SRAM's 12-speed MTB group: making sense of the gossip

As you may be aware, leaked photos are floating around the backwaters of the internet of a soon-to-be released 1×12 speed SRAM drivetrain with a whopping 10-50t range. SRAM has declined to comment on any of our questions about this group, but let’s assess what this drivetrain might mean for mountain bikers when it’s released.

What’s between the little ring and the granny gear?

While the range of this drivetrain appears to have been leaked, the exact tooth counts between 10 and 50 remain unknown. Is it possible that SRAM would simply carry over the tooth counts of its 1×11 drivetrain with the addition of a 50t cog? It’s not only possible, but likely. 

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The leap from a 42 to 50t cog is a rather large jump, 19 percent, to be exact. However, this is not out of step for SRAM; consider that there’s a 20-percent jump from the 10 to 12t cog, and a 17-percent jump from 36 to 42t on SRAM’s current 1×11 cassettes. There must be large gaps at some point on a 12-speed cassette with such a wide range. It might make sense to put them at the ends of the cassette. Afterall, the 50t cog is a bail-out gear if ever there was one. 

So let’s assume the steps carry over with a 50t cog. If this proves to be the case, the tooth count would look like this: 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42-50.

A single-ring drivetrain to silence the doubters

How to fit another cog onto the cassette?

So what could all this advancement mean for the average rider?

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Meet some of cycling’s biggest stars at iceBike* 2016

Some of the biggest names in cycling will be turning out at the first ever iceBike* public weekend at Arena:MK on Saturday 27 February and Sunday 28 February.

Throwing its doors open to the public, free of charge, iceBike* 2016 will be welcoming a host of special guests to the show to give visitors a chance to meet some of their heroes from across the cycling world. Attendees will be able to meet and greet the likes of Shanaze Reade, Manon Carpenter, Blake Samson and Marc Beaumont. A mystery Team Sky rider whose name will be revealed closer to the show will also be attending.

Not only this, but Saturday will see the launch of the Madison Genesis team and the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, both of which will be hosted by popular cycling personality and ITV presenter, Ned Boulting. The Madison Genesis Team launch will feature the new-look team in its first official public appearance ahead of the 2016 season, as well as showing off the Genesis Zero team bike and fresh team kit. Dave Povall will also be making his first public appearance since being announced as team co-manager earlier this week.

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Britain’s leading televised cycling race series, the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, will also reveal its stages and race details on the Saturday. 2015 saw one of the most exciting seasons to date, with the final standings going right down to the last race, so to be first to know what to expect from 2016, get down to iceBike*, get all the latest information and see the teams in person. Ned Boulting will once again be taking to the stage to host the launch and speak to the organisers and racers.

BMX, turned track rider, Madison Genesis’ Shanaze Reade will be meeting fans and signing autographs on Saturday morning at Arena:MK. Meanwhile, the Madison Saracen Factory Race Team will be at the show across the weekend, so to get up close with Manon Carpenter, Mark Beaumont and Matt Simmonds, be sure to register your place.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

BikeRadar's huge Deal Finder service is now live

Hold onto your hats everyone – BikeRadar has just launched its massive new Deal Finder service, and it could change the way you shop for bike gear forever. No lie.

We’ve pulled together deals on 250,000 products which are available to search on the BikeRadar homepage, either from the box above Daily Deals, or from the main site menu under Deals.

>>> Try the new BikeRadar Deal Finder <<<

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At launch our new Deal Finder service already covers the majority of online bike retailers from across the UK, USA and Australia – making it the biggest of its kind in the bike market.

This very much a version 1 though: we have a raft of improvements planned to come in over the coming weeks, including regular deals emails. Feedback is welcome, just hit the ‘Submit Feedback’ button at the bottom if you’ve got ideas on how to improve it.

>>> Try the new BikeRadar Deal Finder <<<

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Achieve the perfect Shimano brake bleed

Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are among the most common out there and are fitted on everything from mountain bikes to flat-bar hybrids. Performing a bleeding procedure on these brakes needn’t be a chore; you simply need to know what you’re doing. 

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Watch the video above as Shimano’s very own Richard Wilson goes through the perfect way to bleed a Shimano disc brake.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Get your road bike winter ready

Get the best from your winter riding and make sure that your bike survives with these essential tips to prepare your bike for wet and salty roads.

When the winds turn to chilly northerlies and darkness more swiftly overpowers daylight, you know it won’t be long unti the arrival of more rain, possibly snow, and the colder temperatures which inevitably bring out the gritting lorries. 

