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    It’s not an exaggeration to say that electronic shifting has revolutionized cycling, and as we all know, Shimano has been at the forefront of this electronic revolution. Accordingly, its Di2 groupsets have set a lofty standard, but if there’s any remaining drawback to upgrading, it’s this: Compared to their mechanical counterparts, Di2 groupsets are tricky to understand, let alone to just buy what you actually need. Seriously, though, I research and write about this stuff, and I’m continually left with a residual WTF expression every time that Di2 comes up in conversation. However, after numerous discussions with our expert mechanics [...]

    1. The function of a road tire Although it may look rather unassuming on your bike, a tire has six main functions that it must perform in order to offer a high level of functionality to the rider. It must: - Roll well (providing an efficient and consistent ride). - Absorb shocks (the road surface isn’t always good). - Support the load of the rider and bike. - Steer and change direction (following the trajectory given by the rider). - Transfer pedalling and braking power, especially when it is raining. - Be durable. During the development phase of a tire [...]

    With all of the books, blogs, and pre-written training plans out there, it’s easy to find yourself feeling either over- or under-trained. Or, more commonly, you’re just feeling like you aren’t improving fast enough. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to hire a coach. After all, you aren’t meant to be an expert at everything, and a set of outside eyes will help to craft a training plan that’s tailored specifically to you. How do you know which coach is right for you, though? First, remember that no matter how hard you drive yourself toward the top step of the [...]

    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 much of North America, snow is continuing to fall. We ride indoors, ski, skate, run, and workout in the gym in order to maintain some level of fitness, while elevating our endorphins to keep the mental balance that we’ve become accustomed to with daily exercise. However, there are those who embrace the extremes and head outdoors to ride, turning what could be a lousy day into an adventure. Somewhere, decades ago, I read a story about Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney, and Ron Kiefel riding on the dirt mountain roads in Colorado. On their long training rides, up and over [...]

    At one point or another, we all ride in low-light conditions. Perhaps you get your base miles in before and after work, or maybe it’s just too hot to ride during the day? Either way, though, we can all stand to increase our visibility in these conditions. However, until the Capo Padrone HV kit, the only way to achieve this goal was through over-the-top, deafening colorways like Blaze Orange and Fluoro. Now, through some rather clever textile engineering, Capo has created a kit that’s subtle, attractive, and more effective then the aforementioned — all without sacrificing anything to performance. First [...]

    I remember it fondly, a non-stop, international flight from America to Tokyo. The beer was only malt, the vegetarian meal was some kind of octopus stroganoff, the inflight movie was in Thai, and my seat was strategically located eight inches behind a big screen — somewhere in between the third and fourth circle of Dante’s hell, aka the food prep quarters, lavatory, and baby cradle wall. It was arguably one of, if not the, worst flight(s) of my life. In retrospect, however, these moments don’t occupy my memory — they really aren’t that memorable. No, when I look back on [...]

    There’s a pretty good chance that a ’90s or Double Ought hardtail is collecting dust somewhere within your circle of friends. Given that, I’m sure that the relic has heard an exchange or two about rejuvenating it into a singlespeed. After all, it’s just sitting there, so it’d be fun to try something new. It’s easy, right? Just strip the redundant parts and go for a ride — done and done! In actuality, there’s a reason that the bike is sitting, and not just because it’s been ridden hard and put away wet. It’s due to the immense changes in the [...]

    You wouldn’t like me when I haven’t been riding. Surely, you’ve personally experienced this, but without the calming rhythm of spinning my legs out, minor inconveniences seem somehow inexcusable. The reason for this is simple: being a bike rider is, or so I’m told, akin to being a pseudo-junkie. You spend too much money, and the pounds melt off your body. The people closest to you start to worry about your health, and you don’t care, because it makes you feel so damn good. When we can’t get what we need, irrational feelings kick in and there’re only two solutions [...]

    Despite spending twenty years atop World Cup Downhill game, Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Steve Peat is showing no signs of slowing down. We catch up with gravity racing’s elder statesman and talk history, team dynamics, and raising the next generation of shredders. GF: It’s become something of a post-season ritual for the rumor mill to report that you’re retiring from downhill. Is this the year you throw in the towel, or can the fans expect to cheer you on for the 2014 World Cup season? SP: They had better be there to cheer me on, it’s so much more fun when [...]

    From the Pro’s Perspective: Michael Barry For ages, cyclists assumed that narrower tires were better. Time trial bikes were fitted with 19mm tires, as we thought that they would slice through the air better than a 23mm. The rider cautiously rode to the start line, avoiding any bumps or road grit, for the fear that the tires might be punctured. We’d pump them rock hard, as we thought that harder tires created less rolling resistance. We also thought that narrower and harder tires were more aerodynamic, rolled faster, and were more responsive. Well, they aren’t. In the last five years, [...]

    With the widespread acceptance of enduro racing, we’ve been hearing some complaints that either marketing departments have fabricated the whole movement, or that it’s somehow not “real.” You know the type, they say things like, “why does it need a name? We’ve been riding this way for years.” Despite such astute observations, these modern day bicycle scholars are missing the point — enduro is a racing discipline. Your weekly trail ride doesn’t count for the same reason that riding laps around your block isn’t a criterium. But even if enduro has been created by marketers to sell more bikes (spoiler [...]

