The Older You Are, the More Important the Results

We’re in Bend again for Masters Nationals and today it was the Time Trial, where the older you are, the more important the results.


Like Aliens checking their shuttle lift-off times

We also saw athletes absolutely burying themselves to prove they still can.

Burying themselves for a sport they love, no matter how old or in what shape

When you’ve race for more than a few decades, you learn how to pin on a race number.

pin job

Best pin job we’ve seen

Place you on the road tech

USA Cycling has deployed new tech at the reaches that parses bib numbers and RFID tag, with time codes to place racers on the road and provide video memories. Here’s a shot of their editing screen. The technology is called Adrover and is provided the Adscope Media. That means, they could spot a particular racers and run ads related to his team too.

Sitting With the Cannibal

Eddie He is, without doubt, the greatest cyclist of our generation, and will likely be the greatest cyclist of all time. Even from that sentence alone it’s clear that I’m talking about Merckx, the legendary cyclist who, in his best year, won nearly every second race he entered.

To kick off their 50th anniversary, Bicycling magazine invited Merckx to a private party in New York City’s chic Classic Car Club. Perhaps few people on earth could command more attention than a selection of fine Ferrari and Porsches, but Merckx can and did, captivating the audience for the discussion of his legendary career. While engaging and honest about his career, it has to be painful for Merckx to relive some of the events—it’s been more than forty years since he crashed in a derby race in Blois and his face twisted in obvious anguish as he described the moment he fell.

It’s clear the degree to which fans love him. While many took the opportunity to get his autograph (and Merckx obligingly and smilingly provides them) many stood back and simply watched as he moved through the crowd, chatting with fans and VIPs. As an early mentor in Lance Armstrong’s career it’s easy to see how Merckx’s place in the pantheon of cycling helped shape the American’s career—the same forcefield-of-reverence encircles Lance as well, while the Texan carries a more jocular attitude.

I’ve often wondered if it’s hard for Merckx to accept the accolades at these events, it seems like he was most comfortable on his bike, and that surrounded by adoring fans he’s slightly out of sorts. When I saw him at last year’s Interbike he was moving through the aisles and people were sliding out of his way as he passed them, whipping their heads around as they realized who had just brushed by. Merckx’s face was turned down slightly in what I read as humility or a slight embarrassment for causing a scene. That same sense of humility came up during his conversation at the Bicycling event, where he made it clear that his victories came from hard work, especially in the off season.

In one of the classic moments, Merckx relived the 1971 Tour where he and Luis Ocaña engaged in a fierce battle for the yellow jersey. At one point Ocaña had nearly nine minutes on Merckx, and in a long day’s stage Merckx rode so hard that he finished in Marseille a half-an-hour earlier than was expected, throwing the whole Tour into disarray. Spectators hadn’t even lined up yet at the finishing line. After pulling back a minute on Ocaña the two battled on the Pyrenees, and Ocaña crashed (and then was run over), which resulted in Merckx getting the yellow jersey and eventually the win over the (then) second placed rider. After a pause, Merckx (who likely would have lost to Ocaña without the crash) said it was a shame that his rival had gone down, as he would have “battled” the whole way to Paris.

Clearly, the victory in the Tour by virtue of a crash had devalued the win, Merckx would obviously have preferred to fight to the finish and lost than to have won due to a crash.

And that’s why he’s a legend.

First This One Then A Couple More


Noticed this Stumpjumper with huge tires, single conversion, and front disc.

bike rack fixie

Then, a little while later, a fixie showed up and a bike with an upside down bullhorn bar. Another set of interesting bikes will show up later, like any bike rack in Portland.

Cross WAGS

They were watching the vegetable relay race and that’s a bottle of tea, not vodka.

Uploaded by Hugger Industries | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

TRP CX8.4 Cyclocross Linear-Pull Brakes

I managed to get my hands on some pre-production CX8.4, the newest cyclocross brake from TRP first displayed during this year’s Sea Otter Classic.


Arguably tires are the single most distinguishing aspect of cyclocross bikes as they provide traction, suspension, and flotation over various non-paved surfaces impassable to road bikes. However, the brakes on cyclocross bikes have obsessed me for ages. I’ve never been totally happy with any solution so far. I bet hydraulics will be dope in a few years after technology for a shift/brake lever for discs has matured, but in the short run I’m only interested in rim brakes. Several of us at Bike Hugger tried the TRP CX9 mini linear-pull brake, but I for one didn’t like how it meshed with my preferred SRAM levers. The CX9 seems suited to a lever that pulls more cable than a traditional drop bar lever like the SRAM Double-Tap integrated levers, though the newer Shimano 7900 and 6700 levers fare a bit better because of their longer cable pull. When the lever pulls too little cable for the available lever travel, the system will have too much mechanical advantage at the pad/rim interface. The result is that the brakes have a squishy on/off feel lacking modulation and perhaps the pads sit too close to the rim.

This balance between lever pull and brake arm length is relevant to all linear pull brakes. In the 1990s the success of Shimano’s “V-brakes” caused an industry wide change to long-pull levers for mtb, but the road bike standards for drop bar levers remained unchanged. A drop bar lever paired to an XTR V-brake with 110mm long arms is unusable. QBP’s Problem Solvers brand developed the “Travel Agent” cable-pull adapter to solve this, but the device involving a pulley with 2 different radii is bulky and adds weight and friction to the brake system. Yet it does sufficiently reduce the lever’s mechanical advantage to work with a standard linear pull brake, though the mechanical leverage is still a bit high. Meanwhile, component manufacturers such as Tektro and even Campagnolo had introduced a number of “mini-V brakes” with arms less than 100mm to better match dropbar and older flatbar levers (though not necessarily for cyclocross). Often these products were OEM targeted at entry level city bikes, so the price was attractive but the quality somewhat lacking. Then cyclocross reached critical mass about 5-6 years ago, and the aftermarket for exotic CX brakes went red hot. TRP, Tektro’s premium division, trotted out the CX9 mini linear pull brake last year for riders looking for simplicity and power. Though the brakes immediately won a lot of fans among pro and recreational riders, there were still people holding back gushing praise, reasoning that the CX9 didn’t go quite far enough to solve the leverage problems for dropbar levers.

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