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42 he 2018 Canadian Cycling Magazine Big Ride Guide Events from across the country and beyond for every type of rider Whether you want to cruise, rip or race, there’s something for you to target this year


42 Ride Guide

by Dean Campbell

52 Building the Perfect Bike I created my forever machine and you can, too Getting a custom bike is like going on a journey. What one rider learned on his trip and how it can help you once you decide it’s time to make a bike that is totally your own by Jeremy Nathan

58 Five Top Young Riders to Watch hese men and women are elevating Canadian cycling with every pedal stroke

52 Custom Build

Finn Iles, Ruby West, Stefan Ritter, Maggie Coles-Lyster and Charles-Étienne Chrétien have racked up big results and show promise for even bigger things to come

Photos: Courtesy GranFondo PEI, Jeremy Nathan, Sebastian Schieck

by Tara Nolan

4 6 7 9 10 12 65 104

Editor’s Letter Letters Contributors he Calendar Vintage Velo News Gear Q&A

58 Youth Movement

   Blues legend Colin James rides a Specialized Diverge. Read more about the man on p.22 and the machine on p.72. Photo: Matt Stetson









Fundy Flow



Fat’s not the enemy

East Coast trails aiming for quality only seen in the West by Jeff Bartlett





by Matthew Pioro

Training Tips

Milton Revolution Cycling Club

Getting from the trainer to the road

by Tracey Rempel

by Andrew Randell and Steve Neal

Cycling Celebrity

of he Cycling Gym

Juno-winning blues guitarist Colin James finds inspiration on the road


by David McPherson


by Steve homas


he performance gains of new gear

by Nick Di Cristofaro

Prairie mountain biking in Saskatoon by Tyler Stewart

Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Road Wheels Road Tires TRAIL


Mountain Bikes All-Mountain/Trail, Cross Country, Enduro, Women’s, eMTB

84 85

Mountain Bike Tires Mountain Bike Wheels

86 88 89 90 92 93 94 95 96 98

Saddles Road Helmets Mountain Bike Helmets Aero Road Helmets Road Shoes Mountain Bike Shoes Pedals Head Units Power Meters Stuffable Kit


Top tips for riding in the rain

Get a handle on your headset

48 Hours

76 77



by Bart Egnal



Road Bikes Road Race, Endurance, Aero, Women’s, Adventure, Entry-Level, eBikes


Canadian Club

Notes from the Gruppetto


Guest Chef

he Canadian who brought the Giro d’Italia’s grande partenza to Israel

Where joes can better the pros



Victor Barry's meatballs

by James “Cranky” Ramsay


by Matthew Kadey

Sylvan Adams

by Philippe Tremblay




100 Among the Poppies and Quiet Roads of the Loire Valley An idyllic French cycling getaway by Diana Ballon

Photos, clockwise from top left: Hiep Vu, Parks Canada. James O'Mara, Uncredited, Hiep Vu, Matt Stetson



The All-New Propel Disc Range

EDITOR’S LETTER Editor Matthew Pioro Senior Editors Dan Dakin, Kevin Mackinnon Associate Editor Andre Cheuk

Finding inspiration in people and in tech

Copy Editor Amy Stupavsky Art Director Warren Wheeler [Roseander Main,] Designer Cristina Bolzon Production Artist Warren Hardy Web Editor Philippe Tremblay MTB Web Editor Terry McKall Video Producer Adam Wojtkowiak Finn Iles at the top of the Steve Smith drop at the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup

don’t usually take our longtime columnist James “Crankyâ€? Ramsay too seriously. He’s a humour writer, after all, who excels at poking fun at himself as well as some of the absurdities of our sport. In Ramsay’s current column, ‘The Performance Gains of New Gear’ (p.ďœ˛ďœ´), he writes, “I’m inspired by gear. That’s right – new, shiny stuff. It makes me ride faster.â€? Ride faster? That’s silly, right? It’s just a comic exaggeration, right? New stuff can’t make you ride faster, can it? Sure, if you’ve been riding the same Schwinn Sting-Ray since the â€™ďœˇďœ°s, and then tomorrow you upgraded to a new aero bike (p.ďœśďœ¸), you’d probably notice an uptick in your velocity. But, why do I feel a bit faster after I put on new bar tape or after I wipe grime off of the frame? I doubt there’s any science, beyond psycology, in those gains. But as we know, the mental side of sport is just as important as the physical. As I was working on this issue, I took a midwinter trip to Tucson, Ariz., to preview the new Colnago Cďœśďœ´. It was not only great to get a preview of the machine (p.ďœśďœś), but great to have a respite from winter, from the snowy commutes on studded tires and from the trainer’s monotonous whir. I was just so happy to be out on clear roads in just shorts and jersey. I seemed to have limitless reserves. Well, almost. Another rider did get me in the final sprint before we wrapped up our ride. But whatever my actual physical fitness was, I felt energized. The new bike, which I’ll see again for a long-term test, was part of what made me fast that day. It was also the freshness of everything – the equipment, the location, the riders – that brought the zip into my legs. In this issue, we’ve put a lot of focus on the fresh faces of Canadian cycling. There’s not only Tara Nolan’s feature, ‘Five Top Young Riders to Watch’ (p.ďœľďœ¸) with Finn Iles, Ruby West and others, but also mentions of new Toronto Hustle riders, the highest-placed Canadian at this year’s cyclocross world championships (p.ďœąďœ˛) and the Milton Revolution Cycling Club. If you keep up with the latest cycling news on our website, most of the young riders and their impressive accomplishments to date will be familiar to you. Still, we wanted to frame their stories in the magazine. These are stars on the rise. It’s important for us to acknowledge and support them.


“Why do I feel a bit faster after I put on new bar tape or after I wipe grime off of the frame?�

While Haley Smith is in the elite ranks of cross country, she is still in the first act of her cycling career. When I interviewed her for this issue’s ‘Q&A’ (p.ďœąďœ°ďœ´), I was struck by how articulate she is about riding and competing. She could be quite philosophical about those topics and quite analytical about the mental health problems she’s faced in the past. Truly inspiring. So, whatever inspires you – stories about new gear, tales of success in and out of competition or advice on where to ride – we got them covered. Matthew Pioro Editor


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Web Developer Sean Rasmussen Publisher Sam Cohen Editorial Director David Smart Advertising & Sales Andre Cheuk Account Managers Joel Vosburg, Daniel Walker Circulation Manager Elizabeth Miller SUBSCRIBE Send $20.95 (1 year) or $38.95 (2 years) to Canadian Cycling Magazine, PO Box 819 Station Main, Markham, on, Canada lp l or call:

1.800.567.0444 SUBMIT Manuscripts, photographs and other correspondence are welcome. Please contact Canadian Cycling Magazine for contributors guidelines, or see them on the web at . Unsolicited material should be accompanied by return mailing address and postage. Canadian Cycling Magazine Tel 416.927.0774 Fax 416.927.1491 Gripped Publishing Inc. 75 Harbord St., Toronto, on, Canada m s g Copyright 2018 Gripped Publishing Inc. h e contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express consent of the publisher. h e views included herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reect the opinions of the publisher, owners and management of Canadian Cycling Magazine. We occasionally make our list available to companies of interest to our readers. Canadian publication mail agreement: 40036245 Printed in Canada ISSN 1923–1628 Canadian Cycling Magazine We acknowledge the ďŹ nancial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Photo: Matt Stetson

In with the New Gear and the New Athletes

Photo Editor Matt Stetson

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LETTERS Why you should brave the weather Living on the West Coast of Canada, you get used to mountain biking in the wet and cold come winter. Well, unless you spend your weekends planted on your trainer like some sort of pampered cycling royalty. Usually it’s a matter of just convincing yourself to get out your door, amidst constant drizzle and the featureless grey skies. But sometimes the weather is especially anomalous, like it was on a recent weekend. Sumas Mountain, looming through the mist, took on medieval qualities as the rain pummelled down. The climb up was strange, with water cascading down the old logging road forming rivulets and cutting off the usual lines up the steeper sections. Then came the slush section, sucking out what energy we still possessed and numbing the extremities almost to the point that we had to turn back. But we forged on to the singletrack that led downward, where we were treated to a winding mud luge interspersed with hike-a-biking over downed trees from previous storm cycles. Spent, we made it back to the truck, an hour later than planned and missing the feeling in our fingers and toes. It was the wettest, coldest we had ever been on a bike. And yet, it was the best ride we had done in a long time because it gave us stories. It gave us a shared sense of triumph. Camaraderie. And really, that’s what biking is all about, and that’s why I will never duck out on a ride because of weather. You never know what you’ll miss. Dwayne Friesen Dewdney, B.C.


Letter of the Issue Dwayne Friesen’s letter is our letter of the issue, which wins him a pair of Continental Trail King 29 x 2.2 tires (valued at $95 each). Send us your letters for a chance to win a pair of Continental tires for your bike. Email your comments to

An edgy debate I’ll never really understand cyclists. I don’t mean people who ride bicycles. I mean your lot. The Lance Armstrongs. The extremists who think the roads were made for them and motorized traffic is an inconvenience and who ride three abreast at  km/h yapping away on a Sunday ride. God forbid we should dare to try and get by. Hell, we’re only approaching at three times your speed, which is, by the way, the speed limit for automobiles. But hey, you’re cyclists; we need to take care. I’ve been riding motorcycles for  years, and one thing I know is that you’ll never win an argument with a car. Go ahead. Be cocky. Cars are the enemy. I’ll tell you one thing: you can’t give us the finger from the grave. Dave Doolittle Scarborough, Ont.

We responded to Doolittle’s letter. Usually, we ignore inflammatory missives, but beneath the edgy writing, we detected an honest concern for safety and fair use of the road. We noted that riding two abreast isn’t illegal and does have safety merits. We didn’t, however, excuse any inconsiderate behaviour, be it by motorists, cyclists or any other road users.— Eds. “Edgy.” Well, I’ve never been accused of being “soft.” I live near the Toronto Zoo. As you can imagine, I get the “cyclists,” the weekend warriors from the inner city out here on the rural roads up behind the zoo, burning off steam and the chips on their inner-city shoulders. Also take note, I know riding two abreast isn’t illegal, but it’s far from smart and safe, and a lot closer to dumb and dangerous. You’re more than welcome to come for a ride with me. I’ll take the curb every time, thanks. Bring your young children, feel free to ride side by side. Mine will be in single file either in front or behind me. Here’s a suggestion taken from supermarkets that have a fast lane. Eight bikes or under: single file. Nine or more: take the “whole road.” I’m definitely happy with that. You might even find me somewhere in the middle. On my bike that is! Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Dave Doolittle

Now on For more on the new Colnago C (p.66), check out our extensive first look at the high-end frame from the Italian bike maker. Our mountain biking coverage at home and abroad is now better than ever. Follow Canadian MTB online. Also, read ‘Why it’s OK to ride yourself into form this spring.’ Some great advice.


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Download previous issues of Canadian Cycling Magazine using our iPad and iPhone apps. Join in the discussion: Facebook Twitter @canadiancycling Instagram @canadiancycling YouTube Canadian Cycling Magazine

Diana Ballon


Among the Poppies and Quiet Roads of the Loire Valley, p.100 Diana Ballon began spinning her wheels in earnest after severing her ACL at the end of a surfing lesson in Tofino, B.C. Rehab began on a stationary bike at a drab Toronto gym, and eventually led her to the Loire Valley, where the scenery was a lot nicer. As a non-driver, she relies on cycling as her main mode of transportation. Ballon writes about health and travel, and is happiest when she can combine the two.

Jeremy Nathan Building the Perfect Bike, p.52 Jeremy Nathan is a professional photographer, writer and avid cyclist. As editor of Life is a Beautiful Detail , Nathan tests and reviews cycling equipment and apparel while telling stories to inspire passion for the sport. His work has been published in both national and international media outlets and for various brands.

Jules Maitland Coal Miner’s Lung Race, p.9 Based in Fredericton, N.B., Jules Maitland is a fully committed weekend warrior and self-appointed captain of Team Sloth. Rejecting traditional measures of success in local mountain bike events, she prefers to focus on the number of spectacular falls, swear words and time spent laughing. She writes to share the stories of the inspirational people and places she encounters while riding bikes with friends.

All you need is a

bike passion and the







Looking Ahead

APRIL Don’t let those April showers that bring May flowers keep you from getting out to ride. Check out ‘Top Tips for Riding in the Rain’ on p..

1 4-15

June 17

The Gold Coast  Commonwealth Games in Australia features road, mountain and track cycling. Emily Batty and Haley Smith (p.) are slated to compete in the women’s XC event on April .

Two new Toronto Hustle riders, Ethan Palamarek and Kurt Penno (p.), are planning to make their race debuts with the team at the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville, Ark.


MEC is going groad. The outdoor equipment retailer has been organizing accessible road rides for five years. On this day in Victoria, riders can meet for a -km or -km ride featuring some fun gravel. The company is hoping to get more gravelcentric rides going in the coming years. Groady to the max. For more cool cycling events that you can do, check out ‘The  Canadian Cycling


On this day,  years ago, chemist Albert Hofmann rode his bicycle home from his lab. During that “trip,” he felt the effects of his new drug – LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide – which he had taken before the ride. Enthusiasts of the hallucinogen mark the occasion with Bicycle Day.


Magazine Big Ride Guide’ on p..

MAY The Giro d’Italia has its grande partenza in Jerusalem, making the race the first Grand Tour to start outside of Europe. Michael Woods is planning to ride for the pink jersey. Another Canadian, one who helped bring the Giro to Israel, will also be there. Read about Sylvan Adams on p..

Photos: Uncredited, Stefano Sirotti, Robert Linden


The road season gets underway in Saskatchewan with the Moose Jaw Pavers Spring Classic.


Fredericton’s Tour de Dog features two stages in one day: a time trial and a road race.


Get out for a ride on Victoria Day.


Mont-Tremblant, Que., has a weekend of cycling events, called Crossroads Tremblant, that includes a gran fondo, the first instalment of the  DH Canada Cup, the third XC Canada Cup event of the year, a crit, an expo, big-air show and more. There are just so many bike-based activities to participate in and to watch.


Coal Miner’s Lung Race e have taken something that was, to be quite honest, an environmental disaster, and created something special. It’s unique. It’s different than any other trail system in the Maritimes.” says Dr. Sean Morrissy. He stumbled upon Minto, N.B.’s abandoned coal mines six years ago and thought, “This would be epic to ride.” Today,  km of singletrack snake back and forth along the old mines’ mud dumps and tailings. Flanked by turquoise pools and new-growth forest, smooth and flowy trails are punctuated by deep valleys and the occasional surprise hairpin bend. In , the newly formed Mountain Bike Minto hosted the inaugural Coal Miner’s Lung Race. With  riders, it was among the most heavily attended events in New Brunswick. Attendance remained high in  despite at-times torrential rain on the day. Ninety-two mudcaked riders provided much amusement to the equally weather-resilient locals who came to cheer them on. The village of Minto, about  km east of Fredericton, has fully embraced the mountain bike community. “I haven’t seen the community get so excited about a sport like this since the high school hockey team won the  cup in ,” says Coun. Reg Barton. “People can’t wait to get involved, volunteering and decorating their houses. Everyone talks about it for days afterwards. We love it”. With live music, food trucks and a beer garden, the event has a festival vibe. Camping is available to visitors, and a family-friendly group ride is offered on the morning of the event. New this year, spectators and participants in the - and -km categories will have the chance to go swimming while they wait for the -km finishers. How many will choose to brave the unfortunately-named Mucky Ducky Pond? (—Jules Maitland




he Tour de France, first held in , didn’t allow derailleurs to be used until . The following year, Gino Bartali was outfitted with the Vittoria Margherita. He had the second generation of the Italian component that featured “flippers” on the top of the drive-side chainstay. “To change gears, you had to de-tension the chain,” Mike Barry Sr., said recently. He held up parts from a few models of Margheritas that he had in the Mariposa Bicycles shop. “You moved the lever forward. Then, you backpedalled and turned the knob at the top of the lever.” The knob activated the flippers, which moved the chain from one cog to another. You had to backpedal because the flippers were on the top run of the chain. “Once you selected a


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

sprocket, you stopped pedalling, pushed the lever back again to tension the chain and away you went.” “It was faster than getting off the bike to change gears, but the French had perfectly normal derailleurs with cables and levers. It’s looney,” Barry said about the equipment Bartali used in . “The French must have been laughing into their sleeves. Nevertheless, Bartali still won the Tour.” The third generation of the Margherita had the flippers positioned on the bottom run of the chain, so the riders could pedal forward to change gears. Although Bartali stuck with components from his country, Barry doesn’t think the cyclist’s choices were driven by nationalism. Well, it was likely economic nationalism that he couldn’t escape rather than his own pride in his country’s products. Barry figures the duties at the time kept Italian riders on Italian parts and French riders on French parts. “The war came in ,” Barry said. “There was no Tour de France for years. When Bartali came back in , you would have thought he would have found a more efficient gearing system. But no. He didn’t. He chose the Campagnolo Corsa, which was even more complicated to ride than the Margherita. It’s crackers.”—Matthew Pioro

Photos: Walter Lai

Vittoria Margherita












NEWS Two western riders heading to the Big Smoke

Toronto Hustle rider Benoit Boulay will ride with Kurt Penno and Ethan Palamarek this season

The long season of Canada’s top rider at CX worlds Tyler Clark at the   cyclocross world championships


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

“The last time up stairs, I didn’t think my legs would keep me up, like I might collapse at the top. It was brutal,” said Tyler Clark. The rider from King City, Ont., was speaking about the cyclocross world championships course in Valkenburg, the Netherlands. It was roughly a week after worlds. Clark was back in Canada after almost a month and a half in Europe, his first time racing on that continent. The mud of the Netherlands and Belgium, he said, was nothing like anything he’d seen in North America. A soggy Jingle Cross two years ago was close, but not the same. Clark was th in the junior men’s race. The result made him the top-performing Canadian of the squad that included elites such as Maghalie Rochette, Christel Ferrier-Bruneau, Mical Dyck and Michael van den Ham. Despite all the tough mud and requisite running on the Valkenburg course, Clark enjoyed the experience. “It was so much fun racing with people lining the fences. It’s very motivating when you are dying on the course,” Clark said. He had had a long season. In the summer, he competed in most Canada Cup events, finishing fourth in the series. He was also fourth at XC nationals in Canmore, Alta., and th at XC worlds in Cairns, Australia. In October, he won the national cyclocross title in Sherbrooke, Que. When pressed to pick his preferred discipline, he didn’t hesitate. “I like the technical aspects of mountain biking better,” he said. Early in the year, he was already looking to Canada Cup races, including Mont-Tremblant, one of his favourites. He wanted to get to XC worlds in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. There might be more CX, too, but there was time to decide. It’s a long season.—CCM

Photos: Courtesy Bluewater Gran Fondo, Rob Jones

Two new members of the Toronto Hustle team have one thing in common. It’s not their riding styles. Kurt Penno won the junior national criterium title in  and . Ethan Palamarek prefers climbs and won ’s Hayman Classic (just ahead of Penno). It’s not their hometowns. Penno is from Sanford, Man. Palamarek is from Lacombe, Alta. What they have in common is their level of familiarity with Ontario’s capital: they’ve never been to Toronto, except for the airport. Penno and Palamarek are looking forward to learning more about the city from which their team takes its name. “Since I live in a pretty small town outside of Winnipeg,” Penno said, “I always find it fun to go to bigger cities and experience that atmosphere.” The team, which launched in , has a mandate to help young riders. This past October, Hustle rider Graydon Staples moved up to Silber Pro, a move Toronto Hustle celebrated on its social channels. Team principal Brad Bradford approached both Penno and Palamarek late this past season to see if they’d be interested in joining the squad. Both riders liked the vibe of the team and the way the media-savvy group engages with the cycling community. “Out on rides, they’re always great ambassadors for the sport,” Palamarek said. “They’re good wheels to follow in a race, too.”


X-COMFORT ZONE This is what inspired the developers at Garneau to create the innovative, award-winning X-Comfort technology: optimizing comfort to maximize performance and most of all, the incredible feeling that makes us so passionate about riding. The brand new X-Comfort Zone incorporates an elasticized zone that expands up to 5 mm to accommodate B-D+ foot widths, and the dynamic changes that happen inside your shoe when your feet contract and expand under pressure as you ride.



THE VENTRAL_ Using our experience, award-winning technologies and input from our professional riders and teams, we developed the Ventral to be the most advanced, lightweight, safe, aerodynamic and well-ventilated helmet possible. With its unique construction and optimized aerodynamic performance, the Ventral is designed to enhance speed and safety.





“New Brunswick is blowing up right now.”

