Apple Releases Final Cut Pro 10.4

Timed for the sales of the iMac Pro, Apple releases Final Cut Pro 10.4 with 360-degree VR video editing, Color Grading, HDR Support and a long bulleted list of improvements. This is a huge upgrade and I’m downloading Final Cut Pro 10.4 now to my MacBook Pro. Also, cross-posting it here from the camera side of our publishing house because of the significance and we’ll use it in 2018 for even more bike-related edits.

This update means Final Cut Pro users can now edit full-resolution 8K video for the first time on a Mac. Apple is also extending 360-degree VR video support to Final Cut Pro companion apps, Motion and Compressor.

Apple said, “With more than 2 million seats, Final Cut Pro X is the most popular version of the software ever and is used by professional video editors to create incredible works of art, from award-winning Hollywood feature films and commercials, to international broadcasts and the world’s most popular YouTube videos.”

The update also includes powerful tools for professional color grading. Those include color wheels to adjust hue, saturation and brightness. Color curves allow for ultra-fine color adjustments with multiple control points to target specific color ranges, and eye droppers let users sample specific colors and apply manual white balance. Users can also apply custom lookup tables (LUTs) from popular color grading apps like DaVinci Resolve and websites including PremiumBeat, Color Grading Central and more.

It’s going to take a bit to digest all the changes and get to work with the Sony RX0 cameras, but we’re heads down on it now.

What’s New?

360 VR editing

  • Import and edit 360° equirectangular video in a wide range of formats and frame sizes
  • Output 360° video to a connected VR headset*
  • Open the 360° viewer to simultaneously monitor headset and equirectangular views while editing
  •  Option to track movement of a VR headset in the 360° viewer in Final Cut Pro
  • Add 360° effects including blurs, glows, and more
  • Share 360° video directly to YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo
  • Use the 360° patch to instantly remove cameras and rigs from the scene
  • Use the Horizon overlay to easily change the orientation of 360° video right in the viewer
  • Edit 360° video into a non-360° project and animate the pan, tilt, and zoom
  • Place any graphic, still, or video into a 360° project, then reposition and resize to fit perfectly into the 360° scene
  • Support for monoscopic and stereoscopic 360° video

Advanced color grading

  • Dedicated color tab in the inspector provides one location for all color controls
  • Powerful new color wheels improve upon traditional wheels with integrated sliders to adjust hue, saturation, and brightness
  • Color curves enable ultra-fine adjustments using multiple control points to change color and contrast
  • Hue/saturation curves let you select a specific hue or brightness level to make adjustments while leaving other parts of the image unchanged
  • Use the eye dropper in the color and hue/saturation curves to quickly sample parts of an image for adjustment
  • Balance Color command includes an eye dropper for manual white balance
  • Apply custom LUTs from popular color grading apps and sites
  • Adjust color corrections over time with precise keyframe controls
  • Speed through color correction using new keyboard shortcuts for color adjustments and role-based timeline navigation
  • Color presets are now located in the effects browser for skimmable preview and fast search

Additional features

  • Send your iMovie for iOS project directly to Final Cut Pro for advanced editing, audio work, and finishing
  • Import, playback, and editing of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC, also known as H.265) video clips and High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) photos from Apple devices
  • Send to Compressor to export video projects in the HEVC format
  • Adjust audio using effects plug-ins from Logic Pro X with redesigned, resizable interfaces
  • Support for Canon Cinema RAW Light format with additional software from Canon
  • Faster Optical Flow analysis using Metal 2
  • Support for NFS-based libraries and media
  • XML 1.7 with support for new color grading controls, 360 VR effects, and HDR

Pricing and Availability

Final Cut Pro 10.4 is available as a free update today for existing users, and for $299.99 (US) for new users on the Mac App Store. Motion 5.4 and Compressor 4.4 are also available as a free update today for existing users, and for $49.99 (US) each for new users on the Mac App Store. Education customers can purchase the Pro Apps Bundle for Education for $199.99 (US). For more information, please visit Apple’s Final Cut Pro site.

The post Apple Releases Final Cut Pro 10.4 appeared first on Bike Hugger.


Lance Armstrong Invited to 2018 Tour of Flanders

Lance Armstrong is controversially set to attend next year’s Tour of Flanders, race organizers said Thursday.

Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles won between 1999 and 2005 for a reign of doping that badly tarnished pro cycling’s credibility.

