CyclingTips Digest: Weird Kickstarter Campaigns, $1,000 Oversized Pulley Cages, Peter Sagan Scams & More

Apr 29, 2021
by Ed Spratt  

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.

By: Iain Treloar

Cyclists don’t, as a rule, ‘transcend’. It takes a big name and a bigger personality to escape the cycling bubble: an Armstrong, a Cavendish, and yes, a Peter Sagan. It’s those rare few that have marketing potential beyond the bubble.

And in the mainstream, if you can get there? There’s a whole lot of money. There’s also plenty of potential for weird sh*t to happen.

(Read more.)

By: Dane Cash

Riders at two different races were disqualified for riding in illegal positions on Wednesday.

Rules went into effect on April 1 implementing strict penalties for those who take various banned positions on the bike, including the so-called “super tuck,” as well as riding with the forearms resting on the handlebars.

Wednesday saw what appear to be the first and the second disqualifications that have been handed down since the new rules came into effect.

(Read more.)

By: Iain Treloar

Kickstarter products tend to be defined by their ambition. The crowdfunding platform is an avenue for innovative products to come to life, with start-ups getting capital to turn their dreams into reality, and backers buying into the promise of something new and visionary.

Sometimes these risks even pay off. Quite often, they don’t...

(Read more.)

By: Abby Mickey

The Run Up is a look behind the scenes at how three of the biggest teams in the Women’s World Tour prepared for the finale of the Ardennes Classics. In a series of videos throughout the year, The Run Up will showcase the personalities, teams, and hard work of the women’s peloton. This first taste follows Canyon-SRAM, Trek-Segafredo, and SD Worx in the days leading up to Liège-Bastogne-Liège race.

(Read more.)

By: James Huang

SRAM has today announced the debut of its long-awaited Rival eTap AXS wireless electronic road groupset, and, as it turns out, the speculative piece we published in February was pretty much dead-on. It’s 12-speed out back, it uses the same electronic bits as Force eTap AXS and Red eTap AXS, it gains some weight, there’s a pulley cage clutch, there are wide-range 1x and 2x gearing options, and the price point is about what we expected as well.

But what we didn’t expect was a low-cost power meter option, a lever shape that’s arguably better than Force or Red, and shift performance that seems strangely faster than either of its older siblings.

(Read more.)

By: James Huang

It’s one thing to consider yourself a tinkerer, perpetually driven by that inherent mechanical curiosity to tweak and improve, take apart and put back together. It’s another thing entirely to be a tinkerer and a maker, combining all of that with the skills, experience, and equipment to turn ideas into physical reality.

Josh Ogle is most certainly the latter.

(Read more.)

By: James Huang

Remember those mysterious tire inserts that the EF-Education First team was supposedly using at the Tour de France last September? After several months of additional testing, Vittoria has finally lifted the lid on the new road-specific version of its Air-Liner foam tire inserts.

The new Air-Liners are essentially a downsized version of the foam inserts that Vittoria already offers for mountain and gravel bikes, albeit with a somewhat different mission statement and a different shape to suit.

(Read more.)

By: Matt De Neef

Markus Stitz is an adventure cyclist and filmmaker based in Edinburgh, Scotland. You might remember some of his previous adventures we’ve featured here at CyclingTips – his bikepacking trip through Kyrgyzstan, his search for distance in Western Scotland, and his ride along the former Iron Curtain. For his latest film, Markus joined forces with fellow adventure cyclist Mark Beaumont to showcase the beauty and somewhat unexpected joy of cycling in winter.

(Read more.)

By: Iain Treloar

Strava has quietly rolled out its latest incremental update overnight, introducing 3D Terrain to its subscriber-only Personal Heatmap feature.

Heatmaps allow users to visualise their riding over various timeframes, with colour grading providing a snapshot of the most regularly ridden routes. The newest update to this feature takes the 2D heatmaps and adds a 3D perspective, allowing you to move around and control the angle of view.

(Read more.)

