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Portuguese rider Andre Cardoso plans to fight the four-year doping ban handed to him by the UCI last week.
Cardoso, 34, said he hopes to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in an effort to clear his name of any wrongdoing in the anti-doping case, which stems from a positive out-of-competition EPO test in 2017.
“I have nothing to lose because this case has already taken everything,” Cardoso told VeloNews. “I’ve already spent a lot of money and I want to do this to prove my innocence.”
Cardoso tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test performed at his home in Lisbon on June 18, 2017. He was notified of the positive test just days before the Tour de France, and was provisionally suspended by the UCI on the eve of the race. Cardoso rode with Trek-Segafredo during the 2017 season and was set to make his Tour debut that summer.
EPO cases are often open-and-shut affairs for anti-doping agencies, but Cardoso’s lingered for months. In June it was revealed to VeloNews that while Cardoso’s “A” sample showed signs of EPO, his “B” sample did not. Official documents from the Laboratoire Suisse d’Analyse du Dopage in Lausanne, Switzerland said the presence of EPO in the “B” sample was “doubtful but inconclusive.”
“The result of the analysis of the urine sample is doubtful but inconclusive regarding the presence of recombinant EPO,” reads the test report for the B sample.
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Cardoso appealed his ban in 2017, and the action set off a 16-month battle between his lawyers and the UCI. Cardoso said he spent more than 60,000 euros on the court case, paying lawyers and legal experts to argue against the UCI. Cardoso says he dipped into his savings and took a job as a cycling guide to pay for his defense.
“Why does the UCI need to take 16 months for my case?” Cardoso said. “It’s because if you spend more time, a rider needs more money to pay for that time.”
On November 15, the UCI made its ruling: it banned Cardoso for four years. The UCI declined to discuss specifics around Cardoso’s case but did release an official statement that read, in part: “The Anti-Doping Tribunal found the rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (use of Erythropoietin *) and imposed 4-year period of ineligibility on the rider.”
Cardoso says he has 21 days to file an official appeal to the UCI ruling, which places the deadline on December 6. He is investigating ways to pay for his defense, and says he may start a crowdfunding campaign to help him cover the costs of his case.
“I want a fair fight against the UCI,” Cardoso said. “Unless you have big money, that is difficult.”
Read the full article at Cardoso to fight UCI ban: ‘I have nothing to lose’ on

On stage 2 of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Sepp Kuss made a monstrous, audacious solo attack over Mount Nebo. He rode up to and through the day’s breakaway. He turned himself inside out into a stiff headwind on the upper, rolling terrain atop the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. Finally, he bombed down to Payson, Utah, to take an emphatic stage win and the overall lead by 29 seconds over his LottoNL-Jumbo teammate Neilson Powless.
With several demanding stages to come in the weeklong race, any cycling textbook would suggest Kuss simply play defense, sit on the wheels of his nearest rivals, and allow his WorldTour team to control the race. If he did that, a big professional win would surely be his.
Scratch that. Sepp Kuss doesn’t know how to follow wheels. He doesn’t care what the textbook says. He doesn’t want to patiently play defense.
In the most dominant fashion, Kuss ripped the race apart, stage after stage. In stage 5, on the final climb to Snowbird, he decided with 8 kilometers left to race that he couldn’t hang around anymore. Later guys! He rode away from everyone, including a trio of EF Education First-Drapac riders and BMC Racing’s Ben Hermans. And he had a big, beaming smile on his face all the way to the summit.
After the stage win, with a 1:21 lead over Hermans in the overall, Kuss could breathe easy, relax, and soak it all in. Or not.In the final stage, Kuss hit the base of the much-feared Empire Pass climb. EF Education First’s Nate Brown was several minutes up the road, though not in contention for the overall win. Mitchelton-Scott’s Jack Haig, sitting fifth overall, launched an attack that put Kuss on the ropes — for a moment. Eventually, Kuss couldn’t stop himself. He again rode up to and through the remnants of the day’s break. Two kilometers from the summit, Kuss passed Brown; at the summit, he had a 42-second lead on the field. After a tricky descent down the rain-slicked streets into Park City, Kuss claimed his third stage win and the title of Tour of Utah champion with the most dominant performance in the race’s history.
