Thursday, 30 June 2016

Cheap Skinsuit

If you ride a bike you know all about the effects of wind resistance. When riding at speed on the flat, aerodynamic drag contributes up to 90% of the overall resistance to forward motion. That’s because the blunt and irregular shape of a bike and rider is inherently bad at passing smoothly through air, meaning that any improvements in aerodynamics can make a big difference to saving precious energy and increasing speed.

In the endless pursuit of aerodynamic perfection, there is always scope for improvement. Skinsuit one of them. That is a skintight one-piece garment worn by cyclists and athletes to reduce wind resistance. Often use it on Time Trial (TT) race and in recent years, road racing athletes start to use it too.

Why cyclist use it? Did jersey and bib/short its good enough?

First, the big resistance to faster when cycling its on you, your body, not your bike. In Michael Hutchinson’s book ‘Faster’ he made the observation that the best skinsuit could give more aerodynamic advantage than upgrading to a better time trial bike. 

Second, cycling weekly had a test to record how much faster a skinsuit was compared to a bib shorts/jersey combo. They used a CDA (Coefficient of Drag Area) system. The CDA is calculated by tracking a rider’s power output and speed, along with the air density, lean angle, rolling resistance and the rider’s position on the track. The lower the CDA the more aerodynamic the position. (click here for details)

This is the result

cycling weekly test result
From the test result, its clearly used skinsuit can make you go faster then used a jersey with bib shorts. So, are you getting interested to buy skinsuit? Well, you will be surprise when see the price tag, hahahahaha. Skinsuit range in price from £75 right up to £1,000. Its a lot of money to buy one piece of clothes right?

So will an expensive one bring you more gains (in terms of watts saved and seconds gained) or will a cheaper one suffice?

It is harder to quantify the effects of wearing an expensive skinsuit compared to a cheaper one. Time triallist and writer Michael Hutchinson, says: “It’s hard to say which one is good or not. Some of the most expensive ones show average performances, and one or two cheap ones are extremely good. You’d need to do a wind tunnel test.”

Price and performance

Champion System produces both entry- level and top-end skinsuits, ranging from the basic £75 Short Sleeve Skinsuit to the £169 CS Carbon Rear Zip Speedsuit. “The entry level garment uses good quality compression Lycra and it’s more relaxed in the fit,” Wayne Greenhalgh, company director of Champion System, says. “It’s a cheap product for saving watts.”

The high-end model features a rear zip that, it’s claimed, reduces drag, along with carbon-fibre injections in its fabric that contribute extra compression and help with thermoregulatory control. In addition, it features a more ergonomic and aerodynamic cut than the cheaper Short Sleeve Skinsuit. “The rear zip is seven per cent more effective than the front one in terms of drag,” Greenhalgh adds.

“Higher priced fabrics and workmanship can often push the price up but these ingredients don’t necessarily make a suit faster. Fit can have a huge impact on aerodynamics, leading to a watts and time saving.

“With the right fabric technologies and seam positions, it is possible to save between 10-15 watts even in top-end suits, which is significant in the world of TT racing.”

For the serious cyclist, perhaps decreasing wind resistance is the key in choosing the right cycling skinsuit. For the more moderate or even beginning cyclist, buy the best cycling skinsuit you can afford to insure a high level of comfort and freedom of movement. The right cycling skinsuit can dramatically improve your stamina, and give you a fuller appreciation of this sport. Cycling clothes are important to cyclists that is why it is recommended that they buy only the best cycling clothing available.

Cycling Weekly 6/2016 “Will a Cheap Skinsuit Do?”

Ride On!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Broom Wagon

A cycling term, the “Broom Wagon” or “Voiture Balai” on French, is the vehicle follow at the back of the cycling road race. May carry equipment, food, rider luggage, or mechanics. May picking up the stragglers (or sweeping them up) who are unable to make it to the finish of the race within the time permitted. Either they too weak to finish the race or injured at the race.

Broom Wagon was seen first at the Tour de France 1910, and really carry a broom fixed above the driver's cab. That's the way Broom Wagon terms come up. Since that time, Broom Wagon has a been a permanent fixture. It is in every pro race in the world: single day or multi-stage.

Nowadays, Broom Wagon not just following a group of cyclists in a race, but tour or recreational ride sometimes had a Broom Wagon too. It’s a good things if your cycling group have a Broom Wagon and follow your peloton in every single ride. That’s gonna get you peace in mind, knowing always had a vehicle ready to pick you up when shit happens.

For amateur cyclist, Broom Wagon existence maybe give them peace in mind but not for the Pro’s. Sweeping up with Broom Wagon on a race its the last thing in their wish list. Its kind like of “Walk of Shame” for them.

Pedal faster! The Broom Wagon almost catch you

Ride On!

Monday, 27 June 2016

How Stiff is "Stiff"?

Much of the bicycle industry has done a good job of creating the impression that different materials offer different ride characteristics. Aluminum is supposed to be stiff and light, but is also known for diminished durability and harsh ride quality; Titanium is supposed to be light, durable, comfortable and compliant, but a little flexible; Carbon fiber is supposed to be light and comfortable while simultaneously enhancing drive train stiffness; Steel (Chromoly) is supposed to be “real” and provide a comfortable and snappy ride, but is known to be a bit heavier and more flexible than other options. Right?

