Take a look at the best of our trending stories from this week about the latest road bikes, tech, pro racing and more in the cycling industry.
By Chris Carmichael Founder/Head Coach of CTS
Group rides and cycling events are cranking up again, which means it’s time to dust off those rusty group riding skills and get comfortable again with cycling in a pace line or a pack. This is a great time to talk about how you can improve your skills. Even if you have been riding for 20-plus years, I guarantee you’re an expert in some skills and still have room for improvement in others.
Why Bike Handling Matters
Obviously, good bike handling skills are most important for keeping the rubber side down. But staying upright is only one benefit. Great handling skills are essential for maintaining your position in a pack, and for moving up toward the front. Your ability to corner smoothly saves a little bit of energy on each turn, which adds up to a ton of energy by the end of a road race, gran fondo, or criterium.
I built my first bike. Who knew it was so hard and easy at the same time? I had to purchase a lot of specialty tools to do it correctly, but I now feel much more comfortable working on my own bike. It was a great learning experience. My question is, it seems that my shifters/brake levers don’t match my bars, because they are really far away and hard to reach when in the drops. Is it possible they’re in the wrong position or I picked the wrong bar?
As silly as this seems, shifter hood position on a bar is often wrong. For example, Diamondback sent us a bike with what might have been one of the worst attempts I’ve seen to date, but most out-of-the-box builds put them too high on the curve of the bar. This results in the brake lever being too far from the bar. It will also result in an abrupt transition from bar to hood most of the time, too.
The trick I was taught is to use a ruler along the bottom of the drop and align the bottom of the brake lever with it. This will result in a uniform position left to right and works on about 95 percent of drop-bar shapes. Then you can fine-tune the position to your specific needs and preference. Another good rule of thumb on most bars is to look for markings printed on the bars. Normally, if you use the ruler trick, you will fall in the middle of these markings, but they can be a good starting point, too.
Last tip is for those that like the hoods tilted a bit higher. Instead of moving the hoods on the bars, rotate the whole bar. This maintains the reach if you are in the drops while still delivering the raised position. Better yet, try a zero-degree stem or raised stem instead of moving the hoods for an elevated position.
By Dr. Johnathan Edwards
Cycling and motocross are among two of the most physically demanding sports in the world. Motocross racers navigate complex obstacles on a closed-circuit dirt course as fast as possible in a head-to-head racing format. Cyclists push their aerobic and mental fitness to the limits of exhaustion during stage races like the Tour de France. To be successful in either, aerobic fitness is critical.
Ever since the 1980s, when American champions like David Bailey, Jeff Ward and Johnny O’Mara pioneered incorporating cycling into their motocross training programs, cycling has been a training staple for up-and-coming motocross riders. What they found with cycling was an ability to increase their aerobic fitness which brought a significant advantage over their competitors.
Dario Pegoretti left behind an immeasurable legacy through hand built bicycles straight made in his Italian workshop. Reflections was released in collaboration with Pegoretti owners who shared their strategies for coping with lockdowns across the world by riding their bicycle throughout the pandemic. Read our thoughts of the featured custom green and white Pegoretti that rolled into The Pro’s Closet office a few years ago here.
When the pandemic came to Italy in March 2020, it hit with the force of a tidal wave. All too soon, friends and family were separated as the crisis came to engulf the world. Forced to adapt to a new reality without the community that underpins their business, the team at Officina Dario Pegoretti wondered how they could help keep the Bottega’s spirit alive, even at a distance.
Orange Seal re-launches the Family Seal series for 2021. For Payson McElveen and Hannah Finchamp the 2020 race season began and ended with a double victory at Mid South. Much has changed in the world since the last race numbers were pinned, but the dedication to sport and performing at the highest level remains, it just looks a bit different.
Episode 1 explores pandemic life from an athlete’s perspective, spotlighting what makes the Orange Seal Off-Road Team special – family and passion. Follow Hannah and Payson’s as they train and celebrate cycling differently, with no start or finish line in sight. For the last 14 months. “With so much uncertainty during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was really important to me to latch onto something measurable and concrete during these unprecedented times. So I turned to what I could control on a personal level – Training ” says Hannah Finchamp, US Olympic Long Team member.
Blue Competition Cycles has two versions of the Hogback—this standard model and the Hogback Race, which is an aero-optimized frame. This model features a Shimano GRX Di2 build with Spinergy hoops. A Hogback frame starts at $1995, but by utilizing Blue’s “Build Your Own” program, you can build the bike of your dreams. Five sizes available that fit up to 42mm tires.
Primoz Roglic leads a stacked Jumbo Visma roster for La Grande Boucle ahead of multi-stage winner Wout van Aert and Steven Kruijswijk with 6 Grand Tour top-ten results. 26-year-old Sepp Kuss will ride for Roglic in the mountains as veterans Mike Teunissen, Robert Gesink and time-trial specialist Tony Martin will control the rest of the race.
Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard will make his Tour de France debut in June after being called into the Jumbo Visma team on Monday to replace Dutchman Tom Dumoulin who has stepped down. Jumbo said the 24-year-old would line up at the start in Brest alongside two team leaders in Primoz Roglic, who came second last year, and Steven Kruijswijk who finished third in 2019. This season Vingegaard has won a stage race in Italy, the Coppi-Bartali Week, and was second in the Tour of the Basque Country, won by Roglic.
Campagnolo’s Bora series of wheels has been one of the Italian brand’s top-of-the-line offerings for years, and, at long last, it now includes some modern, tubeless disc-brake hoops. Check out the tech behind Campy’s latest all-out effort at a high-performance disc brake specific wheelset.
Looking back at the evolution of road bike technology, it’s no surprise that aerodynamic gains are the headline points on the latest gravel offerings from Euro brands Ridley and Bianchi. The Belgian brand Ridley has a proven track record for fast bikes with the current hour record holder, Victor Campenaerts, using their Arena frame. Bianchi’s legacy (not only as a jewel of Italian cycling, but, literally, as the world’s oldest bike brand) needs little introduction with their most recent success coming from Primoz Roglic riding the Oltre XR4 aero road bike to victory at the 2020 Vuelta a Espana.
How does all that Euro tradition rest in the very American soul of gravel technology? That’s what we wanted to know, and, luckily, we were able to get our hands on these latest dual-purpose entries (our Bianchi test bike being one of only three in the country at the time of testing).
Using their vast experience on the road, both these legacy Euro marques have launched top-tier carbon gravel bikes for 2021. The Ridley Kanzo Fast and Bianchi Arcadex are heralded as aero-inspired gravel bikes, but their aero qualities allow for much more versatility than the straight-line, time-trial-like road bikes that started the speed-centric gravel trend. Tech originally designed for aero gains like internally routed cables, dropped seat stays and 1x drivetrains have been repurposed for the unique advantages they offer for multi-surface riding.
22-year old Tadej Pogacar was victorious in the final meters of Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Liege-Bastogne-Liege marks the end of the Spring classics season with attention now turning to the Giro d’Italia staring May 8 in Turin and June’s Tour de France, where Pogacar will be favorite to win again. Pogacar, Frenchman Alaphilippe and his compatriot David Gaudu, Canada’s Michael Woods and the 41-year-old Spaniard Alejandro Valverde managed to get away from the rest of the peloton atop the Roche-aux-Faucons climb.
Cervelo Aspero 5 was released with its aero refinements and 100 gram lighter frame. We have been riding the new bike for a few months, and it has been hard to hide. Just look at the amazing chameleon paint, no one missed it, so we spent most of the time exploring roads that are well off the beaten path. Check out our video below as well as our full review.