All the new product released at the Sea Otter Classic is trickling into the plush, well-lit RBA office and as we prepare it for you our latest May Euro issue is on newsstands now. Welcome to the April 17th, Mid-Week Report!
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
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Road Bike Action’s May Euro issue is on newsstands now. We reviewed the Look 795 Blade, the DeAnima Unblended, the Colnago C64 and the Cipollini Allroad. Also check out our Euro buyer’s guide!.
WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: CLIMB FASTER NOW
A lot of cyclists are emerging from their basements, garages, and pain caves to put in more outdoor miles as temperatures rise and days get longer in the Northern Hemisphere. This period marks a transition for many cyclists and triathletes from shorter 60-90 minute indoor interval workouts to longer outdoor rides. Athletes who want to climb faster this summer now have more opportunity to train on actual climbs, and here’s what you should do when you get to them.
MuscleTension Intervals: The First Step to High-Speed Climbing
If you’re working toward a big trip to Colorado or another mountainous destination, or you’re getting ready for a hill climb time trial or hilly Gran Fondo, you’re going to want to gradually make your training more specific to going fast uphill.
An often-overlooked component of building climbing speed is over-geared climbing. During MuscleTension intervals you are pedaling slowly (about 50-55 rpm cadence) against a heavy resistance. The point is to engage more muscle fibers to generate the necessary force to continue climbing.
Remember, power is the product of force and angular velocity (cadence), meaning there’s an inverse relationship between force and cadence; it requires more force to produce a significant amount of power at a lower cadence.
How to Do MuscleTension Intervals
Although it is good to ride MuscleTension intervals using a variety of hand positions (this is a workout we use to help athletes adapt to aero positions and riding in the drops, too), most people find them to be most comfortable and productive with their hands on the tops of the bars. Aim to keep your upper body quiet during these intervals; focus the effort through your hips and legs rather than throwing your shoulders and head into it.
TESTED: HED VANQUISH 4
For the last few years most of the action in the wheel market has been based around the proliferation of carbon clinchers. While, thankfully, all the bandwagon brands who jumped on the carbon clincher train have dwindled, the cycling world is left with a shorter list of brands that have a legacy of wheel design to their credit, which is what adds to their longevity in the sport.
Hed Cycling has been pushing boundaries in the wheel industry for over three decades. However, when the carbon clincher market exploded, Hed chose to hold back, offering instead their Jet wheel, which used an aluminum rim with a carbon fairing added.
Why the delay? Simple: company founder Steve Hed never felt comfortable with the safety and performance of carbon rim walls under braking.
However, that all changed with the introduction of the Vanquish series of carbon clinchers, which solved the problem by being disc brake-specific. The 60mm-deep Vanquish 6 was unveiled in 2017, followed by 80mm versions released last year. With little need for an 80mm-deep wheel, we were all over giving the all-around-friendly 4s a run for their depth.
The carbon hoops are made at the Hed factory in Minnesota. The carbon rims wrap around Hed’s own 545 disc brake hub using 24 bladed steel spokes with external nipples (for easy adjustment) that create adequate durability and stiffness for the hoops. The blunt-nosed rims boast a 30mm external and a 21mm internal width. This is to be expected from Hed, who led the wide-rim trend with the release of the 19mm (internally) wide Ardennes hoop over a decade ago.
But what makes these so special is the disc brake. The Vanquish series is Hed’s first complete carbon fiber clincher rim. Steve Hed never felt comfortable with a carbon rim brake track due to the intense heat and subsequent wear. However, Hed Cycling is able to take advantage of the materials benefits; they focused on improving the older Sonic hubs, known for their even bearing loads. Hed developed the 545 hubs to cope with the added forces applied from disc brakes while maintaining the bearing’s quality. The center-lock hubs are compatible with Shimano, SRAM and Campy hub bodies.
At 677 grams for the front and 786 grams for the rear, the Vanquish 4s aren’t light, but weight wasn’t a priority for the wheelset. The best evidence for this is their being friendly for a super-wide range of tires (23mm and 42mm), which makes them a truly capable multi-purpose wheelset.
The rims are tubeless compatible, and tubeless rim strips are included in the package. While Hed is currently working on their own valve, they recommend threaded valves from either Orange Seal or DT Swiss.
The Vanquish wheels will accommodate either 12mm or 15mm front thru-axles and 12mm rear, and there is also a conversion kit for cyclists still using standard QR skewers.
RECAP AND RESULTS: PARIS-ROUBAIX
Belgian veteran Philippe Gilbert won the Paris Roubaix cobbled classic on Sunday after a cat-and-mouse final struggle with Germany’s Nils Politt. Gilbert’s compatriot and teammate Yves Lampaert was third.
Six riders, including defending champion Peter Sagan, broke away with around 55km remaining but the Deceuninck-Quick-Step pair Gilbert and Lampaert worked together to drop the Slovak on the final cobbled section.
