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The Marginal Gains Podcast, presented by Silca is the show that makes a big deal about the little things, and how those little things...can be a big deal. Josh Poertner of Silca, along with Hottie and Fatty, talk about all aspects of cycling — design, manufacturing, marketing, riding, racing, management and more, all from a thoughtful perspective. It's a podcast for the thinking cyclist.
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Our recent wind tunnel episodes have triggered a LOT of aero questions from our listeners, and Josh -- with hand hovering over the "It Depends" button -- takes them on. From IRL Burrito Powerups (IYKYK) to the StripChip and the Chain Waxing System to aero chainrings to leg hair stubble as a potential aero advantage to shoe aerodynamics, Josh will —…
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Josh answers more of Fatty & Hottie's pressing questions about the surprises people are in for when visiting a wind tunnel for the first time, what happens when key learnings from a wind tunnel session are ignored, how often follow-up questions triggered by a wind tunnel session are actually followed up on, whether it's worth it to bring anyone but…
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An argument can be made that Mark Cote is the father of the Specialized Wind Tunnel. During his tenure at the Big S, he convinced the powers that be that the Big S needed its own wind tunnel — an amazing story Mark shares with Josh. Enjoy this deep dive into Mark's backstory and conversation between Mark and Josh as they swap stories on how they've…
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Josh's experiences in wind tunnels have come up in dozens of episodes of Marginal Gains, and we always find ourselves with more questions. In this episode, we're finally giving ourselves permission to ask them, from the essentials of using a wind tunnel to a day in the life before, during, and after testing in a windtunnel. Look, we'll be honest he…
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When it comes to bikes, Josh is usually the smartest person in the room. But Josh will tell you, when the topic turns to mountain bikes and suspension, Josh turns to Darren Murphy of Push Industries. Josh and Darren talk about Darren's journey in the industry, as well as a dive into how advanced bike products are developed, tested and brought to ma…
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With World Cup races being decided by tenths or even hundredths of a second, many racers and teams are now using sensors and data acquisition to dial their setups. Our guest this show is a leader in this area: Nick Lester and Josh get deep into how Nick and his Downamics team help the world's fastest downhillers get the most out of their suspension…
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Would your motorcycle chain benefit from an afternoon in the chain wax spa? If you use a gel packet as an improvised tire boot, how much will it affect your bike's performance? When using the Rule of 105, should you be using the rim width at the brake track, or the widest point of the rim as your measurement? And for those of us carrying lunch, clo…
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Aerocoach's business is to help athletes improve their aerodynamic performance, through testing, coaching, and equipment. Josh and Xavier Disley get into a wide-ranging discussion of aerosensors, hype vs data, the need for wind tunnel standards, and so much more. This is an in-the-weeds episode you Marginal Gainer supernerds will not want to miss. …
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Russ Roca - founder and host of the YouTube Channel the Path Less Pedaled - is our guest. The Path Less Pedaled has become a place to learn about the non-competitive side of the cycling world . Russ has produced hundreds of videos that focus on using bikes to carry stuff, explore, cruise, travel, ride comfortably and yes he has a couple on chain wa…
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Rob Britton is an accomplished pro road cyclist who has turned to the off-road scene in the second half of his career. He’s been doing the Lifetime Grand Prix and other mass start events but he is also taking on ultra endurance challenges. This summer it was an event called Badlands: Longer than Unbound XL, more climbing than an Everest Challenge a…
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Josh, Hottie, and Fatty take on your questions in this, our 101st episode of the Marginal Gains Podcast (we forgot to check that we hit 100 episodes -- and 1,000,000 listens -- last time). From contemplating the aerodynamic benefits of chain guards to analyzing terrifying moments of physics in action when riding a high speed descent, to raising our…
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Industry legends Dave Koesel and Stephen Doll join Josh for a discussion about the Stromm track bike, a frame and fork aiming to take advantage of recent UCI tube shape restrictions being lifted. If you love wind tunnels, marginal gains, and engineers getting into the weeds with other engineers (and let's face it, we know you love all these things)…