This is the time to make your bike winterproof, and these are tried and true methods, with an old timer trick or two and a few more obvious procedures. For those of you prepared to go the extra mile in order to protect your bike, performing all of these steps can significantly prolong its life, but even adopting just one or two will help your enjoyment and safety.

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Most of these steps should be within reach of the confident DIY cyclist, and the tools required are pretty straightforward, but if you’re in doubt an experienced shop mechanic can work wonders with a seized bottom bracket or really close-fitting mudguards. Bring on the winter!

Related: The complete guide to winter road cycling

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Bottom bracket removal: Shimano splined socket, lockring and pin spanner and crank extractor, or external cup splined type spanner depending on BB; 8mm or 14/15mm socket for crank arm bolts
  • For fasteners and other components: 3, 4, 5, 6mm Allen keys and/or 8, 9 and 10mm standard spanners; Phillips or flat screwdriver, pliers, small hacksaw
  • Frame Saver or similar
  • Slime tubes, Jagwire cable wiper seals
  • Mudguard flaps, rustless chains
  • Car wax or other 
  • Stainless fasteners, Kevlar tyres and mudguards (all should be available from your local bike shop)

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Aerozine XOne crankset

Aerozine offers a range of multi-ring cranksets as well as this smart-looking, weight-saving and affordable single-ring XOne chainset. But be warned: it’s not the stiffest option if you’re a real pedal-strainer.

The forged arms are kinked for chainstay clearance with a big dimple in the centre near the axle and a broad, scooped-back, flared I-beam section that tapers towards the tips. But the really clever bits are the lozenge-shaped openings at either tip. These are the homes for a pair of eccentric ‘ALS’ pedal thread inserts with a steel-facing washer that lock into the crank arms as you tighten the pedals.

This idea was first used by Stronglight a few years ago and lets you choose 170 or 175mm effective crank length settings by flipping the eccentric inserts, or 172.5mm if you buy extra inserts.

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It makes removing and installing pedals a bit trickier, but it’s a potentially useful feature if you’re building a bike for a young racer whose legs are still growing, or you want to experiment with different leverages. They don’t squeak or creak even after a couple of months of mixed weather use and while the logos have scuffed, the anodising underneath is holding up okay.

The XOnes come with an updated direct-mount combined ring and spider with narrow/wide chain teeth that do a reasonable if not outstanding job of keeping the chain on. The scalloped, three-bolt fixing is the same as SRAM too, which opens up a whole world of aftermarket replacements.

You also get a decent quality bottom bracket included in the price although it only comes in a skinny 24mm axle option.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Focus Cayo Disc Donna Ultegra

The Focus Cayo Disc has already impressed our male test team this year with it’s feistily powerful ride and equally responsive all weather disc braking. But would our female testers enjoy the Donna as much as the blokes or would the lack of chassis alteration and direct ride impress them less?

Stiff competition

Compared with three other women-specific bikes we tested at the same time (Trek Silque SL, Cannondale SuperSix EVO and Giant Avail Advanced Pro) the Focus certainly had a distinctive fit and feel. The top tube measurement is only 5-10mm longer than the other bikes. However the seat tube is slightly slacker and combines with a significant rear offset of the CPX Plus seatpost and long carbon stem to make the saddle clamp to bar stretch 40-50mm longer.

The stiff, disc-specific fork holds the wheel with a 12mm thru-axle and plugs into a big tapered head tube with broad faceted ‘cheeks’ before connecting to a massive down tube. This all creates an aggressively stretched riding position that most of our test team needed to shove the saddle all the way forward on the rails to find a useable fit on.

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The beefy pipework hints at the Cayo’s no-nonsense character

What we’d recommend other riders to do though is to try out a smaller frame than you’d normally think of buying. That would not only reduce the stretch between bar and saddle; it would also give you a seat tube height that allowed more of the seatpost to stick above the frame and potentially decrease the significant amount of punishment that this bike passes from road to rider. (As the proportionally larger diameter and greater stiffness of the shorter tubes on the smaller sizes could be part of what makes the Cayo feel so rigid though there is a risk that it’ll compound the Cayo’s uncompromising feel rather than ease it.)

Devil is in the detail

Shrink and pink

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Complete guide to winter road cycling

Winter road cycling can be amazing, if you’re fully prepared. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, quiet misty roads with barely another soul in sight – even riding in the rain is fun if you wear the right kit and have a steaming hot brew and a bath waiting for you at the other end. BikeRadar has pulled together all the help, advice, hints and tips you need to make the most of winter riding into article. 

With modern clothing, equipment and some forethought, you can ride happily all through the winter and you’ll emerge next spring a fitter and stronger rider. It’s all about attitude: if you anticipate that getting up early will be a miserable experience, and spend your whole ride dreaming of those extra hours in bed, it won’t be enjoyable.

