Yellow Pool Noodles

Damn it! If the timing had been better, would’ve ran quotes from this Reddit thread in Issue 27 The Tour. The original poster asked

You can add one rule to the Tour de France to make it more entertaining. What is it?

And the best commentis? This one…

One cyclist out of every team gets a pool noodle, which he may use to sabotage the competition in any way he sees fit. Think about how awesome it would be to see a bunch of grown men with their serious game faces on, participating in one of the most grueling tests of endurance and fortitude in all of sports, but also a few assholes mixed in just beating the shit out of people with pool noodles.


In this artistic rendering of the Tour Pool Noodles, the eventual winner Froome is also seen wearing the Pool Noodle Marie Antoinette Wig on the podium!

Joking aside, Issue 27 is our take on the Tour and is available on iTunes and the Web.

SRAM Red eTap Tested Extensively

Based on our (apparently unlucky) experience with di2, we’re concerned about reliability of electronic shifting. On a ride at Eurobike, GCN get’s the quotes from Scott McLaughlin, SRAM’s Global Director of Drivetrain Development, that we’ve been wondering about. Highlights include an enormous about of field testing and laboratory testing for 5 over years; including, at least 100 systems out on the road.

We’ll ride SRAM Red eTap in a couple weeks in Vegas during Interbike.



Exquisitely timed for the launch of another electronic group, last night at Tuesday Worlds, an SBCU racer says, “forgot to charge my bike,” and was stuck in the 39 for 12 laps. I’ve had my angry moments with di2, failed for Mark V once, and while understanding why cyclists are into it, I prefer mech shifting and not being isolated from the drivetrain by servo motors. That’s not to say I and Hugga aren’t into the new and welcome the opp to ride eTap, we just try to decompress as much as possible on rides and limit the amount of devices with batteries. Don’t like to spend a lot of time stuck in the 39 either or fighting with skipping chains.


So with that electro shifting intro, let’s get on with it…here are the photos and all-caps from SRAM’s PR at Eurobike this week. As soon as we ride it, I expect at Interbike, reports and posts to follow. MSRP is $2,758 for the groupset.


AIREA™ (Area)

Utilizing 128-bit encryption, eTap shift signals are transmitted and received in accordance with SRAM’s proprietary wireless protocol known as AIREA. Each time an eTap groupset is paired, a new encryption code is generated and assigned to the components in this group to ensure complete shifting security.


All of the underlying tech in our new SRAM RED eTap groupset such as wireless shifting, advanced battery power management and mechatronic technologies are all meant to serve one ultimate purpose, to facilitate the most intuitive and consistent shifting available. This shift logic is called eTap. Right lever makes it harder, left lever makes it easier, both levers shift the front derailleur. Simple, unmistakable, and intuitive.


blip controller


Drop bars exist to give riders multiple hand positions. SRAM RED eTap Blips turn each of those positions into a location that can be shifted from. With two Blip ports available on each drop bar shifter, multiple positions can be connected without any additional hardware. Easily placed underneath bar tape with no need to cut the tape to expose the switch, Blips maintain the beautiful lines of your cherished ride. Blips are available in lengths of 150mm: 6g, 230mm: 7g, 450mm: 8g, 650mm: 9g


SRAM RED eTap brake levers and derailleurs are compatible will all SRAM 22 cranksets, chainrings, chains, mechanical brakes, and cassettes with a max cog size of 28-teeth.


SRAM engineered intelligent, energy efficient wireless components. In addition to providing easy to understand LED power indication, sensors within each wireless component power up the component automatically when your ride starts, and enter sleep mode automatically at the end of your ride to extend available riding time between charges. Every component features LED power indication.


SRAM’s proprietary Yaw front derailleur cage rotates to maintain a consistent angular relationship with the chain for ideal shifting performance in every gear combination.


eTap batteries are literally a snap to remove and charge. Just flip the tool-free battery latch up and slide the battery up and out of the derailleur. Then snap the battery into the USB powered charger and connect the charger to any USB power source or A/C USB adaptor. A full charge takes only 45 minutes to complete.


Whether you are a Mac or PC user, SRAM RED eTap can communicate with your computer. Firmware updates are handled quickly and wirelessly using the USB stick included with complete aftermarket groupsets. We worked with Garmin throughout the development process to develop communication capability between eTap and Garmin GPS devices. Please contact Garmin for GPS model compatibility information.

Road is Barely Holding On

At 0:28, the team car pulls up, Nibali grabs on, and is pulled away, and up the road

Sure that happens (I’ve done it in the amateur ranks), but so flagrant? Damn… was it desperate times, blocking in the group? Don’t know, cause we were out riding getting ready for Cross, but this is the star of the team, a champion caught flagrantly cheating like that. Trying to keep it positive, but keep shaking my head about road these days. Talked about the issues at length in Issue 27 of our magazine, available now on iTunes and the web.

The Roots of Mountain Biking

Sharing a great story from N1NO`s Hunt for Glory, as I’ve been spending more time back on the dirt too, riding in Park City, Colorado, and Bend.

N1NO`s 5th chapter of his #huntforglory webisode is all about a journey to the roots of Mountain biking. The 3x MTB World Champion meets one of the Godfathers of Mountain biking, Tom Ritchey, at his home place in Skyline, Northern California. Tom Ritchey is the guy who was already racing bicycles, which we call “Mountain bikes” today, back in the 1970s on his backyard trails in the hills of Skyline and Santa Cruz. He built the first Mountain bike frame, and since those early days, every new invention has been chased by another.

Over the years Tom’s focus has shifted from frame building too component design, but his obsession with functional, lightweight and reliable equipment has not wavered. Many Ritchey designs and manufacturing methods have become industry standards.

Mountain bike racing has always been something Tom Ritchey was passionate about. 3x World Champion Thomas Frischknecht was part of Ritchey’s Racing team in the 90s. Still today, Tom creates World Championship winning parts for the top guys- like N1NO. As a Co-Sponsor of SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing, Tom contributes to the Team’s success with innovative products and his experience.

“Tom Ritchey is a pretty down-to-earth guy. It’s amazing to meet and ride with this legend, and it’s a privilege to have him on our side. Check out Chapter 5 and watch how we treated the trails, of which Tom stated, “That’s where it all started.”

N1NO and Frischi not only went out riding on the single tracks where Mountain biking was born, but Tom Ritchey also showed them where the first frames where welded and where all the inspiration came from. N1NO got to know more about the early days, and Tom Ritchey explained how Mountain Biking came into existence.

See the making of this story. I met Tom back in 07 and most recently at CrossVegas. So many stories to tell from him, Gary, and Mike too. I wrote a bit about it last month in issue 26 of our magazine and on Medium.

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