I want to ride this

put this full screen and on HD

Super lovely video to start the week with – a quartet of riders from Italy tackling one of the most scenic and challenging climbs in the Alps, the Col de Tende – complete with gravelled roads and 48 switchbacks on the descent – on De Rosa bikes.

Starting from the town of Cuneo in southwest Piedmont – if you know Turin, the architecture will be familiar – the riders head up towards the 1,870-metre summit of the pass, which lies on the other side of the border with France, ahead of that spectacular descent.

It’s reputed to be one of the most ancient roads in Europe, laid down by the Phoenicians and later used by the Greeks who had colonised Marseille and, after them, the Romans.

The video is produced by CicliCorsa with the help of De Rosa and clothing firm De Marchi, helping explain why there’s an almost fashion shoot character to some of it.

The riders belong to Cani Sciolti [literally, Maverick Dogs] Valtellina, in northeast Lombardy  – you’ll find many more great videos and more on their website.

Dream Bike: Stunningly sexy steel Merckx Masterpiece

Eddy Merckx Cycles relaunches steel-bike production. With the launch of the EDDY70 racing bike Eddy Merckx Cycles is opening a new chapter. That is, one of modern, high-quality steel racing bikes.

Screenshot 2015-01-28 11.27.16

The first fruit of this project, of which only 70 examples will be produced, is the forerunner of a new Heritage collection, which will be available from September at a selection of bike stores. The EDDY70 bike can be ordered from 7pm on January 28th exclusively via EDDY70.com and will cost $17,500. (OUCH)

With the Heritage Line Eddy Merckx Cycles is drawing on the past, but only in terms of the design and color, as the new steel bikes cannot be compared with the race machines from Eddy’s glory years. They are ultramodern, state-of-the-art racing bikes improved with the best Columbus steel alloys and designed for superior performance.


The EDDY70 bike is built completely according to the wishes of Eddy Merckx, and on Jan. 27 the first example, which bears the No. 1, will be handed over to Eddy himself, who turns 70 this year. From Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. precisely, enthusiasts worldwide can order their own example via EDDY70.com, where they can choose their personal number (between 2 and 70), as well as the place where Merckx can put his own signature on the steel.

In the months following the order they can follow the whole production process via the Eddy Merckx Cycles Facebook page until they are finally invited to come and collect their personal bike in Faema colours at their local Eddy Merckx Cycles Dealer. At the same time they will receive a unique photo book that has been signed by Merckx. Nice detail: the first bikes will be delivered on June 17th, which is Eddy’s birthday.


For the steel frame of the EDDY70 the newest Columbus XCr seamless steel tubes are used. The ultralight and rigid RFS (stainless steel) lends itself perfectly to the production of racing bikes. The steel is TIG welded in the Eddy Merckx Cycles workshops and fitted with a carbon fibre Columbus front fork, after which the frame is painted.


The bike is then fitted with a Campagnolo Super Record set and Campagnolo Bora Ultra 35 wheels; both with the unique EDDY70 signature. The same icon is also printed on the cockpit, seat post and Cinelli seat.

“Everyone knows that I was always obsessively focused on the equipment that I rode on. That is still the case now. And as a result, I wanted only the best and most modern components and materials for this bike. The aim was absolutely to make a high performance, contemporary racing bike and not a replica of my old racing bike,” according to Merckx.


Every release by Eddy Merckx Cycles is a tribute to the rich heritage created by the greatest racing cyclist of all time. That is why Eddy Merckx Cycles wants to produce the best racing bikes and sell them to the widest possible cycling public. The rich history of man and bicycle is thereby linked in a contemporary and self-perpetuating way to the promising future of the brand. The company was created by Eddy Merckx in 1980 and is still based in Belgium. Eddy Merckx Cycles sells high-end racing bikes in more than 25 countries via 20 distribution partners. At the Benelux level the brand is sold by around 110 official Eddy Merckx Cycles dealers.

Cycling in the Cold – aka don’t wimp out in winter

My first really cold ride, at -6C, was in January last year doing the the Strathpuffer 24. but preparation made it easy with ice spike tyres …. and enough layers to make an onion scared.

This year i have been hitting the turbo which is not a great thing as there are only so many cardio fat burn whilst watching Breaking Bad sessions I can do

I couldn’t stand the thought of riding indoors again, especially for a two-hour ride. Some will call it justification, but I prefer to call it logic.  Cycling outdoors in the fresh air and sun would be much better for my mental and physical well-being than riding an indoor trainer for two hours.

icy roads
icy roads

No, I didn’t have to ride outdoors; it was a well-thought-out choice, a preference. After doing that first really cold ride, I now know that I can do it and I much prefer being outside than inside.


I don’t think riding outside in sub-freezing temperatures is necessarily dangerous, but I do believe certain precautions are wise:

  • If the roads are snow-packed or icy, try to choose a route that has low traffic volume.
  • Relearn how to brake – a fistful of brake can see you hit the deck pretty hard
  • Minimize long downhill sections to avoid getting cold from wind chill.
  • A mountain bike, with its wide tires, is more stable than a road bike.
  • Run lower tire pressure to increase traction and handling.
  • Ride with a buddy so that if one of you has trouble, there is another person to lend a hand.
  • Carry disposable chemical hand or toe warmers. They can be put in your shoes if your toes get cold, or can be used to warm your hands if you have to do a mechanical repair.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Have someone available to pick you up if you call for help.


I’m sure you already know that some people show up in a jersey and knee warmers for the same ride that someone else will be wearing leg warmers, arm warmers, a vest and a base layer shirt. I’ll give you my personal preferences for cold-weather riding gear, but know that I get cold easily.

Recently, I did a ride where the temperature ranged from 10.9 degrees to about -2C degrees, not counting wind chill. I’ll take you through my outfit from head to toe.

and ear muff thing


Merino inner layer
Rapha long sleeve Jersey
Rapha Gilet
Rain Jersey – more as emergency extra windproof layer

992771_10152076887764993_2129799907_n 1470782_10152076904639993_140999603_n

rapha 3/4 bibs
old arm warmers as lower leg warmers (leg warmers may be better)

Shimano shoes and neoprene covers

Gloves long fingered but not very thick

If the weather gets colder i sometimes wear my Nike running tights over the cycling bib and a thicker jersey over the long sleeve on instead of the Gilet. A neck warmer is handy too for the chin.


10 tips to winter proof your bike


Photo by Carlos Almendarez

Riding through the winter can be punishing for your road bike, all that rain, mud and salt can quickly bring it to a grinding halt.

Whether you’re commuting every day or training for an event next year, or just heading out at weekends, it does pay to pay closer attention to your bike if you want it to keep working smoothly through the winter months.

Here are our 10 top tips for looking after your bike this winter.

1. Keep it clean

Washing your bike frequently might seem like a chore, but it’s vital to wash away any dirt and muck accumulated straight after a ride, washing the bike when it’s still wet is far easier than letting the road muck dry onto the frame and components. Horse droppings have a particularly tenacity on a bicycle frame. If riding on gritted and salted roads, it is especially important to wash your bike as soon as possible, otherwise you’ll come back to your bike the next time you ride it to find some rusty parts.

A bucket of hot soapy water and a good sponge or brush is all you need, and doesn’t have to take all that long. You don’t have to be absolutely thorough every time you wash the bike, the main thing is to get the worst of the grime and muck off. There are a raft of specialist bike cleaners and degreasers available that will make a proper job of cleaning your bike and that can make even giving it a quick once over that bit more effective too.

2. Lube that chain

Once you’ve cleaned your bike, a good wet lube is an ideal choice for winter riding. The drive train consists of many expensive parts, and if left un-lubed these will simply wear out more quickly, work less effectively while they do so while making a sound like a load of hungry mice that have just spotted a large lump of cheese.