Three years ago, Kuss raced for the University of Colorado cycling team in one of his first road races in Denver’s City Park. During the race, a teammate rode up beside him to recommend he ride in the drops through the course’s technical corners. In August, Kuss crushed a world-class field at the Tour of Utah. The progression has been phenomenal.
How’d he do it? A performance of that caliber deserves a closer look.
Kuss had what looked like a smile plastered to his face as he rode away from the competition on the climb to Snowbird Resort on stage 5. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.comNeo-pro novelties
After racing for the Pro Continental Rally Cycling team for a year and a half, Kuss signed with LottoNL-Jumbo for the 2018 season. In January, he sat down with team staff to discuss his season plan. “Probably 95 percent of the races I did this year I knew about leading into the season, which is pretty nice,” Kuss said.
For both the Amgen Tour of California and the Tour of Utah, Kuss and fellow American Powless were earmarked for co-leadership duties from the beginning of the year. The team’s confidence in the young pair, 23 and 21 at the time respectively, was evident.
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While it was stressful in the peloton, American Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) was out front in the breakaway at Strade Bianche. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty ImagesIn his first WorldTour season, Kuss faced a trial-by-fire scenario several times. It was his first year competing in many of the biggest European races, including the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Volta ao Algarve, Strade Bianche, and Vuelta al Pais Vasco. To say his spring was difficult would be an understatement. Kuss admits he struggled, mentally and physically, feeling as if he never could get his head or legs where they needed to be. Nevertheless, the mellow Kuss kept plugging away, doing the things his team suggested he do. He reasoned that whenever you start with a new program or are in a new coaching environment, it takes time to have the confidence to say how you’re feeling or give constructive criticism. He didn’t want to rock the boat; he was also curious and willing to try their way.
Finally, after the Criterium du Dauphiné, where Kuss feels he rode fairly well, he sat down with the team to discuss where he was at and where he wanted to go.
“I said, ‘This is kind of the direction I want to go with training the next few months — maybe we can try to incorporate some of these things, let’s not do X and Y anymore, let’s try something different based on what has worked and what hasn’t in the spring,’” Kuss remembered telling his coaches. “Everyone is different, so one style of training is not necessarily right for everybody. I think it’s a healthy coaching relationship when you can say what works and what doesn’t.”
After the Dauphiné, the team selected Kuss for the Vuelta, so they told him they were already hoping he’d put in a bit more volume than normal, which further influenced his training.
Back to basics
In July, Kuss returned to the U.S., first to train in Boulder before returning to his hometown of Durango. A quick glimpse at his Strava profile tells you what big miles mean to a pro. The number of KOMs he gobbled up belie the fact that he was reducing intensity.
He was back on familiar terrain, and able to return to the training that had worked for him in the past, with some subtle but significant modifications. Comparing the lead-ins to the past two Tours of Utah, Kuss included much more intensity and lower volume in 2017. (He finished ninth riding for Rally Cycling.) Three or four consecutive days of “good intensity” were followed by less rest between training blocks. By comparison, in 2018 he did two- to three-day blocks with longer hours and 50 percent less intensity.
“Some of that intensity in those volume blocks was also just on my own, freestyle, whatever,” Kuss said. “And a lot of riding at altitude for extended periods of time, which also helps when you’re just riding along.”
The reason we aren’t able to be more specific about the training load is that Kuss isn’t able to. Kuss, who doesn’t have a personal coach outside of his WorldTour team, is essentially self-coached, and always has been. Those new-fangled data points such as Training Stress Score (TSS)? “I don’t really look at those graphs,” he said. “I don’t totally believe in all those numbers. But certainly, looking back, all the weeks in training as a whole were much harder than the race in Utah.”
Sepp Kuss, an accomplished skier, is quite happy with his winner’s prize of a season pass to Snowbird. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.comTo be clear, in the race a lot of time is spent just sitting in the peloton, thus the smaller overall load. However, peak power numbers were much higher in the race than what Kuss did in training.
While Kuss built toward a solid performance at Utah — a race he “knew he could do well at” — he also had to consider what would help him prepare to make a grand tour debut in his first year on the WorldTour. It was a complex and daunting balancing act. The two objectives made for a perfect source of inspiration.
“The whole motivation for my training was the bigger picture, looking at the Vuelta — it was a big, big opportunity to do that and knowing that I would have the chance was a huge motivation to go out there and train and make sure I did everything right,” Kuss said.
