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TESTED - TREK SCOTT NORCO RITCHEY JAGGAD NOVATEC GIRO

Game
of Trains
Fast Men of the
WorldTour

FITTER AND

FASTER
Polarise your
Training
3 Month Plan
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44

Issue No. 190 | November December | 2014

REGULARS
6

Editorial

10

Mailbag

12 Local Hero Dunc Gray


A tribute to another Top Gun from
Down Under.
16

Top Gear

127 On the Rivet, with Endo Fartlek

SPECIAL FEATURES
30 Game of Trains
Mixing it with the powerhouse speedsters
as they charge for the nish line takes a
good dose of fast twitch bres and a lot
of nerve. Steve Thomas spoke with some
of the WorldTour sprinters to see what on
earth they are thinking as theyre smashing
those big gears for the win.
36 Handicappers Anonymous
Theres a special kind of person who puts
themselves in the unenviable position of
giving some riders a head start where
money and sometimes, more pointedly,
reputations and pride are at stake. Grab the
form guide and walk a mile in their shoes
with Peter Maniaty.
44 A Welcome in the Hillside
Steve Thomas doesnt get home often but
hes spent many waking hours dreaming
about riding those picturesque hills and
country lanes of his native Wales. Take a
look at why its his favourite place to ride.
50 Team Boss
With WorldTour teams folding, doping
allegations ying and sponsorship deals
evaporating at alarming speed, owning a
cycling team must surely be one of the most
expensive lessons in patience. Peter Maniaty
looks at what it is that has seemingly astute
and successful businessmen lining up to
own a cycling team.

Cover: Adam Hansen revelling in another


grand tour stage win, this time stage 19 of the
Tour of Spain, into Cangas Do Morrazo. Hansen broke away in nal kilometres and held on
to win when the peloton failed to organise and
chase him down. Photo: Tim de Waele
2

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

WORKSHOP

90 Cockpit Setup
Michael Hanslip explains the basics of
setting up your stem, bars levers and tape
for a comfortable and efcient position.

TEST LAB
Nicole Grimm-Hewitt

92 Jaggad Kit

Marcus Ennot

94 Novatec R5 Carbon Wheelset

56

96 Giro Vest and Jacket

68

98 Scott Solace
102 Trek Emonda
106 Norco Valence
110 Ritchey Road Logic

56 Liv Ladies Launch


Nicole Grimm-Hewitt spent some time
with the recently spun off Liv team, riding
their new model Avail and nding out
about what makes Liv tick.
60 Eurobike 2014
Once again the zeppelin hangers of
Friedrichshafen were packed with all
that is new and shiny in cycling, and bike
businesses and media from across the
globe ocked to ogle. We too, dropped in to
see what is turning heads this year.
68 2015 Fashion Feature
New season gear from Assos, Castelli,
Capo, Bellwether, Giordana, Sidi, Santini,
Netti, and Cinetticca.

84 Polarise Your Training


The race goes to the swift, and whether
you race in a club or just ride with your
mates you wont perform well if you dont
put in beforehand. So prepare for 2015
with the Speed Doctors fast and furious
workout. It may be quick, but its not easy.
No one said it would be easy.

FUEL

88 Improve Your Performance


A lifetime of eating may have left you with
some less than optimal eating habits if you
are looking to perform at your peak. Susie
Burrell looks at common habits that might
be undermining your improvement and
gives us some strategies to take control.

RACE
116 Julian Dean looks back on 2014
118 National Race Series Team Prole
Jayco VIS Karen Forman Thornton
120 A Life Behind Bars: Jade Colligan
and Joe Cooper Karen Forman Thornton

OPINION
124 Spin Cycle Origin of Tour
Species Anthony Tan
126 Bike Shop Buzz, Power Play and
Disc Jockeys Jack Lynch

60

EXTRA EDGE
MASTER CLASS

82 She Rides
Cycling burns lots of calories and eating
the right food at the right time is very
important for cyclists. Nicola Rutzou looks
at fuelling for women.

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Steve Thomas

78 Foot Correction; Sitting Pretty


Part 4
The three points of contact with the bike
are vital in providing a comfortable and
efcient union with your machine. In
this instalment Steve Hogg explains the
importance of optimising your connection
at the pedals.

Low carb electrolyte formula. High magnesium.


Replenish your body with a refreshingly low carb electrolyte formula containing
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relieve muscular cramping, aches and pain.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.

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LO

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TM*

PO Box 218, Port Kembla NSW 2505 Australia


Editorial Phone: (02) 4274 4884
Editorial Fax: (02) 4274 0988
Editorial Email: editorial@bicyclingaustralia.com.au
Publisher Yaffa Publishing Group Pty Ltd
Editor Gary Hunt - gary@bicyclingaustralia.com.au
Production Coordinator Joanne Anstee
joanne@bicyclingaustralia.com.au
Graphic Designers
Editorial: Amber Hardwick - amber@bicyclingaustralia.com.au
Advertising: Tim Nightingale- tim@bicyclingaustralia.com.au

nother Vuelta has been run and won and even


though Ive only seen it on the small screen, its
such a vibrant spectacle to wind up the calendar. Contadors assertive performance and the
brilliant finishes of the featherweight Fabian
Aru were the standouts for me. Good to see Matthews and
Hansen flying the Aussie flag with their stage three and 19
wins, too. Hopefully well get to see more of the action, if
not live on the ground, at least live on SBS in coming years.
Another reason to be upbeat is the onset of spring and
warmer weather. Bring on the daylight and sunshine, I
say. Just brilliant! Makes me think its time to plan some
cycling getaways, and there are plenty of events you
can get into like the iconic Sydney to Gong, Around the
Bay, Fitzs Challenge, the Bass Coast Challenge, or the
Brisbane to Gold Coast ride. Google them, then get out
and have a go; its great to be surrounded by so many
cyclists once in a while. Or if you prefer a little solitude,
seize the day and plan a trip with just you or a small
group of friends; just do it!
Check out our destinations article on North Wales for a
little motivation. Or for those of you with a performance
bent, we have a training plan that will really get your motor runningno time is no excuse with this results-proven, high intensity, polarized regime from the Speed Doctor.
Plus theres more in our series on getting your position on
the bike right from Steve Hogg. Or if thats not enough,
maybe youd prefer to sit back and relaxwe have some
engaging articles about team owners, sprint kings of pro
cycling and those back room blokes who can make or
break you, the handicappers.
Well be starting a series of coaching articles in coming
issues with expert advice from experienced professionals.
Therell be room for some Q&A so send in your questions
and well get the guru to give us some solutions.
Thanks for reading Bicycling Australia, we hope you
enjoy it. Please, feel free to email me at gary@bicyclingaustralia.com with any feedback or thoughts about cycling.
I hope youre getting some time on the bike.
See you on the road.

Photography Tim De Waele, Steve Thomas, Mark Gunter,


Peter Maniaty, Phil Latz, Meg Patey, Ernie Smith,
Chris Cummings, Markus Enno, Nicole Grimm-Hewitt
Illustrator Matt Bryant - www.brypro.blogspot.com
Contributors Anthony Tan, Steve Thomas, Pat Howard, Susie
Burrell, Peter Maniaty, Marcus Speed, Nicola Rutzou, Karen
Forman Thornton, Steve Hogg, Luke Meers, Michael Dewall,
Julian Dean, Nicole Grimm-Hewitt, Michael Hanslip, Peter Rox,
Mark Jewell, Jack Lynch
Proof Reader Nigel Tunnell-Jones, Jody David.
Advertising Sales Manager Ben Chand
ben@bicyclingaustralia.com.au
Subscriptions subs@bicyclingaustralia.com.au
Online subscriptions www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au
Freecall 1800 061 577
Phone (02) 4274 4884 Fax (02) 4274 0988
Distribution Australia: Gordon and Gotch
New Zealand: Gordon & Gotch
Bicycling Australia is published six times a year in
January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August,
September/October, November/December.
Copyright 2014
ISSN No 1034-8085
Editorial contributions are welcome.
Please send it to: editorial@bicyclingaustralia.com.au
Publishers Note
This magazine is dedicated to the glory of God.
If God has given you money, be generous in helping others with it.
Romans 12:8
Living Translation

www.acfonline.org.au
Bicycling Australia/Mountain Biking Australia
are proud to be a member of the Australian
Conservation Foundation
Material in this publication may not be reproduced without permission. While the publishers have taken
all reasonable precautions and made all reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of material contained
in this publication, it is a condition of purchase of this magazine that the publisher does not assume any
responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in this
publication, or from the use of the information contained herein and the publishers make no warranties,
express or implied, with respect to any of the material contained herein.

Gary

Bicycling Australia is a Supporter of the


Cycling Promotion Fund

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Distributed by Cassons Pty Ltd - AUSTRALIA


P: +61(0)2 8882 1900 F: +61(0)2 8882 1999
E: enquiries@cassons.com.au W: www.cassons.com.au

WIN WITH
THE WIND
Q

Weight 1720g

Rim Size 700C

Prole 42mm

Hubs Bearing Sealed Bearing

Rim Type Clincher

Finish 3K Weave

OFFICIAL SUPPLIER TO:

Jered Gruber

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark,
when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly
seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out
for a spin down the road, without thought on anything
but the ride you are taking. ~Arthur Conan Doyle

MAILBAG A N D N EWS
elloGary,
Just a quick note to follow up our
conversation this morning re the
article Growing Up Fast in your Bicycling
Australia Sept Oct issue.As the father of
one of these types of cyclists, I found it
an exceptional read, with balanced, and
well expressed opinions. I have already
dropped Nash Kent an email and thanked
him for his contribution as Anna-Leeza
has had some interaction with him.
Please if you are able,also pass on
bothmy thanks, and Anna-Leezasfor the
contributions to Peter Maniaty, and Dr
David Martin.
Anna-Leeza is presently in Belgium
as part of the Australian U19 Womens
Team, and heads across to Spain later
this week to get ready for the World
Championships next week. I did actually send a copy of the magazine over
by mail for her to read, and I know
she also reallyenjoyed it.
If I may I would like over the next week
or so drop you a note from a parents
perspective.We are what I guess you

could call the other stakeholder in the


process, except we carrythe emotional
attachment. I certainly everyday question what is best to do for Anna-Leeza. I
use the rule that I need to assist inbeing
theconduit for her to get her the best
outcomes in every component of her
life, andget her as many opportunities
as we can to interact with the people
like thoseabove who have contributed
to your article. This gives both us, and
Anna-Leeza the best basis to make decisions and set future directions.

Thanks again.
Russell Hull
Thanks for your letter Russell. I can
only imagine the number of people who
would be throwing their two bobs worth
in about how your daughter is too young,
or how they think shes being pushed too
hard. We wish you wisdom and good luck
with the journey you and Anna-Leeza are
on, and good luck to her as she chases her
dreams. Ed.

CONGRATULATIONS!
n our Tour issue we ran several promotions with some brilliant prizes up for
grabs.
Congrats to the winner of Look 675
package valued at $11,300 Matt Cox
of Upper Coomera QLD. Its a fantastic
bike; we hope you enjoy the ride Matt.
Thanks very much to the team at Groupe
Sportif and Look for providing such a
fantastic prize package.
The winner of Topeak PrepStation valued at $800 is Shayne Pickles of Palmyra
WA. We use a Prepstation here in the
magazines workshop. It is a very handy

10

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

piece of gear, tidy and comprehensively


stocked, well laid out, and with a place
for everything and everything in its place
you can always find just what you need.
The lucky winner of the autographed
Cadel Evans poster set is Nic Seater of Eaglemont Vic. These stunning images were
taken by renowned pro cycling photographer Tim de Waele during the 2011 Tour
de France which Cadel of course went
on to win, becoming the first Australian
ever to do so. Cadel signed the posters for
us earlier this year, so they are quite an
impressive piece of memorabilia.

The Best a Man can Get!


o shave or not to shave? A 1987
wind-tunnel trial by Chester Kyle
established that leg-shaving provided essentially no advantage in terms of
speed or power saving in cycling. Kyles
experiment was methodologically flawed
however, using just a miniature model of a
leg, with hair glued on and not, which
left considerable room for error. Still, his
results were published, and so cyclists were
not able to claim pursuit of victory as valid
reason to clear fell their lower limbs.
So fans of the clean-leg look came up
with a few alternative justifications for
this apparently socially aberrant behaviour. These included arguments like its
easier for my masseuse, or it prevents
infected follicles in the event of a crash
and road rash and the chicks dig it.
Now nearly three decades later a new
study has revealed the inaccuracy of the
earlier findings and vindicated the action
of shavers, purely on the more acceptable
grounds of velocity optimisation.
Cyclist Jesse Thomas re-ran the 1987
experiment at Specializeds wind tunnel
facility in the US this year and posted his
results in Triathlete.
The results were quite astonishing.
Thomas ran the tests with full growth
(a relatively hirsute chap, he was rated a
nine out of 10 on the Chewbacca scale)
and then with freshly shaven legs. The
results surprised everyone in the room. It
had been thought there would be some
marginal benefit in shaving but no one
expected to see the number of watts
saved to be more than one or two, let
alone reach double digits. It turns out
that shaved legs create between seven and
13 watts less drag than unshaven legs,
depending on the relative hairiness of the
individual. Given the average punter will
produce somewhere around 200 watts on
average the performance gains available
in terms of power and therefore speed are
quite appreciable.
The Specialized techs followed through
on Thomas tests, repeating the process
with five more cyclists, attaining the same
results, and so confirming the findings.
So by all means buy your aero bits and
pieces but if youre serious about reducing
drag and increasing speed, a close shave is effective and pretty good value for money.

Set
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LOCAL HERO

Dunc Gray
Track cycling has always
had its champions. But
whilst many iconic names
have graced the boards
in the past century and a
quarter, only a handful has
ever had an indoor velodrome named after them.
WORDS BY PETER MANIATY
everal years before the Flemish
Cycling Centre Eddy Merckx
was christened in Gent in 2006
and more than a decade before
Britains four-time Olympian Sir
Chris Hoy was immortalised in concrete
and Siberian pine in Glasgow, the same
prestigious honour was bestowed upon
a Goulburn rider called Edgar Laurence
Gray, otherwise known as Dunc.
Given his moniker has adorned the
Sydney Olympic velodrome since it was
officially opened in November 1999,
its likely most Australian cycling fans
are at least vaguely aware of the name
Dunc Gray. But if my informal canvassing is anything to go by, remarkably few
seem to know much about a man whose
exploits between the two world wars will
forever hold a defining place in Australian
cycling history.
Dunc Gray was born on 17 July 1906 in
Goulburn, 200km south-west of Sydney. Like most boys of his generation he
learned to ride from an early age but didnt
start cycling competitively until his teens
when, after watching the scratchmen strut
their stuff at the Goulburn showground, he
decided to join the local Goulburn Amateur Cycling Club. Like many naturally
gifted sportsmen it didnt take long for him
to make an impression. He won his first
major title in 1926 when he took out the
NSW five-mile championship. More success was to come. And quickly.
Between 1926 to 1941 Gray recorded a
remarkable 20 Australasian titles (including
13 on the track) and 36 NSW titles, not to
mention a cavalcade of club championships
at home in Goulburn. Whilst his trophy
cabinet boasted the spoils from many
disciplines including the one-mile race in
which he was Australian Champion for four
consecutive years from 1928 1,000m was
without much doubt his pet distance. On
eight separate occasions he was either the
NSW 1,000m time trial or 1,000m sprint
champion, and sometimes both.
Despite almost unprecedented domestic
success on the track, it was the Olympic
Games that would forever secure Grays
place in the history books. For despite

LOCAL HERO

12

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Gray was chosen to be the ag bearer for the Australian team in the 1936
Berlin Olympics. This was the year of the controversy with Hitler and US
sprint star Jesse Owens. This wasnt the only controversial moment of the
games of course but maybe unseen by many, during the opening ceremony,
each nations ag was adorned with an extra banner that hung from the tip
of the ag bearers pole, next to their national ag. You can see here the
eagle of the Third Reich carrying the Olympic rings, and the banner below
featuring the nazi partys swastika. Apparently Gray half-jokingly remarked
that hed like to give Hitler a taste of the brass tip of the ag pole!

having no coach and only modest international experience, a fortunate sequence of


events saw him claim bronze in the 1928
Olympic Games 1000m time trial in Amsterdam. In doing so he became Australias
first-ever Olympic cycling medallist; an
achievement made even more remarkable
when it was revealed that prior to Amsterdam Gray had never ridden in a time trial.
He actually gained selection on the 1928
team by winning the Australian one-mile
championship, and was only thrust into
the time trial when another rider was
preferred ahead of him for the sprint.
Four years later Gray returned to the
Olympic arena as the only cyclist on
Australias modest 12-person team in
Los Angeles. What he lacked in teammates he made up for in experience, for
this time he was no time trialling novice.

The man from Goulburn


wanted more than just a
medal and, after withdrawing from the 1000m sprint
event after having already
qualified for the bronze
medal race, he promptly
piloted his Speedwell bike
to a world record time of 1
minute 13 seconds to claim
gold our nations first
visit to the top step of an
Olympic cycling podium.
Grays landmark achievement saw him awarded the
coveted Helms Award as
the outstanding amateur
Australasian athlete of
1932, an honour later to
be bestowed upon such

>> page 14

LOCAL HERO

LOCAL HERO

<< page 12

14

legendary athletes as Herb Elliot, Shirley


Strickland, Dawn Fraser and Betty
Cuthbert.
Having conquered the world, Gray
switched his focus to the Commonwealth
an arena where he continued to enjoy rich
success. He won the 1,000m time trial at
the 1934 British Empire Games in England
and backed up at the 1938 British Empire
Gamesin Sydney where he won gold in
the 1,000m sprint just days after being
honoured as Australias flag bearer in the
opening ceremony. It wasnt the first time
Gray had carried his nations flag into a
major competition, however. As the reigning Olympic Champion, and the only gold
medallist on the Australian team, he was
also chosen to carry the flag at the 1936
Olympic Games in Berlin. But on one of
the few occasions he would return from
a major international competition empty
handed, he was eliminated in the quarterfinals of his only event; the sprint.
Gray retired from elite cycling in 1942
to focus on his career with Bennet and
Wood; the Sydney company founded in
1882 who also happened to be the manufacturers of the beloved Speedwell bicycles
on which he enjoyed most of his success.
He spent his later years on the NSW south
coast in Kiama where he was a passionate
supporter of both Melbournes bid for the
1996 Olympic Gamesand Sydneys successful bid for the 2000 Olympic Games.
Whilst sadly it was an event he never lived
to see, his name lives on through the $42
million Dunc Gray Velodrome at Bass
Hill in Sydneys western suburbs that still
bears his name.
Gray was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and died on
30 August 1996.

DUNC GRAY SELECTED ACHIEVEMENTS


1926 NSW Champion, one-mile
1928-1931 Australian National Champion, one-mile
1928 Bronze, 1000m time trial, Olympic Games, Amsterdam
1932 Gold, 1000m time trial, Olympic Games, Los Angeles
1934 Gold, 1000m time trial, British Empire Games, Manchester
1938 Gold, 1000m sprint, British Empire Games, Sydney

Bicycling Australia

Gray received these diplomas along with his


medals at the 1928 and 1932 Olympics.
November December 2014

Distributed by Cassons Pty Ltd - AUSTRALIA


P: +61(0)2 8882 1900 F: +61(0)2 8882 1999 E: enquiries@cassons.com.au W: www.cassons.com.au

TOP GEAR

ESSENTIAL STUFF

Lights for
Camera Action

he boys at Knog have dev


veloped
a floodlight to use with GoPros
G
action cameras and DSLR
Rs for low
light shooting. The [qudos] acttion has
a waterproof battery door and
d marine
grade aluminium casing engineeered to
handle underwater descents to depths of
40m. The battery is a rechargeable LiPo
unit designed to match the life of a GoPro
battery. Available in midnight b
black or
bulletproof silver to match the GoPro
gear, the [qudos] looks very slick and appears set to be quite a sensation, especially
for GoPro users.
RRP: $149
y Knog
g
Distributed by
www.knog.com

Slim
mline Speedo

or those who choose to go where


theey like, and know where theyve
been, the Padrone computer with
its overrsized display provides clear speed
me data without the cost or comand tim
on of a GPS unit. The Padrone is
plicatio
wirelesss, slim and light, weighs just 32g,
and mo
ounts easily to either your bars
or stem
m. The head unit and speed sensor
that atttaches to your fork both require a
CR2032 button battery.
RRP: $79.99
Distributed by Sheppard Industries
www.sh
heppardindustriesltd.com

Green Brush,
Brush White Oil

reen Oils products are as the name suggests environmentally


friendly, but take this label thats often tokenistically applied,
very seriously. For example the brushes are made from Forestry
Stewardship Council (FSC) approved timber from aged rubber trees
which have stopped producing rubber sap and so are to be cut down.
The label ink on the handle is biodegradable and the bristles are plant
based. The brush is designed for use in cleaning your chain and sprockets but once the bristles are worn in and softened theyre suitable for
general cleaning
g of the entire bike. The White Super Dry Chain Lube
is a beeswax base in a bio
i ethanol
h
l solution
lution and,
and as oppos
opposed to similar
petrochemical based lubes, is fully o egradable, and wont leave
black chain stains on your trousers.
RRP:
Green Brush $24.99
White Lube $19.99, 100ml
Chain Lube $19.99, 100ml
Distributed by Kobie
www.kobie.com.au

Minimal Baggage

here is often more to carry on the


bike than can be jammed into the
jersey pockets. For those who dont
want a big seat pack the Speedsleev is a
neat option. These minimalist packs come
in a range of shapes and sizes, but all are
made of heavy gauge elastic bands along
with a gripping type fabric to hold your
gear tightly in as small a bundle as possible. The Small Elastic Pro shown here
is usually enough for road cyclists, has a
snug fitting cover to keep muddy spray
out of the pack and will hold a spare
tube, CO2 cartridges, tyre levers and a
multi-tool.
RRP: $49.99
Distributed by Kobie
www.kobie.com.au

16

Bicycling Austr
Australia

Novembe December 2014

N X
RE

Low Carb Rehydration

I N
YDRATION

Specialised Electrolyte Profile

Original Rehydration Formula

Tailor your rehydration with two new additions to the Endura Rehydration Fuel Range, all featuring
exclusive Meta Mag Magnesium to aid the prevention of muscular cramps and spasms and relieve aches and pain.
Endura Rehydration Performance Fuel contains sodium and potassium at levels recommended for athletes in endurance
events, while Endura Rehydration Low Carb Fuel gives you the rehydration benefits of Endura, with less than 1.3
grams of carbs per dose.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.

www.endura.com.au

END4578 - 07/14 CHC53371 - 07/14

CHO

TOP GEAR

ESSENTIAL STUFF

Classy Clinchers

ampagnolo have redesigned their Bora wheel


lineup with new clincher versions of the Bora
One and Bora Ultra wheelsets available in both
35 and 50mm profiles. The new rim profiles increase
from 20.5mm to 24.mm wide and make for a stiffer
and more efficient wheel. Campag says braking is also
improved in both wet and dry conditions using their
3Diamant technology with stopping performance
now comparable to aluminium rimmed wheels.
The Ultras weigh just 1,360 and 1,435g for the
respective sizes while the Ones are a touch heavier at
1406 and 1485g for the 50mm.
RRP: TBA
Distributed by Degrandi Cycle and Sport
www.degrandi.com.au

Gullivers Toolkit

ometimes you come across a nut


or bolt that is just a little too tight,
or positioned so it cant be turned
with your fingersmaybe a bottle cage
bolt obstructed by the cage itself. A mini
ratcheting wrench is just the thing. While
you should take care to use a torque
wrench for sensitive bolts like stems and
seat collars, this ratchet will make quick
work of winding up a long thread. With
a phillips head, flat screwdriver, T25 torx
bits plus 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm allen keys
its a handy set for the garage toolbox.
RRP: $26.95
Distributed by Southcott
www.southcott.com.au

Coffee to Go

apable of producing up to four


espresso shots at once the Airspresso
is made of anodised aluminium,
engineering plastic and brass. Using hot
water, ground coffee beans and your
humble bike pump (40-100psi) making a
quality espresso is a simple process
pretty much like any other espresso
machine! Just load the basket
with coffee, fill with hot water
and pump. Airspresso claim that
by using hot water rather than
supercharged steam, many of the
bitter extracts normally flushed
out remain in the grinds, allowing
a smooth almost sweet tasting high-crema shot to be
produced. Additionally
as a by-product of the
production method,
the final crema layer
is foamed by the air
pressure, just like the
real deal.
RRP: $199
www.airspresso.com.au

18

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Cool Race Gear

his short was created for racing and


riding in hot conditions based on
Team Garmin-Sharps request for
gear to be worn in the heat of Italy in
May and France in July. The design uses
seven different fabrics to make it as cool
as possible, yet up to the task of performing for pro level riders. Incorporating
titanium dioxide, the active ingredient in
sunscreen, the fabrics reflect the suns rays
for optimal thermal control. There is also
an abrasion-resistant fabric on the inside
of the leg, and sections knitted with wicking polyester on the inside to keep you
dry. Castelli have also used their Progetto
X2 Air seat pad in these shorts with a
ventilated skin-care layer, also designed to
help keep you cool.
RRP: $189
Distributed by Degrandi Cycle and Sport
www.degrandi.com.au

Time for Taiwan

TOP GEAR

ESSENTIAL STUFF

Clever LEDs

ays are growing longer but still the


need for lights remains whether
commuting or training in the dark.
Cateyes Rapid X Lights have good rear
and side visibility and mount simply and
securely with tough rubber bands. There
are six modes (high, low, rapid, pulse,
vibration and flashing) and when the
battery becomes depleted it will switch
itself to a flashing get me home mode
for a final hour operation. Charging is
via USB in just two hours for the 50 lumen front and 25 lumen rear light.
RRP: $39.99 each
Distributed by Sheppard Industries
www.sheppardindustriesltd.com

Cut Price Pow


wer

armin has been busy, and just


released the Vector S; a single
sided version of the twin pod
platform which was their initial
i
foray into cycling power meters.
m
They say the single-sensor version
delivers reliable, accurate data,
d
measuring power output at
a the
pedal where force is applieed, and
extrapolates total power output
o
from that single sides data
a. And the
big benefit of the Vector S is reduced
cost ($999 vs $1,849) while retaining much of the functionallity of
the twin pod setup. Additionally,
riders can decide whether they want
to upgrade to the twin sensor level at any
time after purchasing a Vector S.
nced a new,
Theyve also just announ
larger pedal pod option for Vector for
crank arms 15-18 mm thicck and up to
44mm wide, such as many
y Specialized
models.(The large Vectorss wont fit
cranks thinner than 15mm
m, youll
need the standard-sized peedal pods
m in
to fit crank arms 12-15 mm
thickness and 38mm in width.)
RRP: Vector S $999.00.
$999 00
RRP: Right-side upgrade $849.00
$
Distributed by Garmin Au
ustralia
www.garmin.com.au

Next Gen Nutrition

ndura Rehyd
dration Performance
Fuel features a specialised electrolyte profile an
nd contains sodium
and potassium at leevels recommended
for athletes in endu
urance events. With
20g of carbohydratees per dose for energy and Meta Mag M
Magnesium to help
prevent muscular craamps and spasms and
relieve aches and pain, it is designed to
aid
id both
b th refuelling
f lli and rehydration during
training and racing. RRP: $39.95 800g

Leath
her Mitts

iro h
has a new season glove for
ng and summer riding; the
sprin
Mon
naco. Its three panel palm design
minimises bunching for good feel and
comfort, and theres a 3mm layer of gel
padding ffor extra comfort. The Monaco
is made ffrom Pittards leather which
is comparatively thin and tough and
has been treated to absorb less water
and ressist sweat better than regular
leatherr. Available in six sizes and three
colourrways; black/white, blue/white
or red//white.
RRP: $59.99
Distributed by Sheppard Industries
www.shep
ppardindustriesltd.com
20

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Endura Max is a high-strength


magnesium formula, developed to assist
in the maintenance of normal muscle
function and help reduce the occurrence
of muscle cramps and spasms. It also
contains taurine, which Endura claims
may protect your body against the
oxidative stress of physical training.
RRP $49.50 260g
Endura Optimizer contains an optimal
balance of protein, high performance
carbohydrates and electrolytes in a single
convenient serve. Endura Optimizer is
available in a 1,400g tub in three flavours;
chocolate, vanilla and banana.
RRP: $79.95 1440g
Distributed by Health World
www.endura.com.au

TOP GEAR

ESSENTIAL STUFF

Ladies First

Geo

Snow

ondo has just launched its debut


range of womens cycling apparel,
featuring quality Italian-made cycling kits that are comfortable, stylish
and designed specifically for womenby
women. Their three designs of matching
jersey and knicks are for the serious but
style-conscious female cyclist, no pastel
pinks or flowers. The fabric is compression specific and cut for a race fit with
wide, lazer-cut seams that dont cause
unwelcome bulges. Theres also a full
length zipper which allows for quick
nature breaks.
RRP: $320
www.fondo.com.au

Black Rack

e reviewed the Kuat NV rack


in Bicycling Australia a while
backa grey and anodised burnt
orange colour scheme, visually quite a
statement. It proved to be a superbly
manufactured piece of hardware as well,
with bikes mounted in the cradle and
secured solely by clamps on the tyres.
Kuat have just released a stealthy looking
black version of the NV that will appeal
to a wider, perhaps less flamboyant audience. Its available in two and four bike
versions, delivered anywhere in Australia
$750 and $1200 respectively.
Distributed by Blue Globe Alliance
www.blueglobe.com.au

New Bolls Please

th Sense sunglasses feature a specifically designed eye shape which


offers the ideal field of vision to any
individuals cycling position to enable you
to clearly see the road ahead. Designed in
collaboration with ORICA-GreenEDGE
cycling team Boll claim their trivex
lenses provide superior clarity and impact
resistance in an ultra-lightweight package. Theyre available in photochromic
lens options and with interchangeable
side shields for extra protection to suit
medium / large faces.
RRP: $240
www.Bolle.com

22

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

NEW

SCODY OPTIMISE RANGE

ENGINEERED
TO PERFORM

Optimal Performance
Exceptional aerodynamics
Exceptional thermoregulation
New Chamois developed to
meet the individual needs of all

Designed and Engineeredt by SCODY Australia

#scodyaus
www.scody.com.au

TOP GEAR

ESSENTIAL STUFF

Classic Tubulars

deal for road, triathlon or cyclocross


racers, American Classics new full
carbon tubular wheels are impressively light. At just 546g for the front
and 732g for the rear they tip the scales
at 1278g for the pair, and reasonably,
have a rider weight limit of 100kg. The
46mm deep rims are now 23mm wide
externally bringing all the advantages of
less tyre squirm, lower pressure and better
traction. They run 18 front and 24 rear
bladed spokes with aluminium nipples,
chromoly axles and 10/11 speed Shimano
freehub as standard.
RRP: $1899.95
Distributed by Cassons
www.cassons.com.au

Hi Tech Helmet

Clif Blocks

asty and easy to eat, these soft


chewable chunks of energy make it
easy to keep track of your calourie
and electrolyte intake during long rides.
The 60g packs make it easy to squeeze
out each individual blok one at a time.
Each block carries 33 calouries of energy, and some of the eight flavours also
contain a half or full shot of caffeine for
an extra bit of zip.
RRP: $5.99
Distributed by Velo Vita
www.velovita.com.au

Compact Toolkit

his aluminium framed tool houses


20 useful tools to get you out of
trouble on the road. The bits are
chrome vanadium for strength and corrosion resistance and include 2, 2.5, 3,
4, 5, 6, and 8mm allen keys, a small
and medium phillips head and flat
head screwdriver, torx 10 and 25 bits
plus a chain breaker. There are also
spoke keys to cover most options,
and finally a bottle opener for a post
ride beverage.
RRP: $38.99
Distributed by JetBlack Australia
www.jetblackproducts.com

24

Bicycling
g Australia

November December 2014

OC has released a road cycling


helmet with some strong safety features. The new Octal has a feature
d Multi-directional Impact Protection
called
System (MIPS) which is designed to reduce
otational forces on the brain in the
the ro
eventt of a crash. It is likely your helmet
will hit
h the road with a glancing blow, and
rather than skidding off cleanly will bite
on th
he rough road surface and cause a
violen
nt rotation of your head. This sudden
twist, apart from possibly causing spinal
i j
injury,
can cause significant brain injury.
MIPS allows the helmet to slip around
its suspension harness on impact so the rotational forces are reduced along with the
severity of injury.
Another feature of the new POC helmet
is Eye Park, an innovation suggested by
Nathan Haas from the Garmin Sharp
team. Eye Park uses magnets on the
helmets brim and sunglass frame, and
allows riders to push the glasses upwards
just enough to see the road in low- and
variable-light conditions, eg going through
tunnels or tree-lined sections of road. The
magnet will hold the glasses up out of
your line of sight till you need them again,
so theres no fumbling around in jersey
pockets or dropping sunnies while trying
to stash them in your helmet vents.
RRP: $349.95
Distributed by Snowsport International
www.pocsports.com

ONE OF AUSTRALIAS MOST SPECTACULAR RIDES!

