Mid-Week Report: The Latest News, Products and Events

Welcome to the July 29, Mid-Week Report!
Welcome to the July 29, Mid-Week Report!



Vuelta a Burgos 2020 – Felix Großschartner (AUT – Bora – Hansgrohe) – Photo: Bettini

Europe is back to racing at the Vuelta a Burgos, a five-day stage race in Spain that favors the climbers. Felix Großschartner of Bora-Hansgrahe earned the win on Stage one with the all-new, Tarmac SL7 team sponsor Specialized launched the same day. Check out our review to see whats new on the SL7.





We asked CTS Coaches to share some of the common mistakes they see athletes make early in the season when enthusiasm is high and athletes are motivated for the season ahead. Our coaches came up with 11 mistakes they see pop up year after year that disrupt athletes’ training, and they offered these easy solutions to keep you on track. Avoid these early season missteps and follow our coaches’ advice and you’ll lay down a foundation for a successful season.

1. Starving Themselves Just as They Ramp up Their Training

Getting back in shape is often coupled with a desire to lose weight, so some athletes both increase their exercise energy expenditure and dramatically reduce their caloric intake at the same time.

Solution: You have to eat to support your activity level, so at the very least continue eating as you have been when you start to ramp up your training. If you add calories to your day, start by adding a small pre-ride snack and consuming calories only during rides that are longer than 60-75 minutes.

2. Going Big Right From the Start!

Enthusiasm is great, but sometimes it gets the better of an athlete, especially one getting back in shape. The memory of what you used to do sometimes blinds you to the need to build up more gradually this time around.

Solution: Getting back in shape is all about consistency and establishing the habits that will keep you going. It would be better to ride 4 days a week for 1-2 hours than to ride once or twice a week for 4 hours.

3. Immediately Changing Your Cycling Position

For experienced cyclists trying to get back into shape, you may not feel totally comfortable on your bike for the first few rides on the comeback trail. The saddle might feel high and the reach way too long, for instance, because you don’t have the conditioning and flexibility you had when you were riding more.

Solution: Before you totally revamp your position be patient. Keep your rides relatively short (60 minutes or so) and the intensity easy to moderate for 3-5 rides. Avoid the temptation to test yourself, just ride at a relatively high cadence (90+ RPM) and give your body time to re-adapt to the position. If after these rides you’re still uncomfortable, go see a bike fit professional.



Fizik has expanded their Adaptive saddle range to include two new options in addition to the original, based on Fizik’s Antares platform. This is a high module carbon fiber, performance racing saddle with the new 3D printed Adaptive material on top. an all-black aesthetic in the Antares Versus Evo R1 and R3 Adaptive. The update brings a choice of either lightweight carbon or Kium rail systems. At this time, both new saddles come in all-black.

The Adaptive saddle padding is crafted by Carbon (a Silicon Valley based digital manufacturing company) using its  Digital Light Synthesis technology. DLS is an additive manufacturing process which employs digital ultraviolet light projection, oxygen permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to produce parts with excellent mechanical properties, resolution and surface finish.

This production method means Fizik was able to develop the first Adaptive saddle five times faster than traditional industrial methods, creating and field-testing hundreds of iterations. Being suitable for mass production, this technology completely remaps the traditional manufacturing process, accelerating and bypassing all intermediate phases.



Press release: A natural evolution of the best-selling Direto and Direto X, the DIRETO XR promises to be the ideal home trainer to complete a cyclist’s setup with a ready-for-use, accurate and powerful tool – it’s also compatible with everything to come from Elite for the upcoming season.

On the strength of a 1.5% accuracy ensured by the integrated OTS power meter, the DIRETO XR immediately gets the top spot among Elite’s home trainer range for its enhanced pedalling roundness, the improved flywheel and an ultra-realistic gradient simulation (able to replicate a staggering 24% slope value).

And of course, it’s pre-assembled by virtue of the pre-installed Shimano® 105 11-speed cassette. Just unfold the snap-action support legs, install your bicycle and connect it to a power source. Total setup time: less than five minutes.



When it comes to launching new race bikes, the folks at Specialized are fairly predictable. Like Trek, they seem to follow the same pre-Tour de France formula on timing, and even when faced with this year’s less-than-ideal conditions, that timing was only slightly modified. As many know, the Tarmac SL6 is one of our favorite bikes and it often serves as the base for many of our wheel and component reviews.

So, when the SL7 was dropped off at our doorstep, we had a few mixed feelings. At first glance, the new Tarmac SL7 looks as if the SL6 and Venge aero-road bike had mated. We wondered, did we get too much of the Venge and not enough of the SL6?

We wondered this because the last time we rode their aero-prioritized Venge, we were not fans of the  flat, angled aero-handlebars or the harsh ride in the saddle. Additionally, the fork was also not as laterally stiff as we hoped and would cause a bit of brake rub as the pads would shift under heavy braking.

As is typical of most brands that sponsor WorldTour teams, Specialized couched the new “merged” design as a gift to the pro riders who would no longer have to choose between a climbing bike or an aero bike. So, what about the new Tarmac SL7?


The Tarmac SL7 bike we received is the Pro level, so it is constructed of Fact 10r carbon instead of the higher-end Fact 12r that comes on the S-Works models. Specialized claims the frame weight is 920 grams painted, while the S-Works version is 800.

The overall geometry is nearly identical to the previous version, and it is obvious that Specialized has found a general set of numbers they are happy with, because nearly all of their road bikes share the same geometry. The slight changes are to the head-tube length, which is 1cm shorter on paper for our size 54 at 13.3cm (same as the current Venge.) This is a bit misleading, because with the necessary headset cap, the lowest stem position is identical.