Bringing back the Cycling Cap one Domestique at a time

Showing posts with label Articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Articles. Show all posts

About Armstrong...

Fans continue to fan, haters continue to hate. Truly polarizing figures don't come in bigger packages than Texan Lance Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong, the survivor, who overcame testicular cancer and returned to, of all sports, Pro-Tour Cycling.

Lance Armstrong, winner of an unprecedented and record seven straight Tour de France maillots jaunes. 

Lance Armstrong, founder of the Livestrong Foundation; responsible for helping cancer patients and furthering cancer research.

Lance Armstrong, Father of the Yellow Wristband.

Lance Armstrong, The doper.

On the 17th of January, 2013, Armstrong finally pulled a 180 and admitted what many people either knew or, at the very least, suspected: that he used performance enhancing substances and blood transfusions to win... something he vehemently denied countless times in the past. 

 One may agree with Armstrong's statement that winning without doping is not possible 'in that generation'; that everyone else does it. But putting it bluntly...IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT. All this does is make fans of top level competitive cycling fools for worshiping fake, amped up idols. 

The thrill of all sport is watching these superhumans we call athletes compete, outdo each other, beat each other up and elevate themselves above the rest. But where is that thrill now? Knowing that the victor won not because he was the best but because he had the best doping doctor and most sophisticated blood doping scheme outside East Germany behind him? 

That Armstrong coerced teammates to 'follow the behavior' (as alleged by some former teammates) is taking all of this to a whole different level. It's one thing to dope your person, but to forcibly inject erythropoietin into your teammate to prevent him from ratting out, is another matter altogether. This paints a portrait of a man who does not give a crap about anything but himself. Not the sport, not his teammates, nothing. Only himself. Armstrong denies this and attributes his teammates' doping to peer pressure and his bullying, but as he himself said, he's not the most believable person in the world right now. 

In the end, all this seems like a calculated attempt at a give and take. Lance confesses, authorities let him race again. 

I honestly don't know what he's smoking but confessing to a talk show host or anywhere outside of an official investigation doesn't really count for much. This is Armstrong still trying to get what he wants... to control the playing field. 

That's what that confessional to Oprah was about. Controlling the field. No contrition, no revelations, no gory details. Just dipping his toe in, tossing little bits and pieces, an checking how the water ripples.

The obviousness of it all is underwhelming. 

Armstrong is hoping the confession will merit a reduction of his lifetime ban to 8 years. By retroactively enforcing this to 2005, when he last 'crossed the line', Armstrong is not so subtly looking for his suspension to be over this year. In which case he can join races again. Of course USADA tests still flag Armstrong's post 2005 as doped...

It's not all bad though.

To his credit,  Armstrong got a lot of attention for Cycling as a sport.  People took notice, bought their first bikes rode it as a means of getting fit. His Livestrong Foundation, is alive, kicking and in the forefront of the fight against cancer. For these alone, the man deserves a second thought before being written off. 

As to the people he stepped on utterly destroyed with his brutal rebuttals, he should do the right thing... reparations of court earnings perhaps? Or maybe at least make amends or apologies.  

In the end, Cycling's greatest modern hero may have done the greatest damage to it. If he truly cares for the sport as much as he says he does, he should man up and do his part to clean it up. Get rid the stigma which equates peloton to dopaton. 

That's what a real hero would do.

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TOUR Magazine Epic Tire Test

The folks over at Conti-Online in Germany have archived this epic tire test/review and is available as PDF download.  The test was conducted by the German Cycling magazine TOUR way back September 2007. Old data but still valuable information. 

 TOUR - Resistance Fighters (click to download)

The test criteria includes, but is not limited to, rolling resistance, puncture resistance and grip. This is the most comprehensive Road Cycling Tire test we have ever encountered so far and is definitely worth the download! The folks from TOUR used a special test rig to push each tire to it's absolute limit, culminating in the test rider losing grip! SEMPLANG! 

Image courtesy of Continental

The Continental GP4000s emerged as winner. Based on first hand experience, these tires are quite hard to fault. Light enough for racing, tough enough for touring and training.... more than jack of all trades. 

Clincher honor roll: 

  1. Continental GP 4000s - 1.0
  2. Schwalbe Ultremo - 1.2
  3. Michelin Pro 2 Grip - 1.5
  4. Michelin Pro 2 Race - 1.8
  5. Continental GP 4-Season - 2.0
  6. Schwalbe Stelvio Rain - 2.2
  7. Hutchinson Fusion 2 RoadTubeless - 2.4
  8. Hutchinon Fusion 2 - 3.3
A surprising finding in the test is that top line clinchers are better than the best tubulars. See for yourself! 