Great Ocean & Otway


Classic Ride 2015

LIMITED FIELD 3500

TORQUAY
18 APRIL 2015
145KM | 60KM
90km OF ROAD CLOSURES

greatoceanotwayclassic.com.au
Event by

TOP GEAR

ESSENTIAL STU
STUFF

Inspire
Yurbuds

urbuds Inspire are a Bluetooth connected set of bud


style headphones. They wirelessly connect with your smartphone
and let you enjoy your music without
an entanglement of cables. Sweat and
water resistant, theyre
a comfortable fit
(they come with
alternate size cover)
and the twistlock insertion works well to ensure they dont fall
out. Sound quality of the Yurbuds is reasonable and as theyre
equipped with 15mm drivers they provide a pretty big and reasonably clear sound, perhaps losing a little definition in the top
end. They even have a microphone for taking phone calls and the
battery will last for around six hours; a voice message will let you
know when to recharge, which is easily done via hidden micro
USB port. Im particularly impressed by the lifetime warranty.
RRP: $199.99
www.yurbuds.com.au

The Linus Libertine

his is the classic steel road bike you've searched for but til
now, struggled to find.
Available in four sizes this is a classy old school double
butted cro-mo rig complete with polished stem and cranks, plus
down shifters and mudguards for the days when youd prefer to
just ride rather than race. Gearing is courtesy of Shimano Claris
(16 speed) while Tektro dual pivot callipers handle the braking.
Vittoria Randonneur 700 X 28mm tyres round out the package.
Ahhh, it takes me back.
RRP: $1,099
Distributed by Dirt Works Australia

Adidas Melbourne sunnies

our eyes need to be protected all year round


even while you think the sun may be less
intense, during the cooler months, to shield
eyes against harmful UV rays. While a close fitting
wraparound lens is better suited for deflecting
the wind while riding, Adidas Melbourne range
of sunglasses features a mirror coating, polarized
lenses, 100% UV protection and are ideal for off
the bike wear. Taking design inspiration from
the 1970s and 80s the Melbourne range
comes in four colourways.
RRP: $119.95
Distributed by Adidas
www.adidas.com.au

26

Bicycling Australia

November December
D
2014

TM*

GIRO
GAD NOVATEC
RITCHEY JAG
SCOTT NORCO
TESTED - TREK

Game
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FITTER AND

FASTER

Foot
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Polarise your
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2015
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RALIA
BICYCLING AUST

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It can be nerve wrecking


just to watch a major
pro race sprint finish,
let alone be in there. We
caught up with some
of the fastest finishers
around, and their key
helpers to find out what
its all about.

WORDS BY STEVE THOMAS


PHOTOS BY TIM DE WAELE
atching a fast moving bunch of top pro bike riders
hurtling around greasy corners, dusting the verges
with their pedals, grinding their elbows on the
barriers, gritting their teeth and swallowing deep as
they go through near impossible gaps is one of the
most thrilling spectacles you could possibly witness in sporting terms.
One nanosecond of hesitation, a lapse of concentration or the
slightest wrong move will more often than not mean the end of the
glorious dream for a sprinter, and on many an occasion it could
also mean biting the hard stuff at 70kph. Its a tough and risky
business, which is definitely not for the feint hearted.
Finely tuned risk calculation backed with nerves of steel,
powered by thighs of dynamite and lungs the size of hot air
balloons sharpened with the hunger of a starving lion are basic
instincts that any sprinter must have if he has any hope of
achieving glory.

On this

occasion each
and every one of
them had a target
firmly embedded
in their minds,
perhaps the
biggest target of

them all Cav.

Well before any grand tour, or any other


race for that matter, a team and its chosen
sprinter will have identified potential targets
for victory. They will be the stages where
they can use their devastating fast finishing
abilities to the full. These are of course
usually flat stages or races, or rolling at
worst; as sprinters are not generally the best
climbers; they are the thoroughbreds, its all
logged in their DNA, as it is with a super
climber. Thats not to say that there are not
sprinters out there who can climb, or even
climbers who can sprint far from it; but at
the sharp end of a sprint finish its a rough
and ready battle. Its a risk that most are not
willing to take.
Earlier this season we caught up with a
number of top sprinters along with their
lead-out men and managers to delve a little
deeper into their approaches to sprinting.
On this occasion each and every one of
them had a target firmly embedded in their
minds, perhaps the biggest target of them
all Cav.
As he fine-tuned his form for the
upcoming and ultimately ill fated Tour de
France everybody was out to take a part in
a scalping of the Manxman, and some did
just that, while others would bide their time
for a bigger and better opportunity.
The Tour of Turkey was also one of a
growing band of wireless races; race radios
were banned here, which made for a less
predictable and less controlled style of
racing, meaning that teams and their trains
had to ride a lot more on intuition than they
normally do.

With ProTour sprinters reaching


speeds of 70km and more
depending on the lie of the land,
there is little room for error.

Andre Greipel, Lotto-Belisol


At 33 years of age the big and burly
German national champion is still one of
the fastest sprinters in the pro peloton, as he
demonstrated with great effect in this years
Tour de France.
The Gorilla as hes fondly known as has
won multiple stages in all three grand tours;
and thats despite having served a large slice
of his early career as a semi-enforced lead out
man for the man he now considers his archrival - Mark Cavendish.
32

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Peter Sagan
took the
sprinters
green jersey at
this years TDF
but didnt win
a stage.

His approach to a wet and difficult race


finish changes depending on its location; It
depends on which country you are in; if its
Italy or Spain you know that you cannot go
around the corners like you would usually
(because of the painting and other markings
on the road), you must be aware of the
conditions and surroundings.
Having ridden as a reluctant wingman to
Cav, you must know his moves and strategy
inside out? Every sprint is different. I
never really take notice of any of the other
sprinters. I rely a lot on my team and just
concentrate on my lead-out guys and my
sprint only; thats how it is.

Elia Viviani, Team Cannondale


He may be just 25 years of age, yet Elia
Viviani is a man with a potentially very
bright future ahead of himshould he be
given a little more opportunity that is.
Elia came from a mixed track and road
background, and he first made his mark on
the world road stage in this very race back
in 2010, when he scored an impressive stage
victory. This time around he was to have
a firm hold on the teams sprinting reins;
and duly repaid the favour by scoring two
very impressive stage victories; Its my first
big race of the year, so I wasnt 100% sure
of my form; but I can feel my legs getting
stronger every day, he told us.
In his own right he is a superb all-rounder,
and a prolific winner, who has somewhat
been put at the beck and call of his
teammate Peter Sagan so far. But it was Cav
he outgunned in the two sprints; He (Cav)
was strong at first, and then I could see that
he was not quite as powerful, or he was
tiring, so took the opportunity, and I went
longer than usual, which takes more out of
a rider in these circumstances.
Although he has a strong team around
him, he is also a rider who likes to
improvise and make his own way to the
line on occasion; I rely a lot on the team
to control things and keep the race together,
and to figure it out on the road this time it
was without radios. For me its better if the
sprint is wide open; I like to go long.
With heavy racing schedules and varied
demands, do sprinters get much chance to
hone and focus their skills for a specific
race? Not really; well, not the sprint

Greipel has been known to push


upwards of 1,500 watts for the
nal eight seconds of a sprint.
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 33

The Manx Missile and arch rival


the Gorilla shake hands in 2014.

specifically. All sprints are different and


there are so many races, so its not easy to
focus on one specific sprint, just to work on
your form, and that high end form comes
mostly from racing.

Graeme Brown Belkin


Brown is a rider with a very long and
impressive palmares listed behind him. His
biggest successes have arguably been on the
track, where hes scored both Olympic and
World Championships wins.
On the road hes put his track racing skills
to good use, and has scored many single
day victories and stage wins in races all over
the world; predominantly is short-medium
length stage races.
As a sprinter he has always been a rider
who has pretty well found his own way to
the line. He has a great tactical acumen,
and an elbows out and aggressive sprinting
style; I dont really sprint anymore; I just
lead-out. At one time I would look for gaps
and opportunities and take risks, but not
anymore, he mused.
Somehow he has never managed to cut
it fine enough to score a grand tour stage
victory, and in recent years his skills have
been put at the service of another former
track ace; Theo Bos, for whom he acts as
a key lead-out rider; Theo is a totally
different type of sprinter to how I was. He
likes a wide open and straight road (I used
to like this too, but not now) and a good
lead-out train, hes very powerful.
Being a part of one in later years was not
something he was accustomed to at first,
having ridden for smaller Italian teams
during his early pro career; It took a bit to
get used to riding a train, but I do like it.
Race radios also seem to play a huge part
in the final of a sprint stage these days; do
34

Bicycling Australia

they change the way the team sprints? I


can take them or leave them; but I really do
think that they should be utilised. We have
the technology, so why hold things back. We
should embrace that. Sure, at times it does
make the racing a little more predictable,
but I prefer to have radios.

Henk Vogels, Drapac Porsche


Vogels served out a long and distinguished
career as a pro rider; and spent much of his
competitive time racing between European
and American teams. In his own right he
was a great sprinter, with a distinct liking
for the northern classics, although he was to
ride much of his time in the service of others
including Stuart OGrady and then Robbie
McEwan. He was instrumental in the many
of the greatest victories achieved by these
riders, and others.
In recent years hes moved on to become
a respected team manager, and is currently
behind the wheel and the tactics of the
Drapac team.
Drapac were racing as comparative
underdogs in Turkey, with the young flying
Dutchman Wouter Wippert strutting his
sprint against the best in the world; Its
a great race for us, a big opportunity
although we are not expecting big results,
were riding against some of the best in
the world, its more about experience and
development, and the riders are learning
very well, and without pressure.
Despite their domination on the home
front of the NRS its a whole different ball
game when youre up against the likes of
Cav and Greipel; In the NRS we do have
sprint trains; there are some very good
and strong teams out there. But, of course
were here in Turkey to learn and progress
more than anything. If Wouter or any of the

November December 2014

others can get the attention of a big team or


make a breakthrough, that would be a great
result for us.
Unfortunately it hadnt all been sweet
for the team, and Henk lamented slightly
the lack of radios; Riders do need
communication during the race; for
example, we had a really wet day here,
and the descent was treacherous, I had
riders on the ground because the rain
came suddenly and I couldnt warn them
how bad the situation was ahead, a lot of
riders went down with radios that could
have been avoided.

Adam Hansen, Lotto-Belisol


One of the great under-sung heroes of the
peloton is Adam Hansen, a rider of huge
strength and great class, and one who has
been instrumental in the fulfilment of many
of team leader Andre Greipels successes
over the years.
With Greipel not quite on fighting form
in Turkey, Hansen and his teammates were
given much more of an open hand when it
came to playing their own race cards. He
duly responded by showing great climbing
form, which earned him a fine seventh place
overall in the race; Im usually the guy
that starts it all and then takes the lead-out
train to the front. I must wait as long as
possible and get the whole train in front of
the peloton.
As we can see from the outside that
doesnt always work out; Its difficult
sometimes, because in some situations I
must go early to get them out of trouble or
to hold our position. But too early is also
not good, so timing is often difficult to get
spot on.
In an ideal situation that train should
have its carriages in perfect order; I should

put Sibi (Marcel Sieberg) in first place with


1km to go (meaning he should be right
behind me), and in this case we should win
every time... Sounds easy; but of course
others have different ideas.
Belief in your leader is vital; If our train
is right Greipel can will most times. We
believe in him 100%.
Hansen and Greipel also previously
rode as teammates with their now arch
rival Cav. Does this help in the process?
Experience is gained every time you sprint,
you do learn things

Cameron Wurf, Cannondale


Former Olympic rower Wurf is a
latecomer to competitive cycling, and yet
within just a few years of starting out he
is already a pro in Europe; and cutting his
teeth in the grand tours.
Wurf is a strong all-rounder, and a rider
who can be seen throttling away on the
front of the peloton in the closing stages of
a race, pulling things together tightly for his
team leader and sprinter Elia Viviani; Elia
is going great right now, and my job (and
the rest of the team) is to try to control the
pace and limit the gaps on the breaks, and
then to try and pull them in at the right time
and to lead him out, he told us of his role.
It was also one of the first times that
hed ever raced without a radio, which was
refreshing change for him; I really enjoyed
racing without the radios. It was a whole lot
more relaxed in the peloton too; there was
nobody screaming in your ear, the whole
thing felt a lot more intuitive. It also made
the racing better, we could allow a move to
go and just hold it at two to three minutes
without needing to hear about it all of
the time, and that worked out much more
relaxed for us when it came to controlling
the race for Elia.

Bouhanni is a rising
sprint star with
three stage wins in
the 2014 Giro and
two in the Vuelta.

Victory by mere millimetres. Matteo


Trentin pips Peter Sagan in stage
seven of the 2014 Tour de France.

Giant Shimano have a powerful pair in


John Degenkolb seen here taking stage
four of the Vuelta, and Marcel Kittel.

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 35

HANDICAPPERS

ANONYMOUS
Typically we have little
idea of what they look
like and would probably
walk straight past them
in the street. But theyre
still the officials we love
to hate. Either too soft on
rivals, or too hard on us.
Peter Maniaty asks what
is it really like to be a
handicapper?
bout eight years ago former track
champion and current NSWIS
coach Ben Kersten took one
of the all-time great swipes at
a handicapper. Id like to put
my 10-speed cassette in a footy sock and
flog him with it, he hasnt been helping us
much, suggested the flying New South
Welshman to the awaiting media. The
two-time Australian Track Cyclist of the
Year was only joking, of course. But the
scratchmans frustration couldnt have been
clearer during the lucrative Tasmanian
Christmas Carnival series of 2006.
Half a century earlier a slightly more
restrained but equally memorable
spray came from 1950 National Road
Champion Keith Rowley after a limit
rider from Coburg, Bill Anderson, won
the 1952 Tour of Midlands solo off a
whopping 80-minute limit. Whats the
sense of racing if we havent a dogs
chance of winning? Rowley bemoaned
to The Argus after starting from scratch.
Theyre driving the scratchmen out of
the business. We put all our time into the
sport and then these chaps, who just have
a ride now and again, come along and
take all the plums.
The plums may have been juicy for
the winners. But, just as it is today, the
vanquished are often left with a sour taste
indeed, and the finger of blame frequently
points squarely at handicappers, those with
surely the most enigmatic and thankless task
in cycling.

36

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Mark Gunter
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 37

Not sure about your club. But every


time a big race rolls around you can be
fairly certain the members of mine will
expend almost as much energy debating
the handicapping as they do turning the
pedals. Yet whilst we all love a good whinge,
few of us will ever raise our hands to help
improve the situation for next time. As one
rider confessed, I dont know why anyone
would voluntarily become a handicapper,
someone always ends up hating you, and I
get shouted at enough already by my wife
and daughters at home!
Fortunately not everyone feels this way, of
course; so what type of person does put their
hand up? An insightful chap by the name of
Eddie Barkla from the Bendigo Bicycle User
Group explained it as follows in a blog post
back in 2010, The humble handicapper has
to have skin thick as that of a rhinoceros,
the hardness of the head of that of marble
or granite and the mind like a steel trap and
recall of an elephant that never forgets. Never

I was often
being asked for
opinions of where
people should be in
terms of grades and
handicaps. I also
noticed many races
werent that well
handicapped, so I
decided to put my
hand up.

Peter Tomlinson of Southern


Hi hlands Cycling Club NSW.
Meg Patey
38

Bicycling Australia

have truer words been spoken.


Rarely paid and often criticised, theirs is
at best a fickle art; a notoriously subjective
undertaking for even the most experienced
of exponents. Trying to make sense of
obscure form lines, riders youve often
never heard of (let alone seen race) and the
vagaries of club results which may or may
not be current, is no mean feat all in an
attempt to level out what is a decidedly
un-level playing field. Such an egalitarian
act may be very Australian. But its also very
bloody difficult.
Clearly they dont always get it right. Like
the time one of my clubs well-performed
A-Graders was somewhat embarrassingly
thrust into E-Grade for an Open race in
Newcastle. (As it turned out he broke his
collarbone the weekend before and never
had to confront officials at the start line). But
name any sport whose officials are on the
money all the time? Even with the very latest
seven-figure technology the video referees in
footy and third umpires in cricket still cock
things up on a reasonably regular basis. And
lets not forget why we have handicappers
in the first place. As the long since defunct
newspaper The Empire explained in the leadup to the Sydney Cup horse race in 1870,
The handicap is a time-honoured institution
without it, how frequentlywe should see
all the most valuable stakes falling into the
hands of one person.
Continuing the equine theme its worth
noting Racing Victoria custodian of the
grandest Australian handicap of them all,
the Melbourne Cup reminds owners,
trainers and punters that handicapping is
anything but black and white. There are
no right or wrong answers, it suggests in
its official racing guidelines with words
surely as apt for the cyclist as they are the
thoroughbred. Hindsight is a wonderful
tool. Handicapping is about personal and
professional judgments.
Some suggest much of the angst shown
towards handicappers might actually stem
from a misunderstanding of their role.
The Footscray Cycling Club in Melbourne
provides a reasonably good definition on
its website: Handicapping should enable
strong, competitive, and fair racing, and
should challenge and stretch riders

Max Tonkin in action.


Ernie Smith

November December 2014

Mark Gunter
Effectively now all scratchmen, NRS
riders have the benet of a level eld.

riders promoted may expect to have a


period of struggle before acclimatising to
the new pace the handicapper has to
assume you are fully fit to race it is not
the handicappers role to aid riders back to
fitness. In other words, suck it up princess
and take a cement pill.

Commissaire to Handicapper and Back


Peter Tomlinson hails from the Southern
Highlands Cycling Club, just over an
hours drive south-west of Sydney. Recently
returned from a commissairing role at
the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,
Tomlinson has been a familiar face on the
club racing scene in NSW for over two
decades and prior to handing over the reins
after the Cootamundra Haycarters weekend
earlier this year, spent six years as the Chief
Handicapper for Cycling NSW and two
more as Assistant Handicapper.
I always loved the tradition of
handicaps, reflects Tomlinson, who from
behind his neatly cropped grey beard

explains it was his role as a commissaire


that actually brought him into the
handicapping fold. Attending so much
racing in the 1990s and 2000s as a
commissaire, I developed a real feel for what
was happening. I was often being asked for
opinions of where people should be in terms
of grades and handicaps. I also noticed
many races werent that well handicapped,
so I decided to put my hand up.
Since raising that hand almost a decade
ago Tomlinson has gone on to seed races
everywhere from club level right up to
national championships and World Cups,
not to mention overseeing graded scratch
races and handicaps in virtually every
corner of NSW from Wagga and Albury to
Gunnedah and Cootamundra.
If anyone knows what it takes to
be a successful handicapper, surely its
Tomlinson. Perhaps unsurprisingly he
suggests a love and passion for the sport is
essential, along with a healthy amount of
first-hand racing experience. Beyond that it

comes down to having a feel and synergy


for the riders and the history of the races.
The other key requirement is time. It
takes a lot of hard work to do the job
properly. You have to attend races and be
willing to chase information that doesnt
always come freely to you, he explains of
his time handicapping for Cycling NSW.
Id spend an average of 10-12 hours
a week for around 40-45 weeks a year.
Thats why I only ever intended on doing
the job for two or three years. Between
my work time, my wifes time, my riding
time, my sleep time I have way too many
other things to do as well!
Tomlinson stresses its also essential to
communicate well with race organisers,
clubs and other relevant associations. As
he suggested when stepping down from the
Cycling NSW role, its something he feels
could be done better. Grading has become
very difficult with only a small percentage
of clubs providing consistent information,
so Ive relied heavily on email or even
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 39

Of course its the big handicaps each


year where Smith gets to flex his handicapping
muscle, headlined by the rich two-day
Goldfields Cyclassic held in late May/early
June and the Collie to Donnybrook and
Return Handicap in mid-August. And flex it
he typically does.
using Google to gain information.
forward, hopefully a better grading database
can be developed, rather than the ad hoc
method at present.
There was one notable exception, however.
Tomlinson singled out a Sydney club for
special praise. Waratah CC and the Masters
Commission have done a great job with
Masters racing, he said, suggesting the
level of rider information provided helped
considerably with the seeding of Masters
riders racing in Track and Road Opens.
Somewhat ironically, it turns out the club
with one of the oldest member bases in
Australia has embraced modern technology
like few others to streamline the process of
grading and handicapping, removing much of
the subjectivity and associated time demands.
When the Waratah Masters Cycling
Club was formed back in 1994, a conscious
decision was made to implement a
management system, explains the clubs Vice
President, Max Tonkin. The club was lucky
enough to have Alban McGuinness, an IT
professional; he set up the initial system in
Lotus Notes. Then in 2007 Alban changed us
over to the current web-based system adding
many bells and whistles. The daughter of
one of our regular competitors is now paid to

manage data input for each event, including


race registration and results.
Over a post-ride coffee Tonkin rattles off
an impressive list of functionality sure to
have time-poor club handicappers salivating
all over Australia. A key feature is an
efficient and fair race registration process,
ensuring riders must obtain approval to
ride in a lower grade. The system also
generates the yearly race program, provides
weekly results reports and accumulates
points earned for each rider towards an
annual points competition. Competitors
can obtain a performance report showing
his or her race results in the current year.
Reports are also generated automatically
for the handicapper listing riders in line for
promotion. All the functionality is available
to the clubs administrators at the click of
a mouse, pretty much anywhere with an
internet connection, adds Tonkin. Not bad
for a bunch of old blokes, huh?
You name it, we have race data going all
the way back to the very beginning of the
club including about 1,700 riders currently
classified as active, he continues. I know
some clubs struggle a bit with the time it
takes, but for us race management and
handicapping takes hardly any time at all.

Sour grapes are not new; this clipping is from the Argus 18 Aug 1952.
40

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

John Smiths rather


expensive puncture
e may have been the lone
scratchman. But that didnt
stop Western Australian
handicapper John Smith from nearly
claiming the Collie to Donnybrook and
Return Classic in 1947 a handicap his
father won in 1932. When leading by
a clear margin in the closing stages of
the 104km event, Smith punctured and
was ultimately caught by the chasers.
I punctured three mile from the
nish, he recalls, before explaining he
was far from alone in counting the cost
of the fateful at which saw the 100
pound rst prize slip from his grasp
a considerable sum in the post-war
times. My father had me coming up
to win over 1,000 pounds that day. My
coach had me coming up to win about
500, as did my dads brother and a
chap they used to train with, he had
500 as well.
Were there a lot of grown men crying
that evening in Collie?
I certainly was, he laments. A
rather expensive puncture, that one.

With more than a hint of science fiction


Tonkin reveals theyve even trialled
thumbprint scanners at the entry desk
to speed up registration on race days. I
bought a couple of units cheap from China
a while back, but they didnt work very
well, he confesses. That led us to develop
a fast new user interface for the entry desk
laptop instead. Now we can and regularly
do register more than 200 riders across six
grades in about 40 minutes!
Whether it is a fully automated database
or a more intuitive manual system, its
also worth remembering what our muchmaligned handicappers are actually trying
to achieve when we roll up to race each
weekend. Is nirvana having a race come
together in the final stages as the bunch
swamps the breakaway or limit riders on
the line?
Thats it pretty much! nods Peter
Tomlinson. I was happy to achieve that a few
times. But also to have the majority of the field
there at the end of a race or at least having a
good ride is important. I always enjoyed the
satisfaction of a well-run race and working
with good organisers. I still do.
The conversation drifts to the issue of
sandbaggers (aka. burglars), a type of
rider who, for most, belongs in the same
bracket as a serial wheelsucker. Tomlinson
assures theres no clandestine surveillance
network monitoring our every ride or
Strava accounts to catch us out. I always
found riders tend to self-regulate if youre
willing to listen, he says. Of course good
communication with others in the know is
always quite useful. Knowing the records

>> page 42

<< page 40
and history of races also plays a big part.
How about the criticism thats inevitably
part of the job? Happily with experience
that usually decreases. Over time you earn
some respect, he explains, before admitting
it did still frustrates him on occasion.
Sometimes I felt quite annoyed that it
didntmatter how much time and effort you
put in and how correct you often were
people still criticised. In fact, a chronic
complainer was the last straw for me. I
just thought Ive got a busy job and other
opportunities to worry about, time to step
back. So thats what I did.

Best in the west


On the other side of the country
resides one of Australias longest-serving
handicappers, an 86-year-old former scratch
marker by the name of John Smith. A life
member of Cycling Australia, Cycling WA
(now CycleSport WA) and the Midlands
Cycling Club, Smith came late into cycling
at the age of 17, and fell into handicapping
even later at a local track meet in the early
1990s. He and his wife Betty his loyal
assistant and also a life member of Cycling
WA have been involved ever since.
We first got involved with a tour run
by a fellow called Ken Benson, explains
the endearingly candid Smith, who you
suspect has enough stories to fill this entire
magazine several times over. He was the
father of Darryl Benson of course (former
WAIS head cycling coach). But it was out at
the Midland track, the SpeedDome, where it

really started. I was there one night and an


official was feeling a bit ill so I went down
and offered my services that was 22 years
ago and Im still doing it!
Smith explains most of the grading for
open events is left to the state association
who liaise with clubs and their interstate
counterparts when entries are received from
eastern based riders. Over here they all
want to ride A-grade, he says with a wry
chuckle. Mind you, a lot of them are not
A-grade riders. When they go to the east
coast many find out theyre actually only
B-grade riders.
Of course its the big handicaps each year
where Smith gets to flex his handicapping
muscle, headlined by the rich two-day
Goldfields Cyclassic held in late May/early
June and the Collie to Donnybrook and
Return Handicap in mid-August. And flex it
he typically does.
Back in the 1950s I used to ride off
scratch on my own, he reveals with more
than a hint of nostalgia. But he cant resist
the temptation to twist the knife on todays
riders. Its funny, nowadays they dont like
riding on their own, or even with less than
10 in a bunch. They dont like gravel either.
Oh, theyre soft.
The anecdotes flow freely across the
Nullabor as Smith explains its common for
riders and coaches to seek him out before a
big race, cap in hand with their hard-luck
stories in the hope of receiving a friendlier
grading or perhaps a move out after the
starting groups have been released.
They even try it on the day, down on
their hands and knees! Smith chuckles.

