cycling weekly rates the Brutal climbs now in the Giro


After two weeks of tired legs ….

Colle Dell’Agnello – stage 19

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The Colle Dell’Agnello marks the Giro’s passage into France for a couple of days and they’ll have to work hard to get up to the border.

While the Strava segment shows it as a nine kilometre climb, the riders go uphill for around 70km from Saluzzo to the border at the top of the climb.

The toughest gradients come near the top of the Agnello, maxing out at 15 per cent and holding at over nine per cent for much of the nine kilometres, with riders reaching the highest point of the whole race.

And that’s just the first climb of the day…

Risoul – stage 19

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When the riders get into France it’s downhill all the way to the foot of the climb to Risoul, where stage 19 finishes.

It’s not the hardest climb in the world but the legs and bodies of the climbers will be cold from the very long descent from the Agnelle.

It maxes out at 10 per cent in the first third of the climb and from then is a steady 8.5 per cent to the top. With the GC still up for grabs it’ll likely to be a battle ground all the way up, with attacks likely to come on the preceding descent.

Col de Vars – stage 20

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At just six per cent in average gradient, the Col de Vars shouldn’t cause any problems, but it’s the fact that it comes immediately at the start of stage 20 which makes it hard.

The riders will have to get their warm-ups done before the stage if they’re to be in any state to be up at the front of the peloton in the first 20km.

There’s not a metre of flat on the entire stage, making it one of the toughest in the whole race, so if there’s still anything to play for in the general classification, expect to see some action in these opening exchanges.


Col de la Bonette – stage 20

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Once they’ve descended from the Col de Vars the peloton hits the even longer and even tougher Col de la Bonette, taking the riders up to over 2,700m.

It’ll be a long, cold descent down to Isola at the foot of the third big climb of the day, with almost 40km of downhill, interupted only by a little flat bit after 25km.

With the stage only 134km in length we could see attacks on the pink jersey wearer on the early climbs, just like we did on stage 16 on Tuesday.

Colle della Lombardia – stage 20

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As if two 20km ascents weren’t enough, the organisers have chucked in a third one near the end to really test the climbers’ resolve.

The Col de la Lombarde brings the riders back into Italy for the final assault up to Sant’Anna di Vinado, where the finish line is located.

Like the first two climbs on the stage, the Lombarde isn’t particularly steep, it’s just relentlessly long, especially after the climbs that have come before.

It’s last chance saloon for GC contenders to launch their attacks, with the climb to the finish not really long enough to make up minutes of time.

Theatre Thursday: quebeka charity


Now this is up because a friend of mine rode the cape epic and was raising money for this charity. I sponsored him and it is good to see the money is being put to good use.

With my pro video head on though I would say the video is a bit schmaltzy (think that’s a Yiddish word for over sentimental) but then it caters to an American audience – trek video – so you have to get past that. Anyway my point is good charity.

What makes a great bike ride?


Loved this so reblogging and trying not to feel guilty about being the odd Strava zone out man

road|THEORY

What is the measure of a great bike ride?

For some, it’s hills. It’s metres of height gain, steepness of gradient, and likelihood of heart beating itself loose from your chest in mid-struggle.

I have friends who have no concept of a bike ride which involves even the shortest section of flat tarmac. They don’t understand the pleasure to be had from spinning the legs for the simple joy of it, or rattling along for mile after mile at twenty miles an hour. To these mountain goats a flat road is avoiding the issue. It’s taking the easy option.

It’s cheating.

Admittedly, these people tend to be Cumbrians. In Cumbria, geography and topography demand that tarmac slopes up, or down, and usually steeply. To them, a flat road is eyed with suspicion.

Quality Roads Quality Roads (Image: pixabay.com)

Others measure a bike ride in average speed, and are only truly…

View original post 309 more words

Gravel bike time 


So N+1 time ….. The latest itch is to get something between the titanium 29er and my titanium road bike ….. So titanium gravel grinder surely.

Pickenflick currently hitting the value for money button and a moots routt 45 hitting the silly sausage spend part of the brain.