But officials for the prestigious Monument race said the 46-year-old will be an invited guest and keynote speaker at the Tour of Flanders Business Academy ahead of the April 1 classic in Belgium.

RELATED: Lance Armstrong’s Next Experiment

“Lance Armstrong is and remains a great champion,” race organizer Wouter Vandenhaute said. “I have felt for many years now that he was above all punished for his arrogance.”

The UCI, pro cycling’s governing body, said it was unwilling to comment on Armstrong’s possible return to the sport.

Armstrong has largely been shunned by the cycling world since being exposed as a doping cheat. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued him a lifetime ban in 2012.

Having denied the allegations for years, Armstrong eventually made a public confession in an interview with talkshow host Oprah Winfrey in 2013.

RELATED: Lance Armstrong Seeks to Delay Fraud Trial Until 2018

He returned to the public eye during this year’s Tour de France by commenting on the race via a daily podcast called Stages.

But Armstrong has admitted that some will forever begrudge him any role in cycling, even as a commentator.

“I don’t fight that,” Armstrong told Bicycling magazine in July. “For me to move forward, I have to say, ‘I’m sorry, I understand, but I’m moving on.’”

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Lance Armstrong55385 Source:

Review: 2017 Pivot LES

Tester: Scott Williams
Age: 31
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 175 lbs.
Inseam: 32”

When the Pivot LES first stormed bike shop floors in 2012, it was obvious Chris Cocalis of Pivot Cycles was ahead of the curve offering a hardtail with a short chainstay and slack, for cross-country standards, 69.5 degree head angle with a 100mm travel fork. The LES is more than happy being a lightweight race machine, but if you would rather get loose and really push the limits of a hardtail, you’re in luck. Cocalis designed the LES to accommodate fork travel up to 130 mm for all your chundry descending desires. The LES is kind of like the love child between a nimble NORBA cross-country race bike and a point-and-shoot all-mountain gravity slayer.

Having owned two prior-generation LES bikes and now riding this second-gen as my review bike, I’ve managed to cover a good mix of ground aboard the LES. From gravel roads and cactus-laden deserts to snow drifts on frozen ponds, the LES bounced between fully rigid, 29plus front/27plus rear, 27plus and, of course, as a 29er with knobs of all girths. The point is, at whatever task I asked it perform, the LES comfortably obliged. The LES brought me a 2nd place overall finish in the Men’s National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Marathon SS class, 3rd place SS finish at the Enduro Stage of the Trans-Sylvania Epic, served as my commuter to Dirt Rag HQ and will soon be built up as my gravel grinder with Jones bars.

The Bike

The Pivot LES can be run with or without dangly bits and a pie plate out back, and I don’t mean by tossing a creaky old eccentric bottom bracket inside the shell either. Cocalis specifically designed the Swinger sliding dropout system with indexing screws for a quiet and simple singlespeed retention system. So, naturally, for our review, I requested the Pivot LES in its simplest form, as a singlespeed. The LES is available as a frame for $1,999 and complete at various price point packages from $3,699 to $8,799. Our build was based off the Team XTR 1x package with the 120 mm Fox 34 upgrade so that I could run the Reynolds/Industry Nine 27plus wheelset. It also included XTR Trail brakes, the DT Swiss carbon 29er wheelset and Pivot’s Phoenix Component System rounded out the cockpit. Additionally, the LES came stock with a set of Race Face Next SL G4 cranks; however, during the review the pedal inserts began to delaminate from the crank arm, and after experiencing this on my personal bike last year and knowing what comes next, I pulled them off right away. Race Face promptly responded by sending its new Next R cranks as a replacement, which are a more trail oriented crankset; however, I swapped to a set of XTR cranks, and haven’t installed the replacement cranks.

The biggest change for the current LES model from prior generations is the addition of Boost spacing. Additionally, the Swinger dropout system saw a minor revision to help reduce costs associated with switching between gears and singlespeed. Prior models had two completely separate dropouts held in place by four M6 bolts. Now, with the Swinger II system, there is one set of dropouts with five M6 bolts, and you simply change the mounting hardware to go from gears to singlespeed. Other notable upgrades include full-length internal cable routing, internal Di2 integration, internal dropper routing and a reduction of 50 grams in the frame itself.

The Ride

There was some overlap time between the carbon Honzo that I reviewed in issue #198 and the LES. This opportunity proved to be a good way to truly compare and contrast the two bikes, as they are often next to one another on the new bike wish list.

