29. aug. 2013

How To Set Up Your Bike To Prevent Damage And Pain

Many bike riders do not adjust their bikes the rightful way, and that ends up with giving them unnecessary pain when riding their bikes. Therefore we have collected some reasons why it happens, and how to solve it.

Pain in front of knee
This is 9 out of 10 times caused by your saddle being adjusted too low or too much to the front. Therefore If you want to avoid this from happening again, you should try to put your saddle either a bit up, or back.

Pain in the back of the knee
If you are experiencing this, you have done the opposide of the points above. Your saddle is adjusted too high and/or too much to the back. Therefore, if you are experiencing this, you should try to lower your saddle height, and/or move the saddle a bit to the front.

Pain on the outside of the knee (lateral)
This pain is mainly caused by your cleats not adjusted rightfully. Often the cleat is adjusted too far out on the shoes, and therefore you should try to adjust it closer to the frame, in order to make this pain go away.

Pain in the inside of the knee (medial)
This time the pain is usually caused by the cleats adjusted too close to the frame, so try to adjust them further away from the frame on your shoes.

Pain in the Achilles
This pain is usually caused by your cleat been adjusted too far to the back on your shoes. So try to adjust your cleat back, so your foot goes a bit forward.

Pressure on the bottom/outside of the foot
This is usually caused by your shoe not following your own bodytelemetry. So if you experience a pressure on the bottom or outside of your foot, try to wedge the shoes to the inside. Some shoes, like Specialized, already does wedge a bit to the inside, else you can buy an installation installed between the cleats and your shoe.

Pain the groin at the front and/or center of the saddle
This pain is caused by that your saddle is not adjusted the correct way compared to your bike. Often this can be helped out by lifting the bars of your bike, and/or tipping the saddle a bit downwards. Be careful not to tip the saddle too much downwards, because then the pain below will happen.

Pain in your shoulders
This pain is caused by too much pressure on your shoulder, which usually is done by your saddle pointing too much down, and therefore a lot of your weight is been hold up by your arms and therefore also shoulder. So in order to prevent this from happening, tip your saddle a bit upwards.

Losing the feeling in your hands
This is caused by the same cause as the one above, along with not shifting your hands placement on the handlebars. Never have the same position of your hands on the handlebars for more than 5-10 minutes, is a good advice, but also buying cycling gloves with gel pads can be very helpful to prevent this from happening.

To summarize it short and briefly we got this table below:


I hope this helped, else use the commentsection below to ask for more specific help.


22. aug. 2013

Specialized SpeedZone Sport Wireless Test

Specialized is wellknown for producing some of the best frames out there, but they manufacture other stuff too. shoes for clipless pedals, and bikecomputers. I have been testing the Specialized SpeedZone Sport Wireless, and have been impressed by it. it is much smaller than for example the Bontrager Trip 4W, but nevertheless is big enough to be readable. It is also a lot cheaper than the ultimative bikecomputer with inbuild GPS, the Garmin Edge 800.


On the road
A thing I really like about it is the holder of the computer, which is installed on the upper headset of the bike, rather than fitting it on the stem. It looks really cool actually, but in reality it’s not totally thought through. On lightly rough roads, it begins slamming against the stem, which creates a noise you definitely will notice. The first time this noise was represented to me, I kind of panicked and thought that something was broken on my bike, until I realized what it was. I got used to it though, and I am pretty sure most people would. But there is a solution I later found out. A simple one actually. The solution was to just tip it a bit up, so it does not hit against the stem, unless you are riding on cobbles. So the solution is easy to make the coolest looking bikecomputerkeeper on your bike, without the drawbacks, apart from 1 gram more drag.


The signal is strong. Never have I experienced it losing the signal to the sensor, not even amongst electric fences or antennas with great magnetic fields. Other cheap wireless bikecomputers tend to do this a lot, but not the Specialized SpeedZone Sport.
It is good on ending up with the same distance on the same routes. Just like the Bontrager Trip 4W it only have about 20-30 meters of difference per 40 km from day to day. It is more than acceptable, when you think of the possibility of the tires not having the same pressure every single time, which could lead to either a smaller or larger distance per rotation of the wheels.

As I mentioned, the screen is smaller than most other screens, but the speed is still easy to read. You do have to look a little bit harder for the odo-, tripmeter, distance and average speed, because those values are showed in smaller numbers. It is not a total problem reading the values on it; it just demands 1% more concentration. The screen is easy to read in direct sunlight though, so that is positive for those riding in high sun most of the time.
It does also give you all the basic information you need with the things mentioned above, so for that matter, I have nothing negative to point out on it.




The verdict
This is a great wireless bikecomputer for the money. It looks cool with its special(ized) holder and the size of it of course makes it light and compact, but still readable to a degree where it is easily acceptable. The signal is strong too, and it is good at showing the same data for each trip on the same routes, so it is trustable on that matter. All in all I can easily recommend this bikecomputer.

