Scott 27.5+

Tuned LT 27.5+

Scott is now within the ranks of manufacturers that have joined the Plus movement – Muffin Top Tires, as grumpy Nathan Wright calls them. For 2016 the company will offer five Plus models: Scale Plus: Scale 710 Plus, Scale 720 plus, Genius 700 Tuned Plus, Genius 710 Plus, and Genius 720 Plus. All models will be equipped with 2.8-inch Schwalbe tires. Scott worked with Schwalbe and determined the 2.8 size provided a good balance of increased traction (+21-percent contact patch) with minimal added rolling resistance (+1-percent). The 2.8 size is slightly narrower than other brands that have been touting 3.0 tires. Scott then tweaked the frame geometry, with slacker head angles and shorter chainstays to take advantage of the increased traction.

The 2016 Scott Plus bikes, roll on Syncros rims with a 40mm internal width, while the Genius range include: Boost hub spacing (110mm front, 148mm rear), 2016 FOX suspension with a new TwinLoc lever and standard crankarm Q-factor. The Genius 700 Plus has 140mm of front and 130mm of rear travel and features Plus tuned suspension.

Prices have not been announced and see the full galleries on G+ and Facebook.

Also, a couple notes on plus sizes from Twitter

Base Power with Quarq and Gord Fraser

Quarq

With our magazine content behind a firewall and in an iOS app, I wanted to bubble up this little bit from Issue 25, to talk more about the Quarq, and the work I did with Gord Fraser.

To get in shape for GFL, I worked with Gord on a solid plan and Quarq equipped my rain bike for the base miles. What resonated, is what Gord said in chat:

“Biggest goal is frequency. Back to basics man. No need to smash v02 max.”

For me, consistency is key. Because I’ve been riding for so many decades, the memory is there. Just have to engage the muscles, get them going, and then the speed will come. Smash the Vo2max later, as Cross season gets closer, and with more workouts from Gord.

I’ll leave the in-depth reviews of power meters to DC Rainmaker, but having used them all at one time or another, what I liked most about the Quarq is the consistent and steady readings. I pedal, glance down at a head unit, and see an accurate number that looks right. That’s all I need.

A funny anecdote is before Gord and I worked together, he asked me if I was a pussy and I replied, “If you mean like the time I brushed shoulders with you on a roller at the front of the group heading back to Monterey? Certainly not!” But what I am is a busy person with not much time to “train,” like I once did. As I shared in the magazine article, I also felt that racing was getting in the way of riding. So I focused on having some really great rides, re-centering on those moments, and then getting back into the drama of racing when it felt right.

It felt right last night at Tuesday Worlds, where I just showed up and it was a very fast points race. In a sea of white/red and red/green, I got in the mix for a lap or two, and enjoyed the feeling of speed. After so much base, and grinding out climbs, opening up the legs felt good.

Don’t think anyone wants to hear the specifics of my training, so the summary is

Hard stuff during the week, in target power zones, then long rides on the weekend at tempo.

Crosssports blogs about all of this too, sharing workouts and the flow of the season. As CrossVegas gets closer, there’s more speed work, and intensity, and really not taking the sport (and myself) so seriously. If you put the focused time in, the fitness will come, and always try to have fun with it. Pin a number on, show up at the line, and let that roulette table of a race spin as it does.

The Quarq I’m using on the rain bike is the Elsa and I agree with Ray who wrote

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Riken (Elsa is the non-Red version) is a solid power meter, capable of helping any athlete train. I saw consistent accuracy, and day to day use is spot-on with any other top power meter on the market.

“Solid and consistent,” just like Gord said and, “Back to basics man.” It’s also nice not to have to worry about whether my left and right legs are both doing equal work.

Finally, earlier this year, Quarq announced a 19% price drop, including the Elsa.

Impressive Bike Handling

Meyerson

Impressive bike handling from Adam Myerson at the


starting at 2:19:37

He lands on his feet after drifting for a bit. Also notice how a pro doesn’t panic in a crash, like you’ll see in the amateur ranks. No yelling either. Adam just grabs his bike and continues or gets out of the way.

Aaron Gwin: Without a Chain

For roadies, when it feels like there’s no chain, it means you’re so fit and on form that you float on the road and in the peloton. For downhillers, that’s something entirely different and one of the greatest feats we’ve seen on a bike. Watch Aaron Gwin’s run recapped and the entire video from RedBull.

Dropbar MTBs are Back, FINALLY

cuthroat

Cutthroat Carbon Rival 1

Earlier this year, tweeted

I’ve mentioned dropbars quite a few times, occasionally posting on Tomac, and Mark V built his own in 08 and chronicled their history.

TOMAC

Finally, Salsa released their Cutthroat. If these catch on, maybe this will actually happen too

Dirt McGirt!

If dropbbar MTB is new to you, no problem, the reason we want them, and Salsa sees the demand, is versatility in varying dirt road conditions AND hand positions. So you want this bike for all the reasons the MTB was invented with multiple hand positions. My hands go numb in about 12 minutes on a flat bar. At every gravel ride I’ve done so far, participants are talking about dropbar MTB and there’s always a handful of hardtails blowing by us roadies on the washboard descents.

The Trek 920 I’ve been riding and writing about is a touring bike with 29r rims and tires, so a dropbar MTB from Trek et al is just an iteration away from even more choices in the adventure category.

Read more about Salsa’s Cutthroat on their blog and this truth about riding your bike all day

“Comfort is speed,” said Mailen, “especially when you are talking about riding 100 to 150 miles, or more, per day, day after day, the entire length of the country. A body receiving less punishment is one that can put more energy towards moving forward rather than reacting to impacts.”

WORD. Issue 25 of our magazine that dropped yesterday has 3 stories about the Grand Fondo Leavenworth, the hardest ride I’ve done in a couple decades of the bike:

Out there for 8 hours on dirt and gravel, when any number of things can go terribly wrong, flying into and shuddering through washboarded switchbacks, I was certainly thinking in the aftermath, “This is why suspension was invented,” AND “Could’ve used a MTB on that section, at least.”

And in case you missed it, the front end of the D-Plus is borrowed from mountain bikes…

word

Oh and there’s this

Don’t overlook the GT Grade either. For another take on the Cutthroat, see Guitar Ted’s post.

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