Without a doubt the Honzo sits more on the trail/all-mountain side of the spectrum with its slacker head angle, shorter chainstays and longer wheelbase. In my opinion, it’s going to excel over the LES when it comes time for long, wide-open flowy descents. However, with only a single bottle mount, you’re going to need to get creative for any long days in the saddle. It’s also not a bike that I would enjoy riding a lot of gravel on, making it less versatile than the LES.

The LES, on the other hand, sits more on the everyday rider end of the market. The shorter wheelbase of the LES allows more maneuverability within tight and twisty singletrack that’s often seen here in the East Coast. The head angle is slack enough to handle the technical terrain but it’s not quite as exaggerated as the Honzo, making it more enjoyable when you are not pointed downhill. Bottom bracket height over technical trail was another big difference I noticed between the two bikes. Oddly enough, they ended up being very similar on paper, but likely due to the longer front end of the Honzo, I found myself having to be more cognizant of pedal strikes than I did on the LES. Additionally, with the LES you are given two bottle mounts within the front triangle, at least for sizes M-XL. One item that I did not like about the LES was the internally routed rear brake line. This created a lot of aggravating clickity-clacks within the top tube, so much so that I experimented with various noise reduction solutions.

Boost adds additional 27plus capabilities to the LES. The prior generation could fit a 2.8 inch tire, but it wasn’t pretty. There were paper-thin clearances with minimal rim and tire combinations that worked. Now, you can run a 2.8 on a 40 mm rim in the rear. I would advise keeping an eye out for any rubbing on the stays if you’re running 27plus and the chainstays in the shortest setting. The clearance is there, but it is closer than what I would prefer to run, especially with a wheel that has some flex to it. The 27.5 x 2.8 setup also dropped the bottom bracket height down a half inch, which was quickly noticed in technical areas of trail; even with the 120 mm up front, the roughly 12 inches of bottom bracket height was not enough. When I contacted Cocalis regarding the problem, he provided me the 17 mm lower headset cup that comes with a few other Pivot models. It helped raise the bottom bracket height back up to what felt “normal” for 27plus use, but produced unwieldy handling with the 29er wheels.


This is all about having fun, and, to me, I prefer pushing the boundaries on a hardtail versus underutilizing a full-suspension. And singlespeed, it’s a mindless “just go ride” mentality that syncs with my inner kid. This combination has served as quite the platform for improving both my fitness and technical abilities, something that I am grateful for every time I throw leg over my bike.

As I mentioned earlier, I owned two of the previous generation LES bikes, one set up singlespeed, one with gears. In fact, the only bike I owned for the last two years was the LES. After a few months and over 1,000 mixed-surface miles on the second generation, the LES continues to be the best all-around hardtail in my opinion. The bike packs on versatility for whichever end of the mountain bike spectrum you choose. Plus, singlespeed, gears, light and fast, slack and plush. Hell, it even was the bike of choice by the late Mike Hall to help him secure a Tour Divide win, twice.


Reach: 16.7”
Stack: 24.8”
Top Tube: 24.5”
Head Tube: 69.5º (100 mm fork)
Seat Tube: 72.5º
BB Height: 12.1”
Chainstays: 16.9” – 17.5”
Weight: 1,450 grams for frame and singlespeed dropouts, (22 lbs. complete)

Price: $1,999 (frame only)
Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL


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Man Found Guilty in 2009 Murder of Mountain Bike Legend Mike Rust

A Colorado jury last week convicted a man for the murder of mountain bike pioneer Mike Rust, closing the chapter on a nearly decade-long saga that upset and bewildered the cycling community.

Charles M. Gonzales, 47, was found guilty of first-degree murder for the 2009 slaying, which had set off a protracted manhunt that only ended with Gonzales’ arrest last year. The judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Rust was a towering figure in the world of mountain biking. A native of Colorado Springs, he started building bikes in his early teens and used them to tour the western states. Rust committed his life to the bicycle: He raced, worked in various bike shops, tinkered with and customized rigs, and helped design some of the earliest mountain bike trails. The lifestyle took him from place to place. He and his friends went on long, interstate rides that became the stuff of legend in adventure-cycling circles.

Eventually Rust settled in Salida, Colorado, where he co-owned the Colorado Cyclery. There he invented the first bicycle with elevated chainstays, known as the Shortie. In the early ’90s he landed in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame for his pioneering contributions to the sport and its equipment. Later he moved to an isolated solar home in Saguache County, which he filled with bike parts, model airplanes, and other curiosities. He called his property the Saguache Intergalactic Airport, since it had a literal runway to accommodate his handiwork.