Not necessarily.

All manufacturers are trying to build that perfect combination of ride characteristics where stiffness and responsiveness are maximized, while the ride is still kept silky smooth and comfortable. It is not too hard to find claims of a frame being stiff, yet compliant and comfortable, with fantastic vibration damping characteristics. However, the bicycle industry has never had a good baseline testing protocol to quantify how various materials and designs actually perform in regards to specifics like stiffness and comfort. Everything has pretty much been based on “feel”, which is not a very scientific or reliable way to test a piece of machinery. 

When engineers talk about frame stiffness, they’re really addressing two different areas of a bike’s performance. The first relates to having sufficient lateral stiffness to allow a rider’s pedalling input to transfer as efficiently as possible to the road. The second concerns the predictability and stability of a bike’s handling.

In terms of lateral stiffness, each time your foot stomps on the pedal you create substantial lateral (side to-side) stresses along with torsional (twisting) forces, which combine to lever the lower portion of the frame out of alignment. Every millimetre of frame movement absorbs precious energy that could be channelled to the road, so minimising this flex effectively maximises pedalling efficiency, hence the relentless focus on the stiffness of frames.

‘How you get the energy you are putting through the cranks to the rear wheel is really about the bottom bracket, chainstays, dropouts and wheel stiffness,’ says Gerard Vroomen, co-founder of Open bicycles and previously co-owner of Cervélo. This challenge is complicated by a bike’s single-sided drivetrain, which creates an uneven load on the rear end of the bike. The need to resist the greater forces on the right side of the frame is the reason why many bikes opt for an asymmetric design of chainstays and seat tubes.

Engineering stiffness

How do designers stiffen a frame in just the right places? The answer lies in the diameter of the cross-section of tubes, as well as their length and, in the case of carbon bikes, the multiple layers of carbon fibre used in their construction.

‘The greater a tube’s diameter, the stiffer it’s going to be,’ says Adam Wais, CEO and founder of handmade carbon bike manufacturer Rolo. ‘And that’s before you even start looking at materials.’ This explains the tendency in bike design towards oversized down tubes, bottom bracket junctions and chainstays. Advances in carbon fibre have allowed manufacturers to reduce the thickness of tube walls, giving them the freedom to create gargantuan-looking tubes without adding weight.

So if huge down tubes and bottom brackets are used to channel every watt of rider power to the road, why not follow the same philosophy at the top tube and head tube to resist cornering forces and ensure precision steering? As you lean a bike into a corner, three large forces converge: gravity, which pulls vertically downwards; kinetic energy, which keeps you moving forward, and centripetal force, which pushes you outwards – to the left when turning right and vice versa.

If the frame is too flexible, these forces can push the wheels and head tube out of alignment, leading to imprecise steering. It turns out that if a bike is too stiff at the front end it becomes difficult to lean, which creates a different type of handling problem. This helps explain why engineers aren’t simply making the whole bike as stiff as possible, but there’s another reason too: comfort, also known as compliance, which is the ability of the frame to contend with imperfections in the road surface and absorb vibrations from the tarmac.

‘Ideally you want as little vertical stiffness as possible so you get some comfort and compliance, but the tube you enlarge to get stiffness in torsion also becomes bigger vertically and stiffer vertically, and it’s not easy to uncouple those two factors. In that sense it will always be a compromise the most comfortable bike will be unrideable because it’s so flexible in all directions, and the stiffest possible bike will also be unrideable because it’s bone-jarringly stiff, which is not only uncomfortable but slower too. You need some sort of compliance to take out the roughness of the road.’

There is more to bicycle performance than overall frame stiffness. Frames can be too flexible for a given rider and application. Some riders may even prefer very stiff frames. However, it is clear that the old mantra of stiffer = more performance is not true for most riders.

Frames of the future

The relentless pursuit of stiffer, lighter, more comfortable frames shows no signs of abating, with manufacturers on a continual quest to explore new materials and technology.  When choosing a frame or new bike, do not spend time making judgments about ride quality based upon the materials used to build a frame. Instead, approach your frame decision as an individual. 

Only consider frame options that fit you well, and then look at the design details and tubing to find the ride characteristics that will best match your needs, body and riding style. Finally, don’t forget that a bicycle is a sum of its parts. The other components (especially the wheels and the fork) that you use effect the way it will ride as much as the frame does and should be chosen based upon how they relate to the other parts around them. 

When looking at designs, keep in mind that the ride quality a frame is known for is usually based upon the experience of an “average sized” (usually a male who fits on a 55cm frame and weighs around 160 lbs) rider. What can ride great under a 160 lbs rider, might be too mushy for a heavier rider or might be too stiff and uncomfortable for a smaller rider. If you are bigger or smaller than average cyclist, it is even more important to approach frame and component decisions based upon your individual needs so that you don’t end up with a bicycle that is too stiff or too soft for your size and power.

Just remember the words, ultimate performance is about the rider, not the bike, and there’s no objective ‘right’ level of stiffness in a frame, only the level that’s right for you.

