Archive for Spruzza News

IT TAKES GUTS TO RIDE IN THE HEAT

GI blood flow drops by 80%

GI blood flow drops by 80%

As much as we enjoy anytime we can get on our bikes, some days are a bit tougher than others. Not every ride is at the optimal 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Let’s face it we’ve all walked out of a nice air conditioned room into the searing sun and gritted our teeth thinking “it’s going to be a hot one.” Usually we also do some quick “recalculating” about how far and fast we intend to ride or ride at all.

 

It takes a bit of “guts” to go ahead clip in and start pedaling when the temperature reaches close to or above triple digits. The heat doesn’t just take some “guts” to ride in, it quickly, literally challenges your guts – intestines.

The higher the temperature gets above 68 the more of a strain it puts on several of your body’s organs, metabolic and physiological systems. Even at rest in a hot environment your heart rate increases and changes in vasomotor tone take place.

When you’re out on the bike in hot weather your body is subjected to heat from three sources: radiant heat from the sun, convection from the road and metabolic heat generated by your working muscles. The effects of this place tremendous strains on your heart to pump the blood necessary to maintain vital organs and the working muscles.

The most critical survival factor when cycling in high temperatures is heat dissipation. As much as 60% of your cardiac output is directed to the peripheral circulation to shed all the heat building up internally. This leaves a remaining 40% that has to support your brain, working muscles and digestives system – stomach, small and large intestines.

Studies have shown that intestinal blood flow can be reduced by 80% of normal. Several significant consequences flow from this dramatic reduction in perfusion. [1] [2]. This is understandable if you consider it from a survival perspective. When your body is struggling to survive and maintain consciousness, the last thing it’s thinking about is digesting a nice meal.

The most obvious or most common result, experience is that even though we try to drink and fuel according to the best recommendations our intestines are simply not getting sufficient blood flow to support passive or active transport systems. On top of that what does get absorbed is carried away with only 20% of normal blood flow. [3]

Fluid fills up and food partially digested sits in the gut longer than normal and can contribute to the bloating, cramping or gaseous experience most cyclists have had at one time or another. So despite experimenting with nutritional and hydration products that best suit us, digestion and absorption will most likely be impaired regardless.

The problem with intestinal hypoxia and ischemia can get even more significant. Recently studies have been done demonstrating a heat dependent rate [2] and level of gut permeability – “leakage” that contributes to increased levels of fatigue, heat-shock-proteins [LPS] and pro-inflammatory cytokines [IL-6]. [1]  IL-6 is believed also to be a thermoregulatory sensor in the gut and communicates to the brain. Recently, IL-6 has been implicated in signaling the CNS and influencing perceptions of fatigue and performance during exercise. [1] It is now theorized that increased levels of LPS and IL-6 signal the Central Nervous System (CNS) to modulate exertional activity in the heat. [1]

A 2012 study demonstrated that while acclimation reduces the increases in LPS, HSP, and IL-6 levels are still increased while cycling in high temperatures. [2]. Likewise conditioned athletes tend to demonstrate lower GI permeability exercising in the heat than unconditioned subjects. [2].

In our field study conducted at the University of California Davis 12 of the 13 participants self-reported lower GI distress while cycling in the heat [84-92 d F]. Although the semi-quantitative results were not quite statistically significant under the study conditions it was a notable observation.

Given the results and implications of recent studies as well as the underlying physiological principles we believe that sustainable cooling while cycling in the heat can have an impact – improve splanchnic blood flow indirectly by lowering the circulatory demands of the peripheral circulation and thus improving the percentage of cardiac output directed to the gastrointestinal tract.

Once again, the importance of thermoregulatory systems and assistance as a central – pivotal role in performance, endurance, fatigue, recovery and safety is underscored.

You may or may not have learned something new in the material presented here. But most likely you have not experienced the solution developed to allow for these improvements.

There is now a practical useable system that allows cyclists to keep their skin 15-20+ degrees cooler on the bike and during rides of any length. It’s definitely worth a try.

Spruzza is really…”A Cooler Way to Ride.”

References:

[1 ] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23328940.2016.1179380?src=recsys          Heat Stress on GI system and permeability.

[2] MATTHEW BARBERO GI DISTRESS HEAT CYCLING              https://etd.auburn.edu/bitstream/handle/10415/3601/Barberio_Dissertation_FINAL.pdf?sequence=2

[3] STOMACH PROBLEMS WHILE RIDING              http://www.bicycling.com/training/injury-prevention/tips-make-your-belly-happy-every-ride

 

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POWER TO HEAT RATIO

The Italian team after the junior mens road race at the 2016 World Road Championships

The Italian team after the junior mens road race at the 2016 World Road Championships   photo credit Graham Watson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s no TYPO on the TITLE although many of you probably read POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO. That’s what we expect to see – hear because that’s what we always see and hear. POWER TO WEIGHT. It’s physics very pure and very simple.