The victory gives former world champion Gilbert his fourth of five of the so called ‘Monuments’, long one-day races. He has won the Tour of Flanders, the Tour of Lombardy and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, just the Milan-San Remo is missing from his prize list.
Gilbert called his bid for all five Monuments “Strive for Five”, after winning Flanders solo in front of adoring home crowds in 2017.
Politt and Gilbert came into the iconic Roubaix velodrome 30 seconds clear of Belgian champion Lampaert. The crowd cheered wildly as the duo eyed each other on the final lap.
Gilbert pulled ahead with 50 meters to go before crossing the line in emotional scenes.
“It’s really special. It was a really daring attack and it came off,” said the 36-year-old who also led an earlier breakaway and was the architect of Sagan’s downfall.
REMOT BIKES GIVEAWAY
Remot is giving away a free bike to one of their Instagram followers. Any of their frames are up for grabs including a Baseline with 105 or a Boundary with 105.
Remōt launched its new all-road, gravel, and mountain bikes at the Sea Otter Classic last weekend in Monterey, CA. This new breed of bikes is born out of American Bicycle Group (ABG), makers of Litespeed and Quintana Roo. After mastering titanium and conquering triathlons, ABG is now inviting adventurous riders to blaze new trails on one of their new Remōt bikes.
As the name implies, Remōt is for outdoors enthusiasts who love exploring hard-to-reach places and rely on high-quality equipment to get them there. The three lines of bikes – Boundary, Cinder and Baseline – are designed for the different terrains riders encounter in the wild.
“Boundary” is the gravel-specific bike built for taking the road less traveled. Remōt uses the term “road” loosely. Boundary comes with either Shimano 105 or Ultegra components. Its carbon fiber frame delivers durability on rough rides, while the many mounting options give riders more ways to carry essential gear.
“Cinder” is Remōt’s full-suspension carbon fiber mountain bike. It’s fine-tuned for a variety of trails thanks to 130mm of travel in the front and 120mm in the back. Stocked with SRAM GX, and available as a 29er or 27.5+, Cinder is for anyone with a burning desire to shred.
“Baseline” is the road bike for people who get a little lost on purpose and somehow wind up back at the coffee shop or brewery. Like Boundary, Remōt’ s all-road bike is constructed of carbon fiber and available with Shimano 105 or Ultegra. All models come with disc brakes and wide tire clearance for wide open possibilities.
“We’re excited to launch the Remōt lineup of bikes and we can’t wait to see where people will ride them,” says Chris Brown, Global Sales Manager for the brand. “Remōt is all about discovering new places and sharing those experiences with good company.”
Every Remōt model can be ordered directly from ocoeebikes.com and arrives assembled in a secure shipping box. Prices start at $2,300 and cap at $3,700, making it more affordable to get a great bike.
**Remot, shortly after launching but before hitting the market changed names and is now Ocoee Bikes. Same great bikes and brand with a new, and (we think) better ring.**
BEING PRO: ASHTON LAMBIE
Teams: USA Cycling (track) and Creative Landscaping Cycling (gravel)
Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska
You’ve had an unparalleled rise to the top of the sport. Can you describe your path to the 4k individual pursuit world record?
It’s been a crazy path! I started doing normal road racing in Nebraska. It just wasn’t for me at the time, and I got pretty burnt out on Midwest crits. I delved into ultra-distance with some randonneuring in college for a while, then I moved to Kansas. The gravel was a natural progression after the move, since there was so much of it and easily accessible!
We also have an amazing community around a grass track in Kansas, which is where I started track racing in 2017. After that, I set my sights on racing national championships. I started up the USAC ranks, went to town in Pennsylvania, won national championships in 2017 and got started with Team USA. It’s crazy now, but the progressions at the time all made sense!
What have been some of the unexpected outcomes of your quick rise?
After winning my first national championship, the path to the national team and World Cups was definitely unexpected. I didn’t know there was a men’s track endurance program in the works, and I certainly didn’t think I was good enough to join up that quickly. Traveling the world with amazing teammates has been the best part of this whole journey.
Your background in ultra-distance events is a unique path to success on the track. What did your path to success look like?
I’m not sure if I gave the ultra-distance aspect much thought when I started out. I’ve always set my goal on the highest level and decided to make that happen. When I first got into cycling by spying my dad’s road bike, I thought a century ride was the way to go, so I rode my first century when I was 15. I was hooked after that and I still love a good, long day on the bike.
LIMITED EDITION COLORS FROM WAHOO
On the first day of the Sea Otter Classic, Wahoo Fitness unveiled two new Limited Edition colors for its category-leading Elemnt Bolt GPS cycling computer. The new blue and pink colors will complement a wide variety of bikes and apparel, giving cyclists the chance to coordinate their computer with any look.
