I’m into riding…

Hello.  I’m Steve and I write the posts and manage the activity you see on this site. I’m probably a lot like you and most other riders you know – a committed and enthusiastic cyclist with a job, a family, a few other passions and generally a pretty full life. If it works within the budget, I’m always open to replacing, upgrading or adding a piece of gear that will help improve my riding performance and experience. But, there’s always new stuff coming out, features I’m not sure I understand or need, product jargon to learn that’s often hard to distinguish from marketing BS, and riders opening my eyes and filling my ears with ideas of what they think is making a difference for them.

It’s really hard for any of us to find the hours to do the research that will get us to a confident choice about what and where to buy that next thing that will make our riding better – to track down, read through and analyze all the information from so many sources and then hunt down the best places to buy the product, in inventory, with a good price and good service. No shop, site, magazine, reviewer, online forum, riding buddy or other sources I know of is doing this in an independent, comprehensive, comparative, disciplined, or rider-friendly way.

Doing the work for you…

I’m doing the work to solve that problem. I set up this site and later the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for my friends and anyone in the cycling community who can’t easily spend a lot of time trying to pick what may end up being the wrong piece of gear or pay more than they need to and who would prefer to spend their time riding their bike confident that they just made a great decision on something that boosts their cycling experience. My goal is to put you (and me) in the know about what cycling gear to get next and where to get it. It’s become a passion for me and I’m making the time to do it.

I and my fellow testers spend countless hours riding, evaluating, and comparing products for each review. We do this for products across an entire category, condense down what we’ve found into something that is both comprehensive and easy for most anyone to read and understand, and make recommendations that will be right for most cycling enthusiasts. This is the way you would do it for yourself if you had the time, discipline, and experience to make smart, objective, and confident choices.  We make the time to do it for you (and it’s a heck of a lot of fun too).

The experience we bring…

Off the bike, I’m an engineer by training and work professionally as a business advisor. I ask a lot of challenging questions, have the analytical training to research and assess a lot of different types of information, and pull things together in an insight-rich and decision-oriented way. My clients ask me to help them come up with solutions to tough issues and recommend answers to complex questions that take a lot of research, analysis, and judgment. I’ve tried to combine this professional training with my enthusiasm for and knowledge of cycling to put you in the know.

On the bike, I’ve been riding 5 or 6 days a week, about 3-5,000 miles a year for many years, outside from March through November and mostly on the trainer during the winter. I ride several road centuries most years, have added gravel riding to the mix, train with buddies, with a cycling club and on my own, and do every combination of training from distance rides to intervals to sprints to hill repeats and Zwift rides.

I have goals, follow a training program, and track my stats. (It keeps me going.) My road disc brake bike is a Parlee Altum that has an endurance fit with a race bike feel. On gravel, I ride a Giant Revolt Advanced. When I started this site, I rode (and still occasionally do ride) a carbon fiber endurance rim brake road bike – a Specialized Roubaix SL3 Pro with Dura-Ace components that cost about $3K back in the day. I’m regularly demoing or buying, trying out, and then selling different wheelsets, components, clothing, and accessories for reviews but own more than I’d like my wife to know about so I won’t get any more specific here.

I ride, mostly in the New England region of the United States where I live, because I love it and it keeps me in shape, clears my head, and offers some friendly competition.  I’ve broken my collar bone, and femur and been hit by a car while riding. Still kicking it.

My friends Nate, Miles, Aiyana, and Conor also test gear and kit for In The Know Cycling reviews and add perspective and talents that complement or go beyond and, in some cases, well beyond mine.

Nate getting dirty

Nate is a tester that sets the pace. Literally. He leads the fast group rides in our 300+ person cycling club including the Tuesday morning “Bullet Train” that moves along at 25-26 mph. He also finishes on the top step of the podiums for his busy-working-guy-with-wife-and-young-kids age group on some of the toughest hill climbs in the northeast. Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, for example. He’s also a top CX racer and likes getting dirty on gravel. He’s got more bikes than I can list without getting him in trouble but they include Specialized S-Works Venge road disc and S-Works Tarmac rim brake bikes, a Cannondale cross bike, a Giant Revolt Advanced gravel bike, a fat bike, a commuter bike, and who knows what else.

