Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 24-Hour MTB Nationals begin Saturday in Colorado Springs

More than 200 riders will tackle the trails at Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday, October 1, for the 2011 USA Cycling 24-Hour Mountain Bike National Championships.

Source: USA Cycling News Headlines

US Cup wraps up with California state championships


50-miler also on tap for this weekend

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

Change is in the works for UCI mountain bike disciplines


The latest on eliminators, four cross, gravity enduros and marathons

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

Jamis Ventura Race review

Jamis's Ventura Race stands apart from the host of identikit road bikes available in the sub-£1,000 bracket thanks to its carbon fibre seatstays – a feature usually found on bikes costing several hundred pounds more.

They add a welcome bit of comfort, avoiding the jarring ride of some all-alloy bikes at this price. The Jamis's short, upright ride position will definitely suit beginners, commuters and sportive riders better than racers, though.

Ride & handling: No slouch, but emphasises long-ride comfort over short-term speed gains

That upright position – courtesy of a short top tube (570mm/22.4in, horizontal, on our 58cm test bike) and tall head tube (200mm/7.9in, with a deep conical spacer on top) – is the first thing you notice when you sit on the bike. A long stem is used to attain a reach long enough for the bike's size, and taller riders will find themselves running the 300mm seatpost at full extension – or swapping it for a longer one, as we did.

This setup will likely appeal to beginners, as it provides a better view in traffic and tends to be more comfortable for those unaccustomed to spending long hours in the saddle. More experienced riders, however, will likely yearn for a flatter backed, more efficient position and a lower front end for improved cornering and descending.

In the hand, the Ventura Race feels heavier than its actual weight of 20.5lb/9.3kg, without pedals. On the road, however, it responds well to pedalling and steering inputs, and you'll only notice the heft when accelerating or climbing.

We were sceptical as to whether the carbon stays would make any difference to the ride, but they add a tangible degree of extra comfort, filtering out some of the road buzz and taking the edge off potholes, aided by the full-carbon (not just the blades, as on many bikes at this price) fork up front. This addresses one of our main criticisms of the cheaper Ventura Comp.

The payoff is a slight reduction in rear end stiffness compared to the best all-alloy bikes at this price – we didn't notice any squirm or waggle but the Jamis can't match their lightning-fast acceleration (it's extra weight doesn't help in this area either). Unless you're a particularly aggressive or heavy rider, or have your mind set on racing, that's probably a compromise worth making in return for the improved long-ride comfort.

Frame: Carefully shaped and sized chassis with carbon chainstays and fork

Made by Kinesis using double-butted 7075 alloy, the mainframe has an ovalised top tube and bi-axially ovalised down tube to maximise front end and pedalling stiffness, along with an integrated headset. Plugged into the bottom of the head tube is Jamis's own full-carbon (apart from the dropouts) straight-bladed fork.

Out back are curved carbon seatstays – technically a carbon monostay, as they're formed in one piece – with a visible carbon weave. They're horizontally ovalised to resist side-to-side flex. There are bosses for two bottle cages but no rack or mudguard mounts, limiting the bike's appeal to commuters.

Jamis's use of size-specific tubing (SST) means that not only do larger frames have longer tubes than smaller ones, they're also larger in diameter. This is designed to ensure more consistent ride quality across the frame sizes.

After experiencing problems with toe overlap on the cheaper Ventura Sport and Comp, we were anticipating the same with the Race, but it never materialised. The 58cm Race was a larger frame though, so it's something to check before buying a smaller size. The frame's compact nature means it's a good idea to check sizing before you buy anyway – with an effective top tube length of 57cm, the 58cm size we tested was a little short for riders over 6ft.

Equipment: Good kit for the price, although white bits won't stay that way for long

Shimano 105 gears are a bonus at this price; we'd normally expect Tiagra. The levers feel a little plasticky but shifting performance isn't far off the more expensive Ultegra. Given the Jamis's weight and the fact it's likely to be bought by people fairly new to cycling, the combination of an 11- to 25-tooth cassette and 50/34T FSA compact crankset gives a fairly high lowest gear, though. We also found that stopping power from the hoods left a little to be desired.

The Jamis-branded carbon-wrap seatpost may look more sophisticated than an all-alloy equivalent, but it's heavier – 233g – and any road-buzz-reducing comfort benefit from the carbon is minimal; in fact, lightweight alloy posts tend to have a hint of fore-aft flex, which would likely make more of a difference to comfort. We didn't notice any difference when we subbed in a longer, alloy post.

The chunky Selle San Marco Ischia Arrowhead saddle looked somewhat out of place on such a racy-looking bike but was comfortable enough and had useful long and easily accessible rails. The wheels – no-name hubs on Alex ALX-190 rims with DT stainless steel spokes – stayed true throughout testing and the 23c Vittoria Zaffiro tyres are a durable choice, although they don't stay white for long.

Jamis ventura race: jamis ventura race

Credit: Road Bikes & Gear

Medicine of Cycling releases Concussion Guidelines for cyclists

USA Cycling and the Medicine of Cycling group have released recommendations for treatment of riders who have sustained head trauma in cycling. Foremost amongst the guidelines is that any rider with a witnessed loss of consciousness during training or competition should be immediately removed from competition for evaluation by a medical professional trained in diagnosing traumatic brain injury or concussion.

Source: USA Cycling News Headlines

Cummings signs for BMC


Briton leaves Sky after two seasons

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

Brajkovic confirmed to Astana for two years


Slovenian to be co-captain with Kreuziger

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

Specialized Airtool Carbon Road pump review

Well, everything else is made from carbon these days, so why not your pump too? It'll take you a fair bit of effort to get up to 100psi with the Carbon Road but it's still a robustly made and well thought out model.

The handle and barrel are carbon, the shaft aluminium. The result is that the Airtool doesn't heat up like some other mini pumps. It's good to see a locking head, and one neat touch is that if you twist the top of the handle you'll find some glueless patches within. Clever.

Via: Road Bikes & Gear

NetApp satisfied with top finishes in big races in 2011


Impey leaving, Cozza staying, four new riders announced

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

FSA Team Issue MegaExo Carbon crankset review

Unlike FSA's top line chainsets, the Team Issue has an alloy skeleton to which the carbon composite arms and spider are bonded. The axle is oversized to 24mm diameter and made of super tough and stiff chromoly. The outer finish is a unidirectional carbon with classy graphics that have proved hardwearing, as they're applied underneath the final lacquer.

The standard Team Issue weighs in at a reasonable 730g. As FSA's most modest carbon model we'd expect compromises, but the chainset is as rigid as we'd like, hardwearing and has stayed relatively scuff free. The ring bolts are steel rather than alloy; that adds weight and they don't resist corrosion and discolouring as well as we'd like.

We tested the FSA with SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo (10-speed), and shift quality was great across the board and particularly slick with SRAM. The chainrings are alloy but stamped, not machined, so a bit chunkier. When shifting under load there was a little flex and the odd sticky change. The main assembly is well made and finished though. The rings aren't quite as good but would be easy to upgrade.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.

Source: Road Bikes & Gear

Lea and Newell win omniums on 2nd day of Elite Track Nats

The first national championship jerseys were awarded on the second day of the 2011 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championshipsat the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Competitors in the 2008 Olympic Games Sarah Hammer, Jennie Reed and Bobby Lea were among the eight athletes to earn medals in Thursdayandrsquo;s races.

Source: USA Cycling News Headlines

Hansen hopes to end season on high at Jayco Herald Sun Tour


Omega Pharma-Lotto director Michiel Elijzen says team is excited to race Down Under

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines