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