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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Readable, experienced authors, packed with errors, 5 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Cyclosportives: A Competitor's Guide (Paperback)
The book is easy to read in a single sitting and illustrated with lots of photos and a few diagrams. The authors are experienced cyclists and, if their achievements are attributable to what they write in this book, it must be worth a serious look. However, there are, to the best of my understanding, far too many errors, either silly or fundamental, and there is also a lot of repetition so that, taken with the breadth of the topic, the depth is generally insufficient. Based on this, I don't think experienced cyclists will find much of value yet there is too much here to mislead the novice.

Of course, this is just based on my knowledge, understanding and experience and you may find otherwise. What follows illustrates my conclusions and I hope will help you draw your own. And, if the book still rates 5 stars for you, everyone is happy, including me.

The "geometry of a typical sportive bike" shows the wheelbase as 270 mm - this would have the wheels overlapping - and the standover (height to top tube) as 995 mm - causing most riders some pain and inconvenience (a typical inside leg being about 20 cm less).

To establish the right fore / aft position of your saddle by dropping a line from your kneecap, go to "the top of the pedal stroke" - actually, it needs to be the mid-point and that's what the photo shows.

The granny gear is "the smallest cogs at the back of the bike" and "The smallest sprockets in the cassette" - actually, the smallest on the chainring (the opposite effect of what's stated).

The seasonal kit lists are mixed up so that the authors omit items they recommended and vice versa.

It is stated that "maximum heart rate is 'sport specific'"; no, maximum heart rate is maximum heart rate; and the test given for it demonstrably doesn't give the correct value - maybe it gives something else that is sport specific? The training zones in the book are all based on this and, if I used it, I would never be training in the correct zone.

What does vary by sport, and should be used in determining training zones, is anaerobic threshold (AT) but this is not explained nor a test provided. In fact, AT is described in terms of energy transport when it is actually concerned with insufficient oxygen transport.

The authors state "To calculate watts per kilo value, divide bodyweight by the maximum watts..."; that would give the opposite, kilos per watt, wouldn't it?

There seems to be a lack of understanding of the impact of anaerobic exercise with mention of "lactate acid" (the lactate is the negative ion, not the acid) and a distinction between acid and "the release of positively charged protons" (which is what acids do) but, whilst it's wrong, ultimately, it all seems rather irrelevant so why include it?

On selection of gears, there's a photo captioned "Starting a climb in this combination of 'small to small' offers you flexibility" but, if you read on, the authors contradict and correct themselves with "don't shift your bike to a spot where it's on the smallest ring in the front and smallest gear in the back".

Chainring choice is covered twice, 6 pages apart, but I could find no mention of gear inches or gain ratio or similar.

We read about riders who "have what is called in professional circles 'la supplesse'" and 44 pages later we read about it again "riders of old... called it 'la suplesse'"; yes, different spellings; but I could find no quantified advice on cadence which could have been more helpful; having said that, the index is patchy at best - it could be in the book but not where the index points you.

Opening a page at random, I find "tpi (tread per inch) A measure of tyre tread patterns"; I suppose it can mean whatever you want it to but tyre manufacturers mean threads per inch in the fabric casing - not the tread at all.

I really cannot think of an explanation for much of this. Perhaps a second edition will be justified and corrections can be made or an erratum slip / leaflet can be included with the first edition.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jan 2014 20:49:45 GMT
Alice says:
Probably Supergran using those granny gears

Posted on 5 Jan 2014 21:34:11 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 23 Jan 2014 12:29:12 GMT]
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