READ: The Mysterious Death of a Mountain Bike Legend

One day in March 2009, 56-year-old Rust returned home to find that his house had been burglarized. He set off on his motorcycle, intending to track down the intruders. That was the last time anyone saw him. A few days later, a search party found Rust’s bloody vest along with the grip of a broken gun. (It’s unclear if Rust had taken his gun with him that day, or if it had been stolen earlier.) The following month, his motorcycle was found at the bottom of a ravine, his blood on the seat.

For seven years, Rust remained missing. His life story and disappearance became the subject of a 2015 documentary called The Rider and the Wolf.

RELATED: Beloved Mountain Biker Shot and Killed on Colorado Trail

Finally, in January 2016, investigators found and identified Rust’s remains in Saguache County, only five miles from his home. He had been beaten and shot in the head. Authorities arrested Gonzales for the murder that summer. At the time, he was in prison for an unrelated crime.

“I didn’t mean to hurt him,” Gonzales told Rust’s family members after last week’s verdict. “I am sorry for what happened to his body—that was a horrible thing to do. I will pray for the Rust family.”

A lawyer for Gonzales said his client plans to appeal the conviction.

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Mike Rust​110333 Source:

SRAM’s eTap HRD Just Might Be the Best Electronic Shifting Group

When SRAM launched Red eTap—its wireless electronic-shifting road group—in August 2015, it was a race-focused offering with mechanical rim brakes and a short-cage rear derailleur. While every story needs a beginning, it was surprising to see SRAM leave out two technologies it had helped popularize: wide-range gearing and hydraulic disc brakes. The omission was even more curious considering that drop-bar bikes have been moving away from racing and strict pavement use in favor of being more capable on unpaved roads and trails. (Find your next adventure in our book The Cyclist’s Bucket List!)

The latest version of eTap fills these holes. SRAM’s top-of-the-line drop-bar group now includes hydraulic disc brakes and wide-range gearing, increasing its versatility and appeal, and making it more relevant to today’s rider.

After six months of testing the eTap disc group (eTap HRD) with WiFLi (what SRAM calls its wide-range 11-32 cassette), I’ve come away impressed with the group’s performance.

RELATED: SRAM’s S-900 HRD Is The First Aerodynamic Disc Brake

How It Rides

At its core, this group is still Red eTap, so there’s little difference in shifting performance between eTap HRD and eTap for rim brakes.

Shifting is reliable, secure—solid engagement, no skipping, no dropped chains—and, most of the time (but not always), smooth. I love the shift paddles, which are equally accessible from the hoods and the drops. The weight and length of the throw, the volume and feel of the “click,” and eTap’s foolproof shifting pattern all make changing gears equal parts pleasurable and seamless.

My biggest complaint is shift speed. SRAM representatives say the lightest 1190 Red cassette was intentionally designed to offer extremely secure and reliable shifting—the chain will always wait for a machined shift ramp (on a lower-end PG cassette with stamped cogs, the chain will shift off of basically any tooth). Because of that, it shifts slower. When paired with SRAM’s less-expensive (and much heavier) PG-1170 cassette—or a Shimano or Campy cassette—eTap does shift a bit faster, but it’s still not as quick as Shimano’s Di2 and Campagnolo’s EPS electronic shifting. I don’t think eTap’s slower shifting will cost anyone a race win or Strava KOM, but I do believe a top-of-the-line, race-bred, electronic group should shift extremely fast. And eTap doesn’t.

Braking performance from the hydraulic discs is very good. The initial bite is gentle, and the power builds intuitively to lock-up. Lever throw is weighted well, very smooth, and the blades feel snappy. However, the brakes do make some odd gobbling and howling noises, especially when wet.

The shift/brake-lever bodies for eTap HRD are different than those on the rim-brake version of eTap, and while their size, shape, and curves are not the ergonomic masterpiece that the rim-brake bodies are, they are comfortable and well shaped. The hood covers are sticky enough for a secure grip in the wet and soft enough to provide a bit of cushion. They’re not squishy, but they do twist a bit when I’m out of the saddle, climbing, and pulling hard on the bar.

