Issue 15: Scott Solace

Take Solace against a guardrail

Take Solace against a guardrail

In Issue 15, Bike Hugger contributor Patrick Brady reviews the Scott Solace and found that

Finally, we’re catching up to the idea that many of us might be happier on a bike other than the ones being raced at the Tour of Flanders.

I asked Nic Sims, Scott’s Director of Marketing to tell me more about the bike’s “zones.” He said

The top half of the bike is the comfort Zone you can think of it as the area of the bike that as a rider we have the most contact points that will feel bumps etc so in this area we have worked to develop the most forgiving ride the big noticeable area is the seatstays, very thin which allow some vertical flex. But you need a bike to move forward and this is through pedaling which is the lower region of the bike or Power Zone, you hear talk about lateral stiffness and this is important as this is the side to side load that pedaling causes, so the better the lateral stiffness the more efficient the bike will be. The Solace has blended both worlds to offer a bike that has excellent pedaling efficiency and amazing comfort.

The bike also has Asymmetric rear end – drive side chain stay is up to 2mm taller than non drive side depending on size, the bottom of the Drive side seat stay diameter is up to 3mm bigger than the opposing stay depending on size, this is to take into account the power forces delivered to a bike comes from the right hand side. We also utilize Size specific tubes and layups – Other companies are talking about doing this now but we have had it for over a year. Tube dimensions change for each size, the seat stays on a 58 are 1mm thicker than on a 49, the top tube is 1.5 mm thicker than a 49 and the down tube is 3mm thicker. The head tube gets extra reinforcement on the bigger sizes, the fork comes in two different layups, the down tube gets a stiffer lay up on the bigger sizes and the seat tube get softer lay up on the smaller sizes.

So that means, the Solace is a performance, comfort carbon bike. That’s what the industry is chasing these days, to find the right mix of layup – the new Tarmac is after this goal too. As Patrick said, for the rest of us to ride, all day, if we want.

I rode the Solace too, threw it into corners, and slammed into the biggest hit on the pavement I could find. Over the bumps, the frame “cantilevered,” and for the rest of the ride, performed as good as expected.

Read Patrick’s review on your iOS device or the Web for $4.99 an issue and $14.00 a year.

Group rides + aerobars + stop signs = Destiny

Casual cyclists and mtn bikers often rail against the snobbery of uptight roadies…what with their slavish dedication to Euro-cool trends, to say nothing of their condescending enforcement of “group ride rules”. But isn’t that society in general? When many individuals must coexist in limited space, our social etiquette becomes more elaborate, and the magnified consequences of an individual’s undesirable behaviours prompts the group to collectively police itself.

Take aerobars for instance. Sure, Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara are impossibly cool when using them, but think twice about trying to emulate these heroes while on the group ride. FUNNY….er, I mean bad things can happen.

FWIW: anyone wanna have fun guessing where the incident in the video occurred? I have an educated guess based on 5 clues. My guess after the jump

Speedplay Zero Pave Shipping

Speedplay Zero Pave pedal starts shipping, but is the SYZR offroad pedal just a hoax?

Speedplay announces that their Zero Pave pedal has begun shipping. Hooray! For 500 bucks (for ti spindle version) you too can own the road pedal for riding in conditions in which you might have to foot down into mud or dirt, but you don’t plan to walk or run off the bike. After all, with the Pave Zero, you’re still wearing a 3-bolt metal cleat with no traction on shoe with no tread. Simply put, this is a pedal system that makes it easier to get back on the bike and in the pedals, not to be easier to get around off the bike, Because that’s why this pedal exists…because Speedplay-sponsored pro teams demanded a system that debris and dirt couldn’t hinder ingress/egress. The professional riders, loathe to change something as personal as their shoe/pedal system, would clearly balk at using mtb shoes and pedals for just a couple races in the spring, like Paris-Roubaix and Strada Bianca. But for the majority of us non-Pro Tour riders and racers, we’d probably just use a 2-bolt cleat/pedal and a walkable shoe for a gravel grinder.

What I would be sooooooo much happier to see is a mtb pedal that feels and supports like a good road pedal….something like what the Speedplay SYZR promises to do. The problem is that Speedplay has been promising this pedal since at least 2008. At Interbike that year, I snapped this photo of a prototype pedal. I was told that the pedals would ship after the first of the year. Then I was told the same thing the next two Interbikes. Frankly I’ve lost track of how many times those pedals “would be shipping in three months.” Most recently, Speedplay displayed yet another update to the design at this year’s Sea Otter Classic.

Listen, I’m all for thoroughly developing a product before selling it to consumers, but this is just ridiculous. Still, I do hope the SYZR finally makes it to market, because if it performs anywhere close to the hype, it should be awesome.

Issue 15: A Mt. Bachelor Playlist Photomap


My editor’s letter for Issue 15 is written as a vignette and shares the music listened to during a 5 hour ride on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. This annotated photomap is an accompaniment to the ride playlist.

Like a headwind in all directions, the uneven, rough-and chunky chip seal surface drained the watts, robbing my legs of speed — setting me off tempo. Grabbing for another gear that wasn’t there on the final hundred feet up to Mt. Bachelor, a dirge shuffled in. Interrupting my concentration, it was a snatch of a song, a click of a shifter. Just a few Morphine downbeat notes from a standup bass and skip!

RockyMounts Driveshaft Thru Axle adapter for fork-mount bike racks

This year I acquired a new mountainbike, and other than some experiments with a dropbar mtb a few years ago, it’s the first mtb I’ve gotten since the ’90s. Things have changed since then: 29er and now 650B/27.5 wheels, tubeless tyres, carbon fibre EVERYWHERE. But the night before leaving to do my first mtb race in 16 years, the most important change was the evolution of suspension forks. Not because forks are better in some way. No, the crucial difference is that most high-end suspension forks now have some form of thru-axle that wasn’t going to fit the bike rack on my ride’s car. It was 8pm on a Wednesday evening, and we were leaving at 9am in the morning. Not a whole lot of time to find a solution, but luckily REI had one.

The DriveShaft rack adapter from RockyMounts allows your mtb equipped with 20 or 15mm front thru-axle to fit a typical fork-mount rack. It even allows you to lock the bike in place (assuming that the rack itself has a lock too). Hint: the DriveShaft tends to rotate in the fork, so make sure you clamp the adapter into the rack and then the fork on the adapter. All fork-mount racks make me a little worried, but once you clamp the bejeezus out of the rack-to-DriveShaft connection, the DriveShaft’s grasp on the thru-axle seems really secure.

Retails for about $70.

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