By: Iain Treloar & Matt De Neef

Sunday’s men’s Amstel Gold Race was one of the closest races in recent memory, with one of the most-talked-about outcomes. With a reduced peloton closing fast behind them, three riders were alone off the front: Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe). At 200 metres remaining, Van Aert led out the sprint from the front, with Pidcock drawing level on his right hand side. To the finish they went, throwing their bikes to the line.

And then, the waiting began.

(Read more.)

By: Dave Rome

The original Aspero was released in 2019 and marked Cervelo’s entry into the gravel space. Gravel has continued to boom since and the Aspero has been an undeniable success for Cervelo. As of March 2021, the Aspero, along with the fresh do-it-all Caledonia, made up approximately 60% of Cervelo’s global sales, a staggering fact given the company continues to be a leader in the triathlon world and is best known as a performance road brand.

And with such strong demand comes a new version of the Aspero that sits above the pre-existing and continuing offering. Having hidden the bike in clear sight for nearly two months, this not-just-a-first-ride review details what is and isn’t new.

(Read more.)

By: Abby Mickey

This week Caley and Ronan interrupt the regular schedule to bring you another deep dive episode. Deep diving into the science of Everesting, the Nerds discuss the training, wattages, equipment selection, marginal gains, and time left on the table from Ronan’s recent Everesting world record ride.

(Read more.)


  • 88 3
 Imagine getting disqualified for riding with your hands a bit far out. So strange.
  • 98 5
 Welcome to road racing rules. Eventually it will be a disqualifiable offence to win a race when you aren't the pre-decided winner.
  • 34 44
flag jj12jj (Apr 29, 2021 at 14:33) (Below Threshold)
 I mean they are both dangerous positions where you have almost no control over the bike, combine that with a peloton and it’s a recipe for injury.

I get why the pros do it but I’ll never get why cat4 amateurs think it’s a good idea
  • 18 3
 @jj12jj: Lol, ok, if you are leading the peloton you are setting the pace. It really doesn't take that long to pull your hands back. Is there any evidence of this aero position leading to a crash?
  • 44 30
 Peletons are an insane concept anyway. It's supposed to be a race, yet for some reason 90% of the riders ride the entire course in a big group and all get awarded exactly the same finishing time. Lol.
  • 29 1
 @gabriel-mission9: Not really. They speed up the average time of the group and allow for longer distances to be covered faster.
  • 24 26
 I'm pretty sure the point in a race is to beat the other competitors... At least thats the point in every sport except road cycling.
  • 13 1
 @gabriel-mission9: The problem is the solo rider is slower than the group so the group swallows them up.
  • 23 2
 @gabriel-mission9: yeah... the riders in the peloton are all riding in teams trying to get their teammate to win... pretty hard concept to grasp
  • 11 6
 @jj12jj: Forearms on the bars isn't that big a deal. I wouldn't do it with strangers in a beer league race, but if i'm on a group ride with friends I'll stretch out, we all know what the others are going to do. I do it all the time riding in a straight line alone just to change up positions, it's a surprisingly stable position. Super tuck... I mean... I'm 6', 190lbs and really flexible. I can manage it just fine, pop in, pop out. Again, if i'm descending with friends I'll do it... did it once on a loaded bikepacking bike, forgot my tires were 2.6" knobbies, hit 45mph, tucked my knees in to try and go even faster, felt burning, smelled burning slowly and carefully got back into the saddle to avoid speed wobbles, that was very unfun. long and short is UCI is dumb.