So invest in a decent lube – don’t skimp now – and keep the chain running smoothly over the cassette and chainset. Wet lubes are good at this time of year because they last a long time and work well in adverse conditions. It’s best to apply lube to a clean degreased chain, so it’s the first thing you want to do after washing the bike.

3. Winter tyres

If you’e bike is running them it’s worth swapping out the sub-200g race tyres for some heavier duty puncture resistant tyres in the winter. There are many available with thicker sidewalls and reinforced breaker belts sandwiched between the rubber tread and carcass.

Some manufacturers make tyres with a rubber compound designed to provide a little more traction on wet roads, generally it will be a softer compound. A softer compound will wear out more quickly however. It’s the rubber compound and not the tread pattern – those sipings and grooves make marginal difference on such narrow tyres – that is key to a tyres traction on wet roads.

Wider tyres are a good choice for the winter, as they can be run at lower pressures so offering extra comfort and grip, from the little increase in contact patch. How wide a tyre you can fit depends on your bicycles. Typically race frames won’t take anything wider than 23mm, or 25mm at a push. Many touring and commuting bikes, and the new breed of endurance bikes, will take up to 28 and 32mm tyres quite happily.

It’s good to keep a regular eye on your tyres. When you’re washing your bike, have a close look at the entire tread of the tyre, and remove any flint, glass or sharp stones that might be buried in the tread.

Buyers guide: The best tyres to get you through the winter.

4. Tyre pressure

When the roads are wet, letting a bit of air out of your tyres can increase grip by slightly increasing the size of the contact patch. A little less air will also improve the tyre’s ability to absorb vibrations from riding over rough roads, so you get more comfort too.

I regularly run my tyres at about 90-95psi during the winter, and softer than that if the roads are likely to be really wet. You don’t have to inflate the tyres to the 120psi maximum indicated on the side of the tyre, that’s just a guideline, in fact one school of thought is there is no actual gain from inflating a road tyre above 100psi in any conditions.

5. Preventing punctures

During the winter the roads can become coated in glass, flints and debris just lying there waiting for an unsuspecting cyclist to trundle over. Believe me it’s no fun fixing a puncture when it’s lashing down with rain. Slightly more fun maybe than waiting for a friend to fix a puncture in the rain, that is.

Slime-filled inner tubes, or adding some liquid latex to your existing inner tubes, can help to reduce a flat when something sharp cuts through the tyre deep enough to hit the inner tube. You can buy protective strips that go between the tyre and inner tube, acting as a breaker belt in a tyre, which while adding weight and reducing the ride performance a bit, will greatly reduce the potential for a puncture. I’ve heard people to slice up an old inner tube and lay it as a strip between tyre and inner tube.

Going tubeless is another good choice. Alghough it’s an expensive upgrade if you don’t have tubeless-ready wheels, the main benefit of tubeless is that there is no inner tube to puncture, with the space occupied by a small amount of liquid sealant. When something sharp goes through the tyre, not only is there no inner tube to pop, but the sealant will react with oxygen and plug the hole.

6. Mudguards

One way to prevent a lot of the water and filth being sprayed all over your bike as it’s churned up by the wheels, is to fit some mudguards. Not only do they keep the road spray of your body, but they can help to protect the bicycle, including the brake calipers and front mech, and bearings in the headset.

If your frame is designed for mudguards, then a set of traditional full-length mudguards is a sound investment. They offer the most protection for you and your bike. If you don’t have mudguard eyelets on your frame, fret not, there are many mudguards that simply clip on to the frame. Their advantage is they are very light, and can be easily removed.

Buyer’s guide: Mudguards for keeping you dry this winter

7. Avoid rust

Treating those components likely to rust quickly during harsh, wet conditions with a corrosion  preventative such as ACF50 will make sure your bike lasts the winter, and that under the encrusted dirt lies a gleaming, unsullied machine just waiting for the restorative flush of hot, detergent-filled water.

8. Regular maintenance

Winter accelerates the wearing process of mechanical components, so it’s worth checking them regularly, monthly at the very minimum, but more frequently if you ride a lot of miles. Brake pads will wear out much more quickly in the poor conditions they’re having to deal with, so keep an eye on the pads. Most brake blocks will have a wear line indicator, so don’t let yourself get caught out with rapidly disappearing brake blocks. It’s also worth checking the condition of the blocks regularly, to make sure they are wearing evenly, and remove any grit that might have lodged in the grooves.

If you have disc brakes you might find it easier to pop the wheel out to have a closer inspection at the brake pads. Sintered brake pads are preferable to organic pads in the winter as they’re harder wearing, so will last longer.

While you’re checking the brakes, pay some attention to the condition of the rims. Are they very concave in shape? That’s the sign the rim is wearing out, and for safety reasons you don’t want to be riding on rims with a dramatically concaved rim wall. I’ve seen the result of a rim wall collapsing because it was so worn out. It wasn’t pretty.

The drivetrain gets a hammering in the winter, and it’s the most expensive collection of parts on your bike. Replacing the chain, cassette and chainset in one go will hit your wallet hard, but an easy way to extend the life of the chainrings and cassette is to regularly replace the chain.

Popping a new £20-40 chain on your bike at regular intervals will save you money in the long run, and is a lot cheaper than buying a new cassette and chainrings when the whole lot wears out at the same time. Some people will replace the chain every couple of thousand miles, if they’re keeping track. Or you could buy a chain check tool that, while seemingly an expensive purchase, will save you money in the long-term.

9. Check gear and brake cables

Water can get into the gear and brake cable housing, and over time will reduce the performance of your gear shifts and braking performance. Changing the cables at regular intervals – cables are relatively cheap – is a good idea. Removing the cables, cleaning them and adding some lube as you insert into the cable housing can bring a tired set of cables back to life.

Lined and coated cables for gears and brakes offer a low maintenance solution. The likes of Jagwire produce cables sets with a proprietary L3 liner and Fibrax make a Pro-formance sealed cable kit, which should keep gears and brakes working smoothly through the winter grind.

10. Slippery coating

A top tip from the British Cycling squad is one that stops mud sticking to the frame and other components as easily. A silicone spray, widely available, can be used on the frame and parts of the transmission with the idea to create a slippery surface that dirt and mud just can’t stick too.

Be sure not to get it anywhere near the braking surface though. You could use a car wax polish instead for a heavier duty coating on the frame.

Bags mean that some will be forced to reinvent the wheel

this is a concept that i would be interested in riding – stretching what is possible


Project Details – Commuter Bike
Nine weeks: October – December 2012
Three person team: David Hotard, Matthew Campbell, Edwin Collier
Sponsored by bike component company: SRAM

Meet Steve
Steve is a 45 year-old, upper class, male. He is also a prosumer. That means he values products of professional quality. He is an avid cyclist and a businessman: clean-cut, organized, and always on time. He enjoys riding a $4,000 bike on Thursday night rides and weekends, but what he could really use is a dedicated commuter bike.

Commuters like Steve prefer backpacks despite discomfort.

We sought to understand why so many cyclist do not prefer panniers or saddle bags.

Storage solutions exist, but offer a limited choice of bags that work with rack-based systems.

Not to mention, we can be very particular about a bag we trust with all of our valuables.

Users need freedom to choose a bag that suits their needs.

A bag optimized for a storage rack is less-than-ideal in other scenarios. This gave us direction.

Design a bike around bags, not a bag around bikes.

So we started looking at how bags are stored in other modes of transportation and thought…

Can we give a bike a trunk?

And if we did, where could we put it?

Taking advantage of the space a hubless wheel opens up.

