Welcome to the May 8th, Mid-Week Report!
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
VIDEO: RBA AT BWR
WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: OVERTRAINING WARNING SIGNS AND HOW TO FIX IT
Just about every cyclist would like to climb faster, or at least make climbs less taxing at the same speed, especially heading into events that feature hilly or mountainous terrain. With spring temperatures warming across the Northern Hemisphere, athletes who want to climb faster this spring and summer and be ready for the summer events now have more opportunity to train on actual climbs outdoors. As you start getting closer to hilly events, you’ll want to gradually make your training more specific to going fast uphill, and MuscleTension intervals are a great and effective way to start.
MuscleTension Intervals: The First Step to High-Speed Climbing
Over-geared climbing often-overlooked component of building climbing speed. During MuscleTension intervals you are pedaling slowly (about 50-55 rpm cadence) against a heavy resistance. The point is to recruit and engage more muscle fibers to generate the necessary force to continue climbing.
Remember, power is the product of force and angular velocity (cadence), meaning there’s an inverse relationship between force and cadence; it requires more force to produce a significant amount of power at a lower cadence.
What MuscleTension Intervals Do for You
The benefit of producing more force and recruiting more muscle fiber first is that you are teaching your body to continue recruiting more muscle fiber even as you change the focus of your training to higher-cadence, lower-force workouts like SteadyState and ClimbingRepeats (lactate threshold intervals), or general endurance riding. Prolonged high-force intervals at an aerobic cardiovascular intensity may also lead a subset of fast-twitch (Type II) muscle fibers to change their characteristics and behave more like endurance-friendly slow-twitch (Type I) fibers.
Together these adaptations prepare muscles to produce more power and resist fatigue when you transition to lactate threshold climbing efforts at 80-90 rpm. Even as you increase cadence you will retain some of the increased ability to produce greater force, which means you’ll likely see an increase in climbing power when you bring your climbing cadence back up to 80+ rpm.
Fatigue resistance, which can also be observed as an ability to maintain a given intensity longer, mostly comes from improving cardiovascular fitness. But when you increase muscle fiber recruitment you also spread the workload of producing power over more muscle fibers, which increases the time it takes for the whole muscle to fatigue. And with the added adaptation of some fast-twitch fibers behaving more like slow-twitch fibers, MuscleTension intervals effectively give an endurance cyclist more muscle fibers to work with that are adapted to your particular sporting goal.
FIRST LOOK: SHIMANO GRX DRIVETRAIN
And to think if we’d only waited three years we could’ve shown up at Dirty Kanza aboard a gravel bike spec’d with a Shimano derived Di2 1x drivetrain. It was after all back in 2016 when we built a project bike to ride at DK that used a variety of pirated parts including a Shimano Ultegra crank with a WolfTooth Drop Stop chairing mated to a mountain bike derived XTR rear derailleur to get the needed 11-42 gear spread. Ah, those were the days!
But no longer is there a need to look in the rear view mirror. Today marks the beginning of a long-awaited love affair between gravel riding and those with a predilection to using Shimano components. Shimano is launching what they’re calling “the world’s first gravel specific component group.” Though late to officially jump into the dual-sport world, in typical Shimano character, the gravel specific group was years in the R&D process prior to launch. From Almanzo in Minnesota to Dirty Kanza to the Rock Cobbler in California, we’ve seen Shimano techs and ambassadors at several gravel events.
Shimano’s road product manager Dave Lawrence said when they first caught wind of the 2014 Almanzo ride getting over 700 riders showing-up all based on social media, the product group were forced to ask themselves, “How does that happen?!” And so the investigatory process began. Two years later Shimano took a deep dive with field testing in Kansas with former DK200 winner Dan Hughes. With Japanese and European techs in tow, Shimano was intent on finding out how to translate their gravel findings with other users and markets.
As big of news as the introduction of this ground-up, gravel specific Shimano GRX group is, there are some who will simply rejoice that Shimano is finally offering an official 1x gravel specific drivetrain. And still, there will be others who lament that it’s not a 12-speed system.
To this last point, as Shimano road brand manager Nick Legan offers, “We still think there’s a lot of skin on the 11-speed bones. We’re always working on new things and you can probably guess that if 12-speed comes it will be with Dura-Ace. Our goal with GRX was to not only design components that reflect the variety of gravel riding that’s out there, but important too was to make sure there was a high-degree of upgrade compatibility with what people are already using.”
FIRST LOOK: PINARELLO DOGMA F12
Just in time for the run-up to the year’s biggest races, Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky) will now be aboard a brand new Pinarello Dogma F12. From the design brain trust in Treviso, Italy, Fausto Pinarello and his team of engineers have come up with new and improved carbon weaponry for Chris Froome and teammates to claim yet another Tour de France victory.
Here’s what the release had to say….
“Pinarello has been the main technical partner of Team Sky since its foundation in 2009. This partnership has seen the development of 12 different road bikes and 3 time trial bikes that have been successfully used by the team to win races across the world.
