The Digital 16MM Bolex 01/28/2014
It is certainly not cheap (retailing at $3299) but the quality of the images it captures puts you right back in the glory days of film and images with an organic feel. There is a trend right now (look at what VSCO is doing) that is trying to emulate the feel of traditional film stock via “filters” put over digital images. With Bolex optics the company made famous for creating 16mm film cameras that were capable of capturing images that could be projected in theaters, the need to adopt the digital output is gone. They have taken all that optics know-how and attached it to a 16mm DCC digital censor capable of capturing RAW uncompressed footage. It kind of makes it a perfect motion camera. The whole rig has been designed to fit with other film component brands so the options for your set up are pretty incredible, and you end up with some pretty stunning RAW footage. I wonder if anyone is renting this, I would love to try it.
The Wellograph Smartwatch 01/26/2014
I personally don’t wear a smart watch or band. I am just not convinced of the accuracy of the data or the real daily use of it for me, I could do with looking at numbers a little less. In general I find wearbale technology an interesting space that seems to have new offerings every month. The design approach has mostly been to make products with a “high tec” or “athletic” look. The Wellograph watch is one of the few to invest more in a little style, and also to come up with a simple modern looking data display. It is basically an activity tracker, a heart rate monitor and a running monitor all wrapped up in one watch. It sends data live via Bluetooth to an App on your phone (both for iphone and Android) to be represented in some simple info-graphics for analysis. On the style side the watch is made from polished stainless steel and sapphire crystal, and comes with a choice of leather or nato style straps. It might well be the most stylish and wearable of its breed out there.
The Upright Hour 11/26/2013
It somehow only seems appropriate that the rules of The Hour record be benchmarked against the ride done by a rider who pretty much benchmarked the sport, Eddy Merckx. A blistering 30.175 miles in sixty minutes. A record that stood for 12 years until Francesco Moser beat it by 1.6 miles, the difference being Moser used disc wheels, bull-horn bars and an oval tubed frame, and ushered in the era of technology and aerodynamics. It was at this point the UCI decided to recognize the massive achievement that Merckx had accomplished on a “traditional” track bike and created two records, the UCI Hour, and The Best Human Effort record.
To what sounded like a very rare atmosphere Merckx made one of the sports great records to sound of polite clapping and the chants of “Eddy…Eddy…Eddy”. The shear effort that The Hour takes has humbled all those who have tried. On finishing his record breaking ride Merckx rolled into the center of the velodrome and into the arms of Ernesto Colnago and uttered “Basta (meaning enough, and remarkably close to bastard)… that’s the last time I’ll ever do the hour record. The pain was incredible… ‘. Coming from The Cannibal that is saying something. Although not really a surprise that it hurt as his preparation leading into it was a season where he won no less than fifty races, among them a fifth Milan-San Remo, a fourth Tour de France, a third Tour of Italy, a third Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a third Fleche Wallone, a second Tour of Lombardy. Not really the preparation you would expect.
It seemed the only way to beat Merckx’s record was with technology. Boardman and Obree both breaking it with both unusual and advanced bikes and positions. Merckx’s effort was later beaten by Chris Boardman on a traditional set-up by a painful 32.8ft, riding a 54 x 14 with a 160mm stem (above). The difference between the two rides comes down really to the first KM. Merckx started fast, Boardman was a little more conservative. For the next 45km they basically stayed the same. Boardman had a slight edge having Merckx’s time to beat in the final KM and was able to pull out a little extra to take the record. That record stood for another 5 years until Czech Ondrej Sosenka beat it by nearly a mile, literally, (0.707 of a mile, or 44795.5 inches) pushing a 54 X 13 gear. Unfortunately his incredible ride is somewhat tainted as he later twice tested positive for doping, although not on his record breaking ride.
So since Merckx set the benchmark in Mexico on the 25th of October in 1972 at 30.175 (if we give Sosenka the benefit of the doubt) in 42 years we have moved the record on by 0.7 of a mile. This coming season we may see two of the best chances yet to put a new benchmark on the board. Two of the best cyclists in history against the clock will make attempts to push the distance out further, Fabian Cancellara and hopefully Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins a veteran of the track, and Cancellara one of the best engines in the sport. The Hour is maybe one of the last pure “blue ribbon” records left standing in the sport. Controlled conditions and controlled technology. I can see the attraction for both riders as they enter the twilight of their careers. To have your name talked about in the same sentence as Merckx, Boardman, Moser, Indurain, Rominger, especially as a record holder will stake your place in cycling history. Now all we need is Tony Martin to create the trilogy of the modern “Clock men” to try and break it.
Epic Health Bars 02/01/2014
You ever get tired of munching on power bars when riding? Then spending the next five miles picking them from your teeth. These bars from Epic might be a very good alternative for an easy and good tasting protein infusion. They are a combination of lightly smoked animal protein (Beef, Bison, Turkey and Lamb) with added savory nuts and dehydrated fruits. Don’t make the mistake of putting these bars in the “Jerky” category, they have a much stronger flavor and the overall taste is a bit more savory. But get this, they are also low on sugar, low on carbs, Gluten free, Diary free, and no added Nitrates. Basically it is health in a wrapper. On longer rides I personally find an infusion of protein really helps, but if it is hot I find it hard to eat actual food. These bars just might be the solution. The Beef, Habanero and Cherry tastes is our favorite.
Orontas Chain Cleaner 01/26/2014
No aerosol, no chemicals, no weird hand winding machines to attach. It is a simple spray and wipe chain cleaner. Yes it takes a little more elbow and effort, but it does work. I have been trying it so far over the winter to keep the drivetrain free of sand and grit, and so far it is pretty impressive. Orontas recommends giving your chain a simple wipe every 10 Scandinavian miles (100km/60miles) to keep it running smooth, and the bottle here gives you around 1000 cleans, so it is pretty good value as well. This coupled with their Type A or Type B lube should keep things running. It just feels nice to use something that is non-toxic, biodegradable and petroleum free. Treat the bike with a little natural love.
New Year New Build 01/25/2014
The old design of Elcyclista had been with us from day one. Back then I wasn’t really sure what this was going to be other than an outlet for thoughts and some work. Since then with a lot of encouragement it has grown into creative projects, a home for photography projects from both myself and photographers kind enough to offer their images, and commentary on our sport. But the old design like a bike you have had for a few seasons, needed a freshen up. I wanted keep the feel of the original well received look, but evolve it to show off work and projects better. So here it is. There is still some production to do to get all of the photo essays back in there, they will be coming over the next week, but overall we are really happy with where it is and we hope you like it. The photo essays are now redesigned and presented in the “Journals” section. Our creative projects will be gathered together in the “Editions” section. All of our kit is available under “Team Kit” and the you can submit work ideas under “Submit“. We think the redesign is going to kick us on to the next level. Let us know what you think and if you are interested in collaborating on a project hit the submit or contact button.
A special thanks to Alex the “King Of Code” who made this a very easy process and built it so a code illiterate fool like me can use it.