East Coast trails aiming for quality only seen in the West


rand new mountain bike trails branch out from the Chignecto Recreation Area, the high point of Fundy National Park, and rip through old-growth eastern temperate forest toward the water. Sugar and red maples, white and yellow birch, and balsam fir tower overhead, while the world’s highest tides ebb and flow along the dramatic rocky coastline of the Bay of Fundy. “They’re flow-style trails,” says Andrew Fry, visitor experience manager at Fundy National Park. “There is plenty of descending, mixed with some climbing. Experienced riders can definitely carry momentum through them, but they’re also great for families looking to gain riding experience.” When Fry and his team at Parks Canada investigated tourism activities that appealed to young families across Canada, mountain biking stood out as an untapped market. They also felt the existing terrain and facilities provided a natural opportunity not just to develop a mountain bike trail network, but also to pursue  Canada’s ride centre designation, indicating that the area has facilities and features for all types of riders. “When I was on-site,” says A.J. Strawson, executive director of  Canada, “I was the program co-ordinator. I did all the planning and design work around the Fundy project. I used the ethos of a ride centre to frame my decision-making.” Attaining ’s ride-centre designation isn’t easy. Only two Canadian destinations – Burns Lake and Silver Star, both located in British Columbia – have landed the


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

title that involves more than a rider’s trail experience. Available services – including bike shops, shopping and accommodation options – community involvement from group rides to community events and tourism promotion all play pivotal roles in the evaluation process. “They were really excited about what  offered,” Strawson says. “The trails are ready to become part of the strong East Coast bike scene. B.C. might feel like the centre of the mountain bike world, but the East is just flying under the radar. New Brunswick is blowing up right now.” While gaining ride-centre certification remains a long-term goal, the Fundy trail network is set for its first full season. The trails promise to get better with age, too, as vegetation regrows. “This was our first big project to create a mountain bike network in the park,” Fry says, “and we wanted it to have a positive impact. By decommissioning roads, reforesting some areas and adapting unused hiking trails, these bike trails will ultimately reduce the man-made footprint across the park.” The trails themselves are diverse. Peregrine is a -km intermediate trail that loops directly off the campground. While skilled riders will find it fast, it’ll be a challenge for young riders just getting into the sport. Tippenlot is a converted hiking trail that transforms as you ride toward the coast. It starts with traditional alignment found on many older hiking trails and becomes more of a flow trail toward its end. The trail network’s signature feature is a pump track, designed by pert of Quebec, that has two loops. “When you see somebody who knows what they’re doing on the pump track,” says Fry, “it’s really exciting. We tried to retain as much native forest as possible, so it really weaves through the trees. I’ve never seen another pump track so integrated with the landscape.” With this project, Parks Canada hopes to give Canadians more reason to visit Fundy National Park and, ultimately, to stay longer once they’ve arrived. “They’re helping give people their first taste of mountain biking,” Strawson says, “and that’s pretty cool.”

Photo: Parks Canada

by Jeff Bartlett


CHECKPOINT It’s not just the challenge unpaved roads present that we love. It’s the possibilities of where the path may lead, and what we might find along the way, that keeps us seeking the roads less traveled.

Learn more at


The Canadian who brought the Giro d’Italia’s grande partenza to Israel by Philippe Tremblay n , Guillaume Boivin won the Canadian national title and caught the eye of a small upstart team in Israel. The next year, he signed with the Israel Cycling Academy with the help of Canadian-Israeli real-estate mogul Sylvan Adams, who had moved to Tel Aviv in December . Behind the scenes, bigger things were taking place and in no small part thanks to the involvement of Adams. Sylvan Adams was born in Quebec City and lived for most of his life in Montreal. His father Marcel, a Holocaust survivor, founded the family’s realestate company, Iberville Developments Ltd., in . After Sylvan retired, he moved to Israel. Since then, he’s found fulfilment within the world of professional cycling. Today, he’s the co-owner of the Israel Cycling Academy. He’s also helped to build the Middle East’s first velodrome in Tel Aviv and played a prominent role in bringing the Giro d’Italia’s  grande partenza to Jerusalem. His team received a wild card invitation to the Italian Grand Tour.



Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

“I got an audience with the Pope.”

The proposal became reality. In September,  confirmed that the  Giro would start in Jerusalem on May . The full route was revealed in November, including the finish in Rome on May . “This was a theme we brought to them, and we suggested that it would be symbolically very fitting to trace a route from Jerusalem to Rome,” Adams said about the route proposal. “It sends a message of peace and fraternity.” Adams even brought the message to the Vatican. “I got an audience with the Pope. I brought with me a letter from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu inviting His Holiness to bless the beginning of our race. The idea is he blesses the race at both ends,” Adams said, hoping Pope Francis could connect with the race on its final day in Rome. “It takes the story off the sports page and onto the front page of the newspaper.” The theme of peace and unity is mirrored by the Israel Cycling Academy, which brings together riders from many countries, including Sweden, Mexico, Italy, the U.S. and Latvia to name some. Boivin and Benjamin Perry are from Canada. Adams hopes to see riders from both his nations on the start line in Jerusalem, but added that the decision will be up to team management. Regardless of whether a Canadian rider is at the grande partenza, Adams will be in the background working to make the event a success. “I hope we put on a Giro big start that will be remembered for years to come,” he said.

Photo: Dvir Almog


“This combines two of my loves,” Adams said. “I moved to Israel because I love the place. My second love is cycling, so the idea of combining the two and bringing the sport of cycling’s second-biggest event to my adopted country, of course, was a thing of tremendous satisfaction.” Adams began riding in his late s and has found considerable success coached by Paulo Saldanha, who also works with Michael Woods. Adams’s palmarès includes six Canadian masters titles, two masters track world championships, four masters Pan Am gold medals, four titles at the Maccabiah Games and  Quebec provincial titles on the road and track. His first foray into professional cycling came with financial support to Steve Bauer’s SpiderTech team, which folded in . Adams has also quietly supported local Montreal teams. When he was in the process of moving to Israel, he met the managers of the Israel Cycling Academy and agreed to become a co-owner. He helped the team rise to  pro continental status. Adams initiated conversations with , the organizer of the Giro, to get the team invited to the Grand Tour. The idea of starting the race in Israel was also something he mentioned when he met with Giro race director Mauro Vegni two years ago. “It was a kind of out-of-the-box idea I proposed to him. It wasn’t particularly well-received. This is, after all, the first time a Grand Tour has ventured outside of Europe,” Adams said.









Milton Revolution Cycling Club The buzz at the velodrome encourages young riders by Tracey Rempel


he town of Milton, Ont., is home to Canada’s only -certified velodrome, built for the Pan Am Games in . Its presence has had a strong impact on its community, especially for the newly founded Milton Revolution Cycling Club. Traditionally, cycling clubs consist of mostly male riders, but what makes this club distinctive is the number of young female riders. Of the club’s  members, girls represent at least  per cent of the riders. Even though the  participates in multiple road events during the season, riders train at the velodrome year-round. “There’s something cool happening there. Olympic athletes, like Monique Sullivan and Kate O’Brien, make themselves so accessible to the youth riders at the track. Our kids will come and ride, and at any given time, there will be Maggie Coles-Lyster, Jasmin Duehring, Allison Beveridge – they’re all there. The girls see that, and they see their role models and they feel they’re involved in something special,” says Martin Honsberger, an  board member. “The nice thing about the velodrome is everybody’s there. You get that sense of community that I’ve never experienced with any other type of cycling.”

The idea for the club was born in  by Steve Bauer. He wanted to bridge the gap between competitive cycling and a grassroots club that would bring kids into the sport and provide a fun environment. Even though Bauer is now with the  Racing Team, he still has a keen interest in the ’s events. Focusing its races in the Milton region and London, Ont., the club is hoping to stretch its travel miles to other velodromes in North America. “We’re looking at reaching out farther to Detroit, Pennsylvania and North Carolina,” says Honsberger. Honsberger organizes and runs training at the track with ’s club president, Don Hunter. Hunter was competitive for many years and was club president of Mississauga Bicycle Racing Club for  years. Both Hunter and Honsberger want to ensure that as the club grows,  keeps Bauer’s initial vision in mind. “We do have a lot of riders who are competitive. We do support that, but it’s not exclusive to competition. Some kids are in it for fitness and want to improve themselves as riders,” says Honsberger. With club riders coming from other nearby cities, including Guelph, Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville, the  is anticipating strong growth. With the influence of so many Olympic athletes in the riders’ midst, one has to wonder what rank of athlete the  may be developing, intentionally or not. “Our goal is to be grassroots. That could ultimately lead to an Olympic athlete, but it’s not our goal to create an Olympic athlete,” says Honsberger.

PROFILE Milton Revolution Cycling Club City Milton, Ont. Established Spring 2017 Members 25


Photos: Martin Honsberger




by David McPherson


The Juno-winning blues guitarist finds inspiration on the road


FAST FACTS Colin James Lives North Vancouver, B.C. Born Regina Profession Guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer First Juno 1989 for most promising male vocalist of the year Most recent 1999 for best producer Juno


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018


n the quietest moments, inspiration strikes. That’s the case for six-time Juno award-winner Colin James, known for such classic hits as “Five Long Years,” and “Voodoo Thing.” Mindfulness for this Canadian musician often comes when he is on a bike, heading down a familiar road. “I don’t like the regiment of riding in groups and I don’t like talking when I’m riding,” James said. “Riding, for me, is a solitary adventure, a place to clear your mind. I just love being out on that road.” Throughout the years, James has written many compositions while riding. The  year old recalls one of the more memorable of these experiences that resulted in a song co-written with Ron Sexsmith: “Finally Wrote a Song for You,” off James’s  release Fifteen . “A few years ago, I pulled over halfway through my ride,” James says. “I had this melody in my head and lyrics that explored the idea of finally writing a song for someone I had always wanted to write a song for. I sent a text to my friend Ron, who was touring in England at the time, and I sang the lyrics I had come up with into my iPhone. By the time I got home from my ride, and into my garage, Ron had written two more verses.” I spoke with James last December as the rhythm and blues king was taking a break at home in North Vancouver. He was doing some riding with his son, who was home from Europe. James had spent the year on the road promoting his th album, Blue Highways , and planned to hit the road again in . He guessed that his first two-wheeled ride must have been a Mustang with flared-out handlebars. “We had a tricycle gang, my buddies and me,” he laughed. “Bikes, as a kid, gave me that freedom to go where I needed to go.” Growing up in Regina, the musician biked all the time. After moving to a mountain community in his formative years, cycling took a back seat to honing his guitar licks. The roads were too steep and there was nowhere to go. Today, while the breathtaking North Shore Mountains surround James’s home, he doesn’t worry about climbing them. There are plenty of trails and new roads to discover, such as the path along the Stanley Park Seawall. “I bike every day, and I try to go at least  km,” he said. “The nice thing about Vancouver is that I can cycle all year if I’m lucky.” Recently, the guitar ace bought a Specialized Diverge with the Future Shock suspension in the head tube. The bike gives him more confidence. He also feels safer, knowing that he can go off-road if someone clogs the bike lane. James usually alternates between road cycling in the city and mountain biking on the gravel roads at the cottage. Throughout the years, he’s had the chance to cycle in Tuscany with Gold Medal Plates, and hopes to travel more on two wheels in the future in places such as Spain and Russia. “Cycling brings out the child in you, in a good way,” James said. “Riding a bike is something we’ve done since we got our independence. There is nothing like feeling the wind in your hair as you cruise down the road on your bike.”

Photo: James O'Mara

Colin James

The Performance Gains of New Gear How shiny stuff makes you a better rider

by James “Cranky” Ramsay

here’s a special kind of inspiration that’s part of our greatest athletic achievements – whether those be Olympic feats of power and grace or limping across the finish line of a local masters race like the pack fodder we are. It’s what gives us the juice to win the medal – or simply finish the race faster than the poor sod who struggles to the end just behind us. Where does this inspiration come from, and how can we summon it up? If I could answer these questions, I’d be raking it in on the speaking circuit, or at the very least eking out a modest living as a cycling coach.


It won’t surprise any of you to learn that I don’t have the answers to these (or indeed most) questions. That is to say, I can’t point to the source of inspiration for others. But I can tell you what lights a fire for me. And who knows – maybe you’ll find that the same is true for you. I’m inspired by gear. That’s right – new, shiny stuff. It makes me ride faster, run harder, wake up earlier, eat better and drink less. It pushes me to new heights of achievement not because of any material properties the new shiny thing has, other than the shininess itself, but the sense of possibility that the product imparts. I’m an advertiser’s dream because I’m easily seduced by evocative words and compelling images. Show me a picture of a sleek bike carving a perfect line through a misty alpine pass, and I’m sold. Add in a few poetic lines or a quote from a Grand Tour champion of yore and I’ll buy two of them.


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Image: Russ Tudor



The thing is, while much of this may be smoke and mirrors, it actually works. I do ride faster on that new bike. I know I’m not alone in this, which leads me to believe that there’s an opportunity for a bored graduate student somewhere to complete a PhD thesis entitled “The Psychomotor Effects of Major Sporting Goods Purchases on Short-Term Athletic Performance in Middle-Aged Athletes.” Furthermore, at least for me, it’s not just new bikes that have this effect, although it does help if the item in question is expensive. Late last year, I bought a fancy  watch and a new pair of running shoes. I was going on a trip where I would not have a bike, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose any fitness while I was away. I haven’t run regularly in recent years, so the wise approach would have been to ramp up gradually. But I’ve never claimed to be wise; I took the opposite path. I strapped on my new watch and shoes and ran  km the first day – and every day after that for a full week. By Day , my body was quite sore and I had terrible blisters. But I couldn’t stop. The watch wouldn’t let me. It kept beeping every kilometre, telling me my pace. Being a competitive person, I had to keep battling to go faster. By the end of the week, I had run myself into shape, knocked nearly five minutes off my  km time, and reignited my long-dormant love of running. I was also  kg lighter. My love affair with the  watch and the running shoes is not over, but I’m feeling the itch for the next shiny thing. This, of course, is a new bike. I have a fantastic race bike that I’ve had for about seven years. It’s far from being worn out. It’s also far more bike than I need. By all logical measures, there’s no reason for me to get another one. But I’ve seen the photos of my new bike. I’ve read the poem that was printed alongside those photos. And now when I close my eyes, all I can think about is the feel of the crisp alpine air rushing past me as I descend through the mist, leaving all contenders, and several thousand dollars, in my wake. Now that’s inspiration.

.&"%),)& )+&(%(%#%(* G6CJE9:?8:D?6H G6CJE9:?8:D36EE6C )E:R6C =:89E6C4=@D6CXE962==?6H)-@C<DDA2C6D?@ 6IA6?D6:?EC2?D76CC:?8J@FCA@H6CDEC2:89EE@E96 A652=D *96D6D9@6DE2<62==@7E96762EFC6DJ@F\G6 =@G657@C86?6C2E:@?DE@6G6?8C62E6C96:89ED

Where Joes Can Better the Pros It’s not VO2 max or FTP that wins this shootout


by Bart Egnal

Being pro – and I define pro as having bike racing as your profession, rather than your passion – comes with all sorts of restrictions and pressures that we amateurs don’t even contemplate. Consider Aidan Caves, who won the silver medal at the  Pan American track cycling championships in the scratch race. At the  Pan American track cycling championships, he won the men’s omnium. He’s also been a key member of the men’s team pursuit squad. I’ve known Aidan for nearly five years and have huge respect for what he has achieved – even while he lives the pro lifestyle. Let’s start with money. Being pro is supposed to mean earning a living through racing, which implies some kind of income. Sure, for some big-name pros, there are seven- or six-figure contracts. But for many national-level riders, they have to fundraise to compete. Even after the funding Aidan receives from Cycling Canada, he must raise thousands a year just to cover the costs of competing for the country. On the other hand, most people lining up in masters races have day jobs that fund our fun. Amateurs: 1; pros: 0. Next, equipment. As you know, I love equipment. From skinsuits to aero helmets to wheels – I can pick any brand or item, and mix and match it with others to get just the setup I like. Pros, such as Aidan, don’t have that luxury. They must race on the bikes, wheels and contact points supplied. They must use the skinsuit and helmet that are provided for them. Aidan mentioned that when the national team changed bike sponsors, the new fork on his Argon  didn’t steer the way his Look bike did. Fortunately, they custom built him one, but not all sponsors are so helpful. Amateurs: 2; pros: 0. Third, travel. When masters racers go off to “training camps,” we book direct flights at pleasing times of day to travel. The training is offset by the relaxation. For racers such as Aidan, global travel involves long flights that are often booked to be cost-effective rather than short. What could be a direct flight (say to Europe) is instead a multileg international odyssey. This travel makes it all the more

impressive when he gets top-s in the omnium as he did in Chile in December. Amateurs: 3; pros: 0. Fourth, pressure to perform, even when injured. Aidan doesn’t just compete with the world’s best on the track for World Cup points and with the hopes of making the Olympics; he must also compete with his own teammates. The pursuit team has a long list he must fight to stay on. Injuries just mean time away from results. In the time I’ve known him, he’s had concussions, broken bones, scrapes and bruises. Yet he is so focused that he gets back and returns to compete – and win – at the highest level of the sport. Contrast that with masters racing, where I took the summer off due to “fatigue.”

Amateurs: ; pros: 0. Finally, take jerseys. When you win a big race, you get to wear a cool jersey that you actually won, such as the one connected with Aidan’s  Pan Am omnium title. Whereas I don’t get to wear that kit. Amateurs: ; pros: 1. For all these reasons, I both love being an amateur and am committed to supporting Aidan as he pursues the Olympics. If you are inspired, as I am, by his drive and perseverance as he chases his dream of representing Canada in  in Tokyo, or wish to support another athlete, you can find routes online to contribute. And remember: it’s great to be an amateur.


f you like to read about cycling online or in print, you’ll find pages and pages of writing that suggests we all want to be professional bike racers. Articles breathily document the incredible gear pros use. Beautiful photos capture the stunning vistas they train in. Profiles of their chefs explain what fabulous food they use. It’s all quite alluring. You could be forgiven for wanting to quit your day job and live this dream lifestyle. But not me. I’m quite content as an amateur.


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Image: Michelle Simpson




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Ripping along the banks of the South Saskatchewan


Prairie Mountain Biking


by Tyler Stewart

s I hit Saskatoon after a six-hour drive, I was glad my accommodations were two short blocks away from the trails I’d come to ride. My younger brother is an excellent ride guide, so I was eager to get my legs moving again. We wasted no time getting geared up and headed out into autumn conditions along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. Like many Prairie cities, the best riding is riverside; Saskatoon is no exception. We left from the City Park neighbourhood and crossed under the Highway  bridge, linking up to the Meewasin Trail system that runs throughout the river valley. A fun, flowing section passes the Sutherland Beach dog park with birch trees bending to provide a tunnel-like canopy of cover for cruising. (Tall riders should watch their noggins.) As the trail heads north, you can take the easy way out along the shale path above. We opted to plow through High Roller, which provides challenging climbs and technical sections of rocks and roots to navigate. We kept riding north and crossed Petturson’s Ravine, passing a semi-abandoned gravel pit that’s been shaped into a few large freestyle sections for more adventurous riders. Multiple lines offer themselves up along this stretch of singletrack, dropping steeply from the ridgeline above down toward the river. We kept pushing toward the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow we’d been riding – a short, punishing and absolutely fantastic trail loop called Corkscrew. Taking the counter-clockwise route, we hammered up and down big banks, around bends and steep drops on this roller-coaster ride of a trail. Don’t be surprised if you see locals lapping this section until their legs give out, as it’s one of the most fun little rips in the area. Beyond the river trails, Saskatoon’s cycling scene has grown significantly during the past half decade or so, with an explosion of clubs, rides, races and events for cyclists of all kinds. Reagan Wildeman of the Pedal Wenches road cycling club has played a leading role in making cycling a more inclusive sport


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

for female riders. “There was a need to break down the barriers that keep women from road cycling in particular,” Wildeman explained. “Some of that has to do with bikeshop culture, but we’re trying to spread the idea that it’s OK to be a newbie and ask questions.” Wildeman credits the long-running shop Bike Doctor for making a huge commitment to support the Wenches’ weekly rides, and in turn, hiring more female shop staff as a result. “Our gals now get treated really well by the staff, and the shop has been such a great partner for the club,” Wildeman said. “We’ve seen about  new women riders come through the club during the past five years or so.” The next day brought us to the south end of town for some exploration among the older trails of Saskatoon’s mountain biking infrastructure. Rolling out of Diefenbaker Park, we found tightly winding trails that cut through the bush and discovered a mix of newly built and older features that made my knuckles whiten. A -m drop into a

Photo: Tyler Stewart


-degree wall ride that seemed too rotten to ride was far beyond my comfort zone. A lot of short trail stems snaked through the foliage and provided a challenging up-anddown grind between tight corners. “The trails on the south side were impacted by construction of the Gordie Howe Bridge, so what’s left there is a lot smaller than it used to be,” explained Susan Clarke, who is involved with both the  Mountain Bike Club and the shop-sponsored Bruce’s Cycle Works Club. Like many other cities, Saskatoon’s riverside singletrack trails are officially unsanctioned. While riders perform basic maintenance to keep things safe, new singletrack development has been all but impossible. The Meewasin Valley Authority, however, has installed wide gravel pathways that provide an extension of the trail system that winds its way south, out of town all the way to Chief Whitecap Park. Realizing the potential that sits just outside city limits,  and  teamed up to approach the folks at Blackstrap

Provincial Park, a -km drive south of town. The long-dormant ski hill in the park had had basic, unsanctioned trails cut into it throughout the years. The new partnership between the clubs and the park offered a stable approach to ongoing trail maintenance and development. “It’s been great to help maintain all the singletrack that winds through the cross-country ski trails out there,” Clarke said. “The trails are a little less tight than in the city and some of the original trails had some erosion problems, so we’ve since fixed a lot of that to make sure they stay in good shape.” Blackstrap now offers a great location for ongoing club races and events. The campground on-site makes the place a bona fide destination for cycling in the province as well. I swung through the park on my way out of town and wound my way through the trees on some excellent little runs that got the legs pumping uphill and allowed for some blisteringly quick descents. As I slogged my way up to the top of the old chairlift hill to take in the view from the highest point around, past memories of learning to snowboard here as a teenager came to mind. Blue skies merged with wheat fields, and green hills with the blue waters of Blackstrap Lake to paint a picture of the potential the Prairies hold for becoming the next great cycling destination in Canada.



Where to stay If you’re feeling the urge to splurge, the historic castle-like setting of the Delta Bessborough offers a beautiful place to stay downtown next to the river. The Park Town Hotel ( sits a little farther north along the river, with closer access to singletrack trails. Gordon Howe campground ( is another great option on the south end of town, still within easy reach of great trails.