Oakley Jawbone Test

Oakley is probably the most famous maker of sunglasses for sporting athletes. Every kind of sports from running to cycling etc. got athletes sponsored by Oakley. Chris Froome is a well-known user of the Oakley Jawbone I am reviewing here. Oakley-glasses are a very niche kind of product due to their massive prices. The Oakley Jawbone’s (Full name is Oakley Jawbone Polished Black with Positive Red Iridium and Persimmon Lens) I have been testing will cost you around 250 euro’s. That is a lot, and most people will not even be thinking of putting in such insane amount of money into a pair of sunglasses for cycling. But people forget that the UV-rays from the sun can damage your eyes. Yes sunglasses does take away the light, but the UV-rays does continue through the glasses directly into your eyes. The Oakley Jawbone though, comes with polarized lenses, which prevents up to 99,9% of the UV-rays from hitting your eyes. So if you want to protect your eyes, which is an important organ for living a normal life, maybe 250 euro’s isn’t that bad.




On the road
For those 250 euro’s you get two pair of lenses, both costing around 80 euro per set. And of course the frame comes with it. In addition, a hardcase for transport is also a part of the 250 euro package.
They are extremely light. And the lenses are unbelievable. I knew before buying them, that the lenses uses same technology as the visor on the helmets that astronauts use, but I was speechless on my first trip. When putting them on, you have forgotten that you are wearing those 5 minutes later. That is how clear the lenses and how light the glasses are. They show everything much clearer than I have been used to from other sunglasses.

The looks of the Jawbone’s are a bit aggressive. I would not find myself wearing them for other purposes than on the bike because of that, but other people probably would. But they are not ugly, actually far from it. I like the different looks of the 2 lenses, instead of a single lense going from right to left (like the Oakley Radarlock). It does give you a slightly poor visibility due to the frame locking your sight on the sides of the glasses. It does force you to turn your head more around to be in able to spot cars behind you, than if you were using a pair of Radarlock’s.
Nevertheless, it is fun to wear them. Not just because your training buddies are jealous of you having Oakley glasses, but also because it gives some extra motivation, and coolness to the Jawbone’s, when you look on Chris Froome winning Tour De France on the same pair of glasses you are riding. Just like if you are the owner of the same frame as a rider winning his races.





They fit my head too. Others will maybe not have it that way because we come in all kind of different sizes, but for me, they do a great job keeping the wind and dust away from my eyes.
They have been hard to damage too. I had dropped them twice on a hard surface of stones, and the lenses was taking the blast the 2nd time, but nevertheless, they look good as new still. Still after many km they are solid as new, and they don’t feel cheap at all. Everything seems to be produces in the highest quality possible, which also is expected when you remember the price.

The verdict
So is Oakley Jawbone really something everyone should buy? Well, it depends on your wallet and interests. If sunglasses are just for protecting your eyes from dust and the wind, any Oakley glasses would probably be an overkill. However, if you want the best lenses and quality, along with protecting your eyes from the UV-rays, the Oakley Jawbone is just for you. They look nice too, and are a bit different from the standard glasses other bikeriders are using. 

21. aug. 2013

Bontrager Trip 4W Test


The Bontrager Trip 4W is a cheap wireless bikecomputer, in the other end of the pricescale compared to bikecomputers like the Garmin Edge 800 I reviewed not long a time ago. It is more comparable to the Specialized SpeedZone Sport Wireless bikecomputer I also have tested. The Bontrager Trip W4 can do what the ordinary bikeriders needs. It got an odo- and tripmeter, along with showing your speed (both average and the current speed) and distance. Which in the end is what we usually look for while we are on the bike. So for that purpose it would suit more or less everybody who are in search of a bikecomputer. Especially if they want a good wireless one for not much money. This comes in at around 30-40 euro’s and is compact, light, and easy to install.



On the road
It is good. It does not seem cheap built, and the size of the screen is good. Not too big, not too small. The values on the screen are easy to read too. Your current speed is highlighted, and the screen is showing the values very clearly. Even in sunlight I have no problem reading it. The batterylife is great too. I changed it after a year where I had been using it for more than 4000 km, so it is economic then it comes to batteries too.
Also, on the same routes it is good to tell the same distances everytime. It is only doing about 20-30 meters difference from day to day per 40 km, which is more than acceptable, when you think of the possibility of the tires not having same pressure every single time, which would lead either a smaller or a larger distance per rotation.

I have experienced just a single problem occurring though. On a day with high humidity, I rode parallel with an electric fence 5 meters from me, and the signal clearly got lost. I was doing 33 km/h before getting near the fence, and then it jumped from 70 km/h to 0 and back to 50, before I was away from the fence, where it started to show the normal values once again. I have been riding past that same fence 50 times before, never had I noticed it until then, and never did I notice it afterwards. So it was a single appearance I guess, on a day where the magnetic fields could travel longer than usual due to the greater humidity. And that was the only time I experienced that it lost its signal. The signal is definitely strong enough to make it useable. I have heard about people where this happened every time they passed electric fences, which is due to poor quality. But not on these Bontragers.

