AJA #20: The Pipeline Problem

It's a strange time to be a cyclist, a bike shop, or in the bike industry. Pro teams are scrounging for components. New frames are difficult to come by. Bike shops, swamped with extraordinary demand, are closing due to lack of supply. As an innovator in the bike industry to talks to bike shops and pro teams every day, Josh has practical insight into making the best of a problematic pipeline.

We also talk about how Silca goes about greenlighting a new product, marginal gains on gravel, and what Josh really wants marginal gainers to think about when we're on our bikes.

Got a question you’d like to ask? Text or leave a voicemail at the Marginal Gains Hotline: +1-317-343-4506 or just leave a comment in this post!

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  • Asher Hart

    Hey I have a question on MTB suspension. Would adding weight to the center/ bb area improve proformance and handling? My thoughts are that it would lower the COG and and improve the sprung:unsprung weight? But would this translate to better on trail proformance? If so what would the best amount of extra weight be? This is in an enduro sense.


  • john raines

    Sometimes when I’m on a local bike trail, I see a group of kids training on roller skis. In years past I would say something to roller skiers about what color klister wax they were using. Now I’m using wax and they are not.

    I just rewaxed and as I was flexing the cooled chain I was thinking: When chains wear they get more space between links and pins and get longer. What makes the chain so stiff right now is that there is wax in those joints. Is it shorter or just being prevented from getting shorter? If it is shorter how long does that last?

    As I used a hook to pull the chain out of the pot, I thought the wax did not look uniform in color. Are some of the additives coming out of suspension and should I stir the melted wax before I put the chain in, rather than just laying the coiled chain on top of solid wax and turning on the heat?

  • Jeff Dieffenbach

    Amazingly, I think this is a topic that I’ve never heard Josh weigh in on: electronic braking. And specifically, wireless braking. Two aspects of this interest me:

    1. Can there be enough redundancy of signal sending/receiving to make this safe (perhaps such that if the system fails, the brakes automatically activate)?

    2. How much energy is required to activate braking over a longish, hilly ride, and can that energy be practically delivered by a battery system?



  • Ben McMurtrie

    Hi Guys, love your podcast, been binging while in the car. The mix of bikes, physics, engineering and in depth discussions are great.

    I would love to know why i should really be concerned about aero gains on a bike frame (21-Cannondale Supersixevo) when the clain is its only effective or a gain after 35kmh. Myself and certainly lots of punters never average that speed, i’m happy if i get high 20’s.

    Another pls – are there watt gains by shaving legs? Or why dont cyclists wear socks just above the shoes, not long that would have more drag??

    Thanks Guys, love your work

  • Jeff Seckendorf

    Hi…I’m working on a masters hour record and am considering changing my track race wheels to clinchers to facilitate various tire and pressure choices. I ride the asphalt track in San Diego, the concrete track in Encino, and the indoor wood track in LA. Knowing that there is no one-size-fits-all, is clincher a reasonable option? I’ve been gluing tires for 40 years, so that’s not an issue, but my current wheels are older and narrow, so I want to upgrade to more modern wheels anyway. I’m guessing there are probably gains to be had on the outdoor tracks, but are there any gains (or losses) with a lower pressure clincher on a wood track where we normally run skinny tubulars with pressures in the 150+ psi range?



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