1. From the Top: Why Not Lights?
2. News & Reviews: ‘Super Tuck’ Is Not So Super
3. Question of the Week: When Do You Use Lights on Your Bike?
4. Ask Coach Fred: Should Stops Count in Riding Time?
5. Sponsors: Cycling Products from our Sponsors
6. Jim's Tech Talk: Evaluating And Avoiding Rim Wear
7. No Problem: Dealing with a Thrown Chain
8. Quick Tips: Replacement Rubber Cement for Patch Kits
9. Cadence: Bouncing Back for Autumn Events
10. RBR eBookstore: The Best Cycling Bookstore on the Internet!
By John Marsh
You might call this the semi-Angry Old Man issue (keep reading for a brief explanation). Or you could just call it the good ol’ common sense issue. Your decision.
Coach Fred Matheny spent a couple days last week in Aspen, Colorado, catching the end of one stage of the US Pro Challenge, and the start of the next stage. (Aussie Rohan Dennis of BMC Racing Team was the race’s overall winner.) Fred noted the exciting racing “as some of the pro continental riders have been holding their own with the Pro Tour guys.”
But he also paid keen attention to a recent phenomenon in the pro ranks that, sadly, has trickled down into the ranks of recreational roadies like us – the so-called “super tuck” descending position. Fred shares his thoughts on this potentially dangerous position leading off News & Reviews, below.
You might have seen the “super tuck” on a local ride you’ve done. I saw it just last weekend on a 50-rider group ride, and it was an already squirrely rider who was doing it. Needless to say, I steered clear of that rider for the rest of the ride. Lack of bike handling skills and lack of common sense are a truly hazardous combination in a group of any size.
Meanwhile, on this and other rides I’ve done lately, I’ve been noticing a few more riders using full-time front and rear flashers for daytime riding.
I notice them, well, because they’re noticeable. If someone is riding toward me, I see that flasher far in the distance, because it’s exactly the sort of thing that catches the eye. The same can be said for closing the gap on a rider with a rear flasher. That flasher is the first thing you notice when you get into visual range. It captures your attention.
I’ve been using front and rear flashers full-time for about three years now. I’m a true believer in their value as safety tools.
Quick Angry Old Man digression. My younger son, Andreas, who’s now 15, earned the family nickname “Angry Old Man,” or AOM for short, years ago, when he was in elementary school. He would (still does) go on rants about what’s bothering him, just as if he were 75 instead of 5. It was and still is pretty funny to witness.
Fred and I are both somewhere between 5 and 75, but we’re both in somewhat of an AOM mood this week, I suppose. Fred just doesn’t get the rationale behind the “super tuck.” And I can’t figure out why more riders have not adopted full-time lights as a simple, inexpensive safety feature.
Many riders will talk your ear off about how they only wear bright-colored jerseys and never leave home without strapping on their helmet.
Yet, they may have their computer on board when they hit the road, but not a light in sight.
Here’s what I’ve noticed over the three years I’ve used full-time flashers:
Cars in front of you pay you more attention. By this, I mean both cars driving toward you in the opposite lane and, typically more importantly, cars waiting on side streets to turn into your lane of traffic, or cross your lane to get to the other side of the road. Those are usually the situations fraught with danger.
Anecdotally, in the time I’ve been running the front flasher, I’ve had far fewer of the close calls where the driver just seems to “look through you” as you approach, and begin to pull out in front of you.
Even a brightly colored jersey moving through space at a steady rate can sometimes blend into the surrounding field of view, or be overlooked wholesale if a driver is simply not paying close attention. (And we all know that last statement to be more the rule than the exception these days.)
However, a flashing front light, even when a driver isn’t really attentive, can still be an attention-grabber. It’s not something a driver is used to seeing, and it’s not static. In fact, some lights (like the SeeSense front and rear flashers I’ve been testing lately) have a built-in accelerometer that alters the rate of flash based on changes in your speed and movement of the bike. The SeeSense lights also get brighter as it gets darker out, or when you ride under an overpass or through a tunnel.
