In 21 days, cyclists cover the distance from Manhattan to the Las Vegas strip in the Tour de France, one of the greatest sporting events on Earth. GP contributing editor Matthew Ankeny makes a strong case for the greatness of the Tour — and explains how the race works in the process.
A vigorous argument for one of sporting's best events
Turn your bike into the ultimate machine for exercise, travel and competition with these five computers.
The winter. To most cyclists it means eating too much and enjoying earned time off. To some it means hellish 15-hour weeks on the indoor trainer, preparing in earnest for next season. But to all of us it means longing for short-sleeved summer rides, spring classics and stronger legs next year. Luckily, just before the…
Sure, everyone loves to commute by bike. But there are inherent issues: showering at work, remembering different outfits, needing multiple grocery trips to carry your bags. The eFlow E3 Nitro electric bike is a major step forward — a step with striking design efficiency and a style that belies its e-designation. We were amped at the chance to cruise it around town for a few weeks — read on to see how it performed.
Take a break from all that pedaling
Cycling and writing have a funny relationship. Look up any pro or experienced cyclist these days and they’ll likely have a blog to vent about anything and everything. Look a little further back in time and you’ll find millions of battered Moleskine notebooks filled with training logs and racing notes. The fact is, the sport houses an excellent library of both training guides and some genuinely compelling prose. In honor of our Cycling Issue, we’ve picked our 10 favorite reads in the genre.
Remember your first bike? We do too
Just why did GP decide to run a week about bicycling? Limits Editor Jeremy Berger explains — and hints at where we’ll go next.
Hot laps in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
It’s 6pm on Saturday, June 8, and what’s been a very rainy spring has broken just in time for an event best described as a cross between a Formula 1 race and a playful reenactment of the The Breakfast Club: the Red Hook Criterium, Brooklyn Navy Yard edition. We were on hand to document the bicycle race for our week of cycling.
As of May 27th, New York City’s Citi Bike bikeshare program was the largest in the United States, with 6,000 bikes available to residents and visitors alike. Though the program isn’t without its detractors, it has all the markings of a success: seven days after its launch, 65,000 trips had been taken and 28,000 people had signed up for an annual membership. Contrary to what many might think, the bike itself is a bit of a design marvel. We break down the ride.
Feel the need...the need for one speed
Single-speed bikes have recently enjoyed a comeback in popularity due to their straightforward aesthetics, ease of use and relative lack of maintenance. Although not ideal for hilly areas, single speeds are excellent for urban riders because of their simplicity: they have no derailleur, no gears, and with fixed-gear bikes, no freewheel mechanism (the thing device allows riders to coast, leaving them to use their legs to slow down in tandem with a front brake — some daring types run no brakes at all, using only their leg power to stop the bike).
With the warm weather upon us and more people than ever hitting the streets for their commute to work — or the bar — it’s about time you got in on the action. Here are our 10 favorites. We’ve left no gear unturned, including everything from the most hardcore, feature-laden commuter to the most bare-bones fixed-gear track bike.
See you in T1
For gearheads and Quantified Selfers triathlon is a chance to ride bikes that look like DARPA prototypes and collect more personal information about themselves than a Stasi collaborator, respectively; for Alphas it’s a chance to get ripped and grab bragging rights; for some people it’s just a fun way to get in shape. Whatever the reason, the tri gear is abundant. Sure, you could swim in your skivvies, hop on your Schwinn for the bike leg and run in some old Nike Mac Attacks — but we’ll do you one better with this kit.
An Ambit-ious watch for triathletes
There are three reasons to wear the Suunto Ambit2 S, specifically: swim, bike, run. This GPS watch from Finland-based Suunto is designed specifically for the multisport athlete, capable of capturing all of the important data in each of the triathlete’s disciplines. All of this data can then be uploaded to an account on Suunto’s movescount.com, where you can analyze it, track progress over time and see how you stack up to other users. Jeremy Berger strapped it to his wrist for some grueling brick workouts.
