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 weekly spin: Is Mathieu van der Poel’s race schedule a recipe for burnout?
By: Neal Rogers
Mathieu van der Poel just keeps on winning. He’s currently the world cyclocross champion, winner of the Amstel Gold Race (and Dwars door Vlaanderen and Brabantse Pijl), the European mountain bike champion, and as of Sunday, the winner of six mountain-bike World Cup races this season — four short-track events and two in the Olympic cross-country discipline.
How long can it last?
And more importantly, given his interest in pursuing three disciplines at the highest level, is he at risk of fatigue heading into his primary objective, the 2020 Olympic mountain bike race in Tokyo?
It’s a question few seem able — or in some cases willing — to answer.
My year in rainbows: Kate Courtney reflects on her season as world champ
By: Kate Courtney
"With the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on tap this weekend in Mont-Sainte-Anne, my year in rainbows is coming to an end. For me, it is an exciting time as I look forward to the end of the season, but it also feels appropriate to take a moment to reflect on this special time in my career."
There’s a flood of Direct Mount derailleur hangers at the Tour de France — but why?
By: James Huang
Shimano began drastically changing the designs of its mountain bike rear derailleurs in 2007, moving the entire mechanism toward the rear of the bike in an effort to improve shifting performance and chain wrap on wider-range cassettes. That design quickly filtered out to Shimano’s entire mountain bike range, although there now looks to be a course correction with the latest XTR groupset) – but not before Direct Mount migrated over to the road with the introduction of the Dura-Ace R9100 groupset in 2016.
Bikes of the Bunch: Unno Aora, the world’s lightest mountain bike frame
By: Dave Rome
A 730G MOUNTAIN BIKE FRAME FROM SPAIN Kerin only found mountain biking at the age of 42, and as the Adelaide local will attest, he never believed it would lead him to chasing A-grade podiums. His 2016 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 is by no means a slouch on the race track, but having the bittersweet taste of second place on his tongue, he thought it was time to get a bike that played into his climbing strengths. The search for the ultimate hardtail began.
Best action camera for cycling? DJI Osmo Action vs GoPro Hero7 Black
By: Matt de Neef
When it comes to action cameras, GoPro has been the top dog for a long time. The American company released its first camera way back in 2004 — a 35mm film camera, no less — but it was in the early-to-mid 2010s that the brand exploded into popular consciousness, essentially founding the action camera market in the process.
In the years since we’ve seen the release of many new GoPro models, plus the emergence of several would-be challengers to GoPro’s crown — the Garmin Virb, the Shimano Sport Camera, and the Sony Action Cam, to name just a few. So far, none has truly challenged GoPro’s supremacy.
Specialized overhauls Epic HT: A 790g hardtail mountain bike frame
By: Dave Rome
Few cycling disciplines place as much importance on weight as cross-country mountain bike racing. With extremely steep gradients, stop-and-start accelerations, and technical features to maneuver the bike around and over, the grams can certainly influence the outcome. For this, Specialized has laid a stake in the ground, claiming its new Epic HT 29er hardtail is the lightest full-production hardtail frame in the world.
The past few months have seemed busier than usual as far as new product goes. Sure, the Tour de France is always busy, but the burst-dam of newly released bikes across road, gravel and cross-country has been hard for anyone to keep up with.
In a bigger-picture sense, it’s clear that the industry takes steps together. Word travels fast in the industry, and if one company has a good idea, it’s likely the others are onto it, too. As a result, there are some clear trends appearing for 2020. Some are truly positive progress that anyone buying a new bike will benefit from, while others leave me (and my colleagues) just a little jaded.
Here’s a brief list of rants and raves related to trends for 2020. There’s certainly more to rave and rant about, but for now, I’ll get this off my chest.