Nothing to lose
Finally, with all the big miles behind him, Kuss launched himself at the Tour of Utah. From that attack on stage 2 to his final surges on Empire Pass, he dominated the race. Amid all the fun he looked to be having — when’s the last time you saw someone beaming as they throttled their way up a climb like Snowbird? — it also seemed like Kuss was getting away with some tactical errors, making moves that were ill-advised given the circumstances. Had there been stiffer competition, would those moves have backfired?
A young Kuss said he wasn’t really concerned with that.
“I felt really good, and when you have that certain level of confidence and condition, you have nothing to lose,” he said.
He claims everything he did was under his limit, and he never felt like he was going to blow. He does concede, however, that if the race were at sea level or there were more WorldTour teams, maybe it would have played out differently.
As for his attitude on Snowbird, his refreshing answer is as satisfying as his smile was on the day.
“That’s just cycling, you know. Maybe once in a season, once every two seasons, you have those moments when you don’t feel the chain, as the saying goes,” Kuss said. “When you’re in that moment you just feel invincible… invincible isn’t the right word. But you feel, ‘This is why I train. This is why I make all the sacrifices.’ At the end of the day, it’s fun. It’s fun to race your bike, especially when you feel good.”
Sepp Kuss wins stage 6 of the Tour of Utah in Park City, his third stage win of the week, on his way to the overall victory. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.comThe next step
On the heels of such a dominant victory, inevitably comes both confidence for the rider and higher expectations from fans and team alike. Kuss is aware of both the negatives and positives, and the greater significance of his win.
At the beginning of the year, when things weren’t going well, when the races were so hard he felt like he was digging himself into a hole, it presented a heavy challenge for a 22-year-old kid living in Europe.
“To come around and show the team that I can actually ride a bike was a good feeling,” he said. “They’ve seen how bad I can be, but also what my potential is… that it’s worth their time to invest in me and develop me and give me quality races.”
That’s a huge benefit, and relief, for a first-year pro. It may even bode well for his trajectory in the sport, although Kuss is the first to remind anyone that he has a chasm to close before he should be considered a grand-tour talent. But when he’s getting dropped in the third week of the Vuelta, and people say, ‘Well, you’re such a good climber, why can’t you hang on?’ that’s the downside of expectation. As he puts it, maybe he’s just tired; maybe he’s just not good enough. Just because he did it in Utah doesn’t mean he can climb away from Chris Froome.
“I can handle the expectation, because to me it doesn’t matter what people expect or what mold they want you to fit in, but it’s easier for me if I fly under the radar, nice and steady,” he said.
Read the full article at Inside Sepp Kuss’s dominant victory at the Tour of Utah on

Allan Peiper will work as a directeur sportif with the UAE Team Emirates squad in 2019, getting back behind the wheel of a team car after several years as Sporting Manager at BMC Racing. Peiper is expected to work closely with Dan Martin as he targets the Ardennes Classics and Grand Tours, sharing his experience of working with Cadel Evans and Richie Porte. UAE Team Emirates have also bolstered its line-up by signing Fernando Gaviria from Quick-Step Floors, Sergio Henao from Team Sky and several talented young riders. The team also has Alexander Kristoff for the sprints and cobbled Classics, and hope that Fabio Aru can get his career back on track in 2019. Peiper was looking for a new direction in his long career in professional cycling after BMC Racing announced it was merging with CCC for 2019.ADVERTISEMENT According to Ride Media in Australia, Peiper spoke to several teams but opted for UAE Team Emirates and is already at the team base in Italy for planning meetings for the new season. French directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit recently left UAE Team Emirates to work with Groupama-FDJ. UAE Team Emirates confirmed to Cyclingnews that Peiper had joined the team staff for 2019. "UAE has ticked all the boxes. It’s a very professional outfit and a great environment for riders to develop. I’m excited about the prospect of working with a rider like Dan Martin who has become a genuine GC contender in recent years," Peiper told Ride Media. Peiper moved to Belgium as a 16-year-old to find a professional contract, going on to race for Peugeot, Panasonic and Tulip Computers. He won stages at both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. After time away from the sport he returned as a directeur sportif at Davitamon and then more successfully with the High Road set-up that included Mark Cavendish.
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Mathieu van der Poel has hit back at criticism from Roger De Vlaeminck after the former rider said the young Dutchman's recent domination had 'broken' cyclo-cross. The 23-year-old responded, saying that he doesn’t train to make cyclo-cross exciting. Van der Poel has been a dominant force throughout the current cyclo-cross season, something that has been more apparent with the struggles of his primary rival, Wout van Aert. Van der Poel won his second consecutive World Cup race in Tabor on Saturday after distancing his competitors on the second lap. He has also won the last two rounds of the DVV Trofee and leads the Superprestige series after winning every single race so far.ADVERTISEMENT On Sunday, De Vlaeminck said that many fans were put off by the dominance and that Van der Poel should ride smarter. "I think it's a shame what happens, nobody is nipping at Mathieu van der Poel's heels, he's way too good. But, I think Van der Poel has to be smarter because many people are put off," De Vlaeminck told VRT. "After 10 minutes, you've seen everything in cyclo-cross nowadays, it's no longer worth viewing. Van der Poel is a real Dutchman who wants to take everything, I understand that, but you can also make it nice if you are the best. Because I do not like it anymore, Van der Poel makes the sport a little bit broken.” Van der Poel was direct in his rebuffing of the comments, saying it wasn’t for him to make the racing exciting. He added that by waiting for rivals he could end up losing races. De Vlaeminck keen to help Van Aert
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The infamous Trouée d'Arenberg sector of pavé, used each year by Paris-Roubaix, could have the gaps between its cobbles filled in with mortar ahead of the 2019 race. Rather than being an early April Fool's joke, French newspaper La Voix du Nord reports that concerns about the grass that grows in between the cobblestones is prompting the race organisers to look at solutions to make the road safer. While the last truly wet Paris-Roubaix was back in 2002, concerns about the additional risk of wet grass overlapping the already treacherous pavé have led organiser ASO and Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix – a volunteer group that helps to repair and protect the iconic roads used by the race – to address the potential dangers.ADVERTISEMENT As chemical sprays are not permitted in the Arenberg Forest, through which the cobbled road runs, thermal weedkillers have been used in the past to control the growth of grass between the pavé, but now ASO and its race director Christian Prudhomme are looking for a more permanent solution, according to the newspaper. "If we don't change anything, then the next time it rains during the race, there are going to be a lot more crashes," president of Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix, François Soulcier, told La Voix du Nord. The 2.4km-long stretch of cobbles through the forest, which made its first appearance in the race in 1968, has come and gone from the race over the years amid safety concerns, having been responsible for a number of horror crashes. Most well known in more recent years are those of Johan Museeuw in 1998, when the Belgian broke his kneecap, and was close to having to have his leg amputated in the aftermath after it became infected, and Philippe Gaumont in 2001, when the Frenchman broke his femur.
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Here’s your News roundup for Tuesday, November 20. This is our way of keeping you up to speed on all of the stories circulating in the world of pro cycling.
Dimension Data picks development team rider with Zwift Academy
Slovenia’s Martin Lavric will join the Dimension Data development team in 2019 after winning this year’s Zwift Academy challenge.
The 19-year-old was one of three finalists joining the Dimension Data WorldTour squad at a team camp in Cape Town, South Africa.
“On the road, we’re looking at how they can ride a bike ultimately,” U23 team coach Elliot Lipski said of the trip in a YouTube video. “We’ve spent the last two and a half months looking at the power through Zwift. It’s about how they ride together in a group.”
Lavric rode with the Continental team Attaque Team Gusto in 2017 and raced in several events this season as a member of the Slovenian national team.
Zwift will also place a rider in a women’s pro team in the coming days, as Canyon-SRAM is currently evaluating three Zwift Academy finalists at a training camp.
Bardet mulls Giro participation
According to L’Equipe, Romain Bardet is considering racing the 2019 Giro d’Italia.
The 28-year-old Frenchman, twice a podium finisher at the Tour de France, has never raced the Giro. Six of his seven career grand tour starts have come at his home tour, with one Vuelta a España participation in 2017.L’Equipe reports that he is mulling a possible 2019 debut in the Italian race and that he will decide on his plans at the end of this month.
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Broeckx back on his bike
Two and a half years after a crash that left him in a coma, Stig Broeckx is back on his bike.
