storied brand’s history, 3T offers a full
anodized finish, plus a lighter weight over the previous ver- range of carbon and aluminum components, including the
sion. Look for a complete group with BB30 bottom bracket high end Ltd. line of stems, bars and seatposts. We especially
option weighing in at 1957 grams and costing $1439. liked the highly adjustable Palladio seatpost.
Road Bike Action
RBA bike culture SEA OTTER OUTTAKES
RBA MINI-VIEW: LEVI RIDES LOCAL
The Sea Otter race is not considered a think the race could be mine. I have no Levi: They’re not using the mountain
major race on the Pro schedule, so it came pressure on me, and I have to say I was sur- stage we used last year, so we’ll have to
as quite a surprise to many spectators prised at winning Castilla de Leon, so I see. Last year I ran a Compact crank on
when it was announced that Levi have good fitness. With all that in mind, it that stage with a 34-28 gear. Contador ran
Leipheimer would be in attendance. We got might be the opportunity I need to do well. a 34x30 gear on that stage, and I wish I
a chance to sit down with the Team Astana Still, it’s a special race this year (the 100th had more gear. It’s funny to think about the
rider, who was spending some weeks at gearing now compared to back in the day.
home following his recent win at the It used to be that a 23 gear was consid-
Castilla de Leon race in Spain. ered big, then it was a 25, and then it
went to a 27. I run an 11-28 for early sea-
RBA: What are you doing racing the son training, and I remember thinking this
Sea Otter, and what’s on your plate com- year, why not just run a Compact all the
ing up? time?
Levi: This is actually my second local
race since I came home from the race in RBA: Earlier you talked about the ben-
Spain. I haven’t raced the Sea Otter in a efits of the new SRAM cable system.
few years, and I just thought it would be What impact does it have on your riding?
fun to come down and give it a try. After Levi: I have a rain bike that uses a
this, I’ll probably head to Utah or fully sealed cable system, so I’m partial to
Not only was it surprising to see Levi
Colorado to get some high-altitude train- race at the Sea Otter, but it was the Gore cables for that. Now I’m using
ing in before heading over to the Giro. stranger still to see him unloading his the new SRAM/Gore cables on my race
After the Giro, unless we do some stage bike (with the help of SRAM’s Alex bike, and the shift action is so smooth—I’d
Wassmann) from the trunk of his car.
previews for the Tour de France, I’ll come say 40 percent smoother—and that makes
back to the States for more altitude train- anniversary), and the Italian guys all want a huge difference in a long race. During
ing. to do good. In a way it’s a little bit like me some longer races I’ve actually suffered
and the Tour of California—it’s my home from tendinitis from shifting so much. With
RBA: What are your thoughts on the race, and I always end up riding stronger all the gears we have now, you end up shift-
Giro? there. For the Italian riders, the Giro is the ing much more frequently, and you’d be
Levi: The long-time trial will be unlike same for them. surprised at how much effort that can take
anything anyone has ever done before. during a long day. Those cables definitely
With a distance like that it will most likely RBA: What about gear selections on the make it easier, so it’s not as hard on the
be ridden on a road bike, not a TT bike. I climbs? body.
RBA MEET & GREET: MICHAEL PARKER
Although the Sea Otter is predominant- a few wraps of tape to the top tube to pre-
ly a mountain bike event, hundreds of road vent it from getting any more dented from
riders showed up to compete in a trio of the handle bars hitting it. As old as the bike
skinny tire events. Luckily among all the is, I have to say that it still has a really
modern day, high falootin’ carbon-fiber smooth ride, and I like its stability at speed.
wonder bikes, you’ll always find a selection I think the colors are really special, too,
of classic back in the day works of two- especially today since so many bikes are
wheeled art. Among them was 47-year-old black!” Coincidentally just as Parker was
Michael Parker of Livermore, California, gloating over the tapered Columbus tubes
who was aboard a beautiful Serotta of his faded neon tri-colored bike, former 7-
Colorado II that he bought new back in Eleven man, Bob Roll, called us and verified
1991. the bike’s sweet ride and its place in the
“I picked it up at Downey Cycles in pantheon of great race bikes. Parker then
Southern California,” said Parker. “It was let on that he was skipping work to come
just around the same time that the 7-Eleven out to race. His profession? It turns out that
team was riding them, so that’s why I the unabashed steel lover is actually a
bought it. The only thing I’ve changed on it composite engineer for the aerospace
was upgrading to a Shimano Dura Ace dri- industry. “Yeah, it’s kind of ironic, isn’t it,
vetrain and Mavic wheels. Oh I also added that I don’t ride carbon!”
FIRST LOOK: SKINS
The idea of compression wear to aid designed to aid the recovery of ath-
recovery is not altogether new. Skins is letes. Anyone familiar with compres-
an Australian company that is among sion wear is probably already aware of
the leaders in producing technical the signature black with bright yellow
compression wear specifically seamed products made by Skins.
NEED TO DROP A FEW?
Pacific Health Labs, purveyors of “This is the first time a company has of bars and a shake version for that
the popular (and RBA staple) specifically targeted endurance ath- critical afternoon snack time. We have
Accelerade, is introducing a new letes looking to reach their weight tried the bars and our first impression
line of products to help endurance goals,” Jason Ash, Pacific Health Labs was favorable. To learn more about
athletes meet their weight goals. CEO told RBA. There will be two flavors the extensive science of these bars
check out www.forze-gps.com
“STAGES” AND LANCE HAVE ARRIVED
world’s most creative and diverse artists benefiting the LAF. The exhibit will also
to produce original works of art inspired travel to New York, Portland, Oregon
by Armstrong and his mission to raise and Los Angeles with final dates to be
awareness of the global cancer burden. announced. “This year it’s about more
This unique project brings together the than winning the race. It’s about people
world of art, philanthropy and sport, in a coming together to use their talents and
way never before seen, to create artwork abilities for a cause bigger than our-
that represents the power of human selves and doing everything within our
Photo: Susan Goldman/Nike potential in overcoming adversity. power to help those in their fight to over-
How much power does Lance have? The come cancer,” said Lance Armstrong.
city closed down Sunset Boulevard in SEE YOU IN PARIS
both directions so that Lance and the
700-rider strong “Stages” posse could A big supporter of “Stages” will be
ride a few miles from the Children’s Lance’s longtime sponsor, Nike. “Nike
Hospital to the theater where Ben
Harper would later play. has been a committed partner in driv-
It’s a rare sight on a Saturday night ing global awareness of the Lance
in Hollywood that you see 700 cyclists Armstrong Foundation, while raising
riding down Sunset Boulevard. But millions to help in the fight against
that’s what happens when Lance cancer,” said Mark Parker, Nike
Armstrong is in town to announce the President and CEO. “The ‘Stages’ tour
creation of “Stages” which is a collu- brings people together, using their tal- Photo: Susan Goldman/Nike
sion of the art, cycling and cancer com- ents to inspire and engage more peo- Lance Armstrong, Nike CEO Mark Parker
ple in the fight against cancer.” Once and artist Shepard Fairey pose in front of
munities to further the work of the a mural done by Fairey at Nike
Lance Armstrong Foundation. “Stages” it’s unveiled in Paris, each one-of-a-kind Sportswear at the Montalbán in
brings together more than twenty of the work of art will go on sale with proceeds
Road Bike Action
RBA bike culture
READ ON TWITTER
While you sleep, work and or ride your • “I hear they arrested 2 guys 4 steal- there’s a lot of press clips re: my hair
bike, the universal cycling conversation ing my bike at the ToC. These guys musta test/drug test yesterday and I was surprised
continues on Twitter. Offering insight into been @ the back of the line when they were and asking?’s.” 11:42 a.m. March 18th
the minds and lives of riders and industry handing out the brains.” 4:14 p.m. April 7th
folk alike, here are a few nuggets that • “First off, I’m never surprised any-
recently caught our attention. Yes keeping • “Read the Sunday Times Sports sec- more. What does surprise me is that AFLD
up with Twitter means less time riding your tion on the flight. Pages and pages of ( French Anti-Doping Agency) feels the
bike. In case you want to follow along with rugby, soccer, cricket and barely a mention need to publicly comment on confidential
all the latest gossip and intrigue in the of Cavendish. Pitiful.” 8:17 a.m. March matters.” 11:47 a.m. March 18th
cycling world, make sure to follow along at 22nd
• “Easy day today on the bike. Went
@LANCEARMSTRONG and rode an easy lap on the Tour’s opening • “Gotta love int’l travel...up early, leav-
TT circuit in Monaco. Nearly got hit by 3 or ing casa Merckx soon! Only 20 hours from
• “Just off the bike. 6 hrs. Amazing ride. 4 Ferraris. Weird.” 5:40 a.m. March 19th now and I am home! Blehhh” 9:36 p.m.
Harder than hell tho. Oh wait, that’s the April 19th
way I like it.” 2:13 p.m. April 17th • “Yet another “surprise” anti-doping
control. 24th one. This one from the French • “Last night in Belgie land...I’m really
• “Mornin’, twitterati. Long ride on tap authorities. Urine, blood, and hair! excited to get home! A bird tells me there
today. With intervals. I see in the NYT that Classic.” 7:31 a.m. March 17th are some World Champ Oakleys
Bill Rodgers is running Boston. Awesome • “So I’m clear—never complaining waiting...Sick!” 1:49 p.m. April 19th
news.” 4:43 a.m. April 15th about these tests. Def part of the job. Feel
targeted? * Of course. But anything to prove • “Landed in Wash. Saw some fellow
• “Just took a shower. Got it down I’m clean. Onward.” 9:38 a.m. March 17th Olympians…Kinda cool. Part of the tribe!”
under 10 mins. Whew.” 5:51 p.m. April 9th • “I’m hearing from a lot of folks that 10:08 a.m. April 20th
Whistler has something for every kind of rider—from paved valley trails,
technical singletrack, spectacular forest trails to a jaw-dropping bike park.
WIN WHISTLER KHS BIKES.
GET TO SOUTH AFRICA ging five years behind the industry in CF components?
Just wanted you to know that not all the good riding this time There’s no question Shimano is the leader in market share.
of year is going on in Europe. Cape Town, South Africa, hosted Shimano was more aggressive and successful at getting their
the world’s largest timed cycling event on March 8—The Cape components spec’d on mass-marketed bicycles. Thus, TREK, which
Argus Tour. Nearly 26,000 people finished this year’s tour from is a mass-produced bicycle, is sold with Shimano (although some
the city, down into the Cape, and back. Fantastic views, great early Treks did come with Campy). But I would liken the Shimano-
support (from the Campy market share to
organizers and the com- PC versus Apple. PCs are
munity), and a challeng- ubiquitous, but that does
ing 110 km ride. Loved not mean they are supe-
it! Will plan to partici- rior to their Cupertino
pate again next year cousins. Those of us who
and hope for less wind ride Campy and type on
and a faster time! Apple keyboards know
—Jim Reed that the intuitive design
and “feel” of our prod-
GIPIEMME, GALLI ucts is part of what
makes them great.
AND ZEUS —Doug Antelman;
Many of us spent a
Flemington, New Jersey
lot of time in the saddle
in the 1980s and ’90s,
and most everyone BACK TO REALITY
knows about Love your magazine,
Campagnolo, Shimano, SRAM, and maybe Suntour. But many do but I’ve got one huge gripe: What’s up with all the uber-expensive
not know about some of the other high-end component groups of rides? I think your staff may be a little out of touch with the peo-
the time such as Gipiemme, Galli, Zeus, or that Mavic had a com- ple who ride for the sheer joy of it. When was the last time one of
plete gruppo. Thought you might want to do a write-up on this. you guys actually bought a bike with your own money? Are you
Could be interesting, especially things like Gipiemme’s relation- aware that these are tough economic times?
ship to Campy. This would also seem to go along with your recent —David Conerly; Atlanta, Georgia
stories on Brooks.
—Duane Boyle THE MORE BOB THE BETTER
Just finishing my first year’s subscription to RBA and I simply
THE HISTORY OF SHIMANO? love your magazine. Do whatever it takes to keep Bob Roll writing
I read with interest in your recent issue the “long” and storied for you; one of his columns is worth the price of the magazine.
history of Shimano components on racing bicycles. There is no Someday, I will ride with Bob. I’m sure I’m one of the few people
doubt that Shimano has imprinted its place in cycling history on this Earth to truly understand Bob, at least as well as anyone
with its ubiquitous gruppos, but one could argue that its many could.
Tour de France victories had more to do with Lance Armstrong —Ed Portman
than with Shimano components. Until 1999, Shimano had never
won a TDF. In fact, the most dominant riders in the TDF, such as MORE VIDEO
Merckx, Indurain and Hinault, all won on Campagnolo. I just went on your website and was thrilled to see the video on
the time trial bikes. That was a great addition. Please keep them
But forget about stage race victories; let’s look at the recent coming.
history of Shimano. Is Shimano really the technological leader in —Brian Burke; Summerland, British Columbia
the industry? With its new Dura Ace 7900 gruppo, Shimano final-
ly decided to route its shifter cables under bar tape—something WHY I READ
that Campy has done for years and SRAM did from the start of its It’s clear enough to me why I like RBA, and it’s because you
new road components. Could it be that Shimano finally realized guys come off as the kind of people that I’d like to ride with and
that riders didn’t like the ugly cables sticking out front? Similarly, then hang out with afterwards. After reading Zap’s column in the
Shimano gives us a gunmetal grey shift lever with a chrome piece last issue, I think it’s better if I put it this way: While marketing
that looks out of the 1980s, whereas others have gone to carbon suits at the mags, I don’t buy sitting around trying to guess what
levers. The new Super Record levers look like they came off a we want to read, you guys already know because you’re like us
Ferrari! Shimano’s hollow body crankset is an interesting design, (well, maybe faster and/or younger than some of us, but you know
but Shimano also seems to be the only one not selling a carbon what I mean). If something is interesting to you, then it’s pretty
crank on its high-end components. So one obvious question to likely to be interesting to me, too. Keep it up.
Shimano is: Where’s your carbon, and why are you seemingly lag- —Craig Fritz; Scituate, Massachusetts
RBA why we ride
Because it’s fun. Simple as that!
Sometimes, you don’t know about things until you feel
them. It happened to me when I started riding a road bike two
weeks ago. It’s a great feeling and good workout. I love to ride on
a lonely road with just nature. Only cycling can take me that dis-
tance without polluting nature.
Because I love the burn in my lungs. I ride because when
I reach the top of the hill, I feel like Icarus touching the sun’s rays—
only to fall back down the road ahead of me.
In 1993, I broke my femur jumping my quad. I was 21
and had a baby daughter and a wife and a mortgage...I was out
of work for many months in a wheelchair. The doctor prescribed
bike riding for therapy. “Bicycles build you up, but motorcycles
break you down,” he told me. Eventually, I began to race MTB and
joined a club for cross training. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the
doctor’s advice. In ’99 I shattered both of my ankles attempting a
triple jump on my motorcycle. Wheelchair life again. Three surger-
ies, therapy, pain, weight lifting, bigger mortgage, out of work,
and did I mention pain? The doctor tells me the only word he could
use to describe my ankles is “applesauce.” He doesn’t know if I’ll
ever walk again. I’m off of my bicycle for a year and a half.
After my ankles were fused, I was able to work through the
pain to screw pedals to the bottom of my cast on one foot. The
other foot had an external fixator, so I had to “improvise” another
one for that foot. The first time out, I went for a slow spin. It
worked! I was thrilled. Each turn of the crank was excruciating,
but just being outside smelling the fresh rain and exploring was
exhilarating. I was going to be able to ride again!
I gradually got better and better and rode every day as far as
possible. I grew to love the fellowship and the challenge that rid-
ing provided. And I know that riding is the thing that kept me
Yorba Linda, California
Years ago, I rode every day. Soon it was only once a week.
Once a month. Not at all. I fell into a deep depression. I dealt with Riding makes me feel free inside. My insides say, “Yahoo!”
this for a couple of years before I realized what was going on and Plus, I don’t enjoy jogging. I like to just get my feet on some bike
found help. Then I found your magazine. It got me off the couch pedals and ride free. Lately, I’ve been learning how to shift gears,
and back on my mountain bike. Now I’m on the hunt for a road and it’s really fun. This is a picture of me and the bike I got for my
bike. Hope to find one soon. Thank you. eighth birthday.
—Don from Davenport —Claire, age 8
E-mail your submissions and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no way to describe the feeling of the early
morning ride. It’s springtime; the sun is coming up over that
“beast of a climb.” The birds are up; they’re “chirping” you on.
They know the feeling; they are as happy to greet the morning as
you are. You reach the summit. Heart pounding, legs burning, a
smile across your face. “Good morning.” You’ve met the sun at
the top again. You close your eyes for a brief moment, listening
to the morning—yep, it’s going to be a great day.
To go fast, and push through my pain and weakness.
I know that if I am sitting on my couch, somebody, somewhere,
is out-working me...I have a little talent, but that won’t win races.
That is why I have to ride harder and smarter than anybody I
There are eight individual reasons why we enjoy
cycling: When all put together, they center around our love of
one of the most enjoyable sports, the ride, pushing each other to
new limits, and completing more demanding “centuries,” such as
6 Gap in Georgia (picture taken there). Most of all, we ride for the
friendships we develop.
• Robert: Cycling to me is one of the best ways to maintain
my individual fitness goals. To do this solo is great, but to do it
along with other individuals having the same goals is even more
• Tracy: In the beginning, cycling was a challenge to be con-
quered, a mountain to climb, a speed to reach, or a distance to
travel. But through the years, cycling has become so much more;
it has become an outlet for stress, and a way to meet some real-
ly awesome people.
• Stephanie: Each cycling challenge I take on is another way
for me to defy age. Every ride makes me physically and mentally
stronger, whether 100 miles in the mountains or a sprint to the
edge of sickness.