Right behind WEIGHT is AERODYNAMICS. “AERO IS EVERYTHING” as coined by SPECIALIZED recently. No doubt as speed increases AERODYNAMICS certainly moves up the list on things that slow you down. On a flat road air resistance can equate to 70-90% of the power required to maintain a given speed. [1]

For example if you’re a 175 pound rider pedaling at 20 mph on a completely flat road and there is zero head wind [no cross either] you’ll need about 95 watts of power to maintain that speed. Now same riding and conditions and you crank the speed up to 30 mph and the wattage needed to maintain that leaps to just over 317 a threefold increase.

When we’re pushing the envelope we are really talking about two categories: THE MASS and THE MACHINE.

The MASS includes everything that must move: you, the bike and all you’re both carrying.

The MACHINE is the engine that moves it. That means YOU. Every fast and slow twitch muscle, every metabolic pathway, every energy system, every input and output and the WILL of the driver.

There are clearly LIMITS to both MASS and MACHINE. UCI sets limits on the minimum weight of the bike and to some degree on the aerodynamic efficiency. Even experimental bikes have limits according to what design strength and materials will allow. Riders too can only “contort” so much for minimal drag and still maintain power.

The machine – the rider can be properly FUELED properly HYDRATED and properly MOTIVATED under certain conditions.

But here again there are limits. MINIMUMS and MAXIMUMS that despite everything else being finely tuned will become the RATE LIMITING factor.

It is well established and a common experience that we don’t ride as fast, far or as well in the heat as when in cooler conditions. Depending on the study “Gross Efficiency” [GE] in cycling can drop by as much as 17-25% when riding in hot and/or humid conditions. [2].

The reasons for this are multifaceted and as controversial in their exact causes as they are lacking for effective solutions.

We can say this about the heat and overheating, to some “DEGREE” [pun very much intended] the HEAT effects everything about the MACHINE – you. The physiological consensus statement on the subject is this:

“The harder your body works to cool itself, the faster you fatigue.”

So when you’ve PUSHED the ENVELOPE on the MASS and you’ve done all you can to FUEL and HYDRATE the MACHINE there’s only ONE THING LEFT TO DO.

COOL IT DOWN.

We guarantee you won’t believe the difference 15-20 degrees cooler can make on your POWER TO HEAT ratio.

Try “A Cooler Way to Ride” risk free for 30 days. If you’re not completely impressed and cooler we will refund your purchase.

References below:

[1]         https://www.exploratorium.edu/cycling/aerodynamics1.html  Wind resistance calculator

[2]         https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2039810/    Gross Efficiency [Cycling] is reduced in the heat

 

 

 

 

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First

First

Being First 

First…what an impactful power word. Full of meaning, significance almost always gets your attention. It raises eyebrows and invites a “tell me more” expression on your face, when some someone says, “I was the first.”

First to fly, to fly across the Atlantic. First man in space, to orbit the earth and to step on the moon. First to break the four minute mile. First African-American to play major league baseball, first man to break the sound barrier.

Being first is so much more and meaningful than crossing a line. It can signal and represent the breaking down of barriers and opening a door into a new and better new world.

The biggest firsts can change the world. Sometimes they are matters of national pride but most often they are private treasured firsts that are deeply personal. Your first day of school, your first bicycle, car, date and kiss.

First Use of Areobars

Firsts are historical “stakes” in the ground. They become unalterable FACTS of history.

On Sunday July 23, 1989 Jose De Cauwer LeMond’s team director sportif  walked up to a UCI judge and showed him the bike Greg Lemond would be riding in the individual time trial from Versailles to Paris on the final stage of the Tour de France. There was no problem with the bike except a funny horseshoe shaped set of aerobars. “LeMond wants to use these bars.” The judge glanced “Okay you can use it no problem”. Jose continued, “LeMond, he has a back issue they help him.” Irritated the judge interrupted, “I said no problem.”

Photo: Graham Watson

Photo: Graham Watson

LeMond was 50 seconds behind Laurent Fignon. He told the crew, no updates in my ears. Greg had been testing aerobars that were growing in popularity with ultra-cyclists like RAAM riders and with Triathletes. The roadies were loath to touch them. Greg and his team had done their homework. It started with some research and then they listened.

When you’re planning for the tour the stakes of every decision are high. Nothing passes through the process without careful deliberation and testing. Anything “new” is viewed first as a risk.

Cyclists at the time [and not much has changed] were not known for being forward thinking but Greg and his team weren’t afraid to experiment and then to take the risk. It was definitely new and the risk while real was calculated.