Drivers see you sooner from behind and give you a wider berth when passing. Because I also ride with a Fly 6 rear camera/tail light, I have better than anecdotal evidence to support this. I’ve reviewed the camera recordings numerous times and can clearly see that drivers see the light and move over earlier than they normally might, and a little farther over, as they pass.
Flashers are invaluable if you get caught out in a storm. This happened to me last week, in fact. On a ride that started out with clear skies and no threatening forecast, I found myself in the midst of a pop-up rainstorm that quickly darkened the skies for the last 10 miles of my slog home through the downpour.
I don’t care how bright your jersey is in the sunlight, when the skies go dark, so does the brightness of your shirt. Let’s not forget that it’s also harder for motorists to see in these conditions, so flashers are ideal safety beacons in the rain. I definitely felt safer in that storm with my “responsive” flashers getting brighter as it got darker out.
I was also more than happy to be carrying the extra 110g (about 4 ounces) of weight for the pair of lights – nothing in the grand scheme of things.
For the price of a lower end helmet, you can easily equip your bike with any number of very worthy head lights and tail lights with a growing array of features. (Like the Niterider Sentinel tail light, which we’ll also be reviewing soon, that projects “laser lanes” to define your riding space.)
So, no, I just don’t understand why more serious roadies aren’t rocking full-time flashers front and rear. By all means, keep wearing what you’re wearing, strap on your helmet for every ride, and keep your bike in tip-top shape.
But if you really value safety on the road, Why not lights?
By Coach Fred Matheny
One thing that has stood out in both the Tour de France and the US Pro Challenge this year is the extreme descending position adopted by many riders on steep descents. Instead of using the traditional method of sitting on the saddle with the hands next to the stem and pedals horizontal, daring riders have taken to sitting on the top tube.
Although several pros have tried this in the past few years, I suspect that because Tinkoff-Saxo's Peter Sagan got lots of camera time in the Tour while squatting on the top tube, the technique has gone mainstream.
I can't figure out why.
First, it's dangerous. Bikes are designed for the rider's weight to be on the saddle, not a foot forward on the top tube. Seeing BMC's Rohan Dennis wobble down the Moonstone Road descent in the time trial stage of the US Pro Challenge highlighted how shifting weight in this way could lead to a potentially deadly shimmy.
And it's hard to get back into the saddle without snagging shorts on the saddle nose. The results could be not only painful but embarrassing.
Also, I'm not at all sure that the new position, dubbed the "super tuck," is more aero than the traditional posture. While they are sitting on the top tube, riders' backs are slanted upward which looks to me like it negates any advantage from the lower profile.
And squashing the upper body in the cramped area between the seat post and the stem results in a hunched back -- bad for smooth airflow. I suspect that quite a few teams will hit the wind tunnel this winter to determine if there's really an aero advantage to the super tuck.
Finally, some pros even pedal while straddling the top tube. It makes my knees (not to mention my, um, pelvic region) ache to watch. Why pedal in such an awkward posture? If you're going slow enough to pedal, it's better to get the most out of each pedal stroke.
Teams spend hours and big bucks to get saddle height perfect for maximum power output. I can only imagine how many fewer watts a rider puts out with such an extreme bend in his knees. Far better to take a chance on losing 10 or 20 watts to the aero disadvantage of the traditional position (if there is one) compared to gaining those aero watts in the super tuck but losing 75 watts due to inefficient pedaling.
Of course, pros will grab any perceived advantage to go faster. And their outstanding bike handling skills will often enable them to get away with the super tuck. Not so with recreational riders who are generally less skilled bike handlers and in some cases have quite a bit more bodyweight to cram in the limited space of the top tube.
The usual advice pertains here -- don't try this on your home roads. The extra second or two you might gain per mile of steep descending isn't worth it unless a big paycheck is on the line.
It's almost certainly not worth it for even the most skilled pro. One gruesome crash by a top rider on TV in a big race and we will probably have seen the end of the super tuck.
