There is no question that disc brakes offer a big advantage off-road but there has been much debate if they are needed on road bikes. This debate has been fueled by the UCI’s (pro cycling’s governing body) slow approval of disc brakes on road bikes.
Now that the UCI has approved disc brakes many of the pro teams have made the transition to the technology including Trek Segafredo Pro team which will be stopping with discs at this year’s Tour de France.
The argument against disc brakes goes like this... current brakes work good enough, disc brakes are heavier (about 6 ounces per bike) and they are more expensive. Interestingly this was exactly the same "against" argument used when disc brakes were introduced in Cyclocross 5 years ago. The UCI was slow to approve, some of were slow to adopt, but once racers were winning with disc brakes they became the norm.
If you are considering a new road bike purchase, and are debating whether to get one with disc brakes, perhaps the best way to look at this is from the perspective of which brake system offers best overall system performance.
For that we should examine two other bike technologies / trends that came first that have at influenced the need for disc brakes.
In conclusion if you want to take advantage of full carbon wheels and use a wide range of tire sizes, disc brakes offer the best solution! The new normal!
Gravel bikes make up the fastest growing segment of the bike industry right and you are probably asking yourself...
What is a gravel bike?
Do I really need another bike?
Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. Maybe a better question is WHY is gravel so popular?
My theory... I come from New England where there was a dyed in the wool hard core roadie scene. But what was really thriving in recent years, as road races went away, was Cyclocross. And despite being wicked hard the cross scene was fun, fresh and challenging. Racing in mixed terrain sharpened your bike handling skills and each course added a new twist and adventure.
In the fall and winter we always trained on the quiet hilly dirt farm roads either on a road bike with fatter tires or on a cyclocross bike. As gravel races started (such as D2R2 in Massachusetts) they immediately filled up, got a buzz and this started a cult following. Cults eventually becomes mainstream and here we are...
THERE IS GRAVEL / DIRT ROADS / TRAILS / SAND in FLORIDA!
Gravel bikes are fun and open up your cycling possibilities! Think of riding 10 miles on the road to a park, then hopping on a gravel path, riding through pine needles, a little single-track and then on a beach, and then back home on the road. I did exactly this in the video below!
Getting off road is a welcome diversion from riding on a bike lane with cars flying by at 70 mph inches away. This ride (video) was in SW Florida but there is over 100 miles of gravel roads on top of the South Florida Water Management District Levee System. And I just started to explore some of the vast network of dirt roads and levee's that cross the everglades. Perhaps one day we can organize a gravel race across the everglades!
I hope I've peaked your intersted and answered "why gravel".
Here is the "what": A gravel bike is a do anything road bike. It has a drop handlebar a frame with tire clearance up to 45mm tires, disk brakes, wide gear ratio and lots of options for water bottle, rack and fender mounts. Generally the wheelbase is longer with a lower bottom bracket for increased stability for fast and bumpy descents.
Check out Trek's new Checkpoint gravel bikes. The SL 5 and SL 6 models feature carbon fiber frames and an IsoSpeed decoupler rear suspension. The ALR configurations start at $1789 and feature a light aluminum frame and a carbon fiber fork.
Visit one of our eight stores today and take a Checkpoint out on a test ride!
by Greg Pelican
Over my breakfast coffee I was thumbing through Bicycling's Buyers Guide and read a review on a Canyon road bike. It was the typical great review (it seems that all bikes they write about are awesome), but what caught my attention was the magazine's blurb about the online brand's "Perfect Position System".
Interesting, as a bike fitter I wondered how they factored in the rider's flexibility or core strength. Seat height is fairly easy to get close with a good inseam measurement, but the perfect bar height and reach are very much affected by the rider's experience, flexibility, age, core strength, and of course their anatomy dimensions.
So I went to Canyon's website to see if their "Perfect Position" matched my bike's position which I have honed over many years of riding.
