Tuesday
Jul052016

SPECIALIZED AUDAX SHOE REVIEW

The Specialized AUDAX cycling shoe, not named after St Audax the third century saint who was martyred, but after the long distance road cycling events.
Why the AUDAX ? AUDAX cycling is generally known as being long distance which means spending a long time on the bike and on the pedals.
 
Bring on the AUDAX shoes designed for all day riding, for those who of course have the time to ride all day. Designed with Specialized's anatomical Body Geometry carbon sole support which is known to increase efficiency, optimise hip, knee and ankle alignment as well as provide incredible comfort. This we all know from other such Specialized shoes however the sole is slightly wider on this version than on some of the previous shoe models.
Then the shoe upper is the most dramatic change. The material is a supple micromax synthetic leather, ventilated to keep the foot cool in warmer climates, unlike our current weather. A good pair of shoe covers or Velotoze will take care of that until the temperature begins to rise again. As opposed to some previous Specialized shoes, the AUDAX also has a low profile heel which is remarkably still secure and supportive.
The reason for the lower cut heel is to ensure there is no restriction or pressure on the achilles for those with full ankle motion in their pedal rotation.
 
So most importantly, how do they ride ? To be honest it is a diffuclt product to review as, once the shoes were on and the pedals started turning, l never gave the shoes another thought ! They fit so well and were so comfortable that after four decent rides in them, there is not much to report because the shoe performed flawlessly. No discomfort whatsoever, no too tight across the top, no digging in the toes, no too narrow across the toes, no heel cup pushing against the heel, no inner shoe rub against the arch of the foot and certainly no flexing of the sole out of the saddle up hills.
I cannot recall ever transitioning into a pair of shoes so easily in all the years of cycling. The one BOA dial made setting the tension simple and the two velcro straps were just set and forget. These shoes certainly have achieved their goal of being a "ride all day pushing the limits" type of shoe and at the end of ride you are not even in a hurry to take them off.
 
8/10 for the AUDAX shoes as they are still not as light as the S Works shoe and, although l didn't have an issue, not as stiff in the sole. For those who do not have the budget for an S Works shoe, this is the one to get and available in White, Black and Candy red !

 

Thursday
Mar172016

VENGE VIAS PRO Bike review

SPECIALIZED VENGE VIAS REVIEW – FINALLY

After four months of waiting, finally the VENGE VIAS PRO is here and ready to go.

You can take as much of the wind tunnel, wattage reduction, reduced wind drag, better at yaw angles, on a 36 degree day, at 50 kilometres per hour, if you hold your head slightly to the left at 93 psi on an indoor velodrome test riding data as you want and review it until the cows come home. But, what does this all mean to the mere mortal wanting to ride a road bike and get performance benefits and a quality ride ?

 

Well, all of this data still means exactly that to a mere mortal. The bike is very, very fast, whether you are going at 50 kilometres an hour or only going at 30 kilometres per hour, all of these little details still have an influence on the bike's performance.

After three solid test rides, taking in some dubious and questionable road surfaces, the VENGE VIAS ticks all the proverbial boxes.

 

The first thing l noticed and was pleasantly surprised by was how smooth the bike is. Aero bikes have a reputation of being very harsh in their ride, not so the Venge, it is very compliant.

(Just to make sure how much the amazing S Works tyres influenced that ride quality, l also tested the bike with some ZIPP wheels paired with Conti tubulars in and the ride was still extremely smooth)

 

Great, that's a relief, a smooth ride, now the next test, with a crosswind as little 5 kph will l be riding at right angles like l am riding through Fiji during a Hurricane ? Not the case, even with the ROVAL CL64 deeper rims in the bike, my sub 60 kg frame was not being blown around at all into the crosswinds of about 12-14 kph. All that work and development into frame shape and design as well as rim aerodynamics on the Roval CL64's has paid off big time to ensure the bike remains stable and wind gusts have no more effect on the bikes handling than on my regular round tube bike frame. Another box ticked off and another great sigh of relief. Although l am not prepared to test it during a hurricane in Fiji.

 

From there, give the bike a little bit of stick to see what happens and yep, it accelerates, very, very quickly and then it was no problem whatsoever to hold and maintain speeds of 36-38 kph. To clarify, when l say no problem, l mean not as tough as on my normal round tube shaped bike, l'm not that fast. With the aerodynamics of the Venge frame, it's handlebars and front end combined with the CL64 Roval wheels, the bike held it's speed with no where near as much effort as it takes for the regular frame bike which is exactly what you expect from a bike like this.