I’ve mentioned the past two weeks that we’ll be launching the new site soon and continue to urge you to make sure you’ve saved all your eArticles and eBooks to your hard drive for safekeeping and as a handy backup.
Because of the nature of the work involved in migrating our big, hairy database, instead of picking a hard and fast date for the new site launch, we’re aiming for a range, basically the first couple of weeks of September. If it stretches beyond that, I’ll let you know.
We will take the sight live immediately after the migration, so that any future “records” in the database (new purchases of eBooks, Premium Memberships, etc.) are recorded appropriately.
Also be on the lookout for an email from me at the time we start to work on the database. The email will be a request to kindly hold off on any new transactions until the new site is live. Again, we want to ensure that we’re moving over all possible transactions and data records at that time.
Once the site is, in fact, live, I’ll send out another brief email to let you know.
On the new site, you’ll be able to log in using the blue Log In button in the upper, right corner of every page. You’ll simply input your existing user account email address and password. (We may need to provide you a temporary password and ask that you reset your password. I will clarify that whenever we know for certain.)
Once logged in, you’ll see the My Account page, where you can edit your account information, change your password, view your Downloads, etc. (See screen shots, below.)
You’ll note that when logged in as a Premium Member, all prices of eBooks, eArticles, caps, waterproof cycling wallets, etc., will display like this (
$4.99 $4.24), with the non-Premium (regular) price crossed through, and your Premium price (discounted 15%) displayed. See the screen shot for an actual view from the new Bookstore.
Also note that you’ll find the SEARCH field right under and to the left of the blue Login button (see screen shot). And right next to the SEARCH field you’ll find the User Q&As and Help links. If you need answers to any user questions, please take a look at the Q&As as your first step. If you can’t find your answer there, click the Help link and let us know.
Finally, on the Home Page, you’ll see the teaser copy for what’s in the current week’s issue. To read it, just click the link that says "Read This Week's Newsletter" (see arrow on screen shot above). And from any page on the site, you can always access the most recent Newsletters from the 3rd column (see arrow pointing to the right), which lists the Newsletters by issue number and date.
Of course, the weekly email will send you right to the current issue.
While reading each issue, if you’d like to just move from one article to the next, you can simply click the orange NEXT button (or PREV, for Previous) button at the bottom of each article. (The same holds true for all articles on the site within each section – say, Advanced Skills, or Nutrition, etc.)
To return to the This Week's Newsletter page and see all the article teasers, you can simply click the Issue No. XXX link at the top of each article. See the screen shot below.
I urge you to play around with the site when it goes live and you’ll quickly get a feeling for how easy it is to use.
I appreciate your understanding and helpfulness as we work to get the new site on the road, as it were. I think you’re really going to like it!
By Coach John Hughes
In 2010 Sir Dave Brailsford was appointed the new General Manager and Performance Director of Team Sky. He was charged with developing the team so that a British rider could win the Tour de France in five years. Bradley Wiggins won the Tour just three years later!
Brailsford believes in a concept that he calls the “aggregation of marginal gains.” He says, “The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.” (Coach Fred Matheny focused on this concept in outlining a number of possible “rec rider” marginal gains in his eArticle Marginal Gains for Overall Performance Improvement.)
Brailsford and Team Sky optimized what you’d expect: the weekly training programs, the nutrition of the riders, the ergonomics of the bike seat, the weight of the tires, etc. They also optimized “other things that might seem on the periphery, like sleeping in the right position, having the same pillow when you are away and training in different places.
"Do you really know how to clean your hands? Without leaving the bits between your fingers? If you do things like that properly, you will get ill a little bit less.
"They're tiny things but if you clump them together it makes a big difference." (Slater, 2012)
Brailsford’s basic problem was how to take riders who were already very, very good and make them the best in the world. When a rider is that good, more and harder training will only yield a little improvement, which may not be enough to win consistently.