The verdict
I must admit that I am deeply impressed by what Bontrager has come up with.  For such a few bucks, you get a very solid bikecomputer, a wireless even, which holds a strong signal, is light and compact, and even got a screen that is readable in sunlight. If you are searching for a bikecomputer that does not have to have inbuilt GPS, this is a good choice for money.

20. aug. 2013

What All The Parts On a Bike Are Called

People often forget what some of the parts of a bike are called. So beneath here, is a picture of a roadbike along with the names of all the necessary parts you are ending up hearing or speaking about at some time of your “bikecareer”.
So why stand in front of your trainingpartners or mechanics being embarrassed that you cannot remember, or do not know, what the ”adjusting barrel” is, just look it up below!

(Click for bigger picture)



















Written by René

Read more: http://cyclingtipsonline.com/news/what-all-the-parts-on-a-bike-are-called/

17. aug. 2013

Continental Ultra Race Test

The Continental Ultra Race are tires made by the German manufacture meant for the people who are not able (or want) to pay enough for a couple of GP4000S-tires. For riders who yet still wants to pay more than the Ultra Sport, along with ensuring that you are getting decent tires, with a low rolling resistance. They were equipped on some Mavic Cosmic Elite that followed with my Scott Foil 40.





On the road
They weigh 220 grams per tire, 15 grams more than GP4000S, and 30 grams less than the Ultra Sport. Weight is a big factor when it comes to wheels, and especially at the tires, because they are the outer part of the wheels. Wheels inertia is very important when it comes to acceleration, and pro riders would rather save 100 grams on the wheels, than 500 grams on the frame and own body. They are just a little bit easier than the Ultra Sport to get in speed (it can just be my imagination of course, but they do feel a bit better at that), but you cannot feel the difference between them and the GP4000S.

I have been using them for about 3-4 months, ridden 2000 km in that time, and they have been doing fine. The rolling resistance seems to be somewhat low. They are easy to maintain speed in, and the grip in corners are just fine. Also in wet conditions. I do not feel insecure in corners with them at least. I have not had any punctures yet, and I do not even think that I have been closing on getting one. They do not seem to pick up stones/gravel just as easy as the GP4000S does. Especially on wet surfaces, the difference is great.

I have tried both the more expensive GP4000S and the cheaper Ultra Sport, and I must say that they are a bit faster than the Ultra Sport, and still slower than the GP4000S. The first day I had the GP4000S, I was riding 1,5 km/h faster than on the Ultra Race, so if you want pure speed, go get the GP4000S, but if you don’t want to put so much money in a couple of tires, you can easily go for the Ultra Race. The Ultra Race was also somewhat 0,5-1 km/h faster than the Ultra SportMoreover, if you do not think that the tires really can do so much of a difference, I recommend you to read this. Nevertheless, the price and quality (if quality equals speed) follows each other’s at Continental.
I cannot comment on the wear of them with only 2000 km in them, but they do last longer than the Continental Ultra Sport I am sure of, because at this point, the Ultra Sport already looked quite worn out.

The Verdict
I can highly recommend these tires, if you do not care about the last extra speed you can get by switching to GP4000S instead. Nevertheless, compared to the Ultra Sport, I really think you should spend those extra bucks on these, because they seem to last a lot longer, plus they are better in somewhat everything than the Ultra Sport. They are better at preventing punctures too, than any of the other tires I have tried so far, which is only a big plus.

16. aug. 2013

Continental Ultra Sport Test

The Continental Ultra Sport tires are made by the German manufacture meant for the people who aims after some cheap budget tires, that aren’t meant for great speed, but more good tires for a small price. They came as standard with my Scott Speedster S20 equipped on AlexRims Race 28 Pro wheels.




On the road
They weigh 250 grams per tire, 45 grams more than GP4000S, and 30 grams more than the Ultra Race. Weight is a big factor when it comes to wheels, and especially at the tires, because they are the outer part of the wheels. Wheels inertia is very important when it comes to acceleration, and pro riders would rather save 100 grams on the wheels, than 500 grams on the frame and own body. They are just a little bit harder than the Ultra Race to get in speed (it can just be my imagination of course, but they do feel a bit better at that), which also counts for the GP4000S that feels a little bit easier to get in speed.

I have been using them for about 1½ years, ridden 4000 km in that time, and they have been doing somewhat decently. The rolling resistance seems to be higher than what I am used to, but that was expected. They are still easy to maintain a good speed in, and the grip in corners are just fine. Also in wet conditions. I do not feel insecure in corners with them at least.
I have had a single puncture with them, which is due to them wearing out quickly. The rear tire was more or less ready to be shifted out after 3500 km, which I did not do, and paid the price of a flat, due to not much rubber was left. That is a big minus in my book that the tires cannot last longer than that. The front tire seems more used too than they should. But that is what you pay the price for.

