show episodes
 
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, talks about all aspects of cycling — design, manufacturing, marketing, riding, racing, management and most likely every from a thoughtful perspective. It's a podcast for the thinking cyclist.
 
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show series
 
If you were to rank the hardest working parts on a bicycle, you’d be hard-pressed to find a component that goes through more than the chain. And keeping that chain working well has become a real obsession for Marginal Gainers. So this episode, we dig into chains, lubes, and who should be using what.
 
If you live outside of Australia or if you’re not familiar with the whole bikepacking or adventure racing scene chances are you may not have heard about the small bike and wheel brand called Curve. It’s run by a few mates of mine here in Melbourne Australia and started way back when I was first starting the cyclingtips business and we were all simi…
 
2020 has been a rough year for traditional racing, but has brought a surge in interest in Everests and Fastest Known Time (FKT) efforts on well-known courses. And for these solo, pride-of-place FKT attempts, Marginal Gains matter. In this episode, WorldTour-Pro-Roadie-Turned-Gravel-Privateer Pete Stetina nerds out with Josh, Fatty, & Hottie about h…
 
Before Open Cycles and the now-famous U.P., Gerard and Josh collaborated in Europe with Test Team Cervelo. Like a lot of guests on this show, Gerard Vroomen is an engineer first. He and Phil White took a school project they started in a basement in Montreal and turned into Cervelo Bikes. Against much bigger companies, their bikes not only revolutio…
 
Nobody enjoyed seeing (or hearing about) Chloé Dygert's recent crash, but it was an extraordinary illustration of one of the effects discussed in our most recent episode on Bifurcation. Josh breaks it down (and we all wish her a fast recovery and speedy return to racing). We also discuss UCI frame rules modifications, and how those open the door fo…
 
What do aircraft wings, the Tacoma Narrows bridge and Coronavirus modeling all have in common? As you may have guessed from the title, it's bifurcation — just about the least intuitive (or predictable) behavior known to humankind. In this episode, we talk about bifurcation and its relation to all of these — as well as how understanding bifurcation …
 
This is an Engineer's episode if there ever was one. Josh talks to James Woolcock of Bastion cycles, a maker of custom frames, or as the site puts it, "Bespoke Luxury Performance Bicycles." As you would expect, these bikes come with a significant price tag, but there's a lot of custom engineering based on a customer’s wants and needs going into eac…
 
The Tour de France is underway, and we've got questions (and answers) about it. For example, do racers REALLY still ride with tires at 120psi as Phil Liggett suggested? (Hint: no.) Why are riders turning their hoods inward? Is tubeless on the verge of replacing tubular as the wheel setup of choice? We've also got a great crop of questions from our …
 
You could very well argue that Bonnie Tu is the most powerful woman in cycling, although she wouldn’t think of describing herself that way. She’s best known as the face of the LIV brand she created back in 2008, but more than that she’s the Chairperson of the largest bike brand in the world: The Giant Bicycle Group. What does that mean? Quite simpl…
 
Factor is a relatively new name in the industry. But after just a few years in the marketplace, a leading publication put Factor alongside Giant, Specialized and Cannondale as the next bike to own. And Factor has been brought to prominence by Rob Gitelis. In addition to applying his experience as an engineer to build a really terrific bicycle, Rob …
 
Nick Legan is a name anyone with more than a casual interest in cycling has probably come across. Nick was the tech editor at Velo Magazine and Adventure Cyclist Magazine. He is also the author of the book “Gravel Cycling.” Josh and Nick talk about Gravel riding, bikepacking (not exactly the aero discussion we normally have around these parts but w…
 
As we continue our theme of individual icons within the sport, in this episode we hear the story of Matthew Keenan - a man who is slowly but surely becoming the new voice of cycling, taking over the highest job in cycling commentary just three years ago when he and Robbie McEwen replaced Paul Sherwin and Phil Liggett as the host announcers for the …
 
Shortly after setting a new Everesting record — obliterating Alberto Contador's time by 20 minutes — Ronan McLaughlin reached out to Josh with some remarkable news: Silca Products and the Marginal Gains podcast had been an important piece of his extraordinary accomplishment. Needless to say, Josh immediately set up this interview to talk about Rona…
 
We've asked you to ask Josh anything (kind of meta, we know), and you do not disappoint. In this episode, however, we completely lose track of the "ask" thing because we are SO GEEKED OUT on Ronan McLaughlin's new Everesting record. If ever there's been a full-circle Marginal Gain moment, this is it. Listen and you'll understand. Eventually, howeve…
 
This week we continue our theme of individual icons within the sport. This time we speak to Graham watson, the most prolific cycling photographer in perhaps the world. Like other pioneers of their professions, some might argue that it was easy back in the day and there were more opportunities. But everything is obvious in hindsight, and as you’ll s…
 