Several stages of prototyping leads to a successful model.

side view

World’s lightest 29’er

finger lifting good
finger lifting good

Open co-founder Gerard Vroomen has no problem one-finger lifting a bike he claims is the lightest 29er hardtail in the world.

There is no UCI minimum when it comes to mountain bikes, but if there was it’s safe to say two new concept bikes from Open would be flagged illegal. As it is the pair of hardtail 29ers on display at Eurobike (one fully rigid, one with a 60mm leaf spring fork) are both under the UCI’s 6.8kg minimum for road bikes.

This fully rigid steed weighs just 14.1 pounds.

The fully rigid Open weighs in at 6.4kg (14.1 pounds), while the suspended version tips the scale at 6.7kg (14.8 pounds). Both bikes are spec’d with a litany of lightweight parts and wheels from German-weight-weenie parts maker AX Lightness, plus SRAM XX1 drivetrains. The suspension fork is the yet-to-be-released 990-gram Lauf TR29, which uses glass fiber leaf springs instead of more traditional suspension mechanisms. Tires are Schwalbe Furious Fred. The cranks are THM Clavicula.

“We did it because we could,” explained Open co-founder (and former Cervélo) boss Gerard Vroomen. “They are exceptionally lightweight but they are still bikes that are fully functional and can be raced. These are not spec’d with crazy drilled out stuff that breaks when you look at it.”

Frame weight of the O-1.0 is under 900 grams for a size large, added Vroomen, who figures these are the “lightest 29er hardtails in the world.”

Vroomen also gave a thumbs up to the yet unprovenLauf fork. “I think one really big advantage is that it solves the problem of stiction,” he said. “Normally there’s a slight delay in the initial action of a fork, but not here. So over small bumps this fork reacts much quicker. But we still need to do some fatigue testing before we commit to spec’ing it on our bikes.”

However, Vroomen said that sort of testing has already been done with these two super light bikes. “We brought them to the testing agency here in Germany,” he explained. “And they said there were the lightest mountain bikes that have ever passed even though when we first brought them in they were sure that they wouldn’t pass.”

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 09.15.23

This proof-of-concept steed weighs less than the UCI minimum for road bikes.

The rigid Open is available as a fuselage only, meaning drivetrain and wheels are not included, and retails for $6,700. The suspended bike is simply a proof of concept and is not yet available for sale.

Making an arse of it – Working out what saddle width to get.

Today went out for a ride – think it was 77km and still I have to confirm that my saddle is still not great. I am getting slight numbness on the turbo and the San Marco Regal saddle on the road bike is not as comfy as the Ritchey WCS saddle on my 29er – and that is with a lot more pounding action.

So time to change but will I need a 130mm saddle or a 143mm? (I have chosen to get a Specialised Romin Evo with the SL ti rails) so time to measure but I didnt know how so here was the video I found.

But my Steps:

Sit on card – then use my charcoal drawing stick and rub.


then measure the distance between the centre of the sit depressions ….

SIT2in this case a smidge over 100mm

SIT3add 25-30mm and I need a saddle width of 127-133



saddle Chat – cover it in a big way


Your saddle is arguably the most important component on your bike – like that other key to comfort, your shorts, if it’s doing its job properly you’ll never notice it, but if it isn’t…Ouch! It’s your main contact point with the bicycle, and for some of us even subtle variations between two similar saddle designs can lead to one of them crossing fine line between comfortable perch and instrument of torture.

These days most of us buy bikes as complete machines rather than buying a frame and building it up – these bikes all come with saddles and for a lot of people the saddle they got with their bike works just fine. Every component on a complete bike has to contribute to meeting a price point, but bike manufacturers aren’t stupid they may spec a generic product but it is one designed to work for as many people as possible. And for a lot of us the saddle our bike was born with works just fine.

However, if it doesn’t or you want to drop some weight from your bike, or  pep up its looks with a new perch you’ll need to find the right one. If it ain’t broke though you may want to consider whether you really want to fix it before you start looking for another saddle – it’s not surprise that pros, couriers, expedition riders – indeed anyone who spends a lot of time on a bike takes the same favoured saddle from bike to bike. Nor is it the case that you necessarily need the most high tech saddle to go the fastest – the Tour de France has been won on £25 saddles.

If you do need a different saddle though you are faced with a bewildering choice,  saddles come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes to suit every type of riding from racing, touring, commuting and leisure cycling.

While this huge choice means there’s a saddle to suit every bum, it does make knowing just where to start a touch tricky when you’re faced with a choice of potentially hundreds of saddles. So you need to narrow down your choice to find the perfect saddle, and that’s the aim of this guide.


The critical part of choosing the right saddle is finding a shape that fits your body and suits your riding style. Generally speaking, the more stretched out your riding position and the faster you ride, the narrower the saddle you need. And the more upright your position and the slower you ride, the wider the saddle needs to be. When you’re stretched out, you place less weight on the saddle, but when you sit upright, the saddle has to support more of your weight. That’s why race bikes have very thin saddles, and Boris bikes have extremely wide saddles.

Manufacturers are getting better at helping you to choose the right saddle. Most have their own system of narrowing the choice, either by deciding what type of cyclist you are – usually by your range of flexibility and your position on the bike, or using a fit system that measures the distance between your sit bones, to pair you with the saddle that best matches your anatomy.

A good saddle should support the sit bones, not the entire bum. It’s where your sit bones contact the saddle that is key, a saddle needs to provide adequate support in these two key areas. That’s why many saddles are offered in different widths, reflecting the difference in peoples anatomy. Some manufacturers have up to three width saddles to suit the range of variance. The nose of the saddle supports some of the cyclist’s weight. Oh, one thing to remember here is that just because you have a bigger bottom it doesn’t necessarily follow that you have wider sit bones.

Saddle shapes largely fall into several camps. There’s those that are flat, some are rounded, some have scooped backs, some are narrow, others much wider. You can narrow down the choice by deciding what style of riding you do. A saddle that is too wide can lead to chafing, and one too narrow can feel like you’re sitting on a knife.

Generally, thinner saddles with minimal padding are more suited to racers with aggressive riding positions, riding in the drops and crouched low over the handlebars. Such a position means you’re not sitting with all your weight on the saddle, you actually put very little load on the saddle when riding in such a position.

For touring cyclists saddles with a wider shape are favoured, as you don’t adopt such an aggressive position when putting the miles in on tour as you do when racing. For long days in the saddle, and day after day, you need the highest level of comfort possible, and leather saddles are regularly the first choice. They’re very durable too, and usually last years longer than saddles made from synthetic foam padding.

For more leisurely riding where an upright position is adopted, more of your weight will be concentrated through the saddle. A wider saddle with more support and extra padding will be the preferred choice here.

You can get saddles aimed to road racing, triathlon, touring, commuting, mountain biking, and they all take different approaches with shapes and padding. This does help narrow down the choice. There are some saddles that are favoured by different groups of cyclists, and there are some that seem to straddle the different camps. The Charge Spoon is one such saddle that leaps to mind as being particularly well suited to British bums, whether road racing, touring or mountain biking.

Material, rails and shell

The type of materials used to construct a saddle range from plastic bases and steel rails on entry-level models to entire moulded carbon fibre bases and rails on the very expensive models. The more you spend, the lighter the materials used, so if weight is a key priority for you, you need to start saving up. Lightweight saddles are those in the 200g region.

If comfort is important to you, then steer clear of carbon rails as hollow titanium rails can often provide additional flex to absorb some of the vibrations that pass through the frame into the seatpost. We’re even seeing many professional racers choose these saddles over the very top-end models.

The base of the saddle is an area that a manufacturer can design in extra flex, to allow the saddle to subtly deform upon impacts. Some have holes or different materials in key places that allow the foam to expand through the hole, or the base to flex in a controlled manner.

