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    We’re dedicated to the idea that all of cycling deserves careful analysis. Some time ago, we decided that socks aren’t merely a foot covering that protects your skin from your shoes, but a clothing item that, when done right, improves performance. So it is that we now turn our attention to Swiftwick socks. Swiftwick makes a point of calling their foot covers “compression socks,” and the melding of socks with compression alone is one worth investigating. We picked up two pair: the Aspire and Pursuit. The Aspire is the jewel of their line. The sock is heavy on the Olefin [...]

    - The question used to be Do you use Strava when you ride? But, like clipless pedals or heart rate monitors, it’s taken ahold of our sport with a rare combination of broad and deep appeal. So the better question now is whether you use Strava as a verb or, in a moment of mid-ride hypoxia, find yourself playing word games – Stravacide, [strah-veh-sahyd] noun To ride significantly harder during training than originally planned (e.g. on a climb or a defined stretch of road) in order to increase one’s ranking on the Strava Leaderboard for a specific segment. Stravasnipe, [strah-veh-snahyp], [...]

    - A few weeks back I mentioned I might be in the market for a steel frame and fork. It wasn’t mere passing fancy. I contacted three ‘name’ American frame manufacturers to get an understanding of how the purchase process might work. A voice in my head told me to span the generations. After all, framebuilders have been trying to master the craft for nearly a century. So I emailed builders whose frames’ rise to prominence came in different decades. Representing the Old School is Roland Della Santa of Reno, Nevada. Bridging the gap between Old and New is David [...]

    - The Bicycle Leadership Conference (BLC) took place in Monterey, California last week. It’s an annual opportunity for industry leaders to take a tiny step back from the strictures of singleminded company loyalty to collaborate on the future of the industry. The heavy-hitters in attendance included John Burke, CEO of Trek; Stan Day, Founder and President of SRAM; Steve Flagg, Founder and CEO of Quality Bicycle Products; Bob Margevicius, Executive VP of Specialized as well as the executive management teams of their companies and countless others. I was not there to valet cars. But as I sat alongside the titans [...]

    - This is Evgeni Berzin, circa 1996. Below is a photo of Berzin, circa 2011. While I was critical of Herbie Sykes’ prolix writing style last week, I must praise him this time. His essay in Rouleur 28 about Berzin’s current station in life is the saddest cycling tale you’ll read this spring. The 1990′s racing legend has become a bitter and bereft Fiat salesman. - Another fixture of the late 90′s pro scene were the Shimano Dura Ace PD-7401 pedals. They were made for Shimano by Look, but they weren’t just rebadged Look pedals. They offered Dura Ace-caliber lightness [...]