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Nerd Alert Podcast

The CyclingTips Nerd Alert Podcast dives deep into the bikes and tech we all love. Road, gravel, mountain bikes, we cover it all. Hosted by James Huang, Dave Rome, and Caley Fretz.

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The CyclingTips Nerd Alert Podcast dives deep into the bikes and tech we all love. Road, gravel, mountain bikes, we cover it all. Hosted by James Huang, Dave Rome, and Caley Fretz.

Dropper posts for gravel bikes – yay or nay?

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We’re back in the studio for a group show after a whirlwind of activity at the recent UCI world championships, and we’re wasting no time with the heated debates.

Do dropper posts (or even suspension posts) have a place on gravel bikes? What about Meta’s tease that it’s entering the virtual reality world for indoor cycling? Do our opinions even matter??

Either way, the Nerds really did do their homework this time, sharing their thoughts on the ideal setup for hidden cable routing – frame designers, take note!

Sep 29 2022

1hr 15mins

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On the ground at Road World’s

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Welcome back to the Nerd Alert podcast! This week sees Dave Rome and Caley Fretz together in Wollongong, Australia for the 2022 Road World Championships. And along with VeloClub community manager Andy van Bergen, this episode circles the topic of the big event.

Things start with a few new things in the world of tech. The talk then turns to those dropped chains plaguing the past week of racing. And then we wrap up this relatively brief episode with a chat about the logistics involved in racing on the opposite side of the world, something WorldTour mechanic Kevin Grove (supporting Team USA) offers insight on.

Sep 23 2022

47mins

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You can 3D print that

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Welcome back to the CyclingTips Nerd Alert podcast! This week senior tech editor, Dave Rome, gets to cover something that has become a personal hobby of his – 3D printing.

Joining Dave is Brian Park, the editor-in-chief at Pinkbike and Chris Heerschap, an engineer, bike mechanic, Veloclub member and 3D print extraordinaire. These two tinkerers have both created, designed and manufactured their own saleable 3D-printed products (such as a few covered on Pinkbike this week).

From the basics of home 3D printing to some fun projects, and a chat about where the tech may be headed, there's plenty to take in.

Sep 16 2022

1hr 15mins

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An extravaganza of new bikes

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Do bike companies conspire to release a whole bunch of new bikes at once? It sure felt like it this week, as we saw the announcement of the new Trek Domane, the new Canyon Ultimate, and the new BMC Kaius all in the past few days.

The Nerds discuss the salient features of each one — pros and cons — as well as a big industry indicator that the market really is cooling off big-time. Prices might finally be coming down for some stuff, but other items are still super hard to come by.

Sep 09 2022

1hr 10mins

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How to beat a World Record with Dan Bigham

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This week’s episode of the Nerd Alert podcast is certainly a special one. Dave Rome and Ronan Mc Laughlin chat with the newly crowned Hour World Record Holder, Dan Bigham.

Prior to besting Victor Campanaerts' 2019 World Record, the British track cyclist was best known for his work in aerodynamic engineering. He’s worked with Mercedes F1, Canyon-SRAM, Team KGF/ HUUB-Wattbike, and Jumbo-Visma, and is currently a performance engineer with the Ineos Grenadiers. He also happens to be the brains behind the WattShop.

With such a resume in tech backed by a world-beating engine, it was well overdue that Dan joined us as a special guest on the podcast. Here we chat about the things he’s allowed to discuss related to his Hour Record, we touch on the things he’s not allowed to discuss, and plenty more.

Sep 01 2022

1hr 9mins

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The Superstrata doesn’t need your silly seat tube

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Remember the Superstrata? That wacky looking 3D-printed custom carbon fiber bike that blew up Indiegogo a couple of years ago? Well, it turns out that the bike isn’t vaporware — and in fact, we now have one on hand to check out for ourselves.

In this week’s episode, James also sits down with Superstrata CEO Sonny Vu for a chat on what makes the Superstrata different, why you may (or may not) care, and how the company’s ambitions extend far beyond cycling in general.

