What's Cool In Road Cycling

MailBag: Give It A Squeeze

And see what comes out… Incredibly, after a month of nothing but Tour, our typically astute readers nary missed a beat and lobbed some super-qupers into the ol’ Mailbag. We tossed it off the roof and here’s what sqooshed out…


Love the site and the tour coverage – and at last the mysterious
‘A-Style’ was at least partially explained. So it’s a clothing line
based on a logo created 10 years ago. All very interesting, but the most interesting point of all was not touched – why do people want to wear clothes with a logo that shows two bald male stick figures apparently engaging in anal sex (at least we know what the ‘A’ stands for!). Not really the sort of clothing you want to wear while visiting granny in the nursing home! Is it originally a gay only line that has ‘crossed over’ into the mainstream, and what should we read into Andrea Peron’s ringing endorsement of it? Anyhow just curious…
– Ian Garrity Sydney, Australia

Curious? As anyone who’s been to Europe knows, our attitudes towards sex are generally more open than in North America, but A-Style is not positioned as a “gay” line (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). A-Style is a logo for anybody to see the fun of a simple A that isn’t a simple A, straight, gay or whatever. If you do wear one to your Granny’s Sunday lunch, and likes it…I’ll send her a T-Shirt, sweatshirt, bikini of her choice and ask only for a photo in exchange!

Oh by the way, I expect Andrea Peron to be married within a year, and is just one athlete who wears A-Style clothing, (like Cadel Evans, Daniele Bennati, Valentino Rossi and many others). We also have many TV presenters and actors, singers, Dj’s around the world that wear A-Style, and I’ve no-doubt that there are also gay people who wear it. If anybody reading this e-mail has bought an A-Style product, we don’t care what your sexual orientation is, just THANK YOU for making A-Style such a huge success!

I’m going on Holiday and going to plaster Valencia with A-Style stickers.
– Be good, Dunc

Are you freaking kidding me??!!!! A&S just hired this guy back after
serving his ONE YEAR suspension. The same dirt bag that let his wife hang out to dry with her cell mates in a French prison for 2 months. And then still tested positive for EPO!!!!! AAAHHH-HGHGHGHGHGH!!!!!!!!! What the f^@k!!!
– Eric Long

The world is full of strange and perplexing events isn’t it? One thing we can say about cycling is that it does tend to forgive and forget – there are plenty of examples of that. The number of teams that hire convicted dopers indicates only that many sponsors are more interested in results than cleaning up the sport. And as long as guys like Tricky D can be allowed back AND still be the darling of local housewives – well, we have no one to blame but ourselves as fans. – ed.

Dear Pez – I just heard and now confirmed some rather upsetting news (OK…not as upsetting as car bombs in Baghdad)….apparently OLN has announced that it is cutting its VUELTA coverage to one 1-hour re-cap covering the entire 3-week race show instead of live daily broadcasts with a 2-hour repeat. I was concerned when OLN was throwing all its eggs into its Tour de France basket that something had to give….I just didn’t think that that something was the Vuelta. Someone has started an online petition…stand up and be counted:

– Tom Driggs, Spring Mountain Cycling Club

Gosh, you’d think with 300+ program hours of Le Tour OLN showed, and the infinite number of commercial breaks we endured, they’d have sold enough advertising to pay for a month of Vueltas!- ed.

I’m not a pro, but a long time long distance cyclist, I agree with Andy 100%. I too don’t want to get into the Lance/Greg thing, but it appears that Andy and Gregg really nailed it. I just would like to see what I can believe is a level playing field…and doing whatever strong measures are necessary to accomplish that end.
– Rich Fuglewicz

Same Coin – Different Side?
If Greg Lemond or Andy Hampsten want to tell the truth, then tell it and prove it. No one is stopping them but themselves. Does Greg want to bare all about a team he rode for called PDM? Andy can’t let Greg stick up for himself? Enough of this half baked non-sense that has cluttered the pages of PEZ. The reality is Lance has won his tours after the UCI instituted EPO tests and the sixth tour was done under blood tests. Andy and Greg should be in awe of Lance, who is probably the greatest endurance athelete of all time. I wish Andy and Greg would of raced against Lance from 1999-2004, and one thing would have been clear to them — neither of these excellent bike racers are close to Lance Armstrong. Lance would of shelled them and reduced them to pedaling squares.
– Frank & Elaine

Andy’s bro Steve confirmed what Andy basically said in his Open Letter, that since both he and Greg support a junior team, they’d rather be encouraging kids to join a sport that is clean, instead of one that continues to reveal so many doped athletes.

