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That Paris-Nice Sprint

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by Byron on Mar 10, 2016 at 12:00 AM

While in Vegas for a photography tradeshow, missed the #ParisNice sprint everyone is talking about. The story from the BBC. Michael Matthews wins stage after Bouhanni disqualified for not holding his line, obviously.

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Animal Encounters: Ostrich

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by Byron on Mar 07, 2016 at 12:40 PM


Had my share of animal encounters, even dedicated an issue of our magazine to it, but being chased and drafting off an ostrich is next level. The uploaded of the edit shared

Suddenly, I spotted a white ostrich on my left, then this beast jumped on the road from the right and started chasing my friends! It was a little scary at first, but then I thought I gonna fell of my bike from laughter. The ostrich didn’t have any problem to keep up at 50km/h and apparently they do 70km/h with no sweat.

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Sven Nys Retires

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by Byron on Mar 06, 2016 at 10:10 AM


As it was said by legendary Pacific Northwest Racer, Richard McClung

With the recent last race of Sven Nys, we’ve seen a lot of proclamations of “Pure class”, etc. Now, I don’t deny that Nys was the greatest ‘cross racer of all time thus far; and I’m not trying to be too judgmental (Nys knew who buttered his bread), but I think many either forgot, or never knew about this sordid little affair: The 2000 World Championships. Let me summarize: Richard Groenendal (Nys’ trade team teammate on Rabobank) forges an early lead. Nys then refuses to help his Belgian Worlds teammate and defending World Champion Mario DeClercq chase, much to DeClercq’s visible frustration. Be sure to watch the very uncomfortable post race interview at the end, and hear Nys deny he was under ‘team orders’. No one who knows a lick about bike racing believes that…

And with that, CX ends, Nys retires, and road season starts. We’re back riding too, just more off road, with road bikes.

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On Instagram, The New Dura-Ace Group?

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by Byron on Mar 04, 2016 at 8:41 AM

jhj


Update: MUCYC has taken the photo down, since it was already released on the Internets, reposted it here.

According to the Internets, a University of Melbourne student ignores a no photos card and takes the picture of what appears to be the new Shimano Groupset, which without confirmation we can guess was taken at the Taipei Bike Show. For further analysis, I texted Mark V who awoke from a dream about robot factories, manga, and ramen to reply

Photos suggest similar crank design to DA9000. Rear derailleur may perhaps be a direct mount, like some of their MTB designs. The rear hub is obviously a thru-axle, so the direct mount style, which uses a more robust hanger that frame manufacturers often integrate into the thru-axle’s threaded receiver, making the hanger more robust and anchoring it to the hub via the thru-axle.

Rumor has it that Shimano will introduce 3 gruppos branded as “Dura Ace”, involving mechanical shifting, Di2, and disc brakes (or some combination thereof). These photos clearly show discs and Di2 derailleurs. I count 11 cogs on the back, and as a quick guess I would say that the largest cog is around 28teeth. The long cage on derailleur looks like it could handle 32teeth or bigger though.

The disc rotors, if they are Dura Ace items, seem odd because they don’t obviously show the large, aluminium cooling fins that Shimano pioneered on their premium ICE-tech rotors.

Indeed. Not knowing if this is from the Shimano booth either, could be a hack too? Regardless, thru-axle disc from Shimano…bring it.

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Clueless Asks for Bike-Buying Advice

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by Byron on Mar 03, 2016 at 1:43 PM

The email of the day goes to Clueless who asked

I think it’s time I purchase a new bike. And, when I say “bike” I mean…. super casual-non-competitive-stroll down Burke Gilman-with my kid- type of bike, not something expensive and badass like you’d get. Any suggestions on where I should go and/or brand?

Well, Clueless, we get asked this more often than not. I shared your email in our Facebook and the responses keep coming in. The timing of the question is good too, because we have a Detroit Bikes en route to us for demo. You can’t get much simpler than that, and they are made in the USA. My personal fav, city bike is the Shinola. Those are also made in the USA, but in the $1K to $3K price range. The models from Detroit are no more than $699.00, well equipped, and made with durable steel.

Detroit B Type

Detroit B Type

Depending on the budget, I’d buy a city bike from the Motor City: Shinola or Detroit.

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Sony a6300 and G Masters Lenses

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by Byron on Mar 02, 2016 at 8:49 PM

As a Sony staffer said to me, “date cameras, marry lenses,” and we’ve been courting the G Masters this week in Florida at a media event. Read more about the a6300 and G Masters on Medium Bicycles.

