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.
THE UCI IS BANNING THE ‘SUPER TUCK’
By: Dane Cash
The UCI announced a number of updates to its rules and to its enforcement of them in a wide-ranging statement on Thursday that included several new safety provisions drafted after “a long consultation process.” Among the most notable changes to the organization’s safety protocols is a commitment to enforce a ban on the so-called “super tuck” starting on April 1.
The tactic of hunching over the bars while putting weight on the top tube in an attempt to present a low aerodynamic profile has become increasingly popular in recent years. Chris Froome notably employed the technique as he soloed to victory on stage 8 of the 2016 Tour de France, and it has been used by countless other riders in major races over the past several seasons.
2021 CANYON EXCEED CF SLX 9 HARDTAIL REVIEW: A BIKE FOR MVDP
By: Dave Rome
With 2020 scheduled to be an Olympic year, we saw a flurry of new cross-country race machines hit the market. The world’s largest consumer-direct bike company, Canyon, was just one brand to unveil a new XC race hardtail.
The overhauled 2021, the Exceed is an unashamedly race-focused machine for cutting laps of a cross country course, and it offers a number of tell-tale signs that it was built for a skilled powerhouse like Mathieu van der Poel (MVDP).
I’ve been testing the new 2021 Exceed CF SLX for a number of months now and have formed something of a love-hate relationship with it. There are a great deal of interesting and unique elements to talk about with this fast 29er.
Looking to get your first road bike or perhaps upgrade to something fresh? Welcome! In this article (and video) we’ll discuss the broad steps to consider in your research, and hopefully, narrow your focus in what can be an extremely overwhelming purchase decision.
This article doesn’t go into specifics of exactly what bike you should buy. Rather we raise the common questions a good bike shop employee may ask if you walked in and said: “I want to buy a road bike”.
TODAY’S WINNER OF THE INTERNET: A WEBSITE DEDICATED TO ZWIFT MEMES
By: Ronan Mc Laughlin
Zwift just got better and once again it is someone at home with too much free time who has raised the bar.
ZwiftIRL.com lets you pop your real-life photos onto Zwift screens with some comic effect. The website, created by a husband let loose for a Sunday afternoon, offers you the chance to name your own Zwift routes, use ingenious new power-ups and add names to the rider list.
If 2020 was the year the coronavirus pandemic hammered pro road bike racing with cancellations, consider 2021 the hangover. Dozens of events have been called off or postponed, but the sport’s relative success in its summer re-start, which saw the major races like the Tour de France, Tour of Flanders and others run without serious problems (to my surprise), suggests that most major events stand a good chance of happening this year.
What’s changing is how to watch them. Up until this year, legit streaming options in the US were generally coalescing around two major players. NBC Sports held the rights to all ASO events and the UCI’s own (like World Championships). FloBikes held…pretty much everything else.
For the first time in years, the UCI WorldTour didn’t start at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide. As such, our annual “bikes of the WorldTour” feature has also been delayed. Instead, the UAE Tour was this year’s WorldTour curtain-raiser and got underway last weekend.
As you might expect, we have not had a chance to get up close and personal with the 2021 WorldTour bikes, but we were determined to keep the tradition going. We reached out to every men’s WorldTour team to get photos of their 2021 rigs. While not quite the same, we hope this virtual version of the annual tradition brings you a little sense of normality.
Winter miles make summer smiles, as the saying goes. Here, the suggestion/reality is that winter riding conditions are quite challenging for most of us, less enjoyable and more like a chore than summer miles. But winter miles are necessary if you want the condition to enjoy your summer riding to the fullest.
Is there a way to make winter miles equally smiley? If we apply Eddy Merckx logic here, then more miles will make summer smiles even bigger. If we could make winter miles more comfortable perhaps we could ride more of them?
IS SPECIALIZED WORKING ON A NEW SUSPENSION SEATPOST FOR ROAD AND GRAVEL?
By: Dave Rome
The top bike companies are forever looking at ways to isolate the rider from unforgiving surfaces and there have been countless examples of this in recent decades. In the road world, we often see such new ideas appear at Paris-Roubaix and other cobbled classics, while the surge in gravel riding is fast creating consumer demand for similar comfort and control-based technology, too.
As covered by Matthew Loveridge of BikeRadar, it seems Specialized’s engineers have been busy trying to find a matching seatpost-based partner to the fork steerer-based FutureShock suspension technology found on its Roubaix and Diverge bikes. A published patent application shows a design that employs a flexible or pivoting seatpost that floats within the seat tube and combines it with a small hidden shock dampener.
THE AUSSIE CHAMP’S TT BIKE: $6,000 TI BAR EXTENSIONS, WAXED CHAIN, AND A 58T
By: Matt De Neef
A couple of weeks ago, Luke Plapp (Inform TMX Make) scorched his way to an elite Australian time trial title. The 20-year-old was eligible for the U23 ranks (which he won last year) but opted to race in the elite category at the suggestion of Santos Festival of Cycling teammate Richie Porte. It turned out to be a great decision.
Plapp turned many heads at Nationals. Not just because he beat four-time Aussie ITT champ Luke Durbridge by a minute to win gold, but because of the bike he was riding on the day.
Why should you care about wheels? Are custom wheels really better than factory-built ones? How would you build a set of wheels for a light rider versus a heavier one? What are some strategies you can pursue at home if you want to get into the basics of truing, or maybe want to build a set of wheels for the first time yourself? Hope you’ve got some time set aside because we get real nerdy on this one with Adrian Emilsen of Melody Wheels in Perth, Australia.
The stench is sickening but fuel for the monster inside. He’s been brought to his knees, head over the toilet, one hand keeping him up. The other hand? Just outside his mouth, grasping the spoon. He’s found the skinny long stem ones work best for his tiny throat. He calmly relaxes, forcing it deeper down his throat. His gag reflex has been harder to come by in recent days. Finally, he feels it coming. A few splashes of vomit hit his face and arms, but a sly smile crosses his face. His thoughts go to skinny, fast, and dancing on the pedals uphill. He knows what he’s doing is twisted, but it’s not a disorder, he tells himself.
Why you ask? Because he’s in control and can turn it on and off like a light switch. It’s quite the contrast. The switch allows him to be in the light despite the dark path he’s headed down.