The risk was rewarded. LeMond gained 58 seconds on Fignon and won the ’89 Tour by the closest margin in history eight seconds. And the barrier to aerobar sales to roadies came tumbling down. Pascal Ducrot then vice president at Scott [the ski company and the company that made LeMond’s aerobars] said, “In 1990 we sold 100,000,’ says Ducrot. ‘Overall they were a huge success, and I believe showed Boone Lennon, Charley French and Greg LeMond to be pioneers.’

1989-Lemond

first

In June 2015 I sat down with Evan Huffman for lunch at Sellands, a local deli in El Dorado Hills California. About two weeks before I had contacted Evan through Facebook. It was an absolute “shot in the dark” cold call. I had recently read an article about him in the Sacramento Bee describing his return to the US after a two year stint riding for Astana in Europe.

The purpose and pitch was simple. Would you be willing to “experiment” with a new device that allows you to stay about 20 degrees cooler when riding in the heat? The first look on his face a single squinting eye and a half smile that bordered on a grimace, said it all. “I don’t know” Evan politely replied. We chatted a bit more about the science and physiology behind our idea. Slowly, very slowly he started to listen. I “twisted” his arm a bit more. Finally framing the question in the context of his previously “experimenting” with hydration and nutrition products. Yes he admitted having done that. “Well why not experiment with this?” I said.

Evan is a very nice young man and I honestly think it was only because of that he consented. We finished lunch and walked outside. Evan had his bike in the back of the car and I fitted a Black – Blue Spruzza onto his black and blue Neil Pryde training bike. The squint and grimace came back a bit but he did offer a conciliatory “Actually doesn’t look too bad.” I shook his hand and quickly thanked him for being willing to try something new and left before he could change his mind.

Two weeks went by before I reached out to Evan. It was only because we were heading to Los Angles for a SHARK TANK audition that I decided to check in for a follow up meeting. I figured getting his feedback might help us with the pitch.

We met the second time at Starbucks. I arrived a few minutes before Evan and the minute he spotted me in the back of the store his face lit up. No squint no grimace just a big genuine “trademark” Evan Huffman smile. Even better the first thing Evan said as I stood up to shake his hand was, “You don’t want this back do you?” I couldn’t stop laughing.

Like LeMond, Evan’s risk had been rewarded. He had been using Spruzza the last two weeks during his hot summer training in the Sacramento valley and Sierra foothills. He went on to tell us that “I’ve been training harder, longer with less fatigue and faster recovery by using this to stay cooler.” His 2016 racing season with RALLY CYCLING is already proven to his best ever, capturing the KOM polka dot jersey at the Amgen Tour of California and winning the North Star Grand Prix.

Evan podium NSGP EVAN FIST PUMPING 2016 EVAN-PODIUM KOM ATOC 2016

Whatever happens with Spruzza and our vision to improve every facet of the cycling experience in hot weather, Evan has his place in history as the FIRST professional cyclist to use and train with Spruzza, “A Cooler Way to Ride.” It is a FACT of history now.

Since then Evan and I have shared several of our personal stories. The latest Evan shared with me was his goal to become more of a leader for RALLY CYCLING or any other pro team he rides for. I think he’ll do just that because one fundamental characteristic of a LEADER is the willingness to try something new, to push the envelope and take the personal risk to be FIRST.

Check out these article below

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/icons-of-cycling-how-greg-lemonds-aero-bars-revolutionised-time-trialling-181429

http://www.cyclist.co.uk/in-depth/115/greg-lemond-interview

http://www.cyclist.co.uk/news/150/game-changer-scott-clip-on-aerobars

 

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What’s So Cool About being Hot?

HEAT, EXERCISE AND CARDIOVASCULAR RESPONSES

post-3

Part  3

This article is ESPECIALLY for all of you hard core, tough and resilient cyclists who proudly proclaim “THE HEAT DOESN’T BOTHER ME.”  We just want to make the case that it’s a different statement than “THE HEAT DOESN’T EFFECT ME.”

Interesting – fascinating FACT. Did you know that depending on your size you have between 60,000-80,000 MILES of blood vessels in your body? And your body has an incredible ability to open and close all those vessels depending on a number of “things” it senses locally and systemically.

The term CARDIOVASCULAR refers generally to the heart as the pump and this astounding number of large and microscopic system of blood vessels that delivers everything every cell needs to survive.

For the sake of brevity we’ll consider some basic aspects of CARDIOVASCULAR changes that occur and place significant demands on the heart as well as other systems when cycling in the heat.

At rest and in a cool comfortable temperature your body circulates about 250-500 milliliters of blood to the peripheral circulation and only 20-25 % of your capillary blood vessels are “open”. What happens when you’re pushing the pedals hard in hot weather is astounding. First of all nearly 100% of those 80,000 miles of blood vessels are wide open and the heart is pumping 15-20 times as much blood per minute as it was at rest.