The saddle cover can be made from synthetic leather like Lorica or real leather, and there’s many other materials manufacturers might use. Some add perforations and Kevlar edges to prevent wear and tear taking its toll. Time trial saddles often have a grippy material along the nose to stop the cyclist slipping back and forth, and we’re starting to see such materials make a presence on road saddles, as with Prologo’s CPC saddle.

Leather saddles have a single piece of leather that is tensioned on a metal frame, so it’s essentially suspended like a hammock, and provides a good range of give that can prove very comfortable on longer rides. They need more looking after than regular saddles, and sometimes need breaking in, the leather needs proofing, and you need to be careful in wet weather, they don’t much like the rain – which is why you most often find them on mudguard-equipped touring bicycles. Brooks are the name most associated with leather saddles but they aren’t the only maker out there. Spa Cycles to a well regarded, and well priced, range of leather perches – that possibly require more breaking in than a Brooks, but not that much more.

Padding and cutouts

Most saddles use some form of foam padding, but the amount of padding used and the density can vary a lot. Racier saddles often have less padding, while saddles for commuting and leisure cyclist will have deeper and softer padding, to cushion the ride – however if you ride fast, or for long distances too much padding might not be your friend, it can move, pinch or chafe rather than supporting your sit bones.

It’s easy to think a saddle with very firm padding is going to be uncomfortable, but once you get used to them they can be a lot more comfortable than softly cushioned saddles for riding of the fast variety. Because you lean forward, you perch on the saddle rather than sit on it, so you can get away with less padding. Strategically placed gel inserts are another frequent solution to providing comfort.

In 1997 a study by Dr. Irwin Goldstein put the cat among the pigeons, claiming cycling could lead to erectile disfunction in men and cause permanent reproductive failure. A load of nonsene it may be, but the story produced a lot of concern, and the saddle with the hole in the middle suddenly became very popular. Step forward Specialized in 1998 who produced their first Body Geometry saddle, with a cutaway channel claimed to reduce the decreased blood flow that can lead to numbness. In fact the idea is not new. The first saddle with a hole was actually born as early as 1903, and Georgena Terry produced the first modern example for women in 1992  It also has to be said that the claims for saddles with channels in them are hedged with all sorts of caveats.

For instance there is no agreement that decreased blood flow, or even numbness will cause erectile dysfunction in men or genital numbness in women. And even proponents of channels and holes agree that there is another simple cure – stand up and any decreased blood flow to your bits will immediately resolve itself. Also even if decreased blood flow does cause a problem depending how you are wired down there the amount of difference between a normal saddle and one with a channel may be minimal to non-existent. In the interestes of science our esteemed editor once had his organ wired up to measure the difference in blood flow between his usual saddle and one with a channel in it – for him at least it turned out there was no difference..

So they’re not for everyone, you only need looking at the bikes of the professionals to see that many quite happily cycle many thousands of kilometres a year with little side effect, so there’s a lot more to comfort than just adding the channel. They do work for some people though, indeed some swear by them. It’s a case of trying different saddles and seeing what works for you.

If you have partiuclar urological or prostate problems it may well be worth looking at a saddle with a hole or channel or cutaway – there are plenty to choose from. Or you might even take things a stage further and looking at something with a drop nose – like a Selle SMP or even a noseless saddle – like the ISM Adamo Racing saddle pictured above,

One other thing to bear in mind when it comes to padding on a saddle – particularly a performance saddle – it has a limited lifespan after which time the padding isn’t really doing any padding any more because it has become too compressed by the millions of times your bottom has compressed it. Bascially the more performance oriented a saddle and the less actual padding it has the more time limited is the lifespan of the padding it does have. Many top end performance saddles have an expected lifespan of a couple of seasons if used the way they are intended to be. The upside for us more mortal riders is that ‘used as intended’ means used a lot.


Saddles for women

Most manufacturers now have a large choice of women-specific saddles to recongise, as with bib shorts, the differences in anatomy. It should be noted that many women get on just fine with men’s saddles, just as many women happily ride men’s bikes. Generally women have wider sit bones so there’s a choice of suitable wider saddles to suit. That said, looking at some saddle ranges, there’s still a much smaller choice for women than men, something which needs addressing.

Georgena Terry developed a reputation for comfortable saddles aimed specifically at women, in doing so pioneering the first women’s specific designed products. She produced a saddle for women in 1992 with a cutaway section, a design she later expanded to men’s saddles.

Try before you buy

Ideally, you want to try a saddle on your bike before parting with your money, and a few saddle manufacturers recognise the problem of spending a lot of cash on an untested saddle. Some then offer try before you buy schemes, where you can run a saddle for a desired amount of time to decide if it’s right for you. That can save you collective a large pile of saddles in your shed as you enter the quest for the ultimate saddle.

Saddle height and bike fit

As important as picking the right saddle, ensuring you have the saddle at the correct height and distance from the handlebars is also very important. Sometimes, you can have the right saddle, but you’re not sitting on it correctly, which can be a case of it being too far forward or backwards. If you find yourself wriggling about on your saddle a lot when riding, it could be a sign it’s not correctly positioned.

We’d recommend getting a professional bike fit, and there are many available these days. They’ll assess your level of flexibility, physical limitations and your cycling goals, and ensure you’re correctly fitted on the bike. The bike needs to git you, not the body fitting the bike

Saddle choices

Here’s six saddles from the road.cc review archive that show a good spread of the available choice and with prices ranging from £60 to £200.

Specialized Jett Comp Gel Women’s saddle  £59.99

Well engineered, medically proven female specific saddle offering good support to the sit bones, but a little over firm at the nose for me. A touch on the heavy side too

Brooks B17 S saddle  £60.00

Exceptionally high quality, traditionally styled British made saddle that’ll give years of comfortable riding

Prologo Scratch Pro Ti 1.4  £99.99

A classic shape but thoroughly modern saddle. I won’t be taking it off for a long time, that’s for sure

Charge Knife saddle  £59.99

Light, comfortable and looks great – punches well above its weight. Basically it’s a racier version of the now pretty much legendary Charge Spoon – a saddle that seems to fit a very large number of British bottoms (there are also similarly shaped saddles from Madison and Whyte – to name but a few. The other good thing about the Spoon is that you can get one for well under £25.

Fizik Arione R1 saddle  £199.99

Lightweight and extremely comfortable, a saddle designed for the pros – the only downside is the price, luckily though it’s available in a variety of much less spendy options.

San Marco Regale Racing Team saddle  £119.99

If you want a very comfortable saddle that looks smart and is used by the pros, then look no further than the Regale. A modern classic




A good ride made better

There is something to be said for riding and more importantly riding with pals.

the route strava - click to go there
the route strava – click to go there

Up the crow – normal ride on Sunday and joined by ‘new to the road bike lark’ pal. He said up to 60km was fine so this was going to be just under that – up the Crow Road and the Campsies and then straight back down.

Got out of bed – weather report had said sun – made a wish pulled back curtains to drizzle. so running tights over the cycling 3/4 and a waterproof top were donned. Met at his house at 9am then off we went chatting and cycling. Kept the speed low around 22-24kmh on the flat and then headed north. The etiquette on the crow is ‘go for it’ so went up a bit harder then doubled back at the top to come down and join him on his climb. brief stop ….

nick at the top in the mist
nick at the top in the mist


in my fetching new Campag top (style police say German colour / italian top / american bike / Japanese group set / mild confusion)

photo 2


lot of gunk and grit on the road and the bike needed a wash on its return to the flat …. quick bucket downstairs then back inside ….


photo 3


freestyle on a 10k bike – don’t try this with your dad’s bike kids

Martyn Ashton takes the £10k carbon road bike used by Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins & Mark Cavendish for a ride with a difference. With a plan to push the limits of road biking as far as his lycra legs would dare, Martyn looked to get his ultimate ride out of the awesome Pinarello Dogma 2. This bike won the 2012 Tour de France – surely it deserves a Road Bike Party!