Cyclist 7/2016 "Stiff Competition"

Ride On!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Wheelset Weight Limit

 Forces for courses

“A wheel that is used for riding on a bit of gravel or doing cyclo-cross can be built a bit stronger and would maybe allow a heavier rider on the road. So if you were going to take a wheel off-road, you would want a lower rider weight than you would on road,” Tom Marchment, the founders of Hunt Bike Wheels, explained.

“But it’s also important to understand that not everybody who falls within the rider weight limit will have the same experience from a wheelset. A wheelset might have a maximum rider weight limit of 100kg, but how that wheel performs for somebody who is 60kg will be different compared to somebody who is 85kg.

“So different riders at different weights will notice a difference in the way the same wheel feels to ride. If you wanted to build wheels that would provide the same characteristics for every rider, then you’d probably have to change the design for every five or 10kg of body weight,” Tom said.

Evolution and revolution

“One of the things that is helpful when designing a wheelset is that, unlike most of the other components on a bike, the way in which forces are applied to a wheelset is quite predictable and well understood. You have two contact points at the dropouts and then one contact point with the road, and you know that all the forces will be loaded between those two points.

 “The limiting factor on a wheel is rider weight, whereas there are all sorts of other environmental factors regulating how strong you might want to make other components. Also, the increasing use of larger-volume tyres coming into effect now definitely reduces the overall fatigue on a wheelset.”

Wheels might have a rider weight limit of 110kg, but if somebody who is 115kg sits on a bike fitted with them, they won’t collapse. However, the added effect of fatigue over the years will be greater with the heavier rider.

“So rider weight limits are also an indication of what you need to adhere to, to get a reasonable life expectancy out of that wheelset. With a heavier rider they won’t fail within 100 miles or even 500 miles, but you might find that after 1,500 miles things aren’t as good as they should be and they will require extra care and maintenance.”

Campagnolo its one with bold example, “All Campagnolo wheels are constructed to meet the highest standards of resistance and durability. If you weigh over 109 kg/240 lbs we advise you not to use this product. Non compliance with this warning can damage the product irreversibly. If you weigh 82 kg/180 lbs or more, you must be especially vigilant and have your bicycle inspected more frequently (than someone weighing less than 82 kg/180 lbs). Check with your mechanic to discuss whether the wheels you selected are suitable for your use, and to determine the frequency of inspections. Using tires with a larger diameter and a frame that respects the standards will help to increase the lifetime of the wheels.”

Other producer like Zipp and Reynolds had a different weight limit, depends on type and wheels construstion. You can check weight limit in every each wheelset on their website. So, better check your weight and weight limit on your dream wheelset before buy. If your weight doesn't comply with you dream wheelset weight limit, you had three options: 1. Loss your weight until comply with the weight limit, or 2. Find another one can comply with your weight. 2. Buy and use it with precautions in mind.

“Should You Worry About Wheelset’s Weight Limit?” Cycling Active, Summer 2016

Ride On!

Friday, 24 June 2016

Riding In Hot Weather (2nd Revision)

Heat can be a big threat to performing optimally or, at worst, even finishing. If temperatures reach anything like 37°C it becomes hard to stay cool even if you’re just sitting around. Riding a bike brings a whole host of unique challenges, as exercise speeds up metabolism and produces heat as a side-effect.

As you heat up, blood gets diverted from muscle to skin to allow heat to dissipate into the hopefully cooler air. Sending blood to the skin takes it away from exercising muscles. For a long time, experts believed lack of blood to supply muscle and skin was the reason people performed less well in hot weather.

Athletes have a greater blood volume than non-athletes, which could explain why fitter people seem to cope better in hot weather. The extra blood-flow causes an increased strain on the cardiovascular system, which has to work to keep you cool while also working to keep you moving. This increase in strain means your maximum aerobic capacity — the peak rate at which you can turn fuel and oxygen into energy — is reduced.

Sweating helps cool blood that has been transported to the skin as the evaporation of water takes away energy in the form of heat. So even if surrounding temperatures are above 37°C, you can prevent overheating. Your core temperature can reach around 40°C without causing you harm, but if it climbs any higher, you enter the danger zone where enzymes and other body systems may stop functioning normally.

At what temperature do cyclists begin to experience problems? That is not an easy question to definitively answer, explains Professor Lars Nybo from the University of Copenhagen: “The temperature depends on the exercise intensity, humidity and wind speed, so it’s not possible to provide a set limit.


Fortunately, there are ways to combat the effects of hot weather on riding. A key method is making sure you’re acclimatised to the heat, especially if you’re looking to ride fast. As you acclimatise, your core temperature at rest decreases, increasing the amount of time it takes to get dangerously hot.

A study by Professor Sebastien Racinais published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise assessed well-trained participants doing a 27-mile time trial in 37°C multiple times over a two-week acclimatisation period, compared to their performance over the same distance in 8°C.

Their power output was 16 percent lower in the first hot time trial than in the cool, compared to a three per cent reduction in power at the end of the two weeks’ acclimatisation. The average core body temperature of the cyclists after racing was above 40°C, even once they had acclimatised and were able to output more power.

