Friday, August 31, 2012

Phinney, Van Garderen headline USA team for world championships


Full composition of men, women, U23 and junior teams

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

Miller to lead California Giant cyclo-cross team


Kaiser, Eckmann continue

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

Talented Talansky continues upwards and onwards


Second year pro lies 8th overall at 5:17

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

Riis: "I do not know Fuentes"


Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank boss denies Hamilton's charges

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

Chapeau! Chamois Cream review

We all know chafing can be a problem for cyclists. Chapeau!’s new cream is impressively friction free but only for as long as it lasts. 

Application is easy from the 200ml tube and the thinner consistency than most lubes means it soaks into the skin quickly too. This also means no claggy, clinging sensation between cloth and skin. 

There’s a Menthol version for a fresher, cooling 'minty breeze' effect too. 

While we had no complaints from our test team on shorter workouts, protection begins to fade and heat to rise as you push past the two-hour mark. 

Sweat or rain-related wetness dilutes it noticeably too, which isn’t ideal for our sport or showery climates.

This article was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine, available on Zinio.

Credit: Road Bikes & Gear

U.S. collects 14 medals at the UWCT finals

The United States earned 14 medals at the UCI World Cycling Tour Finals in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, last weekend. The 14 medals this year exceeds last yearand#39;s 12-medal haul. In 2012, the Americans collected eight gold medals and three silver medals and three bronze medals.

Source: USA Cycling News Headlines

Boasson Hagen: Sky stops riders from talking about Cavendish's future


"We are not allowed to say much," Norwegian says

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

Keisse renews contract with Omega Pharma-QuickStep


Belgian hopes for classics starts

Source: Cyclingnews News Headlines

Holdsworth Firenze review

Holdsworth was Falcon’s pro-level range, and the brand re-emerged last year with a Reynolds steel road bike in iconic burnt orange. Can the new all-carbon £3,000 Firenze live up to the legendary name? 

Frame and handling

Holdsworth’s Firenze is a race machine based around 73-degree angles, with an arched but dramatically sloping top tube, a 165mm tapered head tube, BB30 bottom bracket and short, stout chainstays. The straight-bladed all-carbon fork keeps the steering direct and the ride stable. 

With dimensions like this the Firenze is at its best when you are: the long, low position encourages speedy, in-the-saddle and on-the-drops efforts, though up on the hoods you can still maintain a lower position than you can with a more sportive-orientated bike. 

While the Firenze has pulse-like acceleration, the frame can feel unrefined over chattery rough road surfaces, with a slight bang-and-crash nature over potholes. It’s never enough to push you offline, but can become a little unnerving and it’s accompanied by the rattling of the internal cables. For smooth, fast roads the Holdsworth is up with the best, but on Britain’s roads the Firenze can become a little wearing after a few hours.

Gears and wheels

The Holdsworth comes with Ultegra, but the BB30-specific Firenze requires an accompanying chainset. Holdsworth has opted for the superb FSA SL-KLight; its full carbon construction is light and stiff. The gearing, like the frame, is aimed at racers, combining a 53/39 and close ratio 12-25 cassette. Despite the ‘tall’ gearing, the low weight and great wheels mean the Firenze never becomes a chore on the steepest climbs.

Holdsworth have kept the Shimano theme, with tubeless-ready Ultegras. Tightly built, light and with quality hubs, this is the standard of wheels we’d hope for. The Rubena Syrinx V80 tyres have a soft, supple casing and roll beautifully, despite a pronounced tread that makes for a slight squirmy feeling under hard cornering.

Finishing kit

Holdsworth have assembled an excellent finishing package, with the one-piece carbon Pro Stealth Evo bar/stem the real jewel. One-piece setups have the advantage of nothing to loosen or slip. They may lack adjustability but if the shape suits you won’t look back. The shallow drop and oversized top make it comfortable in every position and its impressive stiffness matches the bike’s overall feel. 

The all-carbon Vibe seatpost is also from Pro. The slotted, open head design gives a little movement, damping vibration from the rear. It’s topped with a San Marco Concor saddle whose deep-sided, narrow shape suited our test riders.

Holdsworth’s debut carbon bike is also aimed squarely at racers. The ride is stiff, the handling direct and if you’re looking to get your racing kicks from somewhere leftfield, the superb value Firenze could be it. 

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Original: Road Bikes & Gear