Racing with Lotto Soudal, the Broeckx was involved in a pileup at the 2016 Baloise Belgium Tour when two motorcycles collided and then hit a group of riders. He spent six months in a coma. Since regaining consciousness, he has undergone extensive rehab.
Now, he’s back on two wheels. Broeckx posted photos of a mountain bike ride to his Instagram account this weekend.

View this post on Instagram
Uitkijktorens: Dessel ✔, Lommel ✔
A post shared by Stig Broeckx (@stigbroeckx) on Nov 17, 2018 at 8:41am PST

“I have been looking forward to this very much,” he told Studio Brussel. “The next goal is to ride the racing bike. I still have a love for the road, and I’m still following it.”
Dumoulin acknowledges Tour route challenges
Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin remains undecided about his participation in the 2019 Tour de France.
The 28-year-old Dutchman, the runner-up at both the Giro and the Tour this season, hinted last month that he’d like to go the Tour to win, but recently expressed doubt about making the start in an interview with De Telegraaf.
With its dearth of time trial mileage, next year’s Tour route is not an ideal one for Dumoulin, the 2017 world champion in the discipline.
“I do not think that there has been a grand tour in recent years that fits my profile so badly,” Dumoulin told said, according to the Dutch newspaper. “In all respects, the Giro is much better.”
Read the full article at News roundup: Zwift Academy winner; Bardet mulls Giro; Broeckx is back on

Greg Van Avermaet's 2018 season might not have measured up to 2017 in terms of his victory tally, but the Belgian still enjoyed an eight-day spell in the lead of the Tour de France. But given the chance, Van Avermaet would trade that honour for a victory in his home Monument, the Tour of Flanders. The organisers of the Tour of Flanders, Flanders Classics, posted a quick 10-question interrogation of Van Avermaet on Twitter in which the Olympic champion says he would rather win the UCI Road World Championships when they come to Belgium in 2021 than extend his Olympic road race title. Given the severity of the course in Tokyo, which should favour pure climbers over Classics specialists, that is a more realistic goal. Van Avermaet is also asked which is the better achievement - winning the Worlds as a 38-year-old, as Alejandro Valverde did in Austria - or winning three times in a row like Peter Sagan, which course he prefers - the old Omloop het Nieuwsblad or the new one, and which was his best Flanders Classic victory, among other questions.ADVERTISEMENT Most importantly, does he prefer the florescent orange of new title sponsor CCC or the salmon coloured jersey of the RCS Anderlecht football team. Find out by watching the video below. It’s off-season for the riders, so we dished up some snackable dilemma questions for “Flanders fan favorite” @GregVanAvermaet — Flanders Classics (@FlandersCLnews) November 20, 2018
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After securing Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) for next season, the Tour Colombia organisers have said that Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) will also be on the start line, according to the Colombian media. The race, previously known as the Colombia Oro y Paz, is keen to have a more international roster after making its debut this season. Speaking at an event in Medellin, Colombia, where the race's headquarters was being inaugurated, the head of the Colombian Federation, Jorge Ovidio González, told the local press that Nibali would be in attendance. However, Cyclingnews spoke to Bahrain-Merida, which did not confirm his appearance and said that Nibali's current plans are to go to the team's January training camp in Catalonia before heading to Tenerife for a training camp on Mount Teide. Cyclingnews understands that Nibali has different plans for 2019 and will likely not race Tour Colombia.ADVERTISEMENT Nibali has previously said that he would like a more straightforward start to the year after he fell ill ahead of his 2018 debut at the Vuelta a San Juan. Nibali has started his season at the Argentinean race, which takes place between January 27 and February 3, for the last three seasons. The Tour Colombia does not start until February 12 and runs until the February 17, so Nibali could ride both races if he wished but is wary of travelling far afield so early in the season after his experience this year. Nibali is expected to finalise his 2019 race programme next month when the Bahrain-Merida team meet for their winter training camp in Croatia. The Italian is still choosing between targeting the Giro d'Italia or the Tour de France. Nibali rode the Tour de France this season but abandoned after stage 12 after an crash on the Alpe d'Huez left him with a fractured vertebra. In addition to Froome and Valverde, home riders Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling), Egan Bernal (Team Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) are all expected to line-up. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) has also penciled in the event for his return to racing after missing a large part of the 2018 due to mononucleosis.
