Unknown Bike brands: Atala bikes

Founded in 1921 by master craftsman Cesare Rizzato in Padua Italy, the Atala brand has been the choice of champions for many generations, from participating the inaugural Giro de Italia to the numerous world championship victories.

The company also had some championship success in the 1980s before hitting financial difficulties. It was sold in 2002. It is now owned by Bianchi Bicycles and in 2002 moved most of its manufacturing to Izmir, Turkey, then in 2009 returned all of its manufacturing to Italy (Monza). In 2011 50% of the company is owned by Accell Group. The company also produces bicycles for the brands “Carraro”, “Whistle USA”and “Maimo” e ‘Dei”.

Atala had some nice track bikes – all chrome with nice painted panels which had an attractive translucent quality. Because these bikes were both mid-level and very common, their value is based mostly on their parts. N.R. bikes except Universal brakes valued about $550. With N.R. brakes about $600.

Atala track bikes, as described above, are attractive. That doesn’t make them particularly valuable. Nice examples about $550.

As a small word of caution, don’t be terribly excited buy seemingly ornate lugs with cut outs on some Atala models. Such frames are very common and not terribly unique or desirable. In Italy, they are everywhere – even on the typical commuter bike.



Sportive training continued

Seems like I slept well enough – up at 6am and the 3x10min hill training on the spin bike. Afternoon slow run then tomorrow is spin bike fat burn so very lazy HR.

hills 3 x 10min

Are heart rate monitors still useful for cycling (or is power-metering the king)

An interesting article – cycling specific at http://velonews.competitor.com/category/training-center

srm power meter
power meter at TdF



I recently read about a study that brought heart rate monitors into question. The study said that there was a disparity between anaerobic thresholds when cycling vs. running. It basically brought the whole concept of heart-rate training into question. This concerns me because I cannot afford a power meter and I use a heart rate monitor cycling computer to measure my progress. Is this a good study, and are there other pitfalls with heart rate training we need to know? Should I dump the HR monitor?
— Peter


The term anaerobic threshold is a bit dated, though unfortunately many people still use this term. If you could provide the specific article that you read, then I could comment further on that specific study. But the idea of the existence of a threshold intensity above which exercise capacity is limited can be measured in an exercise physiology laboratory in various methods such as using blood lactate concentration or measuring oxygen consumption and CO2 production relative to respiratory rate. Most tests used to evaluate a breakpoint in these physiological responses will then reference the value obtained relative to the testing method, such as lactate threshold or ventilatory threshold.

In our physiology lab at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, we use both methods but most importantly look at the associated power (watts), heart rate, and perceived effort at not only the breakpoints (or thresholds) but also across the continuum of effort from easy to threshold and to maximum effort. As a coach, I also like to establish not only laboratory threshold values, but also real world power output using tests such as constrained heart rate efforts as well as maximum power output tests from short duration (1-5 seconds), all the way to 1-hour maximum efforts. I usually have my athletes who are undergoing physiology testing also perform power output testing on their bike to look at the correlation between lab results and performance capacity.

When looking at different sports such as cycling and running, there are typically differences observed in peak or maximum heart rate in each activity — as well as the corresponding threshold heart rates. Generally speaking, running and cross-country skiing yield higher maximum and threshold heart rate values with respect to cycling. Swimming, on the other hand, is typically lower than cycling, though your training history and experience in a given sport can influence this. I also encourage the combined use of heart rate and perceived effort, in addition to some sort of output (power for cyclists, pace/speed for runners & swimmers) to evaluate training responses with my athletes.

The heart rate, though different from sport to sport, can still be a useful tool for training. The use or lack of a power meter does not mean that you should ditch your heart rate monitor; ideally you should integrate whatever tools you have available to track your progress. Without using a power meter, you could evaluate your progress occasionally (every month or two) by performing a trial effort from Point A to Point B while holding a constant heart rate and track your speed. I like to use a sustained climb of 15-30 minutes if possible, as this reduces the effects of differences of wind speed from trial to trial.

for some HR is the same as power

Red Bull Minidrome – GLASGOW 2nd October

Red Bull Minidrome 2

OCTOBER 2nd at the Barrowlands

You may remember the road.cc report  earlier this year on the Red Bull Mini Drome when it was temporarily installed at Bethnal Green’s York Hall – the spectacle was memorably likened by TR to watching “a cat on a bicycle, cycling around in your bath.” Now, track cycling fans in Scotland’s largest city will have the chance to see the Minidrome for themselves and even ride it when it visits Glasgow in October.

Built by Velotrack, who designed the tracks for the Atlanta Olympics and Delhi Commonwealth Games, the velodrome, on which riders can hit speeds of up to 80 kph, will be at the Old Fruit Market on 2 October 2011.

Anyone with a fixed gear bike can apply to take part in the event, with registration through the Red Bull website. More than 100 competitors will race against the clock, with those posting the ten quickest times going through to the finals, which will have an individual pursuit final.