Where to eat Canada’s best Burmese restaurant might be the family-run Golden Pagoda on nd Avenue, featuring incredibly delicious and authentic cuisine (, while just a few blocks north The Night Oven (thenight provides all the bread and pastries you’ll need to stay fuelled (plus pizza on Friday nights). Zip across the Broadway Bridge to the Yard & Flagon ( for the classic Saskatoon pub experience, featuring a wide range of local brews on tap. Where to shop Bruce’s Cycle Works ( is a little off the beaten path, but its new location on Central Avenue – just across from the old one – is well worth a visit. Bike Doctor ( is one Saskatoon’s oldest shops and sits just off Broadway, while Doug’s Spoke ‘n Sport ( offers good-bud vibes in Riversdale, along with your other sporting needs.

 Saskatoon’s active road scene

Prince Albert Saskatoon Regina

Photo: Abu Khan

Getting there Located smack dab in the heart of south-central Saskatchewan, Saskatoon is a five-hour drive from Edmonton to the west and eight hours from Winnipeg to the east. John G. Diefenbaker International Airport has daily direct arrivals from many major Canadian cities, as well as Minneapolis for international visitors.

Photo: Tyler Stewart

“Don’t be surprised if you see locals lapping this section until their legs give out, as it’s one of the most fun little rips in the area.”

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Fat’s Not the Enemy You just need to be smart about your choices

by Matthew Kadey at. Just the very word often conjures up images of unhealthiness. After all, eating so-called “fatty foods” was presented as an express ticket to Diseaseville for decades. But we now know that fat no longer needs to be off the table for the Lycra crowd as the importance of this macronutrient for overall better health and performance has played out in modern research. Far from a dietary boogeyman, fat is something you need in your diet to produce vital hormones, keep metabolism humming along and bolster satiety – the one reason why very low-fat diets often fail to bring about long-term weight loss. No, you still shouldn’t pig out on bacon and stash sticks of butter in your jersey pocket, but you can feel good about dropping these unapologetically fatty foods into your grocery cart.


Almond Flour Percentage of calories from fat: 79 Not all flour is a carb bomb. Made by finely grinding up whole or blanched almonds, almond flour is fatty in a good way. It provides a lofty dose of monounsaturated fat – a type of fat shown to be especially heart-healthy. The power flour also delivers about three times the protein of typical wheat flour as well as notable levels of antioxidant vitamin E. What’s more, a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that a daily intake of almonds may elevate endurance performance in cyclists potentially by improving oxygen utilization. When rustling up a batch of pancakes, cookies or muffins, swap about  per cent of the regular flour with the almond version for a nutty edge. Stir it into a pot of simmering oatmeal, or use as a coating for chicken or fish.

Mackerel Percentage of calories from fat: 62 Time to cast your line for this swimmer more often. Richly flavoured mackerel is among the best sources of  and , the most potent forms of omega- fats you can buy. Beyond the trumpeted heart and brain benefits, research suggests higher intakes of these mega-healthy omegas


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

can help lessen post-exercise muscle pain, perhaps via their anti-inflammatory powers. This gift from the sea is also a great source of protein to build stronger muscles to power your rides and vitamin D, a chronically under-consumed nutrient shown to help improve muscle functioning and bone strength in athletes. Some fishmongers sell fresh mackerel, but the easiest way to add more to your diet is via smoked versions. Smoked mackerel can add a nutritional boost to sandwiches, salads, crackers and egg-based dishes.

Avocado Percentage of calories from fat: 81 In contrast to other fruits that are fat-stingy, avocado is packed with it – and that’s a good thing. The main fat in Mother Nature’s butter is monounsaturated, which has cholesterol-busting powers and may do a better job than other types of fat at fending off weight gain. Studies also show that adding creamy avocado to meals can stamp out overeating later on; its high amounts of fat and fibre bolster satiety better than processed carbs. When added to veg-heavy dishes, like salads, the fat in this Instagram star (merci, avocado toast) has been shown to improve the absorption of important fat-soluble antioxidants in vegetables, including beta carotene and lycopene. Beyond guac and, um, toast, work avocado into tacos, scrambled eggs, post-ride smoothies and even desserts, such as chocolate pudding. (Seriously, Google it.)

Camelina Oil Percentage of calories from fat: 100 It’s a completely natural reaction for health-conscious cyclists to think they shouldn’t coat their salad greens in oil. But adding the right oils to your meals can make them more satisfying, improve absorption of fat-soluble nutrients and add important stuff for better health, such as unsaturated fats, cancerfighting polyphenols and vitamin E. Fat-free salad dressing? Not so much. So go ahead and reach for a bottle of up-and-coming camelina oil as a nice alternative to the imported olive variety. Cold-pressed from the seeds of Canadian-grown camelina sativa plant, this culinary oil has a palate-pleasing flavour reminiscent of spring-fresh asparagus and is a source of tickerfriendly omega- fats. Use camelina oil in dressings, dips and pestos. With a high smoke point, it can also line your frying pan.

“No, you shouldn’t stash sticks of butter in your jersey pocket.” Funky Cheese


Percentage of calories from fat: about 75 You still shouldn’t make glistening pizza a dietary habit, but research shows that the ripening process that produces oozy, moulded, full-fat cheeses, such as brie, roquefort and Camembert can boost levels of anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. Perhaps one reason why the hearts of the fromage-loving French beat so strong. An investigation in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate about . oz. of regular-fat cheese daily for three months experienced no differences in health measures such as  (bad) cholesterol levels, blood-sugar control or waistline girth compared with those who consumed the same amount of reduced-fat cheese. And a large review of studies published in the

Percentage of calories from fat: 71 Seeds are more proof that Mother Nature works in marvellous ways. The bearers of life from the ground up, seeds contain all the makings of an entire plant. In turn, they are packed with a nutritional treasure trove. Flax is no exception. It has a mix of the omega- fat alphalinolenic acid, dietary fibre ( g in  tablespoons ground) and lignans, a unique group of phytochemicals, thought to be behind flax’s seeming ability to bolster heart health by improving cholesterol and bloodpressure numbers. To reap the full benefits of flax, it’s best to consume it in its ground form for better absorption. It’s an easy addition to morning oatmeal, smoothies, pancake batter,  energy bars and balls, and even as a replacement for bread crumbs in dishes like meatloaf.

European Journal of Nutrition showed that people who consumed a little more than an ounce of cheese daily had a  per cent lower risk of developing heart disease and were  per cent less likely to have a stroke than those who rarely or never ate cheese. The mix of calcium, protein, probiotics and other compounds in cheese may counteract any potential negative effects of its saturated-fat content. Because real cheese, such as Stilton and Gruyère, have a ton of flavour, you’ll be satisfied with less.

Rider: Photo: Location: Wade Simmons Margus Riga North Vancouver, BC

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Victor Barry's Nutritional Information


For one serving Calories 895


Carbs 26 g Saturated Fat 14.3 g Fibre 4.4 g


Protein 127.1 g

by Matthew Pioro e work in an industry that makes it really hard to be fit,” said Toronto chef and restaurant owner Victor Barry. “When your job is to taste food to make sure that it tastes good, and tasting wine and cocktails – we’re bombarded with really bad decisions on a daily basis.” While Barry jokingly exaggerates the dangers of his profession, he did pick up cycling to address those “bad decisions” and for fun. About two years ago, his friend and now business partner Brendan Piunno suggested they go for a ride. Barry rented a Norco Valence. After they finished the ride, Barry bought the bike. At first, he hated hills – paper boying his way up local inclines – but has grown to like them more. “Brendan tries to get me into cadence and stuff like that, but I put it in a gear that I’m comfortable with and just keep a steady pace.” In , Barry and Piunno’s riding was anything but steady. The pair, along with Barry’s wife, Nikki Leigh McKean, opened the French bistro Café Cancan, while still running Italian restaurant Piano Piano. “It was a crazy summer,” Barry said. “I’m not kidding, I think we rode four times. So, no more restaurant openings in the middle of summer.” Both are planning to ride a lot more this year. Barry’s meatball recipe comes off the Piano Piano menu. Usually, that kitchen makes close to  meatballs at a time. Barry’s scaled that recipe for a group of four. It pairs well with pasta and Giro d’Italia highlights.


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

“After they finished the ride, Barry bought the bike.”

Ingredients 750 g ground pork 750 g ground beef 40 g (roughly ¼ cup) onion, diced 11 g (roughly 4 cloves) garlic, diced 7 g chili flakes 1⁄16 loaf country white bread cubed (crust on) soaked overnight in 0.5 l of milk 1⁄6 bunch of parsley (stems on), chopped 165 g grana padano cheese, grated 10 g salt 680 ml jar of passata

Directions 1. In a rondo pan, cover the base with olive oil. Once it’s hot, add chili, onion, garlic and salt. Cook until translucent. Take off heat and cool. 2. In a large bowl, incorporate both ground pork and beef together, until mixed evenly. 3. Mix in cheese and parsley. 4. Add onion/chili mix. 5. In a food processor, blitz the soaked bread until it’s puréed. Add to the meatball mix. 6. Preheat oven to 400 F. 7. Compress mix into 4.5 oz. balls. 8. Place meatballs into a casserole. Add passata until all but the top ⅓ of the meatballs are covered. 9. Bake for 8 minutes. 10. Increase oven temperature to 500 F. Broil for roughly 7 minutes until the meatballs have caramelized. Make sure to watch the meatballs carefully while broiling.

Serves 4

Photo: Matt Stetson


Getting from the Trainer to the Road As you head outside on your bike, make sure your training matches the season

by Andrew Randell and Steve Neal of he Cycling Gym e hope you’ve had a productive winter of training with some good “miles” on the trainer. Riding during the off-season often means highly focused and organized workouts, which help make the time on the trainer pass quickly(ish). If you’re a rider who follows a popular online training program, you’ve likely done a heck of a lot of threshold and higher-intensity training. Even if you haven’t been pushing high wattage, you still haven’t done much in terms of overall time on the bike. Some people can ride indoors for hours on end, but it isn’t something we typically recommend. So, let’s say you’ve had a winter of decent training indoors. Now that the weather is warming up, what’s next? Job No.  is to log some proper endurance mileage. To ride well, you have to have a balance among the different energy systems that you use during your rides or races. Throughout the winter, most of us do a lot of riding at a tempo pace or higher. Now is the time to put in some longer rides at a steady pace. If you were watching the power meter during the cold months, focus on the heart-rate monitor for these spring rides. We typically recommend riding between  to  per cent of your maximum heart rate for endurance training. At first, this effort might feel too easy. But, you must keep your heart rate in the proper zone whether on the flats or going uphill or downhill. Most of us ride steady on even ground, hard up the inclines and then coast down descents. During your endurance rides, apply constant pressure on the pedals. Ride steady on the flats, slow on the uphill sections and then push over the top and into the downhill runs. Several hours of proper endurance training can be plenty challenging. Over time, you will be able to push a bit harder at the same heart rate. Other things you can layer into your training that simply don’t work on the trainer are sprinting and climbing. You can’t sprint with proper technique on the trainer, so you shouldn’t be doing much of this training indoors. Sprint training should be done in a variety of ways: while sitting, while standing, from a slow start and a rolling start. Efforts should be between eight and  seconds long. Rip the cranks off your bike. Climbing can be done at a tempo-type pace and mixed into your endurance rides. Access to climbs, of course, depends on where you live. Maybe the hunt for big hills for some proper climbing work is a good excuse to head south for a training camp. With warmer weather and clear roads, you should log those miles and do them properly. Layer in some sprinting and climbing, too. During your first ride outdoors, you may be surprised at how weak you feel. Don’t be discouraged; give it a couple of weeks and you’ll be feeling just fine. You will start to feel your legs come round.


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018


Photo: Matt Stetson



Top Tips for Riding in the Rain Get comfortable with wet roads

f you’re up for the challenge of riding in the rain, here’s a look at ways to make the whole experience safer and maybe, just maybe, enjoyable.


The right ride for the rain Before you head out in the wet, try to make sure you’ll be facing a reasonable amount of precipitation. If you’re not comfortable with the weather and you have to ride, hit the trainer. If you have the skills and are ready to cruise in heavy rain, have a clear focus on the road. Try warming up at home first. Then keep your ride short and sharp – make it count. If you’re riding in a group in which everyone has similar abilities, try not to stop. The break can lead to chills, which will surely dampen enthusiasm.

Dressing for the conditions Wearing a casquette is great for sheltering your eyes from the spray and rain. You should also put on well-ventilated eyewear with clear or light-enhancing lenses. Glasses will steam up, so remove them on the climbs. While there are gels and anti-fog sprays, their effectiveness is limited when you’re riding into the rain and sweating. In warmer temperatures, keep your clothing as lightweight and ventilated as possible. For light showers, a gilet might be all you need. As for colder rides in the wet, your choice of layers depends on how long you will ride, the actual temperature and how much you sweat. If it’s really cold, then a well-ventilated waterproof jacket is the thing. Waterproof overshoes do a good job of keeping your feet warm and dry. Sometimes, water can get into your shoes through the cleat holes. To manage this issue, you can try sealing things with a silicone sealant or by simply wearing waterproof socks.


Photos: Steve homas



by Steve homas

Mind the splatter During a soggy spring, full fenders (or even clip-ons) are a wise addition. The spray and grit from the road is far worse than the rain itself. Fenders will keep your shorts and feet drier for longer. They’ll keep the road spray out of your eyes and mouth, as well as the eyes and mouths of others in your group. Rolling and stopping With rim brakes, wheels with aluminum rims perform better in the rain than carbon-fibre models. Also, deepsection carbon rims can take on water, which is annoying. If you just have carbon hoops, be sure to factor  to  per cent of extra braking distance on the road. Keep your braking gentle. Favour the rear, and feather the brakes to clear water from the rims. Water affects the stopping power of disc brakes, too, but not nearly as much as rim brakes. The rotors may squeal, but the better control is worth it. Do all of your braking well before any corners. Do not brake on slippery patches or in a corner itself. Tires and air pressure are crucial to wet-weather performance. The current trend toward wider rubber – – mm – is definitely good for wet conditions. Let out a little air pressure for improved traction.

“Keep your braking gentle”

Riding in a group If you’re in a group-riding situation, you will need to make some adjustments for safety. Always allow some extra space between you and other riders. Reactions can be quick, and you will need more time to react. Stay out of the spray from wheels in front of you by riding a little farther back and slightly to the side, not right on the wheel. Consider staying on the front more, especially on twisty sections, as that will give you the best line and put you in control. Ride safely and have fun.

26 .5 27 29

Boss. Handmade in Germany.



Get a Handle of Your Headset You’ll improve your bike’s steering and braking

by Nick Di Cristofaro

he headset is the assembly that fits into a bicycle’s head tube and allows the front fork and wheel to rotate properly. There are two types of forks that require their own types of headset: threaded and threadless. I’ll focus on threadless as threaded forks are mostly things of the past (but are still used on some classic steel bikes and vintage frames). There are many configurations of threadless headsets. Generally, a star nut (for a metal tube) or an internal expansion plug (for carbon) sits inside the top of the steering tube and acts as an anchor point. After the stem and spacers are placed onto the fork, you can preload the bearings with a top cap and a bolt that threads into the nut or expansion plug. The stem is then tightened around the steering tube. When you have a loose headset, your front end feels wobbly when braking and knocks back and forth. Loosen the top-cap bolt and stem bolts. Remove the top cap and


steering tube itself. If there isn’t a sufficient gap, you will have to rearrange spacers to ensure the top cap is compressing the assembly, not the tube. You can also cut the tube down to create this gap. When you tighten the bolt, the headset should feel tighter. If not, then the top cap is likely stopping at the steering tube and isn’t preloading the bearings. Finally, make sure the stem-clamp bolts are loose and slowly tighten the top-cap bolt, while you simultaneously lock the front brake and rock the bike back and forth. You want to tighten the top-cap bolt just enough to get the play out of the steering. If you tighten too much, you might have binding, which can lead to premature bearing wear. Once you get the play out of the steering, straighten out the stem to align it with the front wheel. I like to look straight down at the stem from above while tapping the front wheel ever so slightly with my hand to get everything straight. Finally, snug up the stem bolts by hand, and

bolt to inspect the expansion plug or star nut. For a metal steering tube, make sure the star nut isn’t loose and can stick securely into the fork. For a carbon steering tube, remove the stem/handlebar assembly and place it gently to the side, being careful not to kink any cables. A very common cause of a loose headset is a loose or damaged expansion plug. This plug holds the headset together. Make sure the plug can be secured in the fork by checking the bolt and making sure it tightens properly. Some expansion plugs sit inside the fork, and some sit inside and on top. If it sits on top, ensure there are no gaps. You might have to loosen it and tap it down a bit. If your plug isn’t staying tight, remove it and inspect for damage. Replace if necessary. Next, check the top of the stem and fork with the stem installed. If you do not run any spacers on top of the stem, you must ensure it sits slightly proud of the steering-tube top so that the top cap touches the stem and not the top of the


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

then torque to spec, especially on a carbon steering tube. Rotate the handlebars back and forth, and then grab the front brake again while rocking the bike back and forth to ensure everything is smooth and there is no play. If your steering rotation still isn’t smooth, you might have worn bearings. Remove the front wheel, brake and fork. Then, remove the headset bearings. Rotate the bearings in your hand and replace if they feel gritty and notchy. Apply a thin layer of grease in the head tube where the bearings sit and along the crown race (lower fork). Place the lower bearing onto the fork then slide the fork into the frame. Place the upper bearing over the steering tube into the frame. Apply another thin layer of grease on top of the bearing. Slide the split collet, and then bearing cap over the fork. Place the spacers (if needed) over the fork and replace the stem and top cap (and spacer if necessary). Adjust the headset and you’re good to go.

Photo: Matt Stetson

“A very common cause of a loose headset is a loose or damaged expansion plug.”





Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Whether you want to cruise, rip or race, there’s something for you to target this year.

Big road rides

Crossroads Tremblant Location Mont-Tremblant, Que. Date May – Distances -km, -km, -km, -km fondo options and variety of other events Cost – Websites and Building on the success of the Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant, organizers have created Crossroads Tremblant, a weekend of bike events for all tastes. The gran fondo remains the anchor event for the weekend, and the festival also includes the Canada Cup and Quebec Cup mountain bike races. “We only have one chance to make a strong first impression with this festival,” said Simon St-Arnaud, event organizer. “We’ve built up a program that will include events for anyone interested in cycling.” The weekend program includes a showcase criterium in the old pedestrian village of Mont-Tremblant. A family-oriented ride makes use of the P’tit Train du Nord linear park with a finish at the Lac Mercier beach. Demo bikes of all kinds will be on hand, and there’s also a special course for electric mountain bikes. Triathletes can get pedal strokes in during a time trial course using part of the Ironman route. All are welcome to gather for a beachfront party on Lac Tremblant to celebrate a love for everything two-wheeled.

Photo: Courtesy Bluewater Gran Fondo

The 2018

by Dean Campbell

   Bluewater International Gran Fondo

 he Blue Mountains Gran Fondo

Bluewater International Gran Fondo Location Sarnia, Ont. Date Aug.  Distances  km,  km,  km Cost – depending on distance and registration date Website Tour the shores of Lake Huron while enjoying the picturesque landscapes of Southwestern Ontario in the Bluewater International Gran Fondo. The event is entering its third year, and serves a wide variety of cyclists through three distances. The event was created to fundraise for St. Joseph’s Hospice, and Bluewater Health’s Palliative Care. A bulk of the funds will be directed to staff education in palliative care. Each ride – Sarnia ( km), Lambton ( km) and Bluewater ( km) – has its own start time. Only sections of the event are timed, offering the more competitive riders a chance to duke it out while maintaining a more relaxed event for those wishing to ride rather than race.

Gran Fondo Lac-Mégantic

Photos: Courtesy Bluewater Gran Fondo, Jeremy Allen

Location Lac-Mégantic, Que. Date Sept.  Distances  km,  km,  km Cost – depending on registration date and distance Website Don’t be fooled by the relatively short -km distance of the full Gran Fondo Lac Mégantic; the region has been home to the Canadian road cycling championships and a Tour de Beauce stage race many times over. The -km course heads southwest of the city, taking riders into the Parc National du Mont-Mégantic before heading back to the finish. Close to  riders took part in the  edition, with more expected in .

The Blue Mountains Gran Fondo Location Collingwood, Ont. Date June ,  Distances .-km TT, -km medio fondo, -km and -km gran fondo events Cost – Website The Blue Mountains Gran Fondo was formerly referred to as the Grey County Road Race. Canada’s sole event within the  Gran Fondo World Series, Blue Mountains Gran Fondo is composed of both time trial and road race events for  categories of riders. “There’s a lot of work that goes into having full  status,” said Bruce Bird, organizer. “This requires more of us, but we think this adds more value for participants and the surrounding community.” The time trials take place in nearby Thornbury, Ont., and will be limited to  riders. The fastest  per cent of the starters will qualify for the  Gran Fondo World Series championships in Varese, Italy, which will run in September. The same percentage of riders from the road race, held two days after the TT, will qualify for event that functions as an amateur worlds.


Explore the western shores Nova Scotia in the beautiful municipality of Clare by riding in the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie. More than , participants are expected to take in the hospitality of the largest Acadian community in the province. The ride ends with a lobster dinner. The evening before the main event, there’s a social with râpure (a potato dish also known as rappie pie), Acadian music and La Baie en Joie Acadian dancers. Those riding the full super gran fondo route will cover  km south toward Yarmouth, enjoying both inland scenery and coastal views. Route details for all distances are on the website, including marked photo locations and historic landmarks.


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo


Location Cranbrook, B.C. Date Sept.  Distances  km,  km,  km Cost – depending on registration date and distance Website

With the GranFondo PEI, spend a three-day weekend riding every day in the small and beautiful province of Prince Edward Island. (Charlottetown; Aug. –;  km,  km and others; –; Celebrate the th-anniversary edition of the Granfondo Garneau-Quebecor while raising funds for Les Petits Frères. (Trois-Rivières, Que.; Aug. ;  km,  km; –; Register soon for the Gran Fondo Jasper. Only  riders get to enjoy the Rocky Mountains from within the Jasper National Park. (Jasper, Alta.; June ;  km,  km,  km; –;

Enjoy the scenic Kootenay region of B.C. and support local cycling and trail projects in the host community by taking part in the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo. The event route passes through Cranbrook and nearby Kimberley, with a lot of fan support along the way. Riders will be able to request mobile mechanical support to keep them rolling. There’s excellent feed stations and a tasty banquet with a fun after-party to close out the day.

Photos: Photo: Joey XYZ Collection Robichaud

Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie Location Saulnierville, N.S. Date Sept.  Distances  km,  km,  km,  km Cost , including a jersey for early registration. Website

Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria Location Victoria Date Aug.  Distances –,-m kids’ distance,  km,  km,  km,  km,  km,  km,  km Cost Free– depending on distance and registration date Website Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria has something for everyone, offering a free children’s ride and seven longer-distance options for riders of all stripes. Billed as a ride, not a race, each route has been devised to show off the beauty of Victoria and its surroundings. This is the perfect chance to celebrate the success of one of Canada’s most successful professional cyclists, winner of the  Giro d’Italia. You can raise a glass in the cider-and-beer garden at the end of ride.

    Gran Fondo PEI

Photos: Joey Robichaud, Courtesy GranFondo PEI, Courtesy GranFondo PEI

    Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie


Québec Singletrack Expérience Location Quebec City Date Aug. – Distances Seven stages ranging from  to  km Cost , and more depending on accommodation, support packages Website The Québec Singletrack Expérience () debuted in , and returns for its second edition with selected tweaks to improve an already excellent event. Spanning seven riding days, the event places participants in a choice of accommodations near the Old City of Quebec. Each day, riders explore a new trail network in the surrounding regions. The  edition has been scheduled to allow riders to attend both days of the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup immediately following the . “We’re already getting more international registrations than we had for last year, which is quite exciting,” said François Calletta, event organizer. “We have a draw for some great prizes for early registrants, including a weeklong training camp in Switzerland hosted by two of our  riders. You can also win a full entry to our event, or a frame from Rocky Mountain.” Each stage is organized by local crews who are fiercely proud of their home trails, which offer up some of the best riding in Eastern Canada.

Crank the Shield Location Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Date Aug. – Distances Approx.  km throughout three days Cost ,   upgrade available Website

Consider the BC Bike Ride North the ideal mountain biking road trip. Using the same strong logistics developed through a decade of putting on the BC Bike Race, organizers have created a fully supported tour of the best trail networks in Northern B.C. Riders get to choose their own adventure with guidance on where to find the best riding to suit their own styles. Repeat an amazing trail or stop to session a jump line – the choice is yours. Bonfires and unlimited beer close out each day at camp.    Québec Singletrack Expérience

Travel to the gravel

Golden Ears Gravel Fondo Location Port Coquitlam, B.C. Date May  Distances  km,  km Cost – Website The Golden Ears Fondo is all about making gravel fondos accessible. The routes head out from Port Coquitlam and extend through the Lower


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Mainland on generally flat terrain, mixing dirt and gravel roads and trails. Surrounded by scenic mountains, the event is billed as a great starter event. Registration is organized by gender and type of bike. Keeping with the relaxed style, the start and finish are near the Gillnetter Pub. The event has mechanical and medical support with aid stations along the way.

Crank the Shield has returned in a new setting for . After a multiyear hiatus, the event has been recreated in the Algoma Highlands of Northern Ontario. Riders will take a train into the bush and spend three days riding back. The late summer timing and new setting should help keep bugs low and trails dry – a key consideration in choosing the new location and route. Family-friendly add-ons make this an accessible adventure for all. Ride the incomparable Canadian Shield this summer.

ALSO CHECK OUT Celebrating its th anniversary in , the Paris to Ancaster Bike Race has seen thousands ride on paved and gravel roads, and along muddy farm lanes, making it Ontario’s Spring Classic. (Paris, Ont.; April ;  km,  km,  km; –; The Appalachian Classic lets you enjoy the spectacular scenery of central Quebec as you try to win your weight in maple syrup. (Victoriaville, Que.; Aug. ;  km,  km,  km, –; The Dirty Phil is promoted as “not your dad’s fondo,” and focuses on fun times, good gravel and riding bikes for the pure joy of the experience. (Kelowna, B.C.; June ;  km,  km; –;

Photos: Courtesy Quebec Singletrack Challenge

Mountain bike for days

BC Bike Ride North Location Northern British Columbia Date Aug. – Distances Variable, six riding days Cost , Website

Wild Rock Sportive

Photos: Jeremy Allen, Courtesy Badlands Gran Fondo

Location Peterborough, Ont. Date July  Distances  km,  km Cost  Website The Wild Rock Sportive has its roots in a one-off event called the “stag fondo,” a bike ride and stag party for Charlie Bryer in . A sales rep with Shimano Canada, Bryer turned the event into the Shimano Gran Fondo a year later, and following that event’s success, is launching the Wild Rock Sportive in . “There’s a lot of fantastic gravel roads near Peterborough,” said Bryer. “We’ve made this event for gravel and ’cross bikes, but a road bike would work as well.” The cost of the event includes an “extensive care package” for each rider, and both distances start at  p.m. “We’ll take advantage of the long daylight hours before heading to the dinner and party,” said Bryer.   Wild Rock Sportive features roads near Peterborough, Ont.

  Gran Fondo Badlands

MEC Victoria Spring Gravel Grind Location Victoria Date April  Distances  km,  km Cost – Website Since ,  has been getting people out on bikes with the company’s Century Rides: low-cost, accessible road rides organized by stores across the country. This year,  is getting dirty with that model. The Victoria Spring Gravel Grind will feature a style of ride – muddy and bumpy – that the company is planning to do more of. “If you look at the spirit of adventure that  is known for, that spirit is something you can get a real taste of on a gravel route like this,” said Cam Miller,  national activity coordinator. “You’re on logging roads, going through forests with a bunch of people, just having a great time.” In contrast with the gravel, the ride ends on the Western Speedway. You can do a victory lap on some pretty smooth tarmac.

Gran Fondo Badlands Gravel Grinder Location Drumheller, Alta. Date June  Distance  km Cost  until May ,  as of June  Website New for  is the Gran Fondo Badlands Gravel Grinder event. As a gran fondo event, the grinder route includes dramatic scenery, mechanical support and feed stations. There are showers, and food and drink at the end of the event, and a team of volunteers to make it all happen. The event’s website says that unlike other events, the Gravel Grinder won’t include “a king/queen of the mountain race, fast times or coddling.” “We went around with one of the locals who rides these roads. There’s no easy way back. Once you get going, you’re pretty much in for the day. If it’s a rainy day, the ‘fair weather road’ section may need to get rerouted,” said Rick Skeith, one of the organizers. “We didn’t set out to make it a really hard ride, but looking at the route, we had better tell people it will be a stiff, demanding ride,” he added. The route contains a mix of deep gravel and mud sections severe enough that one section may prove impassable for support vehicles. Riders will be able to stretch out and spin on smoother sections, but be prepared – organizers suggest this -km route will be as demanding as a their -km road ride.


MS Bike Tours

Ride to Conquer Cancer

Locations  events in nine provinces Date Events run from June to September Distances Range from  km to  km in two days Cost – depending on chosen event, registration date and distance Website/ms-bike

Locations Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver Date Event run from June to August Distances  km Cost  plus fundraising , Website

The MS Bike Tour is one of Canada’s longest running fundraising bike rides. With  locations from coast to coast, Canadians have a lot of choice when it comes to where and when to have an impact in the fight against multiple sclerosis. First started in , MS Bike Tours now host , riders per year and have raised an average of  million per year during the Past few years. “There are so many fantastic fundraising events now, so people have a lot of choice,” said Namrata Peri, coordinator, event marketing for the MS Society of Canada. “We focus on making our events accessible for all levels of riders.” From a  registration fee for the Toronto ride to more demanding, highly supported rides in the Okanagan and Outaouais regions of B.C. and Quebec, there are options for everyone.


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Now a decade old, the Ride to Conquer Cancer takes participants on a -km journey during two days in an effort to raise money for cancer research. Collectively, participants have raised  million since the first Ride to Conquer Cancer was held in . “When you reach the start line of this event, there’s an overflow of emotions regarding the effort to even get there in fundraising and training,” said Lindsay Carswell, director of the BC Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation. “I have the benefit of also being a participant, and I am really proud of what a great weekend of riding we’ve created.” The  edition of the Vancouver ride will start east of the coastal city and head to Chilliwack. On the second day, the ride will end in Hope, B.C. The th-anniversary B.C. ride will be held Aug. –, and will feature rolling terrain and a “gentle but fulfilling experience.”

Photos: Courtesy MS Bike Tour, Courtesy RTCC, Courtesy Growling Beaver

Riding to help others

The Growling Beaver Location Collingwood, Ont. Date Sept.  Distances  km,  km,  km Cost – depending on distance. Website The Growling Beaver Brevet is a fun, social ride in the hills of Grey and Bruce Counties. Specifically “not a race,” the event follows the format of a randonneur ride, in which participants are given route-finding information and a passport to present at checkpoints along the way. This limited-entry event serves as a fundraiser for the Davis Phinney Foundation and the ParkinGo Wellness Society.

 MS Bike Tour  BC Ride to Conquer Cancer  he Growling Beaver


Enduro adventures

Canadian National Enduro Series Locations Seven in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec Date May 13 season opener; July 26 finale Distances Various Cost $110 per event, discounts for multiple event registrations Website

below Crankworx Whistler opposite Gran Fondo Squali

Canadian enduro racers can now take on a full sevenevent season kicking off in Fraser Valley, B.C., in May, rounding out in Bromont, Que., in July. The Fraser Valley, Panorama, Blue Mountain and Bromont events all count as qualifiers for the Enduro World Series. The Canadian series comes to the National Capital Region for Canada Day at Camp Fortune in the Gatineau Hills, right across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill. There will be some extra bragging rights involved in success at Camp Fortune. The event will play host to an East vs. West competition, in which riders are divided into teams representing their respective regions. The racers will notch points to see which part of Canada produces the fastest enduro riders.

Crankworx Bell Helmets Canadian Open Challenger Enduro Location Whistler, B.C. Date Aug. 11 Distances 2017 course: 36.6 km; 2018 details to be released Aug. 5 Cost Approx. $100 (ews sets fees in British pounds: £57.50) Website Why just spectate at Crankworx Whistler when you can compete? Enter the Crankworx Bell Helmets Canadian Open Challenger Enduro to race on some of the best trails in the Whistler Bike Park and surrounding valley and mountains. Running under the rules for the Enduro World Series, this event lets riders experience racing in a fun, relaxed atmosphere “without biting into the full meal deal right out of the gate.” Last year’s edition made use of “Top of the World,” “Freight Train,” “Golden Triangle,” “Ride Don’t Slide” and “Billy Epic,” with a host of connectors for the transition sections, including lift service.

Hot on Your Heels Location Squamish, B.C. Date July 21 Distances tba Cost $110 Website

Photo: John Gibson

Hot on Your Heels enduro is a fun time with friends and a fundraiser for the “Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds” program run by Big Brothers, Big Sisters. This women’sonly event is made up of three to five timed sections, and some of the best riding in Squamish. The course details haven’t been announced, but riders can expect a mix of trails that will be challenging and fun, with an emphasis on the latter. Following the race is the riderand-volunteer-only after-party with dinner and dancing at the Squamish Valley Golf Course. If you can’t enter the Hot on Your Heels enduro, there’s always the Gryphon Enduro, open to all genders.


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Big rides abroad

Gran Fondo Squali

Gravel and Grape

Location Cattolica and Gabicce Mare, Italy Date May 11–13 Distances 80 km, 145 km Cost $80 (49€) Website

Location Breedekloof Valley, South Africa Date May 4-6 Distances 65 km–187 km depending on number of riding days Cost Approx. cad$190–$570 depending on exchange rate, and chosen length Website

Ride the “Sharks Gran Fondo” from the coast of the Adriatic Sea inland and back to the sea. The elevation gain, which is , m on the -km route, could eat into your legs. One predator who will be with the pack is Vincenzo Nibali. The Shark of Messina will be a special guest for the  edition of the fondo. The event is supporting a campaign to protect sharks and draw attention to harmful practices such as finning. Nibali, a winner of all three Grand Tours, supports the cause, too.

Tour South African wine country by way of mountain bike with the Gravel and Grape. Promising to take mountain biking back to its roots through a course that hits some of the toughest singletrack in South Africa, the base camp-style event offers a comfortable setting each evening. The route passes through an assortment of vineyards to whet riders’ appetites for tastings at the end of each day. With the daily spa visits, you’ll wish there were an option longer than three days.

RBC Gran Fondo Silicon Valley

Photo: Courtesy Gran Fondo Squali

Location East Palo Alto, Calif. Date June 22–23 Distance 120 km Cost us$50–$725 Website Billed as “the most epic gran fondo in California,” this event is new for , but put on by the same people behind the Whistler Gran Fondo. For the lucky , riders who register before the cap, the route will head west from Palo Alto, taking in beautiful scenery studded with giant redwoods before riding along the coast and then back through the mountains to the finish. Full support, a premium swag bag, rest stops, chip timing as well as awards and finish-line celebrations highlight the plans for this debut event.

Trans-Sylvania Epic Location State College, Penn. Date May 24–28 Distances Approx. 240 km throughout five days Cost us$399–$985 Website The Trans-Sylvania Epic is the premier mountain bike stage race in the eastern U.S. Making use of the forested mountains of central Pennsylvania, the event comes in a variety of flavours to suit different tastes. Those with limited time can enter a three-day version held on the Memorial Day weekend. The fulllength, five-day format can be ridden as a race, or as an experience, without the pressure of sweating over start and finish lines. Operated from a base camp, there’s no need to pack up each morning, with meal plans and roofed accommodations available as add-ons.



e Perfect h t g n i d Bik l i e Bu

i created my  FOREVER MACHINE  and you can, too 52

Canadian Cycling April & May 2018


sat perched atop a strange frame. It was a Juteau-Cantin Bike Tool , as Mike Yakubowicz, owner and fitter at Toronto’s Blacksmith Cycle, circled around me with a long spirit level. He crouched at my side to check the alignment of my knee to the pedal and the flex of my hip. Mike and his team, my favourite all-round bike nerds, were fitting me for my dream bike – an experience almost too good to believe. But how did I even get here and why? From adolescence to adulthood, I have always been on bikes. From  to motorbikes, from road bikes to mountain bikes – always bikes. Truly n+. In all those years, I’ve been fortunate to have ridden everything from the cheap and cheerful to the pricey and posh. In the end, however, something was still missing. While each machine has been my bike, not one has really been my bike. All of the frames were engineered to have a personality that would appeal to many. I came to realize that these “general geometries” put up barriers that prevent true connections between riders and rides. I had dreamed about a custom bike before. Let’s be honest, we’ve all had these thoughts. On socialmedia channels, there is no end to the stream of tempting visuals. But, in , I realized that making myself fit into some bike would never bear the same results as a bike built to work for me. So I gave up the fruitless chase for the single perfect stock frame. It was time to build my forever bike. Here’s the story of that bike, which I hope will help you when you make the leap to a custom rig. I had the resolve to build a forever bike partly because my personal life was beginning to settle into a routine. I also really knew what kind of rider I was: how I liked to ride and what position I was most comfortable in. I could reliably predict my needs for a bike that would last a lifetime. I felt I knew what I wanted and could be confident with my decisions. Looking back, I think those factors were critical to the bike’s success. As the rider, you have to understand the real value and benefits of the end result versus taking the faster path off the shelf. You have to truly know what you want. For the fitter and the builder to really help you, they need your clear guidance. Once I was in the right state of mind for building a custom bike, the fitting process was next. Things became very real. Getting a fitting for a custom build is quite different from a fit for a stock frame. Mike and I began with a setup that mimicked my current stock frame. Then, Mike took measurements for alignment. With a regular bike fit, the fitter swaps out parts, maybe a shorter stem or a seatpost with less setback, all to put you in the best or as-good-as-you-can-get-withyour-frame position. With a fit for a custom bike, the fitter strives for the ideal riding position by making changes in the frame geometry. For example, I knew I wanted a head-tube angle around  degrees and a stem length of  mm because that’s a combination that creates a front-end performance that I really like. With these elements locked in place, Mike was able to start working out the ideal geometry that would also include my requests for a shorter reach to keep me tucked in and a dropped bottom bracket for a lower centre of gravity. With each check and recheck of measurements and alignments, we really stepped our way into my perfect fit. The adjustable frame gave me an immediate tactile sense of how each change to the geometry would affect my frame. I was able to provide instant feedback, which led to incremental improvements. By the end, I had learned what really worked for me and dispelled a lot of preconceived beliefs I had about my ideal reach, stack and how I should feel on the drops. With my geometry sorted, I shifted focus to materials. One of the most positive and negative things about custom building a bike are the choices: the options can be overwhelming, starting with frame materials. What custom builders are able to do with carbon fibre is stunning, which is why so many are attracted by composite frames. But I chose a different path for my forever bike. I knew

Story and photos by Jeremy Nathan

“We obsessed over every detail of the build, so the spec’ing took months.”

 Jeremy Nathan gets a custom fit, one of the most important steps of the process

 he design is sketched out before fabrication begins


that while I wanted a frame with a modern lightweight spec that I could brag about, I also wanted the bike to have a personality I could really connect with. For this reason, I went with a titanium frame. Compared with alloys such as steel or aluminum, titanium is hard to beat. In a pure form, titanium is  per cent more dense than aluminum and twice the strength. With butted tubing, the material’s strength-to-weight-ratio benefits are further improved and the ride characteristics can be tweaked for your personal preferences. Titanium was the clear choice for me. I picked Mosaic, the bespoke bike maker based in Boulder, Colo., to build the frame. Next, I had to start thinking about frame features. The geometry of the frame sits at the heart of the custom build, but the specs play an important role, too. Some of the choices influence performance and dictate components in the final build. As an example, the diameter of the head tube can affect stiffness. New and larger head-tube diameters, such as the -mm spec, make for a more robust front end, which was important to me for adding rigidity back into a ti frame for some carbon-like responsiveness. The choice to use a -mm head tube also meant we would be able to route the electronic shifting cable internally through the top tube rather than the down tube. The larger head tube has space for the cable to make the turn from the top tube and back through the down tube on its way to the bottom bracket. The bottom bracket was another frame spec that elicited debate. Recent trends have seen a drastic move to larger and press-in-style bottom brackets. While new bottom brackets have their advantages, they have their drawbacks, too. They require incredibly tight tolerances. Without a good fit, a press-in bottom bracket can emit frustrating creaks. There is also the myriad “standards” of bottom bracket to choose from. Maybe I’m a bit conservative, but since I was building my forever bike, something with proven reliability was key. So, Mike and I chose to build a bottom-bracket shell for a threaded  bottom bracket – a choice for which I have zero regrets. The geometry, material, head tube and bottom bracket were only a few of the many decisions I laboured over. We obsessed over every detail of the build, so the spec’ing took months. Although we started in May, it wasn’t until about early September that Mike and I signed off on the final geometry and build specs. At times, it seemed like it would never end, but it was all time well spent. The hardest part, however, was yet to come – the waiting. The six weeks between sign-off and final delivery felt like an eternity. There was ample time to review decisions, doubt choices, dispel fears and fantasize about the first ride. Thankfully, we still had the paint options to occupy ourselves. Before the designing process began, I knew that paint would be critical to making this bike truly my own. In all honesty, being able to choose colours, patterns, textures and finishes is what made the final product a true expression of my tastes and my personality. If I had thought the choices for frame specs were overwhelming, they were nothing compared with to the almost-infinite options in paint. Trust me. There was no shortage of ideas floated – both good and bad. For each idea, I built swatches and art boards that helped me work through the concepts. I think I had made my “final decision” a dozen times before the real eureka moment. When


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Noah Rosen works in the VéloColour paint booth

“When that first preview photo landed in my inbox, I think I jumped straight from my desk and into my car. It was here!”