As you get used to being hot, you perform better — but why? There are a number of physiological changes in your body as it adapts to hot weather. The amount of sodium you lose in sweat decreases, helping ensure that you don’t lose too much of this vital electrolyte, while the amount you sweat increases by around 20 per cent, although there are individual differences in both. You also develop improved circulation to skin for heat loss.

As you take on fluids, resting haematocrit — the concentration of red blood cells in blood — decreases as plasma volume (the amount of liquid in circulating blood) increases, meaning there is more blood to circulate to skin and keep you cool, and more liquid to lose as sweat before you become dehydrated.

Research by Anders Karlsen and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen found that it takes around 14 days to fully acclimatise to riding in hot weather, but most of the adaptations take place in the first seven days.

One more, you can try to turn off the air conditioner in your house too :)

Take a bath

If you don’t have time to spend a fortnight getting used to the heat in your race location or you want to be able to ride without suffering on your cycling holiday, a study at Bangor University might provide the answer. Participants who spent 40 minutes in 40°C water after exercising in cool conditions for six days were subsequently better acclimatised to exercise in the heat. How long these adaptations last isn’t fully known. Increased plasma volume seems to last for at least 22 days, although this figure is from a study of untrained people who spent time at 38.5°C.

Go Faster But...

It might sound obvious, but people who are faster than you in a long event have a big advantage — they’re out in the heat for less time so have less time to be affected. The longer you’re in the heat, the slower you’ll get; slower riders effectively go even slower than they usually would.

Another advantage fast people have is the fact they’re moving through the air faster, which will in turn cool them down. The difference here might be significant on the uphill sections where you’re doing 5mph and they’re doing 15mph — enough to produce a cooling breeze. Nybo explains, “As the speed decreases [on an incline] it becomes difficult to maintain sufficient sweat evaporation if the environmental temperature is high, around 35°C.”

Breeze is good but pacing properly is even more important than usual because you need to make sure you don’t bonk and minimise time in the heat. It’s all too easy to set off too hard in the cool of the morning, only to bonk later and really start to suffer as the temperature cranks up. 

Ride to the lower ends of your normal training zones, whether using heart rate or power, and, on long rides, pace ultra-conservatively early on until you have an idea of how your body is reacting to the heat. This especially applies to long climbs where your lower speeds mean you won’t benefit from the cooling effect of a headwind.

Stay fuelled

As your heart rate increases so does the amount of water you lose by breathing. At 140bpm, you lose about 70ml of water per hour in breath. If you become dehydrated, your heart rate will be higher relative to your power output. This is because as you get dehydrated your blood volume falls, which means your heart has to pump more times per minute to get the same amount of blood (and therefore oxygen) to your muscles.

As you sweat, you lose water, but you’re also losing electrolytes including sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and calcium. If you don’t stay hydrated, not only are you more at risk from heat exhaustion and illness, and there is some evidence that you’re more likely to suffer from cramp. You can buy ready-made electrolyte formulations in the form of energy drinks which will also contain carbohydrates to keep you fuelled. If you’re fuelling without energy drinks, it may be worth adding electrolyte tabs to your bottles to stay hydrated.

A study conducted in Spain found that Half Ironman triathletes who supplemented to replace 70 per cent of the sodium they lost were around 26 minutes faster than participants who took a placebo instead, so it may be worth upping your salt intake for performance as well as health.

Drink little and often when riding, and make sure that you have plenty of drink with you or know of places on your route where you can obtain more drinks – as if a mid-ride café stop needed an excuse. Packing ice cubes into your bottle before you leave will help keep your drink cool, at least for the first half an hour.

If you’re fit, you can lose two litres or more of fluid every hour through sweat, meaning a certain degree of dehydration is almost inevitable. Meanwhile, your gut can only absorb around 1.4 litres of fluid per hour. It’s all too easy to fail to drink enough when you’re suffering up an alpine pass in soaring temperatures and focused on staying with a group of riders. You should aim to drink at least one litre per hour in hot weather.

The harder you work the more you will sweat, so if it’s really hot and you’re starting to feel it, romping through your drinks, knock off your pace or shorten your ride. And don’t forget in among all the drinking to pay attention that you are eating enough on your ride, too.

Danger Sign

The early signs of heat exhaustion are: heavy sweating; rapid breathing and a fast pulse — all are easy to miss while riding up a mountain. It’s time to get worried when you notice you have stopped sweating, feel nauseous, have a headache and/or feel faint or dizzy.

Severe heat exhaustion can lead to a lack of coordination and confusion. Exposure to extreme heat can be fatal. In a race or completing a certain distance, if you notice any of the warning signs that you’re getting too hot, it’s important to forget about any ideas of going fast and settle into survival mode. Find shade, drink, cover yourself in water and try to find a vehicle to transport you home.

Be Aware of The Condition

Choose a route which has more trees and thus offers more shade. If you cycle in the city or town, pick a route where you can stop at a shop or petrol station to buy some water or energy drinks if you run out

Black strips of tarmac absorb the heat from the sun easily and by the time the day’s stage starts, road surface can easily reach 50-80°C. In turn, the air directly above is heated up like a kettle, so when the temperature in the shade is 32-40°C, that could equate to 50°C or more for the cyclist.

