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SXSW V2V: Mentoring Sessions

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by Byron on Jun 26, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Earlier this year at the Gingerman

The photo they used for the programming…

Besides the riding and socializing next month with SXSW V2V in Vegas, I’m mentoring attendees. Now, what’s a bike-blogging, independent-mag-publishing, cyclist doing mentoring? I wondered that myself and I think they want me to talk about entrepreneurship, bringing products, and content to market? If not, I can talk all day about the sport, running your own business, and being in the space where the bike and tech meet.

If you’re attending the event, sign up, and ask me anything from 3 to 4 PM on Wednesday. And the day before, we can go for a ride.

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Huggacast Shorts: Scwhinn 15

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by Byron on Jun 25, 2014 at 11:39 AM

We met Schwinn at PressCamp 14 too and these days they’re all about making bikes accessible and fun. During the meeting and photoshoot, Carlton Reid’s (Bike Biz Editor) bombed by us on a TT bike…how nice we thought.

Schwinn Bomb

Just trying to get a shot and photobombed by a TT bike

Fun with Scwhinn

Fun with Scwhinn and they’re now offering a Dutch style bike

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Smith goes after the road market with the Overtake Helmet

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by Mark V on Jun 24, 2014 at 9:58 AM

After introducing their Forefront helmet to the dirt scene last year, Smith Optics dives into the road helmet market with the Overtake. Smith takes the wildly innovative construction/material techniques used in the Forefront to the windtunnel and comes out with what Smith claims to be the best all-around helmet for safety, aerodynamics, ventilation.

The most striking feature of the Overtake’s “Aerocore” structure is the use of Koroyd for the bulk of the helmets protection. Koroyd is a material made from uniform, polymer tubes thermal welded into a lightweight, structural honeycomb. In the event of a crash, the Koroyd is very effective at absorbing kinetic energy as it crushes, reducing the trauma experienced by the rider’s brain. But unlike the foams upon which other helmets entirely rely, the open honeycomb structure of Koroyd allows air to freely pass, so the Overtake keeps a rider’s head cool without the bulk of elaborate internal airflow channels. Six panels of Koroyd are bonded to an EPS foam liner that provides the helmet’s shape, with a thermoformed skeleton and PVC outer shell. The Overtake has 21 external vents.

To be competitive in today’s market, Smith had to make sure that the Overtake could slip through the wind with the best of them. By testing against other category leading designs at a variety of wind angles, Smith was able to create a light, well-vented helmet that performs better than most competitors and just a tick behind the Specialized Evade. But then Smith looked to improve the overall ergonomics of the helmet, the contours of the helmet have been refined to avoid fit interference while wearing sunglasses, and thoughtful “eyewear docks” have been integrated into front and back of the helmet to securely hold the sunglasses when not being worn.

Byron will be testing the Overtake in the near future, while I am currently trying out the Forefront. Check back for updates.

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PressCamp 14: Ridley X-Night Superlight Sexy

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by Byron on Jun 24, 2014 at 7:47 AM

Ridley

All business, race-only, not for double-duty as a commuter

Wasn’t even really thinking about CX season until this 14.2 lb, Ridley X-Night rolled into the camera’s frame. I mean damn, just look at that, all business; like Jennifer Lawrence in a catsuit, Lucy Lui running across a meeting table cutting heads off, or a throwback to Sean Young as a pleasure bot in Blade Runner.

How I wanted to grab this bike and run with it.

How I wanted to grab this bike and run with it

Nothing stupidly spec’d to get that weight either and for this purpose-built bike, I’d not complain about cantis v. discs. While Ridley said, “all are bikes are for gravel, you seen the roads in Belgium? The roads are like goat trails,” this one is race only though.

Just bring it out when you mean business, like a little black dress.

14.2

How I wanted to grab this bike and run with it

The last time I rode a CX bike that light was the Parlee and with Ridley distributing itself in the US now, I was promised that’d I get to ride a demo for more than 20 minutes that doesn’t result in a double flat.