• Bob: I have had the opportunity in these past 20 years to
ride with a large variety of riders. However, I had not experienced
the friendship and camaraderie that I now have with my current Skate Ski Bike
“Pirate” teammates. We all have the same love of cycling and con- I bike, I run, I skate, I ski,
tinue to grow and expand that love on a daily basis. To set the peace inside of me,
• John: I ride for the enjoyment, the challenge, and the fitness Free.
factor. There is nothing like the freedom of an early morning ride My muscles ache, sweat burns my eyes.
with friends, the sound of the tires, the smell of fresh grass, and It really comes as no surprise,
the pain of a strong head wind or hill. We push and help each That some comment, “You must be crazy,”
other at the same time. To them I say, “I’m just not lazy,”
• Trevor: I find myself extremely lucky; this sport has afford- I toil and I work all week,
ed me the opportunity to become friends with a fascinating pack For people who don’t help me seek,
of individuals (the Pirates). The freedom and the peace I crave,
• Richard: Simply because I like it. The friends, fitness, and They chain my spirit like a slave,
other health benefits that come with the sport are also a strong I climb those hills because they’re, “there,”
attraction—from the strong feeling of being the engine in front of I ride my bike to God knows where,
the pace line to being humbled at the back of the line using all I skate and ski because I find,
your physical strength just to hang on. To free my heart and thus unbind,
(Georgia Six-Gap photo from right to left (front): Cliff, Robert, I must.
Tracy, Stephanie, Bob, John. Back row right to left: Trevor, —Norm Almack
Richard.) All reside in Seminole County, Florida. Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
Road Bike Action
RBA exclusive column
I’d never ridden that far in a single day. The second
stage was easily the hardest day I’ve had on a bike.
Stage three and four were equally hard. The fifth
stage climbed up and up for a solid 100 kilometers
and topped out at around 13,000 feet, making the past
couple of days feel like walks in the park.
By stage five it really hit me. Wow, this sport is incredibly
hard. And I’m only at the Tour of Mexico. Just wait until the Tour
De France! Motivation was ebbing, especially during the long
transfers to stage starts, but we had a great team, a great staff,
and an awesome director (Axel Merckx). I managed to push
through and make it to the final stage before mechanical prob-
lems put me out of the race.
I flew home and spent five days in bed. While luxuriating on
the fold-out couch in the living room, watching a movie and eat-
ing some tasty food I had made for myself, I came to the real-
ization that I was really happy. This is the life. There is
something beautiful about pushing your body to its
absolute max and being able to spend several days
simply letting it recover.
When my energy came back, I had some of the best
workouts (wattage output-wise) ever. My confidence was
boosted. I flew to Poland with Coach Neal Henderson, and we
had used upgrades for the business class. What a difference
the flatbeds make; I slept six hours. I arrived fresh and
ready to ride. We put the bikes together and went to
the track. I had no trouble with the time change and
had maintained complete control of my composure.
My workouts in the days prior were right on schedule, and
REVOLUTION BEGINS: I was flying.
THE SLAYING OF Dream master. Every night before bed I would daydream
about winning, putting the jersey on (even flashing forward to the
THE WORLD press), and the prestige. I realized that these moments are what I
live for. Anticipation, the attention of the crowd, the biggest stage
By Taylor Phinney
I’d be on all year. I was going to win. I knew it. I couldn’t wait.
Photos: Rob Jones
My support crew was in place. Coach Neal Henderson had
been with me the whole time, and my mom flew in a couple days
won the World Championships on March 26 in a suburb of before the big day bearing homemade muffins. Jim Miller, the
Warsaw known as Pruszkow on a beautiful and brand-new, new Director of Athletics at USA Cycling, was upbeat, and the
250 meter velodrome built of the finest blonde Siberian pine Belgian staff (Danny and Fox) gave me support and confidence.
and housed in a world-class arena. I won’t forget that track, nor
the feeling of that great pair of rides, nor of standing on the top Race day. I wake up, have breakfast, ride the rollers for 30-45
step of the podium wearing the coveted rainbow jersey. I also minutes, shower, eat again (four to five hours before my start),
won’t forget the suffering that brought me to the starting line then I have time alone for a couple hours. The two-plus hours I
feeling fitter than ever. have to myself before my race are the most important part of my
program. It’s fuel, it’s where I dispel doubts—prepare myself for bat-
Money in the bank. Our Trek-Livestrong team decided to go to tle, if you will. They say you have to see it to do it. I’m a believer.
the Vuelta Mexico Telmex in early March for experience and train-
ing. I knew this volume of hard work would be good for me, but I get to the track two hours prior to my start and stretch and
for some reason I had it in my mind that this was going to be hang out, just soaking in the atmosphere and pumping myself up.
some small-time race in Mexico and it wouldn’t be that hard. Boy, I plug into my playlist of seven songs that match my warm-up
was I mistaken. Maybe it was just lost in translation. The race was entirely so I don’t need a watch. I cruise through the warm-up feel-
eight days, with five stages over 200 kilometers long. Truthfully, ing good, and with 20 minutes to go, I am off. I get completely
Interviews. Cameras. It was disorienting. It was huge.
The only problem with expecting yourself to win is that the
biggest sensation you feel is relief. Still, it felt nothing short of
great. The medal ceremony was sweet. The big screen was playing
some race highlights. Hearing the anthem was cool. The most I
did to celebrate was to rock the gold Oakley Frogskins for about
45 seconds—just for fun. I warmed down and went to my second
drug control of the day (the first one was at the team hotel at 8:30
in the morning).
That night it took me a very long time to wind down and sleep.
Everybody in the Phinney camp but me was celebrating at the
Ideal Hotel, as I had to race the kilo the next day. My mom was
really proud of me. She bought a round of beers for the support
crew at the hotel and sent e-mails late into the night.
I wasn’t as nervous about the kilo as I was about the pursuit. I
don’t train for the kilo, but I do like it in a sick sort of way, and I’m
good at it. Your typical kilo rider is a pure sprinter with thick, mus-
cular legs. Normal kilo riders open with a fast first lap and then
slow down over the next three laps. Some of them are comically
slow in the final half lap as their fast-twitch muscle fibers are
spent. I, on the other hand, open about a second or more slower
race ready and then really get into the zone. Those last 15 min- than they do and get faster with each lap. I’ve only raced the kilo
utes are very important to my success. I ride the rollers until three twice, and both times I’ve won. I was actually thinking I might win
minutes before my race, get off and wait. I knew what time I had this one, too.
to hit and held myself back a bit for the final ride. I set a new per-
sonal best: 4:15.1.
Pursuit is so-named because you pursue your opponent.
Starting on opposite sides of the track, the fastest rider wins, but
the real goal is to catch your opponent. It’s a test of speed and
endurance, and it is tactical. If you start too fast, you die. Too
slow, and you give your opponent an advantage you may not
recover from. You have to choose your gear carefully. To win the
title required me to ride a strong final against the highly touted
19-year-old Australian Jack Bobridge. At one point during my
warm-up, I could feel the pressure getting to me. I had to use all
my mental skills to beat back the doubt.
In the start gate I stayed focused, trying not to look up at the
giant image of me on the big screen or to dwell on the 16 laps of
racing ahead of me. Four kilometers. Fifty seconds on the count-
down clock. Breathe. Breathe. 30. 10. Five. Four. Three. Two. Lean
back. One. Boom! Power on. I was off. I kept it steady, knowing
that I had the strength to match anything my opponent had, but
that I had to stay on schedule for the first half of the race. Jim
Miller called my splits, so I knew I was right on schedule.
At two kilometers we were just .005 seconds apart, but I
stayed rock steady. The lactic acid was building, but I kept my
high cadence and stayed smooth and aero. Four laps; one kilome-
ter to go. I had him. I was gaining every lap. It hurt, but I was in
the zone—so far into it that I didn’t even think about the fact that
I was winning! I crossed the line, and a huge feeling of relief swept
over me. Involuntarily, I stuck out my tongue and made a funny
face. I grabbed a USA flag from my coach. Hand shakes. Hugs.
Road Bike Action
RBA exclusive column
Right before my start, the German, Stefan Nimke, went incred-
ibly fast with a 1.00.66, a new sea-level world record. I tried to
resist looking at his time, but the crowd reaction told me he was
the man to beat. I took off fast and held my speed, inevitably
dying a bit more than normal towards the end. The pain in that
last lap is excruciating, but it is a different pain than the pursuit
brings. The thing I like about the kilo is it is so short that the pain
is easily forgettable. I rolled a new personal best, a 1:01.61, and
was sitting in second place. But there were a lot of good riders yet
I sat through a dozen more heats of men who started out blaz-
ing fast and then barely missed my time. I held my breath as the
Malaysian rider Tisin virtually tied me; he was only a few hun-
dredths behind. When the last rider went and I realized I had won
the silver, a wave of relief poured over me. The waiting was over.
A silver medal! In the kilo!
Winning the Pursuit title in Poland will always have the biggest
place in my heart, but in retrospect, I know that kilo medal was
special and surprised a lot of people, even me.
There’s a revolution happening in track cycling. A lot of us
young guys are coming up and doing great things. This is the
start. Hang on and enjoy the ride!
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SEVEN HANDY TIPS By Bob Roll
Photos: Yuzuru Sunada
STRONG SUGGESTION #3
et’s face it. Most of us will never race in the Tour de France,
and the average enthusiast will never perform at the level Never use your riding to define your self worth. For far too
that elite pros maintain on a daily basis. However, we can many pros, riding bikes is closely tied to feeling good about them-
all enjoy an enhanced cycling experience by emulating some of selves. The faster they ride, the more personal worth they feel.
their habits. But before we get to those, there are habits of the Believe me, somebody will eventually be able to push on the ped-
pros that I strongly suggest you do not emulate. als a little bit harder than you can. I admit to not having been
immune to this phenomenon at times in my life. And those times
STRONG SUGGESTION #1 have been the least gratifying of my riding career, even though I
Do not suffer like a pro! Bike racers at the highest level have may have been traveling at a high rate of speed. The challenge of
a pain threshold that will take your breath away. They hover just the open road, camaraderie with good friends, and a sense of
below cardiac arrest, suffocation, accomplishment after a hard ride are
and lactic acid induced asphyxia- much more sustainable byproducts of
tion for many hours each race swinging a leg over my machine.
day. Most professional sports
that the masses enjoy are varia- Now, here are some things that pros
tions on the theme of hand-eye do that help us all enjoy our riding a lit-
coordination. Baseball, tennis, tle bit more.
golf, cricket, basketball, hockey,
football and even race car driving TIP #1
are hugely popular. But for me, Become one with your bicycle. To see
the thought of commuting to a a pro laid out on his bicycle streaking
stadium and planting my behind effortlessly down the road is a thing of
on a Frisbee-sized piece of plastic beauty. The hours, days, weeks and
to observe others play a game of years of riding that most pro riders put
glorified keep away is not very in to rise to the top form a unit of effi-
savory. On the rare occasions cient transportation where the rider and
that I have done something of this machine are virtually inseparable. The
sort, it has appeared to go some- point where the bicycle ends and the
thing like this: Guy catches ball, rider begins is so seamless that it
his team wins. Guy drops the ball, becomes impossible to differentiate
his team loses. So then, I ask between the man and the machine. Over
myself, did they really go any- the years, I have come to believe that
where with that? this is the difference between the pros
and everyone else. Proper bike fit is a big
Bike racing is different. As a step in the right direction. Most good
pro, you launch yourself into an bicycle shops have a fitting area and
inferno of misery and abject suf- qualified personnel who can get you
fering. For the pros, this is a started with a good position. Bike fit is
meaningful and worthwhile so dynamic and includes such an amaz-
endeavor. If you do it well and frequently, you will be paid hand- ing array of measurements that Euclid himself would never have
somely. For most people, though, the depths to which the pros had time for geometry if he were a bike racer. Here are just a few
descend into Purgatory are to be avoided. It is fine to creep up to of the key measurements to consider: seat height; seat set-back;
the edge and look down into the lake of fire, but better to back seat width, length and angle; crank length; crank Q-Factor; shoe
away from leaping into the place where bad folks go when they cleat set-back; shoe/cleat/pedal spindle height; reach to handle-
die. bars; drop of handlebars; handlebar width; brake lever height and
so on. Getting all these parameters close enough to enjoy riding
STRONG SUGGESTION #2 is critical for every cyclist. After many miles and due diligence,
Do not take drugs to pedal your bicycle faster. While most pro anybody can achieve the ideal relationship between bike and
riders don’t take drugs, some of them do. The few who do the rider.
drugs get caught and become enablers of a press corps chomp-
ing at the bit to go berserk with a bank of superlatives at the TIP #2
ready. I personally could never see the value of climbing any As important as being one with your bike is being smooth. To
mountain with a pharmacist tagging along for the ride. I always be smooth requires an ideal position on the bike. And a good posi-
wanted to know what I was capable of and have been fiercely tion goes a long way toward being relaxed, which in turn makes
reluctant to compare myself to any drug-bloated Euroturd with you a much safer cyclist. A rider who isn’t rigid and uncomfort-
self-esteem issues and a grim future in the factories and gulags of able can pedal smoothly for miles. This relaxed, supple, seamless
Europe. Drugs have saved my life but will never help me ride my propulsion of rider and bike is the foundation of a truly satisfying
bike. ride. Delightfully, this balanced relationship enables one to
Road Bike Action
absorb terrain changes, respond to dangerous moves by others, shape.” Then they proceed to rip your legs off at the first chance.
avoid obstacles and ultimately achieve a level of awareness and Don’t be this stripe of rider. If you are fit, then say so when
safety that makes each ride more memorable than the previous queried. If you are tired, do not sit on the back wheel of your
one. The pros are so relaxed and smooth that thousands of miles friends waiting until you feel better before dropping them on the
pass under their wheels in insanely tight quarters with miracu- first climb when your legs come around.
lously few accidents. Observe and report to your own group.
TIP #3 Do not race the pros if you encounter them on a ride. Believe
Massage is good. The pros get a massage almost every day. me, they are not impressed if you sit on their wheels and race
This level of commitment is not necessary for everyone, but you them up hills. They are even less impressed if you sit on their
should get a massage as regularly as you can. You will thank me wheels and hurl questions at them as you go down the road.
if you do this. Least impressive of all is when you speed up to get to their group
and then crash your
TIP #4 brains out in front of the
Do not crash! It is so same men you are desper-
easy to say, but impossible ately trying to impress
to do. Crashing will ruin your (don’t laugh—I’ve seen it
pursuit of happiness on a happen). In fact, let’s all
bicycle. Crashes hurt. be safe and not even ride
Crashes require varying with the pros unless asked
degrees of recuperation, to do so. And even then,
depending on the severity of do not crash until you are
the injuries sustained. back on your own.
Crashes can be lethal. And,
crashes are inevitable. From TIP #7
the simple I-can’t-get-out-of- Hygiene and common
the-pedals tip over at a stop- sense. Lastly, I’d like to dis-
light to the full-blown, booty- cuss some issues of
over-tea-kettle, high-speed hygiene and common
cartwheel, crashes stink. My decency. Hairy legs are
worst crash was also the acceptable so long as they
easiest to avoid. I crashed are not matted with lini-
into a concrete lightpost ment. Leave the dreads for
going about 30 mph in your head! If you use lini-
Switzerland and shattered ment, it should not have
my left collarbone. Silly me, I spoiled nor smell like the
was looking at my feet bilge pumps in Barnacle
instead of at the road ahead Bill’s tugboat. Your kit
of me. During my racing should be freshly laun-
career, I was fixated on get- dered when you put it on
ting my feet aligned so that they were straight as an arrow. In before you ride. It should not be laden with soap suds due to
fact, it was more than a fixation, it was a coping mechanism that improper rinsing. If said latent suds happen to be resurrected by
allowed me to dwell on something besides being slaughtered rain, it will look like your buttocks have rabies. Not good. Your bike
daily by my peers. Before my collarbone was vaporized by that should also be in good working order—especially the brakes. You
Swiss lightpole, I had crashed hundreds of times. In all those tum- should be able to perform all simple tasks necessary to keep your
bles I jumped up as if I was made out of flubber. When I think of bike moving in case of a reasonable mishap. Reasonable mishaps
the danger I presented to myself and those around me because of include flat tires, broken spokes, a broken chain or loose bolts. You
my distraction with my shoes and pedals, I am amazed a much should also be able to notify back-up transportation is case of
worse crash never occurred. My position on the bike was an ongo- some catastrophic mechanical failure. Never engage cars in com-
ing vexation to me that eventually came to a miserable conclu- bat; you will lose. You should strive to be an asset to your group
sion. I am happy to report that most cyclists are not nearly as and not a liability. White shorts are not permissible if there is even
pathological as I am and avoid crashing into perpetuity by being the slightest chance of rain or if you sweat profusely. No sharp
smooth, relaxed, alert and well-fitted on their bikes. objects in your pockets, no glass containers on your bike, and
when in Belgium, no window shopping for beer.
Don’t lie about your fitness. One of the most aggravating BONUS TIP
things about the Euro-schloogs is that when asked about their Point out obstructions to the rider behind you—especially if it
readiness for the next race they all say, “Oh no, I am totally out of happens to be me at your back.
RBA bike test Photos by: Adam Booth
PRO SL DURA-ACE
The Tarmac Pro doesn’t just look fast; it is fast.
tart by looking at the oversized look. Up front is a carbon monocoque
downtube and the extended head fork with an oversized race.
tube, and then focus a little while
on the deep red finish and race-ready THE PARTS
design. Specialized has made an enor- The all-red Pro SL features a Shimano
mous commitment to the Tarmac frame Dura-Ace build (other builds are avail-
by sponsoring two of the strongest able in other colors) with Ultegra brakes,
teams in cycling: Quick-Step and Saxo a Specialized FACT Pro carbon crankset,
Bank. Race testing has always been an and the worthy and popular Fulcrum
important part of Specialized’s product Racing 1 wheelset with Specialized Pro
development, and the evolution of the tires. A selection of Specialized home-
Tarmac Pro SL is a direct result of feed- grown components graces the Pro SL: a
back from riders like Tom Boonen and Specialized Zertz-infused seatpost, a
Fabian Cancellara, who ride the top-of- Body Geometry Toupe saddle with hol-
the-line SL2. Fortunately, the technology low ti-rails, an S-Works carbon handle-
has trickled down to the Tarmac Pro SL. bar, and the 3D-forged Pro-Set stem.
