Welcome to the January 29th, Mid-Week Report!
BIKE OF THE WEEK: DEAN EL DIENTE
Dean has been a household name in quality titanium frames since its inception in 1989. Founded by John Siegrist in Boulder, Colorado, the brand has evolved over the years with a focus on unique one-off bikes and custom geometry. Dean Bikes has embraced the fact that there are a lot of customers out there who don’t want an off-the-shelf plastic bike that is on display at most shops. Dean knows that there are many cyclists who like to feel special and unique but still demand a high-quality product, and that is what they aim to provide.
MAJOR TAYLOR STYLE
The most successful and renowned American cyclist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Marshall “Major” Taylor, is being honored by a limited edition run of officially licensed apparel. Three bibs and three jerseys along with jackets and cycling caps are available.
Standing out with a quote from Taylor on the back of the jersey is the Sportmanship kit. It reads: “It is my thought that clean living and a strict observance of the golden rule of true sportsmanship are foundation stones without which championship structure cannot be built.”
All of the apparel features hand drawn images which were inspired by original, historical black and white photos of Taylor.
To order visit: majortaylor.us
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: THE TDU FEELS THE BURN
The 2020 Tour Down Under wound its way through the ashes of the recent devastating Australian wildfires.
TROY’S TECH TALK: THROW AWAY YOUR VALVE CAPS
Q: What is the deal with valve caps, and why don’t most people use them?
A: The Presta valve, which is the common valve for road bikes, has a manual valve closure unlike the Schrader valve that is spring-loaded. The Presta valve is slightly simpler in design and only uses one seal with a smaller-diameter hole needed in the rim to fit the 6mm stem. This is why it is more common on road bikes, because a smaller hole is needed in the rim and they are slightly lighter, too (of course, specifically shedding a valve cap to save weight as some have advised is the silliest reason to do so).
Since the valve core of the Presta valve protrudes and can have a sharp edge, the cap is best used to protect itself when the tube is folded up and not in use. It can also prevent tearing a jersey if the tube is carried in your back pocket.
On a Schrader valve, the core is inset and sits almost flush with the stem. This leaves a small void where dirt and debris can collect and compromise the integrity of the seal.
So Presta valve caps have no use once the tube is installed; take off the caps and look pro. If you decide to toss your old tube into your bag or pocket, put the cap on so you don’t poke anything. Now, if you use a Schrader valve, then I’d suggest a cap just to be safe, but if one is missing, it’s not the end of the world.
TOUR DOWN UNDER WRAP-UP
Richie Porte lost his unofficial King of Willunga crown but won his second Tour Down Under title in a punishing hill climb finish to the final stage of the UCI season-opening event in Australia on Sunday.
The Australian from team Trek Segafredo unleashed his trademark surge up the steep three-kilometre climb in a bid for a seventh win in the demanding Willunga Hill stage, but was overtaken by England’s Matthew Holmes in the final stretch.
“To win the race again is a fantastic feeling,” Porte said. “It was a hard day for our team. There were times when I thought maybe the general classification was over and done with because it was a big group up the road. But credit to the guys, almost single-handedly, they brought that all back. It would have been nice to have been King of Willunga for the seventh time, but I will take the ochre (leader’s) jersey any day. At the end of the day, we didn’t win the battle, but we won the war.”
Porte, the 2017 winner, went into the final stage trailing defending champion and race leader Daryl Impey by two seconds but the South African Mitchelton-Scott lead rider couldn’t go the pace on the final climb and lost more than 30 seconds to finish sixth overall.
FIRST RIDE: FIZIK TEMPO ARGO
Popular Italian saddle manufacturer Fizik jumped into the short saddle game with their latest release dubbed the Argo. It looks to address the numbness and discomfort many riders face, with its center channel and snub nose.
The Argo is available at two different models, the Tempo and the Vento. Both have the option to specify the saddle’s rails which affects the price point, the R3 setup has 7×7 alloy rails that allow flex, while the R1 has stiff, braided 9×7 carbon rails. Expect to pay a premium for carbon, an Argo R1 runs $149 while the R3 tops out at $225.
The Tempo is better suited for endurance riding. It’s 260mm long and is available in two widths 150mm and 160mm. The wider platform disperses more weight throughout the saddle. Fizik designed the Tempo’s carbon-reinforced nylon shell for added flex with their Wingflex technology. It gives the rider a wide rear platform to increase compliance while pedaling.
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. Lottery selection have been made and the lucky few that were chosen will have a chance to prove themselves on Kanza’s flint roads.
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.