You don’t have to be exercising at all to experience a change in cardiac output in the heat. Even at rest your heart rate goes up a few to several beats a minute to accommodate stable blood pressure as more capillaries dilate in order to shed heat and keep you cooler.

The problem your heart has while riding in the heat is directing all this additional blood flow to two very important parts of your body – your working muscles and to the peripheral circulation so core temp doesn’t rise too fast. Not enough blood to your skin and you’ll over heat very quickly. Not enough to your working muscles and fatigue, cramping, lactate build up and bonking happens pretty fast. In some cases of extreme exercise in the heat 60 % of the cardiac output is directed to the peripheral circulation to facilitate evaporative cooling. That is a huge loss of blood flow to the demands of your working muscles.

The importance of skin temperature cannot be overemphasized. While it’s true that CORE temperature sets a ceiling on the duration of exercise [most mammals simply stop working when core temps hit 104 F.] pacing, endurance, power output and even neural-muscular impulses are driven more by skin temperature. The reason begins first because our skin is our “first responder” in regards to “sensing” the environmental conditions we will be exercising in. Ever walk out from a cool room into the heat to ride and immediately start “recalculating” the distance and pace you had in mind when it was cool inside? That’s because as soon as your skin feels the heat it’s sending messages to the brain – “NOT SO FAST and NOT SO FAR” today. I’d like to live to see tomorrow.

One of the most significant benefits of heat acclimation is a great capacity to sweat and to begin sweating earlier when exercising in high temperatures. The key advantage is the ability to maintain a lower skin temperature sooner thus lowering the amount of blood flow to the skin. Net benefit more blood to the working muscles and other organ systems which we’ll discuss in a later post.

Remembering the foundational principle of thermoregulation from a previous post, “The harder your body works to cool itself, the faster you fatigue” it becomes clearer why acclimation helps your body stay cool more efficiently.

It’s exactly this principle behind Spruzza as “A Cooler Way to Ride.” Not only does the application of 3-5 mL of water facilitate skin cooling but it’s using an external source of water [not your own sweat] to accomplish this. This is a key reason why in our field study we documented a lower level of dehydration when using Spruzza to stay cooler.

Another key observation and effect of spraying 3-5 mL of water over your face is that normally your sweat rate is only sufficient enough to drop your skin temp by about 5-8 degrees below core temperature but adding additional, external water increases the evaporative cooling capacity such that your skin temp will drop 10-20 degrees below core temperature. The result in not only amazingly refreshing it increases the rate of heat exchange by a factor of two to four fold.

The important conclusion in all this is that even if “the heat doesn’t bother you” it does have a physiological effect on performance, endurance, dehydration and recovery. Several major organ systems are effected as we will look into in later posts.

So no matter how tough you are, think about riding SMART, lowering the work your body does to cool itself. You’ll feel better, ride stronger and recovery faster. Who doesn’t want that?

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WHAT’S SO COOL ABOUT BEING HOT?

WHAT’S SO COOL ABOUT BEING HOT

POST TWO

What’s so cool about being hot? Turns out NOT MUCH. In fact studies have shown that without an ability to get rid of heat, the longest time you could exercise is about twenty minutes.

Overheating effects just about everything when you’re exercising. While cyclists have a significant advantage in terms of cooling down because of the wind speeds we generate there remain several challenges to thermoregulation on the bike especially when temperatures are over 85-90 degrees F. Another study demonstrated that the optimal temperature for cycling performance is about 68 degrees F. The farther you get away from 68 in terms of heat the greater the demands placed on your body to respond and get rid of the heat you’re generating.

The most fundamental physiological principle involved with exercise and overheating is this, “The harder your body works to cool itself the faster you fatigue”

This post will explore the first of several reasons this statement is true.

For simplicity sakes we’ll break down this topic on heat and physiology into five broad categories

  • HOMEOSTASIS AND THERMOREGULATION
  • CARDIOVASCULAR
  • MENTAL – PSYCHOLOGICAL, PERCEPTUAL AND COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS
  • GASTROINTESTINAL
  • STRESS AND ADAPTATIONS

HOMEOSTATIS AND THERMOREGULATION

Human bodies are incredible machines. While most of us look in the mirror and can pick out all kinds of “imperfections” we really are to quote the Psalmist, “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Scientists from a variety of disciplines are on a regular basis discovering more amazing and intricate systems that allow us to survive, adapt to an increasing number of environmental challenges, and maintain a very tightly balanced, integrated system that keeps us well, safe and comfortable.

When we hop on our bikes and begin generating power to the pedals in hot weather – our mechanisms of homeostasis can get stressed to the max. These homeostatic processes when the subject is heat are called THERMOREGULATION processes.

As noted above, without the ability to dissipate heat the human body would lose the capacity for work in about twenty minutes. Obviously we are capable of much, much more. That’s possible largely because we have several built in and environmental capacities to get rid of all the heat we generate in the process of muscular activity.

