Road Cycling Digest: Dangerholm's Gravel Bike, A Bamboo Handlebar, Mounting A Jet Engine to A Road Bike & More

Oct 6, 2021 at 17:44
by Sarah Moore  

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

Dangerholm’s Custom 7.13 Kg Scott Addict Gravel Is A Work Of Art
By: Gustav Gullholm / CyclingTips

I may be a mountain biker at heart, but the gravel roads are where I have spent most of my time in recent years. It’s a good way to get your training hours in and for your mind to relax, while enjoying the scenery with little to no traffic to worry about. So after several ambitious mountain bike builds, aiming for record low weights or new levels of integration, it was finally time for a real gravel bike. It was a natural step and my first foray into the drop-bar world.

(Read more.)

11 Tips To Keep Your Bike Running Through An Industry Parts Shortage
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

I have spent the better part of a day now trying to fill in the gaps, but they’re big gaps and impossible to fill. Nearly three years of gap. I am specifically intrigued by the very end of it. Wednesday morning, in fact. Maybe Tuesday night.

I want to know about the hours in which my bike, mostly disassembled but not entirely so, ended up locked to a very visible fence not half a mile from where it was stolen.

(Read more.)

New Shimano Dura-ace Di2 R9200 And Ultegra Di2 R8100 Go ‘Wiredless’, 12-speed
By: James Huang / CyclingTips

It’s hardly a shock that Shimano has today officially unveiled its latest Dura-Ace Di2 flagship electronic road groupset with a 12-speed cassette and semi-wireless format. We’ve been expecting it for months, and there’s been no shortage of spy photos circulating online. But what few people expected is that — for the first time ever — Shimano has simultaneously launched the new Ultegra Di2 groupset, with all the same features and benefits.

What features and benefits, you ask? According to Shimano, the shifting is faster across the board, the brakes run quieter and offer better modulation and feel, it’s easier and more intuitive to install and customize, and there’s even a new lever shape that claims to address some minor issues with the outgoing model without alienating riders who love the current stuff.

(Read more.)

Taiwanese Cyclist Mounts Jet Engine to Road Bike, Hits 82 Mph
By: VeloNews

Here’s one way to win Strava KOMs.

In today’s bike news that’s too weird not to share, a cyclist in Taiwan has become an internet sensation after mounting a small jet engine to his road bicycle and then filming himself riding the bizarre contraption.

According to the Taiwan News, a 37-year-old Taiwanese man with the surname Wang purchased a small jet engine designed for a radio-controlled airplane, and then worked with a university professor to mount the engine to his bike.

(Read more.)

Shimano 105 Di2 R7100 Is Coming
By: James Huang / CyclingTips

Shimano’s recent launch of its next-generation Dura-Ace Di2 R9200 and Ultegra Di2 R8100 electronic road groupsets was bundled with a rather unexpected and especially bitter pill: the news that the much-beloved Ultegra mechanical was being discontinued. Shimano plans to keep the current 11-speed groupset in production for one more year, but for many, that’s just going to prolong the pain — the proverbial slow peeling of that stubborn Band-Aid, if you will.

One has to wonder, though: what will fill that giant void in a year’s time? There can only be one logical answer: the long-awaited arrival of 105 Di2 R7100.

(Read more.)

BMC’s New URS LT Adds Front Suspension to the Forward-thinking Gravel Bike
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

Released in 2019, the URS was BMC’s official entry into the gravel space and it did so in a number of forward-thinking ways. Now, BMC has released the URS LT – a bike that adds a proprietary front suspension fork to the front of one of our favourite off-road-focussed gravel bikes.

With 20mm of coil-sprung and oil damped front suspension, BMC’s new gravel-specific MTT fork is quite intriguing and creates a full suspension gravel bike of sorts. The aesthetic design also sure has us reminiscing about the early Cannondale HeadShock.

(Read more.)