Plus, let’s be honest, the bike just looks
pro. The good news is that you don’t THE NUMBERS
have to be in the ProTour to get one. Our 58-centimeter Pro SL featured a
58.2-centimeter top tube, a 73.5-degree
THE FRAME head tube angle, a 73-degree seat tube
The Tarmac Pro SL begins with FACT angle, and a 205-millimeter head tube.
10r carbon (the highest designation The Pro SL is available in 49-, 52-, 54-,
Specialized gives for carbon is 11r for 56-, 58- and 61-centimeter sizes and is
the Tarmac SL2, which will run you an available in red or team carbon red.
additional $3000) and features the
ever-popular oversized bottom bracket, THE RIDE
all in a compact race design. The slight- The Tarmac Pro SL Dura-Ace looks
ly sloping top tube mated to the over- like it wants to be ridden. The red frame,
sized downtube, and striking seat stays the red strip of color on the Specialized
and chain stays give the Pro SL a fast Pro tires, and the red detail on the Toupe
Road Bike Action
Specialized’s Tarmac Pro puts Pro
saddle all give the Pro SL a racy personality. Tour performance into the com-
Then, once we actually got on the bike, we pact frame design.
were more than impressed. From the very first
ride we thought the Pro SL performed as well
as any bike we have ridden in the last year—
and maybe better. From sprinting to climbing
to remaining steady and comfortable on
three-hour plus rides, the Pro SL over-per-
formed at every turn. Speaking of turns, the
combination of the Pro SL’s geometry and the
Fulcrum 1 wheelset allowed us to throw this
bike into the corners in a way that we’ve only
experienced with significantly more expensive
bikes. One has to wonder, if this bike rides
and looks so pro, why spend the extra $3000
for the SL2 unless you are Tom Boonen and
need the extra stiffness? We loved the BG
Toupe saddle and really liked the design and
bend of the S-Works carbon bar. Shimano’s
Dura-Ace 7900 worked well for all reviewers.
For the sake of flow, however, if we had the
money we would upgrade to 7900’s brakes,
as their stopping power is unparalleled. As
with any carbon seatpost, make sure to put
some Finish Line Fiber Grip on the post to pre- The Specialized crankset joins together A Zerts insert in the seatpost
vent slipping. in the center of the bottom bracket. damps high-frequency vibration.
THE VERDICT Comp at ($2700), or the Elite at
Buy one as soon as possible and ride it for ($2200). They have similar looks but
a long time. It’s light, stiff, comfortable and different carbon and spec. We were
versatile. And, it looks like it costs twice as really impressed with the attention to Price: $5500
much. If you can’t swing $5500 in this econo- detail on this bike and how much we Weight: 15 pounds
my, take a look at the Expert ($3700), the liked it from beginning to end. Info: www.specialized.com
DopE YOUR RIDE!
See Website for Details
What happens when two friends decide to ride
1900 miles from Vancouver, Canada, to Tijuana, Mexico,
carrying only a credit card and a few meager belongings?
The ride is one of the most beautiful stretches of road
in the world, and the journey was unencumbered by
panniers or set plans.
By Bob Sutton
Road Bike Action
A ll of us, at one time or another, have seen another bicyclist
moving slowly down the road, laden with front and rear
panniers and a rack piled high with a sleeping bag, pad
and tent. And we’ve wondered what it would be like to head off
all alone, with no support, on a long journey by bicycle.
inside water bottles, and our Jandd Mountaineering Mountain
Wedge III seat-bags were all packed away in our recycled bicycle
We landed in Vancouver, and when my turn came to approach
the Canadian border official, he took one look at the way I was
It seems so complicated. First you have to buy a touring bike dressed, then glanced at Tom and said, “I want to hear your story,
with longer chainstays (to keep your heels from hitting the pan- but I only want to hear it once. Have your buddy come up here.”
niers) and cantilever brakes powerful enough to slow down 60 to
70 pounds of bike and gear. Then you’ve got to figure out which Our plan was to ride nearly 1900 miles along the Pacific coast,
rack system and panniers are best for the trip. Last, but not least, starting in Vancouver, B. C., and ending across the Southern U. S. bor-
it’s necessary to figure out the lightest camping and cooking gear. der in Tijuana, Mexico. We wanted to ride fast and have a good time,
not work our tails off and sleep on the ground each night. So we car-
Instead, how would you like to ride your latest and greatest ried a credit and ATM card, cash and our AAA and AARP cards for
high-end race bike on a journey? Credit card touring is what you discounts along the way. We planned our trip so that we would be at
are looking for. Ride your latest carbon wonder, or whatever else a motel, with laundry facilities, every night. No sag, no support, just
you’ve got hanging from your rafters, on the trip of a lifetime. The our wits, our Specialized Roubaix, and our meager belongings.
key is not so much what to take, but what to leave at home.
WHAT WE SAW
THE JOURNEY BEGINS The roads along the West Coast of the United States are as beau-
My traveling buddy, Tom, and I always dreamed of doing a tiful as anywhere you’ll ever have a chance to ride. We loved the fern
long bicycle trip together when we both retired, so a couple of covered, deep forests of Washington and Oregon and were stunned
years ago, at the ripe old age of 60, we flew to Vancouver, British by the size of the Redwoods in Northern California (so dark that you
Columbia, wearing nothing but river shorts, cycling jerseys, a pair needed front and rear lights). But being two Kansas boys, we never
of socks and mountain bike shoes. Our cycling shorts, poly-pro tired of the crashing waves along the crags, cliffs and beaches of the
shirts, arm and leg warmers, gloves and windbreaker were tucked Pacific coast.
VANCOUVER TO TIJUANA
GET RID OF IT you’re up close and personal, it’s hard to see much in front of you;
Tom trained hard for the trip by riding with a group of racers I hit everything).
(no slouch himself with a state mountain bike championship title
to his name) several times a week, while I, always fearful of the NATURE’S FUEL & THE PROPER GEAR
detriments of overtraining, kept my riding down to a couple of 30- Fueled by wild blackberries we found during a nature stop
milers a week. Needless to say, by the third day of my dream tour, while still in Canada, and all the way south to Santa Cruz, we
I was toast. Tom claims that he talked me through that day, but I rolled along totally enthralled by the scenery surrounding us.
don’t remember anything except wishing that I’d brought more
Bag Balm. That day was a death march! Riding into Bremerton, Another surprise of the trip was the amount of climbing along
Washington, I spotted a “Pack and Post” and told Tom that I had the route. Every stream flowing to the Pacific came with the requi-
to mail a few things home. Startled by my haggard appearance, site fabulous curving downhills and gut-busting uphills—which
the lady working at the counter asked me how she could help, made it tough to dress appropriately. We settled on our poly-pro
and I answered, “I need a small box,” not knowing how much was long-sleeved shirts, under a jersey, to ward off the chill/sweat
going home, but knowing that this was a time for severe cuts in effect of these sections.
luggage. Right in front of her, I dumped everything that I had with
me on the ground, then picked up each item and made a choice. Our trip was thirty days long, with four of those being rest
Two and a half pounds went home in that box, including my sun- days. We chose Portland, San Francisco and Santa Barbara for
glass case, billfold (a Zip-loc would do), heart rate monitor (all my our days off, because we wanted to explore those cities.
heart needed to do was keep beating), Chapstick, a dead tire
pump, fleece vest, and emergency toilet paper (scary). I was FINDING OUR WAY AROUND
never so glad to ship a package in my life. That two and a half We relied on maps that we purchased from The Adventure
pounds felt like fifty once it was gone. My spirits began to lift Cycling Association and can’t praise their usefulness enough. The
almost immediately. roads chosen are peaceful and travel through local, scenic areas
that you typically wouldn’t find on your own. We didn’t ride the
The fourth day I took a pull, much to Tom’s surprise, and from shoulder of I-5 or the 101. In addition to the routing information,
then on, I was ready to roll. Really, though, Tom did most of the the maps included information important to a bicyclist: bicycle
pulling. That’s why I had most of the flats and cut tires (when shop locations, camping spots, motel listings, food availability and
Road Bike Action
RBA VANCOUVER TO TIJUANA
much more. Now available, but not when we took our trip, is GPS riding gear in the washing machine. After dinner, we’d move the
waypoint information for each route. Check out their website at clothes to the dryer and wait patiently for them to be ready to put
www.adventurecycling.org back on.
BICYCLE TRAVEL BY CREDIT CARD We’ve used various racks with top packs, and backpacks for
THE (SUPER LIGHT) VERSION shorter trips, but settled on using the Jandd Mountaineering
Traveling by credit card necessitates having laundry facilities Mountain Wedge III seat pack because it carried the weight clos-
at each overnight location (or asking the manager to let house- er to the center of the bicycle and didn’t affect the bicycle’s han-
keeping clean your clothing for you). If you end up washing your dling on fast curving roads like having the weight centered over
clothes in the sink in your room, you can speed up the drying the rear wheel does. Keeping that thought in mind, we used large,
process by laying the wet clothes on a flat towel, then rolling them wide-mouth water bottles (with straight walls), to keeps items like
up together so that all of the surfaces are in contact with each vests, knee warmers, arm warmers and windbreakers close at
other. Then sit on the roll to press the moisture out of the clothes hand. We used Camelback Rockets for our water needs, reason-
and into the towel. By morning they’ll be much dryer than if you ing that the weight would be reduced as we traveled, rather than
simply hang them up. carrying the dead weight of clothing all day.
After arriving at our overnight location, we would immediate- Notes: Roll your clothes to make them fit better. Put your jack-
ly change into our river shorts (which doubled as swim wear), put et or vest and knee warmers in water bottles for easy access.
on our shoes, without socks, and then we would put on our wind- Don’t carry a wallet (use a small Zip-loc instead), or at least empty
breakers without a shirt underneath and throw all of our soiled it except for necessary items. Put toiletries in a small Zip-loc.
Deda Elementi introduces RHM Rapid
Hand Movement, concept, handlebar
designed to improve the quick chan-
ges of handle position: more quickly
from “upper” position to “on the ends”
position. Riders are evolving; so are bikes;
so are handlebars.
Patent design Continuous Incremental Ra-
dius, to overcome the limits of anatomic
shape, which allows you to hold the handle-
bar in only one position.
THE SHAPE OF MODERN CYCLING
ROAD HANDLEBAR ZERO100
Material: strong 7075 T6 triple butted alloy
Widths: 40-42-44-46 cm (outside to outside)
Drop: 128 mm
Reach: 75 mm
Weight: about 242 grams
Material: tempered light alloy
Lengths: 80-90-100-110-120-130-140 mm
Weight: about 107 grams
RBA VANCOUVER TO TIJUANA
Here’s our packing list: the seat pack.)
Miscellaneous • Headlight
• Map (Adventure Cycling Association) • Cell phone and charger
www.adventurecycling.org • Camera and charger (AA version is better)
• Credit cards—two • Cycle computer
• Discount cards (AAA, AARP) • Shift cable (rear)
• Passport • Brake cable (rear)
• Driver’s license • Tubes–two
• ATM card • Patch kit
• Cash • Folding spare tire (Fold it tightly and stuff it in an old sock to keep it
• Mountain bike shoes • Large mouth water bottles—two (For clothing, the big green
• Socks Gatorade bottles work well.)
• River (runner) shorts (swimming trunks) • Camelback (for water)
• Bike shorts • Jandd Mountain Wedge lll Seat Pack (or rack mounted pack—slight-
• Knee warmers ly affects handling and slightly heavier)
• Arm warmers • Bungee cord (to tighten the pack to the seat rails)
• Short-sleeve jersey • Mini tool with chain breaker
• Long-sleeve Poly Pro (with zip neck) • Small Swiss Army knife with scissors
• Nylon vest (vented back) • Cable lock
• Nylon windbreaker (If necessary, cut the armpit and back seams for • Pump (Topeak Road Morph G with gauge is best) www.topeak.com•
ventilation.) Chain lube
• Gloves Toiletries
• Possible raincoat (or large trash bag) • Bag Balm (put it in a screw-top travel jar)
• Helmet • Razor
Gear • Toothbrush (child’s size)
• Sunglasses (Bring clear and yellow lenses for the deep forests.) • Toothpaste (travel size)
• Watch • Deodorant (travel size)
• Rear view mirror • Ear plugs (your friends probably snore–I do)
• Tail lights (We used two: one on the back of the helmet and one on • Anti-inflammatory pills (Advil, Aleeve)
Their goal is to get a rider with Type 1 diabetes
into the Tour de France by 2012 and to show
kids and adults all around the world that with
proper management, diabetes should not stop
anyone from pursuing dreams—Especially if
that dream is racing a bike for a living.
By Brad Roe
Photos: Marco Quzada
y first glimpse of the strength of Team Type 1’s Phil
M Southerland came not when I heard his story of being
diagnosed at seven months old with Type 1 diabetes and
given a death sentence, or when I met him at Team Type 1’s camp
in Solvang, but when I read his response on his blog to an anony-
mous comment about the team’s invitation into the 2009 Tour of
Road Bike Action
RBA BLOOD BROTHERS
the race. On some level, you are right. In the last five years I have
THE NUMBERS no results. In fact, I have barely raced. Five years before, I raced,
There are 23.6 million children and adults in the United got plenty of results, and for what? The work has been done, and
States (7.8 percent of the population) who have diabetes. with the goal of group health insurance for people with diabetes,
so that the next 20-year-old with diabetes thinking about going to
Anonymous: “What you’re doing as far as spreading a mes- Europe can do it without question.”
sage for diabetics is great. But you have no right to be in a race
like TOC. You have no results that should make you pro. Touche. He could have said more, but didn’t.
Remember, this is a professional sport, not a charity. Do some-
thing on the bike that will change my mind. Not as a diabetic, but Mr. Anonymous obviously didn’t watch the horde of profes-
as a cyclist.” sional riders drop off the back at the TOC, including former Tour
contenders and hugely famous European pros, not to mention
Phil: “Last I checked, I was on the start line with a number most domestic riders. The Tour of California was for Phil
pinned to my jersey, which technically gives me ’the right’ to be in Southerland, and the majority of the field, about hanging on for
WHAT IS TYPE 1 DIABETES? told his mom he wouldn’t make it. “Back in the day, the insulin and
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and the technology were pre-historic relative to today. And at the time,
young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. no research had been done to show the benefits of good control,
In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin so they were being honest. I am grateful they said it, as it was
is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar (glucose), motivation for both my mother and me to beat the odds, which I
starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. In did.”
people with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes
insulin. The beta cells have been destroyed. They need insulin Setting goals has always been a part of Phil’s life and allowed
shots in order to use glucose from meals. (American Diabetes him to reach levels of success that even surprise him. “The goal is
Association) the Tour de France by 2012. I don’t care if it is me, Fabio, Willem,
or some new talent with Type 1 who is there, so long as we
dear life. Phil made it five stages, which was above average. The achieve the goal. Reaching people with diabetes to motivate them
weather was horrendous, and sickness riddled the peloton to the to take control to achieve their dreams is my number one passion.
point where many teams only had one or two riders in the last I began setting goals at six years old (keep my eyesight) and bust-
stage. For Phil Southerland and Team Type 1, the race was more ed my butt to achieve them. Now, I just get to set/achieve goals
about exposure than victory. knowing it is going to help a lot of people.”
“It’s my goal that everyone in the world knows about Team WHAT IS TYPE 2 DIABETES?
Type 1 or Team Type 2. My dream in life is that I wake up one day Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In
and no one goes blind from diabetes. 150-200 people go blind Type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough
every day. If you make small adjustments you can avoid the com- insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for
plications that come from this disease. The pro teams are a great the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat
avenue for that.” food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches
into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body.
THE GOALS Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When
Phil Southerland is 26 years old. He has given himself 60,000 glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it
injections of insulin and checked his blood sugar 120,000 times. can cause two problems: Right away, your cells may be
The past five years he has worked 95-hour weeks with Joe starved for energy. Over time, high blood glucose levels may
Aldridge to make Team Type 1 a reality. It all started when he hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart. (American Diabetes
was diagnosed at seven months old with Type 1 and the doctors Association)
Road Bike Action
TEAM TYPE 1 IS MADE UP OF 7 TEAMS there is a quiet humility which comes across as Southern charm.
Pro Men: 15 professional riders with four riders having Type After prompting him a few times about his favorite win, we got to
1 diabetes some of the fire in his belly: “The 2003 SEC Crit champs. I was
Pro Women: Eight professional riders with two riders having ticked at the start, lapped the field solo, then won the sprint. Met
Type 1 diabetes Joe right afterwards. Rest is history.”
Triathlon Team: All ten members have Type 1 (Cliff Scherb
on the team has qualified to race in Kona) Now that the structure of the team is set and the funding is in
Elite Team: The Elite Team is made up of only Type 1 riders, place, we wanted to find out if Phil can go back to his race-win-
and this team prepared for the RAAM event as well as racing ning days in 2009: “I want to win a race. I want to help the team
road, mountain and cyclocross events. get more comfortable on a higher level, and I want to get back to
Development Team: This team feeds the Pro Team and is my winning ways of five years ago. I have a great team of man-
made up of all Type 1 riders agement, racers and staff all helping to make that possible.”