And does he ever succumb?


No, he adds bluntly. You need to be
thick skinned, stick to your guns.
Its precisely this attitude, an equal blend
of defiance and pride, thats seen Smith gain
a firm reputation over the years; something
you get the impression he wears as a badge
of considerable honour. He may be getting
on in years, but hes still a rhino albeit
a somewhat sneaky one when he needs to
be. Often theyll come up and say look
John, Ive been off the bike for a while or
Ive been really sick. But on quite a few
occasions Ive actually seen the very same
riders out training, he laughs. They dont
see me, of course! Orwell may have warned
us that Big Brother is watching. Well so is
the handicapper, at least in WA.
Major surgery several years back means
Smith is unable to ride himself these days.
But dont feel sorry for him. He explains
handicapping is the perfect substitute: a
way to stay connected with the sport thats
shaped the course of his adult life. I got
new knees when I was 72 and one of them
doesnt want to come right up, so I cant
ride. But Im still involved. I love it.
As for any plans to retire, Smith laughs
again. Well not that long ago I did say to
Murray Hall (CycleSport WA board member),
Listen, when do I get long service leave? He
said, Oh, another five years, and if youre not
fit enough by then well just come and get you
in a wheelchair. I guess that means Im doing
it for a while longer yet.
I guess it does. Which is surely good news
for Australian cycling. Even if we still have
little idea what he looks like.

Exclusively distributed by Advance Traders.


Call 1300 361 686 for your nearest dealer.

www.lapierrebikes.com.au

lapierrebikesaus

in the
Hillside
Returning home to North Wales
reminds Steve Thomas just
how great the riding there is.

The mid slopes of Bwlych y Groes.

The historic Barmouth railway bridge.

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY STEVE THOMAS


ver the years (way too many
of them, yet strangely still not
enough) Ive ridden and raced
all over the world; more than
50 countries in all, and lived in
a fair few too. Bikes and riding have been
my life, or at least they have since I hit
double figures in age terms. Consequently I
frequently get asked by fellow cyclists and
travellers; So, wheres your favourite place
in the world for cycling? They all anticipate
some remote Nepalese trail, a twisted Alpine
mountain or a secret rolling South American
paradise to be the answer; but no. Without
any question, every single time I stump them
with my clear cut and direct answer; Wales,
North Wales. Although I do pause and then
add, When the sun shines, that is.
Eyebrows are raised, questions are asked
and a sense of surprise abounds every
time; well, unless there happens to be
another man of the motherland around that
is. Okay, so it may sound a tad biased, but
no, not really. In fact not at all its simply
that so very few people actually take the
time to find out just how bike-perfect this
tiny slice of the dark island is.
There are plenty of places that the oneoff cycling visitor to the UK knows of and
visits, and often raves about. The Lake
District in Scotland jumps out, and I have
little doubt that Yorkshire will soon be
featuring on that list following its great Tour
de France showing, which shocked many
an unsuspecting viewer. People simply did
not believe that such amazing countryside

46

Bicycling Australia

and riding could exist on the over-crowded


and rain cursed island, yet it does, and in
abundance.
So what does the North of Wales have
thats so special, and that these other
honeypots dont have? Its what it doesnt
have that is a prime factor in making it such
a great place to ride; traffic and notoriety.
The east and central area of North
Wales is the least populated area in all of
England and Wales, and it doesnt even
register on the regular weekend warrior or
sightseeing tourists radar. They all head
for the jewel in the crown of Wales; the
Snowdonia National Park, and as such
completely bypass this region, which is
perfect for cyclists.
Hometown pride is a great thing; but this
is not actually my hometown, it was where
I chose to live for a huge chunk of my life,
and where Id still be now if it wasnt for the
dreaded rain that curses the British Isles in
particular the mountainous areas, such as
Wales. That said, even on a rainy day this
place is special. It has its own unique and
dramatic sense of epic, which is great now
and then, but not year round when the sun
shines there are few places to rival this area
for cycling.
Take a Google Maps tour of the region
and youll see the reason why this, and
indeed other remote regions of the UK, are
so good for road riding. There are just so
many of them roads that is; all narrow
and twisted and often hundreds of years
old, something that just doesnt exist to

November December 2014

Its a long and winding road


over the Berwyn Mountains.

GETTING THERE
etting to North Wales is surprisingly
easy, and although it is quite an
expansive region to get around its
unlikely to take more than two hours by car
to get from one extreme to the other here.
The best international gateway airport is
Manchester, which is just 1.5 hours by road
from the Berwyns, while Birmingham is
12-20 minutes further, and London is around
3-4 hours away by road.
The easiest option by far is to rent a car, as
public transport is sporadic here. Most major
rental companies have outlets at the airports,
and you can expect to pay around $30+ a
day for a car.
Bikes and trains dont always mix in the
UK, and there are not many stations in this
region either. If you do decide to go on the
rails you must bag your bike and check out
availability in advance. Gobowen is the best
gateway for the Berwyns (youre into the
mountains within about 10km, and 30km
from their heart).
For Snowdonia you can get to Llandudno
Junction and then hop a connection to
Betws y Coed. There are also stations all
along the coastline.
For details check out www.nationalrail.co.uk

The long pass out of the


Tanat Valley, Berwyns.

WHEN TO GO
The weather in Wales can be pretty ckle to
say the least. By far the best time to visit and
ride is between April and October, although it
can rain at any time.
At the end of August the hills come alive for a
couple of weeks as the heather blooms which
is amazing. Springtime (April-May) also sees
varying wildower, and the Welsh daffodils are
also briey in bloom, while October is simply
amazing for autumnal colours.
Bank Holiday weekends (rst and last
weekend in May, Easter and the last weekend
in August) are crazy weekends for travel and
rooming in the UK avoid them, and go midweek for the best conditions and deals.
EAT, SLEEP AND DRINK
Overall you should expect to pay around the
same as at home for rooms and consumables
in the UK, although in the more remote areas
of Wales (such as the Berwyns) things will
be cheaper; while in Snowdonia they will be
slightly more.
There is a distinct shortage of lodging options
in the Berwyns, as so few people visit. There
are many small pubs and B&Bs dotted around,
and the best areas to stay are Llanrhaedr ym
Mochnant, Llangynog, and the well facilitated
lakeside town of Bala which also has a number
of bunk houses and campsites.
For the northern reaches Llangollen is a
great base, with plenty of sleeping, eating
and drinking options.
Camping is a great option during the
summer, and even when its wet if youre
kitted out. There are some great sites with
amazing views and facilities, and they cost
around $12-$20 per night.
Snowdonia can get very busy during July
and August, especially Betws y Coed. The
Welsh low-key outdoor capital of Llanberis
has some decent options at cheaper prices,
while campsites and Youth Hostels can be
found all over.
The Welsh coastal regions are quite
dramatic, and have some great riding too.
The Llyn Peninsula, and also around TowynBarmouth are amazing, and well facilitated.
THE WELSH BIT
It has to be admitted that overall the Welsh
and the English are not too fond of each other
extremely so in certain remote pockets such
as Bethesda and Bala; where you would not
want to be English on a late weekend pub night
Aussies are all good though.
The Welsh language has almost nothing
in common with English, and is widely used
and also now heavily taught in schools. Most
road signs have place names in both Welsh
and English, but everybody speaks English
(except when they choose not to).

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 47

Summertime on the Lake


Vyrnwy loop road.

WHERE TO RIDE
ou could easily ride superb routes for a
number of days in each corner of North
Wales here are the prime rib cuts;

BERWYNS Llanrhaedr ym Mochnant,


Lake Vyrnwy, Llangynog. The quietest, and
probably the best riding.
Between Llanrhaedr, Llanarmon DC and
Oswestry there is a maze of superb roads to
ride, all hilly, narrow, quiet and tough.
Llangynog, over the Berwyns to Bala, over the
Bwylch y Groes or Hirnant Pass to Vyrnwy and
back through Penybontfawr absolute classic
wild mountain riding and scenery.
CLWYDIANS from Llangollen over the
Horseshoe Pass, around Llandegla and through
the back roads right over to the Sportsmans
Pass; superb big long climbing days.

SNOWDONIA the most dramatic, and


also the busiest area. Best to ride mid-week.
The Pen y Pas Llanberis CaernarvonBedgellert Nant Gwynant Pass loop of
Mount Snowdon is amazing, but can see
some trafc in places.
THE COAST there is superb close to
coast riding to be had all over, just be sure to
avoid the main roads. The Llyn Peninsula is
particularly pretty.
Its essential to avoid the busy main
roads; they are very dangerous, especially
the main A5.
Get hold of the relevant Ordnance Survey
Landranger maps and head to the hills. Try
and stick to the minor and B roads and you
cant go far wrong.

A balmy afternoon at Barmouth estuary.


48

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

...swirling
clouds gapped one
another and allowed
the sun to appear,
illuminating the green
and grey camouflagelike hillside in all its
glory, and it was even
more dramatic than
Id remembered, as
was the riding.

Passing the wooden cross beneath


the summit of the Bwlych y Groes.

anywhere near this extent in the new and


developing world. Here you can ride on
sweet and skinny roads for hours, and
hardly see more than a passing tractor.
On sleepless nights my mind often
wonders to the best rides Ive ever done;
rating and ranking them. That top ten is
always headlined with a bunch of wild
Welsh rides, and even more specifically
rides around the remotest area of all the
Berwyn Mountains, a land of dramatic
small mountains, lakes, and isolation.
Just a few weeks before the Tour de
France made its first appearance in realBritain, that huge percentage of the country
which is to be found north of London, I
made my first visit back to the land that
keeps me awake at night; Wales. Id armed
myself for a few days of self-reward; riding
those rides I lay awake lusting after, both to
satisfy the urge, and also to see whether or
not I was actually just romanticising over a
lost era, one where I was younger and much
fitter and the days were somehow brighter.
My first hit was to be the biggest; my
regular old training ride, and one that
is now used as the base for a couple of
Britains best sportive events. Its always
been a tough cookie, with only a very short
stretch of flat riding in its three-hour girth.
This is common in this part of Wales the
only flat riding here is around the lakes, and
to get to them you usually have to grunt
over some huge and wild mountain pass.
It was a moody and heavy morning
as I panted out of Llangynog, my old
hometown; which is a typical Welsh
mountain village with two pubs, a few
houses and absolutely nothing else. Its
maybe four kilometres uphill to start the
day, which is always tough, although the
ride out of the Tanat Valley is one of the
most spectacular around, and that certainly
hadnt changed.
My chosen ride crosses the Berwyn
Mountain range on a wide-open and
windswept high moorland road, which has

huge and daunting views right over towards


neighbouring Snowdonia.
The odd car was all I saw that morning.
The easy side of the Bwylch y Groes was
the major challenge for the day. A narrow
road dips and dives through a remote valley
before climbing along a rock-strewn hillside
and on towards its summit. Its quite long
and steep from this northern approach, and
the views are simply top draw stuff.
Approaching the summit and the
wind brewed up, as it often does here.
In with it the swirling clouds gapped
one another and allowed the sun to
appear, illuminating the green and grey
camouflage-like hillside in all its glory,
and it was even more dramatic than Id
remembered, as was the riding.
Id first clambered up to this summit as
a teenager, riding out to watch the Milk
Race the original Tour of Britain. Wed
underestimated the ride and arrived just
as the race had passed. As is often the case
many a foreign rider had underestimated
the climb of the Bwylch, assuming that in a
country where the highest peak is just a slap
over 1,000-metres tall that there could be
nothing to worry about. The result was that
a fair proportion of the peloton were forced
to their feet on the last part of the sevenkilometre ultra-steep clamber to the summit;
a Welsh lesson that few would forget.
Drawn out and mostly downhill, thats
the next section of the ride my favourite
part. The road winds out like a box kite on
a windless day, swooping through remote
high moorland before reaching the shores of
Lake Vyrnwy, perhaps the most picturesque
lake in Wales.
It was early summertime and the wild
wooded banks around the lake were alive
with vibrantly deep purple wildflower,
beside the sun dappled route ahead. Come
rain or snow Ive ridden this route so many
times, and it always has something seasonal
on the specials board; but on this occasion it
couldnt possibly have been more appealing.
It was almost as if it had missed me and was
trying to lure me back for good, and it came
damn close too despite the fading memoirs
of those wild and wet winter days. The
weather didnt really seem to matter in the
grand scheme of things anymore; maybe it is
time to go home and revive the dream that
continues to haunt me.

Bike shops etc


Bike shops and facilities are
a little sparse in most rural
areas, although with the growing
number of mountain bike trails
things are improving.
In Oswestry there is a decent shop
on the main car park (Stuart Barkley
Cycles). In Bala is RH Roberts Cycles
(basic), in Betws y Coed is Beics
Betws (behind the Post Ofce), and
in Porthmadog is KK Cycles.
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 49

Vacansoleil rode off into the sunset.

Team Boss
The Men Behind Pro Racing
Pro cycling has never been short of riders. But given there
are infinitely less stressful ways to invest ones time and
money, Peter Maniaty asks why would anyone in their
right mind become a team owner?
PHOTOS BY TIM DE WAELE
ack in July the New York Times
asked Gerry Ryan why he owns
a professional cycling team.
Thats what my therapist always
asks, was the splendid reply of
the Orica-GreenEDGE boss. Around the
same time Bicycling Australia asked the
same question of Leigh Parsons from the
CharterMason-Giant NRS squad. Parsons
confessed team ownership has probably
sliced several years off his life. Its a safe bet
hes not alone.
In an environment where one of the few
certainties is uncertainty the fragile existence
of cycling teams is well documented. Yet still
they come. Otherwise astute businesspeople
not to mention the occasional Formula
One driver continue to be wooed each
year. The obvious question is, why?
Just 12 months ago two jewels in the
WorldTour crown folded due to the loss
of key sponsors: Euskaltel Euskadi and
Valconsoleil-DCM. Barely a year earlier
Rabobank also teetered on life support,
racing ominously as Team Blanco until
rescued by Belkin Electronics who will,
in turn, end their sponsorship after 2014.
By the time the Dutch team arrives at
the 2015 Tour Down Under it will have
raced under four different guises in just
24 months. Its a similar tale of instability
at Cannondale Pro Cycling (nee Liquigas)
which recently confirmed it would be
linking with Slipstream Sports from 2015
leaving Lampre-Merida as the sole Italian
representative on the sports greatest stage.
Far from a modern phenomenon, ghosts
of seasons past show the average lifespan of
a pro team has never been especially long.
Perhaps with the exception of the enduring
Peugeot squad, the record books are littered
with once-iconic names such as Molteni,
Brooklyn, KAS, La Vie Claire, RenaultElf, Carrera, Mercatone Uno, Festina and
T-Mobile. Countless others never get off the
ground at all.

Yet still they come.


Despite the noblest of intentions history
suggests sooner or later most teams without
a deep-pocketed benefactor, a hugely
malleable sponsor or in the case of Astana
virtually an entire government behind them,
simply run out of cash and, as a result,
steam. Even on-road success is no guarantee
of survival. One shambolic Grand Tour,
several key injuries, a global financial crisis
or an embarrassing doping scandal can
wreak no end of havoc.
Its a situation perhaps no better
illustrated than by the revered Italian squad,
Mapei. Resplendent in their cube-patterned
jerseys Mapei was a beacon of success for
much of the 1990s and home to many of
the eras greatest names such as Museeuw,
Rominger and Bartoli. It was also where
a young Cadel Evans spent the formative
years of his road career, as did Fabian
Cancellara and Michael Rogers.
Between 1994 and 2002 Mapei was the
number one UCI-ranked team for all but
one season, claiming an extraordinary 653
races including no less than five ParisRoubaix cobblestones (and three trifectas in
four years). But at the end of 2002 Mapei
boss Giorgio Squinzi ended the sponsorship
prompted through growing dissatisfaction
with the doping culture in cycling and,
just like that, they were gone; disbanded
with remnants of staff and riders picked up
by Patrick Lefevers fledgling Quick StepDavitamon squad in Belgium.
Circumstances forced me to make such
a dramatic decision, Squinzi explained
to newspaper, Het Laaste Niews. The
uncertainty over the future of cycling is way
too big. The doping problem is getting bigger,
and theres no real solution in sight. Sadly he
wouldnt be the last sponsor to feel this way;
just ask Barloworld and Rabobank.

Jonathan on the spot


Former pro and founder of Slipstream
Sports, Jonathan Vaughters, has poured his
life into cycling. Whilst at the helm of his

argyle-wearing squad alongside chairman


and principal shareholder Doug Ellis,
the 41-year-old has often lamented the
uncertainty that shadows the sport.
When it became clear the Pro-Continental
team Geox-TMC would fold barely a
month after winning the 2011 Vuelta a
Espaa, Vaughters penned a lengthy piece
for Cyclingnews: Geox are considering
ending their sponsorship as a result of not
being guaranteed entry into the top events
on the World Calendar. Could you blame
them? he wrote. Maybe instead of fighting
on a year-to-year basis, 15 teams are given
a 10-year contract with all the top events?
Giving contractual participation provides
guarantees to the teams and allows for them
to cease the hand to mouth year-to-year
fight for sponsor dollars.
Its debatable if much has really changed.
The annual game of WorldTour musical chairs
has been in full swing for many months,
with increasingly desperate teams, riders and
support staff still scrambling for seats in 2015.
As always, many will miss out.
Yet still they come.
Even for the sports wealthiest benefactors
plotting a secure course can be as
treacherous as riding the Arenberg Forest
in slashing wind and rain. Regardless of
how many dollars, euros or rubles you have
stashed under the mattress, you wouldnt
bother without an almost insatiable
enthusiasm for the sport; something
certainly reinforced by the proliferation of
phrases such as a long-term fan of cycling
and an avid cyclist himself on pro team
websites and Wiki pages.

Caravan of courage
In the case of Orica-GreenEDGE owner
and Jayco boss Gerry Ryan, his love for
cycling can be traced back to childhood in
Bendigo. I grew up pushing a bike around,
Ryan explained in a 2012 interview with the
ABCs Richard Aedy. I had lots of ambition
but very little ability.
My original involvement was in 1992
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 51

With a self-made fortune exceeding


US$700 million not to mention a Twitter following nearly triple that of his own team Oleg
Tinkov, 46, is one of world cyclings most colourful owners.

Formula One race car driver Fernando


Alonso has registered his interest in owning
a WorldTour team though is taking things
slowly and looks unlikely to get a result in
2015.

sponsoring Kathy Watt. The next year we


formed the Jayco team (Australias first
professional cycling squad), recruiting Dean
Woods out of Europe as captain. We also
had a stint with the Victorian Institute of
Sport and the AIS. Then a few years later I
was again involved at the AIS with Shayne
Bannan, Ryan explains. All the while Id
been going to the Tour de France, watching
Aussies turn professional, and I thought it
was about time we had an Australian team.
Shayne had also been thinking about it,
so we sat down and started doing budgets
and business plans, he reflects. Initially I
was looking at a Continental team to get it
going quickly. But in the end we decided to
go the long road.
Around the same time Ryan had also
been in discussions with the ill-fated
Pegasus Sports project. But stepping into
someone elses shoes held limited appeal
for the respected Victorian businessman.
I did help them financially to try and stay
together, Ryan explains. Chris White
even offered for me to buy into the team.
But I didnt like the structure. I wanted a
clean sheet of paper.
The sheet may have been clean. But the
process was anything but easy. It was very
hard, Ryan recalls of the 18-month process
that culminated in GreenEDGE being
awarded Australias first UCI WorldTour
licence. You need the riders, the ability
to pay your way and the management to
actually run a team. Going across to front
the Board, the lawyers, the accountants
it was like being in front of the school
headmaster again!
It doesnt matter if its cycling, football,
whatever, he adds, drawing upon decades
of success across industries as varied as
manufacturing, sport and entertainment.
You need the right group of people who
share the same vision and passion. You also
need the financial means to do it. Thats a
hard one where people get into trouble
they over-commit.
Of course being one of your nations
wealthiest individuals certainly helps.
But Ryan knows the ultimate success of
GreenEDGE will be measured by the teams
ability to stand on its own, irrespective of
who is involved.
Thats the aim, he confirms. Were all
working towards that.
Sponsor and stakeholder negotiations are often quite volatile. Jonathon Vaughters Garmin
Sharp team will change name in 2015, with Garmin scaling back their involvement. And Cervelo
will move on to support another team. Cannondale which is winding up at the end of 2014, will
step in to supply bikes and take a large shareholding in the Slipstream Sports owned team, plus
theyll bring eight riders with them and possibly several members of staff!
52

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Russian revolution?
With a self-made fortune exceeding
US$700 million not to mention a Twitter

>> page 54

<< page 52
following nearly triple that of his own team
Oleg Tinkov, 46, is one of world cyclings
most colourful owners. In typical candour,
the son of a Siberian miner is said to have
explained during this years Tour de France:
I would rather spend my money this way
than lose it in a casino or with prostitutes or
on a stupid yacht.
Whilst acknowledging the licence holders
of UCI teams own little more than risk and
liability, 2014 nevertheless saw the Russian
transition from sponsor to outright team
owner following his off-season purchase
of Saxo-Tinkoff for a reported six million
euros. But as with Gerry Ryan, Tinkovs
passion for cycling far predates his wealth.
I took my first pedal stroke when I was
12 years old in Siberia, he told the media
on announcement of his acquisition from
Bjarne Riis in December 2013. Im so
happy. Cycling is my passion. Finally I have
my WorldTour team.
While Tinkov was undeniably delighted,
the vendor, Riis, was a relieved man. This is
a day I have been dreaming of for a very long
time, revealed the Dane. In the last four or
five years I spent a lot of time searching for
sponsors. For me it has been very stressful
with Oleg this gives us that stability, it gives
me time to do what I am best at.
The optimism of Riis was echoed by star
rider, Alberto Contador. When there is
a dearth of new sponsors, it can only be
a good thing when a man of the stature
and wealth of Oleg comes in, said the
Spaniard.It brings stability to the existing

NRS team boss, Leigh Parsons of


CharterMason-Giant is considering UCI
Continental status for his team in 2015.

Use pull quote from previous page.

structureand something especially


important to me is that Riis will be much
more involved.
Contador was no doubt further thrilled
when Tinkov suggested he has little
intention of getting in Riis way. It would
be stupid to have the best directeur sportif
in the world and not listen to him. I wont
run this team, I dont have time. I am a
businessman and will be in my office.
One thing the Russian may be doing in
his office involves the increasingly overt
dealings of Project Avignon. With more
than a hint of Kerry Packers World Series
Cricket, Tinkov is amongst a group of
prominent figures from WorldTour teams
which continues to explore ways to reform
the current revenue and management
structures in pro cycling.
Its very real, assures Gerry Ryan of the
project he hopes will create greater stability
at the sports highest levels. Cycling is on
the wave of a new era and, no different to
football and basketball franchises, its the
teams who have the IP. Look at how we
utilise on-bike cameras, different media
platforms, bringing new money into the
sport through technology. Certainly teams
should be sharing in more of that pie.
As for the UCIs views on the project?
Well, youd have to ask them that,
Ryan offers candidly. But the feedback I
get is, yes, they are open to it. Certainly they

Oleg and Bjarne just chatting with Fabian making an offer perhaps?
54

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

understand its not good that every year we


seem to drop a couple of teams; everyone
wants more consistency.

The Parsons Project


Whilst not on the global scale of Ryan
or Tinkov, Leigh Parsons, 44, can still
relate to many of their struggles in his own
role as team boss of Melbourne-based
CharterMason-Giant, which began as a
development squad four seasons ago and
has graduated to be one of the revelations of
the Subaru National Road Series in 2014.
Building a cycling team is no simple
thing, explains Parsons, a passionate
and accomplished rider in his own right,
having claimed a sprint jersey at the 2013
Tour of Bright. The main challenge stems
from continuously having to balance your
aspirations and what can be achieved with
the available funding. We work very hard at
making every dollar go a long way.
We also know our sponsors need
to see a return on their investment,
he continues, suggesting the pressures
described by Bjarne Riis are just as
prevalent in domestic cycling. Its why we
take a very commercial approach to how
we manage these relationships to ensure
we achieve their objectives.
Coming from a strong business
background, Parsons understands the perils
of sponsorship better than most. Businesses
go well one minute and not so well the next,
often through no fault of their own, he
acknowledges. Sometimes it simply doesnt
make sense to continue with sponsorships.
Thats just the reality of the business
world. You need to deal with it and make
adjustments accordingly.
He then offers a word of caution.
Starting from zero is tough no matter how
much money or time you have. Plugging
into a well-sorted operation is a far better
bet in my mind. We have plenty of teams in
the NRS, Id love to see some consolidation
now to make it a more even playing field.
Despite the constant obstacles and
pressures, Parsons has few regrets, instead
revealing his team is considering upping the
ante in 2015 by seeking UCI Continental
status. Its been an excellent experience, Ive
learned a great deal. By far the best thing is
seeing the positive impact you have on the
riders, he beams. But, yeah, it probably does
slice a few years off your life!
And still they come.

High power
at low speed

EXCLUSIVE AUSTRALIAN
TACX DISTRIBUTOR

Blue Motion

apollobikes.com/p+a, VIC (03) 9700 9400, WA (08) 9414 8333, info@apollobikes.com

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Liv What
Women Want

The latest range of Liv apparel


is stylish and comfortable.
Chris Cummings

An Irish, Dutch, American


and Australian woman
walked into a pub. They all
had one thing in common.
They loved cycling. It was
July 2014, and they had
been called to Pitlochry,
Scotland for the unveiling
of something very exciting
in womens cycling.

56

Bicycling Australia

WORDS BY NICOLE GRIMM-HEWITT


ver the past few years, attention
to the female cyclist has been
ever increasing. This has been
brought about by the efforts of
some amazing people involved
in the industry. One of the biggest landmark moments to date would have to be
Le Course. For those of you who have
been living under a rock, this was a circuit
race contested by just under 100 of the top
international female cyclists. Racing 13 laps
of the final 6.85km section of the Tour de
France course in the heart of Paris, it was
scheduled on the last day of this years Tour.
Having it prior to the mens event presented
the perfect opportunity to showcase the talents of top international cyclists. The winner
of this inaugural event and key player in its
existence was Rabobank Liv rider Marianne
Vos. Her timing could not have been better!

November December 2014

Stepping up to the Line


With a stand-alone brand 100% committed to female cyclists of all levels, Liv is
now independent from Giant. Originally
marketed as LivGiant just on two years ago,
all Giant branding has now been completely
removed from bicycles, apparel and packaging. Such a bold move only shows that the
passion to involve more women in cycling
is great. Besides, there arent many women
out there who would like the word Giant
emblazoned across their behind.
So now Liv and Giant are brother/sister
companies. Everyone associated within the
Liv brand is female from engineers to
marketing and all the way down the line.
The bicycles are even built by women,
which in most cases is also true of mens
bikes and components
Livs ethos is to grow the sport and give
women the confidence to continue their
interest in cycling for the rest of their lives.

By offering a bike for every woman at every


level, along with an attractive range of apparel, they have covered all the bases. What
woman (or man for that matter) doesnt
want to look good on the bike? Livs range
includes several options of matching bike
and gear choices. With the equation that
looking good equals feeling good, the outcome can only mean an increased number
of women riding bicycles, keeping fit and
having fun.

A totally revamped Avail collection was


up for testing and the testing grounds could
not have been more suitable.

Inspiring Ambassadors
The Liv brand is made stronger by a supportive community of ambassadors. And
they range from the big names all the way
to everyday people. At age 27 Marianne
Vos already has 13 world titles to her name,
along with two Olympic Gold medals, and
her aforementioned LeCourse win. This cycling superstar has worked closely with Liv
to develop the Envie Advanced, a bike that
has brought her across the line first many
times over.
Then we have 21-year-old Jolanda Neff.
Already donning a rainbow jersey she is a
three-time under 23-year old world champion. Riding a Liv Obsess Advanced, she is
inspiring young women in the XC mountain
bike scene.
A champion of a different kind is Shannon Galpin. An avid mountain biker, her
bravery and determination can only be
admired in her endeavour to break down
gender barriers in Afghanistan, a country
where the culture doesnt allow women to

ride bikes. In 2009 Shannon became the first


woman to mountain bike in Afghanistan.
She now leads a non profit organisation supported by Liv, called Mountain2Mountain,
and aims to improve the lives of women and
girls in regions of conflict. Shannon recently
made a delivery of bicycles and gear to help
the Afghanistan National Road Cycling
Team realise their Olympic Dreams.

Liv Beyond
As corny as it sounds, cycling allows us
to discover something new in everyday life,
no matter what your gender. Whether it
be your first 20km, your first race or even
the commitment to make cycling part of
your fitness regime, cycling can help you
discover who you are and whats important. Members of the cycling community
are regularly organising group rides of all
levels. The best place to start is at your
local bike shop. Or if youre into instagram
you can check out #livbeyond

About the Bikes

Female specific lines have been on the


scene for quite a few years now and several
prominent brands are pushing ahead with
high-end choices for the cycling enthusiast
as well as apparel and gear choices to suit
all levels. There is some dispute as to whether female specific geometry in cycling is necessary. I guess its a case of one bike not suiting all. And given the extensive research that
has been conducted by Liv and Giant, and
feedback from elite female cyclists, there are
several valid points for having the option to
ride a female specific bicycle if you choose.
There are probably a few men out there
who would be better suited to this geometry
given their body type. It is a known fact that
most women carry their weight lower than
men and draw most of their strength from
the lower body. So it makes sense that modifications in frame design can optimise your
performance. Without going into specific
figures, its about a head angle that delivers
an agile response. Steering is precise, but not
twitchy. The seat angle takes into account
a womans lower centre of gravity over the
bottom bracket and allows for more efficient pedalling. On a more superficial level
the design range is very appealing, and no
one wants to ride an ugly bike.