Custom bikes feature amazing welds

Titanium is the material of choice

Custom geometry, including head-tube angles, lets you choose how the bike handles

that idea struck me, I knew it was the perfect one, the only one. For my paint scheme, I drew inspiration from my favourite aspects of cycling. My favourite race: the Giro dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Italia. My favourite jersey: the maglia nera . My favourite designer: Paul Smith. And my favourite colours: black and pink. I worked directly with Noah Rosen and Suzanne Carlsen from VĂŠloColour, who helped me apply my vision to the bicycle. What blew me away about their work was obviously the final product, but also, and more important, how masterfully they knew how to translate my inspirations onto the bike with incredible subtlety. It was perfect. Then the frame arrived. If you ever really want to know


what pent-up excitement mixed with a whole lot of anxiety feels like, order a custom bike. When that first preview photo landed in my inbox, I think I jumped straight from my desk and into my car. It was here! And then I saw it. Oh, was it ever beautiful. All those hours, days, weeks and months had finally taken a physical form. I could now feel the fruits of our labour in my hands. It felt almost too good to be true. On the night before, I started to reflect on how much fun this whole process had been. And I got a bit sad. As much as I was excited to get the bike on the road, I didn’t want it all to end. I knew that once the bike came off the stand the next day, a big chapter in this adventure would be over. I wasn’t ready, and my reluctance to move on meant the bike sat beside me at my desk for nearly two weeks. But what I didn’t realize was the best chapter was about to begin. On a dry but cold December day, we took our maiden voyage together. A friend and fellow photographer, Seetoh Lang, met up with me for a proper shakedown and photos. Even though I had tried to familiarize myself with the bike while riding the trainer, it had not prepared me for the what I experienced that day. The first few pedal strokes were almost unsettling. This bike rode like no bike I’d ever ridden before. It fit me like a dream. I can only describe it as akin to putting on a bespoke suit. This bike was tailored to me in so many ways. That first ride felt as free as the first time I rode as a child. Even in the sub-zero temperatures, I was wishing that ride and that day would never end. It’s been more than a year now and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my custom bike. The past season was more like a new relationship with cycling. I’ve learned how the bike likes to ride and where it can really perform at its best. Because of this relationship-like connection to the bike, I’ve gained a new sense of confidence and enjoyment out of a sport I already loved. As a gear reviewer, I’m always swapping something in and out of the bike. But I always revert back to the original build, which reassures me that as a team, we made the right decisions. This bike lives up to, and exceeds, my

“Because of this relationship-like connection to the bike, I’ve gained a new sense of confidence and enjoyment out of a sport I already loved.” expectations. Thanks to the designer and builder, some of my favourite memories and achievements in cycling have been because of this bike. Would I have done anything differently? While I don’t regret or second-guess the decisions we made, there are some I may have considered differently if I was going through it all again. For example, disc brakes. The reason I chose rim brakes instead of disc is a common one: there is no doubt that disc brakes are superior in modulation and stopping performance, but at the time there was still a lot of uncertainty in standards. Any wrong choice could lead to component obsolescence and a dream bike with a serious flaw. Which axle size? What axle type? What rotor size? Flat-mount or post-mount? And not to mention that true electronic and hydraulic disc-brake groupsets weren’t really settled yet either. So many variables. Remember when I said that reliability was important to me? With that in mind, we chose rim brakes with top-of-the-line calipers. But if faced with the decision again today, I would give greater consider-ation to discs even though it would increase the budget and take away the ability to share wheels between bikes. The groupset is another aspect of the final build that I think about a lot. We built out the bike with Shimano


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Blacksmith Cycles in Toronto takes care of components and final touches

Ultegra Di because the performance differences between it and the top-tier Dura-Ace do not outweigh the budget benefits in my opinion. Going with Ultegra allowed me to spend my time and money on the things that I can’t change later. I was able to reinvest those savings into frame upgrades and paint. I share this key lesson with anyone who is interested in a custom build and asks for insights. Yet, if contemplating this choice in , I would have likely pushed for wireless. If you are thinking about building a custom bike, don’t forget to have a little bit of money in the budget to treat yourself. It’s your dream after all. For me, this meant some particular choices in the component list. Almost all of my bikes have had a Chris King component or two, but never a complete set. So, one area in which I splurged was for a front-to-back Chris King component group. The performance, quality and lifetime serviceability of the company’s parts means that as long as I keep taking care of them, they’ll be forever – just like the frame. In my opinion, a well-made investment. Finally, the best advice I can give is to choose real partners in your designer and your frame builder. Choose partners who really understand you. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together, and you need to trust them. Your designer and your builder have the experience and knowledge to guide you through the process and to help you make informed decisions. If you get the partnership right, the bike comes together right. The experience of building a custom bike can be retold, but it really needs to be experienced. It’s so indescribably memorable. My own personal journey from dream to delivery is one that I’ll cherish for a lifetime. It has helped reinvigorate my passion for the sport, and it has built new friendships with all the people who helped make it happen. If you’re considering a custom-built bike, stop waiting and don’t let the fear of any unknowns stop you. Today is the perfect day to build your dream bike. Trust me.

Jeremy Nathan takes his new bike on its inaugural ride



These men and women are elevating Canadian cycling with every pedal stroke by Tara Nolan

Five Top Young Riders to Watch S

ome of this country’s most exciting bike racing is being done by young Canadians. In , a handful of athletes got results that were of elite-level quality. But it’s not just the results; it’s the top performances mixed with the potential for more that make these riders so compelling to watch. Here are five riders from multiple disciplines – road, cyclocross, track, downhill and cross country – whose names and achievements you should know. Each rider has been making a mark in his or her own way, some on multiple bikes, all while maintaining a mature level of pragmatism about what lies ahead in  and beyond.


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018


Ruby West Ruby West competes in the Derby City Cup, Louisville, Ky.

race I felt like I was making huge improvements,” says Ruby West of Dundas, Ont., when describing her breakthrough year in . She had more opportunities to race. Her confidence increased, and the  year old felt that she made the most out of every competition, bringing her racing to another level. “I really found my place on my team this year. I learned from other riders and mentors on the team,” she says. With some solid performances behind her, by October, the Hamilton Spectator was lauding her ranking of third in the World Cup circuit in under-. West, who races cyclocross for Cannondale powered by, took her first-ever  win at the Silver Goose in the elite category, followed by a first-place finish at the  national cyclocross championships in under-. Although she was disappointed with her Pan Am championship finish (fifth), she pulled off some more wins and strong finishes through December. Ruby used to do track (her squad was first in the

Photos: Jeff Curtes


under- national team pursuit competition in ), but left it behind to focus on CX and road. She is a member of the all-women Rise Racing cycling team. Furthermore, West really wants to get more into mountain bike racing, too. She realized it wasn’t a huge hurdle – this past season she took first in the Woodnewton Ontario Cup in her age category. With all this overlap between her disciplines, West says there are compromises she has to make here and there. She’s also learned, from direct experience that rest periods are necessary. West says she started working with her coach, David Gagnon, two years ago, and everything fell into place. A balance of road and mountain bike races are figuring into the  plan, including some travel with Gagnon and his fiancée, Maghalie Rochette, for XC, road and CX. CX victories in under- are West’s biggest goals in the near future. “It’s good that I’ve been able to start young in that category and build on it,” she says. Looking further ahead, West, who is the daughter of medal-winning Olympic swimmer Mike West, has her own Olympic goals. While she’d love to see CX included in the Games, she says she’ll see how she’s doing with road and  when the time comes. West, who graduated high school this past June, is in the midst of a gap year. She plans to attend Bishop’s University in Quebec in the fall for health and sports studies.



Charles-Étienne Chrétien  Charles-Étienne Chrétien,  time trial world championships, Bergen, Norway


 Stefan Ritter,  Track World Cup, Cali, Colombia

Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

making the leap to Silber, Charles-Étienne Chrétien enjoyed what he describes as a nice final year racing with his friends. “It was nice to do great teamwork,” he says. Racing as part of his team from Abitibi, Iamgold, the -year-old road cyclist had a consistent  season, winning the road race at the Canadian championships (one of his goals) and placing second in the time trial and criterium. As a member of the Canadian national team, he had a third and two top- finishes at the Tour de l’Abitibi. “I’m pretty upbeat about that season,” he says. “I’d like to have done better at worlds, but I got a flat tire and crashed. With all the rest of the season, I’m pretty happy.” Silber Pro Cycling general manager Scott McFarlane saw a lot of promise in the under- cyclist. On the team’s website, McFarlane says he was impressed by Chrétien’s racing IQ. “I was pretty happy about it,” says Chrétien of landing on the  continental-level squad. “I was not looking for it this year, but I was hoping to get on that team.” Chrétien is setting realistic goals for himself in  as a new and young member of the team. He says he’s not looking for personal results, but rather he’s looking to be a strong teammate. “I want to be there to make them get good results,” he says, referring to his teammates. The Amos, Que., cyclist spent the late winter training in preparation for his first race of the early season, New Mexico’s Tour of the Gila. His big goal is to get back to worlds in the fall. As far as longterm cycling goals? “I’m taking it year by year,” he says. “As long as I’m having fun, I’ll continue. When I’m not, I’ll probably stop.” His backup plan involves forestry; he attended a  in RouynNoranda, Que., this past year and is taking online courses until he can go back to full-time studies.

Photos: Rob Jones



Stefan Ritter a couple of junior world records under his belt, Edmonton’s Stefan Ritter is steadily putting in the hard work to make his mark as an elite. He had a standout year in , which saw him take the country’s first-ever junior world title with his kilo win and a bronze in the sprint at junior track worlds. The Pan Am championships is where he got the junior kilometre time trial world record and the junior flying  metre world record. These results put him on the radar to win the Alberta junior male athlete of . With that momentum, Ritter started out strong in . He says he had really good form and racing was going really well. But a couple of hard crashes resulting in a minor brain bleed, concussion and broken collarbone set him back for about three months, not only physically, but mentally, too, because he didn’t know how long it would take him to get back to where he was. “I got back to good form sooner than I expected. That really showed in Minsk,” he says of his performance a the World Cup in the Belarusian capital this past January. “I was really happy with my keirin second place and the flying  qualification time trial for sprint rounds.” A few more second-place finishes in December (second in the sprint and kilo in Portugal, and in the keirin in Switzerland) solidified a strong start to the season for the  year old who is currently training with Cycling Canada. Ritter lives about five minutes from the Milton velodrome, which is very convenient for training. In January, he was selected for April’s Commonwealth Games in Australia. His sights are firmly set on the  Summer Olympics in Tokyo. At the moment, university plans are on the back burner, but further studies are something he’d like to do eventually. “I can always go back to school after a certain amount of years, but I can’t come back to this.”




Maggie ColesLyster  Maggie ColesLyster, Track World Cup, Minsk, Belarus   Finn Iles, DH world championships, Cairns, Australia   Iles in the rainbow jersey


win the rainbow stripes was huge,” says Maggie Coles-Lyster of Maple Ridge, B.C., about her world title in the points race at the  junior track cycling world championships. “It was awesome to see my goals and the work I had put in come to life and pay off,” she says of the whole year, which involved mostly track and road races. With her road schedule taking place March to September and track throughout the winter, there isn’t really an offseason. Coles-Lyster had to take a break from ’cross, but would like to get into it again down the road. After having


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

to take two months off during a busy , her coach (a.k.a. Dad) really watches how she reacts to training and racing, and can plan for more strategically placed rest weeks throughout the year. The  year old is working toward a bachelor of science (post-cycling, she’d love to pursue vet school) and has been juggling online courses because it gives her something else to do while travelling and racing. “It takes my mind off other pressures,” she says. For now, she’d really like to make a go at living as a pro athlete. In January, Coles-Lyster was named to the Macogep Argon  Girondins de Bordeaux powered by Mazda team. Later that month, she finished her first  omnium at the elite level in fourth place in Belgium after winning in the points race. A few days later, she crashed going into her final lap in the scratch race of the omnium in Copenhagen, resulting in a fractured face, a pneumothorax (tear in the lung), fractured ribs and road rash. “The big recovery piece will be seeing how severe of a concussion I have and how long my lung takes to fully recover,” she explains. “Once those two are good, I should be able to ride.” In fact, not long after the crash, ColesLyster was still planning to leave for road training in California within two months. With her positive outlook, Coles-Lyster is optimistic about her recovery time, is anxious to get back on her bike as soon as possible to make a mark in  and maintains that her Olympic goals are firmly intact.

Photo: Alex Whitehead

“To win the rainbow stripes was huge.


Finn Iles

“Still, he would have placed seventh had he been racing the senior men.” say Finn Iles had a standout year in  would be an understatement. And , the year he became junior DH world champion, wasn’t too shabby, either. The -year-old rider who calls Whistler, B.C., home took six out of seven World Cup wins this past year. Now that he’s moved up to elite, Iles knows those results may not be in his grasp – yet. Still, he would have placed seventh in Andorra in  had he been racing the senior men. Besides a small mistake in Fort William, U.K., that he says put him back, Iles feels the entire season went better than he ever could have imagined. He says he was able to ride pretty consistently, improved his time-management skills and was fortunate not to have any mechanicals. “I felt like I got more intelligent as a rider,” he says. Iles’ two favourite races were Andorra and Mont-SainteAnne. “In Andorra, I felt that was my best riding I’d done

Photos: Sebastian Schieck


all season,” he says. “By race time, I felt really comfortable and I feel like I put down my best race ever.” That happens to be the aforementioned “seventh” place. For the latter, Iles says it felt really good to win on home soil — especially since he’d lost first place by . seconds in his  season. He chalks up his tenth-place finish at the world championships in Cairns, Australia, as a good, if disappointing, learning opportunity. Iles feels he got too much in his head and pushed too hard for the conditions. During the winter, Iles’ focus was on getting faster and fitter. He was in Europe for a training camp at the beginning of the year before heading back to B.C. to spend time at the gym, on the trainer and on skis. Given the high stakes of his sport, Iles is pretty realistic about having something to fall back on. He’s applying to the University of Victoria for business management or economics, and would like to start classes next fall. “As the winter progresses, I hope to get better and better, and be good to go for the first World Cup,” he said. That would be Lošinj, Croatia. Iles recognizes he’s up against some pretty strong competition. He’d like to try and maintain a top- to top- position and wants to focus on trying to develop as a rider. “My plans are to ride my best,” he says. “The past two years have been good preparation for what’s coming up. Me and my mechanic and the whole team have been working hard.” Iles’ fearless style has firmly placed him on the map. He’s not going to be joining the top ranks quietly.


Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s better than reading about Intense bikes?

Book a demo and gear up at your local MEC


Road Road Race Machines p.66 Endurance p.67 Aero p.68 Women’s p.70 Adventure p.72 Entry-Level p.73 eBikes p.74 Wheels p.76 Tires p.77

Trail All-Mountain/Trail p.78 Cross Country p.79 Enduro p.80 Women’s p.81 eMTB p.82 Tires p.84 Wheels p.85

Rapid Fire Saddles p.86 Road Helmets p.88 Mountain Bike Helmets p.89 Aero Road Helmets p.90 Road Shoes p.92 Mountain Bike Shoes p.93 Pedals p.94 Head Units p.95 Power Meters p.96 Stuffable Kit p.98

Photo: Matt Stetson





2018 BUYERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GUIDE


Trek Ă&#x2030;monda SLR 8 Disc $10,250 Trek dubs this Ă&#x2030;monda a heroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chariot, built with the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lightest oclv carbon frame, a Dura-Ace groupset, Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 Disc carbon wheels, Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite, 120 t.p.i., aramid-bead, 700 x 25c tires. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s everything you want in a super-lightweight racing bike: stiffness and responsiveness with lightning quick accelerations, plus hydraulic disc brakes for extra confidence around highspeed corners. Weighing in at a featherweight 675 g (frameset only), itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d for pros. After one ride, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see why. ( CervĂŠlo R3 Ultegra 8000 $4,700 The R3 is a no-compromise, premium road machine. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s built with CervĂŠloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Squoval Max tubing, an asymmetrical 79-mm bottom bracket and near-weightless carbon dropouts. Handling on the R3 rivals any of its higher-priced competitors. Available in classic navy/red or fluoro frame, the Shimano Ultegra r build comes with fsa Energy handlebars, an 11-speed, 11-30 tooth cassette, Mavic Aksium Elite wheels and is future-proofed to accommodate derailleur and braking system upgrades. Almost Joe Average price but hands down, a pro-spec bike. ( Time Alpe dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Huez 21 $4,000 This bike is made for the mountain goats. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an ultralightweight road-race machine from Time, envisioned with big ascents and comfort in mind. The 930 g frameset comes with an optional Aktiv fork â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which has dampers in each fork blade â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to cut roughly 30 per cent of front-end road vibrations. The 21 model has an Ultegra r groupset and Mavic Ksyrium wheels. As with every Time bike, the Alpe dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Huez is made in France. ( Colnago C64 $7,540 (frame, fork, seatpost and headset) The C64 is the latest model in Colnagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s C series, which features lugged carbon-fibre construction. With this model, the Italian company has found weight savings, some through novel tube shapes, such as the indents on the fork blades and in the head tube. The frame and fork have clearance for 28c-wide tires. While the sloping top tube and the elastomer in the upper headset cup (to address some road vibrations) are quite modern, the handling is classic Colnago. (â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Mark Cohen 66

Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

With an Ultegra drivetrain and carbon frame, the Cannondale Synapse packs a lot of features into a well-priced package. The new Synapse disc frame continues the legacy of the renowned Cannondale carbon lineup, offering a Di2-ready bike with bb, flat-mount disc setup and 12-mm thru axles. The reliable and performance-oriented Shimano Ultegra R8000 provides the drivetrain components. The Synapse rolls on Mavic Aksium disc wheels with Schwalbe tires. The Si crankset, handlebar, stem and seatpost all come from Cannondale’s own parts lineup. The Synapse is available in seven sizes from 44 to 61 cm. (



Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc $4,000


Wilier Cento10NDR $12,999 When Wilier decided to launch its new endurance bike, its designers knew it had to live up to the brand’s worldchampionship-winning pedigree. After many hours of r&d, the Cento10ndr meets that goal. The Actiflex elastomer technology that sits where the rear triangle meets the seat tube helps to manage road vibrations. The carbon frame offers a versatile platform allowing for rim or disc brakes. All the wires and hoses can be run entirely inside the Wilier handlebar, stem, frame and fork. The Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, including hydraulic disc brakes, is matched to a DT Swiss erc 1400 Spline 47 carbon wheelset with Vittoria Rubio Pro 4 rubber. The Cento10ndr is available in six sizes. (

Scott Addict 10 Disc $3,999 The Scott Addict was redesigned to position it squarely in the endurance bike category. The Addict’s carbon frame and fork now have more relaxed geometry. With its trouble-free Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, it’s a bike you can ride for hours without having to worry about what’s under you. Available in seven sizes from 47 to 61 cm, the Scott Addict 10 comes with Syncros RP2.0 Disc wheels and a mix of Syncros carbon and alloy cockpit parts. (—Dan Dakin





Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 Disc $11,499 The old phrase of “looking fast standing still” certainly applies to the Giant Propel Advanced SL . From the aero tube shapes to the deep Giant  Aero  wheels, the Advanced SL  is a wind-cheating road bike with a stellar build that now includes disc brakes. Built around Giant’s AeroSystem composite frame, the SL  is powered by the Shimano Dura-Ace Di -speed drivetrain including a crank-based power meter. Atop the integrated seatpost is a saddle from Giant’s Contact  line, which also supplies the stem and handlebar. Stopping the -mm-deep rear and -mmdeep front wheels are Shimano’s Di hydraulic disc brakes. The bike’s available in four sizes and features Giant’s carbon smoke, blue and white colour combination. ( De Rosa SK Pininfarina $9,123 When Italian manufacturer De Rosa partnered with legendary compatriot designer Pininfarina, it knew the result would be a thing of beauty. The De Rosa SK Pininfarina is an aerodynamic masterpiece combining performance and stability with style and flair. Available in eight sizes from  to  cm and six colour schemes, the SK Pininfarina is also the new ride of the Israel Cycling Academy pro continental team. This build features the Campagnolo  Super Record gruppo for a race-ready ride with total Italian swagger. ( Bianchi Aria Centaur $3,750 Bianchi’s Aria line is an aerodynamic carbon road bike for riders who may want to dip their toes into racing. The fully capable Aria is built up with the Campagnolo Centaur -speed mechanical drivetrain and dual-pivot brakes that bring the Vision Team  Comp wheelset to a halt. The handlebar and stem are from the Reparto Corse alloy line, and a colour-matched Selle San Marco Monza Startup saddle sits atop a Bianchi carbon seatpost. The Aria Centaur comes in seven sizes from  to  cm and in Bianchi’s stunning celeste/black gloss paint scheme. ( Squad Mission $12,950 When spec’d in its matte-black colour scheme, the Squad Mission looks inspired by a Stealth fighter thanks to its crisp lines and aero design. The Mission is a lightweight, versatile road racer that comes equipped with a top-shelf build. Available in five sizes from  to  cm, this Squad bike comes equipped with the Shimano Dura-Ace  Di drivetrain including a Quarq DZero Carbon power-meter crankset. The brakes are also Dura-Ace while the stem, handlebar and saddle are all from Fizik. The Mission rolls on Zipp   carbon wheels with Continental tires. (—Dan Dakin 68

Canadian Cycling April & May 2018


2018 BUYERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GUIDE

WOMENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ROAD BIKES

Ridley Liz SL40 $3,500 While the Ridley Liz SL40 is fit for the pros â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been ridden in the Tour of Flanders and Giro dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Italia Femminile â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bike that will also work well on your long rides. It has endurance features, such as a slightly taller head tube to put you just a bit more upright than a race frame would and flattened chainstays that address many of the vibrations produced by the road. The bike comes with 25c Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires, but you can run treads as wide as 28c. If taking qoms or town-line sprints are your thing, the frame has the stiffness to channel all your watts from the Rotor d

crankset (50/34-tooth rings) to the Shimano 105 cassette (11â&#x20AC;&#x201C;32 tooth) to the DT Swiss r rims. The stem, seatpost and handlebars are all Cirrus models by Ridley house-brand za. ( Felt VR3W $4,600 Felt has always been meticulous with its carbon-fibre layups. The vr w may use the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second-tier composite, uhc Advanced, however, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still a top-performing material. Each tube features different carbon-fibre layers to get the right amount of stiffness, low weight and durability. The shapes are important, too. For example, the skinny seatstays help to soak up road vibrations. The fork can flex, but also has the right rigidity to manage the forces produced when the 160-mm-diameter rotor and Shimano rs  hydraulic brake are slowing you down. At the bottom bracket, you have the Rotor d

Adventure crank with 46/30-tooth rings. This sub-compact gearing is highly spinnable up almost any incline. This bike will have you trying all-new routes, and thoroughly enjoying them. ( Trek Domane SLR 6 Disc Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $7,450 This past July, Trek revamp many of it womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bikes, including the bumpy-roadmanaging Domane. With the IsoSpeed features on the seat tube, you can tune the amount of flex you need when riding gravel, cobbles or the local pothole-ridden routes. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also IsoSpeed technology in the head tube, which will keep your hands and wrists comfortable as you log many miles. Wide, 32c tires by Trekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bontrager line provide great traction and a bit more squish than skinner tires over bumps. Shimanoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ultegra components take care of getting you going (from the 50/34-tooth crankset to the 11â&#x20AC;&#x201C;32 tooth cassette) and slowing you down (with hydraulic flat-mount disc brakes). With the Project One program, you can tweak the components and get a custom colour scheme. (â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Matthew Pioro


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018


AERODYNAMIC S 5 ( ְ' ( ) , 1 ( ' The new ABUS GameChanger is the ultimate aero road helmet – developed together with the Movistar Professional Cycling Team.