The brake-lever/shifter-paddle reach is easily customizable, and the brake lever’s dead throw (distance it travels before it moves the pads) is adjustable as well. I can set the group up exactly the way I like.

etap shift brake control
Mitch Mandel

SRAM’s wireless drivetrain has fewer things stuffed inside the frame—no batteries, wires, connections—to potentially rattle and slap. Because of this, along with eTap’s rattle-free shift/brake levers and smooth-running chain, cogs, and chainrings, the group (when set up and tuned properly) runs smoothly and quietly, with little noise or vibration invading the serenity of the ride. I love quiet bikes, and my bikes are quietest with eTap.

The Topeak Alien III can help you fix almost any mechanical:

Options Galore

There’s more to eTap than performance: The most compelling reason to choose this group may be the bigger range of options.

Shimano and Campagnolo offer only flat-mount disc calipers in their high-end groups. Red HRD is available with both post-mount and flat-mount disc calipers for cleaner and sleeker mounting on more frames. Red HRD users also get two crank-axle options, GXP and BB30 (Shimano and Campagnolo do not offer BB30 cranks). For cassettes, SRAM offers both standard (up to 11-28) and wide-range (up to 11-32) options; Shimano tops out at 11-30, Campagnolo, 11-29. SRAM makes high-end rotors for both six-bolt and CenterLock hubs; Shimano and Campy are CenterLock only.

SRAM crankset
Mitch Mandel

RELATED: 14 High-Tech Drivetrains and Brakes Spotted at the Tour de France

SRAM offers a Red power meter. Campagnolo does not. Red eTap HRD comes in more crank lengths than Campagnolo. The stock eTap group transmits gearing and battery info to head units, while Shimano requires an optional part to do the same. Getting down to the nitty-gritty: The wireless setup and the chain’s quick link make eTap much easier to install and remove than the Campy group. And SRAM continues to use five-arm chainring circles in the standard 110 and 130 BCDs, which opens up a wide array of aftermarket chainring options.

All this means eTap HRD can be built to work for you and your bike more easily than the other groups. It also means that if you do buy the group (or a complete bike with eTap) you’re more likely to be able to keep it for a while, and to move it onto different frames in the future.

The three top-of-the-line electronic shift and hydraulic disc-brake groups—eTap HRD, Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2, and Campy’s Super Record EPS—are so good, I don’t think the basis for purchasing one should be shifting and braking performance alone. Instead, weigh practical details and personal preference. For me, SRAM’s eTap HRD with WiFLi comes out on top.

eTap brakes
Mitch Mandel

etap HRD shifting​101861 Source:

Highly Visible ProViz Nightrider LED Jacket

A highly visible ProViz Nightrider jacket arrived to demo and I handed it to Pam to try on her commute. This is what she texted me on her ride into work downtown from West Seattle.

I’ve been riding in Seattle traffic since before the roads were paved. These days I take solace in a predawn commute every now and then. And, when I do I like to be lit up. Was feeling really great about my ProViz setup until I met a fellow commuter who had the matching ProViz pants!

Essentially, what ProViz has done is taken high-visiblity materials, like you’d see construction workers wear, and fit them to cyclists. The bright-yellow jacket has three white LED lights on each forearm, and five red LED lights on the lower back. The lights are powered by a small USB rechargeable battery pack housed in a tailored inside pocket. The battery pack is operated from the outside (so no need to unzip the jacket) with a touch of a button that allows you to choose from three different lighting modes; flash, fast flash and constant.

The $185 jacket is designed to have a more fitted cut and it is manufactured from polyester pongee material (thinnish), which gives great breathability and waterproofing and a high-quality feel. It’s not as breathable as a Gore, or eVent, but is serving a different purpose.

The inside soft-touch mesh is comfortable along with multiple pockets for storage; underarm zips and shoulder vents with adjustable cuffs, reflective panels and sealed waterproof zips out front.

It’s a top quality cycling jacket that’s highly visible. Now about those pants…..

Find ProViz online direct or ask for them at a retailer near you. You can also find an assortment of ProViz on Amazon; including closeout pricing on older versions of their jackets and vests.

The post Highly Visible ProViz Nightrider LED Jacket appeared first on Bike Hugger.


“They Froomey Under The Bus!”

Well, it was bound to happen:

Yes, noted asthmatic and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome

appears to have taken one huff too many


The cycling world woke up to a bombshell Wednesday: Cycling superstar Chris Froome could be facing a racing ban after urine tests revealed elevated levels of Salbutamol during the 2017 Vuelta a España.

Details were confirmed by Team Sky and later the UCI ahead of reports from The Guardian and Le Monde.

