Friday, December 24, 2010

Why Cyclists Need GPS

...and this is not a sales pitch disguised as a new story.  Really thought provoking - this one.  I may have finally been pushed over the ledge toward getting one myself after reading this.

I ran across this story during my almost-weekly "try-to-catch-up-on-the-news" trip to Jonathan ran a story he'd received as a tip from a friend (I guess this story is going viral...) about a pro cyclist who'd been hit by a car. Basically, the route and telemetry data from the rider's Garmin Edge 500 GPS unit served as a sort of "cycling black-box" to prove where he was and where he had come from at the time the incident occurred in order to support his side of the story. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Certified Master BG Fit Technician

Done. :-)

(Photo: Andy Pruitt, Boulder Center for Sports Medicine; Me, insignificant;
Mike Sinyard, Specialized Bicycles)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Internal Cable Routing

Internal cable routing has been around for a while now - some executions better than others...  And in today's reality of electronic shifting and increasingly more "organic" designs it is surely here to stay.  As great as it looks - and as much of a benefit as it may be for keeping grit out of your cable systems - internal routing presents some unique challenges and requires extra care.  We took some extra pictures of the new 2011 Roubaix Expert (one of the best executions of internal routing we've seen yet) to help illustrate our points.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How to fit a Cyclocross Bike


Well, yes and no.

As I have discussed (at length) before - there is a lot of good and bad info out there about bike fitting and selecting the right size frame.  One of the more common topics I run into this time of year is how to select the right size of Cyclocross bike.

A common guideline I have heard is that you ought to size-down from your road bike frame size to obtain the right 'cross frame.  As a universal guideline, this couldn't be more WRONG!  There are instances where this may apply, but I would say that they are rare now. It is a unique bike and just like you wouldn't adjust your road bike a "little different from your road bike"; treat your cyclocross bike like and individual and get it right.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Worn Tires and Flatting

Worn through to the casing
Part of a series I'm calling Tires 101 with lots of great info to consider when looking for new tires. 


This post also appeared on the store blog - but I figured the audience here is a little more broad and it's a good topic; so I'm sharing it here as well.

This time of year we seem to more commonly be addressing common causes of flat tires and how to prevent them.  A frequently overlooked cause worth talking about is worn-out tires.

As your tires wear their flat protection is reduced because there is less rubber on them to resist sharp objects as you roll over them.

Additionally, tires do age: and not very well at that!  Cracking in the tread and side-wall of the tire is a good indicator of a worn and weakened tire that is ready to be replaced.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Do I Need a Bike Fitting?

Driving around town the other day I saw so many people who were so obviously uncomfortable on their bikes (and suffering a loss of efficiency because of their lack of comfort along with other factors).  So, since so much of my material is inspired by my experiences - I was inspired to write another post: A few quick pointers on how to know if you need someone to assess your bike fit.

Several of the signs are pretty obvious: persistent knee pain being the most common.  But there are a few quick and easy signs that something is wrong that aren't immediately apparent (or that some of you think you just have to live with).  Let's start at the front of the bike and work our way back.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Quick note: Bicycle Fitting "Apps"

First - don't get me wrong.  I'm not a Luddite. I love many things that have come along in the technological revolution.  But, we still must be careful how much gravity we give these tools and applications that actively or passively claim to replace humans.

I've talked some about the bike fitting calculators which can be found at various locations online and how; while they may be based on good equations, there are two inherent flaws when it comes to claims of delivering "correct fit" or "correct frame size":

1. The accuracy of the resulting dimensions is only as good as the accuracy of the measurements used in the equations.  Garbage in, garbage out.

2. Unquantifiable factors such as injury history, desired riding position, physiological asymmetries, riding history and goals are not accounted for.  Additionally, flexibility and ranges of motion also weigh heavily into determining a rider's optimal on the bike position.  These factors are glaringly absent from these applications because they introduce an "X" factor which cannot be caluclated.

So in the end - using such applications as a guide or a starting point is not bad and may help you narrow the herd a little.  But, until an application comes along capable of evaluating and somehow quantifying the unquantifiable; there will be no replacement for the hands and mind of an experienced bicycle fitter.