Aug 25 2022

51mins

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What’s up with this new Giant Propel?

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The Nerds are back with another group episode, this time with Ronan doing his best Aussie impersonation since Dave is away on holiday.

On tap this week is a detailed introduction of Giant’s new Propel aero road bike — and its wild Cadex 50 Ultra Disc carbon fiber wheels — along with a frank discussion of what’s going on with Wahoo’s revamped Speedplay pedals. And as always, we wrap up with a round of Ask a Mechanic, including a little incident Caley himself had with a little hydraulic fluid.

Aug 19 2022

1hr 7mins

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Looking under the hood of Shimano Di2

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Welcome back to the CyclingTips Nerd Alert podcast! This week tech editor Dave Rome chats about the things to know with Shimano’s new Di2 12-speed shifting and how it differs from previous generations.

And what better guest to speak to about common issues, limitations, fun features, and things to look out for than the Di2 nerd himself, Terry Seidler of BetterShifting.com.

Aug 12 2022

51mins

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Should more people consider a custom bike instead of a production one?

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We finally have our full crew of Nerds back on this week’s episode, and boy, was there a lot to discuss.

There’s a new custom bike show in the works for 2023 called Made, which will be based in Portland, Oregon, and will be held outdoors. No one will ever complain about another opportunity to see beautiful custom bikes in person, but are they just eye candy, or should more people actually consider buying one instead of a stock machine? Upstart brand Aerosensor also has a new portable device that claims to deliver aerodynamic drag data in real time, and we wonder what LeBron James’s US$30m investment in Canyon Bicycles will mean moving forward.

And seeing as how we finally have Caley back, all of our answers for this week’s Ask a Mechanic segment — naturally — involves a hammer.

Aug 04 2022

1hr 3mins

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Does it matter where your bike is built?

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The Nerds are back with a long overdue group show, and they’ve got a lot to talk about! James recaps some of the highlights from the recent Eurobike show in Frankfurt, Dave chats about the pitfalls of modern e-commerce with Silca’s Josh Poertner, we chat about two new road bikes — the Cervelo S5 and the Enve Melee — and debate how much it matters where a bike is manufactured.

And finally, after a long hiatus, it’s another round of Ask a Mechanic!

Jul 28 2022

1hr 5mins

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The future of aero wheel development might be a bit rocky

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Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnels have long been the primary tools used by wheel engineers and aerodynamicists. However useful they are, though, they’re still based on laminar airflow — those picture-perfect parallel lines you see in illustrations — that doesn’t necessarily reflect real-world conditions.

So what happens if you introduce a degree of turbulence to the R&D process? Do things change? Can the wheels get better? And what might this mean for bikes and other gear in general? Buckle up for this one; we’re about to get real nerdy here.

Jul 22 2022

55mins

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Tech from the Tour paddock

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We’re a little late with this week’s Nerd Alert episode and for good reason – the Wi-Fi at the Tour de France is terrible. That’s right, Caley Fretz and Ronan Mc Laughlin are in France and chat about all things Tour de France tech.

From prep for the cobbles to bikes with hidden motors (just kidding!), Ronan and Caley catch up with a number of pro riders to hear what they’re riding and why.

Jul 12 2022

43mins

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Rim brakes aren't dead yet

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The bike industry may have shifted entirely to disc brakes, but there are millions of happy rim-brake users out there with bikes that still have years — or even decades — of life left in them. Mainstream brands have already stopped spending money on anything related to rim brakes, and while that’s a bummer in one sense, it’s also created an opportunity for smaller brands to fill the void.

Jun 30 2022

31mins

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Flat tires and sketchy brakes — it’s Field Test time again!

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This week’s episode comes to you live from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where we’ve assembled four testers and a video team to evaluate ten different bikes. We’ve split them into six gravel and four road models this time around, with a focus on lower-priced options. The full reveal will come a bit later once we’re all done with testing, but let’s just say some of the bikes have already genuinely surprised us with how good they are, while others have made some unforgivable missteps.

