Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cancellara wins 2012 Tour de France prologue in Liège

1Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan0:07:13
2Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling0:00:07
3Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
4Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:10
5Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling0:00:11
6Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
7Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos - Shimano0:00:12
8Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team0:00:13
9Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
10Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team

Friday, June 29, 2012

S-Works McLaren TT Helmet

Specialized, in conjunction with McLaren has introduced a new ultra-aero time trial helmet. So new, so special is this helmet that only two of them exist—so far. As you read this, those helmets are in the possession of Tony Martin and Levi Leipheimer. Their particular combinations of badass time trialist, über-fast bike, none-faster-than helmet and all the ensuing confidence one derives from carrying the biggest gun in the shootout could make the coming Tour de France prologue a little extra satisfying for the folks in Morgan Hill.

Last week I attended the introduction of this new helmet at the McLaren Technology Center in Surrey, outside London. Both Specialized and McLaren are reluctant to share too many details of their working relationship. They could teach a graduate workshop on discretion. And I freaking hate that. I’ve often described myself as the eternal Discovery Channel watcher. I love to learn and I’m full of questions, even at this point in my life. My visit to McLaren was both one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever visited and one of my least satisfying experiences in writing about the bike industry. At a certain point I just stopped asking questions because they couldn’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t answer.

So what are we left with? Well, let’s have a look at this helmet. They’ve been working on it for … a while. We really don’t know how long. What we know is that according to their wind tunnel data they’ve devised the absolute fastest helmet on the planet. They spent twice the amount of time in the wind tunnel as they did when designing the Venge, which suggests they would have spent a similar increase in time using Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) software to evaluate design changes even before getting to the wind tunnel. These days, most companies doing advanced aerodynamic work do all the heavy lifting with CFD and use the wind tunnel for proof-of-concept.

So what is CFD?

Do you remember the scene in Yellow Submarine where you see the music flowing out of the musical instruments as if it was a fog of beauty settling over the landscape? As a kid, I loved that visual—truth be told, that hasn’t changed; I still love the image of music settling over people as if beauty itself was washing over them. Visualizing the invisible isn’t strictly the domain of hippies on halucinogens, though they rightfully believe they hold a special ownership of that space.

CFD or Computational Fluid Dynamics does much the same thing (not as LSD, but making the invisible visible). Workstations running CFD software take an imaginary wind and blow it over a theoretical shape and then show you in a kind of lines-and-arrows diagram just how the air moves over that surface. Better yet, it can generate short movies to show you just what happens in areas of turbulence.

It’s amazingly cool to see; bong within easy reach, my college roommate could have watched this for whole Saturdays.

I have the sense that Specialized and McLaren looked at the TT helmet market and thought that they might be able to knock that problem off just to show how effective their partnership is. After all, a new TT bike can be years in the making. They just introduced the Venge last year. The wheel market is glutted with new ideas (some of which are working very well). I’m betting that the TT helmet is an interim project while they work on something bigger—a bike—on a longer development timeline.

So what really makes this helmet different? If you’re going to reduce this helmet to its two most important achievements, the first would be its drag numbers for when the rider looks down. Many TT helmets have great head-on drag. The problem is that they turn into sails if you pull a little red kite prayer. While this helmet doesn’t manage to maintain the same drag numbers head-on as head-down, its head-down numbers are so good that it is still faster than some companies’ helmets head-on. The chart below is a small sampling of the many helmets the big red S tested; I saw a chart that was hard to read because it listed so many helmets. This one is a good deal easier to follow.

This chart is also notable for an unintended reason: I had no idea the Spiuk Kronos was so damn fast. Go figure.

The second significant development introduced with this helmet are its gill vents. At the rear of the helmet there are slits along the top and sides that help channel air by and through the helmet to speed its flow. Not only do they make the helmet faster, they move more air over the rider’s head, we’re told, helping to keep him cooler as he rides.

There have been a great many TT helmets that were little more than fairings with a pad or two. They were as protective as a perforated condom, though entirely more popular. The S-Works helmet offers real protection and even uses dual-density foam to keep head trauma to an absolute minimum should you go down.

It’s hard to know just what McLaren provides Specialized in their partnership. Both companies are—quite understandably—pretty tight-lipped about the work they do together, that is, beyond revealing a new product. During the presentation I attended they talked about some of their work being strictly about technology. It was veiled and cryptic enough to be worthy of a Jedi master. Just what they meant I really don’t understand.