Miles winning again

Miles is a Masters and Pro/1/2 racer. He does 35-40 races a year including regional crits, road races, stage races, CX, and gravel grinders. He wins a bunch of them and is in the first group of finishers most of the time. He’s been on the podium in his age group crit at USA Nationals, PanAm cyclocross, Longsjo, and Killington Stage Race, and was 10th overall in the Vermont Overland. A fast dude. If you can ever catch him, or more likely get passed by him, you’ll see that he rides a Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc and a Cervelo R3. He’s got several many, many more for each discipline but before he showed me all of them one day in his special clean-room bike lair that used to be a basement, I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Aiyana having fun

Aiyana has raced around the world, has a career in finance, is raising a family, and still does 1-3hr rides 5-6 times a week because “my legs and lungs allow me to explore.” Superwoman. Damn good cyclist too. Tons of energy and enthusiasm and a whole lot of fun to ride with.

And the socks and jerseys she wears are special.

Aiyana seems to have a bike for every season and activity. She rides a Storck on the road, a retired BMC Time Machine on the trainer, and a classic Triumph townie for getting around the neighborhood. Off-road, you’ll see her on a Velocity XC racing bike, a metal Specialized Stump Jumper for mountain biking, and a Motobecane fat bike for winter riding in the New England snow.

Conor loving gravel

Conor started racing mountain bikes in high school and rode with the Team Fat Chance junior development team–he still has his Yo Eddy! Hardtail in his basement!  Later, he got into road riding, then cyclocross racing during the heyday of the Gloucester/Providence “holy week” in New England, earning some podium finishes along the way.

These days, he does most of his cycling in rural Vermont where he rides as much of that state’s spectacularly beautiful network of dirt roads as he can.  He’s embraced most of the marque gravel events in New England (Overland, Rooted, D2R2, The Ranger, Guilford Gravel Grinder, etc.) and has had some respectably fast results in many of them. Conor thinks any gravel-loving cyclist should ride the 180K route of D2R2 at least once. He currently puts most of his miles on a Giant Revolt Advanced gravel bike.

I’m the stereotypical middle-aged cycling enthusiast always looking to spend money on new gear to help get beyond the limits of my God-given 18-20mph, 3.25 w/kg endurance riding talent.

As the range of cycling gear we review grows, more cyclists I know and whose judgment I value are joining me to provide additional perspective on any number of categories of gear reviewed on the site.  While we bring different experiences and backgrounds to our road cycling enthusiasm, we are all similarly committed and analytical, bike nerds you might say, and use the same criteria I lay out in evaluating gear.

A rider’s perspective, not an industry bias or paid mouthpiece…

I and my fellow testers represent the rider’s perspective – yours and mine. We don’t bring any industry biases.  I have never tried to make it as a professional bike racer, never been sponsored by or worked for a bike company, never worked in a bike shop or been a cycling journalist. Same with my fellow testers. These are not bad things. I love a lot of what people who work in the industry do. It’s just not where I and I’ll guess most of you come from.

I buy, demo and then return or donate the gear we test. When I receive kit that I don’t buy or can’t return or donate like apparel, I will make a donation for its value to a cycling non-profit organization. Occasionally, I’ll ask a bike shop for a product I want to test and will either return it, donate it or make a donation for its value to a cycling non-profit organization.

I don’t go on any company- or personally-expensed product review trips or go to industry meetings. You will not see any advertising for cycling products, cycling shops or anything else on this site. None of our content or the work that goes into creating it is sponsored, paid for, or guest or ghost-written by those at or associated with cycling companies, stores, PR firms or individuals. I also don’t engage in influencer marketing.

We represent only the interests of fellow cyclists.

Join me, help yourself…

I hope you’ll join me in using this site by sharing your perspective with me and other readers in the comments sections under the reviews and posts, let me know what category of cycling gear you want to see reviewed, spread the word about what we are doing here, and buy your gear through the links provided on the site. Doing that will help support the costs of buying gear to test, cranking out reviews, and running the site. Your support will increase what I can do for you, and allow us to get better at enjoying our passion for cycling together.

