Road Cycling Digest: Making A Carbon Frame, Washing Cycling Kit, Fuelling a Grand Tour & More

Jun 14, 2022
by Sarah Moore  



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





HOW NOT TO WASH YOUR BIKE, STARRING PETER SAGAN
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

The topic of bike washing is weirdly controversial in cycling. Take a deep dive on YouTube and you’ll find a range of advice that spans everything from using only the finest lavender-scented organic wet wipes, all the way through to blasting your bike with a high-powered pressure washer while headbanging to AC/DC. And there are situations where each recommendation is correct.

A short Instagram clip recently posted by Peter Sagan shows him ‘lovingly’ caring for his bike at a car wash station. The three-time world champion brandishes the high-pressure wand to get foaming detergent into all the hard-to-access nooks and crannies of his Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7. He pays particular attention to the left-side bearing of the bottom bracket, then (correctly) cleans the chain on the chainrings, before blasting the snot out of the often-dirty spot above the front wheel (also known to bicycle nerds as the lower headset bearing).

(Read more.)
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CAMPAGNOLO DREAMS BIGGER WITH AGGRESSIVE NEW GROWTH STRATEGY
By: James Huang / CyclingTips

For better or worse, there are just three major players when it comes to drop-bar groupsets. Shimano is the undisputed volume leader, and the company just celebrated its 100th anniversary after kicking things off with a simple single-speed freewheel in 1922. SRAM is the relative new kid on the block, having started with its iconic Grip Shift twist shifter in 1987 and eventually establishing itself as the solid number-two brand in terms of volume. And Campagnolo? The Italian icon isn’t quite as old as Shimano, having initiated production of its fabled quick-release skewer in 1933, but the perception of its heritage somehow manages to run much deeper.

(Read more.)
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CANNONDALE HAS A PRO-ONLY, 100% COMPOSTABLE AND PLASTIC-FREE WATER BOTTLE
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

I have a haunting mental image from a WorldTour stage race that I attended years ago. Before the racing had even begun, each day the riders would return from their training ride in the sun, they’d park up their bikes with the mechanics and stroll off. And then the mechanics and soigneurs would quickly dispose of all the used bidons into the trash. Day in, day out, the waste would repeat.

Of course, on race day, the disposed-of bottles often become fan souvenirs in reward for a day waiting on the side of the road. Meanwhile, many smaller teams don’t have an endless supply of bottles and so the training bottles are washed for re-use (although Covid times has made this a rarer practice). Still, the vast majority of bottles are effectively single-use and either get added to landfills or perhaps spend a lonely lifetime in a ditch out the front of a random farm.

(Read more.)
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COOL TOOL TUESDAY #9: THE BEST SETUP AND BLEEDING TOOLS FOR HYDRAULIC DISC BRAKESs
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

Welcome back to Cool Tool Tuesday! This edition continues our deep dive into tools for hydraulic disc brakes. The previous article looked at tools related to the installation of disc brakes, and this article covers all my go-to and favourite tools related to bleeding and setting up those fluid-filled stoppers.

If you’ve never aligned a disc brake caliper, replaced a set of disc pads, bled a brake before, or are unsure of the difference between mineral and DOT fluid, then your first stop should certainly be our complete FAQ to disc brakes.

(Read more.)
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HOW TO MAKE A CARBON FRAME: A TOUR OF THE IBIS CYCLES FACTORY
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

There’s a slow-moving trend across the bike industry of brands ‘re-shoring’ to take ownership of their own manufacturing. In recent times we’ve seen the likes of Bianchi, 3T, and Pirelli announce new manufacturing facilities; all projects that were in the works before the ongoing pandemic. And it’s a trend that will surely continue as the pandemic-led cycling boom has shown the bike industry that it shouldn’t have all of its eggs in one manufacturing basket.