Team Type 2: All racers have Type 2 diabetes, and their goal
is focusing on competing in the RAAM in the eight-person cate- That passion doesn’t come without setbacks, as anyone famil-
gory. iar with Type 1 diabetes will attest. “I was at the RAS race in 2002,
and on the third day I bonked badly. I wasn’t able to get enough
food in that night and did too much insulin. The next morning I
THE ORGANIZATION woke my teammate Daniel Holt up by smacking him. I was stand-
Phil has teamed up with the well-known Tom Schuler to take ing, but seizing. Luckily I had told him, as well as all my friends,
Team Type 1 to the next level. Tom represented the U.S. at the what to do in case of emergency. He forced me to eat and then
1976 and 1980 Olympics, was the 1987 National Road Race check my blood sugar, which at the time was 16 (the lowest I have
Champion, raced for the venerable Team 7-Eleven, and directed ever seen—near death.) Needless to say, the next few days of the
Team Saturn from 1999-2003. “Tom is a master at finding good race were very tough, but I got through them and learned a valu-
people to help the program able lesson.”
grow. When I was beginning
to tell people the team And then there’s
would turn pro, a good this edge about Phil
friend introduced us. We Southerland and Joe
worked on the funding for Aldridge, the whole
1.5 years before the team team actually. They
actually came to fruition. seem to embody the
What most people don’t drive and determina-
know about Tom is that he is tion it takes to not
a big-time family man. He only manage dia-
has a wonderful wife and betes, but to win bike
four great kids. He never races while manag-
misses a beat when it comes ing diabetes and
to being dad and still helps want to get that mes-
us rock out in the racing sage across to kids:
world,” says Phil. “I want them to know
that if they control it,
Tom Schuler has been it will NEVER hold
around racing for a long Phil checks his blood sugar level at the start of the Tour of California.
them back. In 27
time and can obviously spot talent when he sees it. He says, “Two years, I have never said ’no’ because of diabetes, and I don’t think
ingredients to being a successful athlete, and specifically a suc- anyone should have to. I make a lot of small adjustments so I can
cessful cyclist, are to be able to dream it and not be afraid of say yes. Whatever it is you want to do better (work, race, family,
attempting anything to reach your dream. Both Phil and Joe pos- diabetes) a few small lifestyle adjustments can probably help.”
sess these traits of success. As much as physical talents, which
both Phil and Joe possess, the other two attributes are imperative
for athletic success.” FOLLOW THE TEAM
If you or someone in your family is touched by diabetes,
Tom hopes to manage the team to help reach their goal and Team Type 1 is a great organization to follow and root for.
says, “In both 2009 and 2010, we hope to move the team in incre- You can access them at:
mental steps towards our ultimate goal of getting an athlete with www.teamtype1.org
Type 1 diabetes into the Tour de France.” www.twitter.com/teamtype1
THE PASSION http://philsoutherland.blogspot.com/
After a conversation or two with Phil Southerland, it is clear
TOUR DE CURE
The American Diabetes Association puts on cycling
events in 40 states every year as a way to raise money to
find the cure for diabetes. A member of Team Type 1 will There’s a little kid I know pretty well who is almost six years old
attend at least 40 of these races to help educate, sign auto- and bears my last name who has Type 1 diabetes. He hopes Phil pulls
graphs and participate in these great events. To learn more off a win this year in a bike race. If Phil doesn’t get that win, however,
and to take part in one in your state, go to tour.diabetes.org. it won’t really matter. There are thousands of little kids like my son
who will still cheer on the courage, passion and determination of Phil
Southerland and his quest to get a rider with Type 1 into the Tour de
THE REAL RACE France by 2012.
As I sat down to write this story on Phil and the team, a friend
called to tell me that Phil had come up just short of his first pro- We will both make the trip over to France to cheer that rider on.
fessional win of the 2009 season at the Georgia Cup Road Race.
He avoided a crash with 500 meters to go, slipped a pedal, recov-
ered and sprinted to second place. “I was a little down on myself THE DOCUMENTARY: “ONE SHOT”
after California and Taiwan,” Phil said, “so to come out here Vox Pop films is documenting the team’s journey to the
against an aggressive local field and get a good result is good for TDF in 2012 and has already produced an amazing trailer.
my morale. It also makes me eager to transfer that success to a The producer, Lisa Hepnner, is very motivated to tell the Type
national level and get some results in the bigger races.” 1 story and follow their journey to the Tour de France.
According to Phil, they are hoping to have trailers released
Quick note to Mr. Anonymous from above. How do you like every year. You can view the trailer at http://www.voxpop-
them apples? Add that to 45 wins in their first season and, as of films.tv/oneshot
early April 2009, 19 wins for Team Type 1 in the pro ranks. They
should have been at the Tour of California in 2009 and should be
there again in 2010. Not because they have diabetes, but
because they’ve earned it.
Team Type 1 is fortunate to be helped by Lantus, Apidra,
Freestyle, Omni-Pod, Dex4, Orbea, Louis-Garneau, Shimano, K-
Swiss, Continental, Cat-Eye, Finish Line, DeFeet, Albabici, Park
Tool, Timex, Thule, Nuun, Genuine Innovations and others.
Road Bike Action
RBA bike test Photos by: John Ker
ADVANCED SL 0
The race bike even
non-racers will love
he TCR name is not a new one in the lexicon of Giant road bikes. But for
2009, it might as well be. After a five-year play with similar models and
technology, the top-of-the-line road bikes are all-new for this year. And to
help prove the point, Giant went out and hired the powerhouse Dutch Rabobank
team to show off their wares in the Pro peloton.
There are five different models within the TCR Advanced SL family, from the
top-of-the-line LTD model (pushed to an unfathomable $13,500 price due to the
Shimano Di2 drivetrain) to the $4200 SL 1 (which uses the same frame, but
without the integrated seat mast). We tested the mid-priced TCR SL 0, which can
be found on the showroom floor for just over $7000.
We first saw the new Giant at their press launch last summer in Mallorca.
We were immediately impressed with the frame design and technology. In a
world of over-the-top, origami-shaped frame tubes, the TCR frame stands apart
with its more straight-forward, yet still massive, oversized frame sections. From
the rectangular Mega-Drive down tube to the 86mm-wide Powercore bottom
bracket and 1.125 inch tapered Overdrive head tube, it’s obvious that the TCR
frame was designed to be stiff from front to back. There is some similarity with
other bikes at the seat tube/top tube junction, where the former looks to pierce
As the world’s biggest bike maker, you’d guess that Giant would have some
cutting-edge manufacturing at their disposal. They do, and most of it can be
found within their C-Tech factory, where all the carbon fiber R&D gets done.
Giant uses a fusion process, where the frame endures a second round of mold
time after the tubes have already been molded and co-wrapped together. Frame
construction is first rate. With its compact frame design available in seven differ-
ent sizes (XS-XXL), there is undoubtedly a frame to fit every consumer.
Road Bike Action
On a bike that celebrates carbon so
well, the flat-black aluminum FSA stem
seems a tad on the utilitarian side, especial-
ly for a bike in this price range. Of course,
the reality is, more often than not, an alu-
minum stem is lighter than a carbon stem—
maybe by just a coat of gloss black paint.
As for the rest of the bike, there is no
shortage of glamour. You’ll find a full Sram
Red group, Fizik bar tape and Arione sad-
dle. Most enamoring of all are the Zipp
404 clincher wheels mounted with
Michelin Pro 3 tires. But for as svelte as the
404 wheels ultimately are, we remain per-
plexed by the big Zipp quick-release skew-
ers. Like castoffs from a mountain bike,
they seem out of place.
There’s really not much to say about
the Giant’s ride, beyond, well, let’s
see...how should we put it? How about sim- The 86-millimeter wide Powercore bot- Two seat clamps are available; one
ply amazing. This is a hotrod race bike that tom bracket provides a stiff founda- that offers 20mm of vertical adjust-
oozes performance from the first pedal tion. ment and one that provides 40mm.
stroke. Test riders were left gushing and
pointed to three main players: 1. The Zipps.
Everybody loves them. 2. The stout frame still a bit to get used to for setup, but as Simply put, the all new TCR Advanced
construction. Owing to the oversized front stiff as the frame is beneath you, the ISP is one of the best bikes we’ve ridden.
triangle, the SL 0 tracks straight and true. (along with the rear triangle) delivers
Point it to the apex of a turn and it executes enough comfort to provide the perfect Price: $7300
your command flawlessly without com- mix of crit-level stiffness and all-day ride Weight: 14.8 pounds
plaint. 3. The integrated seat post. Yeah, comfort. Contact: www.giant-bikes.com
Tips are a dime a dozen. These should be
enough to get you a cup of coffee
By the RBA Staff
robably more than any other
sport, cycling breeds an
expertise mentality whereby
the wholly subjective is often
espoused as the entirely objective.
There are at least six million tips per-
taining to cycling that on any given
day might be told to you as much to
improve your cycling experience as to
make the person telling them feel like
a two-wheeled sage.
Regardless, tips are tips, and we’ve
compiled a handy list of 102 of them
from which we’re sure even the most
experienced cyclist will be able to
glean some useful information.
1 Start with the most basic. Ride your bike as often as pos-
sible. Tell your friends and family to do the same. Tell a stranger.
ship with the staff at that shop so that if you are in a bind, they
may be inclined to help you out late on a Friday afternoon when
you had planned to do a race Saturday morning.
2 As with most sporting activities, technique is everything.
Turning at speed seems to be a major scare factor for most of us.
Find a good section of twisties with both tight and falling away
4 Carry three gels. One isn’t enough, and three will allow
for the inevitable extension of a great ride. Additionally, there is
turns and practice braking and counter steering. For wider, arcing nothing better than reaping the humanitarian reward of feeding
turns, practice your lean angles and pedaling through them. a friend in need.
3 Find a shop that offers good service, has a knowledge-
able staff, and stocks the products that you need. Buy your bike
5 Have more than one bike, but make sure that one of them
is a commuter/townie bike with flat pedals and not one ounce of
from the store that you want to service the bike. Build a relation- peloton panache. The more of a beater look it has, the more
9 So you’ve decided to start cycling again and you just
bought a new bike, but you tell the dealer that you don’t need to
buy a helmet because you still have a barely used Giro ProLight
you bought after Greg LeMond won the Tour in 1989. Not smart.
The foam used in bicycle helmets has a three-year life span, so
although the 15-year-old helmet may still look new, the foam
won’t do the job.
10 Plan ahead and help yourself stay committed by writ-
ing down your desired workouts so that you consider them impor-
tant and necessary, much like you would do if you had a dentist
11 When you transport your bike on a rack on the exteri-
or of your vehicle, always remove your computer, Powertap,
Garmin, etc., as these expensive devices might not always make
it to your destination. They are designed to be on your bike at rid-
ing speeds, not at 70 mph down the interstate.
12 As important as the measurement of your saddle
height is, don’t forget about the distance from your front axle to
the center of your handlebars. While the move to more upright
positioning is understandable, the higher your handlebars are off
the ground, the more adverse effect it has on your cornering.
13 If the temperature is under 65 degrees, don’t leave
home without a plastic grocery bag to act as a handy undershirt
on the descents. It easily packs in your pocket and is 1/10 the size
of a vest.
inclined you will be to use it around town without fear of scratch- 14 Run your brake pads as far away from the rims as you
can without compromising stopping performance. Wheels flex
es, dents or thieves.
wildly when you are climbing, accelerating and sprinting—which
6 Our favorite conflicting tire installation tips: One school
says to start at the valve so for that last bit of bead wrangling the
drives the rims against the brake pads, causing brake drag when
you need it the least. Brake makers use silent pad material to
valve won’t be a conflicting player. The other school has it that mask this problem.
you should start opposite from the tube to provide as much “bead
slack” as possible. Either way, as you roll the tire on, make sure 15 Don’t slag people riding aluminum, titanium or steel
bikes, or worse, people who don’t shave their legs.
the bead is sitting in the center-most part of the rim channel to
provide optimum slack. And remember, no matter the snobs who
eschew tire irons as some feeble tool for the feeble-minded, it’s 16 Remember that 70 percent of your stopping power
always good to carry one due to the manufacturing variances in comes from the front brake.
tire sizes and their growing penchant for using tighter dimensions
for liability reasons. 17 The most common cause of poor shifting is a stretched
cable. Fortunately, derailleurs have small adjustment barrels. If
7 An important inflation tip, especially if you’re using a C02
cartridge, is to inflate carefully and not all at once. You want to
the derailleur is hesitating shifting toward the spokes, turn the
barrel toward the spokes in 1/4-turn increments until the shifting
make sure that the tire bead is seated evenly on both sides of the occurs with each click. Do the opposite if the derailleur is hesitat-
rim, so inflate in stages. ing shifting away from the spokes.
8 Everyone knows that the only way to become faster is to 18 Experience new frontiers of cycling. The two best ways
ride with someone faster than yourself. On those days when you are to participate in a group/charity ride and to take a cycling
can’t find any fast friends to pedal with, head out anyway and vacation (preferably in Europe if you really know what’s good for
purposefully try and catch anyone you see in front of you. you).
Whether it’s an old lady on a cruiser wearing knee-high tube
socks or the local time trial champ, make the effort to catch and 19 Cornering in the rain can be especially tricky. Keep as
much of your weight on the outside pedal as possible, and keep
pass them. Whether you do or not is beside the point. It’s all
about expending the effort and making yourself stronger and the bike as upright as you can so that your body leans more than
faster—even when you’re riding by yourself. the bike.
Road Bike Action
20 Oil that you can see on the chain is useless. Most
cyclists over oil their chains. Put one drop in the inside of the chain
24 If you just went out and bought that set of carbon
wheels you’ve always dreamed about, do yourself, and the rims,
across the barrel so the oil also contacts the inside of the side a favor by making sure you run carbon-specific brake pads.
plates. Work the chain lube into the pins and bushings by spin-
ning the cranks slowly for a minute or so, and then wipe off every
bit of oil from the chain and sprockets. Oil inside the chain pro-
25 Few things are as environmentally irresponsible and
culturally distasteful as the tube snob who throws away a tube
vides lubrication—oil on the outside attracts dirt and wears out after every flat. Don’t underestimate patched tubes—they are just
the drivetrain. Oh yeah, don’t lube the chain right before you ride. as strong as a new tube, as long as you use a quality patch (RBA
Do it the evening before to allow time for it enter the chain, evap- does not recommend glueless patches) and it is properly applied.
orate, harden and dry.
26 Your cleat position is important. Before you put new
21 Always eat three hours prior to your start time, or you ones on (and they should be replaced if cleat/pedal interplay has
might be eating the same breakfast twice. Speaking of pre- deteriorated), take a marker and outline the edges of the old ones
race/ride breakfast, here’s a quick and easy suggestion: beat two for a placement pattern for the new ones.
eggs in a bowl, add a dash of milk and microwave for two min-
utes. Add a small handful of pasta, (we choose penne), add olive
oil and Parmesan cheese. Don’t forget your pre-race carb/protein
27 If you never ride for more than an hour, save the extra
water and weight and just run a single bottle.
drink on the drive to the race.
28-31 All the latest cable-operated shifting systems
22 If you know you will be eating on the fly, there’s noth-
ing worse than swerving around trying to open a Powerbar.
from SRAM, Campy and Shimano now run the shifter cables
under the handlebar tape. The first 250-300mm of shifter housing
Always pre-open the nutritional items you carry in your jersey. It is a combination of extreme bends that, if not set up properly, can
makes it quick and safe. result in much greater friction and decreased life of the shifter
housing and cables. Greater care needs to be taken to make sure
23 Don’t forget to check chain wear. Start by putting a that the shifting is smooth and precise. The following three tips
will help to make sure that your shifting is smooth, fast and pre-
slight bit of pressure on the pedals to tension the chain. Then hold
a ruler against the chain. On a new chain, the distance of 12 full cise:
links, pin to pin, is 12 inches. If 12 links on your chain measure 12-
1/8 inch or more, then it is time for a new chain. If you replace
your chain on a regular basis, you will get longer wear out of your
(29) The shifters from all three companies offer alter-
nate routing of cables as they exit the shifter. One option routes
chainrings and cassette cogs. the cable housing in front of the bar, and the other routes the
cables straight out of the back of the shifter and towards the back the gears, and lube the chain. Having peace of mind prior to
of the bar. In all cases, the straight shot out the back of the shifter starting a race allows you to focus on performing to your full
to the rear of the bar will result in the fewest kinks and the potential.
smoothest shifting possible. Unfortunately, most bikes come
assembled in the front location, because it looks a little cleaner
under the bar tape. In this case, it is far better to forgo the slight
35 If you are just starting to commute, plan your bike
route by first driving it and doing some basic recon. What’s the
fashion gain for faster, more precise shifting. shortest/easiest route? Which route has the better road condi-
tions? Are there any bike stores en route? Donut shops? Get famil-
(30) Next, as the housing exists from under the han-
dlebar to be routed to the downtube, the traditional method has
iar with the street names so that in case you need to get picked
up you can give easy directions.
been to route the right side shifter housing to the right side of the
downtube. This produces a sharp bend in the housing as it exits
from under the bar tape, decreases turning radius before the
36 The one tip we tell everyone (but don’t always follow
ourselves) is to always unclip one foot and plant it at a stop sign,
cables bind, and creates housing rub against the side of the bike’s even if it’s brief. Rolling stop signs gives us all a bad name.
head tube. Route the
right side shifter housing
to the left side of the
37 Owing to the
more specialized equip-
downtube (it will follow ment, always test your TT
the same path as the equipment prior to race
rear brake cable), and day. From the different
then route the left side positioning to the warmer
shifter housing to the helmets and TT specific
right side of the down- saddles, you want to be as
tube. The shifter cables familiar with your setup as
will need to cross each possible. Bonus TT tip:
other mid way down the Don’t be afraid to run a
downtube in an X pat- cog-set with a 26 or even
tern in order to reach bigger gear. Even the best
their proper location on time trialers know that the
each side of the bottom number one rule of a suc-
bracket. This routing will cessful effort is to never
result in much smoother have to shift out of the big
arcs to the housing, less ring.
friction, and no rubbing
or slapping of the shifter housing on the sides of the head tube. 38 On a group ride, it is easy to lose focus and overlap
wheels with the rider in front of you. Back off a bit; it will save you
(31) Lubrication: Even though shifter housings are
Teflon-lined and most high-end cables have some sort of friction-
some pavement time. Keep your eyes ahead of the rider in front
of you as well. Your bike will follow your eyes, so look up.
reducing finish, you can’t beat the shifting performance that can
be achieved with lubrication. In our experience, nothing works
better then Buzz’s Slick Honey. This is the standard for bicycle sus-
39 A good road racer knows how to ride bored and do as
little work as possible while accusing others of not working.
pension rebuilds and is also the ultimate cable lubrication. It is Always fear the racer who says he hasn’t been riding much but
very light, very slippery, and doesn’t attract dirt like most high- has the tan lines of George Hamilton.
tack lubricants. It is available in a syringe and in small or large
containers at just about any high-end shop. It’s the finishing touch
in the quest for perfect shifting!