Thanks for reading and supporting the site,


*     *     *

If you have a question or comment about gear or kit, please ask it in the comment section at the bottom of a review. I’ll see it and respond to it much quicker there and all our fellow roadies can learn from it.

If you are looking for a bike, wheelset, or other recommendation for your specific situation, please read this review for bikes or this review for wheels to help you make a decision that’s best for your unique budget, goals, and rider profile.

While I get that you are about to make an important decision and want as much input as possible before you do, I just don’t have enough time for the site, my riding, family, and job to also make individual recommendations. I wrote the posts I linked you to and all the others on the site to help you and your fellow enthusiasts as best I can. Thanks for understanding.

Please note that I don’t accept guest posts, engage in influencer marketing or publish articles, announcements or any content paid for or submitted by companies, stores, PR firms, guest authors, individuals, non-profits or any other organization or person (except maybe my mother).

If it is about something else, you can contact me at [email protected]



  • Great articles. Thank you for sharing your passion.

  • Hi Steve, Working on figuring out how to navigate the site…so apologies if I’m not sending my question to the right place! But, very much enjoyed reading your review of wheel sets! Thank you! I have been riding Mavic Ksyrium SL’s for….ever! And, I was disappointed not to see more anywhere about either the Ksyrium 125th Anniversary Edition…and, a rather brief comment on the replacement for 2015 Ksyrium … what is it? SLR? Anyway, I know you don’t like the bundle but I’d love to hear more about your take on the wheels. I’d love to have some idea of what I’m missing by being so happy with my Ksyriums all these years! blessings,

    • Hi Chris. Thanks for visiting. Best way to find if I’ve written about a particular wheel is to use the search bar at the top of the pages. I too was on the Ksyriums that came with my bike and didn’t know much else until I crashed and had to replace them. That opened me up to everything else out there and got me into writing about it and starting this blog. You can read my take on the current line-up of Ksyriums here. You’ll see there that there’s an SLS, SLE and SLR with different features. As to the 125 Anniversary edition, mostly a marketing promotion that you pay a lot for and would probably want to display rather than ride. You also might want to take a look at the post on all-around and climbing and descending wheels, which you can find in the Wheelset section on the front page (or through the links earlier in this sentence). Enjoy, Steve

  • Steve, just curious what the 4 prices you typically quote are. I recognize the Pound and Euro, but I’m not sure the the seperate Dollar values.


  • The first one is US and the A$ is Australian. My apologies to all cycling Canadians!

  • I am interested in a groupset from one of your recommendations the prices are great much lower than retail from a local store. Do I get the same factory warranty as a local store will offer?

  • Many thanks for your very useful, clever and unbiaised papers. Vincent (Montreal)

  • Hi Steve, I just found this blog/site. I am trying to build up a 2015 Tarmac Disc Module (wheels included) and am trying to find a group set and decide if I should sell the wheel and build up my own or just run the stock wheels. Hope to learn more on your site. Thanks!

  • Hi Steve,

    looking into GPS, any plans to write about these?



    • Luc, wasn’t planning on it. Garmin is pretty much the best option here. They make them in different sizes and with different options. I use the Garmin Edge 520 and find it the best combination of performance, features, value. It’s available here from Competitive Cyclist. Unfortunately, I’ve not seen it discounted anywhere from it’s $300 price. Steve

  • Have you heard of these guys at November Bicycles? They are producing a product, the Rail52, that is rivaling the products at the very top at prices at the bottom of the scale. You might like to include them here. http://www.novemberbicycles.com/

  • Hi Steve, I’m looking to upgrade my wheels and came across your site, and thought maybe you could answer a question. I’m 52 years old and I’m not a year round cyclist. I train more for one event, the PMC which apparently you’re familiar with by the picture above. Anyway, I have a Trek Madone 4.7 which is a few years old and I still have the stock wheels which are Bontrager race wheels. Pretty much entry level wheels. I’m not that strong on the hills and could use all the help I can get. After doing a little research and asking a few people, it seems that the wheels may be the way to accomplish that. I’m getting some mixed information. I’ve been told that the high profile rims are more aerodynamic and would help on the hills, but I’ve also been told you should stick with low profile rims for the longer rides. Can you give me any advice?