As for bits I have been looking at tyres and this road.cc tyre review looks spot on.

 

Schwalbe G-One tyre.jpg

The lack of a tube means no pinch punctures, which means you can drop the pressure for more grip and comfort. Schwalbe states a range of 45-70psi but for the most part I ran them at the bottom of that range, or below. On the road, 50psi was good for back lane riding and 60psi was the most I ever put in them. For off-road and mixed surface rides I ran them at 30psi with no problems at all.
And they’re fast. I mean, really fast. Not just fast for a big tyre, fast full stop. If you’re battering around on well-surfaced A and B roads then you’d expect them to be a fair bit slower. In reality, they’re not: my best time on this 50km/h smashfest of a segment (link is external) on a proper road bike on 25mm tyres is just under four and half minutes. My best time on the G-Ones was only 15 seconds off that. And that’s on a gravel bike with a more upright position – you could argue that the extra drag from the rider is easily worth the difference.
Once you’re off the good roads and onto the average ones – and we have plenty of them – any conceivable difference in rolling speed is easily outweighed by the comfort of the big air chamber, and the fact that you don’t have to ease off and pick your line: just batter on through. I’ve not managed to put a hole in them that the sealant hasn’t immediately coped with. And that’s with some deliberately risky line choices through all kinds of back-road detritus.
I’ve taken them off road too, and they’re great for unsurfaced fire roads and farm tracks, blasting along with aplomb. The more technical things get, the more you’re thinking that a bigger air chamber might give you a bit more margin for error, but even crashing into rocks with enough force to ding a rim didn’t manage to flat them, and on most off-road surfaces they still offer fantastic levels of grip. Once things start to get really claggy the tread fills up and you’d be better off with a proper off-road tyre, but you can get away with most conditions.

The only downside, really, is the wear rate, but that’s a double-edged sword: it’s the soft tread compound that gives the excellent grip and it’s not as hardy as some. Personally I’ll take the longevity hit for the feel and grip while they last. And it’s not like they’ll be done in a couple of weeks, I’m six months into this test pair and they’re still going strong.
I know plenty of people who’ve tried these tyres now, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love them. Try them. You’ll love them.
Verdict

Fantastically capable all-rounder tyre for roads, ruts and rocks

Make and model: Schwalbe G-One

Size tested: 700x38C

Tell us what the product is for, and who it’s aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Schwalbe says: “The Schwalbe One family provides the perfect tire for the latest gravel bike trend. The smooth rolling G-One profile and Tubeless Easy technology make it a pleasure to ride over forest paths and rolling fields.”
If your frame has enough space, select the 40mm version. Larger volume is always an advantage when riding off-road.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Tubeless Technology
We at SCHWALBE believe that tubeless is the tire technology of the future!
Tubeless Easy MicroSkin
Tubeless is the tire technology of the future. Tubeless tires bring clear advantages in speed, comfort, grip and puncture protection.
Triple Compound
Our best and most sophisticated compound.
Triple compound. Perfectly adapted to the specific purpose. MTB (PaceStar, TrailStar, VertStar), Roadrace (OneStar), Tour (RoadStar, TravelStar)
EVO Line
The very best possible.
Highest grade materials.
Latest technology.

Rate the product for quality of construction:9/10

Rate the product for performance:9/10

Rate the product for durability:7/10

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)7/10

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)10/10

Rate the product for value: 8/10

 

 

Theatre Thursday: Jeff jones talks plus bikes


The Jones Plus combines the latest technology with bicycle designs from throughout history and across the planet to make a bike that defies categories and opens ride possibilities like no other. In this new video Jeff Jones talks about some of the history and thinking that went into creating the Jones Plus.