I have tried both the more expensive GP4000S and Ultra Sport, and I must say that they are the slowest of the three. Compared to the Ultra Race, I was 0,5-1 km/h slower on the Ultra Sport. And the GP4000S are additional 1,5 km/h faster than the Ultra Race. There is really a lot of speed to gain with better and more expensive tires. If you do not think that the tires really can do so much of a difference, I recommend you to read this. Nevertheless, the price and quality (if quality equals speed) follows each other’s at Continental.

The Verdict
I will not recommend these tires. They do not last very long, and they are really slow. For not much more euro’s will you be able to buy the Ultra Race that is a lot better overall. Especially with the endurance of the tires, there is quite a big difference, asw well as in the speed. I really think you should spend those extra bucks on the Ultra Race, or go after the GP4000S if speed is the thing you want.

AlexRims Race 28 Pro Test

AlexRims Race 28 Pro is a lowprice budget wheel set for those who needs a trainingwheel that can withstand torture, along with the user not caring about the weight or any fancy name of the wheelset.
Well, that is how it is on paper. It is a 28 mm profile, weighing in about 2 kg for a set, which.. Is a lot. And the name “AlexRims” is just something you don’t really wanna say, if there is a guy on some Lightweight or Zipp-wheels next to you. However, for wheels that costs less than filling your car’s fueltank, it is possible to look away from that. Nevertheless, will the weight and the dull name mean anything in the real world?



On the road
They came with my 2010 Scott Speedster S20, and I must admit, they are better than I expected. They are a bit heavy to accelerate up, but once they are up in speed, they roll well, thanks to the inertia of the wheels, which means they do not lose speed that fast, compared to lighter wheels. So if you are doing time trials, where you aren’t hitting high speeds, and cannot afford Zipp 808’s, or any other higher profile wheels, these wheels can do just fine. But if the speed gets high, you do feel that they could be more aerodynamic. 32 spokes and only 28 mm profile, isn’t going to be a great aero wheel, so if the speed goes above 45 km/h, you do feel the drag is greater, compared to some more aerodynamic wheels, like the Shimano C35 Dura Ace.

But they actually do roll really well. I tried comparing the hubs with the more expensive Mavic Cosmic Elite, and the AlexRims ended up rolling for a longer time than the Mavic’s. So you get some damn good hubs by buying these wheels!

They are strong too. They have been taking a lot of torture by me for 1½ years, and they are straight as new. However, of course with the 32 spokes, they are built to be punished. As a pair of training wheels, I can easily recommend them. In addition, if your weight is above 100 kg, they should be able to handle that too.
In sprints the many spokes also makes them very stiff. I do not feel any flex in them when sprinting, and I cannot hear the brakes scratching on the wheels, which can happen if the wheels are not stiff enough. Nevertheless, that is not the case here. The acceleration was as mentioned before, a bit bad, but I can’t feel much of a difference between these and some 200-300 grams lighter Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels.

The verdict
These wheels are not the fastest you can get, but for the price, I do not think you can get any better. The hubs are more than excellent for the price, and they are just as stiff and strong as you need any wheel to be. They may lack in aerodynamics and weight, but the price makes up for that. Therefore, if you have some fancy 1000-2000 euro tubular wheels used for racing; this would be a great buy for that price, ensuring you, that you have some training wheels you always can rely on. Especially when shifting back to the racingwheels, you will be feeling like you are flying. But as a pair of trainingwheels, these does the job perfectly.

15. aug. 2013

Shimano PD-6700 Ultegra SPD-SL Road Pedals Test

Shimano does also make other components for bikes than just gears and wheels. They are also one of the bigger sellers of clipless pedals for roadbikes and mountainbikes. We have looked on some Look Keo 2 Max before, and now it is time to look on the Shimano Ultegra PD-6700 SPD-SL road pedals. They are Shimano’s 2nd best clipless pedals, only beaten by the more expensive Dura Ace. I have also been trying the cheaper Shimano PD-R540 105 SPD-SL. You can read about the 105 here. 
They weigh in 310 grams a pair, which of course could be a lot lighter (Speedplay coming in at about half the weight), but the weight is meant to give a great durability. A bahco key can adjust the tightness of the release of the clamps, so it will be able to suit all different kind of ridertypes. Some people like it to be tight, others wants it to be easy to get out of. So it is definitely some pedals that on paper would fit most people. But how is it to ride on them?




On the road
As I mentioned in the test of the 105 pedals, clipless pedals are the way to go. I got 2 km per hour faster from one day to the other, by just shifting from standard pedals to clipless. And they are making you train a bigger part of your legmuscles, than normal flat pedals, due to that you not only push down in the pedals, you also pull up.

Well, they are surprisingly great. After about 10.000 km, I have not had any failure with them. I am even using some cleats that have been used since 2011 and they work, as they were new, even though they do look a bit beaten. They are easy to click in and out of. The pedals backend is heavier than the front, so the front is pointing upwards, and you just have to push your foot forward to get your cleats in the pedals. The system works fine, and with a little training, you can get in them in no time. Also getting out of them is easy. Just push your heel to both side, and it will click out. It is at this point you can adjust just how hard you have to push before the cleats goes out of the pedals.

