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In this edition of the Zipp Speed Podcast, we turn the microphones around and interview one of cycling’s most successful podcast hosts, gravel racer Payson McElveen. Payson is an intriguing model for a modern professional bike racer. He’s a Zipp athlete, ambassador, and test rider for new products.

In this episode of the Zipp Speed Podcast, Zipp content manager Dan Lee sits down with Payson during his recent stop at the Zipp factory in Indianapolis. First, we discuss how Payson approaches his role as a test rider for the 101 XPLR and the 353 NSW Tubeless wheelsets. Payson reveals how he changes his mindset while riding prototype products to heighten his awareness of small changes on the bike from riding different setups. He also tells how his experience testing new products changed his preparation for gravel races and events. 

Payson also dives into many other cycling topics, including lessons from racing for collegiate cycling powerhouse Fort Lewis College. He ponders the blurring distinctions between Road, Gravel, and MTB… Where does one end and the other begin?

Also, Payson describes the cycling culture in his beloved adopted hometown, Durango, Colorado, and discusses his love of the NBA and why he thinks so many former professional athletes love riding bikes after their playing days.

Photos by Evan Ruderman

The Zippcast · Zipp test rider Payson McElveen