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2018 Road Bike Buyer’s Guide



    Paris Roubaix is a race of unknowns. What the riders can’t control, what looms in their futures, haunts them until the pop of the starter’s pistol. In the days prior to the race, they’ll check the weather repeatedly. Some will hope for rain so that the peloton is tamer and thins out quickly, while others will pray for sun so that the cobbles will be dry. The race is one of attrition, position, and luck. It requires preparation, mental resilience, and physical strength. It will create champions. It will shred skin, bruise, and break bodies. It will fuel dreams. It [...]

    Table of Contents Osmosis & Semi-Permeable Membranes Osmoality Co-Transport of Water with Sodium and Glucose Water Alone Can Kill You Eat Real Food Hydrate First & You May Not Need to Eat The Egg Model Less Is More Two frequently asked questions that we get are 1) why our Exercise Hydration Mix is only 80 Calories per 500 ml (16.9 ounce) serving and 2) how to get more calories in during long endurance events with our relatively low calorie sports drink. The short answer to the first question is that our Exercise Hydration Mix is only 80 Calories per serving [...]

    Spring is the time of year that we shake out the cobwebs, slather on the embrocation, and get out on the rides that we’ve been dreaming about all winter. But it’s impossible to ignore how early spring plays by a different set of rules. And when coupled with high-speed descending, you have a rather high potential for disaster. To lower this margin of error, I’ve compiled a list of problems, and more importantly, solutions that have been plaguing me so far this year. Road Conditions If your favorite mountain roads have been covered in snow throughout the winter, the following [...]

    One of the shared, universal experiences in cycling is beating your own limits. Last season, Mavic’s communications manager for the USA, Zack Vestal, remembered a particular long ride at age 18, one that pushed beyond his limits at the time. Thinking of that ride 20 years later, he focused on breaking a new barrier by riding double the distance. Enjoy the views of Colorado as he traces a 236-mile loop, digging deep to achieve the dream before dark. And you, what limitations do you dream of exceeding in 2014? Photo Diary by Christophe Margot On a secteur of gravel — [...]

    In this day and age, I challenge you to find a proponent, a loyalist, hell, even a those-days-were-rad supporter of 27-inch road wheels. I’ll save you some time, though. You won’t find a soul, because that particular argument was killed, exhumed, and had a stake driven through its heart for good measure by the mid-Eighties. But you’re probably wondering, “Why am I bringing road up in this conversation at all?” Well, because those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. You see, the world has been at war over wheel and tire sizes since the very advent [...]

    Words: Colin O Brien, Photos: Paolo Ciaberta Paolo was never a superstar on the bike, but he was valued by those he worked with. He enjoyed a long career with some of the sport’s top teams, and didn’t retire until he was 37, despite having just a single professional win to his name. A support rider, then, a gregario… but not a domestique. Having met him, you could never call him a domestique. Imperfect synonyms are horrible things, especially when they’ve been adopted into English from different languages. In this case, both ostensibly signify the same kind of cyclist, of [...]

    This is the classic rice cake originally developed by Skratch Labs founder, Allen Lim PhD. This sweet and savory portable has become an athlete favorite and remains one of our most popular recipes! Chef Biju takes you through all of the critical steps to making the perfect rice cakes. Ingredients - Bacon (as much as you’re comfortable with) - Eggs (around four or five) - Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce) - Olive Oil - Medium Grain Calrose Rice - Brown Sugar - Corse Sea Salt Directions - Get your rice going in the rice cooker. To make the perfect [...]

    In the past, I’ve admittedly approached the incurred cost of road shoe shopping with a sky’s-the-limit attitude. Why? Because the pervasive logic is that any shoe under $300 is bound to embody all, or some, of what’s perceived as a negative in a shoe — heavy, moderate to poor quality, and worst of all, ugly. Whether or not I’ve been justified in this train of thought, or simply because I’m hanging out with the wrong crowd, this logic has generally held true. True, that is, until I received a pair of the Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100 Shoes. First Impressions The [...]