I have been using these for about 1½ year, and not a single time have they failed on me. At no time while sprinting or putting extra hard force in the pedals, have they failed on me. The cleats has always been in the pedals, and that makes you trust the whole system a bit more while sprinting. You are never thinking, “what if one foot falls out of the pedal now?”, and that feels like you gain 1-2% more speed because of the blind trust you get on the product.
The pedals feels solid, and the size of them makes you get a big place to put the pressure on, which makes sure that no parts of your foot feels sore after been pushing for some time. Minor pedals can make you lose the feeling of some part of your foot for a small amount of time, due to the blood not being able to circulate properly along with nerves being squished. The Shimano SPD-pedals seems to do this job just fine, preventing that from happen.

Some people do complain about the SPD-pedals allowing too much flex, but I have not been experiencing this at all. To me, it feels like my foot becomes one with the bike. I guess if you are a heavier rider who can put in more Watts than I can, maybe it can be case. But if that is the case, just try to tighten it as mentioned earlier, and it should not become that big of a problem some people makes it.
The weight of them does not seem to influence anything. Yes, you can get lighter pedals, but the question is, if they lose in the quality by losing their weight too? That will be a subjective thing, but I am willing to give up 100-150 grams on these, because they ride really well.



I have tried the cheaper and a bit heavier 105 SPD-pedals from Shimano, and I can only conclude, that I do not think there is not much of a difference. They look the same, the cleats are identical, and you only save 15 grams per set of pedals with the Ultegra. So on paper the Ultegra-pedals are a bit better, but in reality, you cannot feel any difference at all.

The verdict
Overall, I like this product. It seems to be in a great quality, and the weight has not been a problem in any sprinting situation. The adjustment of them makes sure you always get it just as easy (or hard) to click out of, as you want it to be. For the price of around 100 euro’s you get a great set of pedals (and cleats) that can last for a long time. They are a well spend upgrade. However, if you want to spend 25-30 euro’s elsewhere and you do not care if your pedals says “105” or “Ultegra”, you can just as well go for the 105 SPD-pedals. They feel exactly the same when on the road, and 15 grams for a pair of pedals, will not make the difference between a world champion and the second place.

Which Muscles Are Used When Riding A Bike?

Many people are not aware of which legmuscles are used when they are riding their bikes. On the diagram below, made out from a scientific test, it is possible to take a much closer look on it.




The pedal stroke is representing the right leg, so the pedals are going clockwise, just as the arrows shows.

If we start at the “dead spot” on top, at 12 o’clock and go to to 3, the hip extensor (red) is doing most of the work.

From 3 to 6 o’clock, the knee extensors (purple), takes the biggest load of work, but just before 6 o’clock, the ankle plantar flexors (skin colour) takes over. 

After we hit the “dead spot” at 6 o’clock, the ankle dorsiflexors (blue) is doing the biggest load of the work, before the hip flexors (yellow) is doing the most of the work at around 9. 

From 9 to 12 o’clock, the knee flexor takes over the biggest load of the work from the knee flexors.

Clipless will make you more efficient
This means, that if you are using clipless pedals (like Shimano SPD or Look Keo) you are training the ankle dorsiflexors, the knee flexor, and the hip flexors a lot more efficiently, than if you used standard pedals.
In the end that will give you not just better strength in your leg, but also better endurance, due to that when your left leg is going from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock, the right leg is helping the left leg because it is going from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock. Therefore, your hip and knee extensors will not be doing all the work, when activated, if you use clipless pedals. My own personal experience is, that i got 2 km/h faster by shifting from standard pedals to clipless. You can read some few reviews of different clipless pedals here:





14. aug. 2013

Shimano PD-540 5600 105 SPD-SL Road Pedals Test

Shimano does also make other components for bikes than just gears and wheels. They are also one of the bigger sellers of clipless pedals for roadbikes and mountainbikes. We have looked on some Look Keo 2 Max before, and now it is time to look on the Shimano 105 PD-R540 SPD-SL road pedals. They are Shimano’s budget clipless pedals, yet only beaten by the more expensive Ultegra and Dura Ace-pedals. I have been trying both the Shimano Ultegra and these 105’s. You can read about the Ultegra here.


They weigh in 325 grams a pair, which of course could be a lot lighter (Speedplay coming in at about half the weight), but the weight is meant to give a great durability. A bahco key can adjust the tightness of the release of the clamps, so it will be able to suit all different kind of ridertypes. Some people like it to be tight, others wants it to be easy to get out of. So it is definitely some pedals that on paper would fit most people. But how is it to ride on them?



On the road
First time I tried these, was the first time I ever used clipless pedals. I was shocked by the speed I gained. I crushed all my records in the very first trip, because I was suddenly 2 km per hour faster from one day to the other, by just shifting from standard pedals to clipless. At a training perspective, they are making you train a bigger part of your legmuscles, than normal flat pedals, due to that you not only push down in the pedals, you also pull up..

