Review: Bont Vaypor Shoes

Bont Vaypor shoesThere’s an old saying that “shoes make the man” and the Bont Vaypor shoes are no exception.  The speed skating shoe turned cycling shoe company based in Australia may not have the history that some other companies do, but they’ve found their way onto the feed of numerous professionals, including Bradley Wiggins, Johan Van Summern and the recently retired Thor Hushovd.  But just because the pros use them does that mean they are good for everyone else out there?

I’ve put a season and a half on these shoes, using them for everything from training to racing to gravel grinding, and my impressions are after the jump:

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By |July 21st, 2015|equipment, reviews, Road bike|0 Comments

Wrenching: Sizing a New Chain

Sizing a chainWe can all appreciate a slick shifting drivetrain, and we all hate it when our drivetrain turns on us.  One of the easiest ways to prevent this from happening is to ensure your chain is sized correctly.  When too long, it can cause premature derailleur wear, shift poorly and bounce around with the potential of derailing.  When too short, it can jam the drivetrain or cause the derailleur to actually snap. But you don’t have to worry about this unless you have to put on a new chain, right?

Not necessarily.  Quite often, this issue starts at the LBS: many chains are not properly sized from the factory and some shops don’t necessarily check this on every bike.  If you should try to “match the length” of the current chain when putting on a new one, this can often result in a chain that is too long or too short, depending on the condition (and length) of the previous one.  But how do you become a pro at sizing your chain to the correct length?  It’s as simple as doing the one thing you never should:  crosschaining.

You can read more about it after the jump:

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By |February 7th, 2015|Road bike, wrenching|6 Comments

Review: Zipp Tangente Tubular Tires

Zipp Tangente Tubular TiresTubular tires seem to be going out of style these days, but there is still a very loyal following of people who love the supple feel and unmatched ride quality of a tubular tire.  As I noted back in my Vittoria Rubino Pro III review, there’s a huge spectrum of tires, from the “lightweight and supple for racing on smooth roads, durable, high volume and puncture resistent for riding gravel grinders, or somewhere in between for everyday training tires.”  In the case of Zipp’s Tangente Tubulars, we’re talking not about a high durability training tire, but a lighter weight racing tubular.  And after a season of riding (and racing) Tangentes, here are my thoughts on these “aerodynamic wonders.”

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By |December 18th, 2014|components, reviews, Road bike, wrenching|0 Comments

Choosing A Power Meter – Podcast #44

Powertap HubPower: it’s the ultimate in training metrics.  Nothing beats the pinpoint accuracy of training with an output measurement such as power.  You can know at each moment of each ride how hard you are working, if you’re burning matches and if you’re going to be paying for this effort later in the day.  The question most people end up asking themselves is “which power meter should I choose?”  And rightly so.

With the myriad of power meter options on the market, offering tons of different features at different price points, where should you start looking in your quest for technological bliss?  And when it comes time to plunk down your hard earned cash on (arguably) the biggest training tool you’ll have (aside from a coach), which one should you choose?

In this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, I talk about some of the ins and outs of choosing a power meter, from considering how much mechanical ability you have to how much money is in your bank account.  As you listen, you’ll hear me discuss:

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By |September 13th, 2014|Coaching, components, podcast, power|0 Comments

Coaching Q&A #2: Components, Power and Nutrition (Podcast #39)

Riding on dirt roadsIt’s that time again:

It goes without saying that as the summer wears on, the itch to get out and ride more really starts to bite.  As we go out to ride more and more we also get more and more urge to dig into our performances and try to figure out how we can perform even better.  To this end, the internet becomes flooded with questions, whether they be an innocuous  “which upgrade will make me better” or a flame war instigating “which diet will make me perform better.”

This week, I’m picking a few of your most asked questions and I’m going in depth into them, including some of the following topics:

  • Is a rear derailleur a cost effective upgrade? (@9:28)
  • What is the best hand position on the bars?  Tops, drops or hoods? (@17:23)
  • What is the best power meter for a new racer?  Beginner to training with power?  Someone on a budget? (@25:18)
  • How many carbs do I need while I ride (And a discussion on nutrition and high carb vs high fat diets.) (@50:17)

Some of the information I referenced in the nutrition discussion of this podcast can be found right here: Biohacking Energy Systems: The Citric Acid Cycle

As always, if you enjoy what you hear, head over to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast on iTunes and rate it 5 stars.  Don’t forget to post any questions to the Tailwind Coaching Facebook page, and don’t forget to support our sponsors and help to keep this podcast free.

With the summer here, it’s time to get serious about your summer fitness!  Check out my modular training plans in my online store and get started on the path towards killer criterium fitness today.  And don’t forget to save 10% with the coupon code in this week’s podcast.

By |June 6th, 2014|Coaching, components, food, nutrition, podcast, wrenching|0 Comments