So Brailsford looked at every aspect that goes into peak performance. And his methods proved to be wildly successful. He didn’t just produce Tour de France winners in 2012, 2013 and 2015 (ahead of schedule, and beyond his loftiest hopes), Team Britain won seven out of 10 track cycling gold medals at the London Olympics in 2012.
The aggregation of marginal gains is a powerful approach that I also use with my clients. The coaching problem is similar to Brailsford’s. My clients aren’t young athletes and have limited time available to prepare for events. Given these constraints, how can I guide them to achieve peak performances?
As I write this, five of my clients attempted Paris-Brest-Paris, the quadrennial 1200K (750-mile) event that must be completed in less than 90 hours, including all time off the bike (sleep breaks, too!).
All five were rookies, and all five finished!
The 2015 stats aren’t available yet, but at the last event in 2011, 16% of the Americans who started the event didn’t finish.
How did my riders all reach their goal? By preparing every aspect that contributes to success: training, nutrition, strategy and tactics, and most importantly, mental skills.
I’m working on my next eArticle right now that will feature tips from pros on training, nutrition, strategy and tactics, and mental preparation to help you become a stronger rider! It will include – but not focus on – marginal gains as among the more than 20 useful tips from the pros to help you do it. Look for the new eArticle within the next few weeks.
Earlier this year we discussed some of the new, so-called “mechanical doping” regulations instituted by the UCI – and the increasing monitoring of bikes at races around the world for the hidden motors that can assist riders at key moments of a race.
Well, former Giro d’Italia and Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali kicked mechanical cheating up several notches last week at the Vuelta a Espana, but he did it the old-fashioned way.
We’ve all seen riders take a “professional boost” from a team car when having a mechanical fixed while rolling alongside the car, or when taking the hand-off of a water bottle. They hold on for a few extra seconds to get all the free momentum they can. But these interludes are accepted as a professional courtesy and just part of the pro racing game.
At the Vuelta, however, Nibali crossed the line – and left the line in the dust of the team car!
He was in the group behind the lead group on Stage 2 after having crashed when his Astana team car rolled up. (Note: several of the links to race footage have been taken down in the past few days, so if this link doesn't work, just Google "Vincenzo Nibali cheating" to find another one.) Video of the egregious event shows him taking hold of the car as he and the car almost comically zoom up the road with not even the pretense of a bottle handoff or even just a little extra boost. Within seconds, the car is out of sight.
Vuelta race director Javier Guillén said he’d “never seen anything similar.”
After reviewing the video, the race jury expelled Nibali from the race.
“We’ve seen the video. They tried to search in the rules, all the possibilities, but you know the decision, to expel the rider,” Guillén said after the stage finish.
“I agree with the decision, because I think his attitude is regrettable.”
Guillén was being too nice, I’d say. I’ll leave it to you to fill in the blanks about what he must have been thinking, though I’d venture that the word cojones was floating in his mind.
Selle Anatomica has agreed to provide one of its X Series Saddles as our next Premium Member Giveaway prize! The Selle Anatomic X Series Saddle (click to read our 4.5-star review), is a full-grain leather, Made in the USA saddle renowned for its looks and its long-distance comfort right out of the box.
Any new or renewing Premium Members between July 1 (when we gave away our last great prize) and September 30 are eligible for the drawing. We’ll announce the winner in the October 1 RBR Newsletter.
Today's question was suggested by our own Jim Langley, whose wife doesn't ride. Neither does mine! -- J.M.
Please Send Us Your Questions!
Coming up with a new poll every week is – believe it or not – one of the harder things I have to do. I would love to hear from you with any suggestions you have for a Question of the Week. To contact me, just hit the reply button on any email from us, or use the Contact Us form on the website: http://www.roadbikerider.com/contact. -- John Marsh
You mentioned once that you and your wife rode a century on your tandem in 5:30, not counting the time spent at rest stops chatting with RBR readers. As an aspiring randonneur, I've always counted ride time from start to finish and included time off the bike. What's the correct way to do it? -- Manny R.