Well, they are surprisingly great. After about 5.000 km, I have not had any failure with them. I am even using some cleats that have been used since 2011 and they work, as they were new, even though they do look a bit beaten. They are easy to click in and out of. The pedals backend is heavier than the front, so the front is pointing upwards, and you just have to push your foot forward to get your cleats in the pedals. The system works fine, and with a little training, you can get in them in no time. Also getting out of them is easy. Just push your heel to both side, and it will click out. It is at this point you can adjust just how hard you have to push before the cleats goes out of the pedals.

I was using these for about a year, and not a single time have they failed on me. At no time while sprinting or putting extra hard force in the pedals, have they failed on me. The cleats has always been in the pedals, and that makes you trust the whole system a bit more while sprinting. You are never thinking, “what if one foot falls out of the pedal now?”, and that feels like you gain 1-2% more speed because of the blind trust you get on the product.
The pedals feels solid, and the size of them makes you get a big place to put the pressure on, which makes sure that no parts of your foot feels sore after been pushing for some time. Minor pedals can make you lose the feeling of some part of your foot for a small amount of time, due to the blood not being able to circulate properly along with nerves being squished. The Shimano SPD-pedals seems to do this job just fine, preventing that from happen.

Some people do complain about the SPD-pedals allowing too much flex, but I have not been experiencing this at all. To me, it feels like my foot becomes one with the bike. I guess if you are a heavier rider who can put in more Watts than I can, maybe it can be case. But if that is the case, just try to tighten it as mentioned earlier, and it should not become that big of a problem some people makes it.
The weight of them does not seem to influence anything. Yes, you can get lighter pedals, but the question is, if they lose in the quality by losing their weight too? That will be a subjective thing, but I am willing to give up 100-150 grams on these, because they ride really well.




I have tried the more expensive and a bit lighter Ultegra SPD-pedals from Shimano, and I can only conclude, that I do not think there is any of a difference. They look the same, the cleats are identical, and you only save 10-15 grams per pedal with the Ultegra. So on paper the Ultegra-pedals are a bit better, but in reality, you cannot feel any difference at all.

The verdict
Overall, I like this product. It seems to be in a great quality, and the weight has not been a problem in any sprinting situation. The adjustment of them makes sure you always get it just as easy (or hard) to click out of, as you want it to be. For the price of around 100 euro’s you get a great set of pedals (and cleats) that can last for a long time. They are a well spend upgrade. However, if you want to spend 25-30 euro’s elsewhere and you do not care if your pedals says “105” or “Ultegra”, you can just as well go for the 105 SPD-pedals. They feel exactly the same when on the road, and 15 grams for a pair of pedals, will not make the difference between a world champion and the second place.

Scott Foil 10 Test

The Scott Foil, the first aeroframe from the Swiss brand Scott Sports, developed in corporation with Mark Cavendish back when he rode for HTC-Highroad, along with the Mercedes F1 team, to develop what Scott calls the “The only aeroframe on the market that is both as light and as stiff as a normal frame”. A bike now used by Simon Gerrans and the rest of the Orica-GreenEDGE team, amongst others. I have had the opportunity to be riding both the topframe Foil 10 (2013), but also the more affordable frame Foil 40 (2012), so I am gonna make a conclusion whether the Foil 10 will be worth the extra money. The review of the Foil 40 can be found here.



Aeroframes for roadbikes has become the new black in cyclingregi, and all brands with respect for themselves, have developed their own aeroframes. Cervelo got their S2 and S5, Specialized got their Venge, and Scott got their Foil.
The Foil though, is quite different from the others. While the other manufactures has kept their normal standard topframes, Scott skipped the Addict-frame totally, because the Foil was both more aerodynamic, but also stiffer and even lighter than the Addict. A combination only the Foil have managed to do, while the other aeroframes has been slightly less stiffer along with being heavier than the other companies other topframes. Scott has since then entered a new version of their Addict to the market, but for 2 years, the Foil was the undisputed top racingframe from this Swizz brand.
So, is it aero? Well, according to Scott themselves, it would, compared to nonaeroframes, save you somewhat 15 watts doing 40 km/h. It is not as aerodynamic as a Cervelo S5 and a Specialized Venge, according to the aerotest performed by the Velo Magazine in a windtunnel, but it is stiffer, and therefore better suited in the sprints and climbings than other aeroframes. So for a flat road, being in a break away, an S5 or Venge would be the better choice, but as an overall frame, the Scott Foil is, on paper, the best aeroframe out there.

