The Paceline 155

The Paceline 155

This week we shake things up a bit and Selene takes the reins of the show. Patrick talks about his longest ever day, mileage-wise, on the bike.

Selene recently reported on a new study on personality and exercise. And if you think that cycling is the domain of lone-wolf introverts, you’d be … wrong. Yep, sports like cycling and cross fit are just as likely to attract extroverts as team sports like basketball or soccer. Who knew?

Shimano has just announced a new series of groups created for gravel riders, but with significant application for cyclocross racers. Called GRX, it is available in three different versions and includes a number of features dialed to the needs of riders exploring unpaved roads. Patrick interviews Shimano’s Nick Legan about the new groups and the needs that Shimano identified to justify creating the series.



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 piece on exercise personality

Remembering Roland Della Santa

Shimano GRX

SensaCalm Weighted Blankets

Shred Girls


, , , , ,


  1. TomInAlbany

    I love the term “cyclophlic” in terms of talking about it. I am no longer anything other than…

  2. Neil Winkelmann

    The inter-operability of GRX with existing Shimano stuff is just great. No wonky spacing, no tiny sprockets and weird cassette bodies. It just all makes sense. If I want, I can buy just the crank-set and FD, and fit to my bike for lower gearing, without replacing anything else at all. Perfect.

  3. Neil Winkelmann

    At #DK200 last year we had some wicked fast smooth gravel sections with a strong tailwind. Hence the Kabush spin-out. Those guys at the front would have been space-trucking. We paid for that blast later, though ;). And paid, and paid, and paid…..

    But in general, I totally agree about the high gear. I really only ever need a 12 anywhere, even on my road bike.

  4. Quentin

    As an owner of a road tandem who has tried to figure out how to get the wide range gearing I want while triple cranksets are going extinct, I think the wide gearing ranges made possible by GRX may be useful for tandems, too. I’d love to see Shimano introduce a set of GRX tandem cranks. It’s a small niche, though.

  5. Rich B

    More excited about top lever hydros than anything else. Shimano finally catching up with “the other guys” for gearing selection. Been running a MTB cassette for several years now since the other’s cable pull is the same for road and MTB. About time Shimano.

  6. Dan Murphy

    While talking with the Shimano guy, he said something like, “If you ever need gearing lower than 30-34, maybe you should be on a mt bike”.

    Ahem. I know Patrick has mentioned wanting lower gearing, and you’re a lot stronger than I’ve ever been, Patrick. Some of us *ahem* older riders could certainly use lower gearing and are willing to sacrifice some top end for it. And face it, a lot of people are more casual riders. Even if you’re strong, some killer rides have that 24% pitch right at mile 90 when you might be wanting something lower. Bike companies have been very good lately about putting more realistic gearing on their bikes, i.e. compact cranks, wider cassettes. This is a welcome change and is a far cry from the days of 42-tooth chainrings and 27-tooth cogsets. Still, I’d like to see them take it a step further. Yes, there are other options, like other cranks or 3rd party hacks, but it would be nice if Shimano recognized that market.

    160 miles in 10 hours? Nice day, Patrick.

    Good podcast as always.

    1. Author

      I’m with you Dan. I think a 30×40 is a perfectly reasonable gear for a gravel bike. I’ll keep singing that song. I lived exactly what you mentioned with the 24% grade at mile 90 at Super Skaggs two weeks ago. Pedaling up that grade was laughable.

      Thanks for the kind words, but to be clear, start to finish including stops was a total of 12.5 hours.

  7. Nathan

    Hey Patrick, how confident are you in the calibration of those power meters? I heard it’s something that can be tricky to get exactly right. Pretty sure it wouldn’t account for all the asymmetry in power output though!

    1. Author

      With Pioneer, I’m super confident. Also, the leg strength disparity was first documented on a CompuTrainer maybe seven years ago. It seems only to have gotten worse.

  8. parris

    Hi Patrick I liked that you pointed out the lack of use of the 11 tooth cog. I would gladly loose the 11 and depending on the chain ring setup the 12 for smaller gear jumps throughout the cassette.

    1. Dan Murphy

      FWIW, I run a 36 cog (SRAM) with an Ultegra RD on my dirt wheels. It’s out of spec, but it works fine.

  9. Frank

    Hi Patrick, totally agree with your sentiments regarding the 11 tooth. I barely even use 50-13 on the 11-34 Alivio cassette I’ve fitted to my road bike, I figure if this increasingly older body is spinning out a 50-11 then I’m going WAY too fast on the downhill curves – and that’s on the road, never mind gravel.

    With customised frames more a thing than ever, surely there’s a market for customised cassettes – if want a 14-36 with single tooth jumps in the middle for the flat roads, I go design one and a few days later it’s delivered to the door?!

    Nice job on the 160 miles too!

  10. Lyford

    With the current Shimano 11-34 road cassettes, swapping the threaded 11 for a 12 is easy. It gives you 12-13, which isn’t much of a jump, but still more useful than the 11.

    With the previous 11-32 I made a hybrid with the lower half of a 12-25. Shifted fine.

    And yes, anyone who thinks 30-34 is a good lower limit probably hasn’t done much riding on steep grades with poor traction. I’ve ridden several “gravel” events on a mountain bike and been happy to sit & spin while other folks were struggling to turn over their road gearing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *