The Tour de France is plenty difficult and dangerous even considering the things racers can control. Safer bikes and courses help with danger; better training and equipment helps with chances of success.
But that still leaves a lot of factors that are out of racers' control. How do riders in the Tour de France deal with those things? Sometimes with luck, ritual, and superstition.
In this episode of the CyclingTips Podcast, News Editor Shane Stokes talks with Cadel Evans, Greg Lemond, Taylor Phinney, Sean Kelly, and many more former and current racers about how they work to control the uncontrollable in the Tour de France.
25% of the racers in this year's Tour de France are racing it for the first time. For many of these racers, it's a dream come true...until suddenly it's not. For this episode of the podcast, the editors of CyclingTips caught up with several TdF debutants before the race to learn about their hopes and expectations, and then again during the race to find out what the reality is like. The results span from incredible—white and polka-dot jerseys—to heartbreaking: serious and painful accidents. This is a can't-miss episode of the CyclingTips podcast including pre- and during-race interviews with Taylor Phinney, Paddy Bevin, Stefan Kung, as well as pre-race interviews with Damien Howsen and Jay McCarthy.
CyclingTips' Matt de Neef and Shane Stokes are on the ground in Dusseldorf, Germany with an insider's look at what you can expect from this year's course, the favorites for all the important battles, and predictions for the critical first week stages. Featuring clips from Peter Sagan, Cadel Evans, Matt White, and Dan Martin, this is the deep-dive TdF pre-race episode you should not miss.
For years Specialized has been beating the drum of women’s specific bikes, but when it comes to the 2018 line of bikes, Specialized is diverting from that approach. The 2018 Tarmacs and Diverges feature a unisex frame with gender-specific touch points. Ella Editor Anne-Marije Rook sat down with Specialized’s road product manager, Stephanie Kaplan, to talk about what led to Specialized’s 180-degree turn on gender-specific geometries.
Road bikes are often evaluated on a linear scale: if a light bike is good, a lighter one is better; likewise for aerodynamics, stiffness, and rolling resistance. But while the effects of weight, aerodynamic efficiency, and rolling resistance are easy to measure and simple to correlate to real-world riding, the influence of frame stiffness isn’t as clear. Is stiffer better? Maybe — but maybe not.
Mobile bike repair vans are gaining a lot of traction among busy cyclists who don't want to load half a dozen bikes and cart them to the bike shop, wait two weeks, and then come back to pick them up. And companies like VeloFix and Beeline Bikes cater to cyclists who might feel intimidated by the traditional bike shop "insiders-only" vibe. But with this Amazon.com-ification of services, what happens to the culture of cycling, often centered around well-known, deeply-stocked stores like Vecchios and The Bicycle Trip? Editor-in-Chief Neal Rogers talks with all these people to see how mobile shops and brick-and-mortar shops compete...and how they can work together.
The cycling world is full of marketing hyperbole, and when it comes to power meters, there's no more important claim than accuracy. Almost without fail, every power meter currently available supposedly produces data that is within +/-2% of the actual value. But is that actually the case? According to US technical editor James Huang and a three-person panel of experts who discuss the topic on this week's CyclingTips podcast, not everything may be what it seems.
For most cyclists, riding their bike is more than a hobby. It’s a way of life. The bike can represent many things to many people — endorphins, fitness, identity, freedom, fresh air, therapy, a social network. What happens when, for one reason or another, this is removed from their lives, indefinitely? We spoke with three hardcore cyclists — Levi Leipheimer, Georgia Gould, and Kenny Jones — who are all currently adapting to life off the bike.
Following her mother’s motto of ‘be tough but still be a lady’, pro cyclist Breanne Nalder won’t leave the house until she’s properly put together, even if she’s going out for a training ride. So much so that she has permanent eyeliner tattoed on her. Her teammate Jen Luebcke meanwhile matches her earrings to her kit, Mandy Heintz likes to have her nails done for special races while Clare Rose goes au natural, letting her legs do all the talking. As a female pro athlete, does it matter what you look like?
Ella Editor Anne-Marije Rook talked to five riders from the Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling team about the importance and pressures of appearance in women’s cycling.
There are good reasons why carbon fiber has emerged as the king of structural material. It's supremely light, can be incredibly stiff and strong, and it can also be formed into wild shapes that simple aren't possible with metals. But it's also a multi-layered material, and only the outer surface is visible. What's underneath there? And should we care? US technical editor James Huang peels back the proverbial onion with HIA Velo senior composites engineer Chris Meertens and Australian carbon fiber repair and inspection guru Raoul Luescher to see what's really inside.
The highest-level of elite men's road cycling is called the WorldTour, and yet, until this year, just three of the series' 27 events were outside of Europe. In 2017 the sport's governing body has expanded the WorldTour by another 10 events. So what does that mean? And what impact does that have on races, teams and the sport?
