Andy Hampsten Part 2: Giro d' Italia, Eddy Merckx, and Bike Touring



Part 2 of our chat with Andy Hampsten picks up right where we left off in part 1: With Hampsten in the Maglia Rosa. Andy finishes this incredible story, and from there we get into a wide range of topics with this iconic cyclist: Cinghiale Tours, Titanium bikes, Eddy Merckx, "Huffy" bikes, and much more. Don't miss this issue of Marginal Gains!


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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  • David Lilja

    Thanks Andy for sharing your experiences and insights with us. It seems that offering bicycle tours to the public is a wonderful way for ex-Pros who still love to ride to continue and to share their passion too.

    I’ve chatted with Phil Anderson a coupe of times at my local Gran Fondo and his passion also shines through. He also (pre-pandemic) offers similar style Euro touring as Andy. Hopefully more pros will retire before they lose their love of cycling and are able to find a way to share with the world. Some commentate or remain inside racing teams but most seem to just disappear off the radar.

    Perhaps we could hear from more of your pro/ex-pro contacts in the future Josh? Lachlan Morton could surely be worthy of this after his Ukrainian border and alt T de F efforts in the last 12 months to start with.

    David from DownUnder.

  • David Lilja

    PS. To my previous message on tires for my rim brake bike.

    After following yesterday’s “Sunday Edition” email link to your participation in a 75min ‘Nerd Alert’ podcast largely on tyres/rims I’d like some more comment on your own experience you mention in the cast Josh.

    On your ‘commuter bike’ you mention wind tunnel testing a specific set-up you run but can’t recommend to others for obvious reasons but you are not the only one who is happy to experiment whilst understanding some serious risks can also be involved. I doubt anyone (especially you Josh) ever attends a wind tunnel with only one set-up to test as context is usually everything in data collection!

    Is there more from this (or any other) wind tunnel testing of your commuter ‘summer’ wheel set-up that you can share with us nerdy ‘Joe Blogs/Blows’ so we can better understand how we might adjust our own bike equip for marginal gains?

    Aero vs rolling resistant vs weight vs comfort are still in everyone’s minds especially as the placebo effect of weight is still reset into each of our brains every time we take off from a stand still or hit a very steep pinch. I still recall upgrading from lightweight steel rims on 600 hubs to alloy tubular rims on Dura Ace freewheel hubs and the forever benefit apart from the tubular flat tyre inconvenience of sending each away for repair and only having 1 spare/repair onboard. There are always personal decisions and compromises to be made during any purchase and more of your general and also specific experiences always gives your more interested audience members more food for thought and digestion ….and then action/results.

    It is a new world with choices for tyres and rims. For greater safety when individually testing the static pressure retention of a tyre/rim combo which could easily enough explode in dynamic use due to the pressure rise when hitting a serious bump, do you have a resource you could share with us all, to save us all doing the math each time? A tyre exploding off a rim on the road is something for everyone to avoid of course but your pros understand such risks when you test with them. Is there a table or some such you can share that would let us all know what sort of pressure rise does occur from a baseline pressure on different tyre widths just prior to rim-strike?
    Cheers again from Tassie.

  • Andy Walford

    Hi Guys, Really love the show, listened religiously since episode 1.

    Much has been said about the dropper post used by Matej Mohoric and the gains he made on the descent of the Poggio to win Milan San Remo. I understand how this would give an aerodynamic reduction in CdA but many seem to think that "the lower Cof G gave a handling gain in the corners.
    Whilst the benefits of a low CG are evident in 4 wheel motor racing to prevent excess roll losses or even overturning, when on a bike the resultant of the CG always has to be through the tyres or else off you come. So a higher CG has the same effect as a lower one in that it has to be kept aligned. All when the super tuck was allowed, no pro I saw did high speed cornering from that position.
    I’d have thought a higher CG would be fractionally more stable in roll since the MOI is higher therefore divergence slower( marginally!)
    So is there a marginal gain from the cornering perspective from a lower CG or not.

  • David Lilja

    Hi Josh(ie), Fattie & Hottie,
    I love your shows, your products, your attitudes & so many of your topics & diversions too.

    I have a top ranked rim brake only frameset & 2 matching pairs of UCI approved non-tubeless wheelsets with 15C deep ‘V’ rims just 21mm wide in 46 & 66mm depths. I have a non-UCI approved tubeless wheelset with 21C ‘U’ rims with 45mm depth, at 28.5mm wide my frame can safely use these too. I’ve trial fitted many different tyres on the 15C & 21C rims to check what rim/tyre % I get.

    Some questions for your Marginal Gains contemplation.
    The 105% rule, is there a generalized maximum % number to consider with ‘V’ or ‘U’ rims before the improving aero effects stop or diminish? I understand the NACA shapes concept we are aiming for with the 105% rule. When I fit a 20mm Supersonic to the ‘V’ rims I get 110% or 122% on the ‘U’ rims & a 23mm GP5000 on the ‘U’ rims gives 113%.

    Although I’ve used latex tubes for many years now, perhaps it is time to consider running tubeless! Your new Ultimate Tubeless sealant w/Fiberfoam is making me think newly about the idea. Unfortunately adding it to inside tubes seems almost impossible outside of production without treating the tubes like they do to repair tubulars! Alternatively, could your sealant be added with a tube also inside the tyre, would the escaping air from a puncture allow the Fiberfoam to still seal the hole if it were properly spread around prior to inflating?

    If a tire insert such as Vittoria’s is used inside a non-tubeless tire, will your new sealant seal the tire casing & work once the insert has reduced in volume from inflation air-pressure? Will the insert shrink enough to allow the space/volume Fibrefoam requires to still work effectively? How much Fibrefoam sealant should be used in a 19.5mm wide tyre & will there be enough volume left with the insert still full-sized to add this sealant? I know it wont be an easy fitment or removal process regardless.
    Will resting the wheel with the valve upwards for some period allow deflation of the tire without the valve hole sealing up when time comes to top-up with the Replenisher? Is it best to inflate a little again first to clear the valve hole before deflating?

    I’m not asking you to recommend running a standard clincher tyre as a tubeless as the insert should make it safer than just a tube if it can fit together, just whether in theory your sealant will seal the casing?

    The best way to reduce drag is still to reduce frontal area but will the lower pressure the ‘U’ wheelset can run overcome this increased frontal area?

    I ran the 66mm front wheel wearing a 23mm GP4000 & it was a ‘handful’ with head/cross winds where the 46s never felt unmanageable at this 90% setting. Will adjusting the percentage beyond 105% change the character of these wheels in such future conditions & if so, to what magnitude could be expected?

    I am assuming (until Chung method testing can confirm) that the 66mm rim run at or above 105% should be the fastest of these 3 front wheel options. Will the greater space inside the forks and stays also likely increase these aero benefits?

    David from Tassie.

  • glenn Newell

    would love a podcast on Marginal Gains of Recovery Products
    I sometimes think that foam rolling/ self massage / massage sticks etc actually make a person waste energy/ calories i.e watts!! just by the action of using them . Compression boots may be better only because once in them you are forced to lie still ( minus the work calories it takes to put them on). Might be fun to see if any data on this.
    Of course a massage by a third party may use the least energy other than just lying down

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