Rode That Road with Good Tires from Zipp


Rode that road and stayed upright with good tires from Zipp

Rode that road, a few times now, and in the rainy season it gets deceptively treacherous…gotta watch the permanently-shaded areas and painted lines. If you’ve been following along this year, I’ve been mentioning tuned rides, and complained about the lack of tires for roadies. Get on a new 27.5+ plus MTB bike, and you should get what I mean. It’s all about the contact patch and roadies are riding on one the size of a dime. Whenever the aero road bike arms race ends, let’s hope product managers turn their attention to traction, and how that makes us go faster, and stick to the road; even in the backstabbing slick of the wet winter Pacific Northwest.

The most and widest rubber that’ll fit into your frame is what I’m riding and recommend you do too. Many factors contributed to a change from road bikes with skinny tires at 160PSI to a min of 25 wide at 100 psi. Ride quality is one of them, taking off the edge of that overly stiff bike, but also better grip. The best way to avoid flats too, and I’ve tried them all, is to stay out of the gutter and put quality, thick rubber on your wheels.

Recently Zipp upped their game with wheels and tires that compliment each other’s girth. This has the benefits of a wheel that really rolls, as I shared in that story from Maui last year, but also the grip I want in the Winter.

Locals maybe thinking, running good tires in the Winter? Yes, ‘cause SEE PHOTO ABOVE. If I shared this location with you, we’d stop mid apex, clip out, and step carefully on the road, and try not to slip.


Water-siping tread pattern

The Zipp Tangete Course 28s retail for $65.00 USD and are available from a shop near you or online. I run them at no more than 100 psi, when I descended that corner earlier this week, they were at about 85 PSI. The Tangete Courses are on my rain bike, it’s built up with SRAM Force 22 and a Quarq.

The Specs

  • High performance sport and training tire
  • 28mm (R28) and 30mm (R30) widths
  • 120tpi nylon casing
  • Nylon puncture protection layer under tread
  • 260 grams (R28), 306 grams (R30)
  • 33.15 watts of rolling resistance @ 40kph (with Zipp butyl tube)
  • 70 ShA durometer rubber (Shore A)
  • New water-siping tread pattern
  • Comfortable in rough conditions

Parse those bullet points to mean: a high quality, rainy conditions tire, with high volume for a comfortable ride.

HT to Ben Moses for the edits on the road photo. Thanks Ben!

Vintage Counterfeit

A few days ago I wrote about counterfeit carbon that people buy off of eBay or from dodgy internet sites, and I remembered that counterfeit bikes are nothing new. I mean, it’s not like carbon fiber is some sort of new conduit for IP theft…like a flaw in a phone app that allows unscrupulous cads to steal delicious selfies off of Scarlett Johansson’s iPhone. Once upon a time, bikes were made of steel tubes and lugs that anyone could buy. Sure, there were differences in craftsmanship…in the way a lug was thinned or a dropout tang was filed, but it was often much more subtle than today’s counterfeit carbon frames. Further confusing things is the fact that a larger European frame maker would employ a staff of craftsmen; you’d have to be daft to think every Colnago frameset was individually caressed by the hands of Ernesto himself. And each of those workers may have worked for other brands or just as easily made their own frames on the side, using the same techniques and sometimes the same materials. And after that, a frame coated in a thick layer of chrome and the typically indifferent 1970s-era Italian paint jobs…how would you know?

Just because a bike has a Cinelli bottom bracket shell, that doesn’t mean it’s a Cinelli.

Danny MacAskill - Cascadia

Danny MacAskill’s latest and shot entirely with GoPro. I’ll say it again, get this guy onto another planet, defying gravity and jumping shit.

Thru-Axle Disc Forks from 3T and ENVE

I am really excited to see this fork on 3T’s website. I first spotted this fork on Open Cycle’s new Unbeaten Path at Sea Otter this past spring. Open Cycle is the new bike company started by Gerard Vroomen, once co-founder of Cervelo. The Unbeaten Path, or U.P., is Open’s first non-MTB design: a dropbar bicycle with the ability to run 700C with cyclocross tyres or 650B with MTB treads. To do that, the frame and fork need to have 1) disc brakes and 2) shitloads of tyre clearance. The way Vroomen accomplished this with the frame was really interesting, but I was far more interested in the potential of that fork.

3T Luteus II fork, with 15mm thru-axle

Vroomen and 3T have long had ties in development and production. Cervelo bikes have comes OEM with 3T bars and stems: 3T and Cervelo forks share many features and come with the same packaging etc. Vroomen must have kept those ties when he moved on to the new company since he had that fork on the U.P. pre-production samples 7 to 12 months before 3T even bothered to admit it existed. I mean, at Interbike three monhs ago I made a beeline for the booth of 3T’s distributor, Vittoria North America, and the first thing I did was ask them about the Luteus II. No one there had any idea what I was talking about. There was a picture in one of their catalogs but not the other, and there was absolutely no trace of pricing, delivery dates, or even a sku#. And there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years in the dealing with distributors, and it’s that you could stab them to death with their own product but if it doesn’t have a sku# then they would insist that they’re not bleeding because the thing doesn’t exist. Even weirder, I saw an Open Cycle U.P. on display at the Hed Cycling booth and it had an unlabelled ENVE thru-axle fork (also very new). What gives? I thought. But last week I just happened to browse 3T’s website, and whoooop there it is.

ENVE Thru-Axle Disc Brake Cyclocross Fork

Gear for the Wet and Cold from Rapha and Gore

Rapha Something

Unprecedented and unusual storms in the Pacific Northwest have cyclists thinking and reconsidering their winter and rainy season gear. As shared in the current issue of our magazine, for the cold I’m wearing a fleece-lined soft-shell from Nalini. Depending on the rain and storm patterns, for the wet it’s a trusty old Gabba, or a wool liner and ShowersPass’s shell. Freezing fog is whole other thing that requires fleece softshell, a outer shell, and pairs of gloves, and bootie boots.

More wet and cold

even more wet and cold

Of interest for this season, is the Pro Team Softshell Jacket from Rapha. As their marketing says, it’s the definitive technical garment for changeable conditions.

When Rapha began working with Team Sky, riders requested a wet-weather shell that protected them from the elements but also breathed well and didn’t cause them to overheat when going flat out. The result was the development of the Rapha Pro Team Softshell Jacket that we’ve now updated as version II with Polartec’s innovative Power Shield Pro fabric. The seams are fully taped, and laser cut ventilation holes under the arms allows air to circulate. Zips on the cuffs and an oversized puller make the jacket easier to put on – and remove – with gloved hands. The fit is in line with the Pro Team collection, with a slim and close fit suited to a low riding position. $295.00


Also, Gore has again stepped their game up again–taken on our Tortilla Test– and made an all-new Gore-Tex Active, which is lighter and more breathable than ever. It’s just the Gore-Tex membrane that’s mechanically waterproof with no outer face fabric, making it permanently water repellant with no use of a DWR coating. I’m hearing the results are amazing and as I say to all the product managers, “Uh huh, well send it out and we’ll see, cause of the rain here, ya know.” Also, no DWR should help resolve that sad moment, when even the most technical of fabrics soak through.

With no outer fabric, is it clammy? Will it moisten an stale tortilla? Too early to know.

So far, Gore hasn’t disappointed, not with their Active Shell, or the Gabba. Not sure why Gore is teasing the new jacket and not just releasing it, but here’s their microsite and see the video above. Let’s hope they’ve developed a glove to match, maybe that’s still not too much to ask?

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