Your body has five distinct, somewhat related and integrated systems for eliminating heat generated whether at rest or during intense physical activity. Each mechanism utilizes certain principles of physics and interaction with the environment you happen to be in at the time.

Here they are: RADIATION, CONVECTION, CONDUCTION, EVAPORATION and RESPIRATION.

We are going to consider more closely CONDUCTION and EVAPORATION because they play the MOST significant roles in heat transfer when it’s hot.

RADIATION

We get rid of heat by RADIATION essentially when we’re standing still and the environmental temperature is lower than our body temperature. Heat always flows from HOT to COLD. This is not only pretty simple, it’s also not the condition we’re talking about because we’re on our bikes moving very fast and in temperatures above body temperature.

CONVECTION is related to RADIATION because it involves heat radiating away from the body by moving air over the surface – in this case our skin. This is why even standing still with minimal sweating we feel cooler when a fan is turned on and blows a nice breeze over us. True CONVECTION obviously plays a role when we’re moving on our bikes but again it fails to benefit us when the temperature is significantly above our body or skin temperatures.

CONDUCTION is the transfer of heat – again from HOT to COLD by direct contact between surfaces and materials. Conduction is THE main and initial mechanism of heat transfer from our CORE [be that intestinal, cerebral or working muscles] to the PERIPHERY our outer layers – DERMIS and EPIDERMIS. As blood is HEATED up traveling through your CORE tissues it is pumped to the PERIPHERAL circulatory beds taking the heat out of the CORE and to the skin where it can be dissipated by RADIATION, CONVENCTION, CONDUCTION and EVAPORATION. Again, the environmental conditions will determine which method of heat loss – transfer works and by how much once the HOT blood gets to the skin.

EVAPORATION is the tremendous cooling effect and the only cooling mechanism that works once the environmental temperatures are above or well above your skin temperature. Technically it’s called the “latent heat of vaporization”.

When water as a liquid goes to a gas phase – evaporates – heat is lost in the energy transfer. This leaves the surface – your skin in this case – cooler in the process. The water that is evaporating is of course YOUR SWEAT.

SYSTEM INTEGRATION – CONDUCTION-EVAPORATION-CONVECTION form a critical systemic process that makes heat dissipation possible when you’re exercising in hot conditions. The “super-heated” blood from your core is CONDUCTED by blood flow away from the core to your skin. Without EVAPORATION your skin would just HEAT up making CONVECTION and RADIATION useless heat-loss mechanism because the air temp is HIGHER than skin temp and of course CONDUCTION from the blood would fail to for the same reason – there is no temperature drop between the blood and the skin.

Because EVAPORATION lowers the skin temperature the HEAT in the blood can be conducted from the blood into the skin and then lost to the environment.

ALL SKIN IS NOT THE SAME

The average surface area for men and women are 1.9 and 1.6 m2 respectively. The total skin surface area represents the platform from which heat can be exchanged. For our purposes we are concerned about the surface area available for convection, conductive and evaporative cooling.

It is also very important to know that not all of the skin surface area is the same in regards to the ability to conduct heat away from the CORE and then by EVAPORATION to the environment. The skin over the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and of course your face, neck and ears are especially effective at dissipating heat. These specific non-hairy areas of the body not only are less insulated by hair and fatty layers but they have dense vascular-capillary beds where heated blood can flow conducting heat away from the core. With the exception of your ears your head, hands and feet also have a significant number of sweat glands.

We’ve all enjoyed dipping our hands and feet into a cool pool, stream or lake while taking a break on a hot ride but on the bike our feet are in shoes and our hands are usually in gloves so that leaves our head, face, neck and ears as the most accessible and safe way to cool down.

And so that’s what we do on the bike we dump water over our heads because it’s one of the most efficient parts of our body for getting rid of heat – cooling down – and it’s the most accessible while riding. The only problem with dumping water from your bottle is that while you’re cooling an effective part of your body you’re using an ineffective means of doing so. You still need a more efficient cooler way to ride. Remember it’s only the water that sticks to your skin that gives you the evaporative cooling effect. When you’re dumping water from your bottle most of it just falls off and hits the ground wasting what you could or should be drinking.

Common sense and science come together rather nicely.

In summary when you’re cycling in hot weather you MUST have solutions for HYDRATION, FUELING and COOLING.

In a recent conversation with cycling coach, Chris Carmichael he stated, “Thermoregulation is the next big thing.”