    • Hi Greg. Welcome to the site and, of course, thanks for riding the PMC and raising money for cancer research. Hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather at the ride this year. I didn’t ride this year but did get to cheer riders climbing Ocean View Drive in Welfleet. You guys were great.

      I agree that the information you are getting is mixed and frankly there’s a bit more to it than what you’ve heard. I’d suggest you read through the section on Wheelset Categories in my post on all around wheels here:http://intheknowcycling.com/2015/05/01/best-all-around-road-bike-wheels-2015/#Categories for an overview. From there you can read posts on all around, aero and low profile/budget upgrade wheels under the Gear Reviews>Wheelsets and Tires tab. Feel free to come back to me with specific questions after you’ve gone through some of this. Steve

  • Found you via Google. Great info, and just wanted to say thank you.
    FYI- Just sold our aluminum road bikes on CL, and we are getting matching Ti disk specific road bikes, 28c carbon wheels, can’t wait. I believe in this trend, and the flat mount brakes and disk specific wheels look SOOOO much better.

  • Hi Steve,
    I just happened on your site while googling Zonda C17 🙂 Glad I found your site as it seems quite good/honest & from an enthusiastic cyclist perspective. I have been riding since the 80’s & have been thru many bikes & various equipment. Recently took 4 years off bike to live in Asia. But now back home & back on the bike loving every minute of it. Happy to have found your site & have it pinned now on my browser to check daily

  • thanks for great reading.

    i am ma gonna buy a upgrade or carbon wheelset, have an cannonade Synapse carbon -19 bike

    this wheel i have checked

    Roval C38
    Roval CL50

    Reynolds AR41 or AR X41 i like them don’t know why.

    Bontrager pro 4 tlr

    theese wheels is i think in same price except cl 50

    or worth going up in price?

    i am running often solo rides 50-100km do some brevets 200-300K,
    like fast but comfortable, here in sweden there is not so many mountains to climb, som races, nice if they can be used on a gravel bike also

    • Johan, If you haven’t yet, I’d suggest you read this post on how to choose wheels to get a better idea of what kind of wheelset would be best for the type of riding you do and your budget. I will be writing up reviews on the Reynolds AR41 (not great), Bontrager Pro 5 (testing now) and Roval C38 (testing now) later this spring. I wouldn’t recommend the Roval CL50 based on my review of the CLX50 in the review I posted yesterday on Aero Bike Wheels. You might also want to read the first part of my review of the Best Carbon Wheelset for the Money. Steve

  • I like your site and want to get regular posts. I hope by adding info. Below it will get me on the list os regular email posts?

  • nice site.

    Will ride the Hincapie Fondo in Boise this weekend. 75% road + 25% loose, crushed rock gravel= SWorks Crux with 36 mm Vittorias. Wish me luck.

    Keep it up and thanks.

  • I just ran across your site while searching for road tubeless tire reviews. I purchased my Allied Allroad this spring with ENVE SES 3.4 Disc wheels / Schwalbe Pro One 28mm tubeless tires and am starting to see cuts (and one with a surrounding dark spot that might be sealant?). I don’t need tires yet but want to be ready when the time comes. Your article sealed it for me. I’ll go with the Conti’s and just need to choose 25 or 28mm.

    Next I’ll be looking for recommendations for road shoes/shoe fit. I’ve ridden Sidis for decades (Detto Pietro before that) but am facing issues with hot foot occasionally in hot weather.

    I’ve bookmarked your site and will be returning!


  • Hi Steve, just found your site and glad I did. I am one of those enthusiasts you describe although more in the 16-19 mph range. Also a New Englander in the RI, Eastern CT, Southeast MA area mostly. (Narragansett Bay Wheelman territory). Will definitely come here to look at reviews when looking to buy new gear. Thanks for doing this.

    Recently purchased the newly designed Bontrager R3 tires (28cc). Love them maybe you can do a review. I use them with tubes, but they are also tubeless capable, on Aeolus PRO 3 Carbon wheels. They roll smoothly and fast and are great on turns.