Avail Advanced SL Series


In conjunction with the launch of the Liv
brand, the 2015 range of all-new endurance
road bikes was put in the spotlight. A totally
revamped Avail collection was up for testing and the testing grounds could not have
been more suitable. Along with Wilderness
Scotland and the combined launch of the
mens 2015 Defy range, a solid two days of
testing was scheduled in the Scottish region
of Perthshire.
To test an endurance bike properly, you
really need a long hard ride on rough roads
in challenging conditions. Tick, tick and
tick. The bike I tested was the top of the line
Avail Advanced SL 0.
Nicole Grimm-Hewitt

Nicole Grimm-Hewitt

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 57

Compliments of Liv

The Proof is in the Pudding


At less than 900grams, the Avail Advanced SL 0 is the lightest road frame in the
Liv 2015 range. But contrary to what a lot
of people think, weight isnt the be-all and
end-all of a bikes worth. Its really about
a balance of weight to power transfer. And
a lot of work goes into getting this recipe
right. Combine this with the need for an
endurance bike to ride comfortably for an
extensive length of time, and you have the
Avail Advanced SL.
I found the womens-specific endurance
geometry of the Avail Advanced SL 0 made
for a very comfortable ride. But most importantly the comfort factor doesnt come at
the cost of performance.
The roads this bike was tested on were
varied, but it was on the first long and fast
desent that it showed its true colours. The
road was scarred with potholes. Sections
had been freshly resurfaced which made
for loose gravel. Then throw in a couple of
blind corners and bicycle bombing sheep. At
the base of the descent I had to pinch myself
to realise that this bike had handled as well
as it had.
Quite often you hear the word compliance in a bikes description or design
features. The Avail Advanced SL 0 frame
absorbs vibration well, so the harshness
of bumps encountered along the way
isn't transferred up through the frame to
your hands or lower back. The addition
of the D-Fuse integrated seat post and
ultrathin seat stays is largely responsible
for this. They flex slightly on rough terrain, which absorbs the bulk of vibration
so you can ride for longer more comfortably and use your energy efficiently over
longer distances.
Not being a big fan of hills, Im reminded
58

Bicycling Australia

of something a fellow cyclist once said to


make me feel better. What goes down must
first go up. So as much as I love descents,
theres only one way to get there. So up I
went. This is where the overall bike weight
is most important in my books it means
I can eat that extra pastry. Being one that
has more of a turtle than hare approach to
climbing, I found the Avail Advanced SL 0
was my friend on the hills. Having said this,
I also witnessed my media colleagues sprinting up the hills like their bums were on fire.
This is a bike for everyone.

Whats on it?
The addition of Shimano hydraulic disc
brakes made for efficient and more comfortable braking. There was no gritting of teeth
or grip-of-death braking required in the
rain. Im a big fan of this.
Having not ridden electronic gears for
some time, I was a bit rusty. But after
a few gumby gear changes, I was soon
reminded of the precision of Shimano
Dura-Ace Di2 and was buzzing through
the gears like a pro.
The Avail Advanced SL 0 comes with a
Fizik Vesta saddle. Most of us are pretty
fussy when it comes to saddle choice, but I
found this one quite comfortable. And given
that both days were of reasonable distance,
it says a lot that I had no post ride issues.
Hallelujah!

Last Word
The introduction of Liv into the cycle
scene is very exciting. As is the increased
options for female cyclists at all levels. More
and more we are seeing the balance of attention shifting. And even though its taken a lot
of baby steps to get to where we are, I feel
that this has been a giant leap forward.

November December 2014

SPECIFICATIONS
Model Name

2015 Liv Avail Advanced SL 0

Sizes

XS, S, M

Colour

Carbon

Fork

Advanced SL grade composite, full


composite Overdrive 2 steerer

Handlebar

Giant Contact SLR Composite,


31.8mm

Stem

Giant Contact SLR Composite,


8 degree

Saddle

Fizi:k Vesta

Seat Post

D-Fuse ISP

Shift Levers

Shimano RS785 Di2

Brakes

Shimano RS785 disc, 140mm

Brake Levers

Shimano RS785, hydraulic

F Derailleur

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2

R Derailleur

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2

Cassette

Shimano Dura-Ace, 11-28T, 11sp

Chain

KMC X11 SL

Crankset

Shimano Dura-Ace, 34-50T

Bottom Bracket

Shimano press t

Wheelset

Giant P-SLR0 disc carbon


WheelSystem, Fr: 20H, Rr: 24H

Tyres

Giant P-SLR1, front & rear


specic, 700 x 25c

Price

$6,999

Eurobike 2014
60

Bicycling Australia

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY STEVE THOMAS

The annual Eurobike trade


show seems to get bigger and
busier every year, and its definitely at the fore when it comes
to the major bike shows. Its
enormity can be stifling, not
only for visitors but for brands
too and many major and
minor names now skip the
crammed German halls because of this, preferring to take
their own shows on the road or
simply sit out the food fight of
Friedrichshafen.

ure enough theres lots to see, but


overall its become a game of minor
gains and tweaks, with the odd major
advancement.
This year e-bikes were once again big
news, and things have come a long way on the
development side, with smaller and more powerful motors rapidly evolving.
When it comes to true pedal power it would
very much seem like a case of just about everybody and anybody chasing each other around
the great velodrome of trend rather than thinking outside of the track centre.
Disc brakes and gravel bikes were the scratch
markers, with power meter systems and internal
wiring following them to the line.
After several well documented, though unofficial appearances at race events in the US and
Europe, we were wondering if thered be a
surprise launch of SRAMs highly anticipated
wireless electronic groupset. It was not to be and
the word is that its still a little way off plugging
into the market maybe 2016.

FOCUS
ooking very much to the future all new Focus
disc brake bikes will now come with dedicated
front forks and rear dropouts, which are designed to work specifically with their new RAT disc
hub and quick release system.
As bike sponsors of the World Tour AG2R team
Focus have been looking for a faster and more unified disc brake and hub combination, so that when
the UCI finally clear disc usage for road races they
will be ahead of the game.
The new system is based around a hollow axle
(similar to those used in downhill and freeride
mountain biking) that is secured by a seven-position
ratchet skewer.
This combines to make disc alignment virtually
immediate, and thus makes disc wheel changes much
faster than they are currently.
There were several other similar systems at the
show, although Focus seems to be leading the standardisation charge.

November December 2014

LITESPEED
itanium maestros Litespeed
have been producing disc braked
cyclo cross bikes for a few years
now, and for 2015 theyve swerved the
gravel bike trend and put out a solid
and industrial strength road bike aimed
at the sportive and endurance market, which is really quite retro-chic,
and has a bombproof triangular rear
disc mounting system.

CERVELO

nternal wiring and battery mounting features on the new Cervelo S5 for 2015,
which has also been produced with a different carbon layering system, which they
believe will make for a lighter and stiffer ride.
Discs are not on the agenda for Cervelo, theyre sitting on the sideline until it
becomes unavoidable.

CANYON
ts been a huge year for the German
brand Canyon, largely thanks to the
pint-sized Colombian Nairo Quintana, who won the Giro dItalia on one
of their bikes.
Hogging a large slice of the limelight
was their full suspension concept road bike.
At the moment it is just that a concept,
but the technology based around it could
well be a game changer in the years to come.
The suspension is based around a
magnetic fluid system, which completely
locks out when it comes into contact
with a tiny magnet.

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 61

Eurobike 2014
SRAM
After several well documented, though unofcial appearances at race events in the US and Europe, one
of the notable absences from Eurobike was the highly
anticipated and all new SRAM Red wireless electronic
groupset. The word is that its still a little way off plugging into the market maybe 2016.

LOOK
ooks internal braking system will
still be a prominent feature in 2015,
and several bike models have been
slightly updated, with lots of internal
wiring going on, and an all new slightly
suspended seat post, which features
elastomer inserts.

Mavics new road


shoe and clothing
range is as innovative
and pleasing as ever.
62

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

ORBEA
asque manufacturer Orbea released
their road disc bike a few months
ago, and theyve just announced
an updated version of their ever-popular
Orca frame.
A slightly beefed up down tube and
lightened upper frame have made for
what they say will be the lightest and
stiffest Orca ever, and the Cofidis team
will ride them in 2015.
Orbea have also launched a new ultralight road helmet, the R10, which comes
with an aero and visor attachment, making for a nice budget TT option.

BIANCHI
he celeste doyens at Bianchi have
come up with a rather attractive
new TT/Aero bike for 2015 the
Aquila CV, which was first launched at
the end of the Tour de France.
Showing a keen interest in the bike
was former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt, who will be riding one in
his Ironman triathlon campaign.

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 63

Eurobike 2014

AXALKO
ooden bikes were prominent at
the show; although many were
more aimed at the novelty market there were also some feasible and very
appealing options out there.
Perhaps the most interesting of these
was the Basque built Axalko fame, which
as a fully built bike topped the scales at
just 7.4kg.
The frames are made by a very small
co-operative and have been ridden in
semi-anger by a couple of ex Euskatel riders, who took them to the Paris-Roubaix
sportive event and sung high praises of
their comfortable race like ride.
The custom made frames will retail
at around $4005-$5000. You can check
them out at
www.axalko.com

Phil Latz

RITCHEY
Ritcheys Swiss Cross bike is a
thoroughbred and very desirable.

GIRO
IPS helmets are taking off; Giro has
a range that uses the innovative
safety feature to reduce brain and
neck injuries.

M
64

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Phil Latz

New GT gravel bikes

LIV

iv had a strong presence at Eurobike promoting their new


model bikes and clothing range, distinctly separate from their
parent company, Giant.
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 65

Phil Latz

Eurobike 2014

VELOCITE
he new Velocite bike from Lightweight is a fully working
500 watt ebike prototype. The battery is hidden within
the down tube. Thats been done before by others, but
the magnetic flux engine is a first for bicycles. It uses the same
technology as magnetic levitation trains.
The rear wheel rim is coated with a series of magnets, which
pass within 1mm of a series of copper coils that are housed
within the curved section of the seat tube.
Thomas Lenchik pictured here holding the 14 kg prototype
bike is Managing Director of CarboFibretec, the parent company of Lightweight. Between his company and the German
Government, five million Euros (about $7.1 million Aus) has
been invested into this fully rideable prototype, which he says
has so much torque that it can spin the rear wheel.
Thomas predicts that they can reduce the weight to 10 kg
for future production models.

on troltechs new Affilado saddle with its


integrated seatpost
weighs just 285g. It has
25mm fore /aft adjustment and +/- 2degrees of
tilt available.

C
66

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Phil Latz

Phil Latz

KCNC

or better or worse anodised components are making a comeback; these


edgy looking brakes, rings and jockey
wheels are from KCNC.

SUMMER CLOTHING

S-123-B5

J-730-1

WJ-1306
S-922-C7

everestsports.com.au
03 5755 2227
sales@everestsports.com.au

2015

CYCLING
FASHION
Photographer: Marcus Enno of Studio Commercial, Liverpool Street, Sydney Models: Alex Wessling, Ella Scanlan-Bloor,
Shahrzad Shahnia, Tom Norris, Sam Burston, Cam Harrison Props: Sidi Shoes supplied by Cassons Make up and Hair: Rafal Gaweda

CASTELLLI
phone: 03 5225 3898
email: info@degrandi.com.au

From Left to Right Tom is wearing:


Vincente Jersey .................................. rrp: $139.00
Free Aero Bibshort ............................. rrp: $199.00
S Rosso Corsa Glove ............................rrp: $59.00
Giro Cap .................................................rrp: $29.00
Rosso Corsa 9 Sock .............................rrp: $29.00
Sam is wearing:
Volata Jersey....................................... rrp: $139.00
Velocissimo Short............................... rrp: $129.00
Rosso Corsa Classic Glove ...................rrp: $59.00
Summer Headband ..............................rrp: $29.00
Rosso corsa 13 Sock.............................rrp: $29.00

Ella is wearing:
Fortuna Jersey ......................................rrp: $99.00
Principessa Short ............................... rrp: $139.00
Rosso Corsa Light Bra in Black ..........rrp: $99.00
Dolce Sock.............................................rrp: $25.00
Giro Cap .................................................rrp: $29.00
Alex is wearing:
Tesoro Jersey ...................................... rrp: $115.00
Bodypaint Bibshort ........................... rrp: $289.00
Rosso Corsa Bra in White ....................rrp: $99.00
Dolce Sock.............................................rrp: $25.00

PISSEI AND DMT


phone: 1300 765 633
email: info@comobike.com.au
www.comobike.com.au

From Left to Right Sam is wearing:


Pissei Limited Editon Jersey ............ rrp: $229.00
Pissei Limited Editon Bibshort......... rrp: $235.00
Pissei Cotton Cap ................................. rrp: $19.00
DMT Sock..............................................rrp: $25.00
DMT Vega Shoe.................................. rrp $399.00
Shaz is wearing:
MYN CATY Jersey.............................. rrp: $159.00
MYN FIT Bibshort ............................. rrp: $235.00
Pissei Sock ............................................. rrp: $17.50
DMT Pegasus Womens Shoe ........... rrp: $215.00

Tom is wearing:
Pissei Camouage Jersey.................. rrp: $159.00
Pissei Camouage Bibshort ............. rrp: $199.00
DMT Sock..............................................rrp: $25.00
DMT Vega Shoe................................. rrp: $399.00

ASSOS
phone: 07 3902 1155
email: assos@echelonsports.com.au
www.echelonsports.com.au

From Left to Right Cam is wearing:


SS.cape_epicXCJersey_evo7 ..............rrp: $219.95
T.rallyShorts_s7 ................................. rrp: $444.95
equipeSock_G1 ...................................... rrp: $29.95
summerGloves_S7 ............................... rrp: $74.95
Zegho Eyewear....................................rrp: $394.95

Alex is wearing:
SS.suissefedJersey_evo7...................rrp: $234.95
H.laalalaiShorts_s7 Lady .....................rrp:$219.95
yankeeSock_G1...................................... rrp: $29.95
Zegho Eyewear....................................rrp: $394.95
Ella is wearing:
SS.lady..................................................rrp: $194.95
T.lady_S5............................................. rrp: $279.95
equipeSock_G1 ...................................... rrp: $29.95

Tom is wearing:
SS.milleJersey_evo7............................rrp: $174.95
H.milleShorts_s7 .................................rrp: $199.95
milleSocks_evo7, 2 pairs in a pack.........rrp: $49.95
summerCap Uno................................... rrp: $29.95
summerGloves_S7 ............................... rrp: $74.95

NETTI
phone: (02) 9550 1655
email: info@solasport.com.au
www.solasport.com.au

From Left to Right Tom is wearing:


Cruze Jersey.......................................... rrp: $39.95
Pro Bibshort.......................................... rrp: $79.95
Shaz is wearing:
Siren Jersey........................................... rrp: $69.95
Performance Bibshort.......................... rrp: $89.95
Ella is wearing:
Riverine Jersey...................................... rrp: $59.95
Performance Bibshort.......................... rrp: $89.95
Cam is wearing:
Performance Bibshort.......................... rrp: $99.95

CINETTICA
phone: (02) 9550 1655
email: info@solasport.com.au
www.solasport.com.au

From Left to Right Cam is wearing:


Olympia Jersey .....................................rrp: $89.95
Cinettica Bibshort................................rrp: $179.95
Sam is wearing:
Triton Jersey ........................................rrp: $139.95
Edge Vest ..............................................rrp: $99.95
Cinettica Short.....................................rrp: $129.95
Alex is wearing:
Triton Jersey ........................................rrp: $139.95
Cinettica Short.....................................rrp: $129.95
Shaz is wearing:
Olympia Jersey .....................................rrp: $89.95
Cinettica Capri Short ...........................rrp: $139.95

BELLWETHER AND GIORDANA


phone: (02) 9700 7977
email: info@velovita.com.au
www.velovita.net.au

From Left to Right Cam is wearing:


Giordana Exo Jersey...................................rrp: $269.99
Giordana Exo Bibshort ...............................rrp: $269.99
Bellwether Chase Sock ................................. rrp: $14.99

Shaz is wearing:
Giordana FRC Trade Maestro Womens Jersey
......................................................................rrp: $189.99
Giordana FRC Womens Bibshort ..............rrp: $229.99
Roeckl SG #067 Ladies Glove ..................... rrp: $79.99
Bellwether Icon Sock..................................... rrp: $14.99

Alex is wearing:
Bellwether Optime Womens Jersey ..........rrp: $149.99
Bellwether Optime Womens Short............rrp: $189.99
Bellwether Supreme Womens Glove .......... rrp: $29.99
Bellwether Pave Sock.................................... rrp: $14.99

Sam is wearing:
Bellwether Edge Jersey...............................rrp: $129.99
Bellwether Edge Bibshort...........................rrp: $149.99
Bellwether Aero Glove.................................. rrp: $49.99
Bellwether Circuit Sock ................................. rrp: $14.99

CAPO CYCLING APPAREL


phone: (02) 9388 1129
email: info@capocycling.com.au
www.capocycling.com.au

From Left to Right Tom is wearing:


Super Corsa Custom Skinsuit .......... rrp: $250.00
GS Capo Cap .........................................rrp: $25.00
Crono Lycra Gloves .............................. rrp: $49.00
Crono Lycra Shoe Covers .....................rrp: $59.00

Sam is wearing:
GS Jersey Orange .............................. rrp: $249.00
GS Bibshort........................................ rrp: $299.00
MSR Pittards Gloves........................... rrp: $69.00
Active Compression 15cm Socks ........rrp: $35.00

Cam is wearing:
SC Jersey Black/Fluro ........................ rrp: $179.00
SC Bibshort ....................................... rrp: $249.00
GS Capo Cap ........................................rrp: $25.00
Active Compression 15cm Socks ........rrp: $35.00

Shaz is wearing:
SC Donna Jersey ................................ rrp: $159.00
SC Donna Bibshort............................. rrp: $199.00
Pursuit Glove........................................ rrp: $49.00
Active Compression 6cm Socks..........rrp: $35.00

SANTINI
phone: 1800 808 181
email: sales@bikesportz .com.au
www.bikesportz.com.au

From Left to Right Ella is wearing:


33 Aero Jersey.....................................rrp: $199.95
33 Aero Bibshort ................................rrp: $239.95

Sam is wearing:
Mimetic Jersey.....................................rrp: $149.95
B-Rob Bibshort....................................rrp $299.95

Alex is wearing:
Velo Jacket ...........................................rrp: $189.95
Racer Short .........................................rrp: $249.95

Tom is wearing:
2BCool Aero Light Jersey ..................rrp: $229.95
Union Bibshort ....................................rrp: $199.95

+RZPXFKGR\RXQHHGWRSD\WRVHOO\RXUELNH"
RIWKHVDOHSULFH""
+RZDERXW

No wonder more and more cyclists every month


are buying and selling their bikes and accessories
through Bicycling Classifieds. Weve seen more
ads every month since we relaunched the improved
Bicycling Classifieds in 2008.

Why dont you see for yourself just how easy


Bicycling ClassifJeds are to use?
Simply visit www.bicyclingaustralia.com today and
click on the classifieds menu.

7KDQNV
%LF\FOLQJ
&ODVVLILHGV

www.bicyclingaustralia.com

MASTERCLASS
STEVE HOGG

Sitting Pretty DIY Bike Fit Part 4

Foot Correction
Foot Correction is the
term I use to describe the
process of ensuring that
proprioceptive feedback
from the feet is prioritised
by the cerebellum for processing. Before continuing I
had best explain what that
means, as it has significant
implications for cycling
performance and injury
reduction. Bear with me as
the explanation is lengthy
and I know that many
readers who just want
to ride my bike may find
it eye glazing. Persevere
though, as it is necessary if
you are to understand the
importance of what follows for your performance.
hen we perform any
sequence of actions,
like walking across a
room or riding a bike,
it is usually a conscious
thought that triggers what follows.
What is unconscious is the muscle firing
sequence (motor pattern) that allows
the coordinated actions for the task. No
one pedals a bike thinking Im going
to activate Muscle X and relax Muscle
Y; we just ride. The part of the brain
that plays the major part in determining
the muscle firing sequence is called the
cerebellum. Proprioception is the name
given to the cerebellums awareness of
what the body is doing in space.
It gains that awareness from the
output of hundreds of millions of sensory
nerves named proprioceptors that are
distributed throughout the body. These
are not distributed evenly; 50% of them
are in and around the upper and lower
jaw. Another 2530% are located in and
around the two sacroiliac joints where the

78

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Three wedges under a cleat to assist this


rider in optimising proprioceptive response.

lower spine butts up against the pelvis


on each side. The remaining 2025% are
in every bone, muscle, ligament, tendon
and joint. Between them they convey a
constant flow of information; something
like three-billion signals per second to the
cerebellum informing it of the load each
body part is experiencing, where each
body part is in space and how each body
part relates to gravity. So every second,
3,000,000,000 signals are generated by
the body and all arrive at the cerebellum
which has a maximum processing
capacity of 2,000 signals per second.
This means that the cerebellum can
only process something like 0.00005%
of the total proprioceptive feedback it
receives. Another way to frame this is
that the cerebellum can only process one
proprioceptive signal out of every 1.5
million that it receives.
When I first read those numbers, my
initial thought was that there had to
be a hierarchy of priorities dictated by
evolution as to what the cerebellum
chooses to prioritise for processing and
what it chooses to ignore. And if that
hierarchy could be determined, there
was potential for increased cycling
performance as well as a decreased
risk of incurring overuse injuries from
cycling, through optimal neuromuscular
coordination. Crashes aside, all cycling
injuries are overuse injuries.
To analogise, think of yourself and a
friend being in the crowd at a sporting
match. The two of you are intent upon
a conversation with each other and are
focused on that conversation. Even so,
you are still aware in a background sense

of the noise made by 150,000 murmuring


spectators; youre just not paying
attention. Multiply that situation by an
order of magnitude and you get a glimpse
of the situation of the cerebellum.
The cerebellum will always prioritise
two classes of stimuli for processing. The
first is the generation of force, because
in an evolutionary sense, this has clear
survival value. By that I mean that if
you are running for your life or fighting
for your life, you are literally betting
your life that you will coordinate those
activities as well as is humanly possible as
like every other organism on the planet,
your fundamental priority is survival.
Everything else is secondary.
Within this category of force
generation, we automatically allot a
higher priority to force exerted anywhere
below the top of the pelvis than we do
force exerted anywhere above the top
of the pelvis. Again an evolutionary
imperative is at work.
We have evolved to be upright creatures
who primarily contact planet Earth
through our feet. From the top of the
pelvis down is our postural foundation. In
turn that means that given the disparity
between proprioceptive signal reception
by the cerebellum and its ability to
process only a tiny fraction of that signal
traffic, there is no evolutionary mileage
in only being able to use your arms, bend
your torso or nod your head, if at the
same time you are forced to collapse at
the hips, knees or ankles. So the lower
body gets first priority; the upper body
gets second priority for processing in
matters of force exertion.

The second category of stimulus that will always be prioritised by


the cerebellum is any changes in the quality of feedback from any area
of the body. A metaphorical whisper that is being ignored can quickly
be elevated in to a metaphorical shout that is being processed if there
is sufficient change. A simple example is that if someone tugs on your
cycling jersey, you become more aware of the part of the body that felt
that tug than you were previously. The increased awareness only lasts a
few seconds before your unconscious attention drifts off on to other
matters as it always does.
The key thing to understand about what follows is that nobody
has a clear proprioceptive awareness of the feet while cycling. This
can be demonstrated and I do so daily with clients. I wont explain
the procedure now because the testing regime forms part of a patent
application that has been granted in the UK, USA and New Zealand
but is ongoing in Australia. In the near future I will be able to be
more frank.
I mentioned in Part 2 of this series that any challenge to a
riders position in space will evoke an immediate and unconscious
compensatory response and that all compensatory responses tend
to increase the disparity between how the left and right sides of the
body function. Given that a bike is a symmetrical apparatus in a
positional sense a high degree of functional symmetry is desirable
for best performance and lowest chance of injury.
Lack of proprioceptive clarity from the part of the body that you
use to transfer the power you produce to the pedals, the feet, is a
challenge (with consequent increase in asymmetric function) that
every rider faces. So for optimal performance we need to have the
proprioceptive output from the feet prioritised for processing by the
cerebellum at all times while cycling.

BECOME ONE
WITH SPEED
JENS VOIGT

The Need for Arch Support


This all comes down to the alignment of the feet. Optimal
alignment is achieved by a combination of arch support and when
necessary, as it often is, further canting of the feet. Of the two things,
arch support is fundamental for the following reason.
When we fire the muscles of the leg while cycling, walking or
running, the cerebellum oversees the task but does not directly
control it. The basic pattern of extensors on / flexors off on the
pedal down stroke and flexors on / extensors off on the pedal
upstroke is controlled by a bundle of neurons in the lumbar spine
called the central pattern generator (or CPG). The CPG relies on force
feedback from the feet for its informational input, of which a primary
component is plantar fascia tension (the plantar fascia is under the arch
of each foot and connects the MTP jjointsthe base knuckles of the
toesto the rear of the foot).
When we walk and run, activities that we have evolved to do, the
foot changes shape constantly and plantar fascia tension also changes

Wedges are available


to suit different cleat
shapes and vary from
around .3mm on the
thin edge to 1.3 on
the thicker edge.

SCHWALBE ONE. New compound. New construction.


New puncture protection. For every wheel system: Folding,
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info@bikebox.com.au

schwalbe.com

constantly as a consequence. This constant


change in tension stands out from the
background chatter engulfing the cerebellum
and is given priority for processing.
In contrast we have not evolved to cycle
and while exerting force on a rigid cycling
shoe sole, for most people, plantar fascia
tension changes little if at all. Because
of the largely unvarying quality to the
proprioceptive output of the plantar fascia
while cycling, the central nervous system
tends to ignore the feedback from that area
and not prioritise it for processing.
The better the informational input to
the CPG the better and more accurately it
will control the muscle firing sequence that
allows us to propel the bike and the more
symmetrically the rider will relate to their
bike. So we need to create some tension in
the plantar fascia.
On a three level scale of Not Intrusive,
Mildly Intrusive and Very Intrusive, arch
support inserts for cycling need to be

In-shoe wedges
take up a lot of
vertical space in the
toe and more than
one is impractical for
most riders over the
long-term because
they compromise foot
comfort.

Level 2 (Mildly Intrusive). The simplest


way to determine this is that when off the
bike and standing in cycling shoes, the
degree of intrusiveness of arch supports
should not feel painful, but should
certainly feel like one level higher than
would be comfortable in a walking shoe.
Once you get back on the bike and ride
for five to 10 minutes you should not be
consciously aware of the arch support
unless you focus particularly on it. There
should be no discomfort while cycling.
Sadly, it is rare rider who will achieve this
desirable Level 2 degree of arch support
because most cycling shoe insoles are a bit
of an afterthought. Some manufacturers
like Shimano, Fizik and Specialized have
standard insoles or options that are much
better than most, but even then, the highest
level of arch support they make available is
too low for most riders.
The easiest to use and most adaptable
option available is the aftermarket G8
Arch Tech 2600s which are packaged with
five different arch height inserts that can
be adjusted forward / back and in /out in
seconds for best individual result. If you
try the G8s or anything similar, the arch
insert height doesnt have to be the same on
each side. What you are trying to achieve is
the same feeling of mildly intrusive when
standing on both sides. For most, this will
be the same height on each side. For some it
will not.

Wedging of the Feet


Once there is enough tension created in
the plantar fascia, fine tuning is necessary.

These arch supports are from the G8


brand. Full insoles are also available.

UPCOMING EVENTS

AUDAX

ANDONNEU
200 300 400 600

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
NOV Coalelds Tour 400

DEC Bedrock 100/100

NOV Smelly Welly 100/200

DEC Bedrock 200/200

DEC The Hour Glass 600


DEC Scarp & Surf 300

TH E LON G D ISTA NC E C Y C LING CLUB

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
SEP Goyder 600

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE NEXT CHALLENGE WHY NOT TAKE IT UP A NOTCH AND
SEE WHAT YOU ARE REALLY CAPABLE OF AUDAX AUSTRALIA ORGANISES EVENTS FROM
50 TO 1200KM AND BEYOND. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL?

QUEENSLAND
NOV Midnight Century 160

1500km IN 4 IDES

NEW SOUTH WALES


NOV Bushrangers Weekend
50 to 1000

SEP Discover Naracoorte


100/200/300

DEC In Search of Hills


150/200/250

OCT Grandslam 200


OCT Round the Pound
120/210/240/220

VICTORIA

Audax Alpine Classic 2015

NOV Grand Ridge Road


Randonne 200

Sunday 25 January 2015 | 7 distances available


NEW RIDE

Ultimate320*

Start at 4:00 or 6:19am


*Conditions apply

ACT

Sir Hubert Oppy


Opperman winner of
Paris-Brest-Paris 1931

NOV Wattle Valley 400

NOV Alpine Delight 100/200

NOV Wattle Valley Two Step


2 x 200

DEC Jump the Gun


100 to 600

DEC Politics, Religion &


Salvation 200/400/600

DEC Bah Humbug 100

TASMANIA
NOV Airwalk Extraordinaire 100

BOOKINGS
NOW OPEN

alpineclassic.com.au

Paris-Brest-Paris

2015

DEC Ash Dash 100/200

qualification now open

Will you be there?

www.audax.org.au
Audax Australia Cycling Club Inc., Association No. A0014462N ARBN 125 562 307

Visit www.audax.org/calendar for all ride details

#AudaxOz

This is where wedging comes in. Wedges are


available in three forms; in-shoe wedges, cleat
wedges and heel wedges. In-shoe wedges
have a direct effect on the forefoot, but
because they are placed underneath a shoe
insole and over the point of contact with the
pedal, they also have an indirect effect on the
rear foot. Cleat wedges are placed between
the cleat and the sole of the shoe and cant
the entire foot. Overall they have the same
effect as an in-shoe wedge. Heel wedges fit
underneath the heel of the shoe insole and
affect only the rear foot. Both cleat and heel
wedges have a one degree taper.