Specialized S-Works Diverge $11,269 Specialized brings its premium-level technology to gravel bikes with the S-Works Diverge. The fact 11r carbon frame features Specialized’s Open Road Geometry, 20 mm of front-end travel provided by the Future Shock suspension system and front and rear thru axles. Specialized mixes up drivetrain components, pairing Easton ec SL carbon cranks with a single 42-tooth ring to a Shimano xtr 11–40 tooth cassette; shifting and braking is handled by Shimano R785 Di2 hydraulic levers. Specialized also includes its own Command Post xcp dropper post with 35 mm of travel, Trigger Pro 38-mm tires and Roval clx 32 Disc carbon wheels. ( Opus Horizon 1 $3,400 Gravel/adventure is a relatively new category of bikes designed for terrain that would challenge the limits of a road or ’cross bike, but isn’t quite rugged enough to warrant a mountain bike. These bikes typically have wider tires, mounts for racks or fenders, disc brakes and geometry suited for off-pavement adventures. The Opus Horizon 1 hits all of those targets: a carbon frame and fork, clearance for 42-mm-wide tires, Shimano 105 components including hydraulic disc brakes, a 48/32-tooth crankset and 11–28 tooth cassette and relaxed geometry. The Horizon 1 also comes with tubeless-compatible rims and internal routing for a dropper post. ( No. 22 Drifter $4,100 (frame), $8,700 (full bike) No. 22 is a Toronto-based company that handmakes titanium bikes in its New York– state factory. The company used its award-winning cyclocross bike as a starting point for its Drifter gravel bike, then lowered the bottom bracket and lengthened the wheelbase to create a do-anything ride. The Drifter is able to take tires as wide as 40 mm and is equipped with thru axles at both ends. You can choose from frame only, frame and carbon fork or complete bike with full Shimano Ultegra r components. Added bonus: No. 22 offers matching titanium bottle cages, aluminum stems and titanium seatposts. (—Stuart Kernaghan 72

Canadian Cycling April & May 2018


2018 BUYERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GUIDE


Giant Contend SL 1 Disc $1,849 An everyman whip, the Contend SL 1 Disc is light, lively and comes complete with disc brakes for added cornering control. The bike features Shimano 11-speed 105, Giant Conduct hydraulic brakes, a Giant PR-2 disc wheelset, Giant Gavia AC 2, 700 x 25c, tubeless tires and an aluxx SL-grade frame with D-Fuse composite seatpost to take on road vibrations. Engineered to deliver balance and compliance, the Contend is a perfect entry-level machine that churns out efficiency and comfort in every pedal stroke. ( Garneau Gennix E1 Performance $2,200 Built with a Shimano 105 group, the Gennix E1 Performance offers the comfort of an ergonomic position combined with the stiffness of a carbon frame. The wheels are by Shimano. The rs  24-mm-deep aluminum hoops are durable and feature the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wide-flange hubs and offset rims for increased rigidity. The drivetrain is Shimanoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s solid 105 components. Shimano brakes (r) take care of stopping. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to log many miles on this machine. (

Felt FR30 $1,900 Felt drew from its line of carbon FR models for the aluminum FR series. Carbon does make its way into this model with the uhc Advanced fork. The frame itself is a Dynaform TIG-welded 6061 aluminum unit. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dressed with a Shimano 105 group, Felt Road RSL3 (tubeless ready) wheels with Schwalbe Durano Race Guard, 700c x 25c tires and Felt and Prologo components in the cockpit. It all comes in at a respectable 9.2 kg. ( Kuota Kobalt $2,560 While the Kobalt is Kuotaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entry-level endurance bike, this build has some top-notch features. The Shimano Ultegra groupset is not far from a Dura-Ace level of performance. The 50/34-tooth crankset paired with the 11â&#x20AC;&#x201C;28 tooth cassette means you should be able to tackle most hills with a good cadence. The frame is available in a wide range of sizes, from xxs to xxl, so thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Kobalt that will fit you well as you ride down the road. (â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Mark Cohen



2018 BUYERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GUIDE


Felt Toteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m $4,699 As the bikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name suggests, the Felt Toteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m might be the ultimate way to get you and all of your cargo wherever it needs to go. With a short wheelbase for a cargo bike and the Shimano Steps pedal-assist power system, the Toteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m is agile and easyto-ride. Integrated into the aluminum frame are front and rear lights and aluminum cargo carriers on the front and back. Included in the price are a pair of Felt pannier bags that sit atop the bamboo top plate, as well as fenders and a stable kickstand. The drivetrain and disc brakes are from Shimano. The Toteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m rolls along on durable Alexrims Supra wheels with Schwalbe Crazy Bob 24 x 2.35 tires. ( Giant Road-E+ 1 Pro $4,499 Based on Giantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hybrid Cycling Technology, the Road-E+ 1 is the powerhouse brandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aluminum eRoad offering with purpose-built geometry. Available in four sizes, the Road-E+ is powered by the Giant SyncDrive Pro motor, which uses a 500 Wh battery for lots of assisted time on the road. The system is monitored by an easy-to-read RideControl display and controlled by bar-mounted buttons. The drivetrain is Shimano Ultegra with an fsa crankset and r  hydraulic disc brakes stopping the Giant R-P2 wheels. The handlebar, stem, seatpost and saddle are all from Giantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Contact lineup. (

Pinarello Nytro 3,500â&#x201A;Ź (Canadian prices still TDB) The new Pinarello Nytro has the soul of race bike with a battery-assisted heart. The Nytroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s carbon frame is based on the Dogma F10 geometry to make it feel like a traditional road bike. But when needed, there are three levels of power assist ranging from 125 W to 400 W. The whole Fazua Evation power drive system is integrated into the frame and adds just 4.7 kg to the scale. But if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need that assistance on a particular ride, the battery can be removed and the Nytro goes back to being a traditional lightweight road bike. The Nytro comes equipped with disc brakes and is available in five sizes. (â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Dan Dakin 74

Canadian Cycling April & May 2018



Shimano RS770 $1,150 A The rs wheels offer a highly efficient, rigid and responsive ride from Shimano in a beautiful-looking tubeless, centre-lock disc design. The rims – which have a depth of 28 mm and width of 23 mm – are made of carbon-laminated alloy. Shimano E-thru axles make sure the wheels lock in securely to your frame. These hoops are perfect for your sportive and training rides. ( Campagnolo Bora One 35 Disc $3,100 B When Campagnolo released its discbrake groupset in 2017, Campy wheels for rotors followed. The Bora One 35 clinchers weigh in at 1,483 g. Unlike the rim-brake Bora models, which have the G3 spoke pattern only on the rear wheels, the disc-brake wheels have spokes in groups of three at both the front and rear. The aluminum hubs roll effortlessly with ceramic usb (ultra smooth bearings). (





Canadian Cycling April & May 2018




Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Sl UST Disc $2,500 C Mavic says that its new ust road tubeless technology has created wheels with the lowest rolling resistance in their category. The Cosmic Pro Carbon SI ust Disc wheels, with 40-mm-deep rims, are made for riders who want to go fast and have excellent stopping power. The rims’ 19-mm inner widths work well with 25-mm tires, especially the company’s Yksion Pro ust. These wheels ship with everything you need to go tubeless, including a sealant syringe and ust valves. ( Blade 2G 55-mm Disc $2,369 D In 2017, Blade – a Barrie, Ont.-based company – started making wheels with what it calls 2G technology. It’s a filament-winding process that produces rims that are lighter than the company’s classic wheels and 40 per cent stiffer. These 55-mm-deep clincher rims feature a weave called “twill” but you can also go for “rattlesnake.” The hubs, for six-bolt rotors, are the smooth rolling Blade-branded models. (DT Swiss 350S and 240S hubs are also available for six-bolt and centre lock.) Light Sapim CX Ray spokes lace everything together. As with all of Blade’s offerings, the options you have – from rim width to decal colour – mean you’ll get exactly the wheels you want. ( Hunt 50Carbon Aero Disc $1,750 E Fancy a carbon disc aero wheelset? Hunt’s 50-mm-deep rims serve up handling and aerodynamics on a plate. The very wide 21-mm internal rim bed ensures you get the best shape out of your tires. The hubs, using straightpull, bladed spokes, reduce weight, add strength and respond instantly. Low-friction, sealed bearing have been added to further reduce rolling resistance and increase speed while maintaining excellent dirt resistance. Add the latest breed of tubeless tires and give up nothing in weight compared with a set of rim-brake hoops. (—Mark Cohen




Continental Grand Prix 4-Season 32 $100 Continental Grand Prix 4-Season is a great all round tire. Sure, the company produces faster treads. But, the puncture protection that comes with the Grand Prix 4-Season is top-notch, worth the few extra watts you might have to push on a group ride. Conti’s Vectran lies under the tire’s rubber to keep things from cutting through, while the DuraSkin sidewall adds protection at the sides. So, go ahead, enjoy a worry-free long ride with the Grand Prix 4-Season tires. (

Schwalbe G-One Bite $105 Late this past summer, Schwalbe’s signature round knobs appeared on a new tire, the G-One Bite. The Bite joins other G-Ones – Speed and Allround – in the company’s gravel lineup. The Bite is for the gravelly-est of the gravel roads. It measures 40c wide and its round knobs are large and well-spaced for excellent traction. The tire uses Schwalbe’s Triple Star Compound, which puts the right durometer of rubber in the right part of the tread. (

Maxxis Rouler $88 The Rouler line by Maxxis is full of skinny, and colourful, race-oriented rubber. The 28c model is still racey, but takes the line into a more contemporary dimension. The tire uses a dual-rubber compound set on a 60 t.p.i. casing. It weighs in at 360 g. The 28c, unlike its 23c siblings, is tubeless ready. The sealant you run will complement Maxxis’s SilkShield puncture protection. (

Photos: Hiep Vu

CST PIKA EPS $32 CST’s Pika might be named after a cute little mountain mammal, but the tread is fierce. Blocky centre knobs and angular side knobs give you a lot of grip on loose surfaces. The contact patch provided by the 42c tire also helps with traction on corners on your favourite logging road. The Pika is a bit beefy at 425 g, but its grip and eps puncture protection outweigh the extra grams. (—Matthew Pioro





Trek Roscoe 8 $1,600 Although the Roscoe doesn’t share all the characteristics of the rowdy trail-tackling tache, it has a similar endgame that includes going fast, taking risks and having n. With 27.5-plus tires, the Roscoe has serious traction that will inspire confidence technical sections of trail, while still maintaining great pedalling efficiency and ower transfer thanks to the rigid rear end. A RockShox Solo Air fork and sram NX -speed shifting helps keep the weight down. The Sun Ringlé wheels and Alpha old aluminum frame ensure that a rough bail won’t have you straight lining to your cal shop for service afterwards. (

eti SB5 LR $9,499 he Yeti sb LR (lunch ride) was born midday on the Colorado company’s home ails. Representing the absolute pinnacle of quality in Yeti’s line, the sb LR spares o expense. It uses Yeti’s Turq carbon frame material, as well as full Fox Kashima uspension. Hard to miss is the Switch Infinity suspension system that features Fox echnology developed with Yeti to help optimize pedalling and big-hit performance. eti continues its high-end theme on the sb LR with full sram X01 drivetrain, Guide rsc brakes and DT Swiss wheels. If you are lucky enough to get out for lunch rides, the sb LR may have you skipping meals and replacing them with a singletrack-only diet. ( Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 50 $5,379 Rocky Mountain completely redesigned the Altitude for 2018 incorporating a longer and lower geometry, as well as fully sealed bearings for all pivots, and newer cable routing. The Altitude sports a 160-mm fork and 150-mm of rear-wheel travel, which. when dialed-in properly with Rocky’s Ride-9 geometry-adjustment system, makes for one seriously capable trail bike. I use the word “trail” loosely since the Altitude is very close in pedigree to the Slayer, Rocky Mountain’s enduro-focused bike. In fact, the Altitude has already been spotted underneath Rocky Mountain’s ews riders. The Altitude comes in several builds with both aluminum and carbon options. If you’re looking to attack the downhills but don’t like shuttling, take a look at the new Altitude. ( YT Jeffsy 27 CF $4,799 Gravity-focused bike brand YT released the Jeffsy 27 a year after its 29er version came out. With aggressive trail riding the main focus of the Jeffsy 27, YT opted for a slack 67-degree head-tube angle and size-specific rear triangles, making this bike a very capable descender. The CF version comes equipped with a RockShox Pike rct fork and Deluxe rt shock, which give 150 mm of travel. The shifter and derailleur are Shimano XT. Race Face handles the crankset (Turbine) as well as stem and handlebar. The Jeffsy’s smooth lines and aggressive stance also make it one of the nicest looking bikes on the trails. (

Staran FSM-140 Select $2,900 Online-based Canadian company Staran is trying to keep the ever-growing cost of mountain biking down by offering its fsm-140 frame and builds direct to consumer when purchased through its website. The aluminum frame with modern trail geometry has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a quiver killer, but without the five-figure price tag. The bike comes in two build options including the Select, which offers X-Fusion suspension with 140 mm of travel, Shimano slx shifting and a mix of Race Face parts, including Aeffect wheels. Although not the lightest option in its category, the Staran is a durable performer on the trails. (—Matt Stetson 78

Canadian Cycling April & May 2018




Norco Revolver FS XX1 $9,999 Raced by the successful Norco Factory Team on the world stage, the Revolver FS xx is the company’s ultimate XC race machine. The Revolver FS carbon frame uses a hanging-link art suspension design with a 100-mm-travel RockShox Monarch RL. The RockShox Sid World Cup R fork offers 100–110 mm of travel. The drivetrain is sram’s race-focused xx Eagle 12-speed system with a 34-tooth crankset and 10–50 tooth cassette. The wheels are DT Swiss xrc 1200 Carbon 29ers with Maxxis Ikon tires. Stopping the Revolver are sram Level Ultimate disc brakes. The lightweight Race Face Next line supplies the cockpit parts, while the saddle is sdg’s Duster RL. The bike is available as a 29er in four sizes, as well as an extra small with 27.5" wheels. ( Giant Anthem 29er 1 $4,299 The Anthem 29er from Giant is an aluminum-framed XC bike that likes to go fast, and sitting atop the two-model lineup is the Anthem 29er 1. Designed for 29" wheels, the Anthem uses Giant’s latest Maestro rear-suspension design and a Boost 148 rear hub. Suspension comes from a 90-mm-travel Fox Float Performance Elite trunnion mount rear shock and a Fox 32 Float SC Performance Elite fork with 100 mm of travel and a 15-mm thru axle. sram’s GX Eagle 1 x 12 system provides the shifting power, while sram Level TL disc brakes – with a 180-mm-diameter rotor up front and a 160-mm-diameter rotor at the rear – control the bike’s speed. Wheels are Giant P-xcr 1 29 carbon wheels run with Maxxis Ikon tires with a tubeless setup from the factory. The bike is available in five sizes. ( Specialized Chisel Expert $2,509 Building off the legendary Stumpjumper, Specialized has introduced a brand new lineup of aluminum hardtails for 2018. The Chisel 29er is a lightweight M5 aluminum chassis with race-focused geometry and a Boost 12 x 148 rear hub. Suspension up front comes from a RockShox Reba RL 29 with 90 or 110 mm of travel depending on the frame size. The sram GX 1 x 11 drivetrain includes a 30–tooth crankset up front and an 11–42 tooth cassette. The wheels are Specialized’s own alloy 29er hoops with Fast Trak rubber. The brakes are sram’s Level TL hydraulic discs. Available in four sizes. (

Ghost Lector 4.9 LC $3,250 A race-ready carbon 29er hardtail, the Ghost Lector 4.9 is ready to fly out of the box. The lightweight carbon frame has competition-focused geometry and offers internal cable routing to keep things clean. The Fox Rhythm 32 fork has 100 mm of travel that can be adjusted from a handlebar-mounted remote. The Shimano XT 2 x 11 drivetrain, including hydraulic disc brakes, is a perfect mix of reliability and performance. The Alex wheels are run with Continental X-King 29 x 2.2 tires. Ghost provides the seatpost, stem and handlebars. Available in five sizes. (—Dan Dakin





Intense Carbine Pro $6,790 Intense is a bike brand with a strong race pedigree. The name may not be familiar to many Canadians, but the Californiabased company is hoping to change that through its distribution partnership with mec. The 29"-wheeled Carbine Pro is Intense’s top-level offering for the enduro market. Riders get 160 mm of front travel via a RockShox Lyrik rct

Solo Air and 155 mm of rear travel from a RockShox Super Deluxe rc shock. Other parts include sram x and GX Eagle components, sram Guide RS brakeset, Truvativ Descendant Carbon cranks with 32-tooth ring and a 150-mm Fox Transfer dropper post. mec includes a premium service package with each Carbine sold. ( Cannondale Jekyll 1 $10,500 Cannondale is working to extend its XC and DH racing pedigree into the enduro scene with its all-new Jekyll line of bikes. Proprietary technology includes the Asymmetric Integration offset drivetrain, which the company says allows for shorter, 420-mm chainstays, more tire clearance and increased stiffness over other Boost rear ends; relocated pivots to allow room for a water bottle; the ability to upgrade to Di2 electronic shifting; and the Hustle and Flow adjustable Fox rear shock. Component spec on the 165-mm-travel Jekyll 1 is excellent: a Fox Factory Float 36 fork, sram xx/x Eagle drivetrain with sram Guide RSC brakes, a Truvativ Descendant carbon crankset and Cannondale’s HollowGram 30 carbon wheels. ( Santa Cruz Nomad $7,849 The Nomad has been a Santa Cruz staple for more than a decade. The fourth iteration of the bike sees the move to a lower-link mounted shock configuration, which translates into better small bump compliance, a solid mid-stroke and generally more progression throughout the shock stroke. A flip-chip allows riders to slacken the head-tube angle by a further 0.4 degrees and drop the bottom bracket by 5 mm. The 27.5" bike sports 170 mm of travel, and is available in aluminum, regular carbon (C) and lightweight carbon (CC). The C frame with higher-end RockShox Lyrik/Shimano XT/sram Code rsc brakes build kit will set you back $7,849. (—Stuart Kernaghan


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018




Liv Hail Advanced 1 $5,699 If you are looking to steal all the  downhill sections in your area, then it’s worth looking at the Hail Advanced  from Liv. With  mm of travel, few rock gardens will slow you down on your quest for top speed. Tuned with pedalling efficiency in mind, the Hail is no sloth on the climbs, but the spec sheet shows that the Hail wants to be pointed downhill. Truvativ Descendant bars and cranks offer up serious durability, while  handles the transmission and braking with -speed GX Eagle shifting and Guide RS stoppers. It all rolls on ." DT Swiss E  Spline hoops. All Hail the new . ( Scott Contessa Genius 710 $7,399 After Scott redesigned its Spark line of bikes, it focused on the longer-travel Genius. With a similar silhouette to the Genius, the Contessa Genius  also sports some serious technology including Scott’s TwinLoc remote. It has three settings, including a climbing mode that reduces rear-wheel travel from the  mm to  mm and slightly changes the bike’s geometry allowing for a much better position for going uphill. A host of light parts including  Eagle -speed shifting and Shimano XT brakes makes this one of the best-climbing -mm travel bikes out there. ( Specialized Rhyme Comp Carbon 6Fattie $4,709 Tackle any terrain with the Rhyme Comp Carbon Fattie. Butcher . x . tires and  mm of travel let the Rhyme monster truck over almost any obstacle. Rock gardens become easier thanks to the plush RockShox Revelation RC fork and Monarch RT Women’s RX Tune shock. The bike leans into corners well thanks to the dialed-in geometry. With the  GX -speed shifting and a Specialized dropper post also in the mix, you might start using the  storage offered on the Rhyme to stash all the added confidence this bike will give you on technical trails. ( Trek Remedy 9.8 Women’s $6,500 When it comes to slaying trails, the Remedy . Women’s gives you all the tools you need to conquer any terrain, and have a blast while doing it. With  mm of rear-wheel travel and a -mm RockShox Lyrik fork, the Remedy won’t shy away from steep technical challenges, while also possessing the agility to get you back to the top. Trek’s Re:aktiv thru-shaft technology ensures the rear suspension has the ability to soak up big hits and maintain great small-bump and pedalling performance. If you have a fever for getting loose in berms and ache to launch jumps, you should really find a Remedy. (—Matt Stetson



