This Czech Woman Makes Your Wheelie Look Lame

22 year old Nicole Frýbortová from Czechoslovakia can do things on a bicycle you’ve never imagined.

Nicole Frýbortová – EMS Cup Performance

Nicole Frybortova is an “artistic cyclist,” a sport that has been around in some form for over a hundred years.

According to Wikipedia:

Artistic cycling is a form of competitive indoor cycling in which athletes perform tricks (called exercises) for points on specialized, fixed-gear bikes in a format similar to ballet or gymnastics. The exercises are performed in front of judges in five minute rounds by singles, pairs, four- or six-man teams.

The first men’s world championships were held in 1956, the first women’s in 1970.

Visit Nicole Frybortova’s Website

The Lightest Bicycle in the World?

It wasn’t long ago when Pantani rode a sub 16 lbs bike (aluminum no less!) that astonished the cycling world, and if I recall correctly, ushered in a minimum weight limit shortly after.

15 years later and bike technology and material has come a long way. Now German lightweight wheels specialist, AX-Lightness, has built a frameset and adorned it with their components to produce a bike that weighs a feathery 9 lbs! It’s quite a looker too.

Now there are lighter bikes, but those are one-offs, usually not economical, and are not available for the mass market.

The Lightest Bike in the World? The AX-Lightness Vial Evo Ultra

New Books, New Gear

There’s new goodies in the store, have you checked it out lately?


SRAM’s eTap Simplifies the Shift

Mastering Your Mindset for Improved Cycling Performance

A quick follow up to yesterday’s post on mindset…. Out soon, a promising new book on maximizing performance with your mind. It’s available for pre-order now, check it out:

How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering the psychology of mind over muscle by Matt Fitzgerald

SRAM Simplifies the Shift


When you think about it, shifting gears on a bike is confusing as heck, levers work differently depending on whether you shifting front chain rings or rear sprockets. That made sense given the mechanical and human constraints. Electronic shifting has removed those limitations yet shift logic remained the same. Until now.

VeloNews reports on the simple intuitiveness of SRAM’s new eTap shift logic versus traditional shifting:

Shimano: On the right side, press the bottom paddle for a harder gear and the upper button for an easier gear. On the left side, push the upper button for a harder gear, and the lower paddle for an easier gear.

SRAM eTap: Press the right button for a harder gear, the left button for an easier gear, and both for a front shift.

Source: SRAM’s  eTap: Shifting Finally Makes Sense

Read SRAM’s announcement on the new technology:

Introducing SRAM’s Red eTap

Mindset in Cycling: How to Manage Your Mind for a Five Star Ride

Mind matters.

Due my workload I almost skipped my lunch run today, but I like to keep it as the one sacred constant in my day, so I headed out for the trail. But it was tough, I had low energy and that sapped my enthusiasm.

My thoughts turned to a couple of friends I lost earlier this year, each had a passion for life and a great sense of humor. I had no doubt they would relish being in my shoes, no matter how bad I thought my day was. As someone once said, every day above ground is a good day.

Trail run in Altra Lone Peak 2.0My mood changed, the tiredness was not gone but it was forgotten, pushed aside and impotent. I chose to ignore it. I picked a work problem to solve, took a few deep breaths, soaked in the sunlight and dancing shadows, then ran on with the purpose of clarifying my problem and coming up with a solution.

I had a good run. I didn’t definitively solve my problem, but I do have some promising options to try.

As I’ve said before, mindset is everything, almost. There’s the matter part too, but…

Mindset motivates, you can climb skyscrapers!Mindset makes or takes… your energy, your motivation, your purpose.

In bike racing it’s commonly said that training is 90% physical, 10% mental; but racing is 90% mental.

The strongest rider often doesn’t win, because some other guy or gal wanted it more, and was prepared to dig deeper, and deeper… until everyone else cracked.

With that preamble (I promise to be brief tomorrow!) here’s a good article by pro triathlete and performance coach Danelle Kabush on some tricks to gain control of your mind to have a more successful ride:

Train Your Brain to Survive the Ride

BTW, her last tip, on how you’re lucky to be riding in the rain… I’d go further. I used to relish cold, rainy days, because most cyclists would take the day off, and I knew it was a day to make marginal gains on them. It’s not so much how much you do, but how much more you do than them.