Which to Use?
In-shoe wedges take up a lot of vertical
space in the toe and more than one is
impractical for most riders over the
long-term because they compromise foot
comfort. What they are best for is as a bike
fitting diagnostic tool because they can
quickly be added to or removed from a shoe
without need for tools.
Cleat wedges perform the same function
as in-shoe wedges and because they are
placed underneath the cleat, they dont
compromise shoe fit.
Heel wedges have their place; in fact 70%
of people need a heel wedge or wedges, either
alone or in combination with cleat wedges.
The key to ensuring proprioceptive
clarity is firstly, the correct degree of arch
support inside the shoe and secondly, the
correct amount and location of wedging.
While I have a method to determine what
is required based on quantifying the
proprioceptive response from the feet, until

the patent application is granted, I cant talk


about it publicly. Still there is a relatively
simple way to determine ideal wedging
numbers or very close to it. It is time
consuming but well worth the effort and is
outlined below.

The Dustin Dumbbell Method


Below is an edited cut and paste of
correspondence Ive had with Dustin, a US
rider from Texas.
After fitting level two arch support as
you suggested, I have been all over the place
with different combos of heel and cleat
wedging until September, when I put my
bike in a trainer and tried lifting a 15-pound
dumbbell in front of me one side at a time
with arm at full extension (being careful not
to destroy my brake hoods) trialling every
combo of heel and cleat wedges between
zero and three wedges in total. I found that
on each side I could lift the weight eight or
nine times with every combo but one, which
allowed me to lift the weight 14 times.
This happened to be one cleat wedge on
the right and one cleat wedge and one heel
wedge on the left. With this combination
I immediately felt better and stronger on
the bike. My knees are tracking straight,
my right foot no longer feels unstable and
slippery on the pedal, and both feet are
uniform (as opposed to left heel out, right
heel in). I went from having significant
medial right knee pain after a 50-mile ride
one week, to riding 75 miles with 1,500ft
elevation gain the next week (I live in a flat
area and my largest elevation gain prior to
that was around 50ft), and 180 miles in two

days the week after that without knee pain.


What Dustin has done is clever and Ill
explain why it worked so well. He has
fitted his bike to a trainer and pedalled
under load (exerting force with the lower
body ie highest priority task from a motor
control point of view) while at the same
time lifting a dumbbell with each arm in
turn at full extension of the arm (ie exerting
force with his upper body which is a lower
priority motor control task). The reason
that he could complete more repetitions of
the dumbbell lift on each side was his foot
wedging was optimal is as follows.
Because we dont have optimal
proprioceptive awareness of what the feet
are doing while applying load to the pedals,
the cerebellum is using a proportion of its
capacity constantly chasing information
about the task and not getting it. That
wasted capacity is not available for lifting
the dumbbells because lower body effort,
pedalling; is higher priority than upper body
effort; lifting the dumbbell with each arm.
Once Dustin had found the optimal
degree and placement of wedging for each
foot, the wasted capacity is made available
for any other task at hand, which in this
case was lifting the dumbbells.
I encourage you to give Dustins method a
try. Dustin used up to a maximum of three
wedges in his testing. While not unknown, it
is an uncommon rider who needs more than
three wedges on one side with the average
per rider being a total of between two and
three for both feet combined.
Next issue Ill deal with setting seat
height and seat setback.

MASTERCLASS

A WOMENS GUIDE TO BETTER CYCLING

BY NICOLA RUTZOU

82

Fuelling to Step Up
to the Next Level
So far in this series weve discussed your training program,
what gear you will need and how to find a cycling club
that meets your needs. Nicola Rutzou gives us some
thoughts around what and when to eat for best results.

Image courtesy of Fondo.com

ccording to sports dietician


Rebecca Hay, a cyclist herself,
nutrition is often an afterthought
with any training program and
is only considered when things
like fatigue becomes a problem or riders are
not seeing the results they want, particularly
with weight loss.
In my experience women are very
weight conscious and therefore there is
an aspect of weight management when
Im working with female cyclists. They
are inclined not to recover properly
because they have weight loss in their
minds. However its like not putting
petrol in your car and not servicing it, and
expecting it to keep running.
Ive heard of women cyclists who
restrict themselves to 1,200 calories. This
isnt enough for most active women, let
alone a cyclist in training. Often these
diets are based on low carbs in the false
belief that they will burn fat. It is true

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

that at higher intensities you will burn


fat but you will also burn carbs so you
need to eat them, preferably straight after
exercise, added Rebecca.
Coach Donna Meehan also stresses the
importance of nutrition in any training
program and says if you dont fuel your
body with a balanced diet then it wont
perform at its best.
I always stress the need for a holistic
approach to nutrition. Supplements and
things like gels can play a role but nothing
replaces a diet of unprocessed real food.
When I work with a client I ensure that
they are eating the right food in order to
get the results they seek. I also make sure
they stay hydrated because this is often
overlooked, said Donna.
Rebecca Hay says that there are a
number of dietary areas where women
particularly need to focus including their
intake of iron and calcium. Theres a
trend away from red meat so women need

to look for other iron rich foods like leafy


green vegetables. In short, low iron equals
poor performance.
Likewise women should be having
three to four serves of dairy per day and if
they are avoiding dairy they need to look
at other calcium-rich foods like grains,
legumes, leafy greens and nuts.

Tips for Recovery


With my clients I often start with
recovery because its frequently where
people go wrong. Coming home from
a morning ride they need to consume
something quick and easy like a
smoothie or even a glass of Sustagen
Sport, said Rebecca.
Here are a few recovery tips from
Rebecca Hay:
Carbohydrate should make up the bulk
of what you consume. It is used to fill
muscles up again with glycogen this is
muscle fuel. You will empty almost all

Commercial cereal with low fat milk and


some low fat yoghurt plus a piece of fruit.
The timing of a recovery meal is also
important. If you plan to train again
within eight to 12 hours then you need
to consume the recovery meal within
30 minutes of getting off your bike. The
window for recovery is wider if training
is not for another 24 hours or longer
getting the recovery meal in within two
hours is sufficient in this situation.
A carton of chocolate milk or a
commercial recovery drink can be used
as the recovery meal if you are pressed
for time.

Should I eat before a training ride?


This is another area where cyclists are
not sure which way to go. Here are a few
simple guidelines from Rebecca Hay:
Even if you are exercising with weight
reduction as one of your goals, you will
find you train better if you have a little
fuel on board before an intense session.
For safety reasons on a bike, I also
advise that if you are riding first thing in
the morning you do consume something
so that you are able to concentrate and
react quickly if necessary.

Thirty to 60 grams of carbohydrate


per hour will meet most ride needs. For
those going at a high intensity, for over
2.5 hours, up to 90 grams per hour can
be beneficial.
Hydration is really important. You are
far more likely to be under hydrated than
over. You should have your bike set up to
carry two water bottles.
Try packaged foods like gels and
bars, but also make your own food like
simple sandwiches. If you plan further
in advance you can cook great ride food
like those featured in The Feed Zone by
Thomas & Lim.
Even for riders like Belinda Diprose
whos been racing for many years, getting
race nutrition right can be challenging,
In terms of racing it is something I often
struggle with. Pre race I find porridge a
good start as I often can't stomach toast. I
try and eat about 1.5 hours before a race
and have a gel 15 minutes prior. I usually
race with water and also electrolyte. I
drink a lot of water on the bike, more
than most people I know. I use gels while
racing every 40 minutes or so, plus lollies
as I find gels a bit hard to stomach in
longer races. If I am doing a mountain

Its important to practise eating and


drinking on training rides so that you feel
confident during a race.

your muscle glycogen after an intense


60-minute exercise session or after 90 to
120 minutes of a moderate session.
A small amount of good quality protein
must also be consumed in recovery to repair
any muscle damage done while exercising.
While fat is not important specifically for
recovery, a small amount will definitely
make your recovery meal taste better.
On a practical level most bike rides
are done first thing in the morning, so
breakfast is typically the recovery meal.
In this situation I recommend choosing a
food based meal for recovery rather than
a shake or meal replacement.
Some examples which would suit a
female around 60 to 65 kilograms:
Wholegrain toast with baked beans and
a tub of low fat yoghurt.
Porridge (made with low fat milk) with
sliced banana, walnuts and a dash of honey
Wholegrain toast with two poached
eggs and a tub of low fat yoghurt

You may need to try a few different


ways to get the energy in solid vs. liquid
form. Eating early in the morning can be
very challenging so using a liquid may be
the easiest option all round. Making sure
that there is not too much fibre or too
much protein is also important to speed
up absorption time because you want the
liquid or food to leave your belly pretty
quickly if you are working with a short time
frame between eating/drinking and riding.
Some of the easiest options are the
pre-packaged breakfast drinks like Up
and Go or Sustagen. If you dont mind
eating solid food then the humble banana
is a great choice or some toast with jam
or honey.

What should I eat and drink during


a ride or race?
The length and intensity of a ride
dictates how much and what you might
decide to take with you on a bike ride.
Many cyclists choose to consume water
only on their rides and for a short, moderate
paced ride this may be enough. When the
intensity kicks up though it is time to start
thinking about adding some carbohydrate to
top up muscle fuel, said Rebecca.
Rebecca has a few tips for eating and
drinking during a ride or race:
Muscles use glycogen for fuel which is
stored in our muscles and liver. We have
enough stored in our muscles for about
90 minutes of moderate intensity activity.

bike team event I eat pikelets and jam or


rice cream between laps. Post hard session
training or a race I always have Sustagen.

Practice, practice, practice


Rebecca Hay also stresses the
importance of practising eating and
drinking before a big race. Its important
to practise eating and drinking on training
rides so that you feel confident during a
race. So you need to practise the practical
issues of pulling your drink bottle out and
putting it back, as well as opening packets
of food and eating while riding. You also
need to practise what works for your
body in terms of food and drink. Dont
wait until race day to find out what fuels
your body best, concluded Rebecca Hay.
Its important to practise and plan your
nutrition well in advance and not leave it
until a couple of days before an important
event. If youre really serious about
stepping up to the next level, nutrition
must play a role in your plans.

Nicola Rutzou
icola writes a cycling blog called
Women Who Cycle (http://
womenwhocycle.com) and works in
the cycling industry in Sydney.

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 83

MASTERCLASS
MARCUS SPEED

Polarise

Your Training
We had some great feedback about The Time-Poor Cyclist article
in our last issue, so this time around were going to put together a
structured, time-efficient real-life polarised training plan.
o recap, there is published
data (Boston University,
2012-13) looking at world
champion runners and cyclists
that suggests that the athletes
in these sports are engaging in what is
referred to as polarised training training
at relatively easy aerobic intensities at
one end of the spectrum, and at gutbusting high intensities at the other end,
but spending very little in the anaerobic
threshold zone where the two extremes
overlap. The evidence suggests that,
for elite athletes at least, undertaking
Goldilocks training (not too hard, not
too easy) is not the best way to train for
optimum performance. With some minor
modification we can apply this training
system to the club racer, and get great
results with minimal time investment.
For the sake of simplicity, we can divide
training into three distinct zones:
1. A low lactate zone (low intensity
endurance training, where very little
lactate is produced [lactate <2 mmol/L]);
2. A lactate accommodation zone
(no mans land significant lactate is
produced but is rapidly removed [lactate
2-4 mmol/L]);
3. A lactate accumulation zone (high
intensity interval training lactate is
produced more quickly than it can be
removed [lactate >4mmol/L]).
You guessed it were going to
completely avoid Zone 2, spending about
80% of our time in Zone 1 and 20% in
Zone 3.
Zone 2 workouts provide the feeling of
having worked hard, but expose the rider
to too much stress per unit gain (Matheny,
1995). This means you have worked
hard enough to need to recover, but not
really hard enough to have produced any
discernable training result.
Zone 1 rides are ridiculously easy just
rolling the legs over, not really getting out

84

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Zone 3These efforts shouldnt be


kind of hard; they should be cripplingly,
devastatingly hard.

of breath, never ever venturing into the


dreaded red zone.
Zone 3 is where the hard work
happens these sessions are very brief,
and are conducted at or near maximum
effort. These efforts shouldnt be kind
of hard; they should be cripplingly,
devastatingly hard.
OK, so weve established that were
going to give polarised training a try. We
now need to divide up the training month,
distributing our workload between Zone
1 and Zone 3. If you have, say, 25 hours
per month to dedicate to training on
the bike, 20 of these hours will be spent
riding at ultra-slow speeds, recovering
from your Zone 3 training sessions and
enjoying being out on your bike. That
leaves just five hours per month for
training in Zone 3, but those five hours
are really going to count!
Within the protocol of high intensity
training there are two types:
The low-volume supra-maximal HIT
(High Intensity Training), which involves
four to six repetitions of up to 30 seconds
of all-out exercise (approximately four
times greater than maximum aerobic
exercise intensity) with recovery periods
of around four minutes, and the lowvolume maximal HIT, which encompasses
eight to 10 efforts of between 30 seconds
and one minute performed at maximal
aerobic exercise capacity, interspersed

with 60-75 seconds of light recovery.


We're going to use a combination of
these two methods to deliver the most
diverse and effective high intensity
training plan possible.

THE WORKOUTS
HILL CHARGES
On a moderate incline, stand out of
the saddle and charge up the hill as fast
as possible for 30 seconds. Coast back
to your starting point. Repeat six to
eight times. Recover 10 minutes, then do
another set.

40/20S
Build power and train your body
to recover quickly between efforts for
events that demand repeated surges. In a
medium to large gear, push as hard as you
can for 40 seconds; recover 20 seconds.
Repeat 10 times. Thats one set. Do up to
four, resting five minutes between sets.

40 ON 50 OFF
Improve your power and recovery by
smashing a 40-second effort as hard as
you can, then spinning the legs for 50
seconds to recover. Do five 40-second max
efforts, then reverse the order by going
all-out for 50 seconds, with a 40-second
recovery. Do another five efforts.

ONE-MINUTE BREAKDOWNS
Go as hard as you can for 60 seconds, rest for 30 seconds. Go as
hard as you can for 50 seconds, recover for 25 seconds. Go all-out
for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds. Go all-out for 30 seconds, rest
for 15 seconds then repeat the workout.

ONE-MINUTE MURDER
This doesnt sound too hard, but it will leave you gasping. Go
all-out, absolutely 100% for one minute, then rest for one minute.
Repeat four times. What, thats it? Thats right, its a workout thats
over in seven minutes, but if you genuinely go as hard as you can youll
reap enormous fitness and strength benefits, improve your pedalling
efficiency and increase your ability to recover between efforts.

TABATA
Named after the Japanese exercise physiologist, these efforts will
massively improve your leg strength and lung capacity. Go allout for 20 seconds, coast for 10 seconds. Keep repeating for eight
minutes, then build it up to 10 minutes if you can.
Turn to page 86 to see the program of how to use the six
workouts above.

THE PITFALLS
Just as we all know a local club or caf rider who suffers from
chronic cardio, going kinda hard all the time, imagining somehow
that every ride is a race and never improving, most of us can also
identify with those riders who take high intensity training to a whole
new level and smash themselves day after day, week after week,
digging themselves deeper and deeper into a lactic-drenched hole.
These people, whilst perhaps reaping some early benefits, are likely
to have cooked their autonomic nervous systems and are simply
seeing the downstream consequences of this.
This is the most common error made during HIT training to
think, Hey, I have all this time to train now why not do an extra
two or even three sessions this week? Ill improve even faster!
Wrong, wrong, wrong. This will destroy you it will make you
tired and slow and grumpy, so dont do it!

WAYS TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU


The most important factor within this type of training regimen
is the recovery. Make sure at least 80% of your dedicated training
time is spent in Zone 1, just cruising along at a pace that you can
comfortably speak at. If you cant hold an animated conversation
youre going too fast!
HIT training works a whole lot better when you have a solid
foundation of fitness behind you. It doesnt really work as a shortcut to victory and glory, so if youre doubtful about your current
fitness level take a month or two of steady base-building mileage
before you launch into HIT.
Prepare yourself mentally to suffer (albeit briefly) during your HIT
efforts. Going into a session knowing youre going to give it everything
makes you much more likely to follow up on your commitment and go
all-out for those brief blazing efforts. And during these efforts, go hard!
Forty seconds at 100% means exactly that a burst of pure energy
that will just, maybe, get you to the 40-second mark. If you know that
you could have gone for a minute at the same pace you didn't go hard
enough. If you dont make it to the end if you fail after 30 seconds or
whatever thats OK. Whats not OK is to get to the end knowing you
could have gone harder.
At some stage there will come a time when my recommendation
is to ignore everything Ive just written, and undertake some wellplanned longer intervals (with even longer recoveries) plus some
sub-threshold rides of three or four hours and long steady hill
climbs. It might be that youre just tired of smashing yourself, or it
might be that you want to spend a month or two rebuilding your
base fitness or undertake some cross-training. Either way, some time
away from high intensity training feels nice, allows you to rebuild
and regroup and tends to leave you feeling ready and pumped to go
hard once again.

IN SUMMARY
If you are mentally strong enough to go hard when you need to
and slow when you should, this type of training plan has some solid
merit. Its time efficient, wind trainer-friendly and interesting (to a
point) I would definitely recommend it to those riders with a solid
riding background looking to spice up their current training trends
or save some time.

>> page 86
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 85

<< page 85

High Intensity Training Plan


TRAINING SCHEDULE
TRAINING WEEK
1

Mon

Day off

Day off

Day off

Day off

Tue

40 on/50 off

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 30 minutes

1 Minute Breakdowns

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 30 minutes

Wed

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

1 Minute Breakdowns

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

1 Minute Murder

Thu

Day off

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

Day off

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

Fri

Hill Charges - 2 X sets


of 6, 10 minute recovery
between sets

Day off

Hill Charges - 2 X sets


of 8, 10 minute recovery
between sets

Day off

Sat

Day off

40/20s X 2 sets,
5 minute recovery
between sets

Day off

Tabata 8 minutes

Sun

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 2 hours

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 3 hours

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 2 hours

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 3 hours

Mon

Day off

Day off

Day off

Day off

Tue

Tabata 9 minutes

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 30 minutes

1 Minute Murder

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 30 minutes

Wed

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

1 Minute Murder

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

Day off

Thu

Day off

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

Day off

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

Fri

40/20s X 3 sets,
5 minute recovery
between sets

Day off

Hill Charges - 2 X sets


of 8, 10 minute recovery
between sets

Day off

Sat

Day off

Day off

Day off

Tabata 9 minutes

Sun

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 2 hours

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 4 hours

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 2 hours

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 3 hours

10

11

12

Mon

Day off

Day off

Day off

Day off

Tue

40 on/50 off

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 30 minutes

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

1 Minute Breakdowns

Wed

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

40 on/50 off

1 Minute Murder

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 30 minutes

Thu

Day off

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

Day off

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 90 minutes

Fri

Tabata 10 minutes

Day off

40/20s X 4 sets,
5 minute recovery
between sets

Tabata 10 minutes

Sat

Day off

Day off

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 30 minutes

Day off

Sun

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 2 hours

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 4 hours

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 2 hours

Easy Zone 1 recovery


ride - 3 hours

Approx total
monthly
training time:
25 hrs

TRAINING WEEK
Approx total
monthly
training time:
25 hrs

TRAINING WEEK

86

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Approx total
monthly
training time:
25 hrs

THE FEEDZONE
SUSIE BURRELL

Food Habits

that Impair Your


Cycling Performance
Susie Burell looks at some
of the most common food
habits that could be doing
more harm than good for
your cycling overall and the
easy way to help change
them for the better.

hile we spend much time


talking of the specific foods
that can benefit health and
sports performance, we
tend to spend far less time
talking about the daily habits that are as
conducive to eating well and reaping the
benefits. These habits, the daily rituals
that become so deeply entrenched in our
lives that we do not even realise we are
doing them, help form the platform for
good nutrition practices long term.

No fuel pre-ride

Susie Burrell
usie Burrell
is one of
Australias leading
dieticians with
degrees in both
nutrition and
psychology. She has
written three books
including Losing
the last 5kg and
Lose Weight Fast, and has a nutrition
practice in Sydney. When she is not
writing or blogging, Susie spends her
time thinking about eyelashes, Hawaii
or her beloved Burmese cat Charlie. For
more information see
www.susieburrell.com.au.

88

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

I know that you have been a regular


Saturday or Sunday morning rider for as
long as you can remember, and to date
you have had no issue with not eating
before a long ride. But what if I told you
that you could burn a greater amount
of fat, feel and recover better after your
long ride if you simply consumed a small
amount of carbohydrate and protein
before your ride? After an overnight fast,
the liver has depleted some of its stores of
glycogen and embarking on a ride prior
to refuelling means that you will deplete
these stores of fuel much more quickly
than you would if you had refuelled. Once
these stores are depleted, metabolism will
slow to continue to fuel the exercising
muscle whilst preserving some liver
stores of glycogen. Overall this metabolic
process is reduced in efficiency leading to
reduced performance and a reduction in
both carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
Stay on top of the scenario by grabbing
a small snack that contains just 10-20g
of total carbohydrate and five to 10g of
protein 30-60 minutes before any long
ride that is estimated to go for longer
than 60 minutes. Nutritionally balanced
options include an energy bar, 1 slice of
bread with cheese or nut spread or some
low fat milk or yoghurt. Not only will
you feel better on your ride in general but
long term your recovery and metabolism
will also benefit.

Lack of fuel during the day


It is not uncommon to see a cyclist who
eats a quick breakfast on the run, and a
light lunch before binging on snacks, large
portions of the evening meal and late
night snacks. While this habit may not see
you gain weight, chances are you are not
losing it either and if you have a bit of a
belly, it is this night eating habit and high
calorie load at the end of the day that is
not doing you any favours.
Generally speaking, the lighter your
calorie consumption during the day, the
more likely it is that you will crave and
overeat at night. This can be especially
true for late afternoon or evening
trainers who arrive home after a big
session absolutely ravenous. To avoid
this common scenario, take control by
prioritising eating at least three meals by
mid afternoon each day. Whether this
equates to breakfast and then a midmorning snack or an early and late lunch,
adding in an extra meal before your
late afternoon session will ensure you
avoid the intense hunger and overeating
that occurs when you have consumed
insufficient calories during the day.

Relying on sugar
While you may burn it off, relying
on sugary sports drinks, banana bread,
lollies and snack bars to fuel your rides
does not do your health any favours long
term. Whilst concentrated sugars may
offer you an energy boost on long rides
or get you over the line in event racing,
fluctuating blood glucose levels also leaves
you vulnerable to varying energy levels,
cravings and potentially long term issues
with blood glucose control.
So rather than using sugars as a pick me
up at the end of longer sessions or before
training, plan regular carbohydrate and
protein snacks every two to three hours to
keep your energy and blood glucose levels
tightly regulated. And if you must resort

Meatball Fettuccine
Serves four

It is easy for busy people to get into


the habit of eating quick and easy meals
that they are familiar with, but that are not
necessarily giving them the nutrition they
need to be at their best.

to sugars every now and again, save them


for the end of events rather than relying
on them as your primary energy source.

Eating junk because you train


You know the drill, you think you
deserve the extra chocolate or few beers
because you train regularly. All too often
we give ourselves permission to eat high
calorie foods in much higher volumes
than we usually would, just because
we train. While you may be burning a
good number of calories regularly, it is
also important to remember that the
body gets used to what we do regularly
very, very quickly. This means that the
muscles become exceptionally efficient
at burning calories when they have been
doing the same thing for a while, and
a workout which may have once burnt
600-800 calories may now only be
burning 400-500.

So, if you do enjoy a little treat at the


end of a long day, before you rush out
and demolish an entire block of chocolate,
keep in mind that a treat should always be
a small treat no matter how many times
a week you train. This means one to two
drinks, a row or two of chocolate or a
couple of bickies, not the packet.

Not enough nutrition


It is easy for busy people to get into
the habit of eating quick and easy meals
that they are familiar with, but that are
not necessarily giving them the nutrition
they need to be at their best. It can
always be a useful reminder that even
the most active, fit individuals still need
two to three cups of brightly coloured
salad and vegies each day; meat eaters,
lean red meat three to four times each
week, three to four serves of calcium
for healthy bones and enough dietary

350g fettuccine pasta


cup shredded parmesan cheese
500g peppercorn extra lean beef
meatballs
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Method
1) Cook pasta in boiling water for
10-12 minutes. Drain. Drizzle with
olive oil.
2) Heat frypan with olive. Add
meatballs and cook until browned.
3) Add chopped cherry tomatoes.
4) Toss with cooked pasta. Stir
through parsley and parmesan.

fibre for regular bowel function. While


banana bread, toast, sports drinks and
snack bars may provide easy to grab fuel
when you are busy, it does not change
the fact that you still need at least two
nutritious meals every single day.
If you find that time is the issue, plan
ahead and prepare meals in bulk in
advance. Pasta dishes, stir fries and soups
all freeze extremely well. Alternatively
order your fresh food or even groceries
online so that you always have a supply
of key ingredients to cook quick meals
with, even when you are tired. There is
also a growing number of home delivery,
healthy meal services including Dietlicious
(http://www.dietlicious.com.au/), Eat Fit
Food (http://www.eatfitfood.com.au/)
and Muscle Meals Direct (http://www.
musclemealsdirect.com.au/) that can
deliver nutritious meals to your door if you
y
have no interest in meal preparation.
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 89

MASTERCLASS
MICHAEL HANSLIP

Cockpit
Being mechanically able to build a bike cockpit is one thing,
knowing how to align all the parts for optimum function and
comfortable control is quite another. Michael Hanslip sets us
straight on handlebar and lever positioning.
etting up the front end of your
bike is not difficult but there a
several points you should bear
in mind when adjusting bars
stem and levers. Apart from the
sage advice to always use a torque wrench
when tightening stem bolts, here are my
other tips for your cockpit set-up.
Most new bikes (as opposed to a bare
frame and fork) are shipped with three to
five centimetres of spacers on the pre-cut
steerer tube. Most of you will be aware
that the spacers can be placed above or
below the stem to alter the stem height.
I proclaim that an average rider should
have no more than three centimetres
of spacers under the stem any more
suggests that the frame is too small (the
corollary for this is that many carbon fork
manufacturers insist on no more than
three or four centimetres of spacers).
Before you install that stem, remember
that most stems can be flipped. In fact, the
majority of stems have two-sided graphics
so that they look correct either way up.
With the built-in angle of the stem (which
does vary a lot from model to model) the
height of the stem can be raised by several
centimetres just by flipping the stem over
from its lower position. With a carbon
fork I always like to put one thin spacer
on top of the stem to ensure that the
entire stem is clamping on solid tube.
The tops of the bars should be in a
comfortable position for climbing. Low
enough that you can control the front
wheel, and high enough that you can
stay there all day. The drops of the bars
should then fall into a position which
is not so low that you cant ride on the
drops for at least one hour without back
pain. If you cannot get your current bars
in both a good tops and a good drops
position, then try a bar with a different
amount of drop (see figure 1).
Rotate the bar in the stem so that the
back of the drop section points directly at
the rear wheel axle. This position puts your
wrist at a comfortable angle when riding in
the drops and with many bars also places
the top of the bar in a dead flat position
(this applies to both aero-section bars
where the top is not round but also to the
forward projection just behind the brake
hoods that changes angle as you rotate
the bar in the stem). From an aesthetic as
well as a functional point of view, a small
variation from this ideal is permissible,

90

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

DROP CENTRE - CENTRE

Figure 1
but if you feel a need to make it radically
different then try a different bar.
Slide the brake levers onto the bars
and position them near the top of the
bend so that the hood is horizontal
and thus continues the extension of
the bars without an angle change (see
figure 2). This maximises your possible
hand positions rather than isolating
the hood from the bar. It only works
with modern bar bends; if you have
bars with the word classic in their
name then they cannot be set up this
way. Placing a long builders level or
straight dowel e.g. a broom handle,
across the hoods will accentuate any
slight misalignment and help you find
a straight and balanced position.
If necessary, now is the time to install
the cables. I always try to put the shift
cables onto the wrong side of the frame
the rear derailleur cable goes to the left
side of the head tube and the front cable

to the right. They then have to cross over


somewhere before the bottom bracket
guide to get to their correct derailleur.
This keeps the cable housing away from
the head tube. It is not always possible to
install this way. Dont cut those housings
too short you can trim them later. Fix
the cables to the bars in two places with
tape. I dont like electrical tape for this as
it stretches too much and lets the cables
migrate. If everything is tight, now you
can go for a test ride to see how you like
your new position.
Once you have decided it is good (and
that the brake hoods are even with each
other!) then tape the bars. There is a
plethora of ways to wrap the tape, but
really, some practice is the most important
thing to achieving an even wrap. Pro
teams wrap their bars inwards while
most shops wrap their bars outwards
(defined by the direction of the first wrap
at the bottom and you really should