We couldn’t agree more.

http://trainright.com/adapting-to-training-and-competing-in-hot-weather/?utm_source=Blog+Content+Email+May+19+2016+-+Heat&utm_campaign=heat2016&utm_medium=email

https://books.google.com/books?id=RMUDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA38&lpg=PA38&dq=how+to+ride+in+the+heat+chris+carmichael&source=bl&ots=dcrvvP-IUe&sig=I1yFGaiPQzgKTisiWE1fZjQKjLM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjOt_eyxM7MAhUJ2mMKHWixDbEQ6AEIPzAF#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20ride%20in%20the%20heat%20chris%20carmichael&f=false

 

 

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WHATS’ SO COOL ABOUT BEING HOT?

WHATS’ SO COOL ABOUT BEING HOT?          

Post one

Generally speaking, summer is the BEST time of the year to ride. We’ve got LONG days, great weather, and many of us get time off work to enjoy our passion for cycling and riding in some amazing events and places. There is just one problem it’s HOT!

That it’s a problem for a lot of cyclist is reflected in the number of articles, posts, blogs, tweets, and various other means of communication from the EXPERTS on the dangers of and how to beat the heat. You may consider yourself one of the “fire retardant” – “heat resistant” cyclists who categorically state, “The heat doesn’t bother me.” That’s cool, but it’s a different statement than, “The heat doesn’t affect me.”

Finding and using effective solutions for beating the heat isn’t just for cyclist’s “bothered” by the heat, it’s for every cyclist who wants to perform better, fatigue less, recover faster, and just enjoy more time in the saddle.

Solutions for beating the heat aren’t for WEAK cyclists, it’s for SMART cyclists. Ever hear a serious cyclist say, “I don’t carry water because thirst doesn’t bother me?” Or someone saying, “I don’t carry food because hunger doesn’t bother me?”

So what do the experts tell us every year? The advice falls into three broad categories:

  • AVOID THE HEAT
  • GET USED TO THE HEAT
  • PREPARE FOR AND DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES.

All sound advice but is this really beating-the-heat?

AVOID THE HEAT – A simple “no-duh”, no brainer strategy but you can’t always avoid it, especially on those long centuries. Sooner or later “the heat is on” and if you’ve spent all your training time avoiding it, you won’t be prepared. This is almost a sure fire set up for “blowing up” on the course, cramping or at the least a miserable end to an otherwise great ride. For riders in the southwest like Arizona it’s almost impossible to avoid the heat any time of day.

GET USED TO THE HEAT. Absolutely sound advice – acclimatization can be critical for safely easing into hot weather riding and for a planned event known for high temperatures and / or humidity. Generally 10-14 days of lower paced riding will provide sufficient time for physiological adaptations preparing you for the higher temperatures. There are a still a couple of very important factors connected to staying cooler while acclimatizing. One is the acclimatizing phase itself, giving your body some safety and assistance while training in hotter weather can be an enormous help and add to your margin of safety zone. Second is that even after adapting to cycling in hot weather, race or training day circumstances can still throw you a curve. Having an edge on thermoregulation capacities can be a huge advantage for beating the distance, the time or the competition. Cooler heads do usually prevail.

PREPARE FOR AND DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES.

Planning and preparation is CRITICAL for hot weather training and racing. Adequate hydration and electrolyte replacement can not only mean a successful race, it can mean the difference between finishing and a great memory for the books or the lasting memory of a painful experience.

The key to preparation for hot weather rides is carry lots of water or hydration products [if you’re riding longer than 60-90 minutes]. What for…for drinking! Dehydration is probably THE biggest threat to endurance cycling in the heat.

Water is a precious commodity on your bike. It’s scarce and heavy. Each 24 ounce bottle of water weights about 700-750 grams. So if you’re carrying 2-3 extra bottles for drinking and to dump over your head in case of overheating – that is a lot of extra weight.

So unless you are committed to AVOIDING THE HEAT at all cost and while acclimatizing and preparation are sound strategies – you will still be HOT. And that alone can take a lot of the performance and fun out of the ride.

What you REALLY need is a solution that actually does keep you cooler. Something that lowers your skin temperature, is easy to use, and lasts for rides of any length. You need, “A Cooler Way to Ride.”

In the next post we will take a look at the science behind how your body cools itself, the mechanisms of thermoregulation, what overheating does to you, and the performance, recovery, and perceptual benefits of a sustainable cooling system for the bike.

 

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We Went to FASTER to prove you won’t go SLOWER

FASTER WIND TUNNEL TESTING

FASTER WIND TUNNEL TESTING

We took SPRUZZA into the Arizona HEAT this year to prove there is no aerodynamic penalty for having “A Cooler Way to Ride” on your bike.

We worked closely with the James Kramer owner of FASTER, named “The Best Bike Shop in America in a 2014 NBDA survey and Aaron Ross the wind tunnel technician.

Located in Scottsdale, Arizona the shop features a state of the art wind tunnel and testing equipment all designed specifically for the BIKE. Numerous bike companies, product manufactures, professional racing teams and countless “serious” cyclist use the tunnel to discover how they push the air.

