PEZ Top 10 Stories of 2020
What readers read most this year
While these dying days of the year are usually reserved for a warm look back at the hilights of the past 12 months, the only thinking about 2020 is “don’t let the door hit you on the way out!” But then the glass-is-half-full version of me pipes in with a reminder that we still created some of the best stories ever here on PEZ.
I launched the fully redesigned site back on March 12 – just in time for our 18th birthday & also lockdown – and even though racing was halted, we never ran short of stories to post. Hats off to the collective creativity and perseverance of the mighty PEZ Crew – as our page counts were way higher than 2019 – even setting an all time record for our “most read” story (you can find it below).
So let’s get to it – here’s the PEZCycling Top 10 List of Most Read Stories in 2020 – including a bonus story because I lost count when assembling this article.
Pez Sez: With no real racing to cover for the first half of the tear, and with travel restrictions and bubbles limiting press access to races, we took advantage of the time to dig into the archives and relive some great cycling moments of the past. We posted several galleries this year but none was a popular as this one.
PeloPics: Our resident photographer, John Thomson, has rattled his archive again and has put together a collection of his favourite shots from women’s races – Road, if you can call the Strade Bianche a road, and cyclocross.
Reads: 4,300, Average Time on Page: 4:03 mins
Pez Sez: If you haven’t seen one of his videos, you’re missing out. Mr. Hambini’s use his engineering background to cut into (literally) bike frames and components to expose their weaknesses. Free from advertiser pandering, he lets rip in some very entertaining videos. And with 65,000 Youtube subscribers, he’s likely making enough off the ad revenue that he doesn’t need industry dollars anyway.
Interview: After Ed Hood received his latest rant from Viktor, it seemed a good idea to have a word with the mentioned Mr. Hambini. Famous for his Youtube critiques of some of cycling’s biggest brands, he says what he thinks and shows the flaws in many bike items.
Reads: 5,000, Average Time on Page: 5:55 mins
TOOLBOX: If you ask any cyclist or triathlete about “core training” you will undoubtedly hear about how great planks are. But ARE they really that great? Do you REALLY need to be planking?
Reads: 5,000, Average Time on Page: 3:55 mins
Pez Sez: No surprise to see this gorgeous project build by Charles Manantan as a top story – if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s appreciating the quality, design and style of a custom bike.
Project Build: While Officine Mattio may not be as instantly recognizable in North America as Colnago & Pinarello, they are doing something quite special. Rather than pulling everything from frame building to paint to graphic design out of Italian hands and pushing it over the ocean to the far east, Officine Mattio are staying home to bring together some of the best talent available on the boot, making the Italian cycling industry stronger.
Reads: 6,000, Average Time on Page: 5:45 mins
#7: Best Foam Roller Tips For Cyclists
Pez Sez: Looking after ourselves never gets old, and was never more important than in 2020. And it’s also a nod to the wisdom PEZ Readers – whose thirst for knowledge was at least partially quenched with these practical tips on how to use a foam roller.
TOOLBOX: Static Stretching doesn’t resolve muscle tightness, and neither does strength training alone. Soft Tissue work is the missing linchpin, but you don’t need your own personal soigneur, using a foam roller can have significant benefits for warm-up, flexibility, recovery and better overall cycling performance. Here’s how to use it…
Reads: 6,500, Average Time on Page: 3:50 mins
Rider Interview: Ed Hood loves the ‘contre la montre’ and so talking the first man to go under three hours for 100 miles was the dream interview. Jonathan Shubert recently broke the RRA ‘straight out’ 100 mile record, Ed had a word.
Reads: 7,500, Average Time on Page: 5:09 mins
Pez Sez: Once again you readers showed your love for bikes (and all things?) from days gone by. The early days of carbon frame development were like the Wild West, where any idea was worth a try – as long as you could build it. But kinda like Beta and VHS tapes, these hybrid frame designs were destined for the “where are they now” file.Retro-Tech: Once upon a time bicycles were pretty much built out of steel. Sure, there had been forays into wood (the Elliott Hickory!) and aluminum (Caminade!) and even carbon fibre (Carlton-in 1971!), but steel was real pretty much into the 1990s. A shift began that saw oversize aluminum tubing from makers such as Klein and Cannondale, titanium impressed from Litespeed, Serotta, and Merlin, while Kestrel’s carbon bikes made a splash with triathletes. Greg LeMond, an early adopter, even rode a carbon bike at the Tour de France.
Reads: 7,700+, Average Time on Page: 5:30 mins
Pez Sez: The bain of human existence was also a boom for fitness brands, and the best got even better. Wahoo had sold out of their stock of trainers by Spring ‘2020, and the new production models couldn’t be made fast enough. The massive blip on the PEZ Stats screen was proof readers couldn’t wait to find out more…
Tech ‘N Spec: We get up close with the new Kickr AXIS trainer from Wahoo Fitness which adds flexible feet to simulate real road feel to the already successful platform.
Reads: 11,000+, Average Time on Page: 5:03 mins
TOOLBOX: I’m talking to those of you who are cyclists, riding 6+ hours a week for the majority of the calendar year, and who are over the age of 40, and whom do not participate in regular strength training throughout the year, but rather pick it up solely in the fall and winter.
Reads: 12,000+, Average Time on Page: 3:49 mins
#2: RGT Cycling: A Free Alternative To Zwift
Pez Sez: In this year of indoor training, it wasn’t all about Zwift, who doubled their subscription rates at the beginning of 2020, then rode a massive wave as COVID drove everyone indoors for the remainder to the year. The bottomline looked good enough to help Zwift secure a whopping $450 million round of funding in September, setting the stage for what surely will be an IPO in the near future – but as our 2nd most read story shows – not everyone wants to pay for an indoor training app.
RGT Cycling Review: RGT Cycling, the new virtual cycling platform, has announced that it is making all of its Premium features available for free to all indoor cyclists, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So we put Chuck Peña back on his Xpedo home trainer to find out more.
Reads: 16,700+, Average Time on Page: 4:53 mins
#1. A Case Against TT Bikes
Pez Sez: This story set the record for the all time most read story on PEZ – a massive spike on a Sunday no less of well above 33,000 reason one day alone. I thought the server might crack up – but she held steady to deliver the goods to readers all over the world.
TT Bikes – The Bad and the Ugly: We’ve been talking to our Russian Amigo, Nikolai Razouvaev again and in this piece, he gives us his case on why modern time trial bikes should be scrapped from competition. It’s controversial – but you were expecting that. . . This time the Russian ‘in the know’ looks at the time trial bike. The pros and the cons – but mostly the cons.
Reads: 60,000+, Average Time on Page: 6:24 mins
Thanks to everyone for reading – and if have a story or two you liked best that didn’t make the list – please let us know with and mail or comment on the PEZ Facebook page what else you liked – or missed. – Pez