    The protagonists who will animate the Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and the other Spring Classics will fine tune their fitness and test their legs in less prestigious races throughout late March. The cobbled Classics specialists will race in Belgium at E3 Harelbeke, Dwars door Vlaanderen, and the Three Days of de Panne, while those who aim to be in good condition for the hillier Ardennes Classics, in late April, will be at the Tour of Catalonia and the Tour of the Basque Country. The peloton racing in Belgium will battle for position on the windswept farm roads and [...]

    Fabien Barel Interview

    If you don’t know the name “Fabien Barel,” then you must not be paying attention. With three Downhill World Championship titles to his name, his racing career alone has made him an icon. But for the average rider, the role that he’s played in developing the modern mountain bike is even more important. All the while, he’s balanced a fiercely competitive spirit with a friendly demeanor. In other words, he embodies the very best of professional cycling. Fortunately for us, the French luminary was willing to answer a few questions about product development, his philosophy on riding, and his transition [...]

    I’ve been serving fresh from scratch beet juice to his athletes for years – it’s time for you to try it too! RELATED ARTICLES - Skratch Labs: Blackberry, Mint, and Chocolate Coconut Rice Cakes - Skratch Labs: Spicy Kimchi and Soft Tofu Soup - Skratch Labs: Crispy Rice Omelete MORE RECIPES - The Feed Zone Cookbook - The Feed Zone Portables Cookbook  

    If you’re like me, the bike is more than just a tool to drag you up a mountain. Instead, the bike wears many hats, whether it’s a mode of transportation, a conduit to a circle of friends, or more often than not, a therapist. And in the past three years of my life, it’s been performing dutifully as the latter. I suppose that it boils down to the silence, the dedication to the moment, the physical and mental anguish. I don’t really know, because yes, at the surface, it’s all of this, yet it’s incomprehensibly more obtuse as to why [...]

    A plate of half eaten nachos sat on the table, Doug leaned back and quoted W.P Kinsella’s book, Shoeless Joe, “If you build it, they will come.” It wasn’t the first time I had heard him repeat the line. Unlike the novel’s protagonist, Ray Kinsella, whose dream was to build a baseball diamond, Doug’s was to build a velodrome. For over a decade he’d looked for a field within riding distance of his hometown of Boulder, Colorado, where he could build a track. In his dreams, this wasn’t a fancy facility that would cost a fortune, but a board track [...]

    When was the last time that you simply went for a ride? Or conversely, when was the last time that you actually trained? It’s a simple question, but a loaded one all the same. Not surprisingly, though, red-faced passion inevitably takes over the debate, regardless of the side that you find yourself on, and the logic of the matter falls flat. Some “Lycra jocks” are serious to a point of fault, while the tweed ride crowd can’t always see beyond their pannier-laden Rockhoppers to pursue cycling with more rigor. Surely, not every lunch ride is an act of training. And [...]

    Improvement of the performance and the reliability of tires results from careful analysis of the various parameters and criteria characterizing a tire. Thus, it is necessary to develop specific tests to precisely evaluate these criteria. We are particularly interested here in the rolling resistance and the adhesion (grip) which are two key elements of the tire’s performance and the safety of a rider. Of course, improvement of these criteria does not have to be made to the detriment of the weight, comfort or durability. 1. Measuring tire resistance to rotation A tire’s resistance to rotation (rolling resistance) corresponds to the [...]

    Marcel’s Giant Slam Fellow Competitive author, Ryan Schoeck, dubbed this finishing move “Marcel’s Giant Slam.” I find it fitting, and really, I don’t have any better way to describe Mr. Lundgren’s temper tantrum at Tirreno last week.   Breaking Cipollini While Marcel is content slaming his bike, Cipollini is busy slamming boulders, literally, into doors. This gem hails from an Italian television program, where they thought it would be funny to prank the hell out of the greatest sprinter alive. They nail Cipo with every tactic in the book: road rage, bike theft, and childish taunting from behind a locked [...]

