Cannondale releases details on new Synapse

new cannondale synapseCannondale has just dropped specs on a new entrant/update in the growing perfprmance/endurance category with the all-new Synapse.

It has some pretty interesting features:

  • designed-to-flex fork, seat stays and seat post/tube
  • Scalloped seat tube to allow for a larger bottom bracket with less weight penalty.
  • Pretty nifty internal seat post clamp design.

new synapse black

The Hi-Mod Black Inc. version looks pretty sharp and might be a contender for my new bike.  I know Kevin D. is a big proponent of the Trek Domane, so I’ll be interested to see how the Synapse stacks up.

Lance is right . . . it’s not about the bike.

On a day when cycling takes another black eye, here is a truly amazing story about how cycling has helped unite two brothers. It’s not about the bike . . . it’s about the people who ride them and the bond it creates.

How to test ride a new road bike

I’m thinking of getting a new road bike after a pretty long layoff. That means I’ll soon be test riding a few bikes to find the “one”. Normally a test ride looks to answer a few questions about the attributes of a bike:

  • Handling
  • Vertical compliance
  • Fit
  • Stiffness, etc.

But now the video above has me thinking about a few different qualities:

  • Slideability
  • Half-pipe performance
  • Vertical drop limit
  • Ability to scale a castle wall

Ed. He only punctured one tire during the shoot for that video.



New 2012 – 2013 SRAM Red – First Look

New 2012 - 2013 SRAM Red

SRAM has officially lifted the covers on details for the new Red group . . . and it looks pretty impressive. I won’t go into a lot of detail here – check out Peloton for a great write-up on the new group. However, I feel obligated to give some early impressions of the new group since my review of the original SRAM Red group has been viewed by almost 50,000 roadies – so here are a few highlights:

  • Almost 1/2 pound lighter than the current Red system (and 1 lb lighter than Shimano Di2) – Awesome.
  • Quieter operation – Awesome.
  • More powerful and aerodynamic brakes – Awesome.
  • Dramatically lighter crank based on the Zipp Vuma Quad cranks – Awesome.
  • Better shifting front derailleur – Awesome.
  • YAW auto-trim feature – Awesome.

I’m about to do a new bike build (more details to come) and was thinking that I would make the jump to electronic shifting. The details and early ride reports on the new Red has me rethinking which grouppo to run. Maybe the folks at SRAM would be kind enough to send me a group to do a full run down?

The rate of innovation in the cycling world right now is pretty impressive. Must make it fun for folks like . . . this week must have been like their Super Bowl.

Rapha and Strava deliver an early gift . . . The Rapha Festive 500

It’s not secret that I loved the Rapha Turkey Takeoff Challenge on  I was really hoping that they would do more Strava challenges in the future. Well, I didn’t have to wait long. Friday kicks off the Rapha Festive 500, which gives Strava users from Dec. 23 – Dec. 31 to ride 500 km (about 311 miles).

Peter and I are already planning a big ride for Friday to start the event right. In a tribute to Seinfeld we will:

  • Start the ride with “airing of grievances”
  • Perform “feats of strength” on the bicycle (maybe attack a Strava KOM or two?)
  • Include a Festivus Miracle (maybe a flat-free-ride)

I don’t have a Festivus Pole, but maybe we’ll finish the ride with a spin up Flag Pole Hill. Happy Festivus everyone!

The real Tour de Dallas – 100+ miles of Big D by bicycle

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Strava. It’s easily the best social/motivation tool for cycling and helped with my recovery from an unplanned layoff. Rapha, another of my favorite cycling brands, ran a very cool contest on Strava during Thanksgiving.

The Rapha Turkey Takeoff challenged riders to burn 9,000 calories between Wed. and Sunday. More than 2,000 Strava subscribers took the challenge and hit the pavement. To normalize the results for type of bike, rider weight, etc. the contest used a simple formula of 36 calories for every mile ridden. So to succeed, and receive the coveted badge, you had to ride 250 miles over those 5 days.

I was able to get lots of riding in over the break (thanks to my wonderful wife and in-laws). As a result, I passed the 9,000 calorie plateau on Saturday. However, my buddy Peter needed to get in 100 miles on Sunday to hit 9,000, so I agreed to do a Sunday century with him.

Given the weather at the start (low 30s and 20+ mph winds) we decided to do a leisurely ride around Dallas (in lieu of the normal loops heading out to the quiet country roads of North Texas).

We started in our hood, Lakewood, and did a lap of White Rock Lake. Then . . .

  • down the Santa Fe Trail to Deep Ellum

  • through Deep Ellum and Downtown Dallas to Oak Cliff

  • Around the Bishop Arts District and back to Downtown Dallas
  • Up the Katy Trail to Highland Park

  • Through Highland Park to Bluffview
  • Through Bluffview to Bachman Lake
  • Around Bachman Lake and back through Bluffview to Greenway Parks
  • Through Highland Park to Knox St.

  • Short coffee break on Knox.
  • Back down the Katy Trail to Downtown
  • Through Downtown to Swiss Avenue (passing Dealey Plaza and seeing the Christmas decor at the original Neiman’s)

  • Through Swiss Avenue back to Lakewood

  • Through Lakewood to the White Rock Trail
  • North on the White Rock Trail to North Dallas
  • Back down the White Rock Trail to the Cottonwood Trail

  • North on the Cottonwood Trail and back
  • back down the White Rock Trail to the lake for 2 more laps

I finished with 107 miles, putting me at almost 14,000 calories and good enough for 9th in the Turkey Takeoff Challenge.

This ride was a great change of pace. No worrying about speed or watts . . . just soaking in some of my favorite parts of Dallas. A great finish to a great holiday weekend and a very cool virtual event.

EDITORS NOTE: Rapha and Strava, please do more of these types of events!

I might buy a Garmin for my car now . . .

One of my favorite characters in pro cycling, Dave Zabriskie, is one of the new voice options for the Garmin nuvi system. Dave Z is known for being a little quirky (i.e. the name of his chamois butter is DZ Nuts), but I have a similar sense of humor and can only guess what shenanigans would ensue with Dave Z as your navigator.


Young Keanu Reeves as a bike racer makes Kevin Costner look like Eddy Merckx

So many funny things about this commercial . . . all I’ll say is Keanu is no Kevin Bacon.

Bicycle racing in a tie . . . and on a folding bike?

Our friends across the pond have given us some true gifts:

  • The Beatles
  • Top Gear
  • Monty Python
  • Rapha cycling gear

Now you can add folding-bike-racing to the list.

Bicycle of the future. Aero? Yes. Electronic Shifting? Yes. Brain-controlled shifting? Yes?

If you thought Shimano’s electronic shifting Di2 was futuristic, how about shifting using your brain? It’s like a cycling-Jedi-mind-trick. Its helmet picks up brain waves, which are transmitted to the bicycle’s brain-controlled electronic derailleurs.

Before riding the cyclist needs to train the bike to read his mind. The cyclist acquires Jedi powers by practicing with an experimental iPhone app, moving a cube on its screen until the neural technology associates that thought with the neurotransmission. Once the link is made, all the cyclist has to do is think in that way and the bike’s gears will shift accordingly.

This seems like a great product addition for SRAM, maybe the 2015 version of the “Force” gruppo?