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    It was hard not to hate the guy that day. He did everything right, and that signature little grin never left his face, regardless of how brutally steep the roads became. I mean, at one point he just sat there in the chase group while descending Big Cottonwood, causally sipping a Coke before launching his stage-winning assault a short while later. And let me just say, as someone intimately familiar with the roads in that canyon—growing up just a few steps from the mouth—it ain’t exactly a breezy joyride up there. In actuality, I really like Chris Horner. He’s been [...]

    Saturday was a race in Den Bosch, Holland. It was a non-series race. I had very dull legs, but I fought on. I’m trying something different with my training to see if it makes a difference throughout the season. In other words, I expected this bad feeling, but it’s never fun when you’re in the moment. At the end of the race, Amy’s family was there and gave me the hug of someone you’ve known and loved for 100 years. They’re amazing. They had been yelling their asses off for me the whole hour. It was truly inspiring, and I [...]

    It was seven in the morning, brisk air, and the sun was still low in the sky. I was a quarter of the way on my commute to work, only about half a mile from home. Today was the first ride on a project bike that was a year in the making. Life was feeling pretty damn good. As per usual, I caught the green to turn left onto the one-way, except today, I was hit by a car going 40 miles per hour. When it happened, I was halfway through my turn, and frankly, I never saw it coming. [...]

    By mid August, the professional peloton begins to yearn for the off-season. The Tour de France is over and the rest of Europe is vacationing in coastal towns or mountain chalets. But while the fatigue from the racing and travel sets in by late summer, the final finish line of the year isn’t crossed until October. Now that it’s here, the riders will let loose for a few short weeks filling in their time off the bike with everything they were unable to do during the racing season. But after a brief moment of reprieve, and jamming as much forbidden [...]

    In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a massive buzz around running a one-by chainring setup in cyclocross. First of all, though, what is it? Well, unlike road bikes that have two chainrings, a one-by setup only uses one. Not to difficult to grasp. This single-ring setup is used with a chain guide that virtually eliminates the possibility of a dropped chain. There are a few reasons people like running this setup. The first is that it’s simple and foolproof. And if you haven’t tried cyclocross, you can start to act like quite a fool after you’ve been racing at your [...]

    With SRAM’s release of a full lineup of trail-specific brakes, it’s about time for some feedback on the X0 Trail brakes that were released a year ago. The X0 Trail brakeset is aimed at the enduro, all-mountain market, and utilizes a four-piston, dual-diameter caliper. Four-piston calipers are nothing new to mountain bikes but what’s different about this design is the dual diameter pistons. In the initial lever stroke, the smaller leading piston starts pushing the forward portion of the pad, creating a “toed” engagement. This results in more modulation at the lever during this portion of the stroke and the [...]

    - In case you’re looking for indisputable evidence of the decline of modern civilization, Google the word “thinspiration”. What you’ll find is cultish worship of the spectral female form. It isn’t what you might expect — piggish men objectifying women in a newer, crueler way. Rather, it’s women speaking to women, using image after image to condemn all bodily shapes save the cadaverous. In thinspo’s contradiction of common sense and human nature, it smacks of the jubilant madness of mysticism. So much to find despicable there. And then I look at the calendar. It’s the waning days of October, with [...]

    Things were a little crazy when I first got back. The family was very excited to see me, and of course, I was happy to see them, too. They’d dealt with a lot while I was gone, especially Cori. They had come to Belgium 15 days before me, because the kids couldn’t be any later for school with Emma in the 4th grade and Milo in the 1st. We’d had some renters over the summer that weren’t the best, and the construction projects (new floors and central heating) that should have been done 3 weeks prior to the family arrival, [...]

    Northwave. Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t, but this Italian manufacturer has a cult following, including the soon-to-be-defunct Vacansoleil-DCM cycling team. Regardless of perceived popularity, though, after spending the past six months in a pair of its Extreme Tech road shoes, I now consider myself part of the cult—time to break out the Kool-Aid. Like you, surely, my requirements for road shoes are pretty simple, yet hard to achieve in one package. Yes, I’m talking about the pentagon of perfection—light weight, rigidity, ventilation, comfort, and durability. And while I’m blessed to have a pretty normal sized foot, I’ve [...]

    To most people cycling is freedom. When asked what their first memory of riding is, they’ll likely recall the joy they felt as they took their first pedal strokes or when they coasted down their first hill. In those moments, they became free from their parents’ grasp and free to move fast and see the neighborhood alone. Above Photo: Walter Lai In a similar way, the sporting experience should be one of personal growth and development. But for many amateur athletes, it isn’t. Their sense of freedom becomes blurred. Instead, the playing field, or racecourse, becomes a feeder system to [...]

    What makes a Liege waffle so special? Well, other than it being frickin’ delicious, it’s made from dough while traditional American waffles are made from batter. Why should you care? Because unlike batter you can make a large amount of dough at one time, cut it into portions and freeze it for easy use when you don’t have time to cook from scratch. Plus, did we mention that they are super yummy? Liege waffles are one of Chef Biju’s favorites because hey, who doesn’t want to eat a waffle during a long workout or travel day instead of a processed [...]

    This is the last time. Never again will I be so hasty and thoughtless. You repeat this to yourself on the side of the road while hopelessly searching for some hidden corner within that little satchel. You keep fingering around in there, hanging on to a sliver of hope that if you continue looking, somehow, miraculously, you’ll find what you need to fix the lousy situation you’re in. But you don’t. You didn’t plan ahead and now you need to make the call. Yes, that call that no one wants to make. The one that’s made after you’ve stood there [...]