  • 19 0
 @gabriel-mission9: What if you get caught riding with a boner?
  • 22 0
 @inonyme: "F1, the sport where 19 drivers compete to see who gets closest to Lewis Hamilton" lmao. I hope max wins this year
  • 5 0
 Imagine racing at all
  • 10 2
 @mackay66: Sounds a bit too much like socialism for 49% of Americans
  • 2 0
 @gabriel-mission9: what was the last road race you watched that wasn't the tour day france
  • 8 3
 Seems like UCI is actively trying to make road racing as boring as possible.
  • 6 3
 Despite all the hate, I totally get this. I've tried the "imaginary aero bars" position, and on our less than mirror smooth roads, it just feels seconds away from a crash. Super tuck restricts your movement and balance, unlike other tuck positions, you can't react fast. And undoubtedly someone would have built a frame specially for it. Given that these would be copied by less skilled amateurs racing around the world, it makes sense, as there would have been accidents, obviously at high speed.
  • 13 9
 I'm not aware of any crashes that have happened in racing from the super tuck. Seems like it's only dangerous if you try to pedal while doing it. This is like banning scrubbing jumps in world cup DH cause amateurs might try to copy it and get hurt. Bike racing is inherently dangerous, you accept the risks when you choose to compete and choose techniques to try to go faster.
  • 5 0
 @gabriel-mission9: Pretty soon it will be illegal to stand out the seat and pedal!!
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: Pretty soon it will be illegal to stand out the seat and pedal!!
  • 1 0
 @Riyadh: proper order standing out of the seat is plain dangerous! If the chain slips your screwed....
  • 1 0
 @Sam-kerins: Yep, has happened to me on a few occasions. One of them the chain broke!
  • 3 0
 @gabriel-mission9: tell me you know nothing about road racing without telling me you know nothing about road racing
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: Buddy, most of the time teams are trying to ensure their finishers are in position to win the sprint. The last few miles of the race is where the winners are determined.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, it seems like a silly rule, but in downhill racing, isn’t (wasn’t?) it the rule that you can’t wear XC-style spandex? Kind of arbitrary, too. Road races don’t have a Monopoly on this stuff.
  • 3 0
 @HB208: look at the date of that article April fools got you 3 years late
  • 3 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: get in a super tuck and try to brake hard (let's say there's a blind turn or a crash in front of you). do the same with the imaginary aero bars. that's why they're banned. they limit movement and inhibit fast reaction which is necessary. this isn't about people trying to copy it, it's about safety for the riders. and the "there hasn't been a crash yet" is bs. same thing as "the dog is nice" till he shreds ur hand to pieces and then its too late (i have nothing against dogs btw)
  • 1 0
 @yurtletheturtle: Crap lol
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: only just saw this comment but it's properly cracked me up
  • 26 0
 I want all of my frames to be non wrinkle shaped
  • 5 0
 Don’t buy an intense then. Most of their frames are FwRO - For Wrinkles Only
  • 15 0
 Kudos to Motion for doing nothing more than jumping on the same vacuous BS marketing bandwagon with which the major players have been fleecing our collective wallets for years.

