September 2017

The Who, What, Why of Chain Lubes



All cyclists beyond the most casual ones are consumers of chain lubricant. And anyone who has bought chain lube knows that there is a vast array of choices.

But how do you choose?

How about “eeny, meany, miny, mo”? Are they all the same thing in different packages? And what do want your lube to do? Stop your chain from squeaking? Protect your chain? Keep your chain clean enough that you won’t get a Cat 5 tattoo on your calf if you touch it against the chain? Have the lowest friction? Stay on the chain through hours of riding in the rain? Require reapplication as seldom as possible?

I endeavored at this Interbike show to understand more about chain-lube technology and find out who’s doing what, and why. Each manufacturer was eager to espouse the advantages of its lubes and many were also quite happy to call BS on the claims of other lube makers. I left less certain of what to choose than when I started and with a deep respect for the dedication of lube companies to producing the best product they can.

Even though the Interbike of 2017 is considerably smaller than what it once was, it still is one of the best opportunities to talk to such companies. There are over 50 different lubes between the Friction Facts chain-lube test we published in VeloNews and those shown in the graph in UK lube maker Muc-Off’s promotional material, but only seven of those included lube manufacturers had booths at the 2017 Interbike show, namely: Muc-Off, Motorex, Finish Line, White Lightning, Park Tool, Phil Wood, Boeshield T-9, and Tetra Bike. Additionally, two more that are not on either graph, namely Maxima and Tetra Bike, were at the show, also with compelling stories to tell.


Peter Sagan hits the singletrack in Austria – Video


Three-time world champion takes a break from the road on the ‘Alban Lakata’ trail


“I’m still riding mountain bikes,” Sagan said, according to the Velomotion website. “The route of the new track, which bears Alban’s cool name, has really succeeded and offers every type of rider something. The first trips were spectacular. I congratulate the East Tyroleans on the MTB project.”

The new 2.2km trail is part of the East Tyrol region’s efforts to boost mountain biking tourism by investing heavily in expanding and adding biking trails. MTB trails were recently added to the hiking trail network at the Glocknerresort Kals, and another new trail is under construction and should be finished this season.

“The fact is that the Lienz Dolomites region has the potential to become one of the leading destinations in the Alpine region in a few years,” said Franz Theurl, the chairman of the Tourism Association of East Tyrol. “The ‘Lakata’ trail and the parks in Kals are just the beginning.”


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Safe & Secure: Bike safety part of school curriculum in Atascadero



Riding bikes to and from school or just around the neighborhood can give kids a feeling of freedom, but it comes with risk and responsibility.

Atascadero Unified School District’s superintendent recognized this and started to implement bike safety into the school curriculum.

Students are now learning how to ride bikes in the real world in the safety of their school playground.

“There’s a little up ramp that we go around and then come down to the course and switch off boys and girls,” fourth-grader Halle explained as she pointed to the course.

San Gabriel Elementary is one of three schools in Atascadero USD now teaching kids the dos and the don’ts of the roads and giving them more confidence to ride in stride.

“{Teaching them} how to properly go through a roundabout. We got some children learning how to ride a bike for the first time,” said physical education teacher Tanya Degnan. “Overall just a safer environment for the kids so they know how to get to school and even on the weekends and when they’re just hanging out at their house.” reports more than 300,000 kids end up in emergency rooms nationwide with bike injuries every year. School officials hope to prevent some of those hospital trips by teaching them safety at school, and when kids are at home, Degnan has these three important tips for parents:

  • Always wear helmets
  • Always ensure the bike is in good working condition before each ride
  • Always practice road safety yourself

“When their parents are riding, they ride on the right side of the road so children understand which side of the road they’re supposed to be riding,” said Degnan.

And for those kids just getting the hang of it, Halle has these parting words: “Keep the bike straight and just believe in yourself.”

The district superintendent said K-Man Cyclery partnered with the district and donated bikes for the classes.

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Worst Retirement Ever Short – Pepperdine Hill KOM, with data

Phil takes on Pepperdine Hill on the Pacific Coast Highway, with the help of previous KOM holder Tony Manzella.

Spoiler Alert: World Championship Results



Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe attacked on the final ascent of Salmon Hill, the most significant climb on the 19km street circuit, which the peloton tackled 12 times. Only Italian Gianni Moscon could follow him but was then dropped with 4.5km left. Alaphilippe couldn’t hold on, though, and coming into the final few bends a select group passed him to fight for victory. Only then did Sagan make his move, and Norwegian Kristoff didn’t have the strength to hold him off.

Slovakia’s Peter Sagan pipped Norway’s Alexander Kristoff in a photo-finish to win a historic third straight world title in Bergen on Sunday. Sagan emerged out of the final corner in the perfect position on Kristoff’s shoulder, and just had enough to edge past the home favorite as Australia’s Michael Matthews took third.

After his win, Sagan dedicated his victory to Italian Michele Scarponi, who died in April following a crash with a van near his home in Italy—he would have turned 38 on Monday. “I want to dedicate this third world title first to Michele Scarponi because he has his birthday tomorrow. I’m very sorry this year, I want to wish luck to his family.”

Sagan went on to dedicate his victory to his wife, who is expecting a baby, saying “it’s a very nice finish to this season, I’m very happy.”

The decorated Slovakian rider had revealed on Saturday that his preparation for the race had been disrupted by “sickness” and that he wasn’t at his best. He had hardly been seen throughout the 267.5km race but was part of the small group that made it to the final kilometer to contest the sprint finish.


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Tips: How to corner like Peter Sagan



Whether you’re flying down a mountain descent, winding through country lanes or diving through tight city streets, confidence and good cornering technique are essential for conserving energy, staying safe and gaining time on your mates.

