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

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

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH ROAD TUBELESS?

A basic look at the differences between a hooked and a hookless rim.

Okay, what’s the deal with road tubeless? Why is there so much competing information about using a hooked or hookless rim?

This might not be the answer you are looking for, but many brands are letting their lawyers and the presumption that the majority of consumers will use the equipment correctly contribute to the mixed messages. Right now companies are playing things safe, owing to the fact that there has yet to be an industry-wide standard on tubeless. In turn, this has given rise to a virtual salad-bar combo of different tire/rim designs on the market, and not all are compatible with each other. The result is that the vast majority of consumers don’t understand that air volume is the driving factor of tubeless failures, not the tubeless tire itself.

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FEMMES PULLS COMPETITIVE AUDIENCE

French analyst Mediametrie estimated on Monday that the last stage of the Tour de France Femmes attracted more than three million viewers in the country. In France women raced under the “Tour de France” banner after a 33-year gap for the first time. According to France Televisions, four of the eight stages, won by Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten, attracted at least two million viewers.

“It’s a nice surprise,” Laurent-Eric Le Lay, director of sports at France Televisions, told reporters. “It’s a very solid base on which the cycling world will be able to build.”

The men’s Tour de France, run over the first four weeks of July, was watched live by an average of four million people in France.

RBA/AFP Photos: Sprint Cycling Agency

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ZWIFT x MAAP LA TAKEOVER

Photo: Alex Colorito

Luft Los Angeles has grown a following that extends beyond the limits of the Venice, California, community it’s nestled in. The shop’s alternative style and weekly group rides have bolstered its reputation among many L.A. cyclists and bike geeks in general. Drawing on the allure of the LA cycling hub, Zwift and Australian cycling apparel maker MAAP teamed up to kick off Zwift’s Off the MAAP Tour. Four days before its official start on August 1, Zwift and MAAP staged an in-person-team relay inside the cozy confines of Luft to celebrate the third edition of OTM.

Attendees pulled on their MAAP kits and faced off on a pair of Wahoo Kickr Bikes. Five riders each rep’d Team Zwift and Team MAAP with an appearance from Tyler Pearce of The Vegan Cyclist YouTube channel riding for the Zwift squad. On tap was the Watopia Zwift KOM. It’s run on the same roads as stage one of the Tour and a pretty straight-forward half-mile-long course with 150 feet of climbing at an average gradient of 5.5-percent. Whichever rider won the face-off up the climb would score a point for their team and to keep things interesting MAAP offered up kits to whichever team won.

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THE PRICE OF JUMPING IN

By Zap

Coming off the finish of the Tour de France, race fans around the world no doubt took note of the many times that Cannondale bikes were at the front end of the peloton. In fact, owing to their bright pink (some would say garish) paint schemes on the EF Education team bikes, the bikes were hard to miss.

But this year’s Tour was not the first time that the American bike brand made people sit up and take notice.  We were reminded of years past when Cannondale  first made waves in the Tour de France not only for the colorful kits and riders on their Saeco team, but more so because in the days before carbon fiber took over, Cannondale was the first team to make aluminum frames a mainstay in the peloton.

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A WEATHERED EVOLUTION IN ICELAND

By Troy Templin

When it comes to incredible places to ride your gravel bike, Iceland has remained at the top of my list since I first discovered it back in 2015. I’ve been lucky enough to make many trips to pedal a bike on the island, and it is without a doubt the perfect environment for a gravel bike. It also happens to be the home of one of the more innovative gravel bike brands. Ever since the introduction of their radical Grit suspension fork in 2016, Lauf bikes have been on my personal must-have list for years.  

When I was invited by Lauf to travel to Iceland last March to see something new, they were pretty tight-lipped about what it might be. I was hoping it would be a finalized version of one of three bikes with a tunable rear suspension that they had teased back in late 2019. As it turned out, we were there for something else.

Being that it was late March and most of the country was still deep in snow, I had wondered why they would bring us so early in the year to ride bikes. I prayed it wasn’t for a fat bike! On the day I arrived, it was indeed snowing, and even the normally green coastline was covered in a blanket of white. Always up for an adventure, between the snow and 20–50-mph winds in the forecast across most of the region, I knew this could be an eventful trip.

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VITTORIA CORSA N.EXT REVIEW

Vittoria’s Corsa tire series just went through a major update with the addition of the Corsa N.EXT. The N.EXT is the first non-cotton-based tire in the line with Vittoria engineers opting for Nylon instead, that’s what the N in N.EXT stands for. It’s a modern update to the traditional Italian brand’s catalog and a sign that the team in Bergamo has embraced the latest trends in road bike tire tech, like tubeless compatibility, wider tire sizes and even an innovative hot patch QR code.

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BIKE OF THE WEEK: VAAST R/1

The VAAST R/1 is an aero-inspired Allite Super Magnesium framed road bike. Light, fast, strong, resilient, and more sustainably made than other bikes in the category. The R/1 is the perfect utilitarian road bike with an appetite for speed and is especially well suited for the eco-minded cyclist.

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