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If you think the stories you've heard about the 2023 Unbound are crazy, wait 'til you hear Kristen Legan's story of her XL win. She focused on this race this year, and her preparation and dedication will resonate with any endurance Margingal Gainer. Kristen's joined in this episode by Nick Legan: author of the popular book Gravel Cycling, Unbound v…
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We take our mission of making a big deal about the little things very seriously in this episode, where we talk about whether there's any actual basis for the superstition behind where you rotate the wheel to before inflating a tire. We then move to the admittedly more pragmatic questions of how much of a draft an aero rider provides to the riders b…
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For Silca’s E-commerce manager, Travis Verhoff, the 2023 edition of Unbound has been a bit of an ongoing science project. In this episode of Marginal Gains, we dig into Travis' expectations, last-minute changes, and key learnings from this experiment...and after all is said and done, what he would change and whether he'd ever race this monster agai…
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You've no doubt heard Josh mention Slowtwitch.com many times on this show. It's one of the key places he goes to share ideas and get feedback. But Slowtwitch is more than just a place. It’s a person too. The site was founded by Dan Empfield in 1999, and remains publisher to this day. But before Slowtwitch even existed, Dan was a competitor. He did …
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It's an Ask Josh Anything episode! We talk about The Rule of 105, the extent to which "bigger is better" is true for fairings, whether tire inserts need to be factored in when using air pressure calculators, why you might get conflicting recommendations from different air pressure calculators, how many watts a slow-turning old derailleur cog might …
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Silca's own Travis Verhoff has an unusual work assignment: plan, train for, and execute the most Marginal Gain-y Unbound possible. If you've been following the Silca YouTube channel, you've been tracking his progress. In this episode, we catch up with his bike setup, key learnings and surprises from time in the wind tunnel, using the Chung method o…
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Amanda Nauman has one of the most disarming nicknames in all of cycling: she is affectionately known as Panda. But make no mistake: behind the woman named after a docile creature is a fearless person, both on and off the bike. Amanda has taken on the toughest gravel events — and the toughest questions — that face our sport. She has won Unbound Grav…
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Josh and USAC CEO Brendan Quirk share a love of the history of cycling, as well as a deepseated desire to move it forward. In this wide-ranging conversation, Josh and Brendan talk about their love of bike racing, wind tunnels, and the complexities of cycling product development and retailing. Most importantly, they have a candid discussion of the d…
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With three Gravel World's Championships, an Unbound victory, an induction into the Gravel Hall of Fame, a bronze medal in UCI Worlds Road Championship TTT, a win in the Tour de San Luis, and more than a decade as a pro, Alison Tetrick has proved she's among the best in the world on pavement and dirt. As it turns out, she's also right at the top in …
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It's a no-topics-barred Ask-Josh-Anything episode of Marginal Gains, and (as usual) Hottie and Fatty get their own burning questions to the front of the line. Hottie desperately wants to talk about F1 porpoising and its connection to Hopf bifurcation. Josh accomodates. Fatty overheard a rocket scientist proclaim he wouldn't trust a repaired carbon …
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In the early and mid 2010s, Gwen had a winning streak that astonished both the Tri world and the sports world at large. She won an unmatched 13 races in a row, capped off with Olympic gold in Rio. She then stepped away to focus on running for a time, but is now back, again with a focus on the Olympics. We catch up with Gwen between training session…
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Alex Dowsett has been a Marginal Gainer since he started riding with his dad on the roads of his hometown in England. He quickly became a time trialist and then pro, riding for a handful of teams and racking up more than a dozen wins before finally hanging up his wheels after the 2022 season. But the fact that Alex became a sportsman at all is a ma…
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You may know her by her nickname in Bicycling Magazine (The Fit Chick) or you may know her by others' names (she's ghost-written and co-written scores of books), but you almost certainly know her work in one way or another: Selene Yeager is as well-respected as she is prolific in the cycling world. And now she's the host of "Press Play Not Pause" -…
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