Here at Velosmith, we’re big believers in embrocating before rides. The benefits that come from using embro go further than the obvious one everyone mentions—just keeping your legs warm on a cold day. Done right, applying embro is a chance to give your legs a pre-ride massage, helping to wake the muscles up even before you’re out on the road. Good embrocations like Mad Alchemy use all-natural ingredients and will help keep your skin moisturized, keeping you more comfortable and speeding healing in the case of scratches, cuts or even road rash—though we don’t suggest applying it to an open wound … yikes!
Embro is famous for helping keep your legs warm on a cold day and for that reason, we always keep a few different varieties around so we have something ready no matter how cool the day may start.
A few tips for happy (and comfortable) usage:
- Put your bibs on first.
- Latex gloves can help prevent you from applying embro to things that shouldn’t be embrocated.
- Roll up your shorts slightly to make sure you get all of your thigh.
- Dab some embro at various points on your legs. Start massaging at your ankle and massage your way up, blending those spots together.
- Be aware that consistent usage of a warming embro will cause you to build up a resistance to it; don’t be surprised if you need to graduate to a medium to get the effect you once experienced with a mellow.
- Post-ride, wipe your legs off with paper towels or baby wipes to prevent the grime and embro from sliming your kit.
- Use some Dawn dishwashing liquid to wash the remaining embro off your legs when showering.
- Enjoy the afterglow.
With so many great bikes on the market, we occasionally are asked why so many of bicycles Velosmith sells its customers are made from titanium. The question is simple enough: What makes titanium so special? Our love of titanium is multifaceted and it is because we have so many reasons to love ti that we continue to support it as one of our preferred materials for high-end bikes.
Titanium, as perhaps no other frame material has been able, captures the imagination when it comes to embodying the ideal custom frame. But how does it do that? Here are our reasons why:
- Look. The deep luster of a satin-finished titanium frame is at once beautiful and suggests just how strong and durable a material it is. Because it rewards careful work and punishes sloppy welding, the welds on a titanium frame show off the skill of the builder responsible.
- Longevity. Justifying the investment in a new bike isn’t easy, but that cost becomes easier to rationalize if you can tell yourself (and your spouse) that this bike could, conceivably, be the last bike you’ll ever need to purchase. A titanium frame will never corrode or break due to work hardening. Unless you run it into something, it’ll still be serviceable long after you retire.
- Fit. Thanks to companies like Seven Cycles, a custom titanium frame is no more expensive to purchase than a stock frame. For the same investment as an off-the-shelf model, you can have a frame that is made to your measure, a bike meant for no one other than you.
- Price. Compared to what you can spend on a carbon fiber bike, titanium can be as much as half as expensive while also possessing twice the life span. On a per-ride basis, titanium can be as little as one-quarter the total cost of some of carbon fiber rigs.
- Weight. No one wants to pedal a cast-iron stove on the group ride. And while you can find aluminum frames that are stiffer and lighter than ti, they won’t last as long, while steel frames will always come in heavier.
- Ease of Care. A satin-finished ti bike has no paint to chip and the chances of a tube being dented or cracked is insanely low. Take one out on a nasty spring ride that leaves you coated in stuff you’d rather not inventory and all your ti bike needs to restore it to its pre-ride glory is a quick wash followed by a wipe-down with some Pledge and a clean rag. We wish cleaning up for date night was so easy.
- Ride. Bike reviewers going all the way back into the 1970s have sung ti’s praise for its ride quality. Uniformly, the material is praised for a lively feel on the road while offering a unique blend of stiffness and comfort.
It wasn’t so long ago that your choices with a company where either road or mountain. With Cervelo, that question is a bit different. The revered Canadian company offers three types of bikes, each targeted to a specific type of riding and rider.
Cervelo made a name for themselves with their R-series bikes. The R3 and R5 pioneered the pencil-thin seatstays common to so many road bikes today. They did this to increase a rider’s comfort on long rides over rough roads without sacrificing pedaling efficiency or handling. That’s part of why Cervelo’s R-series bikes have won Paris-Roubaix numerous times.
Cervelo’s P-series bikes aren’t just time trial bikes. They are some of the most technologically advanced tools for achieving speed through pedal force ever devised. Wind tunnel testing has shown that the P5 is the fastest bike on the market. And unlike a Formula 1 car, you can buy a P5 as part of your quest for your fastest-ever time trial.
With the Soloist, the predecessor to today’s S-series bikes, Cervelo invented a whole new bike category—aero road. By combining the tube shapes of a time trial bike with the drop bar and handling of a traditional road bike, Cervelo showed cyclists that aerodynamics aren’t just the province of the time trialist. While they don’t offer as comfortable a ride as the popular R-series bikes, the S-series offers the same sort of gains as a set of deep-section carbon fiber wheels. Add those wheels and you’ll find you’ve never been faster in a road race, crit or the Judson ride.
Regarding the numbers Cervelo uses to differentiate between models, just keep in mind the bigger the number, the better the technology. That goes for the quality of the carbon fiber in the frame and fork as well as the components used to build up the complete bikes.
Stop by and see the Cervelos for yourself. What model works for you?