Mammoth Gran Fondo



Today is the last day to sign up for the Mammoth Gran Fondo before the price goes up. I am participating this year, and I cannot wait to ride the roads of the Eastern Sierra with like minded individuals. Full support, partially closed roads, and plenty of rest stops. If this sounds like the perfect Saturday, sign up today.



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Two Beautiful and Interesting Bikes


A short pre-weekend post highlighting two bicycles that I think are quite stunning. Pictured above is the Bastion Cycles road disc bike. Bastion Cycles is based in Australia, and they have perfected 3D-printed titanium lugs bonded to carbon tubes. I’ve only seen one frame in person at Cycle Store Zurich, and it was stunning. Because the lugs are 3D-printed, the customization options are endless. A frame can be made to suit every style of riding.

Pictured below is the Chapter 2 Huru bike. Chapter 2, based in New Zealand, is the brainchild of Michael Pryde, son of Neil Pryde. After starting and spending years running the bicycle division of Neil Pryde, Michael Pryde set out on his own to start Chapter 2. The lineup consists of 3 frames, one all around road, one aero, and one climbing bike. The Huru is the climbing bike, and the one I’m most interested in trying. It’s worth noting the details in the frame, from the graphics to the subtle design features.



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Topeak D-Torq Wrench

As someone who tinkers with bikes on an almost daily basis, a torque wrench is an absolute necessity. Today’s bikes and components are mostly carbon fiber, and as carbon is more delicate than metal, proper tightening of bolts has become a more critical part of bicycle assembly and maintenance. Without proper torque, components are more susceptible to failure, so it is imperative to get the proper torque values for each bolt, and use a torque wrench to achieve said torque. (more…)

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Open WI.DE.

A new Open is always cause for celebration. This is the WI.DE., a.k.a. Winding Detours. This new variation on the original U.P. has clearance for up to 2.4″ mountain bike tires. Described as an all road, gravel, extreme bike, the WI.DE. will handle most any terrain. The dropped drive side chain stay has been replicated on the non-driveside, allowing for the use of massive mountain bike tires. The journey to this new U.P. variant has been chronicled on the Open blog, and as always, both Gerard and Andy are quite forthcoming in the trials and tribulations of reaching this final design. The transparency is refreshing, and this bike looks to be amazing.

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Ventoux, just published this week, is the story of a group of friends revisiting their past and a fateful climb to Mont Ventoux. I’m midway through the book and, so far, it has been a great read. It is not necessarily a story of cycling, but cycling plays an important role in the story. Ventoux is available now at World Editions.

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3T Strada

3T has released complete SRAM Force eTAP AXS builds on the Strada aero road bike. The bike is available in either 1x or 2x configurations, and is available now with complete details here.

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Shimano S-Phyre Wind Resistant Jersey

Los Angeles has been cold, very cold. Maybe we don’t experience sub-freezing temps, but it gets close on some occasions. Our weekly ride up to the Hollywood Sign meets at 6:30am on Wednesdays. It is early, it is dark, and the temperature tends to hover in the mid-40s this time of year. For a native of LA, that is freezing. So, in the hunt for one piece of clothing to keep me warm on these slightly misguided rides, I came across the Shimano S-Phyre wind resistant jersey. It is perfect.

This jersey is right in oh so many ways. First, the fit is spot on. It is slim, with just the right amount of drop at the rear, and the perfect length sleeves. The three pockets on the rear are large enough to carry all your tools, nutrition, tubes, and even a small windbreaker or vest. There is an additional zippered pocket at the rear for lip balm, cash and ID. The collar is high, perfect to keep the chill at bay. I’ve been wearing this jersey with a short sleeve base layer, and the combination is ideal for mid 40s to mid 50 temperatures. For me, keeping your core warm is the key to enjoyable riding, and the Shimano S-Phyre accomplishes this perfectly.

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Zipp 303 NSW Disc Clinchers



Those who know me have heard me gripe about any rims that are deeper than say 32mm. The reason for the complaints stems from riding bikes with deep dish rims in locales such as San Francisco, where the winds can whip themselves into a frenzy. Anyone who has ridden across the Golden Gate Bridge in windy conditions knows exactly what I’m talking about. On multiple occasions I’ve felt as if I could be blown clear off the bridge and into the cold waters below. Luckily this has never happened, but the wind has pushed me from side to side, and no matter what input I provide, the bike seems to be at the whim of mother nature. There it is – my reason to stay away from deep rims. Of course, I had never ridden Zipp wheels before. Now my opinion and wheelset choice has changed.