Good question! For training diary purposes, I count only the time the wheels are actually turning.
Most computers do it automatically, shutting off when wheels cease rolling at traffic lights and rest stops. I like it this way because I only want to credit myself with actual pedaling time.
Whenever I ride without a computer -- my mountain bike doesn't have one -- I check the time at the beginning and end of the ride, then subtract an estimate of how long I stopped to look at the scenery or have a snack.
Not all riders do it this way. Cycling coach and author Arnie Baker, for example, tells his riders to log total elapsed time for each ride as long as they didn't dally at any stops. Arnie reasons that in the workplace, you get a mid-morning and afternoon break, as well as lunch, so hard-working riders should get the same perks.
On organized rides, I long ago gave up trying to ride a fast total time. When I was at Bicycling magazine and wore a jersey saying so, I would get waylaid at every rest stop by readers who wanted to chat.
It was the same in Grand Junction, Colorado, some years ago at the century you mentioned. Because we were testing an eye-catching Bike Friday tandem and RBR Newsletter had announced that I'd be at the event, lots of riders came over.
I like to talk with folks, but doing so means dwelling at rest stops longer than I normally would. So I only count actual riding time to get a more accurate measure of effort.
For your randonnee events, though, you really don't have a choice. The clock is always running, and you must reach each checkpoint before the hour it closes or be DQ'd.
For new, and renewing, Premium Members, we’ll kick in One Free eArticle of Your Choice. That’s a rebate, in effect, of $4.99 off the annual $24.99 membership. You can choose from among any of our 70 individual eArticles (bundles are excluded). Click to see the entire array: http://www.roadbikerider.com/all-earticles.
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After three Tech Talks discussing carbon framesets and components, we change course this week to an issue that almost any roadie can run into if they log enough miles: rim wear.
There’s an “almost” in that sentence because disc-brake equipped roadsters have hit the shops in force, and you might already be enjoying their advantages. One of the best being zero rim wear from braking. If you’ve switched to a machine with disc brakes, you’re dismissed and can hit the road -- or gravel!
Disc trivia: One of the attractive things about disc brake road bikes is that it’s possible to shave weight at the rims since they don’t need braking tracks. And, the best place to save weight is on rotating components, so this is a performance enhancement you should feel on every ride.
The idea for tips on rim wear comes from my buddy Leo Jed who, when he’s not bicycle touring with the Santa Cruz County Bicycle Club, serves tirelessly to improve cycling here on the Santa Cruz Traffic Safety Coalition and Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Bike Committee.
“Your recent RBR features about aging carbon’s reliability reminded me of a question about wheels. Specifically, how do you determine the condition (wear) and therefore safety of a wheel’s rim? I know some rims have wear indicators (dimples or grooves); however, mine do not.
“I've looked/felt for a curvature on the rim faces and put a straightedge across the rim's braking surfaces. I feel a slight curvature, greater on the front rim and a very small gap with a straight edge across the rim. Again, slightly more of a gap on the front than the back.
“I'm riding hand-built wheels with Mavic CXP 33 rims with 36 spokes, tied and soldered. The wheels have stayed true over 35,000 miles without problems. However, with this mileage I'm starting to worry about the possibility of a high-speed rim break and blowout.”
Note: Leo mentions “tied and soldered” spokes. This is an extra step some wheel builders take, believing it adds strength and improves wheel performance. They carefully and very tightly wrap fine copper wire multiple times around the spoke crosses closest to the rim. Then to keep it in place, they solder the wire. Here’s a photo.
That's a great question, Leo. I remember a conversation I had with a customer with a cracked rim when I was a shop service manager.
He was convinced his rim failure was a defect in the aluminum rim even though there was obvious heavy wear and deep scoring. So, I believe other riders may not understand that their rims can wear out simply from braking.
Note: Most carbon rims have aluminum braking tracks, which can wear, too. If you have carbon braking surfaces, carbon-compatible composite brake pads are required to prevent wear and to provide sufficient friction for good braking.