After reading an article a 2014 article in LAVA MAGAZINE about wind tunnel testing bike helmets we were inspired to put Spruzza to the test for the same reason and conclusion the article reported. The helmet maker GIRO tested three of their helmet categories – Aerodynamic efficiency, ultra-light weight and ventilation [cooling] capacity in the FASTER wind tunnel. Each helmet was evaluated in a matrix of aerodynamics, weight and cooling capacities. The conclusion was that your best choice was selecting a helmet with the highest ventilation. Reason? Because you’re more likely to “blow up” on your race or ride from overheating than by carrying a few extra grams of weight or pulling a few extra grams of drag.

After reviewing and researching the data and analysis we knew immediately SPRUZZA belongs in this decision mix. The reason is both simple and clear. Spruzza weighs about the same as  all the helmets tests [actually much less empty], has less aerodynamic impact on the rider-bike combination than any of the helmets AND provides 10 times the cooling capacity over the head, face and neck than any helmet tested.

What about cost? The helmets tested ranged from $175 to $250 while Spruzza with a 10 fold cooling advantage will run you just under $ 50.

Now that itself is pretty COOL.

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INTERBIKE 2015 – THE EXPERIENCE

I spent 4 great days at Interbike 2015 in Las Vegas.

Interbike-2015 Sign

 

It’s an overwhelming experience. In some ways it called to mind a passage in the gospel of Matthew “Again the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.”

I saw the bicycle kingdom and all its glory.

As your mind begins to absorb and process the incredible variety of bikes, technology, gear, accessories, apparel, and style one fundamental principle seems to explain how it all came to be: DEMAND drives INNOVATION.

What is the DEMAND for? A better EXPERIENCE. What that better experience is can be a different as people themselves. For some it’s a better performance, for others it’s more comfort and enjoyment, some want style, to get noticed on their bike. A lot of people need a bike and gear that lowers barriers of entry, risks of injury and makes the experience on the bike: EASY, SAFE and COMFORTABLE.

I dropped by Selle Royal, a high end bike saddle [seat] maker from Italy. Demand for a better experience sitting on a bike for a long period of time drove an innovation in design developed by scientists from the University of Cologne in Germany. Data collected from hundreds of people allowed product engineers to create the new Scientia. A saddle that optimizes comfort and performance.

selle-italia-jpg

 

 

 

 

Italian saddle pad maker, La Fonte showcased the PREDATOR SAT, “the new hi-tech concept for a perfect interaction between body and bike.”

La Fonte

 

 

 

SRAM, was there and I like hundreds of others were amazed by the launch of “wireless” electronic shifting. In their own words they describe the innovation philosophy, “At SRAM, we know that if a technological advancement clutters the experience, it shouldn’t be called an advancement at all. Because it’s a bicycle. It’s supposed to be simple.” What was the demand that drove innovation? A better shifting experience. “Shift more, with less effort, spend less time doing it. Shifting has never been more intuitive or as easy.”

SRAM-ETAP

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listed by Bicycling Retailer and Industry News [aka BRAIN] as being among this year’s showstoppers was the TURBINE.

I had a chance to chat with Dr. Mitchell Anderson, Sports Medical Advisor about TURBINE’s innovation to improve breathing through your nose. The TURBINE promises to improve airflow and boost performance by increasing the efficiency and flow of air through your nose by 38%. I tried it, but wouldn’t show a picture to my wife, lest she think that Vegas mentality led me to get a yellow nose ring, but I definitely noticed a difference.

TURBINE-IN HANDTURBINE-SHOWSTOPPER

 

 

 

 

 

As I hopped in my van to head back home, images, information and conversations still buzzing and floating in my head what percolated up was that from the top of your head to the tip of your toe and every part in between DEMAND is driving INNOVATION for any marginal gain in the EXPERIENCES we have on the bicycle.

Vegas-heading home

My time on the bike which I assume is for you, precious. I have to admit I want each and every ride, every minute I can get on two wheels to be a great experience. Why was I at Interbike? What can I contribute to the glory of the bicycle kingdom? Like SRAM, our idea is simple, it doesn’t “clutter” the experience it simply makes it cooler. No matter how much you’ve got invested in your bike, gear, tech, and accessories, no matter what experience you demand from your ride, when it’s HOT the one thing that’s still missing, the one thing in that moment that will improve EVERYTHING would be the ability to cool yourself down.

This is the reason I came to Interbike. We have developed “A Cooler Way to Ride.”

How you felt at the end of any ride effects how you feel about riding in general. With all you have invested, with all the time you spend, with all the memories you’ve stored, SPRUZZA wants you to “Remember the Ride, not the Heat.”

Try it, experience it. If it doesn’t improve every other aspect of your riding when it’s hot, just send it back. We guaranty you’ll love the way you feel.

