Force 1 Arrives at Kona


by Byron on Oct 06, 2015 at 1:54 PM

Kona 1x

Two athletes running Force 1 this weekend at Kona

Ironman Kona is the World Championships for long-course triathletes and increasingly where manufacturers show off their tech as the road season winds down for the year. Today, in SRAM’s Kona PR, spotted an interesting bullet point:

SRAM Force 1 is a single chainring drivetrain that delivers the perfect gear range in a simpler, quieter and more secure design.

It’s interesting to note that Force 1 evolved from MTB and Cross to Tri bikes and not the other way around, as we’ve seen with wheels and aero road bikes. One chainring systems are really being pushed across the board for performance, even for cutting edge road bikes. As Mark V has chronicled, we’ve been running various 1x iterations with SRAM road levers and MTB derailleurs for years and are currently running aCX1 setup with hydro for cross. Off-road, 1x was done to avoid derailleurs getting torn off in muddy conditions; you don’t need that many gears for what amount to grass crits, and when cold hands turn to frozen blocks, shifting a front lever can become nearly impossible.

As much benefit as was derived from these early drivetrain hacks, they required finesse to get the right shift, were finicky, and sometime under geared on hilly course. Chains tended to fall off, too! CX1 from SRAM was welcomed; 1x11 brought us more gears and pie-plate cassettes to fix that undergearing problem. The new single-specific chainrings and clutched-derailleurs keep the chain on in even apocalyptic conditions, and as a system it just works. CX1 does what we wanted the hacks to do, but much better.

Photos: Andy Bokanev

Allez Sprint with Force 1. Photo: Andy Bokanev

We didn’t expect to see Force 1 spec’d on triathlete bikes or crit bikes, but it makes sense in these days of a bike for every niche. We’ve rarely had to shif a front derailleur in a crit and while not triathletes, we’ve ridden the roads of Kona and that’s as long and lonely a stretch of lava field highway as one could ever encounter. Simplification makes sense. One less thing to worry about while trying to ride, eat, and keep focus on the 112 mile bike race to the marathon start.

1st Ride Playlist: Nail driver to Road to Ruby, to a Fire Road, descend Empire Pass; then to Silver Baron and lifted back. @bikeonscott Addict CX #scottweek

A photo posted by Byron (@bikehugger) on

New Addict CX with CX1 and Hydro

It’s a different way of doing things, and it’s probably not something you’re going to wind up with on every bike in your garage, but when 1x is the right choice, it’s the perfect choice. No extraneous distractions or complications, just the gears you need. Make sure you spend time on it and get used to the feel, and that you’ve got all the gear ratio bandwidth you’re going to need if (or when!) you bonk, though. No more bail out gear safety margin. Cards on the table here; multi-sport racing isn’t our thing, but so much tech carries over now, we’re paying attention to the racing this weekend.

SRAM’s Kona involvement is extensive, and includes Zipp wheels, cockpits, new eTap electronic shifting, and power meters from Quarq.

Follow the action from Kona on Twitter and Insta. I’m watching for what ZippSpeed teased last week. What can they do after Firestrike?

For a recent take from me on getting in race shape with Quarq, see my Swakane Canyon story in Issue 25 on iTunes, the Web, or Medium; and Mark’s posts on 1x

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Spencer Green at Canyons Edit


by Byron on Oct 05, 2015 at 8:04 PM

Grass-roots racer Spencer Green enjoying the runs at Canyons before the snow @4_SPENNY. Shot/Edited by Stephen Graham @SGBIKER464 with C4H Media @C4HMEDIA Song Magic Wands, Space. Bike: Pivot Phoenix Carbon DH.

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Night Weasels Cometh Highlights 2015


by Byron on Oct 04, 2015 at 12:15 PM

From Dirtwire TV and Cross under the lights….

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Cambium in Kansas


by Byron on Oct 02, 2015 at 11:59 AM

Just when I was looking for some light, Friday content, this Dirty Kanza 2015 video from Brooks popped. Not sure, I’d want to ride a Cambium C15 for 200K, but they sell it well.

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Out of the Newsstand Onto Your Home Screen


by Byron on Oct 01, 2015 at 4:12 PM

iOS 9 brings many changes to Mac devices, including the Newsstand where our magazine was previously located. After the update, our mag app works the same with ad-free content and in-app recurring subscriptions. Subscribers can now move apps out of the Newsstand folder to their home screens and from there into whatever folder they like. After upgrading to iOS9, the previously undeletable, standalone Newsstand folder becomes a regular folder. In there you’ll find us and whatever other Newsstand apps you have subscribed to, like the NY Times.

As we talked about when the change to Newsstand was announced earlier this year during the WWDC, we welcome this change, along with our publisher 29th Street, who has made more Newsstand apps than anyone. The Newsstand created too much friction for readers and, as much as we believe in a mobile-app, content strategy in these ad-blocking times, we “should’ve never been buried in a weird little corner” on people’s devices.