40 Everyone has their own reasons why they ride (best evi-
denced by our supremely entertaining and motivating Why We
Ride section, (see page 28). For many of us, cycling is simply a
32 When riding in the rain, if you lower the air pressure in way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For some, it’s all about com-
your tires you will create a larger contact patch that will provide petition. No matter why or how you ride, if you’re not bringing a
more traction. big dose of fun and adventure to your two-wheeled experience,
you need to reprogram your efforts.
33 Remember, different shoes have a different stack
height and can throw your seat height off. So, if you are a multi-
pair owner, remember to always measure.
41 Not all tire inflators and C02 cartridges are designed
to work together. Before you ride, make sure that you have a work-
34 Clean and check your bike the day before a race to
make sure everything is working. Soap and water, a sponge, and
a few small brushes make short work of the washing portion.
42 When changing your pedals, play it safe by putting the
chain in the big ring to avoid running your knuckles or forearm
Check over the small bolts to make sure they are snug, go through across the exposed sharp teeth.
Road Bike Action
RBA 102 TIPS
pre-ride safety check that includes checking the stem, brake,
chainring, seatpost, saddle and water bottle bolts.
49 If you ride through glass, reach down and drag a fin-
ger across the tires to keep the debris from lodging in your tires.
Make sure you have a glove on, and make sure you wipe the front
tire in front of the fork. And when you do the rear, use extreme
caution and try to hold a seat stay to protect your hand from
being pulled into the rear wheel/seat stay junction.
50 When riding in a group, avoid being the serial pointer—
the rider who points to everything from a fallen leaf to a discard-
ed sofa. Not everything lying on the road is worthy of grabbing
everyone’s attention when they’re pedaling hard with their heads
51 Eat before you’re hungry and drink before you’re
52 Make sure you know what purpose you are buying a
bike for. Each person is a unique customer and has different
needs. If you are looking to race the local training criterium series,
your bike should be different from the bike of the rider who is
interested in doing a cross-state tour with his gear attached.
Typically, a hardcore racer would be looking for a bike with a
steeper head angle than a recreational/touring cyclist would
53 When you’re behind the wheel, don’t become the type
of car driver you dread and curse when you’re riding your bike.
54 Knee warmers should end just below the knee and not
go all the way down to your ankles. If they do, they are leg warm-
43 If you have not been riding a lot, you might lower the
saddle five to ten millimeters to make up for some lost flexibility.
ers. Pull ’em up. Arm warmers go under your jersey. Pull them up
farther than you need, then overlap the jersey. No skin should
Crank it back up to full height in a month of riding, after your legs show.
have relaxed back into fitness.
44 We saved the most important tip of all for #44. Do your
part to increase the sense of community among cyclists by wav-
ing to every rider you ride past—and that includes the bus boys
who are commuting to work on their beater mountain bikes.
45 If you’re the type of rider who can’t seem to wave back
to fellow cyclists who are waving at you, here’s a tip—go play golf!
46 Find out the difference between pedaling “harder” and
pedaling “quicker.” Whereas the former might help out for short,
out-of-the-saddle, uphill sprints, the latter will make you a better
and faster rider.
47 When crossing railroad tracks, try to cross at as much
of an angle as possible. Do your adjustment prior to the track, not
while riding over it, as they can be very slippery and usually sur-
rounded by uneven pavement.
48 While everyone knows to check their air pressure
before each ride (right?), also check to see that your skewers are
tight. Before every other ride, be sure to perform a one-minute,
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RBA 102 TIPS
55 Changing your bike position should be done before 60 There once was a well-liked mountain bike racer, who
besides being ridiculed for not shaving his legs, was also scorned
your serious training season gets under way so that you can grad-
ually get accustomed to these changes. Once you dial in your for wearing tall black socks. Despite such obvious character flaws,
position, you should duplicate that position on all of your bikes of Colorado’s Dave Wiens would go on to not only win a National
that style (road bikes for racing and training, for example). Make XC Championship, but he also tooled Lance at the Leadville 100.
sure you take all of the key measurements and write them down. Oh yeah, happen to notice Lance rockin’ the black socks these
If you ever buy a new bike or crash your existing one and need to days?
borrow another bike, you should be able to duplicate your posi-
tion perfectly on that borrowed or new bike. Don’t think you can 61 It’s not just a fashion thing, or a way to get you to
spend money on more expensive clothing, it’s just good advice. If
set up the new bike by feel. A tape measure and plumb line are
all you need, and the new bike should fit exactly the same as the you plan to start riding for more than two hours (heck, even one
old one. hour), run with bib shorts.
56 Always leave an extra wheel between you and the rider 62 You may think they look cool, you may think they’ll make
you ride faster, but if you’re just starting out, take our advice and
in front of you when you think he is going to go from sitting to
standing. At best he will stall momentarily, at worst he will roll avoid slapping the aero bar extensions on straight away. The biggest
backwards. Be prepared. reasons are twofold: 1. Safety. The slower response time for hitting
the brakes when you’re stretched out can make all the difference
57 When their feet get hot spots or feel like they are blis-
tering, people tend to loosen their shoes. They should actually be
when coming to a quick stop if a car, child or errant soccer ball rolls
out in front of you. 2. Safety. The handling characteristics change
tightening them to stop the chafing. dramatically when your hands are out in front of the front axle.
58 Eat lightly and often if your ride or race is longer than 63 Not a big deal, but if it’s chilly out, put your arm warm-
ers on before your jersey so that the sleeves slide right up and
an hour—every 30 minutes, or 45 minutes at the max. If you eat
half a bar or a single gel, you’ll digest your nourishment easily over without any hassle.
and there will always be room for water in your stomach.
64 When you’re not riding follow RBA on Twitter @road-
59 Don’t overdress. Dress for the race, not the staging
area. Although morning starts can be uncomfortable when you
bikeaction. Our own Bob Roll now has a Twitter account, and his
daily musing are well worth the shame of being a Twit: @bobkeroll
are sitting on the line, you actually need to err on the side of being
cold when you start, because once you get going, you will likely 65 Few things are as enjoyable as showing up at the
group ride with a new pair of shoes. However, leave the Imelda
warm up to a perfect temp and soon be overheated.
Maserati Granturismo, Pininfarina, 2008
Big Bang, Enrico Franzolini, 2005 Mia & Tua Caraffa, Mario Botta, 2000 Bable 2, Paolo Pedrizzetti, 2001
Grand Prix, Achille e Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, 2002
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Marcos syndrome behind until you’ve done at least three short rides by yourself to get
your feet used to the shoes. It’s almost inevitable that a new pair of shoes will initially pro-
duce irritating and painful hot spots and there is nothing worse than suffering this agony
in the first hour of a five-hour epic.
66 You’ve probably already heard the one about putting chunks of your Powerbar
on the stem so you can eat easily in the heat of battle. Another race and ecology-inspired
tip for in-the-saddle food prep is to just slightly tear a gel pack before you ride and place
the half-torn open flap under the lid of your water bottle. When you need to eat, a slight
tug of the gel pack should open it fully, leaving the tab stuck under the lid where it can
be properly disposed of after the ride.
67 If you are properly hydrated and nourished beforehand, you can ride hard for
one hour without food or water. Practice high-intensity training without on-the-bike refuel-
ing and then use this informa-
tion for time trials, criteriums
and cyclocross races, where the
intensity of the event may pre-
clude eating and drinking.
68 Try something new:
and realize that Cyclingnews
and Velo News are great sites,
but there is a new player in town
with compelling, up-to-date race
coverage, plenty of product
reviews, plus some personality
69 Depending on the
design of each, you can usually
store your riding glasses by flip-
ping them upside-down and
inserting them into the wider
vents of your helmet.
70 Having good friends
to ride with is a good thing.
Letting them get the upper hand
on you over the climbs is not.
When nearing a climb on a
group ride, remember to start
thinking about a useful strategy
and not the inevitable suffering. Just as you approach the base, shift into a higher gear
to get a short, last-ditch boost of momentum. Find the balance between climbing efficient-
ly and keeping a good pace by staying in a taller gear for as long as possible. Downshifts
should be done smoothly, not at the point of desperation. Just when you get to the top of
the climb and want nothing more than to sit up and backpedal for a rest, downshift one
more time and keep pedaling. Building strength is fun, but not as much fun as it is to
demoralize your friends.
71 If you’re not vying for the criterium national title, don’t bother running light-
weight 700x21 (and below) tires, which are far more prone to flat than heavier-duty
700x23 (and above) tires.
72 Remember that even with all the anti-flat technology in the world, nothing will
prevent flats better than rider control. Keep an eye on the road surface almost as much
as you keep an eye on what’s up ahead.
73 For a pre-race meal, find some-
thing that is repeatable and easy to have
access to, regardless of where you are or
what time of day your race is. One popu-
lar menu item is oatmeal mixed with a lit-
tle peanut butter and fruit. These are easy
to travel with ingredients that you can
have with you no matter what part of the
world you are in. All you need is some hot
water to complete the cooking and make
it edible. Great source of energy and easy
74 In a race, as in a hard training
ride, pick your battles. The race is not won
in the first 70 percent, just lost. Be honest
about your strengths. The guy who always
wins rarely comes out to play until the
end, and he usually still has fresh legs.
75 When riding in the rain, plan
ahead in regards to when you are turning
or braking, and be attentive to obstacles
that may not normally be a problem in dry
conditions. Metal sewer covers and white
crosswalk paint become extremely slick
when they are wet, regardless of how fast
or slow you are going. Remember that
your brakes won’t work as well when they
are wet either, so it will take a little more
time to slow down or stop.
76 It’s an unspoken rule that you
don’t show up without fenders for a group
ride in the rain. If you are riding in the rain
on a regular basis, adding rain flaps that
go all the way down (almost two inches
off the ground) help keep you dry regard-
NonStopCiclismo, CA – tel. 805-653- 1894
Laguna Beach Cyclery, CA - tel. 949-494-1522
VeloTech Cycles, CA – tel. 650-462-0789
Bicycle Emporium, CA – tel. 530-823-2900 less of the conditions. For cheap and durable rain flaps, cut down old water bottles and
Alex’s Bicycle, FL – tel. 954-990-0836
Balancewheel, NJ – tel. 718-282-2992 bolt them to the base of the fender.
Kim’s Bike Shop, NJ – tel. 732-846-3880
Pompton Cycle Center, NJ – tel. 973-835-6339
Gregg’s Cycles, WA – tel. 206-523-1822
77 The best way to encourage other people to start (and enjoy) cycling is for you
to go out and do some intro rides with them. To make the experience helpful (and enjoy-
able), do not ride away from them on the first climb. Learn to hold back.
78 Make sure you can drop your heels in a pedal stroke without rocking your bum
side to side. If Mr. Bum rocks, your seat has to come down. If you run your seat too high,
your bum will let you know.
79 After installing new cleats on your shoes and getting used to their spring
action, be sure to retighten them.
80 If and when you do decide to take a turn at the front, the number one rule is
to make sure you have enough energy to actually pull it off and keep pedaling. Do not get
to the front, tire and stop pedaling—or you will ride alone, friendless.
81 If you’re riding out of a hotel room and it looks like there might be inclement
weather, don’t forget to take along the in-house shower cap as a just-in-case helmet cover.
Sure, you’ll look odd, but nothing beats potential cold better than a warm, dry head.
82 Train for what your goals are, not what your friend’s goals are. If you are train-
ing for a 100-mile century and your friend is training for a 15-mile time trial, you each
need to train differently.
83 With today’s vogue, deep-dish wheels, do you ever wonder what that clicking
noise is every wheel rotation? It’s the valve extender clicking against the wheel. Use a
wrap of electrical tape around the Presta valve to tighten the tolerance between the
Presta valve and rim and the noise will be gone. Maybe that’s why Schraeder valves are
84 If you are having trouble getting tires on or off your rims, trying using a tube
that’s one size smaller in width than the tire you’re using. For example, if you use a
700x25C tire, try a 700x23C tube.
85 Powerbar and GU wrappers work great for fixing sliced tires, so don’t throw
them in the trash until you get home from your ride. Dollar bills also work.
86 If you are going to ride in the
rain on a consistent basis, a beater rain
bike is a good investment. This prevents
your favorite bike from being subjected to
the grit and grime that come with riding
in the rain.
87 Always drink more water than
you think you need. A general rule is to
drink one bottle per hour, even when it’s
cold out—which is hard to do, but it’s
important. Director Sportifs often have to
tell the tour stars to drink when it’s cold.
Even the best forget.
88 Although we pretend to know it
all, we don’t. Two great places to go for
additional tech tips are: www.sheldon-
browne.com and www.parktool.com.
89 Even if your planned three-hour
ride gets compressed into 30 minutes,
ride anyway. Thirty minutes is better than
Great bikes at great prices.
Assembled from the frame
50 mm carbon tubular wheels
nothing at all, and it will remind you how
great the two-wheeled life can be, even for
a short amount of time.
90 Few things are more aggravat-
ing than a mis-shifting drivetrain. At least
once a year you should go through your
drivetrain for a thorough cleaning using
solvents, brushes and gear combs. Take
off the chain. Does it need to be replaced?
Clean it thoroughly as well. Give your
cranks a good spin to make sure they
rotate like a Frisbee in flight.
RBA 102 TIPS
91 When flying with your bike, reducing the tire pressure
will prevent a blowout as the pressure changes during flight. Do
100 Time trial tip: Always have your heart rate build to
its maximum at the finish of the race. The key is to moderate the
you also need to be reminded to leave any C02 cartridges at gas pedal, but you need to know your engine. As you know, it can
home or lose them to the TSA? vary day to day, week to week. One day you’re a Don Garlits drag-
ster, the next day you’re Herbie the love bug. The trick is learning
92 This one is born from firsthand
experience. If you’re going to insist on riding
how much rest you need leading up
to the event. Don’t follow what
with THE yellow jersey, be sure to respect works for your buddies.
its history and prestige by making sure it Plus, never trust what your
covers your belly. buddies tell you works for
93 After flatting on the
road, never, and we mean
never, install a new inner
101 Record your
preferred tire pressure, and
tube without first checking then experiment with two
the inside of the tire cas- to five psi in either
ing to see if there are any direction so you
sharp objects poking understand how
through. There’s nothing your bike can han-
worse than installing a dle differently with
new tube only to have it relatively the same
go flat as it gets inflated setup.
because the same nail
that caused your first flat is
still embedded in the tire.
you plan to store your
bike, be sure to drop
94 We always put a carbon the front derailleur onto
adhesive (Finishline) or rub some dirt (did we the small ring and the rear
say that?) on carbon stems so they won’t slip. derailleur onto the small
cog to relieve pressure on the springs.
95 Check your tires for cut glass or thorns after you ride,
as opposed to before you ride. This way, you have time to fix the
tire or get a new one before the next ride.
96 Since most road bike helmets do not have a visor
option, wear a cycling cap under your helmet if you have a long
ride in the sun on your schedule. And to help maintain air flow,
you can cut out most of the top and frontal area of the cap to just
maintain the benefit of the visor.
97 Glazed brake shoes cause weak braking and impolite
squeals. Use sandpaper, a file or an emery board to buff off the
glaze and roughen up the pads. Also, pick out dirt, grit or pieces
of metal that have become embedded in the pad. If the pad has
hardened so much you can’t scratch it with your fingernail, or if
it’s worn past the indicator line, replace it.
98 Dieting is for early season training. After that, if you
are putting in miles and racing regularly, you’ll need to pound
calories to refuel. Too many athletes race undernourished
because they become obsessed with dieting.
99 Even if you haven’t joined the aero wheel revolution
(yet), carry a valve extender. There are various companies, (Park,
Schwalbe, Zipp) who make quality valve extenders, and someone
will need one on your ride. It’s also not a bad idea to carry a
Schraeder adapter as well, just in case a gas station is the only
place you can find some air.
Compete for your Stars-and-Stripes at the
USA Cycling National Championships.
June 28 - July 4 USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships Louisville, KY
July 2-5 USA Cycling Junior Track National Championships Carson, CA
July 28 - Aug 2 USA Cycling Junior, U23 & Elite Road National Championships Bend, OR
July 31 USA Cycling Tandem Sprint Championships Trexlertown, PA
Aug 15-16 USA Cycling Elite & Professional Criterium Championships Downers Grove. IL
Aug 18-23 USA Cycling Masters Track National Championships Indianapolis, IN
Aug 29-30 USA Cycling Professional Road and TT National Championships Greenville, SC
Sept 30 - Oct 4 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships Carson, CA
Dec 10-13 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships Bend, OR
How family-run FMB
sets the standard
S ituated on the far-flung reaches of
France’s westernmost region of
Brittany, along the pink limestone cliffs
of the Côtes-d’Armor, is where you’ll find the
tiny hamlet of Plurien. Plurien is home to FMB
(Francois Marie Boyaux), a tiny artisan outfit
that makes some of the finest tubular tires
(known as boyaux in French) in the world.
Francois Marie and his family moved to
Brittany from Paris a decade ago when Marie
decided to produce his handcafted tubular
tires. Although Marie didn’t know it at the
time, when he started his business in the late
1990s he was ahead of the market trends.