Longranger bike: http://blog.jonesbikes.com/the-long-r…

Jones Plus- This is it: http://blog.jonesbikes.com/jones-plus…

Check out our website: jonesbikes.com

Tools for Gravel rides and tools for MTB adventure


Interesting tech tip article reblog: check out their site if gravel riding is your thing

From a very early age, I equated bicycles with freedom. With the aid of my two-wheeled companion, I was free to explore the seemingly endless collection of trails and dirt roads that were so plentiful in my youth. At the same time, that freedom instilled in me the importance of self-sufficiency. I learned firsthand that something as simple as a flat tire often meant a verylong walk home. It didn’t take me long to figure out that carrying even the barest of necessities could eliminate those unplanned walks home.

As an adult, I’m surprised at how often I encounter stranded riders who are carrying no tools or spares. While they may have cell phones, their mechanical issues can usually be fixed in less time than it takes for them to be rescued by a friend or partner–if they had the necessary equipment. I’m not advocating that riders should be able to overhaul a cup-and-cone bottom bracket in the field, but carrying even a bare bones repair kit can mean the difference between riding and walking home.

After several years of fine tuning and experimentation, I’ve found that having two separate repair kits works best for me. I use a smaller kit for road and gravel riding, and have a second, larger setup for mountain and adventure-type riding. While each kit is a compromise of weight and size, I’ve never had to abandon a ride because I wasn’t carrying the necessary tools or spares. Having tools without knowing how to use them won’t do you much good, though. If you’re not sure how to fix a flat or adjust your bike’s brakes or derailleurs, see if your local bike shop offers maintenance classes or clinics.

Road / Gravel

Even though road and gravel makes up the majority of my riding, mechanical issues are few and far between. Problems are usually limited to the occasional puncture, or the need to make a minor adjustment. My road/gravel kit reflects those needs, and it gets tossed into whatever panniers or pack that I happen to be using at the time.

road_gravel_kit-min-624x477

  • Hold Fast canvas tool bag
  • 700×28-32 inner tube with Presta valve (brand varies)
  • Pedro’s tire levers
  • Blackburn Grid 13 multi-tool
  • Lezyne Pressure Drive pump
  • Bontrager tubeless tire sealant
  • Prestacycle mini ratchet with 8 mm and 10 mm sockets
  • Tubeless Presta valve and Presta adapter
  • CO2 cartridge and Lezyne Trigger Drive inflator

While the majority this kit’s contents are old favorites, the Blackburn multi-tool is a relatively new addition. Thanks to the Grid 13’s extensive set of features, it actually replaces several individual tools. The sturdy, all-in-one design is definitely more convenient, and reduces the likelihood of losing one of the smaller wrenches on the road or trail.

Thanks to tubeless tire technology, I experience very few punctures. Tubeless sealant tends to dry out quickly here in arid Colorado, so I do carry a small bottle of sealant in case a tire needs topping off. The inner tube is backup in the event of a slashed sidewall (or if a puncture is too large for sealant). Although not shown in the photo, I wrap my tubes in repurposed Tyvek shipping envelopes, which can be used as emergency tire boots.

MTB / Adventure

Looking at all this gear, you might get the impression that mountain biking or adventure riding is a lot harder on equipment than road or gravel riding. The truth is, most of what I carry in this kit is for fixing other people’s bikes on group rides (or helping stranded solo riders). Some folks might argue that being a rolling bike shop discourages other people from being self-reliant, but I don’t mind lending a helping hand when it’s needed.mtb_gravel_kit-min-624x452

  • CamelBak tool wrap (included with their Skyline 10L hydration pack)
  • 27.5×2.25 inner tube with Presta valve (brand varies)
  • Pedro’s tire levers
  • Topeak Mini 9 multi-tool
  • Lezyne Alloy Drive pump
  • Bontrager tubeless tire sealant
  • Tubeless valve and valve core tool
  • CO2 cartridge and Silca EOLO III inflator
  • Wippermann Connex chain tool and quick link

Most of the above items are what you’d find in a mountain biker’s or adventure rider’s hydration pack. The 27.5″ tube can be used in 26″ or 29″ wheels in a pinch, and the Presta valve is also compatible with Schraeder-drilled rims. Wippermann’s Connex chain tool may not be the smallest or lightest, but it’s one of the most reliable and it comes with a reusable quick link. Why carry a multi-tool and Fix It Sticks? The multi-tool is fine for most adjustments or repairs, but sometimes you need a little extra leverage for components such as single-bolt seatposts or crankarms.