While creating the Dogma F12 we decided to develop two different projects together; a version with disc brakes, the Dogma F12 Disk, and one with traditional brakes, the Dogma F12. This way we were able to apply common improvements, but at the same time study specific and dedicated technical solutions for each model. One of the main targets of the new Dogma F12 was to maintain the “all-around” characteristic, which means a stiff and light bike with excellent aerodynamic balance; a combination allowing the unique “Pinarello feeling”, synonymous for agility and precision through every corner. The Dogma F12 is the result of the perfect tool to enhance the rider performance for every route.
FIRST LOOK: BACKMATE THERAPY
Backmate launched a Kickstarter campaign for their eponymous product – a body massager that mounts into any doorway and provides relief at home. It is now available for the early bird price of $99 (MSRP $149).
Backmate uses rotating ball attachments, a commonly used physiotherapy technique, to massage hard-to-reach areas on any part of the body. The adjustable bar fits into any doorway from 24″ to 36″ wide and can be placed at any height to help target various parts of the body. A rotating bar and massage head allow the user to massage hard-to-reach areas (interchangeable massage attachments available in various sizes and even hot/cold options).
BIKE TEST: COLNAGO C64
A MAN, A MACHINE, A LEGACY
Writing an intro for a Colnago bike test is easy but hard at the same time. For most road geeks, there is no need to go into the whole who, what and where that makes up the Colnago legacy. But still, we know there are plenty of others who see the name and wonder, “What the heck is a Colnago?”
Since our goal is to be as inclusive as possible in what we do, those of you road geeks who may be rolling your eyes right now can just jump ahead to the test. For the rest of you, here’s a brief explanation of what we’re talking about here.
As of 2019, there are only two people alive who represent sheer royalty in the sport: Eddy Merckx and Ernesto Colnago. In the annals of race history, Eddy remains the greatest racer ever. And way back in the day, he had a mechanic who not only worked on his bikes but also built his frames. That man’s name is Ernesto Colnago.
Over the years the Colnago brand has only gained in prestige as the brand has remained under the close direction of the old man himself. Beyond that, there’s not much more we can say, because it’s all about the bike.
As with all the C-series bikes, every C64 is hand-built in the confines of the small frame shop that resides underneath Ernesto Colnago’s home in Cambiago, Italy. Like a prized puzzle, each tube and lug is hand-bonded and -assembled. For the C64, Colnago’s aim was to make the bike stiffer and lighter than its C60 predecessor. The 3K carbon-weave tubes of old have been dropped in favor of unidirectional tubes that are lighter.
In addition to the new, lighter head lug and one-piece chainstay and all-carbon dropout, the biggest change is the one-piece seat lug/tube. The chainstays are also asymmetrical, with the left side significantly larger.
There is a new seatpost that is D-shaped, and to go along with this new shape is an internal wedge to hold it in place. This is accessed from under the top tube for a clean and hidden design. The Thread-Fit 82.5 bottom bracket is carried over from the C60 and allows for a wide variety of crank fitment.
Cables are run internally, and the downtube has a recessed bottle-mount area that adds additional rigidity along the tube in addition to its already shaped design. The fork has a new recessed area at the rear of each leg just under the crown to allow compliance, as well as add lateral stiffness. The fork and rear seatstays are drilled for direct-mount caliper brakes, allowing for up to 28mm tires.
Colnago offers the C64 in nine sloping (regular) and five high geometries, as well as a custom option. Our test bike is a size 52s (sloping) that has a frame reach of 38.4cm and a stack of 56.5cm. The top tube is 53.8cm, with a virtual top tube of 55cm. The head tube is 15.8cm long at 71.92 degrees. The head tube is where the major difference is between the sloping and high geometry, with the high being between 15–20mm higher depending on the size. With a 99.5cm wheelbase, this race bike is on the long side.
TOUR OF CALIFORNIA MAY 12-18th
The 2019 Amgen Tour of California will cover a variety of terrain showcasing many of California’s most well-known and iconic settings and landmarks allowing different types of specialists in the peloton to shine throughout the week. With several fast and flat sections on tap in Sacramento, Morgan Hill and Pasadena catering to sprinters (not to mention a start overlooking the famous WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca ), climbers will face challenges in South Lake Tahoe, the Diablo Mountain Range outside Stockton where they will reach an elevation of 4,625 feet, and on multiple climbs between Pismo Beach and Ventura. Fans and teams alike will count down to the men’s and women’s Queen Stages from Ontario to Mt. Baldy, which will feature a grueling 26-mile fan-favorite climb to the summit finish, a day that will shake up the leaderboard and can make or break the quest for the overall victory.
TRUCKEE DIRT FONDO JUNE 8th
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.
GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE SERIES 2019
Gran Fondo Hincapie is a series of events that welcomes riders of every skill level for a weekend of riding and celebration of all things cycling. Join current and past professional cyclists, weekend warriors, and first-time riders on routes planned and tested by George Hincapie himself. The Hincapie family currently hosts events in Greenville, South Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Fort Worth, Texas; and Boise, Idaho; with plans for continual expansion to other areas across the United States and the world.
MAMMOTH GRAN FONDO REGISTRATION OPEN NOW
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!
Is there an awesome event happening closer to you? Send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org