Shot in various locations around the UK and featuring music from ‘Sound of Guns’. Road Bike Party captures some of the toughest stunts ever pulled on a carbon road bike.

A Film by Robin Kitchin

Produced by Ashton Bikes

Music: Sound of Guns ‘Sometimes’

Forgotten love: quick jolly on my mtb

It must be an age thing but I quickly forget just how good mtb’ing is – the last 6 months I have been spending more and more time on the titanium lynskey road bike and I forgot all about my other Ti bride – the beast that is my rolloff geared titanium carver 96’er.

Friday morning and I had time – well a 2 hr slot before picking my youngest up from school. I am supposed to be tapering (ie no exercise) for the half marathon on Sunday so it was never going to be too hectic. I bombed down the canals close to the house and headed to a small wood on a large house estate where there were wee climbs as well as a few singletrack sections. I haven’t been in this wood for probably 2 years and these last 2 winters have seen some big storms.

The woods had seen some carnage – some steps that I use to ride down were blocked by the biggest oak tree destroyed in the storms.

steps blocked by downed tree

There some nice additions a felled tree arching across the trail –

fallen tree arch

some new singletrack sections – and on coming home STRAVA says I weaved through the chicanes at a record pace king of the mountain for a day or two…..

King Of The Mountain (for at least a day)

Seven launch their lightest bike ever – titanium carbon love fest

US bespoke brand Seven Cycles are launching a new road bike with a carbon fibre and titanium frame that’s their lightest ever.

The 622 SLX weighs 1kg in a 54cm frame size. It uses rider-specific carbon tubes joined using titanium lugs that are designed to be stiff and durable as well as adding a whole lot of style.

Seven Cycles already make frames that blend carbon fibre and titanium – their Elium SL and Elium SLX road models, for example – but they reckon the 622 sets new standards in that it retains the feel of a metal bike but in a lighter weight.

“We hear a lot of riders who love the road feel of our metal bikes wanting a lighter option, and we hear a lot of the people riding our carbon bikes express an interest in getting more road feel,” said Seven Cycles founder Rob Vandermark. “This bike is really for them. We wanted to maximize the positive characteristics of each material, and we wanted to do something with an almost sculptural aesthetic.”

We have to agree that the 622 is a good looking bike, those beautifully shaped lugs lending a classy air that distinguishes it from the crowd.

The 622 name refers to the materials used, six being the atomic number for carbon and 22 being titanium. It’s available as Seven’s ‘custom kit’ option which is a full bespoke service. You visit an approved retailer and order a bike that is sized specifically for you and comes with features of your choice. You get to choose the degree of drivechain stiffness you get, the amount of vertical compliance, the speed of the handling and so on.

Of course, a bespoke bike like this is never going to be cheap. You’re looking at £4,950 for the frameset. Youch! And then you’re going to have to factor in a lot more cash for the build – you’re not going to want to deck it out in kit from the parts bin.

A sad day – toys being sold pt2 – MINT steel Pinarello Arriba £750

My lovely mint 1996 Pinarello Arriba bought last year New Old Stock direct form Italy.

56cm frame

Campag Equiped

Mint condition – the orig tyres even have little rubber bits on still. Ridden 112 miles – I then changed stem (orig also include) but frame one side too big for me. Been keeping in case i grew some more 😉

Frame & Fork
Frame Construction TIG-welded steel
Frame Tubing Material Oria
Fork Brand & Model Pinarello
Fork Material Oria
Rear Shock Not applicable
Component Group Campagnolo Mirage
Brakeset Campagnolo Mirage brakes, Campagnolo Mirage levers
Shift Levers Campagnolo Mirage Ergo
Front Derailleur Campagnolo Veloce, bottom-pull/braze-on
Rear Derailleur Campagnolo Mirage
Crankset Campagnolo Mirage, 32/42/52 teeth
Pedals Campagnolo Mirage (clipless)
Bottom Bracket Campagnolo Mirage, 111 mm spindle
BB Shell Width 70mm Italian
Rear Cogs 8-speed, 12 – 25 teeth
Chain Campagnolo Athena, 1/2 x 3/32″
Seatpost 27.2 mm diameter
Saddle Vetta SL
Handlebar ITM Super Europa 2
Handlebar Extensions Not applicable
Handlebar Stem ITM
Headset 1″ Campagnolo Mirage
Rims Campagnolo Roma 60, 32-hole
Tires 700 x 23c Vittoria Techno Twin
Spoke Brand Stainless steel
Spoke Nipples Brass nipples

Why I became a roadie …. a film of types

why I became a roadie – nice series from big spesh …..

The first of a series of short films exploring the one word that seems to be missing from much of the bike industry – “why?”.

Dan Gronross has lived in British Columbia for eight years, and for the longest time rode mountain bikes exclusively, much of it in Whistler’s Bike Park, until a bad accident changed his outlook on the sport. Here’s WHY he rides road bikes now.

Toys for the Two Wheeled Set (and the well heeled)


It doesn’t matter what you ride or how you ride, this is the time of year when the bike biz incites your lust for new stuff.

Whether you ride in shorts or a skinsuit, with hairy legs or shaved, in chunky shoes or carbon kicks, there is almost certainly something in the bike mags that’s got you drooling. There was so much good stuff at the Sea Otter Classic we needed a bib. Everywhere we looked, we saw something that had us reaching for our wallets.

Here’s a small sampling of the stuff that made our list.

Pactimo, Day of the Dead Jersey

If you’re looking to stand out from the pack – and what cyclist wrapped from head to toe in what their friends affectionately call “Spandex” isn’t – look no further than Pactimo’s limited-edition designer jerseys. The Denver-based outfit works with a laundry list of designers, some of whom actually have cycling backgrounds, to deliver wearable art that works.

“You can show up on a ride with something completely different than anybody else has,” said Karl Heidgen, VP of Custom Sales. “Keep it different.”

Pactimo’s been making gear for eight years, and started with a simple idea: Focus on custom kits for individual riders, smallish teams and their private label business. The designer gallery is an opportunity to engage their growing customer base without the hassle of going into the retail space.

The vibrantly colorful Day of the Dead kit designed by Arlene Pederson is available in a jersey with a matching bib for men and jersey/shorts for women. Other designers who’ve worked with Pactimo include Gregory Klein, Kristin Mayer and Miguel Paredes.

Want one? Better move fast. Each design is limited to 100 pieces.



Colnago C59 Disc

If there was ever any concern that disc brakes would look like hell on a road bike, check out the Colnago C59 Disc. We couldn’t take our eyes off it. It’s a thing of beauty.

Colnago took the C59 and redesigned the chainstays and fork to compensate for the force of braking moving downward from the traditional brake locations. What the bike gains in weight beefing up the frame and fork has been matched (almost) by the weight saved by running discs over traditional road brakes. Look for the weight to keep falling as the technology improves.

So far Colnago isn’t saying whether we’ll see the C59 Disc as a frameset or complete bike, and it definitely did not mention price.


Smith Pivlock V2 Max

Pivlock shades may not be the trendiest-looking shades, but if you prefer function to form, Smith has you covered.

The Pivlock was designed specifically for athletes, which means you can keep your eyes on the road regardless of what the terrain throws at you. They feature an adjustable nosepiece to keep ‘em where you want ‘em and three sets of lenses: clear, rose and dark. Changing lenses is a snap, too.

They come in a variety colors and are available in the smaller Pivlock V2.