“While the classic gray looks good on any bike, we know that some cyclists look for opportunities to use their bike to express their own style, and we want to help by offering more colorful options,” said Elemnt Product Manager Megan Powers. “Our customers were especially clamoring for a pink BOLT, and in looking at the whole cycling landscape, it was clear that there was an opportunity to match many current bikes and kits with a blue BOLT. We’re pleased to offer Wahooligans these new Limited Edition colors, and hope they’ll help cyclists create their own unique on-bike looks.”
Anyone interested in checking out the new Limited Edition BOLTs in person can visit Wahoo at booth S1 at the Sea Otter Classic, April 11-14, 2019 and they will be available to purchase immediately at www.wahoofitness.com now for $249.99
KATE’S REAL FOOD
In the late 1990’s, looking to fuel her backcountry adventures, Kate Schade, a self-described ski bum living in Jackson Hole, WY. went searching for an energy bar that was wholesome, functional and also great tasting. To her surprise, she was unable to find a solution in the marketplace.
So, Kate decided to solve the problem herself. With her own hands, in her own kitchen. In doing so, she realized she was on to something and began sharing her product within lift lines and on the trails.
Today, Kate’s Real Food makes six delicious, hand-rolled flavors of energy bars with a great-taste guarantee and no artificial sweeteners. From the Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Tram Bar, to the Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Handle Bar, each one is certified organic, gluten free, non-GMO, and Kosher.
SPECIALIZED’S OVERHAULED ROUBAIX WINS PARIS-ROUBAIX
The invention of suspension bicycles more than 30 years ago, brought with it the science of a smoother being a faster one. In the Paris Roubaix spring classic the riders conquer over 250 kilometers of racing including sectors of cobblestones that jostle the rider to the bone. Specialized worked with their WorldTour riders to improve their innovative front suspension road bike.
The 2020 Roubaix is the only bike that is raced in the WorldTour that features hydraulic suspension. The team at Specialized achieved this all while keeping the frame weight lower than their Venge and keeping the frame more aerodynamic than their Tarmac.
Performance was key to the design of the frame, the 99.5cm wheelbase and 73.5 head tube angle keep the bike feeling quick and responsive.
The bike is available in 11 sizes, from 44cm to 64cm. Specialized intends for the bike to be gender neutral, using their database of Retul fit number the brand determined that there is only a minimal difference in general sizing so the frames can fit men and women both.
BELGIAN WAFFLE RIDE MAY 5th
On May 5th, the most unique cycling event in the country is back for it’s 9th addition, The Belgium Waffle Ride. Featuring dirt, gravel and rocky sections over 217km and 13,000ft of climbing, the BWR is sure to give you a taste of the great one-day spring classics of Belgium.
TRUCKEE DIRT FONDO JUNE 8th
The race will consist of three enhanced routes compared with the inaugural event, taking participants as high as 8,006 feet above sea level over Sardine Peak inside Tahoe National Forest. The course is best suited for mixed-terrain, cyclocross, or mountain bikes. Each participant will be encouraged to select a bike that best suits their style of riding, but the courses will all favor the cyclocross format.
The post-race festival will feature loads of family-oriented activities, food trucks, live music and beer provided by FiftyFifty Brewing Company. Immediately following the start of the main race on Saturday, the event will feature a fun, non-competitive, fully supported family ride along the Legacy trail system and through the Truckee Bike Park.
“The Truckee Dirt Fondo is going to be recognized as a staple that pins Truckee to the consciousness of anyone who owns a gravel bike.” – Carlos Perez, Event Director.
King Ridge Foundation, founded by ex-professional cyclist (and Truckee resident) Levi Leipheimer, in close partnership with Bike Monkey will produce a fundraising gala in association with the event in a showing of support for Adventure Risk Challenge, a California 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves at-risk youth.
GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE SERIES 2019
Gran Fondo Hincapie is a series of events that welcomes riders of every skill level for a weekend of riding and celebration of all things cycling. Join current and past professional cyclists, weekend warriors, and first-time riders on routes planned and tested by George Hincapie himself. The Hincapie family currently hosts events in Greenville, South Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Fort Worth, Texas; and Boise, Idaho; with plans for continual expansion to other areas across the United States and the world.
MAMMOTH GRAN FONDO REGISTRATION OPEN NOW
The Mammoth Gran Fondo takes riders along the east side of Yosemite and the High Sierra with incredible views of the Sierra Nevada, Mono Lake, and White Mountains. 75% of the Gran Fondo route is closed to through traffic matching the incredible scentery with the appropriate calmness. Other highlights include: free event photos, all three distances timed, Signature Event socks, 6 Feed Zones with Full SAG/Tech Support, After-Party with Food/Beer/Live Music in the Village at Mammoth!
Is there an awesome event happening closer to you? Send a link to [email protected]