And do I ever want to.

I’ll take the X-Night out for drills just to enjoy how light and fast it is, but if it have to explain how the memories it has are implanted, then I’ll get nervous.

And as I tweeted during my meeting with Ridley, their company name is from Blade Runner….

See the X-Night Superlight in high-rez and the rest of the PressCamp 14 photos on G+.

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Almost Tour Time

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by Byron on Jun 23, 2014 at 12:37 PM


If I had no other means to know the Tour was departing soon, the amount of odd things people send us would be enough, like this video. Sharing it with Mark V, he commented,

Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” was crossbred to rejected Kraftwerk outtakes and the result was well, awful.

My take was this is like a TomoNews version of the Tour.

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PressCamp 14: Synapse Alum

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by Byron on Jun 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Synapse Hotness

Synapse Alum

After a week of meetings and rides with product managers, so much to share from PressCamp 14 and for a Sunday afternoon, I’ll start with the Synapse Alum. At launches from big brands, you’ll occasionally find a personal project that made it into production like this and it’s lovely with metallic paint, color-matched fenders, and Rival Hydro at $2k. Rack mounts too. That’d make a very Pacific-Northwest style fender bike and if you’re into this, I’d start asking your dealer for it now. When I tweeted a photo of the Synapse last week, cropped it tight because the Rival 22 was under embargo. With the embargo lifted, here’s what that group is about too, value-priced and a hydraulic disc brake road bike at $2K.

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JRA Gator

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by Byron on Jun 21, 2014 at 9:56 AM


Just riding along a swamp with a GoPro, taking a selfie, and then alligator!

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Zipp 404 Firestrike Launched at PressCamp 14

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by Byron on Jun 20, 2014 at 5:57 AM

Felt with Zipps

My first ride at PressCamp ‘14 was in a freak summer mountain snowstorm on a Felt with the all-new, Zipp Firestrikes. I couldn’t tell you at the time what the model was and how they performed in the howling wind, sleet, hail, and snow because Zipp hadn’t officially announced the wheelset yet.

Now, with the embargo over, here are the photos and initial review.

Developed four years after the first Firecrest, these are Zipp’s next-level, aero racing wheel. On the second day in sunny conditions with a strong headwind against my chest, I titled them with confidence along the yellow center line, as it curved into the next turn on the descent. Like a S model iPhone, it’s similar to the phone before it, with a snappier, faster feel.

Zipp science

Basics of bicycle science

Here’s the science Zipp used to focus their development efforts on making a rim deeper than the 303 that handles better thanks to

optimized edges that move the center of pressure nearest the steering axis

and the complex wheel shape that imparts a shedding pattern which achieves a thirty four percent reduction in side force. That means these wheels are exceptionally stable and steerable including when ridden in an unexpected, windy snowstorm. Before the pads froze on that ride, they gripped the new molded-in, textured brake track and provided certainty that the bike was going to stop when I wanted it to. In normal Park City summer temperatures, I grabbed the brakes hard and power slid the bike. I don’t remember ever doing that on 303 Firecrests…

dimples and a scrim

New dimple pattern and an embedded braking surface

I’ll have more observations about the 404 Firestrikes in the 14th issue of our magazine. After the snow and mountain sun, I’ll take them out in the Pacific Northwest rain.

that was cold

That was cold

The Zipp 404 Firestrike Carbon Clincher is available now for $3,600 USD and ships with

  • TI QRs
  • Zipp rim tape
  • Tangente Tubes
  • Tangente Valve Extensions
  • Tangente Platinum Pro Evo Brake Pads
  • Wheel bags.

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PressCamp 14: Pivot Mach 4c

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by Byron on Jun 19, 2014 at 6:59 AM


After riding the Grade yesterday with a post and feature to follow, I’m on the new Pivot Mach 4 Carbon today. I met with Pivot’s President/CEO and he shared this video produced for the Mach 4 Carbon launch during PressCamp 14.

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