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After finally securing a title sponsor for his team last month, Patrick Lefevere has added BMW as a car supplier for his Deceuninck-QuickStep team. In recent years, Quick-Step Floors have been working with French manufacturer Peugeot. The team will be supplied with 15 vehicles in total, three fewer than their current store of cars. The fleet will consist of nine X1s Drive 18i and six 520i Touring, while they will also use one of the new X7 models in March to use for VIPs. "We are really pleased to have BMW join us as our new official car partner,” Lefevere said in a team press release. “We are always looking for innovative ways to improve our set-up and support the team. We believe that having an official car partner like BMW, that is as passionate about innovation as we are, can help to deliver even more success and satisfaction."ADVERTISEMENT Quick-Step Floors was the most successful team in 2018, winning a total of 73 races. However, they lost a number of key riders, including Fernando Gaviria, due to a protracted search for a new sponsor. E3 Harelbeke gets new name and route E3 Harelbeke will become the E3 BinckBank Classic from next season after the online bank became a new sponsor. The one-day WorldTour race unveiled the route for next year at the same time, as well as a new logo. Despite dropping Harelbeke from its name, the race will still start and finish in the town. It will head toward Waregem, Oudenaard and then Zottegem before looping south toward Geraardsbergen and then heading back to Harelbeke. The route is much the same as it was this season with just a few minor changes made necessary due to roadworks. Zwift Academy announces 2018 men's winner Go behind the scenes at Prendas
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Side-pull vs. center-pull brakesDear Lennard,
Recently, a friend sent me post cards from the cycling shrine at Madonna del Ghisallo, Italy. One pictures the bicycle ridden by Gianni Motta in the 1966 Giro d’Italia. The bike has side-pull brakes. The cable tension screw on the levers looks like the system used on Universal brakes. But I recall that Universal was only making center-pull brakes, which were all the rage until Campagnolo came out with their side-pull in 1968. I am the original owner of a 1965 Masi Special that has Universal center-pull brakes. It is strange; when I started racing in the late 1950s, side-pull brakes were the only thing around. Then the fad went to center-pull (and recessed headsets, too) and back again to side pull. Do you have any idea what brakes may be on the Motta bicycle?— MichaelDear Michael,
I’ll bet those are Universal, which did make side-pull brakes and were the low-cost alternative to Campy Nuovo Record side-pulls at the end of the 1960s. They were light weight and had very thin, flexy arms; they offered very low braking power compared to what we are now used to (or to Campy brakes of the 1970s). My roommate in college in 1977 had some Universal side-pull brakes on his otherwise full-Campy Cinelli that he had bought used, so it was probably late 1960s vintage.― Lennard
Regarding last week’s columnDear Lennard,

In regards to your recent Technical FAQ about fatigue life of aluminum, this photo might give your readers pause and send them off inspecting their aluminum frames immediately. I found this while washing the bike. I don’t know how long it was like this, and we had just finished a week-long trip along Lakes Erie and Ontario, riding every day. I shudder every time I think of it.
Having taken several materials classes in my engineering school days, I have always understood the fatigue issues with aluminum, and I always did look the bike over when I washed it, but I should have been even more diligent. In this case, luck won out.
The bicycle is (was) a 2004 Burley tandem, with about 15,000 miles on it.
A related question — what are the fatigue characteristics of carbon fiber structures? My only experience with composite materials is reinforced concrete.— RichardDear Richard,
While carbon fiber composites can have very high strength-to-weight ratios and high elastic modulus (hence, high stiffness), they do not have a definable fatigue limit or endurance limit. Thus, fatigue failure is, in theory, possible with carbon parts, but since the strength of the part can be so high, this can keep the stresses still well below the S-N curve for a carbon part.
I’ll let the pioneer in carbon bicycle frames, Craig Calfee, answer your question more completely.― LennardHi Lennard,
Composites are very different when it comes to fatigue failure. Theoretically, because the strength of carbon fiber is so high, designed stresses would never approach the yield strength, (which is almost the same as the ultimate tensile strength because carbon fiber is so brittle). A well-designed (and well-built) carbon fiber component will never fail under normal loading. But a stress concentration can be built into a poorly made component, rendering that area prone to a fatigue crack. The failure mechanism starts with the epoxy matrix, which starts microcracking in the high-stress area. That starts rendering the epoxy ineffective as a matrix for the carbon fiber and soon results in the fiber starting to break. This is when the fracture starts to be visible on the surface. Note that the vast majority of composites failures make their appearance on the surface because that is where the maximum stress is located when caused by a stress riser. Once the fiber starts to break, the component will soon fail catastrophically, not giving nearly as much warning as metals do.