2018 BUYERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S GUIDE


Ghost Kato S3.9 AL $4,000 With the Kato S3.9, Ghost wanted to design a power-assisted mountain bike that felt like a mountain bike. To do so, Ghost narrowed the bottom bracket and crank position on the aluminum 29er frame to a be more traditional. But when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needed, the 250-W Shimano e system powered by a 506-Wh battery provides plenty of assistance for as many as 100 km. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s controlled by a wireless display unit mounted on the handlebar. A Shimano Deore drivetrain gives reliable shifting; a set of Magura MT hydraulic disc brakes with big 203-mm rotors help bring the Alex md 29" wheels and Schwalbe tires to a halt. Front suspension comes from an SR Suntour xcr 34 Air fork with 120 mm of travel. Available in four sizes. (

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 $12,999 Released in Canada in early February, the Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay is the ultimate 27.5" trail bike for those who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to deal with pesky shuttles and lift lines. Designed specifically around the integrated Powerplay drive system, the Altitude Carbon comes in four sizes and three trim levels, topped off by the Carbon 90. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a no-compromise trail bike with 150 mm of rear travel from its Fox Float dps Evol shock and 160 mm up front from a Fox 36 Float Evol fit fork. The suspension, along with the carbon frameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s geometry, can be quickly fine-tuned through Rocky Mountainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ride-9 adjustment system. A Fox Transfer Performance Elite dropper seatpost gives as much as 150 mm of height adjustment. The 48-V Powerplay system offers 250 W of assistance and is powered by a 632-Wh battery that charges to 80 per cent in two hours. The Powerplay Carbon 90 rolls on tubeless-ready Rocky Mountain  am carbon wheels with meaty 27.5 x 2.5 Maxxis Minion dhf MaxxTerra tires. The drivetrain is sram ex with a Race Face Next Cinch crankset and sram Guide RE disc brakes. A Rocky Mountain stem, Race Face handlebar and wtb saddle are also part of the impressive build. (

Scott E-Spark 720 $7,499 With the E-Spark, Scott takes everything it knows about trail bikes and combines it with the latest in electric assist technology. The Scott E-Spark 720 is based on an alloy, single-pivot dual-suspension 27.5" frameset. It comes in four sizes and has a Boost 12 x 148 rear hub. Suspension comes by way of a custom-tuned-for-Scott Fox Nude Evol shock with as much as 120 mm of travel and a Fox 34 Float Performance Air fork with 130 mm of travel. The power-assist system is Shimanoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Steps e 250-W drive setup with a frame-integrated 500-Wh battery. The rest of the E-Sparkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s build features a sram nx drivetrain, Shimano Deore disc brakes with big 203-mm rotors, Syncros cockpit parts including a dropper seatpost and tubeless-ready 27.5" Syncros X- s wheels with Maxxis Rekon 2.8"-wide tires. (â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Dan Dakin 82

Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

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beat yesterday. We want safer riding environments as much as you do. So we made Varia™ rearview radar and smart lights that work with our bike computers, like the new Edge® 1030. You see cars behind you. They see you. Now that’s smart. GARMIN.COM/CYCLING




Continental Der Kaiser 2.4 Projekt ProTection Apex 27.5 x 2.4 $95 Don’t get hung up on the long name – Continental’s Der Kaiser 2.4 is a solid tire with some serious technology behind it. This endurooriented race tire is designed to be ridden in sloppy conditions and loose terrain, while still offering superior traction, braking power and handling. The ProTection layer guards against cuts and punctures, while the Apex sidewall provides a second layer of protection for particularly rough courses. The BlackChili rubber compound is Continental’s race-specific mix, which means better grip but reduced mileage. Weight for a tubeless-ready Der Kaiser is 1,025 g (claimed). (

Maxxis Rekon 27.5 x 2.6 $124 Want to put more rubber down on the trail without a huge weight penalty? Look no further than the new Rekon tire from Maxxis. This 27.5 x 2.6 monster is inspired by Maxxis’ classic Ikon XC race tire; it’s designed to eat up aggressive cross country trails. The WT (Wide Trail) casing is best suited for 30- to 35-mm inner-width rims, so don’t plan to throw this on pinner XC wheels. The company says the weight for the tubeless-ready 3C MaxxTerra compound version of the tire with the EXO durable casing is an impressive 730 g. (

Specialized Ground Control Grid 2Bliss Ready 29 x 2.3 $75 Specialized has been designing and making its own tires for decades. During that time, it has come up with some pretty successful tread patterns – including the Ground Control. It’s designed to be an all round trail tire that offers the best possible combination of braking and traction control in any condition, thanks to Specialized’s own Gripton rubber compound. The Grid casing also provides superior flat and sidewall protection against punctures. The posted weight for the tubeless-ready version of the tire is a very respectable 810 g. (

Schwalbe Rock Razor 27.5 x 2.6 with Addix Speedgrip compound $135 The Rock Razor is a semi-slick race tire designed for fast and dry enduro courses. It boasts reduced rolling resistance thanks to the low-profile lugs in the centre, and good cornering courtesy of the taller shoulder lugs, making it an ideal rear tire. The 2.6"-wide Rock Razor is available in the proprietary Speedgrip Addix compound, Schwalbe’s universal rubber compound that is designed to provide more mileage and longer life. Pair this tire with something like Schwalbe’s Magic Mary front tire for a great mix of performance and weight savings. The Rock Razor comes in at a very competitive 850 g (claimed). (

Kenda Nevegal 2, 27.5 x 2.4 $105 Kenda’s Nevegal is a classic in the mountain bike world, but it was getting a bit dated after more than a decade on the market. Fortunately, Kenda updated the tire to make it a viable option for enduro and trail riders. The tread pattern was enhanced to cut down on rolling resistance – Kenda claims 50 per cent less than the original Nevegal. The new EN-DTC rubber compound offers reduced wear while still providing solid traction and braking control. The Advanced Trail Casing greatly increases puncture resistance. Weight for the 2.4"-wide Nevegal 2 is roughly 810 g ±40 g, according to Kenda. The tire is also rated for ebikes. (

CST (Cheng Shin Tire) might not be a familiar name to a lot of people, but it’s actually the largest bicycle tire manufacturer in the world. The company’s Rock Hawk 29 x 2.4 tire is an all-rounder that is designed to be used in hard pack, loose, loose over hard, medium and wet conditions. The EPS (Exceptional Puncture Safety) layer inserts poly-fibre material between the tread and the casing, making it a good choice in areas where punctures are common. The company says the weight for the foldable version of this tire is 1,020 g. (—Stuart Kernaghan


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Photos: Hiep Vu

CST Rock Hawk 29 x 2.4 $60








Shimano Deore XT M8000 27.5" $650 A Upgrading your wheels will make a big difference to the ride experience, but you don’t need to go with the expense of carbon to see gains. Shimano’s Deore XT m 27.5" wheelset offers a solid wheel package for XC riders and racers for a reasonable investment. The wheels sport Shimano’s 15-mm E-thru front and 12-mm E-thru rear axles, offset rims for better spoke-tension balance and wheel durability and 28 spokes front and rear. The 23.9-mm rim width means these wheels are best suited for tires 2.25" or narrower. Weight for the wheelset is a claimed 1,834 g. (

Giant TRX 0 27.5 Boost $2,100 C Giant has mastered the art of carbon bicycle construction, and has been using that knowledge to turn out its own carbon-fibre wheels for a number of years. The trx 0 27.5 Boost is Giant’s trail wheelset, designed to take a beating on the way down while still allowing you to get to the top without towing a boat anchor. Rim width for the 28-spoke wheels is 33 mm and height is 25 mm. The front hub is available in 15 x 110 spacing and the rear in 12 x 148 spacing. Claimed weight for the pair is an impressive 1,540 g. (

Mavic XA Light 27.5" $599 B Mavic is a well established name in the rim-and-wheel market; the XA Light aluminum wheelset is a reminder of what Mavic is capable of producing. These tubeless-ready XC/trail wheels feature 24 spokes front and rear and a 25-mm internal rim width, meaning they will play well with tires as wide as 2.5". They use Mavic’s own TS-2 freehub, which works with all axle sizes and sram XD drivetrains. The XA Lights are available in both Boost and non-Boost configurations. The price for the pair makes them a great deal if you need to replace your current hoops. Weight for the pair is a respectable 1,760 g (claimed). (

Race Face Next R $2,000 D The Next R (R for Rally) is Race Face’s first carbon wheel. It’s built tough, and is designed for trail, all-mountain or enduro riding. Available in either 27.5" or 29" sizes, the full-carbon 28-spoke rims have a 31-mm internal diameter and 34-mm height, come tubeless-ready and have 4.5 mm of offset for increased spoke balance and wheel stiffness. Race Face’s Vault hubs have an oversized flange for an improved bracing angle, and offer 120 points of engagement. Both front and rear hubs come in virtually every axle combination you can think of. Weight for a set is a claimed 1,680 g for 27.5" and 1,765 g for 29". (—Stuart Kernaghan





Pro Turnix Women’s $150 Featuring a semi-curved shape, the Pro Turnix Women’s saddle is a great choice for flexible riders seeking comfort and support during extended rides. Pro uses lightweight  for padding and covers this with a smooth and durable polyurethane fabric that reduces friction with cycling shorts. A carbon-reinforced polymer shell provides support without compromising strength or adding unnecessary weight, while a centre cut-out minimizes pressure on sensitive tissues. Pro has also made sure that the Turnix is compatible with the Pro camera mount and other accessories. ( Specialized Power Arc Expert $145 The Power Arc Expert features ample sit-bone support for riding in a more upright position, but thanks to its slightly shorter nose section still provides comfort when riding in the drops. As with other Specialized saddles, the Power Arc Expert features Body Geometry construction, which reduces pressure on soft tissues. Hollow titanium rails ensure durability and reduce weight, while the shell’s compatible mounts provide an integrated storage option for a variety of accessories. (

Fabric Line Pro Shallow $230 The Line Pro Shallow features an innovative three-piece bonded construction that eliminates the need for the traditional separate shell, padding and cover. The result is enhanced comfort, reduced weight and improved durability. The Line Pro Shallow also features a full-length pressure relief channel that helps reduce discomfort during longer rides. Fabric uses carbon rails to further minimize weight. This is a versatile saddle suitable for road or mountain bike rides. (—Gus Alexandropoulos


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Photos: Hiep Vu

Bontrager Kovee Pro Carbon $260 Weighing in at a feathery  g– g (depending on the width), the Kovee Pro Carbon features a shape that allows for snag-free transitions when moving around the saddle. While the suspended carbon rails help reduce weight, they also offer increased compliance, which translates into greater comfort on rough terrain. Comfort is further increased thanks to the saddle’s multi-density padding and pressure relief channel. Bontrager specs a carbon fibre–reinforced shell that helps minimize weight without compromising durability. (




Smith Network $200 The Network is Smith’s new road-specific helmet that offers some compelling features at a competitive price. Riders will appreciate the Network’s  vents, which provide excellent cooling in warm conditions. Impact protection is exceptional thanks to a Smith’s combination of honeycomb-shaped Koroyd panels and  liner. The Network also accommodates a removable visor/sweat liner, has an integrated camera and light mount and eyewear dock. ( Giant Rev MIPS $190 The Rev  offers pro-level performance at a very accessible price. Giant starts with a continuous internal polycarbonate shell that creates a lighter, stronger and more durable helmet. Combined with the  liner, the Rev  delivers exceptional impact protection. With  vents, the helmet is a great choice for racing and training in warm conditions. For optimal fit, Giant uses a micro-adjustable dial closure that offers security and can easily be adjusted on the fly. ( Bontrager Velocis MIPS Women’s $270 The versatile Velocis  delivers race-level performance in a lightweight and well-ventilated package. For added impact protection, the Velocis comes equipped with a  liner. Bontrager uses a Boa system for easy mid-ride fit adjustments.The large vents not only provide efficient cooling, but also serve double-duty as an eyewear dock. Finally, the Velocis comes with a removable NeoVisor that provides all the sun protection of cycling cap but without the added fitcompromising bulk. (—Gus Alexandropoulos

Oh , y ou r ide bik e s? T ha t ’s c ool. We lik e t r ails t oo. Rock y t r ails , mudd y t r ails , high ele v a t ion t r ails , f lo w y t r ails , chunk y t r ails . I f y ou’r e ou t on y our bik e, chanc e s ar e y ou’r e ha v ing f un. So qui t r eading t his , pack up y our gear, gr ab a budd y, hop on y our bik e and mak e i t a good da y. ospr e


R A P T O R | R AV E N



Mavic Crossmax Pro $200 With Crossmax Pro’s full-coverage construction, the helmet offers maximum protection for all-mountain riding. The impact protection is further bolstered by the addition of Mavic’s Live Fit concept. Live Fit utilizes  foam, which provides additional vibration and impact cushioning as well as a superior fit. The final bit of protection comes in the form of mesh, which Mavic employs on the front vents of the helmet to prevent insect bites. Other details that you’ll appreciate include an adjustable visor and smooth goggle interface that helps minimize fogging. (


Smith Session $200 This past fall, Smith introduced its new Session helmet to its line of mountain bike lids. The Session offers excellent ventilation thanks to the air vents. Impact protection is also prioritized with the addition of the patented honeycomb-shape Koroyd panels and  liner. A three-position adjustable visor, secure goggle integration and an eyewear dock round out the features. (

Photos: Hiep Vu

Garneau Women’s Sally MIPS $125 With Sally ’s extended rear coverage, reinforced lower perimeter edge and  liner, this helmet by Garneau offers an exceptional level of protection for mountain biking. While protection is important, a helmet also needs to be comfortable. Garneau obviously recognizes this fact and provides the Sally  with multiple vents for increased cooling in warm conditions. The highly adjustable harness system also adds to the helmet’s comfort by providing a stable fit without pressure points. Finally, an adjustable visor delivers excellent sun protection. ( Bollé Trackdown MIPS $220 This versatile mountain bike helmet offers you exceptional impact protection and a host of useful convenience and comfort features. Bollé starts with a full-coverage expanded-polystyrene construction and adds  for even greater rotational and impact protection. A removable three-position visor provides additional sun protection, is easily adjusted even when riding and is compatible with a wide range of sunglasses and goggles. Bollé has also carefully considered the positioned of the two front vent holes so you can stash your sunglasses either above or below the visor. The Trackdown ships with two vent covers that fit over the helmet’s top four vents providing greater weather protection in cold or wet conditions. Finally, a micro-adjustable dial closure ensures easy adjustments and a secure fit even in the most challenging riding situations. (—Gus Alexandropoulos





Lazer Bullet $320 A The Bullet’s unique construction addresses the one oblivious shortcoming found in many aero road helmets – a lack of adequate ventilation. Like many other aero road offerings, the Bullet has a sleek shell with minimal venting on the top. While this shape reduces wind resistance, it often fails to provide the cooling necessary during strenuous efforts in warm conditions. Sure, side vents (the Bullet has plenty) provide sufficient cooling in less extreme situations, but they can’t keep up as the temperature and activity levels increase. Lazer’s elegant solution to this aeroversus-cooling dilemma is to offer a sliding louvre-like honeycomb vent that can be kept closed for maximum aero gains or opened on-the-fly for additional venting. Throw in a dial-adjustable fit system,  protection and the ability to add an inclination monitor (to help you maintain an aero position) as well as the LifeBeam heart-rate system and it becomes clear the that the Bullet is one of the more versatile aero road helmets currently available. (

Abus GameChanger $299 E While the name may be a bit hyperbolic, there’s no denying that the Abus GameChanger is a great-looking and wellventilated aero road helmet. Abus has worked hard to ensure that the shape of the GameChanger provides excellent aero benefits regardless of your head’s position as you ride. The combination of large vents and Abus’s Forced Air Cooling Technology offers you a surprising level of cooling for an aero road helmet. A unique AirPort in the back of the helmet provides storage for glasses without disrupting the helmet’s aero profile. For optimal fit, Abus specs a micro-adjustable dial system and adds specially woven straps that reduce wind flutter and improve next-to-skin comfort. (gamechanger.

Specialized Evade II $300 B With the new Evade II, Specialized has created a no-compromise aero road helmet. According to the company, the Evade II is the most aerodynamic helmet they have ever tested. But unlike other aero helmets, the Evade II does not sacrifice weight or ventilation to achieve its remarkable aero gains. Safety is also highlighted in the Evade II thanks to Specialized’s multi-density  construction and the aramidreinforced skeleton. These two technologies provide superior impact absorption without adding unnecessary weight. Cooling is also surprisingly efficient thanks to a combination of deep internal channels and massive vents. Finally, Specialized specs its lightweight, height-adjustable micro-dial fit system for a secure and comfortable fit. (

Briko Gass Fluid $300 F The new Gass Fluid helmet features Briko’s innovative Fluid technology construction that reduces rotational and linear impact by  per cent. The Fluid system (which is also found on the Briko Ventus) uses a series of pods that, according to Briko, mimic the impact-absorbing behaviour of the brain’s cerebrospinal fluid providing additional protection for the rider. From a purely performance-oriented perspective, the Gass Fluid features a clean aero shape and strategically placed cooling vents making it suitable for competitive riders training and racing in warm conditions. (

Oakley Aro 3 $240 C Part of Oakley’s Aro series of helmets, the Aro  offers the greatest ventilation while still providing solid aero benefits. Impact protection is also top-notch thanks to the use of . The addition of a unique Boa retention system with a soft, flexible lace provides unparalleled fit and comfort without the pressure points often encountered with more traditional cradle systems. An added benefit from this system is that it allows for the construction of a very secure eyewear dock and also eliminates any interference that frequently arises between eyewear temples and conventional cradles. (

Giro Vanquish MIPS $350 G The Vanquish is Giro’s new high-end aero road helmet and as such, it is brimming with innovative technologies and construction. One of the Vanquish’s more important and yet subtle advancements is the small step-down near the back of the shell. This element modifies the airflow so that the Vanquish achieves aero benefits usually associated with full teardrop-style time trial helmets but without the extra weight and bulk. The innovation continues with the integrated Vivid eye shield that offers excellent eye protection and also provides significant aero gains. The shield attaches to the helmet with magnets, which also allow you to store the shield on the helmet – sort of like an updated version of the eyewear dock. The position and efficiency of the numerous vents minimize overheating even in sultry riding conditions. Fit is controlled by Giro’s versatile and highly adjustable Roc Loc Air system. A  liner adds extra head protection. (— Gus Alexandropoulos

POC Ventral Spin $350 D Weighing in at  g, ’s new Ventral Spin features the company’s new Spin technology in the liner. This new liner construction seems to be like a beefed-up  and significantly reduces damaging rotational forces during impact. Safety is further bolstered by the in-mould construction and a sophisticated  foam liner. Massive vents provide optimized cooling airflow and a -degree adjustable fit system ensures exceptional comfort even on the longest rides. (


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018





Photos: Hiep Vu







Bontrager XXX $540 A With Bontrager XXX’s top-tier materials and sophisticated construction, it’s not surprising that the road shoes deliver pro-level performance. Bontrager starts with a premium Clarino upper – a synthetic microfibre material that mimics the breathability and foot-conforming traits of leather but without the unwanted stretch. This upper is mated to Bontrager’s lightest and stiffest carbon outsole for optimal power transfer. For a closure, Bontrager has opted for a dual Boa system with a single hook-and-loop strap at the forefoot. The result is solid retention and comfort regardless of foot shape. To further improve fit and comfort, Bontrager employs a non-slip heel lining and a plush inForm footbed. For warm-weather comfort, the shoes have two vented panels above the toes and on the sides of the shoe, and there are additional vent holes in the soles. (


Specialized S-Works 7 $500 C As with all products with the S-Works designation, the Specialized S-Works  road shoe delivers uncompromising performance. Specialized uses its Body Geometry sole and footbed as the combination provides increased efficiency and improved biomechanics. This platform sits on a  Powerline carbon plate, which ensures optimal power transfer to the pedals. On the upper, Specialized has added Dyneema mesh ensuring that the there is minimal stretch (and power loss) during hard sprints. Combine all these features with an easily adjustable dual Boa closure and a formfitting PadLock heel, and it’s clear that the Specialized S-Works  road shoe is worthy of its designation. ( Diadora Vortex Comp Carbon $250 D The sleek-looking Vortex Comp Carbon is a great shoe for aspiring racers or anyone looking to log a lot of road miles. Diadora starts with a smooth synthetic perforated upper that conforms easily to the foot for exceptional comfort during long rides. A single Boa closure with a hook-and-loop strap at the forefoot provide a secure fit that is easily adjusted, even when riding. For optimal power transfer, Diadora has spec’d a lightweight yet rigid carbon-fibre sole that also sports vents for extra cooling in warm conditions. In the heel cup, the Vortex Comp Carbon shoe features a non-slip lining for additional security during hard efforts. For easier walking when off the bike, Diadora has added a durable and grippy heel pad that is easily removed and replaced with a single screw. (


Giro Prolight Techlace $550 E The new Prolight Techlace from Giro showcases some of the more innovative textiles and materials in cycling footwear. Starting with the upper, Giro has spec’d a unique technical monofilament mesh that is reinforced with Teijin  welded panels. This construction results in a supremely lightweight upper that resists stretch and conforms easily to your foot. The weight savings continue with the Prolight Techlace’s new closure consisting of three sections of laces that adjust with a minimalist hookand-loop strap. This easy-to-use system provides maximum adjustment without the weight of traditional dial or hook-and-loop closures. For the sole, Giro has opted for a relatively rare carbon-fibre composite that is woven in flat sheets instead of threads. This construction creates a very stiff sole unit that is up to  per cent lighter than many traditional carbon-fibre soles. And with the addition of titanium cleatmounting hardware, it’s not surprising that a size . Prolight Techlace shoe weighs in at feathery  g. (—Gus Alexandropoulos



