• Descent Fear1 day 43 min agoHere's a page that has a very

    Here's a page that has a very detailed discussion of descending technique, which I've found very helpful. I particularly like the emphasis on observation and thinking all the time - it's much more than just a physical skill:

    It sounds like you may be nervous about speed as much as cornering. If you can find suitable roads or paths near you, you may be able to get practice at both of these aspects separately. For example, here in Edinburgh, the road going round Arthur's Seat towards Holyrood Palace is a long gentle descent without any sharp bends that's often almost traffic-free. It's not at all steep, but long enough that you can build up a pretty high speed. It then flattens out for quite a bit before a little roundabout, so it's ideal for practising braking from speed. Conversely, across the city, one of the cycling/walking paths ends with a little access path that's a few tight switchbacks down to road level. (It's fun to imagine for 30 seconds that you're going down Alpe d'Huez or similar. Wink ) OK, it's much narrower than a road and you have to go very slowly, but that's sort-of the point; you can focus on cornering techniques without worrying about getting run over or tumbling down a mountainside if you get it wrong. If you can find similar stretches near to you, you may be able to practise in a safer environment to build a bit more confidence before putting it all together on your usual descents.

  • Astana used acupuncture1 day 47 min agoNo, because acupuncture is

    No, because acupuncture is supposed to be needles (or other stimulation) inserted in specific places they call "acupoints". In fact, it turns out that you can stick needles in anywhere and have the same effect. Indicating that the effect is caused by the expectation of benefit, and hence, is the placebo effect.

    A better version of your analogy would be to give one group of people with headaches paracetamol tablets and another group of people with headaches some paracetamol cream to rub on their feet. If both groups found their headaches lessened then yes, you could call paracetamol a placebo.

    edit: I should note as adamthekiwi says above, the placebo effect can be beneficial, but it's no reason to buy in to bad science. Otherwise it's a slippery slope back to charms to ward off the plague.

  • Netapp-Endura set to change to Bora-Argon 18 for 20151 day 49 min agoCooktop extractors of all

    Cooktop extractors of all things. Who would have guessed. I was thinking Campagnolo when I read the headline. As in Bora wheels.
    Meanwhile, over at Team Belkin:


  • Astana used acupuncture1 day 54 min agoApologies if this is tl;dr -

    Apologies if this is tl;dr - if it is, well, tl;dr!

    Actually, placebo is a very effective treatment. I can't recall the paper off the top of my head (it was a published, peer-reviewed study and I will dig it out if anyone is interested) but patients given a pill *and told it was a placebo* showed a measurable improvement in a variety of pathologies. Interestingly, if I remember the contents correctly, the most effective placebo pills were large red or yellow ones.

    Doctors can be effective placebos too - again, I'll dig out the study if anyone is interested, but a doctor saying "You'll be better in no time" has much better outcomes than a doctor who says "I'm not sure this treatment will work for you".

    My understanding is that acupuncture has inconsistent results in evidence-based testing, partly because of the difficulty in designing experiments with a control group for such an invasive procedure. Chiropracty and osteopathy are theoretically junk, but have some good results for musculo-skeletal pain.

    Essentially, it may well be that any team could get the same results as Astana by employing someone that the riders trust as a professional to give them a big red sugar pill and tell them they're definitely going to win! It will work brilliantly until the other teams uncover it as a method!

  • Emma Pooley announces her retirement1 day 1 hour agoSimon E wrote: Sarah runs a

    Simon E wrote:

    Sarah runs a great women's racing site, the audio interview with Emma (and more ) here:

    As Simon said (sorry!), Sarah's work on women's cycling is great (how about a few guest columns Road.cc....) and it was actually her that introduced me to Emma.

    Follow her on Twitter - @_pigeons_ - although be warned she's mad as a box of frogs Smile

  • B'Twin Count 8 Counter computer1 day 1 hour agoQuote:It had all the key

    It had all the key measures (well maybe apart from total ascent) that tell me if a ride is easy or hard

    I usually find if I'm exhausted at the end of a ride then it was hard, if not then it probably wasn't...

    Nice review though

  • Netapp-Endura set to change to Bora-Argon 18 for 20151 day 1 hour agostenmeister wrote:That bloody

    stenmeister wrote:
    That bloody 'extracting steam without a cooker hood' advert is back in my head again. Crying Make it stop.

