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.
This post is about the new Trek Domane. Actually, that is a lie. This is really all about how the lack of consensus for technical and marketing terms within cycling makes me want to punch people in the face.
As Byron posted on Medium, Trek launched the new Domane, but I’m still mildly peeved with the name Domane, which as I have been assured is pronounced “DOE-mah-NAY”. Strange that no one seems to pronounce the name of Trek’s other pro road bike model, the Madone, as “MAH-doe-NAY”. But maybe that’s because the Domane is marketed as an “endurance” bike, which as far as the general consumer need concern themselves means a road bike with more upright positioning, more forgiving ride, and more tyre clearance….but not enough tyre clearance to take on deep gravel. Kudos to Trek for providing fender mounts too when many other manufacturers have clearly assumed that potential buyers either like to endure winter road spray in their face and up their crack or perhaps live only in southern CA where rain is only slightly more likely than a quality movie starring Adam Sandler. I’m thinking of a bike with name that rhymes with Blue-Ray.
Pro Tip: Don’t slip up and call the Domane an “enduro road bike”, brah. Enduro is a totally different scene…think baggy shorts and beards rather than power meters and paceline etiquette.
The big update on the new Domane is the IsoSpeed Decoupler on the headtube. Also, the IsoSpeed on the seat tube is now tunable. But what I really want to know is whether IsoSpeed can be classified as suspension…or not. It certainly does not involve coil springs, swing-arms, or telescoping shocks like more conventional suspension designs, but IsoSpeed is definitely more substantial than elastomer inserts bonded onto a frame to act as vibration dampers (ie, Zerts do not equal suspension). Technically I would have to call the Domane a full-suspension bike, though emphasizing the phrase “full-suspension” with the Domane seems misleading. Doing so both trivializes the difficulty of adapting conventional suspension designs to road use and obscures the elegance and cleverness of Trek’s design.
As those of you who know me and my fascination with road bike suspension, might expect, I have more than a passing curiosity with the Domane and its IsoSpeed decouplers. I’ve played around a little bit with the IsoSpeed on Byron’s Trek Boone test bike, but that bike is way too large for me to ride. Byron usually rides a 56 or 58cm frame, I usually take a 48-49cm. I wondered if there was a Domane size to fit me. The Trek geometry chart answered that question but not without first begging another.
Listed in three separate columns on the geometry chart, there is a frame size number 50 cm, an actual frame size 50cm, and a seat tube (45.0cm). What the hell does that even mean? Am I the only one who sees the problem here? That’s like saying a “6-foot tall man” is actually 6 feet tall in so much if you measured him from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head, that measurement would be 5ft 6in. Other bike brands give a “virtual size” and a “seat tube size”; don’t make this more complicated than it has to be, Trek. When you said that bike was literally 50cm in size, you obviously meant figuratively…
As for the question “Does Trek make a Domane in Mark V Size?”, the answer is no. Because Mark V Size, as rigidly defined by the international standards commission known as STFU-GTFO, is a reach dimension of 367-386mm and a stack of no more than 515mm for pure road bikes and no more than 530mm for endurance/gravel/touring bikes. The 50cm Domane has a reach of 368mm and a stack of 546mm…and that’s just too damn high for me.
So the new Trek Domane is full-suspension. It is solidly in the category of “endurance road” bike, which has nothing to do with “enduro”. Mark V Size is not within the subset of the Domane sizing range, and Pluto is not to be referred to as a “planet”. All non-standard usage of technical terms henceforth will be punished.
Ed note: awesomely for Byron, Trek makes a Boone AND a Domane SLR in his size. He’s ridden one off them so far and shared stories about both on Medium, in our Mag, and here on the blog. Also, with all the media attention, you maybe wonder what IsoSpeed decoupling is, here’s an explainer.
Perhaps you have no idea what a decoupler on a bike is, and if so, that’s ok. Because earlier today, I shared a story on Medium Bicycles about the Boone and just-announced Domane SLR. The Boone is decoupled in the rear and the Domane SLR has decouplers on both ends. An IsoSpeed decoupler is Trek’s technology to suspend a road or cross bike by decoupling the seat stay from the top tube—those two tubes are traditionally welded or molded together and that’s where the seat post attaches. Separating the seat/top tube junction allows a pivot with just enough movement to absorb the hits and smooth out the ride. The system does not bob o r sag like a fully-suspended mountain bike pivoting at the bottom bracket. As fun as riding off road on a road bike is, the vibrations and bumps will eventually fatigue the rider—that’s why Trek introduced the Domane with Cancellara in the most brutal races of the season, so he could float across the cobbles to a win.
Rear IsoSpeed Decoupler
Front IsoSpeed Decoupler
Anyone that’s spent a few appendage-numbing hours on farm or forest-service roads riding a road bike, has probably wondered when they could get some relief from suspension. The SLR extends Trek’s decoupling tech to the front triangle and I expect it’ll work just as well as the rear does now. There’s nothing else like it in shops or races today. 4 years after Trek first released IsoSpeed, other manufactures have yet to respond. With tech that good, the market won’t wait much longer from them to compete. Read more about the Boone I’ve been riding this spring on Medium too and in Issue 31 of our magazine.
Clement Pneumatici debuts the 700Cx36mm X’PLOR MSO Tubeless tyre. Named after the 3-letter code for the Missoula airport, the MSO is the latest addition to the X’PLOR series of adventure and commuter tyres. Slotting between the existing 32mm and 40mm , the new 36mm MSO is the first tubeless-ready offering from Clement, with the promise of more to come.
The X’PLOR MSO tread was designed from the ground-up for multiple conditions and is a distinct Clement tread pattern of both polygonal and hexagonal shapes, smooth-rolling center knobs and aggressive shoulder lugs for cornering control. The soft rubber compound for extra grip and shock absorption combined with the tightly packed center knobs and aggressive shoulder lugs provides great traction and durability. Though it has been a go-to tire for serious endurance racers it is also the perfect tread over pavement, through urban travails, across dirt trails, and of course, on gravel roads.
The 36mm size (438gr average based on two tyre sample) is a smart marketing choice for the adventure bike theme, voluminous to compliment the newer generation of purpose-built gravel bikes but not so wide as to exclude their use on CX bikes designed for 33mm UCI regulation tyres. And speaking of cyclocross tyres, Clement will continue to expand their selection of tubeless tyres in the coming months with both tubeless versions of the existing PDX and MXP 33mm cyclocross treads, as well as debuting the all-new BOS. Named after Boston’s Logan International Airport, the BOS is deep mud pattern with great honking paddle blocks staggered in the middle and buttressed side blocks aggressively jutting from the shoulders. For traditionalists, the BOS will also be available in a 33mm tubular version.
The MSO 36mm is shipping now; the BOS will be available later this spring.
If watching drone videos from the Oregon outback, wasn’t enough to take you away from the craziness in the world today, how ‘bout a look at Groningen: The World’s Cycling City
It’s no secret that just about anywhere you go in the Netherlands is an incredible place to bicycle. And in Groningen, a northern city with a population of 190,000 and a bike mode share of 50 percent, the cycling is as comfortable as in any city on Earth. The sheer number of people riding at any one time will astound you, as will the absence of automobiles in the city center, where cars seem extinct. It is remarkable just how quiet the city is. People go about their business running errands by bike, going to work by bike, and even holding hands by bike.
Holding hands by bike and a bike mode share of 50 percent—that’s the stuff dreams are made of.