Sometimes, the roads reach such extreme temperatures that the tarmac can become sticky, catching out unsuspecting riders as they descend at 50mph plus. In 2003, ONCE’s Joseba Beloki was in second place overall and descending from Col de la Rochette. The most diligent course recce wouldn’t have unearthed a patch of tarmac softened by the midday sun, which sent Beloki skidding, breaking his femur, elbow and wrist.

Ride Early or Late

Timing is everything. Early morning is the coolest part of the day. The evenings are also a cooler part of the day and are reasonable alternative for those who can't get out in the morning. But if it is really hot, the decrease in temperature in the evening can be minimal. Avoid the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 3pm. With the sun setting later in the evenings this shouldn’t be a huge problem. If you’re going on a day-long bike ride, make sure you get going early in the morning. Be on the bike path half an hour before sunrise. Sometimes a mere 15 minutes’ delay can make the difference between an enjoyable excursion and a miserable exercise in survival. It is better to spend a large chunk of the hottest part of the day chilling in the shade with your friends than grinding away on your bike. You can always continue your ride later when it’s cooler.

What To Wear?


“If it’s very hot, I’ll make sure I’ve got the right kit, something lightweight and breathable that also offers protection from the sun’s rays and wear sun cream with a high SPF to protect anything exposed directly to the sun,” says Cotty.  Covering your skin provides a layer of protection from the sun, giving your body respite from the stress of UV exposure. This means you’re less likely (although not completely immune to) getting sunburnt, but may also keep you cooler.

Wear sunscreen on the exposed parts of your body: arms, legs, face and in particular the back of your neck. The position on your bike means that the area on the front of your legs above the knee and calves will be exposed to sun more than other area of your legs.

A full-length front zip can help you regulate temperature, and a lightweight base layer can also aid the removal and evaporation of sweat from your skin. The breeze you create by riding along has its own cooling effect, and it’s sometimes only when you stop riding do you appreciate exactly how hot it is. A well-fitting pair of shorts are also essential, any rubbing on your delicate parts exacerbated by sweat can cause uncomfortable soreness very quickly. Applying chamois cream before a ride can help.


Black clothing might actually keep you cooler than white because it allows the heat your body produces to escape rather than reflecting it back — potentially one of the reasons Team Sky uses black kit.


Research has shown that while wearing an aero helmet increases head temperature, it doesn’t impact core temperature or power output when cycling in the heat for a short duration. However, there hasn’t been any research into the impact over a long distance. One of the reasons you slow down when it gets hot is that the hypothalamus in the brain stops sending such strong signals to allow muscle to contract when it gets above a certain temperature. Akin to a fuse in an electrical circuit, this gets switched before heat can have a dangerous impact. This happens if the brain alone gets too hot, regardless of core body temperature. If your event is long, wear a vented helmet.

Heart Rate Monitor

It’s a really good idea to use heart rate as a measure of your effort when riding in unusually hot conditions. According to the Racinais study, the athletes involved had a higher heart rate relative to their power output in hot conditions, especially when they hadn’t yet adapted. This means that in the heat your power output will be lower than usual, making a power meter less useful if you’re not acclimatised.

Sun Cream

The dangers of over exposure to the sun are now well known and should be avoided. Use a quality sweat and water resistant sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 and pay particular attention to the back of your neck which is especially exposed on the bike. Don’t neglect your head as it is very easy to get burnt through the vents on your helmet. Look for sunblock with lasting protection and be sure to follow the instructions of when to apply them. With heavy sweating though, even the best sunblock won’t protect you over the course of a long day in the saddle. Carry a small spray bottle in your jersey pockets or saddlebag and re-apply every hour or so.


The intense ultraviolet rays in sunlight damage sensitive cells in your eyes, the cumulative effect of which can result in cataracts, clouded vision and even more horrible stuff that we’re not going to go into here. So make sure your sunglasses have 100% UV-filtering lenses.

"Too Hot to Handle?" Cycling Active, Summer 2016
"Beat The Heat" RideSA 2016/10

Ride On!

The Art of Fine Pedalling

Souplesse — only the French could look at the way a bike is being propelled and devise a term for it that makes it sound delicious. Although, to be fair, get your pedalling right and the results can be pretty tasty. Not just to look at, although that is part of the appeal, but in terms of riding efficiency.

Saddle up!

If you can put both feet on the ground while sitting on the saddle, then unless the bike is unusual (such as a recumbent), the saddle is too low. Your legs won't extend at the bottom of the pedal strokes. It will be like walking while squatted.

Raise the saddle so that, when the cranks are in line with the seat tube, one leg is straight if you have the heel of that foot on the pedal. As you pedal with the balls of your feet, your legs will be slightly bent at the bottom of each pedal stroke. When you stop, you'll only be able to get a toe down unless you get off the saddle.

This method of setting saddle height gives a good starting point, but be prepared to fine tune it until pedalling feels comfortable and efficient. If your knees ache even in an easy gear, go higher in 5mm increments; if your back aches because your pelvis is rocking from side to side, go lower.