Bad weather should be seen as a reason to get on your bike – negotiating your way through rain and mud will help you learn new skills, improve your balance and push your riding to a new level. Who needs sunshine?

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Get out and ride

1. Get motivated

One of the hardest aspects of winter training is getting out the door onto the bike: ‘from bed to shed’. Even the slightest distraction or reason not to ride, such as not having your favourite socks clean, can be enough to return to the warm embrace of your duvet. Counter this by making sure all your kit is ready. Make a deal with yourself that, if you don’t feel like riding, as long as you’ve given it a 10-minute go, you can ditch the session. Typically, once you’re out you’ll feel good and go on to ride a full session.

Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during winter. According to the SAD Association, seven percent of the UK population suffer from the full condition, with a further 17 percent suffering from milder but still significant ‘winter blues’. The condition, caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain, can rob you of energy, motivation and enthusiasm. Physical exercise is one of the best ways to combat it, but often the motivation to exercise is low, creating a vicious circle.

2. Layer up

  • Shell: Softshell and waterproof jackets should provide wind stopping coverage to the belly, chest and groin – core areas you need to keep warm.
  • Base: A moisture-wicking baselayer that keeps the body dry is crucial. Wear an extra thin layer rather than one that’s too thick.
  • Mid: A thermal layer worn over your baselayer will keep the warmth in, but should work with the base and shell to let sweat vapour out.
  • Legs: Full-length bib tights are an essential.
  • Extremeties: Look after them: a fleece beanie that covers your ears; windproof gloves; and two pairs of socks or outer protection overshoes.

3. Ride safe

4. Try out new routes

Winter training

5. Plan to succeed

  • Reflect: Look back over your performances in key races, sportives or rides. What went right? And what went wrong? Did you perform as you expected, and if not, why not?
  • Focus: Identify two or three major rides, races or sportives for next season that’ll be your main focus. These, and your expected performances in them, are your long-term goals.
  • Train: Work out how much time you can dedicate to training each week. Don’t forget to include your commutes, and try to be realistic and honest with yourself – there’s no point in scheduling 5am rides if you know you won’t get up.
  • Plan: Work back from your long-term goals and construct a training plan based on your week’s training timetable. There are some excellent books available to help you, such as The Cyclist’s Training Bible by Joe Friel, Serious Cycling by Edmund Burke and Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan. There are also online packages such as www.trainingpeaks.com.
  • Goals: Include in the plan some medium-term goals, which can be less important rides or races or weight loss targets. These should provide stepping stones to your main goals. Set four or five short-term goals each week: completing all your training sessions, not having puddings during the week, cleaning your bike after each ride… anything that will contribute to your training moving forwards. Write them down and stick them up somewhere you’ll see them every day.

6. Go faster

7. Ride strong

8. Group hug

9. Turbo-boost

  •  Warm up with 10 minutes of easy spinning, increasing the intensity during the second five minutes
  •  Perform eight 20-second flat-out efforts with 10 seconds of recovery in between
  •  Cool down with 10 minutes of easy spinning

10. Take a break every fourth week

11. Get muddy!

Winter training and preparation off the bike

12. Time out

13. Eat well

14. Hit the gym

  • Lunges: As a single-legged movement, the crossover to cycling is obvious. To increase the load, work with a barbell across your shoulders or hold dumbbells.
  • Single arm rows: When climbing out of the saddle, one arm pushes and one arm pulls with every pedal stroke. This  exercise works those pulling muscles.
  • Dumbbell chest press: Works the pushing muscles of your upper body. Because of the range of movement and control needed, it’s more effective than barbells.
  • Deadlift: This strengthens and increases flexibility of the lower back and the hamstrings, both of which are typically weak and tight in cyclists.
  • Plank: This exercise works the deep stabiliser muscles of your trunk and is far more beneficial and relevant than sit-ups or crunches. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds.

15. Go for a run

  • 10 minutes easy jogging warm-up.
  • 10 x 30 seconds up as steep a hill as possible at 100 per cent effort with a jog-down recovery between uphill sprints.
  • 10 minutes easy jogging cool-down.
  • 10 minutes easy jogging warm-up.
  • 4-6 x 5 minutes up a moderate to steep hill at a pace best described as ‘sustainable discomfort’. This will translate as 85-95% of max heart rate, or only being able to speak in short, clipped sentences or single word replies, with a jog-down recovery after each.
  • 10 minutes easy jogging cool-down.

Prepare your bike for winter

16. Safety checks

17. Get a dedicated training bike

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar