Posted on Leave a comment

Committed to Racing

cyclist racing

It’s in our name. It’s defines our company culture. And it’s the recipe for how our products have earned the reputation of durable and portable. It’s our commitment to racing.

We put our products in the hands of the World’s most demanding teams, athletes and mechanics. Grand Tours, Spring Classics, World Cup MTB and Cyclocross are all opportunities for us to gain Feedback, so our products satisfy the people who use them at home, the local and regional races, and Nationals events.

Our commitment to racing is no more obvious than walking the pits of this past weekends Trek Cup World Cup Cyclocross Race in Waterloo, WI. We started counting Omniums, but at a certain point the number just became “a lot”…

Have a look at a few pics from the weekend – as always, Trek’s dedication to cyclocross showed. The crowds were entertained and the racing was brutal.

Like many amateurs and professionals this past weekend, former French National CX Champion Steve Chainel stopped by for a post-race cool-down on the Omnium Zero-Drive Trainer

 

Helen Wyman navigates the Challenge tent, sharing a nearly infinite amount of wisdom with up and comers Anna Kay, Clara Honsinger, and Sammi Runnels – and of course they use Feedback repair stands and Omnium Trainers every weekend.

 

The newly formed Easton/Giant CX Team runs the same program as most – Pro Elites, Sprint Stands and Omnium Trainers – the portability and reliability of our products is hard to beat, or so we’re told!

 

We love SRAM and Trek Factory Racing, and they love our repair stands and tools! Their entire events program, including neutral support, uses our Pro Elite and Sprint Repair Stands, plus our Team Edition tool kit!

 

See, told you so – SRAM love our repair stands and the Team Edition Tool Kit – they recognize quality of purpose-built, multi-function tools!

 

Sophie de Boer, a World Cup Dutch rider, loves to warm-up on the Omnium Zero-Drive Trainer too!

 

Nothing to see here, except beard. And the beard’s sweet, sweet Pro Elite Repair Stand

 

Maghalie Rochette, Specialized/Feedback Sports athlete makes her way through the course on her way to 5th place! Not that you’d be able to see it, but underneath that mud is the UCI World Cup Leader’s Jersey after her season opening win at Jingle Cross.

 

Katerina Nash – what can you say – 41yrs old and absolutely crushing it with the win – also a sponsored Feedback Sports athlete. And no, it’s not about age…but her experience was definitely a serious contributor to the World Cup win.

 

Maghalie Rochette landed a hard-fought 5th place. Her cool-down provides the space to rest the mind from the busy week spent in the UCI Leader’s Jersey.

 

Our dedication to racing provides the feedback we look for in all of our products. How does weather influence a trainer? How do our stands hold up to a full season, or five? How do mechanics use our tools in the heat of the moment? Do our tools hold up to the demands of techs that use them everyday, sometimes several times a day.

Thanks for looking – and we’ll see you at the races!

Posted on Leave a comment

Want to be a better cyclocross racer? Avoid the avoidable, says coach Chris Mayhew.

man lying on ground with bike
With the upcoming United States Cyclocross National Championships , we invited JBV Coaching’s Chris Mayhew to share his thoughts on how to prepare for the big race at hand. Mayhew has actively raced for over 25 years – toeing the line at elite cyclocross, road, MTB and time trial events.  He puts on cycling training camps, cycling skills clinics, and rumor has it, he’s also quite the bike mechanic. In other words, Chris lives and dies for cyclocross and has the experience to know what makes a bike racer successful.  Anyone prepping for that “big race” has trained their body to be ready. Chris’s tips can ensure your bike is ready, too.
——————————————————————————————————-

You’ve spent months training and analyzing your data, hours researching the right hashtags and filters for your #crossiscoming posts and then on race day all that hard work comes undone from a preventable mechanical. Bummer.

Ben Bergeron says there are 5 things you can control as a racer: sleep, recovery, nutrition, training and mindset. I would add that for bike racing you can also control the initial state of your equipment. That said, I realize it’s challenging to put in the work as a bike racer and then have to be a bike mechanic too. My experience has proven there are two really easy ways to provide the best return on your time and keep your equipment in for cyclocross season.

First, wash your bike.

Bill Marshall (KCCX) getting the job done in fine fashion.

This can take many forms, and it’s somewhat situational dependent. After a muddy ride or race, the minimum you should do is lean the bike up against something and hit it with a hose to knock the majority of the mud off. This will keep your sidewalls and any metal parts on the bike happy along with the cables, if you still have any of those! Spend two minutes on this.

It doesn’t need to be perfect, it needs to be clean enough to lube a chain and see the details of the drivetrain components. The real action happens with a deeper wash, which should happen once a week. Remove the wheels, install a chain keeper, and put the bike in a repair stand. I prefer dropout-style repair stands for washing and detailed work, but also have the luxury of a standard upright repair stand too. Get a bucket, some brushes and some Dawn soap and go to town. This isn’t about being a black shoe, white sock roadie. Think of this as an active meditation with your bike. Clean all the surfaces, making sure some sort of cleaner (soap for the bike, de-greaser for the chain) gets liberally applied and washed off. As you do this, have a close look at the frame and all the moving, rotating and gliding components. Spin the cranks while you clean them and feel for looseness or crunchiness in the bearings (bottom bracket, pedal and derailleur). Think about any issues you had with the bike when you last rode it – the minute I dismount my bike, I seem to forget any problem I had until the next time I ride.