Entry for spectators will be free – although donations to Glasgow Bike Shed or Wings for Life are encouraged – on a first-come, first-served basis at the venue, which has a capacity of 400 people.

The three winners will receive custom gold, silver and bronze Charge bikes, and Neil Cousins from the brand said: “We’re excited to be part of Red Bull Mini Drome once again. After a thrilling and successful night at the last event in York Hall, London, we wanted to help bring even more to Glasgow.”

‘our video for Glasgow Bike Shed – a worthy charity …….

Red Bull Minidrome – Barrowland Ballroom 2 October 

Breathe deeply and this will explain: respiratory training

an excellent article explaining lung/ breathing training and how to do it.

Using the Powerlung Trainer is a one way to practicerespiratory muscle training.

Respiratory muscle trainingmay help you run better.

Written by: Matt Fitzgerald

In the final miles of a long or hard run, your muscles become very tired. Which muscles? Why, your leg muscles, of course. But your hamstrings, quadriceps and calves are not the only muscles that become fatigued during a hard run, nor are they necessarily the first muscles to bonk. Your respiratory muscles may also become tired. And to the degree that these muscles fatigue first, it is their fatigue—not that of your legs—that limits your performance. In fact, as your respiratory muscles begin to fatigue, your nervous system will redirect oxygen from the muscles of your limbs to those of your diaphragm to keep them going. Thus, during running your legs may fatigue because your respiratory muscles have begun to fatigue first—and to prevent these muscles from fatiguing to a dangerous extent.

Every runner is aware that he or she breathes hard when running hard. But few pause to consider that hard breathing requires intense work by the respiratory muscles, which are just as susceptible to fatigue as other muscles. There is scientific evidence that respiratory muscle fatigue is a limiting factor in endurance sports performance. What’s interesting is that these muscles may be trained independently of the rest of the body. You’re almost doing it right now, as you sit still and breathe. Naturally, everyday breathing is too easy to have a conditioning effect on your respiratory muscles, but when you inhale and/or exhale against resistance with a respiratory muscle training device, these muscles may be taxed even more than they are when you swim, bike and run. As a result, they become stronger and more fatigue-resistant and therefore less limiting in your running performance.

Some studies of respiratory muscle training have shown no performance benefit, but others have shown benefits in running, as well as in swimming and cycling. Among the better studies showing a performance benefit resulting from respiratory muscle training was one conducted by exercise scientists from the University of Arizona. Twenty cyclists with an average VO2max of 56.0 ml/kg/min participated in the experiment. Half of them, representing an experimental group, performed 20, 45-minute respiratory muscle training sessions in addition to their regular bike training. Four others, representing a placebo group, performed 20, five-minute “sham” respiratory muscle training sessions in addition to their regular bike training. The remaining six riders, representing a control group, just did their regular bike training.

After completing the 20 sessions, members of the experimental group exhibited a 12-percent increase in their respiratory muscle endurance capacity. More importantly, their performance in a bicycle time trial designed to last approximately 40 minutes improved by 4.7 percent, with nine of the 10 subjects in this group showing some improvement. There were no improvements in either respiratory muscle endurance or time trial performance in the placebo group or the control group.

Experiments such as this one usually involve fancy and expensive respiratory muscle training devices normally used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But there are some relatively inexpensive devices that are marketed primarily to athletes. The oldest and best known is PowerLung, which has been around since 1999 and currently sponsors the Slipstream professional cycling team. The folks at PowerLung were kind enough to send me their Trainer device recently (MSRP: $109) so I could try respiratory muscle training for myself.

The PowerLung Trainer looks like an overbuilt plastic kazoo with a snorkel’s mouthpiece at the business end. It is almost as easy to use as a kazoo. One of two numbered adjustable twist knobs varies the amount of resistance the device imposes against inspiration (breathing in). The other knob varies the amount of resistance your expiratory (exhaling) efforts meet. In my first PowerLung session I just played around with these knobs and practiced breathing through the device until I felt I had found an appropriate starting level. Thereafter, in obedience to the literature that came with the PowerLung, I did two brief respiratory muscle training sessions per day: the first during my morning commute and the second during my afternoon commute. (Yes, I got more than a few strange looks from other drivers.)

Within a matter of days I began to notice a training effect. It became easier and easier to complete the same number of repetitions with the same amount of resistance, so I incrementally increased first the number of repetitions and then the resistance. It’s now been about eight weeks since I started using the PowerLung, and while the strength and endurance of my respiratory muscles are markedly improved, I still can’t say that I’ve noticed an obvious improvement in my running performance resulting directly from these changes. There have been moments, however, in hard workouts when I have felt less limited by my capacity to draw air—when my lungs have seemed to be coasting along even as my legs have begged for mercy. But it could be a placebo effect, for all I know.

