Quick Clarifications on Last Week’s Issue
Before I tell you what’s on tap this week, let me first address a couple of things from last week’s issue.
Sometimes, we’re not as artful and clear in making our points as we think we are when writing (and editing) the articles that make up each week’s issue.
Such was the case in a couple of pieces from last week.
In Coach John Hughes‘ piece, he used his experience XC skiing – his off-season passion – as a metaphor for continuing to challenge yourself to improve. When he falls, he dusts himself off and gets back up on the skis, trying to keep better focus and use better technique.
“Keep Falling! Keep Getting Up!” – the headline of the article – was NOT a literal suggestion that the only way to improve in cycling is to keep falling down. That, of course, if ludicrous.
And I, still suffering lingering nerve pain and stiffness some 9 months after my clavicle surgery that resulted from falling down (crashing) last April, would ABSOLUTELY NOT EVER SUGGEST that falling down on the bike is any kind of positive outcome, for any reason.
The other piece that needs a bit of clarification is Coach Rich Schultz‘s article on improving your pedaling stroke. He has provided that clarification and amplification in a stand-alone piece today.
Notes on This Week’s Issue
We’ve got another great issue for you today, chock full of the usual useful how-to fare you know and love from RBR, including:
- tips by Coach John Hughes on how to model some of the behaviors and daily activities of 105-year-old record-setting cyclist Robert Marchand to help you remain Fit for Life
- a Tech Talk column by Jim Langley on the importance of routine maintenance not just on your bike but on other equipment vital to your riding; this week, Jim focuses on shoes
- a piece by Gabe Mirkin, M.D. on the insidious nature of fat; it’s not how much you have on your body, necessarily, but where you store it that really matters for your health
- a new productreview from Sheri Rosenbaum of the Bontrager Ion 800 RT Headlight
- and much more
As always, I hope you find at least one or two nuggets each week that apply directly to your riding and your life. Enjoy!
SpeedX Unicorn a Novel Approach to a Loaded Road Bike
It seems that the ongoing struggles of big bike brands and traditional sales channels is keeping open opportunities to bring novel bikes to market in novel ways – if you can call a Kickstarter campaign a novelty anymore.
What is novel is to see a product launch that has nearly $1 million pledged to back it. That’s exactly the status of the SpeedX Unicorn.
SpeedX has come to market this way before, with bikes and its unique SpeedForce computer that is integrated into the bar and stem. The Unicorn is quite a road bike: fully decked out with an integrated power meter, “vibration control system” to dampen road noise, lightweight carbon fiber frameset (fully built bike in the 16-pound range), Shimano Ultegra Di2 shifting in the lower end model, SRAM eTap in the mid-line and upper end model, mid-compact crankset, hydraulic disc brakes, and carbon wheels.
Here’s where it really gets interesting: The Kickstarter pricing for the lower end Unicorn model is $2,999 ($1,000 off retail MSRP), the mid-level Unicorn Pro model is $3,799 ($1,300 off MSRP), and the top-level Unicorn X model (with higher end wheels than the Pro) is $4,999 ($1,700 off MSRP). Those prices are unheard of for that level of spec.
The company itself appears to be Chinese, which should not come as a shock – as most of the world’s carbon fiber bikes and components are made in Asia.
You can click to view the Unicorn Kickstarter for more info. And here’s a photo of the Unicorn X.
And Here’s a Smart Trainer for the Toddler on Your List!
Got a budding cyclist in your family? To be released in the 2nd half of 2017 at a list price of $149.99, the Fischer-Price Smart Cycle physical learning system is, in effect, an app-based learning system that lets toddlers pedal their way through games.
The Smart Cycle connects wirelessly to tablets or TVs and lets kids use the handlebars, joystick and pedals to play games through apps that “introduce a rich kindergarten-readiness curriculum that progresses as the child pedals.” One app is free to download in both iOS and Android versions, and additional apps will sell for $4.99.
Why sweat alone on the trainer when you can have your little cyclist by your side, pedaling along with you?
Holiday Season Premium Giveaway Extended through January
As often as I can, I gladly accept quality cycling products to give away in drawings to Premium Members as a way to say a big Thank You! for being the primary financial support that keeps RBR going. To give everyone a shot at these great lights, I’ve decided to extend the giveaway window through January.
Our Holiday Season giveaway willbe 2 complete sets of the See.Sense ICON Front & Rear Lights we just reviewed. (Click to read the review.) We’ll give one set each to 2 lucky Premium Members.
Join or renew your Premium Membership before January 31, 2017, for your chance to win these great lights! All current Premiums will be included in the drawing.
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John Marsh is the former editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of "less than podium" talent, he brought our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That's what we're all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John's full bio.