(Read more.)
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HOW TO FUEL A GRAND TOUR: ONE RIDER’S DAILY CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE, DOCUMENTED
By: Matt De Neef / CyclingTips

It takes a hell of a lot of energy to ride a Grand Tour. We’re talking about three weeks of racing, more than 80 hours and 3,400 km in the saddle, and something like 50,000 metres of climbing. That’s a lot of pasta and rice.

But how much exactly? And to drill down further, how much carbohydrate are we talking about? After all, if you’re going to do any sort of intense exercise, let alone race a Grand Tour, you’re going to need carbohydrates.

(Read more.)
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HOW TO WASH YOUR CYCLING KIT
By: Ronan Mc Laughlin / CyclingTips

Cycling kit is becoming increasingly advanced and, in many cases, more expensive to boot. Winter jackets, summer jerseys, gravel bibs, gloves, mitts, all sorts of base layers – there’s a specific, and usually highly technical garment for almost every cycling discipline and climate these days. Thankfully, modern kit is very durable, but still, overwashing or poor care will see that kit deteriorate quicker. Given most of our kit gets washed as often as it gets used, what’s the best way to clean cycling kit and avoid damaging it?

I’ve been riding and racing bikes for 20 years, and somewhere along the way, I picked up a basic rule of thumb for washing cycling gear that has served me well. It’s quite simple; a cool 30 °C wash, avoid fabric softener, and never tumble dry. While I was on the right track, I picked up a few new tips while researching this article, and as it turns out, I needn’t have been so tumble dryer-averse.

(Read more.)
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GALLERY: TEN CUSTOM BIKES SHOWCASE SHIMANO’S OH-SO-LIMITED GRX LIMITED
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

Unbound Gravel is just days away and as expected there’s the usual flurry of exciting and interesting new products related to the booming gravel scene. Shimano has unveiled a new GRX wheelset but perhaps piquing wider interest is the mention of a new limited edition groupset – GRX Limited.

In the simplest sense, GRX Limited is the usual 11-speed GRX 800-series mechanical groupset with a brushed or polished silver finish wherever possible. Shimano has produced the limited edition groups in 1x, 2x and flat-bar variants.

(Read more.)
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MATHIEU VAN DER POEL WON’T STOP UNTIL HE’S OFFENDED ALL OF ITALY
By: Jonny Long / CyclingTips

Mathieu van der Poel’s presence at the Giro d’Italia sprinkled some extra star dust over proceedings. His stage 1 win and stint in pink provided a spectacular opening to Grand Tour racing in 2022. However, his race was not without controversy.

First, we had the controversial video of the Dutchman eating spaghetti with ketchup come to light while the race was still in Hungary. Van der Poel made excuses that he was left with no choice.

(Read more.)
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POWER ANALYSIS: SOFIA GOMEZ VILLAFAÑE WINS 10-HOUR BATTLE WITH LAUREN DE CRESCENZO AT UNBOUND GRAVEL
By: Zach Nehr / VeloNews

In this column, we look at the power numbers of Sofia Gomez Villafañe at Unbound Gravel.

Sofia Gomez Villafañe has never done a training ride longer than five hours, and she didn’t ride any gravel in the off-season. She is a professional mountain biker, and with Haley Batten, she won the 2022 Cape Epic mountain bike stage race. She is also a multiple-time Argentinian Mountain Bike National Champion, and Tokyo 2020 Olympian.

(Read more.)
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HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU RACE THE 350-MILE UNBOUND XL?
By: Betsy Welch / VeloNews

In many ways, the Unbound XL is right up my alley: a huge self-supported bike adventure where self-preservation is more important than the ‘race,’ and hallucinations (or at least revelations) are not only possible but highly probable. So too are new friendships that become sealed through shared experience.

In other ways, though, it is not my style at all: it requires a heavy reliance on technology and its accompanying batteries and charger cables, training would have helped, and I never keep track of things like calories and carbs and sodium.

And wait, what about sleep?

