Top Stories from CyclingTips: What Happened to SpeedX, Podcasts on Sweat, Kate Courtney, Airline Fees, & More

Jun 18, 2019
by Sarah Lukas  

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

The Birth and Death of a Bike Company: What Happened to SpeedX?
By: Iain Treloar

This story starts – as any good story does – with a Lamborghini hanging off a bike frame suspended from a crane. Or maybe it starts a little before that, with the record-breaking Kickstarter campaign that created that bike. Or maybe, a year later, with the bikeshare scheme bankrolled by the money from the Kickstarter.

But there’s definitely a place this story ends: 800,000 bikes abandoned in fields and construction sites around China. (Read more.)
The Birth and Death of a Bike Company What Happened to SpeedX

CyclingTips Podcast: The things you can learn from sweat
By: CyclingTips

This week’s episode is a bit salty. Or sweaty, to be more precise. Paying attention to sweat can help you be a better cyclist. This week we’re joined in the basement by special guest Dr. Allen Lim, who explains how to hydrate for your own sweat profile. It’s all a bit more complicated, and yet also more simple, that it first appears. (Read more.)
CyclingTips Podcast The things you can learn from sweat

Trek confirms use of T47 threaded bottom brackets — but with a twist
By: James Huang

But what is absolutely brand-new — and a groundbreaking moment for Trek — is the inclusion of T47 threaded and oversized bottom bracket shells, just as we predicted a few weeks ago. However, it’s not the same T47 system that is already in use by a number of custom builders. It’s not wholly incompatible at all, but it’s not exactly identical, either.(Read more.)
Trek confirms use of T47 threaded bottom brackets but with a twist

The weekly spin: Kate Courtney and the joy of wearing rainbow stripes
By: Neal Rogers

Joyful. That’s the word Kate Courtney chooses to describe her experience thus far wearing the rainbow jersey of world champion.

It helps, of course, that she’s been winning while wearing the rainbow jersey. (Read more.)
The weekly spin Kate Courtney and the joy of wearing rainbow stripes

American Airlines removes oversize bag fee for bicycles
By: Dave Rome

Effective immediately, American Airlines has eliminated its US$150 oversize baggage fee for sporting and music equipment on all flights. Oversized items, such as a bagged or boxed bicycle, will now be charged as a regular checked-in bag. (Read more.)
American Airlines removes oversize bag fee for bicycles

Novel Wolf Tooth Components HAT flips the script on derailleur hanger tools
By: James Huang

Without exception, every rear derailleur hanger alignment tool operates in a similar manner: you remove the rear derailleur, install the tool, and then rotate the tool’s handle, checking the gap between the indicator gauge at the end of the handle and the rim. In essence, what you’re doing is checking if two discs are parallel to each other. (Read more.)
Novel Wolf Tooth Components HAT flips the script on derailleur hanger tools

Shimano S-Phyre XC9 vs Specialized S-Works Recon off-road shoe review
By: Dave Rome

Both Shimano’s S-Phyre XC901 and Specialized’s S-Works Recon look fairly similar on paper, but as James Huang and myself have concluded independently of one another, there’s a whole lot to separate them. (Read more.)
Shimano S-Phyre XC9 vs Specialized S-Works Recon off-road shoe review


  • 37 0
 That SpeedX story is fascinating.
  • 7 6
 Basic optimistic kickstarter compaign. Always the same story. Makes a prototype, find it easy and cheap. Go to KS. Go to production. Real world kicks in. Company disappear.
  • 13 0
 @faul: it was actually much more complicated than that but thanks for distilling it down for us simpletons Wink
  • 12 0
 Wonder what would had happened without the "tank accident"...
  • 10 0
 It was a great article. I wonder if we will be reading a similar story about Sick bike co?
  • 6 0
 @NickBit: The SpeedX founder seems to have both brains and integrity, so I doubt it will be that similar...
  • 2 0
It maay be more complex but if i put more details it won't fit as well with all the others.
Most of the successfull crowdfundings campaign are suffering when they go to real production. It's always longer, more expensive and more complex than what they advetised.
Prototyping-all have done it. Small batch- easy. Full throttle- everyone dies.
There would be a business for experienced people to help those company to start better after the crowdfundings IMO.
  • 8 0
 @faul: Did you read the article? It was much more complicated than that, they were having troubles for sure but seemed to be well on the way until a fatal f*ck-up's honestly an incredible piece of long-form journalism that gives insight into many things, everyone should give it a read.
  • 5 1
Maybe too fast. The actual SpeedX bike was rready to ship. But they did a mistake with the second company and didn't anticipated the hate toward rental bikes (and probably with chinese company thar are too big and not close enough to the government). So the second company died and took SpeedX with it. This time it's not a pure industrial failure.

I need 5 volunteers to downvote my comments so others won't know i'm an idiot.
  • 2 2
 @tegnamo: Having read the article, guys with no experience of cycling or manufacturing start a 'new, disruptive' company with a big gimmick, takes a lot of other people's money, realise they has no effin' clue how to make a bike, takes years to partially deliver the initial promise, has another 'big idea,' takes even more money from other people, still has no idea how to make the company sustainable, as delays and problems mount opinion turns against them, then they do something monumentally stupid, lose backers, lose cash flow, suppliers cut supply, Pete Tong starts spinning the decks.
Aside from SpeedX leaving a much bigger crater when it hit the deck, I don't really see any difference between them and Sick. Although whoever implemented those tanks on that day is one ballsy mofo.
  • 1 0
 I can pinpoint the exact hour that faul read the article.
  • 2 1
 Finally, a derailleur hanger tool that’s better than the park tool junk and doesn’t hurt your wallet like the abbey tools version.

I hate American Airlines but it’ll be nice to not pay for an extra ticket to fly your bike now.
  • 3 0
 I don't see how this is better than standard derailleur tool? I get that you don't need straight rear wheel but I can't see myself eyeballing the parallelness of the two rods?? When I just think about eyeballing the aligment of the handlebars I go dizzy.
Also if my bike is in a stand at the standard working height it will not be easy to eyeball the rods from the top.
  • 1 0
 Bend the small rod of this one and your hanger won't ever be straight again.
traditional hanger tools will work even twisted as the only thing that matters for a good reading is one point being in the same plane.
And for 100$ you can have many more rear wheel QR axles that'll do the exact same job.
  • 2 0
 @lp130i: Use a tape measure or digital caliper.
  • 2 0
 I just got my hands on the Wolf Tooth hanger tool for review on CyclingTips. I'll be testing how it compares to the Park and Abbey.
  • 1 0
 The MTB Tools hanger alignment tool is $13 on ebay and combined with a tape measure is perfect for occasional use.
It's smaller and less delicate than professional tools and lives in my portable tool kit.
  • 1 0
 I like the simplicity of that Wolftooth tool. I might buy one...

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