Road Disc This Shit is Bananas


By now, you’ve probably read or heard that the UCI suspended their disc brake experiment. They did so after a racer at Paris-Roubaix was seriously injured, he said by a rotor. Following the suspension, I wrote a rant on Medium Bicycles, taking the industry to task for this; how you say, “shitshow?” Or, an even simpler way to put it is, this shit is bananas.

Try it yourself and know that because no new molds are being opened for caliper-brake bikes, there is an unprecedented flurry of activity in Taiwan right now. The economic costs of the suspension and bad PR are probably worse the hydro failure at CX Natz and subsequent recall.

And, if you prefer…a GIF too.

The fix? A wider, less sharp rotor or a cowling, like they should’ve done from the onset of road discs. Expect a new, safety disc ASAP.

And the buyers of bicycles, they sure ain’t no hollaback girl.

HT to @Crosssports for the banana/rotor idea.

Onboard POV from Paris-Roubaix


So much great content from this years Paris-Roubaix, but don’t miss then onboard, POV highlights. Also see the Piecing Together a Paris-Roubaix Title from Scott.

asf

Kramon, TWDsport.com

Wilier Triestina GTR Team Disc

Unrelenting

On Medium Bicycles this morning, shared a story about the Wilier Triestina GTR Team Disc. That’s an Italian “adventure” bike and built for all-day endurance. I’ll share another story about it later this month in Issue 35 of our magazine…for now, here’s a bit of what I had to say

When it comes to bike design, youth knows no pain, and up until now, carbon bikes were made as stiff as possible. As carbon technology enters its 30s, being a bit older and wiser, that supposed to hurt belief has given way to preferring an all-day experience, and wherever the route may take you off or on road. Sorta like how instead of wingtips, you’re ok wearing loafers now, or no more neckties.

Also see more photos on Instagram, like this one.

Hayman Wins Paris Roubaix on a Foil


Always happens like that, just when I’m burned out and cynical about the sport, a race like the 2016 edition of Paris-Roubaix happens. An unexpected, lucky win, and on a bike I’ve ridden, and raved about. Right? Scott’s PR shared the backstory and video from ORICA-GreenEDGE above. Riding a smart race all day, Hayman proved to be the strongest in a sprint of five, after a grueling 253 kilometers. The 37-year old ORICA-GreenEDGE veteran riding his 15th Paris-Roubaix, made all the right decisions in a race where everything can go wrong than. His first smart move was to jump into a break that formed after about 70 kilometers of racing and stayed there.

“I didn’t have to surge to get in position before the cobbled sectors, I just had to make sure I saved as much energy as possible while being in the front group,” Hayman said after the race. “Everybody that has ridden Paris-Roubaix knows it’s one of those rare races where being in an early break can get a rider a good result.”

When pre-race favorites caught up to Hayman’s group, Hayman was he let the others work

They knew I was in the breakaway during large parts of the race. I was able to just sit there and save energy,” the ORICA-GreenEDGE rider commented after the race.

I’ve had enough bad luck in Paris-Roubaix in the last fifteen years. Everything went right today, I was in a good place mentally, I was relaxed and I was trying not to put pressure on myself.

Then we all know what happened next….

About the Bike

Hayman won Paris-Roubaix on a Scott Foil Team Issue. While the first Foil was super stiff and not very comfortable, the engineers at Scott invested a lot of time in order to improve the comfort of the new Foil. Did Hayman win cause he was less fatigued? Perhaps, sure didn’t hurt, and I know when I rode the Foil, I appreciated how fast and compliant it was.

See my review of the Foil in Issue 32 of our Magazine. And, congrats again, for such a huge win for Hayman, his team and Scott.

Motos in the Mix and a Call for Better Production Values

Team Sky’s speedster Elia Viviani was caught behind a crash within the Arenberg sector, and perhaps he was thinking that there would be no way that he would play any further role in this year’s Paris-Roubaix.

And then the motorcycle plowed into him from behind.

Viviani walked away from the collision with contusions and cuts, but just two weeks ago at Gent-Wevelgem another pro cyclist was killed. Belgian Antoine Demoitie died of injuries sustained when a following motorcycle attempted to evade him where he had fallen in a crash but unfortunately tumbled directly unto his head and upper torso. Demoitie is the first fatality involving a race vehicle collision in many years, but in the context of a recent epidemic of such collisions, perhaps UCI officials and race organizers should look at his death, not as an isolated incident, but as the natural and inevitable result of current practices and protocols.

Viviani’s incident really is the last straw, as if someone’s death (apparently) wasn’t. Crashes are given with Paris-Roubaix, especially in the Arenberg Forest, and it is not as if anyone could have forgotten the loss of Demoitie in less than 14 days. Despite all that, a race moto could not avoid mowing down a stopped rider at the most predictably crash-prone portion of a race that is synonymous with crashing, while painfully aware of both severity and recentness of the previous incident. It is past being an issue of individual carelessness, because concerned operators and the predictability of situations has made no difference. Eliminating those variables, something must be wrong with how these races are being run.

Is it that there are too many race vehicles in the caravan? It is often said that the parcours of today’s races encounter more road furniture (speed bumps, posts, reflective dots, traffic turtles, etc) than in the past, making them more treacherous to racers. Are there likewise more motorcycles mixed in with the racers? Assuming that there are more motorcycles than in years past, are those motorcycles used by commissaries, neutral support, medical support, or television crews? I don’t have the data, but I think it is a safe bet that media interests are the likely sources of additional motos.

If that is true, then not only is it reprehensible to race organizers and officials to sacrifice rider safety for monetary benefit from the television coverage, but it also shows a lack of ambition and imagination on the part of media and the UCI. With today’s technology, you can’t tell me it’s impossible to put a transmitting action cam on the majority of the bikes in the peloton. With the plethora of power meters used on bikes, you could include all kinds of metrics on the video feed, which would no doubt appeal to a broader television demographic. And by broader, I mean American. Americans love quantifying their sports. Baseball is mind-numbingly boring, but all the statistics give it a satisfying tangibility. Imagine cycling coverage like Formula One…from the driver’s POV, and Monday morning’s dominant discussion at the watercooler will be about Kittel’s gear choice and cadence for the sprint , or whether Quintana was sustaining too much wattage too early in the Alps. Bike manufacturers would love it too, since the camera equipment could count towards the 6.8kg weight minimum that they’re always bitching about, allowing them to sell lighter yet more expensive framesets to the (well-heeled) everyman.

There are so many better options to televise cycling than motorcycles getting all up on the riders to film their feet going round in circles.

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