Ten Bikes, Four Testers, And… Smoke? Welcome To The Third CyclingTips Field Test
By: James Huang / CyclingTips

It’s hardly a secret at this point that bikes are hard to come by, let alone a whole bunch of bikes in a single category. And so we decided to take a different approach for the latest CyclingTips Field Test. We once again tested and reviewed some of the latest and greatest machines that the industry has recently released to the world (or is soon about to), but we also set out to answer a bunch of questions.

Can previous generation road bikes can still perform just as well as the newest models?

What’s the deal with flat-bar gravel bikes?

(Read more.)

How to Polish Gloss Paint and Remove Scratches
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

Ever wondered how to get that sheen back on your once-sparkly gloss-painted bike? Perhaps a little heel rub or bike lean gone wrong has left a scratch in the surface of your paint?

In many cases, all it takes is a few basic supplies, a little elbow grease, and a bucket of patience. And to show you how, we enlisted Steve Gardner of Velocraft in Melbourne. Formerly known as Bikes by Steve, VeloCraft has quickly become one of the most sought-after bicycle paint shops in Australia. If you’ve ever seen the paint on a Prova or Bastion you’ll understand why.

(Read more.)

Justin Williams Has a $100,000 Plan to Save American Bike Racing
By: Frederick Dreier / VeloNews

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when road bike racing was a thriving professional sport in the United States. Top riders chased hefty prize purses at races across the Southeast and Midwest, while American pro teams battled European squads from the Tour de France at the Amgen Tour of California and USA Pro Challenge.

Today, the U.S. pro road scene is on life support after half a decade of rapid sponsorship divestment. Gone are the big tours and the big paydays. Only a handful of pro teams remain.

(Read more.)

How Everesting Grew Into a Global Phenomenon
By: Matt De Neef / CyclingTips

From a tiny grassroots challenge conceived in early 2014, Everesting – the challenge of riding the height of Everest in one ride, via repeats of the same hill – has grown into a legitimate global phenomenon. By 2021, almost 20,000 people have completed an Everesting, amateurs and Tour de France podium finishers alike.

Although Everesting is now regularly cited in mainstream media, it is inextricably linked with CyclingTips. The phenomenon was founded by CT’s community manager Andy van Bergen, and in 2020-21, CT’s managing editor, Matt de Neef, wrote a book about the challenge.

“Everesting – The Challenge for Cyclists: Conquer Everest Anywhere in the World” is released this week by Hardie Grant Books. This extract, chapter two, tells the story of the rise of the phenomenon.

(Read more.)

Complete 2021 Road World Championships Results And Highlights Collection
By: Ben Delaney / VeloNews

What a week it was — 11 world champions were crowned over eight days of thrilling and exciting racing across the Flanders region of Belgium.

Following four days of time trials in Bruges, the worlds moved into three days of road races, building to a feverish peak with the men’s road race that ended with circuits inside the jam-packed town of Leuven in front of an estimated 1 million fans.

Here are the winners of each race, and the key stories around each event.

(Read more.)

Searching for “X”
By: John Wilcockson / Peloton Magazine

“X” was the greatest classics rider of all time. But who was “X”? Perhaps that’s an impossible question to answer because over the 120 years that cycling’s major one-day races have been held, the athletes, the technology and the events have been constantly changing. If we go by results alone, there is only one answer: Eddy Merckx. The legendary Belgian won 27 times in the nine races that were regarded as the top classics during his racing era, the late-1960s to mid-1970s. Merckx missed out on only one of those nine, Paris-Tours, whereas his predecessor, Rik Van Looy, won all nine classics for a total of 16 victories. So was Van Looy a better classics rider than his fellow Belgian? And what about those who raced before them, including the Italian legends Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi? And should we consider current standouts such as Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara and Philippe Gilbert? Let the debate begin….

(Read more.)

