Review: Casco SpeedAiro-TC Plus aero road helmet

Review: Casco SpeedAiro-TC Plus aero road helmet

Casco_Speed-Airo-TCS-aero-road-helmet_castle

This past year at Eurobike we got a closer look at the new special TC Plus edition of Casco’s SPEEDairo road helmet, and wanted to try it out. That large integrated lens/shield and distinct styling had caught our attention before in some other color configurations, but the gloss-on-matte black finish of the TC and the inclusion of several accessories as part of the Plus package got us thinking about its versatility. Come past the break with us to see how we have ridden and raced the helmet over the past half a year, and how it has fared in different setups with diverse use from the road, track, cyclocross, and even just getting around town…

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Posted in Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Cyclocross, Reviews, Road Bike, Triathlon6 Comments

5th edition of Zinn & The Art of Road Bike Maintenance gets at old and new tech

Zinn-road-parts
Zinn-road-parts
all images copyright Lenard Zinn

Lennard Zinn’s maintenance books have been the gold standard for home mechanics for many years, and we’ve seen a number of shop rats who got their start thumbing through the pages. All in all his guides are the most popular resource worldwide for bicycle repair and maintenance, from basic tire and tube changes to complicated drivetrain overhauls. Now a new version of the Road Bike book is out, bringing together all the classic road tech solutions with plenty of new standards as well, all with simple one color illustrations that make it easy to follow from the workshop…

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Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Commuter, Cyclocross, Gravel Bikes, How To, Industry News, Road Bike, Triathlon6 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Craig Calfee of Calfee Design

Photo by Calfee Design
Photo by Calfee Design
Photo by Calfee Design

Craig Calfee was screwing around with carbon in bike frames way before it was cool. Arguably, Craig’s a big reason why carbon came to be regarded as cool. He’s also a big reason why bamboo moved into a space where it could also become a respected frame material. And Craig is always keeping it fresh by continuing to up the ante with his ingenious solutions year after year…

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Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike11 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: John Caletti of Caletti Cycles

Photo by Peter Thomsen
Photo by Peter Thomsen
Photo by Peter Thomsen

For John Caletti of Caletti Cycles, the ride of the bike is what it’s all about. Tradeshows and interviews about origin stories (like this one) are frustrating to him for this reason: they speak to the persona of the builder and the look of the bike rather than what the machine accomplishes in motion. This emphasis is reflected in the form and presentation of his frames. The aesthetic is clean. Curves, when they occur, are subtle. There is a constant distilling process occurringg at Caletti Cycles with respect to production procedure and formal presentation in order to enhance the frames intrinsic value of the frame.

In this phone interview, John discusses his course to becoming a frame builder as well as the significance of refinement within his product and operations.

And, for those fun loving folks out there, he gives us a sneak peek at the Scrambler, a new model to be launched at, and available to take home from, NAHBS.

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Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike6 Comments

Traitor Cycles’ new Wander touring bike & Updated Ruben, now with flat or drop bars

Traitor Cycles Wander image

Traitor Cycles Wander, action shot

Sure the machines are getting smarter and better, and it’s only a matter of time before we all live in The Matrix…but for now that special appeal still exists for hand-made products, especially when it comes to bikes. Seattle’s Traitor Cycles certainly thinks so as their entire lineup of commuters, touring bikes and cyclocross racers is hand-crafted from prominent Taiwanese manufacturer Founderland’s seamless 4130 chromoly tubing.

Bikerumor first checked in on Traitor’s Ruben in 2012, and the following year we checked out the revamped Crusade Disc CX bike. As for current affairs, Traitor has a few new models in this year’s lineup. There’s the entirely new Wander aimed at long distance riders who love the feel of real steel, and their existing Ruben commuter now has a single-speed convertible dropout and comes in either drop bar or flat bar models…
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Posted in Commuter, Cyclocross, Gravel Bikes, Road Bike5 Comments

Is Shimano losing teeth to make lighter, better shifting chainrings?

