It's a strange time to be in the bike industry. Pro teams are scrounging for components. New frames are hard to come by. Bike shops are swamped with extraordinary demand, but nothing to sell. So in this AJA episode, Josh brings a ton of practical insight into making the best of a problematic pipeline.
We also talk about how Silca goes about greenlighting a new product, marginal gains on gravel, and what Josh really wants marginal gainers to think about when we're on our bikes.
Josh is obsessed with Titanium printing, and Fatty and Hottie have been badgering him to talk on the podcast about why for months. With the release of Silca's Mensola computer mount, Josh can get into the weeds on why 3D printing is a big deal, the work that's goes into installation, engineering, and production, and what opportunities and constraints this technology brings to the bike industry.
If you care about drivetrains, aero tweaks, and wheels on your bike setup, this episode will really scratch that itch. We do a deep dive into the why, how, and what of Silca's new diamond-polished chains, how properly-lubed chains affect cog and chainring wear and tear, and whether you really need to replace that quick link after each chain connect/disconnect cycle. We also get to the best ways to locate your hydration on long rides and the question of whether — wheelwise — deeper is always...
Here at Marginal Gains, we are NOT big fans of the old saying, "Failure is not an option." As far as we're concerned, failure is not only an option, but a valuable part of development. In this episode, Josh gets into how he changed his mind about failure, why we see failure at the sharp end of the sport, and why mistakes we make as riders can lead to marginal gains.
This may not be the most technical episode of Marginal Gains to date, but it absolutely is one of the most pragmatic and entertaining. Jens Voigt joins Josh to talkk about everything from training wheels to the cold war to Aussies to A/C Sales to bike team finances to the early days of marginal gains...and of course the hour record. Jens is a treasure; enjoy this chat about his amazing career and life.
We love every listener question we get at Marginal Gains. But this episode, one question got Josh so excited he's pretty sure he was going to lose sleep over it. Of course, we saved that one to the end, but you'll want to listen to the whole show anyway because we've got great questions about the super tuck and dropper posts, off-label use of lube (and many more lube-related questions), marginal gains and handlebar bags, FKT updates, and more. As always, it's a can't-miss AJA episode of...
No Supertuck, no modified TT position? Now what? Velonews Managing Editor Ben Delaney helps us figure out what the pros will now use to keep their speeds high on descents and in breakaways.
Ben has written several articles on what the two, now banned positions are worth when in comes to watts. He also has insight on equipment that could be used to make up for the loss of the Supertuck and "Praying Mantis" position.
Josh is, apparently, not the only person in the world obsessed with creating a frictionless world (or at least chain). In this conversation, Josh and modern-day chain pioneer Jason Smith — currently with Ceramic Speed and known for his groundbreaking work at Friction Facts — deep dive into what works, what doesn't, and why.
No matter what topic — modeling, bifurcation, the smell of lubrication, chain innovation or even power loss due to new tire nubbies, tube width decisions, or even PFAS chemicals — the Marginal Gains crew can count on insightful questions from our listeners. We put all of these subjects to Josh in this latest "Ask Josh Anything" episode of Marginal Gains.
If you've ever wondered, "How does Josh's mind work?" this is the episode for you. We talk about what models are, why they matter, the model Josh uses for building mental models, and — in addition to a wide-ranging conversation — how it all applies to cycling.
Josh chats with with Everesting Pioneer George Mallory — grandson of THE climbing icon. And while George has also summited Mt Everest on bikes, he's got more stories to tell about his climbing on bikes...especially his multiple attempts at Everesting by bike.
We may be at the point where it's time to admit we have a chain & lube obsession, but we're not even going to try to pull back from it. In this Ask Josh Anything episode, we talk about half a dozen chain/lube topics...and that's not even all. We also ask Josh about:
- Ineos' Giro TT marginal gains
- whether frame damping is a thing
- Wrinkled clothing and marginal gains
- Where to spend your money to get the most gains for your bucks
This interview with Adam Kerin serves as the perfect follow up to our previous episode on chains and lubrication. Adam's Zero Friction cycling is hyper-focused on this key piece of drive train and the ways to make it more efficient and last longer. ZFC is the sole, independent voice of chain and lube testing and a marginal gainer at heart. Josh and Adam go deep on how proper chain care can repay the rider in so many ways.
If you were to rank the hardest working parts on a bicycle, you’d be hard-pressed to find a component that goes through more than the chain. And keeping that chain working well has become a real obsession for Marginal Gainers. So this episode, we dig into chains, lubes, and who should be using what.
