I’m so sad that Prince is gone. I think everybody who knows me knows he was my favorite artist, but it might not have been obvious that I didn’t just appreciate his music and his artistic work, but also what a pioneer and innovator he was creatively and in business and in culture.
I just wanted to share this song from 2 months ago, when Prince played “Purple Rain” in a new way, just on piano, like he was writing it for the first time. He never really sings a full verse, he never plays the guitar solo, he never fully gives the audience the cue to sing along with him. He was still just mourning the passing of Denise Matthews (Vanity), and this was a song he’d played for 33 years but it still sounded new. Prince dedicated this tour to his father, but I felt this performance of Purple Rain may have been just as dedicated to the son he lost 20 years ago. It haunts me.
Goodbye Prince, and thanks for so many wonderful memories.
Back in the blogging days I’d meet Anil at various conferences. It was his Prince stories I looked forward to the most. One time he shared with me a bootleg of Prince playing a face-melting version of a Whole Lotta Love. It’s on rotation now with this most haunting version of Purple Rain.
Considering how the history of the bike industry in America is infused with cannabis, I’ve wondered why a progressive company didn’t embrace it; especially, in cities where it’s legal or tolerated. Well, today, Paul Components did and happy 420 day to them. As they shared
In light of April 20th, Paul components shows their festive colors with the Rasta Quick Release Skewer. The internal cam design always holds tight, has perfect foolproof alignment, and is fully protected. Skewers are available in your choice of lengths: 100mm; 130/135mm; 170mm; 190mm. The internal cam design always holds tight, has perfect foolproof alignment, and is fully protected. Skewers are available in your choice of lengths: 100mm; 130/135mm; 170mm; 190mm.
Each skewer is made to order, with the quality and precision that Paul Components has blessed the biking community with for almost 30 years. To order, just pick the length and select ‘Rasta’ in the ‘Finish’ dropdown. Show a little Rasta love wherever you ride.
While not imported in the States, you’ve probably ridden a bike made by Merida, under a different brand name. They’ve been in business for 25 years and following the Paris-Roubaix disc injury, released this statement.
Following the injury at the recent Paris-Roubaix race and the following preliminary suspension of disc-brakes by the UCI we would like to take the opportunity to give a statement as one of the two bike-manufacturers who used disc brake equipped bikes in the event.
For years and strengthened by the overwhelmingly positive feedback from TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA (who concluded two weeks of world-tour racing to test the equipment under serious race conditions), MERIDA continues to believe in the future of disc brakes on road bikes. We are convinced that the added safety aspects such as better modulation and braking performance especially in the wet and when cornering, avoidance of rim heat up on long descents etc. will help the prevention of crashes and outweigh the potential risks as passive member of mass crashes.
However the happenings of the recent event has shown that further disc technology improvements should be made to reduce potential risks (for example rotors with rounded edges). For this purpose, MERIDA and other leading bike brands are in communication with disc brake manufacturers to push this development forward.
MERIDA will do its utmost to support the safety improvements of disc brakes during racing so that not just the amateur rider but also the pro-peloton can benefit from the long lists of disc brake benefits.
In my commentary about disc brakes on Medium Bicycles, I shared that no new molds are being opened for caliper brakes. There is also an unprecedented flurry of engineering activity in Taiwan right now, coming up with a fix, that should’ve been in place before the start of the season. Why the UCI is locked into a 1990s mindset is another matter. The impact to us is what the pros ride has never been more irrelevant to what we’re riding. I’ll say it again, when it comes to road bikes, get the disc, like this one.
If you don’t understand why road disc is better, the marketers have failed at their job. Well, you can ignore them too because they sold aero and marginal gains instead of massive gains in braking and bike-handling technology. The Merida Scultura Disc is an example of the advances, and so is the Trek Boone or Domane SLR.
Video from a French TV investigation of motor doping finds it’s more prevalent than previously suspected. No surprise to us, as we shared earlier this year when motor doping at CX Worlds was discovered. In a sport with zero credibility, up to them to prove it’s not true.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My spring whip set up for forest service and farm roads
By now, I think I’ve exhausted the IsoSpeed tech totally works story lines on Medium Bicycles, our mag, and time to share with you how the endurance bike I’ve been riding this spring is built out. Doing double duty as a rain/gravel whip, the PDW fenders have remarkably not vibrated loose on the rough roads so far, and the VeloOrange, custom fit front rack has transported beer and later on, supplies for an all-day ride.
Those hubs were previously in a set of tubulars for CX and repurposed for tubeless and set up for gravel
Panaracer Gravel Kings—The Kings perform well across varied terrain, as expected and running at 40 PSI front and 45 rear. I imagine a Japanese tire-compound engineer manufactured a gravel-emulation rig in a tire lab, and tested various profiles to find the one that rolled over crushed shale with some hardpack dirt the best. The tall crown on them rolls over gravel and pack dirt as designed, but you’ll want to keep the bike upright in bumps or washouts, as they’ll drop to the right or left when the sides catch. On the pavement, the sidewalls are stiff as rocks, but on crushed surfaces, these tires are awesome. For more lateral grip, in looser or deeper conditions the larger 35 is recommended.
Stan’s Rims—The hoops on the Boone say as much about the change in what I’m riding as anything I’ve written lately. The Grail was designed for cross, gravel, and traditional road riding in that it can be used for both high and low pressure applications. Grail rims are of the BST (tubeless for low pressure) variety with a max pressure of 45psi, and accommodate the Panaracer’s tubeless-ready bead with no leaks or burps. The reason to run tubeless for adventure, is they’re less likely to pinch or snake bite. And, tires have matured in ride and quality. Rim tech too, in just a few short seasons.
Look Pedals—After my PT banned me from ever riding on ATACS again, because of my knee injury, and I refuse to ride SPD, there wasn’t much choice left in MTB pedals. For my fit, I need the widest stance to keep my knee properly aligned. The S-Tracks offers a wider contact area and shims to adjust the height depending on sole lug thickness. After a few hundred miles on them, knee is good, and the pedals perform as designed.
Bontrager lights— On occasion, I’m out after dark and these light the way just fine. Not for commuting, but just getting home.