When you’ve been an endurance athlete as long as I have, you have to start looking in out-of-the-way places for improvement. And it can be difficult to judge whether or to what degree a particular new out-of-the-way measure has contributed to any improvement you do experience. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith based on the results of controlled scientific studies showing that a particular tool or method really works. Such is the case with respiratory muscle training. Several good studies have shown it enhances endurance performance when done properly. So if you’ve been a runner for some time and are already training as hard as you’re ever going to train, you might want to try respiratory muscle training.

About the Author:
Matt Fitzgerald is a regular contributor to competitor.com, Triathlete, Inside Triathlon and Competitor. Matt has written 17 books, and counting, including Brain Training For Runners and Racing Weight.

Planet X – The secret Life of Titanium

“Steel is real” goes the phrase. Aluminium doesn’t really rhyme with anything and carbon fibre? Well- “carpet fibres” isn’t a good rhyme or terribly endearing either. Titanium isn’t good at rhyming couplets, but “like steel on drugs” isn’t far off the chart. Everything that the classic original ferrous frame material can do, Ti can do better.

The Life of Ti- Inside the Super Material’s World…

Aluminium, as a material is light, but it’s not terribly strong and is quite flexible. Aluminium frames are built from lots of light aluminium, with big tubes providing stiffness and strength – they weigh less than steel ones, but are more rigid as a result. This is fine for sprints, or a solid tracking ride, but it’s not ideal for everyone. Titanium too, is light. It’s density is less than steel. It’s strength is less. It’s stiffness is less, but almost splitting the difference between steel and aluminium in weight, it’s strength and stiffness are higher.
Planet X Ti Pro Road and Ti Sportive Frames Back In Stock Only £799!

The Best Strength to Weight Ratio of Any Frame Material…

As a frame, the weight of a titanium model can rival aluminium in weight, yet is as comfortable as steel and has a sprightly ride and superb handling that many riders swear by. Our frames are built using a Ti 3-2.5 alloy- 94.5% pure titanium, 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium, balancing the higher strength of some Titanium alloys and ductility of commercially pure Titanium to create an all round high performance material.

Technically speaking, titanium combines the best characteristics of all the other frame materials.What this means is that when drawn to tube sections that frame builders are happy welding (typically around 0.9mm), titanium frames end up lighter than steel, and similar to aluminium, with more spring and compliance than aluminium, but with a very similar steel like resilience. All this, with a strength – particularly fatigue strength – that means they will stand to be ridden for many years without problems – coupled with one fantastic un-steel-like feature – no rust. No paint problems.

As New Looks and A Lifetime Guaranteed Service…

Ti frames can be scrubbed with a plastic kitchen pan scourer and be made to look like new. Even large scratches are easily removed. With no paint to degrade, your ti frame can be kept looking great for years. Compare that to a steel model with worries of corrosion and paint chipping.
Planet X Ti Pro Road and Ti Sportive Frames Back In Stock Only £799!

The new Planet X Ti Pro Road and Sportive frames are back in stock!

Offering the very best in road bike performance, these frames are now hand built to Planet X’s exacting standards and specifications by the Dutch titanium experts Van Nicholas. £799 isn’t a cheap frame, and the titanium frame might look less sexy than a carbon number – but the durability and year-long-riding you can get out of a ti frame can make the expense easier to swallow. Beat it up all winter, strip it down, clean, polish and ride all summer.

No need for a summer and a winter bike- just one will do- for now! We are offering the very best in road bike performance at industry beating value. Hand built to our exacting standards and specifications by the titanium experts Van Nicholas, these eagerly awaited frames are available now, and yes, from just £799. With input from Planet X’s team riders and all the years of experience that goes with miles and miles of racing and training, we’ve designed two outstanding frames ideally suited to either road racing or sportive riding.

Both models are offered with Lifetime Guarantees- so you’ll not need to worry about shelling out twice!!!

A Ride Like You Never Knew Before…

There is nothing to beat the ride and the longevity of titanium. For some people it makes a statement. “I’ve got class”. “I know what I want in a frame”. “I want something that looks the business, does the job and will last a lifetime”. The unsurpassed strength-to-weight ratio and the superb physical properties at lower weights give titanium the unique ability to dampen road shock while retaining excellent torsion resistance to counteract pedalling loads. Add to that titanium’s phenomenally high fatigue strength and the fact that it doesn’t rust or corrode, and there’s simply no better choice.

Thanks Nick Morrell, Hywel Davies, and Menno for sharing their bikes pics on our Readers Ridespages!

Click here to find out more about the new Planet X Ti Sportive frame
Click here to find out more about the new Planet X Ti Pro Road frame

Planet X Ti Bikes Postcards from Round the WorldPlanet X Ti Bikes Postcards from Round the World

Click here to find out more about the new Planet X Ti Sportive frame
Click here to find out more about the new Planet X Ti Pro Road frame