On the road
But what about it on the road. Is it fast? The short answer is, yes. It does feel faster than a standard frame. First time I took it out for a ride (38 km route I usually do when it comes to short rides), I set a new personal record, beating my previous record by 1½ minute. But the real thing that amazed me, was that, I felt a lot faster in was the crosswinds. Somehow I felt and still feels, that it’s like just almost as fast in crosswinds as in tailwind. In headwinds, the drag also feels reduced. Im pretty sure, that im doing a gear or 2 greater than then using a standard nonaeroframe. Suddenly, headwind doesn’t feel that bad as I used to think of it before. I would love to try an S5 in headwind, if it, on paper, is saving you twice the amount of Watts as a Foil, because I am sure I would be feeling like flying then.

A thing that I noticed pretty fast was, that the seatpost is costummade, and only suits the Foil. The adjusting of the hight of the seatpost is done inside the frame too, where other frames usually have that done above the frame. It is details like this, that makes the Foil feel special and looking aerodyamic while standing still.



It does also feel very very light. The topframe Foil 10, using HMX-carbonfibre, weighs in at around 850 grams for a size medium (54), while the other cheaper versions of the Foil (like the 20, 30, 40), using HMF-carbonfibre, comes in at around 920 grams for a medium. So it is even one of the lighter frames out there, while being aerodynamic. And the lightness can be felt when climbing hills, at least compared to a Scott Speedster aluminiumframe. The great stiffness comes to a nice help here too though. It does not seem to flex at all when sprinting. But I am more a Contador than a Cancellara, so I have no idea about the flexing if a stronger guy was riding it. But as the Velo Magazine could tell, it was the stiffest bike in the test. So stiff actually, that Mark Cavendish originally complained about the bike being too stiff (Too stiff for a sprinter? Must be a firsttimer), and other reviews have stated the same. But I personally, doesn’t think it’s too stiff. It’s not comfortable as other carbonframes, but it’s still more comfortable than several aluminiumframes out there.
As stated in the start, I have tried both the frame with the fancier HMX-fibres and the cheaper version with the HMF-fibres. The difference between them is, well, I don’t really know if there is any. On paper the more expensive Foil 10 is 70 grams lighter, but hey, that’s 1 sip of water less in your bottle, and you have saved that as well. So if you ask me, it is more like a gimmick to get the Foil 10, than the other 1500$ cheaper Foil’s you can buy. It will always give a little extra when stating, “I have the best Foil out there”, instead of “I got the cheaper frame”, but in the end, you can’t feel a difference at all. And remember, it is always the legs that has to do the talk. So if I were you, I would save those 1500 dollars, and spend them on some nice wheels. If you are lucky, you can probably find some Zipp 404’s out there somewhere for those money.

Should you buy it?
Is it the aeroframe to buy? Well, as I stated before, there are some frames that will save you more Watts in the wind, but if you want a frame that is just as light and stiff as a normal frame, there is no denying, that the Foil is the only choice for you. So, if you live and race on flat roads with a  lot of wind, another frame like the Venge or S5 would be better suited for you. But if you are planning to get a frame that can get you up a steep hill or long mountain just as fast and easy as a standard frame, along with saving you energy on the flat parts, the Foil will be the number 1 choice for you. It’s a great frame, with a very good finish, so it would be a great choice for anybody needing a new frame to win their races in.

12. aug. 2013

Make Grouptraining More Fun And Varied

Below, there is some different kind of trainings you can do if you are training in a group. The preferred size of the group is mentioned right after the name. It can make the training more exiting and challenging for everybody.

Sprint on a line (6 – 20)
The riders’ rides on one straight line (one after one) in a pace they will maintain. On the captain’s signal, the last rider sprints all the way to the front. It is important that this rider after overtaking the rider in the front, goes in front of this rider, and maintain the exact same speed. This way it will go around, and train the sprint abilities for the riders. It is good intervaltraining.
After all riders have done this, they go one gear up, and start again. This is done as many times as the riders wants to do. The captain has to make sure that there is no upcoming traffic behind, and therefore he will not be a part of this training exercise. Remember to have done half an hour of warm up before. In addition, a good trick is that the captain yells the name of the rider, so the riders do not always look back on when it is their turn. That can create some dangerous situations.

Accelerations to the group (6-24)
The riders rides one after one on a straight line in low speed. The last rider stops, clicks out of the pedals, goes of the bike, and then he goes back on, clicks in the pedals, and sprints up to the front of the group. He will have to maintain the exact same speed as before. This way it will go around, and train the sprint abilities for the riders. It is good intervaltraining.
It can be done with pairs so it can be done faster. In addition, a good trick is that the captain yells the name of the rider, so the riders do not always look back on when it is their turn. That can create some dangerous situations.
This can be done early when everybody has done just a slight warm up. Muscles are needed to be fresh to perform this task.

“Race” with individual tasks (14-30)
The riders drives a bikerace with a masstart. Preferable on a 7-10 km route. They drive a couple of laps (20 – 30 km). Before the start, each single rider gets a task they have to follow somewhere in this “race”. The tasks has to be given, so most people can finish the race in the leading group. Therefore, the strongest riders gets the hardest tasks. The riders must not know what the other riders have to do.
The roles can be everything from going into break away, or catching the breakaways. Also, like pushing the peloton as long as no are doing any break away. The roles can be given on a warm up lap on the route.
The captain has to know how strong each of the participants are, in order to make this successful. He can participate himself. It will be good to find a route that doesn’t have much traffic.

