Welcome to the May 13, Mid-Week Report!
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: THE RIFT ICELAND 2020 CANCELLED
This week The Rift Iceland announced the cancellation of the 2020 event planned for July 25. We’re Looking forward to crossing rivers and valleys next year. www.therift.bike
12 BEST GRAVEL BIKES OF 2020
Of all the things we can properly boast about at Road Bike Action it’s that no one else rides and reviews as many road and gravel bikes as we do. From the odd birds to the team replicas, the number and variety of drop bar bikes that pass through the RBA office is at times overwhelming…but oh so awesome!
As such, each year for the last decade we’ve rolled through each year by heralding the best bikes we test throughout the year. Below you’ll find the gravel bike contenders that ranked highest with RBA editors and test riders.
NEW TECH: SRAM AXS WIDE
Just a little over a year ago SRAM launched eTap AXS which put them back on the map for drop-bar bikes. Along with this launch was a new generation in chainring options to match their 12-speed cassettes that feature a 10 tooth cog. For many it was very confusing but it didn’t take long for the masses to realize this wasn’t fake news and the new offering was indeed a step forward for the industry.
Well SRAM is now responding to Shimano’s GRX offering with wider gearing options. This is two-fold, one is a wider range cassette with matching rear derailleur (10-36), and the other is a wider crank. The new crank is 2.5mm wider on each side for a 5mm wider q-factor. With the wider stance is a new front derailleur that is 2.5mm wider, leaving more room for tires if you choose a 2x setup. The new “wide” crank comes in a new 43/30 chainring set, targeting all-road and gravel builds but also compatible on most road bikes too.
VIDEO: NINER MCR REVIEW
One of the most polarizing and talked about bikes to enter the gravel scene, the Niner MCR is pushing the limits of what a gravel bike can be. With lots of mixed terrain miles under our belt, we found the Niner “M”agic “C”arpet “R”ide fun and a gravel bike that needs to be ridden to be appreciated.
WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: TIPS TO START RETRAINING
While you have likely tried to maintain some level of fitness through the stay-at-home’ orders, it is important to take a new field test and establish an accurate lactate threshold power value based on the fitness you have right now. Two common tests are a 20-minute or an 8-minute time-trial effort. Your training intensities should then be based on 95 percent of your 20-minute power or 90 percent of your 8-minute power.
These two values should be within a few watts of each other, because your power output will be higher for the shorter effort. For instance, I recently had a novice athlete do both tests. His average power was 206 watts from the 8-minute test, which gave him a lactate threshold value of 185 watts, and 191 watts from the 20-minute test, which resulted in a lactate threshold value of 181 watts.
FREE ACCESS TO RBA’S DIGITAL LIBRARY
Road Bike Action Magazine is available for free online. Stay up-to-date on the happenings in the world of road and gravel bikes. Get expert tips and advice alongside comprehensive bike and product reviews. Cycling’s premier print magazine, Road Bike Action, can be yours for free!
DIRTY KANZA RESCHEDULED
– Jim Cummins
MAMMOTH TUFF – SEPTEMBER 19th
There’s more to explore in Mammoth! The first official gravel ride on the mountain is set to take place September 19, 2020. A 45 mile “Tuff” course with 2000 feet of climbing and a 100 “Tuffer” course with 8000 feet of elevation gain are planned but no official course maps have been released. Mammoth Mountain is a favorite locale of ours and over the years we have continued to return to the annual Gran Fondo. With Mammoth Tuff now the following weekend we are planning to extend our stay to get in all of the best riding that Mammoth has to offer.