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December 15, 2017
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  • Stewie Griffin

    Concerning the Felt bikes being sloppy, they used the same coach (seen as an expert in his field) and he also stated that all of the tests of the riders were at the same level or higher as last year. You had one rider, Timothy Dupont, winning 19 races in 2016, and struggled to even be in the top 10 this season. Stijn Devolder was also reported to having issues with the bikes ( a lot of brake rub and then switching to disc brakes). Brands used to make special frames for riders (like Time did for Boonen) or different brand bikes were rebranded with paint for certain riders, but as I’ve understood, it doesn’t happen that easily anymore. Frank Hoste is well known with frames and CX frames, he said they need to be stiff at the headtube and bottom bracket. Remember that a couple of Treks broke at the headtube last year in CX? Bad frames happen, even in the pro peloton. Charles Wegelius book also notes floppy/flexy Cannondales that pro’s had to ride.. Also, the same day Felt said, look at Holowesko, Holowesko announced signing with BMC.

  • Mike Williams

    I totally agree that the gravel bike trend is being driven by safety concerns and the desire to ride in peace away from motorists. It helps that in North America we have 100,000’s of kms of gravel and mixed surface roads to ride on.

    I personally have gone from a >5000km per year pure road rider to almost 50% trail riding and my “road” riding is now 90% of the time on gravel or country roads, closed roads, MUPs, designated bike lanes, and even soft shoulders — anything but open paved roads in the city limits — to minimize my interaction with cars. The scary part is I can’t avoid riding a couple of kms on suburban roads (getting out of my neighborhood) and that is the most dangerous part of a ride (based on the number of close calls).

    • Crash Bandicoot

      I agree I live in Houston Texas, there is one closed loop we can train on during the week or a couple of MUPs that don’t go anywhere and are filled with too much foot traffic to do serious intervals on. It takes 25 miles to get to any open roads and most of that is unrideable during the week without being run off the road. I still ride about 6-7k on the road but I do find myself grabbing the hard tail and riding my mtb to shake things up since basically 90% of my riding involves holding x watts for y minutes whilst going around in a circle.

      • redhead322

        I’m in Houston as well… cyclists who aren’t from here have no idea how bad we have it.

        But I figure, if I can make it through my time here in houston, and finally move away, anywhere I move to will have better riding. That’s what keeps me optimistic!

        • Avuncular

          Houston… you have a problem.

          • Crash Bandicoot

            We do have a year round season but yes the city is well known for suburban sprawl and thus atttitudes towards us are positively Neolithic we also have a bunch of idiot millenials who made too much in oil and gas and tend to drive their “bro-dozers” around with an intent on not sharing the road. The good thing is I’m re-training in an IT field that will allow me to work remotely so Colorado here we come.

  • Owlaugen

    Great episode!

  • dypeterc

    There’s a psych phenomenon called stereotype threat that’s mainly used to explain academic disparities between race and gender but it might be applicable to Felt’s situation w Wout and his teammates. Basically, if someone or a group of people have a negative outlook bc of what they experience, it reduces their performance. It’s like they’ve psyched themselves out before even having a chance to perform.

    • Caley Fretz

      This certainly explains my own anecdotal experiences chatting with riders (off the record, almost always) about their equipment. When one rider doesn’t like something that sentiment spreads and it seems to affect performance.

      • dypeterc

        The paper that launched stereotype threat (which is still argued if its real or not) showed that college students w same entrance exam scores started drifting depending on race or gender. Most notable was black and women in mathematics. They didn’t do as well as white counterparts and psychologists attributed it to subconscious stereotypes engrained into the person over the years. Very interesting subject. It can be even overcome just by not calling a test a test.