So click the link above, read the review and share your thoughts below! 

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Much Ado About Jerseys

Every Cyclist must surely have fond memories of his first kit. 

Chances are, the kit you wore when you first snapped into your clipless pedals are a far cry from the dye-subbed jersey and bib you flipped into the laundry chute last Sunday. 

Jerseys would easily be the earliest of non-bike upgrades for most Cyclists. Nothing outside of a new bike brings more road presence and impact than a spanking new kit. 

My first jerseys were hand me downs from fellow Roadies eager to get new blood into Sport and increase the numbers, so to speak. But over the course of the following weeks, I felt that I needed something more appropriate to wear. And sure enough, I was visiting all four corners of LBSdom looking for my next kit. 

Choosing which Jersey to buy next boils down to four basic mindsets:  

Type One: Bike Matching - Matching jerseys with your bike and/or showing off the Brands
Type Two: Fanboyism - Getting your Man-Crush's kit or your favorite Pro-Tour Team's 
Type Three: Below the Radar - No ads, just low profile jerseys
Type Four: Retro - Tapping into the rich designs of the past 

By no means are any of the above mutually exclusive as you can buy all the jerseys you want. But in my experience, most Roadies will either go 1 and/or 2, then 3 and finally end up with 4. 

NOTE - Your own Team jerseys are not included as more often than not, you have no choice but to wear it.


Type Ones - Excellent choices if you actually rode the brands.

Type Twos -  No explanation needed

Type Threes - Understated elegance

Type Fours- Class

Hybrids can exist between classes. For example, an Eddy Mercx Molteni-Arcore jersey, can fall between Types Three and Four. 

As with all things, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Cycling Jerseys are no different. 

Me personally, I've made the shift to Type 3/4. I think everyone does over time. 

But whatever you prefer, you can be sure that someone, somewhere has a jersey to suit you. Pun intended.

......and Cycling Caps go well with everything. 

Return to RoadieManila HQ

*images are copyright of the respective brands

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Just call me Armand. 

I'm addicted to Cycling.... as a Sport, an exercise, a hobby, a passion. A bit of a bike weight weenie, but only with non-exotic bits.

I live and ride in Manila. 

So here I am, three years into cycling. A little bit faster, a little bit lighter and a lot lot wiser! 

I got into this sport (or hobby) as part of my then Doctor's mandate to do at least three hours of exercise a week. Whoa! Who would've thought the Doctor's orders would blossom into something sooo enjoyable, rewarding and addictive!

Tried some other exercise routines but only cycling kept my mind engaged 100% throughout the excerise proper. My knees are oh so thankful for it!

But enough small talk. 

Let's talk about the bike! 

My current ride is my fourth Bike. And by bike, I mean Frameset. I never really owned four individual   roadies, but rather, kept upgrading and building on existing parts. Indeed, frames are the heart of what we call a bicycle. 

Bikes? To wit:

1. 2009 Argon Radon - Rock Solid! Sold it off to my high school classmate. Uses it for racing till now! 
2. 2009 Cannondale Six 3 - Love at first sight! I knew I had to have it the moment I set eyes on her!
3. 2010 Cannondale SuperSix HM Liquigas - Basso and Nibali won grand tours on this. I didn't. haha!
4. 2012 Scott Foil 20 - Shows how far bikes have come in the last 4 years. Aero, light, and partida not even using High Modulus carbon fiber! 

"Scottie" weighs in at a UCI-legal 15.03 pounds sans computer and bottles. Pretty decent considering all parts are available off the shelf from your LBS. Compared to the SuperSix HM, it rides about as stiff, but with less vertical compliance. Handles just as good and weighs only a tad more. 

While we're at it, let's establish a baseline. I took the time to break down the weight per component. This should make it easier to do an intelligent weight estimate in lieu of visiting the LBS. 

As much as possible, the component weights are actual measurements taken with my trusty kitchen scale. Else, weights are taken off actual measurements by Foil users or shops posted on the internet. Last resort for weights would be the manufacturers.

So far, the pieces seem to fit as I have only 39 grams to account for.  

I hope to hit 14 lbs without anything exotic. Or maybe not. 

Anyhow, I plan to review parts that matter, starting with the DELICIOUS Arione 00... SO STAY TUNED!

Au Revoir, Ride Safe!

Current Weight - Components

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