Category Archives: News & Info

Winter Riding Essentials & Favorites

Even though winter hasn’t officially started, much of North America has already experienced some very winter-like conditions. For many riders, winter officially spells the end of their riding season, and bikes get relegated to the basement or garage. There are other options, though. You can drive to the gym and ride a stationary or spin bike, or maybe set up a trainer in your own personal pain cave. Then there’s the third option–actually riding your bike outside in the cold and dark.

While the concept may seem novel, winter cycling is as old as the bicycle itself. Riding a bike in bad weather ain’t rocket science, but it does take a little extra preparation and planning. Living in Colorado for over fifteen years has taught me a thing or two about riding in harsh weather. Because I detest being cold when I ride, I usually err on the side of caution when it comes to choosing winter cycling gear. As such, I’ve learned to take clothing companies’ recommended temperature ranges with a grain of salt. In other words, what works for me might end up being too warm for more cold-tolerant riders. That said, the following items have served me well for utility and recreational riding.

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Q&A with Rolf Prima Wheel Systems

Rolf Wheels got its start back in 1997 when founder Rolf Dietrich partnered with Trek to bring paired-spoke wheels to market. After the license agreement expired in 2001, Dietrich founded Rolf Prima Wheel Systems with three former Trek/Bontrager product engineers. One of those former Trek/Bontrager employees, Brian Roddy, would eventually become Rolf Prima’s owner. I spoke with Roddy at this year’s Interbike trade show, where we discussed Rolf’s wheels, gravel and adventure riding, and what the company has in store for 2016.

GRAVELBIKE: Do you think that disc-equipped gravel and adventure bikes will standardize on 142mm rear spacing?

Rolf Prima: We hand-build everything pretty much to order, so we build fronts as 9 mm, 12 mm, or 15 mm, and rears as 135 mm or 142 mm no problem. That said, the industry will probably coalesce around 12 mm thru-axles front, and 142 mm rear. I think everyone–the industry and customers, alike–really wants the proliferation of standards to slow down and stick so they know that their expensive bikes and components will be replaceable, serviceable, or upgradeable in a few years (instead of becoming obsolete).

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