Shimano chainring design with gaps between every other tooth

Shimano chainring design with gaps between every other tooth

If the recent silent freehub design we found is any indication, Shimano is looking at ways to reduce noise, friction and drag in some creative ways. And perhaps this chainring design, which we found in yet another patent application from the drivetrain giant, is even more creative despite its utter simplicity.

Want to reduce weight? Cut drag and friction? Easy, just remove every other tooth. But not just any teeth, only the narrow ones from a narrow/wide design. Which is even more odd coming from Shimano since they don’t currently offer a narrow/wide chainring, though they have patented shiftable narrow/wide ring designs. And, we’ve heard from one source (but can’t verify) that Mr. Shimano was the first to patent a narrow wide chainring design all the way back in 1978, albeit for agricultural purposes. Yes, you read that correctly: Shimano may have been the first to patent a narrow/wide chainring design, and they did it almost 40 years ago.

Here’s how this could work…

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Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Gravel Bikes, Mountain Bike, Road Bike, Triathlon24 Comments

Pioneer power meters pricing gets even more competitive, OTA updates & more coming soon!

Pioneer power meters pricing gets even more competitive, OTA updates & more coming soon!

Pioneer Powermeters price drop for dual and single leg versions plus new upgrade option

When it launched less than two years ago, Pioneer offered the first dual leg product to be offered globally, and the first to offer high definition pedaling metrics. They still offer the most detailed pedal stroke analysis, but several other brands have begun offering dual leg measurement.

But, for the product, Pioneer had very competitive pricing. Which, directly or not, resulted in many other major brands (Quarq, PowerTap, Power2Max, SRM, etc.) dropping their prices. So, at Interbike last fall, Pioneer introduced a single sided (single leg) version to offer their system at an even lower price, but one that could easily be upgraded to dual leg as need or budget allows. And that gave them an option to compete with Stages, and beat them on price by a bit, too.

Now, in the best possible race to the bottom, Pioneer’s pricing drops another 30% ($270 off!) for single leg, putting them at just $529 (€629) for Ultegra 6800 and $649 (€699) for Dura-Ace 9000, both including the non-drive crank arm. But that ain’t all…

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Posted in Cyclocross, Road Bike, Triathlon8 Comments

SRM drops pricing on PowerMeters, plus new limited lifetime warranty

SRM drops pricing on PowerMeters, plus new limited lifetime warranty

SRM_THM-Clavicula-M3-powermeter_detail

The power meter price wars have begun and customers are beginning to reap the rewards. German stalwart and pioneer of the power measurement game SRM have just announced a big shift in their pricing for the American markets. Effective immediately their prices drop about 30% across the board. SRM says they have been working for months to optimize how they do things to get their prices down in reaction to customer and bike shop feedback, and finally have come away with a substantial price drop that will help them stay competitive with the numerous other options on the market now. Jump past the break for a rundown of some of their pricing, plus a look at the new limited lifetime warranty…

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Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Cyclocross, Gadgets & Hacks, Industry News, Mountain Bike, Road Bike22 Comments

Has mechanical doping made its way to the Cyclocross World Championships? – Updated

Has mechanical doping made its way to the Cyclocross World Championships? – Updated
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Photo c. Vivax Assist

Up until this point, the idea of mechanical doping has been dismissed by most as hilariously preposterous. Not the idea that the concept exists, but the fact that any pro would ever dare to attempt it. Products like the Gruber, now Vivax Assist that hide an electric motor inside the seat tube which powers a gear on the crank spindle have added fuel to the fire, that while preposterous, it could be possible.

That possibility is what has led the UCI to develop new screening protocols to potentially catch any mechanical doping in action. Like previous allegations, the rumor is now that the UCI is investigating the team of a female racer in the U23 World Championship race for “technological fraud.” Outlets like Sporza are reporting at lot more detail than has been officially released by the UCI, which is where the mention of an electric motor and wires comes into play.

Currently, the UCI hasn’t announced that they have actually found a motor in any bike, or even who that bike would belong to, but promise more details to come…

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Posted in Cyclocross, Industry News36 Comments