While the pro peloton has more than its share of assured descenders, no one quite gains as much from the bends in the road as world champion Peter Sagan.

On any terrain, the man who has won the Tour’s green jersey in each of the last five editions knows how to put his rivals to the sword.

1. Take control

Sagan can dominate the most aggressive races by hitting the front ahead of corners, enabling him to take control of his own lines and speed. If you have a regular route you ride with friends, get to know the corners and where they are to give yourself an advantage.


2. Hold your speed

The central idea when it comes to cornering is not to slow down as much as everybody else into the corner, and therefore not have to speed up as much as everyone else out of it. Key to that is being able to control your line, which is why Sagan always makes a point of leading through corners.


3. Keep the front end grounded

Through the corner Sagan keeps his centre of gravity low to aid balance, with his weight focused over the front wheel spindle to keep the front end grounded. If you feel your back wheel slipping you can often correct it and stay upright, but if the front wheel goes… that’s when teeth can meet tarmac.


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Two wheels good: a beginner’s guide to commuting by bike



ave you ever noticed how cheerful your cycling colleagues are when they arrive at work in the morning? That’s because their commute is quicker and cheaper, they are full of endorphins from the exercise, and they have avoided being crammed on to hot, overcrowded public transport.

The good news is it’s actually very easy to follow their lead. Commuting by bike is an intimidating prospect for a lot of people, but it shouldn’t be. A surprisingly small amount of kit is required, starting, unsurprisingly, with a bicycle.

If you own one already, use that. Just make sure you check that there is air in the tyres and that the brakes are in good condition, particularly if you haven’t ridden it recently. Ask a cycling buddy to help, book it in for a service at your local bike shop, or find a tutorial on YouTube – basic bike maintenance is easy, even for total beginners.

If you don’t own a bike, consider a local cycle hire scheme. With 11,500 bikes, London’s Santander Cycles is the biggest in the country, but bikeshare systems are spreading, from nextbike in Glasgow, which is expanding this autumn, to Mobike and Ofo, which launched this summer in Manchester and Cambridge respectively and are set to expand further.

The government’s Cycle to Work scheme, meanwhile, offers big savings on the price of a new bike: your employer buys the bicycle, which you then “hire” from them through salary sacrifice (the savings come from the fact that you’re not paying tax and NI on the fees), and you buy it outright at the end of the 12-month hire period.

Once you have your bike sorted, there are a few other things to consider, in terms of clothing, accessories, and staying safe on the road. Front and back lights are a must – USB-chargeable ones avoid the hassle of changing batteries and are more environmentally friendly.


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Three New Ped/Bike Bridges Coming to the L.A. River


There are three promising active transportation bridge projects underway to connect bike and walk trails along the central natural-bottom Glendale Narrows stretch of the Los Angeles River. These bridges will encourage walking and bicycling, bring together communities long divided by the river, and set the stage for great non-motorized access to planned river revitalization and naturalization.


1. Glendale Narrows Riverwalk Bridge

This week, California Assemblymember Laura Friedman announced that efforts are moving forward to fund a bicycle-pedestrian bridge connecting Glendale to Griffith Park. The project is known as the third phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk. The initial Riverwalk phase is already in place with a linear park and bike/walk path extending along the north side of the river about 0.6 miles from Bette Davis Picnic Area to Flower Street.

The bridge will be located at the elbow of Flower Street, just downstream from Dreamworks and very near the intersection of the 5 and 134 Freeways.


This week, Friedman was successful in inserting a $20 million allocation for the new bridge into a bond measure expected to go to voters for approval in 2018. The ballot measure is State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De León’s S. B. 5the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018, which still needs to be passed by the state legislature.

Assemblymember Friedman, a former Glendale City Councilmember and a champion for active transportation there, emphasizes the link between Glendale and Griffith Park stating:

We’ve worked for years to get this project off the ground. Thousands of residents on the Glendale side live in the shadow of Griffith Park with no way to get there without braving the freeway or driving for miles on city streets through Burbank or Los Angeles. The bridge isn’t just a link between neighborhoods, it’s connecting people with open space, miles of bike paths, and economic opportunity, all while creating jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and congestion on our streets and freeways.

Friedman’s press statement quotes support from L.A. City Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and David Ryu, the later of whom expressed excitement over connecting more people to “one of L.A.’s greatest treasures… Griffith Park.”

If approved by California voters in 2018, the start of construction would likely be 2019 or later.


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The Forsyth Cup – Wolfpack Hustle Winners

Youngsters sometimes come to us asking for a young blood division. We always say, when it is your time, it is your time. Witness the latest Dog Tag holder, barely older than the prize itself. Chloe Patrick, at 12 years old becomes the youngest Wolfpack Hustle champion. Chloe dominated a field of seasoned track racers executing text book moves at perfect moments to slice through the match sprint eliminations and to the top step at the Forsyth Cup.


17 year-old Rafael Solorzano takes the Dog Tags after top showings in all 3 points rounds of the Wolfpack Hustle Forsyth Cup. Even as 2nd place Jordan Zhdonov scored highest in points, it was in the match sprint eliminations where Rafael sliced through to the top step. In addition to the Dog Tags, Rafael took home $275, the champion jersey and a set of Conquer Elite cranks! Chris Hildreth took home 3rd place after a spirited match sprint for the minor final.


Wolfpack Hustle – The Forsyth Cup – Sept 16

500m / 500m Mens Womens Qualifiers
Top 12 advance to Miss n out finale
Miss n’ out elminations for all others to advance to remaining 12 Finale slots.
Dog Tags and cash


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