Scwhinn Varsity

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$60.00 Scwhinn Varsity from the 70s, couple hundred on saddle, and grips. Optional rubber duck. Priceless.

How Lance Armstrong Ruined Everything


Impossibly fast up far-away French hills and there’s not enough miracle believing!

Humor from Phlaimeaux

A Weekender: Trek 920

gasd

Last month, shared a story about the nostalgic, adventure trend gripping the bike industry. And with the Trek 920 in to demo, here’s a 7 second review.


All you need to know really and succinctly. Impressed and intrigued by the 920, back burnered all work decisions for what am I gonna hang off those racks?

Let’s see…

  • Panniers filled with snacks
  • A change of clothes and backup batteries
  • Camera and map
  • My road kit and the road scene
  • A baguette!

Getting your groove back on the bike, experiencing that momentum once again, and immersing yourself in the ride is the theme for issue 23. That’s what we’re doing on bikes like the 920.

UCI Approves Disc Brakes

scott

This week the UCI approved the use of disc brakes in trials this summer, more testing in 2016, and if the experience is satisfactory, they’ll get officially introduced during the 2017 UCI World Tour. Between the Mark and me, it’s an ongoing debate on their value and he discussed brakes at length in his Issue 23 Paris-Roubaix article. Well he’s anti-disc brake for the Pro peloton and I disagree, we both advocate large volume tires for road bakes.

The greatest benefit that disc brake bikes might bring to the race is to give the pro riders access to production frames and forks which can accommodate tires larger than 27-28mm since that is about all the clearance that can be had on a production frameset built around the ubiquitous short-reach brake caliper.

Expect to see more disc-brake marketing from the industry this summer and see our reviews of disc bikes in past issues.

Also see the disc tag on our blog.

Wired: S-Works McLaren Tarmac

Bokanev

Riding an S-Works McLaren Tarmac, photo: Bokanev

As I lean into the turn, a slight mist from the Pacific Ocean beads up on the chrome-accented top tube. The sun burns through the haze hanging over the sleepy, deserted coastal road just outside Santa Cruz, while this $20,000 Specialized S-Works McLaren Tarmac bicycle and I get to know each other. The process repeats over and over: lean into a turn, tap the brakes to burn off speed, jump on the pedals, and accelerate coming out of a corner.

Hugging the fog line, I roll up and down every inch of road I can find within a few square miles. Through the taut frame, I swear I feel every rock and the viscosity of the tar that binds them together. As cars pass me, it’s funny to think how many of them cost less than my ride.

“I’ve ridden plenty of bikes from Specialized,” the I wrote article continues, and this one is quite different. What Specialized learned from McLaren is the template for their next generation of bikes. Importantly, what drove this Mclaren-izing of their to-market process is certain staleness in the bike industry. With a lack of innovation following aero road bikes a few seasons ago, Specialized felt they’re reached the limit of their understanding and delivering significant milestones with new product. For 20 years prior to this development, carbon bike makers did it all hand, by gut, their wits, and determination. Before the McLaren version, I rode the new Tarmac when it launched, and shared how that bike was iterated in our magazine

That’s what designers, engineers, and marketers at bike companies are chasing now. Like the perfect wave for surfers, it’s all about the ride. The Tarmac delivers that and Specialized engineered not only a new platform, but a handling benchmark.

That new Tarmac platform was developed with help from McLaren and read the rest of the Wired story for what that means. Also, how that ride was designed with intent and experience in mind.

McLaren ISO

ISO view of the S-Works McLaren, a screenshot from their toolkit

As magazine contributor Nathan Wright noted, with the impressive engineering done, Specialized now must educate customers about the Tarmac platform. Because, unless people ride the bikes and feel the difference, the numbers appear arbitrary; however proven and backed up they are with McLaren’s expertise.

See the rest of the photos from me and Bokanev on G+ and a related story on Element.ly about the owners of the McLarens.

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