The bicycle wheel: basic geometry and dynamics

Still to this day, in an age of widespread and freely available knowledge, I keep reading a load of “tosh” about something as simple as a bicycle wheel. Of course, for a complete lowdown, you should read the excellent book by Jobs Brandt, but if you are time crunched, I will hereby try to explain…

Sleepless in Aberystwyth (or the AUK National 400)

Broadly speaking, midlife crises are of three types: affairs, fast cars and sport challenges, I got stung by the latter bug, of the pedalling kind. I have never been blessed with the agile limbs of a cheetah or the lungs of a sledge dog, therefore I am not a fast cyclist and my fascination is…

Mechanical disc brakes, a frustrated review

I suppose I can say I was a pioneer of disc brakes on road bikes, having bought the first one in December 2009. Ok, it was sold as a cyclocross bike, but the knobbly tyres got immediately replaced with slicks, so it was in practice a road bike. It came with some dreadful Shimano BR…

Calculations of speed and power

The obsession for speed is not a new thing in amateur cycling, the obsession for power is, since devices to measure power output have been available on the market for just over a decade. This brief and not at all comprehensive article hopefully will clarify some mysteries around power and speed and how to use…

The 30 mm sweet spot (FLO vs Kinlin)

The takeaway message of this season of UCI races is that as rims go, deeper is no longer better: for years the trend was for ever growing rim depths, to the point that even in hugely mountainous stages of the Giro d’Italia, Rigoberto Uran was spotted riding 60 mm deep rims, in the face of…

Mavic UST rims for road tyres?

Tubeless is slowly but steadily taking over in the road wheel market. While only a small minority of road cyclists use tubeless tyres, virtually every new wheel and rim offering on the market come as tubeless ready or tubeless compatible. Some rims are even certified with a Universal Standard for Tubeless (UST) logo. What it…

Hardknott, Wrynose and perfect reflections

Well, I didn’t see that one coming. When we signed up for the Fred Whitton Challenge back in January, we kind of bought out in the idea of torrential rain and high winds. We would have cashed in, if anyone promised ten degrees and grey skies, so when a forecast of twenty plus materialised, we…