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

Welcome to the April 3rd Mid-Week Report! 

Pro racing is in full swing and daily product releases have us excited for the upcoming Sea Otter Classic, stay up to date with us. Info about SRAM Force eTap AXS, Time’s new shoes and Colnago’s latest innovation are down below, welcome to the April 3rd Mid-Week Report! 


Egan Bernal’s late mechanical during stage 5 of the Volta a Catalunya resulted in the Colombian hitching a ride to the team bus with superstar teammate Chris Froome. Froome, who crashed earlier in the week, was out of GC contention and stayed back as the 22-year-old walked his broken bike to the finish line to maintain the best young rider jersey.


Dwars door Vlaanderen 2019 – 74th Edition – Lukas Postlberger (AUT – Bora – Hansgrohe)

The 74th edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen went from Roeselare to Waregem over a distance of 182.2 km. The parcours consisted of a combination of eight difficult cobbled sectors and eleven hellingen. It was only after 50 km that a breakaway of eight riders was able to form, among them the Austrian road champion Lukas Postlberger. However, before they hit the Kluisberg, the race was neutralized, which produced some chaos in the main field. Several minutes later, after the route was clear again, Lukas Postlberger and his breakaway companions were able to re-commence racing with their original advantage in hand. After around 100 km of relatively flat racing, the climbing began in earnest, and the rollers followed one after another. A chasing group took the opportunity to attack on the Knokteberg and put down the hammer in pursuit of the leading group. The five leading riders worked well together to keep the peloton at bay until the finish line. In Waregem it came down to a sprint between the lead group, which Matthieu. van der Poel took out. After almost 130 km at the head of the race, Lukas finished in fourth place.


You probably already realize that being leaner will help you go faster, the trick is how to get there. One common scenario we see is a time-crunched athlete who has reached the point where his or her weekly workload (kilojoules) isn’t high enough to casually melt off pounds anymore, but it’s not realistic to increase caloric expenditure through additional training.

What difference does this extra weight make? A hefty one. Dragging around excess weight increases the energy cost of every mile and every effort, no matter whether you’re climbing or not. That means less energy for big efforts and race-winning moves. Essentially it reduces the number of matches you have to burn, whether you’re a competitor or a frequent flyer at the local training ride.

When athletes reach this plateau, fixing one or more of the following issues typically kickstarts the weight loss process again:

Weight Loss Road Block: You’re eating too little for breakfast
If you’re doing things right as an athlete, you’ll wake up hungry in the morning. Satisfy that hunger with a substantial breakfast. The beginning of an active day isn’t the time skimp on calories. That doesn’t mean you should shovel greasy diner food down your throat every morning, but it does mean that active athletes need to do more than grab a Pop Tart and coffee as they run off to work. Add eggs and lean proteins, heftier carbohydrates from vegetables and even rice and potatoes, etc. Try to give yourself more time in the morning so you can prepare and sit down for a real breakfast. It will sustain you longer through the day, reduce your craving for mid-morning empty-calorie sugar snacks, and potentially reduce the calorie content of your lunch.



Delivering another blow to the traditionalists who insist that there is no room for modern interpretations of the road bike that include gravel or batteries, the master himself, Ernesto Colnago has now chimed in.  Following in the pedal-assist strides made by fellow legacy road brands like Bianchi, Orbea, and Wilier, Colnago has announced the arrival of their  E64 carbon e-bike.

Although the info released was limited, what we do know is that the E64 is powered by the same 250w EBikeMotion rear hub  motor with three power modes from Spain used by the others. The one Colnago model released  will run with a Shimano Ultegra drivetrain.

Road Bike Action tested the Bianchi Aria e-Road bike in the January 2019 issue. The $6500 Bianchi weighed  just over 26 pounds and by virtue of the rear hub motor and removable battery, all that was needed was a rear wheel swap to decrease the weight by at least ten pounds to make it a viable non-assist bike.



Of course, it’s no secret that e-bikes in every shape and form have inundated the cycling universe. And while pedal-assist mountain bikes and commuters have proven the most popular style with consumers, e-road bikes have largely been overlooked—until now.

Just as so much new technology has transformed the market of traditional road bikes, so, too, have advancements in battery and motor technology altered the visual and performance landscape of e-bikes.

Although Bianchi has been selling e-bikes for a few years, the 2019 Aria e-Road is their first effort at producing a serious e-road bike. While the bike was well-received by most people, it still elicited plenty of grumblings from die-hards who scoffed at any notion of outside assistance. In short, don’t listen to them. 

We remain committed non-assist bike lovers, but at the same time we happily refrain from wearing blinders as to what the future will bring for the wider world of recreational cycling. E-road is happening, and although you don’t have to love the concept, there’s simply no reason to hate it, either.



As saddle shapes change, so, too, should your position

If you haven’t noticed, saddle shapes have been evolving, and the days of a long saddle seem to have been cut short. Saddle cutouts truly started the evolution of saddle technology, along with new manufacturing processes. All the research and development led manufacturers to discover that much of the saddle was excess for a large portion of riders. To help put this in perspective and shine some light on the whole subject, we chatted with veteran bike fitter Nate Loyal of Loyal Bike Fitting & Coaching. With over 22 years of fitting bikes to riders, he has seen every kind of saddle and rider combination come through his doors.

RBA: What is the number one driving factor behind most people changing saddles?

Nate Loyal: It is the same thing that drives them to see me 80 percent of the time—discomfort. Most people don’t change things until it is a problem, and it’s the same for a bike fit. Usually what is happening is, as a rider they are evolving, and maybe they are getting more competitive and logging more miles. But many times it’s that their style of riding has changed. This changes the way they interact with their bike, and the saddle is one of the first places riders notice discomfort. It is the main contact point for the rider, and if something is just a bit off, it can lead to excessive compensation, discomfort and performance loss. 