(Read more.)
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TADEJ POGAČAR WILL HAVE A NEW COLNAGO ‘PROTOTIPO’ BIKE AT HIS DISPOSAL AT THE TOUR DE FRANCE
By: William Tracy / VeloNews

Spy shots of Tadej Pogačar riding an unbadged all-black bike on training rides have been making the rounds on social media and cycling forums recently. Now Colnago, the bike sponsor of the defending two-time Tour de France champion’s UAE Emirates team, has confirmed that there is in fact a new model on the horizon, called “Prototipo.”

Further details are sparse, but we do know a few things.

(Read more.)
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ALISON TETRICK’S RETRO 1984 TEAM STUMPJUMPER THEMED SPECIALIZED DIVERGE FOR UNBOUND GRAVEL
By: William Tracy / VeloNews

Winner of the 2017 Unbound Gravel, Alison Tetrick is no stranger to the pointy end of the action in Kansas.

This year, however, she’ll be shaking it up further back, supporting a group of riders in an initiative called “Race the Sun” as they try to roll across the finish before sunset to raise money for Outride and Emporia’s NICA high school cycling team, Coyote Collective.

(Read more.)
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10 HANDMADE GRAVEL BIKES THAT WILL HAVE YOU WANTING TO DITCH YOUR MASS-MARKET FRAME
By: William Tracy / VeloNews

How do you announce a new groupset in style? Give it to the world’s best frame builders and let them do their thing.

That’s exactly what Shimano did for its new GRX Limited groupset, providing 1x, 2x, and drop bar configurations of the 11-speed mechanical group to 10 premier frame builders from Portland to Boston to the UK, then bringing all those bikes together at Unbound Gravel for a mini handmade bike show.

(Read more.)
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Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,390 articles

63 Comments
  • 24 3
 The MvdP story is hilarious. People so uptight about their national "quisine" are sad specimens. Let the man enjoy his carb intake and coffee the way he prefers.
  • 12 1
 Meanwhile China had noodles like 2000 years before Italy.
  • 8 3
 Normally would agree- love pineapple on pizza and love all sorts of fancy coffee drinks after noon. But even I, a non-Italian, cannot cosign ketchup on pasta. At least not the gross sweet stuff we have in the USA, maybe it's better in Europe.
  • 9 2
 the article was written by a Brit, and it's anyway obviously ironic. MvdP can eat or drink whatever he wants to....nobody here gives a f.....
  • 10 0
 I think everyone involved was having a bit of fun.
  • 2 0
 @rollingdip: Carbs in cycling is a deadly serious topic.
  • 2 0
 The milk in coffee rule is depending on the ability to digest milk. There is a line going through Europe (and Northern Italy), north of which most people are able to and south of which most people are not able to digest milk easily. You can see it also in a switch from butter to oil in regional cuisine.
So in Northern Italy it would probably be fine.
Another strange food rule: Bavarian Weisswurst is also only allowed in the morning, never after noon. This dates back to times without refrigeration.
  • 3 0
 @SangamonTaylor: Ketchup on pasta is pretty common in many Latin American countries as well. Roadies are so silly.
  • 1 1
 @scott-townes: You spelled insufferable wrong
  • 13 0
 Not much of a roadbike follower, but the "MATHIEU VAN DER POEL WON’T STOP UNTIL HE’S OFFENDED ALL OF ITALY"-story is hillarious. :-D
  • 10 1
 So pro road cyclists throw out their water bottle everyday?

That is absurd. A water bottle is so easily reused in a sanitary way.
  • 15 0
 I've never bought a bottle. I just find them on the trail and wash them, I ain't skeert
  • 2 0
 @honda50r: literally hundreds of water bottles are discarded along the road of the Tour de France race.
  • 1 0
 @honda50r: same! I’m always finding them
  • 2 0
 AFAIK, it's not so much "let's throw away these perfectly good bottles" and more that riders aren't going to shuttle every empty bottles back to the team car when they're done with them so they just toss them along the course. Nobody is getting paid to roam the course and return each bottle to its respective team, so they're either fan souvenirs or trash at that point.