First it had me pick the bike type, bike model and bike spec. Next I entered my gender, weight and 5 body measurements. There was no explanation of how to take these measurements (for example where does the torso measurement start and end) so I used the practice defined by the old "Fit Kit".
The "Perfect Position System" answer was a bike size that isn't even close to what I ride. The top tube and cockpit reach was short and the drop from the bars was extreme. The bike size was too small. My current road bike is well proportioned (see pic lower right), has a reasonable drop, especially for someone 59 years old, is comfortable and fast. There is no way I could get comfortable on the bike size which was recommended.
When finding the perfect bike size and setup, there is no substitute for a experienced bike fitter, and no substitute to getting on a real or fitting bike to determine the optimum position. I find this especially true when fitting older cyclists or riders who are coming off another type of bike such as a hybrid and buying their first road bike.
At Trek Bicycle Stores of Florida we start with taking body measurements, and then get the cyclist riding on a trainer on a real bike. From there we adjust the position based on the rider's flexibility, core strength and feedback. This often requires a stem change, and sometimes a bike size or model change before everything is dialed in perfectly. I often give posture tips and make a video of the customer riding to help reinforce the proper posture and position.
In person bike fitting is a great no-charge added value that we offer with each road or tri bike purchase. Come on in to one of our stores to truly find the Perfect Position and Perfect Bike!
True story... before I worked for Trek, I owned another brand's popular tri bike which sold for over $5000. The crazy thing is that the bottom bracket virtually stopped spinning with just 500 miles of use. It had a $25 press fit (PF30) bottom bracket with plastic cups and the plastic race that held the bearings disintegrated. I ended up upgrading to a $100 Praxis Bottom Bracket with metal cups. Problem solved.
The point is that the even though a bottom bracket is a key component to your drivetrain it is often skimped on by manufacturers and or not replaced as needed. The end result is added drag with every pedal stroke.
We have had great success upgrading customers to ceramic bottom bracket bearings from Kogel High Quality Bearings. With current Trek models this upgrade cost only $100 for the bearings plus $25 labor. Kogel offers a wide range of high quality bearings including ceramic bottom brackets to fit all bikes with prices ranging from $100 - $190.
Joaquín Herrera, our Estero Service Manager, has taking the lead in this area and introduced our stores to Kogel. He got to know the owner Ard when he worked in a bike shop in El Paso Texas in 2014. Ard went on to form Kogel.
3 Main Advantages of Ceramic Bearings (From Kogel's Website)
Take this Simple Test: Lift your chain off your chainrings and spin your bottom bracket. If it doesn't spin a few revolutions easily (see video below) think of the power and speed you are wasting. It is time to get that bottom bracket replaced and perhaps upgrade to ceramic bearings!
Email if you want to learn more or schedule an appointment!
Check out the cool time lapse video of a Kogel BB Upgrade made by John Halstead a tech in our Estero shop.
Here is one more great example of the power of cycling to help our community.
The Avalon school just 3 miles from the glitz and opulence of Naples Fifth Ave, but the students might as well be light years away.
The average family income of the student’s families is only $14,000. Fortunately, 95% of the students qualify for free breakfast and lunch which they eat at school during the week. The real problem is what happens over the weekend. Kids go hungry. This is the critical gap that the Pan-Florida Challenge fills.
Over the past three years the Pan-Florida Challenge ride has raised money to provide 3 million meals to over 2,500 children across Florida.
The aid is in the form of a “Power Pack”. A nutritious package of meals designed to sustain a child and also help feed their family over the weekend.
I volunteered to help package and hand out Power Packs at the Avalon school in Naples and was it was a moving experience. The school, teachers and kids were awesome! I came away with the feeling that school wasn’t a place they didn’t want to go to, (that was sometimes how I used to feel as a kid) but it was a sanctuary.
One of the counselors showed me a picture of one of the kid’s living conditions. It was a trailer that was damaged by Hurricane Irma. The walls were covered in mold. If the trailer was inspected it would be condemned and then the family would be living on the street.
Meeting the children and seeing their plight made this much more than a charity or a cause, it made it real for me.