  • Steve, do you ever review/recommend assembled bikes (as opposed to components)? At 70, I want to upgrade from my excellent carbon 2012 Specialized Roubaix Sport (which I’ve upgraded via your recommendations with a Di2 groupset and DuraAce C35 wheels), with a main focus on getting disc brakes and somewhat better gearing — perhaps 11-30+ or so. Main riding with this will be the Tucson Loop, which is flat, with a dream of trying to ride up Mount Lemon, which is not. However, I continue to do centuries here and there, so it ain’t over yet.
    Thanks for any advice.

    • Hi John, Good to read that you are riding well. There are too many bikes to review them in-depth and compare them well. Frankly, I don’t know any site that does.

      I have put together a guide for how to shop for bikes and used about 20 road disc brake bikes to illustrate. You might want to take a look at that for starters. It’s here: https://intheknowcycling.com/buy-bikes-online/. Steve

  • Many thanks, Steve. Especially that I need a professional measurement before starting to salivate over any bike. Very helpful StR chart, as well!

  • By the way, will my professional measurements be different if I’m aiming to buy a touring bike vs. a standard road bike?

    • Your measurements are your measurements. Once you know them, you can decide how relaxed/upright or racy/stretched out you want your reach to be. I’d expect a touring bike would be more relaxed than an endurance road bike.

  • Just discovered your site. So far looks interesting. I am looking forward to future posts. Now my question; I recently purchased a new bike (S-Works Roubaix) with Roval CLX 50 Disc wheels. As with many new wheels they are now designed with a hookless rim. I am not planning to go tubeless yet so will be using traditional clincher tires. The ones I am planning to use are Continental GP Four Season (28), but they state to only use with rims that include a hook. Is this advice necessary to follow? I called Roval and they were unaware of any issue. And I can not find any guidance on how to select a clincher tire for use with a hookless rim. Can you share you thoughts about this?

    • Rob, There’s no standard answer to tubed clincher tires with hookless wheels. Some combinations work and some don’t and some of the same combination may work below certain pressures and not work at higher pressures. If Conti advises you against it, that’s reason enough not to do it, at least for that tire. More here from Lennard Zinn: https://www.velonews.com/2019/08/technical-faq/tech-faq-hooked-vs-hookless-rims-tire-choice-and-pressure-recommendations_500050

      My suggestion is to go with tubeless tires suited to a hookless wheelset even if you prefer to put a tube in it. You just bought an expensive new bike with quality carbon wheels and you are wanting to put old tech, high rolling resistance tires on them. You are sacrificing speed, handling and comfort of your bike to reduce punctures with tires like the Four Seasons while tubeless tires would give you equivalent or better puncture resilience and bring out the performance potential of your new bike. Steve

  • Steve:

    How do I join Moose’s FFBC? I can see the jersey’s now….


    • Steve, Moose is very inclusive. If you think you qualify as a member, you’re in! As to the jersey, only XL and larger sizes qualify 🙂 Steve

  • Hi, I just tried your discount at Power Meter City for a Favero single pedal powermeter and it didn’t work. Any suggestions? ITK10

    • Hi Dwight, Thanks for coming to the site and shopping at one of my recommended stores. Unfortunately, Garmin, Favero, and Stages are excluded from the discount at Power Meter City. I do mention this in my Deals and Discounts box just after I list the code. If I’ve failed to do so elsewhere where you saw a listing for Favero in one of my posts, please let me know. Steve

  • Hi Steve,

    Congrats for your articles, they are very well documented and on the subject!
    I read a topic about road rim wheels, and I need your opinion about these wheelsets “Prime Baroudeur Road Wheelset”:

    It’s for my wife road bike, so is for entry-level.


    • George, I’ve no experience with those wheels. There are a dozen types of wheels and thousands to choose from. Your wife might want to read my post on “road bike wheels – how to pick the right wheels for you” that is on the home page which will guide her to specific wheel recommendations based on her goals, riding profile and budget. Steve

  • I hope you had a great 4th of July weekend. Have you or anyone you ride with ridden the new Enve 45 disc wheels? I’m curious how they compare with the new budget oriented Zipp 303s wheels.

    As always, thanks for your hard work and awesome reviews.

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