Of course the performance-enhancing benefits of Salbutamol are debatable, which means this isn’t nearly as bad as the situation with

his fellow “asthmatic” Bradley Wiggins, who was getting injections right before Grand Tours


(“Athsma” my asth.)

But it still doesn’t look good.  Here’s Froome’s explanation:

“My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor’s advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage,” Froome said in a statement. “As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose.”

Though Vincenzo Nibali says Froome’s full of it:

Well, if nothing else, this is more proof (as if you needed it) that the sport of cycling is merely a series of blood tests and that any riding of bicycles that may occur in between said tests is merely incidental.

Speaking of cheating and people who ride Pinarellos,


has a review of the new Nytro ebike:

I came for the bike but I stayed for the accent.  And it was worth it.

Anyway, you’ll no doubt recognize this as the bike that Pinarello launched with

a very poorly-received marketing campaign


While the outrage was certainly justified, it’s sort of remarkable how everyone piled on Pinarello until they withdrew the ad, yet somehow the entire self-lubricating Cipollini empire continues on unchecked:

Or to put it in more visual terms:

In any case the video is intriguing and so is

the accompanying article

–and not only because, in the age of ebikes, bottom brackets have gone from “beefy” to “vast:”

But also because it addresses the implications of ebikes:

The more I think and write about the road e-bike market the more it makes me think it’s a great idea. I’ll admit I was biased before — I was in the camp of “Pahh, e-bikes! They’re not proper bikes — they’re just mild motorbikes!” But after riding the Nytro, I’ve changed my mind. It’s a bike to help people get out and enjoy that feeling of riding further and faster than they may have been able to before.

Yep, I have about as much interest in an electric Fred bike as I do in an electric nose picker.  Nevertheless, these things are gonna be huge, no question about it.

I do, however, have a certain amount of interest in e-bikes for city use,

specifically with regard to child-hauling

, so I was curious about



While the phrase “British engineer” is almost as disconcerting as the phrase “midwestern bagel shop,” he could be on to something with this, who knows?

And finally:

Sounds great, where do I sign up?


Chris Froome Fails Anti-Doping Test

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome had twice the permissible amount of asthma medication in his system during the Vuelta a España in September, the UCI and his team revealed on Wednesday.

Pro cycling’s governing body said an anti-doping test that the British Team Sky rider took in Spain on September 7 showed more than the allowable level of 1,000 ng/ml of the drug Salbutamol in his body.

Team Sky gave more information, saying the test showed the presence of 2,000 ng/ml—twice the allowed limit—but said Froome had taken the medicine because he suffered from asthma toward the end of the race, which he went on to win.

The team insisted, however, that 32-year-old Froome had taken no more than the amount allowed under the rules.

"During the final week of the Vuelta, Chris experienced acute asthma symptoms," Team Sky said in a statement. "On the advice of the Team Sky doctor, he used an increased dosage of Salbutamol (still within the permissible doses) in the run-up to the 7 September urine test."

Sky said Froome had declared his use of the medication, adding, "The notification of the test finding does not mean that any rule has been broken."

RELATED: 7 Riders Who Can Beat Chris Froome in 2018

The UCI has asked Froome to provide more information but, in line with World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines, has not suspended him.

Froome himself said the UCI was "absolutely right" to scrutinize the test results. He said that during the Vuelta he had "followed the team doctor’s advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage."

"As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose," Froome said. "Together with the team, I will provide whatever information [the UCI] requires."

Raising new questions

Froome was notified of the test on September 20, the day he finished third in the world time-trial championship in Bergen, Norway. He has not competed since then, but has announced his intention to try to win at least two of the three big tours, in France and in Italy, in 2018.

Froome, widely considered the greatest Tour rider of his generation, is scheduled to race the Giro d’Italia next May, ahead of defending his Tour de France title in July.

Sky’s aim for next year was to have Froome enter a clique of riders who held all three Grand Tour titles at the same time, and for him to clinch a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title after his victories in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

RELATED: Could Chris Froome Win Six Tours de France?

The test is bound to raise new questions about British cycling following the scandal surrounding the only previous British Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins, over his use of so-called therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs).

It emerged that Wiggins received TUEs in order to take a corticosteroid before his three biggest races in 2011, 2012, and 2013, including his 2012 Tour de France win.

Wiggins and Sky have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying the drug was prescribed to treat a longstanding pollen allergy.

