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 Road to Cape EpicWords: Wade Wallace
Coming up to its 17th edition, the ABSA Cape Epic is the pinnacle of XC stage racing. Earlier this year CyclingTips Founder Wade Wallace and ex-pro teammate Allan ‘Alby’ Iacuone fell short at the 2019 Cape Epic, but in early 2020 they’ll be having another crack. In our first real test ahead of the Cape Epic, we travelled to its sister event in New Zealand, The Pioneer. Needless to say, we got our asses kicked. But it was necessary with only 88 days to go until the big goal in South Africa...Click here
for the full ass-whooping feature.
You can find episode 1 here
The life and death of a bike pumpBy: Iain Treloar
It wasn’t a very good floor pump. It didn’t cost much, didn’t have Bluetooth and didn’t have a digital gauge. It just put air into tubes, over and over again. But when it broke, a decade’s worth of memories came flooding back.
Gone but not forgotten: The Cannondale Slate was a bike before its timeBy: Iain Treloar
When the Cannondale Topstone was unveiled in June 2019, the attention of the cycling media and the buying public was squarely on the shiny new thing. Fair enough: it was the latest foray from the venerable US brand into an increasingly crowded gravel market. And in many ways, the Topstone ticked the requisite boxes: carbon frame, generous tyre clearance, multiple accessory mounting points.
In the fanfare of the Topstone’s arrival, another model quietly slipped into retirement: the brand’s previous gravel offering, the Slate – an innovative oddball of a bike that was first released in 2015.
Finding the best bicycle chain: What over 3,000 hours of testing revealedBy: Dave Rome
The bicycle chain. Most won’t give it a second thought when it comes time for a new one, and it’s common to simply replace the worn chain with one that matches the name on the derailleurs. Perhaps a rare few will try something else in the pursuit of improved corrosion resistance, better shifting, lighter weight, or a few dollars saved.
But given the chain is one of the hardest-working components on a bike, why do we stop there? We know the choice of chain lube can have major influence over a chain’s durability and efficiency, but surely chains themselves must vary in how durable and efficient they are?
These are questions often asked without definitive answers, but there is some insight emerging. Adam Kerin of Zero Friction Cycling is doing some impressive work in this space and has spent some 3,000 hours and over AU$15,000 of his own money to find the best chain. With exclusive access to Zero Friction Cycling’s findings, we dive deep into the topic to help find the best bike chain you can buy.
We asked AI to write about cycling – here’s what happenedBy: Matt de Neef & Iain Treloar
Artificial intelligence (AI) is coming for our jobs. That might sound like the fearmongering of a nervous luddite, but it’s probably not too far from the truth. Earlier this year Taiwanese-American AI expert Kai Fu Lee suggested that as much as 40% of jobs could be replaced within 15 years. That’s no small percentage.
Here’s what happened when we fed cycling-related sentences to GPT-2. As you can see, the results were … entertaining.
What it’s like to be a psychological scientist working with pro cyclistsBy: Matt de Neef
Dr. David Spindler is an Andorra-based psychological scientist who works almost exclusively with professional cyclists. [Roadies] might recognise his name — Rohan Dennis publicly thanked Spindler after winning his second world time trial title back in September, after what was a tumultuous few months for the Aussie pro. In addition to working with individual pro cyclists, Spindler has also been the head of psychology for Dimension Data.
In this first part of a two-part interview series, Spindler talks about what it’s like to work with elite athletes, what makes pro cyclists stand out, and what he enjoys most about his role. Be sure to check out part two in which Spindler talks specifically about how he helped prepare Rohan Dennis for the Yorkshire world championships.