Paceline Podcast 153

Paceline Podcast 153

Pennsylvania in spring is a good place to be a cyclist. The landscape glows in technicolor and the events can be unusual with equal doses of nutty, fun and camaraderie. Selene shares some of the unusual events that she does, like the 666 Cinder Race Series. For her, these oddball events are part of the lifeblood of her cycling life.

Patrick takes on the Superman vs. Batman question of bike equipment: lightweight or aero? Which should you choose? There is an answer, and it’s good and true for most any rider. And the answer isn’t necessarily as expensive as you think.



The Paceline is supported by Eliel Cycling. Crafted in California, the Eliel brand combines the latest technology with cycling tradition to deliver an experience that is authentically California. View their retail gear and custom program at


Show links:

Selene’s review of the Jamis Dragonfly

Patrick’s ride report on the Huffmaster Hopper

Zipp 454 NSW Wheels


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  1. Matthew

    question for Selene in regards to unpaved Pennsylvania routes/ “roads” in October!

    I am signed up!

    I was wondering if you think that the WTB Byway 650bx 47mm would a good tire for the ride? Or would a tire with more tread be necessary? like the Terrene Elwood or WTB Venture be a better tire?

    1. Selene Yeager

      Hey! You’ll love the course. Are you doing the 120? This isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but it’s the truth…there is no single right tire for this ride. Much of the gravel is gorgeous, nice than tarmac. There’s about 30 miles of the 120 that is pretty rough. I rode Schwalbe G-Ones (40c) last year and was perfectly happy. Some people go bigger; some go smaller. It’s really what you’re comfortable with. I would say that you don’t need a lot of tread. Even if it rains, it’s not the kind of mud that sticks to everything like you see in Kansas or Oklahoma. Not sure if that helped!

  2. Matthew

    well that comment didn’t work right. If it can be deleted please do. Stinking small phone screen…

    the G ones seem to have more tread in the middle vs sides like the Byways do. They are 47mm but I wasn’t sure if i could/ should go with tread or smoother. My Chief Financial Officer would not want me to buy tires for the ride but If it makes the ride better I dont want to be slip slidding away.

    Never really ridden gravel except around a local lake.

  3. Neil Winkelmann

    Re: Aero Vs Light. For me, light weight makes a bike nicer to ride with little downside. To avoid fragility, one needs to open their wallet, of course. Was it Tom Ritchey who said “light, cheap strong – pick any 2”?

    But…..a set of aero wheels is admittedly faster, but is seemingly worse in every other way (for me). Worse braking, heavier, less stable in cross-winds, harsher riding(?), more expensive than even the highest-end alloy rims. So, for a non-road-racer like me, where absolute speed isn’t really the main driver, I want a bike that just feels great to ride. On the flat, I feel fast enough and I can hang in a bunch with faster riders. Where I want to be fast is on the climbs. So while I’m happy to drop serious coin on a great, light bike, for now, a set of carbon aero carbon wheels is a step too far (and maybe even a step backwards in terms of what I want from a bike).

  4. Garrett

    This may seem like a strange question to seasoned cyclists, but how to I predict the difficulty of a ride/race? I’m historically more of a runner, and runs seem easier to judge (and they’re relatively short!). The Monkey Knife Fight (50) was my first cycling event. It was amazing, and I loved the hills. LuLackaWyco (75) was my second event. I loved the first 1/2 of the hills, the longer mileage made it tough, and of course the weather was brutal. Dirty Kanza (100) will be my 3rd event. Distance, hills, weather… Is there anything close to a secret formula for predicting difficulty?
    I love the podcast – it’s been a fantastic way to learn more about cycling while I suffer inside on a trainer.

    1. Selene Yeager

      Not a strange question for seasoned cyclists! Dozens of seasoned cyclists (including yours truly) underestimated how difficult LLWH was going to be yesterday! Weather is ALWAYS a wild card. Experience taught me that if it only showered yesterday we’d be fine. But if the skies got darker and the rain heavier, we’d get in some trouble. And we did! (We ducked inside a diner for soup and coffee and a warm up.) Generally, if you look at the distance and elevation, if you gain 1000 feet per 10 miles, you’re in for a tough ride. Anything over that? Really tough. (Note Ride with GPS nearly always underestimates elevation gain; I add 1,000 feet in my mind so I’m not surprised). There is no way to estimate how hard Dirty Kanza is. You look at the distance and course and think, “Okay, that’s hard.” But you get out in the elements and start pedaling over those chunky roads…and then realize that you NEVER COAST, and suddenly it’s clear that it’s going to be way harder than you thought. If something has a reputation (like DK200) to be something that is hard to simply finish, you know it’s going to be very, very hard. But honestly if you’ve never been to an event, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re in for. That’s where talking to people and scoping out their social media feeds can give you a lot of information! Thanks for listening!

  5. matthew

    @selene that is good advice. I am a bit nervous about the Unpaved route but I hope to be ready for that… I want to have fun not suffer through the ride.

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