There’s no one big thing you can do, but consistency in doing *every little thing* that you can do… pays off big.

P.S. For a good movie on the power of the mind, watch “Touching the Void.” It’s on Neflix, and it’s a true story, the dramatized documentary with interviews with the two key characters involved. When you think you’re having a hard time on the bike, or a bad day, you’ll have a very vivid and concrete example of what a bad day really looks like.

You might also like…

Mindset in CyclingHow Bad Do You Want It?Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle
– by Matt Fitzgerald

Get practical, actionable guidance that you can use every day, to enjoy more success in sport and in life.

Gadget Gives You Watts and Guards Your Chain

There’s a ton of new tech coming out from every corner of the world, often similar ideas in various forms, but this one’s a new one to me.

Scottoiler System

Automatic Bicycle Chain Lubrication SystemScottoiler Systems have made automatic chain lube systems for motorcycles, now they’ve made one for bicycles. This device clamps to your seat tube and continually lubes your chain as you ride.

The big benefit? Besides keeping your chain cleaner and lengthening its life, they say there’s a power boost as well.

“Dr Florida-James found on average a 5% increase in power output when using a Scottoiler automatic lube system with cyclists taken previously used bicycles onto a moving treadmill.”
– Dr Florida-James, quoted on

This video explains all (though like me you might need subtitles to follow along)

What do you think? An increase of 5% in power output is not to be sneezed at. On 300w that would bump you up to 315w.

Some other things to think about…

Do you regularly ride long? The 4-5 watt gain is toward the end of longer rides of 3-4 hrs. How much added weight will you be carrying? How much will the refills cost? Do you need another gadget that takes batteries? Will your competitors refill it with Superglue?

When it hits the market in 2016 it will cost around $150.

Learn more:

Bicycle Upgrade and Maintenance
Made Easy

There’s no doubt that maintaining your bike properly will save you both watts and dollars over the long run (not to mention ensure you catch any safety issues early). As always, my friend Dave stands by ready to teach you the insider tricks of the pros.

Lee Fancourt Update, Vuelta, Five Quick Bike Fixes

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily.” –Zig Ziglar

Lee Fancourt’s Land’s End-John O’Groats-Land’s End Attempt (LEJOGLE)

Lee Fancourt needs no additional motivation. If you remember he was trying to break the record for crossing the length of the UK and back (south-north-south). Unfortunately he had to call it quits on Thursday last week when he became ill and could not keep anything down. His attitude… hey it happens, I’ll be back next year.

BTW, his story is quite incredible. He’s a former boxer and runner but knee problems meant switching to the bike in 2011. He was told he’d never be able to ride long distances. Well he’s already done some incredible ultra endurance feats (including riding around the world).  Learn more about him at

Vuelta Espana

Well the Vuelta started on Saturday and they’ve already hit the mountains! And there’s some controversy as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) gets ejected for catching a tow with his team car following a crash. As you’ll see from the video below, it’s quite a tow. Why not just get in the car?


Five Common Bike Repairs

Bicycling magazine covers five common bike fixes that you can easily do yourself:


Never pay for bike repairs again…

With the DIY Bike Repairs video course, you will save a bundle, and never be stumped by a bike repair again. This complete video course  of bicycle repairs covers everything, from major upgrades to minor maintenance work.

This professionally shot course is put together by pro bike mechanics, and is packed with insider’s tips and short cuts.

The course comes with lifetime updates and a money-back guarantee, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.

Get the DIY Bike Repairs video course

Treadmill Desks and Exercise Desks

Exercise. I prefer to fit it in during my day, either a morning or lunch ride or run. By the end of the day, my motivation has been sapped, it’s just that much harder to hit the road and workout.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait until the end of the day when you’re tired and it’s getting dark to get your daily exercise in… you can run, ride or walk while you work.

Today there are quite a few options, from treadmill desks, to cycling desks, to under desk pedal systems and desks that clamp to your bike bars.