In 2008 Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi was given a 12-month ban and stripped of five stage wins in the 2007 Giro d’Italia despite having a TUE for Salbutamol, having also exceeded the limit.

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Chris Froome 2017 Vuelta a Espana ​55385 Source:

Bike Build Ideas: Winter Road Bike

by Igor

Now that we’ve had our first snowfall of the year, I’m seeing an influx of social media posts showing riders dragging their winter bike out of the shed/garage/stack of other bikes.

Thermos’, great for keeping coffee hot as well as bikes upright

While winter bikes are frequently under-appreciated, each part and accessory is chosen and built with under-appreciation in mind. That is, if your chain gets rusty from the salt and sand mixture on the road, it isn’t a big deal – just get another cheap one and ride the bike. Tire shredded from debris after a big melt? There’s another hanging in the shed, aging. So what if the color doesn’t match?

The biggest difference between a winter bike and a not-winter bike is the meticulous curation of components and accessories to give you maximum enjoyment without breaking the bank with upkeep.

First, make sure your steel frame (do they make other kinds?) is frame-saver’d. Our frames are prepped out of the factory, but if you have an older frame and fork, or don’t know if it has been done, it’s worth the afternoon and do it before building it up.

Sometimes you just need a reminder

Most obviously: fenders. Full coverage fenders are a must-have for winter and the rain. They’ll keep you, your drivetrain, and, more importantly, your riding buddies clean and happy. If you’ve ever ridden behind someone without fenders during a rainstorm, you know what I mean. No one likes road grime to the face. I’ve selected the 700c Facetted Fenders for this build – they’re a favorite of mine. I’ve also added a low-hanging mudflap on the front to protect my feet against stray washouts.

I’ve selected a few components that are cheap, plentiful, and have been serving me well for years. They come with the added benefit of cheap chains and cassettes, so I don’t feel bad dropping a few dozens of dollars on a basic Shimano 10 speed cassette and KMC chain.

To stop in the slop, disc brakes are a must. You’ll never worry about frozen pads and rims like on rim brakes and disc pads only get more bite when they’ve got road junk in them. These cable actuated Spyres are really good. Hydros are better, but I’m not really into messing with hydraulic brakes.

As the sun gets lazier and the days get shorter, lighting is even more important. Winter bikes need to have integrated lighting, at least in the front. I have a cheap and surprisingly not bad light up front matched to a Shutter Precision disc hub. For the rear, I have a bunch of reflective gear and a very bright blinking light with extra batteries in the saddle bag.

Truthfully, I’d be happy to ride this on a warm Spring day or on a blustery December morning like today, so I don’t really know if it is a true "winter bike". I think it’s simply a great road-ridin’ bike to just hop on and explore backroad twistys and climb some hills regardless of the weather.

Do you really need to have a winter specific bike? What makes it special for you?


P.S. There are only a few days left in our 20% off Winter Sale! Source:

IMBA announces nine new EPICS for 2017

The International Mountain Biking Association has announced its 2017 class of IMBA EPICS, consisting of nine trails and trail systems in the United States and beyond.

IMBA EPICS are defined as “demanding, mostly (at least 80%) singletrack trail experiences in a natural setting that are technically and physically challenging, at least 20 miles in length, and denote a true backcountry experience.” These are “bucket list” rides nominated by local riders and serve as inspiration for “bucket list” adventures.

There are now 46 EPICS in all regions of the U.S., as well as Australia, Canada, Finland, Iceland New Zealand and Wales.

IMBA says, “The new class of IMBA EPICS range from a 50-mile backcountry ride in New Zealand that winds its way through remote valleys, across mountain tops and down river gorges and should only be attempted by experienced, self-sufficient riders; to the well-loved and well-known Tsali Loops along North Carolina’s Fontana Lake.”

Heaphy, New Zealand IMBA EPIC

Here are the 2017 designees:

Aspen Snowmass Mega Loop, Aspen, CO
Galena Grinder, Sun Valley, ID
Heaphy Track, Nelson, New Zealand
Johnson Pass, Kenai Peninsula, AK
Mohican State Park MTB Trail, Loudonville, OH
Old Ghost Road, Nelson, New Zealand
Sininen Saavutus Trail, Hossa National Park, Finland
South Boundary Trail, Taos, NM
Tsali Loops, Bryson City, NC

Aspen Mega Loop IMBA EPIC in Colorado

More information about all IMBA EPICS can be found here.


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