THIS WEEK’S TRENDING CYCLING STORIES
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.
On Monday, the UCI called for sanctions against sprinter Nacer Bouhanni after the Frenchman was disqualified at the Cholet-Pays de Loire road race. The UCI “strongly condemned the dangerous conduct” of Bouhanni in the sprint finish of Sunday’s race following his shouldering of Jake Stewart into the crash barriers. The 30-year-old was disqualified after he went on to finish third behind Italian winner Elia Viviani.
So, what exactly is a gravel bike? Like we’ve said, it’s basically just a road bike with room to run bigger tires. You can also expect to find different frame geometries (longer wheelbase and slacker angles), added bottle mounts, fender and rack mounts, and much lower gearing to allow for efficient pedaling for slow-speed sections and climbing. In fact, suspension can now also be added to the list.
Take a look at the latest gravel bike drivetrain options that are built to handle the road less traveled.
German cycling team Bora Hansgrohe say they are angry after becoming the second team to miss out on Sunday’s big race in Belgium due to Covid. Bora followed Trek-Segafredo into quarantine, but while Trek went voluntarily, a doctor’s ruling excluded Bora from the Gent-Wevelgem classic, who had wanted to take part.
“I am very disappointed and angry,” said Bora manager Ralph Denk.
“A GP from the region can block an entire team in one of the largest one-day races in the world.”
The decision was made by the doctor at a previous race from Friday, the E3 Saxo Bank Classic.
Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert won an eventful Gent-Wevelgem edging Italian pair Giacomo Nizzolo and Matteo Trentin in the early spring classic. The powerful 26-year-old, who won the Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche classics in 2020, came second in this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico and has emerged as a major force in the sport.
“This victory counts so much to me, it being my first home road race win,” said Van Aert, winner of dozens of cyclo cross races in Belgium.
The DMT KR1 was used by Tadej Pogacar on his way to winning the 2020 Tour de France. The KR1 Lace has a 3D-printed knit design that Pogacar preferred due to its simplicity, lightweight and comfort. A pair tips the scales at 480 grams. A commemorative yellow Tour de France limited-edition colorway is the highlight of the KR1 line. The KR1 is available in sizes 37-47.
If ever there was a category of road bikes that exemplify a then-and-now existence, it would be the ever-expanding market of e-road bikes. During its more formative years (starting about eight years ago), the bike industry was giving its full attention to developing both commuter and mountain bikes.
However, during the more recent crush of worldwide acceptance of the pedal-assist breed, the continued evolution of battery and motor technology has combined with e-specific frame designs so that e-road has finally begun making headway into a growing number of catalogs.
Year after year we hear the claim from so many bike manufacturers that they’ve designed the lightest, stiffest and fastest frame ever. While this phenomenon is nothing new (or specific to the bike market), it has certainly become increasingly common in the age of carbon fiber. This repetition of marketing hype is all the reason consumers need to wonder aloud, “What’s the point of getting the latest and greatest black plastic bike when there will no doubt be a better version to come the following year?”
It’s in this market environment where titanium bikes have been able to prosper, especially when it comes to gravel bikes. Titanium has long been a boutique material in the cycling industry, thanks to its weight-to-stiffness ratio. Specifically, the 3 aluminum/2.5 vanadium titanium alloy provides the most easy-to-work yet high-performance blend of the material. The stiffness characteristics are better than aluminum and carbon while being less dense than steel for an ideal balance of durability, weight and performance.
And that’s where both Sage and Masi enter the arena for 2021. With the recent release of their Storm King and Incanto gravel bikes, both brands have committed to future relevance in not so “heavy metal.”
Q: I want to try a larger road tire and experiment with lower tire pressure. Can I use my older wheels with “narrow” rims, or do I need to invest in new wheels, too? Also, if I can use my old wheels, is it okay to put a tubeless tire on a non-tubeless rim with a tube?
A: This is a great question, and in short, yes. You can definitely use your old wheels with a larger-volume tire. A wider rim profile can offer better overall performance but is not mandatory. If you try it and the new size is something you are planning to stay with, then I would recommend a wider internal rim profile, maybe 19–22mm for most road applications. This can boost the volume of that tire, so make sure you will still have room in the rear triangle and between the fork legs.
As far as a tubeless tire on a non-tubeless rim, that is also a yes. Just ensure you do not try to modify your old rim to run tubeless. Using a tube in a tubeless tire is no problem at all. Some tubeless tires can be a bit snug, but proper installation technique makes it easy enough. If all works out and you do decide to go for a wheel upgrade, choosing a set that is tubeless-compatible is a great idea, too.
By Chris Carmichael Founder/Head Coach of CTS
I’ve been a fan of high-intensity intervals (HIIT workouts) for a long time. The “Time-Crunched Cyclist” is based on the premise that hard intervals are the best path to performance for cyclists who cannot put in the hours necessary to get there through traditional long and slow endurance training. They both work, as does a combination of the two. Unfortunately, high-intensity intervals are easy to mess up, so make sure you’re not making these mistakes. If you’re new to cycling interval training you may want to read our guide on including interval training in your training plan as well.
Enve has just announced they are jumping into the frame market too. Made in their Utah headquarters, there will be two frame types, Race and All-road. Both have room for 35mm tires and are completely custom. No matter which you choose you still get customer geometry as well as color along with a sweet Enve specific Scicon Travel bag..