Casual bike fanatics know all about Zipp wheels and the dimples on the rims. The surface is similar to a golf ball, and if one were to read up on the tech, they would learn this surface provides a way to cheat the wind. Skeptical? I was, at least until I rode my first set of Zipps. My introduction to the company came via the 202 NSW disc clinchers. These wheels were almost exactly the same dimensions of another wheelset already in the quiver. Chance had it that I had the same tires mounted on both sets of wheels, and my local ride through the Hollywood Hills provided a real world testing ground. What I found was fascinating. When riding down Mulholland to the 101 freeway, a wonderfully smooth descent, I found that I would feel the wind pushing at the competitor’s wheelset. Nothing too horrible, as the wind here is typically mild, but pushing nonetheless. Soon after, I switched over to the Zipp 202s with the same tires on the same bike. I replicated the ride down Mulholland in very similar conditions, and I was awestruck at the difference. The wheels cut through the wind without any of the bobbles I felt on the other wheels. I was immediately sold. The dimpled surface was doing exactly what was promised, and provided the most stable descent I’ve had on my local loop.

Fast forward to the Zipp 303s. These wheels are substantially deeper than the 202s, so I was once again apprehensive. The new wheels were mounted onto the same bike, my wonderful titanium Haley, and off I went on my local ride. What a surprise. Again, the wheels provided an equally impressive ride, with no bobbles induced by the wind, but with one very significant difference. These wheels are fast, very fast. The rim shape not only cheats the wind, but it cuts through the wind providing for much faster descents. Still completely stable, but much much faster. I was also pleased to feel the difference on Forest Lawn Drive, a long flat stretch of road. The wind-cheating quality of the wheels allows for significant gains when pushing a high gear and keeping a steady tempo. It almost feels as if I’m getting an unfair advantage when using the 303s. A whole new world opened up for me.

Another aspect of the Zipp wheels I love is the silent Cognition hub at the rear. I prefer being stealthy when I ride, so the smooth and quiet operation of the freewheel assembly is music to my ears. From getting the bike out of the house at 6am without waking up the neighbors, to the wonderfully silent riding on the rollers of Mulholland, this is a feature I’ve completely fallen for. Some prefer announcing their arrival, but I prefer being discreet. Aside from being quiet, the Axial Clutch drive mechanism cuts down drag by a claimed 50% over a standard three-pawl system. Quiet and fast, a perfect combination.

The Zipp 303s are beautiful wheels to look at, a pleasure to ride, and one of the fastest wheels I’ve had the opportunity to test. These wheels are the perfect combination of aerodynamics and weight for any type of riding, whether it be gravel or road. The dimpled surface does what’s promised, slicing through the wind, and providing an amazing ride quality. I’ve been singing the praises of Zipp to those I ride with, and recommend these wheels to anyone looking for a significant upgrade to their bicycle.



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A Photo Or Two For A Wednesday

Wednesday is the day of our weekly ride up to the sign. We leave at dawn, and are finished with the ride in time to get to work. The ride contributes to our well being, and helps get us through the week. It is incredibly difficult to get out of the house at 6am, especially given it is dropping into the 40’s at that time of hour, but it is always worth the effort. After I get home from the ride, I feel invigorated, and ready to face the day. This highlights the power of cycling on the psyche, and how a simple ride up a hill can change your perspective on the day.

The Haley Cycles atop the Sign.

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Maloja Clothing



Many years ago, on a drive from Switzerland to Italy, we came across a small town near St. Moritz called Maloja. It was an unexpected discovery, and we spent a rather unusual night in the Maloja Palace. Unusual, in that we were the only guests in the entire hotel – a bizarre circumstance, since the hotel regularly fills up – we just happened upon it at an unusual moment. The walks, the dinner, and the hotel were unforgettable.

My discovery of Maloja Clothing seems to have come about unexpectedly as well. On a day a few months back, I was perusing my normal blogs when I spotted the word Maloja. My memory of the overnight stay has stuck with me, so seeing the name immediately got  my attention. A little more digging, and I discovered Maloja Clothing.

The company, based in Bavaria, Germany, specializes in outdoor clothing. Everything from Nordic Ski gear to cycling specific clothing is available on their site. It’s a varied collection, and there is definitely a European aesthetic to the design. Pricing is quite reasonable, and judging from the above pictured jacket I’ve been wearing, the quality is top notch.

This jacket, called the Carl, is designed in Bavaria and made in Bulgaria. It is a blend of wool, polyester and nylon. The interior is as soft as can be, while the exterior has a faint herringbone pattern. There are cinch straps at the waist, two internal pockets, two zippered hand pockets, and one zippered chest pocket. The main zipper of the piece closes the jacket snugly around the neck, keeping the warmth in. The jacket is windproof and water repellent, and has elastic cuffs. I’ve been wearing it continuously, and look forward to taking it to the mountains in a few weeks.

Maloja has found a niche that distinguishes it from other brands, and their founding principles stem from a slightly different perspective than most. I enjoyed reading the short piece about “how it began”; it seems the town of Maloja also had a profound impact on the folks who started Maloja Clothing.



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