    Whenever I hear rumors of some revolutionary new fabric making its way into a brand’s latest outerwear collection, I can’t help but proceed with a bit of caution. Dissecting the marketing puffery that chaperones much of today’s apparel takes a keen eye and, more importantly, a series of sustained, out-in-the-wild beatings. Well, it just so happened that Castelli released its buzzed-about Elemento 7x(Air) Jacket right when the weather here in Utah began making its annual turn toward the frigid side of things, making it perfect for me to get in some real testing miles. Relying on a blend of proprietary [...]

    Riding along the bike path to the heart of the city, several electric bikes pass me, giving me a slight startle each time as their silence allows for no warning before I see them. I pass others that are moving slowly; their riders are often slouched in the saddles with their feet resting on pedals that get little or no use. An e-rider’s position most often appears as if they’re lounging as opposed to riding. In the last two years, electric scooters and bicycles have become increasingly common on city streets and bike paths. Most of these machines aren’t designed [...]

    The word “powermeter” is notorious for conjuring up mixed emotions. If you use one, you probably feel a phantom pain in your legs right now from a subconscious recollection of interval training and racing at your threshold. If you’re uninitiated, you either feel intimated, confused, overwhelmed, or all of the above. Both control groups have a right to these feelings because, frankly, powermeters are pretty damn confusing for all of us. The application of a powermeter makes enough sense. After all, you only need to watch a couple of races with Team Sky at the front to appreciate their effectiveness. [...]

    Servings: 15 | Time: 25 minutes Per serving› Energy 249 cal, Fat 6 g, Sodium 194 mg, Carbs 45g, Fiber 2g, Protein 4g, Water 65% Find more recipes from the Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables Cookbook

    I’ve been asked the question many times as to which is better, rollers or trainers? However, I find “better” to be a misleading term. Although riders have their preferences, one isn’t any better than the other. They are, in fact, simply different. And depending on what you plan to accomplish during the winter months, or even in-between road rides in the summer, you may find yourself drawn to one or the other. Quite possibly, you’ll eventually end up with both in your quiver. First and foremost, rollers help with balance. And while you’ll most likely start with them positioned in [...]

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the adjective form of “fat” is defined as “(of a person or animal) having a large amount of excess flesh”— not quite a fitting description for a bike. In my experience, referring to something as “fat” has always been less than flattering, regardless of whether the term is directed towards a person or if the “f” is dropped in favor of a “ph” for a positive affirmation. Both are annoying. However, I’ve never been a fan of pigeonholing either, which is what the term “snow bike” truly does. The Borealis Yampa is far more [...]

    With 24 hours to go until the start of the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide, Jonathan Page was kind enough to set aside some time to give us a course preview, and to tell us about his preparations for the big day. Let’s hope for another podium! Go Page! I headed up to Hoogerheide today! My wife, three kids, and myself were are all in the mobile home. After a brief stop in the scenic city of Gent to let the family off at my two oldest kids’ Chinese school, I was on my way.
 I was admittedly a [...]

    Michael Barry: Art

    Bicycles are not only vehicles and sports equipment, they’re sometimes viewed as pieces of art. Many frame builders make bicycles so elegant that they can be hung on dining room walls. Like a painting, poetry, or music, their bicycles tell a unique story that will only grow richer with time or with each kilometer ridden. In contrast, most artists struggle to draw or paint a bicycle on a canvas or a piece of paper. But there are a few artists who have managed to properly convey the bicycle’s beauty and appeal in their work. Over 40 years ago, Daniel Rebour [...]

    10 years ago, society would have viewed the extent of today’s social media as nothing short of pervasive—we wouldn’t have been wrong, either. This form of media invites others into our lives, while simultaneously allowing us control over exactly what parts of our lives that we want to be perceived as our identity. Here’s a picture of a pizza. I love pizza. Here’s a picture of a bike. I love to ride bikes. Any notion of pervasiveness requires a willingness from the user to partake, to control this perception. And for this reason, certain, how to put it, digital behaviors [...]

    If we were to think of one company that consistently keeps us on our toes, Santa Cruz would have to be at or near the top of the list. For this reason, we wanted to grab a couple minutes of founder Rob Roskopp’s time to discuss the past, present, and future of Santa Cruz Bicycles, and well, mountain biking in general.  GF: 2014 will be the 20th anniversary of the Tazmon, a bike that helped to usher in a new era of mountain biking. In that time, the sport has changed significantly. What do you miss about mountain biking in [...]

    In the bowels of winter, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to lose inspiration, eat that extra donut, and spend your days in the office astral projecting towards the warmer days of summer. Well, all of this is true until you meet Mike Cotty. He’s not a RAAM racer, and he’s not someone who believes in the impossible. In fact, he doesn’t even goes as far as to believe in possibilities, as every ride is always on the table. I was lucky enough to grab some time with Mike while he was in Annecy, France, and he [...]

    Riding is an addiction, and a hard one to shake at that. I cross train in cold weather, but at some point, I know that the trainer will beckon. The call came early this year, as I tore my MCL and was taken out of all activities, save alpine touring and skiing. Luckily, I was handed a BKOOL Wireless ANT+ Trainer and was told to “ride my heart out.” Being honest, I’m a trainer snob. After years of training on smooth, machined rollers with a simple MP3 player, I’m not easily impressed by gadgets and media that tout making indoor [...]