Velo Magazine — August 2014

  • By Spencer Powlison
  • Published Aug. 1, 2014
  • Updated Aug. 1, 2014 at 12:36 PM EDT

Lennard Zinn takes a look at the evolution of cycling technology in the August issue of Velo

The Velo tech crew heads to the wind tunnel to test four wind-cheating aero road bikes.

Find the right power meter to improve your training. The August issue of Velo takes a look at eight options.

How has Strava changed the sport of cycling? Take a look inside the wildly popular app in the August issue of Velo .

For the first time ever, Velo dedicates an entire issue to the science of cycling. The August edition of the magazine tackles a range of topics, all of which focus on finding a few more watts, a couple extra seconds, or a little quicker recovery to improve performance.

Science takes on its most tangible form in the equipment that makes the sport possible. Lennard Zinn looks at the evolution of bicycle technology, paying special attention to how the use of carbon composites has grown and evolved.

Velo‘s team of testers then takes the newest incarnations of carbon technology — four aero road bikes — into the wind tunnel and onto the roads to determine which has the right blend of science smarts and practical speed.

Naturally, the magazine’s tech team was quite busy with the Science Issue. They do a round-up of eight different power meters, and Caley Fretz digs into the thorny issue of disc bikes in the professional road peloton for this month’s VeloNotes.

Beyond bikes and things you bolt onto your bike, the world of science and technology now extends to apps and websites, which is why Ted Burns takes a look at “The Strava Effect,” and what the era of big data will mean for cycling.

But remember, behind any piece of technology, there’s a keen human mind at work. In this issue, Matthew Beaudin talks to Sky’s David Brailsford and Garmin’s Robby Ketchell, and Andrew Hood interviews Andrew Talansky after his Dauphiné victory. Sky and Garmin are both on the cutting edge of science and technology, and their teams wouldn’t be the same without that attention to detail.

Though you can buy the perfect aero bike, stay up to speed on Strava, and futz over marginal gains, one of the most important variables in the science of cycling — your physiology — is much harder to change. Trevor Connor determines the optimal balance between power and weight, comparing Stijn Vandenbergh and Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). He also examines the limiting factors for peak performance, such as VO2max, lactate threshold, and tactics.

Lastly, any conversation about science in cycling wouldn’t be complete without speaking of doping. Fortunately, anti-doping agencies are starting to use genetics to help in the fight against cheats, and Michael Puchowicz, M.D. explains how that is possible.

Pick up the latest issue of Velo at your local bookstore, bike shop, or in the Apple iTunes store. Subscribe online.

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Spencer Powlison

Spencer Powlison

When it comes to bike racing, Spencer is a jack-of-all-trades. He loves pinning on a number, whether it’s in a local criterium, a mountain bike enduro, a cyclocross national championship, or a gran fondo. Name any cycling discipline, and more likely than not, Spencer has ridden or raced it. He has been lucky enough to work in the bike industry for the majority of his adult life, from his time turning wrenches in a Vermont bike shop to his five-year tenure at the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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