Too bad for all of us lucky enough to watch the TDF on OLN that the sponsors don’t treat it more like the Superbowl and try to push the creative envelope in the world of commercials. I realize it doesn’t much matter how clever a spot is after you’ve seen it day after day, the sell gets old, and for some it doesn’t take more than a few viewings. I like the Expedia spots, but I’m now at the point where I wish all these conflicted couples would just book the trip and go already. Ditto for the Special Forces guys, they’ve over stayed their rations so frappez la rue.

Still, compared to the last few years at least we’re being sold products bicycle riders might actually purchase. Although the wheel chair ads seem like sort of skewed marketing, as do the ones featuring the semi-comatose Mickey Rooney for life insurance. And the time sharing opportunities are so last century. But as a committed bike rider I’m happy not to have to sit through any more commercials for Lincoln Navigator like last year.

What I wonder most is what is the woman with the hose thinking as her husband is on the trainer: that he should get new bike clothes? That she should turn the hose his way? Or is she perhaps reviewing the stuff she saw online the little kid in the aol spots never gets to watch?

But what about Bob? Bob Roll has become the Bob Uecker of the cycling world. I figure him to be hosting the first annual lite beer bash on Alpe d’Huez next year for all those poor guys who’ve only won five tours.

My own vote for the yellow jersey goes to our own post office. A spot with guys we like on bikes and some nice Cuban music. A nice way for the domestiques to earn a little extra dough I hope. What could be bad?

Just a thought for Power Bar: get together with some other sponsors and forget about a commercial free half hour, how about a whole TDF?
-Jon Tower, Pacific Palisades, CA

Wouldn’t it be nice if those sponsors’ marketing departments and ad agencies did what they’re paid to do and come up with a “campaign” to run during the Tour? A “campaign” is not the same spot run over and over ad nauseum – it’s a CAMPAIGN for cryin’ out loud! That means many different creative spots to sell your product !! And those clients should produce more than 2 stinkin’ commercials to run all year come on you guys!!!
– Oh by the way – thanks for buckin’ up so we could watch our fave race every day for a month.

Pez, I’d love to see an in depth review on tires, similar to the one done up by VeloNews about Vittoria. It would also be interesting to know who actually makes the tires under the labels. There ought to be a standard way to measure wear, dry grip, wet grip, grip after they are worn a bit!, predictability in turns, etc. I know the equipment used to do this for car and motorcycle tires is expensive, but it is so hard to get information on tires other than word of mouth, and then the manufacturers change all the model names every year or so making it even more fun. It’s the one item that every cyclist has to buy over and over and over again (plus power bars and energy drink). An average cyclist can’t afford to buy two of each and then try them all out. Maybe if somebody knows somebody in the motorcycle industry??? A road trip to all the tire manufacturers – sounds like a plan?
– Arthur Carter

If the editor wants to send me to all the Tire companies, I’ll go (France, Italy and the Far East should be in the Massive Pez Budget!!!). More likely you’ll see a review in the future. But it won’t include who make what, as we still want the Tire companies to talk to us…

The problem with a tire review as far as performance goes is that Tires change character dramatically as they change shape. Meaning that the same tire and rider and bike at 110psi performs differently in different conditions than the same at 125psi. And change a rider that weighs in at 145 with a rider at 170 and the same tire reacts different again!

It’s down to material choice, (hardness/ softness) inflation pressure and the materials chosen for the bead (under the grippy part).

Then take all that in and give a set to me here in Phoenix and a set to Richard in Canada, and tires that grip like a cat on carpet here in 110 degrees feel totally different there than they would for him, and he and I are very close to the same size, and like the same things in bikes…

I would love to have the equipment to test these things and give you a scale, hardest to softest, grippy versus fast versus long life… but Tire manufacturers really don’t want to get to dialed in (as even in the same tire run they can have changes in performance…) to the details either, lest they lose the Hype-ability.

Best we can do is use the Pez Butt-0-meter and just tell you how they feel to us. It’s not what you are looking for (and should have!), but we can tell crap from candy most times and will let you know!

Charles Manantan
Tech and Spec Editor

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PEZ welcomes all forms of opinion, even hot air. Make it PEZ-worthy and we might just publish you in glorious pixelated black & white! (Letters may be edited for length, spelling, and clarity.)

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