This whole bike wash process should take around 15-20 minutes from the time you fill the bucket until you put the bike back in storage. The main point in all of this is to engage with every part of the bike and catch things like bent chain links or worn cables before they become a problem on race day. This is a great time to quickly check your brake pads too.

So yes, you get a clean bike out of it, but more importantly it’s a bike inspection and preventative maintenance.

In tandem with the above, and maybe even while you still have it in the stand, check your bolts.

You don’t have to do this every week, but once a month run through the stem, seat-post and saddle bolts at minimum. I’m in love with my Feedback Sports Range for this sort of work. You can loosen and tighten any bolt with it (unlike most torque wrenches) and it comes in a very handy little case that keeps all the bits in one place. All my other torque bits are scattered somewhere across my work bench at this point. I’ve taken to just keeping my Range in my race clothing bag as a race day essential.

As I said earlier, bike maintenance is definitely something you can control – it’s called “preventative maintenance” for a reason, and it’s a great use of your time – I’ve witnessed too many races undone by the avoidable. And as with any task, the right tool makes it easier and faster to do, which means you’re more likely to do it.

Racing bikes is hard work, on and off the field. Don’t let all your hours of training and preparation come undone by one loose bolt. Spend some time owning the state of your equipment. Get it clean enough to notice any small issues before they become a race day nightmare. Run through the bolts periodically to make sure nothing is loose and don’t forget the bolts in your shoes. If you want to make all of the above easier  to perform there are some Feedback Sports items that would be worth putting on your wish-list.

Good luck at your races, and remember: you can often make your own luck.

——————————————————————————————————-

Thanks for the words of wisdom, Chris! Follow Chris on IG, Facebook and Twitter for more. You can also catch his articles on Cyclocross Magazine. 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Omnium at the Spring Classics

Feedback Sports is thrilled to be supporting several Pro World Tour Road teams for 2017; Lotto Soudal and Trek-Segafredo.  Picture bike geeks like us, at the Spring Classics, watching the mechanics prep the racers with our products.  It’s quite a nerdy sight to behold.  Right this minute, in fact, Feedback Sports is excitedly shadowing Team Lotto Soudal at the 52nd edition of Tirreno-Adriatico.  This is the first season that the Omnium portable trainers are officially in use with our Pro World Tour Road teams. It’s as if our child graduated as valedictorian and is off to the Ivy Leagues (only with bikes…or holding up bikes and racers and…you get the picture).

Below is the press release from our friends at Lotto Soudal showcasing the race along with some pictures from day one.  Enjoy!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

The 52nd edition of Tirreno-Adriatico takes place from 8 March 2017 till 14 March 2017. In seven stages, the riders will cruise through the Italian landscape. This year, the punchers and the climbers will get a few opportunities to win a stage, but also the time trialists are getting a chance of a stage win.

Just like last year, the Tirreno starts with a team time trial of 23 kilometres in Lido di Camaiore. The second stage is the longest of this edition with 228 kilometres. The largest part is flat but there is a steep climb at the end. Day three is an opportunity for the sprinters. Because of the slight uphill road it’s not guaranteed there’s going to be a bunch sprint, a puncher can win too.

The fourth stage will be very important for the GC. There’s a monstrous climb at the end of the stage on an altitude of 1.675 metres. The fifth stage seems ideal for the punchers but you can’t write the climbers off for the win. The sprinters will get their chance the day after. This Italian race ends with an individual time trial of ten kilometres on a flat course.

Lotto Soudal will participate with Tim Wellens, Maxime Monfort and Tiesj Benoot among others. The competition for the overall victory will come from riders such as Michal Kwiatkowski, Nairo Quintana, Tejay van Garderen, Thibaut Pinot and Bauke Mollema. The atypical winner of last year, Greg Van Avermaet also participates.

Bart Leysen, sports director Lotto Soudal: “We have a team to ride a great Tirreno-Adriatico. We got for example Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens who are in great shape. There are some possibilities to achieve a nice result. We have two opportunities with Tiesj and Tim and two  with Jens Debusschere and Jürgen Roelandts. The big goal of this Tirreno is to conquer a stage win. We are going into the Tirreno to give everything we’ve got. We are not going to hide somewhere in the peloton. The Lotto Soudal team cannot do that every stage but we are picking up where we left off in the Strade Bianche.”

“The stages are similar to previous editions, so we know as a team what to expect. Just like last year we start with a team time trial. I belief we have a team to aim for the top five, that would be amazing. Day two is a course where Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot can exploit their abilities. There are hills and climbs on the route and the finish is uphill. It’s not very steep so we can definitely battle for the victory this day.”