The Atlantic has an interesting article on the trend, and some scary health facts about sitting. As James Hamblin of The Atlantic has said, “Sitting is the new dying.”

Bicycle Desks: Better Than the Gym

The FitDesk 2.0 - exercise while you work, work better, get in extra workout time! “Research has found excessive sedentary time to be a risk factor for many physical and psychosocial health outcomes including mortality, obesity, cardiometabolic-disease risk, cancer, stress, depressive symptoms, and poorer cognitive function.

Moreover, Carr says that research has shown that this relationship cannot be ‘exercised off’: The negative effects of sitting all day aren’t cured by regular exercise.

The study found that those who pedaled more reported improved concentration at work, suggesting there are productivity gains to being active at the office.”

Read the full article at The Atlantic – Bicycle Desks: Better Than the Gym

7 Great Treadmill Desks and Exercise Desks

How Two Tiny Centimeters Unlocked 500 Miles

Reader Brian F tells a story that dramatically illustrates the potential power or destructiveness of a bike fit, and how little adjustments can have major effects. 1500 miles in to a 2000 mile bike tour he faced defeat due to unbearable pain…

“We had already done about 1500 miles, but I started to develop saddle sores. I spent almost two entire days coasting and standing because I couldn’t bear to pedal while sitting. I was resigned to having to take a bus for the last 500 miles of the trip, which was a completely demoralizing thought. About four in the morning I woke up in my tent and said out loud, “Lower the seat.” A couple of hours later I lowered the seat by about 2 cm. and I was good to go. It was like a miracle.

Don’t you love the way his mind figured it out while he was sleeping?

Speaking of bike fit and saddle sores, I had the hardest time finding a saddle that was comfortable. I used to ride quite a bit, up to 40-50 miles was no problem, but a couple of days a week I’d do 90 miles, and occasionally I’d do 120-150.

It’s those long rides that revealed the weakness in a saddle for me… and frankly scared me a bit as I started experiencing lingering numbness and pain.

Finally I found one that worked, here’s the saddle that saved my butt.

Saddles are a very personal thing, but if you’ve had issues and are not quite satisfied with your saddle, I recommend giving this one a try.

Bicycle Fit: Nailing Your Saddle Height

One of the critical elements in a good bike fit is saddle height, get it wrong and you can put undue strain on your knees and be in for a world of hurt.

When I had just started cycling, maybe 6 months, I somehow talked my wife into doing the MS150.

Crazy bicycle fit with high saddleI signed us up for the extended version which turned out to be 107 miles on day one. Around about 80 miles my knees started to feel fragile, like they were eggshells and cracking. It was almost unbearable, I only got through it with the help of painkillers.

The painkillers worked wonders and we completed the ride, all 187 agonizing miles of it. My wife has never let me forget.

I learned a valuable lesson; it’s so not so much about the bike, or the rider, but the marriage of the two.

When I bought that first bike, some kid in the bike shop had set me up, and sent me to circle the parking lot a couple of times. “Perfect,” I said. I was clueless.

My next bike was built by a veteran mechanic on the pro circuit, and a bike fitting fanatic… what a diffeence. That bike was a part of me. It still is. Fourteen years later I’m still riding it, it’s my trainer bike.

So how do you stop your knees from feeling like they’re about to shatter? Here’s a quick video on how to get that crucial saddle height right.

How to Set Your Saddle Height Just Right

Click the link below to watch the short video with tips on getting your seat height perfect:

Lee Fancourt Tackles the Land’s End to John O’Groats and Back

Lee Fancourt is attempting to break the Land’s End to John O’Groats and back record, a distance of 1776 miles

The route starts from Land’s End, the southern tip of the UK and goes up to the northern most tip of Scotland.

The current record was set in 2010 by Ben Rockett (see the video below) and stands at five days, 21 hours 8 minutes

According to Cycling Weekly:

Fancourt comes into the challenge on the back of cycling through seven European countries in the space of 24 hours, finishing last Monday.

His trip took him through Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and saw him cover 323 miles in the day.

Full Story:

You can follow Fancourt’s ride on his website

Ben Rockett’s Record: Land’s End to John O’Groats and Back, 1776 Miles

Related:  50 Places to Bike Before You Die