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

Road to NAHBS 2016: Ben Farver of Argonaut Cycles

Photo used with permission of Argonaut Cycles
Photo used with permission of Argonaut Cycles
Photo used with permission of Argonaut Cycles

Ben Farver has an origin story in two parts. He started Argonaut as a steel custom frame outfit, first with TIG welded frames, then brazed frames. Despite early recognition of his work in steel, Ben made a sudden move away from the material to carbon only a few years into forming his brand. From the perspective of many who labor in metal, it was a polarizing move leaving many feeling like he was dismissing the material that they love.

But for Ben, this could not be further from the truth. Steel, in his mind, would never be able to give him the depth of control over the design and feel of the bike, and it would never allow him to make the contribution to the industry he wanted to make – not like carbon could.

In this phone interview, Ben discusses the initial journey into frame building, as well as his drive to accomplish the deeper level of personalization and material performance that compelled him to create his new approach to custom carbon frame fabrication…

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Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike37 Comments

Don’t get bent out of shape… Wheels Manufacturing has a bunch of new derailleur hangers for your bike

Don’t get bent out of shape… Wheels Manufacturing has a bunch of new derailleur hangers for your bike

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Like death and taxes, eventually a bent derailleur hanger is inevitable. Fortunately, Wheels Manufacturing is constantly turning out new derailleur hangers to replace yours should it have a moving experience. Machined in the U.S. from hiqh quality aluminum, Wheels Manufacturing hangers are designed to be as good, if not better than the original hanger than came on the bike.

Now with new hangers numbered 268-279, Wheels Manufacturing has even more bikes covered from Blue, Colnago, Corratec, Diamondback, Focus, Fuji, Ghost, Giant, GT, Jamis, Kona, Marin, Novara, Norco and more…

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Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Commuter, Cyclocross, Mountain Bike, Road Bike6 Comments

2016 Trek Boone, Crockett cyclocross bikes get spec, color updates and more disc brakes

2016-17 trek boone and crockett cyclocross bikes

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Now that the 2015/16 cyclocross season is a wrap, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming cyclocross season. After all, that’s when most of us are actually pinning on a number, so it’s always in the backs of our minds. And, with the growing interest in alternative ways to ride a road bike, it’s on a lot of manufacturers’ minds, too.

While some other brands have made dramatic changes to their CX bikes recently, Trek’s carrying forward the frames unveiled for the 2015-16 season unchanged save for their dress and spec, but you’ll find much fewer cantilever rim brake options unless you’re at the top of the Boone line. Yes, the very tip top of the line is the Sven Nys Race Shop Limited model, which shaves grams by eschewing discs, which worked quite well for many of Sven’s World Cup wins over the years. Of course, even he’s upgraded.

The Crockett lineup goes to all disc brakes, all the time. Both models continue on with 15mm thru axle forks and standard QR rear dropouts. Hop on down for a quick overview of models and specs…

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Posted in Cyclocross29 Comments

Bombtrack breaks the Hook down into 3 specialist cyclocross machines

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Bombtrack-bikes_Hook-3_cyclocross_front

About a year and a half ago Bombtrack bikes stepped out of their fixie comfort zone and offered a steel framed cyclocross bike to broaden their horizons. In that time the original Hook cross bike outreached their expectations and everyone from their development team to their customers began to take the bike more and more off its intended track. So now Bombtrack has added two more bike to the Hook line. A new entry level steel bike steel bike becomes the 1, last year’s Hook carries over as the 2, and an all carbon Hook 3 makes its debut, with more shots and details across the fold…

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Posted in Commuter, Cyclocross7 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Darrel Williams of Thrive Cycles

Road to NAHBS 2016: Darrel Williams of Thrive Cycles
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Photo by Stacey Schmitz

Darrel Williams and his brand, Thrive Cycles, hail from the small town of Savannah, Missouri, a place with many quiet roads lovely for riding but “about the furthest you can get from being a cycling town.” Being an entirely self-taught builder, Darrel has already gotten attention in forums for his process, routing techniques, and juicy fillets. His bikes have a clean, minimalist aesthetic that is reflective of his brand’s motto, “deliberately simple,” as well as his polite eschewing of the flashy paint jobs and elaborate metalwork that he feels can be distracting from the machine. Jive with the drive behind Thrive Cycles after the jump…

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Posted in Cyclocross, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike4 Comments

Shimano patent shows silent ring drive hub internals that could be the next Dura-Ace

shimano scylence freehub ring drive ratchet design delivers silent drag free performance - prototype patent drawings

shimano scylence freehub ring drive ratchet design delivers silent drag free performance - prototype patent drawings

Thanks to rumor and hearsay from a Bikerumor fan and our own digging, we hear Shimano’s working on all-new hub designs. one that could offer quick engagement, more durable freehub bodies and nearly silent, drag-free coasting. And we found a few patents to back it all up.

The biggest update to their current designs is the switch to a ring drive ratchet system. DT Swiss has proven it with their Star Ratchet, but Shimano’s filing actually references Chris King’s RingDrive patent, but there’s a major difference in the way Shimano’s design moves the ratchet rings. And that difference is what eliminates the buzzing bee sound during coasting, creating quiet, fast hub that might just be the heart of XTR and Dura-Ace’s next generation hubs…

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Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Industry News, Mountain Bike, Road Bike, Triathlon80 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Matt Appleman of Appleman Bicycles

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Matt Appleman’s story is a little different than many of those featured in the Road to NAHBS series. Rather than approach the trade in the traditional way of studying under an established frame builder or taking a class, a college-aged Matt bought a bunch of tooling and built his first cyclocross frame in his dorm room and went for it. Entering his sixth year of building full time, Matt has refined his product and process to cater to any rider (though his product is most locally recognized as a weapon of choice among the elite men’s field). See how Matt’s bikes have evolved to be the Appleman of so many riders’ eye after the jump…
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Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews13 Comments

Project321 Boost hubs do it different, plus new singlespeed, cyclocross & Lefty hubs!

project321 boost mountain bike hubs

project321 boost mountain bike hubs

To take advantage of a Boost frame or fork, most hubs usually grow by 6mm in the rear and 10mm in the front. Project321’s new Boost hubs’ shells do just that, but they left some of those gains on the table when moving the flanges.

“Everyone’s just taking the extra 10mm and pushing the flanges out by 5mm per side,” says Jake Lyles, Project321’s product designer. “But, on the front, we kept the right side where it was and only pushed the left (disc brake) side out. That means the flanges only spread by 5mm. So the bracing angle on the right didn’t grow like it would on some other hubs, but this gave us a more even angle on both sides. Just because we could take the full 10mm, we didn’t necessarily think we should.”

Here’s why that matters…

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Posted in Cyclocross, Mountain Bike5 Comments