Sony a6300 and G Masters Lenses

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Welds that Speak for Themselves

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by Byron on Feb 29, 2016 at 8:24 PM

welds

While assembling and editing Issue 33, I shared a few photos of a Triple Three Fab bike in a preview post here and on our Instagram. It was designed, built, and assembled for NAHBS at DKCB and a featured gallery in the issue, with commentary from Mark V. This weekend Patrick Brady noticed Max’s (the K in DKCB for Kullaway) skill too in his honorable mention post

Maxwell Kullaway, the welder at 333Fab is a former welder for Seven and Merlin. There’s no other way to really say this: it shows. The category of Best TIG Welding is rarely a contest and this year it was close. Kullaway’s work was clean and perfect in a way that many aspire to and few rarely achieve. With guys this good judging comes down to looking at each one of a bike’s welds and examining the end point for the weld. Kullaway’s work on this bike would have been an easy winner in this category were it not for the category’s eventual winner. This stood out noticeably from a truly exceptional group of entrants. These welders are better than the guys working in aerospace.

The welds speak for themselves. Read more about NAHBS on RKP and Issue 33 Crafted is available now on iTunes and the Web.

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Fat Bike Winter Ascent

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by Byron on Feb 26, 2016 at 10:08 AM


In the few times I’ve hung out with Tim, he’s never mentioned a desire to ascend Mt. Washington on a Fat Bike, but here he is doing it for Red Bull. Why? To do something creative and I can’t argue with that…

Getting the opportunity to do this is, first of all, fun. But it’s also challenging and creative in a sport that really is not [creative]. Cyclocross and road racing, by nature, are not creative — you’re simply trying to beat the hell out of yourself and, essentially, survive longer than the person you’re racing against. That’s it. It was really cool to experience this, and see it from a different angle than what a “bike ride” was all about for me for so many years…

In that quote, Tim also states what’s I think is going on with road and the return of adventure…it’s do more than fighting to cross a finish line first, and suffering greatly in the process.

Cyclists are also after the perfect ride, a stress-releasing mood, hitting a zen state, or they simply have, “Miles to ride and all day to get there.”

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ENVE confirms GRD fork for gravel/all-road bikes

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by Mark V on Feb 25, 2016 at 3:41 PM

After a low-key sneak preview at the 2015 NAHBS event, ENVE confirms full production of their carbon GRD fork just ahead of this year’s show. The first small run of forks has already been divvied out, but the next shipment is scheduled for the beginning of April.

The GRD fork is intended to serve the still growing gravel/all-road demographic. The fork uses a 12mm thru-axle, the apparent standard for “disc road” bike componentry. The full-carbon steerer tapers from 1.25” to 1.125”. The GRD also joins the flat-mount disc caliper bandwagon, though pix from last year’s show reveal that the prototype forks had post-mounts. The switch to flat-mount might explain the oddly long span between first glimpse and actual production. Rotors 140 to 160mm can be fitted.

The GRD fork is a remarkable for two reasons. Doubtlessly most people will be talking about the integrated carbon fender, which ENVE says can be removed in seconds. Among full carbon forks of this type, the ability to cleanly mount a full fender is still rare. ENVE’s proprietary fender is a full carbon affair that snaps securely in place at both the crown and dropouts. No word yet on what the consumer is supposed to use on rear of the bike. However, the less obvious but more important consideration is the GRD’s axle-to-crown measurement.

At 383mm A-C, the GRD neatly splits the distance between the 370mm of most road bikes and the 395mm virtual standard of cyclocross bikes. This means you couldn’t really retrofit the GRD to either existing road or cyclocross framesets without dramatically changing the geometry when the head tube gets boosted or dropped (on road or CX frames, respectively). Thus the GRD is designed to compliment frames designed specifically for the all-road demographic, rather than adapted from existing CX designs.

On the other hand, the “gravel scene” is far from uniform in its design preferences. With a maximum tyre clearance of 35-38mm, the GRD won’t fit the 40-45mm sizes that many insist are necessary for gnarlier gravel excursions, though that much volume is getting into the realm of 29er rubber. And such tyres wouldn’t fit under a 383mm A-C anyways. However, the ENVE fork is particularly appealing as for all-weather road bikes. I have often said that it is odd that frame designers should go to disc brakes that allow road bikes to accept any size tyre independent of the limits of short-reach rim brake calipers, and then be limited to forks that essentially still mandate tyres smaller than 28mm. The new ENVE fork steps outside the constraint of road fork design without going all the way to CX fork height, which isn’t necessary if the front wheel isn’t going to be encased in mud-n-grass from a CX course. The 47mm rake is a middle of the road dimension; it should be amenable to most designs outside of the low trail philosophy embraced by the Francophiles of Compass Bicycles.

So to whom does this fork appeal? Due to the unusual axle-to-crown height of the fork, one would have to design a frame specifically to fit this fork, and small framebuilders are the ones who can most quickly respond to the potential this fork holds. This is great news if you are now or soon to be in the market for a custom bicycle for all-road, or perhaps that high performance winter trainer.

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