Moots MX Divide

Moots is no Johnny-come-lately to the big wheel game. It arguably was the first to the table a dozen years ago with the YBB 29er, and it’s upping the ante with the MX Divide.

“Our goal was to build a really well-balanced cross-country and recreational bike,” said company president Rob Mitchell.

Moots drew from its long history of lustworthy mountain rides when designing the MX Divide. It is one oversized titanium tube after another, beautifully welded by builders who can only be called craftsmen. The front triangle joins the rear end via a carbon link, keeping weight down and stiffness up. The ride is plush throughout its four inches of travel, with minimal bobbing.

We can’t wait for Moots to send us one for a thorough and thoughtful review. (Rob, you still have our number, right?)

$4995 frame


Patterson Transmission

If you have been thinking about a belt-driven commuter bike but concerned about being locked into a bike with meager gearing choices, stop worrying. Patterson’s just doubled your choices.

The Transmission is a two-speed planetary crankset, with internal gearing equivalent to 28- and 45-tooth chainrings. The crankset has been available in a chain version for about a year, and the new belt drive converter lets you run a Gates carbon drive. It couldn’t be easier, too.

“It’s like a Mr. Potato Head,” said Sam Patterson, who invented it. “You can yank one piece off and slide another one on. Super simple inside.”

Dave Lev of TI Cycles used a belt-drive Transmission on the rig that won “Best Experimental Bike” at this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show. We saw a few other manufacturers chatting Patterson up at Sea Otter, so you’ll probably see them showing up on other rides soon.



Cardo Communications System

Trying to chat up your riding buddy can be a frustrating experience. Even chatting up the stoker on your tandem can be a challenge. It doesn’t have to be.

Cardo has been making motorcycle Bluetooth communication systems since 2002. You can see where this is going – the company has designed a helmet-to-helmet system specifically for bicyclists. It can accommodate three riders, and with a range of half a mile, they’ll hear you complaining about the pace before you fall off the back for good.

Once they’ve dropped you, you can pair your headset to any Bluetooth device so you can listen to your iPod or call home and ask for a ride.

$269.95 single / $469.95 pair


Yeti SB95

Spotting this at Sea Otter was a bit like catching a glimpse of Bigfoot – we’ve heard it existed, but never expected to see it.

Yeti’s big-wheeler is so hot the Golden, Colorado, company can’t build ‘em fast enough. And for good reason. This is a bike you can spend all day on, riding just about everything from technical twisties to fast fire roads. Built using Yeti’s very own Switch Technology and redesigned with the 29er platform in mind, this five-inch trail bike looks to be loads of fun. The SB95 has a low top tube providing ample stand-over height, it’s through-axle compatible and has short chainstays. This bike would be great for riders transitioning from a 26er.

“It’s pretty damn fun and it will make you faster on a lot of trails,” said Dave Ziegman, Yeti R&D/Test Rider.

Want one? The line starts behind us.



Kappius Hubs

How many points of contact are enough?

Russ Kappius kept asking himself this question, mostly because he didn’t think guys like Shimano have enough in their rear cassettes. He gave the whole design a serious rethink and came up with his own number. That number is 240. (even my favourite Chris King Hubs only have 45 teeth)

That’s an astronomical figure, given that the average rear hub has between 18 and 36 and even the incredibly awesome Industry Nine Hubs have 120. To accomplish this, Kappius redesigned the hub, clearing out the area beneath the cogset to install an oversize spline. That spline sits atop an externally mounted drive. We’re still wrapping our heads around it, but Kappius claims the system is stronger, with less play and better power transfer.

The goal was building a bombproof hub that doesn’t weigh a ton and is super easy to use. He appears to have succeeded; his mountain bike hub weighs 269 grams, and the cassette slips right on. No chainwhip or cog tool required.

And the sound? Oh, the sound. It’s like angry bees on steroids. We’re not sure our riding partners will like it, but we love it.

$699 rear / $299 front


Shimano Shadow Plus

Shimano is trickling down the rear derailleur stabilization tech from its flagship XTR mountain group to those of us without sacks of cash to spend on gear. The new Shadow Plus system promises fewer dropped chains, better control, less slap and a quieter ride.

What’s not to like?

Well, the tech carries a heftier price and a bit more weight than the current Shimano offerings. But they believe the advantages outweigh the drawbacks and the resulting shifting stability makes switching a no-brainer.

Of course, SRAM offers similar technology, called the Roller Bearing Clutch. So there is that.


Camelbak, All Clear

Few things suck more than having to drink nasty water or not being able to drink it at all. Camelbak is here to help with a UV system that purifies water in just 60 seconds.

It couldn’t be easier. The UV bulb is built into the cap. Pour in water, turn the indicator on, swirl the whole thing around a few times and wait. An LCD screen tells you when you’re good to go.

Camelbak says the system eliminates more than 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Yummy!



Danny Shane, Cross-Hybrid polo

Danny Shane’s been making jerseys for about two years and introduces the Cross-hybrid polo, a top designed to be worn after you get off the bike. A fashion piece, if you will.

Each jersey is infused with white ash, produced by burning bamboo, and said to be breathable, light and stink-resistant. We tried one, and everything Danny Shane says is true. These jerseys are comfy. And plaid. Very, very plaid.

“We’re really inspired by the European cycling culture,” said sales manager Christian Beer. “Argyle has been popular, but nobody has done the plaid before.”


Intense Hard Eddie

Intense made its rep building big-travel bikes for the downhill set, so it’s a surprise to see it wandering into hardtail, 29er territory. Hard Eddie is a bike those of us who aren’t into big air can love.

Hard Eddie frame comes in at impressive 2.7 lbs, with 135 mm, 142 mm or single-speed rear dropouts. Regardless of whether you’re building a lightweight single speed or put a freeride rig with 100 mm of travel, you’re covered. This is a smoking-hot package from a bike company with legit cred.

$1889 frame / $430 rigid fork


Teva Links Mid

To anyone who was actually around in the 1980s, the thought of Tevas being at all cool may seem wrong on many levels. But the company has come out with a freeride mountain-specific cycling shoe that is, dare we say it, fashionable and functional.

The Links Mid is, as the name suggests, a mid-height cut of the brand’s popular Link mountain shoe. It’s got flexible armor across the toe, a sole designed to play well with pedals and something called ion-mask technology to make them waterproof.

Light, comfortable and stylish? Yes. Seriously. Look for them by the end of May in any color you like as long as it’s black.



2013 Giant Anthem X Advanced 29er

The number-one-selling full suspension bike in Giant’s stable gets a revamp for 2013. The top-of-line version now has a carbon fiber front triangle and is lighter, stiffer and sexier.

The Anthem X slimmed down and stiffened up. Giant claims the new frame is 7 percent stiffer up front. The headset is the super-beefy Overdrive2, and the impressive girth of the downtube makes it appear the Anthem will take anything you throw at it. This is one stunningly attractive race-ready ride, with a claimed weight of 23 pounds.

It’s also insanely expensive. The range-topping Anthem X Advanced 0 will run you $8,900.

“The catch, if you will, with composites is obviously price, so we will continue to sell the aluminum version,” said Andrew Juskaitis, Giant marketing. “It’s the hand labor that goes into producing a frame like this. There’s no way around it. There is no way to automate it. This is something that takes a long time to build by hand.”

Disc brakes on mtb, cycle cross and now finally on roadie porn

colnago 2013 C59 Disc

Colnago has beaten the other top-end bicycle manufacturers to the punch and unveiled their C59 Disc road bike at the Taipei Show in Taiwan. The C59 Disc, based on the popular C59 frame used by team Europcar, comes equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, carbon wheels, and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. The use of Formula hydraulic discs and Di2-enabled hydraulic drop bar levers sets the C59 atop the disc road bike genre.

