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THE BEST CYCLING SPECIFIC INSOLE? PART I

Posted on Nov 18, 2015

THE BEST CYCLING SPECIFIC INSOLE?   PART I A while ago, I did several tests and authored several articles on insoles, including Shimano’s new insole for their SH-R320 and follow on SH-R321, as well as an indepth test and writeup on G8 Performance’s 2600 PRO and IGNITE insoles. All three of these insoles have held up pretty well but are now starting to show major signs of wearing out. As a professional bike fitter and USAC Level 2 cycling coach, I see clients almost every day. Two things that most have in common are (a) worn out cleats and (b) worn out insoles. I have decided that it is in my clients best interest that I carry both of these items so we don’t have to stop the bike fit while they run all over town to find some cleats and insoles. The cleats are easy. 90% of my clients have Shimano pedals, 5% Look and 5% Speedplay. Insoles on the other hand have proven to be significantly more complicated to evaluate. The reasons are many and are discussed below....

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To ICE or NOT to ICE?

Posted on Oct 29, 2015

There’s been several articles lately, including from Dr. Mirkin which state that ice is not the recommended treatment for the athlete anymore. Re-reading these articles, they appear to be more in-line with an athlete that has torn something and not referring to, for example, a cyclist that has had a hard workout and needs to recover as quickly as possible for the next training session. I have spoken to several Doctor’s of Physical Therapy, DPT’s, and they said that this non-icing belief has come from people doing it wrong. Here’s what one Physical Therapist had to say, “The debate over ice is because many people use it the wrong way. When you break down muscle after exercising or tear any structures in the body it needs to heal. The healing process takes blood  to the area in order to bring the area nutrients the body needs to heal/recover. This blood creates swelling. This swelling is good TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. If there is too much swelling it can actually prolong the healing time resulting from an injury. Ice helps...

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Alternatives to Chamois Cream – that Really Work...

Posted on Oct 4, 2015

ALTERNATIVES TO CHAMOIS CREAM In cycling, one product that never gets discussed much is Chamois Cream. Chamois used to be made out of real leather, and, after washing and drying your cycling kit, the chamois had the same consistency as a piece of rawhide. You needed a good cream that would soften the leather enough to be able to use the shorts for your next ride. Fast forward to today, chamois are made from variable thickness foam layers capped with a synthetic material to match the cyclists needs whether that be  touring, racing, off-road, etc. Chamois creams have also evolved, from moistening leather that has been dried to a cardboard-like texture to being used as an anti-bacterial skin emollient. Today, there are a lot of different Chamois Creams on the market and all of them work pretty well. To name a few; Since I’m always looking for alternatives or anything that’s better, I have found and tested 2 products that work very well and are worth mentioning. These two products might not have the anti-bacterial and/or anti-fungal properties of...

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SCOTT PRO TEC BIBS & JERSEYS

Posted on Sep 9, 2015

Every so often during our weekend rides, we see someone crash. Usually lots of torn clothing and severe road rash. Thankfully, we don’t see too many broken bones. Disregarding infections, the best case scenario is a couple of weeks of painful showers followed by a recovery period of several more weeks. In the Pro Tour peloton, crashes happen all of the time. Pros live with pain and torn skin, AND, are paid to continue racing. Only broken bones and sometimes concussions take them out of a race. After a crash, pros are not performing up to peak levels that they are paid for. When a pro is injured and his/her performance is sub-par, or, worst case, unable to race … which means that neither the team owner nor the sponsors are happy. The team owner is paying the cyclist to sit out races and the sponsors are paying for advertising space on a cycling kit that isn’t being worn. So as you can see, it is paramount that a pro cyclist remains injury free. And that’s where SCOTT RC...

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Praxis Works Conversion Bottom Bracket – PART 2...

Posted on Sep 4, 2015

— PART 2 —   RECAP PART 1 of this 2-part article discussed the bearing technology chosen by Praxis for their Conversion Bottom Bracket. The take-away from PART 1 is that their chosen bearing might not actually be the best solution. PART 2 will look at the actual conversion bottom bracket / collet technology designed and built by Praxis. PROBLEMS WITH PRESS-FIT CUPS   Speaking with the same mechanics as mentioned in PART 1, all had mentioned that the #1 problem with standard Press-Fit Bottom Brackets is that they tend to move & wiggle, creak & squeak, click & clack as well as make several other noises. Most had also mentioned that they had seen a few bottom bracket cups ‘walk out’ of a frame. Every mechanic had the same solution – use Loctite® thread locker on both the inside and outside of the plastic cups. Loctite® tends to keep the cups securely in place as well as keep the bearings locked into the cups.     A BETTER SOLUTION   Most frames today are built with press-fit shells....

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A Look Inside a “Made In The USA” Bearing...

Posted on Sep 1, 2015

A Look Inside a ‘Made In the USA’ The Parts Shoppe (TPS) 6806 Bicycle BB30 Bottom Bracket Bearing As an engineer by trade, I am always looking at best ways to make the bicycle faster. It took about a year, but I was eventually able to find a Chinese bearing manufacturer who produces fairly decent hybrid-ceramic bearings. Most Chinese companies who claim to be manufacturers are actually just distributors. That’s one of the reasons it took so long to find an actual manufacturer making quality products. But, as I found out, the one drawback was that hybrid-ceramic bearings are quite a bit more expensive than their all-steel counterparts. I filed the following question in the back of my mind to address later -> “Is there a less expensive steel bearing at the same or better quality than these hybrid-ceramic bearings?” I ordered several sets of their hybrid-ceramic bearings and started testing. The bearings ran great – though it took them quite a while to settle in as well as they wore out after 1 season – about 10,000 miles. Still...

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