    Here is how I make these ultra-yummy sweet rice cakes — let me know how they work for you! Ingredients 5 Cups sushi rice, rinsed and cleaned 7.5 cups water 2.5 small boxes of Blackberries (you know the little square boxes from the supermarket) 1 box of fresh mint (yeah, almost the same little box from the supermarket but not square this time, more rectangular) 1 lemon 1/4-1/2 cup sugar (but I’m not really sure how much, because I just pour it on until it tastes good) 1 cup chocolate chips Directions Cook the rice, julienne the mint, squeeze the lemon [...]

    Every winter, teams from all over the world travel to warmer climates to train for the coming races. For 10 to 14 days, the riders spend every hour of the day with their teammates: they eat together, ride together, and even share hotel rooms. In fact, there are few solitary moments when they aren’t with a teammate. For most teams, this is the only time of the year where the entire team will be together in one place. After the camp, the squad will be fractioned off into different parts of world. Of the 20 to 30 riders on a [...]

    First, is an old one to some, and a revelation to others. Take a look at Ol’ Baby Face Sagan in what can only be described as a possible sponsor-me video. True, there are some chops in there, but it’s also obvious that he won the Junior World Championships in XC, not downhill. Thankfully, Sagan found his way to the road bike about one season after this video, and the rest is history. But this short piece provides a resounding, “what if?”     The Men’s Sprint Final this year at Worlds between Francois Pervis and Stefan Botticher is, well, [...]

    Inspired by an inquiry from Triathlete magazine editor Aaron Hersh, in October 2013, we decided to measure the actual apparent wind direction (yaw angle) for a rider on the entire bike course of the world championship Kona triathlon. What is the goal of this test? It’s to define where the wind comes from on various segments of the most iconic (and most windy) triathlon on the planet. Knowing perfectly the distribution of the wind yaw angle (i.e. how much time is it a direct headwind, how much time It comes from 5°, etc…), we can determine more precisely the time [...]

    When the season ended last year, did you take a few days to sit back and reflect? Did you take a pen to paper and thoughtfully write down what you wanted to accomplish for next season? Or, like many riders, did you just reel off a list of races that you wanted to win? While there’s nothing wrong with compiling an endless list of things that you want to accomplish, learning to refine your goals is a skill that’ll set you apart from your peers. In Sports Psychology, goal setting is a defined skill set. Goals are delineated into three [...]

    Every rider in the group knows what is coming: a small town with narrow streets and roundabouts, a corner, then another, then a mud-slicked, small-cobbled farm road, and then a climb. A peloton of nearly 200 will charge down a four lane road using the entire tarmac and the adjoining sidewalks and bike paths. Slightly panicked, the riders at the front accelerate to stay near the front and hold their positions. The peloton surges as the town nears. A strong wind blows, fanning the front of the group across the road and then pushing the rest into a long thin [...]

    “Kimchi Jjigae” Spicy, Vegetarian, Low Carb, High Protein, Gluten Free, Delicious. This is one of Chef Biju’s favorite winter soups and, while it’s darn near impossible to spell, it’s also a great combination of flavors and textures that he craves whenever the temperature dips. It’s a deep red and pungent classic Korean restaurant favorite, brought out in bubbling hot clay pots with eggs cracked right into the broth, cooking while it sits at the table. This also just happens to be one of the best low carb, high protein soups which will keep you feeling very full while watching your [...]

    Orange County Getaway For the dedicated road cyclist, life buried under snow is no life at all. In the throes of winter, you need to recharge your batteries and get in a solid weekend of warm weather riding. But given that work is always calling, Majorca probably needs to take a backseat this year. When it comes to consistent climates that serve up stunning rides here in the US, it’s hard to beat Orange Country, California. Forget what you’ve heard about theme parks and reality shows, the rolling coast of the Pacific is calling. Where to Ride On the first [...]