“Day three is a sprint stage so we are going to take our chances with Jens and Jürgen. Day four is the toughest stage with a long steep climb. There is no plan yet for this stage. We are going to wait and see how, for example Tim Wellens, stands in the GC to defend his chances. During the fifth stage there is another chance for Tim and Tiesj. There is another steep uphill climb at the finish where they can exploit their abilities. Day six is also a sprint stage, thus a chance for Jens and Jürgen. We end the Tirreno-Adriatico with an individual time trial on a flat course.”

“Except for the big mountain stage we have more than enough chances to go for a stage win. The team is so strong that we can divide the pressure without one person getting all the pressure on his shoulders. That puts the riders at ease.”

Line-up Lotto Soudal: Tiesj Benoot, Bart De Clercq, Jens Debusschere, Nikolas Maes, Tomasz Marczynski, Maxime Monfort, Jürgen Roelandts and Tim Wellens.

Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Bart Leysen.

Stages

Stage 1 Wednesday 8 March : Lido Di Camaiore – Lido Di Camaiore (TTT) (22.7 km)
Stage 2 Thursday 9 March: Camaiore – Pomarance (228 km)
Stage 3 Friday 10 March: Monterotondo Marittimo – Montalto Di Castro (204 km)
Stage 4 Saturday 11 March: Montalto Di Castro – Terminillo (187 km)
Stage 5 Sunday 12 March: Rieti – Fermo (209 km)
Stage 6 Monday 13 March: Ascoli Piceno – Civitanova Marche (168 km)
Stage 7 Tuesday 14 March San Benedetto Del Trono (ITT) (10.5 km)

Posted on 1 Comment

Richmond Worlds 2015

Libby Hill Cobbles may hve casued some bike repairs, good thing the Sprint Stand fro Feedback was up for the job

*Want to know what Richmond Worlds was like?  Find out what Feedback Sports founder/owner, Doug Hudson thought of it. Plus, what he thought of those cobbles on Libby Hill.

As soon as I heard about the 2015 Road World Championships I knew I’d be going.  It was the first Road Worlds in the USA in 29 years and it just so happened to be in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia.  My parents and sister still live in Richmond, so there was that.  Plus several national teams (including the Swiss and Belgian) would be using Feedback Sports gear. It was the perfect weekend trip combining family, the sport I love and our company.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and stopped by the Swiss team hotel.  Jonathan Fazan (IAM Cycling’s technical director) and crew were busy prepping bikes for the weekend.  The piles of super high-end equipment were impressive.  Our Sprint stands were in use and all was well on the mechanic-front.

Next, I decided to do the “Conquer the Cobbles” ride in which the course was open from 7-9pm.  It was drizzling and my only option was my sister’s 54cm bike (I ride a 58cm), but I decided to go for it.  It turned out to be such a great experience.  I lined up with the first group to ride three laps of the course. The pace was as fast as you wanted to go and I teamed up with some strong riders.  The descents were a bit sketchy due to the rain, but nobody around me went down. The brick surface of Monument Avenue was bumpy enough to notice, but much smoother than the later cobble sections.

Libby Hill Cobbles
The infamous “Libby Hill Cobbles”.

 

Speaking of those sections…

The first time up Libby Hill on the 23rd St cobbles was much harder and rougher than I expected.  My MTB skills came into play as the group charged up the steep climbs.  The jarring was enough to rotate my headlight straight down within five seconds.  The 23rd street section had a 17% grade and was where Peter Sagan made his (now famous) attack on Sunday.  The final climb up Governor’s Hill was a tough lead into the long straight finish stretch.  After 3 laps and 30 miles, I was beat.  Strava said 430 feet of elevation gain per lap, but it felt like more. Riding the course gave me some perspective into what competitors were going through.  My 3 laps were meager compared to the other races…the men’s elite did 16 laps!

Saturday we watched the elite women’s race from the UCI VIP lounge area close to the finish line.  IAM Cycling had graciously provided my sister and I a pass to this prime viewing area.  It was cool to be watching the race a few feet from Bryan Cookson, the UCI president especially as a British woman won the Elite race.  I know he was excited about the win for his home country.

On Sunday, I coaxed my parents to attempt to view the race at Libby Hill.  We found a surprisingly good parking spot and walked through Richmond’s oldest neighborhood of Church Hill.  My grandmother lived in this area in the early 1900’s and much earlier than that (1775) it was the site of Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech.  It was exhilarating to see the peloton mashing up the Libby Hill cobbles in such a historic area.  As Dave Towle pumped up the crowd with his announcements, we watched 4 laps, including one through the chaotic feed zone at the top of Libby.

My sister and I then headed back to the UCI lounge to watch the rest of the race.  The finish could not have been more exciting with Peter Sagan taking the win after his attack on the 23rd Street hill cobbles.  The crowd was electrified.  And of course this was amazing for Feedback Sports too, since we are a sponsor of Peter Sagan’s World Tour team Tinkoff/Saxo.

alex and doug
Golden, CO favorite: Alex Howes after his 12th place finish–highest ranked American.

From the city’s welcoming nature to the races and athletes themselves, Richmond delivered an exceptional event all around. Not to mention I got to enjoy my Mom’s home cooking, too–which is also exceptional.