The C59 Disc has an all new rear end that has been reinforced in key areas to accept the Colnago-branded Formula R1 calipers and 140mm rotors. Similarly, the fork is totally new and, like the frame, can only be set up with disc calipers.

Formula’s hydraulic and electronic levers power all the braking and shifting, and the dual-purpose hydraulic levers set the C59 Disc apart from the current pack of disc brake road and cyclocross bikes. Colnago also released the Artemis Disc wheel, which is what the C59 Disc will be rolling onto the showroom floor with. The wheels have 24 spokes front and rear wich, most importantly, use a mountain bike-standard 135mm rear hub. That means that any mountain bike hub can be used in the 135mm dropouts of the C59 disc.

Along with the C59 Disc, Colnago also released their Prestige Disc cyclocross bike. While less flashy than the C59 Disc, the Prestige Disc still uses Shimano’s Di2 group paired with SRAM BB7 brake calipers. Like the C59 disc, the Prestige Disc will accept 140mm rotors and the rear hub is spaced to 135mm.

Do discs have a place in the roadie world – what do you think?

Maybe Fabian can make it again: TREK Isofix

Well a heavy option would be to use a mountain bike system like the cannondale scalpel to flex away the pave but treks new Domane looks sweet as a honey bees glory ….


Back when we were speculating on the sneak peek shots ofTrek’s new Domane underneath Fabian Cancellara at the Strade Bianche, we conjectured (is that a word?) that the seatpost and the main frame were separate. And they are. Spartacus himself has been heavily involved with the design process, and the bike “specifically addresses the challenges of rough road conditions found throughout the spring classics courses with a collection of key innovations unlike any available before today”, according to Trek.

The Domane (That’s Do-MAH-nee, apparently, which is latin for “King’s crown” as well as being an anagram of Madone) features a technology which Trek have christened IsoSpeed. It’s a “functional decoupler that separates the ride-tuned seat mast from the top tube”. So effectively the the seat tube isn’t attached to the top tube and seatstays like you’d normally expect, but instead is held in place by a pivot and some kind of elastomer coupling that acts as a buffer between the seat mast and the top tube. Being an elastomer it will act as a damper which also perhaps opens the possibility of further tuning the ride… not that we’d fancy trying to take it out.

IsoSpeed means lots more compliance, say Trek. Twice the vertical compliance of the nearest competition is their claim. Not only that but they claim that it’s even stiffer laterally than the Madone. A bike that’s got a bit more give should be a boon over long rides and difficult surfaces, with the IsoSpeed coupling allowing more fore-aft movement as well as in the vertical plane.

Cancellara’s certainly happy. “When you work with Trek and the engineers it’s a combination that lets you examine every detail and the details that it takes to win the races that this bike is made for are bigger than any other,” he gushed. “The end result of all that work is the Domane and after competing on this bike, winning on this bike, it’s going to be hard to get me on anything else,” he said, although that didn’t stop him swapping back to the Madone for the smooth tarmac of Milan-San Remo.

In the end it’s a comfort bike. A performance-led one. Trek have always maintained that they didn’t need a comfort bike because the Madone was comfy enough and available in different geometries, but they’ve inevitably lost out in sales against the likes of the Specialized Roubaix, Cannondale Synapse and Giant Defy Advanced, and more and more manufacturers are producing performance-comfort bikes now;BMC’s launch of the cobble-friendly GF01 is next week.

Like the Madone 6 Series the Domane boasts an OCLV carbon frame with a super-wide BB90 bottom bracket and internal cable routing. There’s a new Bontrager RXL fork to go with the frame, too. Trek call the cable routing ‘race-optimised’ and interestingly the cables on the Domane all enter the headtube on the same side (something we noticed when we spotted the bike at the Strade Bianche). We’ll be looking to see if that is an innovation that makes it’s way on to the next generation of the Madone – surely due for launch any time now.

The Domane’s geometry is different from that of the Madone. The head tube is just a little taller than you’ll get on an H2 fit Madone – Trek do three different fits, the H1 being the most aggressive, the H3 being the most relaxed. The Domane’s head tube is 17.5cm compared to 17cm on an H2 fit Madone. The top tube is slightly shorter too. You get a slacker head tube angle, an increased fork offset, longer chainstays, a longer wheelbase and more of a bottom bracket drop on the Domane too, which should translate into a more planted, stable ride which is especially useful on rough roads where hitting something hard and jagged on a standard road bike can knock you completely off-line.

Cancellara doesn’t ride with electronic gears; if he did you’d have seen the battery mounted at the bottom of the down tube, basically in the middle of the bottom bracket. For a bike that’s designed to be ridden over the rough stuff that seems like an odd placing to us, being a bit more vulnerable to debris kicking up from the front wheel than the current favourite position of underneath the chainstay.

Other pave-beating touches include super skinny seatstays and an integrated chain catcher; some of the RadioShack Nissan Trek boys would undoubtedly find that useful on the Madone too. Hopefully then the new integrated chain catcher on SRAM Red is detachable – how many chain catchers does a boy really need? Actually, we’re guessing that the one on the Damone is detatchable for those who can change gear without dropping the chain.

The new Domane is available right now in two versions (there’s three on the UCI list), and in another break from the usual the Custom version is cheaper than the Team Edition. quite a bit cheaper as it turns out. You can have a Custom Domane 6 for a mere £3,700 (although you can pay more if you want) while the Domane 6 Series Team Edition can be yours for £8,290. There must be some Unobtanium knocking about in that one. Well, do you want to beat the cobbles or not?

That’s it for now. But if that isn’t enough, we’ve got a man in the area: VecchioJo is currently hot-footing his way across the low countries to ride the Flanders sportive, and he’s even now diverting to Kortijk (picture one of those Union Jack arrows from the start of Dad’s Army) where Trek are currently showcasing the new machine. He should be able to swing a leg over it too, so stay tuned for a first ride soon… if he doesn’t get lost.

Carbon Road Bikes are so weak and fragile Blah di Blah di Blah

I don’t have a carbon bike but this is one of the criticisms that i have heard rolled out …. well have a gander at this.

If you’re one of those people whose reflex action when you see Peter Sagan or Robbie McEwen pull a wheelie on a road bike is to issue a terse ‘tsk,’ you may wish to look away now. You certainly won’t want to press ‘play’ on the video above.

If you’re still here, that’s great – hit the ‘play’ button and sit back and watch a couple of Neil Pryde frames being put through some Danny MacAskill-style moves with the help of assorted bleachers, berms, steps and picnic tables.

There’s limited info on the background to the video – at the end it says that stunts were performed by Rick “The Clutch” Roth and Tony “The Sack” Roth, and Neil Pryde gets a namecheck, as do Shimano, Enve and Tune “for making products that hold up.”

The video appears to have been put together by Tucson, Arizona-based Fair Wheel Bikes – we can’t find anything on their blog about it right now, but perhaps that’s because we got distracted by posts showcasing some great custom builds…

We’re not sure we’ll be incorporating this kind of routine into our bike tests, but road.cc tech ed Nick will be casting his eye over the video later to see if he can ID who supplied precisely which parts… the Dura Ace wheels on one of the bikes being a given, of course.

UPDATE: In fact, what happened was we received a very thorough response from Fair Wheel’s Jason Woznick which you can read after video.

The story from Fair Wheel Bikes in Tucson, Arizona

Naturally, having seen the video, we had to ask some questions and Jason Woznick from Fair Wheel Bikes in Tucson, Arizona came back overnight with his answers:


road.cc: Did you break anything? – Well, we had to ask

As far as things that got broken, the list was pretty small, one flat tire, one chipped fork (from the crash at the end) and a couple of slightly bent teeth on a chainring.


road.cc: It looked like the guys were riding different set ups so did you have different builds for different types of stunt?