“Race” with team tasks (12-30)
The riders rides a 15-20 km race, preferably on a 4-7 km route. Before the start, the riders are made into a team of 3-4 riders. The teams have to be as varied as possible. So weak riders are put along with strong riders. The teams gets different tasks. Typically some offensive and other defensive tasks. Example, a team rides for 1 rider on the team, and has to make sure that no break away can get away. The teams will have to have a tactics meeting before the “race”, which can be done while driving the route as a warm up.
For fun, the teams can get point for how many riders they get in top 10. 10 points for a win, 1 points for a 10th place.
The captain has to know how strong each of the participants are, in order to make this successful. He can participate himself. It will be good to find a route that does not have much traffic. The task can be done as a ending part of the training, or in the middle of it.

Time trial/hunting (8+)
The riders rides a time trial based on a huntingstart. the slowest rider in that time trial, starts first, and the fastests starts last. The difference between the riders, will be the same as the difference was in the time trial. That way, every rider got just as big a chance to win the race.
It can also be done in groups. Alternatively, the slowest and fastest rider gets send out first, and has to be together. After them the 2nd worst and 2nd best gets, send out. The captain has to take time in the time trial, so he cannot drive in that. But he can sit on the wheel of the last rider in the hunting.
The exercise can be placed just after a short warm up, or at the end of the training. But an important thing is, the riders must not know that they have to ride a hunt right after the time trial. Some riders will probably ride slower than they can, just to get an advantage then.

Intervals in pair or groups (8+)
The riders ride on a known route between 5 and 15 km long. The riders drives a huntingstart either individually or in groups up to 5 riders. The riders/teams gets send out so the weakest starts first, and the strongest starts last. The time between the different riders /groups gets send out can vary from everything so they get together before the route is done, or they will ride solo all the way. That way, the riders can be motivated, so they can “win” once a while. If overtaken, its allowed to follow the one overtaking you, if possible.
The captain has to ride with the last team, so he/she can make sure, the timegaps are big enough. Therefore, the captain has to ensure, that he/she is strong enough to ride with the strongest riders. The riders will need a warm up before this can be done.

Sprint with numbers (8+)
The riders ride on a known route with about 5 citysigns, they will sprint to. The captain will give a few riders some numbers before the first sprint is made. The other riders must not know who has been given a number, or what number a person has been given. The captain will yell a number, like “3”, and the rider that has been given the number 3, will have to decide whether he will attack 5 km before the citysign, or 100 meters before. The other riders will then have to try following him, or outsprinting him.
This is easy for the captain; he just needs to point out the ones opening the sprints. This can be done in the start, where the captain gives numbers during the warm up. It is important that the riders knows the route.

Sprint from group to group (5-20)
The riders rides in a single group. At the front there will be a rider who is 200-400 meters in front of the group. The riders will one after one have to close the gap to the rider in front. The rider in front have to try to maintain an agreed speed all the time. The frontgroup that will grow bigger and bigger must not increase this speed.
If there is too many riders, they can do this in a group. The speed of the frontgroup can be increased, if the strongest riders will be the last ones to be send out. The captain will have to be in the group behind, and therefore be the last rider to sprint up to the frontgroup. It is a good idea to have everybody warmed up.

Starrace (10+)
The route will be made into a route with 5-6 spots (like a star). Maybe in every corner of a town. The riders will be send one after one, and they can be send after each spot at the same time. will ride out to one of the spot, and then back to the center, and go after the next one. The winner will be the one to ride to all the spots and back to the center.
It can be done in pairs too. The captain has to stay at the center, so he/she cant participate. If he has to participate, it will demand no cheating from any of the riders. It will usually be ridden as special trainingsession, that will take all of the trainingsession.

Break away corporation (4+)
This is trained best under realistic circumstances, so in groups of 5-6 riders. If the riders are trained in this, they will ride with a bit high intensity. It will usually be ridden as a huntingstart, with the slowest group starting first. The riders will change position, and ride 2 on 2. They will circulate, so they shift to ride in front, but only for  a small time, until the next rider gets in front of you. When you are the front rider, you ride over the other side, in front of the rider that took lead before you, and throws it a gear down. When you are the one to enter the pushing side again, you go a gear up. Remember to maintain a specific pace is important. This way you are having 50% pushing and 50% “relaxing”. That way you as a team can maintain a high speed for a large time, because you are working together. You see pro’s do this too, especially in crosswinds. If the crosswinds are coming from the right side, the left side can relax and fall back, while it is the right side that will do the pushing.
The captain can participate in this as he/she wants too. Alternatively it can be done 5-10km outside a city, and the finishline with be at the citysign. Therefore, groups will have to corporate to get first over the finishline.