The awesome Pan-Florida Challenge Organization has done an excellent job raising money and awareness to feed hungry children right in our backyard and across Florida.
I am proud to say that Trek has supported and sponsored the Pan-Florida Challenge since its inception. Besides handling Trek’s marketing and support for the event I rode and raised money last year. This March 10th and 11th Sue Fleming and I will be leading a team for Trek. We will be riding 200 miles from Naples on the gulf to the Vero Beach on the Atlantic Ocean. We welcome riders on our team and hope to field a contingent from the Segafredo-Trek Tri Club.
Please join our team, or donate to this great cause!
One of our core values is to support local cycling and our community. We want to thank you for your support of two recent local events that not only featured great rides but also supported local charities.
Trek Poker Ride
by Greg Pelican
The Trek Poker Ride was a fun event that took place on December 3rd. Tony Prater our Ft. Myers store manager came up with the Poker theme and creating a ride that tied our Ft. Myers, Estero and Naples Stores together.
The idea was to ride to each store and back and pick a card at each stop. This resulted in 5 stops (5 cards) for the out and back 80 mile trip from Ft. Myers, Estero and Naples. At the end of the day the best Poker hand (5 cards) won a gift basket worth $500. We did the same but with a blackjack hand for the a shorter 40 mile out and back route to Estero and back. We donated 100% of the entry fees to the local chapter of the United Way.
I rode on the 80 mile ride with Sue Fleming, our Naples Store Manager and some of our fast Trek Tri Team triathletes. It was a blast! We had perfect weather and a nice fast group formed working a double paceline. The best part was the food stops every 20 miles at each Trek Store (cutorsey of sponsor Wells Fargo).
Big thanks go out to the Caloosa Riders for their help in marking the route.
It was fun seeing other groups coming and going on the road and in the stores. It was like a car rally. Once back in Ft. Myers Trek Triathlete Alex Sardina won the Poker hand with 3 aces. And there was a six way tie on the blackjack hand! This resulted in each picking another card and high card winning. And the winner is... Mark Cochran!
We look forward to making this an annual event!
Check out this short video!
Irma Relief Ride Raises Over $13,000
Trek was a proud sponsor of the Naples Velo promoted Irma Relief Ride. We want to thank all the volunteers, sponsors and participants for making the event a success.
Over $13,000 to the Bonita Assistance Office and the Guadalupe Center for Immokalee.
Late afternoon on September 10th Cat 4 hurricane Irma made landfall in Naples about 20 miles south of my home.
It was surreal to watch our friends Laurie and Joe Rose's Facebook live feed as it battered South Naples. At the same time I was keeping an eye on a radar app and the Weather Channel's Jim Cantore commentating from just a few miles north of us at the Germain Arena which was being used as a shelter.
The eye of the hurricane went directly over Trek's Naples Store and then proceeded over our house and Trek's Estero store. We were very lucky but many weren't.
The next day many people didn't have power or water, and gas was scarce, but I rode my bike to our Naples store to check it out. The store had lost power and a big sign. Trees were down everywhere.
When I rode home through Bonita Springs the water was so deep on Imperial Road it was up to the middle of my bottom bracket! The hurricane had caused the Imperial River to flood. I was shocked to see a neighborhood where the water was up 4-5 feet high. Families were standing on the side of the main road huddled together.
Seeing the devastation and the displaced families that needed help touched me deeply.
As soon as I got home I called our owner Joe DuBois and explained how bad it was in Bonita Springs. I shared a vision of bringing the cycling community together with a charity ride to help those in need. He said "do it!"
Next I called Brian Hahn who owns Momentum Brewhouse in Bonita Springs. Brian is a super sponsor of our tri team and is connected with the town. We brainstormed about an event. He said why not hold it at Riverside Park right in downtown Bonita Springs. I loved the idea as the park has a great bandshell and is only a few miles from the flooded communities. I envisioned a big ride passing by the neighborhoods that needed help and coming back to enjoy live music at the bandshell, great Momentum beer and food. A cycling festival to support our neighbors in need!