Over the next few episodes of From the Top I switch gears to speak to iconic individuals within the cycling industry to better understand how they got to where they are. First up, I speak to Phil Liggett about how he got his start in commentating, how he met Paul Sherwin, how he’s been doing since Paul’s untimely passing, his relationship/fallout w…
 
Sean Small of Ruckus Composites is our guest for this episode. This is going to be a great interview for any listener who has spent any amount of time on a carbon bike. Sean is going to reveal a frame’s strong spots and the areas where it is most vulnerable. We also talk about the importance of torque, which company is making the best product and a…
 
So many of the businesses we’ve discovered in this show have been ‘happy accidents’ so to speak, and Scratch Labs embodies that very same organic build and hustling spirit. Founded by two longtime friends, Allan Lim and Ian McGregor as both were sidelined from the sport, they both described themselves as initially too ‘lazy’ to actually sell their …
 
Tom Anhalt was one of the first to turn conventional wisdom regarding inflation on its head. He is a smart guy. No doubt. But his true talent is curiosity. In this episode we learn that questioning the norm and having an open mind can lead to more than just marginal gains but to revelations. Tom Anhalt runs the blog site, blather ‘bout bikes where …
 
Andreas Klier has been focused on competitive cycling since his early teen years. He became a pro in his first year as an adult and went on to become a spring classics specialist. He’s only win in those early season races was the 2003 Gent Wevelgem but he did come close at Flanders on a couple of occasions. Some believe he has a better understandin…
 
Apidura is a brand you may not be familiar with if you haven’t ventured into the world of bikpacking, touring or adventure racing, but they’re pioneers in rackless bike bags category, and support the community of ultra cyclists and bike packers. They’re a brand at the heart of this rapidly growing community and are enabling a whole new wave of this…
 
SRAM is credited with having three co-founders, but Stan Day is the man who planted the seed. And you could very well are argue he’s where the brand’s culture and values stem from. At least that’s what I got out of speaking with him in this episode while listening to his polite, humble and understated approach when sharing his story. SRAM all start…
 
Everesting — riding up a single pitch enough times to match the altitude of the summit of Mt. Everest — is a massive challenge with an elegantly simple set of rules. Which makes it a perfect candidate for a Marginal Gains conversation. Josh, Hottie, and Fatty talk about how the obvious, not-so-obvious, and downright bizarre strategies racers could …
 
Josh Poertner isn’t your typical cycling industry personality. In fact, he’s not your typical anything. He’s one of those people that when you meet him, you’re taken back by a man who is filled with enthusiasm, curiosity, positive energy, and intelligence that really makes him stand out from most human beings. These days, you may associate Josh’s n…
 
Zipp is an indisputable icon in the wheel business and they have a long history of innovation. They were one of the very first brands who though about wheels differently and pushed the envelope to what wheels are now today. An engineer by the name of Leigh Sargent is the founder of Zipp way back in the late 80’s, but it’s a gentleman by the name of…
 
Most businesses we've spoken to so far have had relatively straightforward journey, but Wahoo Fitness is not one of those who fit that mould. Chip Hawkins is the company’s founder and believe it or not, the Wahoo business started off in, well you’ll probably never guess it….boat docks. That’s right, floating boat docks. But it was a good business w…
 
We are happy to report that we continue to seek questions Josh is unable to answer, or at least unwilling to try. We regret to announce that we have so far failed, in spite of the fact that in this episode we expanded our universe of acceptable questions to include how to make electric scooters more aero. Josh was, in fact, distressingly excited by…
 
Strava has become ubiquitous in over 50 million athlete’s lives and is arguably the most relevant social network to anyone who loves to sweat. Michael Horvath and Mark Gainey are the co-founders of Strava who have been lifelong friends who quite literally changed how we interact with our cycling in both real life and with each other online. The rea…
 
Jordan Rapp is one of the true greats in triathlon. You may know Jordan as a 5 time Ironman Winner, or maybe as and ITU World Champion.. Or maybe as a US pursuit champion on the track. Nowadays, his claim to fame includes the fact that he designed the Alpe du Zwift (and much more of the gameplay on Zwift, for that matter). Enjoy this episode as Jos…
 
In this latest episode of From the Top, I'm thrilled to give you an exclusive first look at the remarkable story of how Roman Arnold founded and built Canyon Bikes to where it is today. Listen to the remarkable story of how Roman started cycling as a way of competing for recognition and approval from his father amongst his three brothers. He starte…
 
This was not the episode we intended to create. Josh, Hottie, and Fatty sat down to record an episode on confirmation bias and how it can undercut marginal gains, and instead found that what we want to talk about — and think you might enjoy hearing — is the good things Josh is seeing during a very difficult time. So this is a "stories" episode: sto…
 
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