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Road Cycling Digest: An Endless FAQ to Tubeless, 5 Things the Bike Industry Should Do & More

Nov 6, 2021
by Sarah Moore  

Photo of Elisa Balsamo during Paris-Roubaix Femmes after getting up close and personal with the cobbles by Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images


What's going on in the curly bar world? Road Cycling Digest showcases articles from our sister sites, CyclingTips, VeloNews and Peloton Magazine. In each installment, you might find endurance coverage, power-to-weight ratios, gravel bike tech and, of course, lycra.


Editor's note: CyclingTips has a metered paywall, which you can read about here. You can still read the articles, but there's a limit of 5 per rolling 30 days before you need to become a member. We’re not planning a similar paywall on Pinkbike, but Beta’s existing paywall could be metered in the future. —Brian





An Endless Faq To Tubeless Bicycle Tyres
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

Regardless of your chosen cycling discipline, tubeless tyres have benefits to offer over standard tube-type setups. Those benefits are certainly more obvious with wider tyres, lower pressures and rougher surfaces, but even skinny road racing rubber can potentially gain from losing the inner tube.

However, tubeless isn’t just a matter of removing the tube and riding blissfully into the sunset. Tubeless carries real compromises, including new knowledge and more maintenance than trusty tubes. Whether the positives outweigh the negatives will be up to you, and this article is designed to arm you with all the knowledge you’ll ever need on the topic.

(Read more.)





The Mudless Mystery Of Mathieu Van Der Poel’s Shoes
By: Iain Treloar / CyclingTips

Paris-Roubaix was, as you might have heard, a little bit damp. The brave souls of the peloton trudged their way through the grime and grit of Northern France toward a velodrome in Roubaix, where everyone collapsed en masse in the infield and then limped to some atmospheric shower stalls to clean up.

This year more than most, the Hell of the North was a hell of a spectacle.

But amongst all the drama and intrigue of the race, there was one small, seemingly insignificant detail that was seized on by the viewing public: Mathieu van der Poel’s feet.

(Read more.)




Topeak JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage Floor Pump Review
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

Topeak is no stranger to producing good value and long-lasting bicycle pumps, and its JoeBlow series of floor pumps are found in the sheds, garages, cupboards and cars of many thousands of cyclists around the world.

Topeak currently sells 26 floor pump models, with the variance between some of them being a bit of a ‘spot the difference’ challenge. One that stands apart is the JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage, a new addition that aims to be a tubeless-friendly pump without obvious compromise and not requiring an air chamber to be pressurised.

(Read more.)





Gallery: The Grit and Glory Of Paris-Roubaix Femmes
By: Iain Treloar / CyclingTips

Some races come with their own gravity. Paris-Roubaix Femmes – the first ever women’s edition of one of cycling’s most beloved races – was one of those. As it approached in the calendar, the entire world of cycling seemed to orbit around it.

In the end, after all that build-up, the result itself didn’t really matter as much as the fact that there was a race to have a result. But it sure helped that it was a scintillating one.

(Read more.)





The 13 Coolest Things We Saw At Sea Otter 2021
By: Peloton Magazine

After a two-and-a-half-year pandemic induced hiatus, the Sea Otter Classic at the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey County, California, returned to its full form with racing across most disciplines of road and mountain biking, and a product expo. Here are some of the coolest things we saw.

(Read more.)





Five Things I Really Wish the Bike Industry Would Do
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of good things happening in the cycling industry, but it’s hard to overlook the forever-increasing prices of bikes, the growing number of proprietary parts, some light greenwashing, and the continuation of telling consumers they need race bikes when that’s only the best product for a few.

And so rather than write out a list of angry rants that sound awfully similar to those I’ve written before, I decided I should flip the script and share what I want to see more of.

(Read more.)





Modern Flat-bar Gravel Bikes Are Basically Just Old Mountain Bikes
By: James Huang / CyclingTips

An emerging trend in gravel bikes right now is using flat handlebars in place of the usual drop bars. The claimed benefits are what you’d expect: with more leverage for your hands, you’ve got more control when things get particularly rowdy, and the bikes are more fun to ride as a result.