Now, go ride! (And if it hurts - go see your fitter.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bike Mistakes Series

Here for your easy browsing; an index of the posts I have created (and the planned posts for future publishing) on what has turned out to already be a popular topic. I hope you find all this helpful in making your bike more comfortable, run more smoothly, and last longer.

Have any suggestions? The comments section of this post is the place to leave them; so comment away!  But most importantly - enjoy.

Bike Mistakes - Part 1: Handlebar

This is the first in a series on common mistakes on your bike... 

I've been thinking about a series of posts about common mistakes that most everyone (even some shops) makes on bicycles. I'm going to give this a stab here and see how it goes. I'll be focusing on mechanical mistakes as well as those that may effect comfort, handling, or safety. I don't know how many parts there will be - this will just sort of evolve. If you have a suggestion or something you'd like to see covered: leave a comment and let me know.

So, let's start at the front of the bike - and with an important contact point: the handlebar.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Choosing the Right Road Tire

Part of a series I'm calling Tires 101 with lots of great info to consider when looking for new tires.


You'd be amazed at how many of these topics are inspired by my daily conversations with customers and clients (and even further amazed by how many of those common conversations I never get around to writing about...)

This is actually a frequent conversation I have. There are so many tire choices out there that it is hard to sort through the marketing spin and quasi-technical data to the stuff that really matters. So, for the sake of this post and to simplify things; I'm going focus on traditional clincher tires (maybe we'll discuss tubulars and tubeless at a later date...) and break the road bike tire market into 3 segments:

-Racing/High Performance/Light Weight

-Training/Medium Puncture Resistance/Better Tread Life

-High Puncture Resistance & Tread Life

Tires 101 Series


This series kind of came together after the fact as I realized how much complementary material I had written about bike tires. I think this is especially helpful when you have been disappointed with the tires you've been riding or just know you need something different.

As a whole; the individual posts will address much of what I cover when I talk in person with a client about their options for tires. Of course; that exchange is much more conversational and often less exhaustive because we can assess needs and narrow down the options in a hurry.  Here we don't have that luxury. But; check it out - skim the sections that don't apply to your situation - and enjoy the rest.

  • Choosing the Right Road Tire - Simplifying the myriad options into categories and addressing their unique qualities and characteristics to hope to bring some clarity to the chaos!
  • The Truth about Tire Pressure - Because it's not as simple as just pumping your tires up to the maximum pressure on the sidewall. (And why more is rarely better...)
  • Fascinating Tire Test Results - Some surprises and some confirmations. Putting some data behind the speculation.
  • Worn Tires and Flatting - Sudden chronic flatting can be caused by excessive tire wear. A quick photo guide to the most common types (all seen on one summer Saturday in the shop...)
  • Tubeless Cyclocross Tire Tips - A "guest post" with some great helps on setting up wheels to run tubeless for cyclocross season.

    Got any lingering questions? Something you'd like to see covered in detail? Leave your idea in the comments and it may become the next in the series!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shimano WH-6700 Road Tubeless Wheel Review


The single most-viewed page on this blog at this moment is my review of Shimano's WH-7850-C24-CL wheels. And, it's no surprise to me - they're amazing; revolutionary wheels (no pun intended).

Why do I mention this? You see, these wheelsets are related. The WH-7850-SL is the predecessor to the WH-7850-C24-CL and is Shimano's first tubeless road ready wheelset. It features a Scandium alloy rim with a sealed inner wall; making it air tight, stainless steel spokes and Dura Ace hubs. The WH-6700 is the latest in the family of Shimano's Road Tubeless compatible wheels (also including the WH-7850-C24-TL) and the most affordable truly tubeless-ready wheel available - without much of a penalty (at 1652 g published weight - it's a difference of 138 g from their lighter "big brother").

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cycling Nutrition - a basic guide

Comments from my recent post on Fitting, Fitness, and Fuel prompted me to post this article (with a few edits...) I recently wrote for a newsletter. It is geared heavily toward the Hammer Nutrition products - as that's what I use and what we were emphasizing in the article; but it's still a good guide whatever your brand of choice may be. Enjoy!