Putting a straightedge on the rim sidewall like you're doing, Leo, is a great way to check for wear. The brake pads only contact one area, so you usually have the untouched rim surface above and below that area. If you hold the straightedge just right and then use a second ruler as a depth gauge, you can measure the deepest point of the wear track.
What’s difficult to determine is how thick the rim wall was when it was new. That's not a dimension the rim makers usually provide. Now, you could try to find the same rim and measure it, but that may or may not be practical or possible. A good bike shop with the rim in stock might be able to help, but again, not every shop has all rims.
So, what I would do is see if you can measure a part of the rim side that's not been braked on. You'll need to let the air out a tire to do this. You just need to use an outside caliper and get it in there to give you a reading on the thickness of an untouched part of the rim wall. The rim walls are the same wall thickness from bottom to top usually.
Once you have that, you now can put an approximate number on what you had in material when the rim was new and also how much has been worn away through braking. (The full measurement minus the depth measurement.)
In my experience, the rim will hang in there a long, long time, probably down to 25 percent of its original width, or even more. So, if it's 2mm wide wall thickness, you could remove up to 1.5 mm in thickness and I believe it would still be strong enough to hold the tire and keep working. But any less and it's probably going to fail pretty soon.
The good news is that you usually don't have a blowout or a crash. What usually happens is that the rim starts to bulge and you feel it when braking and look to see that the rim is splitting at the bulge. I've had split rims keep working for a long time. They don't always fail even though they're split. But, ideally you would not take any chances.
The best way to prevent worn out rims is to check your brake pads frequently for bits of debris from the road that get embedded in them. Once the pads have a few tiny stones in them, the pads become more like sandpaper and start scoring your rims every time you brake.
Every month or so, and after every rainy ride (there’s more debris on the road when it rains), inspect your pads closely and pick out any embedded debris with an awl or pick. It’s also a good idea to replace pads before they get too old and harden, which can also wear the rims.
“Several months ago, when the tire was off, I did use a caliper as you suggested. The caliper decided to go on the fritz, though, and I didn't follow through. I did, however, shine a light behind the straightedge and although light passed under the edge, the rear wheel gap was only about half the front, as we would expect. Good to have a ballpark range of 75% material loss and that a full blowout is unlikely.
“But, I have to tell you that about a year ago I was riding around Paso Robles, California, with a friend when his rim split and blew the tire. The explosion was strong enough to make the rim separate and a piece slammed into the brake and stopped the bike! Fortunately we were riding slowly, enjoying the scenery, and no one crashed. But it scared me and got me thinking about my rims.”
Since there’s a lot of great riding left in 2015, let Leo’s story about his friend’s rim separation be a warning to inspect your rims and brake pads. If you know that you have mega miles on your wheels and haven’t checked the rims and/or brake pads in a long time, do it now.
Keep in mind that most modern brakes have cartridge brake pads that make pad replacement quick and easy. So, if your pads are worn and full of debris, it’s usually best to replace them with new ones. I recommend always having a spare set of pads on hand so you’re ready to do this when you need to.
Just loosen each old pad, slide it out, slide in the new one -- being careful to put it in in the correct direction (they’re marked) -- and tighten it in place. If you used your cable barrel adjustment to tighten your brake as the pads wore, the final step is turning the adjuster back to its original position. If you don’t do this, you might not have enough clearance between your new pads and the rim.
Jim Langley has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He's the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check his "cycling aficionado" website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim's streak of consecutive cycling days has reached 7,900.
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You’re riding hard in the big chainring toward a steep climb. You push to keep your momentum going as long as possible, but finally you’re forced to shift to the small ring. Oops! The chain overshoots and falls onto the frame. You’re dead in the water, wildly turning the cranks with no resistance.
Later, the opposite happens. You’re spinning in the small chainring and need a bigger gear. But your shift to the big ring sends the chain over the top. Now it’s flopping around the crankarm.
Throwing a chain is usually the result of a badly adjusted front derailleur. That's the first thing to correct if it’s happening frequently. But even properly adjusted equipment can goof if you’re pedaling too hard or too fast while shifting.