    Most of your equipment choices in cyclocross are made months before the season even starts. What frame you’re on and the components you use is a given come race day. However, one choice that even the top professionals leave to sometimes minutes before the start of the race is tire selection. This is because tire selection is very condition dependent. For any given tire company, there are basically three different tread patterns to choose from (fortunately not more). These include file treads (minimal traction, minimal rolling resistance), all around (medium traction and rolling resistance), and mud (maximum traction and rolling [...]

    For the uninitiated, “cross training” is typically defined as “any activity that you dislike, but that you do to be better at another activity, in lieu of actually doing that activity.” Phew. Strangely, though, there are definitely schools of thought that abhor the idea of engaging in any activity that doesn’t have your legs spinning around in circles. It leads me to assume that, in the dead of winter, this logic calls for you to lie on your back, to put your legs in the air, and to do the egg-beater—just avoid social media posting while doing so. However, if [...]

    The trailer was already buzzing with activity when we rolled into the parking lot. Brian, the demo technician, was rolling out bikes from underneath the Yeti Cycles demo tent, dialing in suspension settings for the first wave of riders. Some of us were long-time Yeti owners, while others were completely green. But, we all shared a sense of guarded excitement. And while the first ride on an unfamiliar bike has a tendency to be rather daunting, when looking over the fleet of SB-66 Carbons, ARCs, and SB-95 Carbons, it was hard to not feel optimistic. This was especially true considering [...]

    Regarding power, heart rate, and perceived exertion it’s important to realize that all are a measure of intensity and that all have a strong relationship between one another. For a given individual, as power output increases, heart rate and perceived exertion also increase in a linear and predictable fashion. This relationship, however, is different depending upon an individual’s fitness level, the environment, and other factors such as dehydration and fatigue. Because of this strong relationship, heart rate and perceived exertion are often used as estimates of power output and exercise intensity. The important distinction here, however, is that intensity can [...]

    In the heat of a race, you never have time to witness the dirt and devastation that’s smeared across the face of a racer. So we only found it appropriate to have Manual For Speed capture some before-and-afters from the dusty field of Gloucester last week. See more at Manual For Speed.             Shop Cyclocross Gear

    On their own, they look like something you might wear to a costume party—little half leg tights, arm sleeves, mesh net tank tops, and even “booties.” And while they might look a bit ridiculous by themselves, these layers of clothing will make or break your rides when Mother Nature decides to flex a bit of her muscle. Every year, around this time, we go through a transition. Those glorious days of mindlessly throwing on our jerseys, shorts, helmets, and little else before rolling out the door come to a sudden halt. Those scorcher days quickly give way to crisp mornings [...]

    If you’re a follower of Tom Boonen on Instagram, you probably think that all professional cyclists that are worth a grain of salt are also worth a fleet of Bentleys and flashy Italian sports cars. But after spending a day with the reigning US National cyclocross champ, Jonathan Page, we quickly laid those misconceptions to rest. Photos: Ben Kuhns Words: Ryan Schoeck, and Jeff Stewart Instead of the Hamptons-white-party attire and booth girls of Cipollini, we found a humble champ whose only concern was bike racing. There was a stark realism and acceptance to how Page approaches bike racing, and [...]

    If you’re a mountain biker, you’ve probably dreamed of having killer trails right out your front door. And if you’re committed, and lucky, you may have already made it a reality. There’s often a sacrifice associated with living close to a trailhead. They may be far from your family, your job, your friends, or another aspect of your life that you just can’t be without. But for those who’ve pulled it off, calling the reward sweet just wouldn’t do it justice. Above Photo: Re Wikstrom Park City is one of those mythical places where you can have it all. The [...]

    When the Merlin Extralight arrived, we found ourselves stuck in the dichotomy of knowing exactly what to expect, while really having no idea at all. Sure, we knew the Merlin story by heart, we read the specs, and we gawked at the pictures. But, after all, the Extralight in the box was a new bike, not new-old-stock. In the quarter-century since the Extralight first debuted, bicycle design has changed dramatically. And while the first Extralight was very much of its era, it was easily distinguishable by its brushed finish, perfect welds, and either a steel or aluminum fork. But, once [...]

    If you’re a seasoned cyclist, especially of the West Coast variety, the time of the year where burnout settles in is approaching. And if you’ve raced hard every weekend, you’ve probably raced even harder in the weekly ‘training’ crit. In other words, late-night reality TV is becoming addictive. Above Photo: Ben Kuhns Truthfully, though, if you’re a cat 1/2, or even have such ambitions, your coach dictates that you take a few weeks off to regenerate before tackling endless base miles. That conversation is often prefaced with the phrase “just have fun,” of which you shudder at the fallacious assumption [...]

    While the mountain-side of cycling is no stranger to contentious gear issues, we’ve found that road cycling’s debates tend to lack relevance, or at the very least, strong substance. For example, mountain biking has three wheel sizes contending for top honors, all claiming sweeping devotion and superiority. Meanwhile, road cycling is obsessed with the position of tan lines and whether or not black socks are acceptable in a post-Lance world. Frankly, we haven’t seen a valid gear argument since the surge of the carbon clincher—that is until the Giro Air Attack surfaced earlier this year. Yes, over the course of [...]

    Interestingly, as I a sit down to write this, I just read an article about how marathon times are getting slower among young Americans—44 minutes slower since 1980 in ages 25-44. Of which I find reflective of how just competing and getting a finisher’s medal is often “good enough” these days. There are no finisher’s medals at UCI World Championship events. Yes, you can take your number and frame it, but all that says is “I wasted time, money, and a social life, and all I got was a number to hang on my wall.” You go to a World [...]