FLAT FROM BAR ONTO HOODS

Figure 2

K Edge out front Garmin mount

start at the bottom whether it points


outwards or inwards). Having tried both
I dont think it makes much difference
with most bar tapes. The last few bars Ive
wrapped I have even mixed the direction
both sides wrapped to the left, and unless
you look closely you cant tell.
Begin your taping with an entire width
of tape hanging off the end of the bars.
This provides sufficient tape to stuff inside
the bar to retain the bar plug and ensure
the full circumference of the bar has tape
tucked in (looks better, retains the plug
better). Overlap about 1/3 of the width of
the tape as you go that is, lay down the
new tape wrap to cover 1/3 of the tape
already on the bar. In corners you need
more overlap on the inside of the bend
and less on the outside to keep it looking
good and to prevent wrinkles.
Pay particular attention to how the tape
passes the brake hood. Youll want to

roll up the hoods to make space and the


goal is to have no gaps where the bar is
visible. Most tape includes a short section
to place over the lever clamp, a tight
wrap under and then over the er body
should provide complete
rage.
The tape requires
ir bit of tension
but you dont
nt to pull enough to
break it. Again actice comes into play.
At the top, cut a allow angle across the
remaining tape so at it wraps on itself in
a perfect square ed e. Wrap the bar ta
e here is where
with some adhesive
I like to use electrical ape (and it comes
in coordinating colour and then tidy the
job with the finishing ta supplied with
the bar tape. It looks rea y pro if you get
the end of the finishing ta under the bar
where you cant see it.
Down the road you migh decide
something is not quite right. have moved
the brake hoods a few millime res withou

ruining the bar tape job. Rotating the


bars in the stem is super-easy. On most
bikes you can get the stem off the steerer
tube in order to shuffle spacers around
without loosening the bars (and here is
where a bit of slack in the cables will
help). Swapping to a shorter stem is
always possible, but depending on the
cables a longer stem might not fit. This
can also be true of moving the bars up
very much small changes will always
work but a large upwards shift often
causes over-tight cables.
After a few weeks of happiness, then
it is time to trim the cables to their
permanent length. The cables are trapped
under the tape so you must trim the other
end. To successfully do this, remember
to remove the inner wire from the outer
housing before you cut Ive seen this
step forgotten in store workshops more
often than you might believe. I like to
replace the cables annually (or more often
if required) which means that the bar tape
naturally comes up for replacement just
as often. Use the old cable housing as a
guide to cut the new pieces exactly the
same (unless you werent happy with the
old length, obviously).
After finishing with the tape you need
to worry about the accessories. Lights,
computer, GPS there are many things
we place on our bike these days. Out
front mounts have become de rigueur
for a reason this is the most visible and
effective position for your computer/GPS
device. It also uses up the least amount
of bar space. Even if you are doing this
in the middle of summer, dont forget the
lighting system you are going to use next
winter. This is a balancing act further
complicated by the narrow centre section
that many bars sport today (back in the
old days the bulged part of the bars was
at least 10cm wide now it can be barely
wider than the stem). If you are desperate
for more accessory space there are several
bars-space enhancers that make room for
multiple devices.
Because of the length of time even a
casual rider spends on their bike, small
alterations in the cockpit can add up to
big differences in comfort. Dont be afr
to experiment if your bike isnt pe
now, but remember to make
ange
each time (if you make
or more
chang
what)
hat
necess
chan
ort can be
want

Preset torque
wrenches like this
5Nn one supplied
with Trek bicycles
are very handy.
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 91

TEST L A B
BY GARY HUNT

Jaggad Giro Spray Jacket


and Bastia Bib Tights
Jaggad Bastia Bib Tights
astia is a region on the island of
Corsica which is now governed
by France, though prior to WW2
when it changed hands, it was ruled by
Italy. These tights use a moulded Italian
chamois and a matte black lycra fabric
for the legs to create a comfortable cool
weather clothing choice. The lycra in
these tights is not fleeced at all, just a
straight stretch fabric so theyre not ideal
for really cold weather. While different
people feel the cold differently, I found
these a good choice for morning rides
over winter or on overcast days where the
temperatures started just above zero.
The styling is somewhat reminiscent of
Rapha gear with assymetric positioning
of logos and pink highlights although
Jaggad uses a light green colour as well.
The fabric is very comfortable and quality
of finishing is good, with no loose threads
and nice attention to detail around the
labels and feature tabs.
The pad in the Bastia tights is
ergonomically shaped and comfortable, if
a little softer than I am used to, especially
for longer rides, though this does make
them not too bulky and so they fit well.
The shoulder straps are a mesh fabric
wide enough to be very comfortable,
remaining flat and in place under my
jersey. I like a firm fit in knicks and would
recommend going one size down on your
usual when selecting sizes.

Jaggad Giro Spray Jacket


his jacket has been created to repel
wet and wintery conditions while
maintaining comfort and looking
good into the bargain. The Jaggad gear has
a high end feel and appealing style with
good colour palette and some nice features
like the tabs sewn into the seams and
graphical features printed on the fabric.
The hem around the waist is nicely
shaped to fit well while riding, shorter in
the front and longer in the back and has
silicone elastic built in to prevents the jacket
from riding up. Along with this, the taped
seams and deep cuffs help keep out wind
and water. The fabric feels very nice to
touch and moves well with your body. Its a
soft and stretchy micro fibre fabric with an
8:5 membrane bonded on both sides.
The 8:5 rating indicates the fabrics
water resistance capacity and its
breathability level. The 8 means that the
material can support a water column
of 8000 mm before gravity will pull the
water through, and the 5 indicates this
fabric will wick 5,000 grams of water per
square metre of fabric per 24 hour period
(g/m2/24hrs). Typical mid-range fabrics
tend to have values of 5,000mm of water
resistance and 5,000g of breathability,
while the best materials have 20,000mm
and 20,000g. Breathability is variable
dependent on humidity and temperature.
The zip is a two hand affair, but it is
full length and the toggle hides away
at the collar to prevent scratching and
discomfort. Sleeves and the rear hem
are long enough to keep your wrists and

92

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

RRP: $240
Distributed by Jaggad
www.jaggad.com

lower back covered and warm when


stretching out on the bike.
I like the look of this jacket, its
comfortable, conforming fit and its level
of rain protection. There are no vents for
cooling airflow however, so it tended to
get a little steamy on milder days, but it
was certainly a good choice for riding in
very cold and wet weather.
RRP: $199
Distributed by Jaggad
www.jaggad.com

After running aground in the GFC,


Jaggad has had a serious makeover. In
2012 the business which had made a
name in triathlon clothing over many
years, was bought by a group of high
prole business operators and sporting
identities who have reoated the
business and developed new ranges
of clothing for the burgeoning cycling
market. We have been wearing their
winter gear for a couple of months for
review, and while Spring has sprung
and you may be thinking more of new
season gear, if the Giro Jacket and
Bastia tights are indicative of their 2015
range it should be something to look
out for. Word is it will be available from
October this year.

TEST L A B
BY PETER ROX

Novatec R5
Carbon Clinchers
ovatec is a brand that many of
us may have come into contact
with without even knowing
it, they have been producing
quality hubs used in many
wheels for a number of years but have
now decided to go the whole hog and
produce their own branded wheels.
The Novatec R5 is a 50mm deep
carbon clincher rim that has followed the
recent trend of using a wider rim profile.
The 24mm wide Hypertoroid profile is
said to improve the aerodynamics of the
tyre/ wheel combination by smoothing
out the interface between the tyre and the
rim. When used in conjunction with all
black tyres they also look pretty slick.
The wheel obviously utilises Novatec's
own hub which spins fantastically
smoothly. The black of the hub is
highlighted with red end caps, and nicely
for me, perfectly matched my bikes colour
scheme. The rim is a matte carbon with
bold white decals, which while certainly
not subtle arent garish. The front wheel
runs 20 spokes radially laced and the rear
runs 24 spokes with a single cross pattern
o cross
on the non-drive side and a two
u look
pattern on the drive side. If you
otice that
closely at the spokes you will no
k spokes
on each wheel, among the black
are two silver spokes, these are set at
either side of the valve hole, to allow for
easier locating of the valve, pressumably
for those who choose to flaunt old school
protocols and do not match theeir tyre
labels with their valves. In any case
c
they
are kind enough to provide you
u with
spare spokes in black in case yo
ou dont
like this odd spoke look.
While on spare parts, the wheeels
come complete with a set of ligh
htweight
titanium skewers, also the recom
mmended
brake pads and a pair of valve extenders.
e
The skewers I found, unlike som
me
d at their
lightweight skewers, to be good
job however the thread I found to be a
little short. This meant care needed to be
taken when loosening off the sk
kewer to
get it past the lawyer tab on the
t front
wheel, as it was very easy to have the nut
come right off the thread, and dropping
d
in
one of those on the side of the road
r
grass could be a nightmare. It was
w also
nice not to encounter any tickin
ng from
the valve extenders protruding through
t
the rim as can sometimes annoy
yingly be
the case.
The wheels weighed in at 752
2 grams for
the front and 960 grams for thee rear, this

94

Bicycling Australia

November December
cember 2014

included the rim tape that was already


installed. That doesnt put them in the
super exotic category of lightweight
wheels, but then again the price also
reflects this. The R5 is a noticeably stiff
wheel; with brake blocks set tight out of
the saddle climbing efforts did not result
in any brake rub at all. They would
certainly make a great criterium or race
wheel and are also good on all but the
harshest roads but if you were after a
super comfortable ride then maybe the
shallower profile R3 should be in your
sights. The R5s spin up to speed quickly
and seem to hold speed well. The profile
is quite stable under crosswinds with
only a slight buffeting being noticed on
the blusterier days. The braking on the
Novatec's was a pleasant surprise. I have
steered away from full carbon clinchers
for a few years as I wasnt happy with
the braking of my last set, but these
have come a long way. The braking is
only marginally compromised when
compared to an aluminium rim, both in
the wet and in the dry. The brakes do still
carry that slight carbon squeal, but it is
h li noise
i like
lik years gone by,
b
nott a howling
just enough to let others know you are
lucky enough to be riding carbon rims.
There was no hint of the wheels
overheating at all, however
I didnt do any super long
descents nor was I keen
to actually push these
to failure. There was
no recommended
maximum tyre
pressure noted on
the rims that I could
find, so with that I
pumped my tyres
up to 120psi and
there were no
issues at all.
Of course good
carbon clincher
wheels come at
a cost, but the
$2,000 asking price
for the Novatec R5
is not exorbitant,
especially compared
to some other brands
about. When you
factor in the ability for
this wheel to handle most
conditions and therefore
be used more often along
with their ability to make your

bike look like a race machine every day


then the rate per km isnt much at all and
makes a more compelling argument than
a pair of fancy wheels that only gets used
once a month.

RRP: $1,999
Distributor: Bicycle Parts Wholesalers
www.bicyclepartswholesale.com.au

Not the widest


available but at
24mm these are
following the trend
toward wider rims.

TEST L A B
BY PAT HOWARD

Giro Wind Jacket


he Giro brand instantly
resonates with stylish,
well-mad
de helmets. Weve
been wattching Giros
move into the apparel
and footwear ma
arkets recently,
but not had the opportunity to
sample their cloth
hing. It makes
ssense to outfit the cyclist from
head to toe, but clothing and
helmets are very different!
Giro apparel has
a disttinct casual,
hipstter-retro style.
Its intended
i
to be
high
h performance,
but not look racy
or lary like typical
lycrra kit. Their
bran
nding focuses
on their
t
Californian
heritage to leverage
the laid back, beachside casual persona.
The Wind
W
Jacket and
Wind Vestt are constructed
almost identically, from
two materrials: an ultra
light weigh
ht ripstop nylon
front and ssleeves, with
perforated polyester back
panel for vventilation. Both
fabrics havve a soft feel
that borders on luxurious,
and the all-black materials
present a n
neutral and
confident sstyle. The Vest has
a piping ru
unning parallel
to the zip o
on the front, but
other than tthat its basically
the Wind Jaccket with the
sleeves chopp
ped off. To keep
things simple (which Giros
ould appreciate)
designers wo
Ill talk abou
ut the two items
as one.
The zips arre from YKK, with
rubberized Giro pulls for ease
ally with gloves on.
of use, especia
The zip has a nice little polyester
garage on the neck to prevent
nasty chafing or scratching. The
back of the neck includes a
short refleective piping, but
in the daylight this piping
is black to the eye to
preserrve the casual style.
Thee fit is relaxed.
samples
Our medium
m
were generous without
being potato sacks. We were
96

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

wearing the right size, and without doubt


the fit intentionally allows space to wear
over the top of heavier street garments
such as a t-shirt, rather than a euro fit
race jersey. Accordingly, there are no
pockets on the back of the garments to
stow epic ride essentials.
In keeping with Giros metropolitan
cyclist outlook, I rode the garments
on my daily work commute, as well as
longer rides. I felt that the understated
look was a nicer fit for my 25 minute
suburban trip than my standard roadie
apparel, which regularly inspires
insightful observations, such as its not
the Tooar dee Fraance mate!.
Western Sydney winter mornings can
be pretty cold (sub zero), and I was
concerned about the insulation that
I could expect. I was fine from about
5-7 degrees up, as the garments were
surprisingly windproof when layered over
a regular jersey and winter bib knicks. I
encountered a couple of light showers,
and I was kept dry too. This definitely
surpassed my expectations.
On the technical front, the most
obvious feature of these goodies is their
lack of weight and bulk. Each has a small
drawstring bag stitched inside: turn the
garment inside out and stuff it in the bag.
Even the jacket stows down to the size
of a squishy, full term orange. The jacket
weighed 86 grams, the vest 60 grams!
On the down side, the zip is hard to
pull on the fly as the light material gives
little support when combined with the
loose fit. It would also be nice to see some
more reflective features integrated. After
all, these are entirely black garments
targeted at city cyclists, for use in cold
weather months.
I do my best to avoid reading about
any item before I review it, but will
always check the manufacturer website
after I feel confident in the opinion I have
formed. Giro asserts you should carry one
of these on pretty much every ride, and
I cannot disagree. Outside of summer
riding at low altitudes, its a no brainer to
stash one of these in your pocket before
you hit the road or start with it on, and
stash it later. Youll look stylish too, be it
on the road, at the coffee stop or arriving
at the office.
RRP: $119.95 vest
RRP:$139.95 jacket
Distributed by Sheppard Industries
www.sheppardindustriesltd.com

Australian Alpine Cycle Training Camp


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($
ly
Strict
ed
t
i
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pl e e
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a
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i
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v
a

Next camps:
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in Australias most challenging alpine region.

www.cycling-inform.com/bright-boot-camp

(03) 5775 3043

TEST L A B
BY PAT HOWARD

WEIGHT: 8.34kg, 56cm RRP: $2,798

Scott Solace 30

Scott Solace 30
98

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Solace is not a word that


features frequently in the
day to day vocabulary. Solace is a reference to comfort, specifically in a time
of distress or hardship. The
Scott team must have been
chuffed when they came
across such a fitting name
for their new comfort focused bike. The comfort
segment is a new one for
Scott, and their soft rider is
up against some metaphorically stiff competition.
he Solace debuted as a 2014
model at the same time as the
reborn Addict line. The Scott
premium line now boasts the
aerodynamic Foil (used by most
of the Orica Green Edge team), the feather
light Addict, and the comfy cobbler
Solace. Its a broad arsenal of bikes that
allows each to pursue its own distinct
personality, and echoes the multi-platform
approach of many of Scotts competitors.
From day one the Solace is up against
very well established and well known competitors, such as the Giant Defy, Specialized
Roubaix, Trek Domane and Cannondale
Synapse. Almost every major player has a
comfort-oriented machine on offer. The regular Joe has never been so spoilt for choice,
or quality. Fittingly Scott sent us their Solace
30. This is the entry level Solace. They could
have sent us the spanky Solace 10, decked
out with Dura Ace no less, but the 30 is the
Solace that talks directly to the recreational
rider. The spec is solid, the fit is relaxed, and
the asking price is very reasonable. A lot of
people should find this machine appealing.
Regardless of the parts, the main event is
the Solace frame and fork. As noted, this
is Scotts first foray into the comfort bike
segment. The Solace is new from top to tail.
Comfort bikes are typically characterized by
taller head tubes and shorter top tubes than
their racier siblings, and the Solace is no different. These geometry changes put the rider
in a more upright position compared with
the Foil or Addict. For the given size, the
Solace is 5mm shorter in the top tube and
20mm taller in the head tube. Unlike most
of its competitors, the Solace maintains a
short 405mm chainstay length. The wheelbase of the Solace is slightly shorter than a
Foil or Addict.
Scott refers to the Solace as having two
zones; Power and Comfort. The Power zone
is the lower portion of the frame, the down
tube, bottom bracket and chain stays. Its the
solid foundation that the rider is separated
from, and it is solid. The downtube is a large
rectangle where it meets the bottom bracket,
looking no different to any high stiffness race
bike, and the chain stays are quite chunky. The
Power Zone of the bike makes the Comfort
Zone look comparatively malnourished, espe-

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 99

BIKE
The rear aero brake is tucked
out of the way so theres a cam
adjuster in the cable at the handlebar level for easy access.

SPECIFICATIONS
Frame

HMF Carbon

Fork

HMF Carbon, 1 1/8 steerer

Stem

Syncros FL2.0

Headset

Ritchey Pro Drop-In

Handlebars

Syncros RR2.0 Anatomic bend

Saddle

Syncros FL2.5

Seat Post

Syncros Carbon FL1.2, 27.2mm

Shift Levers

Shimano 105 5800

Brakes

F: Shimano 105 5800 R:Tektro


740 direct mount

F Derailleur

Shimano 105 5800

R Derailleur

Shimano 105 5800

Cassette

Shimano 105 5800 11-32

Chain

Shimano HG600

Crank

Shimano RS 500 50-34

Bottom Bracket

Shimano internal

Wheels

Shimano RS11

Tyres

Schwalbe Durano 25mm

Pedals

NA

Weight

8.34kg

Price

$2,798

Distributor

Sheppard Industries
www.sheppardindustriesltd.com

cially the slender seat stays.


The seat stays are not much bigger than a
pencil in diameter at their narrowest point,
and meet the top tube and side of the seat
tube, rather than ramming into the back of
the seat tube as per most bikes. They have
a slight arc, and the seat tube length of the
Solace is longer than most. These features
contribute to the generous overall length
of the stays, which Scott has designed to
absorb vibrations and bumps from the road.
The longer the stay, the more stay available
to do the comfort work. Its a similar idea to
the Volagi Liscio that we had for test a few
issues back. The rear brake is the other really noticeable piece of work, hidden under
the chain stays. This is usually associated
with aero bikes but Scott has located the
brake here to allow the seat stays to be super skinny, and bridgeless. Again, all in the
name of comfort.
The top tube has also been designed to
further the plush ride. Its flat shape should
be stiff side to side, but allow some amount
of vertical deflection. The carbon Syncros
(Scotts in house component brand) seat
post is 27.2mm in diameter and designed
to flex a little to isolate your behind from
coarse road buzz. Naturally, the fork is also
optimized to smooth the ride. The blades
have a reasonable curve which is apparently better at absorbing bumps than a
straight blade fork. The dropouts are set
back slightly from the end of the curve to
compensate for the additional rake of the
fork. The steerer is not tapered, an intentional compromise between stiffness and
ride quality.

The word comfort keeps coming up, but


its important to note that comfort is relative
to the rider. The goal of making the rider
happy on the bike is twofold: first, a happy
rider will want to ride more. Secondly, a
fresh and happy rider will be far more efficient than a sore and grumpy one, regardless
of how aerodynamic they are. The Solace is
instantly relaxed and easy; the bars come to
hand without too much hip rotation, even
with all the spacers removed from under the
stem. The nice Shimano 105 hood shape and
short reach Syncros bar greet your hands
with a warm smile, and off you go.
Rolling out is smooth due to the generous gearing range of the Solace. A compact
Shimano crank turns an 11-32 cassette (I
remember riding one of those on my mountain bike!). There is almost always an easier
gear to shift down to via the fantastic 105
level derailleurs and shifters, and the ratios
encourage you to spin fluidly rather than
mash a hard gear. The tall head tube means
that the bars sit high. The drops are just a
touch away, and you find yourself using all
the positions available without a second
thought. A flow-on from this is that youre
likely to spend a lot of time in the saddle on
the Solace. The Syncros saddle looks hard
and small, but the padding is deceptively
good and to my surprise I really enjoyed it!
Scotts engineers have most certainly hit
their target, as the Solace really takes the
edge off the road. The stenciled concrete Mc
Pav of my suburbia is always a reference
point for road feel: the Solace took on the
stenciled cobbles and raised them a hot
mix. The Solace has a pronounced effect in

Scott Solace 30
100

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

The seat stays on the Solace seem longer than usual,


probably due t the lack of a bridge, and quite thin.
Squeezing the two together reveals a fair degree of ex.

Rear brake and cable exit below a


sturdy bottom bracket.

separating the rider from road surface buzz.


Riders that spend lots of time on chip mix
country roads will appreciate the qualities of
the ride, especially after a few hours. Some
bikes take the leading edge off the chatter,
but still manage to give the rider significant
feedback about the road surface. The Solace
doesnt fit this category; it really smothers
the whole lot out.
Its not perfect (but the rider wont be either, lets be honest!) though. Forks are still
the toughest part to engineer for comfort. A
fork has two blades which attach to a long
skinny steerer, and has to support a wheel,
deal with steering forces, and do most of the
braking. The fork isnt as plush as the rear
end of the Solace, or as stiff. In big sweeping
corners you can lean the Solace in, the fork
budges a little and then finds its line. Chat-

tery corners are beautiful, as you can choose


the best line and let the bike glide through
without being pinballed off track. Every
cloud has a sliver lining.
When you get out of the saddle and get
excited the Solace lacks the real snappy, tap
dancing feel that a genuine thoroughbred has,
although the heavy entry level Shimano RS11
wheels and Schwalbe Durano tyres dont aid
matters. Climbing is best in the saddle, and
heavy or aggressive riders might prefer one of
Scotts stiffer models. The short wheelbase and
upright handlebar position make for awkward
sprinting aboard the Solace. The bike wants
to twitch around, but lacks the long and low
handlebar position to mellow the excitable
front wheel. Again, the best option is to get
down in the drops and gradually wind up the
speed from the saddle.

The Solace is about fluidity. Smooth


cadence, light gears, sweeping corners and
consistent, measured efforts on long climbs.
In every obvious facet of technique which
relates to efficient long distance riding, the
Solace plays the rider to the optimal execution. Even though this is the entry level Solace, there arent many epic rides that couldnt
be taken on in the stock format. Some lighter
wheels would be nice for those big climbs,
but the huge gearing spread and ability to
use all the positions on the handle bar would
handle the rest. For short and sharp efforts
the Solace is the pool noodle at the sword
fight, so look elsewhere, but remove sharp
from the equation and the Solace will go as
short or long as you ask.

SUMMING UP

QUALITY

Scott consistently produces lovely carbon


frames. The Solace is beautifully nished,
and a quick peek inside the frame reveals a
nish that is equally nice. There are no dud
parts on the Solace, although the frame is
the real standout.
PERFORMANCE

A lot of time and effort has gone into


designing this frame, and it shows on the
road. The Solace is super smooth, and
equipped with bomb proof parts that will
work day after day, although they are
heavy which slows the Solace down a
touch.
VALUE

The Syncros parts are all very nice, they


may be perceived as inferior, but theyre
easily the measure of many aftermarket
items. The investment is the frame and
fork, which are excellent, and a prime
candidate for upgrades over time.
OVERALL

The Solace is a real mile muncher. Its


efcient because its smooth and provides
the rider with the correct tools to ride in
comfort all day long. The Solace is a great
machine for weekend warriors all the way
through to seven days a week, big mileage
riders. Its a serious contender in the
comfort segment.

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 101

TEST L A B
BY GARY HUNT

WEIGHT: 7.08kg, 58cm RRP: $ $4,999

102

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

One of Treks impressive


new monda range, the SL8
promises cycling refinement
and performance at reasonable price. We took one riding for a couple of months
to see how it stacks up.
he Trek brand has been around
for 38 years now, founded in 1976
by Richard Bourke in Waterloo,
Wisconsin. You might think a US
based bike company is something
of an outlier given cyclings rich European
heritage, but there are several big names
based in the States (including Cannondale
and Fuji) and Trek has forged a name for
quality and performance, and sits amongst
the top global brands owning a pro team in
the WorldTour.
Their latest road racing machine the
monda caused quite a splash when it
launched in July this year with a top shelf
model weighing just 4.65kg (thats just 10
pounds and four ounces in the old money)
making it the lightest production road bicycle in the world.
The monda is Treks latest concept
frame a newcomer to the stable to go with
the Madone (the aerodynamic race-ready
frame) and the Domane (their endurance/
aero frameset). Domane in Italian means
tomorrow; as in its comfortable enough
that youll be able to ride again after todays
effort. monda is again an Italian word
meaning pared back or trimmed down
suiting the lightweight monda range to
a T. Quirkily, Trek has devised names of
their bikes using the same set of six lettersmonda, Madone and Domane, and
speculation about the next possible name
abounds with demona or daemon attracting
the smart money, perhaps itll be an electric
bike called the enomad?
One of the pioneers of carbon fibre
technology in cycling, Trek was producing
their OCLV (optimum compaction low
void) frames from as far back as 1992.
The OCLV process continues still today
with several grades of carbon fibre employed across different models according
to weight, performance and cost requirements. The base level Tiagra equipped
monda S4 uses 300 series OCLV carbon
and costs just $1,899 (and Trek claims
weighs a reasonable 8.74kg) while the
ethereal SL10 is a breathtaking $15,999.
The SL8 uses OCLV 500 for its light
weight and good stiffness response. The
frame itself is a fairly traditional shape
as carbon frames go, painted a gleaming
glossy black which does attract fingerprints, though when polished looks quite
immaculate. I do have a problem with

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 103

BIKE

The seatstays / seatpost junction is


effectively quite broad continuing the
theme of wide, shallow tubes.

A tapered headset and the broad headtube help


the Emonda achieve good steering control.

Bontrager wheels
stand ready for some
tubeless tyres to
replace the standard
23mm clinchers.

SPECIFICATIONS
Frame

OCLV 500 Carbon Fibre

Fork

monda full carbon, E2

Stem

Bontrager Race X Lite, 31.8mm,


7 degree

Headset

Integrated, cartridge bearings,


sealed, 1-1/8 x 1.5

Handlebars

Bontrager Race Lite, VR, 31.8mm

Saddle

Bontrager Paradigm RL, hollow


titanium rails

Seat Post

Bontrager Ride Tuned Carbon


seatmast

Shift Levers

Shimano Dura-Ace 11-25, 11 spd

Brakes

Shimano Dura-Ace

F Derailleur

Shimano Dura-Ace, braze-on

R Derailleur

Shimano Dura-Ace

Cassette

Shimano Dura-Ace 11-28, 11 spd

Chain

Shimano Dura-Ace

Crank

Shimano Dura-Ace, 50/34


(compact)

Bottom Bracket

BB90

Wheels

Bontrager Race Tubeless Ready

Tyres

Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite,


700x23c

Pedals

NA

Weight

7.08kg

Price

$4,999

Distributor

Trek Bicycle Corporation

The BB90 allows the widest possible


bearing placement for a stiffer drivetrain and
less chance of axle deflection.

white tape and saddles; they were comfortable enough but no matter how pro
white may look, it looks old and shabby
too soon for my liking.
The SL 8 reviewed here is indeed pared
back. It has no vibration damping inserts,
no cables are to be seen along the tubes,
there are no concessions to aero shaping or
suspension its a frame that is stripped
back to the essentials. Its a climbers machine, with singular focus, light and stiff,
designed to transfer power efficiently and go
up. A couple of additional features that are
worth noting here are the DuoTrap S sensor
in the non-drive chainstay. You can purchase
the optional sensor kit that mates with your
Ant+ or Bluetooth computer but remains
hidden within the stay minimising drag and
maintaining the clean visual lines. Theres
also a built-in chain catcher to keep you on

Trek
104

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

the move.
Trek manufactures the monda frame
in two formats; H1 and H2. The H1 is the
racier version, the longer top tube / shorter
head tube variant for exceptionally flexible
riders who can cope with lower handlebars
and a more aero riding position, and want
the lower drag they can achieve with such
geometry. The H2 frameset is aimed at the
other 99% of riders.
A 11/8 by 11/2 headset holds the fork
in the asymmetric headtubeits wider
than it is long for increased lateral stiffness
and steering precision. The result is a bike
that is neither twitchy nor slow, but direct
and predictable when cornering at speed.
Leaning into turns the bike rails through as
you hope it will, tracking nicely, holding its
line without deviation. Its stable at speed,
a comfortable and confidence inspiring ride

SL 8

This shot gives a clear view of the width of that stiff


down tube which extends fully to the edge of the BB90.

on the downhill, suitably matching the efficient climbing it gives on the way up.
Looking at a side-on shot of the monda
you see quite slender tubes, even around
the bottom bracket which is different to the
way many bikes have moved recently, with
some using bulky box sections around the
BB. Then when you look down from above,
you see the significant width of the frame
tubes in this area. The BB90 allows the widest possible bearing placement for a stiffer
drivetrain and less chance of axle deflection.
Seat stays are slim, as is the seat tube to
bring some comfort to the austerity of the
frame. It has a partially integrated seatpost
with the saddle attached to a half-length
seat tube that slides over the frames mast;
a solution that means it doesnt need to be
cut. This allows you to have a wider range
of saddle heights and removes some uncertainty around resale. The sleeved seat tube
doesnt result in as harsh a ride as I thought
it might, though there is some road feedback
coming through the frame.
The monda SL is specd with a full array of Bontrager parts; stem, bars, saddle,
wheels, tyres, tubes and bar tape all emanate
from Treks house-brand factories. The full
complement of consistent branding looks
planned and intentional. Bontrager has
succeeded in creating a brand that stands
in its own right as suitable for aftermarket
purchase for riders of brands other than
Trek; quite remarkable as many other house
branded ranges seem a mismatch on other
branded frames.
The Bontrager wheels on the SL8 are
tubeless-ready alloy clinchers, with a rim

23mm wide at the brake track. Across the


review period I rode about 800km on this
bike and from the outset these wheels were
quiet, straight and dependable, delivering
a reasonably lively feel uphill and providing a solid brake track for the Dura Ace
pads to squeeze. They come with 18/24
spoke pattern, radial and two crossed on
the drive side. The rear hub is a fairly quiet
three pawl unit, spinning on very smooth
bearings. The wheels register 730g front and
1,066g rear for an uninspiring 1,780g total
weight, but the tubes (76g) and R3 hard
case lite tyres (195g) are light enough to
shoulder some of the wheels burden. Bontrager has large range of wheels like the full
carbon Aeolus 3 D3 (1,440g, circa $3,100)
or the alloy Race Lite TLR (1,518g, circa
$850) either of which would make a reasonable upgrade for your bike down the track.
The titanium railed Paradigm saddle was
too narrow for my liking but I was able to
switch it for their widest size, the blue dot
sized carbon rail version of the same unit
which I quite like. See your Bontrager dealer
for saddle sizing options.
Shimanos mechanical Dura-Ace groupset
is quite exceptional, easy to set up and
adjust, smooth quiet and efficient. It is much
like the monda itself, refined, unassuming,
getting the job done without great fanfare.
Compact cranks 50/34 and the 11-28 cassette suit the style of this climbing machine
to a T, especially in this H2 configuration.
I enjoyed riding the monda. Its more
suited to climbers than rouleurs, but its a
classy understated machine that performs as
well as its pedigree suggests it should.