But let’s back up a second. McLaren’s Advanced Technology Division exists to bring McLaren’s considerable technological prowess to less fortunate companies. What I learned during our visit is that they spend a lot of time evaluating companies before they make an approach. And yes, so far as I understand, they reach out to you after deciding you’re cool enough. You’ve got to have the horsepower to be able to spend copiously on development. You’ve also got to have a reputation for predation, identity-wise and an ability to convey brainy gnar in your marketing.

Our tour of McLaren was exceedingly entertaining, what with the wheel-change competition on one of the Vodafone Formula One cars (and wherein our protagonist nearly peeled the skin from his thumb in an ill-timed activation of the air wrench), but probably encompassed less than 10 percent of the building. We saw cars driven by Ayrton Senna, Lewis Hamilton and Emerson Fittipaldi and had the ability to take pictures of nary an item we saw outside of the area where the intro was conducted.

Next spring this helmet will begin appearing at select Specialized retailers at a retail price that I suspect will fit somewhere between emergency room visit and college tuition. It’s fair to surmise that those retailers will all be Specialized Concept Stores.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Piru TT

via Uncle Tren's Race Productions's Facebook Wall by Uncle Tren's Race Productions on 6/28/12

The sands of time, are not waiting for you to get signed up for the races, this weekend!

July Links:

40k, Sat. June 30th

20k, July 1st

Hope to see you there!

Fwd: Summer Savings and a chance to win








How do you start the summer in style?  With a brand new road or mountain bike of course!  During the entire month of July, purchase any bike over $1000 and receive a Rock N' Road gift card to use on any merchandise in the stores!*  The more you spend, the more you get!  Visit any one of our 4 Orange County locations for details.


Win big on our Tour de France Drawing!  Come in to any one of our 4 locations between June 30th and July 22nd to enter (one entry per person per day maximum).  No purchase necessary.


GRAND PRIZE - (1 winner) Limited Edition RNR kit (jersey & shorts), Oakley Radar Lock and Oakley backpack

2ND PRIZE - (5 winners) Winner and a guest gets a Tour of the Oakley facilities followed by an invite only ride

3RD PRIZE - (20 winners) Custom Rock N' Road JerseyBin (waterproof sports pouch)


*Offer valid on regularly price bicycles only.  Cannot be combined with any other coupon, discount or offer.  Gift card expires August 1, 2012.  Valid on in stock merchandise only.



It's that time of the year again!  This year's edition of the Tour de France starts Saturday, June 30th and ends on Sunday, July 22nd.  This Tour is shaping up to be a wild one with no clear favorite.  Although, one thing is certain in this year's race, Specialized and Cervelo bicycles will win a stage, or two, or three, or....


Swing by any one of our 4 locations to see and ride the winning bike brands of the Tour de France.



The first half of the Over the Hump Race Series has come to a conclusion and what a first half it was!  Year after year, week after week this race series continues to grow larger.  We witnessed racers, riders and spectators thoroughly enjoying themselves for the last 6 Tuesdays and we cannot wait until July 24, when the action starts up again!  Check the link below for the current list of racers who wear the leader's jersey.


For more info- Over the Hump.



  (949)859-5076            (949)360-8045            (714)988-2453          (949)733-2453


Friday, June 15, 2012 Time Trial Articles

Buying Time: Which Aero Equipment Offers the Most Benefits?

When striving for optimal aerodynamics, how can you get the most bang for your buck? Learn which pieces of aero equipment will shed the most seconds.

10 Common Time Trial Mistakes

Starting too hard? Changing position too close to race day? Avoid these and eight more blunders come race day.

3 Elements of Faster Time Trialing

At the highest level there are three components of success to a faster time. Find out what they are and how to use them to your advantage.

Riding the Race of Truth: Training for a Time Trial

Develop the ability and confidence required to race against the clock with these three essential workouts.

AP Photo/Santa Maria Times, Ed Souza

Improve Your Aero Positioning With These 5 Stretches

Make your riding position more efficient with five Lance Armstrong-tested stretches.

Pacing Strategy: Flat Out or Even-Steven?