The chain can skip off the inside ring or you can experience the opposite problem — it won’t move off the big ring at all. That happens when there is so much tension on the chain that the derailleur can’t pull it from the teeth. The solution is simple: Reduce pedal pressure a bit just as you make the shift.
Shift the chain back on. Gently! No matter what causes the chain to fall off, you may not have to stop and get your hands greasy putting it back on. While still rolling, turn the crank easily and shift the front derailleur in the appropriate direction. The chainring teeth should catch the chain and set it back in place. Stop pedaling instantly, though, if the chain tangles or binds. Any force at this point can damage the chain, the chainrings or the derailleur. If you have enough momentum, you can backpedal to free the chain and then try shifting it again.
Set the chain back on. If nothing works, click out and stop before you teeter over. You’ll have to re-rail the chain by hand. When it has fallen to the inside, sometimes you can do it by picking up the rear of the bike so that the chain drapes over the small ring. Then turn the crank by hand so it catches the teeth. Otherwise, look for a stick or piece of litter so you can pull the chain up and on without soiling your hands. Another trick is to use one of the tire levers you should be carrying in your seat bag. Or the spare rag you might have wrapped something in.
Buy or Make a Chain Catcher. There are several commercially available chain catchers these days. They work by physically preventing the chain from falling off inside the small chain ring. In effect, they “redirect” the chain back onto the small ring.
If you’re more the DIY type, RBR’s eArticle How to Make a Chain Catchershows you how to make your own for a fraction of the cost of a commercial chain catcher. It’s modeled after the homemade versions pros used for years before chain catchers became popular commercial products.
Today’s QT comes to us from Premium Member Steve Chapman, who writes:
“The little patch kit I carry on my rides has a very small vial of rubber cement that dried up before I used all the patches. So for my most recent repair I bought a 4-ounce bottle of Elmer's rubber cement in the grocery store (2 bucks) and it worked perfectly.
After buffing the tube I wiped the area with a solvent similar to lighter fluid (which would work too), applied the cement and waited a few minutes, then put the patch on and didn't remove the cellophane until about 20 minutes (snack time) later.
Worked just great.
We’d like to hear from our readers with any Quick Tips you might have. To contact me, just hit the reply button on any email from us, or use the Contact Us form on the website: http://www.roadbikerider.com/contact.
In the dog days of August, it's common to lack motivation for training. You're pretty fit, you've ridden several goal events, and you're just not excited about continuing to work out. Riding, yes. Training, ugh!
Well, if you can muster enough enthusiasm for just 8 special workouts, you can enjoy an increase in speed and power. We're talking 2 training rides a week for a potential 3% performance increase, depending on your fitness when you start.
These are tough little sessions, of course. You need 'em tough if you're already in good shape and don't want your fitness to backtrack. But by doing this training twice a week, you can goof off at least 3 other days by resting or spinning easily.
After a good warm up, pick one of these workouts:
Motoring. Ride for 15 minutes on flat or rolling terrain at about 85% of your max heart rate (or 8.5 on a perceived exertion scale of 10). Keep your effort level constant, which means it will feel "hard" by the time you reach the last minute. Then roll around for at least 10 minutes at an easy pace to cool down.
Killer Hills. Ride 2 uphill intervals of 5 minutes each at about 90% of max heart rate, or 9 on your exertion scale. (No hill? Then bore into a headwind.) The effort should feel "very hard" during the last minute. Spin easily for 3 minutes between the intervals and for at least 10 minutes after the last one.
Sprinter’s Delight. Sprint all out for 30 seconds. Spin easily for 4 minutes. Then repeat for a total of 3 sprints. Pretend that [insert favorite sprinter’s name here] is trying to come around, and you’re fighting him off. Then cool down with more easy spinning.
If you can muster 8 of these workouts between now and mid-September, you'll be feeling strong and fast when cooler air rejuvenates you for later fall events.