A semi integrated
sleeved seatpost
with the clamp at
half mast.

SUMMING UP

QUALITY

Trek are known for their precision and


quality. This frame is very well nished,
with good attention to detail. The frame is
light and stiff and component spec from
Bontrager is very high quality. Shimanos
mechanical Dura Ace tops off a high
quality bike.
PERFORMANCE

Trek set themselves the goal of producing


the lightest production road racing bike
on the planet and they fullled their brief.
A few rungs down the ladder from the
featherweight SLR 10 the monda SL 8 is
a light and stiff bike, specd well to succeed
as a capable performer in the hills. The
frame and components are a good match,
though the wheelset seems a little heavy
for a bike with a climbing reputation to
build and uphold.
VALUE

A light, high-quality carbon frame with


tubeless ready wheels and Dura Ace
componentsat $4,999 the monda is
good value for your money.
OVERALL

The monda looks good but isnt overtly


ashy. There are no ostentatious features
to this bike, no exotic frame shapes or
garish paintjob screaming look at me. It
doesnt demand attention as soon as you
roll up to the bunch. It is however very well
specd, well designed, comfortable and
efcient, a rened and dependable quiet
achiever Id suggest even a high achiever.

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 105

TEST L A B
BY LUKE MEERS

WEIGHT: 7.8kg, 56cm RRP: $3,199

Norco Valence
106

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

New season models are being launched across the bike


industry with many brands
still updating bikes for each
new year. Norco has several
new designs that are drawing attention of the market
including road and cyclocross
models. The Valence is one of
their sportif styled endurance
models; Luke Meers took
one out for review.
eonardo Di Vinci said Simplicity
is the ultimate sophistication. I
was reminded of this when riding
the Norco Valence. We live in an
age when the best bikes must be
super light, super stiff, aerodynamic ultraengineered masterpieces, fitted with power
meters, tracked by GPS, logged on Strava,
and admired leaning against the cafe wall.
The Valence ticks some of these boxes, but
they soon became irrelevant when riding it,
as I was taken back to the pure enjoyment
of riding a bike. I simply embraced the feel
of pushing against the wind, battling the
gradient, and the sweet sense of efficiency
on the way back when these elements work
in your favour. Just a kid and his bike.
When reviewing a bike I like to fit my
power meter to it, to get a sense of the efficiency and especially the climbing proclivity of the rig in question. With the Norco
Valence, however, I felt this was unnecessary
because that is not what this bike is about.
The valence is not the lightest, sexiest, or
fastest, nor indeed is it the most expensive
bike. It measures ok in these metrics, but
instead it prompted me to assess it on the
fun factor; and it passed with flying colours.
In the Valence, Norco has delivered a bike
which gets on with the job without fuss
and lets you enjoy the ride. The Ultegra Di2
shifting components go unnoticed, which is
generally a sign of good performance. The
Ultegra Di2 group set continues to impress
in terms of performance to price ratio.
When riding the Valence, the frame geometry put me quickly at ease, with predictable smooth handling, assured cornering
and a reasonable level of compliance to
nullify the rougher roads. The marketing
pitch from Norco about the Valence claims
that: comfort and high performance coexist
in a single package. This sort of claim is
common, but I felt that in this case it was a
fitting description. The Valence is not a race
machine. The geometry and componentry
mean the rider sits in a more relaxed position, but I didnt feel that this slowed me
particularly, but rather put me at ease in the
saddle, and as I took to the hills I could just
enjoy the journey.

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 107

BIKE

The winged Fizik strada saddle


agreed with our reviewer.

Note how the forks curve


forward and the dropouts
are positioned slightly
rearward to add a little ex
and increase ride comfort.

SPECIFICATIONS
Frame

Valence Mid-Modulus Carbon

Fork

Valence Mid-Modulus Full Carbon

Headset

Cane Creek 40-Series w/9mm


Top Cover

Stem

Norco - Black w/Green

Handlebars

Ritchey Comp Curve - Black

Saddle

Fizik Strada Mg - Black w/White

Seat Post

Norco Di2 Composite 27.2mm UD w/Green

Shift Levers

Shimano Ultegra Di2 SL-6870


11spd

Brakes

Shimano BR-R561 - Black

F Derailleur

Shimano Ultegra Di2 FD-6870

R Derailleur

Shimano Ultegra Di2 RD-6870

Cassette

Shimano 105 CS-5800 11-32T


11 speed

Chain

Shimano CN-HG600-11 11speed

Crank

Shimano 105 FC-5800


11spd - 50/34T

The Valence frameset tips the scales,


impressively, at less than 1000g, while including
some good features such as an oversized
headtube junction, large BB shell and internal
cable routing.

Bottom Bracket Shimano SM-BB71 Presst BB86


Wheels

Fulcrum Racing 7 Wide - Black

Tyres

Continental Grand Sport Race w/


NyTech - 25c

Weight

7.8kg 56cm

Price

$3,199

Distributor

Advance Traders
www.advancetraders.com.au

Mudguard mounting screws are


discrete but may be welcome for
those who live in rainy regions.

Visually the bike is pleasing, but not


particularly noteworthy. The movistar
style colouring works well and is a welcome
variation to the mass of black or white bikes
around. The reasonably upright style frame
geometry is visually apparent, which I find
less appealing compared to an aggressive
looking frame with a slammed stem, but I
guess the Valence is not pretending to be
something other than the bike that it is.
When I saw the bike was fitted with
Fulcrum 7 wheels, the entry point wheels
from the Fulcrum range, I was expecting a
less than scintillating ride. I was however,
pleasantly surprised to find that the 7s
offer a responsiveness and ride that belie
their weight on the scales. Fitted with
some 25mm Continental Grand Sport
tyres, the wheel package performed admirably. The wider tyres definitely aided in
the absorption of road vibrationsas did
the saddle. The Fizik Strada saddle was
quite comfortable; sometimes saddles with
this amount of paddling can seem bulky
and not engage directly with the sit bones.
The Strada saddle was quite comfortable
and is a good match for a bike like this,
targeted at long hours of riding, with an
emphasis on comfort.

Norco Valence
108

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Ultegra Di2 is a nice bonus on


a bike in this price bracket.

SUMMING UP

QUALITY

A high quality machine with little touches


like an integrated chain keeper and chain
stay guards. The bike exhibits an overall
sense of care and quality beyond the price
tags suggestion.

The Valence is a fun and comfortable ride


but doesnt skimp on performance factor.

While the Valence comes with Ultegra


Di2 shifting componentry, it is fitted with a
105 crankset and cassette and is stopped via
Shimano BR-R561 brakes. I was impressed
by the power and the quality of the modulation the brakes delivered. Braking power
was immediate and effective, quite impressive from the lower end Shimano range. The
105 crankset is not as aesthetically pleasing
as the higher spec units, but is obviously
a compromise to help reduce the overall
cost. The gearing spec would allow for
even the steepest gradients to be attacked
at 90rpm. A compact front crank (50/34
tooth combination) is coupled with an
11-32 tooth cassette to give what is really
quite an astonishing range of gears. I never
got close to using the lowest gears. I think
that the 11-32 tooth cassette coupled with
a regular 39/53 chainset would give a better
range, but in the end this depends highly on
individuals preference and the steepness of
their local gradients.
The Valence frameset tips the scales,
impressively, at less than 1000g, while
including some good features such as an
oversized headtube junction, large BB shell
and internal cable routing. There are some
specific design functions included in the

fork and chain-stays, aiming to give extra


absorption of road vibration. The seat stays
feature a concave curve towards the bottom
bracket in order to aid flexion and increase
comfort. The forks utilise a similar curve
which is accentuated by having the lugs
drop down vertically right at the fork tip. It
is difficult to tell during test rides whether
these features are the source of the compliance, but the bike certainly delivered a very
comfortable ride.
The Norco Valence retails at $3,199,
which is very competitive for a quality 11
speed Di2 equipped bike. The hard core
racer will not find the spec sheet overly
alluring, but for someone who wants to simply jump on their bike and spend anywhere
from 10 minutes to 10 hours on the road
simply enjoying the ride, the Valence is a
great prospect.
Whilst my encounter with the Norco Valence was brief, it has reminded me that riding my bike is about more than data, power,
segment chasing, or even the sweet feeling
of inflicting hurt on your mates up the hills.
The Valence brought me back to that simple
enjoyment of turning the pedals over and
not thinking much at all, but just being,
g, on
the bike and in the moment. It is bliss.

PERFORMANCE

A bike denitely aimed at the endurance


market in terms of frame geometry. A
stiff bottom bracket area compliments the
compliant areas of the frame to deliver a
bike which actually performs well across
the board. Gear ratios could be a little too
generous for those not tackling super
steep hills on a weekly basis, but the
componentry overall is well matched the
overall intent of the bike.
VALUE

A Di2 equipped bike with a thoughtfully


designed frameset, which performs very
well across a range of terrain. At an asking
price of $3,199 the Valence is a very high
value prospect, enough to be very tempting
in a competitive area of the market.
Compromises on crankset and wheels
selection were cleverly done to allow the
price to be lower than you might expect
when rst casting an eye over the bike.
OVERALL

A good value bike which delivers well


across the board. The Valence offers a
very good mix of performance and comfort
which should suit many riders in the
market for a rock solid training or sportif
style bike.

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 109

TEST L A B
BY MARK JEWELL

WEIGHT: 8.08kg, 55cm RRP: $8,928

Ritchey Road Logic


110

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Well folks, its time to stand


as one and raise your glasses
for a huge shout out and
cheer for the Ritchey Bicycle
Company. Tom Ritchey
has managed to develop a
heat treated, triple butted
full steel frame that could
bring steel frame making
back into the world of
competitive bike frame
construction. Mark Jewell
gives us a run down on the
Ritchey Road Logic.
ver time, steel frame bikes were
replaced by aluminium to lighten
their weight and increase rigidity.
Then came the be all and end
all of frame building materials
with the arrival and introduction of carbon
frames, giving cyclists the enjoyment of
stiffness and lightness, and the bonus of
customisable comfort. Since its inception
carbon has been virtually unquestioned
as the ultimate frame building material.
Ritchey has totally bucked this trend with
this steel frame combined with a number of
carbon components to give carbon frames a
run for their money in every department.
As soon as I laid eyes on this amazing
looking bike I could not help but become
fond of it. With a full race setup of superbly
fitted carbon componentry, the best of 11
speed mechanical components and a pair of
high end deep carbon clincher wheels, I dare
say anyone who chose to jump on it and enjoy all its pleasures would feel the same way.
Tom Ritchey has been building and developing steel framed road bikes for more than
40 years. All the homework needed, research
and studies on this bike have clearly been
done. From top to bottom, there has been
nothing left out and nothing I could fault.
After spending the majority of my full
time cycling life in the early 1990s on a
steel-framed bike, the return to steel on this
bike was an absolute pleasure. With the
complete bike coming in just on 8kgs, I
reckon it could mix it with the best carbon
bikes on the market, but still gives the pleasure of that steel framed feel.
I began to grow more impressed with this
bike as the review went on, and spent more
time on this bike than I have during any
other test. At the risk of overstating how
this bike performs, I think it coped superbly
with any kind of conditions I rode in.
Ritchey has developed their own forged
and machined integrated head tube that
uses standard drop-in bearings and saves
80 grams over a standard head tube design. This, combined with the full carbon
fork allows this bike to handle and corner
with precision and ease, and giving the
front end of the bike a real feel of comfort
and confidence.

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 111

BIKE

Ornate perhaps but these


27g carbon cages t right
in with this modern take
on old school style.

Some tricky engineering at the


seatpost clamp let Ritchey use
thinner wall tubes to save weight.

Welding on the Road Logic


frameset is a class above.

Undoubtedly the best addition to this


quality road-racing machine is the outstanding
choice of wheels.

SPECIFICATIONS
Frame

Ritchey Road Logic

Fork

Ritchey WCS Carbon

Headset

Ritchey WSC Drop-in 1 1/8-inch

Stem

Super Logic C260 Full-Carbon

Handlebars

Super Logic Evo-Curve O/S 42cm

Saddle

Ritchey WSC Trail Black

Seat Post

Ritchey WSC Carbon Link Trail

Shift Levers

Shimano Dura Ace

Brakes

Shimano Dura Ace

F Derailleur

Shimano Dura Ace

R Derailleur

Shimano Dura Ace

Cassette

Shimano Dura Ace 11 Speed 28-11

Chain

Shimano Dura Ace

Crank

Shimano Dura Ace 170mm

Bottom Bracket

Token TK 878 EX

Wheels

Ritchey Apex 11 wheels

Tyres

Ritchey Road Slick WSC


700x25mm

Pedals

WSC Echelon V2 BB Black

Weight

8.08kg

Price

$8,928 as tested

Distributor

Kobie International
www.kobie.com.au

The carbon fork and steel fram


tion made this bike rigid but still smooth
and very responsive. Whether cornering,
climbing or sprinting, this bike has every answer to any challenge. After spending some
time racing this machine and even motor
pacing with it, there was not a single request
I made of this bike that it couldnt complete.
Ritchey has developed their Logic Road
Frame to come in at just 1.77kg at the 55cm
size. They then added almost a complete range
of Ritchey components to this bike (that can
also be purchased individually) along with a
Dura-Ace 11 speed mechanical groupset.
In the absence of the suitable road version
at the time of review, the bike was fitted
with a Ritchey Trail saddle and a Ritchey
Trail carbon seat post that are both usually
found on a mountain bike, however both
were more than comfortable for this test.
Another great feature of this seat post is the
ability to reverse the seat clamp enabling
greater adjustment, giving the user every
chance to get that perfect bike fit.
The handle bar and stem combination on
this bike were very good too. Ritchey has
developed their new super logic oversized
carbon stem that has an increased boom

diameter and a wider clamp. Gram for


gram, it is the stiffest and most advanced
stem Ritchey has ever developed. Coming
in at just 125g, this stem has the looks and
strength to make it one of the best stems on
the market. And combined with the Ritchey
super logic 42cm evo-curved carbon bars,
comfort and stability in this area is well in
hand. The bars have a shallow drop which
suits this bike well keeping the front end
tight for a good road feel.
The only very small downfall with the bars
and stem is the bar tape needs to be removed
back to the levers to be able to remove or
change the stem. Once this small obstacle has
been overcome the benefits of this stem-bar
combination far outweigh the disadvantages
of this. Ritchey Pro cork tape also added to
the comfort level of these bars.
Along with these Ritchey components, is
in my opinion the best and lightest 11 speed
mechanical group set on the market. With
Dura-Ace brakes, levers and front and rear
derailleurs, every gear change and braking
requirement was second to none. A clever
addition to the front derailleur was a Token
frame clamp fitted with an anti-drop chain
bracket allowing you peace of mind when-

Ritchey Road Logic


112

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

Even the skewers have been styled to suit.

ever changing from the large to small chain


ring. Ritchey also chose Token to supply the
bottom bracket for this bike, which blended
in well with the Dura-Ace cranks.
Undoubtedly the best addition to this
quality road-racing machine is the outstanding choice of wheels. Ritchey has fitted their
own carbon clincher Apex II wheels along
with Ritchey WSC race slick tyres. This wheel
and tyre combination weighs just 1,526g has
turned this bike into a true racing machine.
These wheels can also be purchased separately
from Ritchey at the price of $2,500. This
would be money very well spent to anyone
serious about their racing and chasing a good
clincher wheel. The wheels are 20 hole radial
front, and 24 hole radial / two cross rear, laced
to Phantom flange hubs. Combining the efficiency of straight pull spokes and the superior

strength and durability of J-bend spokes, these


wheels are constructed with the latest technology to produce a quality race wheel option.
Ritchey also included a pair of WCS Echelon V2 BB Black pedals. These Look KEO
compatible pedals complement the other
Ritchey components nicely. I thought another nice touch on this bike was the inclusion
of Ritchey carbon bottle cages coming in at
just 27g each. These lightweight designed
cages will not only fit any size bottle, but
hand on tightly to your bottles so you wont
lose them on rough roads.
Ritchey has not only given everyone an
attractive option in the Road Logic which you
can buy as a bare frame, but has bundled up a
package here that is near impossible to resist,
creating a bike that is a compelling mix of
new age bling and classic old school cool.

A clever in line cable tension adjuster


has been included on this build. See
the clever work on the headset seats.

SUMMING UP

QUALITY

This bike has quality from head-to-toe. It


has the latest technology, full steel frame
with superbly tted carbon components
from Ritchey. When you combine this with
the latest Dura-Ace 11 speed ensemble,
quality on this bike is just brilliant.
PERFORMANCE

This bike performed well and accomplished


any task it was required to do. It was stiff
and rigid, whilst still being comfortable
and handled all road conditions, whether
cruising along or under full racing
pressures.
VALUE

With the total value of this bike coming in


at $8,928 you could possibly think it could
be a little overpriced for a steel framed
bike. However, given its performance
and the superb carbon ttings, Dura Ace
ensemble and carbon wheels, this bike
could easily match any other bike within
this price range.
OVERALL

Full carbon clinchers are a standout feature of the build.

I became extremely fond of this bike, and


it was hard not to give it a great overall
rating. It has outstanding looks, all of the
latest carbon technology and the best
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very happy and satised person.

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 113

Curl up with a good book!

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RACE

BY JULIAN DEAN

Maintaining
the Rage
The Orica GreenEdge team had a bag of mixed success
in this years Tour de France, with pre-race injury and
riders crashing out early. A philosophical Julian Dean
ponders the hand of fate and the measure of success.
ome might wonder what the
attraction of sport is, or more
specifically in our case, what the
attraction of the Tour de France
is. Why the stress and why the
strain when for all the training time and
preparation put in by everyone, they may
come away empty-handed.
I have often asked myself the same
questions many times over the years,
firstly as a rider and now as a member of
Orica-GreenEDGE management. What
keeps us going when things arent going
good and why do we continue fighting
only to come away empty-handed?
As well as within the team, what keeps
the fans engaged? Especially when we
probably had our worst Grand Tour in
terms of results at this years Tour. What
keeps the fans going, following the team
through social media and getting up at all
sorts of crazy hours to watch the race live?
The one common dominator in our sport
and across all sports through the good and
the bad is the extreme emotion it brings
along with it. Its an addictive ingredient
and there is not a sport in the world that
can draw it out as well as cycling. Par-

Tim De Waele

116

Bicycling Australia

ticularly the Tour de France. As a team in


the 2014 Tour de France we werent taken
to the heights of the 2013 Tour where we
achieved 2 stage wins and 4 days in the
leaders jersey nor to the level of the more
recent Giro success. Instead, we felt hollow
with the disappointment of near misses and
were left reminiscing how good the previous
12 months had been.
The difficulties we faced in this years
Tour were very frustrating, brought in
part by Impey not being able to take the
start, Matthews writing himself off in a
training crash two days before the race
started and Gerrans kissing the pavement
50m from the finish of the first stage in
Harrogate. So essentially we were off the
back before we even started.
When you start any three week tour,
teams prepare to deal with adversity
and setbacks but when it hits a team to
the extent it did for Orica-GreenEdge,
before the race had even really begun, its
difficult to readjust the psyche to accommodate those upsets.
One factor remains key in keeping the
team focused on pushing through and trying to overcome and that is the unrelent-

Simon Gerrans was


forced to quit the Tour
de France after a stage
one collision with a
red up Cavendish.
November December 2014

ing commitment made by the team in the


buildup to the Tour. There is no way that
the riders, mechanics, soignuers and management want to give up everything when
so much has gone in to the preparation.
Even if things havent gone according to
plan in the final phase. No one who has
put in that amount of work to prepare for
a three week stage race would be willing
to give it up before it has even started
without at least giving it a damn good go.
Beyond this commitment however, I think
what is also important is the profound sense
of appreciation of success that difficult
times in racing gives us and how those
challenging moments actually intensify the
affinity that one has for a team.
If nothing else, the success we didnt
experience this year made us appreciate
the success of the previous 12 months.
For it is absolutely certain that there was
no less effort in the preparation and in
fact the focus was more on improving on
what we did last time. Even though we
saw the 2013 Tour as highly successful
there were places for improvement and
that was what drove our 2014 campaign.
As it turned out though we were not
blessed with the luck wed had in other
races, which meant things didnt turn out
as we had hoped they would and due to
elements largely out of our control. Its a
frustrating and demoralizing experience
for all involved but without a doubt it
plays a role in evolving the team.
Its easy to question the benefits of this
years Tour but from experience I know
the benefits are real and invaluable. As
with success, lack of success plays an
important role in deepening the emotional
attachment team members and fans alike
have for the team. The roller coaster
ride through success and disappointment
that teams, athletes and fans get taken on
intensify and personalise the connection,
committing all those involved even more
to the team.
Fundamentally, this is a primary driver
for an entity to grow a following and
generate continued success after difficulties.
Difficulties themselves not only enhance the
appreciation for the past successes but they
also humanize the riders to where fans are
able to feel utter compassion. Compassion
is a powerful emotion and plays a massive
part in keeping the fans engaged.
It is often said that success breeds success but it can also be said that adversity
breeds success. Either way, both are
closely entwined and continually strengthen the framework of camaraderie, which
in this sport is paramount in the mental
and physical battles the riders are forever
thrown in to.

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www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 117

NRS TEAM PROFILE


Mark Gunter

BY KAREN FORMAN THORNTON

The Jayco VIS squad includes a


womens team which also has
produced world class riders.

JAYCO
John WestVIS
Once upon a time, way back in 1992, Australian recreational
vehicle manufacturer Jayco financed an unknown female cyclist
to go the Barcelona Olympics.

hat rider went on to win Australias first gold medal in the


womens road race. Her name
was Kathy Watt and the diminutive `pocket rocket became a
household name.
Later that year, Jayco best known for
its affordable range of caravans - formed
Australias first professional cycling team,
and included riders such as Olympic gold
medallist Dean Woods and Scott McGrory.
And so began one of the great partnerships of Australian cycling . . . between the
caravan maker and the Victorian Institute
of Sport (VIS), which had formed in 1990
to develop Victorian athletes across a vast
range of sports.
Known as the Jayco VIS Cycling Team,
the new team set out to support the best

T
118

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

young riders in the state of Victoria - and


to say it succeeded would be an understatement.
As manager Dave Sanders says, almost
all of Australians top riders have ridden
for `Jayco at some point.
Jayco is credited for having helped the
sport of cycling grow in Australia during
the past two decades and has supported
numerous races throughout the country,
he said, speaking down the line from Italy,
where the team was racing at the time of
our interview.
That included both men and women
in the Elite and junior categories. We are
extremely grateful for what the company
has done for our team and our sport.
Currently, the JAYCO/John WEST/VIS
team is contesting among other events

around the state, country and world - the


Subaru Cycling Australia National Road
Series (NRS) with riders drawn from the
VIS cycling program.
The team was sitting ninth out of 32
on the overall ladder after the Tour of
Gippsland, as Bicycling Australia headed
for the printer.
As well as training and competition
support, the program provides athletes
with medical, sport science, physiotherapy,
psychology, nutritional and Athlete Career
and Education (ACE) services.
The teams earliest national road champions included Robert Crowe (Road and
ITT), Steven Drake, Alan Lacuone, Jamie
Drew, David McKenzie and Will Walker.
The 2010/11 period saw particularly
outstanding results at state, national

to it, he said.
I might be a bit green to the National
Series, but thats the aim, to get back to
racing in those bigger bunches where
youre fighting for position all the time.
Hamilton took a step back from elite
racing while completing year 12 studies.
He said he was looking forward to spending four weeks racing and training with the
Australian junior road team ahead of the
world titles in Spain in late September.
While the focus is often on the men, the
Jayco VIS Womens team has produced
many world class female athletes as well,
including world number one Anna Wilson, world number three Tracey Gaudry,
world womens road Silver medallist Liz
Tadich and recently Kendelle Hodges who
won the 2014 Tour of the Murray.
These days, the Jayco/John West/VIS
team caters predominantly for young
riders developing into national team and
international riders.
We have a philosophy that if you have
been with us too long then we have failed
in your development, Sanders said.
But with that said, we respect the national and state events as a vital part of a
young riders education and development.
Also, some of our former young champions re-visit and do some events with the
team when home from their European
adventures.
The riders are offered assistance with
coaching plus the other vitals including
strength training, nutritional advice, sports
psychology, and physiotherapy and so on.
Plus we have our ACE program to
assist in furthering the young athletes life
outside of cycling, said Sanders.
We have recently taken on a new
group of young under 17 riders who we

AT A GLANCE:
Team sponsors:
Jayco, John West, Apollo Bikes, Lazer
Helmets, Santini race clothing.
Team win highlights:
Melbourne to Warrnambool, Grafton
to Inverell, Tour of Tasmania, Sunraysia
Tour (now Murray Tour) the Bay Crits,
Canberra Tour, Midlands Tour and the
Herald Sun Tour
2011 Womens National Road Series
overall winner
Biggest export:
Cadel Evans. Winner 2011 Tour de France
Other great names:
Simon Gerrans, Simon Clarke, Brett
Lancaster, Alex Morgan, Leigh Howard,
Glen OShea, Matt Lloyd.
Website: www.vis.org.au/

hope/ believe will be the new Evans/ Gerrans names of the future.
We have a dedicated group of coaches
and mechanics who put in as much
commitment as the athletes and that is
very important to the continuity of the
program and the team.
Today the team races most of the NRS
and VRS events around the country.
We would like to express our ongoing
gratitude to our cherished sponsors Jayco,
John West, Apollo, Lazer, and Santini. And
of course the VIS, Sanders said. All of
them combine to make up this dynamic
y
and successful cycling family.

THE NRS 2014

THE BOYS

March 26 - 29
Woodside Tour de Perth WA April 3- 6
Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour SA
May 15 - 18 Battle on the Border NSW
May 22 - 25 FKG Tour of Toowoomba QLD
July 29 - August 3 Tour of the Murray River VIC
August 13 - 17 Tour of the Great South Coast VIC
September 3- 7 Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland VIC
September 19 - 21 National Capital Tour ACT
September 30 - 5 October Tour of Tasmania TAS
October 11 Melbourne to Warrnambool VIC
October 25 Grafton to Inverell NSW

Alex Morgan VIC Blackburn Team Pursuit World Champion


Thomas Hamilton VIC Ararat
Oscar Stevenson VIC Hawthorn
Lucas Hamilton VIC Ararat
Jordan Stannus VIC Cauleld Carnegie
Freddy Ovett VIC Cauleld Carnegie
Matthew Ross VIC Cauleld Carnegie
Lachlan Holliday VIC Cauleld Carnegie
Ryan Cavanagh QLD Sunshine Coast
Michael Gallagher VIC Cauleld Carnegie
Mark Gunter

Mark Gunter

and international level, with the greatest


cycling export of the VIS, Cadel Evans,
finally achieving the ultimate success in
international road cycling - overall victory
in the 2011 Tour De France, to add to his
already illustrious career.
At the UCI Track World Championships
in the Netherlands that year, Shane Perkins and Leigh Howard shone the brightest, with Shane winning his maiden World
Championship title in the mens keirin
and Leigh taking his second consecutive
Madison title (and third senior World
Championship overall).
The Jayco VIS team and its riders have
gone on to win almost every major classic
event in Australia including Melbourne to
Warrnambool, Grafton to Inverell, Tour
of Tasmania, Sunraysia Tour (now Murray Tour) the Bay Crits, Canberra Tour,
Midlands Tour and the Herald Sun Tour
in 2012 with Calvin Watson.
Our team/ program has produced
many Junior National and World Junior
Champions on both track and road,
Sanders said.
Lucas Hamilton recently won both the
2014 Oceania and National Junior Road
Championships and was selected for the
Australian team at the Junior Road World
Championships in September.
Hamilton, from Ararat, has been using
the NRS events to prepare for his debut
for Australia at the Junior Road World
Championships in Spain on September 20.
The 18 year old received his maiden
Australian selection following a stellar 2014
season including claiming the under 19
national and Oceania road race crowns.
Its really exciting to go overseas and
fly the colours of Australia, Ive never
worn an Aussie kit so Im looking forward

www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 119

A LIFE BEHIND BARS

BY KAREN FORMAN THORNTON

Mark Gunter

Colligan grew up and loves to train


around her Jervis Bay home.