If a component is designed for lowest possible weight without margin for typical abuse, minor manufacturing errors, or subtle changes to the design, a very small gouge will become a stress riser that will lead to a failure. This is why we stay quite busy with our carbon repair service. A component designed with a margin for this type of real-world experience will last a lot longer because a small, unnoticed gouge will not progress into a full-blown crack.— Craig Calfee
Founder and President, Calfee Design
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I was quite put off by the answer you gave to Gary when he asked about whether having ridden 24,000 miles on his frame so far should worry him that it won’t last through some touring.

The answer you gave seemed to be something like, “well, aluminum will eventually fail. I don’t know when it might happen, so you should get a new frame now.” 

What frame of reference are you using for that? How much stress is a frame actually experiencing in different situations? And how many cycles might occur per, say, 1,000 miles of riding? Personally, I don’t know what rider weights, uses, and impacts can cause a stress of, 10ksi, or 20, or 50. Do you? 

What if everything but a hard crash causes — TravisDear Travis,
Your reading of my answer is different from mine. Gary is planning an extended loaded tour on a bike that he had ridden 24,000 miles on, some of it loaded touring, and he is concerned about whether his bike will make it through. I was answering from the perspective that he may be better off getting a new frame than having that worry in the back of his head detracting from the awesome trip he is embarking on. I am sure he doesn’t want to find a crack on his tour like the first reader in today’s column.
Since I know nothing about how heavy or strong Gary is, what kind of road surfaces and terrain he rides on, how heavily his packs are loaded when he tours, what his riding style is like, and what tubes his frame is made out of, I cannot begin to approximate the magnitude of the stresses his bike has been subjected to in absolute terms. I can tell you that in terms of fatigue testing, each pedal stroke is considered a stress cycle, so that is quantifiable if we were to know Gary’s average cadence over all of those miles.
I can give you an answer to your last question, since any bike shop can tell you that they have seen plenty of aluminum frames that have cracked from fatigue within a year or two. Consequently, we know that those riders are producing stress cycles far beyond 1ksi (i.e., 1,000psi).
Consider the following facts:
1. The ultimate strength (tensile strength) of high-quality aluminum tubes used in bike frames is on the order of 60ksi.
2. Some strong riders manage to break frames made out of such tubes within a few years of normal use.
3. Even though aluminum has no fatigue limit, its S-N curve is high above the horizontal axis (indicating stresses that are a high percentage of ultimate strength) for a huge number of cycles (the horizontal scale — number of stress cycles — is logarithmic on an S-N curve).
From these facts, we can certainly say that those tubes, in order to break within a few years of normal riding, are experiencing stresses on the order of at least 30ksi. Add loaded packs to the same bike with the same rider and the stresses go up and the frame’s life is even shorter.
Since any bike survives the vast majority of rides that its rider embarks on, and Gary’s has survived 24,000 miles, chances are that his will survive this trip, too. But he asked me if the number of miles on the frame is a practical concern. Since it is aluminum, which has no fatigue limit, every single pedal stroke, and hence every mile traveled, is indeed a practical concern, because every one of them shortens its life. I still have no idea how long that life will be, given the dearth of data about him and his bike that I had to work with, and I said that.
My point is that the unpredictability of it lasting the trip or not increases when using a material like aluminum that has no fatigue limit. If he instead had a steel or titanium bike (which have fatigue limits), and we were able to measure that the stresses he is providing on its steel or titanium tubes were below 30ksi when on his loaded tour, I could guarantee him that a well-made frame without notches, dents, or corrosion would not fail from fatigue during his trip. That’s because titanium tubing used in bike frames has tensile strength on the order of 100ksi, and steel tubes in quality bike frames have tensile strengths of 125-200ksi, so 30ksi is well below the fatigue limit (typically around half of tensile strength) of those tubes.― Lennard
Read the full article at Tech FAQ: Universal brakes and frame fatigue on