Jun 23 2022

39mins

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Only a crazy person would think we need yet another bike brand, right?

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If you’ve got a decent chunk of change and are looking for a higher-end carbon drop-bar bike, there’s certainly no shortage of good options -- and probably too many of them, in fact. So why on earth would someone think it’s a good idea to start yet another one given this hyper-competitive environment? Well, that’s just what the folks at Bridge Bike Works are doing in Toronto, Canada. The company’s first bike sounds interesting enough, but the story behind the brand is arguably more compelling.

Jun 16 2022

1hr 23mins

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So. Many. New. Bikes.

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June is turning out to be an exceptionally hot month in terms of new bike releases, and Ronan joins James and Dave as a special guest to help us talk through them all. Although we don't have official information just yet, we know a new Trek Madone, Giant Propel, Canyon Ultimate, and Scott Foil are all likely to be announced within the next few weeks -- and thanks to revamped UCI technical regulations, there's once again some legitimately unique thinking going on in terms of design features. We also dissect Pinarello's new Grevil F gravel race bike, chat about Dave's favorite bikes from the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia, and wrap up with another round of Ask a Mechanic.

Jun 09 2022

1hr 17mins

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Things that shouldn’t break

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Modern bikes are marvellous creations that continually push engineering boundaries with a continued focus on lighter, faster, and sleeker. However, that raises a big question, is the bicycle industry flying a little close to the sun when it comes to safety?


It’s exactly this concern that this week’s Nerd Alert deep dive episode covers. Join James and Dave, as they speak with world-renowned carbon fibre repair, testing, and inspection expert Raoul Luescher of Melbourne-based Luescher Teknik.


The conversation covers existing test standards related to forks, the perceived gaps in those standards, where the industry could (and should) do more, and some helpful hints for safety checking what's arguably the most critical part of your bike at home.

Jun 03 2022

1hr 10mins

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Free the feet!

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Riders commonly complain that they can’t find cycling shoes that are wide enough, but when was the last time you heard someone say their shoes are too wide? Maybe that’s a sign cycling footwear should be wider in general. We also chat about the utility of bike-mounted cameras (and radar), what Goodr still needs to do to really shake up the cycling sunglass market, and where to draw the line between buying tools and paying for labor.

May 25 2022

1hr 7mins

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A little honesty goes a long way

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Roval has finally cleared the air on why its earlier Rapide CLX and Alpinist CLX wheels weren’t tubeless-compatible when they launched in 2020, and while the final outcome is positive, it would’ve been nice if it hadn’t also come with a healthy dose of obfuscation for the past two years. We also give Wilco Kelderman a lesson in how bikes work, speculate about Campagnolo’s mysterious new wheels spotted at the Giro, discuss some new hardware developments at Zwift (or lack thereof, as the case may be), and reveal why you shouldn’t wash your bike like Peter Sagan. 

May 19 2022

1hr 4mins

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The future of helmet safety

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Welcome back to the Nerd Alert podcast! This week we have a deep dive episode about something that’ll likely bring positive change to the helmets we all wear.

Our guest is Peter Haldin, the Chief Science Officer and a Co-Founder of MIPS. However, in this interview, Peter is wearing another hat (helmet?) and speaks about his role as the Convener of the Working Group 11 (WG11).

In short, WG11 is working to bring rotational-based testing to helmet safety standards, and the goal is to help reduce the number of brain injuries suffered from cycling crashes.

Where things get a little confusing is that the likes of Rudy Project and Kask have already started promoting that their helmets meet WG11 test standards. This episode clarifies what this working group is, what the testing involves, and what the future of helmet safety may look like.

May 12 2022

43mins

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iTunes Ratings

84 Ratings
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The golden era of podcasting

By Tomer.Tzafrir - Apr 28 2020
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Great team dynamic, great content. Five stars every time.

Engineering Cyclist Dream

By TriRussell - Dec 10 2019
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If you are an engineer and you ride a bike, you should listen to this podcast!