What’s going on in the curly bar world? Road Cycling Digest showcases articles from our sister sites, CyclingTips, VeloNews and Peloton Magazine. In each installment, you might find endurance coverage, power-to-weight ratios, gravel bike tech and, of course, lycra.


THE RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE AT THE HEART OF WORLD CYCLING

By: Iain Treloar / CyclingTips

As the world reacts to the unprovoked Russian attacks on its neighbour, Ukraine, awkward questions are being asked about the influence of Russia beyond its borders. Avoiding the turbulence thus far is one of cycling’s most powerful figures – Igor Makarov, a Russian oil and gas billionaire with hefty influence around the globe, from the dictatorship of Turkmenistan to the UCI management committee.

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MOHORIČ USED A DROPPER POST TO DROP EVERYONE AT MILAN-SAN REMO

By: Ronan Mc Laughlin / CyclingTips

Milan-San Remo is not usually a race known for tech innovation, but this year’s edition was no ordinary start to the Classics season. As all the pre-race attention focused on Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), and a host of non-starters, Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) had different ideas.

Speaking in the post-race press conference immediately following his first Monument win, the other world-beating Slovenian explained how he had prepared all winter with San Remo in mind, including working with the team to add a dropper post to his Merida Scultura.

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WHY FOAM TIRE INSERTS ARE ONE OF THE BEST UPGRADES FOR YOUR GRAVEL BIKE

By: James Huang / CyclingTips

When it comes to bicycle performance, there’s nothing more important than literally where the rubber meets the road. Sure, there are other factors that come into play, but when all is said and done, it’s all about the tires.

Most of us are used to the standard variables affecting tire performance: casing construction and suppleness, rubber compounds, tread design. However, regardless of what tire you’re running, the biggest variable is air pressure. It’s an especially important tuning parameter when it comes to gravel bikes, where the tire sizes are relatively small, the terrain often borders on MTB territory, and traction is never as good as you want it to be.

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PETER SAGAN HAS HAD ENOUGH OF BEING PISSED ON

By: Iain Treloar / CyclingTips

Peter Sagan has been in the professional peloton for long enough to have seen some things. He’s won some races. He’s had some nasty crashes. He’s sold luxury showerheads, shown his sweet potato to Daniel Oss, and he’s made music videos for Jerusalem artichoke juice.

But now, at the age of 32, he has had enough. Specifically, enough of being pissed on.

Now, that could be read as some sort of crass euphemism. It isn’t. Peter Sagan has spent years on the bike battling the wayward spray of his colleagues. Sometimes the wind has blown it into a fine, cooling mist. Sometimes he’s copped a thick stream to his leg. Sometimes – I don’t know this for sure, but I’ll take the creative license – the urine of other pro cyclists has spurted into Sagan’s spokes and from there, gracefully arced off in perfect parabolas all around him.

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COOL TOOL TUESDAY #4: BUILDING A CYCLING TOOL KIT – THE BICYCLE-SPECIFIC BASICS

By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

You now own all the general-use foundation tools and you’re ready to add some cycling-specific tools into the collection. But with thousands of tools to choose from, where does one possibly start? Well… here.

In this article, I’ll pick up where I last left off, and cover what I consider to be the must-have cycling-specific tools when building out a kit to handle the most common repairs on a range of modern bikes. Within this, I’ll give suggestions for where to spend and where to skimp, and I’ll offer some recommendations for those who seek the best.

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A MOMENT IN PHOTOS: ALAPHILIPPE’S EXCELLENT CRASH TECHNIQUE AT STRADE BIANCHE

By: Caley Fretz / CyclingTips

There is skill in crashing well, as odd as that may sound. Technique, even. The ability to twist oneself in the air to minimize impact and to roll instead of thud can be as important to getting through a dangerous racing season as anything.

The wind whipped up across Tuscany on Saturday, picking up Strade Bianche’s white dust and flinging it across early spring fields. It did the same to riders. The decreased grip on the gravel roads combined with tall, aerodynamic wheelsets and nasty crosswinds with predictable results.

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COOL TOOL TUESDAY #5: 25 NEW BIKE TOOLS FOR 2022, PART TWO

By: Dave Rome / CyclingTips

We’re once again in the midst of industry tradeshow season, and with that comes a flurry of new cycling products.