Adding bar width sounds like an easy win in those situations, and mountain bikers will attest that even a few millimeters can make a big difference in terms of how much you can toss a bike around on a trail. However, swapping a drop bar for a flat one brings with it downsides as well as upsides, namely in terms of reach. Most modern drop bars have reach dimensions around 65-80 mm, but almost all flat bars have some degree of rearward sweep, which means just trading one for the other without altering the frame geometry to compensate can suddenly make a bike feel very short front-to-back.

(Read more.)





Gallery: Snapshots Of Hell At Paris-Roubaix
By: Iain Trelaoar / CyclingTips

It’s been 20 years since a wet Paris-Roubaix – 20 years of dry or dusty cobbles. Sure, sometimes they’ve been a little bit sloppy – an earthy hint of mud creeping in at the periphery – but a proper wet Paris-Roubaix is a different beast.

The 2021 edition – twice delayed by the pandemic, and occupying a new spot in the calendar at the end of the season when the continent is on the cusp of its winter hibernation – will be remembered as one of those vintage editions.

Heavy rain from the outset. Mud-slicked cobbles. Puddles that verged on being ponds. It’s always the Hell of the North – it’s the race’s whole schtick – but the conditions this year made it extra hellish.

(Read more.)





French study: Spinal cord-injury drug detected in Tour de France riders
By: Sadhbh O'Shea / Velonews

Evidence of a muscle relaxant used to treat people with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries has been found in samples taken from professional cyclists, a French study found.

Hair samples were taken from seven riders during a “three-week cyclist race” in France, the report said.

The name of the team and cyclists involved are not named in the report — published in the “Wiley Analytical Science Journal“ which was reviewed by VeloNews in full — but it would indicate that the samples were collected during the Tour de France in July.

(Read more.)





Canyon Launches Aluminum Grizl Al Gravel Bike
By: Peloton Magazine

Canyon’s gravel range is expanding. The new Grizl AL brings the adventure-focused features of the Grizl CF gravel bike released earlier this year to a more affordable aluminum version.
Like the carbon version of the Grizl, the AL model offers tire clearance of up to a whopping 700 x 50mm, more than plenty to take on anything you would want to tackle with a gravel bike. It’s nice to have that ample clearance as an option for rugged adventures, but it might be overkill for a lot of gravel riding. Luckily Canyon ships the bike with 45mm tires.

(Read more.)





Everything You Need To Know About The Inaugural Tour De France Femmes
By: Amy Jones / Peloton Magazine

The end of this season marks a pivotal moment for women’s cycling. Steady growth has been building since the introduction of the two-tier system at the beginning of 2020—when minimum salaries and live coverage requirements were set by the UCI. Rather than set progress back, last year’s Covid-challenged season saw the introduction of new races, more television coverage and more teams, as well as rumors of the return of a women’s Tour de France.

(Read more.)
PARIS FRANCE - OCTOBER 14 Detailed view of the chairs at the event where you can read the women s and men s Tour de France logo during the 109th Tour de France 2022 And 1st Tour de France Femmes 2022 - Route Presentation TDF2022 LeTour on October 14 2021 in Paris France. Photo by Luc Claessen Getty Images





Google Maps To Improve Cycling Directions And Add Green Navigation
By: James Lynch / Peloton Magazine

Trying to find directions on your bicycle can be difficult. Even with GPS, we often miss our turns while we pay attention to the road, avoid cars dipping into the bike lane, pedestrians stepping off a curb prematurely, and doors that swing open toward us. If you are in a navigation app, this can be a nightmare as your GPS pauses to reroute, leaving you biking without knowing if you’re even actually in the right direction.

(Read more.)
An unrecognizable mountain biker attaching his phone to a bike mount.





Q&A: Floyd Landis recounts his experience at Big Sugar, his first gravel race
By: Betsy Welch / Velonews

Floyd Landis did his first gravel race last weekend in Bentonville, Arkansas at Big Sugar Gravel. In this interview, Landis talks about how the race went, including taking care of Ted King, who crashed and broke his elbow, and his thoughts on gravel racing in general, now that he has gotten a taste for it.

At Big Sugar, Landis lined up in front and was impressed with how fast the race started. He also noted how technical the course was, and how group dynamics play out differently on gravel than on the road.

(Read more.)





Cervélo’s parent company Pon agrees to buy Cannondale’s parent group Dorel Sports for $810 million
By: Velonews

Dorel Industries has agreed to sell Dorel Sports to Pon Holdings for $810 million in cash.