Pedal with the ball of each foot over the pedal spindle. This enables you to use your ankle as well as your knee and hip, so that you're using all three 'levers' in your leg: upper leg, lower leg, and foot. It maximises pedalling efficiency.


It's easier and safer to pedal at a faster cadence if your feet are fixed to the pedals, as they can't then slip off. There are two ways to attach feet to pedals. You can use traditional toe-clips and straps, or you can use clip-in pedals. Clip-in pedals require special shoes, whereas toe-clips or straps can be used with ordinary footwear. Before using them for commuting, practise using either set-up until you can get your feet off the pedals automatically.

If you're using flat pedals without clips or straps, you need traction between shoe sole and pedal surface. Old-fashioned rubber-treaded pedals are great in the dry, slippery in the wet. Studded mountain bike style pedals offer good grip but can scuff smart shoes if they catch the uppers.

There have been plenty of studies about to developing your pedalling technique. What ideal cadence is and broadly speaking most serious cyclists tend to aim for between 80-100rpm—civilians tend to be happier at around 60rpm. Finding the cadence that works best for you and choosing the right. gear is the key to developing your pedalling technique.

Whether you can grind out big gears or are more effective spining in lower gears depends mainly on your muscle composition and the proportion of fast-twitch to low-twitch fibres they contain. Each of us has our own optimum cadence based on muscle makeup, although this of course, can be changed with appropriate training.

If you push comfortably high cadence when you train, you’ll develop the more efficient slow-twitch muscle groups and burn fat more quickly than you will if you’re struggling to turn the pedals in bigger gears. This is why you often see experienced riders preferring to use the small chainring in the wintertime or when training.

Developing the seemingly effortless, fluid-style that epitornises souplesse is fundamentally about finding the right cadence for your style of riding. So in that sense, there is no ideal cadence, no one size fits all. As a general rule, however, try to aim for somewhere between 85-95rpm. Finding the gear you feel most comfortable riding at that speed to maximise the efficiency of your pedal stroke.

Gears and Chains

Gearing also has a part to play when it comes to cadence. The main thing to bear in mind is that the gears a pro rider can spin are far higher than the average club rider can manage simply because they travel a lot faster.  But they too, will concentrate much of their riding spinning in relatively low gears.

Another way to maximise pedalling efficiency is to make sure you have an efficient drivetrain. This is dependant on gear selection and avoiding extreme chain angles which will both slow you down and increase wearout your chain, gears and sprockets.

The most efficient chainline you can have is one that runs in a straight line, directly from the chain ring to the sprocket. So the outer chinring is best used with the outer (smaller) sprockets and the inner chainring is best used with the inner (larger) sprockets.

As ever, good maintenance is also essential. So clean and lightly oil your drivetrain after every major ride. Not only will it last longer, you find you'll spin more effectively. After all, you ideally went to remain as comfortable as possible when you're pedalling,  stay loose so your pedal strokes feeling as effortless as possible. Remember, you’re aiming for souplesse, not useless.

Bikes Etc Summer 2016 "Souplesse-The Art of Fine Pedalling"

Ride On!

Monday, 20 June 2016

Long Term Review: AP Boots All Bike

Setelah kurang lebih 1 tahun pemakaian, AP Boots all bike yang saya gunakan mulai menunjukkan tanda-tanda minta diganti. Beberapa hari lalu saat mau menggunakan sepatu tersebut untu bersepeda, saya melihat bagian belakang sepatu ini sobek!

Sobek :(
Dari foto diatas terlihat karet dekat mata kaki bagian dalam terbelah..saat saya pakai..kainnya juga ikut sobek. Dampak dari kerusakan tersebut membuat sepatu jadi terasa kendor saat dipakai jalan kaki. Saya tidak tahu persis apa penyebab kerusakan itu, hanya berasumsi bahwa saat menggunakan sepatu itu saya harus menarik bagian belakangnya agak keras agar tumit bisa masuk. Mungkin setelah ditarik berulang kali struktur karetnya melemah dan sobek.

The old one

The new one
So, i think this shoe coming to an end. Time to buy a new pair of this shoe again. Why? Saya cukup puas dengan kenyamanan dan durabilitas sepatu ini. Setelah setahun pemakaian outer sole-nya tetap awet, masih grippy di pedal dan jalanan serta tidak licin saat jalan kaki. Apalagi sekarang harganya sudah turun cukup jauh dari 1 tahun yang lalu. 1 tahun yang lalu saya beli AP Boots All Bike di lapak-lapak CFD Jakarta sekitar Rp80.000. Kemarin, saya berhasil beli sepatu yang sama di hanya seharga Rp35.000!

Oke..time to get rid of the old one and use the new one.

Ride On!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Newbie Need To Know About: Training, Maintenance & Hydration


Coutney Rowe, lead coach at Rowe & King

“My advice to anyone starting out is to find a quality group in your area that you can ride with. One that started out at entry level but has moved on, one that will understand where you’re at and encourage you to progress.”