You've heard that expression applied to many different topics; but it is no less true when it comes to how your fuel your body on a ride (or any exercise for that matter). Proper nutrition during exercise and endurance activities is one of the most important keys to success - and to enjoying those activities too. However, there are a few really common mistakes which most of us have made in the past or make regularly which hurt our performance - often without even knowing! With some help from Steve Born of Hammer nutrition (who's excellent article on this very topic can be found online here) I want to offer a guide to success in your pursuits in the coming season. So, read the guide; and then Steve's article, to decide which products to add to your regimen.

We'll start with my favorite product - and probably the most beneficial one: Recoverite. How many of us go out and ride hard or put in a killer workout only to spend the rest of the day sore, run down, and wishing we hadn't gone so hard? Wake up the next morning - and: POW - it's even worse! Makes it hard to feel like doing it again, but then - how do you get any stronger? The secret is in recovery - and recovering properly.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Improve your cycling: Fitting; Fitness; Fuel

Photo: Chris WareThis conversation came up on a Saturday ride with some of the members of our race team. In addition to the usual conversation about new, cool bike gear that usually crops up on a ride; one of the members was commenting on the results of the fitting I'd performed for him a couple of weeks prior. We had eliminated his knee pain and increased his efficiency and balance on the bike. He was thrilled because he was able to get in more training miles (after resolving himself to a break from riding) and his bike was feeling faster, more nimble, and yet more predictable.

This prompted a response from me that some of my customers have been hearing from me for several years now: Most of us can get greater returns from getting our bike fit, fitness, and fuel (nutrition) dialed than from spending a bunch of money on the newest coolest gear.

["What? I thought this was a product-focused blog. I read this to get real-world reviews on some of the best equipment out there instead of the watered-down drab stuff that comes from the major publications because they're afraid of hurting the suppliers' feelings. Why is Matt telling me not to buy stuff...?]

Well, the above comment is true - I am a "gear geek" through-and-through and I get tempted by all the new cool chi-chi stuff out there just like the rest of you. But, I have seen in the lives and riding habits of my clients (and myself) the difference that the three principles above have and I'm a firm believer. Your riding experience is a multi-faceted product of a variety of factors including these three principles and your gear. When all of them include high-quality, well-selected, properly maintained elements - you can't help but succeed!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


This rolled into the store last week to our amazement. We have summited this record setter to Guinness and are waiting to hear back...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tested: Chamois Butt'r Eurostyle

Hmmm, well, I guess this is no more awkward than we make it out to be, now is it?

That opening statement probably didn't help either...

I've been a pretty devoted user of chamois cream for quite some time now (Chamois Butt'r original formula, if you must know). Any time I'm going out on the bike for longer than 1 hour - I'm using chamois cream.

WHAT'S THE PURPOSE?Chamois cream reduces friction around all those sensitive areas which contact your saddle - reducing chafing and irritation. This is a good thing. For me; thighs that are larger than average, this is particularly nice where the thighs rub the saddle (sometimes at 180+ times a minute: 90+ times one way, 90+ times the other). Some will argue that after some time; the cream is absorbed by the skin and fabric; or it's viscosity breaks down to a point where it's not working. And, I can't say that I disagree with them. However; would you rather endure 3 hours of friction - or less than that? Any reduction is good, right?

Monday, January 18, 2010

PRO Vibe 7S - Tested

First, let me apologize for not posting in a while. I've been a little busy with the December birth of my second son and all... I'm sure you'll forgive me!

So, I've been looking for some time to replace the Ritchey WCS stem and WCS Carbon handlebar that I've been riding on my Waterford with something aluminum and significantly stiffer. The bar is not bad, but the stem is a little twisty. When I went to Interbike this past September, Shimano's Benelux component division; PRO, were offering a killer industry deal on their Vibe 7S series which happened to be the bar/stem combo at the top of my list. I just had to bite!


All content - except where otherwise noted - copyright 2006 - 2013 Matthew Magee. Do not use without permission.

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