I still have a couple from Windham WC XCO back in the day!
  • 6 0
 If you've ever attended the Tour, 99% of the trash comes from the spectators/roadside fans that leave the areas a mess...free promotional material tossed into the streets and their own personal trash left there.

The riders tossing water bottles, whom majority end up in the hands of fans as souvenirs, are almost inconsequential in the grand scheme.
  • 2 0
 @bkm303: The ASO (promoters) actually have an environmental strategy team that works specifically to clean up any trash at the tour...they also work with host towns to get trash sweepers, etc. Most of their focus is cleaning up fan waste. There's also been designated trash zones for riders to discard junk in last several years.

It's really the bottles that get thrown into the bushes and down mountain ravines that fans and the sweepers aren't going to find, which is where compostable bottles make sense.
  • 4 0
 @Jamminator: I wonder if any racer's chucked their bottle into another biker's path and they totally OTB'd. Like Ron Burgundy "This burrito is delicious but it is filling!"
  • 2 0
 @robomatic: I actually do remember a video clip (from last year maybe?) where the race went straight through a roundabout. Most of the racers went right, a couple went left. A guy on the right chucked a bottle back and left not realizing the group had split and nailed another rider in the face. Tried to google it but no luck.
  • 1 0
 In the middle of a race you toss them before the feed zone and then pick new ones up. They can't stop and drop them off. The teams are supposed to clean them up
  • 8 1
 Here's a simple tip if you want to wash your bike and preserve bearing life: Don't. Let the mud dry and brush it off with a nice soft brush. Drivetrain is pretty much the same: Wipe it and lube it. No degreasers or pressure washers or any kind of hassle needed.
  • 1 0
 Would you take off your chain and wash that separately? Or just let it dry, dust it off, lube it up and go?
  • 1 0
 @Lanebobane: If its been rainy and muddy I wipe my chain down with a paper towel as best I can and then carefully spray WD40 or other water dispersant lubricant through all the links. Then re-lube before the next ride.

Other than that I'm with WestwardHo, I never wash my bike, just use a screwdriver to push off the larger clumps of mud and then after it dries brush it off.
  • 2 0
 I used to dry brush but realized that dry mud is an abrasive. The power washer video was perversely satisfying to watch.
  • 3 1
 @Lanebobane: Just leave the chain on until you change it out for a new one. Chains, like pivot bearings, seem to last longer without deep cleaning.
  • 1 0
 I have never thought about not washing my bike, but you just convinced me to give this a try. Bonus for me, because I HATE washing my bike.
  • 3 0
 Wiping dried PNW mud off on the regular will destroy your paint and stanchions. Mud is made of dirt, dirt is full of sand, and sand is one of the leading ingredients in sandpaper. Wipe off dried mud at your own peril.
  • 8 0
 "Stumpjumper themed Specialized Diverge"

It destroys shocks?
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the great roundup! If you could increase the frequency that would be great. I always look forward to commenters too hung up on themselves to browse past an article. Especially the ones who pretend to know what PB used to be but don't know these summaries were posting well before Outside took over.
  • 3 1
 Minority Report: I love this quickie summary. I'd never search this stuff out on my own, but -- surprise -- I ended up reading a few of the articles.

BUT BRING BACK BETA!!!!
  • 4 0
 I like how everything is behind the paywall
  • 4 1
 The Diverge is a looker for sure.
  • 1 0
 Cool tool Tuesday is a great segment that also makes my bank account even smaller
  • 1 3
 This must be what the pinkbike editors read on their own time, while they daydream of having a job revolving around admiring men in see through spandex.
  • 1 0
 ::Psychiatrist takes off his glasses, leans forward::
Are these “men in see-through spandex” in the room with us right now?
  • 1 2
 Gravel? More like schpavel
Below threshold threads are hidden







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