Dorel Sports is the parent group of Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, and Mongoose. Pon Holdings is the parent of many bike brands, including Cervélo, Santa Cruz, and Gazelle. Pon, a privately held Dutch group with businesses in several sectors, recently acquired the Mike’s Bikes retail chain in California.

“By combining Pon.Bike and Dorel Sports, a leading bicycle company in the world will be created, with a combined revenue of around 2.5 billion euro ($2.9 billion),” Pon said in a release Monday.

(Read more.)



The Basement Tapes: Jojo Harper From Issue 104
By: Tim Schamber / VeloNews

In issue 104, our 10th annual Photo Annual, we showcased 12 photographers and 1 collector that are at the top of their game in cycling photography.

Here’s the extended interviews from Peloton magazine: The Photo Annual.

(Read more.)





LSD and shaved tires – TJ Eisenhart and Colin Strickland’s Big Sugar Gravel bikes
By: Ben Delaney, Betsey Welch / Velonews

TJ Eisenhart and Colin Strickland are two of the 1,000-plus racers who will take the start line at Big Sugar Gravel in Bentonville, Arkansas on Saturday. Both seasoned racers have unique takes on what the right set-up — and look — is for the rough-gravel course.

Eisenhart, an artist and ex-road racer, revels in the acid-trip-inspired artwork on his Santa Cruz Stigmata.

Strickland, a past winner of the race now known as Unbound Gravel, is opting for bigger, 42mm tires on his Allied Echo, shaving down some of the side knobs to ensure clearance.

(Read more.)






74 Comments

  • 136 14
 OK, bring back all the electric mountain bike articles, were sorry we complained... Anything is better then this....
  • 13 3
 At least there's a check-box to exclude e-bike "news" content. Where's the option to turn this click-bait pay-wall garbage off? I pay $0 for my PinkBike experience and I think I want my money back.... lol!
  • 98 11
 This article feels a bit... outside the regular content. WTF, pinkbike.
  • 10 4
 Can't upvote this enough, wtaf?
  • 23 2
 Regular since last March….
  • 29 4
 You're welcome! Be safe be well, Incognito Robin
  • 56 1
 "An emerging trend in gravel bikes right now is using flat handlebars in place of the usual drop bars"

Somewhere out there in a coffee shop, a hipster dude in a retro cycling cap and shaved legs thinks he's done the bike equivalent of discovering a new continent... Welcome to the club amigo, welcome...
  • 16 2
 Most of these articles just makes me wanna cry, except the return of the women's TdF, which is kind of a good new, but which is also the tree that hides the forest in term of machism. MTB and road cycling are definitely 2 VERY different worlds.
  • 41 4
 Is this pinkbike?
  • 21 2
 CyclingTips Digest articles started on PB in March 2020
  • 21 13
 Well, it might not be mountainbiking, but diving into a wet, slick cobblestone section with a downhill entry at 50k/hr with 30mm tires and a lot of guys elbowing you because they want to be at the same place in the same time? In my book that might not be as badass as Rampage, but pretty close to the Val di Sole DH.
  • 9 2
 @jeroenk: I can't remember which Pro said it, and I'm paraphrasing, but it went something like "at some point in a road biking career, you're going to have to throw yourself into a pile of sharp metal and carbon fibre at 50kmph dressed in lycra"

Think it was Cav? Your right though, it's badass at the top.
  • 1 0
 @jeroenk: Megavalanche gravel edition
  • 1 0
 @Jules15: Or bring back this for the ultimate clash of extremes (DH & road riders). www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwseIy89_fc

(this was in 2009, but the bike of the winner is a lot older than that I guess... who needs working brakes?)
  • 1 0
 @jeroenk: That still sounds allot easier than a DH world cup.
  • 2 0
 @inside-plus: You mean the frantic sprint into and in the first part of a Paris Roubaix cobble stone section? I would agree it requires a limited skillset compared to world cup DH, but I'd say the difference is in the dare factor. With DH, you've got matters into your own hands, up to a certain point. With road cycling, you're often in a human washing machine you cannot control.
  • 1 0
 ^ He's right you know. In a group, can't speed up, can't slow down, the verge might be on one side of you, a rider on the other. You might not be on the line you want to be, but there's absolutely nothing you can do about it other than keep on going. You've also not sneaked any pads on under your lycra, so it's 100% going to hurt if/when you go down
  • 1 0
 @inside-plus: I've never done a WC race, but I've sent some scary DH. No where as terrifying as racing a crit, which I've only done once.