 

Next stop, handling. The first few corners on the Venge l did have to readjust my line, but not in a bad way. This thing corners so incredibly well that there is nowhere near as much effort required to duck through a corner and maintain speed. In the third ride on the bike, whilst with a fast race group going through a corner, l found myself in an unusual position, well out in front ! As we went through a left turn several other riders had to slow to maneuver their machine through it when l just had to point the Venge and it did all the rest. Whilst on the subject of handling, there has been some conjecture over the braking power or quality of the proprietary aero brakes virtually built into the Venge VIAS frame. They are no Shimano XT Disc brake but they certainly do not lack power or performance. Like any bike component or any brake, they need correct adjustment, brake pad alignment, brake pad/rim compatibility and they stop you just like any other good quality caliper road brake. Another sigh of relief as yet another rumor about this fast bike is put to bed.

 

With the Roval CL64 Wheels the bike comes in a little heavier than road bikes in it's class at about 7.5 kgs. I am in a fortunate position that if plan on doing a hilly ride, l can change wheels and bring that down to about 6.9 kgs which is mentally far more appealing. That all said, the bike feels like 7.6 kg to pick up, but accelerates like a bike that is 6.5 kgs, there is no penalty in performance by a little additional weight which is probably due to the specific cable routed head stem and integrated brakes.

 

This bike is an amazing weapon and what l find most remarkable, it does not have to be only for the elite racer. Let's face it, everyone wants to go fast, they won't say it to your face, they won't tell their bunch riding mates, but most cyclist's are competitive and want to go fast. Due to the smoother than expected ride, incredible handling and bike geometry, this bike can be for everyone. What l mean by geometry is that bikes of this nature are generally far lower in the front that the geometry of an endurance road bike. Specialized have realised that riders need the bikes to accommodate their bike fit and body positions and so have left a lot of fork steerer tube and spacers protruding from the head tube of these bikes. This extra height, combined with the 2.5 cm rise in the Aero handlebars, means that the bikes can pretty much accommodate any road riders bike fit and body position, making this bike far more user friendly and open for any cyclist to take advantage of it's unrivaled aerodynamics, speed, compliance and handling.

 

This bike feels amazing to ride and a unique sight to look down and see totally clean bars, stem and frame due all of the cables being internal routed through the bars and stem. A feeling you only really have previously experienced with a track bike or a fixie bike.

 

If we had to star rate this bike, it would have to be 10 out 10. Fortunately we don't have to star rate it so let's just say that this thing is amazingly fast !

 

 

 

 

 

Monday
May042015

Regular Ride Events

At The Full Cycle we hold and participate in several regular rides and events of all descriptions. Contact the store for more details on 0260414181

MONDAY Beginner Road Group Ride.

WEDNESDAY Mountain Bike Ride.

Veledrome Ride.

SATURDAY Group Road Ride.

SUNDAY Group Road Ride.


 

Thursday
Apr302015

BE ONE WITH YOUR BIKE - BODY GEOMETRY FIT

Here is some insight on how to be one with your bike at Body Geometry Fit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Lgr5kD36cM

Thursday
Apr302015

SKRATCH LABS FRUIT DROPS COMING SOON

SKRATCH LABS PLANTS CHEWY FRUIT DROPS IN YOUR JERSEY POCKET

 

Built on the idea of making real food from scratch and using a properly designed sports drink to fuel your rides, even Skratch Labs realizes not everyone has the time or desire to make all their on-bike snacks themselves.

For those folks, they offer their new Fruit Drops. They’re made with glucose and fructose as the carbohydrate sources, with sodium, pectin and real fruit as the primary contributing ingredients. Missing from the list are any artificial flavors and carnauba wax, a common ingredient in other gels. Here’s why…

Flavors, sweeteners, waxes and added vitamins have the potential to cause gastrointestinal (GI) issues, which many athletes are already on the verge of experiencing during intense efforts anyway without outside help. So, Skratch kept those out and balanced the carbs in favor of glucose plus a little fructose coming from cane sugar and tapioca.

Then they added more water than usual to make them softer and less sticky than other gel chews.

Wax is typically used both for structure and to keep them from sticking together. Here, they used sugar crystals coated with fumaric acid (from apples), which should also make your mouth water just thinking about them.

Each pouch has 10 drops for 40g of carbs and 160 calories, which they say is the upper limit of what the fittest athletes can ingest in an hour when combined with their sports hydration drink. Technically, each pouch is more like two servings, and its up to you to space out the ingestion to maximize performance while reducing the likelihood of upsetting your stomach.

There’s a lengthy blog post on their website that details their reasons for the ingredients, usage guidelines and much more here