Four mountain bike legends riding at BikePark Wales for the good times not the race times! *Please note the above video contains references to performance enhancing drug use, questionable use of the world schralp, childish behaviour and an unbleepable use of the F word… Peaty’s bar tab emptied the marketing budget so the production unit Read More The post Video: ‘Legends’ With Steve Peat, Rob Warner, Nigel Page & Will Longden appeared first on BIKE Magazine.
Whether you’re training for an event or just want to tear the legs off your riding buddies in the virtual world as well as the real world, racing on Zwift is a great way to compete, train and have fun on your bike. Zwift racing is one of the newest and most exciting forms of bike racing out there, and if you’ve not yet taken the plunge, you could be missing out – not only on some great training but also on a lot of fun. If you’ve invested in a smart trainer, racing on Zwift is one of the best ways to get the most out of your lovely new toy because it enables you to compete against other like-minded cyclists from all over the world, whenever suits you, and from the comfort of your own home. And while a Corinthian spirit might be admirable, it’s not all just fun and games – virtual racing can be a serious business. Eight pro teams competed in this year’s Tour de Zwift, for example, and the first ever UCI Cycling Esports World Championships will take place later this year. Maybe you’ve got what it takes too? There’s only one way to find out… If you’re new to Zwift and wondering what it’s all about, don’t forget to check out our complete guide to the online virtual training and racing platform. What you need to get started Before you can start racing, you’ll need to sign up for a Zwift account, if you don’t already have one. You can get a free seven-day trial if you register for a Zwift account online, but after your trial period ends it costs £12.99 / $14.99 per month to continue using it. There are a few things specific to racing, beyond the standard turbo training accessories, that you’ll want to ensure you have in place before you jump into a race. You can race online using any Zwift setup, from budget trainer to the ultimate smart bike, but for the best experience you ideally want to use a smart trainer. If you only have a classic-style trainer you can use an on-bike power meter to race, but you’ll miss out on simulated gradients, which are a key aspect of creating an immersive experience. Just like in the real world, the most important thing is to make sure you’re prepared for the entire duration of the race (races tend to last between 20 and 40 minutes). If you have to stop mid-race to fill your water bottle or grab a towel, you’re going to be dropped immediately. So, make sure you’ve got two full bottles (consider filling one with water and the other with a sports drink), your towel is within reach, your fan is set up correctly and all of your devices are plugged into their chargers. How to sign-up to Zwift Visit the Zwift website to sign-up for a free seven-day trial. After your trial period ends, Zwift costs £12.99 / $14.99 per month. Even the pros race on Zwift these days. Zwift How to find a race on Zwift Races in Zwift are classified as events, so the easiest way to find them is on the Events page in game or to use the Zwift Companion app. You can then filter events according to what kind of race and category (more on this later) you’re looking to enter. Once you’ve found a race you like the look of, simply tap the plus icon next to your category to enter the race. Before signing up, make sure you read the description carefully because each race can have slightly different rules, and you risk getting disqualified from the results if you break any of them. You should also consider signing up for a ZwiftPower account so you can be included in the official race results. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to link it to your Zwift account via the connections page of your profile on my.zwift.com. The easiest way to find races is via the Zwift Companion app. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media How to pick which category to enter Similar to how bike races in the real world are organised, Zwift races are split into categories to make each race more of a fair fight. In Zwift, it’s fitness that determines your race category, not points accumulated through your results in previous races. Each category in Zwift is determined by your watts per kilogram (w/kg) at Functional Threshold Power (FTP), so the higher the category, the stronger riders in that race will be. The four categories are: A: 4.0 w/kg or higher B: 3.2-3.9 w/kg C: 2.5-3.1 w/kg D: 2.4 w/kg and below You can work out your w/kg by dividing your FTP (if you don’t know what yours is yet, you can take one of Zwift’s FTP tests to find out) by your weight in kilos. For example, if your FTP is 250 watts and you weigh 65 kilos, your FTP would be 3.85 w/kg, putting you in category B. Once you’ve selected a race, you need to choose which category you want to enter, and you can also set a reminder or add it to your calendar. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media Zwift racing tips: six tips to become a virtual racing supremo 1. Do your homework Knowing the course is a key component to success in Zwift racing. There are short crit races that favour sprinting, speed on the flats and repeated efforts well above FTP, but there are also hilly races that take in lumpier routes, such as the Volcano Climb, or on occasions, the Epic KOM. Knowing when the attacks are likely to come, or where to attack if you’re feeling strong, can be the difference between getting dropped, getting in the bunch or blowing the race to bits with your attack. Just like in the real world, moving up to the front of the bunch before the start of a climb is a great trick to give yourself a greater chance of staying with the group. If you’re sitting at the back you’ll have no choice but to hold the wheel in front when the pace rises, but if you start at the front you can drift back through the pack and get a draft on every wheel in the group. Zwift races will typically surge at the bottom of the climb as everyone fights for position, so be prepared to make an early effort. Sitting too far back in the bunch also puts you at risk of missing an important move. When the going gets tough, riders will start to leave gaps, meaning you’ll have to make surges to try and bridge to the group in front. The pace inevitably heats up on the climbs, so make sure you’re ready for it. Zwift 2. Horse for the course Don’t forget to optimise your bike setup for the course – the bike you choose will have a bearing on your performance, depending on the demands of the terrain. If you’re racing a flat course, forget about weight and focus on aerodynamics, but if there’s a huge climb on the course you might be better served with a lightweight setup. And before anyone thinks it might be worth riding a TT bike on the flat courses, don’t forget that you can’t draft other riders when using one of Zwift’s time-trial setups, so it’s going to leave you at a very significant disadvantage. If the race course features a lot of climbing, picking a heavy bike could slow you down. Zwift 3. Full gas from the gun If you’ve never done a Zwift race before, it’s hard to grasp exactly how hard the first few minutes of the race can be. Get the game loaded up with plenty of time to spare and get in a good warm up. Your avatar will automatically be transported to the start of the race course a few minutes before the start, but if you want a place at the front of the pack (which you really do) then get set up and join the event as early as possible. Once you’re in the race pen, keep on spinning your legs and start pushing some big watts just before the start gun, so you don’t miss the jump. If it’s a big race and you miss the initial sprint off the line, you’ll end up at the back of the pack and it will be very, very hard to move up to the front. The most likely outcome is that someone in front of you will lose the wheel and your entire group will get shelled. Game over. Instead, dig deep into your suitcase of courage and hold that wheel in front. Like cyclocross or criterium racing, the effort will probably be way above your FTP for the first few moments, but it will eventually settle down to a more sustainable level. 4. Surf the wheels Remember to pay close attention to your draft status as well. When you’re in the draft, your avatar will sit up and put their hands on the hoods, but when you’re not they’ll move into the drops. Drafting saves you around 25 per cent of the effort of riding solo, so let everyone else burn themselves out before you attack. As former world champion and Classics legend Hennie Kuiper said, “Racing is licking your opponent’s plate clean before starting on your own”. 5. Get aero Did you know that you can do a ‘supertuck’ on descents too? If you stop pedalling while going fast enough on a steep descent, your avatar will sit on the top tube to coast downhill in a more aero position, helping you stay in the pack while getting a little rest. Timing your attacks and PowerUp use effectively is key to Zwift racing. Zwift 6. PowerUps Lastly, when you’re ready to attack, make good use of PowerUps. We’ve covered PowerUps in more detail in our Zwift guide, but using them in the right place and at the right time can be a game changer. Saving a Helmet Aero Boost (which reduces your avatar’s aerodynamic drag by 25 per cent for 15 seconds) for the sprint to the finish, for example, could be the difference between a good result and finishing in the middle of the pack. The Feather Lightweight PowerUp, on the other hand, reduces your avatar’s weight by a whopping 9kg for 15 seconds, so is best used to attack on a steep climb. To activate a PowerUp, you just need to hit the spacebar on your computer, or the on-screen PowerUp icon in the Zwift Companion app.
At the RBMCA, there’s just 1,500 steps between you and the finish line Picture Colombia. Picture [what feels like] one billion steps. Picture a mountain bike. Picture a POV angle. Picture Tomas Slavik. Picture the world’s longest urban downhill track. Picture that iconic Red Bull logo front and centre, right at the bottom of the frame. In a nutshell, you’ve just pictured this winning run video filmed at 2020’s Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo. A whopping, ludicrous, borderline unbelievable 1,500 steps separate the start and finish gates. Needless to say, the event is a real test of not only nerve but also endurance. Hats off to your man Slavik here for coming out on top. Screenshot: YouTube (Tomas Slavik) You May Also Like GoPro | Top 10 Mountain Biking Clips of 2019 World Record Crash | Watch Johannes Fischbach’s Massive 140m Ski Jump Slam The post Watch Tomas Slavik’s Winning Run on World’s Longest Urban Downhill Track appeared first on Mpora.