    Yeah, those adverts late at night are like the upper class version of the steam mop adverts.

    Never in a million years would you think about it, but once you keep seeing the advert the desire rises up to a level where you find yourself almost needing one.

    Thankfully though, I've never created a pasta dish out of Sidi cycling shoes.

  • Astana used acupuncture1 day 2 hours agoWrongfoot wrote:where

    Wrongfoot wrote:
    where "needles stuck anywhere with a bit of ceremony" was contrasted with "proper acupuncture" both worked... = placebo effect

    Is that really proof that it is all placebo?

    Surely it would only be placebo if one group had needles put in them and one group hadn't?

    Surely that study is more akin to giving one group with headaches paracetamol and the other group unnamed tablets that happened to be paracetamol, and then calling paracetamol a placebo because the majority of the recipients found their headaches lessened?

  • Netapp-Endura set to change to Bora-Argon 18 for 20151 day 2 hours agoThat bloody 'extracting steam

    That bloody 'extracting steam without a cooker hood' advert is back in my head again. Crying Make it stop.

  • £1,500 settlement for cyclist injured when seat clamp broke1 day 2 hours ago£1,500 sounds like a pretty

    £1,500 sounds like a pretty derisory amount in "compo" terms. His case must have been pretty poor if Irwin Mitchell advised him to settle for that, though I expect the payout was double once their fee was included. Not sure this is really a cycling story, more likely one of how the underclasses supplement their benefits claims.

  • Ride London 100 - too little too late?1 day 2 hours agoLong-range weather forecast

    Long-range weather forecast is for cloudy and 17-22 degC. And - interestingly - a 10mph south-westerly wind. So it'll be headwind on the way out and tailwind back... that'll help.

  • Ride London 100 - too little too late?1 day 2 hours agoIf Boris can get round (in

    If Boris can get round (in 8:04) then, unless you are significantly larger and less fit than he, so can you (or anyone for that matter). Don't worry about the climbs - you can get off and walk if needs be without being much slower than trying to grind up them - and apart from the 3 main ones (and Coombe Hill and Wimbledon Hill toward the end) there really isn't much in the way of undulation. The 8:30 cut-off time is really for those that set off in the last wave - you just need to get to the finish by 17:00.
    If the weather is as good as it was last year it will be a fantastic day - just remember to apply sunscreen and drink plenty - go out and enjoy the ride. There was plenty of support on the roadside to spur you on.

  • Choisissez trois Français... 2014 édition1 day 2 hours agoWell done Jandrew. In my

    Well done Jandrew. In my defence, my team did wear yellow on Bastille Day.

  • Netapp-Endura set to change to Bora-Argon 18 for 20151 day 2 hours agoOops! Fancy being the wrong


    Fancy being the wrong universe.

  • Ride London 100 - too little too late?1 day 2 hours agoBit of a shortage of hills in

    Bit of a shortage of hills in Essex. However, Epping Forest has some nasty ones so I guess a few laps of those will have to do.

  • Tour de France inspires Britons to get on their bikes, says Sustrans1 day 2 hours agoSit at the back and be quiet

    Sit at the back and be quiet wrote:
    Ok so get to the point - when we're out having fun and exercise don't forget it's a working landscape populated by often tired, bored frustrated people with jobs to do.
    Take care be safe.

    Us town folk don't have jobs, and nobody ever visits either...

  • Glasgow bike shop “humbled” by response to its helping Malawi cyclists1 day 2 hours agoAbbie wrote:Wouldn't it be

    Abbie wrote:
    Wouldn't it be great if TEAM MALAWI went home with a Meddle Cool

    It would. They'll have to peddle very hard though.

  • Rose 2015: X-Lite Team 800g carbon frame and new disc-equipped Xeon launched1 day 2 hours agoAll very impressive. This,

    All very impressive.

    This, however, looks like a cable that will get coated in all sorts of road gunk:

  • Descent Fear1 day 2 hours agoColin Peyresourde covers the

    Colin Peyresourde covers the technical aspects above well enough
    There are other things like how you shift your weight around that really help

    I am not a super fast descender but a key realisation is that it is often safer not to brake

    In the dry, modern tyres have incredible traction. You can lean right over and be just fine. Don't try this on gravel / dirty wet roads though!