JADE COLLIGAN
Bicycling Australia has been talking to National Road
Series riders to get an idea of how we might all be able
to ride smarter, faster, better. This edition we catch up
with Jade Colligan from the Bicycle Superstore team,
who has gone from club C grader on a chain store bike
to the NRS in just over a year!
Bicycling Australia (on the phone):
Where are you now, Jade?
Jade Colligan: In Canberra, where I am
studying at the Australian National University. I am in my first year of Bachelor
of Visual Arts. Its cold here today. In fact,
its always cold, every day.
So you come from somewhere warmer?
Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast.
I was born there and live in St Georges
Basin with my family. Its a beautiful
spot. A small coastal town, surrounded
by beaches. There are some great places
to ride, I love living there, its always been
home. I live with Mum; Sally-ann, Dad;
Ian and my 10 minutes older twin sister
Danielle. Shes bossy like all big sisters!
120

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

So three years ago you were riding


20km a day and now you are riding
NRS?
Yeah. Amazing eh. I went riding one
afternoon and I saw a crit happening on
a circuit and some people there said I
should have a go. I started rolling around
on my road bike and Dad said he would
get me a road bike, so I got a womens
road bike, an Orbea, in late January 2012.
Then Mum sort of said `there is actually
a velo club in Nowra and I said, `there is
no way I am joining a velo club, Mum.
But she talked me into doing my first
race, a D grade scratch race over I think
30km and I actually won that one, so that
was pretty good. I had no idea of tactics
or anything like that. I had toe clips. I

stayed with them on the first lap, then


on the second lap I broke away on the
hill and held it to the end for 2km. They
almost caught me but didnt.
And from there?
I was loving it, but I was so scared. I
was riding in MTB cleats for a long time,
because they were easy to get in and out
of. The next race they put me up to C
grade and I think I came seventh in that
one. I was so determined. I kept racing
each week as much as I could. I dont
think I missed a race unless I was sick.
Every week I would try to beat the old
guys. I didnt have a coach so I just did
kays all the time for my training, like 700
kays a week. I continued the club racing
from the end of year 11 and through year
12. I got helped a lot by the club president
Doug Holland. It was like my main goal
to stay with Doug on the bike. He taught
me how to corner, how not to hit the
cones in a crit and tactics. I then started
training properly under local coaches
Damian Mason and Mark Fenner who
started me on a program and it all happened really fast. One day I was racing C
grade, then I was on the verge of A grade
in our club.

And so the training began?


After about four weeks of training I did
the NSW southern division championship.
I got dropped by the under 17 girls which
was disappointing but I thought I could
be better than that and decided to keep
on going. Damo gave me a solid 12 week
training block for the under 19 nationals in Noosa. The first three weeks was
solid endurance, then the next three weeks
threshold efforts to help with the time
trial, training regularly on a TT bike I borrowed from my coach. The last part I was
doing three times a week double sessions,
a 50 minute time trial effort on the TT
bike in morning, then on the trainer or on
a hill doing surges, harder efforts. Every
Saturday I would go riding on a mountain
as I hadnt done climbing much before.
A big learning experience then, Jade?
I learnt a lot! To believe in myself,
because sometimes the training gets really
intense and you question whether its
worth it, but then you get there and see
it was. I learned to take small steps at a
time. I just loved it. Motivation wasnt an
issue. I looked forward to it, every day.
So from chain store bike to club A grade
to nationals to the NRS in all less than
a year? Apparently you also went to the
AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) and
got to experience what life as a high level
athlete is like?
I applied for a selection camp at the
AIS in Canberra November last year and
didnt think I would get in, but Damo
got a call from Martin Barass, womens
AIS team coach, who asked if I would be
able to handle it. They had never heard
of me. I was only 18 and not old enough
to select for the national team anyway.
But they decided I could do four of the
10 days, due to my age and still being a
junior. It was the hardest thing I have ever
done. On the first day we had blood tests,
bike skills, trying to knock each other off
bikes, pick up drink bottles while moving,
head on someones elbow, wheel rubbing,
gym work, squats and push ups, I woke
up the next day and couldnt move; I
didnt know how I would ride a bike but
somehow I did. We had to race up mountains. At the end they gave us our testing
results. They said I had a lot of work to
do, but they really liked my attitude, enthusiasm, good bike handling skills. They
said I needed to get my FTP to 270 to race
internationally, so thats a benchmark for
me and will get easier as I got older. Every
night was a debrief, they were really tough
on some of the girls, it was really intense,
girls were crying. And not getting results

till the end was really hard as you never


knew how you were going.
And the NRS was your next step?
Yeah, I went to the NSW crit championships in under 19s and picked up a silver
medal in mid-November, then applied for
the Bicycle Superstore team for 2014 and
was selected for the year as a new junior
development rider.
What does the contract mean for you?
I got a new bike, a Giant Envy, its
worth so much money I cant believe
I actually own it. Kit, glasses, helmet.
Torque products. Bike maintenance, clean
bikes after stages, race entries and travel.
We have our own director sportif who
advises us on races. All money earned in
prizemoney goes back to the team. And
of course, I get to ride the NRS womens
events. I dont think they want to put a
lot of pressure on me, a lot of the girls
are older than me. I am not a climber, not
sure if Im a sprinter; so at the moment
I am just doing what they tell me to do
each race.
How has the year gone so far?
I did my second nationals and got fifth
in the u/23 30km time trial. The left arm
pad broke off on the TT bike, so I had
nothing to rest my arm on except the
brake levers for 30km. I did the Canberra
Junior and Womens Tour in April 2014
and was third in the elite womens time
trial and had a bunch finish in the road
race. At the Battle on the Border in Tweed

Heads (NRS) I got 12th in the time trial.


Then I did the Tour of Murray River for
the second time, but didnt do as well as
last time. Then I did the Tour of the King
Valley, as a worker for the team, and got
24th in the time trial.
Who are your cycling heroes?
Definitely one of the girls from my
team, Felicity Wardlaw, I idolise her a fair
bit, coming into the sport late and completely dominating. I feel privileged to be
in the same team as her. I look up to Doug
Holland; hes the reason I sort of got
into cycling in the first place, because he
kept pushing me to get better. My friend
Mel Kilby from Nowra, a Masters time
triallist, and Damian my coach, who has
become a friend as well as a coach.
What do you think about womens cycling right now?
When I started doing NRS there were
only 30 girls in the bunch on a good day,
but now there is almost 100 turning up at
each NRS event, which makes it so much
more exciting. Its good to know its getting up there, really competitive and going
places.
You are studying as well as riding; how
do you nd the balance?
It IS crazy at the moment, I am working till 11pm every night making pizzas at
Dominoes, spending every spare moment
y train, doesnt give
at uni, trying to study,
you a lot of time.

Mark Gunter

How did you make the step to open


competition?
I thought I would love to do nationals
or something. I went into Damians shop
The Watt Factory and got testing to see
where I was at to start with, doing a MAP
test where you work harder every 20 seconds until you die to work out your maximum aerobic capacity over a minute and
your functional threshold (FTP) which is
what you can sustain for 20 minutes and
started building up from there. I wasnt
slash hot at the start. My FTP threshold
for an hour was 190 watts. These days my
FTP is 240-245.

AT A GLANCE INFO
NRS TEAM - Bicycle Superstore
GEAR SPONSORS - Liv Giant, Santini, BBB (sun)glasses, Morgan Blue, Lazer,
Torque and Osteohealth
FIRST BIKE - Really old fashioned MTB, a cheapie, like $100.
BIKE NOW - Giant Envy
BEST WIN - 12th stage two out of 80 at Battle On the Border 2014
3rd in Canberra Womens Tour time trial
VITAL STATISTICS - 158cm tall, 19yrs old, 58kg
COACH - Damian Mason/Mark Fenner FTP Training
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 121

A LIFE BEHIND BARS

BY KAREN FORMAN THORNTON

Single, married or other?


In a relationship.
A man of few words Cooper
likes to let his results speak
for them selves.

Do you consider yourself a sprinter or


stayer? Or climber?
Stayer for sure!
If you have a personal coach as well as a
team coach, how does that work? Who do
you listen to when push comes to shove?
I have had a personal coach now for
about four years and its great! It takes the
pressure off me for sure.
Do you think it is important for a bike rider
to have a coach, even juniors and masters
who arent members of NRS or other
teams but want to ride at their best?
I think its best to have a coach just
someone there to make sure youre not
over cooking the chicken.
Whats your favourite riding discipline?
Road, track, MTB?
I only ride road.

JOE COOPER
Bicycling Australia has been
chatting with National
Road Series athletes to get
some tips on how we can
all ride better and smarter.
This edition, we speak with
Joseph Cooper, of the Avanti
Pro Cycling Team.
BICYCLING AUSTRLIA: Joseph, do you
have a nickname?
Joe Cooper: Coops, JC Driver, JC,
Joe Joseph.
How would people describe your
personality in just a few words?
Depends on how well they know me either loud or quiet.
Whats the name of your NRS team and
what role do you play in it?
Avanti Pro Cycling Team punisher.
When did you join it and how did that
come about?
I signed on in 2013 after many a years
of trying to get in from the wild.
What has your NRS experience been?
I.e. which events have you contested and
what have been your results?
Tour of Perth winner, times two.
Do you have a favourite NRS race?
The Tour of Perth.
122

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

What are your personal goals in the NRS?


Try and win the NRS.
Whats it like riding in NRS events?
Its like a washing machine.
Do you think the NRS is important to
Australian cyclists? Why?
The NRS is very important to me and I am a
Kiwi so I guess its similar to the Aussies!
Any ideas on how the NRS could be
better?
It could have longer stages.
Where are you now (for our interview),
what are you doing (apart from reading
these questions) and why?
Sitting at home chilling out.
Where do you call home? What is your
home cycling club?
Home is Wellington (New Zealand) and
my home cycling club is Melbourne.
Do you have a job other than bike rider?
I have no other job; cycling is my life
and takes up most of the day.

What are some of your favourite training


or coffee rides?
My favourite is Kinglake loop - a loop
in New Zealand.
What does a typical day of training look
like for you?
Many, many long hours in the saddle.
Have you raced overseas?
Yes I have raced three seasons overseas,
in Europe and the USA.
Whats your program for the year look like?
Busy, very busy.
What makes you (and the rest of us) a
better rider? The gear, the training?
The training. You only get out what you
put in.
How do you stay motivated, especially
after injury or illness?
The winning feeling.
Where do you think cycling is at in
Australia, especially compared to other
countries?
At a very high level.
Have you ever crashed?
Yes, many times with some interesting
injuries.
Do you have any plans for after cycling, or
are you going to pedal off into the sunset?
I am hoping to pedal off into the sunset.
I know you are desperate for me to ask
this question: who would be on your
dinner guest list?
My family and friends.

AT A GLANCE INFO
GEAR SPONSORS - Avanti, Shimano, Giro, Mavic, Ceramic Speed, SRM, Torq.
FIRST BIKE - Giant TCR (long, long time ago).
BEST WIN - Stage Four Tour of Gippsland, after coming back from a fractured pelvis.
VITALS - 168cm tall, 28 years old, 70-80kg
COACH - Sills Cullen

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THE SPIN CYCLE


ANTHONY TAN

Origin of
TOUR SPECIES
With the route of the 2015 Tour de France just announced,
its timely to reflect on what we got this year, and what it
may tell us about next July, writes Anthony Tan.

Triple threat! Froome Nibali and Contador (seen


here at the Tirreno Adriatico) are never far from
the podium in recent years.
Tim De Waele

124

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

as it good for you?


No, this isnt a When
Harry Met Sally moment. Im referring to this
years Tour de France, and
whether you felt like you got bang for
your buck. Were you duly compensated
for three-and-a-half weeks worth of
sleepless nights?
With the Grand Tour triumvirate done
and dusted for another season it's easy to
forget, but with the route of next year's
course announced just recently, it's worth
revisiting Tour de France Edition 101.
The obvious talking point is the overall
winner, Vincenzo Nibali. We have to go
back fourteen years, the year Jan Ullrich
won, to find a winner who won by so
much. Ullrich, in the 1997 Tour, bested
Richard Virenque and Marco Pantani by
9'09 and 14'03, respectively; similarly,
Nibali trounced Frenchmen Jean-Christophe Praud and Thibaut Pinot by 7'37
and 8'15 this year.
Off the back of a stint racing in Northern Europe, 1997 was the first year I went
to see La Grande Boucle up close, and my
golly, was it ever a sight to behold, bigger

I do wonder if
Nibali will be a oneTour wonder, since
hes already talking
about attempting the
Giro-Tour double
next year.

and better than I imagined, and subconsciously or otherwise, it cemented my


love affair with the sport and my desire to
derive an income from it. (Though judging from my results, or rather lack of, and
witnessing the speeds the pro's were going
up the climbs during Generation EPO, I
knew it wasn't going to come from riding
a bike unless I too began to dance with le
diable du dopage)
Notable was that Nibali was questioned about his performances much
less than his Tour-winning predecessors
Christopher Froome and Bradley Wiggins.
It is perhaps, though, a consequence of
the steady progression he's shown over
the dozen Grand Tours he's done to date:
from 19th overall in his first three-week
tour at the 2007 Giro d'Italia; to three
years and five Grand Tours later winning
the Vuelta a Espaa; three years after that
dominating his home tour at the 2013

Giro; then one year and two months after


that, being crowned champion on the
Champs-lyses.
Rather, the majority of speculation
revolved not so much around his physical
performance per se, but whether he would
have won in the presence of Froome and
Alberto Contador.
It's true that Froome was in fine fettle
coming into the race, as evidenced by his
sixth place on the first stage to Harrogate
and briefly distancing his GC companions
the next day on the run into Sheffield,
before Nibali countered two kilometres
out and won, thereby assuming the maillot
jaune. However he had not ridden enough
of the race to say with any real authority
what may have happened, and the fact is
that while Nibali avoided the opening week
melee Froome found himself part of it on
no less than three occasions, even if his
initial spill on Stage 4 was not of his doing.
Contador lasted twice as long and for
my mind looked like a man who came to
win. His little test on Stage 8 to Grardmer La Mauselaine, where, although he
gained just three seconds on Nibali, was
nevertheless a psychological success - setting the scene for a thrilling tenth stage to
La Planche des Belles Filles. We still don't
know exactly what happened, though if the
accounts by some riders around him at the
time of his crash are correct, it appeared
Bertie was taking unnecessary risks in attempting to move up on the treacherous
descent of the Petit Ballon when he was
already near the front, and reaching for
the back-pocket is never a good idea on a
patchy piece of pavement.
However, again its impossible to say
Contador wouldve done this or that. While
a degree of luck is involved, most riders
will also tell you that one makes their own
luck - and through fate or circumstance
neither Froome nor Contador managed
to do that. Their actions, in part or whole,
compromised their propensity to make said
luck. Nibali, on the other hand, through
meticulous preparation and innate racecraft,
already enjoyed two-and-a-half minutes on
Contador after the cobblestoned fifth stage
and had Froome stayed upright probably
would have had at least that on him, too.
Against the imperious Sicilian, would either
of them have got that back on the subsequent four mountaintop finishes in the Alps
and Pyrenees?
It's worth noting Nibali conceded not
a single second - not even one! - to any
of his GC rivals on any stage. I'm sure
'Lo Squalo di Messina', or the Shark of
Messina as he's nicknamed, wouldn't
take kindly to the comparison and would
soon show his teeth, but you have to go
back to the Armstrong/Postal years to find
another Tour like it.
Also of note is that the top six placegetters from the stage to La Planche des
Belles Filles ended up being the top six
riders in the final classification almost two
weeks later, albeit in different order. As in
2012 it proved that the Vosges is worthy
of its place as the third massif of Le Tour,
and rather than save all the suspense or
have the race contingent on the Alps and/
or Pyrenees, organisers ASO will continue
to employ this series of short but sharp
mountains within this verdant region of
eastern France every few years to main-

tain interest throughout the race.


After the '97 Tour, most pundits, myself
included, predicted we would bear witness to an era where Ullrich would dominate not unlike Miguel Indurain before
him - but then along came Pantani and
some guy called Lance...
I do wonder if Nibali will be a oneTour wonder, since he's already talking
about attempting the Giro-Tour double
next year. In this highly specialised age of
Grand Tour riding, I reckon twos a bit
too much; riding two, yes, winning two,
no. After all, the last guy to achieve such
a feat was his own compatriot Pantani,
and we now all know it wasn't accomplished on bread and water alone. To beat
Froome, Contador and Nairo Quintana
next July will require the same singularly
focused dedication from 'Nibbles' - but
here we have a man who likes to buck
tradition and set new challenges for himself even if it means finishing second, as
he did last year when he rode the Vuelta
on the back of his Giro win.
You may have noticed I didn't say 'to
beat Praud and Pinot', second and third
in this year's Tour, nor did I mention
Alejandro Valverde, Tejay van Garderen
or Romain Bardet, occupants of places
fourth to sixth. Seventh-placed Leopold
Knig? He's an interesting one; put him
in the right team, offer the right support,
and it could be Czech-mate. Haimar
Zubeldia, eighth? Nah. Did nothing
except suck wheels. Laurens ten Dam and
Bauke Mollema, ninth and tenth? You
only need to refer to the final time trial to
see it was a case of Belkin Meltin'... (My
SBS Television colleague Mike Tomalaris
has a better chance of making the podium
than these guys.)
While it's fantastic we've seen a renaissance in French cycling, don't expect to
see them occupy the top step in Paris
anytime soon. Praud, at 37, is on his last
legs, while Pinot and Bardet have a long
way to go before being truly competitive with the likes of Nibali, Froome and
Contador. Similarly, Valverde's time as a
three-week stage racer is effectively over
since in Quintana his Movistar team have
a bona fide winner-in-waiting. As for van
Garderen the young American was no
better than Pinot or Bardet in the mountains though I did like his mental fortitude in hanging tough after his opening
week crashes, when he could easily have
thrown the game away; that said, I'm still
not convinced he'll one day win the Tour.
Out of this year's top ten, and aside from
Nibali, of course, I think Bardet's got the
best chance of going all the way.
Don't forget, Nibali and Froome are
still only 29 years old and have plenty of
Grand Tours left in them. Contador is 31;
Quintana and his Colombian counterpart
Rigoberto Uran are 24 and 27 - then you
have a new breed of superstars like Knig,
Rafal Majka, Wilco Kelderman, Peter
Kennaugh, the Yates twins.
You only have so many years as 'the
next big thing' before you either become
that person or get pushed aside. I'm sure
one day a book will be written about
it with the headline: 'Origin of Tour de
France Species: Survival of the Fittest'.
@anthony_tan
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 125

TALKING SHOP
BY JACK LYNCH

Power Plays
and Disc Jockeys
ometimes, winter feels more
like a three month period
where cycling enthusiasts talk
about the bike more than they
actually ride it. Reminiscing
on riding with a warm sun at their back
whilst cursing the wretched headwinds
and seemingly endless chance of showers forecast. Dreary Tour de France eyes
have spotted some of the latest gear and
everyone wants to get some information
on what the pros are riding.
From behind the counter, there are a
number of themes that pop up with the
dozens of conversations we have each
week. Here are a couple:

Power Meters
You have finally bought that bike you
have been saving a lifetime for, you have
kitted it out with carbon wheels, electronic gears, and all the bling you have ever
wantedor so you had thought. All of a
sudden, the post-ride cafe talk is no longer
about the results of the rides concluding
sprint or the treacherous new pothole on
your favourite descent. It has turned to FTP,
max wattage, various numbered zones,
and even L/R balance. When did riding
become so confusing and numbers based?
For better or worse, these phrases and
acronyms are here to stay. The adage,
you dont have to be a pro to train like a
pro, seems to be truer now than ever as
the power meter market is booming. This
means that power is now user friendly
and affordable! Power numbers can
provide some extra motivation, present
myriad new challenges for you, and will
scratch your consumerism itch.
There are a range of different brands
and styles out there so, if you like
numbers and measuring your trainings

progress then take the power plunge. Do


some research and decide which system
suits you best.
In the shop, the most popular power meter we have seen to date is from Stages Cycling. It balances accuracy with an unobtrusive appearance and will only add around
50 grams. Installation is simple as Stages
power meters are just a left hand crank arm
remove your old crank, fit a Stages, pair
with your ANT+ device and ride off.
Stages are only available on aluminium
cranks at the moment so for those running SRAM, you will have to use a Rival
left-hand crank and it is bad luck for anyone using Campagnolo cranks as Stages
are yet to come up with something to suit.
SRM, Quarq, Garmin, Rotor, are all
among a list of power meter manufacturers that are servicing cyclists needs across
the world. There is, however an exciting
new name that has surfaced recently.
Pioneer, the Japanese electronics company
has released its SGY-PM900H79 and
SGX-CA900 in other words, a power
meter and matching head unit.
Pioneer has developed a sleek and unassuming meter which has the advantage of
calculating left-right balance. There are
two separate strain gauges that enable a
twelve-point measure of pedalling efficiency
on both sides. This 30 degree efficiency is
displayed visually on Pioneers specific computer which is a $349 add on. If such indepth analysis when riding does not excite
you, then do not buy the computer and pair
the Pioneer to your ANT+ computer.
The catch with Pioneers new design
is that your crankset will need to be sent
away to an approved installation expert
where it takes about a week to delicately
and deliberately apply a strong epoxy to
fit the strain gauges to the cranks. As with
Stages, if you have Campagnolo fitted to
your bike then look elsewhere and if you
have SRAM, buy another brand. Pioneer
will only fit their power meters to Dura
Ace 9000 or Ultegra 6800 cranksets.
The design is snug and the wifi-enabled
computer seems to be best in class, but
at $1999 for the whole set-up, proven
brands at similar price points might still
have the edge.

Disc Brakes on Roadies

Zipp Firestrike 202 disc wheels.


126

Bicycling Australia

November December 2014

The idea of hydraulic disc brakes on


road bikes has been around for a while
now but we are finally starting to see the
big brands confidently develop them
and release them to the public. With the
introduction of Shimanos new affordable
105 hydraulic brake system, excitement is
building as these bikes are getting exposed
to the greater cycling throng.
Like everything in cycling, there are
positives and negatives that must be

weighed up when considering buying a


bike equipped with the latest stopping
power. Firstly, if you want to race, then
forget discs until at least 2016. There is a
raft of issues that the UCI need to legislate
before allowing discs in races.
It seems that the riders safety is at the
forefront of the rule-makers minds. Discs
are razor sharp (just ask any mechanic at
your local shop who has put their finger in
one when adjusting the brakes) and have
the potential to be very dangerous in a
bunch crash. There has also been talk that
the different brake modulation between the
current brands that produce hydraulic road
brakes will mean riders will have to brake
at different times when approaching a bend.
This may not be an issue for two or three
riders but could cause an issue for a big
peloton of riders chasing wheels.
The potential for incompatibility in spares
is also a challenge for race organisers. Rotors
can be different sizes (between 140mm and
180mm for road) which would be a headache
for the neutral support team when making
quick roadside changes. The Service Course
will have to ask more than the customary,
Shimano/SRAM or Campag if discs are
introduced. Some manufacturers have started
building their frames with mountain-bike
style through-axles rather than standard
quick release which could also be logistically
troublesome. With about 2mm clearance on
each side of the rotor, even the smallest axle
spacing variation could mean the difference
between a free-spinning wheel and a dragging
one this could present itself as a disaster for
an unlucky rider.
If you do not intend on racing, then
hydraulic disc brakes will allow you to, as
the advertising campaign suggested, ride
what the pros cant. They will provide
a more consistent brake in all weather
and will allow you to pull up faster. You
do pay a weight penalty at this stage but
as production becomes more extensive,
weight reduction is a near certainty.
Maintenance wise, disc brakes should
be easier to look after once they are setup. They dont need to be cleaned, and,
contrary to what your friends have told
you, they rarely need bleeding. The brake
pads are quite hardy but you must be
careful not to get any foreign fluids on
them or else they will squeal. People often
come into the shop with howling brakes
after they have tried to polish them.
Disc brakes could be the biggest game
changer for road cyclists since the gradual eradication of down-tube shifters. In
this progressive industry, performance
is everything and once discs are regulated and manufacturers can confidently
perform extensive research and development, then we will all eventually experience the benefits.

ON THE RIVET
ENDO FARTLEK

Old School
Training
for Cardio
Athletes
ny cunning coach committed
to building his or her team of
cardio athletes knows there are
a thousand-and-one ways to
put a cracker under the clacker
of an ambitious punter of the peloton and
secure their patronage. One such way is
to refer to the aforementioned punter as
a cardio athlete despite overwhelming
evidence to the contrary. Another way
is to move from that initial flattery to
marketing your services on the grounds of
prestige and scarcity.
In my bunch, The Old Cranks,
Miguelito El Dingo Loco de Pared was
hooked from the beginning. At best, he
is a recreational randonneur with little
prospect of rising to the dizzying heights
of rank amateur. But now, apparently, he
is a cardio athlete.
Our training programs cater for everyone from recreational cyclists doing
their first sportive through to competitive cyclists at the national level,
the website said. Prestige. Miguelito
couldnt help but imagine that he was
leaning a little towards the competitive
end of that spectrum.
We only take on ten cardio athletes
at a time to ensure that everyone gets the
individual attention they need to achieve
their goals. Scarcity. Better join the program while you can.
And he did. Within days of stumbling
upon this online pitch Miguelito went
from a self-managed, devout follower
of Greg LeMonds Complete Book Of
Cycling to a born-again-bicycling-bootcamper with cycling coach, nutritionist,
core strength trainer, masseuse, Yoga
instructor and acupuncturist. Hes now
looking for a second job just to maintain
his growing entourage.
History will judge LeMonds 352 page
cycling manifesto as a classic text from
a golden era. Only the foolish would
deny that it was prophetic, ahead of its
time, while remaining an ode to all things
old school. To the uninitiated, the three
paragraphs on page 214 dedicated to
breathing will be a revelation, despite
ones direct experience of the involuntary
nature of the respiratory function.

Nevertheless, LeMond had clearly


over-engineered the whole shebang and
large slabs of this epistle from one of
pro-cyclings celebrated apostles remain
inaccessible to your average pedal pusher.
Chris Carmichaels The Time Crunched
Cyclist is a modern example of the genre.
The promise is that you will be fit, fast
and powerful in six hours a week at
first glance, an unnerving claim coming
from someone long associated with Lance
Armstrong. But to his credit Chris has developed an innovative high intensity, low
volume program for folks with busy lives.
Unfortunately, all of those hours you
save by abandoning your low intensity,
high volume program are spent trying to
understand what your body does with
adenosine triphosphate, calculating oxygen
usage in millimetres per kilogram per
minute, and interpreting graphic depictions
of steady effort powerful intervals.
I think, when all is said and done, Dr
Marco The Maestro Pierfederici was
the best at demystifying the art and science of cycling. The Maestro worked
with the great Eddy Merckx. In addition
to overlooking The Cannibals standard
stage-race diet of steaks and beer, he kept
Eddy focused on the three things a cyclist
should do.
"Very simply, the training that a
competitive cyclist should do is based on
riding a bicycle, Marco said. Sounds a
tad obvious, but eminently doable. Ride
the bike. Tick.
Once the season is over, he went on,
there is another thing the cyclist should
do -- and that is to ride a bicycle. Its
technically the off season, but again, doable. Ride the bike. Tick.
When the cyclist doesn't know what
else to do, he should do a third thing, The
Maestro said. Ride a bicycle. Tick. I think
Ive grasped the essence of his philosophy.
Its not rocket surgery folks but, lets
face it, if its good enough for The Can-

nibal, its probably good enough for you


and me.
At present, the only other training
method that makes more sense to me than
Pierfedericis three pronged plan has come
out of Tezzas shed on the south side of
Springwood.
Tezza is a sparky by trade who wields
his soldering iron with the sensibilities
of an artist and turns a screw driver with
the precision of a cardiac surgeon. In a
moment of inspiration, he hooked-up his
old Giant roadie to a 24 volt, 200-watt
electric motor.
Tezza now has an entire training regime
built around his capacity to run domestic
appliances. On an average morning in the
shed he can run his Marantz record player
and ride to the original vinyl release of
Johnny Diesel and the Injectors. At the
peak of his powers Tezza can run a laptop
and buy Penrith Panthers footy shorts and
socks from Peter Wynns online store.
He has high hopes for his son Matt,
who he believes will one day power-up
the old Panasonic television and play
River Raid on his Atari 2600.
The only other technical innovation in
Tezzas approach is his unique adaptation
of the Rate of Perceived Exertion: completely stuffed, really stuffed, stuffed, not
quite stuffed, and riding towards stuffed.
Of course, Tezzas method wont work
for everyone. It is advisable to explore
the full range of training options and
there are few better ways to do so than
by talking to a pro. Im being indirectly
mentored by the Australian cycling legend
Amanda Spratt who comes home to
Springwood for the handful of months
wedged between the UCI Worlds and the
Australian National Road Championships. Spratty and I have never actually
spoken, but last summer I lost 25 pounds
and added two miles per hour to my average speed trying to catch-up with her for
a chat along Hawkesbury Road.
www.bicyclingaustralia.com.au 127

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Getting dressed for


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