Trends for the Argus Cycle Tour 2013

This is what we expect to see at the Argus Cycle Tour

Aero Road bikes …. such as Specialized Venge and the Felt AR Series

More crazies will be riding single-speed bikes with events like Moonlight Mass getting more of these bikes on the road

More 29’er MTB with slicks – should offer a 29’er category! – Total wheel (with tyres) circumference even bigger than 700c road wheels

29’er riders will battle for top speed on 2-chainring cranks with 30-something, 20-something chain ring combinations (change to 42-28 chain ring combinations and you’ll be okay) and 1 x 11 SRAM gearing

Get the right saddle – sit bone width and women’s specific

Buy good cycling shorts or bib shorts – imported Italian chamois’s (Castelli is well-priced, imported Italian brand)

Nearly everyone will be (or should be) on compact crank sets – lose a little top speed but climbing is oh-so-easy

Shimano Tiagra is now in a 10-speed on budget bikes – less than R10 000

Most (90%?) riders don’t need more than a Shimano 105 or SRAM Rival group set

Carbon with Dura-Ace spec means you GOTTA be fast! Or embarrassed! Or rich!

Riders are leaning toward ‘plush’ road bikes (more relaxed angles – more comfortable rides) such as the Specialized Roubaix

Pump your tyres as hard as the tyre specifies! Fast and almost puncture proof.

Clean your chain (and entire drive train) – dirt really does slow you down and wears quicker.

Want to lose weight – drink water during short training rides (less than 2 hours)

Supplements with sodium, magnesium and potassium are always a good bet against cramp.

Pump your tyres with nitrogen – lighter, cooler and faster. Mmmm…maybe?

Cycle GPS computers are rewarding!

Watch out for old-school bikes, commuters and unicycles.

Don’t tell the pilot on a tandem that his pillion rider is not pedalling – everyone does, it is irritating, so don’t say it because it ain’t funny anymore!

Don’t expect miracles from the local bike shop on the Saturday (or the week) before your race on Sunday – and expect to pay and be patient!

Don’t experiment with supplements and energy drinks the week before the race.

That said – be careful what your purchase at the cycle expo

Mountain bikers – get your road tyres (aka slicks) now before they’re sold out. You’ll need smaller tubes too – 26 or 29 x 1.5.

Buy a few CO2 ‘bombs’ for the Argus. Why pomp if a blow job will do?

If it rains, lower your tyre pressures by 10%.

Wear sunglasses/eye protection – preferably photo-chromatic

Don’t forget the Argus MTB Challenge the weekend before the ACT.

Wearing a safety-rated helmet proves that Your brain is worth it.

Lube your bike – creaky bikes will drive your fellow riders crazy.

If the Cape doctor is active ditch those deep section wheels.

Spare a thought for the late starters – they will know who the winner is before they even start!

Avoid cat eyes, drain covers and the back wheels of other riders… And spectators and their dogs.

Most of all set reasonable goals and ENJOY the experience

I plan to – 2013 will be my 21st Argus – I just hope the Club 21 cycle-top design will be cool

Stirling Snr

October 2012