Tubular tires have became popular once again
over the past five years.
Road Bike Action recently traveled to the
majestic Cap Frehel shoreline to pay a visit to
Marie and his petit company, a true family
affair, where he and his wife and his father and
mother all work to make their unique cycling
On the way to Plurien, we passed through
Yffinac, the hometown of Bernard Hinault.
Eventually, we arrived at FMB. As the smells of
latex, rubber cement and salt air swirled
through our nostrils, Marie gave us a tour of
his tiny atelier and patiently took us through
Bernard Hinault looms large in the painstaking steps involved in the fabrica-
his home village of Yffinac. tion of tubular tires.
Marie began the tour by explaining how he
got into the handmade tubular business. “I’ve
always had a passion for tubular tires,” he
said. “I was a racer and also used to repair
tubulars on the side. I learned to make tubu-
lars by working for several tire manufacturers.
After working as a motorcycle messenger in
Paris for six years, I decided to move to Brittany
After the casings emerge from curing, Marie hand-rolls each
casing to compress the threads. “This makes each casing
stronger,” he says. Then the casings are cut in two, and fold lines,
called “orielles” (ears) are drawn. The edges are turned over and
sewn by hand on an old industrial sewing machine with linen
thread. “We have a special way to stitch this part; usually it’s a
single stitching, but we double-stitch it for more strength and
durability.” Once the casings are stitched, the internal chafing
Tubulars Are Us: FMB tubular tires.
and make my own tires.” Working in a miniscule, 350-square-foot,
corrugated metal garage, Marie creates road, track and cyclo-
cross silk tubulars with custom rubber treads. “We source or
make ourselves all the components for the tubulars in France. We
make the special cloth here that makes the casings. It takes sev-
eral days of work to make a tubular tire.” Marie explained that the
fabric for the casings comes from endless bands made by wind-
ing a fine thread of cotton or silk on a drum, which is then coated
with liquid latex. Once the latex has set-up for 24 hours, this mate- Each tubular starts with custom-produced, rubberized cloth
rial then turns into fabric. The fibers are angled at 45 degrees and in cotton or silk that arrives as an endless roll, ready to be
cut to the correct width.
then laid in two biased plies for strength and flexibility. The casing
fabric is not vulcanized (which would make it more durable, but strip is sewn in place on one side, the tube is placed inside, and
less supple) and is only held together by the air-dried latex. “Once the other edge of the strip is then sewn to enclose the tube. FMB
the casing fabric is made, we unroll it as we cut the casings to the uses a special latex band between the tube and casing as anti-
proper size for each tubular, from 20mm for track tires to 34mm puncture protection and to reduce rolling resistance. Next the
for cyclocross tires. Once we make the first casing, we store it in base tape is glued on, and then the tread is glued in place on the
a dark, dry room for a week so it cures and dries out before fur- casing, which is then inflated to 13 bar (182psi) and hung on a
ther assembly.” special rack to cure for 12 to 24 hours.
Road Bike Action
RBA tech Totally Tubular
Because Marie prefers to follow his own path, he designs and
sources his own treads for FMB. Although FMB gained a cult fol-
lowing for its cyclo-cross tubulars, like the SP (Super Prestige)
model with tangerine casing or SSC Sprint (Spécial Service
Course) for fast courses, FMB also produces state-of-the-art track
tires in silk or cotton, like the Super Pista Record with ultra-low-
rolling-resistance, green, fine-file treads. Road models include the
Cotton Critérium in 20- and 22-millimeter versions, Soie naturelle
Critérium (Silk Critérium) in 20-, 22- and 23-millimeters, and a 25-
millimeter Paris-Roubaix model with a special reinforced 0.2-mil-
meter green latex sidewall that Tom Boonen rode to victory in last
year’s Roubaix classic.
Once the sewing of the FMB casings is completed, they are
mounted on rims at high pressure to check construction
True to the tradition of old world craftsmanship, Francois
Marie and his small FMB outfit produce less than 10,000 tubulars
per year, but each one maintains the fast-disappearing tradition
of a handmade bicycle product. “We really love our work,” Marie
says with an obvious air of pride and enthusiasm. “We have a spe-
cial passion for this.” Following his interview and factory tour,
Marie excused himself to drive all night to deliver a fresh batch of
Various custom FMB treads before being mounted on com- 130-gram track tires to some riders at the French track champi-
pleted casings. onships. C’est l’amour.
Spokes are THE KEY element
R-SYS of the wheel structure.
light & stiff By redesigning the spoke’s construction
Mavic made LIGHTER and STIFFER wheels for
Tracomp technology has been developed with
and is endorsed by Mavic pro-riders from
AG2R-La Mondiale, Liquigas, Silence-Lotto
and OUCH teams.
Carbon TraComp spokes are 38% lighter than their stainless steel
With the Tracomp technology, the tubular carbon spokes works both
in traction and compression.
This new design allows us to lower the spoke tension and ﬁnally to
reduce the stress on the rim and the hub.
Thanks to clamped spokes on each end:
- to the rim with Fore technology
- to the hub with the Tracomp ring
Uncompressible and non-stretchable spokes:
- Metallic spokes are ﬂexible and stretchable
- Tubular carbon spokes are uncompressible and unstretchable
*compared to a wheel using conventional spokes.
The Dean Randonneur and The Ritchey
Breakaway will take you places you never thought
you would go. And, the ride will be pretty good
while you are there.
Photo: Pat Carrigan
here is art to traveling with bikes. A tradi- took these two bikes at face value, broke them
tional bike, boxed up, broken down and down, built them up, and rode them in all situa-
thrown on a plane is expensive, risky, diffi- tions to see if either one could be the answer to
cult and oftentimes not worth the hassle. Dean the challenge of traveling with bikes. What we
Bikes and Ritchey are hoping to change that. We found out was quite a surprise...
Road Bike Action
(frame and fork and coupler: $3600)
Weight: 21.25 pounds
THE DEAN RANDONNEUR
A custom titanium touring bike—in a suitcase?
Dean’s Randonneur is available with or without the S&S aged, you can fix them as well as possible and ride drag-free with-
Titanium coupling system, but if you travel, there is no substitute out compromising your braking performance.
for the breakaway version of Dean’s most popular touring design.
Dean builds the Randonneur frame specifically for each customer PUTTING IT TOGETHER AND TAKING IT APART
from U.S.-made 3/2.5-alloy titanium tubes, and then outfits the Before you awaken the Randonneur from its sleep, take note (or a
frame with your selection of components, chosen from a number picture) of how the parts are stored inside the case. There is a method
of existing build kits. Ours was a $2150 Shimano Dura-Ace build. to the madness—get it wrong and you might miss your return flight
The frame alone will run $2150, with an additional $750 for the trying to repack the bike. The case is engineered to be as small as pos-
S&S coupling system, and then you’ll need to add $400 for a fork. sible—to the point where the 700C tires must be deflated to tuck the
The handy traveling case will cost about $400, and you’ll want to wheels inside. Custom neoprene wraps and pouches are included to
include it—both to protect your investment from overzealous bag- provide separation and protection for the various disassembled bits,
gage handlers and because it will exonerate you from having to and if you look carefully, each is inscribed (black-on-black) with a felt
pay outrageous airline bicycle fees. The complete, 58-centimeter pen so you can mate the proper neoprene with its rightful compo-
Dean Randonneur weighs 21.25 pounds and fits very snugly into nent. Our bike came with quick-release fenders (a nice touch), and
its sturdy 26.5x26.5x10.5-inch locking hard-case, which is there were no bike assembly instructions in sight.
equipped with a pull handle and a pair of wheels.
With the Randonneur in a bike stand, it took 45 minutes to get
THE FRAME the Dean assembled. This is not something that you will want to
Dean’s take on the ultimate touring bike is both innovative and do on a daily basis, (although this is quite possible should you
classic. Its arching top tube blends into curved seat stays, which require it). The S&S couplers are easy to operate and are tight-
give the Randonneur a vintage flavor. Joe Breeze-type dropouts ened to 35 foot-pounds with a special wrench included with the
enhance the Dean’s minimalist profile, as do its tiny, welded-on bike. Next, the fork is slipped into the frame (take a good look at
pannier mounts. Two S&S hirth-type junctions are welded in place the cable routing, because it can be quite a puzzle should you get
on the top tube and downtubes, and the cable housing stops are the handlebar twisted in between one of the four housings) and
slotted to allow quick disengagement of the controls. Our 58-cen- then the bar and stem are reintroduced. Screw in the rear
timeter frame had a classic-length, 58-centimeter top tube. The derailleur, slide the Dura-Ace crank through the bottom bracket,
slightly sloping top tube raises the handlebar to an amicable and secure the left arm. Slip the wheels on and slide the seatpost
tourist height, which segways into the Randonneur’s most unique in place and you are almost there.
features—a Woundup Team-X aluminum-crown, carbon fiber
cyclocross fork, and Avid mechanical disc brakes on both wheels. There are three cable connectors that thread together that
Why disc brakes? Dean designed the frame to double as a fully enable the rear brake and both derailleur cables to be broken
loaded touring machine. Also, since you’ll be traveling with one down along with the frame. Threading them back together can be
set of wheels, it is a comfort to know that, should the rims be dam- done by hand—and (this is the best part) shifting and braking
remain in adjustment after reattaching the connectors. The only The special wrench
tools you’ll need beyond the S&S wrench is a set of Allen wrench- is easy to use.
es and a plastic Shimano spline tool for the left crank arm adjust-
ment (not included).
Give yourself at least 45 minutes for your first try at disassem-
bling the Dean, because inevitably, there will be some confusion
about which padding goes where and the sequence that best
results in a well-packed case. Get it wrong and the case will “near-
ly” close, but avoid the temptation to sit on it and force the latch-
es, as there are $6500 worth of delicate Randonneur parts inside
that your well-being will depend upon later.
Dean outfitted our Randonneur with a Dura-Ace 7800 drive-
train and triple crankset, Avid BB7 disc brakes, a Thomson alu-
minum stem and seatpost, a Ritchey Comp handlebar, and DT
Swiss RR 1.2 rims laced to Chris King hubs. Tires were ultra-
durable Continental 4Season clinchers. Together, the Randonneur
frame and components weigh 21.25 pounds and are a well-craft- S&S fittings are welded
ed blend of sporty performance and trekking durability. in place.
Initial acceleration reminds you that this is a touring machine,
not an uber-light ProTour racing bicycle. The Dean takes a couple
of extra pedal strokes to get up to speed, but once there, it
remains on point with an enlightened, efficient feel. There is
enough steering stability to make hands-off riding comfortable,
should you want to snap pictures of tulip fields in Holland or
Lamas in Patagonia. Cornering is stable and secure, but still live-
ly enough so you can rip up a lunch ride or sit in with a peloton
full of racer-boys. The Randonneur’s titanium frame and compo-
nent selection mute the feel of the pavement for an all-day level
Avid’s disc brakes take an hour or so to bed into the rotors.
Take heed, because unlike rim brakes, they require a lot of
squeeze when they are new, but they will haul the bike down with
one finger once they pass the break-in period. The bends of the
Ritchey handlebar were well suited to all-day riding on the hoods,
while being low enough in the drops to make headway against
strong winds. We liked the Dura-Ace triple crankset because we
could enjoy the closely spaced 21x25-tooth cassette and still have Neoprene pads fit all the
low gears for extended climbs. parts that may rub together.
Dean’s breakaway Randonneur is the ultimate travel accesso- Threaded quick release cable
ry. You don’t need an adding machine to realize that the Dean fits connectors are a nice touch.
into the “James Bond” category of travel gear. The bottom line for
the Dean Randonneur is not a monetary figure, it is the freedom
to ride. When you see a road less traveled, you won’t be wishing
you brought your road bike—it will be waiting in the trunk of your
rental car or in your hotel room. Cycling enthusiasts who travel
frequently can take the Dean along and enjoy the pleasure of rid-
ing a custom-tailored, high-performance road bike instead of
watching the world Snooker Championships in the hotel sports
bar. If you don’t have time to ride, it remains conveniently stowed
in its case until you do.
Road Bike Action
Weight: 17.4 pounds
RITCHEY TI/CARBON BREAK-AWAY
A titanium and carbon traveling companion from one of the most famous names in cycling
Ritchey has been making road and mountain bikes since the THE FRAME
late 1970s. During the 1980s, Ritchey built roughly 400 frames a The Ritchey Ti/Carbon Break-Away features a frame made of
year. Starting in the 1990s, Ritchey began scaling back frame aerospace-grade titanium and hi-modulus carbon fiber. The front
products and focused on components. By the end of the decade, triangle is made from 3/2.5 titanium and features a braze-on
it appeared that Ritchey frames would be a thing of the past. front derailleur mount and integrated headset. The carbon fiber
Thankfully, a couple of years ago Ritchey revived their frame divi- rear triangle features a replaceable rear dropout. The titanium
sion and introduced the Break-Away series—a collection of road, and carbon frame is mated to a full carbon Ritchey WCS fork.
mountain and cross bikes based on the famous Ritchey geometry,
but able to be broken down and packed into a 8.5x26.5x31-inch PUTTING IT TOGETHER AND TAKING IT APART
travel case. To make the always-traveling RBA staff’s life easier, The Break-Away comes apart at the seat cluster and downtube
Ritchey sent us their top-of-the-line Ti/Carbon Break-Away. We near the bottom bracket shell. The junction at the seat cluster con-
were curious to see if a “folding” bike could live up to the Ritchey sists of two separate seatpost clamps, one on the wishbone seat
heritage. stay and the other attached to the top tube. Each clamp is cut at
an angle to allow them to align and form a solid link when the
The Ritchey breaks down at the seatpost is inserted and the clamps are tightened.
seat tube and down tube.
The junction at the bottom bracket consists of a straight cut in
the downtube. On each side of the break, the tubes feature
beveled lips that press together and are then secured with a com-
pression clamp. The derailleur and brake cables use cleaver screw
couplers that allow for quick separation when disassembling the
bike. Unpacking and assembling the Ritchey took roughly 15 min-
utes, while disassembling and packing took about 25 minutes.
The extra time was mainly spent covering the tubes and fork in
their plastic scratch guards and packing everything in its speci-
The ease with which the Break-Away assembles and disassem-
bles is impressive. RBA testers traveled several times with the
Break-Away and were never charged a bicycle transportation or
oversized luggage fee. If you travel a lot, the money saved in fees
will help offset the cost of the Break-Away.
The Ti/Carbon Break-Away featured a full Dura Ace group that
worked flawlessly. A Ritchey WCS carbon stem, handlebar and
seatpost made up the cockpit, which was rounded out with a
Ritchey Streem saddle. All the Ritchey parts worked flawlessly and
have been race-tested by some of the best riders in the profession-
al peloton. The Ritchey Protocol WCS LTD wheelset was smooth
and stayed true throughout the test. Weighing a respectable
1495-grams a set, we were impressed with the wheels’ durability
and overall performance. The Protocol WCS LTD wheels were fit-
ted with Ritchey Road Slick tires. The tires offered good traction in
both wet and dry conditions.
Our 56-centimeter Ritchey has 73.5-degree head and 73.5-
degree seat tube angles, connected by a 56-centimeter top tube.
The Break-Away weighed 17.4 pounds without pedals.
We expected to feel some additional flex in the bottom brack-
et due to the coupling being so close to the bottom bracket, but
we were pleasantly surprised to find little or no difference
between the Break-Away and a non-folding bike. The combination
of the titanium front triangle mated to the carbon rear and WCS
fork made for one of the smoothest riding bikes to come through
the RBA offices. All-day comfort was exceptional, and the bike’s The rear section
balance offered solid handling in virtually all situations. While not is carbon fiber.
super stiff, the Break-Away climbed extremely well with a snappy
feel in and out of the saddle. Descending was equally impressive,
as the smooth ride aided in the feeling of control and encouraged
us to tackle descents with increased speed.
The Ti/Carbon Break-Away is a great, no-compromise bike that
happens to fold up for easy transport. Its light weight and quick
breakdown time make it ideal if you travel and don’t want to sac-
rifice performance and ride quality.
Keep the headtube spacers so
you can fit the bike to another
The second break-away is on the downtube.
Road Bike Action
THE BEST ADS OF
THE 1980s cool?
Do you remember when this was
R oad Bike Action decided to take a look back—way
back—at some of the technology and trends of the
1980s. Here’s a taste of some of our favorite maga-
zine ads from the era. It would help if you listened to Duran
Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” while reading this story. Or, lis-
ten to the soundtrack to Sixteen Candles.
in Celes te.
Bianchi has a
long histor y of
racing, mos t
.S. Postal and Descente was one of the
, Columbi a, Discover y, U 1980s. They’re still aro
premier clothing brands
Before Garmin team. und today and offer a
was the legendar y 7-Eleven quality apparel. full line of
s ealed-b largest bicycle
of Spec ne of th ank an
1983 , a pair pecialized is o s the Saxo B
day, S sponsor
only $4 rld and
ies in the wo s.
compan al team
Quick Step pr
Rossin was an
Italian brand th
1980s but fade at had mild su
d from the mar ccess in the ea
ket by the mid rly
s in the
ane Cycle ,
nd ro de for Git the Tou r de France
G reg LeMo d had n’t yet won ic to sell Panasonic disp
lays their idea
ugh LeMon oors Class bicycle. The Ae of an aerodyna
1980s. Tho the 1981 C ro Road 6000 mic
d his victory in post and aero included an ov
Gitane use ed States.
water bottle. alized seat-
bikes in the Unit
Road Bike Action
mpete at the hi
attempted to co and perform-
l Gruppo Rino quality
The 1982 Exce ver match the -
t but could ne t until the emer the 1984 Olym
en d of the marke ponents. H owever, it wasn’ and supe- ial supplier of -
gnolo com their lower pric
Murray was th
e of fic gold medal-win
ance of Campa late 1980s (with Serotta, while
Shimano in the ally folded. ere really built by
gence of ) that Excel fin but the bikes w
d performance de a Pinarello.
rior quality an ner Alexi Grewal ro
group, with a
The Ultimat e was Excel’s and drilled-out
rear derailleur By today’s stan
polished al uminum caged ed, but in 1983
dards, the V1-P
RO is heavy an
ve weight. the V1-PRO was d poorly ventila
chainrings to sa cutting edge. t-
BEST ADS OF THE 1980s
Pepsi as a sports drink.
m 1982. T rsar y -edition
is ad fro th-annive
ge in th 0
racing herita ase of the 7
to uts their ith the rele
Schwinn e today w
itage is aliv
The Raleigh team featur
ed Andy Hampsten, Ste
Roy Knickman and Steve ve Hegg,
Tilford. Raleigh was one
teams capable of compet of the only
ing with 7-Eleven in the
Road Bike Action
Dia-Compe brakes were co Alexi Grewal on
ment in the 1980s. This ad
the 1984 Olym
gold medal at
our us ed eight-time rbePro group.
