Take a look at the best of our trending stories from this week, March 2nd, about the latest road bikes, tech, pro racing and more in the cycling industry.
By Dr. Johnathan Edwards
For some reason journalists love to take photos documenting cyclists’ legs with their protruding, dilated leg veins. Some of these veins are massive, like what we see at a body-building contest. While the average cyclist who goes for a 30-minute bike ride or weekend race will not result in large, dilated veins, these prominent dilated veins are a common occurrence with world-class cyclists.
And why? Because professional cyclists ride a ton of miles each year and subsequently develop a sizable blood-supply network, helping to circulate the increased blood volume. Their veins are fuller, and we’re not talking a few drops of blood. The difference is substantial. Most people have around 5 liters of blood; a world-class endurance athlete can have 6 to 8 liters. Pro riders, like those pictured, have nearly twice as much blood in their bodies compared to the average joe. It’s no wonder their legs sometimes look set to explode.
Best known for its competitively priced hoops, the Hunt has added to its aero-focused six-wheel series aptly named the Aerodynamicist. The new hookless bead and 32mm-deep wheels are optimized for 28mm tires with a 21mm internal width and unidirectional carbon spokes for a claimed weight of 1213 grams. Hunt claims the rims each weigh 374g and 377g (front and rear). Checking nearly all the boxes of a performance-oriented carbon wheelset, the specs of the 32 Aerodynamicist UDs are truly impressive. They’re Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM compatible. We’re anticipating a chance to give UDs a full review soon.
Nearly every cyclist understands the importance of reducing aerodynamic drag. Almost 80 percent of overall resistance affecting a rider comes in the form of aerodynamic drag, and a helmet is one of the most effective upgrades to reduce this force. Unfortunately, there is not a single helmet design that works for every rider, but Ekoi Racing’s latest submission to the aero-helmet market checks many of the performance boxes, and at a friendly price point that the French brand has gained a reputation for.
Founded in 2001, Ekoi rose to prominence in Europe as an early adopter of the direct-to-consumer sales model that undercuts much of their competition. In 2021 Ekoi’s Aero14 caught our eye, as the helmet was hard to miss in the Tour de France. Ekoi sponsored more teams in the race than any other helmet brand and could be seen on the likes of Lotto Soudal’s Caleb Ewan, Qhubeka’s Victor Campenaerts, Arkea Samsic’s Nairo Quintana and the Cofidis team. The helmets are still a rare sight here in the States, and the Aero14 was the first product we’d gotten our hands on from Ekoi.
There are few relationships with the strength and bond of a father and son. So, when industry veterans Ian and Trevor Hughes decided to create a business partnership in 2017, their Vielo brand was already leaps and bounds more prepared to succeed. Ian had been working in the UK bicycle scene for many years with history at Marin, Scott, and more recently the importer of Storck, Lightweight and Sarto for the UK. Between Ian and Trevor, they have almost 40 years of bike-industry experience between them.
Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne set the table for a promising 2022 Classics season with an exciting finale won by Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Fabio Jakobsen. Jakobsen out-sprinted the Lotto Soudal leadout in the final 300 meters to beat Caleb Ewan on the line with a bike throw.
Throughout the day, the 121-mile race was led by a breakaway which was whittled down to three riders including, Christophe Laporte, Taco van der Hoorn and Jhonatan Navarez. The trio hung out in front of the peloton with a 10 second gap for 6 miles with victory seemingly in reach until being caught within the final 100 meters.
It was the fifth victory in eleven starts for Jakobsen, following early success in the Volta Algarve and Volta Communitat Valencia.
Belgian bike manufacturer Ridley just launched the Helium at the Essential level. Previously, the Helium SLX was only available in the Ridley Elite Series, in other words, only available in the exact same version as used by the Lotto-Soudal pros. Ridley designs its bikes like pros meticulously prepare for a race: every detail must be right. The weight as low as possible, the riding qualities optimal and the stiffness perfect. That’s the Elite Series in a nutshell.