In the early 2000s, Genevieve Jeanson was a rising star in women’s cycling. National titles, World Cup wins, and dominating victories at American classics – the young French Canadian was taking the American and international scene by storm. But her career came to an immediate stop in 2005, when she tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) and retired soon thereafter.
While history quickly wrote her off as a doper, over time we learned that there was a lot more going on than meets the eye. Jeanson revealed that her relationship with coach Andre Aubut was physically and emotionally abusive. EPO had been forced on her since she was just 16 years old, and for over a decade he control her whole life.
As her 10-year ban from competition comes to an end, Jeanson talked to Ella Editor Anne-Marije Rook about making peace with past.
Cycling is a game of inputs and outputs: how much power you’re able to produce in your legs vs. how much of that power is actually put to use in propelling you forward. Of the four main obstacles you have to overcome while riding — aerodynamic drag, gravity, rolling resistance, and mechanical friction — mechanical friction is the least significant, but it’s far from zero. US technical editor James Huang takes an in-depth at how much friction there is and what we can do about it, but also easy and inexpensive things to do at home to ensure we’re making the most of our efforts.
The winter months often include bonding sessions for many pro squads, most famously the military-style camps used by Team CSC/Saxo Bank in the past. However the all-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk went an entirely different route altogether, combining group energy and altruism to help others while at the same time coming closer together.
CyclingTips’ Shane Stokes travelled to the Dominican Republic to document this, and also spoke to one of the riders about living with diabetes.
CyclingTips talks with music video directing legend Nigel Dick, who -- in addition to having directed more than 500 music videos (including by Oasis, Guns N' Roses, and many more), is a cyclist and cycling film director, capturing everything from the Tour de France to a day in the life of David Millar.
CyclingTips Publisher Wade Wallace and Red Kite Prayer owner Patrick Bradytalk about the future of online cycling content and how it's being disrupted by megasites like Facebook and Google that take all the advertising dollars -- and how other sites who create great content can survive in this environment. Both RKP and CyclingTips have launched member supported models to help keep creating high quality content for their readers and we speak about the challenges they face, the way they're dealing with those challenges, and what's next.
Mainstream bicycle companies subject their bikes to all sorts of objective testing, both for performance and safety purposes. Smaller custom builders, however, don’t usually hold themselves to those same standards — but should they?
It started with former professional Johnny Weltz, continued with Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team and then blossomed into a location inhabited by well over 100 professional riders. The small Spanish city of Girona is one of the biggest hubs of professional cycling in the world, but why is this the case?
Talking to pro riders and others, CyclingTips looks at the history of Girona, the many pluses of the city and also considers what the future has in store.
Irish sports journalist David Walsh is best known for his work in helping to expose Lance Armstrong as a doper. In this interview, Walsh caught up with CyclingTips to reflect on that period of his career and to give his perspective on Team Sky in light of the team’s recent TUE controversy.
We all take for granted the shiny, new bikes, components, and accessories that fill the floors and shelves of bike shops. But how many of you have given much thought to what’s required to actually put them there? How does an idea become an actual finished product? For this week’s CyclingTips podcast, US technical editor James Huang and host Elden "Fatty" Nelson chat with three industry insiders who let loose on the ugly truth of what it takes. In short: it’s way, way harder than you think.
Press-fit bottom brackets have become the norm over the past decade as companies continue to try to make their bikes lighter and more feature-packed, but they're also more prone to annoying creaks, which oftentimes can't easily be fixed. What if there was a viable alternative? James Huang discusses the new T47 threaded format with the folks at Praxis Cycles, Chris King, and Enduro Bearings to see why T47 may work better, why there are so many politics around its adoption, and how we got here in the first place.
From 2002-2013 American Mike Creed was a professional road racer, on teams such as U.S. Postal Service, Discovery Channel, TIAA-CREF, Rock Racing, and Optum. In his first year as a team director at SmartStop, his riders went 1-2 at the 2014 U.S. national road championship. And in 2016, he turned down an offer to be a director with Cannondale-Drapac to be head coach of U.S. Paralympics Cycling. Find out why, and what memories he took away from the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, in this podcast interview.
Should women have an expectation of winning as much as men for equivalent races? CyclingTips editor Anne-Marije Rook talks with Kris Auer — a race promoter with forward-looking principles — and Assos racer Juliet Elliott about the need for change in cycling, what some promoters are doing about it (and why), and what everyone needs to do in order to move toward equality in this sport.
If you've ever wondered how your bike got spec'd -- how the parts that it comes with were chosen and what negotiations, politics (yes, politics), innovations went into its design and execution -- this episode is for you. Dave Koesel, currently General Manager of 3T America, was in charge of product management for many years at Felt, and brings a lot of experience and wisdom to this conversation with CyclingTips Technical Editor James Huang and co-host Elden Nelson.