What's going on in the curly bar world? CyclingTips Digest showcases articles from our sister site, CyclingTips. In each installment, you might find endurance coverage, power-to-weight ratios, gravel bike tech and, of course, lycra.
THAT RADICALLY ORIGINAL BRITISH CYCLING TRACK BIKE MIGHT NOT BE SO ORIGINAL
By: JAMES HUANG
LoThe Team GB Lotus x Hope track bike used by the British cycling team at the Tokyo Olympics certainly generated a lot of buzz when it debuted in October 2019, given its highly unconventional design (we even paid Hope a visit right after its debut). More recently, however, the bike has also generated some serious controversy as renowned cycling engineer and aerodynamicist Richard McAinsh — together with Dutch brand Kú Cycle, which McAinsh founded with Alex Bok — is now claiming the design was stolen.
Bok’s history with McAinsh dates back more than a decade, to when the former was running professional triathlon teams, and when 3T — for whom McAinsh was working at the time — was a sponsor.
I have spent the better part of a day now trying to fill in the gaps, but they’re big gaps and impossible to fill. Nearly three years of gap. I am specifically intrigued by the very end of it. Wednesday morning, in fact. Maybe Tuesday night.
I want to know about the hours in which my bike, mostly disassembled but not entirely so, ended up locked to a very visible fence not half a mile from where it was stolen.
Modern technology is continually opening the door to new ideas. Metal hydroforming, computer-controlled milling, and laser cutting are all now commonplace within bicycle parts manufacturing. And while still niche in its usage, you can add 3D printing to the list.
When it comes to 3D printing metal for bicycle purposes, few have more hands-on experience than the Melbourne-based team at Bastion Cycles. They first used 3D-printed titanium lugs in 2015 to produce the first custom road bike of its kind and the brand continues to refine the technology today. For the past three years, the young Australian company has relied on in-house printing capabilities.
NERD ALERT PODCAST: SEPARATING CHAIN LUBE TESTING FACT FROM FICTION
By: DAVE ROME
Welcome back to the Nerd Alert podcast, in this week’s episode Dave Rome steps in as host and goes full nerd while diving into the murky waters of chain lube testing.
The amount of mixed information related to chain lubes is staggering and it’s undoubtedly one of the more confusing product areas for consumers. That’s an issue because your choice of chain lube can make a substantial difference to the durability and efficiency of your drivetrain. To help unravel these issues we called up Adam Kerin of Zero Friction Cycling and the founder of FrictionFacts Jason Smith to talk all things within their domains.
Cycling can be a beautiful and often meditative sport, but sometimes even the smallest of body niggles can make it a downright miserable experience. How you sit on and interact with the bike can make or break your cycling, and that only becomes more true as your mileage increases.
Clipping into your pedals brings numerous performance and bike control benefits, but it does mean you’re effectively locked into pedalling in a set position. Getting this position right is arguably the base to being comfortable and efficient on the bike. Get it wrong and it’s likely your calves, knees, hips, or even your lower back will complain.
3T’S 60TH ANNIVERSARY DREAMBOX BIKE COMES WITH ITS OWN MOTORIZED GARAGE
By: JAMES HUANG
3T is celebrating its 60th year in business, and like any self-respecting bike brand with that kind of history behind it, the company has released a limited-edition model. In 3T’s case, it’s a special version of its Exploro RaceMax aero gravel bike, though the party includes far more than just a bike.
THE CURVE REMLAW IS A FLAT HANDLEBAR FOR DROP BAR BIKES
By: IAIN TRELOAR
Melbourne-based bikepacking standard bearers, Curve Cycling, have form when it comes to interesting handlebars. In late 2019 they released the Walmer – an ultra-wide drop bar that measures up to 750 mm at the drops. Now, they’ve come out with the Remlaw – yup, that’s ‘Walmer’ backwards.
What’s the Remlaw? It’s a flat bar for drop-bar bikes. As anyone who’s retrofitted a flat bar onto a bike with geometry designed around a drop handlebar might know, that usually ushers in some compromises, shortening the reach and negatively impacting on the bike’s handling.
ROCKSHOX GOES GRAVEL WITH RUDY XPLR SUSPENSION FORK AND REVERB XPLR DROPPER
By: JAMES HUANG
Do you really need suspension on a gravel bike? The idea of suspension forks on gravel bikes has always been a contentious one, and the bike industry hasn’t exactly done itself any favors given what was available early on.
Several of the most popular ones were just chopped-down obsolete mountain bike forks, and they looked and rode like them. They were heavy, they were ugly, and the afterthought tuning just didn’t work well enough to convince enough people that they were worth the substantial hit in weight and cost. Cannondale’s Lefty Oliver fork has probably come the closest functionally, but its single-sided design and proprietary hub present its own hurdles to adoption.
MICROSHIFT ADVENT X GRAVEL BIKE GROUPSET REVIEW: BIG RANGE, SMALL PRICE
By: DAVE ROME
With a rear derailleur, a wide-range cassette, and a pair of dropbar shifters all for US$287, you’d be easily excused for assuming that MicroShift’s Advent X drivetrain components are kinda crummy. Instead, they’re solid proof that bike parts don’t need to be expensive to function reliably.
In a market almost devoid of low cost 1x drivetrain options suitable for gravel riding, this single-ring mini-groupset is a glimmer of hope. However, some aspects of it shine brighter than others.
A 64×15 AND $10,000 BARS: ASHTON LAMBIE’S SUB-4-MINUTE PURSUIT BIKE
By: RONAN MC LAUGHLIN
Ashton Lambie has cemented a place for himself in the history books as the first person to ride a 4 km pursuit in under four minutes. An achievement of immense magnitude, some might say it is at least the cycling equivalent of Roger Bannister’s sub-four-minute mile in 1954. While Bannister achieved what many considered physiologically impossible at the time and broke down an apparent collective mental barrier for humanity, there was a certain inevitability about someone, sometime soon, breaking the four-minute 4 km pursuit barrier.
That is not to detract from Lambie’s achievement but is rather a collective acknowledgement of the progression in modern sport. The sub-four-minute pursuit became an equation: massive human engine + sports science and physiology understanding + technological advancement = 3:59.930
On paper, Shimano hydraulic brakes have always been rather simple to bleed, but in practice little things such as getting the hose to stay on the bleed nipple offered room for improvement.
Shimano recently released three new bleed tools aiming to smooth the process of bleeding its brakes, and while they’re still made of plastic, they offer some notable (but small) improvements over the old.