I've also road raced motorcycles, currently own a GSXR 1000. Road cycling in a pack is scary, having my shoulder pressing into the motorcycle next to me mid corner, that's just fun.
  • 1 0
 @mashrv1: As a guy who's crashed at 70kph in motorcycle gear... Yeah, in lycra it would have hurt a whole lot more!
  • 17 0
 Stating that you have no plans to do something isn’t the same as definitively stating that the something in question won’t happen.
  • 19 1
 They’re sending you to see the paywall that Cycling Tips introduced. Is this a sign of what's to come here in the future!
  • 24 7
 I will take a big steaming dump on anything Road Cycling.
  • 19 0
 your handle would suggest that you are well qualified for said activities
  • 5 1
 @hunty101: nailed it.
  • 26 9
 No road cycling here please. Just not interested.
  • 13 15
 Don't read it then?
  • 7 3
 @Larkey1: That's why I left Bike Radar. Over the years it became just one more roadie web site. And not even that good. Not interested. Especially after Seb came to Pinkbike.

I already follow 2 roadies and one triathlon site. That's more than enough.
  • 13 2
 Btw, Robin, I am not sure you are aware, that the money you put into this "metered" paywall simply went to the dustbin, since you only need to open cycling tips in the incognito (pun intended) window (and then close it after 5 articles and open a new one. They cannot introduce an IP-level counting since the public IP they see is common for many people sharing the same ISP or work place). The only real way to enforce it would be to require a login and then you can really limit those.(assuming no one will create 10 accounts with 1 google email which is always possible).
  • 8 0
 Someone is getting banned, lalalalaa..
  • 4 1
 @pakleni: sorry, but this is so obvious that it's hardly knowledge you can keep secret. Banning someone fot this on a site which promotes the use of VPNs to bypass the regional restrictions would be a pure hypocrisy.
  • 27 0
 I’m glad you guys have taken our repeated posts on internet safety through VPNs to heart. Smile
  • 1 0
 Just out of curiosity to experience the cyclingtips.com paywall, but something doesn't seem right? Huge white space that needs to be scrolled completely out of the viewport to expose the content. Right click, inspect, and right there in the dev tools console:
```
cyclingtips.com/:1 Uncaught (in promise) SyntaxError: Unexpected token M in JSON at position 0
```
:LOLZ:
catch and handle those errors Robin Wink
  • 4 1
 @chacou: I told my my CTO stinks...seems like you might be able to help fix the paywall...DM me!

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 2 0
 @notoutsideceo: PHP? I think I’ll pass
  • 22 11
 Strewth, what a whiney comment section. I actually like these summation posts. I don't just SHRED PARK on my ENDURO bike, I also cycle commute to work, ride gravel, do the occasional road ride, whatever. I may be a mountain biker first, but I'm also a cyclist in the broader sense.

I don't have enough interest to warrant following a second website, but these highlight reals have been a nice addition to the PB newsreel (these predate Outside by a year, for all you troglodytes).

All the content has already been filtered for quality and inter-discipline interest (for example, the Turkmenistan / UCI corruption article). Plus, we get to avoid all the shitty website layouts (looking at you especially CyclingTips).
  • 6 4
 exactly, if your not interested don't click on the article
  • 1 0
 That Turkmenistan / UCI corruption article was awesome! Worth revisiting
  • 2 2
 I also mow my own lawn, but that doesn't mean I want articles on lawnmowers on Pinkbike. There are many many other websites for commuting cycling, gravel cycling and roadies.
  • 15 4
 Sometimes I like having a few beers and looking at pinkbike content from years and years ago. The good old days. Then I look at it now. What a contrast.
  • 12 2
 Years ago a friend of mine told me about Pinkbike so I came to check it out. I did make an account but I didn't become a regular visitor. It was way too hardcore gravity for me.
At that time I was still racing XC..

Today I came and the first article is about roadies. I'm searching now for the "how to shave your legs" article but I guess it's coming out only next week
  • 1 0
 Yeah, look many things from “the before”, online forums and such just ain’t the same.