Next level BS that has already got them nearly 50,000 USD

Do they have a 300% more durable cassette on that?
  • 1 0
 You can pledge just 1USD and let them burn in comments. I really hate scammers and they obviously do that.
  • 2 0
 Also this! The comments are ... sad. But what people expected.
  • 2 0
 The current bike drought is probably the reason that this sort of business can take off. A lot of people (who probably doesn't know a lot about bikes) want a bike NOW.
  • 17 0
 The uninformed marketing jargon on the Motion kickstarter is the best crap ive seen all day lol
  • 14 0
 Ohhhh man….That Peter Sagan sneaker article was incredibly funny. Well worth a read. Thanks for posting.
  • 14 2
 Still not worth paying for Strava.
  • 3 1
 Strava’s issue is that they offered all this free stuff for years, and suddenly you have to pay for the stuff that was free?

I get it. That business model wasn’t working, and they needed to money to continue offering the service, but once you let the toothpaste out of the tube, good luck getting it back in.

For those that have given in and paid, did they add any additional features, or is it just the same thing we used to get for free?
  • 6 0
 @TheR: I pay for it and it's just the same stuff you used to get for free, although I was paying for the Analysis pack back when that was the model too. I like it, it's fun/useful data to me and I'd rather pay and have it vs not pay and not have it.
  • 11 2
 How about Strava made MTB a separate activity instead of wasting money on usless things like 3D heatmaps...
  • 1 0
 Whats the problem with “ride” activity type?
  • 1 0
 It separates downhill skiing and nordic skiing. Why not road bike and mountain bike? It does not filter out lift acces from the ride. There are som many ways they could make it better for mountain biking instead of wasting recources on flashy stuff.
  • 7 0
 Whats the matter with increasing the pulley tooth count for minimal gains, while at the same time transfering the power with a 10T cog because range?
  • 8 0
 that kickstarter is at 40k wtf?
  • 9 5
 UCI DH has weird rules also, riders must compete in full face downhill certified helmets (understandable for safety) but cannot wear clothing that has an aerodynamic advantage. Lycra or aero skin suits in races are the norm in road cycling. In downhill mountain biking they are explicitly forbidden along with any clothing that is lycra or elastane based that fits tightly.
  • 15 3
 Maybe it's just to keep the riders from looking silly? The helmet thing makes total sense obviously.
  • 8 0
 It's funny, because racing suits already are getting pretty tight. I think this rule is more symbolic more than anything else, riders should win because they brought the best performance on a bike that connects them to the trail as good as possible.
  • 1 0
 I thought they could wear them but if they do they have to wear them all season long and not just at world Championships?
  • 1 0
 @4thflowkage: Yeah, but not as tight as they used to be in the DH skinsuit days before that rule came in.
  • 7 0
 Wow that Kickstarter is pretty far out. Kudos for the ambition, but that's a sketchy spec'd bicycle!
  • 3 0
 Watch the entire Motion Mtb video and their Kickstarter page... You won’t be disappointed

Funniest thing I’ve seen in a while!

They’ve actually managed to find backers to their Kickstarter project... no wonder people believe in conspiracy theory‍♂️
  • 1 0
 The BMX rider (that they obviously paid to jump it once for the video) casing it is a nice touch.
  • 1 0
 Holy sh$# that was great. Oil brake braking is something I always looks for in a good bike. I also enjoy the ability to rest anytime, anywhere. And take pictures.
  • 3 1
 Can someone please explain to me how a pulley can be worth around the same price as a top tier mtb fork? I don't see how a couple pieces of metal and some bearings/bushings are worth a grand. Even if its made from full titanium its still not gonna cost anywhere near that. My stiletto titanium framing hammer was only 300 bucks and there is around a pound of titanium in it.
  • 5 1
 Because he didnt make it to sell it, he made it to prove he could. If you want one, its probably more of “oh ok sure but its gonna cost ya!”

Josh Ogle is a freaking wizard.
  • 5 0
 @PHeller: not sure why he had to "prove he could" its just a pulley wheel lol nothing I see there is groundbreaking by any means.
  • 1 1
 Full ceramic bearings are stupid expensive. Most ceramic bearing you actually find are hybrid designs, where only the balls are ceramic. A fully ceramic bearing both the balls and the races are ceramic, meaning less wear.
  • 3 0
 @mhoshal: Because the bearings he is using are expensive to buy, the shape of the bearing/pulley/cage interface is complex and took a lot of design hours to make it work. The shape of the cage is complex with a lot of machine time. Look at any other cage, it just has a plain 5mm hole. Whilst I agree it isn’t “ground breaking” as a machinist and (crap) designer, I can see there is plenty time sunk into this assembly. And time is money. For the record, I won’t be buying one, but I appreciate the work that’s gone into it.
  • 2 0
 @Cord1: thanks for clarifying.

I swear the machinists on PB always chime in with knowledge.
  • 4 2
 April 1st and various banded positions on bike - I guess no more doggy or missionary style ridin' for the pokadot and pink jerseys?
  • 4 0
 I lost at least an hour looking at the new 3D heat maps.
  • 1 0
 That Kickstarter article dropped me down a whole rabbit hole. I had apparently missed that whole SpeedX saga. The article on it is fantastic, and I would highly recommend reading it for anyone who hasn't yet.
  • 2 0
 Be careful when shuttling freely among pedestrians. Especially in Bellingham.
  • 7 5
 I am confused, why is there an article about road bikes on here?
  • 3 3
 did you hit your head one too many?
  • 1 1
 @Sethimus: cries in anneke
  • 2 0
 The Sagan shoes article is one of the best I've ever read, hands down
  • 1 0
 That insert looks like a skinny, green rimpact.
  • 1 0
 Actually, now that I have a moment, I clicked the link and it is a different shape.
  • 1 1
 Hellos! I fat and round so don't need super tuck. I not flat so i more aerodynamic!
  • 1 0
 Man I feel like eagle is big enough?
  • 1 0
  • 3 4
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