Now you can get the content you want from us, as a Bike Hugger app, instead of a Newsstand one. Speaking of the content, our latest issue is about food, like this, and dropped last week.


Tasty like our content

Find us on the App store and the Web too.

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ENVE releases new SES 2.2 carbon tubeless clincher rims and wheelsets


by Mark V on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:03 PM

The new SES 2.2 carbon tubeless clincher rim represents the latest evolution of ENVE Composites’ road hoops, not only completing the aerodynamic update of ENVE’s entire road rim line but also being their first tubeless road rim product. With the early summer debut of a tubular SES 2.2, the carbon clincher was not really unexpected, but I am excited to see that it is tubeless compatible.

SES 2.2 clincher cross section

SES carbon clinchers will be available in 20 and 24 hole

As a group, the Smart ENVE System (SES) rims/wheels can be seen as ENVE’s second generation of road rims, replacing designs that were retroactively renamed “Classic”. Where older Classic rims represented a more traditional concept of wheel aerodynamics with narrow teardrop cross sections, the replacing SES designs use a more sophisticated approach that acknowledges the air flow that a rider and his equipment experiences is rarely straight-on. Using more rounded cross sections that encourage smoother air flow at broader angles of apparent wind, the SES rims are both faster and better handling in real world riding conditions. The SES rims were also specifically conceived as matched pairs of front and rear rims, each shaped for the nuances of its position. Fronts are generally shorter and broader to best function in clean, uninterrupted air that may have a significant side component, while the rear rims were deeper and perhaps somewhat narrower to maximize drag reduction in an air stream already churned by the front wheel and rider’s legs.

The SES 2.2 is a slight departure though, since in the pursuit of weight reduction, the rim profile is kept too short to really make any significant reductions in aerodynamic drag. Thus ENVE uses the same profile for both front and rear positions. At 400-410 grams each as clinchers (281 grams for the tubular versions), the SES 2.2 rims scratch a mere 25mm in height, but like the other SES rims they are markedly wide at 27mm. Being so low profile and incorporating SES design aspects, the 2.2 rims will have superlative handling even in really gusty conditions. Still, the new SES 2.2 clincher rims are not significantly lighter than the Classic 25 rims they replace, but their greater interior width gives any clincher they mount up more air volume for better ride and lower rolling resistance. AND most importantly, the new clincher rims are tubeless compatible. As 2016 rolls up, the tyre companies are finally offering full varieties of tubeless training and racing clinchers in a selection of sizes from a traditional road racing 23mm up to a 30mm cobble crusher (note: ENVE has optimized the rims for 25mm road tyres). The SES 2.2 clinchers thus become the most versatile wheel in ENVE’s road lineup, mounting up any tyre (with tubes or not) and excelling everywhere from rough roads to the high mountains, for which ENVE has taken efforts to set a new standard for carbon rim brake performance. A practical advantage to having a set of climber wheels with wide rims like the SES 2.2 is that users don’t have to totally reset their caliper brakes when switching between these climbing wheels and more dedicate aero choices such as ENVE’s 4.5 and 6.7 wheelsets.

In the past I have actually disparaged climbing wheels, but I honestly find these rims really keen. If I could only have one road wheelset, I would be quite torn between these SES 2.2 and something like ENVE’s deeper SES 4.5, such is my faith in the aero wheel. But the handling, tyre options, versatility, and yes, weight of these SES 2.2 make for a superb choice if aerodynamics are not the be all and end all of your riding experience. If I could have TWO wheelsets, then SES 2.2 is a obviously a given.

The SES 2.2 carbon clinchers will be available as a built wheelsets with hubs from King, DT-Swiss, and ENVE’s own superlight carbon hubs. Prices start at $2,575. Pricing and availability of rims a la carte were not available at the time this was written.

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QRGate: Another Quick Release Recall


by Byron on Sep 29, 2015 at 5:38 PM

A who’s who of bike companies have jointly recalled quick releases after Trek did earlier this year. 13 companies comprising 17 brands make the recall rise to the level of a gate suffix, like #qrgate. Is your bike one of the millions recalled? Check this website and apply the #2 pencil test. Our take?

Tulio should rise from the grave and haunt bike designers like a Dickens ghost past and present.

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Sagan Wins Worlds


by Byron on Sep 28, 2015 at 1:44 PM

Highlights from the Men’s race and the dramatic finish by Sagan. After what’s been described as an “odd” year for the bike biz, Sagan’s win is exactly what the sport needed. As Jason Gay said on Twitter and in his article

and my favorite moment was the interaction with Boonen….

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Built: Beer and Bikes


by Byron on Sep 28, 2015 at 11:44 AM


Built is a series of talks by people who create. The next one is this week at Lucky Envelope Brewing and Sage Cycles and Full Speed Ahead. Join us to learn about bike design and the art of wheel construction on October 2nd, from 5-8 PM, while enjoying local beers. The event is free and please RSVP.

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Worlds Highlights


by Byron on Sep 27, 2015 at 9:08 AM

Highlights from the Womens race yesterday and live now is the mens race in Richmond VA.

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