E Photos: Hiep Vu


Shimano XC5 Women’s $219 B Built on a women’s specific last and positioned in Shimano’s multi-surface category, the XC features a somewhat aggressive Michelin rubber outsole over a carbon reinforced midsole. The result is a shoe that is supremely capable in a wide range of conditions – both on- and off-road. The perforated microfibre upper is durable, dries quickly and conforms to the shape of your foot without displaying any excessive fit-compromising stretch. The closure consists of form-fitting laces with a foot-hugging mini power strap over the arch – a tried-and-true system that works. This is a very versatile shoe perfect for any non-elite riding situation. (


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018








Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch $180 A Some riding conditions are best experienced with flat pedals and the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch is the perfect highperformance flat-pedal shoe. A seamless bonded upper reduces weight, improves fit and eliminates the blowouts often encountered with regular sewn uppers. For the outsole, Pearl Izumi specs the dual-compound Vibram Megagrip sole, which features a grippy compound in the pedal zone and more durable rubber in the heel and toe. A reinforced toe cap provides added protection; the thin  midsole absorbs the impact from any big drops. Finally, the laces provide an easily adjustable, custom-like fit. (

Garneau Copper T-Flex $375 C The Copper T-Flex is Garneau’s top-end cross country/cyclocross shoe. Unlike similar high-end models, it does not sacrifice comfort for performance. Garneau achieves these often conflicting qualities by using a savvy combination of materials and construction techniques. Starting with the upper, Garneau specs a microfibre material that is light, breathable and foot-conforming. For a closure, the Copper T-Flex employs a Boa dial with offset straps that minimize pressure on the top of the foot. To ensure efficient power transfer, the company uses a carbon composite midsole that is shod with a soft and grippy outsole. This outsole excels in muddy conditions thanks to its deep and widely spaced lugs. Other details that competitive riders will appreciate include a non-slip heel lining, a reflective tab on the heel and a low shoe-to-pedal stack height. (

Mavic XA Pro $250 B With the XA Pro’s aggressive outsole and supportive yet flexible carbon plate, the shoe delivers the perfect blend of pedalling efficiency and walking comfort. Mavic’s rubber outsole compound, which offers  per cent more grip in both wet and dry conditions, further enhances the XA Pro’s off-the-bike versatility. For all-day comfort, Mavic specs a plush OrthoLite insole. The adjustable dial and hook-andloop strap allow for a secure fit during hard efforts. Finally, the addition of a welded toe bumper increases the XA Pro’s durability and protects your foot from trail debris. (

FiveTen Hellcat Pro $240 D You don’t always ride on dry trails. In case you encounter a bit of wet, the FiveTen Hellcat Pro shoes have a durable water-repellent coating on their tough uppers to keep the water at bay. On each shoe, your toes are well protected by a strong thermoplastic-polyurethane toe box. The outsole is the durable Stealth C, which not only addresses vibrations coming up from the pedal, but is designed to accept  cleats. The three-quarter thermoplastic-polyurethane shank also handles vibrations. It strikes a nice balance between the rigidity needed for pedalling hard and the flex that makes walking around easier after the ride. (— Gus Alexandropoulos









Time Xpro 10 $300 B Time released the new Xpro series of pedals this past October. The platforms boast wider surfaces for better power transfer and comfort, as well as aerodynamic advantages. The Xpro 10 sits beneath the top-of-the-line Xpro 15 and the second-tier Xpro 12. Sure, at 226 g, a pair of 10s are 51 g heavier than the 15s, as the former use stainless-steel axles instead of hollow titanium. But both models have 725 mm2 of surface area. And, like bikes, a lower-end model of pedal is just as aero as a higher-end one as their wind-cutting shapes are the same. That’s a bargain. (


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

Speedplay Syzr $290 C Speedplay argues that traditional mountain bike pedals can rob you of power, especially when it’s the soft rubber lugs of your shoes making contact with the pedals instead of the cleats. The design of the Syzr’s cleats ensures that they come in direct contact with the pedals for a stronger connection and better power transfer. But these platforms aren’t just for the dirt. They’ll move you well across pavement and gravel. The pedals come in five axle lengths for fit and eight “lift” options to address leg-length differences or for hip-alignment correction. ( Crankbrothers Double Shot 3 $163 D The Double Shot started as a commuter pedal, but the Double Shot 3 is more at home on the trails. The flat side has eight traction pins and a textured finish for added grip during more aggressive riding. When you want pedalling efficiency, clip into the cast steel wings that hail from the Candy 3 pedals, which are designed more for CX and XC. The pair weigh 403 g. ( HT T1 $185 E The HT T1 enduro race pedals come in at 368 g. They have solid aluminum bodies with chromoly spindles. You can get these platforms in a range of great colours. Should you bust a grip pin, you’ll be able to replace it. Each pair of pedals ships with two sets of cleats: one with four degrees of float and one with eight degrees. HT takes its name from Hsing Ta Industrial, a bicycle component company from Taiwan that is more than 60 years old. It started HT, its high-end pedal brand, in 2005. (—Mark Cohen

Photos: Matt Stetson

Shimano Ultegra R8000 $200 A The new r

Ultegra pedals from Shimano weigh in at 248 g, a lightweight pro design with extra-wide platform for maximum wattage transfer. Each pedal has a durable stainless-steel body plate to cut flex and body wear. You can dial in entry- and release-tension settings. There’s also a version with 4-mm longer axles for wider fits. These are the perfect platforms to complement an r

group and ideal for enthusiasts who understand the advantage Ultegra offers. (




Garmin Edge 1030 $780 Find new routes with the Garmin Edge ’s Trendline feature. It can recommend a route based on data uploaded from other riders. The unit also has pre-written messages than you can send to others in your group. You can let them know easily that you or your tire has popped. (

Polar V650 with OH1 $410 Polar’s strength, when it comes to head units, is that they don’t become obsolete. In a market in which new products tend to render old ones into bricks (think Apple), Polar products are simply updated with new features. It’s refreshing. Recently, Polar added Strava Live Segments and advanced power metrics, such as normalized power and training stress score. When bundled with the OH, an optical heart-rate monitor you wear on your arm, the V becomes a powerful training tool. (

Giant NeosTrack GPS $250 Last year, Giant announced its new head unit, the NeosTrack GPS, now the company’s top-end computer. It receives both + and Bluetooth signals. It can give you turn-by-turn guidance on a route, as well as take you through an  test, which is “nice.” (— Matthew





Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P $2,100 Shimano announced its crank-based power meter in . A few of the pros were running them last year and now the unit is making its way to the joes. Since the company makes both the crank and the meter, everything is nicely integrated. The battery is tucked into the spindle. You recharge it, after  hours, via a cable that affixes itself to the unit by its magnetic end. Each crankarm has its own strain gauges to give you left and right power readings. The unit broadcasts all that data in a single + transmission to your bike computer. Updates to the firmware are done via Bluetooth. The unit is easy to zero at the touch of a button. Accuracy is said to be ± per cent. Weight weenies will like that all this power infrastructure only adds  g. ( Garmin Vector 3 $1,300 The Garmin Vector  makes adding a power meter as easy as installing pedals. For this pedal-based unit, Garmin was able to ditch the pods that were on the Vector . The new model looks better and is more user-friendly. You’ll need the Keo-style cleats that come with the pedals in order to clip in. Battery life is around  hours and accuracy is ± per cent. The set weighs in at  g, which is about  g heavier than a pair of Shimano Ultegra pedals. The Vector  works with Garmin Edge head units to give you a lot of information about your pedal strokes, including where on the pedal you’re applying power. With that data, you might be able to improve your cleat position. (

Race Face Cinch $800 Last year, Race Face introduced a power meter aimed at XC and enduro riders. The Cinch is a spindle-based unit thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quite protected in the bottom bracket. Since the power meterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gauges donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t add width to the crankarms, you should be free from any clearance issues between the cranks and the chainstays. Race Face says the power-meter spindle is roughly 65 g heavier than a standard 134-mm mountain bike spindle. You can swap a 134-mm Cinch between the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Next SL G4, Next G3, Next R and Turbine cranks. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t already run one of those systems, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to get on board. Add roughly $600 for some Next SL G4 or Next R crankarms and $90 for a chainring. Then, you have a unit thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prepared to record watts on a ride with quick starts, bumps and traction changes. The Cinch is accurate to Âą2 per cent. (

4iiii Precision Podiiiium US$750 (for dual-pod factory install) 4iiii, from Cochrane, Alta., has progressed from making a head unit to a heart-rate monitor to discrete power-meter pods that sit on a set of Shimano Dura-Ace crankarms. The pods were, however, limited to single-sided power for many other cranksets. In 2017, 4iiii revealed the Precision Podiiiium, a 7-mm-high pod that allows the company to offer dual-sided power readings on Shimano Dura-Ace r  and r , as well as Ultegra r and r. The pod has a rechargeable battery that runs for roughly 60 hours. It weighs roughly 9 g and is accurate to Âą1.5 per cent. 4iiii is planning to expand the compatibility of the Precision Podiiiium to include alloy crankarms by Cannondale, Campagnolo and Praxis. Carbon crankarm compatibility is also in the works. (ď&#x153;´â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Matthew Pioro 5000 François-Cusson, Lachine, Canada H8T 1B3

514-637-6511 / 1-800-363-8743



You Can Just Stuff It Gear that can ride in your jersey pockets for when you need it






or some wind and light rain protection, the Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier Lite vest A ($150, will keep your core warm. It’s totally pro if you can unzip and stuff this garment in your jersey pocket while on your bike. If the weather gets a bit nastier, pull out the Castelli Emergency


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

rain jacket B ($170,, which is designed to channel water away from your hands and off your back. Biemme Jampa leg warmers C ($80, are made with the high-tech Jampa fabric that the Italian company also features in its wind- and waterproof vest and gloves. The Sportful Fiandre Light Norain arm warmers D ($70, are also wind- and waterproof, as well as breathable. You’ll want to keep these on even when the temperature climbs to  C. For days that still have a bit of chill in the air, the MEC Barrage cycling gloves E ($25, provide just the right amount of warmth with little bulk. You can wear the Garneau Course vent cap F ($20, under your helmet or simply take it out of your jersey pocket and put it on at the café to manage your helmet hair.—Matthew Pioro

Photos: Matt Stetson






Among the Poppies and Quiet Roads The Loire Valley can provide an idyllic cycling getaway by Diana Ballon


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018


hen I left Toronto this past June for a six-day cycling trip in the Loire Valley, I was feeling run down from work and battling a cold. But when I arrived in France, I miraculously started to feel better. Cycling the Loire Valley is like entering into a kaleidoscope of colour. You pass bright shivering fields of orange poppies, sail along paths hugging the deep blue Loire River, ride through fields of oats, barley, corn and sunflowers, and pass the pale warm yellow of limestone buildings. As you bike, the Loire River is always at your side: at times it’s hidden by green forest or brush, but as Olivier Bouchereau of the Angers Loire Tourist Office said, “You’re never far away.” We chose to cycle in the Loire Valley not just because of its beauty, but because of its well-executed network of bike trails that makes it easy to plan a self-guided trip. La Loire à Vélo cycling route has  km of clearly sign-posted routes through the Pays de la Loire and Loire Valley – about , km if you include additional loops. The route extends from Saint-Nazaire in the west to as far as Nevers in the east and forms part of the EuroVelo  route – on which you can cycle from the Atlantic to the Black Sea. At times you ride on a designated cycling path. At other times, you share the road with cars. Sometimes the path is smooth cement for fast pedalling. Other

times, you cycle on a road that turns into cobblestone, or a path that becomes rough gravel or a country road that dips down through vineyards. Opt for wider tires to handle the varied terrain. For more route options, you can find ideas at the La Loire à Vélo site. You can also download the OpenRunner app to find more challenging itineraries, or consider ancillary loops (into the vineyards, for example), where you can build up speed on routes mainly south of the Loire, said Bouchereau. Or you can crib a few ideas from this year’s Tour de France, which starts in the Pays de la Loire region on July 7. Stage 1, from Noirmoutier-en-l’Île to Fontenay-le-Comte, is mostly along the sea. The second stage is more inland from Mouilleron-SaintGermain to La Roche-sur-Yon. As well as an organized network of trails, la Loire à Vélo also has about 500 accommodations within 5 km of the route – everything from two- to four-star hotels, to campsites and gîtes , more rustic holiday rentals, where you can safely store your bike and have access to bike repair equipment if you need it. You can also have your baggage delivered from one hotel to the next as you travel, as we did, with never a glitch. With so many different routes to choose from, a trip to the Loire Valley can take many different shapes. During several days, my path, which I shared with two friends, was one that combined the three C’s – cycling, castles and chilled rosé. Our trip began with a direct flight to Nantes. From there, we drove a little more than an hour east to Bėhuard, where we would start our cycling trip. After a long overnight flight, it felt a little strange to be enjoying lunch seated outside on wooden tables at a restaurant, La Croisette, on an island in the Loire. We then cycled a short 17 km, travelling through the savennières vineyards, and following the Maine River to Angers – a city of 150,000 that

Paris Angers Tours Bourges Saint-Nazaire Nantes Nevers

 he Paris-Tours peloton passes Amboise Castle in Loire Valley

Make a statement Custom design your wheels

enjoyed fouées , baked bread cooked in a wood-fired oven with rillettes, white beans and cheese. Then we cycled on “vintage bikes” (which, I noted rather disconcertingly, looked remarkably like the ones I rode as a child) through the underground wine cellars at the winemaker Bouvet-Ladubay. There we learned about the process of making sparkling wines or “brut de Loire,” for which the Saumur region is known. The next morning, we rode through the town’s Saturday market and  km from Saumur to Fontevraud, most of it

“During several days, my path, which I shared with two friends, was one that combined the three C’s – cycling, castles and chilled rosé.”  La Loire à Vélo route signage at Saint-Mathurinsur-Loire near Angers

 Château des ducs de Bretagne near Nantes


straddles the Maine and has an impressive th-century castle, and little traffic. The next morning, when we left our hotel at : a.m., the air was still cool. After a short ride, we arrived at a little river with a car submerged in the water, and handsome firemen in wetsuits, laughing and shouting, “Vive la France.” They motioned for us to cross the river in the small metal barge that was moored next to the shore. Wondering if this was a joke – but having no other option – we tentatively boarded with our bikes, pulled ourselves across with the metal chain attached to the opposite shore. From there, we ascended a small hill where the path continued. The firemen were right. We passed large, open fields. There were also places where the trees formed arches over our heads and mottled light cast shadows on the pavement under our wheels. In the last  km, the path was hillier, but we gathered more speed on quiet roads. Throughout, birds sang and the breeze was cool while the air was warm. We arrived in Saumur for a late lunch at La Table de Fouées, a traditional troglodytic restaurant. You can eat underground, although we chose the outdoor terrasse and

Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

an easy ride past villages built into the limestone banks. The final  km were uphill. In  C heat, we were happy to finally arrive at the l’Abbaye de Fontevraud. The abbey is the largest preserved monastic site in Europe, which – since the th century – has had many incarnations, from four monasteries to a prison to a fourstar hotel (where you can stay as part of the la Loire à Vélo accommodations) and also a cultural centre, with an active artist-in-residence program. The next part of our trip was to Savigny-en-Veron. We took what we were told was a shortcut, which had us travelling slowly down a very bumpy road, until we hit a quiet country road through a tunnel of trees, which then opened up on either side to fields of poppies. We stopped for a beer next to the river in Brehemont, and then rode the last leg to Langeais. Probably my favourite town on the trip, Langeais is a small place with cobblestone streets where our charming guest house L’Ange Est Reveur looked out on an actual castle next door. I loved Langeais for its gardens, flowers, cafés and windy roads, and for the Michelin-star restaurant Au Coin des Halles, where we ate in a back garden terrasse that evening. The next morning, after a delicious breakfast of homemade yogurt, bread and jams at our bed and breakfast, we were back on the road. We rode a quick  km to Château de Villandry before meeting the château owner Henri Carvallo. We then climbed to the top of the château to look out on the beautiful Renaissance kitchen gardens, their geometrical patterns set out like a chessboard. We then rode to Tours, in the company of both serious roadies and families. Once in Tours, we discovered a big metropolitan city, so different from the quiet villages we had been biking through. After lunch by the water at the Guinguette of Tours, an open-air café, we passed through Montlouis-sur-Loire, where we doused our heads under some fountains to cool down on our way to Amboise. Once in Amboise, we checked into our hotel and then met up with a group on the shore of

the Loire River for a boat tour aboard a toue, a traditional wooden boat with a flat bottom and a square sail and mast. For a short two-hour trip, it was fun to be on the river listening to stories of how this waterway was once a major artery for trade, carrying spices, wine and stone long before trains existed. On our final day, we did a loop that began and ended in Amboise, visiting Chaumontsur-Loire in the morning and then Chenonceau in the afternoon, with about a -km ride between each stop. The first leg, from Amboise to Chaumont-sur-Loire, is a relatively flat ride through vineyards with a view of the Loire River and some cave houses. Once at the Domaine de Chaumontsur-Loire, we wandered through many of the permanent gardens and ones from the International Garden Festival, based on the  theme of Flower Power –  gardens created by landscape architects, designers and artists from all over the globe. We got to admire a rich panoply of colour, glass, mirror and water, incorporated into nature. Then it was back on the bikes. The best part of the ride from Chaumont-sur-Loire to Chenonceau was travelling along the River Cher with a view of the Château de Chenonceau and the boats driving under the arches of the castle. It was perhaps fitting that this final stop on our trip was to see a château known as the “ladies’ castle” (in reference to the six strong women who influenced its development), as our trip had been a rich bonding experience between me and two other women writer friends.

MARKETPLACE British Columbia Bike Barn 300 Westminster Ave. W. Penticton, BC 250.492.4140

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Details How to get there From May  to Oct. , Air Transat (airtransat. com) runs two direct flights a week from both Montreal and Toronto to Nantes. Air Transat also offers six cycling tours in Europe, one among the castles of the Loire for both amateur and seasoned cyclists. Transat’s packages include round-trip airfare, baggage transportation, breakfasts, threeor four-star accommodation, itineraries in .gpx files and maps. More information is available at . Finding support La Loire à Vélo ( is a rich resource for cyclo-tourism in the region. The organization’s website has information on routes, places to stay and places to eat. You can also arrange for luggage transfers and hire guides.





left Hailey Smith races at the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup


Haley Smith

You’ve written for this magazine on the topic of mindfulness. What is your mindfulness activity of choice at the moment? Bike riding is always one of them. In trail riding, you have to be present, or you’ll end up face down. I’m also doing Headspace. It’s an app for guided meditation. I do that everyday for  to  minutes. I find that really helpful.

Mind on the ride

I feel you were ahead of the curve with mindfulness. [Laughs.] I think maybe I was on the hipster edge of the curve. But that was how I learned to deal with my mental problems. I’d still be very sick if I hadn’t been introduced to this.

by Matthew Pioro

STATS Born Nov. 22, 1993 Hometown Uxbridge, Ont. Team Norco Factory Team Years with Six team Bikes Norco Revolver fullsuspension (for racing); Revolver hardtail (for training and racing); Tactic (for road rides); Optic 7.2 (for fun rides)


Canadian Cycling April & May 2018

You have a background in dance and hockey, yes? From the time I started walking until I went to university, I was a high-level hockey player and dancer. Ballet was the backbone to the dancing. How did you get from those disciplines to mountain biking? My dad and brother had started to mountain bike when I was younger. They used to do -hour races. When I was in the eighth grade, my brother was going to a high school championships, and they needed a girl for the team relay. The deal was that if I rode the team relay, I could skip a day of school. That was my first real time on a mountain bike. I started to re-find mountain biking near the end of high school. When I went university, hockey stopped because I wasn’t going to play varsity. Dance also stopped at that time. Then I pursued mountain biking more. It was kind of organic because my family did it. Do you see any connections between mountain biking, and dance and hockey? Dance is about flow and being present in the moment. When I’m on the trail, the way I think isn’t in words or in conscious thought, but I think kinesthetically. It gives me the same feelings as dance used to give me, the same sort of emotions. Hockey taught me how to be the toughest version of myself. You have to have that in mountain biking as well. If you’re not willing to put your fear aside or your selfdoubt aside, you can’t do it: you can’t ride obstacles or the climbs. There’s also power. I’ve always been a punchy rider, a good starter. That comes from hockey.

What technical element of your riding have you been working on? I’m always working on everything. But the biggest mental block for me is air time when there’s a hole in the middle, going over a gap. My dad built me a jump in my backyard, a tabletop jump where the table in the middle is a door. Over the past year, I’ve been hitting it and working up the courage to take the door out. So, I can do it without the door now.

“In trail riding, you have to be present, or you’ll end up face down.”

Photos: Matt Stetson

aley Smith has been with Norco for six years. It’s been her home since she started riding competitively. In a sense, she and the team have grown together. In , the focus moved from more domestic events, such as Canada Cups, to World Cups abroad. Smith had a good  season. She finished third at nationals behind Emily Batty and Catharine Pendrel. Smith was pleased that even though those riders were ahead of her, she didn’t fade behind them as the race progressed. At worlds, she finished th. This year, there’s Commonwealth Games, her first major multi-sport event. In the fall, Smith hopes to return once again to the world championships.


Tell me more about that. I had been developing anxiety problems when I was eight years old. When I was in ninth grade, the anxiety became about three things: sleep, perfection and food. The food progressed until I had to be hospitalized for anorexia. Afterwards, I had outpatient therapy, but I didn’t find that helped me very much. I didn’t really start to get better until I started to mountain bike. My aunt also started taking me to yoga. Mindfulness is a pretty key part of a yoga practice: being present with your breath. I don’t know if I called it mindfulness at that point. Probably, when I went to university, I started to call it mindfulness and to learn other techniques.

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Canadian, 2018 Buyer's Guide


Canadian, 2018 Buyer's Guide