Fortunately we can still go mountain biking even without knowing about all the emerging trends.

I wonder if per capita biking hours have reduced as per capita on line bicycle hours have increased .
  • 10 0
 RIP cycling tips, absorbed into the Outside, a fate PB will likely soon endure
  • 10 0
 A whole article on if someone is wearing shoe covers over white shoes?
  • 1 0
 Yeah that happened.
  • 1 0
 LOL
  • 6 1
 Seriously guys… WTF ??!!??!!
I can understand a bit of gravel biking on PB (Levy will approve… and yes, I am dabbling with the idea of buying a gravel bike), but the bulk of this article belongs on a skinny tire, lycra clad website…
  • 5 1
 “Breaking news: article titled “road cycling roundup”, labeled “the top stories from road cycling” and linking articles from a road cycling website is about road cycling!
  • 8 1
 "you have 0 free articles remaining" hoorraay there is the paywall!
  • 9 2
 In a wierd way I look forward to it, PB just ain’t what it was, so my interest is waning.
  • 5 2
 If pinkbike ever gonna use a pay wall for their website, then I just don't read the articles. I don't have the crap Youtube Premium either. This lame way of marketing I ain't falling for it.
  • 1 0
 Lol no way I can handle watching a single ad nowadays.
  • 2 0
 About the prices on bikes, I did a few counting prices examples on top end bikes for a few of the biggest brands and it was significantly cheaper to buy the frame and parts than buying the complete bike wich seems wrong to me. I think that the prices on top end bikes is more based on what people are willing to pay rather than production cost. But you could not apply that to mid priced bikes so we all are fooled to belive that we need top end bikes and getting a good deal.
  • 2 0
 Well, if they have no plans for metered paywalls, I guess they will introduce them spontaneously Wink This Beta promoting is a mysterious phrase for me. For sure Robin does not need two gravity MTB sites, des he?
  • 1 1
 I clarified the note. Beta’s existing paywall might end up being a metered one in the future.
  • 4 1
 I don’t see a filter to block road biking stuff … of course there’s also no filter for blocking stories about death and destruction. Oh well.
  • 1 0
 "Rewind the CAAD by a generation, give it modern tyre clearance, a threaded bottom bracket, mechanical-friendly cable routing, a round seatpost, and most importantly, make it affordable. Right there you have a bike that has real demand, would surely spoil the sales figures of other brands, and equally, it would serve the next generation of lifelong cyclists. "

Absolutely spot on. Manufacturers making alloy bikes look like carbon counterparts made them unnecessarily heavy and flexible. I don't want my alloy bike to look aero, I don't care about saving 15 seconds in a 40 km, 50kmh time trial! I want a solid well designed frame and a bike that's cheap to maintain.

A good affordable road bike with standard parts are what amateurs need, not some ultra rigid carbon they'll never have the form to push to limits of.
  • 1 0
 The problem is that cyclists buy the bikes we want not the ones we need.
  • 1 0
 @kevinturner12: Agree. Commodity fetishism among cyclists is just rampant.
  • 8 4
 oh sorry ..... I thought I typed in pinkbike, my bad. see ya
  • 2 2
 A quick note on the whole “gravel bikes are just old 90’s mtb’s “ argument: I have yet to see anyone who believes this do a long term test with their old nineties mtb. Ride it for a year or so and see how that Craigslist bike holds up. I would argue that all the improvements like dis brakes, clutch drive trains, thru axles are what make it quite different than a 90’s mtb. A lot of gravel riders use their bikes when it’s too wet for mtbs on the trails. Good luck with rim brakes if the roads/ fire roads aren’t super dry.
  • 3 0
 Sarah, who forced you to write about this garbage?
  • 4 1
 No
  • 4 2
 R.I.P. Pinkbike Too much Garbage content
  • 1 0
 The tour de france is like the formula one of PED..pushing the edge of regs.
  • 2 0
 Can anyone suggest a good site to find some quality mountain bike content?
  • 1 0
 Now I will be able to buy Greg Minaars 5.10s and use them actually for mtb
  • 1 0
 Just no.
  • 1 0
 Damn Daniel!
  • 4 5
 Women's Paris-Roubaix!
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