There weren’t really planned differences in setup, both bikes were just  typical road bikes.  We didn’t build these bikes specifically for this video; these bikes were already built and being ridden. The black one is my daily rider and the blue one is Richard our web editor’s daily rider.  When we decided to finally shoot the video we wanted to use our regular bikes.  It’s not uncommon for those bikes to drop a ledge, or a flight of stairs on a typical ride or commute so we really didn’t have any concerns about durability or setup.  The only changes that were made for the video were that the tires were swapped to 28c commuter tires and the pedals were switched to platforms.


road.cc: Oh, and did you have any reasons for choosing particular components to use on the bikes?

The reason we chose the particular components for each bike was that those are what we like to ride.


road.cc: Finally having done this video do you think there’s more that can be done in terms of road bike stunts?

There are definitely a ton more things that can and should be done.  When we started planning the shoot we expected to have more time but logistics just didn’t allow it.  We ended up having only 2 mornings to shoot which limited not only our time but also our locations.  We had a ton of stuff which we wanted to do but just never found the time.  Half of this video was Tony and Rick just trying to get used to being on bikes they’d never been on before.  We had plans to do more at the dirt jumps as well as an indoor bmx/skate park, we wanted to hit some of the trails as well.  There were lots of things that we planned on coming back to once everyone was warmed up, but then time would be up and we wouldn’t get back.


road.cc: Finally, finally, are there any particular things that road bikes actually work well for?

(Tongue in cheek) It would have to be road racing. They definitely do that better than they do trials and dirt jumping.  Though the only real issue with them was toe overlap.

What I find most interesting about this whole thing was that this version of the video was never suppose to make it’s way out to the public.  This was just a sketch put together here in the shop.  We have a much better editor who was working on the actual planned release version.  Over the weekend somehow an earlier copy of this sketch got leaked.  We tried to reel it back in but every time we got a site to agree to pull it down, it would pop up somewhere else.  Once it went over 20,000 views we finally realized we’d not be able to stop it so instead we released this sketch which was at least a more completed version.

I think that’s a little sad as I know the other version will be better.  We shot on 2 days with 3 cameras, this sketch was compiled with only half of the recorded footage so just to start it was already limited from the other version.  Not to mention the other version is being put together by an experienced editor.  We still may release the other version when it’s done as a directors cut or something like that.  We’ll also be putting lots of other footage and out takes on our face book page.  We shot a total of about 2 hours of footage on each camera each day so we have lots of stuff that didn’t get included.


The Bike Specs

Bike 1 – the black one, belongs to Jason

Neil Pryde Alize
Dura ace Di2 shifters derailleurs.
Enve rims on Tune Mig 70 Mag 170 hubs with CxRay spokes, 20/24
Enve compact bar
Enve stem
Tune Concord saddle
EE brakes
Prototype EE cranks. (compact 34/50) 172.5mm
Lizard skin tape
Conti top contact tires 28c
Vittoria Latex tubes
Dura Ace 11-28 cassette

Price somewhere around $11,500. This one with it’s normal tires is well below the UCI limit of 6.8kg.
Bike 2 – the blue one

Neil Pryde Alize
Dura Ace 7900 group (shifters, derailleurs, cranks, brakes, cassette (11-28), chain.)
Dura Ace C50 wheels
Conti top contact tires 28c
Vittoria latex tubes
Lizard skin tape
Specialized Toupe saddle
Pro PLT bar and stem

Price about $8500

Back on my bike

After a seemingly 2 month gap convalescing in one way or another I am back on my bike … quite literally. Now that my knee can bend 90 degrees I have pulled the bike in from the garage and the turbo trainer from upstairs …. the physic warned me that the first stint would be uncomfortable but it would get better as i warmed up.


So nothing extravagant just a low impact spin ….. but boy does it feel good.


Also been trying out the Running Free Online website which allows you to import data from a multitude of devices an has better analytics than most …  Here is a screen grab of the analysis from the the half marathon shown above showing distribution of effort over hr and various others …. still evaluating …

running free online graph


RIDE JOURNAL story – My Bike is dead

Only discovered The Ride Journal at christmas when i got no 5 as a gift ….. fantastic – buy it and order older issues here

Loved this one – when the bike dies …

My bike died yesterday. Or maybe not.

A few days ago I noticed a creaking sound when I pedalled, but it wasn’t coming from the pedals. It seemed to be caused by some motion when I was on the saddle, so I assumed the seat post had become dry and crusty – that makes bikes creak. So when I got home, I relubed the post. I also took apart and reassembled the bottom bracket cartridge, just for good measure.

But riding to work yesterday, the creaking sound was still there, perhaps even worse. At Lex and 60th, I stopped at a red light and examined the frame. There, like a chasm in front of me, I saw a crack. The ragged line girdled the bottom lug of the downtube on my beloved Bianchi Alfana. I carried on to work but decided it would be stupid to ride home. I caught the N Train at 57th and 7th and took the subway back to Astoria. I went to the last car because it’s normally the emptiest. In the back, I stared at my frame, feeling melancholy. Here I was, with my beloved bike, knowing I may never ride it again.

I had half an hour to ponder. I’d never had a bike die of use and old age before. I was sad, but not angry. What if the bike had been stolen one day earlier? Then I’d have been pissed off. But really, what’s the difference? Either way, the bike had been taken from me.

Maybe it can be fixed – after all, it’s only steel. Tomorrow I’ll take it to my man at the Bicycle Repairman Corp and see what he says. With boats, they say the only defining characteristic is the line: from profile, the curve on the top of the hull. Everything else can be fixed, welded, repaired and replaced. But you can never change the line.

The frame is the line of the bike. Everything else can be replaced, mended, modified or changed. The frame is the bike. This frame has been with me for 12 years, through bumps and speed and curbs, plus a few spills.

I’m a heavy guy who rides a skinny-tired road bike to commute to work in New York City. Maybe the bike is just the victim of my return commute on 58th Street, one of the worst in Manhattan. It’s one I often take because, well, it’s not 57th or 59th Streets. Or maybe the crack started back in 2005 when I wiped out on the Triborough Bridge.

The frame crack is natural in a way. Organic. A fatal flaw, but also just a wrinkle of old age. It’s hard to be angry, the bike has been good to me, probably better than I’ve been to it. That’s the beauty of bikes: a bike is there for you no matter what, like a loyal dog. But I’m allergic to dogs; all I’ve got is bikes.

Do I want a new bike? No. But I still can’t help but think maybe things could be better. I mean, my shifters don’t really work well any more in temperatures under 40ºF; the chain ring is no longer perfectly true; 650B wheels would let me put full fenders on the wheels… But these are bad thoughts I don’t want to think – it feels somehow unfaithful.

Along with the real loss, what is so horrible is the anticipation of dealing with the life afterwards. Shock replaced with feelings of loneliness, soldiering on, the future, and replacement.

Guilt is a factor when one contemplates loss that hasn’t even happened.

After any great loss, life will almost assuredly be filled with joy eventually. Thinking of that too early seems to trivialise things. A couple of years ago I had to deal with the idea that my wife might die.

The thought crossed my mind. To cut a long story very short, she didn’t. My wife, hell, any person is more important than a bike. I don’t like personifying machines. You can’t buy love. But I can buy a new bike because I live a rich life in a rich country. Yet the feelings I have for the loss of my beloved bicycle remind me of the sadness of human loss. It doesn’t even come close in terms of magnitude or degree, of course, but in spirit, in the nature of loss, sadness cares not for the source.

My bike is dead. I love my bike. I am sad.

Peter Moskos. NYC, USA. Peter rides a bike in New York because it’s fun, really.
www.astoriabike.com / www.marklazenby.co.uk