Top Stories from CyclingTips: Lightweight XC Bikes, MVDP's Race Schedule, Kate Courtney's Year in the Rainbow Jersey & More

Aug 28, 2019
by Sarah Lukas  

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.

(Read more.)

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."

(Read more.)

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.

(Read more.)

Bikes of the Bunch: Unno Aora, the world’s lightest mountain bike frame
By: Dave Rome

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.

(Read more.)

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.

(Read more.)

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.

(Read more.)

Tech trends of 2020: Rome’s Rants and Raves
By: Dave Rome

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.

(Read more.)


  • 34 1
 “a simple question: Is Mathieu van der Poel at risk of overdoing it heading into the 2020 Olympics?
The short answer? Maybe. The longer answer? It’s complicated.”

The kind of quality analysis we’ve been waiting for. Thank you CyclingTips.
  • 21 0
 Isn't idle talk the very cornerstone of sport journalism?
  • 6 4
 It’s like weather prognosis for the summer weekend: icon representing a sun behind a rain cloud. Yes! Oh yes!
  • 1 0
 @Konyp: It's not mindless ballwashing of athletes?
  • 11 12
 Depends on how well his doping regimen is holding up...
  • 4 2
 @mtbgeartech: he is proven clean by UCI. Why not accuse Sam Hill of doping? Or Rogatkin?
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: He doesn't need drugs to feel his head spinning though.
  • 2 2
 @DarrellW: yes but if you take coke, you may throw 36 barspins into that 360! Not to mention quadruple backflip!
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Innocent until proven guilty is a good way to go. Deep down, however, you doubt they are clean...
  • 2 0
 @SintraFreeride: I tend to go: I have no interest in assuming someone is a shitty person. Unless they don’t agree with me on the internet off course.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Lol! I like to believe my sports hero's are clean but I'm not naive enough to think that is a certainty.
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: quite frankly I don’t see a reason why assume MVDP is a doper and that Steve Peat wasn’t. The explanation is I believe in your comment. It is hard to accuse someone who you admire. Moralizing is something we do towards people we dislike anyways...
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I agree. Like I said I prefer to believe they are clean until proven otherwise. Having said that I no longer watch the Tour de France because I have been burned too many times...
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: I can only tell you that watching hubbie of my sister in law, riding for Bora Hans Grohe, the amount of legal sht they take is sick already. Whoever takes whichever banned substances that’s just cherry on the top. Bloke rides professionally since he is 16, hos body is irreversibly transformed by the “sport”.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I never said Peat wasn't. I'm saying that the chances that MVDP is 100% clean are extremely slim. Unlikely that the top 10 in the sport are as well. Enduro, DH? Sure I'll buy illegal PEDs there as well. It seems every professional sport is affected by them, it's a shame. I just can't fathom MVDP's dominance not being assisted by illegal PED's. I don't think this makes them a shitty person. If your a top level athlete with one goal in mind and you and your coaches know that other's are using PED's it almost becomes a prerequisite to being competitive.
  • 12 0
 i think i would take this more seriously without the weird cartoon dude wearing a mask. guy reminds me of "handsome squidward"
  • 2 0
 Handsome Squidward!!! Love it!!!
  • 1 0
 that’s an image associated with a column called the secret pro...a pro roadie who wrote about life and drama in the peloton without revealing his identity. dunno why it’s being used in this context though. sorry it’s two days late but figured i could clarify.
  • 9 0
 That Amstel Gold race win of MVDP's was legendary. Go look up some race recap videos of that race, just an epic comeback.
  • 4 0
 When are the going to start weighting chamois pads?
  • 7 0
 You don't?
  • 4 0
 We need rain gutter chamois pads so the accumulation of ball sweat doesn't add grams.
  • 2 0
 I trimmed 12g off mine and now i'm faster.
  • 1 0
 "Direct Mount derailleur hangers". They're anything but "direct mount". Thanks for giving us something to argue about in 20 years time, much like the "clipless pedal" arguments we have today.
  • 1 0
 If you cut an ear off, is that a weight reduction?
  • 1 0
  • 4 5
 shouldnt this be tagged with XC so that my filters can do their job?
  • 1 2
 So is it a brother and a sister or two sisters?

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