EVAN-ROAD BIKEWith Spruzza, “I’m training harder, riding longer, feeling less fatigue and recovering faster.”

Evan Huffman. Pro cyclist with Astana and Team Smartstop.

This sounds like a better experience to us.

 

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THE PLANET LOST SOMETHING THIS WEEK.

B PLANET STOREB PLANET IN STORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PLANET LOST SOMETHING THIS WEEK.

It’s just a coincidence but an ironic one, that the new September/October issue of “OutSpokin” the trade publication of the National Bike Dealers Association has as the cover story this opening paragraph, “Though the number of bike shops continues to drop each year, with another four percent decline projected in 2015…”

This Sunday August 23rd the day before I received this issue our own community of Folsom contributed, sadly to that four percent.

I was a bit “stunned” to log onto my Facebook feed to see BICYCLE PLANET post “Today is our last day.”

WHAT!

My son and I dropped in Sunday afternoon, shocked but committed to paying our respects, expressing a heartfelt sorrow, passing on our best well wishes but most important to say THANK YOU for such a great level of support, service, comradery, advice and for the particular distinction of being our very first bike shop customer.

This is just one man’s, one company’s story about BICYCLE PLANET, Keith the owner and Matt the general manager, it does however mean a lot to share it. I hope you take a minute to listen.

Local bike shops can be and usually are a significant part of any community on so many levels. Folsom’s shops are certainly no exception. If anything they underscore the rule. They are the place where fun on two wheels is imagined, shared, fixed, bought, sold and starts and finishes. For most cyclists it’s the “common” place where people of all shapes, stripes, income, education and background become one in mind and purpose. To feel like a kid again, to race against the clock, to beat the distance or your very best friend.

For me, BICYCLE PLANET had all of those features and a few others less common. They were an advisor, mentor, focus group, test pilot, marketing partner and eventually a customer.

This aspect of what BICYCLE PLANET contributed is WHY local bike shops are SO integral to our business community and the bicycle industry at large. Keith and Matt were INNOVATION partners with us. While they didn’t risk their money they did give and risk their time, experience and expertise. BICYCLE PLANET shared their stage with us. They told our story, leveraged their reputations, and stood behind our vision to help make bicycling a better experience.

Keith and Matt had no more assurances than we did or do that our idea-vision will be successful in the long run but they had the patience, wisdom and courage to take a reasonable, calculated risk to try it. Any industry, company or organization that wants to survive, grow and change the world has to do exactly what Keith and Matt did for us and for themselves.

There are absolutely NO guarantees, but BICYCLE PLANET did the right thing and for that we are deeply grateful.

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SPRUZZA RIDERS FINISH FIRST-RACE ACROSS THE WEST – 2 MAN TEAMS

Dave and Elliot with Team Donate Life

Dave and Elliot with Team Donate Life

 

One June 16, 2015 Dave Stoker and team mate Elliot Block both from Sacramento, CA clipped in and headed east from Oceanside CA for 860 miles across the deserts of Arizona and southern Utah into the mountains of Colorado. Along the way the two climbed more than 40,000 feet. Known as RAW, the Race Across the West is cycling to the EXTREME.

Dave mentioned the shock to his system after leaving the cool conditions along the shore and within a few hours pedaling in 116 degrees F. Across Arizona the temps stayed in triple digits up to 113 F. This years RAW set course record temperatures and the percentage of “DNF’s” was reported to be over 50%.

We stayed in touch with the team as each rested in one hour intervals for an uninterrupted ride of over 90 hours. The texts were coming in, “Using Spruzza a lot!” “Helping tremendously.” Did they still feel the 113 F heat…sure but as predicted the ability to stay cooler slowed their rates of fatigue. RAW is clearly a race of attrition. While this years field was getting devastated by the extreme conditions, Dave and Elliot with Team Donate Life, had enough of a cooling edge to not only win their 50-59 age division but the 2 man team category overall and by over 2 hours.

Dave passing through Monument Valley AZ   FIRST PLACE FINISHERS

After a week or so of rest and recovery SPRUZZA caught up with Elliot who shared the following with us. Later Dave and Elliot got together and put together a nice short video for us on their experience. Click on the image below to view.

RAW-2015-FINISH

 

 

 

 

 

 

We say it all the time now: For any ride in the heat over 90 minutes your BODY needs solutions for HYDRATION, FUELING and COOLING. If SPRUZZA can help in conditions like RAW it most likely will help your typical hot weather rides. You’ve probably “TESTED” a number of products for HYDRATION and FUELING [nutrition] why not TEST the most effective COOLING solution on the market. You’ll have 30 days to try it RISK FREE. If for any reason you’re not completely SATISFIED with SPRUZZA or how “cool” you feel…SEND IT BACK and we will refund your purchase, shipping and return shipping.

 

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