The new Juliana Joplin/Santa Cruz Tallboy isn't a cross-country racer, but that's not to say you couldn't enter a race with it. That being said, you could also take it down your local jump line just fine. The post Bible Review: Juliana Joplin X01 CC Reserve appeared first on BIKE Magazine.
Rapha has launched a new flagship road shoe, the Pro Team. It’s described as the brand’s first shoe designed specifically for road racing and, most significantly, features a woven upper said “to deliver year-round comfort, power and performance.” Rapha says these shoes have been in development for two years and the eagle-eyed among you may have spotted the Pro Team race slippers on the feet of EF Education First riders through the early part of the WorldTour season. The Pro Team shoes join the Classic and Explore shoes in Rapha’s range – both were released last year and were the first shoes designed in-house by Rapha (the original Grand Tour and Climber’s shoes were developed with Giro). Whereas the Classic is an all-rounder and Explore is designed for gravel (or exploring, if you’re a multi-terrain rider who would rather not be pigeon-holed), the Pro Team is wholly focused on performance. Best cycling shoes 2020: top-rated shoes reviewed by BikeRadar Rapha’s Explore shoes are gravel-ready and not insanely expensive The Pro Team’s upper is made from a proprietary woven fabric called Powerweave. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media Rapha Pro Team shoes | key features One-piece, seamless Powerweave woven upper Boa retention system Carbon sole with heel and toe bumpers External heel cup Microfibre in-sole with adjustable arch support Purple, black and light grey colour options 267g (size 43) £260 / $355 / AU$450 / €310 Go, go Powerweave Knitted cycling shoes have been around for a while now – Giro launched the Empire Knit back in 2017 and a host of other big brands followed suit, including the likes of Fizik, DMT and Bontrager. While, at first glance, it may look like Rapha has followed the crowd by launching the Pro Team, this isn’t another knitted shoe. The upper is made from a woven polyester – not a knit – and that, according to Rapha, makes all the difference. Rapha worked with fabric technology company Avery Dennison to develop the Powerweave fabric used on the Pro Team. As you’d expect of any self-respecting product launch, this jacquard woven fabric is said, in Rapha’s words, to “set a new benchmark for cycling footwear”. What’s the difference between a knitted fabric and a woven fabric? In a knit fabric, one continuous yarn is looped repeatedly to create a braided effect; in woven fabric, multiple yarns cross each other at right angles. Rapha claims the Powerweave fabric provides a “glove-like fit” and improved stiffness over a microfibre or knit shoe. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media Closure comes via two Boa dials. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media The external heel cup wraps around the rear of the shoe, apparently reducing weight and providing a more secure fit. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media The Pro Team is described as Rapha’s first shoe designed specifically for racing. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media The Pro team is available in three colours: purple, black or light grey. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media And what does that mean when it comes to cycling shoes? The key difference is the amount of stretch, according to Rapha. Knit is inherently stretchy, particularly along its width. However, while a weave still has some stretch, it’s a lot less flexible. This, along with the low-profile of the upper, apparently helps produce a sculpted, “glove-like” fit, while offering significantly more strength and stiffness than a knit. It’s also enabled Rapha to create a rather jazzy jacquard finish. The weave on the upper is very dense – much more so than that of a knitted shoe – but Rapha says it will still provide some natural air conditioning in warm weather. It’s also received a hydrophobic treatment to add water resistance, although how that truly holds up in bad weather is to be seen. These look like racing slippers for fast summer rides, not the depths of winter. Box-section sole and Boa dials The upper may be the main talking point here, but let’s take a look at some of the other details on the new Pro Team shoe. Most significantly, this is Rapha’s first shoe to use Boa dials – the firm’s shoes have typically used laces or Velcro straps. Boa dials are extremely common on top-end shoes and offer the kind of on-the-fly micro-adjustability that you just can’t get from other closure systems. The heel cup wraps all the way around the back of the shoe – this, according to Rapha, ensures a more secure fit and reduces weight – while the top of the heel is pretty narrow. In fact, the back end of the shoe looks a lot like the Specialized S-Works 7. No bad thing, it’s a very good shoe. The sole is a full carbon fibre affair, as you’d expect, and Rapha says the trapezoidal cross-section is inspired by box-girder bridges. Whether you’re a box-girder or suspension bridge kind of rider, you can expect the sole on these shoes to be extremely stiff. The psychedelic styling of the purple Pro Team is sure to turn heads, but black and light grey versions are also available. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media There’s a full carbon sole, of course. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media The heel and toe box are protected by bumpers. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media The branding is typically Rapha, but we like it. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media The Pro Team shoes are provided with three options for arch support. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media In fact, Rapha describes the sole as “incredibly stiff”. At least there’s not the arbitrary, self-defined ‘stiffness scale’ conjured up by most shoe brands. There are also bumpers on the toe and heel to provide a little extra protection when walking or putting a foot down at a junction. The heel bumper looks like it’s replaceable via a screw under the in-sole. The in-sole itself has some typically Rapha branding on it – inspiring or not, it adds a little interest – and has an antibacterial, microfibre top which feels soft to touch, almost like velvet. The fit is customisable via three arch supports supplied with the shoes, with neutral medium and high options that Velcro onto the bottom of the in-sole. Claimed weight for the Pro Team is 220g per shoe for a size 42. We weighed our size 43 sample at 269g. Simon Bromley/Immediate Media Price, weight and colours The final questions are, how much do the Pro Team shoes weigh and how much do they cost? Claimed weight for a size 42 shoe is 220g per shoe but our size 43 sample weighs 267g on the BikeRadar scales. That’s the best part of a 20 per cent difference – not insignificant, even bearing in mind the single step up in size. As for the price, a pair of these will set you back £260 / $355 / AU$450 / €310, and if this purple colour doesn’t do it for you, there are also black and light grey options.