Of course, that includes new tools, so while I’m well aware that I promised the next edition of Cool Tool Tuesday would focus on tool storage and organisation, that will have to wait. I have some cool new tools to tell you about! As the title suggests, this is part two of my coverage of new cycling tools for 2022. Part one pre-dates the Cool Tool Tuesday series but is no less relevant.

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THE NEW SPECIALIZED ALLEZ SPRINT KEEPS ALLOY ALIVE AND WELL

By: William Tracy / Peloton Magazine

You would be forgiven for thinking you’ve already seen this bike before. The new generation Specialized Allez Sprint has arrived, and it borrows elements from its carbon WorldTour winning cousin, the Tarmac SL7, while further innovating what can be accomplished with alloy.

The Allez has been in Specialized’s lineup in various iterations since the brand started producing bikes over 40 years ago. In that time it has gone from the main race bike to being superseded by the carbon fiber Tarmac, but it’s always kept its eye on performance, especially for those on a budget that can’t stretch to carbon. The latest Allez Sprint continues that tradition with all new advances in alloy construction to create the fastest version yet.

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FIRST LOOK: QUOC’S NEW GRAN TOURER II GRAVEL SHOE

By: Tim Schamber / Peloton Magazine

There has always been a buzz around the Quoc brand for many reasons. First, how do you say the name? I’m certain it has been said in 20 different ways but it’s safe to say that however you say it, it’s probably not correct. So move on or watch the short video below. Second, it’s one of those brands that you want to root for because it can’t be easy to start a shoe company and be successful when there are already a ton of them out there with bigger bank accounts and more resources. And finally, shoes are deeply personal and cyclists are both fickle and loyal, so how do you take a chance on a product that’s not necessarily part of the mainstream as we know it? With all this, Quoc has persevered and thrived. They aren’t giant but they aren’t necessarily a start-up either. They are in between and since 2009 they have carefully, systematically, and steadily evolved as a company that does branding well but more importantly makes damn good products.

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JONATHAN VAUGHTERS ON MANAGING A PRO CYCLING TEAM

By: Peloton Magazine

Now burlier, capable of deadlifting over 300 pounds, Jonathan Vaughters looks far removed from the man who once set speed records up America’s toughest climbs and guided GC contenders to grand tour victories. And in many ways he is far removed from his life as a professional cyclist. “My job is to not look back; it’s to look forward,” says the general manager of EF Education–Easy Post, one of the longest-running outfits in professional cycling.

Managing a pro cycling team has occupied the greater part of JV’s waking hours since 2005. On this week’s episode of Bobby & Jens, he takes us through the broad strokes of his job. Learn about what it takes to keep a professional cycling team running for well over a decade and all the challenges it entails. “We’ve had to be really creative to keep the team going as long as we have,” he says.

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DEFENCE AND REDEMPTION: TREK-SEGAFREDO PULL OFF BOTH AT PARIS-ROUBAIX FEMMES

By: Matilda Price / Peloton Magazine

Trek-Segafredo came into Paris Roubaix Femmes with heavy expectations on their shoulders: not only searching for the next win after an uncharacteristic quiet patch, but also carrying the mantle of a potential title defence, aiming to replicate the success of absent 2021 champion Lizzie Deignan. It was a big ask, a two-pronged challenge that required a combination of strength, tactical skill and a dose of good luck, but one that Trek-Segafredo were ready to answer.

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GIRMAY’S TRUE GRIT CHARACTERISES CYCLING’S CONTINUING PURSUIT OF DIVERSITY

By: Jeremy Whittle / Peloton Magazine

When Biniam Girmay sprinted to victory in Ghent-Wevelgem, cycling’s capacity to confound predictions and to come up with moving and powerful storylines was rekindled. In this, the very toughest and cruellest of sports, Girmay’s win proved that it sometimes takes huge determination and resilience to achieve ground-breaking success.

But the brutality of the cobbled classics or the mountain stages in one of the three European grand tours does not compare with the obstacles that Girmay would have faced as a young child growing up in Eritrea. Born in April 2000, the 21-year-old lives in Asmara, at an altitude of 2,300 metres. While he will now return home to spend time with his family as a genuine superstar, Eritrea 20-odd years ago, and even now, is not a hospitable or secure place to live.