Did he just do that? He just did that
The Imaginate project has been in development for two years, which is entirely believable considering this video is so unbelievable that, short of a Faustian pact or magic lamp involvement, only after years of practice could even a seasoned pro execute these kind of maneuvers. Ladies and gentlemen… Danny MacAskill.
Senior Advanced R&D Engineer, Cervélo
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to design bicycles. Dammit, nevermind: yes it does. Damon Rinard is one serious bicycle designer. He’s Senior R&D Engineer and Race Engineer for Canadian bike maker Cervélo, the most popular brand at the Ironman World Championship at Kona several years running. We caught up with Rinard to talk about the P5, happy meals and the science of comfort.
Any old road bike will do for a triathlon. Hell, we’ve seen a Taft-esque man lumber through a sprint on a mountain bike. But if you want to be in the optimal position for performance in a multi-sport race, to thrive in long course and ultra-distance races, then a bike with a triathlon-specific design becomes important. You’ve got to get aero. You’ve got to cheat the wind. You’ve got to avoid the recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers. You’ve got to pick up chicks on account of your superbike. We’re here to help.
Steep Climbs and Singletrack on Two Wheels
Somewhere in between grinding steep climbs and effortlessly floating hairpin singletrack downhill, it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter the dreaded “endo”. The end-over handlebars is a rite of passage for any mountain biker as he works up the ranks from cruising novice to dirt demon. At least, that’s what I thought before taking a spin on the new Yeti SB95 ($4,800 as tested) on a recent trip to Vail Mountain, CO.
Hit the dusty trail(s)
Picking our 10 favorite mountain bike trails for our week of cycling is like asking a parent to pick their favorite kid: we love them each for different reasons. Still, armed with a Rolodex of memorable rides, we set out to catalog the best of the best. The IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) and other groups have been creating mouthwatering single track all over the world as diverse as the styles of bikes in your local shop — and they keep getting bigger, better and longer.
Kings of the Hill
‘Tis the season to be tempted by a whole new model year of mountain bikes, and we’ve got some good news. Dialing in your own personal style of off-roading has never been easier — once you wade through the overwhelming amount of options, that is. There’s a different bike for just about every type of trail and rider, and even some that claim to do it all. You need a bike best suited to the kind of riding you enjoy, but that also won’t keep you from the occasional change of pace (or any surprises the trails throw at you). As part of our week-long series on bikes to celebrate the launch of Limits, we’ve picked our favorites for racing enduro, downhilling, or just getting out for a weekend adventure ride.
Senior Director of Global Product Management, Cannondale
If you’ve ever wondered why your bicycle looks the way it does, has the features it has, or just generally why you’re riding a refined machine rather than an old European boneshaker, then Henning Schroeder is a guy to know. As Senior Director of Global Product Management for Cannondale, he oversees all departments — road, mountain, urban, women’s — steering the direction of the brand and working with everyone from engineers to the sales force to figure out what bikes to produce.
King of the road
Al Capone, DB Cooper, The Sundance Kid. By riding Cannondale’s new Supersix EVO Black Inc. ($13,310) you join an exclusive cadre of criminal minds. Don’t worry, the Connecticut bike company hasn’t filled the bike’s tubes with any illicit substances (though the price tag might suggest otherwise). However, it tips the scales at a felonious 11 pounds, sitting well below pro cycling’s 15 pound weight limit. Despite its weight, the Supersix EVO is able to boast stiffness and aerodynamic figures that bike engineers dream about.
Your new chariot awaits
Across the cycling categories, excluding perhaps the penny-farthing, we seem to be in the middle of a boom in popularity. Cities are adding bike lanes and bike programs, all the cool kids are riding fixies, mountain bikes are gnarlier than ever — and the rest of us are riding road bikes. The popularity of road cycling owes in part to the low barriers to entry (everyone has roads), in part to the variety of awesome bikes available for riders of different skill levels and desired recreation, in part to the rise of the sportive or gran fondo — a cycling event that emphasizes participation over competition — and in part to all the really boss neon lycra. As part of our week-long series on bikes to celebrate the launch of Limits, we’ve picked out five great road bikes for all manner of rides, from entering your first century ride with friends to sasquatching a local crit.