Tomáš Slavík was crowned champion of Red Bull Monserrate Cerro Abajo in Bogotá, Colombia, billed as the longest downhill race in the world. The Czech rider’s time of 4m 42s proved untouchable, even before torrential rain made it impossible for riders to challenge effectively later in the race. Speaking after his win, Slavík commented: ”All the guys who made it to the bottom are real heroes and true champions. [The track] is one tough cookie. It’s not about one good line, it’s about saving energy and keeping the flow because the run is so hard.”
Not bad for February.( Photos: 6 )
Have you ever wondered what it’s like at a training camp? Follow along with video from Chain Reaction Cycles as they unveil their new team bikes and website. Details inside from CRC. Photos:CRC Team Chain Reaction Cycles unveil new bikes and website for 2020 After a barnstorming 2019 season in which Sam Hill claimed a record-breaking third Enduro World Series Championship, we’re pleased to bring you the new Team Chain Reaction Cycles bikes and website for the upcoming season. As well as maintaining a number of long-term component sponsors including RockShox and SRAM, the team will also be riding on board Nukeproof bikes and wearing the brand’s clothing. Pre-season training camp The world-famous Peille downhill track was the base for the team’s pre-season testing with SRAM, one of the team’s major sponsors, working to dial-in the new bikes and suspension settings. As ever, Team Manager Nigel Page was there to bring us the latest from our championship-winning team: What a great week in the South of France with SRAM! The downhill track was super rough and a real challenge for the bikes and riders, but it’s a great track to test wheels and suspension with a quick turn around on the shuttle. SRAM had technicians working on each rider’s bike, with food and drink laid on, social media staff covering the camp, and a physio to keep our bodies in check. All the support we had was a huge help for the riders getting their bikes dialled and ready for the upcoming races. Sam, Elliott and Kelan were all riding great and put in some quick laps on the rough track. Winning Strava KOMs in Dolceacqua After the two days of testing with SRAM, one of our other long term major sponsors, Mavic, came out to meet us for wheel testing and to film some video. The Mavic guys are an awesome bunch and fun to be around – look out for some cool video footage from them in the not too distant future. It was great to have Rob, Michael and Dale to help with bike setup and testing too. After four days of riding in Peille, we headed over to near San Romolo in Italy to ride the Antigravity track. Ben from Michelin met us there with some amazing tyres. This is a great track with a bit of everything on it with rocks, corners and fast sections. It’s a really good track for bike testing and set-up as well as being super fun to ride. For the last day of riding we headed down to see our friends at Supernatural in Dolceacqua and they shuttled us on an amazing track called Apocalypse Now, which is such a fun track. We had a great time riding this track and the lads put in some fast Strava times especially on Gnarly Charlie and Pie Man We also got some great footage and photos during the week from TJ and Laurence, while Lyn from CRC was looking after the social media as well as cooking us some great meals in the evening. All in all it was a great week of riding, testing and set-up, getting ready for the race season ahead. A huge thanks to everyone involved: Sam, Elliott, Kelan and Jacy. Everyone at SRAM The Mavic crew Ben from Michelin Supernatural, Dolceacqua Lyn from CRC Rob, Dale and Michael from Nukeproof We are all set and ready to take on the world again in 2020, so stay tuned to see how the team gets on. Cheers Nigel https://team.chainreactioncycles.com/
Skill vs Speed Flats versus clips: Professional downhill racer Kevin Aiello mixes up his riding with either clipless or flat pedals depending on the course he’s riding. In this photo Kevin jumps his bike high into the air using his flat pedals. Photo: Mike Lord Chances are if you’re an avid mountain biker you have experimented with clipless pedals. Most riders do, and when we look around on our group rides we see the majority of riders attaching their feet to their pedals. Now, we aren’t saying clipless pedals are the enemy here, but we would like to point out that in some cases they might be doing more harm than good. Clipless pedals are nothing new to our sport. In fact, clipless pedals became popular back in the mid-’80s and early ’90s as an innovative way to improve upon metal toe covers with leather straps, which were referred to as toe clips. Clipless pedals soon became