Time Sport relaunched their road shoe line. 3 different models ranging in price from $250 to $400 were developed from the sole up to optimize rider comfort to increase performance in the saddle. The Osmos 10 uses a single a single Boa retention system with a weight of 480 grams, the 12 uses a single retention system and weighs 500 grams, and the 15 uses a double boa system at a weight of 480 grams.


The OSMOS 15 is our ultimate shoe. Equipped with a 100% Carbon vented sole, 2 BOA tightening system and breathable materials, it will bring you all the performance and comfort needed to perform. The OSMOS 15 is among the lightest shoes on the market while maintaining a stiff sole and comfortable, supportive fit.

Time developed the shoes in the Rossignol Group’s research and development center in Montebelluna, Italy, the global capital of sporting shoes. The facility in Montebelluna has 40 years of experience in the athletic footwear field, of which the last 15 years have been dedicated to the use of carbon fiber as the primary material.

The strength of this facility lies in its experience and knowledge about athletic footwear of varying disciplines. The center’s immense database possesses more than 3,000 three- dimensional foot scans of every type of athlete imaginable, which makes for a massive data pool from which to develop modern lasts.

Also, every step in the research, design, and development processes are conducted in the same place. These include biomechanical foot studies, product conception and iterative prototyping, production, follow-up testing, and product deployment. The facility’s control of each step of the creative cycle yields. An exceptionally high level of quality control and delivers the very best products in the world.



Maintaining the same frame design that had so many people talking last year, 3T is adding two new  versions of their aero-road Strada with a 1x and 2x SRAM Force eTap drivetrain option.  Both bikes run with front and rear 160mm rotors, We are happy to see the 1x bike’s color away move away from the  previous “salmon pink” red to a real bloodthirsty and impressive red.

The radical road bikes will join the equally talked-about 3T Exploro gravel bikes that were penned by famed bike designer Gerard Vroomen. Read our test of the 3T Strada.



SRAM has made their latest tech a bit more affordable with the release of the Force eTap AXS groupsets. They maintain the same tech in the  shifters and  batteries and is all compatible  for customization with the SRAM AXS app. To save a few dollars the two piece chainrings replace the single plate used by the 2x models and the cassette is a bit heavier than the top of the line Red cogs. Thanks to the cross compatability of the electronic drivetrain, you can mix and match the components you need between Red and Force to save a couple bucks too. A full review of the tech will be in an upcoming issue, for now, check out or review of the SRAM RED AXS 2x group we tested in March.


SRAM Force eTap AXS Price List

Groupsets* Road msrp usd msrp eur (incl. VAT) msrp gbp (incl. VAT)
2x Hydraulic Road Disc Brake $2,678  €2,548  £2,274
2x Rim Brake $2,478  €2,408  £2,164
1x Hydraulic Road Disc Brake $2,328  €2,148  £1,924
1x Rim Brake $2,078  €2,058  £1,814


  • Groupsets include rear derailleur, front derailleur (if applicable), controls, brake calipers, rotors (if applicable), crankset, bottom bracket, cassette, chain, battery(s), and charger.


SRAM’s Paddle Shifters


The limited edition 2019 Road Bike Action Buyer’s Guide is available now in print on newsstands and at hi-torque.com. Inside find 106 pages full of the latest road, gravel and aero bikes plus the shoes, wheels and helmets we recommend.

Whether you’re looking for a new bike or a quick energy saving upgrade our editor’s tips will keep you on top of the latest tech on the market.

The info found inside will keep you riding longer, more efficiently and with a bit more style, if you’re into that sort of thing.

To order yours, visit: www.hi-torque.com/product/2019-road-bike-buyers-guide/ 


Southern California meets Italy in this celebration of cycling, food, and San Diego’s picturesque water front. Held in beautiful Downtown San Diego, the two-day festival features a mass-start, timed Gran Fondo with 4 route options, timed King and Queen of the Mountain competitions, The Bike & Fitness Expo with guest speakers and bike, health and fitness clinics. Challenging and inspiring routes, outstanding Campagnolo ride support, delicious food on course, followed by an Italian Feast at the Finish.

Website: www.sdgranfondo.com




“You guys should put on a mountain bike race.”

That simple statement from a Monterey bike shop owner in 1990 was the genesis for the Sea Otter Classic.

Co-founders Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolph hosted the inaugural Laguna Seca Challenge on April 6 & 7, 1991. There was a total of 350 athletes and 150 spectators. Today the event hosts over 9,600 athletes and 72,500 fans. In 1993 the event was renamed the Sea Otter Classic and is now universally regarded as the world’s premier cycling festival.

Known as a sprawling and energetic “celebration of cycling,” Sea Otter is cycling’s North American season opener. Professional and amateur athletes alike make the annual pilgrimage to Sea Otter to participate in some of the sport’s most competitive and enduring events. Hundreds of pro cyclists, including national, world, and Olympic champions, attend Sea Otter to race and meet with fans.

Most of cycling’s racing disciplines are represented including mountain bike cross country, downhill, dual slalom, and short track racing. Road cyclists compete in circuit, criterium, and road racing. Also offered are cyclocross and a number of non-competitive recreational events for riders of all ages.

The Sea Otter Classic also hosts the world’s largest consumer bike exposition in North America. The Expo holds hundreds of vendors who display new products, distribute free samples, and offer great bargains. The four-day, action-packed festival includes an international food court, entertainment, bike demos, stunt shows, and activities for children.

The Sea Otter Classic is located in Monterey County, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Website: www.seaotterclassic.com


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.

Website: www.truckeedirtfondo.com​


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!

Website: www.mammothgranfondo.com

Is there an awesome event happening closer to you? Send a link to [email protected]

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.