As I mentioned previously, I’ve fine tuned these repair kits to reflect my particular needs and conditions. Think of these lists as suggestions or starting points, but don’t hesitate to add–or remove–items that will make your bike more reliable–and ultimately–more enjoyable.

the climbs to watch in the second week of the Giro


Cycling weekly look at the climbs this week – exciting

We’ve had a few tough ascents so far in the Giro d’Italia, but we’ve not experienced the true mountain stages that the race is famous for just yet.

As the race heads north the number of climbs on the route increases and the less the sprinters look forward to the stages. Three of the six stages before the next rest day are over 200km in length and there are 16 categorised climbs to take in between now and Sunday.

The sprinters will have their fun on stage 12, but week two belongs to the climbers and here are five of the toughest tests they will face this week, including a mountain time trial on stage 15.

Forcella Mostaccin (stage 11)

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It’s by no means the longest climb in the race at just shy of three kilometres in length, but coming at the end of a pan flat stage the Forcella Mostaccin climb could split the peloton.

With a maximum gradient of 16 per cent and an average of over 10 per cent for the last kilometre of the climb we could see a few attacks go off the front on this climb.

The race still has around 25km to go from the top, but the rolling nature of those final kilometres means it almost certainly won’t be a bunch gallop.

Montemaggiore (stage 13)

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Montemaggiore probably won’t be a decisive climb in the Giro because it comes so close to the start of the stage – the climb starts at kilometre 48 – but it heralds the start of a tough stage for the climbers.

Just over eight kilometres in length, the climb averages nine per cent, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The first 2.5km kilometres are pretty straightforward, but then the hill ramps up to over 10 per cent for the rest of the climb, maxing out at 15 per cent in the final 500m.

There’s a sting in the tail of this one, and after a short descent the riders are heading uphill again on this very up-and-down stage.

Cima Porzus (stage 13)

The Montemaggiore climb earlier in the day may be more relentless, but after 130km of racing up and down mountains this climb of Cima Porzus could see a few riders crack.

Again, the climb averages nine per cent, but rarely does it go below that gradient. The riders will have to plug away for 8.5km at a steady gradient while they plan their finishing strategies.

This climb is followed by a shorter ascent to Valle, so attacks may come there rather than on the Cima Porzus, but this climb will certainly sort the men from the boys and the sprinters autobus will be stamping a lot of tickets.

Passo Giau (stage 14)

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Anyone who has completed the Maratona dles Dolomites sportive will know the Passo Giau very well.

The scenery is stunning, but the ascent is pretty relentless. From Selva di Cadore the climb starts off hard (a kilometre at over 10 per cent) and continues in a similar fashion for the next seven kilometres.

Again, this climb might not be in a location to be the place of crucial attacks, with another climb following immediately afterwards, but it promises to be a great part of this year’s race. One for the breakaway, maybe.

Alpe di Siusi (stage 15 ITT)

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As if riding up mountains wasn’t hard enough, imagine smashing it up as hard as you can with no teammates to help you out.

That’s what the riders face on the Alpe di Siusi on stage 15 as a mountain time trial could well separate some of the favourites for the maglia rosa.

Movistar‘s Andrey Amador holds the Strava KOM on the climb, set on a recce back in March, smashing up in 31 minutes at a modest 166 beats per minute on the heart rate monitor.

Piece of cake.

5 Ferries Spring


This weekend seem to go past quite quickly. Saturday morning I was up early to get the first train from Glasgow down to the ferry at Ardrossan.

 Getting tickets i was advised that I MAY NOT get on the ferry it was that full.  I hurried to join the queue going onto the ferry and I was greeted by possibly 60 to 70 other cyclists also enjoying the good weather we’ve been having and planning either a circuit of Arran or a loop of some sort.