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PARIS-ROUBAIX TECH: TIRE LINERS, STRAIGHT CHAIN LINES, AND BIG RINGS AT EF EDUCATION-EASYPOST

By: Ben Delaney / VeloNews

Tires and gears got bigger in 2022 for EF Education-EasyPost, and not just for Paris-Roubaix. Veteran mechanic Jac-Johann Steyn walked VeloNews through what’s changed this year for the team in terms of how the bikes are set up, and what’s been done special for Roubaix on Sunday.

“In previous years we were on a 26mm for normal stages and a 28 and in the classics,” Steyn said. “Now we changed this year, and we are on 28s all around throughout the year, then obviously we change to 30s, the bigger tire, for Roubaix.”

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POWERSTRAP, BOA AND LAMINATED MESH COMBINE IN NEW FIZIK FEROX CARBON GRAVEL SHOES

By: Ben Delaney / VeloNews

Fizik’s latest gravel shoe is the top-end Vento Ferox Carbon, a model that combines a lightweight laminated-mesh upper with the brand’s wide Powerstrap Velcro strap and a BOA dial.

The claimed 297g shoe launched today for $299.

The shoe also comes in black, but the most striking ‘lilac’ color highlights the laminated-mesh construction of the upper, which Fizik claims to be breathable and supple but durable against cuts.

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GRAVEL SUSPENSION FORK FACE-OFF: THE NEW FOX 32 TC VS THE ROCKSHOX RUDY XPLR

By: Alec Levy-O’Brien / VeloNews

With both the meteoric rise of gravel riding these past few years, Fox updated its 32 Step-Cast Adventure Cross known as the 32 Taper-Cast Gravel Fork to the new 32 Taper-Cast Gravel Fork.

Fox is no longer the only heavy-hitting suspension manufacturer in gravel, as RockShox recently released the $799 RockShox Rudy Ultimate XPLR as part of SRAM’s wider XPLR gravel line.

The 32 TC is an updated version of Fox’s gravel-focused fork originally released in 2017. However, this new edition comes with a different structural design that steps away from the traditional front-facing arch.

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THIS $35 GRAVEL INNER TUBE COMES WITH A ONE-YEAR REPLACEMENT POLICY AGAINST FLATS

By: Ben Delaney / VeloNews

Tubolito originally created its thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) inner tubes as an anti-flat solution for commuter and touring riders. Compared to a standard butyl tube, a TPU tube is more slender, lighter, and more resistant to flats. Also, it is not cheap. Tubolito inner tubes sell for $35 in the U.S.

Notably, Tubolito has a one-year replacement policy for its tubes. A standard butyl tube at a bike shop these days will run you anywhere from $5-$12, depending on what you’re getting.

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MATHIEU VAN DER POEL RECONFIRMS GIRO D’ITALIA START: ‘IT WILL BE GOOD FOR MY EVOLUTION’

By: VeloNews

Mathieu van der Poel reconfirmed his plan to start the Giro d’Italia, and hinted at a full three-week appearance rather than the opening week extravaganza of his grand tour debut at the Tour de France last year.

Speaking with Wielerflits after his Paris-Roubaix top-10 last weekend, the Alpecin-Fenix ace said he saw next month’s Giro as a key stepping stone in his cycling career.

“The Giro is a race that appeals to me. I think it will definitely be good for me in the future, to do a grand tour for my evolution as a rider. Especially when you see what a spring I’ve ridden now. That was not very extensive,” Van der Poel told Wielerflits.

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NEW AND UNRELEASED TREK DOMANE SPOTTED AHEAD OF PARIS-ROUBAIX UNDER TREK-SEGAFREDO

By: VeloNews

Trek-Segafredo riders have a new version of the Trek Domane bike ahead of Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Roubaix Femmes, which is a significant departure from the current endurance bike.

Major changes include the elimination of the seat mast, the front IsoSpeed, and the adjustment feature for the rear IsoSpeed. IsoSpeed is Trek’s name for a pivoting junction designed to offer vertical flex without lateral movement — in other words, comfort without a sacrifice in handling.

Trek is not commenting on the new bike, but there are other things we can deduce by looking at the photos taken from just after a Paris-Roubaix Femmes reconnaissance ride.

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