In 1984, SunT fits of their Supe
ano to sell the bene were familiar w
Champion Nak e United States
few people in th
Unfor tunately, er.
N akano, or his sp
ic Kreitler logo
r the m ovie “American not a main- e developm ent of the icon high-end
A 1985 ad fo e movie was Long before th r was making
avid G rant. While th e cycling com- Yorkshire Terrier, Kreitle r continues
Costner and D assic within th ing Killer the in 2001, Kreitle
s be come a cult cl Al Kr eitler’s passing
stream hit, it ha rollers. Despite stry standard.
remain the indu
mun ity. mak ing rollers that
BEST ADS OF THE 1980s
The Victor y w
1980s. By the en o’s mid-range
d of the 1980s, group during
lower-priced Campagnolo w the
as in competitio
building quality and more
innovative gr n with
1985. Despite Campangnolo oups from
A Panaso nic ad from U.S. market, ev
to one-up each
have spent the Shimano.
c stru ggled in the other. last twenty year
bikes, Panasoni s tr ying
pulling out in 1989.
stry a long
the bicycle indu Assos used this
Pearl Izum i has been in igg’s win at ad to promote
n of Rebecca Tw Assos clothing their line of tim
time. This ad is in celebratio is still used by e trial clothing
world. professional rid
s Classic. ers all over th
the 1983 Coor e
Road Bike Action
Coors was a
suppor ter of
the 1980s, sp
the fa mous Coors
suppor t of cycling into
Alexi Grewal and Davis
In the 1980s, Peugeot was pushing the technologi-
cal envelope with the PY10-FC. The PY10-FC featured
carbon main tubes mated to aluminum lugs and an
aluminum rear triangle.
Dura- Ace cam
e to the forefro
By the early 19 nt in the 1980 French hero Be
90s, it was the s.
all other groups standard by w rnard Hinault
were judged. In hich Sidi Cycle Spor is featured in
launched the D 2008, Shiman t shoe. Sidi shoe an ad for the
i2 electronic gr o s are still used 1983
oup. by top professio
BEST ADS OF THE 1980s
lizes on the su
1984 Olympics ccess of the U
. The Raleigh su .S. team at th
time trial and perbike helped e
track bikes for set the trend fo
the next decade r
Superbe-Pro was SunTour’s top-of-the-line group, but the intro-
duction of Shimano’s STI brake/shift levers at the end of the
decade put an end to the Superbe-Pro’s dominance.
nal s a long histor
. Natio ing in America. y of suppor ting
the U.S In 1985, Spec rac-
e nts for es in Los port traveled ac ialized’s neutra
compon pic gam ross the countr l sup-
upplied 4 Olym racers. y, helping coun
gnolo s ed for the 198 tless
s they p
Road Bike Action
RBA bike test
Photos by: Pat Carrigan
TF1Modern-Day World Champion’s
aurizio Fondriest’s racing career (1987 to 1998)
spanned the golden era of innovation, which included
clipless pedals, index and brake-lever shifting systems,
The TF1’s frame numbers are tour-proven and vary according
to frame size. Our 55-centimeter, large model (56-cm level top
tube equivalent) had a 56.5-centimeter top tube, 40.7-centimeter
chain stays, a 73-degree head angle and a 73.5-degree seat
the rise and fall of aluminum and titanium, and the dawn of car-
bon fiber. Maurizio was known for his dedication to minute tech- angle. Medium-sized TF1 frames weigh 970 grams—lightweight by
nical details regarding the bike and his cycling position. Victories anyone’s standards—and the TF1 fork weighs 340 grams. Five
in a wide variety of classic races, including two World Cup overall frame sizes are available, and Fondriest offers a custom frame
titles and the 1988 World Championships, lend credibility to option as well.
Fondriest’s post-retirement decision to design a line of racing bicy-
cles and custom carbon frames, the most famous of which is the THE BUILD
TF1. Outfitted as a pure racer, the TF1 breaks from the present
trend towards addressing the comfort concerns of amateur
THE FRAME enthusiasts with taller head tubes, shorter stems and forward-
The TF1 is Fondriest’s masterpiece. With an oh-so-Italian position saddles. Fondriest delivers a true pro-bike setup with a
frame, it features a curved top tube and wildly profiled seat and long, 130-millimeter, 3T ARX aluminum stem and full-depth, 3T
chain stays. It is topped with 3K woven carbon material for both Ergosum Team carbon fiber handlebar. The seatpost is a set-back-
structural concerns and visual pop. The arching top tube theme type FSA K-Force Carbon model topped with a Selle Italia Flight Ti-
continues through to the TF1’s wishbone seat stays. The TF1 car- rail saddle. The moment he climbs aboard, the TF1 rider is remind-
bon fork is molded with aerodynamic fins near the front brake ed that speed is the goal of racing.
and below the crown. The headset is integrated into the frame,
which plays well to the Fondriest’s clean-looking profile. Bici Fondriest is decidedly Italian, so most customers will have
Construction methods are kept secret, but the technique visible their TF1 dressed in one of three Campagnolo ensembles. But if
through the clear-coated frame indicates the tube-to-tube joining you prefer, you can order a TF1 with a Shimano Dura-Ace build.
process. We ordered our TF1 with Campagnolo’s new 11-speed Chorus
group because we wanted to see how it compared to the Super
Tube-to-tube frames are built from separate carbon fiber pipes Record groupset (RBA June 2009). The wheels were Campagnolo
so that each can be high-pressure molded more precisely than a Fulcrum Racing-1s mounted to Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX clinch-
one-piece frame. The frame is glued together and reinforced at er tires. The all-up weight of the large Fondriest was a respectable
each joint with hand-applied layers of carbon material. The frame 15.3 pounds (6.94kg).
is then cured to its final strength. Tube-to-tube construction results
in very lightweight frames and lends itself well to moderate pro- THE RIDE
duction runs and custom builders. This is just one more reason “Long and low” were the first impressions that every Fondriest
the TF1 stands apart. rider noted. Its 130-millimeter 3T stem has no rise, and its setback
Road Bike Action
FSA seatpost effectively adds 2.5 centimeters to its
already roomy office. Riders who usually ride 58-cen-
timeter frames would fit the large Fondriest TF1 best.
The fact that it is advertised as a 55-centimeter bike is
not a trick—just an honest representation of the seat
On the road, the TF1 is smooth and versatile—as
one would expect from a true ProTour racer. Its
Fulcrum Racing-1 wheels are not the lightest racing
clinchers, and thus temper the Fondriest’s initial accel-
eration, but their precise feel in the turns and wind-
cheating aero spokes make up for losses (imagined or
otherwise) while descending or spinning a big gear on
the flats. In a sentence, the TF1’s handling is smooth
and predictable. The TF1 reminds us that most enthu-
siasts choose too large of a frame, while top profes-
sionals often ride smaller sizes that afford more fitting
options and a lighter bicycle. Those who actually fit
the TF1 raved about its climbing and about the fact
that it held a razor-straight line while sprinting.
The difference between Chorus The semi-aero fork design and
Campagnolo’s Fulcrum wheels and Chorus “skele- and Super-Record is price and integrated headset give the TF1
ton” brakes make for an impressive pair—adding weight—not performance. a sleek look.
another level of descending performance to the
already-impressive Fondriest. Powerful and precise, RBA’S VERDICT
Campagnolo’s braking encourages the TF1 rider to When a decorated professional competitors—those who dictate the
pump the pedals a few more times before each cor- develops a racing bicycle, one can pace on the climbs, who force the
ner—while the TF1 yells “faster, faster” when acceler- expect that he will infuse it with the decisive breaks, and who lie in wait
ating out of each apex. Campagnolo’s separate brake riding qualities and inspiration that for anyone who dares to make a
and shift paddles are not perfect for all riders—espe- come from a level of cycling even the move—will feel right at home aboard
cially those who ride far back on the drops. On the most devoted enthusiast can only this outstanding Italian beauty.
hoods, the thumb lever is better than electric shifting aspire towards. Those of us who are
because it selects a number of gears in one push. In happily pumping out club rides on our
the drops, however, quick shifts with the thumb lever Roubaixs or Madones will probably
require practice and a degree of technique. That said, find the Fondriest’s authentic racing Price:$4700 (frame only)
our shift-lever gripes are not Fondriest’s problem, but ergonomics uncomfortable and its Weight: 15.3 pounds
merely an observation about a component option. predictable handling too tame. True Info: www.veloeuropa.com
An Easy Ride of Luxury
One Ride on KMC Chain Will Turn You Into A Believer
r 9 ibssau:e.s00.767.0345
fo cr i e C ll 1 8
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or online at: www
Women Helping Women
A group of cyclists, Giant For Women, is helping new
riders transform into enthusiasts…
Jenny Skorez from Giant For Women.
W omen are a fast-growing segment of the cycling pop-
ulation, and much of that growth is being fueled by
some of the best women racers and their sponsors
taking an active role in encouraging other women to take up the
sport. Women are offering support by sharing experiences (sto-
experiences. It is a true virtual community. The Ride Society
Leaders support the larger women’s cycling community, travel-
ing all over the country to conduct clinics and seminars through
ries about their first race, first visit to a bike shop, or first time RBA: How did you get involved?
using clipless pedals) that can give other woman the confidence Jenny: I met someone from Giant while attending SRAM
to give cycling a try. We caught up with Jenny Skorez from Giant Technical University and was invited to become a founding mem-
For Women to find out more about what they are doing to reach ber of the Ride Society because I have an extensive and diverse
out to female cyclists. background in the bicycle industry. I bring technical expertise to
the Ride Society, both mechanical and in regards to bike fit, and I
RBA: What is Giant for Women? have a long history of conducting cycling camps and clinics for
Jenny: Giant for Women is a multi-faceted program that con- women.
nects brand, product, and people (women!). We don’t just make
great women’s bikes. We support women of all ages and abili- RBA: What is one tip you would give to women who are either
ties, from experienced riders to first-timers, by providing just entering the sport or looking to step up their involvement?
resources through www.GiantForWomen.com. Our website Jenny: Connect with other women locally. The support a
offers how-to tips, full-length articles on training and mainte- woman gets from riding with a group of other women builds con-
nance, a place to post events, a way to find other women to ride fidence. Women love to share tips and information. Riding with a
with, and a forum for discussing questions, concerns, and sharing strong women’s group always manages to inspire me.
Mini-Workouts for Busy Days
When you can’t go for a long ride…
By Katharine McCoy
RaeLynn Milley, a fellow busy woman, racer and coach, shares a HEAD TO THE GYM
few of her secret tips. There are so many different schools of thought on weight
workouts and the gym. I alternate between these two, depending
PRACTICE YOUR PLANK on time:
I’m a big believer in core strength. The plank is a move you can When time is short, I work my major parts: back, chest, biceps,
do in your cubicle, in a hotel, or in the park while the kids play. shoulders, calves, quads, hamstrings and triceps…one to three
Hold for as long as you can while maintaining proper form. A reps/two sets with a heavier weight (not superman strength, just
plank is a seemingly simple move where you hold your body in as more than I usually do). For quads, I prefer ball squats to weights;
straight a line as possible while putting your weight on your fore- choose what is best for you.
arms and toes. This is a great workout for the entire core and is When I have more time, I work all the same parts one to ten
much harder than it looks. reps/three sets each at a low weight. I also add obliques to this
HEAD TO THE HILLS
When time is short, make the most of your ride. I’ve mapped out QUICK CARDIO
a five-mile hill loop inside my neighborhood. I do a quick warm up, I hate cardio inside, so I run up a little hiking hill near my
then hit this loop. It has nine small, short hills, varying in grade from house. It gets my heart rate up and I’m outside. Spin class is
five percent to 18 percent. I do each hill once, then I do them each great, too…45 minutes to an hour, and work hard—no slacking! If
again, but standing, or in a harder gear. Take a rest by spinning soft I can’t leave the house, I grab a backpack and do the Rocky
between each interval. A 10-minute warm-up, 20 minutes of hills, thing—fill it with books, switch my iPod to “Survivor,” and up and
and a 10-minute cool down; it’s a great workout in under an hour. down the stairs I go.
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RBA ask R.C. By Richard Cunningham
SHOULD I BE USING THE BIG RING MORE?
I just read your answer to a similar question in the the key is to stay in the center of the cassette cogs and use the
March/April edition concerning compact cranks and standard front derailleur to adapt to rolling terrain. As a rule of thumb, any
cranks. I live in South Mississippi and ride moderate hills. In your time you will be down-shifting or up-shifting more than two cogs,
previous answer, the response seemed like it dealt in large part you should be using the front derailleur, not the rear. The advan-
with both riders being in the big chainring on the front. I ride a tage of the “stay centered on the cassette strategy” is that you will
standard 39/53 with a 12/23 9-speed on back and ride with a be able to up-shift or downshift with either lever in an emergency
fairly high cadence (88 to 94 rpm). Many of the guys I ride with situation—like when you need to counter a break or sudden
ride compact cranks and tend to live in the 50-tooth chainring a change in the terrain.
good bit of the time. Unless I am going above 23 or 24 mph, I
very seldom get out of the 39-tooth chainring. I tried compact SPRING MAINTENANCE?
cranks once and felt it put me in the big chainring before I want- After being away from my road bike for the winter, what are
ed to be in it, and I had trouble finding a comfortable gear once some things I should check to make sure they are in proper work-
I was in the 50-tooth chainring. My question is two-part. Should I ing order before taking it out on the first ride of the season?
be using the big chainring more, and second, it seems like you are —Jeffrey Stych
a proponent of compact cranks. Given my small-gear/high-
cadence riding style, am I still at a disadvantage using standard First order of business is the tires and tubes. Next is to replace
cranks on hills? I do have a triple on one of my bikes that I use the brake pads—which should be done annually, regardless if they
when we are going to be doing a ride in mountainous country. seem worn or not. Most cables and housings run smoothly
—Glen Rayburn enough to last a few seasons, but run the bike through the gears
and cycle the brakes to ensure there is no crud keeping them from
The key to the compact drivetrain is the 11-tooth cassette cog. operating correctly. Check the quick releases before you ride, as
The 50x11 is slightly taller than a typical, standard-geared 53x12 you may have thrown a wheelset on without properly tightening
bike. So, if you switch to a compact drive, you get a taller high it. Finally, if you have not been riding a lot, you might want to
gear and a lower low. As far as gear selection while riding goes, lower the saddle five to ten millimeters to make up for some lost
flexibility. Crank it back up to full height in a month of riding, after up brake pads and heating his rims when descending steep
your legs have relaxed back into fitness. grades. For this reason, watch the pad wear and choose a
wheelset with aluminum rims (the Mavic Ksyrium is a great
BIKES FOR THE CLYDESDALE SET choice). Also, keep the tire pressure up towards the maximum
I'm inquiring about a frame/gearing recommendation for a noted on the sidewalls. Second, he will be pushing a lot of weight
300-pound new cyclist. I introduced my brother to cycling, and he uphill, so suggest that he upgrade his bike with a triple chainring
is addicted. His weight/size is a concern, due to the flexibility in setup. The granny gear will make extended climbs a practical part
today's frames. He currently has a of his cycling and give him the ability to
2007 Lemond Alpe d'Huez, which ride with any group or organized event
was selected based on his comfort, that includes substantial climbs. As far as
budget and appearance/confidence a bike, the Roubaix is a good choice, as is
when riding. When the Lemond is on the Giant. Aluminum and carbon are the
a trainer, he can see/feel the flex in best materials, because they offer the best
the bike when he is pedaling. strength- and stiffness-to-weight ratios. The
Manufacturers do not provide fact that he flexes his frame and compo-
weight limits on frames, so shop- nents when on the trainer is inconsequen-
ping with safety in mind is a chal- tial—there is no way to put lateral forces
lenge. From his research, he into a frame unless it is bolted to a rigid
appears to be extremely interested platform. Once he puts the rear wheel back
in the Giant Advance and/or on and hits the road, his frame will see less
Specialized Roubaix. lateral stress than a featherweight, high-
—Nancy Photo: Sunada watt climber would inflict upon it.
Most road bikes are designed for 185-pound males, but tested
to far greater extremes, so strength issues should not deter your Contact Richard Cunningham for questions or
brother from pounding out the miles. Safety should not be a con- comments, or just to talk bikes at:
cern if he takes a couple of precautions: First, he will be burning askRC@roadbikeaction.com
The journey to Paris-Roubaix is a cyclist’s rite of passage—
a chance to embrace the soul of bike racing, to digest the
pain, suffering and glory of the Queen of the Classics
By Brad Roe
Photos: Yuzuru Sunada
Road Bike Action
Classics rider is a little taller, a little
stronger, carries a bit more weight and is
able to endure amazing suffering and pain
in terrible conditions. That same rider will hit the var-
iegated and substantial cobbles of the Arenberg
Forest at 40 kilometers per hour and get spit out the
other side, shaking, rocking, scared and angry. But,
he will persevere.