The Basement Tapes: Tornanti From Issue 104
By: Peloton Magazine

In issue 104, our 10th annual Photo Annual, we showcased 12 photographers and 1 collector that are at the top of their game in cycling photography. Here’s the extended interviews from Peloton Magazine: The Photo Annual.

(Read more.)

Daring Alaphilippe Joins Exclusive Rainbow Jersey Club
By: Jeremy Whittle / Peloton Magazine

In the end, it was all about timing and Julian Alaphilippe’s proved to be perfect. The former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer, winner of the 2020 UCI World Championships Road Race in Italy, showed his attacking qualities once again on the final circuit of the 2021 men’s road race in Belgium, with another lone win.

Back-to-back wins by the Frenchman in the world championships are proof of his durability, continuing ambition and also his racing instincts. With all eyes on Wout van Aert, Alaphilippe’s opportunism proved irresistible. He is now the eighth Frenchman to win the world title and the first to claim it twice, taking the rainbow jersey first in Imola, last autumn, and then again, in Louvain.

(Read more.)

Passchier Gump Bamboo Handlebar Review: Oh So Comfy
By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

In recent times the cycling industry has paid an increasing amount of attention to unwanted vibration and how to reduce it. Just in the last few years, we’ve seen a number of interesting products try to address the issue, such as Spank’s Vibrocore handlebars, low-rebound bar tape from Silca, and the re-invention of suspension stems, too.

And now, you can add a handlebar made of bamboo to the list.

(Read more.)


  • 25 3
 Visiting cyclingtips only reminds me how great the PB layout is and how shitty some of the other Outside layouts are. This big banner (ok, currently there is an Easton commercial with a very nice lady, but let's not be sexists) you have to scroll to see the actual article drives me nuts. It even makes me happy I am not into road cycling ...
  • 1 0
 and then you have 'Latest Headlines' and 'News' next to eachother, wtf is this
  • 29 10
 82 Mph is 132 km/h for those of you who don't use moronic units.
  • 12 3
 @coloradohaze: If people from all the countries other than US, Liberia, and Myanmar say eh, then yes, eh.
  • 12 1
 @cedric-eveleigh: No one says it quite like a Canadian.
  • 3 1
 @gnarlysipes: I don't know what yer talkin aboot, bud. Maybe explain it to me at Tim's?
  • 1 0
 @DonkeyTeeth: Don't say anything too mean in your country you might get thrown in the slammer Wink .
  • 10 1
 "The flashy $100,000 purse is an eye-popping payout in the fickle world of U.S. pro racing, where riders often compete for a few thousand bucks." Settle down road racing and get some real problems said everyone racing MTB.
  • 10 1
 That article about the BMC Urs: When have we reached the point where "gravel bikes" just become full-suspension mountainbikes from the 90's?
  • 3 0
 We reached that point about a year ago when everyone started thinking 27.5 x 50mm tires and 40-80mm of suspension where we gravel should go.
  • 2 0
 @badbadleroybrown: yep, pretty much since that Fox 32 AX fork was released.
  • 5 0
 Dangerholms gravel bike, fine, that's nice, but the riding around there looks really sweet
  • 2 0
 And the thighs
  • 5 0
 Wait, "gravel" bikes with suspension and flat bars?
  • 3 9
flag lacuna (Oct 11, 2021 at 4:25) (Below Threshold)
 No idea why you would want a drop bar on a gravel bike. I kinda get the aero argument for road bikes but for everything else comfort and control seems more important to me
  • 7 0
 wide, shallow drop bars like Ritchey Beacon's are damn good on a gravel or monstercross bike

