Welcome to the January 22nd, Mid-Week Report!
BIKE OF THE WEEK: BMC TEAMMACHINE
While we all love seeing the top-tier models, it’s models like this BMC Teammachine equipped with Shimano 105 that really stands out. For $3200 you can get a complete bike that shares the same ride characteristics and geometry as those that are raced in the pro peloton. Even better, it’s red.
2020 TOUR OF OMAN CANCELLED
February’s Tour of Oman has been cancelled following the death of Sultan Qaboos, sources close to participating teams told reporters on Tuesday. The race, which was due to be held on February 16, has been shelved amid a 40-day mourning period after the death of Qaboos, the longest-reigning leader of the modern Arab world.
Previous winners of the race, whose queen stage traditionally arrives at the Green Mountain, include Briton Chris Froome in 2013 and 2014 and Italian Vincenzo Nibali in 2016.
While the 18-team line-up was yet to be determined, confirmed participants included European champion sprinter Elia Viviani.
Qaboos, 79, died earlier this month after ruling the sultanate, which borders the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, for 50 years after deposing his father in a 1970 palace coup. He had been ill for some time and had been believed to be suffering from colon cancer. Haitham bin Tariq, Oman’s culture minister and Qaboos’ 65-year-old cousin, was quickly sworn in as the new royal ruler.
FIRST LOOK: CINELLI SUPERSTAR
Italian heritage brand Cinelli’s latest release is aimed at getting back to their road racing origins. Dubbed the Superstar, Cinelli claims a medium frame weighs in at 1000 grams. Cinelli strayed from the steel and aluminum they have used for years and opted for carbon due to the wider range of shaping and performance abilities. The Superstar’s bowed top tube and angled chainstays are the direct result. Aside from giving the Superstar a distinct look that can’t be accomplished with the steel and aluminum, Cinelli says the shaping aids in maximizing vertical and horizontal compliance as well as ride stability.
Sizes: 46cm – XS, 48cm – S, 51cm – M, 54cm – L, 57cm – XL
TESTED: STANS DART TIRE PLUG
Tire plugs are not new to the cycling industry and have been widely used in tubeless applications for years. As the evolution of road tubeless has evolved and more companies are jumping into the market, the pioneers of tubeless, like Stan’s NoTubes, continue to push for more innovative products to aid the tubeless experience. The Stan’s DART (Dual Action Repair for Tubeless) takes advantage of Stan’s years of tubeless experience with a bit of science for a dual-action repair.
The DART is a compact system that includes a plastic barbed tip that anchors into the tire with a laser-cut flexible material attached, an insertion tool and the protective covers for the tool. The tool houses two of the tips in case there is a large slice. The material that is on the plastic tip is a type of fabric that is made to react with Stan’s sealant chemically and creates an airtight bond over the damaged area. The whole system is lightweight at 15 grams, and also has a built-in valve-core remover.
We have used a few products in the past that are meant to aid in mending large punctures or damage on a tubeless tire. They work to fill the void or plug the hole with a thick piece of rubber. The Stan’s DART is a bit different, because it uses a thin fabric material that is meant to work as a bandage from the inside.
The fabric material is inserted through the damaged area, and then it quickly bonds with the sealant inside to stick to the tire and seal the leak. We tested this in a few different tires and with multiple brands of sealant. To no surprise, both Stan’s race and Stan’s regular sealant quickly reacted and sealed the area. All of the tested tires had damage that the sealant itself was unable to seal.
We also tested it with different brands with mixed results. All the brands of sealant seem to eventually work, with the material creating a bonding effect but do not react as quickly. This isn’t a problem if you have a floor pump handy, but on the road, this is less than ideal. We also tested the DART on a tire that had very little sealant, and it struggled to seal the hole completely.
On a slick road tire, we notice that even if all the material didn’t enter the tire and was left hanging out after a few miles of riding, it wore off and was not felt. When we use some of the other products, we have to try to cut them flush, and they affect the feel and ride quality. For fun, we did try to repair a tube, and let’s just say it was a complete waste of time.
When it comes to roadside repair, the DART system seems to work well. The thing to remember is, you need to have a well-maintained system that has an ample amount of liquid sealant still in the tire. It’s also best paired with Stan’s sealant, but seems to work with other brands, just not as well. The DART is not needed for most punctures, and we find it most useful when there is a slice or large hole.
For road bikes with slick tires, DART is the best-working option we’ve come across. The road tires that we repaired, we still use and feel confident in riding lots more miles on. This isn’t the case with many of the other plug-style products, and we normally use them as an option to finish our ride then replace the tire.
When it comes to tubeless, it’s all about proper setup and understanding of how the system works. It has come a long way in a very short amount of time, and the DART is just another way to continue the ride when things have gone awry. We have added the DART to our on-bike repair kit, but still carry all the other essentials, too.
• Fast and easy
• Relies on sealant to work
• Light and compact
Weight: 15 grams
NOVA EROICA CALIFORNIA – APRIL 4th 2020
Want to experience the most challenging and spectacular gravel roads of the Central Coast of California? Join NOVA Eroica California! A group ride event with fun, timed segments open only to ROAD and GRAVEL bicycles. Starting separately from the Eroica classic event, NOVA Eroica take a step beyond vintage to celebrate the beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest also on modern bikes.
GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE 2020: MARCH 28 AND MAY 2
After two successful fondos earlier this year in Greenville South Carolina and Boise, Idaho Gran Fondo Hicapie has two more events lined up for 2020. Join a host of current and former pro riders on the roads of Fort Worth, Texas and Chattanooga, Tennessee on March 28 and May 2 2020.
2020 DIRTY KANZA REGISTRATION OVER
2020,is here! Mark you calendars for the 15th annual Garmin Dirty Kanza on May 30, 2020. Thank you for making this year’s race one of the best ever.
The random selection process for the 2020 race is open from January 6 through January 19. Selections will then be made on or before January 27.
THE RIFT ICELAND JULY 25, 2020
The Rift is a gravel race through the dark lava fields in the highlands of Iceland – taking place on the tectonic split between North America and Eurasia. An ever-growing battlefield that grows an inch every year.
The battlefield sculpted by volcanic eruptions is vast, rugged and unpredictable – making the Rift a challenge of endurance, mental fortitude and most likely the bare elements. And in the end – a gravel battle between the continents!
The course starts out of a small town along the southern coast called Hvolsvöllur. This incredible shoreline stretches from the greater Reykjavík area in the west to the magnificent Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the east. It is lined with countless natural wonders such as cascading waterfalls, black sand beaches, glaciers and volcanos – circumnavigating one of the most active volcanos on the island, Hekla.