The CyclingTips Nerd Alert Podcast dives deep into the bikes and tech we all love. Road, gravel, mountain bikes, we cover it all. Hosted by James Huang, Dave Rome, and Caley Fretz.
Broken handlebars, flexy seatposts, and power meter pedals to the (Shimano) people
Mathieu van der Poel didn’t let a little broken handlebar on his Canyon Aeroad keep him from finishing Le Samyn, a cobbled race in Belgium, but why did it break? And what’s up with the flexy seatposts on those bikes, anyway?
The Nerds share their thoughts on those topics and then look into a Specialized patent for a wacky flexy seatpost design of its own. And is the wait finally over for power meter pedals for Shimano SPD-SL pedal fans? It sure looks that way.
Last but not least in this week’s episode, The Nerds bring back the “What Bike Should I Buy?” segment to discuss the ultimate one-bike solution — or if it even exists.
Can cycling apparel brands cut back on plastic bag use?
With very few exceptions, every piece of cycling clothing you buy comes in its own individual bag — or “polybag” as it’s commonly called in the industry. When you take into account the size of the global cycling apparel industry, and the number of individual garments, that’s a lot of plastic bags. Has it always been this way? How did we get here? And what do we do about it? In this week’s episode, James chats with two apparel brands, Ornot and Pearl Izumi, to assess the current state of things, find out how things are already improving, and why we still have a long way to go.
Making sense of the latest tech chaos
Dropper seat posts for Super Tucking on road bikes? Mountain bikes with fully internal cable routing?? Road Boost hub spacing??? $6,000 aero bars????
Some of the recent developments in the bike world actually make a bit of sense, but there’s an awful lot of other stuff that’s so silly that, well, it’s pretty much guaranteed to happen. The Nerds dig into what’s going on and try to make sense of the madness.
Nerding out on custom wheels
In this week’s Nerd Alert, James and Dave go deep into the rabbit hole of custom bicycle wheels with Adrian Emilsen of Melody Wheels in Perth, Australia. Why should you care about wheels? Are custom wheels really better than factory-built ones? How would you build a set of wheels for a light rider versus a heavier one? What are some strategies you can pursue at home if you want to get into the basics of truing, or maybe want to build a set of wheels for the first time yourself? Hope you’ve got some time set aside because we get real nerdy on this one.
Wireless for everybody!
Recent filings with the US Federal Communications Commission reveal that Shimano’s next generation of Dura-Ace Di2 will be at least semi-wireless — and not only that, but SRAM looks to finally be bringing its AXS wireless system down to the Rival level.
Both developments are very exciting, but what do they mean for wired drivetrains, and will both companies be able to deliver in the current environment? While drivetrains are trending toward wireless, indoor trainers might be moving in the other direction with hardwired connections for better signal reliability.
Finally, we tackle a whole bunch of fresh questions in our Ask a Mechanic segment (and Caley actually has something meaningful to contribute this time around).
Is it possible to have too many tools? No, it is not.
You might look at tools just as utilitarian items — cold lumps of lifeless steel. For the true believers, the difference between good tools and bad ones is like the difference between gas station sushi and the real thing: they both might get the job done, but one is certainly a lot more satisfying, while the other is more likely to leave you feeling more than a little bit of regret. But, what makes a good tool, why is designing one so hard to do, and why should you care? James and Dave get the lowdown with Jason Quade from Abbey Bike Tools.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Funny and geeky. As I wax my chains (and yes I’m way to overweight to see any real results) I feel this is very relaxing to my brain. Please more tools :) Love it. Also I have a topic idea - cassettes and how to recognize the wear of it.