Eddie Fletcher, Lead Sports Scientist with Wattbike

“There is a place for some high intensity training, but not in isolation – it needs to be part of a well-balanced training plan, otherwise it can be both limiting in training effectiveness, and detrimental to overall wellbeing.

“By doing only high intensity workouts, the body won’t develop beyond a certain point. And if your high intensity training isn’t balanced with the correct mix of lower intensity, longer duration training, and suitable recovery periods, it will lead to excess fatigue and ultimately reduced performance, illness and injury.”

Alex Dowsett, Pro Rider with Movistar

“Don’t bite off more than you can chew, instead build up your riding steadily. This will also help to keep your morale intact. Don’t imagine you can enter an elite race when you’ve only been on a couple of rides. Set small goals and as you tick them off it will keep your confidence up.


Neil Holman, Owner and Mechanic at George Halls Cycle Centre

 “Learn how to change an innertube and use a patch kit to repair a tube if you’re out of spares. A puncture is the most common problem and many people struggle with it, especially in the rear wheel.”

Chain Reaction

“Get clued-up on mending a chain. If you snap a chain and haven’t got the tool to fix it, it can be a long walk home. Even if you put your rear derailleur in the wheel, if you can shorten the chain, at least you can still ride the bike and get home single speed.”


DR James Morton, Nutritionist with Team SKY

“The general rule to avoid dehydration when cycling is to drink 500-800ml of fluid per hour – depending on the weather. But when starting out you should follow your thirst and drink as you feel the need. New riders also need to practise re-hydration after exercise”

Source: Cycling Plus 7/2016 "Perfect Start"

Ride On!

Trail/Roadside Quick Fix (Update)

Sometimes we just out of luck. Mechanical damage can happen to anyone in anytime. Unlike shit happens on the road, in the trail you just have 2 choices, fix it or walk with your bike till the finish line/home.

But don't worry, with proper preparation and little mechanical skill, you can fix common mechanical damage in the trail. Oh i forgot, this tips below actually its not just for trailside repairs, but you can use too in commuting/touring condition


The humble ziptie can get you out of all sorts of trouble. For example, if your freehub body fails, preventing you from driving the bike forwards, try fixing the cassette to the driveside spokes with zipties. This hack should get you home – as long as you pedal gently!

If a jockey wheel falls out of your rear mech and the bolt can’t be found, use a ziptie to secure it in position. It’ll rattle, but at least you’ll still be riding. The same goes for brake lever pivots and even chainring bolts. We’ve seen four-arm cranks missing two bolts that have been repaired with two zipties.

And many more hacks you can do with ziptie, look the pic's below:

Cleat Hack

Most pedal cleats are attached with two small bolts, and these can work loose. It’s dangerous to continue with a twisting cleat, so it’s lucky that brake rotor bolts have the right length and pitch of thread to act as a temporary replacement. Nick one from the rear hub – you can get by with just three on there – and screw the cleat back in. Rotor bolts have domed heads so they sit a little proud, which can make it tricky to clip in.

Singlespeed conversion

A smashed rear mech will stop the pedals turning, but you can carry on riding if you go singlespeed. To do this, remove the rear mech and remove or wind up the gear cable. Split the chain and take it off. Look down the drive side of the frame to see which of the rear sprockets lines up best with the middle chainring. Loop the chain over this combination of sprocket and chainring, and shorten it with a chain tool to create a bespoke singlespeed transmission. The chain can jump or fall off in bumpy situations but we’ve finished races and all manner of rides like this. This temporary fix will work on any hardtail, but full-suspension bikes are a bit more tricky. The principle will work, but the number of chain drops will generally be greater.

Broken Cable Shifter

We might experience a broken cable. Typically, it will fail at the head. There is not much we can do while on the ride except to coil up the cable so it does not become entangled with the rest of the bike. The derailleur will now shift to either the smallest rear cog, or for “rapid rise” systems, to the largest rear cog. Use your multi-tool and tighten the limit screw to select a different cog, and then be happy with that until the cable is replaced. For alternative you can use a ziptie to select the desires gear, see the picture below:

Broken Chain

To effect a temporary repair on the failed chain, it means, typically, you must shorten it at least by one inch. Assume after shortening the chain that now you must avoid the large-to-large sprocket combinations. Do not attempt to reuse the old damaged outer plates. Cut off the damaged links. This shortens the chain at least one inch. There are three repair options to patch the broken chain back together, depending upon the spare parts your brought with you:
  • Master Link
  • Special Connection Rivet: Shimano is an example of a chain manufacturer that has a special connection rivet to join the chain. If you ride Shimano chains, add that to the list for next time.
  • Existing Rivet Connection: If you use a chain tool with care, you can press a rivet out of one side plate but still have it engage in the opposite side plate. This is an older technique to join chains. It should be noted that no modern derailleur chain uses this method any more. To fix a chain this way is to weaken it

Flat and No Spare Tube

Carefully tear the tube apart at the puncture, then tightly knot both ends; or do the same with your handy zip-ties. The tube will expand back into the tyre upon infl ation, but go easy on the pressure.