This was the genesis of the Irma Relief Ride.
I reached out to Peter Simmons the mayor of Bonita Springs. Peter loved the idea and said "with all the bad that has happened, it would be great for an event like this to come and help our town".
Of course putting together an event like this quickly is not easy and we needed help and resources! I mapped out a plan for the event, and brought it to the Naples Velo board of directors who quickly got behind it and became the promoter and main sponsor.
Big thanks to graphic artist and cyclist, Kurt Larson who volunteered his time to design our logo and banners. And to Tony Renda of Renda Broadcasting who connected us with a fantastic band, the Ben Allen Band.
In a show of solidarity Naples Cyclery, the Bike Route and Trek all are supporting the event. They have donated $1350 worth of gift cards which will be used for the winners of three Strava Segments along the 50 mile route. The bike shops are also collecting donation bikes for us to give to kids and families in need.
Online registration is now open. And 100% of your entry fee will be donated to support two great local charities, The Bonita Assistance Office, and the Guadalupe Center of Immokalee.
Thanks for your support and I hope to see you at the ride! Let's show the strength of our great sport!
Trek is a proud sponsor of local clubs, teams, events and races. But more than that we encourage all of our stores to host local rides and to actively participate in the cycling community.
The Trek Taco Tuesday Ride is a great example of a collaboration between our Ft. Myers store and the Ft. Myers based Caloosa Riders. Every Tuesday night at 7 PM cyclists meet at the Trek Store for a fun two hour ride. They split into a faster and slower group, with the faster group doing a few more miles. Everyone ends at Tijuana Flats around 9 PM to share tacos and perhaps a cold cerveza. If you are new are win the Airport Sprint you even get to ring the "Taco Bell"!
Come on out and join us!
Sue Fleming, our Naples store Manager, and myself were recently in the French Alps running a cycling camp where we were acutely reminded how different summer in the Alps can be than summer in Florida.
The weather changed dramatically from temps close to 100F to a cold rain with temps in the 40's. It even snowed on the Col de L'Iseran the day after we climbed it!
This was my eighth trip to the Alps, and I've had my share of harsh New England weather, so my travel bag was full of cooler weather cycling gear. Sue and I made this little video before climbing the highest mountain pass in Europe.
It shows some of the key clothing and gear you should take when going on a cycling trip or vacation where there is the potential for rain and cool temperatures.
Visit any of our stores and our knowledgeable sales staff would be happy to help you get these items.
Enjoy the ride!
Trek's new Emonda SLR had it's debut performance at the Tour de France. It was the perfect match for Alberto Contador's beautiful fluid climbing style.
The Emonda SLR introduced in 2015 set the bar as of the lightest production frame in the world, but Trek is constantly striving to push the boundaries of technology further.
Trek's shaved 5% off the weight of the new 2018 Emonda SLR bringing the frame weight down to an incredible 640 grams! But that's not all!
Trek totally redesigned the frame not only to be lighter but to also improve the ride quality. Trek Increased the bottom bracket and frame stiffness resulting in better sprinting and descending performance. And now disk brakes are an option throughout the Emonda Line.
For 2018 Trek has two frame choices. The SLR version with super light high modulus 700 Series carbon fiber, made in the USA Waterloo facility and is available in stock configurations and custom ProjectONE offerings. The second frame option is the excellent SL version made of 500 Series carbon fiber.
The new Emonda's are also a better value! Last year's entry level S model with a 300 Series frame has been replaced with the upgraded 500 Series SL frame for the same price! And the price has decreased on the SLR frames and models as well. Check out the Emonda SL 6 which features a 500 Series Carbon Fiber Frame and Ultegra Drivetrain for only $2499.
Check out the two videos below. The first features the changes and technology used in the Emonda SLR, and the second highlights the excellent Emonda SL.
Come in to one of our eight Florida locations to test ride a new Emonda today!