Issue No. 776 - Since 2001! - August 31, 2017    PDF


Produced every Thursday by RBR Publishing Co. Inc. for roadies around the world. ISSN 1536-4143

Your Weekly Dose of the Best in How-To Road Cycling Info


Tips for Moving from Mid-Compact to Compact

By Jim Langley  RBR reader Andrew K. wrote us recently about a topic that rings true for many of us as we get older but still want to be able to do the "big rides" we've done for years. Andrew wrote: "As I age, I feel the need to go from a mid-compact to compact gearing to participate in some gran fondos. Would you consider discussing changing chain rings and implications for needing to adjust the derailleur, chain, etc? I specifically use a Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed groupset."

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Showstoppers: Physical Ailments, and How to Overcome Them

By Coach John Hughes  Two weeks ago I introduced the concept of a “showstopper.” A showstopper is anything that causes you to interrupt your season, not do an event or to stop an important ride before you’re ready to stop the ride. Here’s a personal, very painful example. I went to the ER at Mercy Medical in Durango, Colorado, less than 1,000 miles into the 1994 Race Across AMerica. They peeled down my shorts, looked at my butt and said, “Your race is over. You have second-degree burns on your buttocks.” 

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Be Prepared to Help Your Fellow Cyclists

By John Yoder  As a cyclist, I frequently learn something from my rides, and some events teach me several lessons. That was the case when I was riding my mountain bike on the shoulder of a busy two-lane highway in my hometown, Goshen, Indiana. As I scanned the road ahead, I noticed that a cyclist had fallen about 100 feet in front of me. As I got closer, I could see that she was a middle-aged woman dressed in work clothes. When I reached her, she was kneeling on the ground and holding up two hands with numerous cuts on them from her fall. Her one-speed bike with a large basket on the handlebars lay nearby.

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2 Premium Members Tell Why They Support RBR

Editor's Note: I – and the regular voices that come to you each week in RBR Newsletter – are certainly not in it for the money. We're doing our little bit to support cycling in the best way that we can. But we can't do that without you. Our Premium Members – and their financial support – are the lifeblood that keeps RBR going. In their own words, here's why 2 Premium Members support us with a few dollars annually. We hope you'll consider doing the same.—John Marsh

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Great New Giveaways!

RBR has some great prizes to give away to some lucky Premium Members. It's something we do as often as we can. Here's what we've got for you right now:

• 1 free USA Cycling RIDE PLUS Membership (value: $150; click the link to read about this great new cycling roadside assistance program from USA Cycling) 

• 5 20% Off Coupons for a MELD Body-Customized Road Bike Saddle (value: $50 - $65 each; click the link to read my recent review of the MELD Custom Saddle)

• Bonus "Bigfoot Prize! A brand new pair of gorgeous white Fizik R1B Uomo Road Shoes (value: $400; click the link to read our review)

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Shimano Syncro Shift – Advanced Shifting Technology

By Mitch Rosset  According to Shimano’s website, Syncro Shift “gives riders the simplicity of a 1x11 drivetrain, with the gear range and gear steps of a 2x11 drivetrain by utilizing a single gear shifter (or two shifters, if you prefer) that can control both the front and rear derailleurs through programmable gear mapping.” That’s a lot to understand. So let me explain. And give you a quick thought to plant in your head: think of it as an automatic transmission, of sorts. Syncro Shift is Shimano's adaptation of their second-generation Di2 to allow a bike to automatically shift to advantageous gear combinations.

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Use the Correct Japanese Standard Screwdriver on Limit Screws

Today's QT is another homegrown one, from Tech Editor Jim Langley. It's probably safe to say that if Jim didn't know this, not many people do. Here's what he wrote: Thanks to the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association I recently learned that all these years I've been using the wrong screwdriver to turn the limit screws on Japanese derailleurs! It turns out that there is a Japanese screw standard (who knew?).

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Should You Take a Daily Aspirin?

By Gabe Mirkin, M.D.  Recent research shows that three years of taking aspirin daily is associated with a small reduction in heart attacks only in people who have had previous heart attacks, but not in those who had not had a previous heart attack (Clin Cardiol, May 2017). Previous studies have shown similar results (Am J Med, Feb 2015;128(2):137-43). People aged 50 to 70 are more likely to benefit from taking aspirin than those in other age groups. However, daily aspirin increases risk for bleeding in your gut that can cause stomach ulcers or into your brain that can kill you.

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