The thought of a modern carbon bike that can fly over pavement like a racing bike, but handle rough gravel like a mountain bike, and everything in between, is truly exciting.
and I can’t wait to talk to him more about it. If there’s one thing the industry needs is to de-niche their lines, and bring back the all-around great, road bike. Call it made for adventure, gravel, all road, or whatever.
Is it just me or is all the excitement in the dirt these days? Compared to say, thin aero road bikes with cowled brakes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
The free cover story for Issue 25 is about Remi McManus and his 40/40 Vision.
“I was inspired to embark on this project by many things and people, but the real driving force was to challenge myself and others. I also wanted to get back to the root of what made cycling and sports in general special to me in the first place, the friends made, the journey experienced, the stories told, and the memories.”
In all the years covering the bike, never expected to see the naked bike ride in an Apple developer keynote…we’re following along because of the News app being discussed now. Besides our web view, our magazine runs on the iOS Newsstand app. What does the Apple News format means for our content? Waiting for 29th Street Publishing to debrief us. They’re our partner in mobile apps.
Well that was fun! Spent the afternoon riding bikes at Duthie during the Evergreen MTB Festival, including this BMC fourstroke FS01 29. Less concern this time about wheel sizes and more the energy of the place, families, little kids, and women, and all them riding. It was a wheel size for everyone and there’s such a great vibe going on with dirt, including last weekend at the Grand Fondo Leavenworth.