Paris-Roubaix is on Easter Sunday. The Thursday
before the race, I got to ride a 2009 Specialized
Roubaix up the venerable Koppenberg climb, the
decisive and steep (22-percent) climb of the Tour of
Flanders. I almost turned around in defeat until I
remembered where I was and what I was climbing.
The next day, we loaded up our bikes, waited in a
parking lot at the start of the Arenberg for Team
Quick-Step to arrive and then were invited to join
them as they rode the course as a team. They hit the
forest at a high speed, and I was spit off the back
pretty quickly, but it didn’t affect the smile I had on
my face, riding those sacred rocks, learning the
rhythm, the hand positions that work and riding a
bike built specifically for this event and for these cob-
bles. We rode the course into Roubaix, and I was
able to hang on for three hours and 12 sections
before I hopped in the car, relieved and satisfied.
Minutes before the start, as I walked down the
course to get to our car, I peeked into an ancient
cathedral as Easter Mass was being celebrated. I
opened the closed doors, took off my hat, smelled
the incense, dipped my finger into a bowl of Holy
Water and tried to take in the magnitude of the day.
I knew in a few hours my family would be searching
the yard for Easter eggs and going to Mass back
home. And, I also knew that in a few minutes, the rid-
ers would begin flying through the towns and cob-
bles of Northern France, enduring the unendurable.
The course was lined with thousands and thou-
sands of fans, most yelling the meditative and fes-
tive chant, “Tommeke, Tommeke, Tommeke.” When
Tom Boonen lost his last challenger, Thor Hushovd,
on a left-hand turn crash, the chants reached epic
Standing in the velodrome as the crowd went
crazy and as Tom Boonen, in a sort of redemptive
pose, took the two right turns into the hallowed
place, he had a determined look on his face riding
faster than needed and sprinting across the line to
clinch the win.
The defeated faces. The bloodied bodies. The
hands. And, the dreams that didn’t come true were
all a part of the day. That and the smiles, the victory
hugs, the champagne shared by the Quick-Step
team at the Kennedy Hotel to celebrate Tom
Boonen’s third Paris-Roubaix victory and the relief
that the world’s most difficult bike race was over.
Road Bike Action
1. The dreaded Arenberg
Forest section of pave
2. Fans of Tom Boonen
lined the course
3. Pre-riding the course
with the Specialized
4. Inside Quick-Step's
Race Shop in Belgium.
5. Team staff preparing 5
for the worst the cob-
bles can bring.
6. Stijn Devolder was all
smiles after his Tour of
Flanders win (Photo:
7. The French country-
side is filled with bicycle
8. The anticipation at
the start. 1
1. Thor Hushovd had the legs
but a late crash put him into
third place (Photo: Sunada)
2. The windy and tough course
of the Queen Of The Classics.
3. Bjarne Riis in a pre-race
4. All lined-up and ready to go.
5. Hutchinson debuted some
28mm tubeless prototypes at
6. Quick-Step fans were out in
7. The 2009 Roubaix got me
across 12-sections of cobbles.
8. Cycling fans are as unique as
1 the sport they follow.
EDITOR’S CHOICE - BICYCLING MAGAZINE
MBA rating: “Perfection” Jan.’07
FITS UNDER HELMETS
HEADBANDS HATS VISORS BANDANAS SKULL CAPS
RBA cat 6 chronicles
SIX STEPS TO PROPER HELMET FIT
elmets come in various sizes, with fit varying greatly
among manufacturers. Road Bike Action has outlined
the six steps necessary to properly fit a helmet. Be pre- 3
pared for the possibility that not all helmets will be compatible
with your particular head shape. You should expect to try on sev-
eral brands and spend ten to 15 minutes to get your helmet
Center the left buckle under the chin. On most helmets, the
straps can be pulled from the back of the helmet to lengthen or
Measure your head for approximate size. Try a similar sized shorten the chinstraps. It is easier to make these adjustments if
helmet on to ensure it fits snugly. With the helmet placed level on you remove the helmet.
top of your head, make sure the helmet doesn’t rock side to side.
Sizing pads come with new helmets, and you can use the pads to
fine-tune the fit, mixing and matching the pads for comfort. Most
new helmets now feature some sort of ratcheting, ring-sizing sys- 4
tem instead of pads. Adjust the ring size to fit your head.
You want the helmet to be comfortably touching your head all
the way around, with the helmet level and stable enough to resist
even violent shakes or hard blows. It should be as low on your
head as possible to maximize side coverage.
Make sure that the helmet sits level on your head and low on
your forehead. A good rule is that the base of the helmet should Adjust the slider on both straps to form a “V” shape under,
sit two finger-widths above the eyebrows. and slightly in front of, the ears. Lock the sliders if possible.
The final and usually the most time-consuming step is adjust-
ing the helmet straps. Open your mouth wide as if you were yawn-
ing. The helmet should pull down on your head. If not, refer back
to step five and tighten the chinstrap. If your helmet rocks back
more than two fingers above the eyebrows, unbuckle it and short-
en the front strap by moving the slider forward. Buckle, retighten
the chinstrap, and test again. If your helmet is sliding forward
over your eyes, unbuckle and tighten the back strap by moving the
slider back toward your ear. Buckle, retighten the chinstrap, and
test again. Finally, once all adjustments are made, roll the rubber
Buckle the chinstrap and tighten the strap until it is snug. No band down to the buckle. All four straps must go through the rub-
more than one or two fingers should fit under the strap. ber band and be close to the buckle to prevent strap creep.
RBA road tests
ZERO 2-WAY FIT
Aluminum at its best
By R. Cunningham
ulcrum’s Racing Zero is the Italian wheelmaker’s best alu- weight. The spoke interface is left thicker and then
minum wheelset, and 2-Way Fit means that the Zero machined between each spoke hole. During that
rim profile accepts tubeless tires without any spe- process, the rim is dynamically balanced so
cial rim strip. Fulcrum wheels are made at the it will run gyroscopically smooth at down-
Campagnolo factory and use exactly the same hill racing speeds. The balancing
extrusions, spokes and manufacturing protocols. process assumes the weight of an
Why two brands? Campagnolo realized that average Presta valve stem in its
drivetrain loyalists who prefer SRAM or calculations. Fulcrum makes it
Shimano Dura-Ace are, for the most part, clear that the Racing Zero is
reluctant to display the Campy logo any- perfectly suited for conven-
where on their bicycles. To expand into tional tubes and clincher
the greater marketplace, tires—and remember to
Campagnolo initiated the Fulcrum subtract the weight of
brand to offer its cutting-edge two unnecessary rim
wheel technology to elite-level rid- strips from the Racing
ers outside the fold. Zero’s total weight.
Spoke lacing is
THE STORY 16 radial spokes
Fulcrum Racing Zero 2-Way up front, seven
Fit is visually striking, with black radial on the left,
and red rim graphics and red- and 14 laced
anodized, aero-profile alu- two-cross on the
minum spokes. The hub drive side. The
flanges feature a straight-pull freehub bodies
spoke interface, and the spokes are aluminum, as
are gradually thinned into a are the hub shells and
wide blade as they radiate out- axles. Fulcrum chooses high-
ward towards the rim. The 2-Way quality bearings (Campagnolo would not have it any other way),
Fit rim requires no rim strip, as the and one spin of the wheels will telegraph this fact to non-believers.
spokes do not protrude through the upper level of the extrusion to The front wheel weighs 625 grams and the rear 800 grams, which
provide a perfect seal for tubeless tires. Fulcrum wheels are avail- puts the Fulcrum Racing Zero in close competition with other elite
able with Campagnolo or Shimano/SRAM freehub bodies. The aluminum wheelsets, like the Mavic Ksyrium.
wheels come with dedicated spoke wrenches, quick releases and
a Fulcrum wheel bag. The pair weighs 1420 grams without quick THE RIDE
releases and costs in the neighborhood of $1800 for the set. Stiff and predictable are the hallmarks of the Racing Zero
wheels. These are the wheels to reach for when your race or ride
TECH takes you into the mountains. The braking surfaces are race-car
Campagnolo’s rim manufacturing technique, used on all smooth, and modulating the brakes is beautifully precise. At 1420
Fulcrum wheels, creates a very thin-wall extrusion to reduce grams, the Fulcrum wheels are not as quick on the sprints, but the
lateral rigidity of the ’Zeros can take
whatever your legs can dish out. After
the first three pedal strokes, the
Fulcrum wheels deliver more power to
the ground, and in a straighter path,
what’s stopping you?
than is possible with an ultra-light-
weight wheelset. Until you ride a bal-
anced wheelset, you will not appreci-
ate the smoothness that the Fulcrum
Racing Zeros bring to the table. Switch
back to a non-balanced wheelset and
you will instantly feel the vibration at
speed. We used Hutchinson tubeless
tires for half of our test and then
switched to conventional Vittoria
clinchers to make a comparison. For
starters, the tubeless tires mounted
and inflated without the need for a www.trpbrakes.com
fancy pump or compressor. The ride of
the tubeless Hutchinson tires was
measurably smoother (but we already
knew it would be). The Vittoria Corsa
CX tires with tubes were about 30
grams lighter per side than the
Hutchinson tires, although there was
no discernible difference in the accel-
eration of either setup. Mounting the
tires was possible with fingers only,
but the Hutchinsons were a tight fit.
Vanity is reason enough to buy
Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels. The red,
silver and black graphics and whirling
red spokes can turn an uninspiring,
carbon-fiber racing bicycle into an ani-
mated expression of power and speed.
Beyond the vanity, Racing Zero 2-Way
Fit wheels deliver elite-level perform-
ance and over-the-edge technology to
back up their looks. The greater bene-
fit of 2-Way Fit is that the tubeless
option brings an added measure of
safety (they can run flat), lower rolling
resistance, and greater comfort. As
more tire makers join the tubeless
movement, Fulcrum Racing Zero rid-
ers will be ready to taste their fruits. If
a better, standard variety clincher
shows up, they will be able to take
advantage of that also.
Price: $1800 (including quick
releases, tools and carry-bag)
Weight: 1420 grams (without
COMING TO AMERICA SPRING 2009
RBA in the mix
SEVEN CYCLES V II
Seven’s top-of-the-line carbon V II features full custom carbon
construction and a strikingly aero profile. The unique frame
design allows for the V II to come in 27 sizes for a perfect fit.
The proprietary, multi-modulus carbon tubing also allows the
V II to be ordered with an extended head tube for an even
more custom fit. The V II is also available with custom paint
Price: $4395 (frame)
The Ruben is named after the shop dog and designed to be a versatile
commuter bike with cyclocross-inspired geometry and disc brakes that make
it suited to bad-weather commuting. The Ruben is constructed of double-
butted Japanese 4130 chromoly, and the frame weighs 4.5 pounds. The
Ruben is available in three sizes and comes in Oil Rig, Scribble green/white
and Old School grey/chrome paint schemes.
Price: $609 USD Frame and Fork
The Raleigh Sojourn is designed for touring and long commutes.
The frame is constructed with Reynolds 520 butted chromoly tubing
with CNC-machined dropouts, spoke holders and a pump peg. The
fork is a 4130 chromoly cyclocross design with mounts for disc brakes.
Shifting is handled by Shimano Tiagra and Deore derailleurs that are
mated to nine-speed Dura Ace bar-end shifters. Raleigh finished off the
Sojourn with a classic khaki paint job.
LYNSKEY HOUSEBLEND HELIX
The spiral-shaped tube design really stands out. It increases the stiff-
ness and structural integrity of the tube without adding additional
weight. The spiral tube was designed to best handle the different
loads a frame is under during braking, accelerating, climbing and
descending, while still providing the ride and feel that titanium bikes
are known for.
The Maxwell sits atop Haro’s line of commuter bikes and fea-
tures a Metro series, disc-brake-specific, lightweight aluminum
frame mated to a carbon fiber, disc-brake-specific fork. The
Maxwell uses a Shimano nine-speed drivetrain with a Shimano XT
rear derailleur, Shimano M486 hydraulic disc brakes and a
Ritchey cockpit that includes a Ritchey adjustable stem.
on the streets
ARUNDEL CHRONO BOTTLE AND CAGE
The Arundel Chrono bottle and cage combo is specifically shaped for
races against the clock, including triathlons. The shape pays special atten-
tion to the mechanics of releasing and inserting the bottle in the cage. For
example, the countersunk surfaces on the bottle form a seamless interface
with the cage. The cap on the bottle is an industry standard with a mouth
wide enough to use ice cubes or sports drink powder.
THOMSON ELITE X2 STEM
The Thomson X2 for Road allows you to utilize
the benefits of stiffer 1.125-inch forks and 31.8 han-
dlebars. The X2 is designed to provide precise steer-
ing and more control while riding. The Thomson X2
features a lighter, two-bolt handlebar clamp, but
the interlocking handlebar clamp makes it as tor-
sionally strong as other four-bolt designs. The X2 has
a low, 36mm stack height and is available in two rise
options: 10 degrees and 17 degrees. Both the 10- and 17-
degree stems can be run with a positive or negative rise.
SKS RACE BLADE FENDERS
Race Blades are designed for 19- to 23-millimeter tires, while Race
Blade XLs are for 23- to 32-millimeter tires. The SKS Race Blade fenders are
what SKS terms “quick-release fenders.” They are designed to fit road bikes
where the frame and fork are void of fender eyelets, or the frame design
doesn’t allow mounting, like with aero frames. Race Blade fenders allow
the owners of these bikes to still ride with the basic protection of fenders.
Race Blades are available in black, silver and carbon.
JAGWIRE BARCON TRIATHLON SHIFTER
The BarCon is a simple solution that allows external mounting of both
SRAM and Shimano bar end shifting systems. The BarCon’s low-profile
design keeps weight down, and its external mounting is adjustable for fine-
tuning lever position. While originally designed for triathlon bikes, the
BarCon can be used with a variety of bars, including H-type handlebars,
touring-style drop bars, and recumbent bike handlebars.
Road Bike Action
RBA last shot
The peloton descends at
Photo: Yuzuru Sunada
RBA off the rivet By Phil Booth
a: to put into charge or trust: entrust
b: to place in a prison or
It started when a friend took me on my first ride. I was hooked. the bicycle. Once you have made the commitment, you will need
A few more rides, and I decided it was time to get my own bike. a few basic questions answered.
Next came the Lycra shorts, the jersey and clipless pedals. Then
I eventually got fitted and even signed up for my first organized The first and most important question is, how high do you
ride and started racing. I even passed the failing to unclip and shave? Basically, there are four levels. The first is the “board
falling over at a stoplight initiation. I was now fully committed to short shave,” in which one only shaves to just above the short
the cycling lifestyle. Despite my new lifestyle it still took a couple line. This is the least amount of commitment that a person can
of years to take the final step, pick up a razor and commit. There make and still shave one’s legs. This method also leads to the
is one last step any new rider must take to be fully accepted into dreaded hairy candy corn look when not wearing cycling shorts.
the cycling herd: shaving your legs. It’s a huge commitment, and This occurs when a thin strip of shaved yet pale skin breaks the
one that should not be tan line and the hairline. There is also the risk of one’s shorts
taken lightly. It riding up and exposing the unshaven upper thigh. This will draw
goes against laughter and ridicule from cyclists
every social and non-cyclists alike.
norm and can
often draw The next is the “boxer
ridicule and shave.” This particular
shunning from shave occurs when one
non-cycling friends and shows a higher level of
family. I’ve done it, and I’m now commitment but is unsure
determined to help you cross that line and about where to stop. After
join the herd. that there is the “briefs
shave” where one fully com-
For some the commitment is easy, while others, like myself, mits and shaves all the way to the
it takes years to finally pick up a razor. Sadly there are a pelvic area. Finally there is the
few that will never commit and will spend their entire cycling “Speedo shave”, which is self-explanatory
lives on the outside looking in. If you have decided to take the and should never be mentioned or discussed in
plunge and fully commit, don’t bother asking why–there is no public.
good or truthful reason. The “reason” for cyclist shaving their
legs varies greatly depending on whom you ask. Some will say Another question that is never asked, and is not something
that it is for aerodynamics; some say its better for the muscles generally taught in high school health class, is how to actually
when getting a massage. Other’s say its so you will slide across shave one’s legs. You’ll get a closer shave if you shave in the
the asphalt better when crashing and keeps the wound cleaner. shower after your skin has loosened up by warm water. If you
The truth is all of these are lies passed down from one cyclist to have never shaved it is a good idea to trim the hair first with a
another in a futile attempt to justify such behavior. set of hair clippers. This will save time and stop the razor from
becoming clogged with hair. Go slow and change razors often to
To be honest I have yet to see wind tunnel data on shaved legs avoid nicks. Some people swear that using a dull razor prevents
versus unshaved and doubt there is much difference. Plus, if the cuts, but to be honest the first time you shave you are going to
drag created by hair was such a concern, one must ask why cut yourself, you will bleed, and yes it will hurt. Using shaving
cyclist don’t shave their arms and their heads. Think how much cream will also help protect the skin from nicks and cuts. If
time could be saved if the airflow through a helmet wasn’t con- you’re nervous about cutting yourself, or are particularly hairy
stricted by locks of wet, sweaty hair (Maybe this is why Levi you can take the easy way out and use an electric razor instead.
Leipheimer is so fast). If crashing were really such a concern
then people would be wearing suits of armor and full face hel- If you feel your commitment level is greater than leg shaving
mets instead of a thin layer of Lycra and head colanders made can demonstrate there are far more painful and expensive
of Styrofoam. Finally, other than professional cyclists few people options of waxing, plucking, electrolysis or lasers. Waxing and
get enough massages for hair to have a negative effect. Despite plucking are the best long term, and I repeat painful, options as
the myths surrounding cyclists shaving their legs, the fact it takes a while for the hair to grow back once it has been ripped
remains it continues to be the symbol of one’s commitment to from the skin. Whatever method you chose, welcome to the herd.