Yikess!! What the hell are you thinking?? Riding without bring a spare inner tube?? Unless you always riding with broom wagon behind, you better screw this sentence in your mind "Always bring inner spare tube, tyre levers and mini pump/CO2 inflator wherever you ride".

Ok, so you ended in middle of nowhere with flat tire and forgot bring the spare inner tube. What will you do? Cry? Hell no... you can use your flat inner tube to ride. Locate the hole, cut it off the inner tube in that hole and tie. Sure its not a comfy ride you've got but its better than pushing your bike till the end. By the way, if you doesnt bring a sharp knife to cut, you can use the big chainring as a cutting tool.

Source: Mountain Biking UK 6/2016 "Trailside Quick Fix"

Ride On!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Difference Between Tri Bike & Road Bike


A tri bike comprises a frame that’s often streamlined into an aerodynamic shape, with large flat or oval tubes designed to cut through the air and reduce the frontal area. Making up the ‘diamond’ shape of the frame, these tubes are generally set at steeper angles than a road bike, so that the more upright seat tube has the effect of bringing the rider further forward over the bottom bracket.

On a triathlon bike, the steering column is usually steeper, giving a stiffer feel to the front of the bike and making it more responsive with out-of-the-saddle surges and around corners. This also has the effect, together with an often-tighter rear triangle, of creating a shorter wheelbase than a traditional road bike. Because of this, the ride or ‘feel’ of a tri bike can be much stiffer, with bumps on the road surface felt in the crotch, lower back, arms and shoulders of the rider.

Apart from standard groupset parts such as brake calipers, chainset, front and rear mech, and stem, which are also common on a road bike, other components on a tri bike include a set of fixed aerobars, lightweight brake levers and bar-end gear shifters. These allow the rider only one hand and arm placement and, therefore, one riding position. Consequently, it’s very difficult to use this sort of bike for easy, relaxed recovery-type rides and hilly riding where constant position and gear changes are a must for efficiency and comfort.


Road bikes are often less job-specific than a tri bike with its aerodynamic, speed and run-adaptability focus. A road bike balances lightness, stiffness, handling and comfort, with just a little focus on aerodynamics thrown in.

A road bike generally has shallower tube angles that forge the frame shape, which positions the rider further behind the bottom bracket for an optimum cycling position that, together with a longer wheelbase, softens the feel of the road surface.

Road bike frame tubes are constructed with cushioning and vibration reduction for improved comfort. The main component benefit with road bikes is that they feature dropped racing handlebars. This gives numerous hand and arm positions for comfort and adaptability for any variety of riding you wish to practise, which is ideal for perfecting your riding technique.

When you’re efficient with the basic road set-up, you can move to aerobars by simply adding a pair of inexpensive ‘clip-ons’ to your road, allowing you to go even faster in the correct ‘tucked’ position.

Source: Beginners Guide to Triathlon 2015 "Tri Bike VS Road Bike"

Rde On!

Power Down: Iliac Artery Endofibrosis Part 3

Significant advancements in the past five years have made surgical intervention much safer, to the point that it is now rather routine to hear about a rider returning to the professional peloton after going under the knife. In 2015 and 2016 alone, Dombrowski, former Garmin-Sharp rider Rathe (now with Jelly Belly- Maxxis) and former Team RadioShack rider Selander (now with Team Rally) have returned to racing after IAE surgeries.

Each case presents differently, with numerous surgical options to correct the issue. And it’s important to note that though the surgery has become somewhat routine, it isn’t without its risks.

One of the most common methods of repair is called “endofibrosectomy with patch angioplasty.” If the damage within the artery is well contained, the artery will be clamped, then cut lengthwise; any fibrotic tissue will be removed and the artery freed from any adhesions to the surrounding muscle tissue. Surgeons will then sew in a patch, ideally harvested from the saphenous vein in the calf or groin of the patient (this is known as an autologous graft).

The advantage of using the patient’s own vein is that it is very resistant to infection, less likely to have blood clots form on it, and less likely to cause an inflammatory reaction. The artery won't ever dilate quite the same as a natural one, so it will be made wider than what is normal, effectively allowing it to be dilated all the time.

If an autologous graft isn’t possible (for example, if the veins are scarred, diseased, or very small), surgeons will use a prosthetic patch, usually made of a polyester fabric called Dacron that is commonly used to make sailboat sails. In either case, results from this type of treatment have been excellent, with one study from Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago reporting that 99 percent of individuals were able to return to their sport, including to high-level competition.

In cases where the damaged area is too large to correct with a patch, a full bypass may be the only option. For this procedure, surgeons attach a synthetic surrogate—again, usually made of Dacron and to a lesser extent PTFE (Gore-Tex)—above and below where the artery is damaged, skipping the malfunctioning section altogether.

Hinchliffe says future research may determine that not every patient with endofibrosis needs an operation. “We need to be able to target operations to people who really need them,” he says.

He also cautions that angioplasty and stents are particularly bad ideas for treatment of IAE, since symptoms always recur quickly and stents break very easily and quickly. (Most vascular surgeons recommend stents for elderly patients with narrowed arteries—they work well for that application—but not for endofibrosis.)

Source: Velonews Magazine 6/2016 "Power Down"

Ride On!