the next biggest thing since sliced bread and every racer wanted them, while flat pedals became associated with BMX and freeride mountain bikers. The benefits of clipless pedals tend to be obvious to many riders. They provide more power for blasting up the hills, and they keep your feet securely planted on the way back down; however, clipless pedals cause many riders to develop bad habits. Flat pedals, on the other hand, force riders to use proper technique and to develop positive riding habits that will improve their skills. As a bonus, modern flat pedals are lighter and stronger and provide more traction than ever before. So, is it time to switch to flats? CLIPLESS PEDALS As we mentioned earlier, there are a few obvious pros to clipless pedals, such as keeping your feet securely in place and improving your power, but there are many cons as well. Clipless-pedal users tend to have poor bunnyhopping skills. Long-term users of clipless pedals may also find that their bunnyhop is less of a hop and more of a lift of their bike with their shoes. This often results in a nose-heavy hop that causes nothing but problems. Clipless pedals can also cause riders to become fearful of learning new skills, such as wheelies, manuals and track stands, or make them skittish about attempting technical climbs. The root of the fear comes from not being able to detach their feet in time to prevent a crash. Many riders overcome these fears when they get more comfortable with their clipless pedals, but it’s possible they could have learned these skills more easily and safely with flat pedals. FLAT PEDALS The first thing we want to clarify is that those cheap plastic pedals that came with your bike so you could ride it around the parking lot are not the type of flat pedals we’re talking about here. We would recommend something more like the Spike pedals from Spank, Rivera pedals from Kore or the Stamp pedals from Crankbrothers which comes in two different sizes. Along with these pedals, you will want a proper pair of shoes to get the most from your flat-pedal experience. We recommend a pair of Five Ten shoes. Now, at this point, we’re sure you’re questioning why you should go out and purchase another pair of pedals and riding shoes, but we promise this will pay dividends in the form of improved riding skills—and you will have a total blast. Yes, we’re even talking to cross-country riders here. Flat pedals are a great way to learn new skills and perfect old ones, and they’re fun to ride. Flat pedals are also surprisingly efficient for climbing. Seriously, we felt just as fast on flat-pedal ride days. If you haven’t used flat pedals in a while, or at all, then the first few rides might feel a little strange. Your feet may feel out of place for most of your ride, and you may think you’re going to slip off; however, you rarely, if ever, will with the right shoe-and-pedal combo. The initial awkward feeling will go away much faster than you think. Just give yourself two or three good rides with them. After being forced to perfect your basic technical riding skills, such as proper bunnyhopping or learning to place your feet in the correct position, you will start to feel much more confident on your bike. Soon you’ll notice yourself dipping your heels naturally and weighting your feet to help utilize your bike’s suspension on rough terrain. The feedback you’ll be feeling from the trails will help you learn to take smoother and faster lines down the mountain. You may also notice more comfort since your shoes will now closely resemble the type of shoes you wear on a regular basis. Who knows? You might find yourself wearing your new riding shoes when you’re not riding. Some of our Five Tens are that comfortable. The misconception that flat pedals are only for beginners or hard-core gravity riders simply isn’t true. Every rider from any style or background can benefit from occasional flat-pedal riding. Save the clips for race days, and use a pair of flats for training and bettering your riding skills. Over the last few months, we have been loving the transition between clips and flats and hope you get to experience it as well. As for current flat-pedal riders, we applaud you. And for you clipped-in guys and gals, we invite you to give flat pedals a fair shot. THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION In print, from the Apple newsstand, or on your Android device, from Google. Available from the Apple Newsstand for reading on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Subscribe Here For more subscription information contact (800) 767-0345 Got something on your mind? Let us know at hi-torque.com The post Should You Be Riding Flat Pedals? appeared first on Electric Bike Action.