Take a look at the best of our trending stories from this week July 28, about the latest road bikes, tech, pro racing and more in the cycling industry.
I have been shopping for a new bike, and it seems that nearly everything above $3500 is coming with electronic shifters. Are cables going away like rim brakes?
In all honesty, I’d say yes for the majority. Cables will still remain on the entry-level models, but electronic shifters offer many benefits over cables. Touring bikes might be the last holdout, but that has more to do with remote repairs and access to repair parts and less about performance. The funny part about it is, Shimano’s Di2 (Digital Integrated Intelligence) was originally launched in 2001 as a set of touring/ trekking components that included electronic shifting and automatic adaption of front and rear suspension to riding speed.
The old-school cable and housing combo works fairly well, but it inherently has friction, and as it wears this increases and precision is lost. This results in degraded shifting and potential failure. Electronic systems eliminate this in exchange for the need for a battery. Electronic systems are now getting to a point where the trickle-down effect will be across most of the drivetrain offerings.
If we look back, the Shimano Di2 system was first seen on pro riders’ road bikes in 2005 with it officially hitting the market in 2009. That means we have over 12 years of it being available to the normal consumer. To put that in perspective, that was also around the time the second iPhone was launched, and if you count the years of testing in the pro ranks (2005–2009), then it’s actually older than the first iPhone. Now think, how much has the iPhone changed in that time?
To be honest, I am surprised that we are not already to the point where all bikes above $1500 are electronic. In my opinion, if this was any other industry, we would have surpassed that years ago.
Coronavirus restrictions mean fans are banned from almost all Olympic venues in Japan. And even among the lucky few with a golden ticket, some are less than keen to attend. Michio Miura and his wife Mayumi wavered right up until the last minute on whether they should take advantage of having some of the few seats available for cycling in Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo. Like many, they were worried about virus risks at a time when parts of Japan are under emergency measures to curb rising case numbers.
“If we caught coronavirus, it would cast a real shadow over the Games,” said Mayumi, who — unlike many in Japan — favored the Olympics going ahead despite the pandemic.
“In the end, we decided to come because it seemed that there wouldn’t be many people and there wouldn’t be much risk, given it’s held outdoors,” she added.
Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz won Olympic gold in the men’s cycling road race on Saturday, timing to perfection a tactical, final descent after a tough 145 mile course worthy of a mountain stage of the Grand Tour. It was only Ecuador’s second-ever gold at the Olympics after that of Jefferson Perez in the 50km race walk in the 1996 Atlanta Games. Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar, bidding to become the first cyclist to win the road race in the same year as the Tour de France, had to be content with bronze in a photo finish with Belgium’s silver medallist Wout van Aert.
“It’s an incredible moment for me,” said the 28-year-old Carapaz.
“You always have to believe. I have worked so hard to be here and it’s a huge moment for me.
“I can only say thank you to them (the Ecuadoran people) for the support and, honestly, for giving us such a big push.”
Austrian mathematician Anna Kiesenhofer claimed a shock gold in a women’s Olympic road race on Sunday that saw veteran Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten mistakenly think she had won. The 30-year-old national time trial champion Kiesenhofer, who holds a doctorate in applied mathematics from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia having also studied at Vienna and Cambridge Universities, held her nerve after a long breakaway that the main peloton never managed to reel in.
Van Vleuten made up for a horrific crash at the Rio Games in 2016 with silver, although she admitted to a massive gaffe after thinking she had won when she crossed the line. Italian Elisa Longo Borghini bagged bronze for the second consecutive Games.
“It’s incredible, I couldn’t believe it, even when I crossed the line,” said Kiesenhofer.
“I planned to attack at kilometer zero and I was happy I could get in front. That is something I could not take for granted because I am not good at riding in the peloton.
With a forty-eight-year legacy of subcontracting production in Treviso for too big to name Italian brands, the Stocco family behind Crono’s cycling shoes has proven their knowledge in the footwear industry. Over the last decade, Crono’s owner Stefano Stocco along with his brother Diego decided to use the family’s experience in Italian footwear to design cycling shoes with exceptional aesthetics while maintaining performance.
Bespeckled in an eye-catching gold the rigid microfiber upper flaunts its Italian heritage. Closer examination reveals a Tricolore atop the tongue and a laser-cut Crono brand that acts as ventilation. Over 200 additional laser perforations help create airflow on either side of the shoe. Padding is added to the contact points around the ankle. A hook-and-loop-like friction element is added to the heel cup to help prevent injuries from unnecessary ankle movement. The upper is bonded by hand in the Treviso factory to the stiffest carbon sole Crono offers.
Another Tricolore is brandished on the sole near the protective toe rubber tip. A replaceable rubber heel is a quality touch at this price point. The sole is cut in a three-bolt pattern with two additional mesh-covered vents.
Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic put his Tour de France nightmares behind him, powering to Olympic gold in the men’s time trial on Wednesday. The 31-year-old infamously suffered a collapse in the penultimate-stage time trial in last year’s Tour, blowing a huge lead to lose the yellow jersey to compatriot Tadej Pogacar. This year an early crash ruined his hopes. But Roglic completed the 27.46 mile course near Mount Jiji in style, timing 55:04, just over a minute ahead of Dutchman Tom Dumoulin. Silver was a great result for Dumoulin, who took a sabbatical from the sport earlier this year to protect his mental health.
“I was over-trained in the winter, and also mentally I was quite down,” said the 2017 Giro d’Italia champion.
“I took a (three-month) break, and then I found out that I still love my bike. I still love to suffer on the bike.
“I still love to be aiming for the big goals in professional cycling and decided to come back, especially for this event today.”
Veteran Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten powered to gold in the Olympic women’s time trial on Wednesday, days after her red-faced finish to the road race when she mistakenly thought she had won. The 38-year-old from Utrecht produced an Olympic gaffe for the ages on Sunday, punching the air in delight after crossing the finish line believing she had won gold.
In fact, the race had been won by Anna Kiesenhofer, with a blushing Van Vleuten later admitting she was unaware that the Austrian amateur had broken away earlier in the race.
There was no doubt about victory in Wednesday’s time trial at the Fuji International Speedway, however, as Van Vleuten delivered a dominant performance to finish the undulating 13.7 mile course in 30:13. Switzerland’s Marlen Reusser took silver in 31:09 while Anna van der Breggen claimed bronze in 31:15.
The 2021 edition of the Tour de France was exciting and to be honest, dominated by the young Tadej Pogacar. The big news is this marks the start of a streak for the legendary bike brand with two consecutive TDF wins. The glory is well deserved for a brand that has brought so much to the cycling industry in its nearly 70-year history.
The 6th Edition of Eroica California will be back in Cambria on the 18th and 19th of September 2021. Under the warm Central Coast sunshine, the team has been building new and nurturing old relationships with our surrounding communities to ensure Eroica California 2021 will be the best edition yet.
We are now open registration at $150, so register now for the best-value Coastal California Eroica Experience. The crashing waves and ocean breeze off the Cambria coast are cooling things off as we ride into the fall season. We wish you all happy and safe riding!