MID-WEEK REPORT: THE LATEST NEWS, PRODUCTS AND EVENTS

Take a look at our top trending stories from this week, covering the latest bikes, tech, pro racing and more in the cycling industry.

SIX STANDOUT ROAD BIKES

Here for the latest installment of our ‘best of’ lists Zap charged me to look back and highlight my favorite road bikes I’ve  ever ridden. As the group-appointed ‘racer’ of the RBA editorial crew, I’ve brought more than a few test bikes that I’d like to list (or at least tell the PR manager that sent them) to our local SoCal crits. Here’s are six of the most memorable bikes I’ve had the chance to throw a leg over. The first three are all true race bikes that feel most comfortable when a race starts to get uncomfortable, the last three can be (and have been) raced too but are what I consider well-rounded road bikes that I’d hesitate throwing into a corner at full-gas and are better suited for chasing PRs and riding with friends.

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4 THINGS TO LOOK AT BEFORE YOU BUY

Take a look at some of the best gravel bikes we’ve ridden, tested and seen for 2022. We’ve listed some of our best riding, buying and window shopping tips for the latest gravel bike tech below. Whether it’s a sub-$3000 entry-level bike or something truly exotic see what gravel bikes you can start getting dirty.

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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR TUBELESS EXPERIENCE

Rich from Wheelbuilder.com guesses that he has taped over 30,000 tubeless wheels and recommends to always go two times around.

By Troy Templin

Here’s a funny thing about the tubeless revolution currently afoot in the bike industry—it’s really nothing new. Currently, while there’s a big debate about the efficacy of hooked-versus-hookless rims with tubeless tires, you’ve been rolling on hookless rims on your car or your motorcycle since time immemorial. In fact, bicycle wheels, too, have been hookless, then called straight-sided for decades until the bike industry moved to hooked rims (Crotched) as a means of countering diminishing production standards and higher pressures.

Road tubeless isn’t new, but the amount of suitable products to the category has exploded in the last two years. Much of this is due to the gravel category that has redefined the drop-bar category. Gravel has exposed the road category to tire sizes beyond 23mm while redefining the boundaries set on road bikes generations ago. Tubeless for bicycles was started by Mavic way back in 1999 with their UST system, but it wasn’t until 2001 when Stan’s NoTubes really changed the tubeless market. While UST never really took off, it did help set the foundation for where we are today. 

The problem today is that despite over 20 years of R&D, much of the information pertaining to tubeless use is outdated and, even worse, it doesn’t apply to current road offerings at all.

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LIGHTWEIGHT VS CORIMA

When the all-too-common question of “what’s the best way to upgrade a bike?” is asked on the group ride, the all-too-frequent answer of “wheels” is usually the first reply. While “best” is relative to one’s goals and ability, in an effort to find the “best” wheel upgrade in terms of performance, aesthetics and overall riding experience we put two of the industry’s most exotic, stunning and priciest wheelsets to the test. 

After gaining notoriety for their performance-focused hoops that seemingly found the leading edge of rim-brake wheel design over a decade ago, German wheel manufacturer Lightweight has set its sights on upending the disc-brake market.

Corima is a French brand with a 30-plus-year history of making carbon wheels (RBA, May ’22). Easy-to-spot minimalist-spoked and full-disc designs made Corima wheels stand out in the early years of carbon fiber wheel manufacturing.

Together, these two brands enjoy a shared legacy of racing and winning at the highest levels of the sport. Though dissimilar in design, they are bound by a common purpose of pursuing a truly innovative and unique design. They are expensive and enjoy an obvious level of artisan craftsmanship, but is that enough to make them an upgrade option?  

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CONTADOR HAS 100 TUMORS REMOVED

Retired double Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has undergone surgery to remove more than 100 benign tumors. Contador, who has won the Spanish Vuelta three times and the Giro d’Italia twice, posted a video on Instagram in which he pulled up his shirt to show his torso swathed in bandages. Both legs were swaddled.

“Yesterday it was time to go to the repair shop. I needed to get some lipomas removed and it turned out I had over 100!” he wrote.

He indicated to the bicycle leaning on a wall behind him and said he hoped to be back on it “in the next month or so”.

A lipoma is a fatty non-cancerous tumor between the skin and the muscles. It is usually harmless.

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WINE COUNTRY GRAVEL CAMP

The 2023 season is on the horizon, and it’s time to ramp up your training! Our friends at Big Wheel Coaching know there is no better preparation than quality training miles spent with friends, teammates, coaches, and other hard-chargers. That is why they created the Rise & Ride in the Vineyards Gravel Training Camp, December 29th – January 1st!

It’s four days of fully-supported, coach-lead training rides that include pre and post-ride food and vineyard-centered festivities, each purposefully built to create a top-shelf ride weekend that sets you up for a great year of riding!

The Temecula Valley is renowned for its vineyard-covered hills and hot air balloons. But to locals, it is a gravel rider’s paradise! Quiet routes boast wide-open double-track trails, swoopy single-track, steep climbs, speedy descents, technical sectors, and expansive views. In short, the menu for riding in the Temecula wine country is outstanding and a great way to welcome the New Year.

Although it takes a full four days of riding to fully appreciate the spectacular gravel that the Temecula wine country has to offer, you can come to camp for a single ride, just a few days, or for the “full enchilada”!

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BIKE OF THE WEEK: COLNAGO V4RS

Colnago has introduced the new V4Rs, their “fastest” monocoque frame ever, a unique bike to excel on all types of terrain, developed in collaboration with one of the strongest WorldTour cycling teams. The UAE Emirates Team contribution was fundamental in the long prototyping phase and subsequent road tests and then directly in races. The input received from the riders made it possible to work on clear and defined areas, such as aerodynamics, weight, real dynamic stiffness, geometry, robustness and reliability.

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