Don't misjudge your pace and have a blow up way before the finish line. Finish strong with these pacing strategies.

Getty Images/Franck Fife

Tech Talk: Can You Buy Speed?

What equipment investments are the most advantageous for cutting seconds on your time trial, without emptying the bank account?

Aero on a Budget: Transform Your Current Ride Into a Race-Day Workhorse

Can't take out a second mortgage to purchase a top-shelf tri bike? Here's how to go aero on your existing machine.

Decreasing Aerodynamic Drag

Reduce air resistance and increase speed with these tips on easing your way through the wind.

Get Under the Wind

A key to going faster is to reduce wind resistance. Whether you're working with aero bars or a standard road bike, here's what you need to know to get started on becoming more aerodynamic.

Pro Time Trial Helmets at the Tour of California

Lance Armstrong's Giro, Tom Boonen's Specialized. The new Rudy Project. Find out who was wearing what at the 2009 Amgen Tour of California Prologue time trial.

Brad Roe/Road Bike Action

Monday, June 4, 2012

Martin is back and targeting three Tour de France time trial wins

GRENOBLE, France (VN) — Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is back at his best after a serious training crash two months ago. He won the Tour of Belgium last week and on Sunday placed fifth in the Critérium du Dauphiné prologue.

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) ruled the 5.7km course around Grenoble in 6:38. Bradley Wiggins (Sky) threatened to take the win, but finished just one second short of Durbridge’s pace. Germany’s Martin, though, was only four seconds behind Durbridge and in fifth place at the end of the day. It’s a big step forward considering he was hit by a car and suffered multiple fractures on April 11.

“Already in Frankfurt on the first of May, he was fourth. He was already good and it looked like he didn’t lose too much [of his condition],” Omega Pharma sports director, Brian Holm told VeloNews. “In the Tour of Belgium, especially the time trial, he convinced everybody he was on the right level.”

Martin won the 20km time trial in Belgium on stage 4 and held on to the overall lead to win the race. It was his first race win of the season.

Last year, he capped off his season with a win in the world championship time trial in Copenhagen. During the year, he won the Paris-Nice overall and, just meters away from where Holm stood on Sunday, the final Tour de France time trial.

Despite the crash, Holm said that Martin is on schedule for the Tour de France and the Olympics. His next test is a 53.5km TT on Thursday in the Dauphiné.

“In our world, you have to be optimistic,” said Holm. “You have to think, ‘Good, he didn’t do Romandie and maybe he’ll be fresher for the Tour.’ You always have to think positively, don’t you?

“Our plan is the same for the Tour as it is here. We’d rather him win a time trial than have him come 11th in the Tour. It’s not good to have him come fourth in the time trial because he’s tired. To win, like he did last year here in Grenoble, would be good for us.”

Holm explained that Levi Leipheimer, despite a separate crash involving a car, and Peter Velits will lead Omega Pharma’s classification fight this year. Sylvain Chavanel will try in the escapes. Martin has three chances against the clock: the 6.4km prologue in Liège, Belgium, the 41.5km TT from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon, and the 53.5km TT from Bonneval to Chartres.

Holm added: “We have to chose our battles carefully in the Tour.”

Friday, June 1, 2012

Backyard Wind Tunnel

Aerodynamic testing is the only way to find an individual’s ideal position and equipment. Wind tunnel trials are the gold standard, but they’re expensive. However, cycling scientist Allen Lim, Ph.D., discovered an alternative to wind tunnels years ago—all it takes is a flat stretch of road and a power meter.

Lim’s research found that “power meters are sensitive enough to … detect the changes in aerodynamic resistances associated with modest changes in body position,” which is precisely the goal of a wind tunnel. Meaning: You can collect data from a road test to refine your position. If you don’t own a power meter, consider borrowing or renting one.

» Step 1: Mark a flat stretch of road with consistent pavement. Lim’s testing ground was about 200m long.

» Step 2: Using a rolling start to get up to speed, ride the course at a constant speed while holding your body still. Return to the start and repeat two more trials with the same position.

» Step 3: Make a single change to either your position or equipment and repeat step 2. Record the time for each trial.

» Step 4: Average the power from each group of three trials and find the condition that required the least power. Ride it for a few weeks to find if you can sustain it comfortably.