  • hiro11

    I’ve been an avid road cyclist for over thirty years. I’ve definitely felt more at risk while riding on the road in recent years. In my experience, drivers are displaying a more antagonistic attitude towards cyclists on the road. In addition, I’ve noticed more drivers driving in a clearly distracted and irresponsible manner. I’ve felt increasingly in danger on the road despite my long experience in road riding, despite the fact that I usually ride on less traveled roads and despite the fact that I ride almost exclusively in the very early morning. Recently, I was hit by a car in broad daylight in an easily avoidable situation. The driver wasn’t ticketed for this “accident”. This painful incident has made it clear to me that current laws are set up with a strong bias towards driver protection from liability at the expense of cyclist and pedestrian safety. At this point, I feel like a persona non-grata on the road both in terms of drivers’ perception of cyclists’ rights and police understanding of the laws. Given my perceptions, I’ve definitely gravitated towards more gravel riding. I enjoy being away from cars, I enjoy the challenge of riding on loose surfaces and I enjoy the more easy-going culture of gravel riding. I’m fortunate to have many miles of gravel roads and paths in my area.

    • Caley Fretz

      The distraction is what scares me. As I said in the episode, we’re going to be digging into this further. It’s a big, important topic for all of us.

      Speaking of bad tickets — a friend of mine, and occasional contributor to this site, was hit from behind by a car here in Boulder and handed a ticket for obstructing traffic. Insane!

      • Crash Bandicoot

        That’s very disheartening; aggression towards cyclists is definitely getting worse as is the distraction issue we just put laws into effect in our state that bans texting while driving many years since they’ve been banned in NYC. Of course I the law isn’t enforced because if it was they’d be able to issue a months worth of tickets in a day judging by the parents who drive on their phones whilst picking up their kids from the school near my house.

  • Don Cafferty

    I have been cognizant of road safety over the last several years and found that the death of a local, well-known and accomplished cyclist at this time last year to be particularly disturbing. What I have noticed is a change in my behaviour. Whereas in the recent past, I rode almost 100% on pavement, in the current calendar year, I used road bikes 51% of the rides, a fat bike 19% and a cyclocross bike 31%. To this date, I have ridden 106 times. Earlier this year, I found myself lusting at a top of the line aerodynamic Louis Garneau Gennix A1. However, when I look back at the year and think about the bike purchase whose opportunity that I missed, it is a Salsa Bucksaw. I can ride off pavement a short distance from my house. However, the off pavement is not the nice, pristine fine gravel one sees in many cycling photos. Rather, it is coarse and rugged ATV trails hence the appeal of the Salsa Bucksaw.

  • thierrymtl

    Hey, Froome wil turn 33 next may, not 34. He’s born in1985.

  • Larry Theobald

    Really wasn’t all that much in this relating to the headline used to promote it. OK, some guys don’t like their team management and decide the bikes are crap, which sounds like excuses for poor morale or performance more than real issues with the bikes. Phil Gaimon points out that most pros just ride what they’re given and get on with it. Some big-stars still might go to “builders of trust” usually when the team-issue bike simply doesn’t fit properly and the sponsor won’t pony up for a made-to-measure or mold in the proper size. Only later do we find out the Huffy/Serotta used by Andy Hampsten to win the Giro was really built by Landshark/John Slawta or the bike used to win the 2008 Men’s World road-race was made by Sarto or the winner of the TdF 2014 finished his time with that team riding something other than a team-issue bike. Same as it ever was – anyone who buys a bike based on it having the same downtube decal as the bike of a big race winner might as well buy this http://www.sears.com/tour-de-france-stage-one-vintage-blue-45cm/

    • Crash Bandicoot

      What bike was Nibali riding if you don’t mind me asking. I don’t know why but I find this topic interesting.

      • Ragtag

        Me too

        • Crash Bandicoot

          Still waiting…..

  • bseitz

    I like how Boston was the first city you mentioned… I live on the western side of Boston, and commuted across the city this summer. I got right hooked by drivers twice in broad daylight (once not even at an intersection, the guy just swung right into the bike lane and knocked me off my bike). Now I’m definitely more leery of riding on the roads. Bought a CX bike in August and rediscovered my old hardtail, and I’ve generally ridden less this fall than I did all spring and summer. When I do ride on the road, I either drive farther from the city to find quieter roads, or at least head straight west out the door and ride to the quieter roads.

    • Caley Fretz

      I lived in Melrose for a bit when I was younger and know the area well. Those old roads are great once you get away from traffic but can be a bit scary closer to the city.

  • plainbagel

    It’d be great if you could provide a timestamped table of contents for these, just in case folks want to hear a particular segment in between meetings at work ;)

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