21st Century Cycling

By Trey Steele, Dave Appel – April 9, 2013

Exciting new features in Austin’s biking scene
We were standing in a bike shop the other day and couldn’t help but notice all the gadgets, gizmos, and must-haves that recently arrived. Part of the store could literally be a scene from a sci-fi movie. Yet as technology finds new ways to enter cycling, the future is also about a return to roots and reinventing indoor cycling. Take a journey with us as we highlight some of what we see for the future.


When we started using the bike as a serious training tool and helping others to do the same, we were instantly drawn to a cycling computer made by Garmin. Famous for their navigation systems, Garmin has established quite a foothold in the cycling computer market. Simply put, their devices work well and easily integrate with other training tools. This year they have brought the social networking side to their computers with the introduction of their EDGE 510 and EDGE 810 models.

These computers can pair with your smartphone, meaning you don’t have to upload your workouts via computer. Instead, they communicate all the ride data to your smartphone and when you’re finished, poof, instant update. And, of course, if you’re so inclined, you can rub it in all your friend’s faces via your favorite social networking site. The other great new feature in these computers is live rider tracking. Now your friends and loved ones can watch your ride IN REAL TIME from their computers. From live rider tracking to instant weather alerts, Garmin has definitely raised the bar in cycling computers.


For the few days when the weather is not quite to your standards, get your hands on the new Wahoo KICKR. This stationary cycling trainer has a host of features that are definitely signaling the future of stationary trainers. First is the innovative “wheel-off” design. To connect your bike to this trainer you remove your rear wheel and then attach the rear of your bike directly to the trainer. Using this design, the trainer can accurately measure your power output and control resistance. But you won’t find any resistance cables to crank or knobs to turn. The whole system is run wirelessly through your phone or tablet. And Wahoo also has partnerships with virtual ride companies so that you can sit in your garage, fire up your laptop, and ride one of the most famous climbs in Europe. And you’ll feel the exact resistance associated with that climb. All while you’re watching a video of the climb on your computer. So I guess we can add teleportation to the future of cycling.


As the future always seems to come full circle, that appears to be the case for local riding clubs. Over the past years, riding clubs, in our opinion, have become fragmented. Mountain bikers over there; cyclocross crazies over there; roadies over here. This year, though, the folks at Bicycle Sport Shop are attempting to break that mold by introducing their own cycling club. Their club offers almost every type of cycling available and they use member events and socials to bring all the various disciplines together. Perhaps this year we’ll see more consolidations like that. Not because having a small group of friends you ride with is bad but rather that the social nature of cycling yearns for more than just six or eight people. And even if you don’t cyclocross or even know what it is, it’s awesome to go to some park here in Austin and heckle your cyclocross teammate while she tries to pedal through a sand volleyball pit.


Even though Austin is home to amazing weather most of the year, that’s no reason not to get off the road or trail and try an indoor cycling workout. Indoor cycling has seen a transformation this year with the emphasis focusing more on the actual workout itself. Local indoor legend Dave Garza has recently opened his own cycling studio bringing his incredibly high energy not just to the workout but the entire studio. The sophistication in his workouts really comes through.

And indoor cycling is even finding its way into CrossFit, arguably the fastest growing fitness program in the world. Sara Smithhart of Brodie Park CrossFit is the first gym owner in the country to use the CycleFit program. A combination of strength training and indoor power cycling, CycleFit completely reinvents the way you use an indoor bike.

So the future is a combination of many things. You have technology driving amazing innovation. You have a return to roots. And you have creative fitness people reinventing indoor cycling. No matter which way you look at the future of cycling, we think it’s pretty amazing. So, until next time, we’ll see you on the road. Or the trail. Or the garage. Or the gym…


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