As I strap my bike to the side of the hold I have a tap on the shoulder to turn round to see my friend stuart who is dragging some friends around on the charity ride –  he was also doing the five ferry challenge.


I did this ride last September at that time I was on my steel Mercian touring bike this time I had my Ti bride with me Lynskey Cooper – today was going to be quicker

First off I wasn’t sure if it would make the 2nd ferry which leaves from the Lochranza and goes across to the Argyll peninsula 11:50am so I bomb off head down I arrived with time to kill as ferry is only 12:05. Had a chance to see a campervan a large Winnebago type trying to exit the ferry and scraping half of the tail off on the ramp.

Stuart and the rest of his colleagues had caught up at this time so we all joined the 2nd ferry together. On the other side I noticed that one of his colleagues had his saddle about 3 inches too low – hideous leg angle and I was worried about the knee pain that he was sure to have a week later so I just had to adjust his saddle for him. We then proceeded to catch up the rest who were a stint up the road.

The weather was pretty incredible (for Scotland at least) 9-15C –  it seemed to be a type S europe enjoy for most of the year but for us it was rare I stayed with the group for all of the ferries and all the chat. Fore some uphills and sections I would occasionally shoot off ahead just to burn off some steam or to stay warm.

Sad it is over 

 By the time I got back to Glasgow it was evening but what a great day out on the bike.

reblog: a well dressed bike


I pay a lot of attention to other bikes on the road. Serious road cyclists are particular about their bikes. Some might say obsessed. I didn’t used to think this way but I’m not ashamed to call myself a cyclist. I take care of my bikes. I enjoy riding a clean, lubricated, and finely tuned […]

via A well dressed bike … — PedalWORKS

Things you remember – cyclist weekly


This made me chuckle – even though I am on the young end

Cyclists of a certain age may remember the good old days, when cycling was a real sport and bikes were bikes, etc

1. Checking your post-ride stats meant looking at the mechanical odometer down by your front fork drop-out. Or by how much your legs hurt.

2. It was totally okay to wear a shiny cycle jersey that included every colour and pattern known to the human race, and some that weren’t.

3. Carbon was the stuff Han Solo was frozen in, not what your frame was made of.

4. You knew exactly what people meant when they said “I were right about that saddle though5. Your posh mate had a Merckx bike, but most people couldn’t pronounce it.

6. Clip-on aero bars were the height of aerodynamic technology.

7. You spent a while deciding whether to make the switch from clips and straps to new-fangled clipless pedals.

Adrian Timmis's ANC Halfords Peugeot 1987 TDF Bike_Campag pedal Christophe toestraps_edit8. Your sports nutrition consisted of jelly babies and jam sandwiches (white bread, naturally).

9. Your helmet – if you owned one – had a cloth cover.

10. Brake levers were for brakes, not changing gear.

11. Cycling/Cycling Weekly magazine was the only way you could find out who won what and where.

1980s-cycling-magazine12. £20 was an insane amount to spend on any item of cycle clothing.

13. You never heard of any positive drug tests. No one took drugs, obviously.

14. A mobile phone consisted of a 10p piece and a wildly optimistic hope that there was a phone box within five miles.

DAVIS PHINNEY IN A STAGE-FINISH OF THE 1986 TOUR DE FRANCE

15. Aluminium bikes were for show offs.

16. Specialized, Trek and Cannondale were ‘mountain bike manufacturers’.

 

Theatre Thursday – SUP FOILING


Flying downwind with the Malolos (Flying Fish). My perspective of the ocean has been changed completely. SUP Hydro foiling downwind is the future! A huge thanks to Alex Aguera at Go Foil, and Naish for making this dream a reality.

Theatre Thursday: Adventure Dispatch


In this episode of The Adventure Dispatch, we head out on an overnight ride with Sarah Swallow through the Humboldt Redwood State Park. Sarah is an expert when it comes to creative route planning, which is why we’re happy that she decided to share her methodology for sub-24-hour overnight riding (S24O). So take notes or just enjoy the scenery and get motivated, because you’re about to learn what happens when you saddle-up, slow down, and take notice of the world around you.