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Week in Review: November 24, 2013

Technical FAQ: Spreading disc pads and tubeless road failure

By Lennard Zinn in Colorado
Dear Lennard,
Thanks for continuing to put out great in-depth material on bike tech; I have read everything you’ve written for years, and continue to learn each time. Your latest piece on Zencranks was particularly thorough, which I really appreciate. I’d worked on the Dynadrive cranks on the odd customer bike years ago, but never knew what the design was about.

Since you’ve been riding and talking about tubeless tires for road for years, I wanted to relay an experience that I’ve never heard anyone talk about. I’ve been on tubeless road for three years, after being comfortable with MTB tubeless for years. I’ve used Hutchinson’s offerings in 23mm and 25mm, along with Stan’s Ravens and Clement LAS and PDX tires, for everything from road racing to adventure riding. I use Stan’s rims, Alpha 340s and 400s.

Here’s what happened.

While riding my fifth Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee, I punctured my front tire (Clement LAS, tubeless) on the fastest of the rough descent, traveling at about 60 kph. The road is covered in loose rocks (the segment is called “This is Awesome” on Strava), so it was important for me to slow down quickly as my tire deflated to avoid smashing my front rim and denting it. I was weighting my back wheel to ease impacts on the front, and braking consistently hard, but not skidding. I use long reach caliper brakes with Kool Stop Salmon (Scott Mathauser compound) pads on this bike. As I came to a stop and pulled to the shoulder, my rear tire hissed, and quickly lost all its air at the bead, right at my valve. This was a Stan’s Raven, tubeless, which I’d ridden thousands of kilometers on, trouble free.

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Reviewed: Giordana Dryarn knit leg warmers

By Caley Fretz in Colorado
Hidden away within a pile of plastic-wrapped clothing being handed out to journalists at a 2011 Shimano Ultegra product launch was something of a holy grail: a pair of leg warmers that fit so perfectly, so comfortably, and were so versatile, that I struggled to find a fall, winter, or spring day for which they were not absolutely perfect.

Anyone who has struggled through winter with a pair of ill-fitting warmers, bunching and chaffing behind the knee, will appreciate the magnitude of that statement.

Within 18 months I had worn them out, their wonderful knit construction slowly fading into the same threadbaren thinness that afflicts the heels of old socks. I’d worn them nearly every day from October to March, through two winter seasons, and I was devastated, reticent to return to the bunchy, uncomfortable leg warmers that had been lying dormant in my closet.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to. A pair of Giordana’s knit leg warmers, similar but not identical to the impossible-to-find Shimano version, landed on my desk last fall.

A year later, I can confirm that they are every bit as good — better, in some ways — than my original holy grail.

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Photo Essay: Koksijde World Cup 2013

By Dan Seaton in Koksijde, Belgium
The dunes of Koksijde can scramble everything: the usual protagonists can vanish and bit players suddenly find themselves in leading roles. In the first of 22 images from the World Cup on the Belgian coast, Wout van Aert, who swept the previous weekend’s racing and finished on the podium in the first two World Cup races of this season, found himself very much in the first category, a major player relegated to pack fodder fighting for a 15th-place finish in the under-23 race at the Koksijde World Cup.

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Tinkov to hold Monday press conference addressing ownership of a ProTeam

By Dan Wuori in South Carolina
Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov will make an announcement Monday believed to pertain to his efforts to acquire ownership of a UCI ProTeam. Tinkov tells VeloNews he will address the matter of his backing at a press conference in London.

Though the billionaire, who co-sponsored Bjarne Riis’ Saxo-Tinkoff squad in 2013, has reportedly been in conversation with a number of organizations, recent speculation has centered on Tinkov’s assumption — in whole or in part — of Riis’ ownership stake in the current Saxo squad.

Despite a strained 2013, during which Tinkov was an outspoken critic of the team’s Tour de France performance, the Russian attended the team’s recent training camp in Gran Canaria, according to the website feltet.dk.

On Saturday, Tinkov tweeted a photograph of Alberto Contador and Michael Morkov, along with the caption, “Conta is getting ready to kick ass of Froome))) and I am behind it YET.”

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Video: Wheelmen authors talk Armstrong case, in depth

By Neal Rogers and Matthew Beaudin in Colorado
Wall Street Journal editors Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell talk with Velo editors Neal Rogers and Matthew Beaudin about their new book, Wheelmen, and their pursuit of the Lance Armstrong doping story. Readers log their own questions for the authors.

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