We are really proud of Emily Zinn for earning her silver medal at the State cyclocross championships in castle rock this weekend. Way to go Emily. She has been training hard this season on her custom Zinn magnesium #cyclocross bikes, and her hard work has paid off. Good luck at Nationals, Emily. We love you! http://ow.ly/i/7YMPi
Here is a common question about using long cranks on a bike that has a standard height bottom bracket:
CUSTOMER QUESTION: Lennard; I’ve taken my Medici to the bike shop to have the cranks replaced. I believe the bottom bracket is 10 1/2 inches from the deck. I believe the old cranks that come off of it were 175 mm and are still in the shop. I’d consider getting longer ones. What length would you say are “safe” with that bracket height?
Well, the conventional wisdom for a racing bike is that you not put longer than 175mm on that bike.
The question of “safe” is an individual one dependent on how you will ride the bike.
I would strongly advise against using cranks any longer than 200mm with that bike.
I’ve ridden bikes with a 267mm BB height like that Medici has with 200mm cranks for years without problems, and we have plenty of customers doing the same thing. But given that the bike we built for you has a higher BB to clear for the long cranks, you would have to ride the Medici differently than you ride the Zinn, were you to put longer than 175mm cranks on the Medici.
My own personal feeling is that, if you’re not racing, there is no reason to pedal as far into a corner or to start pedaling so soon out of it that you would hit with a crank as long as 200mm. But you have to take the reduced pedaling clearance into account and make sure you don’t have your pedal down in corners.
On the other hand, at your age, and, particularly given your recent broken hip, you don’t want to risk falling off of your bike, so I’d recommend being very careful about what you choose. If there are places you ride, like off-camber straight sections and wide corners, where you think there’s a risk of pedaling when the bike is leaned relative to the road, I’d recommend you stick with 175mm or maybe 180mm.
My brain doesn’t work the same way as other people’s when it comes to having fun, which is why I was delighted when I woke up before the sun on Saturday to inches of snow and temperatures that hadn’t yet hit the teens. The company I work for, Challenge Tires, was the presenting sponsor of the race, so I got to enjoy the crazy day from dawn until dusk in an expo tent with a propane heater and brewing hot cyder to keep me company as I reminded people all day long that in cyclocross, tires win races.
The other people that made it out have the same types of brains as I do and were already high on the endorphins of numb digits. On the start line we sang an enthusiastic rendition of “Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya to Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama…” to go with our new dance moves, The Cyclocrosser. The moves go as such:
Swing your right leg up and behind your left foot and switch feet (The Dismount)
Reach your right arm down and make a fist and bring your fist up to your right shoulder (The Shoulder)
A couple delicate leaping butt kicks (The Double Barrier)
A few Jazzersize-style running steps and a double-legged butt kick (The Remount)
Over the next 40 minutes or so, I proceeded to slip and slide in a foot-out, flat-out riding style on sand, snow and ice and stay upright more often than not, taking high-fives from spectators who did the wave to all of us on the final lap. Coming through the start-finish on the bell lap, I heard the announcer explaining that I wasn’t literally riding naked, but riding for Team Naked Women’s Racing, and thank goodness because riding naked wouldn’t be a wise choice on a day like that. My 1x green Zinn Magster Cross was riding great, but after a lapped rider took me out and I twisted my brake lever I ended up finishing my race on a different bike (my 2x orange Zinn Magster Cross) than I started with and with enough time on second place to post up and point to my tires as the announcer confirmed that “This proves it, tires do win races!”
It’s become clear after trying many times that explaining that this experience is a fully type-A fun for me is simply lost on most people, but I assure you that is exactly how I wanted to be spending my snowy Saturday – playing in the sand box at the Boulder Reservoir.
http://ow.ly/i/7CnMC http://ow.ly/i/7CnMH http://ow.ly/i/7CnMI
test blog from hoot http://ow.ly/i/7bztO
Cyclocross Nationals 2014
The week of the Boulder 2014 Cyclocross National Championships was amped. Juniors grinned ear to ear or scoped the course seriously with their headphones blocking distractions. Masters over 70 sharpened their elbows to contend for stars and stripes. I took it all in with pleasure and the pride of getting to show off something you love at its best.
The non-championship race was a wild ride on off-camber ice that saw girls running icy descents. Fortunately, my Challenge Fangos hooked up great and rolled fast in a straight line. The racing was tight and competitive with lots of back and forth. I was happily in the 5-way sprint for 3rd.
But, as someone who loves chaos, lining up 80th in Sunday’s elite race was something special. Fighting for every position, running the stairs to deafening howls of enthusiasm, hearing the gasps that mean someone went down behind you, the focus of navigating a tough off-camber with eyes blurry from a hard effort, it was all a buzz I could never describe. I fought through a lot of the pack, and took a donut hand-up on the stairs. My Zinn Magster ‘Cross was super responsive and I made lots of passes in technical sections. Impressively, more women lined up for the elite race than men; one more thing to be proud of.
I also got to send off the kids I’ve been coaching in Boulder Junior Cycling to battle for their own wins, one of whom took home the jersey and all of whom won the pleasure of racing a championships in front of their community on a course their coach, Pete Webber, designed. It was a uniquely wonderful race and the organizers did a phenomenal job getting the crowds out.
Rad video of 1st lap in the ditch: Click here to watch video
You can see me get tangled in the first fumble. You can also see the difference between pros and pack fill!
At the Colorado Cyclocross SW3 State Championships the past weekend Emily Zinn got narrowly outsprinted for second place on her custom magnesium Zinn cyclocross bike.
“I trusted my lines in the technical sections that held others up and let loose. I was riding where others walked, both on the uphill off-camber and up the stairs. After a solid start I found myself riding with the leaders from the start and as they dropped off I continued at the front, chasing the lone leader. My bike felt solid on the icy descent and I barely slid at all barreling around the slick corner that followed. I led the final lap, and was gaining on the girl in first, fighting for the State Championship vest, certain that the girl behind me wouldn’t catch me, but around the final corner I heard the announcer’s excitement for a sprint finish, so I tried my best to channel my inner Peter Sagan, but I couldn’t match her acceleration.”
Finally, back to some real cyclocross. Enough of these lovely, 60 degrees and sunny days with perfect hardpack that make you feel like you’re riding on rails. I want to slip and slide a bit.
It was cold enough that the few inches of snow behaved like light sand if I got caught in the deep stuff, and my bike would start to slither. As the day wore on, the frozen ruts and icy patches began to expose themselves and get slicker, with each lap offering a new surprise and a new patch where your bike thought it might rather be laying on the ground.
The Reservoir course carved up and down the deep sand along the beach, with at least half the course through the sand, but as the snow packed down the sand became hardpack, in most cases it was more forgiving than the conditions the rest of the course. I find that I am more confident in my relationship with my bike than most when the day gets slippery and I move my way up the field, and such was the case both days this weekend in both categories I raced.
Sunday carved through the Battle of the Bear trail network in Golden, CO, and on its own wouldn’t have been a technical course, but with the thawing conditions each lap was a different animal and I gapped girls on the slick descents each time. I managed a feat I didn’t realize I was capable of, as well, taking the wholeshot from the second row.
I finished second behind an astoundingly talented bike handler and all-around tough girl, 12-year-old Katie Clause. Look out for that name in a few years, her face will be on magazines, no question. Now that I’ve thawed and gotten rid of my cold-weather cough I can’t wait for the next day like this.