Took me a while to get used to them offroad but now I love them
  • 16 1
 @lacuna: Pedaling a flat bar bike for 4+ hours on road is the absolute pits, IMO. Drop bars offer a bunch of different upper body positions so those of us with dodgy wrists and shoulders can alternate what hurts. Maybe this is just me but if there's a long road section and I'm on the XC bike, I hold the bar inside the grips so I'm roughly in the curly bar hood position - that narrow/aero shoulder position is more comfortable for me when I'm just sitting there pedaling. Then on technical downhills, I don't think I'd push the gravel bike much harder if I slapped flat bars on it - it still has a steep HTA, skinny tires, no dropper post, rigid fork, tiny cable brakes...
  • 3 0
 Also, not that anybody asked, but for some reason I find technical descending and cornering in 400mm drops pretty okay, but the idea of doing that on 500mm flat bars a la 90s MTBs is utterly horrifying. Elbows tucked in and thumbs rotated up is a pretty natural position; elbows in and palms down is... Probably giving me carpal tunnel as I type this.
  • 4 2
 @ryetoast: I guess it suits different people but I just don't get it. I have a road bike with drops and yeah, there are a variety of hand positions but all of them are uncomfortable from the start for me, nevermind 4+ hours! I have a riser bar with Ergon GP3 grips on my rigid 29er and that is infinitely more comfortable than any road bike I have tried
  • 1 0
 @ryetoast: You're not the only one who goes to a narrow grip for road sections. The SQLab InnerBarends are amazing for this. I have a spare lightly-used pair. Hit me up if you want to try them out for less than retail.
  • 2 1
 @lacuna: yeah I've got a nice road bike (carbon frame , carbon wheels, Ultegra 11spd) with a flat bar and I love it. Been riding and racing 30 years and a drop bar bike feels awful to me. I love the flat bar road bike, I feel totally comfortable bunnyhopping curbs and riding aggressively, drop bars feel insanely squirrely to me. Bonus - passing kitted out roadies who think I'm a joey on a fitness/hybrid bike.
  • 2 1
 'Wait, "gravel" bikes with suspension and flat bars?'

Not sure why we should call a gravel bike what we used to call a fitness or hybrid bike actually.
  • 2 0
 @lacuna: No idea why you would want a drop bar on a gravel bike. I kinda get the aero argument for road bikes but for everything else comfort and control seems more important to me

You named it, comfort. Since MTBers decided bar ends were unfashionables flat bars end up locking you in a uncomfortable unique position that is only useful on technical stuff. Of course you can bring them on singletracks and trails but gravel biking is more about riding on the road, or on fireroad like paths without anything technically challenging. Drop bars offer a lot in that context in term of comfort with multiple positions. And yes aero helps, even when grinding slowly up a gravel road in the mountain. Winds can be gutsy up there.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: Yes, old narrow flat bars do create an uncomfortable position but I'm using wide riser bars with ergon grips, which have bar ends built in. As I previously said, I agree that drops offer more positions but, in my experience, they are all uncomfortable
  • 2 0
 Blah blah blah### jet engine###blah blah blah... And now you have my attention! Is the jet "assist" bike for the elderly and infirm / injured who might not otherwise be able to enjoy biking?
  • 1 0
 This looks so good. I'm thinking of doing this on a trek Boone frameset. Is there any special way of removing the paint or is it just hand sanding/scraping and elbow grease?
  • 3 0
 Lol at greasy chain sitting on the brake rotors.
  • 1 0
 Is the Suspension System at the BMC bike similar to the thin Cannondale used year ago in their MTBs?
  • 1 0
 @dangerholm. Electric FS FATbike build under 12 kg anytime soon? Have to cater for the scandinavian junkies out there.
  • 1 0
 At first glance I thought Dangerholm had fitted a jet engine to a bike… Now slightly disappointed that he hasn’t.
  • 1 0
 I'll read anything written by Dave Rome. Especially if it's about chains.
  • 1 0
 First seeing a Taiwanese news on PB.Proud of that genius!!!
  • 1 0
 What is this babel?
  • 2 4
 The filtering system does not allow for road bike content to be blocked from feeds
  • 3 4
 First ebikes, and now roadbikes... Frown
  • 1 2
 Dangerholm, one word for you, Campagnolo…
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