2020 has been a rough year for traditional racing, but has brought a surge in interest in Everests and Fastest Known Time (FKT) efforts on well-known courses. And for these solo, pride-of-place FKT attempts, Marginal Gains matter. In this episode, WorldTour-Pro-Roadie-Turned-Gravel-Privateer Pete Stetina nerds out with us about his preparation for — and execution of — an FKT around the choppy, sandy, rocky, windy White Rim: a perfect century loop in Canyonlands, Utah.
Gerard Vroomen is an engineer first. He and Phil White took a project they started in a basement and turned into Cervelo Bikes. Their bikes revolutionized how we thought about frame design, and Cervelo went on to win the Tour, the Olympics and Ironman.
Nowadays, Vroomen and Andy Kessler run Open cycles. And the Open U.P. is a bike that has heavily influenced the modern gravel bike.
Enjoy this chat with an innovative engineer who's passionate about making the bikes we ride better.
Nobody enjoyed seeing (or hearing about) Chloé Dygert's recent crash, but it was an extraordinary illustration of one of the effects discussed in our most recent episode on Bifurcation. Josh breaks it down (and we all wish her a fast recovery and speedy return to racing).
We also discuss UCI frame rules modifications, and how those open the door for changes (some massive, some marginal) in how bikes perform and look.
And of course we take on a slew of awesome listener questions,...
What do aircraft wings, the Tacoma Narrows bridge and Coronavirus modeling all have in common? It's bifurcation — just about the least intuitive (or predictable) behavior known to humankind. In this episode, we talk about bifurcation and its relation to all of these — as well as how understanding bifurcation can affect real-world racing...and how the same effect that can tear the wings off a plane can also make for the terrifying speed wobble you may have experienced on a fast descent on your...
This is an Engineer's episode if there ever was one. Josh talks to James Woolcock of Bastion cycles, a maker of "Bespoke Luxury Performance Bicycles." These bikes come with a significant price tag, but there's a lot of custom engineering based on a customer’s wants and needs going into each of their highly unique, high-performance bikes. Even if you're not in the market for an ultra-high-end bike, however, you'll enjoy the conversation between these two marginal gainers with engineering degrees.
The TdF is on, and we've got questions. Do racers REALLY still ride with tires at 120psi? Is tubeless on the verge of replacing tubular as the wheel setup of choice?
We've also got a great crop of questions from our listeners:
What are the meaningful aero differences between solo and group riding?
When is a wheel upgrade worth it?
What's the best way to execute your bottom-of-segment turnaround in an Everesting attempt?
Got a question? Give us a call or text us at 317-343-4506.
Factor is a relatively new name in the industry. But after just a few years in the marketplace, a leading publication put Factor alongside Giant, Specialized and Cannondale as the next bike to own. And Factor has been brought to prominence by Rob Gitelis. In addition to applying his experience as an engineer to build a really terrific bicycle, Rob has shown incredible instinct to quickly elevate the Factor name. In this conversation, Rob tells Josh how many of the most popular bike products...
Nick Legan is a familiar name to cycling enthusiasts. Nick was the tech editor at Velo Magazine and Adventure Cyclist Magazine. He is also the author of the book “Gravel Cycling.”
Josh and Nick talk about Gravel riding, bikepacking, Nick's time as a pro bike mechanic in Europe, running a “Service Only” bike shop in Colorado, coaching and what it’s like to oversee one of the most important component brands on the planet.
Shortly after setting a new Everesting record — obliterating Alberto Contador's time by 20 minutes — Ronan McLaughlin reached out to Josh with some remarkable news: Silca Products and the Marginal Gains podcast had been an important piece of his extraordinary accomplishment. Needless to say, Josh immediately set up this interview to talk about Ronan's incredible accomplishment.
We've asked you to ask Josh anything, and you do not disappoint. In this episode, however, we completely lose track of the "ask" for a bit because we are SO GEEKED OUT on Ronan McLaughlin's new Everesting record.
We do (eventually!) get to your questions, including:
- The most reasonable way to measure your wheel circumference
- The best bike positions ... if you take aero OUT of the equation
- How nearby barriers affect your time trialing
- How new pavement should affect your tire...
Sean Small of Ruckus Composites is our guest for this episode. This is going to be a great interview for any listener who has spent any amount of time on a carbon bike. Sean is going to reveal a frame’s strong spots and the areas where it is most vulnerable. Sean has some great tips on how to spot a problem before it happens. Ruckus is considered the premier composite repair company in the country and next to Calfee, one of the first one of the first to launch a business devoted to fixing...