  • Tour de France inspires Britons to get on their bikes, says Sustrans1 day 2 hours agoSit at the back and be quiet

    Sit at the back and be quiet wrote:
    The Dales are not a playground, they are a working environment and the people who live here have to get to work, get to the shops, run errands etc and it's easy for them to get annoyed when they are forced to travel behind a cyclist ascending a long steep hill (We have lots of these) at snails pace.
    - It may well be easy for them to get annoyed but not excusable. Do they also get easily annoyed when a person walks along the road and they have to slow down to pass, or when another person working in the Dales is moving animals along the road, or when the other person is in a slow tractor whilst they are in their 4x4 at the time?

    Getting annoyed because a slower road user causes you a little delay is a just a little bit pathetic really, isn't it?

    "The indicators on a tractor are high up and often covered in muck,..." - I think you'll find that having the indicators covered in muck and obscured, even on a tractor, is an offence.

    "don't forget it's a working landscape populated by often tired, bored frustrated people with jobs to do." - Nobody, job to do or not, should be driving any motor vehicle when their ability to do so is impaired by tiredness, boredom or frustration.

    Finally I do agree that when a cyclist rode too quickly down the hill and nearly hit your 4x4 they were in the wrong and should certainly not have been abusive to you, that was also inexcusable.

    I'm still not sure quite what your point was. It reads like; come over and ride your bike but remember it isn't a playground so don't have too much fun, don't get in the way of the hard working, knackered and bored locals who obviously take priority over you and take care and be safe.

  • £1,500 settlement for cyclist injured when seat clamp broke1 day 3 hours ago"This case highlights the

    "This case highlights the importance of ensuring that the parts of a bicycle are correctly fitted and maintained to prevent any similar accidents in future.”

    But, on my reading, it was correctly fitted. It broke. That might be because of incorrect fitting but that would be better described as a defective part.

    As to maintenance, that is the responsibility of the owner.

    Poor reasons from the lawyer.

  • Noise when peddling hard uphill1 day 3 hours agoI agree with mike the bike. A

    I agree with mike the bike.
    A bang is sometimes a real problem

    A further test is to hold the left and right pedal and try to wriggle them laterally. Not up and down in the pedalling plane but left to right. There should be no play (movement) at all. If there is any movement you need to take a look at the BB asap!

    You don't say what type of bottom bracket you have

    Recently I had a problem with a pronounced "click" under load with a square taper BB. I removed the BB and pedals, cleaned everything and used *lots* of grease to reassemble. It is nice and quiet now.

  • Descent Fear1 day 3 hours agoI am a crap descender, I am

    I am a crap descender, I am getting better but still crap.

    Only advice, first if you have any queries about a component you will worry about it and begin to focus on what may go wrong.

    Second practice, it takes time but just get used to riding downhill, never push too far, crashing is not good if you have confidence issues to begin with.

    Try and think what concerns you? I find roads with junctions more of an issue than open roads, it is the what is round the corner issue.

    Other things, your build, I am guessing light riders can get blown around more passing farm gates ( I am guessing because I am not a heavy rider and never have been), I have only been blown off once on the mtb. ( I am quite tall and light)

  • £1,500 settlement for cyclist injured when seat clamp broke1 day 3 hours agoBez wrote:Maybe I'm both

    Bez wrote:
    Maybe I'm both cynical and naive, but I can't fully square this with being pleased that the case ended with a cash payout but zero liability.

    You see the same thing with negligence cases with hospitals and the police. They will pay out on proviso of accepting no liability so it doesnt open them up to future cases, and those that do match it are fought on an individual basis rather than emerging 'trends'.

    The £1.5k is sort of a 'now go away' payment rather than spend in excess of multiples of that defending it.

    "Here's a sticky plaster but its not my fault you fell!"

    Makes me think of that monologue in Fight Club about the cost of payouts against the cost of vehicle recalls. Culture of blame/denial rather than resolution/innovation.

    It would be interesting to know what the point of failure was: the manufacturing process of the part, its fitting and/or adjustment from the shop.

  • Focus Variado 2.0 Bike 2012 XL 58cm Excellent / VGC. South Wales1 day 3 hours agoSOLD!